Sherlock was sitting on the floor of his classroom, absorbed in the story his teacher was animatedly recounting. He was wearing a pirate hat, and the people around him were similarly decked out. He was totally wrapped up in the fictional world, vaguely aware of John sitting next to him. When the teacher finished the story, his mouth was wide open with excitement and wonder. His feet were tense, as though he could feel the deck beneath his toes. But the teacher snapped him out of his world by closing the book and smiling at the small class.
"Okay guys, before we move onto maths, we're going to have circle time. Does anyone have any news for us?"
"My bunny had babies!" Josie, a little seven year old with ginger hair exploded, as though the information had been bubbling up inside her, waiting for this shared platform.
"Wow Josie, that's really lovely."
"How many kittens did it have?" Sherlock asked curiously. Josie frowned at him.
"She's a bunny, Sherlock, she had baby bunnies, not kittens."
"A male rabbit is called a buck, a female is a doe, and a baby is a kit, short for kitten." Sherlock said, looking confused as to why she didn't know.
"Thank you, Sherlock, that's very interesting" the teacher said, smiling widely at the child who was quickly becoming her favourite student. "How many kittens did your bunny have, Josie?"
"Four, they're all really, really small and fluffy. They can't see yet, because their Mummy takes care of them."
"That sounds lovely, honey. Does anyone else have anything they'd like to share with us?"
"My brother went to hospital" Sherlock said, his most interesting piece of news in the last few weeks.
"I know dear, perhaps it's best not to-"
"He tried to kill himself, and the blood was all over the place."
"It was really scary. But Kevin saved him. But he was in hospital for ages, which meant I had to go back to my father. He doesn't like me and Mycroft, so he hit-"
"Sherlock!" The teacher almost shouted "Come with me please" Sherlock looked confused and a little frightened. He had never heard the lady shout. He followed her out of the classroom, turning frequently to look back at John, who was biting his lip.
"What did I do?"
"Look, Sherlock, you can't go telling everyone about your brother. I'm sure he wants to keep it private, and you talking about it with the class isn't going to make him happy."
"I want him to be happy."
"I know you do. So maybe you could try not to mention any of the things you think he might want you to be quiet about."
"Like his nightmares?"
"Yes, like that" she sighed. "On the other hand, just because you shouldn't tell the other children doesn't mean you can't come and tell me anything you want. If you ever feel like you're in danger, or that Mycroft is, please, please, come and tell me."
"Okay." Sherlock murmured.
"Thank you, Sherlock, we can go back inside now." Sherlock went back into the room and sat down next to John, their knees touching.
"Are you okay?" John whispered
"Yes. I'm not allowed to talk about Mycroft."
"I'm sure that's for the best, Sherlock. He wouldn't want everyone to know everything." John patted his friend on the back and turned to the teacher. Sherlock retreated into his head, trying to work out why everyone else knew it was bad to tell everyone things about his brother, but he didn't. Other children knew a lot of things he didn't know. He suddenly felt very lonely.