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Noticed

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Greg and John sat at their usual table in the corner of the pub, both nursing pints and trying not to think about the meeting currently underway at 221B Baker Street. It had been two weeks since Christmas, and Mycroft had decided it was time to sit down with his parents and explain some things. Greg and John had both offered to be there, but the Holmes brothers had both refused. Rosie was staying over Molly’s, they were going to go to the zoo in the morning, the little girl was ecstatic. 

 

“He’s going to be alright,” John said suddenly, “they’ve had time to calm down, it's going to be hard, but I think it will help him, to have them know.” 

 

“You’re right, no more secrets, everything out in the open, it will be good for him.” Greg sighed, “I’m still worried about him though. You didn’t see him Christmas night, when he…” Greg swallowed hard. “I can’t lose him, John. I’ve loved him for years, and I finally get him to trust me, to love me back, I can’t lose him.” John placed a comforting hand on Greg’s shoulder. 

 

“You’re not going to lose him. He’s got all of us now, we aren’t going to let him down.” 

 

“John,” Greg said after a long moment, “I know that piece of shit going to die of his own accord shortly, but I don’t think I want to wait for that.” John stared at the DI.

 

“Greg, you’re a police officer, you aren’t saying…” Greg blinked slowly, took a long drink of beer, then nodded. 

 

“I’d like to kill that bastard myself.”  

 

~~~

 

In the sitting room of 221B Baker Street, Mycroft Holmes was staring silently at his parents. Sherlock sat in his usual chair, watching his brother, waiting for him to break the silence. Their parents were sitting on the sofa, Mummy watching her first born, but her eyes were far away and unseeing, while Siger couldn’t meet his son’s eyes. 

 

“How old were you?” Mummy said suddenly, shattering the silence. Mycroft stared at the ground, suddenly unable to meet his mother’s eyes. 

 

“15,” Mycroft said finally. “There were...incidents...before that, which in retrospect were questionable, but things really started when I was 15.” 

 

“When you stayed with him for the summer.” A look of shame had crossed Mummy’s face. Siger took his wife’s hand, squeezing gently. 

 

“You didn’t know, Violet,” he whispered gently, “you couldn’t have known what he was  planning.” 

 

“I let him, I encouraged him to have a relationship with Mycroft,” the old woman whispered, “I thought it was good for him, good for both of them.” She hung her head, hands shaking violently, “he was always such a lonely boy, the only time he really opened up was when he would talk to you,” she smiled sadly at Mycroft, “he thought so highly of you, I never thought, I never imagined that there was anything more than an uncle fond of his nephew.” a stray tear dripped from her eye and Siger wrapped his arm around her. 

 

“I should have noticed,” Mummy said, resolutely. 

 

“We both should have,” Siger added.

 

“Why didn’t you tell us? We could have done something.” Mummy’s eyes filled with tears as her son rolled his eyes at the question. 

 

“He would have killed me. You know that.” He paused for a long, hard moment and then, staring at the ground, added, “and I didn’t think you would believe me. You could never see the worst of Rudy.  He’s your baby brother, you have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to him.” 

 

“You’re one to talk,” Mummy muttered, nodding toward Sherlock. Mycroft chuckled, and the family settled into silence for a few minutes. Mummy was the one to break it. 

 

“I’m so sorry I invited him to Christmas. I thought you were just being stubborn, that you two had some sort of falling out and you would regret not reconciling with him when he died. If I had any idea, I never would have, you have to know that, Mycie, I never would have let him in my house.” Mycroft flinched at the nickname, and Mummy’s hands clasped over her mouth. “He gave you that nickname,” she whispered. 

 

“He did,” Mycroft said quietly, “I would appreciate it if you could refrain from using it in the future.” Mummy nodded, and for the first time since entering the flat, she took a moment to actually look at her son. He was pale, and too thin, and looked exhausted. She thought back to the weeks and months after he returned from Rudy’s, the diets he had suddenly dove into, the night Siger had found him bleeding on the bathroom floor, the way he pushed Sherlock away, suddenly insisting he was too old to play with his little brother. Why hadn’t she noticed?