[Image Description: A black Bingo card with white writing. The card is titled “Nonblack Kpop Fan Bingo”. The squares contain things that nonblack kpop fans say and/or do to protect their favourite groups and idols that have said and done antiblack things. The card reads as follows:
“Square 1: Someone uses the term “the race card”
Square 2: “Educate! Don’t hate!”
Square 3: “Stop sending [insert idol here] death threats!”
Square 4: “They didn’t mean it!”
Square 5: FREE SPACE
Square 6: “#[insert idol here] protection squad!”
Square 7: Accusing black fans of being too angry
Square 8: “You’re overreacting! It’s not that bad!”
Square 9: Expecting black fans to accept a half assed apology”]
Sexiness is not about how naked you can get. My eyes are the epitome of sexiness. My body is the crown of many jewels. My personality is priceless. My soul is a maze of dazzling diamonds, oh how it shines! For these reasons, i am Queen!
I finally made my consult to Jungle Jewel Exotics last night and it looks like I’m going to be the proud owner of these three bio active vivariums!
The one on the left will be Lucy’s, the one in the middle will be Oliver’s, and the one on the left will be Cinnamons! I’m getting them in this Saturday with an LED and mister systems for each! My reptiles and myself are getting very spoiled this Christmas ❤️
After this I’ll have three spare terrariums which will most likely also become bio active, but will be of my own design (and may house future reptiles).
The bell at the front of the shop rings at the exact moment Sherlock scrawls his signature over the receipt. The shop owner, a soft-spoken elderly gentleman in a bow tie, looks to the door, but Sherlock catches his eye and shakes his head before Mr Callahan can go over. Sherlock knows who it is. Of course he does.
It’s Mycroft, silhouetted against the grey window of the door in perfect profile as he looks over the quiet old shop with something that might be disdain. His abnormally large nose tilts up as it prepares to make the dive down into Sherlock’s business.
A crack of thunder would’ve been just perfect, Sherlock thinks, but the weather only drips on undramatically.
Sherlock turns back to the shopkeep. “Thank you Mr Callahan,” he says, shaking his hand with a genuine smile. “I’ll look forward to seeing the final product.” He nods, as obviously as possible, toward the back room, and Mr Callahan takes the hint and ambles off.
“I could have arranged for something from my personal jeweler,” Mycroft says as the door to the back room closes. The way he says personal is loaded with judgment, no doubt popping out of his mouth forceful enough to disturb several weeks of dust. Mr Callahan is, after all, getting on in years.
“If I’d wanted something that reeked of excess and made John uncomfortable, I’d have let you know,” Sherlock says tightly. He gathers up his things, slipping his credit card back into his wallet and folding up the receipt with neat lines and filing it behind a few things so John won’t be likely to find it.
Of course, Sherlock had known that he wouldn’t be able to go through all of this without Mycroft finding out, but he had hoped that he might be able to at least let Sherlock get on with it without any interference. Too much to hope, apparently.
Behind him, Mycroft wanders further into the shop, drawing his fingertip over a cherry display cabinet with sets of antique pearl jewelry laid out on royal blue velvet. The rain is muffled and quiet, and the shop is filled instead with the ticking of the mahogany grandfather clock in the corner as it counts down to Mycroft’s inevitable disapproval.
Sherlock isn’t sure what to say. He knows he’s taking a risk. He knows there’s a chance, a pretty big chance, that John will say no, or laugh him off, or even look up at him in alarm, oh Sherlock, it’s too soon, I’m not–I’m so sorry. Sherlock knows any of these things are possible, and might even be more possible than yes.
He doesn’t need to be told.
When he turns back, though, hands shoved deep into his pockets, Mycroft smiles the closest thing he’s ever managed to a real smile, and says, “Congratulations.”
Sherlock is so surprised he takes a full step back and almost falls over a stool that’s been set out for people to sit on as they look at the displays. “What?”
Now Mycroft’s smile looks like he’s been force-fed a brick. “I’m not the Scrooge to your Mr Cratchit, Sherlock. I’m not trying to rob you of your happiness. My motivations have always only been to protect you from harm.”
“You’ve had a funny way of showing it,” Sherlock says.
“I’ve not always been successful, no. But I did try.”
There’s a brief pause as they stand facing each other, in a tiny cluttered jeweler’s that smells both like dust and cleaning polish where Sherlock just bought a wedding ring, and all at once, Sherlock thinks he understands Mycroft better in this moment than he has done his entire life. Sherlock has hated and resented Mycroft’s interferences, but he sees now the anxiety and the fear, alongside a deep-rooted sense of failure that originated probably sometime in their childhood, that compelled Mycroft to keep trying.
And now, Mycroft has not come to congratulate Sherlock so much as he has come to relinquish that fear. He is, for all intents and purposes, giving over the job of protecting Sherlock to John. As much as it makes Sherlock’s hackles want to rise in indignant fury, he forces himself to swallow down the impulse and take it for what it’s worth.
“You don’t think John is a threat to me, then,” Sherlock concludes. Mycroft shakes his head. The grip he has on his brolly shifts and changes, then shifts back. “You don’t think John will.” Sherlock clears his throat. It’s harder than he expected it to be, to give voice to this particular fear. “You don’t think he’ll refuse me.”
“No,” Mycroft says. “On the basis of the facts that are available to me at present, no. I don’t think he will refuse you.”
“You have to promise not to come for him if he does.”
“I don’t believe I’d have to,” Mycroft says, very seriously. “After all, Martha Hudson will be just downstairs, won’t she?”
Sherlock snorts, and doesn’t know what else to say, but Mycroft is still looking at him curiously from across the shop. Then Mycroft’s gaze drops down to the display case to Sherlock’s right, and he understands. He wouldn’t have expected Mycroft to care, but–“Mr Callahan was a client, couple of months ago. His apprentice was nicking some of the antiques and claiming he must’ve misremembered where he’d laid them when Mr Callahan couldn’t find them. John liked him, said he reminded him of his granddad. It’s fairly plain, obviously, but well made. Palladium alloy. It’ll suit him.”
“Yes, I imagine it will,” Mycroft agrees quietly, and he holds the door open for Sherlock as they leave. “Remember to call Mummy on Christmas, will you?”
“Oh, I’ve got her penciled in right before the Queen,” Sherlock assures, only half-joking, and he watches Mycroft as he gets back into the black town car before he turns north toward Baker Street, suddenly anxious for John’s arms around him, for that dark warm comfort and that solid protectiveness that even Mycroft trusts will last forever.
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