Dr Milligan was exhausted. He was reaching the end of his work day, and it had not been a relaxing one. His first duty of the morning had been to inform Mr and Mrs Jensen that their daughter was going to be transferred to Paediatric Oncology. Mrs Jensen had sobbed. The next few hours of Dr Milligan's day were spent delivering bad news after bad news to children who seemed to get increasingly younger.
His last task was to speak to the Watson's about their foster son. Dr Milligan had been there when the boy had gone into surgery. He had looked awful. The poor kid was covered in blood, his head lolling to one side, his body language screaming agony. The worst thing, though, was reviewing his cart. Severe abuse victim. Physically, sexually and emotionally scared for the rest of his life, no doubt. The kind of kid with no future. Dr Milligan was not expecting much when he met Mycroft Holmes.
As he walked in the door of the ICU room, he was shocked to find him propped up in bed, openly laughing over a chess board with blonde haired teenager. Lizzie and Kevin Watson sat quietly in the corner, sharing a newspaper, Lizzie with the business section and Kevin with the sports. A small bundle of dark hair and long limbs was curled up next to Mycroft on the bed, and two sandy haired kids, a boy and a girl, lay on the floor arm wrestling. The ICU room looked like a party. Dr Milligan coughed, making everyone look up at him.
"Um, hello. I'm Dr Milligan, I'm Mycroft's doctor."
"Wonderful to meet you in person." Kevin said, a little gruffly. Lizzie prodded him.
"So, I wanted to speak to you about moving Mycroft down into an ordinary room. He's made truly extraordinary progress. I think he should be able to be discharged in a couple of days."
"Will he be okay to attend the trial on Thursday?"
"Today is Saturday. I would see him being discharged by Tuesday. So I can tentatively say yes to that. Mycroft, can you get out of bed for me? I want to check some balance things which may have arisen from your head injury, and do some movements." Mycroft stood up shakily, Sherlock peering at him from under the duvet. Dr Milligan asked Mycroft to flow his finger with just his eyes, then to do various exercises with his badly sprained wrist and rotating his neck. "You can lie down again now. All right, there don't seem to be any lasting effects from the major concussion, which is a small miracle. His ribs and head will heal in a few weeks, the bruises will fade on about the same timetable, seeing as they're so deep. You may experience slight dizziness, mild headaches and lethargy in the next week or so. If it gets bad, call us."
"We will" Lizzie said. Dr Milligan turned away, and made to leave.
"Excuse me?" Asked Sherlock tentatively.
"Yes?" Dr Milligan turned back to the small boy on the bed next to his patient.
"When will Mycroft be allowed to play with me?"
"He shouldn't be doing anything too physical for two or three weeks. You need to make sure he takes his medicines and that he doesn't push himself too far. Can you do that?"
"Yeah. I'll make him all better." Sherlock nodded and clutched his big brother's hand. Mycroft closed his eyes and smiled. Milligan left the room, smiling slightly himself.
"I guess I should probably get going." Greg said sadly, standing up and slinging his school bag over his shoulder.
"See you soon!" Mycroft grinned "I still haven't finished training you in the art of chess to my satisfaction".
"You wait, I'll be better than you in two weeks!"
"Not bloody likely." Mycroft stuck out his tongue and Greg copied him. Greg laughed and then followed the doctor out of the door.
"Hey Harry, how about you take the boys for a bit of a walk down to the cafeteria? You can all have hot chocolate and a cake?"
"Sure, that sounds good" Harry stood up and went to Sherlock. The little boy allowed her to lift him down from the bed, but he insisted that he could walk on his own. The three children left the room, Sherlock pointedly asking if the nurse's weight was because of the emotional stress of her divorce or simply because she had already eaten 6 doughnuts that day. Mycroft rolled his eyes, hearing Harry shush his little brother as they turned the corner.
"Can we not do this?" Mycroft asked, shutting his eyes.
"Do what?" Lizzie asked, frowning.
"Talk. About serious things. It's so exhausting. Can we just forget that my father is a bastard and no one at my old school liked me? Forget that I'm here?"
"Sure baby, if that's what you want."
"Of course that's what I want. I don't want to talk about it every second of the day. I know what will happen at the trail. I know everyone will be fighting, on both sides-" Mycroft snuck a look at Lizzie, who, to his relief, was nodding vigorously "and I hope we win. But talking about it won't help. All he can do is deny it. And there's enough medical evidence to never let that stick."
"I'm so proud of you, Mycroft. I really am." Lizzie put a hand on his head and he leant into it, savouring the friendly, warm touch.
"So what have you been watching on that big T.V?" Kevin asked, scooting his chair closer to Mycroft's bed.