I’m taking the tube. Get off my back. SH
Remember the last time. MH
Stepping on now. SH
I’ll have to come get you again. MH
No you won’t. Not like last time. Last time I wasn’t in control. I am now. SH
Sherlock, don’t. MH
Sherlock, please. MH
Sherlock switched off his mobile and set it to silent. He could take the tube if he wanted to take the tube. He didn’t have to listen to Mycroft anymore. Slipping his mobile into his coat pocket, Sherlock looked up.
The bench. Tweed, made in 1978. The last person to sit there was a mother, probably mid twenties, who held two infants on her lap. She-
Male, late forties. Low to middle class, probably a shop manager. Going home to a wife and two, correction: three, children. And one, correction: two, dogs. One Yorkshire terrier and one Ma-
Female, late teens, just got off shift at local hair salon. Bad at trigonometry, decent at grammar. Three younger siblings, all boys. Poor. Takes on much responsibility and therefore more mature than her peers. She-
Words flashed in front of Sherlock, describing every little detail of every little thing on the tube. Control it, control it. Stop it. Erase the words. Sherlock tried to imagine the world as a blackboard and he was wiping an eraser over it. Be normal for once. Be boring. Don’t give in.
Male, child, eight years old, enjoys football as a-
Don’t give in. Stop it. Erase it.
Male, child, seven years old, looks to other boy as role-model-
You’re stronger than this.
Female, child, eleven, on holiday with parents. Going to-
Don’t let Mycroft be right.
More words. Words, words, words, all words. Sherlock couldn’t see. The edges of his vision became red and cloudy. Red dots floated over his eyes. The shapes and colors that he could still see were brighter than they should have been and they glowed around the edges. A methodic pounding started on either temple and wouldn’t stop. Without warning, Sherlock’s legs buckled and he barely had enough time to clutch a metal beam to keep from falling.
Using the pole as a crutch Sherlock rose again. If he kept his eyes open and kept trying, if he didn’t give in, he could still beat this. Mycroft didn’t have to be right. Sherlock clung to the pole to keep from falling unconscious. Odd looks were starting to be passed his way.
Though his eyes were closing on him Sherlock forced them open. He had to hang on. If he closed them he’d pass out again, like the last time. He had to keep them open, but not look at anyth-
Female, mid thirties. The brown paper sack in her arms suggests having been out shopping. Quantity of food says that she’s alone. Not by choice-
No, no, no, no, no! Not now! Not again! Bile rose in Sherlock’s throat and he was powerless this time to keep his knees from giving up. Sherlock toppled to the ground and his eyes forced themselves shut. Even shut the lights were too bright. The banging in his head was too loud and he couldn’t hear anything else over the noise. First Sherlock tried covering his ears with his hands, but it didn’t help. He moved his hands to his eyes, but the light still found a way through. And then Sherlock knew no more.
Soft. Where was he? Wherever it was, it was soft. A bed. Sherlock slowly opened his eyes, expecting the light to force them shut again. But there was no light. No lights, no noise. He was free. The room was plain, but large, and the colors were all warm browns. Not too bright. He felt… home. Which was odd, considering he didn’t have a home. A house, yes, but not a home.
A door creaked open and Mycroft slipped through. “Welcome back. You were out cold for two days.”
Sherlock was still too tired to verbally spar with Mycroft, so he elected to ignore the comment. Had Mycroft been right? Yes. Did Sherlock have plans to admit it? Never.
“Oh, come now, don’t be a child. The least you can do is answer. I won’t even say ‘I told you so.'” Sherlock gave no response. Mycroft shook his head. “You always were a stubborn child. I’ve made arrangements with the cab services all around London. I will be billed for all your fares. There will be no more taking the tube for you, that is certain.” Since Sherlock again refused to respond, Mycroft simply shut the door behind himself and left Sherlock alone again.
So Mycroft had been right. Despite all that Sherlock had tried to take control of the deductions, they still always won out every time. Mycroft could control them. Why couldn’t he control them too? Why did Mycroft always have to be better?
It was all right though, Sherlock decided. Mycroft wasn’t always better. And even when he was, it didn’t mean that Sherlock would ever have to admit it.
Told You So
I’m taking the tube. Get off my back. SH