Brothers in Arms

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"Mummy! Mummy!"

Sherlock Holmes ran down the hall, his little feet pounding against the carpeted floor. His round, cheeky face had shiny lines of water streaming down from his eyes, and his mouth was open as he ran.

"Sherlock! Sherlock, come back!"

The boy ran faster, hoping his fat brother would give up chasing him and leave him alone. He wanted to be alone, of all the places: alone was what he had. Alone protected him.

"Sherlock, shut up!" Mycroft was screaming from behind. He waddled after him like an overstuffed penguin, his grubby fists clenched.

"Mummy! Mummy!"

Sherlock could hear his mother cooking downstairs. He passed Eurus on the stairs as he ran. She laughed at him.

"Come and play with me, Sherlock..."

"Not now!" he screamed at his sister, frightening her and sending a tremor through the floor that nearly collapsed her tower of blocks.

Sherlock's mother was in sight. He reached the bottom of the stairs making a beeline for the kitchen.

"Oh mummy!" he cried, running to his mother's arms and sobbing into her flour-dusted apron. In an instant her arms were around his little body and squeezing his head of wild curls.

"Sherlock, dearie...what's the matter?" she asked, holding him to her chest.

"He's being ridiculous, Mother!" Mycroft shouted. He had barely made it down the stairs, and his pudgy hands were molded onto his hips. He glowered at his brother, but looked a little nervous in the presence of his mother.

"No, I'm not! I'm not being ridiculous!" the younger cried violently. "He called me stupid, mummy! Stupid! He said I was a stupid little boy, and that I'm an embarrassment. I hate him! I hate him!" Sherlock screamed, sobbing harder into his mother's apron. The flour was sticking to his glistening face.

"Mycroft!" Mummy scolded, her mouth ajar as she looked at her oldest son. "How dare you speak to your brother that way! What's the matter with you?"

"A number of things, I should imagine, mother. Would you like me to explain them for you?" Mycroft asked, his sarcastic intellect shining through his feelings of intimidation.

"That's quite enough, Mycroft!" she rebuked, massaging Sherlock's head. He was still wailing into her apron.

Mycroft nibbled a fat finger and looked nervously at the floor.

Eurus came down to see what all the commotion was about.

"What's Mycroft done now, Mummy?" she asked, dragging a toy train by a cord. Its wooden wheels were painfully loud against the hard floor.

"Oh, shut up, Eurus," Mycroft snapped, turning to his sister contemptuously. Her eyes widened, but she only stared at him as if "shut up" was the politest thing he could have said.

"Mycroft, hold your tongue!" Mummy scolded, clutching Sherlock closer to herself. "Do you see what you've done to your brother? You've hurt his feelings! Apologize, Mycroft, and apologize now!"

"Feelings are bound to be hurt once in a while, Mummy. You can't expect everyone to apologize whenever they are. Besides, why should I apologize for telling the truth? He is stupid, he is an embarrassment. Isn't it time he knew?"

Mrs. Holmes was enraged at her son, and she was instantly regretting ever having permitting them to be assessed psychiatrically. He had developed quite a big head since he had received his results the week before.

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