A black car with darkened windows collected him from Luton Aiport, as it always did, and drove him to the remote country mansion in Sussex owned by his brother that had become his base this last two years since his "death".
Mycroft was in the large sitting room enjoying a glass of scotch and for once, the detective was glad to see he was still awake. Whipping off the blonde wig he had been wearing to reveal a short crop of red hair underneath. He was continually changing his appearance these days, utilising a multitude of disguises so he could work undercover abroad, dismantling Moriarty's criminal web piece by piece.
"Did you think about what I said?" He asked his brother, flopping down on the sofa.
"It's impossible, Sherlock," Mycroft stood his ground. "Far too dangerous for you and for John."
"I got my man, Mycroft," he insisted. "There's only one more on my list."
"And him the most dangerous of all," his brother replied.
They were talking, of course, about Sebastian Moran. Moriarty's right hand man and one of the best sniper's in Europe. As much a master of disguise as the great detective himself, he had so far eluded his grasp and he had only heard vague reports as to the criminal's appearance.
"But I'll be in disguise," he continued, pushing his case. "Not even John will recognise me, so how do you suppose Moran will? I'll grow a beard."
"What?" Mycroft chortled, finding the idea amusing.
"Don't make me order you, Mycroft."
"I'd like to see you try." His brother stood up and finished his drink, ready to go off to bed.
"I need to go back to Baker Street," Sherlock persisted, standing up too and stopping the elder Holmes in the doorway, touching his arm and spinning him round. "Please Mycroft." He looked into his eyes sincerely. There was a moment between them that Sherlock broke, finding it too awkward that he had just said 'please' to his brother.
"I'll sleep on it," Mycroft replied, shrugging off Sherlock's hand and leaving the room.
Sherlock sighed and returned to the sofa deep in thought. He had never imagined he would miss his old life as much as he had. Sometimes he felt weak and ashamed of himself because of it, but Baker Street was his home, John was his friend, his best friend, his only friend, and he needed to see him, needed to be back where he belonged, even if he couldn't tell him the truth just yet. Not until they had Moran.
He remained there for another three hours before finally falling asleep on the sofa at around half six in the morning, not managing to make it up to his luxurious four postor bed in the room he had always felt he didn't belong in.
He dreamt of his old life, of things returning back to normal, of John and him solving cases again together and making fun of each other.