Author: Renata Lord (snowlight)
Characters: Mycroft, Sherlock
Disclaimer: Not mine don't sue etc.
Note: This story was inspired by a certain (non-gore-related) scene from Dexter. Beta read by krazykoodles. Thanks! :D :D
He was making excellent progress in finishing reading Giddon's book before the dinner call when all hell broke loose in another part of the house. There was a loud scream, followed by the sound of furniture being pushed over. Then there was the sound of running footsteps, heading directly his way.
By Mycroft's classification system, his brother had about a dozen very distinct ways of screaming. This one was undoubtedly #5, Touch Me Again and I Will Bite Your Hand Off.
Sometimes he wondered why the housework staff bothered.
Before he could re-examine that thought, Sherlock already landed into his reading room like a hurricane. The red-faced boy's chest was heaving, a cufflink missing from his left wrist. He clutched a child-sized tie in his right hand tightly as if it was a deadly weapon.
"I have him now, Mrs. Livingston!" Mycroft shifted himself up in the ancient armchair, calling to the footsteps that came trailing behind. He didn't have enough blood sugar to play mediator at the moment. "My apologies!"
There was a long-suffering sigh, and the old woman shuffled away without replying. She sounded at the end of her rope. He would have to go talk to her later, but there was a more pressing problem at hand in the form of his brother, looking like he could have maimed somebody.
Sherlock pointed an accusing finger in the door's direction. "She was the one who almost choked me with those fingers! You know how I hate people touching me!"
"All this ruckus could have been avoided, my dear boy, if you learned how to make tie yourself," he said not unkindly. "Now sit down."
"I tried!" The boy gave the sofa next to him a kick. "But Mummy—"
"Sit down, Sherlock."
"—wasn't happy with it." Sherlock finished the sentence from the sofa. He looked crestfallen.
Mycroft frowned and filed the information away under another folder in Things to Talk about Later. He stood up and sat down on the sofa, holding out one hand.
"Now let us see about that tie."
Sherlock handed over the piece of cloth. It was blue Scotland checkers on green. Mycroft soothed the fabric and patted his brother on the head. Sherlock made a protesting sound, but it was half-hearted.
"There is a secret to doing a tie," he said. "Observe what I do in the mirror, please."
When he knew he had Sherlock's undivided attention, he smiled and went to his task.
"See, the rabbit hops over the log...and crosses it."
Sherlock kept quiet at the rather silly jingle. He wasn't absolutely still, but that was a good sign. Mycroft didn't want him to freeze and lock up, as the boy was prone to do under strangers' touches; and today was apparently a bad day if even Mrs. Livingston got the treatment. (Speaking of which, he would have to make Sherlock go apologize in person later.)
"The rabbit runs around the log, because the hounds are terrible.
"And one more time, because these are Lady Lysander's hounds."
Sherlock snorted. "Did they really try to take a bite out of you you when you were five?"
"Shhh. You're breaking the memory pattern," Mycroft chided. "And hold your chin up."
The command was obeyed. Mycroft glanced at the mirror to check if Sherlock was really paying attention. Instead of the angry little terror that he had a moment ago, what he now saw was a genuinely content child, a look rare enough that he allowed the eyes-half-closed part to slide by.
"...the rabbit dives through its rabbit hole," said Mycroft as he gave one last tug on the tie. "Safe and sound."
In the mirror, Sherlock smiled back at him.
"Safe and sound."