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The Funeral

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They stand in a small half circle, the few remaining relatives of the Holmes family, mourning the death of one of their more treasured family members. There are a few friends too, grieving the loss of their much loved friend. There is a moment of requested silence and the mourners bow their heads respectfully in a moment of private mourning. Slowly, the coffin is lowered into the ground.

It's only a small sniff breaking the otherwise perfect silence, but it causes Sherlock to look up and shoot his brother a sideway glare. “Crying, Mycroft, really?” He whispers angrily.

Mycroft does not respond. Instead he takes the handkerchief from his jacket and wipes at the tears that slowly make their way down his face.

There aren't many, just one or two, trickling down his cheeks to his chin. He isn't sobbing helplessly, he's trying to be strong. He sniffs again and taps his nose with the same handkerchief. It earns him another glare from his brother. “It's our mother. Show a bit of respect,” he spits under his breath.

Mycroft doesn't acknowledge Sherlock's words and ignores them as if they were never spoken. It annoys Sherlock to no end. The sniffs earn Mycroft looks of pity from the other grieving present. There are several forms of pity, even the younger Holmes brother knows that, and he recognises them perfectly. Mycroft receives the compassionate kind, the heart-felt, ‘we know what you’re going through’ sort of look. He receives goodwill pats on the back, the wry smiles, the teary-eyed memories. And oh, the poor young man, now carrying the burden of his autistic little brother on his own.

Sherlock huffs, visibly annoyed by their looks. He's annoyed by their looks of pity towards his brother because they are entirely mistaken and misplaced – and he is annoyed by the looks of pity directed to him, because despite what they might think, he sees the sort of look he gets as well. Their thoughts are written plainly on their faces; oh, the brilliant Asperger's who doesn't understand grief, pity the sociopath who doesn't feel the sadness of loss. It's a sorry kind of pity, the ‘it’s a shame he’s not normal’, poor damaged boy sort of look. His lack of tears and the glare in his eyes lead them to their deduction. Their stupidity annoys him to no end.

He knows he looks angry, but he refuses to hide it. He is angry. He sees Mycroft's tears for the small watery lies they are. Their mother is being lowered into a hole in the ground and his brother is putting up a show. It’s disrespectful.

The service ends, but the two brothers remain in their place at the edge of the grave, heads bowed, eyes fixed on the ground. They are left in silence as the gathered group slowly leaves the funeral site.

It isn't until everyone is gone that Mycroft, head still bowed, quietly speaks. “Have you ever considered that people want to believe that those around them are as ordinary as they are? People don’t like those who stand out.”

It's Sherlock who looks up first, though only to shoot his brother another glare. “So we should cry. That’s normal?” He asks dryly.

“You’ve seen the proof not half an hour ago.” He refers to the many tears shed during the short service by the small group present.

“But It’s our mother,” Sherlock argues angrily, though without giving his brother the satisfaction of a raised voice.

“And?” The other asks and only now lifts his head to meet his brother's glare. There's not a tear left in his eyes.

“She's our mother,” Sherlock repeats.

The argument is discarded with dryness. “Your verbosity is astonishing.”

“Have a bit of respect,” he adds.

“I could say the same thing to you,” Mycroft argues. The condescending tone makes Sherlock wrinkle his nose in disgust.

“You once told me family matters,” the younger Holmes accuses.

“Family does matter,” Mycroft is quick to reply, but composes himself to offer his sound advice. “In this case; you and I.” He takes the handkerchief and folds it to place it back in his pocket. “It matters what people think. It matters what people make of one. A tear matters. Sentimentality does not. Remember that, Sherlock.”
Sherlock doesn't repy, but turns, pacing to the car that is waiting for them.

It will be a quiet drive home.