Chapter 1

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The two brothers sat opposite each other in identical armchairs. The dim lighting of the room exaggerated their stone-like, unmoving stature and cast great shadows across their faces. 

Every time the subject of their childhood arose the same unmentioned thought was carried with it. It was the reason for their silence. Behind their expressionless faces a single emotion sparked inside of them. Neither of them showed it, but they both knew it and felt it. Guilt.

Only one person would have the honour of the Holmes brothers moment of silence. Only one person would spark such an emotion inside them and stay on their minds.

Elizabeth-Louise Parker.

~~~~~~

Sherlock Holmes strode out of the booming, stone building, wrapping his coat around him in the process. The same intelligent yet melancholy expression covered his face the whole time. As always, his mind was alive with activity. But it seemed many of the thoughts floating about his brain contained foreign emotions and a distantly familiar sadness. 

Night had fallen, casting the world in shadow. He appeared as a ghostly silhouette walking further into the darkness of the gardens surrounding the building. With each step, he moved further away from the multicoloured lights that poured out of the windows and closer towards the veil of shadow. The thoughts in his mind were reflecting this transition, growing darker with every footstep. 

He continued to walk forwards but stopped dead in his tracks when a familiar voice echoed through his head, half of the thoughts were stunned to silence. "Sherlock Holmes, what kind of person leaves a wedding early?"

Panic quickly made a brief appearance inside of him but remained uncovered and unseen. "I see it's starting again." He replied nonchalantly, feigned confidence lacing his words, as he tipped his chin upwards slightly.  

"You are already feeling lonely, so here I am." Came the reply, the voice sounded slick and velvety, however it held a malicious edge that only made an appearance in these circumstances. Sherlock closed his eyes and focused on steadying his breath. He didn't need to turn to talk to her. She was nothing but a memory, a drug that surfaced its head whenever the situation took a dark turn. 

"John's not going to leave me." 

"You keep telling yourself that but you obviously aren't believing it. Why else would you be talking to a dead memory?"

With this, Sherlock suddenly walked off, abruptly ending their brief conversation. A glimpse of emotion crept onto his face, visible only in his eyes and in the slight twitch of his mouth. 

Anyone watching would have seen the man talking to himself. He looked mad. But, this wasn't the first time.

*****

The magnificent stone building overlooked a gigantic lawn with unnaturally perfect emerald grass. It was its own world, a garden of Eden of sorts. Perfectly sized trees leaned slightly against the wind, letting out rustles of protest. Strategically placed flowers splashed colours along the flowerbeds, many of which were species that weren't even native to the country. The entire thing was contained by a tall stone fence, betraying nothing that lay on the other side save for a few trees.

Complete with a clear blue sky, the scene may had looked perfect, were it not for the two brothers stood by a pile of unused sports equipment. Once again, their antics and arguments had led to their mother throwing them out into the garden to 'play'. However, she had not learnt from her previous mistake with the tennis equipment, needless to say, they both still had the bruises from last time.

"Great, now you've upset mother." Mycroft spat at his little brother.

"Me? I've upset her? It was you who broke the light fixture in the first place." Sherlock retaliated.

"No it was not, I was in the study."

"Stop lying to me Mycroft who could it have been? Redbeard?"

"Well the incident with the shoes was completely your fault."

"You told me they were waterproof!" Sherlock shouted.

A moment of silence followed before Mycroft eventually spoke. Both of them held the typical expressions of squabbling children, breaking free of the mature exterior they usually held. 

"I knew it was a mistake when they started to teach you to read. Nanny didn't know what she was throwing us into." He muttered under his breath, but obviously trying to provoke a reaction. 

"Do not get my education involved in this."

"Stop trying to be clever Sherlock, I am the clever one. I am the eldest."

At this, Sherlock picked up a tennis ball and promptly threw it at Mycroft. With a cry of alarm, the older brother ducked and the ball flew through the space were his head had just been. They both watched as the ball shot over the stone wall and out of sight. "Look what you've done!" Shouted Mycroft. "You've only gone and lost one of the ten-"

But he was cut short when the ball came flying back, it landed softly on the grass and rolled forward until it lightly bumped into Sherlock's left foot. As Sherlock picked it up Mycroft walked over to him, they had both been silenced. Sherlock threw the ball back over the wall, Mycroft didn't argue this time.

Once again, the ball returned and hit Sherlock's left foot.

The brothers slowly walked closer to the wall and jumped when a voice suddenly erupted. "Are you going to keep throwing that?"

They both stared at each other. The person was young, female and, judging by the throwing precision, moderately intelligent. A look of alarm rose in each of their eyes, neither of them had ever really come in contact with people of their own age.

"What are you two doing." They jumped and looked up. In the high branches of a tree, a young girl grinned back at them. "The name's Elizabeth-Louise Parker."

*****

Sherlock crashed through the door of 221b and collapsed in his chair, letting the door slam shut behind him. John was going to go to his honeymoon and Mrs. Hudson was still at the wedding after party. Once again he felt loneliness eating away at him, although he would never admit it.

He looked over at his skull in deep thought, his fingers curled beneath his chin. Memories flooded back in a gentle stream that had started as soon as he had left the building: the drugs, the loneliness, her.

He was hearing her again, it was a sign of it restarting, the darkness was beginning to bubble in the pit of his stomach. He slowly put his head in his hands. He didn't like this. John was his safety line, pulling him away from the past, but now he was gone.

Sherlock still knew where to get them.

No. He promised Mrs. Hudson and Mycroft he wouldn't.

A loud knock on the door ripped him out of his thoughts. It wasn't Mrs. Hudson, John or a client, who was it? With a roll of his eyes, he irritably stood up and went to open the door. Preparing himself to bark angrily at the poor soul stood behind it, he grasped the door handle and swung it open. 

He froze.

There she was. Wrapped tightly in a dark brown coat, she had changed so much he almost couldn't recognise her. But he would never forget those green eyes that could read his soul or that brown hair that cascaded over her shoulders like soft waves, and her smile. When she smiled at you, she made you feel as if there was no-one else in the world she wanted to talk to more.

"Hello Sherlock Holmes." She broke the silence with the smooth velvet of her voice. There was no malicious edge to this voice, only a familiar warmth that he had been trying to forget for years. Her voice hadn't changed at all.

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