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Sexual Healing

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“Sir, here's the finished Walton contract.”

Mycroft nodded and stuffed the rest of his scone into his mouth. With little interest and while chewing the sadly dry pastry, he glanced at the paper that Anthea had brought him. He could see her out of the corner of his eye, standing in the doorframe with a look of deep concern.

He scribbled his signature under the pamphlet, which seemed to be flawless as did everything Anthea worked on for him.

When she was finally gone, he rummaged in his drawer until he found a chocolate bar. He eagerly ripped off the paper and ate it in one piece. When his phone rang, the number of the Prime Minister flashing up, he ignored it and wished the tea on his desk was whiskey. And then he mused what he would have for dinner. Whatever it would be, it had to be a lot.

When the Prime Minister called again, even the ringtone sounding impatient and angry, Mycroft answered with a sigh and listened to his boss's tirade with half an ear, wishing he was already at home, cuddled up in his bed with a deliciously fat pizza on his thighs.

*****

“Sherlock…! Don't!”

“I know it! This is not your hair, right?!” With a nasty snort, Sherlock reached out and pulled at the long curls. The woman squeaked and shied away, and suddenly Sherlock was standing there with a strand of blonde hair in his hand. With bloody roots… “Oh, um…”

“We're terribly sorry! You want a glass of water?” John patted the client's arm but she just grabbed her purse and ran out of the flat, crying loudly.

Sherlock looked at the ghastly hair in his hand and let it drop onto the floor with a grimace of disgust, shaking his hand so not a single hair would stick to it.

John was staring at him, his arms crossed. “This can't continue!”

“I really thought she was an imposter,” Sherlock mumbled.

“You think everyone's an imposter!”

“Not you. You're just annoying…”

“Thanks a lot! I get it, you're disturbed after all that happened, but you need to calm down and…”

“Ooh-hoo!”

Sherlock dropped his phone he had pulled out and shrieked.

“Oh, sorry, boys,” Mrs Hudson said with her hands over her mouth. “Just meant to ask if you like to have tea!”

John sighed.

*****

Finally the day was over… Mycroft slipped into his coat. Tried to close it. It didn’t really work. He needed a new one. But then – he could as well leave it open. It was cold outside but then he only had to walk a few metres towards a car when he had left the building. He grabbed his umbrella, remembering a time when its weight had been so comforting in his hand. And then there had been the clown, and the other scary figure, and the gun hadn't worked and the sword had been useless, and John Watson and Sherlock had mocked him for having been scared. For a moment he considered throwing it away but then he straightened his back and walked towards the door, the briefcase in one hand, the umbrella in the other one.

“I'm leaving,” he mumbled when he was crossing through Anthea's office.

She looked up from her ever-present phone. “I'll call your driver, sir.”

Mycroft nodded and continued his way. “Goodnight, Anthea.”

“Goodnight, sir.” Her voice sounded rather sad.

Without turning to her, he said, “Go home, too. There's nothing that can't wait until tomorrow.” And even if there was – they would certainly be informed, and if not, it wasn't important obviously.

Slowly he walked through high corridors. When he had almost reached the exit of the building, he heard quick steps behind him. “Mycroft!” a breathless voice called him.

He stood and closed his eyes with a sigh. “Sir Edwin…”

“I just talked to the Prince of Wales! He wants to speak with us tomorrow, 11am, meeting room number three.”

Mycroft shrugged. He would probably be free then. “Fine,” he said.

“You remember what it will be about?” The bald man's voice sounded pretty small.

Mycroft had no idea. “Mail my PA about the matter, be so kind.” And with this he left 70 Whitehall with slow, heavy steps.

*****

“It's staged, isn’t it?” Sherlock looked around on the darkening street, searching for cameras. Wasn't there a blinking light? Oh, no, there wasn't. But still!

He missed the worried look Greg Lestrade and John Watson exchanged, and the gesture John made with his hand.

“No, Sherlock. It's a real crime scene,” Greg said in a soothing tone. “This is a dead man and I need to know who killed him. And he wasn't killed here; there's almost no blood under him as it seems.”

“Hm,” Sherlock made, still deeply suspicious. Then he looked at the corpse (if it really was one). He poked at it with his shoe. Seemed dead. He raised his head and looked around. A few people were lurking behind the police cordon. Was anyone of them Eurus? Who could tell! They could all be! The tiny man with the crutch! The voluminous woman with the wild hair! The little boy with the teddy bear!

“She's not here, Sherlock,” John mumbled. “She's locked up in Sherrinford for good.”

Sherlock snorted. “Yeah, right. That's what Mycroft thought last time, too!” Mycroft… Where had he gone at all? Sherlock hadn't seen him for weeks. Perhaps Eurus had got him in the end! He had to call him! But probably Mummy would have let him know if anything had happened to Big Brother. If Eurus hadn't got the parents, too…

“He told us the video feed is monitored every thirty minutes by an agent, aside from the two guards who watch it non-stop!”

Yes, that was the last thing Mycroft had said to him before he had disappeared. He had been eating a slice of apple pie if Sherlock remembered correctly. Anyway! “The guards that are probably under her spell again already!” he hissed.

John sighed. “No, they're not, they get monitored, too, it's all fine!”

Sherlock gave him a doubtful look. Even if! Even if it wasn’t Eurus! Who knew how many more secret siblings he had! Cousins! Nephews! God – could Mycroft have secret children who were bearing a grudge against him?! Nah. He was as gay as they got. So was Sherlock, and a virgin above all, so it couldn’t be some depraved offspring of his own, waiting to bring him down.

But of course it didn’t have to be their relative! There were so many other possibilities! A younger brother of Moriarty! A son of Magnussen! Culverton Smith’s real daughter! Oh God, yes! She had to be already creeping around him, waiting for her chance to murder him!

“I can't do this now.” He proceeded to leave.

“Sherlock, you can't let me down!” Lestrade yelled.

“Fine, I'll look at him in the morgue. There's nothing to see here anyway. He wasn't killed here and there's no evidence.” At least he hadn't seen any.

“Right! Fine! See you in the morgue then!”

“I'd better get back to grab Rosie; Mrs Hudson said she wants to go out for dinner,” John said apologetically.

Sherlock nodded. He would look at the damn corpse that didn’t interest him any more than who the current king was and then go home and lock the door of his bedroom behind him, hoping nobody would disturb him for as long as possible.

*****

Mycroft stopped before entering his house. The door seemed to be intact. The camera over the door was working. He had checked the feed in the car. No signs of a break-in.

He put the bag with the pizza down to open all four locks. Stepped inside and listened. There was no noise. He entered and immediately locked himself in systematically. Then he stored his umbrella and slipped out of his coat. Picked the bag with his dinner up and went to the living room. Took the bottle of whiskey and a glass and brought it all up to his bedroom. On his way he wasn’t attacked or laughed at, and he called it a success.

Five minutes later he was lying on his bed. He had slipped off his loafers and opened his trouser button, realising it was now way easier to breathe, and taken off all his clothes apart from his pants. And now he was devouring the first piece of the pizza, his eyes closed in pleasure. He hissed a bit of the topping, still rather hot, fell onto his chest, the cheese entangling in his chest hair. He picked it up and stuffed it into his mouth, rubbing over the greasy skin, and his gaze fell onto his rounded stomach.

It didn’t matter.

Soon he would have to visit his tailor though.

When he was busy with the third slice, he checked the video feed of Sherrinford. Eurus was sitting in her cell, brooding.

Good.

He wiped over the phone (and then wiped away the traces of fat) and checked where his brother was – or more precisely, his phone. It seemed he was heading towards the morgue, either up to doing an experiment or investigating for a case.

Fine.

He stuffed the rest of the pizza into his mouth and almost choked on it. When he had cleared his mouth enough to be able to breathe again, he drank some whiskey, and it burnt nicely in his throat.

He knew he should get up and take a shower and brush his teeth. But then he dismissed the thought. He would do that in the morning.

Ten minutes later he was asleep. It was 8pm.

*****

“Hi, Sherlock!”

Sherlock grumbled something and glanced at Molly Hooper out of the corner of his eye. Saw her straightening her ponytail. Her cheeks looked a little flushed.

“Here's the body Greg wants you to look at.” She pointed at the stretcher.

“Who would have thought,” Sherlock mumbled. “Nobody else here?”

“Oh, Greg will be here in a minute. He was held up.”

“I didn’t mean him!” Sherlock hissed.

Molly flinched. “No, well, nobody else is here. Apart from all the other doctors and the corpses and the patients.” She giggled nervously.

“Why are you babbling?” Sherlock looked at her with narrowed eyes. “Did you talk to her?!”

“To whom?”

“My sister!”

“No! Why would I! She's incarcerated, isn’t she?”

“Is she now…” Sherlock scrutinised her, but he didn’t find any sign that she had received a brainwash. Probably it was still because of this 'I love you' nonsense! Bah!

He turned to the corpse to examine it. He focused hard but he couldn’t see anything that would help the police. The man was in his forties, slightly overweight, killed by a single blow to the head. Without any more information about him, Sherlock couldn’t say anything. Why was Lestrade not here yet?! Why was he forced to waste his time here! Not that he had anything else to do but still!

“You… have lost weight.”

“Huh?” He turned to the pathologist again.

“And you're so nervous. John is very worried, says you don't eat and explode at everything...”

Sherlock snorted. “John can…!”

Molly blushed. “Perhaps you should talk to someone…”

“What, a therapist? Are you mad?! Don't you know they are never who they pretend to be?!”

She made a step back at his rage. “I just… Sorry… But… maybe… something else… will help.”

Sherlock tilted his head. “I'm all ears! What is your prescription? Fresh air? Vitamins? Eating my hat? Another jump off the roof? What?”

“Sex…”

“What?!”

Molly straightened her back. “It will calm you down. You will get rid of this… strange energy. And after that, you'll be able to think clearly again.”

Sherlock gaped at her. “And with whom, pray tell, should I practice this wonder-cure?” he asked when he was able to speak again.

“Um… What about me?”

Sherlock huffed out a nasty laugh. “Yeah, exactly what I thought! You are one of them! You want to make me crazy! But not with me!” He stalked towards the door. “And I'm gay!” he yelled before he almost crashed into DI Greg Lestrade, who raised his hands in a placating gesture.

“Hey, what's going on here? And where are you going?”

“Away from this madhouse! Tell her about your case! She knows everything best!” And with this Sherlock stormed out, his coat whirling around him and almost making him stumble when it got caught between his legs.

He puffed and huffed all the way home. Sex! How the hell should that help him?! Getting all sweaty and steamy and shoving his, his thing into somebody's arse! Or even worse – somebody shoving his thing into his arse!

And then he realised that his thing had taken notice of his thoughts in a most inconvenient way and he got even angrier. Molly and her brilliant ideas! There was nobody to do this with, even if it was possible to find some relief in it. Because of course it had to be a man, and John would hardly be up to it, and even if he would be – eeek! And he didn't know anyone else whom he would even allow to get near his corpse! Lestrade? No way! Too old and lipless and too stiff, and not in a good way! And straight after all! Anderson? He wanted to puke at the thought! Angelo?! Where was the next toilet? All the stupid, dull, ugly men, and he would let a stranger touch him only over his own dead body!

A cold shower, that's what he needed!

*****

Mycroft was working on his reports. Mechanically, stoically, without having any interest in what he was reading, munching away on a large piece of cherry pie he had bought on his way to his office for a second breakfast.

He sighed when he heard a knock at his door. “Yes,” he said fatalistically when he had swallowed the current bite of the cake.

Anthea opened the door and poked her head in. “It's Lady Smallwood, sir; she wants to have a word.”

Mycroft thought fleetingly that she could have a certain word (namely 'no', or maybe 'go') but he nodded; what else could he do anyway. “Let her in.”

A moment later Elizabeth Smallwood stalked into his office in full glory, wearing a tight grey costume, a red blouse and high heels. Her hair was put into something that should probably look professional and seductive at the same time. She was in very good shape for a woman her age and she knew it, and Mycroft always felt like prey in her presence. It was a miracle of its own that a woman so smart could miss the fact that he was an absolutely homosexual man.

She had been on holiday for a few weeks and he couldn’t have said he had missed her a lot.

“Mycroft,” she purred – and then she stirred and narrowed her eyes. “You look horrible!”

He rolled his eyes. “Thank you. Did you want anything special?”

She sat down on the visitor's chair without having been invited. “What is wrong with you?”

“Nothing whatsoever.” I just completely messed up my dangerous sister's containment, brought my brother and his friend, the single father, into an almost fatal situation, watched people die, got yelled at by Mummy and received a disappointed look from Father, not even mentioning the exasperation of the Prime Minister, and I can never meet my brother's eyes again, but otherwise, it's all fine.

She stared at him with an expression of pure disbelief, and then she glanced at the pie on his table and now she looked right-out disgusted. “You've gained so much weight since I last saw you!”

“And why should that be of any concern to you?” he retorted coldly. She had never really put her desire for him into blunt words, had just sent him longing glances and given him invitations for drinks he had never taken.

“I like you, Mycroft,” she said softly now, and he regretted his question. “You are so important for this country, and for me.”

“I can very well work for this country with a few pounds more,” he said with all the dignity he could muster, pointedly ignoring the part about her.

“Sure, but a handsome man like you…”

Mycroft sighed. “Was there anything you wanted to talk to me about?”

She completely ignored this absolutely legitimate question and reached out with her right arm and tapped her long red fingernails on the back of his hand. “What is plaguing you?”

Mycroft pulled his hand away with a shudder, suffering some scratches and thinking 'You mean except for you?' But he had to work with her so he swallowed the snarky reply down and settled for not saying anything at all.

It didn’t discourage her in the least. “It's Sherrinford, yes? You're not used to making mistakes like this and get a hard time from our Prime Minister.”

Thanks a lot… Of course she had a point but it was hardly a good idea to insult the man you actually wanted to flirt with… Not that any other strategy would have worked…

“You need a distraction, Mycroft,” she continued, completely oblivious to his discomfort.

Mycroft put the rest of the pie into his mouth and chewed it rather noisily, feeling unusually brattish. That must be how Sherlock was feeling all the time!

“Not that!” she scolded him. “You need to challenge your body and get worked up so you can channel these negative energies.”

What sort of nonsense was she talking here? “I do work out on my treadmill,” he informed her when he was able to speak again. Not that he would have done that recently. But he would again! Sometime!

“I wasn't talking about sports, Mycroft.”

He furrowed his brow. “And what are you talking about?” he asked, regretting it a moment later when he saw her suggestive smile.

“Sex, Mycroft,” she said bluntly, and while he was blushing furiously, he realised how much he hated the way in which she kept saying his name.

“I have to work now, so if there wasn't anything important…” he said with all the coldness he was capable of, turning to his computer.

She was not impressed by his icy tone in the least. “I can make you forget all the nastiness. I'm very good at making men forget…”

Dear Lord, who was going to save him now?!

And then the door opened after a short knock and the PM stormed into his office. Mycroft had never been so happy to see the man…

“Holmes, we need to talk about the meeting with the Prince!”

Oh, damn… He had totally forgotten about it. Hopefully Anthea was in the picture about what this appointment would be about. He called her in and she presented a printout with all the information he needed, and he gave her a grateful smile that was heartily returned, and he vaguely registered the lady leaving his office, looking grumpy and pissed off, and he forced himself to concentrate on his boss's stupid blathering, wincing every few seconds when the unwelcome picture of the lady's scrawny old body pressed on his popped up in his mind, and he could basically feel her nasty tongue in his mouth, and when even the PM noticed and asked – rather sarcastically – if he needed medical attention, Mycroft thought that an exorcism would probably be the better choice, but of course he assured his boss that he was perfectly fine, and he managed to focus on the matter at hand with all the willpower he could muster.

The day went on, and he was very relieved that Lady Smallwood didn’t return to him. But instead an unexpected visitor asked for having a talk with him when he came out of his meeting with a very laid back and pleasant Prince Charles – Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade with a shy grin on his face and a paper folder in his hand.

*****

Greg had known Mycroft for many years. Well, he didn't actually know the man, and somehow he doubted anyone could claim doing that, apart perhaps from his ever-present (and very attractive) PA, but they had been standing next to quite a few hospital beds together and had talked over Sherlock's well-being more than once, mainly in the beginning of Sherlock's involvement with Scotland Yard when he had still been struggling with staying clean. Then, after coming back from the dead (and it wasn't easy to not resenting Mycroft – and Sherlock – for having kept him in the dark about the tiny fact that the detective wasn't actually dead), Sherlock had taken drugs again, for the Magnussen case, and then he had been shot and Greg had seen Mycroft standing stoically at the foot of his bed, watching the unconscious young man with stiff shoulders, just his eyes giving away his deep concern.

Greg had checked on Mycroft after the affair with the sister because Sherlock had asked him to do it, and very unsurprisingly, Mycroft had sent him away, letting him know he was completely fine, which he had decidedly not been but who was Greg to question his honesty?

So basically Greg had seen Mycroft only in times of worry and pain, and still he hardly recognised him when he saw him now. This man was a shadow of his former self, and a rather big shadow above all. He had gained at least fifteen pounds since the events of Sherrinford, and his suit was ill-fitting and crumpled. He needed a haircut rather urgently and he had shaved this morning but there were a few parts he had overlooked, making him look untypically scruffy. And that was just the physical change. A lot worse was that he looked haunted and frankly depressed. His eyes were sad even though he was clearly trying to appear like his usual composed and cool self. He wasn't. He was a troubled man and he needed help.

Just like Sherlock.

Which was why Greg had come to Mycroft.

Sherlock had always been unpredictable and restless, not even mentioning reckless, but now? He seemed to have developed some sort of frightening paranoia, and Greg was just waiting for the day when Sherlock would try to rip his face off because he thought he was Eurus, hidden by a mask… This couldn’t continue; John was at the end of his tether, and Greg was rather desperate as Sherlock was of little to no help for his cases in this condition. But even more important: he wanted to help the poor lad.

So since John and Mycroft were not getting along exactly well, he and the doctor had decided that he would talk to Sherlock's brother in the slim to non-existent hope that Mycroft would be able to help Sherlock, that he would know how to take the distress of his little brother. Of course both he and John knew that the brothers were not actually close to each other but Mycroft was their only hope.

And now he was looking at a man who seemed to be in an even poorer condition than the consulting detective. Greg felt some deep rage in his heart at the sister who had managed to turn her smart, superior brothers into suffering messes by her deadly games.

What was he supposed to say now? Could he even get out why he had come here?

But Mycroft was not so far gone to not deduce at once why he had schlepped himself to the Cabinet Office. Well, it wasn't that hard to figure out; they had always only spoken about Sherlock.

“Please sit down,” Mycroft rasped out, gesturing at the visitor's chair. “Anthea will bring us tea.” He gave his PA a pointed look and she nodded and disappeared with a smile.

She looked worried, too, Greg thought. Well, of course she did. He had no doubts that she was exceptionally loyal towards her boss. She had been working for him for ages – and didn’t seem to have aged a day in all this time while he discovered yet another bunch of grey hairs every morning, and Mycroft was losing them rapidly.

“Thank you,” he said and took a seat.

Mycroft walked around the desk and let himself fall into his creaking chair. “What can I do for you, Detective Inspector? Is he in trouble?” His voice clearly said he didn’t believe that as he would have been informed already if it was the case.

Greg sighed. “Not in this kind of trouble. He isn't using.”

“Then what?”

“He suffers!” Greg burst out. “He sees his bloody sister everywhere! He thinks everybody wants to harm and betray him, at least everyone he doesn’t know well. He's paranoid and can't concentrate on any cases anymore; yesterday he even thought the crime scene was staged! And John says he is exceptionally weird with female clients, and the majority of them leaves Baker Street screaming because of him.”

Mycroft's face had fallen more with every sentence, and it hadn't looked very cheerful to begin with. “I had no idea,” he mumbled, slumping in his chair.

Anthea knocked a moment later to bring the tea, gave them worried looks and disappeared again, quietly closing the door behind her.

“It's all my fault,” Mycroft mumbled darkly.

“No, it's your sister's fault!” Greg corrected him. Probably not many people ever dared correct this man, but he couldn’t watch him blaming himself for something he definitely wasn't to blame for. “John told me about her past and what you did to protect the world from her. People in this prison disobeyed your orders and she took advantage of it. And then this murderous game when you went there… It must have been horrible…”

Mycroft huffed out something that sounded almost like a sob. He hastily drank from his boiling hot tea and grimaced. “Yes,” he finally brought out. “It really was. Poor Sherlock…”

Greg's heart clenched at the affection and desperation in his last words, knowing 'poor Sherlock' was only one half of the truth. “You haven't talked a lot to your brother since then?” He knew Mycroft hadn't as John had told him.

“Only when I informed our parents she's still alive. They were very upset and Sherlock… He tried to protect me from their wrath.” His voice sounded grateful and disbelieving. At least a change to the sadness and guilt from before…

And since then, Sherlock had become more and more peculiar. And Mycroft had sunken into depression.

“Can you talk to him now?” Greg asked him. That's why he had come here, and could it get worse with either of them? If Sherlock had even taken Mycroft's side towards their parents?

Mycroft just smiled sadly. “I'm sure I'm the very last person he wants to see or speak to. John…”

“…is completely out of his depth with him, Mycroft.” Using the man's first name felt rather strange but Greg had to get through to him. Sherlock needed help. Mycroft needed help. They were brothers! The conclusion was clear, wasn't it? “He has a little child to worry about. Sherlock is developing into a really strange creature, and that's me saying that, who's known him for a long time! Neither of us has any idea how to help him.”

“Neither do I…” Mycroft sounded right-out hopeless.

Greg felt deep sympathy for this broken man with the weight of the world on his shoulders but he had to insist. “Just give it a try, please! He must become, I don't know, grounded, and if anyone can talk some reason into him, it's you.” Or it would have if Mycroft had still been the Iceman, the British Government how Sherlock had always called him. Right now he was… a lost soul. Just like Sherlock.

Mycroft sighed. “All right. I will text him to come over this evening.”

“Awesome! Thank you so much. Um… perhaps… if you don't mind…” Greg raised the hand with the folder about the murder Sherlock had been supposed to solve for him.

Mycroft produced something that vaguely resembled a smile. “Of course. Let me have a look.”

*****

“That went pretty well,” John mumbled, shifting Rosie on his thighs.

“What do you want – I solved the bloody case!” Sherlock's voice was a tad shrill and the look in his eyes was a mixture of defensiveness and rage. He was sitting in his armchair with crossed arms like the biggest petulant child John had ever seen.

“Yeah, you did. After making sure she doesn’t have a knife in her sleeve or a gun in her panties…”

“It could have been!” Sherlock hissed.

“She was at least eighty!” She had been grateful for being told that her son was probably alive and living in Peru because of his tax problems, but she had cast a frightened glance at Sherlock again before she had left.

Sherlock huffed.

John sighed. And he wondered if Mycroft would actually contact Sherlock for a meeting like Greg had texted him an hour ago. Not that he had much hope that Mycroft would be able to cure Sherlock from his sudden descent into misery and paranoia, especially as he, according to Greg, wasn’t feeling well himself, but who else to ask?

John had been trying to cope with it for weeks now, had done his best to calm Sherlock down and guide him back onto the path of what passed as normality for Sherlock, and Greg and Mrs Hudson had bravely done the same, but it hadn't worked. And John had tried not to snort when Sherlock had told him, furiously, about what Molly had offered as a therapy. My God! Had she still not realised Sherlock was gay?

For a short while John had considered that Sherlock was not that immune to female attractiveness though when he had found out Irene Adler was still alive. But he had asked Sherlock about her again before going to Sherrinford, and Sherlock had just rolled his eyes and told him he had only claimed to reply to her texts sometimes to make John feel better about texting with Eurus, and he had made very clear that his attraction to The Woman had been a strictly intellectual one, for the first time actually speaking out that he was homosexual. Which meant that Molly, lovely, faithful and reliable Molly, didn’t stand a chance with him. Did she seriously believe he would even so much as touch her body, just because she had succeeded at forcing him to admit a love for her he didn’t feel in a situation they had thought mean life or death for her?

Perhaps sex would be good for Sherlock though; he was not above admitting it. But with whom for God's sake! John wasn't gay and even if he had been interested in Sherlock in such a way, he would have never offered to lend him a hand, or his cock, or his arse, as it would make everything between them even more complicated. But as things were, Sherlock wasn't exactly drooling for him, and John couldn’t imagine ever having sex with a man, not even with a man as attractive – and crazy, and annoying, and currently actually frightening – as Sherlock.

And since they didn’t know any fitting candidate and it didn’t appear safe to let Sherlock alone with a stranger these days (or perhaps even ever), sex was out of the question, so some brotherly interference was the last resort of hope he and Greg had now. Mycroft was, after all, an expert at dealing with challenging people; he had seen his brother on his worst days of drug use and being on the loose, and if anyone could rule him in now, it had to be him.

So he straightened up when Sherlock's phone signalised a text, and from the eye-rolling Sherlock produced, he knew it had to be the expected text from his brother.

“God, what does he want now?!”

“Who?” John asked innocently, stroking over his daughter's back.

“Mycroft! I thought he had fallen off the earth but yet, here he is. 'Sherlock, my place, 8pm, if you could be so kind'.” Sherlock snorted.

“You should maybe go to him,” John said casually.

“Why should I? Taking another one of his stupid cases he could as well solve himself if he wasn’t so lazy?”

“Perhaps he's just lonely.”

“What?” Sherlock looked at him with deep suspicion – a rather familiar expression as of late. “Why are you saying that? You hate my brother!”

“Nah, I don't. He keeps wrecking my last nerve, like all Holmeses do but he was quite decent in Sherrinford,” John said, hoping to sound convincing. In fact he had his own suspicions that Mycroft wouldn’t have been overly sad if Sherlock had taken him by his word and shot John… Frankly, Mycroft didn’t have any reason to be very fond of him. John was the first to admit that sending Wiggins' people into Mycroft's house to scare him into being honest about Eurus, and being so nasty to him before he and Sherlock had left hadn't been exactly nice. And John's violence towards Sherlock, which he deeply regretted now, and for which he had heartily apologised more than once, had certainly not made Mycroft like him any better.

Mycroft was a very unusual man; his kidnapping of John in the very beginning spoke volumes; he was cold and weird, like Sherlock but without his charm, but John had soon realised that he deeply cared for Sherlock, and as John did this as well, he felt at least a bit of a connection with him. He had never shown this to the politician or whatever he actually was because he was so unnerving and arrogant, and Mycroft would in all probability disagree about them having anything in common so Greg had definitely been the better choice to talk to him.

“You should visit him,” he insisted now. “Spend some time with him. What harm can it do?” Knowing Sherlock's state and his preference for mistrusting anybody now, this was a rather brave assumption, but surely Mycroft could manage? Even if he was feeling troubled, too?

Sherlock narrowed his eyes. “This is a conspiracy, isn’t it? You and Greg and Mycroft want me to…”

“God, shut up, Sherlock! Nobody is conspiring against you!” John flared, the past weeks of dealing with a Sherlock that was even more challenging than usual finally taking their toll. “Eurus is locked up and nobody wants to harm you! And now text your damn brother that you will see him later and be fucking nice to him for a change!” For a moment he thought that his choice of words was not actually appropriate with his baby on his knees, which was looking at him with wide blue eyes at this outburst, but he had enough now! And she couldn’t understand him yet after all and damn, if 'fucking' was her first word, he would deal with it when they got there!

Sherlock closed his open mouth with an audible noise a few seconds after John's unexpected rant. Then, to John's surprise, he nodded meekly.

“'kay.”

John did feel a bit sorry for yelling at him but since Sherlock had given in so quickly, it had probably been the right way to react to this latest nonsense coming out of the detective's mouth… “Fine. Tea?”

“You won't put anything in it, will you?”

John sighed.