Characters: Mycroft & Sherlock
Note: Beta pending. :) Written for krazykoodles at her request for a Guy Fawkes Night fic(let).
Mycroft is on his fifth toffee apple.
Sherlock hasn't had any, thanks to his impromptu loss of two primary teeth on the bottom set. In fact, the only thing anywhere near his mouth right now is the ice pack he's holding gingerly with one hand. Even so, he can all but feel the rest of his teeth melting away at the sight of the naked apple cores neatly stacked on the table alongside the sticks. Mycroft's approach to eating sweets very much resembles his approach to reading books—deliberate, methodical, and systematic.
"Mycroft," he finally says, "Mummy shall be very cross with you if you eat any more of those."
"Nonsense, my dear boy," his brother finishes yet another half a mouthful, then grins at him with unusual cheerfulness. "By the time she returns from the McAllisters' bonfire party, she'll have forgotten all about these apples. Like last year, if you'll recall."
He doesn't, not that he'd admit it. "But your fingers and your mouth are all red." There is a frightening amount of food coloring in the candy mix, courtesy of Mrs. Livingston. Sherlock even helped her because it seemed like a bona fide science experiment.
"Nothing a good chemical concoction wouldn't fix—you do know what the word 'concoction' means, yes?"
"Mycroft!" he glares from behind the ice pack with injured pride. The two missing teeth are making it difficult for him to pronounce sounds like f and th, thus killing any remote chance at eloquent vengeance.
"Fine," his brother sighs dramatically before coming over to the couch with the sixth apple in one hand and a cutting knife in the other. With bright-red fingers, Mycroft cuts off a small piece of the hard sugar coating and lifts it up to his lips. "There. Have a taste."
Still glaring, Sherlock nevertheless takes the brittle piece in. What follows is an explosion of saccharine sweetness in his mouth, the sugar and cinnamon an overwhelming shock to his starved palate. He licks his lips almost unconsciously. By his side is Mycroft, as always, watching.
"It's far too sweet," he declares. Mycroft does not seem surprised.
"Very well. Tell Mrs. Livingston to not make any more of these next year, then."
Sherlock frowns at the tone of that. "Why not? You still like them, don't you?"
Mycroft's hand, holding another candied apple piece, briefly stops in mid-air. It's then Sherlock hears that unvoiced "oh", because it's so plainly written on Mycroft's face. People—other people—keep saying that it's difficult to read Mycroft, but Sherlock has never had any trouble understanding his brother. It doesn't occur to him to wonder why.
"Sherlock, you silly boy, I'll be in all holed up in Winchester come next year's Guy Fawkes."
Oh. So that's the school they decided on for Mycroft. Not Westminster, St. Paul's, or even Harrow. Sherlock was sure it would be Westminster. Mummy seemed to prefer it because there were girls. Were there signs? How did he miss them? How did he not know?
"I thought you'd stay in London," is the only thing he can think of saying. He can't say much, anyway, because his gum hurts from the missing teeth and the ice is no help at all.
Mycroft crooks his head and looks thoughtfully at the remains of the apple in one hand. "As did I. But until then, if Mummy does happen to ask, I ate six toffee apples in commemoration of the good Sir E. H. Carr, who died six years ago on this very day."
"Does that mean you're going to eat seven of these next year?"
"Not bloody likely." And Mycroft finishes the last bit on the sixth apple, grinning faintly. "Nobody makes them like Mrs. Livingston does, you know."