Little Sherlock being all: “Mycroft, I need to go up to the roof to watch Santa.” And teenaged Mycroft feeling very sentimental- after all, it is Christmas Eve- and not wanting to ruin The Fun for once… so, he actually gets the ladder and they clamber up together, out of sight from their parents.
And Sherlock watches Mycroft stagger around and yelp “Sherlock, careful!” when they’re on the roof, and Sherlock laughs, “Don’t worry, I know he’s not real, I just wanted to come up here. It seemed cool.”
And Mycroft is just the picture of Outrage: “You little horror, you know what I’m like with heights!”
It was lying in the bottom of the box, after all the other baubles and detritus of a former life were cleared away. Some binned, some carefully repackaged and placed in places of honor around Baker Street, and some hidden away under carefully indexed socks never to again see the light of day.
It took Sherlock a moment to recognize the non-descript paper. After all there was nothing really outstanding about it: folded three times, slightly yellowed around the edges with time, crumpled like the owner had held it tightly in their fist before giving it up. When he did realize what it was he was seeing, it was with a slight tremor that he reached into the box to retrieve it, lifting it with a care usually reserved for handling dangerous corrosive chemicals. Unfurling the paper he slowly scanned the contents, taking note of the sloppy scrawl, a child’s writing only later maturing into the slightly-less sloppy block printing that would be used to comment on everything from tobacco ash to shopping lists. Backward S’s making him smile, he traced each one carefully as he remembered the events that led him to write this letter.
Another fight. Could one really call it a fight if It were one-sided? But another split lip, skinned knees, ripped hem. Other children it seemed would never understand him. He always vowed to try to be more like those he spied running and playing and jumping, but something always gave him away. Some trace of “wrongness” that either came from his manner, or most often, his mouth.
It was Mycroft who found him that time. Home from School for Winter Holiday, he dusted him off and asked him why he cared so about what they thought.
“I’m lonely,” Sherlock remarked. “I want a friend. Just one friend who will never leave. Even you left.”
Mycroft looked stricken for one moment before gathering Sherlock to him in an awkward hug, “I’m sorry Little Bee.”
“Myc, do you think if I ask Father Christmas for a friend, he’ll bring me one?”
Mycroft hid his watery smile behind his hand, “It’s worth a try, William. I’ll help you write a letter.”
And so Sherlock had sat down at his writing desk and with Mycroft’s help composed a letter to Father Christmas asking for someone to watch over him, a friend to play pirates with, who would listen to his stories and never leave. He folded it three times and grasping it tightly to his chest, asked if Mycroft would please post it the next day.
Sherlock had no doubt Mycroft had held his word, for there on Christmas morning was a beautiful Irish Setter puppy, whom Sherlock promptly named Redbeard. And when Mycroft left again for school, Sherlock had Redbeard to whisper his secrets to, and cuddle during storms. And it didn’t matter that no one else wanted to play pirates with him because Redbeard was his first mate.
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. The day Sherlock lost his only friend, he decided that friends were silly anyway, and no one would ever hold his heart again. Friends were for stupid boys named William, and Sherlock was going to face the world alone.
Sherlock looked down again at the letter in his hands. Mycroft had kept it all these years, tucked away with his important files and papers, the only box that contained any family information. Why this letter? He’d dearly love to ask him. It seemed now he’d give anything for Mycroft to sweep into 221 with his arrogant manner when for so long it was a annoying imposition. But that was as unlikely to happen as Redbeard to come bounding in the flat so best to stop that train of thought immediately.
“Sherlock, you finish that last box - what’s wrong?”
“Just old ghosts, John, something I’d forgotten.”
“Sherlock?” John kneeled down by Sherlock’s side, hands reaching out to rest on Sherlock’s knee. Strong hands, used to defend, to protect, to treat, and to love. Sherlock smiled as he watched the firelight play off the band on John’s hand, the same glint that matched his own.
“Something you want to talk about, love?”
“It’s nothing John,” Sherlock replied as he leant down to brush their lips together tenderly. Once twice, a kiss for his husband, his lover, his friend. “It’s just that I realize Father Christmas really does exist.”
what if someone killed Mycroft and then we would see Sherlock all heartbroken on the couch for days on end and smoking Mycroft’s cigarettes and wearing his ring but not even attending the funeral to show how much he doesn’t care
*before the special* sibling rivalry, huh, yeah there is something more than that going on, okay? here’s like a thousand headcanons about how mycroft probably helped out sherlock during his addiction, you know way back when he was in uni, but now is a bit of a dick about it, bringing up dead dogs at john’s wedding and wow is he mocking sherlock what a prick
*after the special* PLEAS E NO MORE I BEG FOR DEATH MYCROFT KEEPS A TINY RED NOTEBOOK DETAILING THE TIME S SHERLOCK GOT HIGH HE MAKES SHERLOCK MAKE A LIST OH GOD REDBEARD IS CODE FOR SHERLOCK’S RELAPSING OH NO HE L P