Mycroft wakes up alone in the bed, and it’s reminiscent of the first hundreds times they slept together. He looks at his right, and Sherlock is on the balcony, as expected, naked, smoking his third (fourth) cigarette. He looks tense, maybe because of the cold, maybe because of something else. Sherlock used to leave before Mycroft woke up (or so the younger Holmes thought, because Mycroft watched him leave every single night, and every single night, he wished he had the courage to tell him to stay). It took him years to finally stay until the morning. The first time, Mycroft watched him sleep for hours, afraid of his reaction when he’d wake up. Sherlock simply rolled closer and mumbled about closing the curtains the next time.
Mycroft had never been happier.
And now, he’s there, watching Sherlock smoking, and reflecting about what exactly changed between them. The almost violence of their first times has let place to slow and cautious worshipping. Sherlock stopped deleting the nights they spend together, for reasons Mycroft ignores. They make love, and even if Mycroft never liked that expression, it is what they do.
The silences stayed, though. They both chose not to address what’s happening between them, and if it was what Mycroft wanted at first, now it feels like a waste of time. He can see that Sherlock loves him. It’s simply hard to accept that this amazing, beautiful, attractive person loves him back. Mycroft thought he could live without love. That he had to. He doesn't have to anymore.
Maybe it’s time to start to love himself and to give his brother what he deserves.
Mycroft gets up and steps outside. Sherlock turns to face him and smiles softly. There’s love in this smile, and fondness, and tenderness, and everything . Sadness, too, which worries Mycroft. And a melancholy that's proper to Sherlock, that’s always there. A bit of tension around his eyes. Mycroft wants to kiss it away. He holds on his determination to tell him tighter. Sherlock shouldn’t feel sad where they are together.
Mycroft feels two contradictory things: like he’s in love and like he’s still falling in love. He thinks that it might be how he’ll always feel with Sherlock. Like he will never quite reach the bottom.
It used to make him panic, this feeling of always falling, to be unable to breathe. Sherlock does that to him. It's scary not to see the bottom, not to know if you're going to crash, but to still want more. He's still afraid, but now the need to be with him properly is stronger.
He’s going to tell him. He needs to know.
This isn’t only sex anymore,
It never was.
Sherlock is the one that makes him want to say fuck it to consequences, that makes him throw his sense out the window, that make him crazy. He can’t even explain it because he feels like he needs to scream it. It doesn’t feel like something he could just say.
But he could. He totally could-
They speak at the same time, like they always do.
“I love you.”
“I want to stop.”
Sherlock’s eyes widen comically, in surprise, in fear, in disbelief. Mycroft feels like throwing up.
“You love me.” Sherlock’s face is unreadable, even for him, and Mycroft wants to scream.
“You’re leaving.” Me. You’re leaving me.
The silence, again, as they stand there. Mycroft tries to make eye contact with his baby brother, to deduce, to understand, but he refuses to meet his eyes. Sherlock goes back inside and puts his clothes on, without sparing a glance in the elder Holmes’ direction. Mycroft doesn’t move and barely breathes as the love of his life leaves without a word.
His mind is in overdrive. This doesn’t make sense. Why would Sherlock do that?
Years of love. Because it is love, Mycroft can feel it in his bones. Years of silent passion and secret meetings. Sherlock always looking breathtaking, melancholic, out of this world. Years of having everything but not quite. Only that tiny little step left, why would Sherlock lose patience now, why…
And then, he understands.
Mycroft finds Sherlock crying in the park near his house, crouched down on the grass, his head resting on his knees. He approaches slowly, afraid to make it worse. Sherlock is overwhelmed. As he crouches down too, his little brother grabs his hand with such force that Mycroft grimaces.
“I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I did the greatest mistake of my life... again. The first one being not to tell you earlier.” Sherlock’s voice shakes as he speaks, face still hidden. “I thought, for one second and then it wouldn't go away… I thought you didn't love me, that it was just sex for you, and I watched you sleep, and I realized how deeply in love I am. I panicked.”
“It’s okay, Sherlock. I’m not leaving.”
Sherlock exhales sharply and nods.
“You know what day it is,” he mumbles against his knees as he lets his hand go.
“Of course,” Mycroft smiles. It’s their anniversary of some sort, or that time when they first fell into each other’s arms after yet another fight, all those years ago. They never acknowledged it verbally but there were always knowing smiles. Mycroft realized which day it was and understood the reasons why Sherlock chose that date.
His little brother stands up straight, takes a big breath and says:
“I love you too, you know.”
Mycroft feels himself smile and stands up as well.
He’s never going to stop falling.