nickelsandcoats: (arwen crown)
[personal profile] nickelsandcoats
Title: I'll Give You Everything You Need (You've Given Me Everything I Want) 21/? || at Ao3
Author: Sarah/[livejournal.com profile] nickelsandcoats
Rating: PG13 for this part
Spoilers: Spoilers (eventually) for all of season 2!
Word Count: ~3,900 for this part
Pairings: Sherlock/John, Mycroft/Lestrade
Warnings: AU.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Mycroft's never given his feathers to anyone before, but one person wins him over without even trying.
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] flying_dreamz's prompt here at my shuffle meme post. She asked for #103, which were "The Resurrection Stone" from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II soundtrack and "Amy in the Tardis" from the Doctor Who: Season 5 soundtrack.

This is a sequel to Here Is What My Heart Will Give You (and Here Are the Things I Will Give Up for You). You really should read that one first before you read this story or this story will not make any sense. One last note: this story is set pre-Here Is What My Heart Will Give You (and Here Are the Things I Will Give Up for You) and will eventually end up post-Reichenbach. Expect lots of angst.

part i || part ii || part iii || part iv || part v || part vi || part vii || part viii || part ix || part x || part xi || part xii || part xiii || part xiv || part xv || part xvi || part xvii || part xviii || part xix || part xx


Some of the dialogue in this part came from [livejournal.com profile] arianedevere's wonderful transcript of TRF.







Three days before Moriarty’s trial was to begin, Sherlock went to see his brother. Mycroft was at the Diogenes Club, and when Sherlock arrived, he did not hesitate in finding his brother. Mycroft was sitting in his usual chair, engrossed in a newspaper. Sherlock stood in front of him and waited, tapping one foot silently against the thick carpet. Mycroft let him wait, finishing the paper at his own pace, before he finally folded it and looked up at Sherlock. Silently, he stood, buttoning his jacket, and led Sherlock to the room he had made his own shortly after he’d joined the club. Sherlock had the sense to wait until the door shut before he snapped, “You’ve been lying.”

Mycroft crossed over to the sidebar and picked up the decanter, arching a brow at Sherlock who shook his head impatiently. “What am I meant to have been lying about?”

“Moriarty.”

Mycroft merely frowned at him.

“Oh, don’t play the innocent with me,” Sherlock all but snarled. “You lie as easily as you breathe.”

Mycroft sat down heavily in his chair, crossed one leg over the other, and calmly took a sip of his drink.

“Lestrade let something slip last night at the pub with John. John came home and told me, and from there, the deduction was simple.” Sherlock leaned down until he was only a few centimetres from his brother’s nose. “You had him in your custody. Yours, not the Met’s, and yet you said nothing about it. What did you get from him?”

“Nothing. Nothing of importance.”

“Precisely. Did it not cross your mind that I could have got more from him in one glance than you could have in two weeks?”

“Let’s not forget who taught you how to observe,” Mycroft said dryly. “And I did not tell you or Mummy because I wanted to keep you safe. None of us are aware of what he can do, and the less he is exposed to you and to Mummy to analyse your weaknesses the better.”

“And yet you let him analyse yours.”

“I don’t matter, Sherlock.”

Sherlock stared at him, gaping, unable to even stammer out a response to that particular bit of idiocy.

“You do matter,” Sherlock managed after he’d recovered. Then, as if he was unable to be in his brother’s presence after admitting he had an emotional connection to him, Sherlock turned on his heel and left the room, swinging the door shut with a bang.

“No,” Mycroft whispered into the empty room, “I don’t deserve to matter, not now.” He swallowed down the rest of the bitter liquid, thinking of the secrets he’d betrayed to a man who sat in a room, tied to a chair, eyes glittering with greed with every word he’d spoken.


***

Kitty Reilly waited for no man but one. And she wasn’t even sure if this Richard Brook was even a man⎯there was something about his eyes (cold and dead but still so piercing) that made every hair on her body shiver to attention when he spoke to her. But he’d promised her the story of a lifetime, one that would make her name. All she had to do was wait, he said, wait and follow my instructions.

She did just that⎯bought a deerstalker, made a little pin⎯and then went into the men’s toilets at Old Bailey and met Sherlock Holmes.

When the court was adjourned for the day, Kitty met Brook’s other man, a Moran (no first name given) outside the court. He handed her a slip of paper and whispered “Good job” into her ear. She fought her instinctive recoil as she slipped the paper into her pocket and forced herself to look Moran in the eye.

“I haven’t made my report yet,” she said, tugging on her purse strap.

“Haven’t you?” Moran asked, winking at her as he melted away into the crowd.

Kitty waited for three long minutes before she strode out of the building with her head held high. Anyone who looked closely enough would have seen the tremor in her hands and the tightness of her mouth and eyes.

No one noticed.

***

Moriarty’s defence went precisely the way Sherlock had said it would. The day Sherlock was tossed in a cell for contempt of court, Moriarty’s barrister had not spoken a word. The next day, John went alone, and listened in sick horror as the barrister refused to provide any witnesses in Moriarty’s defence. Moriarty turned and gave John a little shrug and a smile, but John refused to rise to the bait.

John waited the six minutes it took the jury to reach its verdict and was not surprised when it was returned as not guilty. As the court erupted in a furor of surprised shouts, John slipped quietly out the door and rang Sherlock with the news.


"Sherlock?"

There was only the sound of his breaths as Sherlock's fingers slipped on his mobile, mind already racing, planning, reacting.

"Sherlock, you know he's going to come after you. Sher--"

Sherlock dropped his mobile down onto the sofa and stood gracefully, heading into the bedroom to put on his armour. Suitably dressed, he wandered back out into the kitchen, filled the kettle and switched it on, and then set a tray for his soon-to-arrive guest. He picked up his violin, deliberately turning his back to the door, and started to play.

Moriarty's footsteps set his teeth on edge. The man moved even more silently than he or Mycroft, and that unnerved Sherlock deeply. The only solution to hide his unease was to force it all back, remember that John was coming and that he wanted Moriarty out of the flat before John arrived, and offer the man tea.

Sherlock sat and let the little man play his games, but he was disgusted with himself when he allowed himself to ask the obvious question: “Why are you doing all of this? You don’t want money or power – not really. What is it all for?”

Moriarty smirked at him. “I want to solve the problem – our problem; the final problem.”

The final problem. What the hell does he mean by final problem? Search index, results: nothing. Damn damn damn damn! He found that he had missed whatever else it was that Moriarty said until the man stood up and said, "I owe you a fall, Sherlock."

That little phrase made Sherlock's blood run cold. It was as he suspected: their Reichenbach hadn't occurred, not yet. Oh, John. The game was just beginning, and Sherlock's mind was already flipping through their various encounters over the years, hoping to find a solution he hadn't tried yet, something, anything, to prevent him having to leave John again. Sherlock’s eyes tracked Moriarty's knife carving into the apple but he said nothing, made his face carefully blank so that Moriarty could not see how fast his mind was racing. It would not do to show weakness, not in front of this madman.


The apple was still on the table when John raced up the stairs five minutes after Moriarty had left. John's eyes went first to him, scanning and cataloguing to ensure he was not harmed, and then fell to the apple.

"What does he mean, I O U?"

"It's nothing," Sherlock said quietly.

"But he was here?"

"Yes."

"Did he do anything?"

"He did many things, John."

"You know what I meant."

"Just carved the apple and drank some tea."

"I'll burn that cup and saucer, shall I?"

Sherlock let his mouth twitch in a parody of a smile. "It won't help."

"But it'll make me feel better," John said, watching as Sherlock settled back into his chair, trying and failing not to flinch at the residual warmth Moriarty's body had left in the cushion.



Mycroft Holmes was not an unobservant man. He saw everything, and little slipped past his nets. Yet after his trial and subsequent release, James Moriarty managed to do what so few had ever done in the past: he disappeared completely. No bank accounts, no withdrawals, no mortgage payments, no hotel bills, no electric bills, no cab fares, nothing. It was as if the man simply disappeared from this world when he wasn't playing games with Sherlock. Perhaps he did leave, only to re-emerge like a siren called to sailors at sea when Sherlock struck his fancy. Whatever it was that this Moriarty did to keep himself from Mycroft's radar was both unsettling and fascinating--Mycroft wanted to know how he did it so that he could use the technique himself and also, paradoxically, to protect against others using it.

The strain of the cases that were cropping up now was wearing on Gregory. Even though Moriarty had gone to ground, crime was increasing across the city, sending he Yard into overdrive. More often than not, Gregory did not come home until late into the night and simply crashed into bed, staying long enough to snatch a few hours of sleep and then getting up before Mycroft did on most mornings to head back in to work. They had spent perhaps four hours in the past few weeks together where they weren't both sleeping, and it was starting to wear on both of them.

Gregory was good about sending texts every hour or so to reassure Mycroft that he was still alive and well. Mycroft, of course, had more tails and protections on him than there were for the Queen, but it still made him nervous to have Gregory out where he could not see him.


Gregory forgot his feather one day when he left the house still gripped in the fog of sleep. Mycroft himself delivered it to Gregory’s office not thirty minutes later, face like thunder as he stood in front of Gregory’s desk and thrust the feather at him like an accusation.

At first, Gregory had been so engrossed in the report he was filling out that he simply snapped, “Just drop it on the pile there, I’m busy,” without even taking his eyes off the report.

“I had rather hoped that this meant more to you than something that could be tossed around like so much rubbish.”

At the sound of his voice, Gregory’s eyes widened and his head snapped up as he stared at his partner. Mycroft still held out the feather, waiting for Gregory to realise what it was that he was holding. Slowly, Gregory’s eyes fell to the feather, and then, in a panic, he patted his pocket, closing his eyes in something like resignation when his fingers found only air.

“Thank you,” he breathed, reaching out to take the feather.

Mycroft held on to it with a firm grip, forcing Gregory to look up at him, puzzled. “I had hoped that you would always treat this with the utmost care and attention.”

“It was just this once, Mycroft, and I am sorry. Thank you for bringing it here.” When Mycroft didn’t let go, Gregory sighed and added, “You know how tired I’ve been. I thought I had grabbed it this morning, but I didn’t. It was not intentional⎯you know that.”

“Do you have any idea what could have happened to you?” Mycroft hissed. “I asked you to swear to me that you would keep this on your person at all times. It’s absolutely vital that you do so. Do you know what I thought when I saw this lying on the bureau this morning?”

“Mycroft⎯”

“I thought you had been stolen away from our bed and that I hadn’t noticed you’d been kidnapped. I thought I would be receiving a message from Moriarty saying that you were dead. Gregory, I can’t⎯”

“Shhh.” Gregory clasped his hand over Mycroft’s. “I am fine, nothing happened. I’m sorry I forgot to grab it, and I promise it won’t happen again. Okay?”

Mycroft nodded, but his eyes still looked a little wild. Gregory’s heart broke a little to see that lost look in his eyes. “Hey.” When Mycroft met his eyes, Gregory forced a smile on his face. “I’ll leave early today. Have Anthea book us a table somewhere. I think we need a date night.”

The look of disdain over Gregory’s terminology made Gregory laugh softly. “I mean it. It’s been too long since we’ve spent any time together, and I’m sorry for that.”

Mycroft gave him a small smile and took out his mobile. Gregory laughed at him and gave him a long, sweet kiss before he gently shoved Mycroft out the door, admonishing him to leave him be so he could get enough work done to go out that night.

Once Mycroft was safely away, he picked up the feather from his desk and ran his fingers along it, forcing his breath to calm. He hadn’t even noticed that he didn’t have the feather with him until Mycroft had shown up⎯how many more times would that happen? He’d made Mycroft a promise, and he’d inadvertently broken it⎯and what worried him most is that he knew he never would have broken this promise, not when it made sure of his safety and Mycroft’s peace of mind.

So if he wouldn’t have forgot it on his own, who or what made him forget?

Greg shivered and put the feather in his shirt pocket, close to his heart, reassured by the familiar tickle of the barbs through the weave of his shirt.


Two months after Moriarty’s trial, John was attempting to get money from an ATM when Mycroft’s error message appeared. Rolling his eyes, John turned around and saw the black car waiting for him at the kerb. When he got in, he sent Mycroft a quick text:

You know, you are my brother-in-law and you can just phone me or text me if you want to talk. No funny tricks needed.
⎯JW


No response. John sighed and settled in for the ride, peering out the window at the large white building the car stops in front of. He got out, noted the sign on the door naming the place as the Diogenes Club, and walked in, looking around in confusion at the men sitting in silence. Walking up to one, he started to ask where he could find Mycroft, but the man refused to answer, goggling at John in a kind of panic. Without warning, two men in suits (and wearing slippers over their shoes) walked briskly in and seized John by the arms, muffling his protests as they dragged him off to a different room. When the doors opened, John saw Mycroft crack a bit of a smile before he gestured for the men to let John go. John tugged his jacket back into place and glared at Mycroft.

“Tradition, John.”

John scoffed at that and scooped up the tabloid resting on a side table. Flipping it over, he skimmed the front page, eyes catching on the headline near the top.

Mycroft sat down, sipped at his drink and commented, “Ms. Reilly’s doing a big expose. Someone called Brook. Recognize the name?”

“Mmm, no. School friend?”

“Of Sherlock’s?” Mycroft snorted.

The icy glare John shot him cut off the snort and Mycroft stood, discomfited, walking over to a side table and retrieving several file folders, which he handed to John. John opened the first, frowning at the picture.

“Do you know him?” Mycroft asked.

“No, don’t even recognise him. Should I?”

“He lives two doors down from your flat. Albanian hit squad.”

John frowned, flipping through the other folders. As Mycroft listed off their names and deadly occupations, his frown grew deeper.

“Any ideas, John?”

“Ideas about what?”

“Why there are so many trained assassins living within metres of your home.”

“Not the foggiest. Why are you asking me and not Sherlock?”

Mycroft shifted a bit. “Sherlock and I are not on speaking terms as of now.”

That brought John’s attention away from the photos. “Oh? He’s not said why.”

“I rather hoped he hadn’t. Family business is all.”

“I’m family now, too,” John bristled. “Perhaps you two should remember that.” John glanced at the photos again. “This isn’t Moriarty,” he said definitively. “If it was, we would be dead by now. Hell, Sherlock would have been dead the day Moriarty was released.”

“What do you mean?” Mycroft asked sharply.

“He didn’t say?”

“What. Happened.?”

“Moriarty popped ‘round for tea and a chat, apparently.”

“When was this?”

“The day he was released.”

“What else happened?”

“You’ll have to ask your brother.”

“John⎯”

“I’m not getting in between you two. What happened, anyway? Did you nick his toys when you were young?”

“John, it is vitally important that I know what Moriarty said to him.”

“Ask him yourself.” John stood up, set the files down. “Are we finished?”

Mycroft nodded.

When John got to the door, he stopped and asked, still facing the door, “Have you told Greg the selkie story yet?”

“No,” Mycroft replied, irritated at the intrusion into his thoughts.

“You should.”

Mycroft huffed a bit.

“Mycroft.” The gentleness in John’s tone made him look up. John had turned to face him, eyes softer than his stance. “Tell him. Soon. You need to make him understand before it’s too late. He’s the one I’m most afraid for, and I know Sherlock is, too. Don’t waste anymore time⎯it was the biggest regret Sherlock had, and that I had before I, well, died. You’ll remember him forever, Mycroft⎯don’t let those memories be of regret.” Speech over, John gave a little nod, then executed a military-precise turn and left, shutting the door behind him with a soft click.

Mycroft sat in his chair until the sun began to set, deep in thought. He thought of Moriarty and Sherlock sitting in 221B; he thought of Gregory and what else could possibly be done to keep him safe; he thought of what happened after Gregory died and he was left alone; finally, he thought of the story of Angus and what he could do to keep Gregory alive and well and safe long enough to make a decision. All the while, John’s words spun in his mind, mocking him. There was something he wasn’t remembering about Sherlock and John from the past, something, something, something. Finally, it came to him, and he shot up, opened the window, and changed, calling for his mother as he flew.

He followed the sound of her response to a lonely rooftop on the edge of the city.

She had barely enough time to greet him before he was changing back and letting his question spill from his lips. “Why do I remember my past lives and Sherlock did not until you showed him?”

Mummy blinked, a bit nonplussed before she carefully replied, “Because Sherlock asked me not to allow him to remember.”

“Why?”

“He said it hurt too much to remember loving John and losing him. I did not want to cause him pain, and so I took away his memories⎯I will no longer do so, now that they are bonded.”

“How many of his lives did it take before he asked you to do that?”

“Just one.”

“Then why haven’t you done so for me?”

“Oh, Mycroft,” she said gently. “I never said that I haven’t allowed you to remember your past. You wanted to remember that. What you didn’t want to remember was loving and losing him.”

“I can’t lose him, Mummy. I can’t forget him⎯I don’t want to forget him. I can’t imagine wanting to forget him.”

“You asked it of me because you were not sure if you would ever see him again. I saw differently⎯I knew that you would, so I ensured that you two would always meet, just as I did for John and Sherlock. But I honoured your wish because it was what you asked of me. If you want to change that, I will do what you ask.”

“I don’t want to forget him anymore. I can’t.”

“Then you won’t.”

“Mummy?”

“Yes, child?”

“Will you…” Mycroft cleared his throat, fighting down the lump that threatened to steal his words, “Will you change him?”

“I cannot do so unless he asks it of me.”

“And has he asked?”

“I cannot tell you that, dear.” She gently wrapped her son in a loose embrace, pressing her cheek to his forehead. “Why do you ask?”

“John wants me to tell Gregory the story of Angus. Even Gregory’s asked me to tell him.”

“Mmm. I think it would help.”

“But what if he doesn’t understand?”

“I think you underestimate him. He knows more than you think.”

Mycroft paused, mulling this over, feeling the pieces start to come together. “I’ve loved him before, haven’t I? I must have told him this before.”

“You did. But you’ve not told him Angus’ story. You’ve never bonded, Mycroft, and while you’ve always met Gregory, you’ve not always let yourself admit you’ve fallen in love with him⎯you’ve not let yourself do so by holding yourself away. I think this time will stick, but you must tread carefully, child.”

“How do you mean?”

“You’ve held back, just a little, but enough to make him doubt. He doesn’t want to cause you pain, and so he holds himself back, too. John knows this feeling far too well from before. Talk to him. Have Gregory talk to him. Talk to Gregory. You and I both know how vulnerable he is now, and you know exactly how little I can do to protect him.”

“He’s forgot my feather once, just a few months ago,” Mycroft admitted. “It’s not happened again, but I was so angry and so scared when I saw it on the bureau. Now, all I can think of is what if it happens again? What will I do?”

“You’ll do what you can do, and I will do what I can do. That’s all any of us can do right now.”

“It’s not enough!”

“I know, child. But it will have to be until something changes.”

Mycroft closed his eyes as she kissed his brow and then disappeared.

When he returned home, Gregory was gone. Mycroft muttered a curse to the criminal classes of London and went down the hall to their bedroom. Gregory had left him a note⎯something about a kidnapping case taking him away. Mycroft crumpled the note in his fist and shrugged out of his suit, not caring where it landed or how it might wrinkle. He slid into bed and deliberately pressed his nose into Gregory’s pillow, fighting against his exhaustion. He breathed in the scent of Gregory’s shampoo and found himself falling into his dreams.

He dreamed of every life he’d had, but this time, he remembered Gregory in every life, and felt anew the love he’d asked to keep buried over the long years. He choked back a wave of tears of joy, and let the bitter anger and self-loathing overtake him instead. He had gone for years, lifetimes, without love, or so he thought, when in reality, it had always been there in the form of this man who he held in his arms nearly every night.

When he woke, he was still alone. He resolved to tell Gregory everything today, when both of them could meet, but little did he know that that conversation would have to wait for one simple, complicated reason: Moriarty’s plan had been sprung into action.

In fact, that conversation almost never happened at all.


part xxii

Date: 2012-10-01 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
You evil, evil person, leaving it right there. *wibble*

Date: 2012-10-02 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sabrinaphynn.livejournal.com
Aaa! Attack of the cliffhanger!
:D
I am so sorry for Mycroft. I hope he gets his chance now that he remembers how many times he has let this happiness slip past him.

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