Birthdays were dull. This was one of the many observations the boy wonder Sherlock Holmes had made in the course of his now 10 year life span. It was always the same affair: the posturing and preening by Mother, the cake rapidly devoured by Mycroft and his friends; the crippling loneliness most of all. Not that Sherlock would ever admit to being lonely. As Mother said, emotions were a sign of weakness and made everything entirely too complicated; Sherlock agreed with this whole-heartedly.
This birthday was like every other. He could tell by the pockets of Mother’s special imported perfume in the halls that always meant she was trying to make an Impression (as she called it). On those days, he and his older brother were forced to wear tight black suits with matching ties. Adorable when they were younger, but now Mycroft was growing too old for such ridiculous displays, which meant Sherlock was too, naturally.
As if on cue, Mycroft passed Sherlock’s bedroom on his way downstairs to the party, in the process of putting on his tie- a red number with a shine to it that could only mean store bought. Judging by the creases, just out of the box. Bought purposefully for this day.
Mycroft noted Sherlock’s gaze as he passed by the door, pausing to look in on his little brother. He noted the deep blue around the younger boy’s neck; the same color of the tie he had hidden deep within his sock drawer.
As usual, Sherlock’s room was a place he rarely ventured, preferring much lighter places. And indeed Sherlock’s room was quite dark. He never turned the lights on, giving the room an odd, twisted feeling to it as if it were some underground lair. That description was certainly not far off from the truth. Despite Mother’s initial attempts at furnishing it with age appropriate materials, Sherlock had turned it into a realm all his own. The housekeeper no longer dared enter ever since she found the corpse of a partially dissected rat on his oak desk. Needless to say, the place was a mess of clothes, various toys, and lab equipment. It was still partially set up as the Mind Palace, the make believe pirate ship that Sherlock used when playing at adventure where he was the Great Pirate Holmes.
The boy was sitting in the ship now, tying his pinching fancy shoes. The tie was still undone around his neck, a bit wrinkled from his previous failed endeavors at getting it to do his bidding. Mycroft took in the scene a moment, relishing the peace before the storm he was about to cause. He was a good few years older than Sherlock, and new what he was planning on doing would hurt him most of all.
“May I come in?”
Sherlock glanced over from his shoe, not at all surprised to see his brother in the doorway. He had been aware of his presence the entire time, but that didn’t make him any less happy to see him. He regally straightened from his business and gestured to the room.
“You may enter my domain.” He declared, every syllable made grandiose.
Mycroft resisted the urge to chuckle, rather bowing deeply with great solemnity. It appeared as thought the game of pretend had not ended quite yet.
“I thank you, Great Pirate Holmes.”
Sherlock sniffed with an air of put on condescension, vastly different from his normal aloof intelligence. The Great Pirate Holmes was grander, more royalty in his demeanor.
Mycroft knelt in front of Sherlock, now almost at his eye level. Mycroft was tall and gawky for his age, without the scrawniness that usually comes with the territory. This seemed to come in handy for Sherlock, especially when he needed a great white whale in his adventures.
“May I have the great honor of doing up your tie for you, Captain?”
Sherlock nodded once, sharply.
“You may, First Mate Mycroft.”
Mycroft reached over to the little boy and began to assist him. He glanced up to his brother’s face, to see his eyes trained on the elder’s tie, the pirate slipping to reveal the boy.
He chuckled nervously as he worked, suddenly avoiding Sherlock’s accusing gaze.
“Sorry about the whole tie bit. But don’t you think we’re a bit too old to be doing this sort of thing now? It’s beyond the point of adorable into just…well, I don’t know…”
“Bizarre?” Sherlock offered blandly, his own gaze steady.
Mycroft hesitated, trying to discern the meaning behind the offered word.
“Yes, yes. That’s the word.”
There was a moment of silence, and as soon as Mycroft had finished, Sherlock stood abruptly, the tie slipping out of his brother’s hands. He avoided looking at his brother, rather drifting over to the Mind Palace.
“I’ll see you downstairs.” Sherlock mumbled.
That was his cue to leave. Mycroft rose with effort, and trudged back to the doorway of the boy’s room.
“I’ll be seeing you, Captain. Make sure to come down?” He said not without affection.
“I’ll be down in a minute.” A sulky air pervaded his words.
“Right. Good. Meet you in the foyer.”
With that said, Mycroft turned on his heel and continued down the hall, brisk steps fading into the murmur of the party guests below.
Sherlock didn’t move for a moment, contemplating the risks of running away to the garage for a few days. The mere thought of Mother’s ire brought shivers down his small spine, and finally brought him to a forward motion towards the door.
He paused, then turned back at a rushed pace to the Mind Palace. From within the confines of it, he withdrew a small plastic dagger, his characteristic Great Pirate Holmes weapon. When going into battle, it was key to take a weapon of choice.
He straightened, and with the fierce air of a soldier of war heading into battle, he marched out of the confines of his room to the blindingly bright lights of the halls to meet his maker. Literally.