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Sherlock was ecstatic as he practically danced around the crime scene. Lestrade was right, this was a fun one. Less so now that it was obvious that the wife was the perp, and the motive was money, but still, not everyday you find a corpse surrounded by goldfish. Confident in his solution, he bounded over to where Lestrade and John were chatting. 

 

 “This is a fun one, Lestrade! I mean, the spectacle of it alone is…” he began, only to be interrupted by his phone pinging in his pocket, he cleared his throat and continued, “the fish are obviously connected to…” his phone beeped again, and he pursed his lips slightly, but went on “the victim is clearly married, about 10 years…” when his phone beeped a third time, it finally occurred to him that there were only three people in the world for whom his text alerts were not silenced as soon as he arrived at the crime scene. SInce Irene Adler’s text alert was...distinctive, and John was standing right there, that left… 

 

“Fuck” he breathed as he tore the phone out of his pocket and stammered out a quick “I have to go!” before making his way at a run toward the crime scene tape. John grabbed hold of him and he panicked, he needed to go. 

 

“I need to go, John, he needs me.” John stared at him for a moment, then released his arm and nodded. One quick conversation, cryptic enough that he hoped Lestrade wouldn’t put together who they were talking about, and Sherlock was rushing down the street. A black sedan pulled up beside him and Sherlock leapt into the backseat, calling Anthea. 

 

“Sherlock?” The P.A.s usually calm voice was shaky.

 

“Is he okay?” 

 

“Not really, no.”

 

“What happened?”

 

“Rudy came here, and…” Sherlock nearly threw the phone down.

 

“You let him in? I swear to you, Anthea, if anything happens to him they will never find your body.” There was a scuffle on the other end of the line, and Mycroft’s voice came over the phone. 

 

“Sherlock, stop threatening her. It’s not her fault. I let him in. I sent her out of the room. This is my fault.” The car came to a stop in front of Whitehall, and Sherlock jumped out of the car, not stopping for even a moment until he had burst into Mycroft’s office, finding his brother sitting on the floor still, Anthea’s arms wrapped protectively around him. Sherlock ran over, joining his brother on the floor and pulling the older man tightly to his chest. 

 

“Sherlock,” Mycroft gasped, his voice quickly muffled by his face being pressed into the Belstaff. “Sherlock, I do still need to breathe.” Sherlock loosened his grip slightly, his hands balled into fists at his brother’s back. 

 

“What did he do?” Sherlock leaned back slightly to look into his brother’s eyes. “Please tell me.” Anthea took this opportunity to get up, whispering that she would be right outside, and leaving the brothers alone. 

 

“He told me he was dying.” Mycroft’s voice was small, but resolute. “He has cancer, apparently, nine months to live. He apparently believed that I would be more affected by the revelation than I was. He then, rather forcefully, attempted to imply that I had,” he laughed humorlessly, “ consented to our...encounters.” 

 

“Did he touch you?” Mycroft didn’t answer, but he looked down, shame flooding his features, desperately avoiding his brother’s eyes. Sherlock pivoted his body so that he was seated next to his brother.

 

“I’m going to kill him,” despite the fact that his voice hadn’t changed in timbre or pitch, Sherlock’s threat reverberated with such finality and hatred that it sent a shiver down Mycroft’s spine. The two men sat in silence for a moment, leaning up against the wall of Mycroft’s office.

 

“I’d rather you didn’t,” Mycroft said finally. “I don’t think we can count on another miracle if you commit murder again.” 

 

“You can’t just let him get away with it.” 

 

“Why not?” Mycroft sighed. “I let him get away with it for the last thirty years.”

 

“This time is different,” Sherlock responded, taking his brother’s hand. “You aren’t alone this time.”