You're not sure if you can take it anymore, this empty feeling you have inside. Like someone took a vacuum and sucked all the air out of you, like there is a giant black hole in your chest that destroys everything that you try to consume.
The flat feels empty despite the clutter of things; your skull, papers, the chairs, some old experiments John never moved. Papers from completed cases, sheet music, notes on Moriarty.
Everything is so inconsequential, nothing seems to matter now, and you're not sure it ever really did.
Because how you were doing all this for so long before him is more of a mystery to you than any murder ever has been, and how you're expected to continue after he's gone is an impossibility you aren't ready to deal with yet.
So you shut yourself away, curl up in the chair he's probably forgotten about, and let your loss leak out through your eyes. You've cried more tears in these last few days than you have in your entire life, and you know it's pathetic, but you can't seem to stop them.
And at some point in the next few hours or so, your mobile rings, once, twice, three times.
You ignore it.
And when you hear Mrs. Hudson's familiar footsteps on the stairs, hear her familiar knock, you ignore that too. You're glad you decided to lock the door before collapsing into a pathetic heap of pain.
But when you hear the metal tick of a lock being picked expertly, and the sound of expensive shoes on your floorboards, and smell the scent of posh hair gel, you open your eyes and sit up a little. And despite the many things he could say to you, the thousand insults that you're sure are sitting on the tip of his tongue, Mycroft says nothing. He just looks at you, lips in a thin line, and sits down in the chair opposite you, your chair.
His hand reaches out slowly, like he's unsure of how to proceed, because, really, he hasn't had to deal with emotion, not for years, and how does one comfort their younger brother? And it's this gesture, of pure effort and concern, the look of worry and pain on your cold, calculating, untouchable, indifferent brother, that makes you break all of the carefully collected pieces of your sanity and collapse into a sobbing heap once again.
His hand comes to rest on your heaving shoulder, and despite it being a fairly formal, impersonal gesture, it offers you a great amount of comfort. You concentrate on the feeling of those five digits pressing lightly into your skin, and force your breathing to even out. Calming down slightly, the tears slowing down considerably, you glance up.
And you're shocked, because are those tears on Mycroft's cheeks? Actual tears in the untouchable, cold, calculating mans eyes. Suddenly he's no longer "Mycroft, my arch nemesis, who is the British government and can never diet properly", but "Mycroft, my older brother, who taught me how to read before I was in school, who taught me the game of Deduction, the man who made me everything I am today."
And yes, it scares you a little, that the man you've been trying to become all these years is actually startlingly human, and you're not really sure who you've been seeing all these years, because it certainly wasn't the man in front of you now.
But your tears are done with, for now at least, and you decide that if you haven't cried for years, then this man hasn't cried for decades. So you do the only thing you can think of to do; you unfold yourself, and pull him into a hug, trying desperately to convey all the things you've never told him without words.
And when his arms tighten around you, and his sobs make both of you shake, and his tears leak onto your neck, you know he understands the silent message.