It all started with the box, the one filled with old mementos that Mummy insists I keep. What’s the point? Sentimental, worthless, not something that I need to think about. I have far more interesting things to do than look through my own memories, the important things are stored in my mind. Easy access, quick, only the relevant information. Not old memories, pains- Never mind.
I don’t want to be reminded of him after all this time.
But John, John wants to look through them now, I should have hidden the box more carefully... idiotic, be more cautious next time. I sigh, looking up from where I’m sprawled on my chair, one leg hooked over the arm. “Why would you want to go through it? It’s all dull. I should know.” I give him a look, John would probably call it a pout, but I don’t do that. I’m not sulking, either.
“But I’m interested, Sherlock.” John says quietly, moving to sit in his chair, elbows resting against knees. He didn’t sleep well last night, I would know, I went to see what was srong, found him thrashing around and shouting. Nightmare, again. Would have been able to tell anyway, but still. Been to the surgery today, hm, I didn’t notice. Did I? No, can’t have, I was talking to him earlier, and he never did pass me that pen. How rude.... not my fault he wasn’t listening. He had some kind of pastry for lunch, probably went to that shop down the road. With Sarah, too. I frown a little at that, before realising that John is watching me with an amused expression. “Find out anything useful?”
“Of course.” I say, tone vaguely petulant even to my own ears. I slump down in the chair further, waiting for John to continue. This entire experience is dull.
“Anyway, I never said you had to look at them with me...” The ex-army doctor continued, glancing down at his hands. I sit up at the words, a thread of fear winding through my thoughts, although I am sure to keep my expression impassive. Don’t want to go giving anything away, not yet, it’s too soon. Can’t let John go through the box, what if there are photos, ones I haven’t managed to destroy. No, can’t let that happen. That won’t happen. John doesn’t need to know.
I can’t let anyone else get so close to me.
“No.” I say, my tone is defensive- bad move, he’ll know that something is wrong now. Shit. He does, and he’s frowning at me, what is that? Concern? Maybe, I can’t decide. I see him take a breath, steeling himself, he knows I won’t react well if he pushes. He’s going to ask, isn’t he? Idiot.
“Sherlock, why n-“ I stand up quickly, abruptly, taking him by surprise and he falls silent. Not for long though, damn, he is just too persistent for his own good. “What are you not telling me?” He says, he sounds suspicious. Rightly so, but he shouldn’t know that. I glare, cross my arms; I want him to leave it alone now and forever.
“Leave it, John.”
“Leave it.” I say, tone low and dangerous now. None of his business, I know what he was going to say anyway. ‘But I’m your friend, you can trust me. You can tell me anything, Sherlock, I’m not going to judge you for it.’ God, it was infuriating, John didn’t understand, it wasn’t- That doesn’t matter now. John just sighs at my harsh words, and I leave the room. Quickly, before any more words can be said, before he can convince me.
Throw myself on the bed, think. Too restless, get up, pace around room, think. It’s not working, I need to calm down. Retrieve stash? Blades? No, too much chance of being caught. That can come later, I don’t need it yet. Lie back down, force myself to stay still, go to my mind palace. Sort through, find the applicable recollections. It’s easier to look at it this way, as if I am not myself at all, just watching from the sidelines. Open file, view.
James. The brother, Sherlock’s brother, the one no one talked about any more. His twin brother, and yet he had been so different. By appearance, they were identical except for the fact Sherlock had always been skinnier, but once either moved, spoke, any expression, it was clear which was which. While Sherlock was quiet, withdrawn, didn’t like people, James had friends, laughed and joked like an almost normal child. James was practically popular, unlike his brother. For once, Sherlock did not resent that, because he knew that James would never abandon him. Not like everyone else did.
James didn’t call him a freak. He stayed by Sherlock’s side. He made sure he was okay. And in return, Sherlock had attempted to do the same.
As a child, Sherlock had disliked change, and a lot of things in his life were changeable. His father, in particular, but they didn’t talk about that. No one ever talked about it, and now he was gone so what difference did it really make?.
Sherlock would talk to James. Sherlock would share his feelings, when no one else would be told. There was always something so special between them, and their mother could see it clearly. Sherlock still worried her, but she found comfort in the fact that he had James, and that he would always have him.
She was wrong.