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fic: A Conversation With His Father

Title: A Conversation With His Father
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Pairing/Characters: Mycroft, Anthea, mentions of others
Rating: G
Warnings: none, but see A/N and Summary.
Wordcount: 500
Disclaimer: Any characters seen or mentioned in Sherlock are not mine.
Summary: The dead are part of his life, part of him; his father most of all.
A/N: written for this prompt at sherlockbbc_fic, for an anon who requested "Any character (but I would like it to be either Sherlock or Mycroft) talking to their father´s grave, like John at the end of TRF." This fic is for the OP.



Mycroft Holmes does not wish to have it known that he talks to the dead. Even a minor position in Her Majesty's Government makes a man the object of envy and malice, and the last thing he wants is to attract accusations of ... instability. Nor would he wish to give his brother a new reason to sneer at him, as if Sherlock needed one.

He's always done it, though, since he was a boy. Even then, he was careful to keep it to himself. Sherlock was allowed to be eccentric, extraordinary: the privilege of the younger child (amongst so many privileges). Mycroft was expected to fit in, to conform. Anything else would upset Mummy, and the rule of family life was that Mummy must not be upset.

So Mycroft talked to his dead in secret: his grandmother, first, who had taught him about codes and told him stories of her work with SOE during the war; Peter Bailey, his closest friend at school, killed in a car crash in the Easter holidays of their final year; Thomas Garnet, his mentor when Mycroft first joined the Service, dead of cancer at fifty. It was safer to tell your secrets to the dead than the living, and a man in Mycroft's position had many secrets.

The dead are part of his life, part of him; his father most of all.

Mycroft doesn't go often to the place where his father is buried. The other significant dates passed unmarked this year: he was in Hong Kong on his father's birthday, in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of his death. But the third Sunday in June finds Mycroft in London, and he asks Anthea to drive him to the cemetery.

The grave is well-kept; Anthea makes sure of that, as she does so many other things. She leaves him alone and walks among the graves, far enough away for privacy but keeping him in view. It's unlikely that anyone would have followed them here, or attempt an attack in broad daylight, but there's no point in taking unnnecessary risks.

They never spoke about emotions in the Holmes family, and Mycroft's not going to do it now. As he said to Sherlock: All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage. Instead, he does what he always did: he talks to his father about a challenge he's facing, a problem he's trying to solve.

"Sherlock had to disappear, you see, and there was no other way. John Watson was not to know. It wouldn't be safe to tell him."

He doesn't let himself pretend there's an answer; that's not how this works. But he imagines his father listening, looking at him with that patient encouragement and confidence that his clever son will find a way out of his difficulty, and it gives him strength, as it always has. He stands there a while longer, until it's time to leave, communing with his dead in the sunshine and the thin summer rain.


***

Title from Grace Paley's short story, A Conversation With My Father, read here by Ali Smith.





Also posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/117890.html with comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
fengirl88
Jun. 17th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC)
*hugs*

thank you very much!
maggie_conagher
Jun. 17th, 2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
This was beautiful, spare and fine and solid. Every word necessary and right.
fengirl88
Jun. 17th, 2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
thank you very much for this lovely comment. *glows*
shezan
Jun. 30th, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC)
Of COURSE grandmère Vernet was in SOE. Could kill a man with her bare hands, I expect.

This is absolutely lovely. I'd love to see a lot of this Mycroft.
fengirl88
Jun. 30th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! I don't know if there will be more but I did like this version of him, which emerged in response to the prompt. I think you are probably right about grandmère Vernet's abilities...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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