"Earlier this morning, recently disgraced investment banker Rasul Holmes was summoned from prison to attend his trial. Holmes was brought to justice after his two sons, ages 12 and 5, were removed from his care after the elder boy was taken to hospital with injuries that indicated abuse. One shock after another hit the social workers and police investigating, as they found evidence of the severe physical and sexual abuse that had been going on for almost a decade in the respectable Holmes household. It was discovered that multiple other men had participated in the sexual abuse of the elder boy, and that he had been made to watch his father have sex with multiple girlfriends. These heinous crimes were brought before the courts today, and the jury came back with a unanimous guilty verdict on multiple counts of cruelty to a child, causing a child to watch sexual activity, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, prostituting a child, child endangerment and witness intimidation. The combined maximum sentence would be over 130 years, but it is unlikely that he will be sentenced to that much time.The younger boy will be at least 32 before his father can be released from prison. Mrs Holmes, who was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder almost ten years ago, was admitted short term to Proller Psychiatric Hospital. Both parents have released their parental rights to the boys. Further trials await their mother, and the men whom Holmes allowed to prey on his son. Further details to follow in the coming weeks."
Mycroft pushed the newspaper across the table to Kevin.
"Front page. Again." He deflated.
"It will die down. Don't you worry."
"Everyone I know has read this stuff."
"That's not true."
"Yes it is!"
"Well, it doesn't matter if they have. It doesn't change anything. And only the people who know you well will even connect you to this."
"Don't be daft. Everyone who knows my surname and that I'm in foster care will connect this to me."
"Well, you won't be in foster care much longer." Kevin grinned, pushing the paper back. Mycroft suppressed his own smile, not allowing it to spread further than Kevin's. That court hearing would be a considerably happier one. The half hour slot was scheduled for that afternoon. In just a couple of hours, in fact. At that moment, John and Sherlock appeared, dressed in suits, their hair combed and their faces a little red. Lizzie followed them.
"Don't you dare go outside again and get all dirty. Especially you, Sherlock, your hair took way too long for you to go messing it up again!"
"Okay" both boys murmured.
"Go watch TV, you can have unlimited time today, as long as you stay clean and tidy. It's only three more hours. Not even that."
"Yes! TV!" John pumped his fist and pulled Sherlock away towards the holy box.
"He looks so happy" Mycroft said wistfully, starring at his brother as he flopped down on the floor, laughing, and focused on the television.
"He is happy." Lizzie said, planting a soft kiss on top of Mycroft's head. She fixed herself a bowl of cereals, having missed the breakfast rush trying to force Sherlock's hair into order. Almost as soon as she had sat down, a small head popped out over the table ledge.
"I have a question" Sherlock announced. It was something his teachers had been teaching him to do, to announce his question before just heading into it even when no one was listening.
"Go for it." Kevin smiled.
"When you adopt us today, does that mean John and Harry are my brother and sister?"
"Yes, and we will be your parents."
"But... you're replacing my parents, right?"
"You could think of it like that." Kevin frowned slightly, wondering where it was going.
"I don't want John and Harry to replace Mycroft." Sherlock whispered. Mycroft stood up and went around to the boy, picking him up.
"You think you can get rid of me? Think you can replace me?" He tickled Sherlock's side, making him giggle. Mycroft set him down and knelt in front of him, holding his arms. "Look, you don't need to worry. John and Harry will be your brother and sister, but I will still be your big brother. The relationships between the four of us might take a while to sort out, but it will be fine. No matter what happens, here or anywhere else, you will always be my baby brother, and I will always love you." Sherlock flung his arms around his brother's neck. Mycroft stood up, pulling the younger boy with him, and sat back down at the table, letting him hold on for as long as he wanted while Mycroft went back to reading the paper. Lizzie grinned at her husband. They were going to officially add the two children at the table to their family. They were beyond excited.
John shouted through from the other room "Hey Sherlock, you're missing it!"
"Go see what your brother wants" Mycroft whispered, pulling Sherlock close before releasing him. Sherlock grinned again and scampered off towards John. Mycroft settled back into the kitchen chair and turned to page seven of the morning paper.
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