Mycroft Holmes has seen a crow eating a sandwich before. Noticed, even. They’re smart, the corvids, with knowing eyes and the knowing, yes, of whether a sandwich is theirs for the eating.
Now though, the carrion crow beaking a bench-abandoned sausage roll outside this seat of power makes him think of his brother, unaccountably, though Sherlock and crows isn’t difficult to parse.
Little brother handed to him cawing. That he remembers. January and blue ice. The odd open eyes of a newborn under dark down. No-one, between hitches, should ever love me.
Not a premonition then, when Sherlock calls from the country of the dead.
“Slow down,” Mycroft says, shoulders the phone. “How much blood?”
A sucked breath. Sherlock names him a less-than-critical amount, borderline, and the room’s clean and he’s alright, but John, is John…
“He’s fine,” Mycroft says, thinks of the black beak, the bobbing foodcall to the family.
“He’s not,” Sherlock says, “safe.”
“It’s all for him.”
You know that.
(Once he saw John take his brother’s hand, in a November gale under a wild sky. They might have taken off right then.)
“Put out the cigarette,” Mycroft says. “Sleep.”
Doesn’t speak what’s not an advantage.
“Easy for you to say,” Sherlock tells him anyway.
A claw-click in the disconnect.
Don’t die for love.
Black bird, little brother.