The most powerful man in Britain sat in silence, but not because he had to. He could break every rule set down by any government, committee or agency in the world, he could do a tap-dance while singing I Dreamed A Dream at the top of his lungs in the room where no-one speaks, and not a soul would punish him. Could punish him. Yet he sits in silence.
He was untouchable. Impenetrable. Mycroft Holmes was the most secure a man could ever be, so far removed from danger or emotion (and to a Holmes, they were much the same thing) that the words scarcely meant a thing.
Mycroft Holmes had made a mistake.
Mycroft Holmes had gotten his beloved little brother killed.
Mycroft Holmes was crying.
It hurt. It hurt in a way he was so sure he was safe from, a twisting, churning mess of guilt and regret and soul-shattering grief that clawed at his guts and wormed it's way through his veins, stabbing like needles. He was, for a second, utterly convinced that this, this pain was all the proof he would ever need that to not feel, to be removed from everything and everyone was the only way to survive, to prosper for how shall he ever run the Western World when he feels so irreparably broken? How will he ever even bring himself to care?
He doubted himself, once, slightly, in the deepest most private places of his mind (and the most private place to Mycroft Holmes was very private indeed), when John Watson looked him in the eye and seemed to care so very much about his brother, and seemed to take such stoic strength from that. The strength of feeling, so obvious until the very end (and reciprocated, wasn't that the strangest thing of all?) seemed only to inspire and empower both John and his brother to ever greater heights. They very well may, he thinks, have been in love.
But then that would not be anything to be proud of. Love is nothing but chemistry and biology and it's failings are well documented, and still Mycroft has watched the ordinary people succumb to them daily. Although, he supposed, he was succumbing now. He had been stupid (the word clanged around his head unbearably stupid stupid stupid) he had been wrong he loved Sherlock and now he was dead. It hurt. It really really hurt, and no amount of power or influence could ever save him from that.
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