"We have the right to visit him, he's our son!"
"You gave up your rights when you beat him and fucked him and god knows what else!"
"Mr Watson, please calm down."
"I will not calm down! That boy has been through enough without these pathetic excuses for parents bothering him!”
Mycroft opened his eyes very slowly, taking a moment to inhale deeply. His brother's hair was almost in his nose, the smell of children's shampoo and chocolate cake lingering in the curls. As Mycroft fully awoke, he heard five distinct voices out in the hallway. Lizzie and Kevin. His mother and father. And a woman he knew but couldn't quite place. Damn sedatives. His bottom lip curled under his teeth, and he bit down hard. His father was right here. Just behind that sheet of glass. So close. A ripple of fear spread through him. He would not be able to get away, not with all the IV tubes and his injuries from the fight. His damaged body moaned in protest at the thought of more pain.
"I swear to you, Watson, if you don't let me into that room I will call my lawyer!"
"Screw you, Holmes! You can't touch me. There is no way in hell you are going through that door!"
"I have every right to go in there! He doesn't belong to you!"
"He's not a bloody possession! He's a child!"
"And is as such incapable of making his own decisions. I am his father!"
"You don't deserve the title! You lost the right to call him your son. He's a better man already than you could ever hope to be." Mycroft jumped as a loud thud resounded across the glass door.
"Mr Holmes!" The woman who Mycroft now recognised as his social worker, Mandy, shrieked.
"Kevin, are you okay?" Lizzie sounded on the verge of panicking.
"I'm fine" Kevin's voice was muffled, and Mycroft guessed from experience at a bloody nose and swollen lip. Suddenly overcome with murderous anger, his hands shaking with the force of it, Mycroft swung his legs out of bed, waking Sherlock, grabbed his IV pole and walked the shaky few steps to the door.
"Did you hit him?" He pointed at his father.
"Mycroft." He said his son's name with distaste, as though it was physically painful to acknowledge him.
"Did you hit him?" He repeated, looking down at Kevin, who was sitting propped up against the glass wall, mopping the blood off his face with a tissue.
"He was in the way" Rasul spat.
"Mycroft, get back in bed!" Mandy looked horrified. A nurse hurried down the corridor and gasped at the scene. She echoed Mandy’s protests.
"You hit Kevin." Mycroft stated. He could literally see red, his vision tunnelling to his biological father. Sherlock appeared from behind his brother, rubbing his eyes. On spotting their father, he immediately grabbed Mycroft.
"No! You hit my Dad!" there was a moment of silence. Mycroft bit his lip, wishing he could erase saying that. He hadn’t thought about it.
"This man is not your father!" Rasul shouted. Mycroft felt the damn break, and words came tumbling out of his mouth at a volume that made people surrounding them stare, open mouthed.
"He's more of a father than you've ever been! Do you even realise how much you screwed me up? I have to be able to contact Sherlock at all times, so I don't have panic attacks. Whenever anything happens that reminds me even a little of you, my whole brain shuts down and I can't function! Not to mention the medical side! I'm the most hopeless, irredeemable kid, and it's your fault!"
"You're blaming me for you being a freak? It's not my fault, boy, you just are!"
"I want you to give up your parental rights. To me and to Sherlock. I want you to leave us alone."
"Mycroft, darling, you don't want to live away from Mummy and Daddy forever, do you? I'm sure this little holiday has been fun, but you need to come home, back to me." His mother spoke softly, reaching out a hand to him. He stared at it for a second, as though tempted by the Sirens. He had always longed... He shook his head and forced his eyes away.
"Do I want to avoid being beaten and... yes, I want to leave."
"I'm not signing you over to these strangers." Violetta Holmes raised her eyebrows.
"They aren't strangers! And they know me better than you do! At least they care. You couldn't give a shit if I was screaming, or if he brought real strangers into my bedroom. You just didn't care. Was I that unimportant?" His voice broke. The question hung, unanswered.
"We will sign over our rights to Mycroft. But not to Sherlock. I want him home, where he belongs. Those are the terms. I'm not budging." Rasul pointed at the quivering little boy. The words stabbed Mycroft deep in the heart. He closed his eyes.
"Please..." He begged. As always, begging was of no use. Begging changed nothing.