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Sleeping Beauty

Chapter Text

"Male, 32, cocaine overdose. In and out of consciousness. Get Dr. Rosebury!"

Silvery blue eyes opened and closed, as Sherlock fought to stay conscious, more or less on purpose. The younger Holmes sibling had been walking down an ever-narrowing, winding path into darkness, and now he was dancing on the edge of it, on the verge of unconsciousness and worse, while his older brother watched him for afar. Doctors were all over him, trying to stabilize him and keep him from slipping into the darkness, but it was a losing battle. Mycroft had found him in a filthy alley near Baker Street with a needle in his arm, wearing only his trousers and a ragged dress shirt; His dark grey Belstaff was long gone, as he had traded it for drugs after he ran out of cash. God only knew how Sherlock had gotten himself any money at all after Mycroft closed his bank accounts. The older sibling refused to even think about it, about what Sherlock had probably had to do.

"We're sorry, Mr. Holmes", a kind-looking nurse came up to Mycroft with an empathetic look in her eyes. He was reminded of the existence of his heart, as it plummeted to the bottom of his stomach. Was all lost? Had Sherlock fought his last battle and lost? What was he going to tell Mummy? That he failed as a big brother, that he was the bloody government and couldn't keep his own baby brother safe? "Your brother has fallen comatose. All we can do now is give him nutrition and keep him stable", the nurse continued, snapping Mycroft out of his thoughts. "We will transfer him into a room of his own, and you will be able to visit during visiting hours. We will keep you informed of any changes, but I must warn you, Mr. Holmes, we are not able to predict, when he'll wake up. It could be only hours or days, but in worst case scenario, it could be months or... Or even years, Mr. Holmes." The older Holmes sibling nodded, and thanked the nurse, who left after an additional "I'm sorry, Mr. Holmes."

The evening grew dark, but Mycroft stayed by Sherlock's hospital bed. His little brother was stuck full of all kinds of tubes, including a nutrition tube. It made the older sibling slightly huff. "Comatose and you're getting more nutrition than you ever have conscious", he spoke low. He couldn't help but notice, how peaceful Sherlock looked, laying there in the white sheets, his dark, wild curls resting on a couple of quite nice looking pillows. They reminded Mycroft of how exhausted he was after worrying for his brother ever since early morning, when he had found Sherlock. It had been quarter to midnight, when Mycroft had gotten the call from work. His employees had lost his baby brother a few hours ago, and he had yet to turn back up on their radar. What a bunch of bloody morons!

After properly chastening them for not contacting him sooner, Mycroft ordered a search party to find the younger Holmes brother. The autumn night had been anything but warm, but feeling responsible, Mycroft had gone out himself to look for his brother. He had been at 221B Baker Street, if his bloody morons had not seen Sherlock enter his own bloody apartment, but he had found it empty. Poor Mrs. Hudson was worried out of her mind, but Mycroft paid her little attention, as he was far more occupied with finding Sherlock, preferably alive. Thank God the street light by the forsaken alley had been flickering instead of being completely out, or Mycroft could have easily missed the slump of a human in the far end of the alley. There Sherlock had been, sweating and shaking at the same time, his eyes unfocused and mouth hanging slightly open, leaning against a dumpster like he was filthy rat. Sherlock was much too talented to be a drug addict. True, Sherlock had always been the slower child, but with a brain like his he could have achieved anything he wanted, anything at all, but had opted for drugs. Mycroft was aware of his brother's discomfort; Sherlock had nothing to put his brain power into, and was filled with frustrated boredom, a need to put his brain to work. Drugs were only a way to slow it down, shut it up for a moment, or work too fast for Sherlock to even comprehend.

"Oh, Mr. Holmes. I'm afraid visiting hours are over and I must ask you to leave", a soft voice came from the door. Mycroft let out a sigh. Goldfishes. He was living in a world of goldfishes. "As I told your people, I work with the British government and I shall stay here as long as I please. This is my brother, and for him I will cause as much trouble as I need to in order to stay", he explained. The Holmes brothers had never been famous for sentiment, but somewhere deep down they both knew, there existed brotherly love between them, and occasions like this brought the feeling and the need to protect one another to the surface. "Yes, Mr. Holmes" was the only thing the poor nurse was able to say, before quickly exiting the room. God knows why she had even been there.

Another sigh left Mycroft's lips, as he looked at the watch on his wrist. "I'm afraid I have to leave for a few hours, brother dear, but I will be back. I shall return with something to occupy that brain of yours with. It must be terrible to be locked up in your Mind Palace." With that, Mycroft rose from the chair, thought about kissing Sherlock's forehead but decided against it, and left the room.