It is Friday.
This is hardly significant, chiefly because Mycroft ceased to allow his movements to be dictated by anything as trivial as numerical time years ago, and Sherlock deleted all such petty considerations years before that.
Hardly, because it wasn’t Monday or Wednesday or Thursday. The days it’s Sherlock’s turn to have Rosie.
Mycroft or Greg always brings her over. There is no official restraining order, but Mycroft implacably refuses to conscience his brother being within a hundred yards of Dr. Watson. Not while the scars the man left on his baby brother’s chest have yet to so much as pucker or fade.
Perhaps not ever.
Sherlock accepts this with the same equanimical shrug he accepted that time mummy stopped talking to them for a whole year.
Mycroft pretends this doesn’t break his heart as much now as it did then.
So, it is Friday, and Mycroft is only there by random chance.
If chance wasn't something he had ceased to countenance a long time ago.
As it is, he’s in the process of handing Sherlock a case file-a particularly charming matter involving a locked mini-sub, lost oyster cards, and a threat to national security-when he hears the click.
In years past, before Jim Moriarty, before Eurus and John Watson and Siberia, they would have been half-way to yelling by this point. Sherlock would be flouncing around the apartment in his ridiculous royal blue dressing gown that his little brother still thinks mummy remembered was his favourite colour that one Christmas at Uni, fuming his refusal at such a boring, boring case.
Mycroft tries very, very hard not to think about before, these days.
But this is after, and the silence between them is warmer than its been since before their sister was even born, and thus, they both hear the click.
Sherlock blinks at him. Mycroft blinks back, then finishes handing him the folder.
Once upon a time, his little brother would have given this action a truly ferocious glare.
Mycroft is long past believing in fairytales, and thus, when he slides fluidly into a crouch, his hands landing on Sherlock’s shoulders with nary a whisper of weight to the grip and holding, Sherlock does the sensible thing, and holds still.
Mycroft almost wishes he didn’t. Almost.
Sensible and Sherlock never used to be things that would ever be mentioned in the same sentence. Never used to.
Sherlock flicks his eyes down and up in the time it takes Mycroft to steady them both securely.
“Pressure sensitive trigger. Must have been triggered when I sat up to take your file, brother mine.”
His little brother always has been quick. Once, Mycroft would have made pains to conceal his sheer pride in just how quick.
Now, old attitude and near endearments mixing and shifting in his chest in a novel yet not unwelcome sensation, he did nothing to conceal the pride in his eyes.
“Probably our dear American friends idea of a joke, brother dear. Nothing to be afraid of.” Now that, that got attitude, even from this mellower, more shattered version of his little brother.
“A joke. There’s a bomb wired to the bottom of my couch!” He doesn’t say, I’m not afraid. Never had to. Some things truly haven’t changed.
Some things, Mycroft truly wished would change.
Sherlock leaned closer to Mycroft, only to freeze as another click rent the air. Their eyes met, the word leaving their lips at precisely the same time, “Countdown trigger.”
Sherlock blinked first. “We should call Greg.” That change, Mycroft has no particular objection to.
Still, “Gregory is not an expert in bomb disposal.” Mycroft is immensely gratified by the sight of his little brother actually rolling his eyes at him. “I’m sure he could do something sensible and logical, like call the bomb squad.” Something sly entered Sherlock’s eyes. Something with a touch of the old acerbity, a dash of the ancient mischief, and a glimpse of the new teasing.
“Besides, if we’re going to be blown up, you might as well finally declare your undying love. Might be your last chance.”
Mycroft considered a retort. But what came out was, “Would you mind, brother mine? If I did?”
Sherlock looked desperately as if he wanted to cock his head to one side. “What, mind if you finally asked Lestrade out?” Sherlock actually grinned then, quicksilver quick and so very genuine. “Mind? I’d throw a bloody party.”
Mycroft studiously ignored the ticking bomb at their feet. “Really Sherlock-” Said brother blinked guilelessly. “Myc, glaciers move quicker than you do.”
Another click. Mycroft swallowed down the ice rising up his throat, keeping his eyes locked on Sherlock’s.
Click. He remembered the first time those eyes blinked up at him, barely a day old and so very trusting.
Click. He remembered the day those eyes shut down, barely past toddling, and more terrified of their little sister than even their parents, for all they would later pretend they weren’t.
Click. He remembered those eyes snapping from him to Lestrade and back, the strangest expression on his face. Almost…fond.
Click. Mycroft drew in a breath. Sherlock exhaled a breath. “Glaciers, brother mine?”
Click. Mycroft moved.
“You disarmed a bomb, with your umbrella.” Gregory’s complexion was somewhere between bone white and puce red. Beside Mycroft, Sherlock gazed forlornly at the somewhat…singed couch. “Mrs. Hudson won’t be pleased.”
It’s been long enough since before that Greg merely blinks, and Mycroft feels something in his heart break just a little further. He misses his baby brother.
“You disarmed a bomb with your umbrella.” Mycroft feels they have already covered this material.
Sherlock huffs dramatically and flops down onto one of the surviving cushions. “Just kiss each other already. These theatrics are so dull.”
Mycroft considers crying with joy.
He settles for kissing the breath out of Gregory instead.
The following Monday, Mycroft and Greg bring Rosie round together.
She and Sherlock blow up the kitchen. Sherlock insists it was only a small fire. Rosie giggles and sets fire to his dressing gown. Greg coughs something that sounds suspiciously like payback.
Mycroft sighs and texts Anthea to order more fire extinguishers.