Chapter 5: Brotherly Affection
Sherlock slowly and silently unlocked the door to 221 Baker Street and closed it gentle behind himself. The evidence for an unwanted guest was overwhelming even without having seen the light outside. It would have been a mistake to simply rush up there and face the intruder, so Sherlock snuck into his landladies flat. He knew all too well that by this point she would lie passed out on her sofa from her daily fill of alcohol, or “my medicine” as she referred to it. With two target-oriented steps he traversed the dark living room and grabbed her heavy iron poker without making a single sound. He closed his hands firmly around it and left the flat without being noticed. Step by step he cautiously moved up the stairs to not alarm the intruder to his presence, even though he knew all too well who had granted himself access to his flat.
As he reached the final steps before his door he raised the poker menacingly over his head and reached for the doorknob.
“Oh, please drop that thing before you hurt yourself. You know it’s just me, this time at least.” That dreaded voice froze Sherlock in his movement, not that it came unexpected, but hearing that voice always had this effect on him, for a moment he considered kicking the door down, but settled on a more civilised approach, for now.
“I know it’s you. Why do you think I got it in the first place? But I’ll keep it for now, since it’s just you.” Sherlock pushed the door open with the end of the poker, leaving an ugly ash marking on the crisp white wood. He stepped inside, the poker resting on his shoulder like a sword. He felt like he was 5 again, for more reason than one. In the centre of the room was, of course, none other than Sherlock’s brother Mycroft a man with intimidating physique and almost the complete opposite of Sherlock in every respect. He was quite a lot larger than Sherlock and unlike his brother had not a single strain of hair on his head, but a rather unkempt beard on his chin. His suit was tailor-made but struggling to contain this much Mycroft Holmes, his overall appearance was more fitting for a bouncer than a government official. Sherlock saw that his brother had rummaged through his belongings, but did not even grant him the curtesy of trying to hide it. He made sure to have the table between himself and his brother, just in case.
“Drop that toy already and sit down, I have something to discuss with you. Also, I helped myself to some of your food, I am sure you would have minded so I am telling you now.” A smug smile stretched across his face and Sherlock returned an equally slimy one. He let himself fall back onto the couch, the poker now resting on his lap with no intention of leaving his hands. Mycroft sat down opposite of him and Sherlock thought to see the armchair strain under his brother’s weight.
“I told you to drop it, Sherlock.” Mycroft said with a low and intimating voice.
“And I thought I could return symmetry to your face.” He pointed the poker at his brother’s head, reminding him about the scar that sits right over his left eye, the one he always tries to hide with makeup. Sherlock languished in the memory a moment too long as his brother snatched the poker from his hand and threw it across the room, smashing into the corner between wall and closet, leaving a hole in the thin wooden door of Sherlock’s closet. Sherlock slowly withdrew his hand and rested it on his lap.
“That serious, are we? Alright, what is this about?”
“You know bloody well what this is about. Your little bait has drawn in a bigger fish than you can possibly hope to catch. I have the names of no less than six professionals that were hired to keep an eye on you and those just came in. I can’t imagine what goes on underground.” Mycroft pulled out his phone and flipped through a bunch of pictures for his brother, all of them showing men a dark alley would be afraid of.
“So what? I got the king’s attention as well. And why do you suddenly care about my well-being?” Sherlock dropped his phone on the table for his brother to read the text he had received after the crime scene investigation. His brother did not bother to pick it up, but rather read it upside down.
“Exactly what I am talking about. That’s why I got you this.” Mycroft reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun, he then dropped it loudly on the table and gestured for Sherlock to pick it up. He, however, remained slouched back and crossed his arms before his chest.
“Is this a weak attempt to have me arrested for illegal possession of a fire arm? Come on, try a little harder than that.” Sherlock chuckled.
“You know my methods to be a bit more subtle than that. This time the present in meant with good will and here is an official document licensing you to hold said present of good will.” Mycroft dropped a folded piece of paper next to the gun. An easy task for him, since he was both well adept at getting official documents as well as faking Sherlock’s signature.
“It’s a small calibre, perfect for beginners and women, as I was told. So even you should be able to handle this.”
“What makes you think I am a beginner?” Sherlock said raising the gun and vaguely aiming at his brother.
“Stupid moves like this.” Said Mycroft and pushed the gun down with his finger.
Sherlock sat the gun back down on the table and got up from his comfortable position. The eyes of his brother followed his every move. Sherlock wandered towards the window and moved the curtain to look down into the street. Baker Street was filled with people aimlessly wandering around
“You know I overstepped a line that day and that he will retaliate in some form or another.” Sherlock said, his eyes still following the occasional passer-by.
“Of course, I do.”
“You are putting the nation on the line. Is he that important to you?”
“You already know the answer. If you get the chance you end it. That is all I will ever ask of you, Sherlock.”
“I have no interest in your petty politics, once the case is solved I set it to rest, him still on the loose or not. Won’t risk my life to apprehend this man.” Sherlock had picked up his brother’s movements too late to react. Mycroft had grabbed the poker and walked up behind him, now he forcefully held Sherlock above the ground with the poker on his neck.
“This is your fault and I am not letting you off the hook like that. You end this man and I don’t care whether you come back in one piece or a coffin.” Mycroft’s anger had always slightly dulled his sense, since it had taken him too long to notice Sherlock reaching into his pocket and pulling out a taser. He tried to react but could not escape the inevitable. Sherlock plunged the electric deterrent deep into the left side of his brother, twisting and turning it as his brother tried to sustain the pain. Ultimately, he had to give in and dropped Sherlock to the ground to stumble back and almost fell over the desk.
Mycroft’s head spun and his vision was still blurry. He had to muster up all his strength to not drop to the ground, he could not give him that satisfaction. His left hand reached for the side of the desk to help him regain some balance, but as he tried to lift his head he noticed cold metal keeping him from doing so. He could not see it, but knew Sherlock was standing over him with a gleeful expression of victory, resting the tip of the poker on his head like a hunting trophy ready for the photo session.
“How about we discuss this another time. You seem a bit unwell, brother.” said Sherlock thick with arrogance.
Mycroft knew when to fight and the best time to fight another day, this was the latter occasion. He lowered his head a bit more and Sherlock withdrew the poker. He had lost for now. Mycroft got up again and tried to look as dignified as possible, dusting off his suit and aiming to leave for the door. He wanted to leave without another word, since any other provocation would send his brother to the hospital, but Sherlock would not let him leave like this, he knew that for certain. The cold steel gripped his collar and spun him around to make him see his victorious smile. His brother pushed the poker into his chest just enough not to hurt, but to leave some dark stains on the clean white shirt.
“One more thing.” Sherlock said. Mycroft was boiling and gripped the poker and pulled him in close.
“Yes, brother? What is it?” Sherlock gently pushed him away and turned the poker around.
“Be a darling and put this back into Mrs. Milverton’s flat.” Mycroft tightly gripped the poker and ripped it out of Sherlock’s hands.
Sherlock watched him leave silently and listened for his brother’s movements.
Two steps into the flat, just like him. A wretched feeling formed inside him and began to take hold. He jumped over the table, grabbed the gun and fired a shot into the chair Mycroft had previously sat in, right into his imaginary heart. He was certain his brother had heard it from the street below.