Still a part of Blood and Water
, a masterlist of which is contained here
. This is perhaps best read together with Primogeniture
: On a Field, SableCharacters
: Sherlock, Father, Mother, and MycroftRating
: Sherlock has never made peace with his father.Note
: Beta read and Britpicked by the lovely krazykoodles
. Title borrowed from Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The wild laces were gone, as were the silk rosebud buttons and the fishtail skirt. All wrapped up in fashion de rigueur
, the only remnant of his mother's usual choice of bohemian attire was the jade butterfly hairpin in her dark tresses, but even that was hidden underneath a prim pillbox hat with black veil. In this moment at least, Mycroft thought, there was Lady Holmes again, sitting in a French antique chair and looking up at him with that cold, aristocratic grace.
"I suppose Sherlock shan't be joining us, then."
It was hardly a proper greeting to a son whom she had not seen in seven weeks, but Mycroft only leaned down and kissed her on the cheeks lightly, one peck on each side. Her face was slightly damp, Mycroft noted. She'd been out there in the garden, taking in the July drizzle and the smell of flowers in the rain.
"Good morning, Mother. So good to see you again."
"Good morning, Mycroft." She relented a little at that, though with her it was difficult to tell. She didn't press on about Sherlock, and Mycroft didn't wish to confirm what she had already known. Ever since he'd left home for university, for six consecutive years now, Sherlock had adamantly refused to go with them to visit Father's grave on the anniversary. There was no reason to imagine that seven was a lucky number.
Perhaps she was angry at him because she thought he could've done something about his brother's absence. The truth was that he probably could have. He'd dragged Sherlock back home for Christmas family dinner last year, through both hell and high water. Sherlock was impossible for anyone and everyone because Sherlock was Sherlock; but in the end Mycroft was the older brotherMycroft was Mycroft.
Yet for once, this wasn't about them
, and Mycroft knew he had no right to interfere. This wasn't about how Mycroft didn't return one too many phone calls from Cambridge, wasn't about how Sherlock decided to do away with the Stradivarius that Mycroft gave him, wasn't even about the drugs and the surveillance camera networks.
Sixty miles away from the Holmes house, on a tranquil green hill called Hesterfield, there rested a man who, willingly or not, gave everything for his Britannia. He had taken pains to groom his older son to follow in his footsteps, but the younger one was irretrievably lost to him somewhere along the way. Mycroft knew Sherlock never forgave their fatherfor not bothering to pretend that family was important to him, for his perpetual absence at every turn of memory, and finally for passing away at the age of forty-seven. Dying was the ultimate form of abandonment, with no hope for reconciliation or at least vengeance.
"We should go now, Mother," he said softly. She assented.
He would be waiting for them, now that the cold grip of death had at last severed him from his duties. Sixty miles away, on a tranquil green hill called Hesterfield, there rested Siger Valerian Holmes.