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Catharsis

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“Hello, Dr. Watson…”

A familiar voice causes John to stop in his tracks in the darkness of his own flat. A deluge of ice hits his veins when two gloved hands press lightly, but threateningly against his throat. Leather. Authentic. Expensive.

“Or, should I say – John. That’s what you’ve always wanted me to call you?”

John can barely speak. Instinctively, he shifts – ready to stomp on his attacker’s foot – aiming for the small bones. But the pressure around his throat abruptly increases like a vice. God. He cannot breathe. But the fingers mercifully relax. Just a tad. Just enough to let him breathe. Shallowly.

“None of that now, John… You and I are going to have a conversation.”

Mycroft. Big brother. Sherlock. His fists. Bruised. Aching. Left him with Smith. Mary. His fault.

Fear.

He can almost sense Mycroft’s smile from behind. Cruel.

The Iceman.

Antarctica.

“You must be proud of yourself, John. Your knuckles.”

God, he hates how Mycroft says his name. Like he is lower than dirt. Just some lint for someone to brush off.

“He deserved it.” John croaks the lie he had been telling himself all day long.

The fingers flex ever so slightly. Oh god. This is Mycroft taking out the trash. This is the cat playing with the mouse. This is it.

“Yes, the man who killed for you. Died for you. My little brother… deserved it... Did you know… John – only sentiment has kept you and your darling wife alive for so long? I should have dealt with you the night little brother returned from the dead… But rest assured, I won’t be making this mistake again.”

.

.

“Goodbye, John.”

Mycroft casually releases his grip, allowing the lifeless figure of his brother’s former best friend crash onto the floor. Ten seconds for unconsciousness. One minute for death. The doctor had kicked him once or twice during the ten seconds. Primitive instinct.

A small price to pay.

Whistling, he grabs his umbrella and strides out of the flat.