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It was on Mycroft’s eighth birthday that he was given the clock on his wrist, his eyes curiously scanning it as his thumb rubbed it gingerly. His mother had explained a little bit of what it was –it was simply a clock. A clock that counted down to the time that he would meet a very important person.

Mycroft scoffed at the idea. Who could possibly be so important that they’d give Mycroft –he looked down at his wrist- fifty years notice of their meeting? He couldn’t see the point of it, really.

“I don’t see why I should need this, Mum.”

His mother kissed him tenderly on the top of his head and gave him a hug, smiling warmly at him. She showed him her wrist; the clock in all plain, grey zeros. “You will understand someday, love. Once the timer counts down to zero, you’ll understand.”

He never did.

He went by his school years smoothly, manipulating his teachers and classmates to do his bidding –something he had learned from his father- , despite the slight bullying for his weight.

It has been years since he last glanced at his clock, absolutely forgetting about it as he focused on his goal of becoming a powerful man. Such things would be of no use to him anyway, he thought.

But still, the timer was still going. Now at forty years.

He was eighteen now, and had lost a considerable amount of weight, since he barely had time to eat due to his position on the student council –a position in which he practically controlled the whole school, though he wasn’t the president.

As he walked down the corridors to his next class, he couldn’t help but turn his head when he heard one of the girls by the lockers squeal with delight, showing off her newly installed clock. He rolled his eyes at them, still not seeing why they were so bloody excited. It was only cleared up when he heard the rest of their conversation.

The clock really was counting down to the time when you would meet the most important person in your life –your soul mate. Mycroft left as soon as he heard those words, panic rising through him. He didn’t want that. Definitely didn’t want it. He had already planned out his life, and then suddenly there would be this huge factor that he didn’t calculate for. He wasn’t even sure if it would fit in.

Already dreading the idea, he decided he could call in sick for once, going home to try and find a way to get the abhorrent clock off of his wrist. He never got it off.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Greg got his clock when he was ten, already understanding what it counted down to since his older brother often talked about it with him, fantasizing about what his girl would look like. Greg didn’t care much, though.

But when he got his clock, he couldn’t help the queer feeling in his heart, and he immediately understood why his older brother was acting that way –already in love with their soul mate without even meeting them yet.

Will they be cute? Will they be kind? What colour were their hair and eyes? He stayed up the first night he got his clock, just wondering what their soul mate would be like...or if they would love them back. He scoffed at that thought. Of course they would love them back! They were soul mates!

He definitely couldn’t wait to meet them –whoever or wherever they were, Greg was sure to love them.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Occupying a minor –or so it seemed- position in the British Government at a very early age (twenty-seven years old), he was pretty much happy with the way things were. With a little word here, and a signature there, he pretty much controlled everything. He was a powerful man –much like what he wanted to be when he was younger.

He was thinking hard at his desk, head in his hands as he sorted through the files involving that awful American business again. Do they need reminding that he’s got hands in the CIA and the FBI? He could bloody well do that, except it might invoke a war –not that he cared that much.

And then suddenly, a searing pain crawled up his arm from his wrist, snapping him out of his thoughts. He gasped sharply as he grasped his wrist, trying to soothe the pain by rubbing it.

“What in the w-world...” he murmured under his breath, peaking underneath his palm to see his clock, its numbers going lower and lower...all nearing zero. Something was happening to his soul mate, he realised. They were dying.

And when it did hit zero, Mycroft could feel his heart clench painfully.

But after a few seconds, it started up again...and then zero.

One, two, three, four, five. . .twenty, twenty-one, zero.

Each time it hit zero, his heart squeezed and he gasped for breath, tears streaking down his cheeks though he didn’t know it.

But finally, it stopped. He let out a sigh of relief and closed his eyes as he hung his head.

It stopped at twenty years.

He was pretty sure he felt some kind of relief spring up in his chest, but he chose to ignore it.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Greg woke up in the ICU, an oxygen mask on his face and his torso bandaged.

That was a close call. Far too close. He nearly lost his life, if his team hadn’t found him in that alley. But despite all that, his first concern was to find out whether or not the culprit had escaped. His team tried to tell him that they had it all under control, but he didn’t listen to them. He got out of the hospital earlier than intended.

His job had become his life, and he didn’t even think about his soul mate in his dying moments. The last time he looked at his clock was probably ten years ago. And now that he thought about it...

He looked down at his clock again after all these years, lips quirking upward when he saw the numbers.

Twenty years.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Now Mycroft was 33. He was as high up in the British government as he could get without drawing attention to himself, very much content with his life so far. He didn’t need a bloody soul mate to be bound to for the rest of his life. He didn’t need anyone to care for.

But unfortunately, his brother was Sherlock; which meant being related to a genius who could do so much for the world, yet elects to be a junkie. He dropped out of uni a few years ago, and Mycroft has been taking care of him since. Well. When he says take care, he means to say that he’s been giving his baby brother allowances, making sure he had a place to live, and made sure he was out of trouble’s reach.

He’s tried so hard to make his brother clean, but eventually failed. He knew he needed to give him something –something that would occupy his mind that was already racing out of control when not under the influence of drugs. Something that could keep him away from such things.

He was simply lounging around his house, curled up on the sofa as he read some files from the Korean elections, absently playing with the ring on his finger. Why’d he have a ring? Obviously. To keep anyone that was interested –or his soul mate- away.

But today...he felt good, and it was rather peculiar. He looked down at his wrist, a slight suspicion on the back of his mind, when he saw the numbers. It suddenly dropped to an hour. His eyes widened slightly, and then he shook his head. ‘No way in hell am I getting out of the house to meet them.’

That thought lasted for only a few minutes. His phone rang from underneath the throw pillow, and he groaned in annoyance. It was his day off after so many months. He didn’t want work to call him.

But as soon as he read the text, he jumped up and off the couch, rushing up to his room to get some proper clothes on. It was Sherlock. The daft git got himself arrested.

He arrived at New Scotland Yard promptly, a weird feeling on the back of his neck as he walked through the hall that eventually led to his brother…and his captor. Realisation struck Mycroft.

‘He’s here.’

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Greg had his arms crossed over his chest, leaning against his desk and staring down at the young man curled up on the sofa he had in his office. ‘God...is this him? I bloody hope not...’ he thought silently to himself, grimacing at the thought that this kid was his soul mate. Not only was he young and with a funny name –it was Sherlock-, but he was extremely annoying. But rather smart, considering the fact that he had just unravelled a suspect’s crime in front of everyone, despite being as high as a kite. Greg had yet to get over that, since they’ve been on that case for weeks, yet this curly haired kid got it in one look.

He snapped out of his thoughts when there was a knock on the door, and butterflies began to flutter in his stomach. His eyes widened as he looked down at his clock and it was counting down fast to zero.

“Bloody hell...” he murmured under his breath, slowly walking toward the door as his heart began to beat faster in his chest.

When he stopped in front of the door, his hand hovered above the handle as he tried to prepare himself for who he was going to see.

Ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three...two...

He slowly opened the door, hazel eyes immediately gazing up at blue ones. An audible gulp came out of the other man, and he couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Detective Inspector…Lestrade, right...?” asked the auburn-haired man, “My, uh, my brother...” he mumbled softly, warm gaze still fixed on Lestrade’s.

Greg nodded, trying to ignore his heart racing out of his chest as he walked back into his office, the auburn-haired man following behind him.

As they both walked into the room and shut the door behind them, Sherlock immediately sat up, eyes slightly clear, but still rather tired looking.

“Morning, sleeping beauty.”

“Shut up, Mycroft.”

‘Ah,’ Greg smiled, ‘his name’s Mycroft.’

Greg was still staring at Mycroft, an awed expression on his face as the two brothers talked, but he snapped out of his thoughts when Mycroft cleared his throat. He realised that they’d been silent for a while now, and his face began to flush.

“I...I wasn’t...”

“It’s...fine,” he said quietly, before turning to look at Sherlock again. And in a blink of an eye, his expression became cold, “Go home.  And if I bloody catch you using again, I’ll send you to the island.”

Sherlock tensed up slightly at that, before relaxing again, a smirk gracing his lips. “I’d like to see you try,” he said, before walking out of the office as if nothing had happened and that he was never high in the first place.

When Sherlock was finally gone, the two were left to their own company.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Mycroft was now looking at Greg, who wasn’t staring anymore, but looking anywhere else that wasn’t him. His eyes scanned over him, admiring his silvery hair and his incredibly gorgeous face. Mycroft could definitely say he was aesthetically pleasing. Nothing like he imagined his soul mate to be. And compared to him, Mycroft was...well.

He let out a quiet sigh, walking towards Greg until only a foot of space was between them. He gently took Greg’s wrist where his clock was supposed to be, noting when he flinched at the contact, and lifted his jacket sleeve. All zeros.

He looked up at him slowly, quirking his brow when he saw the flushed face of his...soul mate. Christ.

 His eyes were fixed on Mycroft’s hand grasping his wrist, obviously scanning the zeros. It was pathetic how Mycroft’s heart was beating right now, despite his protests that he’d never want a soul mate. But still...Gregory was...

Mycroft didn’t know what to do. He was never prepared for this. Never calculated for it. A shaky sigh came out of the younger man’s mouth as he let go of the other’s hand, but Greg caught his hand again. He let his hand slide down, lacing his fingers with Greg’s.

He looked down at their hands, his thumb tracing small circles around Greg’s knuckles. “I...I got worried...when you nearly died...”

Greg’s eyes widened slightly, but his gaze softened. “You felt it...?”

“Yeah...” Mycroft chuckled nervously, trying to lighten the mood as his fingers squeezed around Greg’s, instantly recalling how he felt that night. It wasn’t pleasant, that was for sure.

“You can actually feel physical pain when the numbers on your wrist drop before it’s time...and I’m sure it was rather painful for you...as it was for me.”

An idiotic grin spread across Greg’s face, and Mycroft couldn’t help but match it with his own. They stayed staring at each other for a while, their hands entwined as a comfortable silence surrounded them.

And then Greg cleared his throat. “Um,” he started, face flushing slightly, “My name’s Greg Lestrade. Yours...?” he asked quietly, looking up at Mycroft’s eyes.

Mycroft smiled warmly at him, “Mycroft Holmes.” Another silence surrounded them before Mycroft decided to talk again. “Gregory...” he mumbled as he tried to put on a serious face, but failing, smiling stupidly instead. “Would you fancy going out for a coffee?”

Greg appeared to consider it before nodding, squeezing Mycroft’s hand slightly, a broad grin spreading across his features. “Yes. I’d love to.”