Chapter One: Polystyrene.
Mycroft considered the polystyrene cup that he had just been handed with thin lips, a raised eyebrow and mild disgust. “What is this?”
“Milk and two sugars,” chirped Lestrade happily, blowing the steam from his own cup that was clasped tightly in his gloved hands. “Just like you asked for.”
“Yes, but what is it?” Mycroft sniffed cautiously but the scent was not one he was familiar with. Being a self-proclaimed tea-connoisseur, this was most disconcerting. “Twinnings? Clipper? PG Tips?” The last was almost spat out, such was his distaste for the brand.
Lestrade shrugged as though it were of no importance. “Oh, I don’t know. Probably Spar’s own. It’s hot, it’s wet… tea is tea.”
Mycroft’s lips tightened into an even thinner line; tea was most certainly not tea. And this… he peeled back the plastic lid with the tips of his thumb and index finger as though it were a particularly disgusting specimen that needed removing. This, in no realms of the imagination, could even slightly be considered tea. Hot and wet, yes, but tea. It was a travesty to grant this dishwater such an honoured title!
“Is it okay?”
Ready to tell the detective inspector precisely what he thought of his tea, Mycroft raised his head.
Lestrade was looking at him with a hopeful expectation over the rim of his own cup as he sipped steadily.
With an imperceptible sigh, Mycroft nodded stiffly, “Thank you, Inspector,” before raising the flimsy container to his lips and drinking.
It was hot, it was wet and, on that cold afternoon, isn’t that what really mattered?