The morning of his uncle’s funeral Sherlock stood in his bedroom, staring at his wardrobe mirror. Rather than looking at himself, he found himself unable to tear his eyes away from the reflection of his flatmate, who was curled up, asleep in his bed. The events of the night before came flooding back the moment he woke up in the doctor’s arms.
They had been at the wake, because Mummy had insisted that the boys had to at least make an appearance. Greg and Mycroft had met them there, and the four men had walked in, side by side. They had spent less than ten minutes in the funeral home, but that had been more than enough. Mycroft had remained icy while greeting all the required extended family members and Rudy’s former colleagues. Sherlock had watched his brother carefully, and the moment the icy facade had started to crack, he had gotten Greg’s attention with the very subtle and clever signal they had worked out in advance.
“Garrett, this sucks, let’s leave.”
As Greg and Sherlock had assumed that it would, the announcement had caused Mycroft to immediately wrap up the exhausting conversation he was having with one of Rudy’s former associates to grab Sherlock by the arm and drag him into the other room.
“Have you actually lost your mind, we are at a wake.” Mycroft hissed when they were out of earshot of the rest of the mourners.
“You’re welcome. You were about to lose it, I got you out of there.” Mycroft sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose as Greg and John joined the brothers.
“You three are going to be the death of me,” Mycroft muttered under his breath. He sighed, leaning against the wall gently. “Thank you,” he finally added, quietly, his face thawing into an exhausted frown.
“We’ve made an appearance,” John said after a moment, “let’s get out of here.”
The four men bid a quick goodbye to Mummy and Siger and made their way outside. They got take away and sat together at Baker Street eating. Mycroft picked at his food, his eyes far away and unfocused. Sherlock and John watched as Greg gently whispered to his partner, carefully pulling him back from the edge of a panic attack, holding his hand and stroking his hair. After the two men had left, the flatmates sat for a long time in a pleasant silence before John finally spoke.
“It’s sweet how in love those two are,” he said, gesturing to the sofa where Greg and Mycroft had been sitting. “Greg really seems to understand what Mycroft needs. It must be nice, having someone who gets you like that.” Sherlock regarded the sofa for a long moment, then nodded.
“They do seem happy.” He paused, then looked at John, confused. “You know, I have always felt that you understand exactly what I need. I hope someday I can do the same for you.”
John stared at his flatmate for a long moment. Sherlock gritted his teeth, certain that the older man was going to walk out, or make some comment about how very not gay he was, and when John stood up, Sherlock’s face fell in despair. He shouldn’t have said anything, nothing good could come of admitting how he felt at this point.
John interrupted the spiral of negative thoughts filling Sherlock’s head a moment later, when he took a step towards the younger man, leaned down, and kissed him firmly. Sherlock froze for a moment, temporarily unsure if he had blacked out and was dreaming this. When he recovered from the shock, he wound his hand around the back of John’s neck, pulling him down until he was sitting in Sherlock’s lap, pressing his sturdy body against Sherlock’s spindly one.
The remainder of the night was something of a blur, and Sherlock wasn’t sure it had been real until he woke up with a delightful soreness he hadn’t felt in quite some time, and the incredibly suggestive evidence of his flatmate naked in his bed. Sherlock watched as John stirred in his bed, waking up and smiling at the lanky man.
“Good morning,” John yawned, stretching. “How are you doing?” Sherlock stared at the man, shocked at how calmly he had accepted the shift in their relationship.
They had a lot to talk about. The transition from flatmates and friends to lovers was going to be complicated. Explaining things to Rosie would be complicated. If things didn’t work out, what would they do? They had lived together for years, neither one of them wanted to live alone. There was so much to figure out, so much that was uncertain. But when he looked at the man sitting up in his bed, the complications and uncertainty didn’t matter. It was all fine.
Since the third chapter in this story is an epilogue, this is technically the end of this series. Again, I want to thank you all so much for reading. As you may know from my responses to comments, I was the victim of a sexual assault when I was quite young by a person who I considered a friend. It took me ten years to disclose to anyone, and even then, my family didn't believe me. It has taken years of work to get to a place in my life where I can write about what I went through, even if it is through someone else's characters. Even as I wrote it, I wasn't sure I would be able to publish it, afraid that it wouldn't be well received. You have all shown such incredible enthusiasm and kindness in your reception of this work, and it has meant more than words can say.
Thank you all for reading, and again, please take care of yourselves.
Four men sat in a row of chairs set up beside a freshly dug hole in the ground, all four staring blankly at the body in the open casket, the shell that had once been Rudy Vernet. The burial was private, just a few members of the extended family and Rudy’s loyal P.A., a woman who Mycroft had calculated must be in her sixties, but didn’t seem capable of aging. She had given a lovely eulogy, and Greg had gripped Mycroft’s hand tightly when she talked about Rudy’s devotion to his family and his particular fondness for his eldest nephew. Next to the men, Mummy visibly stiffened, and Siger put a comforting hand on his wife’s knee.
A priest gave a blessing, which Mycroft ignored in favor of imagining how furious Rudy would have been if he knew they had allowed any talk of the god he so firmly didn’t believe in at his funeral. Tears sprung into his eyes at the thought, and for the first time in thirty years, Mycroft took a moment to mourn, not the death of the man who had tortured him, but for the loss of the uncle who he had adored.
Mycroft had spent thirty years of his life refusing to think about the times before the rapes, when Rudy’s presence had made him feel so loved. It simply hurt too much to remember the wonderful things Rudy had done, in light of the horrible things that had followed. So for the first time in years, sitting at Rudy’s funeral, Mycroft allowed himself to reminisce. He recalled the days when his uncle would bring him gifts and books, trinkets collected from the faraway lands that he would sit up late into the night teaching Mycroft about. He remembered the weeks after Eurus’s incarceration when Rudy would take Mycroft out for a drive and a meal, talking about nothing of consequence, providing a break and a distraction from the pain of his home life. He closed his eyes, remembering the excitement he had felt when Rudy had declared his intention to take Mycroft under his wing. He took out his pocket watch, remembering the morning Rudy had gifted it to him. The last morning before everything had gone so wrong. He had worn that pocket watch every day since, hanging from the gold chain like an anchor, a constant reminder of the moments of joy that had been so cruelly ripped from his hands.
Without being fully conscious of it, Mycroft unhooked the watch from his waistcoat and, just before the coffin was closed, he walked up to it. Behind him Greg, Sherlock, and John shared a worried glance. Mycroft stood still for a moment, taking a final look at the man who had shaped who he was, in so many ways. He placed the pocket watch in his uncle’s stiff hand and with a nod at the priest, closed the casket.
Mycroft didn’t stop or look back as he turned away from the casket and walked out of the cemetery to where his car was waiting for him. Just as he assumed they would, his partner, brother, and friend joined him a moment later. Greg laid a careful hand on Mycroft’s shoulder, and he turned to face the DI.
“Are you alright?” Greg asked quietly.
Mycroft smiled, a small, sad smile that caused a stray tear to drip from his eye. He looked at the graveyard, watching his parents silhouetted against the sky at the edge of his uncle’s final resting place. An overwhelming peace filled him as he saw the shadow of the casket disappear into the ground.
“Yes,” he said finally, eliciting a sigh of relief from his partner. Greg hugged Mycroft tightly and beside them, John wrapped an arm around Sherlock’s waist.
“I’m okay,” Mycroft whispered, his voice lighter than Greg had ever heard it, as if a weight had been sitting on Mycroft’s chest for his entire life, and was finally lifted. Mycroft rested his head adoringly on Greg's shoulder and let out a content sigh.
Chapter 3: Epilogue
And here it is, the end. Thank you all so much for reading, commenting, and leaving kudos!
Two years after the death of Rudy Vernet, Mycroft Holmes stood in front of a mirror, carefully regarding his reflection. The years had seen the addition of a few new creases in his forehead and a few more centimeters of rescission on the part of his hairline, but these imperfections hardly registered as he smoothed the front of his tuxedo and straightened his tie. He carefully adjusted the chain of his pocket watch, a beautiful silver one which Greg had given him on their first anniversary. There was a knock on the door, which opened to reveal Sherlock, similarly dressed.
“Since when do you knock?” Mycroft teased lightly, earning him an exasperated eye roll.
“There’s almost nothing in this world I want to see less than you naked,” the younger man muttered. Mycroft smiled warmly at his little brother, who gave up on pretending to be annoyed, and smiled back. “You look good,” Sherlock said, only sounding a bit like the act of complimenting his big brother was physically painful. Sherlock pinned the corsage to the lapel of his brother’s suit, then shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot in front of him for a moment, before more or less launching himself into Mycroft’s arms, hugging him tightly. Mycroft laughed and hugged his brother back.
“Thank you for agreeing to this. It means a lot to me to have you up there with me today.” Mycroft smiled warmly at his little brother, who flushed slightly, then flung an arm around Mycroft’s shoulders jovially.
“Let’s get you downstairs, brother mine. The ceremony won’t wait for you just because you’re one of the grooms.”
The wedding of Greg Lestrade and Mycroft Holmes was a small affair, with only the families of the two grooms, plus Anthea and Sally Donovan, both of whom had gotten ordained in order to perform the ceremony for their bosses. Delores Lestrade started crying the moment her son entered the room, and Siger Holmes followed soon after. Their respective spouses rolled their eyes and told them to hush, but neither parent did. In Mummy’s lap, Rosie Watson, dressed to the nines in her flower girl dress, giggled at the sight of her daddy in a tuxedo. John Watson stood next to Greg and Sherlock Holmes next to his brother, both having agreed to be best men the moment the question had been posed.
The two best men hadn’t slept much the night before, a combination of excitement, nerves, and some particularly vigorous lovemaking. John smiled absently at his boyfriend, who returned his grin then turned his attention back to the two officiants.
Anthea smiled warmly at her boss, as he repeated the vows she read off to him, though she knew for a fact that he had memorized them weeks before. He had spent the better part of the last week pacing his office, muttering the vows to himself so he would deliver them perfectly on the day. She had teased him, but it made her heart swell to see him so hyper focused on something that brought him happiness for once. Greg brought Mycroft the kind of happiness that Anthea had long worried her friend would never experience. He deserved that kind of happiness.
Sally blinked back tears as Greg repeated after her, his eyes glittering with tears of pure joy. She had never seen her boss as happy as being with Mycroft made him and, as both someone who had to work with him on a daily basis and a friend, she would do just about anything to make sure Greg continued to be that happy.
“You may now kiss the groom.” Both women commanded, both grinning brightly.
Greg and Mycroft turned towards each other, Greg wrapping his arms around Mycroft’s waist, Mycroft slinging his around Greg’s neck. In the long moment that they stood looking at each other, Mycroft saw every moment of the two and a half years they had spent with each other in Greg’s eyes. Every tear and smile, all the sleepless nights he had spent in Greg’s arms. He had been so broken, and somehow this man had been willing to stay, to hold him up when he couldn’t stand anymore, until he had been pieced back together.
Greg stared back into Mycroft’s eyes, seeing every moment of the decades they would spend together as husbands. Every joy they would live to see, every moment that he thought he would have to face alone, that now he would get to spend with the love of his life. The two men leaned forward, and kissed, pouring out every bit of hope and joy and love and faith that they had, as the people they loved most in the world cheered around them.
At long long last, everything was fine.