Part 5, and possibly the last part of the fic (also on Fanfiction.com)
For one and a half year, Agathe had watched her oldest son wither into nothing but a shadow of himself. It hurt her old heart so much to see her son in such pain, but there was little she could do. She felt herself in no position to interfere with her son’s private life. He was a grown man, 42 years old. Reading the papers telling lies about her youngest was the final blow to her heart. She had to do something. She was their mother. A mother looks after her children.
Helping Sherlock was unfortunately too risky. She would have to let her youngest do this on his own. Agathe packed her suitcase and made herself ready for departure. She called Mycroft as she always used to do before leaving the country. She told him she was going to visit grand-mére in Provence. She told him she would take with her some of the chocolate croissants he was so fond of. But Agathe had booked a ticket to a place much further away.
Vladivostok , Russia, 28th of May, 2011.
The train had arrived early, and the cold morning breeze tried its best to sneak past the fibers of her coat as she stepped out onto the big, empty platform. She noticed a woman already standing on the otherwise empty platform, dressed in an elegant, satin-wool coat. The woman was soon looking at Anthea behind big sunglasses. Anthea recognized her from a picture she had seen in Mycroft’s office, and she instantly knew who she was. At first she was terrified; had something happened to Mycroft?
«Доброе утро.» The elegant woman smiles as Anthea approaches. The woman takes off her glasses, revealing her sparkling eyes, full of vitality – hazel green, just as Mycroft’s.
Anthea reaches out her hand to greet the woman. “You must be Agathe Holmes. I am Anthea Smith.” She smiles, but the smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes. She couldn’t for the life of her think of any reason for his mother going through all the trouble of finding her. Anthea was slightly nervous.
“Pleased to meet you, Anthea.” Agathe smiles. The girl was clever, one could see it in her light, blue eyes – and beautiful too. Agathe would bet her jewels that the girl possessed both a great heart and spirit – no wonder her son had fallen head over heels for her. “A beautiful morning, isn’t it?”
“It is indeed.” Anthea nods. She was getting increasingly more nervous. Mycroft’s mother had come all the way from London and to the other side of the world just to be on this exact train station to meet her. “Excuse me for being so direct, but… Has something happened? To Mycroft, I mean.” Anthea couldn’t think of any other reason why his mother would be there. “I can’t think of any reason why mention me. I was his secretary and P.A. at some point, and then my teacher. Mycroft and I, we worked together as-“
“Anthea. I know. I know.” Agathe interrupts with a kind smile. “I am sorry that we haven’t met earlier.” Agathe places her hand on Anthea’s shoulder. She could see that the young woman was confused, not quite understanding why she was there. “Come. Let’s go somewhere where we can talk without all these people buzzing by. You never know who’s around you.” Anthea nods, and Agathe leads her through the crowd of people. They lock up Anthea’s luggage before they settle in a nice, quiet café. The interior was simple and sturdy; most of the furniture in wood and leather. Agathe orders them both two big cups of coffee and a couple of breakfast plates.
Anthea thanks Agathe for ordering. Her Russian was a bit rusty. As they wait for the food to arrive, Anthea returns to their previous topic. ” I am sorry, but- …I can’t help but to shake the feeling that something is wrong.”
“Ah. Female intuition. That is something men can never have.” Agathe smiles softly, her maternal instincts are being awoken to life. She places her soft, wrinkly hand on top of Anthea’s. Nothing could make her more happy right now, than to hear how worried this pretty, young woman was about her son. It meant that this young woman still had at least some warm feelings towards him. Agathe takes a deep breath. “You don’t have to tell me anything about what happened between you, Anthea, but I must help my son.” Agathe gives the young woman a kind smile. Anthea returns the smile. “I said to myself that much would have to happen for me to interfere with my children’s private life. But I am afraid that I have reached that point. I am worried about Mycroft. I mean, a broken heart is the nature of life. It is both common and natural, but this… This is so much more.” Agathe sighs. “I am so sorry to bother you, Anthea.”
“No, no. Don’t be.” Anthea smiles gently. The mere mention of his name made her heart beat faster. She felt light-headed. The prospect of Mycroft still loving her made her surprisingly happy, but at the same time worried for him. “Now I have to know; what is Mycroft struggling with?”
Agathe takes the young woman’s hand, giving it a friendly kiss . “Your determination reminds me so much of myself when I was young.” Agathe chuckles softly. “Much is left unsaid, and yet I can see that you have somewhat an understanding for what’s going on. Will you come with me to London, dear? We can talk on our way there.”
“In a heartbeat.” Anthea nods without hesitation. She loved him. She had always loved him.
London, 1st of June 2011
Mycroft’s feet couldn’t possibly carry him fast enough for his own liking as he made his way towards the bedroom – but as he was just a few feet away, he stopped. Inside that door, was the woman he loved. The woman who had once carried his child, and whom he had hurt greatly. Now she was sleeping in his bed. Probably jetlagged from wherever she’d been the last weeks. The last few steps towards the door are slow and heavy. Mycroft knocks carefully on the door, and waits, but there is no answer. Poor woman. She was probably knackered. After hesitating a bit, he decides to open the door, slowly.
A lamp on one of the night stands were still left on, lighting up the room – and there he could see her: A big bulge on his thick eiderdown duvet - with long locks of dark brown hair peeking out of the top of it. Mycroft could feel his heart clench. Anthea. She was here. She really was here; in his bed.
For a moment Mycroft isn’t sure what to do anymore, with mixed feelings of hope and disbelief. After a minute’s hesitation, Mycroft silently closes the door behind him. He steps out of his shoes and walks silently over to the bed, where he sits down. Anthea doesn’t wake up by it. She must be exhausted. Soon, it’s not enough to just sit there. Mycroft’s big hand finds the curve of her shoulder through the thick duvet. Anthea moves slightly, but not enough to wake up. “Anthea…”, Mycroft whispers. “Anthea, it’s me.”
Anthea yawns as she slowly starts to wake up. A familiar voice was speaking to her, and she turns around to face it. “Hmm?”, she hums with a tired, sleep-drenched voice. She blinks a few times as she can see Mycroft’s gentle smile over the edge of the duvet. “…Mycroft?” Anthea mumbles drowsily, she uses a second remembering where she is. “Mycroft.” Anthea smiles, a drowsy, sleep-drenched smile. “Come, lie down.” She mumbles. “I’ve been up for 48 hours, and I think I’ve only slept a few. I am not able to get up just yet.”
Mycroft could feel his heart pounding mercilessly in his chest. His mouth was dry, and his hands trembling. One and a half year. One and a half torturous year, and now she was here. Anthea. The beautiful, amazing Anthea. Mycroft swallows heavily as he lifts up the thick duvet to get under it. It was cold in the room, and he hoped she wouldn’t mind. For decency’s sake, he didn’t take his clothes off. They were nothing but old acquaintances now, perhaps old friends – nothing more, no matter how much he wished for it.
Anthea looks at the man lying next to her, noticing how careful he was when he settled down next to her. He didn’t peek at her under the duvet, he kept a decent distance, and he didn’t take any of his clothes off. “You can at least take your jacket off.” Anthea chuckles drowsily.
The tension was broken, Mycroft chuckles in response – mostly in delight, but also because he realized how silly he must’ve seemed. He sits up and takes his jacket off, hanging it over the bed pole, before lying back down. “Waistcoat and shirt is a bit better, isn’t it?” He smiles down at the dainty, little figure lying next to him.
“Incredibly much better.” She smiles up at him. They lie like this for a long time, just looking into each other’s eyes, not saying a word. Just smiling softly. Anthea is the one to eventually break the silence. “It’s been a long time.”
“A very long time.” Mycroft confirms in a whisper, his gaze longing. Again, he could feel the guilt welling up inside him. The things he had said, the things he had kept from her back then. Even he wouldn’t forgive himself. “Anthea-.” He pauses, clearing his throat. “The things I have said and done… It’s unforgivable. I don’t expect-“
“Shhh…” Anthea soothes. Her finger lingering on Mycroft’s lips. She scoots closer to him in bed, resting her head on his chest. “You took responsibility even if you were scared to death.” Anthea whispers against the soft cotton of his shirt. “You were scared. People do stupid things when they are scared. Even you. Even if you’re a Holmes. I am sure you can count on one hand the amount of times you’ve been scared. ” Anthea closes her small arms around Mycroft’s broad body. “You were scared because you cared about me, about the child, about our future. Because it mattered to you. I’ve got one and a half year to think about this, Mycroft. ” Anthea looks up at Mycroft. His eyes were closed, in a deep, sad frown. He swallowed heavily, not able to say anything. “We can work this out, Mycroft. I love you. I’ve always loved you. I never stopped.” Anthea’s voice is trembling, about to crack. “Please say you love me too.” She whimpers.
Mycroft has a hard time containing himself. He closes his arms around the small frame, and pulls her closer against his chest, burying his nose in her thick, brown hair. “I love you.” His breath is shaky, but he manages not break, although it took every last bit of the willpower he had. “I have always loved you. Always.” He tightens the grip of the small woman, almost pulling her on top of him. She returns the gesture. “I have dreamt about this moment for so long.” He manages to whisper. “So long. And now you are here, in my arms. It is so surreal.”
“I am real enough.” Anthea manages to chuckle, although tears are welling up in her eyes. She sniffs. “I don’t think I can live without you, Mycroft. It’s like I am missing a part of myself. I feel empty inside.”
“Me neither, Anthea. I feel so selfish, but I need you. I can’t think without you, can’t breathe without you, can’t live without you.” He mutters into her hair, taking in the sweet, familiar scent of the woman he loved.
Anthea closes her eyes, settling herself on top of Mycroft’s long body. They held each other tight, like this, until Anthea fell asleep. Mycroft felt tired too, so incredibly tired, but he didn’t want to fall asleep. He didn’t want to waste one precious minute with Anthea in his arms. Despite this, it only took him an hour before he too was asleep. When they woke up, it was early morning – an over-excited Amelia was rolling on her back in the bed next to them. She, more than anyone, could sense how happy her master was. And when her master was happy, Amelia was happy. She made sure lick the sleep out of both her humans’ faces, barking and wagging her tail in pure happiness. Everything was finally right again.
In the street outside a skinny, blonde businessman was sitting on a bench, pretending to read a newspaper. As he could hear the happy bark he smiles to himself and folds the newspaper together. He looks longingly up at the window from where the sound was coming, and with a sigh he was back up on his feet. If only things could be all right for him too anytime soon. The man looks at his watch, it was time to go. He couldn’t stay here for too long at the time. Soon, he had blended in with the other important-looking men and women in the busy street. He would not be back anytime soon.
Author’s note: Do you wish me to end the story here, or do you wish me to continue? I much appreciate your view on the story, and if you’d be kind enough to leave a review or a few words, I’d be eternally grateful! Thank you!
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