These were the only things Mycroft felt right now. He was sat in the bedroom of a flat he owned in central London, but rarely used. His eyes were screwed shut, his hands in fists. His mind empty apart from those four sensations. What Lestrade had said to him not only activated his fight or flight instincts, but had broken down his carefully constructed walls. In that moment, with Lestrade looking at him in that concerned way, Mycroft became vulnerable. That must never be allowed to happen again.
To anyone else, an ordinary nickname. To Mycroft, a nickname only Sherlock had used. An indicator to show when a child Sherlock was in need of more than just an 'it'll be okay, Sherlock' from his big brother. Hearing Gregory Lestrade, of all people, calling him that had been the last straw. People expected the elder Holmes to be the calm, efficient, no-nonsense brother, who dealt with serious Government issues and could always be relied upon to work things out. Mycroft was fed up of the expectations and pressure that put upon him. After all, he was only human. There was only so much he could take. Over the last few years, he had had his fill of trouble. He had enough with Sherlock and his tantrums; bailing his brother out of jail, getting him clean and into rehab after the drugs. His job, on top of that, became incredibly stressful. He handled many sensitive documents and highly classified government material, and the weight of all those official secrets was a burden he could only just carry.
Don't be fooled by his limits - Mycroft Holmes is still one formidable man.
He just had boundaries. All humans do. This did not make him fragile, nor did he let himself cave under like Sherlock. One of them had to stay sane.
Lestrade's support was, in itself, scary. Being the 'higher power' many people believed he was, Mycroft was usually the one doing the supporting, not the other way round. After his initial shock and resentment had passed, the darkness receded, the pain dulled, the quiet shattered, he found his isolation broken as well. He actually revelled in the feeling of being cared for, of someone other than family being concerned over his well-being.
Slowly, his mind became turned towards the thought that he could have that support. It didn't make him a weaker person for needing help. But then he remembered the hurt look on Lestrade's face when Mycroft turned on him.
A sigh escaped him.
Gregory Lestrade had not made it to D.I by being soft. Mycroft would need to apologize, to make the detective see that he was a wanted presence in Mycroft's life. Admitting it to himself was one thing, saying it out loud to the man in question would be much harder.
What resolved him in his intentions was the thought of Sherlock, still out of reach in his mind-palace. The two brothers were alike in more than just brain power. Sherlock was known for being stubborn. What was not known was that Mycroft could be just as stubborn, although he was more polite about it. He set his mind to the thought that Lestrade helping him would, in turn, help Sherlock. He needed to be at his best, and he couldn't be that without help.
Determined now, he opened his eyes, set in the path his thoughts took him.