Mycroft is struggling with ghosts from the past that are coming back to haunt him. The pressure from the situation pushes him into a borderline situation where he’s not sure he can separate imagination from reality. It escalates quickly when his ‘dead’ brother appears from of the blue, and vanishes right in front of his eyes. Characters: Mycroft, Sherlock, their mother and Anthea.
Twisting and turning in the expensive Egyptian cotton sheets, Mycroft Holmes couldn’t fall asleep. This was the sixth night in a row. For one and a half year he had managed to have his eyes glued to the outside world and political affairs. Now, however, his tired, overworked body was protesting. There’s only so much you can do to keep your bottled up struggles away.
If it was up to Mycroft, he would have none of this. The Ice man. The Government. To most people he was more like a myth and a phantom than a living man of flesh and blood, like the rest of us. That was exactly how he wanted it to be.
Against the naked sole of his foot, he could feel a wet, comforting muzzle followed by a soft whimper. His loyal collie, Amelia, could sense her master’s troubles and internal struggles. “Come here, girl.” Mycroft’s voice was as stoic and calm as ever when he patted the big, cold spot next to him in bed. Amelia jumps in and curls herself up into a big ball of black and white. She was nearing her 10th year - not filled with as much bolting vitality as she used to be. “You and me both,” Mycroft whispers softly as he ruffles her soft, shiny coat. Amelia looks up at him with her big, brown eyes – as Mycroft meets her gaze, her tail starts wagging slowly. “Oh, don’t give me those old, sad eyes.” Mycroft smiles gently, patting her head carefully. “It’s fine. I promise.”
In a luxurious suite in St. Petersburg, Anthea was lying next to a man whose first name she’d already chosen to forget. The sex had been mediocre at best, and had been over after a ‘vast’ 7 and a half minutes. “You’re so beautiful,” he had panted against her lips, insisting on being on top of her. When she had carefully suggested a second go, he’d only smiled at her before rolling over onto his side. Now he was snoring so loudly she could barely hear her own thoughts.
Anthea got out of bed, not bearing to listen to the snoring anymore. Well, if you could call it that. To her it sounded more like a scratched record of bear growls. Putting on a thin lace dressing gown she stepped outside onto the balcony in the cold St. Petersburg night. She lit a cigarette and looked up at the stars. The looked just as beautiful this night, as it had done three years ago, in Prague. Anthea had silently thanked the hotel management for mixing up their reservation, making her and Mycroft share a suite. That had been the first time they had made love. Mycroft never had sex, he never fucked her – he made love to her. That night three years ago it had truly come to her understanding that he wasn’t made of ice at all. He had a big heart, a warm heart – he’d just hidden it all those years. It had been the start of a whole new chapter of Anthea’s life. A chapter which she and Mycroft had shared. After spending one and a half years together, making her feel like she was finally whole – like she had finally found her other half - he had broken her heart.
Mycroft cut a frown as he took a big sip of his morning coffee on his way to work. It was bitter. He put it away on a tray as he walked past the reception area of his office wing. Everywhere around him he could feel everyone’s curious gazes. They had all read the headlines. They were looking at him as if they were expecting him to say something. As soon as he met their gazes, they were quick to look away or turning around as if they suddenly remembered they had things to do. Suicide of Fake Genius. His brother. Did they expect him to hold a speech? Mycroft sighs heavily as he ignores their sheepish gazes and walked through the suddenly very long hallway of the office building.
Just as Mycroft places his calloused hand onto the handle of his office door, he could sense something was wrong. He opened the door in a casual manner, but his gaze was stiff and examining.
“Hello, brother dear.” A far too familiar voice teased from the other side of the room. Mycroft didn’t hesitate to close the door behind him as he stepped into his office. “Are you insane?!” Mycroft’s voice rumbles deep in his throat. “Do you have any idea how dangerous this is for you?! For both of us!”
“Oh, calm down.” Sherlock gets up from Mycroft’s office chair, straightening his suit and adjusting his glasses. His hair was no longer dark brown, it was ash blonde, and he had a well-trimmed beard. The disguise was well thought through. Sherlock looked like any other businessman in this part of town. No one would look twice at him. “Allow yourself an extra piece of cake for your midday tea break.” Sherlock teases as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
Mycroft tightens the grip of both his suitcase and umbrella. “John is on the verge of losing his mind. Just by being here you can get us both killed, and Ms. Hooper is under suspicion, do you know what that means? Does that mean anything to you at all?!” Mycroft snaps. The two brothers stare intensely at each other in silence. From the slight tremble of Sherlock’s nostrils, Mycroft know he had hurt his brother.
“Mr. Holmes!”, his newly employed secretary bursts through the door. “We’ve got Tokyo on the phone. It’s urgent! I buzzed you, but you didn’t answer.”
Mycroft could feel the blood leave his face. He turns around, his face white in a complex mix of fear and rage. “And does that give you the permission to burst into my office?!” he barks at his secretary. “Get out of here, and take your belongings with you!”
His secretary is scared to death by Mycroft’s sudden and uncharacteristic outburst of rage. She had never seen him like this before. Frozen in terror, she finds herself completely unable to move. Mycroft turns back around, somehow desperate to save the situation. His brother was disguised, it wasn’t necessarily too late. But as he turns around, he stares straight at an empty office desk. His windows were untouched. Sherlock wasn’t there.
Karen, his young secretary notices how her boss goes from sudden rage to silent confusion. “Is… is everything all right, sir?” she manages to stutter.
“I am terribly sorry, Karen.” Mycroft rubs his finger against his temple. His voice is just as soft and gentle as it usually is. “You’ll have to excuse me, I haven’t been myself lately.” Mycroft blinks, suddenly feeling very light-headed. He looks into the room. “Where did my brother go..?” He mumbles. His voice is thick and slow.
“Sir? Sir? Are you all right?”, she takes a step further into the office – watching as the tall man supports himself against his beautifully carved office desk.
“I could swear I saw him just a minute ago.” Mycroft was feeling dizzy. He was fighting it as hard as he could, but he was already swaying.
“Sir? Sir!” His secretary shouts as the tall man falls to the floor, lying straight out. She gets down on her knees next to him, checking his pulse and whether or not he was breathing. Her mascara was running down her round cheeks as she dialled the emergency number. “I think my boss is having a heart attack!” She cries helplessly into the phone. It takes the lady on the other end of the line a good minute to get the most essential information out of the terrified, young woman – and 10 minutes later, Mycroft Holmes is picked up by and ambulance and rushed off to the nearest hospital.
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