Mycroft stood inside a brightly lit room, the walls plastered with stickers of Tigger and Noddy and Paddington Bear. He kept his feet locked firmly on the ground to stop himself pacing. He would have to sit down in front of that webcam soon and give his testimony. He would have to talk about his father, in front of everyone. Everybody knows. His heart squeezed with anxiety and he put his hand to his chest, feeling the quickened beat as the adrenaline permeated his blood. As he was standing there, lost in thought, the lawyer, Miss Jane Cummins, entered the room with his social worker Mandy.
"Good morning, Mycroft." Miss Cummins smiled softly.
"Is it? I hadn't noticed" Mycroft almost snarled.
"How are you holding up?" Mandy's eyes were sympathetic, her powder pink dress and powder blue cardigan softening her already wavy blonde hair and making her look a lot like a princess.
"I'm fine. I need to pee."
"Okay, I'll just have Sam escort-"
"No. Just let me go alone, nothing's going to happen."
"Are you sure?" They both looked worried. Mycroft rolled his eyes and pushed past them, shutting the door firmly behind him. He stalked his way over to the men's bathrooms and pushed past the police officer standing at the door, thinking nothing of it. His brain distracted by the fading anger and rising anxiousness, he didn't notice the occupant of the other urinal.
"Mycroft. How lovely to see you again." The voice was so cold it made Mycroft's whole body shiver. He turned to see his father zipping up his trousers. The boy's body shook from head to toe.
"I'm- I'm not m-meant to talk t-to you" Mycroft stammered.
"Well then I suppose you're breaking the rules then. You know what happens to boys who break the rules. Oh when I get you back..."
"I'm not going back with you. The state will win and then I'll get to go home with Lizzie and Kevin." Mycroft's voice sounded stronger and older somehow.
"I hear you actually made friends at that hippie school." Rasul changed the subject, his eyes sparkling with malice. "Thomas Jacobs, James House and Gregory Lestrade I hear especially."
"So what if I have made friends?"
"Do they know what you are?" Rasul smirked.
"They know what you did." Mycroft corrected.
"All of it?" Rasul raised his eyebrows. "They know I fucked you like a little bitch?"
"No" Mycroft seemed to be unable to shut his mouth, his defiance dropping away, simply responding, retreating into his old patterns of a subdued, submissive child.
"This court, Mycroft, will put me in prison. I know that. There's no way to get around it. They have too much evidence. However, I have arranged it with my lawyer that he will fight for your mother to keep you. And then you can visit me in prison. We already have guards on our side, ready to turn their backs for a while when we're busy. We are going to claim that I was violent towards your mother. Then she will be a victim, and she'll be allowed to keep you."
"I don't want that! They'll never do it, not if I tell them the truth!"
"Throughout this whole thing, has is not yet occurred to you that I have been planning for this since your fourth birthday? I have it planned out, Mycroft. And it's even better now you have friends."
"What do you mean?" Mycroft felt cold dread spread through his body.
"You think I filmed our sessions just for my benefit? Although I assure you I enjoy them, there was a bigger picture. If you don't do as I say, I will distribute those videos to everyone you know. I will have Sherlock watching them, your teachers, your friends, the boys who bully you, the Watson's, your physiologist, everyone you ever cared about. You think any of them will care about you once they've watched those videos? Once they've seen what you really are?" Mycroft had flopped against the wall, sliding further down it with every word, his face going deathly white. "Snap out of it, you pathetic son of a bitch." Rasul lunged at him and pulled him up by the throat.
"Please... Don't... You can't do that... You can't show them. It's private..." He wanted desperately to burst into tears. Rasul let him go, and he sank down the wall again.
"Oh, Mycroft. Poor little Crofty. All you have to do is tell them I hurt your mother. That you want to stay with her. I will distribute those videos. Unless I get what I want, everyone will see, first hand, what a weak, pathetic little bitch you are."
"Please, Daddy, please don't..." Mycroft stumbled towards the man, but Rasul laughed and stalked out of the bathroom to meet his guards. Mycroft collapsed into one of the stalls and rested his head in his hands.
It was a nightmare. They would all know. Everything he had managed to keep from everyone, his whole life, would be exposed. Everyone would know.
It hurt, deep in his stomach, that his father would sink that low. Mycroft didn't know why he was surprised anymore. But he was. He had been exposed to love, and he knew his father didn't love him. Maybe he had never loved him. The thought made Mycroft want to cry. What was so wrong with him? Mycroft had a sudden, desperate urge to speak to Kevin. He put his head in his hands, trying to block our the rising tide of thoughts that clamoured for his attention. It seemed like hours but could only have been a minute or so when Mandy knocked on the outside door and called his name. "All right, all right, I'm coming!" Mycroft shouted, trying to sound irritated rather than weak and terrified. He flushed the unused toilet and washed his hands, drying them carefully on one of the green paper towels. He threw it away and glanced at himself in the mirror. He looked normal. A little pale, maybe, but nothing anyone would notice. He went outside, and was greeted by his slightly panicked social worker.
"They said your father was in there! Did you speak to him? You know you're not allowed to speak to him!"
"No. I didn't see him. I must have been in a stall." He hoped that the fact that his father had been in there first had been divulged to Mandy, so that she would believe that he was telling the truth simply due to lack of detail. She seemed to relax a little and Mycroft assumed that his plan had worked. "I need to speak to Kevin. It's urgent."
"Honey, you can't until after the trial." She said, putting a hand on his shoulder and frowning when he flinched. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine. Can't I even talk to him for a minute?"
"No, I'm sorry sweetheart. Can I help with anything?"
"No. Just him. It doesn't matter." Mycroft's heart sank as she led him back to the children's testimony room. He didn't know what to do. He only knew one thing. He did not want everyone to see those videos. He knew his father wasn't bluffing. He had often filmed their evenings together, and he would have no qualms about putting them on the internet or distributing them around his friends. But he couldn't go back. Not now. He couldn't go everyday to his old school, and come home to his mother's disinterested smirk and cook dinner for his brother, always waiting for the next visit to his father. He just couldn't. Mycroft wanted to cry. He had never wanted to cry so much in his life. He sniffed and sat down on one of the small chairs.
"They're starting, Mycroft. Do you want to watch on that TV?"
"No. I don't want to hear what he says."
"Okay. Shall we play a board game?"
"No. I need some time to think."
"What's wrong, Myc? Are you sure you're okay? Are you sure you didn't speak to your father?" Mandy frowned.
"I'm fine. I just need to think, okay? Can't you just leave me be for a few minutes?" He tried to make his voice strong and irritated. He tried to be the teenager he was on the brink of becoming, but ended up sounding like a child anyway. His voice cracked, and his eyes welled with tears.
"Mycroft, what's wrong?" Mandy knelt down in front of him and took his hand. "You can tell me!"
"No I can't!" Mycroft yelled before he knew what he was saying, and ripped his hand away.
"You can. You can tell me anything, you know that. Is it about your father? Or about Sherlock? Or about-"
"He said he would give everyone the videos" Mycroft burst into tears. Mandy, shocked for a second, pulled his head into her chest.
"What do you mean?"
"He's going to... give everyone... the videos... videos of him and me... of him doing things to me..." Mycroft sobbed, his body shaking with every trembling breath.
"Your father said that? When?"
"In the... Bathroom."
"Excuse me for a moment, Mycroft, I need to go and speak to some people. There are tissues there. Good boy." Mandy almost ran out of the room, leaving Mycroft alone, choking back tears. He tried to breathe steadily, but his heart was beating too fast. He couldn't hold it in. Mycroft put his head in his hands, leant his elbows on the table and wept. He wept for all the times he had been more alone than others could imagine. He wept for his lost childhood. He wept for his brother.
After a few minutes, the door burst open, banging against the wall. Kevin almost ran through it and caught Mycroft up in his arms.
"They're delaying the trial. They're waiting to get evidence, to see the CCTV of the bathroom. You're staying with us until they're done. The judge said he doubted you would ever go back. He said if he gets the case, he won't let you go. And we won't let them take you. You're ours, Mycroft. You're ours forever."