My name is Mycroft Holmes, I occupy a small position in the British Government, and I have a tendency to take notes. I was four years of age when I made my first note. It was a most obvious note, but a most important one. 9th of January 1978.
Surlock. I admit, the spelling is a little childish but then, so was I.
My father was half-sleeping in a chair at the University Hospital of Wales. We had been there a long time, almost 24 hours. Even in birth, Sherlock was difficult. My father sat up and rubbed his temples, and seeing I had nothing to do, took a notebook out of his pocket and handed it to me. Both my father and mother always made a point of treating both Sherlock and I with the same respect as any adult. It was in this vein, that my father taught me everything I know now.
“Take this, Mycroft. And write things in it that you find important. Make notes. They’ll help you.”
My father moved closer to my mother’s bedside, who by now was a little delirious with medication but nonetheless bright-eyed. He kissed her hand, and they talked softly for a little while, not because they felt they couldn’t talk freely, but because both of my parents were so tired.
“You’re still here.”
“Of course I am, Helen. Of course I am.”
“Has the Doctor come yet?”
“Not yet, darling. Be patient.” Hours later, there he was. Pink, and screaming and squealing and kicking. My mother held him in her arms, and hummed gently to him when he screamed and cried relentlessly for those few days in the hospital, and I stood on tip-toe to peer over at my baby brother in his crib. I will admit, I was jealous with a typical sibling rivalry. I have always found it so interesting that my mother – Helen Holmes, was intelligent enough and bold enough to do anything she wanted, and she chose to be a mother. Of course, she would argue that it was not a choice at all, but an honour, and a privilege.
When he was younger, I tried to teach Sherlock all that I knew. He was the world’s most unwilling apprentice – and his logic was completely different to mine. We both wanted to be right, and often we were, the problem was we refused to agree. Having observed him as he was growing up I can safely say he has not changed much at all. When I was younger, I used to try to…tame his obsessions, to slow him down, to calm him, to soothe him. Nothing I tried was ever successful. I have since learnt that you can’t stop Sherlock from running. All you can do is try and keep up with him as he runs.
At first there was his soldier, then he chased drugs. And then there was John. Someone even I could not have predicted.
My first ever note was not very logical, or even very observant, but it was very sentimental.