After leaving the table, you quietly padded to the library. No one would disturb you there, as Violet knew it was your sanctuary and Sherlock wasn’t one to bother your intellectual pursuits. Grabbing a couple of familiar titles and one unfamiliar one, you flopped down in your favorite chair by the window, tucking your legs up underneath you and spreading your skirt over them before leaning back to rub the window frame.
It was a tradition you, Sherlock, and even Mycroft shared. The frame could be reached from various chairs- though yours was the only one that looked out the window- and whenever one of you sat down you had to rub your thumb against it in the same place each time, the deeper and shinier the dip you created by wearing down the wood, the longer you’d spent there.
Your dip was already fairly deep by this point, as you were often in the library in that chair over the years, but you rubbed it out of habit and then cracked open Ovid’s Metamorphoses. It was a favorite of yours, there were notes in your hand scribbled through out it from the various times you’d taken it up, but what interested you now were the comments in a much cleaner print amongst your own.
You wondered if there would be anything new from your literary friend, which was how you chose to think of whoever added their own comments and even commented on your notes in not only this book but various others in the library as well. People came and went from the mansion often over the years, as your adoptive parents were quite the socialites, so you assumed your literary friend was one of your father’s frequent visitors but you didn’t really care who it was in the end. You enjoyed the mystery of it as well as their comments, which were witty and at times very insightful.
You skimmed, looking for anything different and, finding nothing, you flipped to a random story and began reading, blocking out the world around you and the troubled thoughts in your mind.
Mycroft froze when he walked into the library, trying to clear his head of you and the new effect you seemed to be having on him, only to find the very person he was working to forget sitting in his favorite chair with his favorite book in hand.
You were doing this to aggravate him, he decided, you had to be. Why else would you be there in that spot with that book right after he’d snubbed you at the table? He was about to calmly ‘encourage’ you to leave in that way that he had when he saw you shove your hand down in between the chair’s cushions, rummaging around a bit with your lip caught between your teeth before giving a triumphant grin as your hand emerged with a pen.
He tilted his head slightly, falling into observation mode as you clicked it and began to scribble on the page you had the book open to. The conclusions he came to in his mind were sound, he knew it, but at the same time he refused to believe them. He’d had far to many surprises today, first with reacquainting himself with you, then the garden’s origins, and then your surprising fire and intelligence at the table. Mycroft hated surprises. He didn’t doubt himself, no it wasn’t that, it was that he hoped for his continued sanity he was wrong.
His voice caused you to visibly jump and your grip on the pen tensed, gripping it like a weapon out of instinct, “What are you doing?”
You turned to him with your mouth agape, anger flashing through your eyes for a moment before you looked down at the book with a resigned air as you answered in a defensive tone, “Moth-Violet said it was alright if I took notes in the margins.”
He proceeded cautiously like a cat stalking its prey, “Keeping a pen tucked away in that chair would mean you’ve been doing so for quite some time.”
You fiddled with the edge of your dress uncomfortably but your answer was firm, “Since shortly after I began to live here. I always sit here and finding a pen otherwise is tedious.”
He’d closed the gap to loom over you, trying to be intimidating, but you were having none of it, looking up at him with your lips set in a hard line and a defiant spark in your eyes, “But you already knew that didn’t you?”
His eyes searched yours… had they always been that fantastic color? How had he missed so much? He’d never actually taken the time to do anything but scorn you. You hadn’t been worthy of the minimal effort it took his mind to observe things like appearance but now it seemed that you had completely taken over his mind and he couldn’t help but memorize every detail.
Your expression softened a bit as your actions mirrored his, your eyes trying to figure out what his intentions were by searching the spheres that stared back at you. They were a peculiar shade of grey mixed with flecks of blue and green much like Sherlock’s but far darker and, if possible, far more intelligent. There was a brief moment where you wondered what they would look like if the light hit them before you set your jaw, “If you’re going to try and get me to stop, save your breath. I’m not the only one who writes in these books.”
You went back to your writing in an act of blatant defiance as you assumed he disapproved of your actions, but he was calm as he smirked, “You don’t need to inform me of my own actions.”
Furrowing your brow momentarily, your eyes snapped up to meet his again, “You?”
You suddenly stood, discarding your book and pen on an end table, and began to move across the room, “If this is some joke Mycroft, it is in poor humor.”
“I can assure you I dislike the notion as much as you do but it is, in fact, true.”
You stopped and pressed your hands over your face, Mycroft couldn’t be your literary friend. He just couldn’t. All the things you’d shared with him, the thoughts and random ideas that you’d tucked away in old leather bound copies of your favorite titles, now felt like an intrusion. The more you thought about it the more sense it made, he was the only one who was there often enough to account for the amount of notes in that handwriting. Why hadn’t you seen it before?
Mycroft watched your conflict play out on your face, there was no denying he’d been right about you being his mystery scribbler now and the idea was just as troubling to him as it was to you. You had surprised him yet again and he was beginning to wonder if his immediate hatred towards you had clouded his mind. Perhaps he’d misjudged you all these years.
He thought about the many times he’d almost craved for the mystery person to write something new so he could respond and how their comments could make him chuckle or inspired a new line of thinking.
All that had been you.
It meant that you were far more intelligent than he gave you credit for. It also meant, he realized with a light blush, that you had read his attempts at poetry on the blank pages at the backs of some books and, furthermore, you’d written him praises.
Composing yourself at a rather surprising rate, you silently padded to a ladder at one of the bookshelves, stepping up a few rungs before leaning rather precariously over until your outstretched hand found what you were looking for. You pulled it off the shelf, wobbling precariously as Mycroft came to your side to be ready in case you fell, as it looked you were going to.
Quickly righting yourself, you turned to lean against the ladder and look down at him as you opened the book and read,
I live in a world of goldfish
Brilliant flashes of false gold
As they swim about the face
Of this place they call home
They can never understand
Attention waning as fast as it came
Blissful minds, unaware of truth
Leaving me enlightened and alone
Alone in a world of things not known
It was quiet for a moment, “You wrote that… nearly seven years ago I believe. It’s brilliant.”
You stepped down off the ladder and pushed the book in to his hands, stepping past him before pausing, “That poem was the reason I left six years ago. I wanted to see if somewhere out there people existed to be more than goldfish, to be beyond average… They do Mycroft. You are just a big fish in a small pond with your mind closed off to everything that could be.”
You left him, floating away like a small stormy cloud with him looking after you in a slightly stunned and immensely curious way. He wanted to yell at you. To tell you that you couldn’t possibly understand, that you were wrong, but something stopped him.
He looked down at the book in his hands and then flipped it open to the back page. It had been years since he’d read this book or the poem he’d scrawled in it and he was surprised to find, what he now knew to be, your distinctive scrawl there along side his own. It read,
Do not feel alone
Use what is known
Open your mind
And you will find
Minds in kind
It was oddly simple but resounded through him so strongly he felt as though he couldn’t move. You were right. He’d closed himself off, held himself apart. It had made him blind to what could be and what was. Intelligence does not make you alone, Sherlock had proven that by making friends. It was his arrogance and pride that made him alone. He sat down in the chair by the window, reaching to rub his thumb on the window frame out of habit, and then folded his hands beneath his chin to think.