Mycroft had been disappointed when he found Sherlock. Disappointed, and bewildered. Only once before had he seen his brother in such a state, and that was a long time ago. What was wrong with him? Surely it wasn't just The Fall that had caused this? Sherlock had known that it had been a possibility right from the beginning. Mycroft couldn't fathom why that would have made Sherlock sink to such levels.
His brother looked awful.
Dirty, unkempt, raggedy clothes. Unwashed, matted curls. Skinnier than Mycroft had last seen him. Even his eyes, once bright with intelligence, were listless and dead. He didn't seem to notice Mycroft's entrance. In fact, he didn't seem to notice anything, just staring at a spot on the wall with that lifeless gaze. The only indications that he was indeed alive were the rapid rise and fall of his chest, and the slow blink of sticky eyelids.
The smell that emitted from the emaciated figure made Mycroft gag in disgust. He looked down at the discouraging apparition before him. He loved his brother, really he did, even if he had a funny way of showing it. But this had gone too far. Time to knock some sense into Sherlock.
Grimly, his mouth set in a firm line, he shook Sherlock's shoulder.
"Sherlock. Come on Sherlock. Snap out of it." His tone was firm, but gentle. He didn't want to be on the receiving end of an aggravated Holmes. When the other man refused to stir, he felt the beginnings of frustration boiling in his gut.
"Come on, Sherlock. This is ridiculous. You're a disgrace to the Holmes family at the moment."
Something in his voice, or the statement, must have reached Sherlock's drug-addled brain. His head swung around towards his elder brother, fixing him with that flat stare. Mycroft sucked in a breath. The look on Sherlock's face was one of horrific devastation. Even Mycroft was taken aback at the lack of warmth in the piercing glower he was presented with.
Just as swiftly, Sherlock's eyes drooped and closed, and his head slumped forward. Mycroft took a step back, hesitantly. He could see his brother's eyes moving rapidly beneath the closed lids. He was obviously deep in his mind palace, and in pain if the tortured expression on his once handsome face was anything to go by. Mycroft sighed. He knew what he had to do, but he didn't know how Sherlock would react. Warily, he reached out a hand, and softly stroked the shaking shoulder, warmth emanating from beneath his hand. Gently, he began speaking, using a soft tone, and comforting words.
"I'm here, Sherlock. You are not alone. You have never been alone, and I won't leave you." Another guilt ridden sigh. "Not again."
Beneath his hand, he could feel the tension draining from Sherlock's body, his breathing even out, and his muscles loosen. Mycroft let himself relax slightly, but reminded himself that this was only the beginning. Once Sherlock had worked himself up into such a state as this, it would take more than kind words to calm him down.