Mr. and Mrs. Holmes

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Sherlock was almost running down the corridors of the hospital. He could tell that he was going too fast. His wife's heels sounded like a metronome set to maestoso, and John was breathing hard to keep up with him.

The only thing that was in his mind was Mycroft.


Every image before his face was one of his brother. His brother lying on a stretcher, blood on his chest; his brother the fat little boy eating a meat pie; his brother the protective, standoffish, annoying, paranoidly watchful, and problematic British Government.

It was Mycroft at every thought.

So he kept on nearly running. And despite the overwhelming urge telling him to stop making a fool of himself and slow down, he couldn't allow himself to do so. He was almost to Mycroft...Mycroft was what mattered now, not his dignity.

He was amazed—nay, shocked—that he had actually let that thought float before his mind's eye.

When they finally came to the room he had been assigned, Lady Smallwood was sitting outside, her legs crossed and hands on her knees. She is such a lady, Sherlock thought to himself. Seeing them, she rose from her chair with the dignity of a duchess and walked to meet them.

"Mr. Holmes," she said, clasping Sherlock's hands in her own. "It's so good to see you."

"How is he? How's Mycroft? Has the surgery gone alright?"

"Well, it has..." she said. Her voice dwindled as she turned to look at the closed door of Mycroft's room. She watched it as though it were the only thing between them and some ravenous beast.

"But I'm afraid he's slipped into a coma. At his age...they don't know how long it will last. Or if...if he will ever come out."

Sherlock's mouth had gone dry again. Calm. Calm. He repeated it to himself over and over again, regulating his breathing and reassuring himself.

Nevertheless, there was one question on his mind that had stuck there since he had first heard the news. He found the voice to ask it.

"Where...where was he shot? Exactly?"

"Well, that's something I wanted to tell you. It seems that—"

But Lady Smallwood didn't finish, for at that moment Sherlock's parents emerged from around a corner, hurrying quickly towards the throng assembled in front of Mycroft's room. Sherlock's heart sank. Of course, he was glad that his parents had come to see his mortally wounded brother, but...he was married and had his wife with him...and he hadn't exactly bothered to tell them yet.

Oh, dear Lord.

"Oh, Sherlock! You're here," his mother cried, her face wet and running to hug her youngest son. Sherlock embraced her awkwardly. His father was equally distressed, but he shook John's hand to show gratitude for the support.

"Of course. He's just come out of surgery, mummy," Sherlock said, patting his mother's head. "They say he's slipped into a coma."

Irene whispered to him, "How many grown men call their mother 'mummy'?"

"Shut up," he hissed.

"Ohh, a coma?" Mrs. Holmes asked, holding her sons's forearms in a vice. He nodded. "Oh, Sherlock, we cannot lose Myc. We simply cannot!" she said, starting to sob into his coat. He once again patted her head, but wished that she would empty herself elsewhere...into a hanky, at least.

Irene coughed into her fist. Sherlock caught her eye and implicitly shook his head at her, practically commanding her to shut up and keep her presence unknown. She only winked.

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