Mycroft Holmes was annoyed, but not surprised to see out of the corner of his eye the green light signalling a new text message. He preferred not to text, and those who were not privy to that information where also not privy to his personal contact information. Sherlock, then. With a tired sigh he set down his book and regarded the message.
<wwhy isn.t doctrp hwp pn?>
He wasted a whole two minutes staring at his mobile. It was from the Detective Inspector Lestrade's number—he would have wasted another moment double checking that had he not just called the number a few hours prior. And he hadn't bumped into his charming younger brother since then, so the text was, if not from the DI, at least from his phone. But why would he be texting him at—a quick glance at the wall clock—half one and with such poor spelling?
<I am afraid I do not know, Detective Inspector. Should Doctor Who be on at this hour?>
Before he was able to pick up the book again, the green light was back.
<want ti wacth now wahta re yu doin>
In all his other dealings with the man, Mycroft had found Lestrade to be of above average intelligence. His manner of speech was rough, but educated. He had received only two text messages from him before tonight, but both had been grammatical. Clearly this was someone else in possession of his phone, or DI Lestrade was not in full control of his mental capacities. It wouldn't be below Sherlock to pull a stunt such as this, but after the last case, Dr. Watson would be keeping him home tonight. Very tired—he was a hardworking man with little time to spare for sleeping, this was a possibility—or intoxicated.
<Perhaps if you cannot wait for a scheduled broadcast, you ought to consider investing in some DVDs.>
<you slways talk si funy mycruft?>
Inebriated. When Mycroft and Greg had spoken early today, the quality of Lestrade's voice was off. Mycroft initially had explained that away as being a product of a stressful case that had required stressful interaction with his brother. But now as he reflected on it, there was less of the caring exasperation that Sherlock typically invoked in the detective, and more of a broken resignation. The case had been solved and the culprit was in custody before there were more victims, so it wasn't work related. Oh. The wife. Even if he hadn't known Sherlock, Greg would have known his wife was cheating. Would have known for a few months, at least. Something new, then. Something to cause resignation. They would not be continuing efforts to save the marriage. So he moved out. No, she felt guilty (she was guilty) and moved out. Leaving Lestrade an empty flat to go home to. And no one to stop him from becoming intoxicated on a Tuesday night.
<How much have you had to drink, Detective Inspector?>
<mnames greg. no tmnuch flats metpy>
Not much, indeed. He always had beers in the fridge—but no more than a six pack. His wife didn't drink at home, unless they had company and wine was purchased for the occasion. It's unlikely that all six bottles were there. He may have had a pint or two before going home though. No matter, he hadn't enough to be in danger of more than embarrassment.
<Gregory, can I do anything to be of assistance?>
Gregory. Mycroft liked using first names. He could affect intimacy or exert power by asserting a right to someone's given name. But he had grudgingly come to respect the detective and had therefore kept to his title. Pity a drunken allowance could not be assumed after sobriety returns.
This time, Mycroft had to wait a few minutes for a response. He pretended he wasn't fretting, just a bit, by trying to read his book. He never turned a page.
<im o k thankss>
Greg Lestrade woke up with a thud by falling off his sofa and immediately he wished he hadn't woken up at all. His mouth felt fuzzy and his stomach nauseous. Somewhere—the bedroom he no longer shared with his wife, his brain helpfully provided—a terrible beeping sound pierced the otherwise silent morning and aggravated what was turning out to be a pretty horrid headache. After taking a moment to focus on his breathing, he pulled himself up with the help of the coffee table and shuffled into the bedroom to shut off the alarm. Going back to sleep wouldn't help, but being late to work would make everything even worse. He'd have time for a shower or a cuppa. Waltzing into Scotland Yard reeking of stale beer and cigarettes—bollocks! he'd been smoking again and too drunk to really enjoy it—was not an option. A shower then, as hot as he could stand and as fast as he could manage.
He managed to make it there only 2 minutes later than usual, and before any of his direct superiors. He left the light off in his office—the gentle glow of his computer screen as much as his eyes could handle comfortably. On the one hand, it would be nice to have a busy day. Lots to do and no time to think. On the other hand, he just wanted to curl into a ball and cry—scratch that die—and busy days were usually Sherlock days. He loved Sherlock, but wanted to avoid any brilliant deductions about himself for as long as possible, if not longer. Luckily his darling wife (almost ex, but not quite. What was he supposed to call her now? And how fast could the divorce papers go through?) had waited until he got home last night to break the news. Pregnant. Decidedly not with Lestrade's child. When was the last time they'd been intimate? But if Sherlock walked in now, he'd surely know more about the situation than Greg himself knew.
"Oi! Lestrade! You in there?" Greg winced at how loud the young constable could be.
"What is it, Johnson?"
The door opened—cautiously—apparently Greg sounded as impatient as he felt.
"Some bloke left you this, sir" Johnson offered, to Greg's relief much quieter now. He had a paper coffee cup and a small pastry box. It looked like a note was taped to the box.
"Don't know. He didn't leave a name. But there's a note?"
Greg grabbed both the box and the cup from the officer and dismissed him. No need to pester for an answer he wouldn't be getting when he could just open the note, huh? Before risking a taste of the coffee he ripped the envelope from the box. Nice paper—cream coloured. Matching notecard inside. Handwriting a bit poncy, but familiar, and in an ink colour he couldn't name—something between grey and blue?
I thought you could use some breakfast. I would have sent over a Full English, but I assume you can only handle the dry toast after last night.
MH. Mycroft Holmes? How did he know about last night? Of course the Holmes brothers know everything. Shite. Does Sherlock know now too? Well, it's a bit weird to be sending him breakfast, but also unlikely Mycroft would be poisoning him. And he was right about the food—Greg wasn't even sure he could handle the toast just yet. The coffee though? The cup was from a café up the street that he sometimes visited and always enjoyed and he hummed a bit as he took a sip. Milk, no sugar. Sometimes it was nice to know people who knew everything.
A thank you would be appropriate, so he pulled out his mobile and scrolled through names until he got to the M's. Mycroft Holmes was the second of two (after Mum).
<Mycroft, don't know how you know everything, but thanks for the breakfast. It's perfect.>
Mycroft had to force himself not to smile when he read Greg—no, DI Lestrade was too drunk to mean to let him call him Greg—Lestrade's text. He was in the middle of a meeting that was dull enough for him to be checking his mobile and not cheery enough to be allowed an uncharacteristic grin. He tapped out a quick response while prepare to disagree with the ambassador.
<It is my job to know everything, Detective Inspector>