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“Lestrade,” Greg said as he answered the phone, walking towards a crime scene. The next words had him stopping in his tracks and biting back a groan. “I’ll be right there.” Sally was watching him and he gave her an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry, Chris got into a fight at school. I’ve got to go get him.”

“Go on,” she said, waving him off.

Greg gave a nod and hurried back towards his car. If things had gone differently he should have been up for Inspector himself. As it was, he felt like he was lucky to still be a Sergeant with all the time he’d missed. Luckily, Sally understood his situation and considered him too valuable to lose. And he was glad she’d made Inspector; they’d worked together for quite a while.

Gritting his teeth, he drove towards the school. At least his ex was continuing to pay for the kids education. That seemed like all the alpha was willing to do. She’d barely even seen them once the divorce was final, moving to Edinburgh to ‘start over’. Probably shacking up with every omega that smiled at her, he thought uncharitably..

Greg swallowed back his anger. That wouldn’t do Chris any good. He was ten now, had seen more of their fights, knew better than his siblings just how much she’d walked out of their lives. Cherie was six, and quiet, and seemed determined to do her best at school. Paul was three, and sometimes he’d crawl into bed with Greg and cry because he missed his father. Greg never really knew what to say to him, just held Paul and promised that he’d never leave him like that. Dropping him off at daycare in the mornings was still difficult. Despite the love of his job, if Greg thought he could afford it he’d quit right this minute to make sure he could take care of his kids.

But that was impossible. She wasn’t paying that much support after the school costs. Lots of omegas had to carry on after a divorce or loss of their alpha, Greg knew he wasn’t anything special. Still, sometimes he missed her as much as Paul. Alice might have been a shit alpha, but she was all he’d known.The first heat after she’d left had been entirely miserable, but at least he was on suppressants to reduce how often he had them.

Reaching the school, Greg parked and got out, steeling himself as he approached the office. The headmaster had decided the divorce was all Greg’s fault and didn’t like him. As long as Chris didn’t get kicked out though, things would be okay.

**

"I do believe that will be all, gentlemen and lady," Mycroft said, standing as the meeting concluded. Anthea met him at the door, with a folded message. Mycroft arched a brow and took it, reading quickly. "Ah," he said. "I'm afraid I must seek your pardons. Something has come up." He nodded as they waved him off politely and ducked away.

"Is the car waiting?" Mycroft asked, fighting the urge to rub at his temples.

"Yes sir."

"Very well."

Thirty minutes later, Mycroft was striding into his son's school. Reid looked up guiltily from the stool in front of the headmaster's office, flanked by a brown-haired child perhaps a year younger. Mycroft graced Reid with a disappointed look, but it softened to concern as he noted the black eye forming. He sighed and swept into the small office, surprised at the omega arguing vigorously with Mr. Danteson. The headmaster was not known for his easy personality, and Mycroft hadn't observed his more....contemptible personality traits before, but it seemed as if today might turn into that day.

The omega glanced at him, but continued his argument. Mycroft allowed himself to deduce. Single parent like Mycroft himself, alpha not dead as Belle, but gone instead. The omega was tired, lines and grey hair showing the stress he was under. Clothes indicated he'd come directly from full time work, a police officer, Sergeant judging by the identification hanging from his belt and the fit of his shoes.

Definitely the parent of the other child outside, but the small chain with birthstones he wore showed him to be the mother of two more.

Mycroft shook his head and cleared his throat. Enough of this. "Excuse me," he said. "Might I get a proper explanation as to why I was called away from a rather important meeting for a simple fight?"

“Mister Holmes,” said the headmaster. “Your child was injured. I’m afraid this is not the first time that Miss Lestrade’s progeny has caused trouble at this school.”

Greg looked up and was surprised that the other man was alpha. Red hair and sharp blue eyes seemed to take in everything at a glance. A posh suit showed he belonged here more than Greg. Most alphas wouldn’t step in to trouble with their child, leave that to their omega, especially at this school. So probably a single parent as well.

“As I told Miss Lestrade,” the headmaster continued. “I do believe no less than a five day suspension would be the correct punishment.”

“Not with exams coming up,” growled Greg.

"I understand your reasoning headmaster, but I'm sure that both children would prefer not to be suspended," Mycroft said smoothly. "Miss Lestrade? Would you be appeased if your child were to write a letter of apology and they both were made to associate until their differences are solved?"

Greg was surprised at the generosity. “That would be acceptable. Thank you.”

"Very well. Headmaster, you will see both Reid and Miss Lestrade's child here tomorrow." Mycroft swept out, sure the omega would follow. "Reid, it's time to leave."

Greg followed him, looking at Chris. “You’ll need to apologize to Master Holmes.”

"But mum-"

"I started it," Reid broke in, head down. "I'm sorry, Father. The headmaster didn't ask me."

Mycroft raised a brow. "Very well. No violin lessons this week. And you will write an extra essay."

Reid looked up in shock, but his arguments died on his lips at the look on his father’s face.

Greg looked at his own son. “Still, Chris, you know better than to hit someone.”

Chris shuffled his feet nervously, glancing at Mycroft. "He said that...." He trailed off, and mumbled something, glancing at Reid.

"I didn't mean it cruelly, even if it’s true! And you hit me and you should NOT do that," Reid said, voice filled with self righteousness.

"Enough," Mycroft said. "Miss Lestrade, would you care to share the punishments we've worked out?"

Greg sighed. “Chris you will write an apology to Master Holmes. And you two will be spending time together until you can get your differences worked out.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Mister Holmes, perhaps you and Reid would join us for supper?”

"That would be lovely, but perhaps tomorrow night?" Mycroft asked over the looks of sheer shock the children were sharing. "I was called away from a rather important meeting," he continued, looking pointedly at Reid.

“I understand that.. Six?”

"Very good," Mycroft said. "Shall we exchange contact information?"

“Yeah.” Greg pulled out his mobile. “Should I text you my address?”

"Yes," Mycroft said and rattled off his number. "I will speak with you tomorrow. Shall I bring anything?"

“If you care to bring something to drink, you can. I’ve got two others, six and three.”

"Yes, of course. Do take care." Mycroft beckoned Reid out alongside him, rucksack in hand.

Reid dragged his heels as they went to the waiting car, expecting his father to bring him low with that sharp tongue he had.

"Stop scraping your feet," Mycroft ordered as the driver opened the door for them. "What on earth were you thinking? A fight, Reid?"

“I didn’t expect him to swing at me,” he grumbled.

"That is not an excuse," Mycroft replied as they began to drive. "What exactly did you say to him?"

“I deduced that his father left them and moved to Edinburgh.”

"I've warned you what will happen if you do that," Mycroft said. "You know people will react badly."

“I know,” he said quietly.

"You'll be apologizing properly tomorrow night," Mycroft said. "And straight to your room tonight. Rosa will be watching you."

“Yes, sir.” Reid looked out the window.

**

"This is bull shit," Chris said, stomping along behind Greg. "I can't believe you're going to ground me!"

“Language! You know better than to hit someone. You’re lucky the headmaster took the option so you don’t miss your exams.”

"It doesn't matter," Chris said, practically throwing himself into the car as they got to it. "You didn't even ask about what he said! He wouldn't stop talking about dad!"

“What did he say?” asked Greg as he buckled up.

"Never mind," Chris said, burying his head in his arms. "You don't care anyway."

“Of course I care, Chris. I’m trying to do right by you and your siblings.”

"Then why did you make dad leave?" Chris mumbled. "Make dad come back. I miss her."

Greg came to a stop light and closed his eyes, praying for strength. “I didn’t make her leave,” he said softly. “I miss her too, but she made her choices.”

"I want to live with her," Chris muttered. "I wanna go to Scotland."

“I’ll talk to her, but she said she didn’t want full time custody of any of you. Do you want to call her when we get home?”

"Mhm," Chris said. He waited a few minutes then spoke again. "Reid said she didn't want me. Why...why doesn't she want me?"

“She doesn’t want any of us. And I don’t know, Chris. We had some trouble a few years ago, I thought things were better, and then she did this. I don’t know why and I wish I had a better answer for you. I always tried to be good to her and you kids.” Greg was dangerously close to tears, but tried not to show it, though his voice cracked a little.

"I just wanna go home," Chris said and curled up on the seat, closing his eyes to avoid tears.

Greg reached over and squeezed his knee before focusing on the road

**

"Mum, why is this guy coming over?" Cherie asked grumpily, crossing her arms as Greg darted around the kitchen trying to tidy and cook.

“His son and Chris need to get to know each other better, so they don't fight any more. Be a sweetheart and set the table, please?”

Cherie sighed, but did as she was told. Paul came up and tugged on Greg's pant leg, wanting to be picked up just as the doorbell rang. Chris sat in a huff on the sofa, staring at the door, wordlessly refusing to answer.

Taking the food off the stove, Greg picked Paul up and held him on his hip as he opened the door. “Good evening,” he said with a tired smile. “Please, come in. This is is Paul, and this is my daughter Cherie.”

Mycroft smiled at him and held up a bottle of wine and a bottle of lemonade. "Good evening. I've brought drinks as requested. Reid, come along now." Cherie and Paul were both blond, taking after their father’s looks, as evidenced by a family picture on the mantel.

Reid slunk in behind him, eyes on the floor.

Greg set Paul down and took the drinks. “Supper is ready, won’t you come join us?”

"That would be lovely."

They proceeded into the dining room, and Mycroft directed Reid into the seat beside Chris. "May I help?" he asked Greg.

“You can pour the drinks if you like. The cups are in that cabinet. Chris, help Paul into his booster, will you?”

"Yes mum," Chris said and hopped out of his chair. He helped Paul up, but Paul slipped and banged his knee. He began to cry, reaching out for Greg.

“Shh, it’s okay,” said Greg, picking him up and rocking him gently. He shot Mycroft an apologetic look as he settled Paul in his booster and kissed his knee. “All better,” he said with a smile. Leaning over, he kissed the top of Cherie’s head and then Chris’s.

Reid gave Chris a grumpy smile as they settled around the table. “Thank you for coming,” said Greg.

"Thank you for inviting us," Mycroft said. "Might I enquire as to your line of work? Police force, yes?"

"Yes. Scotland Yard. Only a Sergeant, though."

"I'm sure you're quite good at your job," Mycroft said, granting Greg a smile.

“Thank you.” Greg liked the way he looked when he smiled. “What do you, Mister Holmes?”

"I occupy a minor position in the British government," Mycroft said, glancing at Reid as the boy snickered.

"Sounds important," said Greg, ignoring the snicker. He leaned over to help Paul with his food.

"Is it super secret stuff?" asked Cherie.

Mycroft smiled at her. "At times," he said kindly. "How old are you my dear?"

"Six. I'm in year two."

"Ah, very good. And do you enjoy school?”

"Yes. Mr. Turner says I'm an advanced reader."

“That is excellent,” Mycroft said. “And your maths skills?”

“Not quite top of my class, but Mommy got me a book so I can work on it.” Cherie smiled at Greg. He smiled back, finished with Paul’s food and picked up his own fork.

“Your mother takes rather good care of you, doesn’t he?” Mycroft asked, glancing at Greg.

Cherie nodded. “But he’s tired a lot.”

“It’s fine, Cherie,” said Greg. “I don’t mind taking care of all of you.” He gave Mycroft an apologetic look. “I’m very grateful for my family.”

“As am I,” Mycroft said, looking over at Reid. He and Chris had progressed from staring balefully at each other, to whispering. Reid looked apologetic and Chris looked stressed, but they were speaking, only to stop as they noticed eyes on them. “Are you two getting along now then?” Mycroft asked.

“Yes, Father,” said Reid.

“Very good. There may be hope for them yet,” Mycroft said, addressing Greg.

“Yeah. Chris, if you want to take Reid to your room after supper that’s fine.”

“Oh…” Chris looked doubtfully at Reid. “I share with Paul, so you can’t mind his toys. And you can’t make fun of my legos or my stuffed bear.”

“I won’t, I promise,” said Reid.

"I come too?” asked Paul.

Chris frowned. “Ugh. Paul, you’re a baby. Mummmm….”

“Don’t call your brother a baby,” said Greg. “Paul, I think he’d like to spend time alone with Reid. We can put on some cartoons, okay?”

Paul pushed his food around, mushing his vegetables. “Oh-kay,” he said quietly, sighing.

Mycroft hesitated, then smiled at Paul. “If you like, and your mother doesn’t mind, I can read you a story.”

“Okay,” said Paul again, giving Mycroft a shy smile.

After dinner, Chris and Reid disappeared. Mycroft found himself reading a story handed to him by Cherie, with Paul edging closer and closer to him as Greg cleaned up the kitchen. He blinked in surprise as Paul eventually gave up the pretense of shyness, curling into his side with quiet sigh.

Greg rubbed his face as he finished cleaning up and poured himself another small glass of wine. He stepped into the doorway and froze in place at the scene. Paul was curled up against Mycroft, who’d put one arm around the small boy. Cherie was on his other side, not quite leaned in as far, but paying rapt attention to the story, though she’d heard and read it plenty of times. Greg blinked back tears and retreated into the kitchen, leaning against the counter as he finished his wine alone. Mycroft seemed like a good man and a good alpha. There wasn’t a wedding ring, so he assumed he was raising Reid alone. He wondered what had happened to his omega, but asking would be prying. Reaching one hand up, Greg rubbed at the faded ghost of his bond mark. He didn’t expect to bond again, after all, he didn’t have time for anything but work, taking care of the kids, catching a few hours sleep, and doing it all over again.

“Miss Lestrade?” Mycroft asked, stepping quietly into the kitchen. “Are you all right?”

Greg blinked back the tears. Mycroft must have caught the distress in his scent. “Fine,” he said, putting on a smile. He could see Cherie and Paul peeking around the corner. “Cherie, take your brother and get ready for bed. He can sleep in your room until Reid and Chris are done.”

“Okay,” she said, looking between the two of them before taking Paul’s hand to lead him upstairs.

Paul broke free of her grasp, ran over, hugged Mycroft’s leg, then darted back out and running up the stairs.

“Sorry about that,” said Greg softly. “He’s really missed his father.”

“It’s quite fine,” Mycroft replied. “I’ve nearly forgotten what it is like to have pups at such a young age running about.” He hesitated before making up his mind to continue. He’d refused to open Greg’s file, despite the almost burning need to do so. “Your alpha. Do you mind if I ask what happened?” Mycroft said. “Or is this perhaps a conversation best suited to a night with far more wine to be consumed?”

Greg gave a soft chuckle. “It’s fine, but I hope you don’t mind if I pour myself another glass. She left. We’d….had problems, but I thought things were better. Then she left us. The divorce was finalized over the summer. Your omega?”

“Dead,” Mycroft said curtly. “Apologies. I should have realized I would open myself up to such a question. But yes...she died about a year ago.”

“I’m sorry for your loss,” said Greg sincerely. He glanced to make sure no little ears were listening. “Things between us weren’t great for a long time, but I was willing to try for the kids. She wasn’t, didn’t even ask for custody, though she’ll get some visitation next summer and maybe the holidays. It’s been hard on them, I’m certain that’s why Chris acted out like he did. I’m trying, but I can’t be here as much as I’d like. I just try to make sure that they know they’re loved.” He looked at his wine glass and set it aside. “I’m sorry, I’m probably rambling. I just haven’t had anyone to talk to about any of this. Not really.”

“It is quite all right,” Mycroft said. “I tend not to speak about Belle more than possible, but I know it must be even more difficult for you. If it will help you, by all means, feel free to speak to me about it.” He sat down at the table and smiled, wanting Greg to confide in him.

Greg took his glass and sat across from him. "Thank you. I'm not even that upset for myself. I'm more angry for the kids. I knew she was cheating for years, but I kept quiet about it. Maybe I should have taken Cherie and Chris and left, but then I got pregnant Paul and she said she wanted to make things work. That didn't even last a year after Paul was born. I think Chris knows some of it, he's observant." Greg sighed. "Then one day she tells me she's moving to Edinburgh. Alone." Greg remembered the anguish of that day. And the relief, that it was finally coming to an end, that he wouldn't have to wonder what his alpha was bringing home with her, didn't have to worry about coming home to stumble over a tryst, or worse, the pups doing so.

"And the children don't understand, because how could you tell them the truth?" Mycroft said quietly. "Even if you did, they wouldn't believe it. It's their father." His mind briefly flitted to his own troubles with Reid, the angry shouts of 'Ice Man' his son was so fond of employing.

"Exactly. And despite everything, I miss her too. It wasn't arranged, exactly, but our union was strongly encouraged. I think we only went into it at our family's behest."

"Belle and I had a similar arrangement. It wouldn't have been forced if we'd said no, but it was also strongly encouraged," Mycroft shared. "But she was a comfort to me. And I did..." He tried to search out the words he wanted, but at the kind look in Greg's eyes he gave in. "I did love her. Once in time."

Greg reached across and squeezed his hand in sympathy.

"Yes, well," Mycroft said, clearing his throat and standing. "Shall I collect Reid and be on my way?"

“I suppose it is getting late,” smiled Greg. “You’re both welcome to come another time.”

"That would be nice," Mycroft admitted as Greg stood and they walked down the hall. "I find I've enjoyed the company, even if our sons...don't?" Mycroft said questioningly as the door swung open. He couldn't help his smile at seeing Reid and Chris curled on the floor of a blanket fort, one stuffed bear between them, fast asleep. "Oh dear. Did we speak for longer than I thought?"

“Perhaps so,” said Greg quietly. “We could go to the park this weekend, if you’d like?” Maybe he was foolish to ask, but he found himself wanting to spend time with Mycroft. The fact that the pups seemed to like him didn’t hurt any either. And obviously Chris and Reid were becoming fast friends.

Mycroft frowned. "I am not sure if I will be able to get away from work or not. Perhaps for a short time on Sunday?"

“Picnic Sunday afternoon? You work the weekends as well?”

"I work a very inconsistent schedule, that often requires my time even on the weekends, yes."

“Ah. I understand that. Police work, you know.”

"Yes," Mycroft said, stepping into the room to pick up Reid. "If only Reid understood." He nodded at Greg. "A picnic would be lovely. Please allow me to prepare it. Is Regent's Park an acceptable location?"

“That’s fine. You can text me the time. And if you ever need someone to watch Reid, I’m sure Chris wouldn’t mind the company.”

"I have a system of sitters, but your offer is more than welcome. Reid needs the company. I'm afraid I do not have...friends. Not any with children."

"Well I'd be glad to spend more time with you and Reid," said Greg honestly.

Mycroft blinked. "Oh. Yes. I'd quite like that as well." He smiled hesitantly, shifting as Reid nuzzled into his shoulder with a sleepy mumble. "Must be going now. Thank you again." Greg walked him to the door, and Mycroft smiled again on his way out to the car, driver opening the door as he moved in.

The smile stayed with him all the way home, even as he tucked Reid into bed and then made his way to his own lonely room. With a sigh, Mycroft stripped down, and clambered into bed, thoughts of the evening dancing in his head. And he refused to take himself in hand, even as his mind drifted over to Gregory's smile, kind eyes, and appealing silvery hair. Not to mention the plush arse hidden away in plain, work worn trousers.

Chapter Text

Greg found his mind drifting to Mycroft over the next several days. He told himself it was only because Mycroft was the first alpha outside of work to pay him any attention. But that wasn’t entirely true. Mycroft’s scent lingered in his mind, and his smile. As Sunday arrived he found himself eager, though he tried to hide it from the kids.

"Mum?" Paul asked, playing with Greg's hair as they walked into the park. "Where's da? Da here?"

"No, Da isn't here. We're meeting Mycroft and Reid."

"Mycrowf?" Paul thought for a moment, sliding down as Greg paused and let him off his shoulders. "Another story?"

"Maybe. We'll see." He put his misgivings aside and smiled as he spotted the pair. Cherie gave a wave.

Mycroft waved back and turned to finish setting out the food out on the picnic table. He gasped as his leg was tackled, and looked down to see Paul grinning up at him. "Story?"

Mycroft chuckled. "Maybe later, little one. Hello Cherie, Chris, Miss Lestrade. Reid is just there, feeding the ducks if you'd care to join."

Cherie and Chris headed over. "Can I help with anything?" asked Greg.

"Perhaps just the drinks? I have bottled lemonade for us, but the tops can be tricky for little hands," Mycroft said, leaning down to pick up Paul. "And you can help me count the napkins, can't you?" he asked, poking Paul in the belly.

Paul giggled and nodded. Greg got the drinks open, smiling as he watched Mycroft and Paul, glancing over to keep an eye on the others from time to time.

"Reid! Lunch!" Mycroft called as he finished setting everything up. Reid ran over, the others following him. "Did you see the swans?" Mycroft asked.

"Yes, father. They're beautiful."

"Have I told you about the time your uncle fell into the pond and was attacked by swans?" Mycroft asked.

Reid shook his head. Greg chuckled. "Do you mind if get a picture of all of us?"

Mycroft frowned at the possible security risks but nodded. "Very well." Greg set a timer on the camera and placed it on the table as they all lined up. He darted back over, standing beside Mycroft. Mycroft wrapped an awkward arm around him and smiled as the flash went off. "Will that do?"

"That's perfect, thank you." Greg liked the feel of Mycroft’s around him, but kept that comment to himself. "Let's eat."

"Yes." The two parents distributed the food, the children as usual eating as though they'd been starved close to death before hand. Afterwards, Greg and Mycroft cleaned up while the children darted away to the gazebo nearby. Paul remained with them, sucking on his thumb and watching Mycroft's every movement.

Greg ruffled his son's hair. "You can play with the others if you want."

Paul shook his head, still watching Mycroft. Mycroft smiled at him and pulled a small lollipop from his pocket. “Would it be all right if he had this?”

"That's fine."

Paul took it with a big smile. "Thank you, Mycrowf."

"You're very welcome, Paul."

"Story now?" Paul asked, popping the sweet in his mouth.

Mycroft looked to Greg. "Would you mind if my company was transferred to your son for a bit?"

"That's fine. I'll go keep an eye on the older ones."

"Here, we'll follow you over," Mycroft said, picking up the basket and walking over with him. They sat down on a bench, and Paul crawled into Mycroft's lap as the alpha began to tell a quiet story full of pirates and adventure.

Soon the other kids were gathered around. Greg smiled and quietly took a picture of the scene. He seemed like a good alpha, probably more than he deserved.

Mycroft smiled as he ended the story, Paul nuzzling into him with a murmured request for "'nother'"

"I don't think so, little one. I'm rather thinking it might be close to your nap time," Mycroft said, glancing at Greg.

Greg nodded. "We'll get together again soon," he said, glancing at Mycroft for confirmation.

"Of course," Mycroft replied. Within moments, they'd said their goodbyes and were heading back to their respective homes.

**

The families had several more play dates, though never at Mycroft's home, despite Reid's pleading. Mycroft didn't know why he was reluctant to invite Gregory and his children. Perhaps it was the idea that Greg wasn't aware of the amount of money he had, and the luxuries he lived in. Greg certainly hadn't noticed that the wine he'd brought to their first dinner cost over 200 pounds a bottle.

But then again, perhaps it was inviting an omega over into the space he'd shared with Belle. It somehow felt different, the idea of having Gregory there, simply because he was undeniably interested in the omega. He was clearly at ease with his children, despite the work and worry. And quite attractive as well, though Mycroft still refused to pleasure himself to the thought of the omega.

With a put out sigh one night at dinner, Mycroft eventually caved to having them over. The whole family would come for supper and Chris would stay for a sleepover.

Now, Greg was expected in just an hour, and Mycroft was in his closet, fretting over what to wear while Reid watched.

“The blue button up,” said Reid. “With the gray waistcoat.”

Mycroft turned to him. "I don't wear the blue. It's too tight."

“But it looks good on you, Dad.” Reid got up to get it. “And the waistcoat will hide anything else.”

"And when did you become a bespoke tailor?" Mycroft asked, but ducked back in to change. "Sleeves folded back? How do I look?"

“You look good,” smiled Reid. “Promise.”

Mycroft frowned at himself in the mirror. "Thank you, Reid. Now, is your room tidy?"

“Yes, sir.”

**

Greg tried not to gawp as he looked up at the house. “I do expect you all to be on your best behavior.”

"Just cause he's rich?" Chris asked, crossing his arms.

"Wich?" Paul asked, clutching tight to Greg's hand. "Mycrowf?"

“Not just because he’s rich, but because we’re also guests at his home.” Greg took a breath and knocked on the door. He could already smell the alpha and it made his stomach twist with desire. Something he decidedly didn’t need to be projecting.

Mycroft looked up as Reid darted past his study to let the Lestrades in. He stood, going to greet them as well.

"Miss Lestrade. A pleasure to see you. Hello children."

“You know, Greg is fine,” he smiled, offering a bottle of wine and admiring the way the blue of his shirt set off his eyes. “Thank you for having us.”

"That was unnecessary," Mycroft said accepting the bottle. "Thank you for coming...Gregory." He smiled almost unwillingly, the familiar name heavy and sweet on his tongue like honey. "Reid couldn't stop talking about the sleepover."

Paul let go of Greg and wandered over to Mycroft. "Up, Mycrowf."

Mycroft chuckled and scooped him up. "I hope you're hungry."

“I know Chris is excited about it too. I think Paul is just going to end up sleeping with me again tonight. He doesn’t like sleeping alone.”

"That's understandable. My brother was quite the same at his age, as was Reid," Mycroft said, leading them all into the kitchen. "Here we are Paul. I brought this out of the attic for you," he said, settling the toddler in a booster.

“Yay! I high!” grinned Paul, kicking his feet. "Thank you!"

Mycroft smiled. "Gregory, would you help me plate the food? Reid and Chris can set the table with Cherie."

“Okay.” Greg followed Mycroft into the kitchen. “You’ve got a lovely home.”

"Thank you," Mycroft said. "If you like, I can give you a short tour. It's far too big for just Reid and I, but...." He trailed off as he caught the scent of desire in the air, immediately swallowing hard. "Ahem, yes." He cleared his throat. "But I occasionally entertain my family members and it is nice to have the extra room." He licked his lips, stepping away to uncover the pasta on the counter, hoping to mask Greg's scent as quickly as possible.

Greg chuckled softly, catching the movement and guessing its intent. “I take it you haven’t had many omegas around of late.”

"Not really," Mycroft said. "Apologies, truly. I don't mean to come off as a brute."

“Far from it. You...are a very attractive alpha,” he admitted quietly. “If that’s not too forward of me.”

"Not at all," Mycroft replied. "You're rather attractive yourself, if you don't mind me saying."

Greg made to respond, but they were interrupted by a thud and a wail from the other room. "Mum! Paul hurt himself!" Cherie shouted.

Greg dropped what he was doing and hurried into the dining room. He gathered Paul in his arms and shushed him, quickly checking him over and finding him just fine. “What did I tell you about climbing out of your booster seat, love?”

"Ow!" Paul whimpered, rubbing his tailbone. "Floor hurts."

Mycroft came in with a trayful of bowls, filled to the brim with pasta, and a plate of sliced bread and butter. "Is he all right?"

“Just a bruised ego,” said Greg with a sigh, picking him up and putting him back in his booster. Cherie moved to help Mycroft pass out the food.

Paul was glaring at Mycroft, still pouting as everyone sat down. "No wich Mycrowt. Wich floor hurts."

Mycroft raised his eyebrows. "I'm a witch?"

“I think he’s trying to say rich,” said Cherie.

"Oh..." Mycroft said. "Yes. Well." He reached out and took a long draught of wine.

“There’s nothing wrong with that, Cherie,” said Greg, giving Mycroft another smile.

"It can be useful at times," Mycroft said. "Is everyone enjoying the pasta?"

“Yes, Mister Holmes,” said the children almost in unison.

"Very good. How do you all feel about a film after dinner?"

“Sounds good,” said Cherie.

Greg nodded. “That’s fine with me.”

Mycroft smiled. "Wonderful."

After dinner they settled onto the sofa. Chris and Reid sat on the floor, talking together in hushed tones. Cherie joined them after a few minutes. Paul sat between Greg and Mycroft, leaning against one, then the other.

"Did you still wish for a tour?" Mycroft asked as the film began.

“I believe I would. Paul, stay here with your siblings, okay?”

"Yes, mum," Paul said, laying his head on the arm of the sofa as Mycroft and Greg stood.

Reid waited for them to leave, then paused the movie. "Okay. What are we gonna do?"

“They need to go on a date,” said Cherie.

"But how do we get them to go on a date?" Chris asked. "They're too busy watching us!"

Reid smiled. "I'll ask Mr. Anthea. She'll help us if I ask really nice."

"Yeah, but they still won't go. Not unless we trick them."

“What if we make a reservation for them both?” asked Cherie.

"And say that it's just a night to themselves?" Chris asked.

"That should work...." Reid said.

“I think so.” Cherie smiled at them both.

**

Greg followed close behind Mycroft as they walked through the house. “It’s really beautiful.”

"Thank you," Mycroft replied. "Would you believe me if I said I planned all the decorations?"

“I would. It feels very much like you.” He breathed in the warm scent around him.

"That is...surprising," Mycroft said. "Most people do not...never mind. Here is the library."

“Oh, this must be your favorite room.” Greg smiled. “Most people don’t see you, do they?”

"Not as you have," Mycroft replied. "In the interest of my son, I've let down the walls I have in place. You see me with him, so you see me without such defenses." He refused to meet Greg's eyes, instead crossing the room to pull the curtains shut.

“You don’t have to hide from me,” said Greg softly.

Mycroft sighed. "I'm afraid I do. You would not wish to see what I truly am." He turned. "Shall we finish the tour and return to the children? It is growing late."

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole situation with Alice, it’s that it’s not all my fault. I made mistakes, I’m only human. But I can make other choices too, for my pups and for myself.” He reached for Mycroft’s hand, wanted to scent him. And not just because he was an alpha, not just because he paid attention and was good with his kids, but because he was vulnerable too, because he let Greg see parts of himself he didn’t allow others to.

Mycroft pulled his hand away before Greg could touch him. "I apologize. Perhaps I've been leading you on, but I cannot in good conscience have anything that even remotely resembles a relationship." He strode away, opening the door. "Please, Gregory," he said quietly, regret thrumming through his body.

Greg stared, shocked for a moment, then sagged. “Very well,” he said, holding himself together. Of course he wasn’t good enough, look at the way the man lived. He’d hoped...but right, had to take care of himself and his pups. Mycroft didn’t want a relationship with him, there was no point fighting about it. “I’ll take Cherie and Paul home now.”

Mycroft swallowed. "I'm sorry," he said quietly as Greg walked past him and into the hall.

“It’s...it’s fine.” Greg gave him a sad smile. “I apologize for the intrusion.” He went to collect his kids.

Mycroft showed him out, waving hesitantly to Paul and Cherie. "Gregory!" he called, cursing himself even as he did. "It... I had a lovely evening. Thank you."

“As did I. Take care of yourself.” He focused on getting Paul and Cherie into to car, ignoring the questioning look his daughter was giving him and glad Paul was falling asleep.

Mycroft nodded and turned away. He shut the door and leaned against it. Belle's picture stared down at him, her eyes watching as he brought a shaking hand up to cover his mouth. A simple mistake, only pheromones. Nothing more. He cleared his throat and stood.

Their movie finished, he settled the children in Reid's room, and returned to his own. He refused to look at the library as he passed, instead flicking the lights off one by one.

He made it to his bedroom, going directly to the en suite shower. Off came the waistcoat, button up, and trousers, dropped to the floor in haste. Mycroft stepped in under the pounding water, biting back a groan. Aware the the children were sleeping, that there was no one here to see, he finally took himself in hand, stroking himself off. Thoughts of Greg and the disappointment in his eyes warred with thoughts of the omega’s smile, of the desire in his scent earlier in the evening. And all of it overwritten by thoughts of Belle and the guilt he still felt over her death.

He finished with a hushed cry, splattering his hand, even as he realized there were tears falling from his eyes. Mycroft sighed, letting his head tip back against the shower wall, letting himself have a moment of utter, debilitating weakness alone in the bath. And after, he'd manage to get into bed. And then the morning after, he'd return to work and do what needed to be done.

As he'd always done.

Chapter Text

"Mum?"

“Yes, Cherie?” Greg looked up from where he was washing dishes. He hadn’t heard from Mycroft in a week, had barely seen him when he picked up Chris the morning after. He hadn’t pushed, hadn’t pried. The alpha had made his choice and Greg would abide by it, no matter how much his heart ached. His heat would be coming up soon and he already knew where his traitorous thoughts would lie. If the kids had noticed, they’d said nothing, and Greg had done his best to keep it from them. Paul had crawled into his bed twice in the past week, but he hadn’t asked about Mycroft or his father, to Greg’s relief.

"Chris and I have a surprise for you," she said excitedly. "Come on!"

Greg dried his hands and raised an eyebrow. “All right, what is it?” He took her hand and let himself be led.

She led him to first her room and then Chris and Paul's. "We cleaned our rooms," she said, grinning. "So you can go out."

"Cherie," Chris hissed, nudging her. "It's a surprise."

"You said to tell!" Cherie replied, crossing her arms. Paul tugged on Greg's pant leg.

"Mum. Go bye-bye, eat."

"We made you reservations," Chris said. "I called Nana in Brighton. He helped."

Greg looked at his kids. “Go out? I don’t have a sitter.”

"Nana said you need ‘alone time,’” Chris said.

Cherie nodded. "He got on the train!"

Paul grinned. "Nana," he said happily, just as the doorbell rang.

Running a hand through his hair, Greg went down to answer the door. “Mum,” he said, wrapping the older man in an awkward hug. “This is a surprise.”

"Your kids called, Greg," Anthony said with a smile. "Said you had to have alone time. Besides, I was in Brighton this weekend for a competition. Wasn't that long of a train ride and I get to see the grandkids."

"Nana!" Paul called, raising his hands to be picked up. "Story?"

“Hell, I don’t even know where to go,” said Greg, shaking his head.

"We told you mum, duh," Cherie said. "We made reservations."

"They did," Anthony replied. "Place just around Regent's Park. I might have helped, but they did do the leg work. Go on and get ready. I'll tell these ones a story, and keep them out of your hair. Make yourself look nice. Never know who you'll meet," he said with a wink.

Greg had a bad feeling about all this, but he kissed his mum's’ cheek, hugged his kids, and dressed in a nice button up and trousers that he knew showed off his figure.

**

"Excuse me, I believe I was made a reservation here?" Mycroft said frostily to the host. He'd been all but forced from his home by Reid and Anthea, and was now standing in the restaurant awaiting his table.

"Yes, sir, name, sir?"

"Holmes."

"Ah yes, table of two," the host said, leading him back even as Mycroft protested.

Greg inwardly groaned as Mycroft Holmes was led to his table. He gave the alpha a rueful smile. “It seems our children are conspiring against us.”

Mycroft frowned. "Apparently so." He stood awkwardly, before the host pulled the chair out pointedly. Mycroft sat, and a basket of bread appeared between them. "If you don't wish me to stay, I will leave, and seek my own table."

Greg bit back the first thing that popped in his head; I wasn’t the one that wanted me to go. “I don’t mind, Mycroft,” Greg said instead. “Might as well make the most of it.” He reached for a piece of bread.

"Yes," Mycroft said with a wry smile. "A work free and child free night. How very rare." He could smell Greg's heat, just close enough to be tantalizing. "Shall we have a bottle of wine? Truly make a night of it?"

“That sounds like an excellent plan. My kids called in their Nana.”

"My child called in the special forces," Mycroft replied. "And I do wish I was joking." He signaled the waiter and requested a bottle.

“Calling in Nana is nearly the same thing.”

"Well, as we're here, would you care to tell me about your family?" Mycroft asked.

“Sure. I’m half French. My father died when I was a teenager, car accident. Spent most of my upbringing here in England. Got married after university. My mum was always supportive of me having a career, but other members of my family always found it a bit scandalous.”

"But you ignored them, and balanced a career and a family. And still do today. It is quite impressive."

“It’s exhausting,” admitted Greg. “But I do my best. Alice is an architect. She always talked about building us a home, but it never happened.”

"Thus the house you currently live in being too small for when the children age," Mycroft observed.

Greg nodded. “I’ll make it work, somehow. Honestly if it wasn’t for Alice paying for school I’d have had to move already. I figure maybe I’ll make Inspector when Paul goes to school.”

"Wouldn't it be better for you to have the title now? Hours wise perhaps not, but pay and benefits would be far better." Mycroft knew Greg was an intelligent man.

“It’s the hours though. My kids need me. They’re still reeling from the divorce, they need to know I’m there for them.”

"I see," Mycroft said. "I spend perhaps too much time away from Reid." He hesitated. "It's just...he looks very much like his mother. And his eyes...they blame me, as poetic as that sounds. I know he blames me for her death."

“May I ask what happened?” Greg could see the pain in his eyes.

Mycroft sighed and sat back. "It was-"

"Are you ready to order?" The waiter asked, sweeping over to them.

Mycroft glared. "I will have the salmon with lemon rice. Gregory?"

Greg ordered his own dinner, nudging Mycroft’s glass of wine closer to his hand.

Mycroft noticed, but said nothing. He waited for the waiter to leave, and took a sip. "Belle," he said quietly, "was a musician. A talent Reid also shares. She often would go about and do performances for charity. I allowed this of course, I never sought to hold her down. She was wonderful at what she did, and had I tried to stop her, she would have gone ahead anyway," Mycroft said, voice distant but fond. "She was my equal in all but intelligence and very few people are anyhow." He sighed. "She was coming back from a performance. Her car was struck by another driver and she died almost instantly. It is my one gratitude, that it was a quick death." He left out the reason for the car crash, instead taking another sip of wine.

Greg nodded. “My father’s accident was his own fault, they said, anyway. Lost control in the rain and went off the road. I was fifteen, but they didn’t tell me much. But I am sorry for your loss and anyone could see how deeply it wounded you.”

"I am sorry for yours as well. And I apologize for how I acted the other night. Pulling away as I did, despite my true feelings of...desire on the subject was cruel," Mycroft replied.

"Apology accepted," Greg replied, heart skipping at the thought that Mycroft did want him.

"Yes, well," Mycroft said, turning his wine glass on the table as the silence stretched out. "Shall we move on to cheerier subjects?"

“What’s your favorite film?”

"The Three Musketeers," Mycroft replied. "I will blame my son for that if pressed. Yours?"

“I’m rather a fan of the Princess Bride. Or Muppet Treasure Island, but I’ll equally blame my kids for that.”

"That movie is determinedly-" Mycroft was interrupted by a loud crash from the doors to their right.

They both swung their heads and stood quickly, just as two men darted out from the doors, guns in hand. Even as the first went off, Mycroft was in motion, felling the man with a knife hidden in his waistcoat. He turned just in time to see Greg disarming the second, pinning him to the ground, a scrape across his cheek, but otherwise unharmed.

“Bastards,” growled Greg, knee in the man’s back and cuffing him. There was no doubt in his mind that Mycroft had been the target, even given what little he knew. “Shall I call my people or will you call yours?”

“Mine, I think,” Mycroft said faintly, pulling his mobile out and dialing blindly. “Do you carry those with you all the time?”

“Force of habit. Are you okay?”

“Quite.” Mycroft held up a finger and stepped away, speaking quickly with Anthea. “Apologies,” he said, coming back. “ I’ve contacted my assistant. She’ll be here momentarily. However, she will be bringing Reid with her, and he’ll be beside me until this is sorted. Apparently, there was a breach in my security.”

“I’m sorry. Is there anything I can do? Would it be safer for you two to stay at my place?”

“We would normally retire to a hotel,” Mycroft said. “Reid doesn’t like them, but it is the simplest response. Would you be willing to have an impromptu sleepover? I wouldn’t impose, but Reid would love to, I’m sure.”

“I don’t mind, and I’m sure the kids would like it too.” Greg picked up his napkin and wiped his cheek. “Be a bit of a full house, but it’s fine.”

“As long as you’re sure,” Mycroft said. “You’re still bleeding.” He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket. “May I?”

“You may.” Greg’s blood was still up and the touch of this alpha was making him a bit dizzy.

Mycroft dabbed at Greg’s cheek before scowling and taking a glass of water from the table. He twisted a corner of the cloth and dipped it in, cleaning his cheek off carefully before drying it. “I do think you'll live,” Mycroft said, the smell of Greg this close tortuous, a willing, waiting, fertile omega, letting him take care of him.

“I believe so.” Greg shuffled half a step closer, offering his throat, almost out of instinct, expecting rejection again.

Mycroft licked his lips, heart pounding, head thick with desire. “Gregory,” he said warningly, glancing around at the gawking patrons. “We shouldn’t.”

“Shouldn’t, maybe not, but if you wanted, we could leave the kids with my Mum and get a room ourselves. He's quite capable.” There was no doubting Mycroft’s desire now.

Mycroft shivered at the desire in Greg’s voice. “We could,” he said, catching Greg’s eyes. “The children would know. Your mother would know.”

“I’m pretty certain that was the plan all along, aren’t you?”

“I prefer to presume Reid is innocent of all deviousness when it comes to bodily...desires,” Mycroft replied. “Perhaps we shall pretend that there is paperwork to be done, and you simply must accompany me. Surely that is innocent enough.” He took a deep breath, immediately regretting it as Greg’s scent filled his lungs.

“Whatever you think is best. I’ll call my mum and let him know that Reid is coming over.”

“Perhaps we should deliver him there ourselves. And...get you a change of clothes,” Mycroft said, fingers itching to tear Greg’s current outfit off and bend him over the table.

“Well then, let’s hurry. I assume you’ve got a car on the way?”

In reply, Mycroft turned to the door just as Anthea and Reid strode in. “Would you mind entertaining Reid while I sort this out?” Mycroft asked.

Greg nodded and moved to the younger boy, trying to reign himself in. He grabbed a glass of ice water and sipped it. “If it’s okay with you, you’ll be spending the night at my place.”

“Wow, really?” Reid said. “Why? Is it because bad men tried to kill father again?”

Greg nodded, noting the boy's choice of words. “Afraid so.”

“Oh, that’s all right. Mr. Anthea will take care of it. Can I watch a film when we get there?”

“That’s fine. My mum will be watching you all.”

“Where will you be?” Reid asked, smiling at Greg and crossing his arms.

“Uh. Your father has some….paperwork to attend to, he asked me to accompany him.”

“Uh huh,” Reid said, eyes twinkling. “I’m ten, you know.”

“Yeah, well, take that up with your father.” He looked up as Mycroft came back over to them. “Are you ready?”

“Yes,” Mycroft replied, frowning at the smug look on Reid’s face. “Is there something you wish to share, Reid?”

“No, sir.”

“Very well. Let us depart.”

Chapter Text

An hour and a half later, Mycroft and Greg were climbing back into the car after delivering a very excited Reid to an equally enthused Chris. As soon as they began to move, Mycroft rolled the partition up and turned to Greg, cock practically half mast just from being alone in the car with him. “You’re quite sure this is what you want?”

“Yes. Very certain. And I’m already on birth control. My last test was just after my wife left and there’s been no one since them.”

“I am clean as well.” Mycroft met his eyes, and smiled. “You have perhaps twenty minutes to tell me what you like. Once we reach the hotel room, I do not think that speaking will be foremost on our minds.” He licked his lips, and then slid closer to Greg. “If you’d prefer that we just “sort it out” as we go along, I can think of a better use of our time.”

“What are you thinking of?” smiled Greg.

“I am thinking that if in the next two minutes, your lips are not pressed to mine while you sit astride me, that there had better be a damn good explanation.”

Chuckling softly, Greg moved to straddle him, kissing him wickedly, fingers running through his hair.

Mycroft moved his hands forward to grasp Greg’s hips, tugging the omega closer to him as they kissed, tongues teasing.

Finally. Greg moaned against his lips, desire flaring deep in the pit of his stomach and quickly soaking his pants. “Ah...I...think...my heat…”

Mycroft paused. “You’re early?” he asked. “What do you wish to do?”

Reluctantly Greg pulled back and tried to gather himself. He knew exactly what he wanted as he looked Mycroft in the eyes. “I don’t want to go through another heat alone.”

Mycroft nodded. “Then you will not,” he said quietly, cupping Greg’s face. “But I need to make arrangements, before we lose ourselves.” He rapped on the partition and the car slowed. “Stay in the back. I will ride in the front. Instead of a hotel, I will take you to a safer property, where we can be alone for the duration of your heat. And I’ll ensure your children are taken care of, though I’m sure your mother will volunteer.” Mycroft kissed him again, and swapped to the front seat reluctantly, directing the driver to continue moving.

Greg leaned back against the cushions and stared at the ceiling. After the last conversation he thought he’d lost Mycroft completely, now he was about to share a heat. Perhaps not ideal for a first time, but at least he knew the alpha wanted him as much as he wanted the alpha.

Mycroft couldn’t help his leg bouncing as he awaited their arrival to their destination. The children had been taken care of, Greg’s mother more than willing to stay for an extra week. Anthea had placed extra security on the house and had rearranged Mycroft’s schedule, which had already been minimal, a fact he was grateful for. Greg’s scent was growing stronger, and Mycroft was only barely able to refrain from stopping the car once more to return to the back seat and mount Greg on the seat like a rutting, desperate teen. It had obviously been too long.

They arrived at the Holmes Estate in only an hour due to some clever driving tactics, something Mycroft was planning on rewarding the beta driver for as soon as possible. He stepped out and opened the back door. “Gregory?”

Gregory was getting well into his heat now. “God, I need you,” he groaned.

Mycroft bit his lip, hoping the pain would help him maintain his composure. “Into the house, Gregory,” he said, pulling the omega out, only to be bombarded with the scent of fresh honeysuckle and nutmeg. He swallowed back a moan, all but manhandling Greg into the house and through the hall.

Greg started pulling at his clothes as soon as he aware they were inside, trying to bury his nose against the alpha’s wine-touched scent.

"Gregory," Mycroft said, nuzzling his neck. "The bedroom, my sweet. Come." He pulled away from Greg, beckoning him to come after. "Come along."

Nearly growling, Greg hurried after him, leaving a trail of clothes in his wake as he chased him.

Mycroft quickly shucked his own clothes, paying no mind to them as they hit the floor. He fumbled at the bedroom door handle and Greg was suddenly upon him, hands touching, coaxing. Mycroft moaned and wrapped one arm around Greg, letting the omega rut against his thigh as he pushed the door open, stumbling them both over to the bed. With a possessive growl, Mycroft knocked Greg gently onto the bed, climbing on after him. "Gregory."

“Alpha. Mycroft.” Greg parted his dripping thighs for him, Mycroft’s scent washing away any last remnant of Alice’s.

Mycroft scented him, before pinning his wrists to the bed and dropping his head to lap a trail from Greg's belly button, down his hard cock and between his soaked thighs. "Mine," he muttered, thinking of Greg's faint bond mark. "She doesn't deserve you."

Greg moaned, parting himself wider. “Take. Please. I need...”

Mycroft let up his licking, instead raising himself to lean above Greg. He pressed their lips together, even as he stroked himself, and lined up. He wasted no time, simply breaching Greg in one quick thrust.

Greg cried out against him, wrapping his legs around his hips, trying to pull him deeper. Some part of his mind was aware Mycroft was bigger than Alice, being a male alpha. It didn’t feel bad. In fact, it felt very, very good.

Mycroft moaned Greg's name, dragging his lips along the omegas neck as he fucked into him hard, each thrust sending the headboard slamming into the wall.

Greg gave himself totally to Mycroft, automatically baring his throat as he drew close to his orgasm.

Mycroft bit down on his own lip to avoid biting Greg as his knot swelled and pushed inside the omega, both of them coming with a loud cry.

Slowly, Gregory came down from his orgasm, realizing Mycroft had shifted them to spoon around him, still buried deep inside. Smiling softly, Greg nestled back against him and relaxed, letting himself drift off to sleep.

Mycroft lay there, holding the sleeping omega as his heart rate slowed back to normal. He found that once again tears were dripping from his eyes, and he irritably wiped them away, pushing back his guilt and fear that whatever may be beginning with Greg would turn into the same situation as with Belle. Distance from long hours, love of a friendly kind turned to anger, guilt from raising a child in a loveless bond. Mycroft wanted nothing more than to slip out of the bed and away, but then Greg rolled over, burying his head in Mycroft's chest with a sigh. Mycroft closed his eyes, and dropped a kiss to top of his head, allowing the treacherous thoughts to fade away in the face of this simple intimacy.

**

Greg woke first, the demands of his body flaring up again. He moaned softly and raised his head. Mycroft was still dozing and he took the time to admire the pale body lying next to him. He was spattered with freckles, ginger hair curling lightly across his chest, more surrounding that large cock that was beginning to fill out in response to the pheromones in the air. Sitting up, Greg moved to straddle Mycroft’s hips, guiding that magnificent cock back into him. He slid in as easily as if he belonged there.

Mycroft moaned quietly, rocking his hips up in response to the sensation. He opened his eyes slowly, seeing Greg atop him, riding him slowly. "Gregory...." he said breathlessly, moving his hands to clutch his hips.

“Mycroft.” Greg smiled at him, an honest, open one.

"You're rather cognizant at the moment," Mycroft said, rocking his hips up. “Comparatively.”

“You did leave me in the back of your car for an hour with my heat coming on.”

"Apologies. I needed to be sure I could control myself long enough to prepare for a week’s absence and for the care of our children," Mycroft said, glancing away and flushing at the implications of the "our."

Greg leaned down and kissed him. “I know. And...I’m sorry if you were forced into this.” Guilt twisted in his stomach. After all, Mycroft had specifically said he didn’t want a relationship, but here they were.

"I have a few..." Mycroft sighed, reaching up to cup his face. "It was perhaps wrong of me to reject you and not explain fully my reasons why. Would you let me explain?"

“Please?”

"Belle died in a car crash," Mycroft said."That you know. But...there is more that you do not." He ignored the twist of his stomach at discussing Belle while his cock was buried in another omega, and carried on. "We had been growing apart for some time. My work schedule used to be worse than it is now, and there was a good deal of anger and unhappiness. We...were very close to falling out of love with each other. We couldn't have another child, though she wanted one. There had been complications with Reid." Mycroft shook his head. "But it was the car crash that showed me how foolish I'd been. I'd told her to go to the event. She didn't want to leave, Reid was sick. It spiraled into a fight, and she fled the house, simply to escape me. Coming back, she was targeted by an enemy, her car hit. I said she died almost instantly," Mycroft said bitterly. "The almost was the time in between her escaping the wreckage and receiving a bullet to the head."

Mycroft took a breath."So you see, I am very reluctant to accept an omega. To even be seen in the company of one, for fear of what may happen. Such as tonight at dinner. I must admit, that as soon as we began to...consort, I placed you and your children under my security."

Greg leaned down and kissed him tenderly, heart aching for him. “You couldn’t have known what would happen.”

"I couldn't have known, but I should have prepared," Mycroft replied. "I thought she was safe...." He shook his head. "Reid blames me. He thinks I no longer care about his mother. I am terrified to think what he would say were he to know what we are doing here." He gestured to where they were connected, and then reached forward to ghost a hand over Greg's hard cock. "So please. Let me make this...good."

“Oh, I’m sure Reid has a fair idea what’s going on here,” said Greg.

Mycroft groaned. "What has he said?"

“Just something along the lines of ‘he’s ten, not stupid’.”

"Well then," Mycroft replied. "We shouldn't disappoint." He took Greg in hand, stroking him twice before moving his hands back to Greg's hips. "Ride me, Gregory. Find your ecstasy."

Relaxing, Greg’s eyes closed as he moved, shifting his hips to find his pleasure.

"You are delicious," Mycroft murmured, thrusting up. "Smell heavenly."

“Your scent is like fine wine. Reminds me of my grandparent’s home in France.”

"Honeysuckle and nutmeg," Mycroft said. "My two favourite scents. The first time I properly smelled you....I could barely contain myself from pressing you against the counter and having my way."

Greg moaned. “I would have let you. I’ve been attracted to you from the first.”

"The day in the headmaster's office?" Mycroft asked, letting his hands roam over Greg's arse.

“There a bit. More so when you came over. I dreamed of you that night. Do...do you know how long it’s been since anyone wanted me? I knew you were attracted to me.” Greg’s eyes opened and he looked down at the alpha.

"How have they not seen you?" Mycroft asked. "Not wanted you."

“My own alpha didn’t want me, why would anyone else?” Greg asked in return, voice soft.

"Your own alpha was a terrible fool," Mycroft growled. "And I am thankful for her stupidity." He rocked up, pulling Greg to him as he sat, the omegas legs splayed on either side. "Kiss me, Gregory."

Greg kissed him deeply, hungry, heart aching, wanting nothing more than to be loved and claimed.

Mycroft kept moving, knot swelling up and pressing against Greg. He wrapped his arms around Greg's shoulders, forcing him down and capturing his moans with his lips once more.

Greg moaned and came all over again, head dropping to Mycroft’s shoulder.

Mycroft came as well, coating Greg's walls with seed as he murmured praise into his ears. “My beautiful omega.”

Tears stung Greg’s eyes as he shivered. No one had ever called him beautiful, not even Alice in the throes of heat.

Mycroft noticed the tears but said nothing, simply laying them down once more, and tipping Greg's chin to kiss him.

Greg kissed him back, listening to their hearts beat together.

"How long will this last?" Mycroft asked after a few long minutes, speaking about more than the heat, but unwilling to voice his worries.

“As long as you’ll have me,” murmured Greg, taking it to mean their relationship.

"Oh," Mycroft murmured, stroking a hand through his hair. "I see."

**

Heat finished three days later, Greg and Mycroft regretfully pulled their clothes back on and set out for Greg's house. The trip back was quiet, Greg curled into Mycroft's side not speaking, but for simple conversation.

"What will we tell them?" Mycroft asked as they drew closer to the house.

“The truth is best. We shared a heat. Anything else, we’ll see how it goes.”

"You realize that they will be intolerable, yes?"

"I know. But we're the adults. And it's not like I won't see you again, right?"

"You will definitely see me again," Mycroft said and tugged him up into his lap for a deep kiss just before the car slowed.

Greg hummed and kissed him back. He was still smiling as they got out of the car. The kids ran out to meet them. Reid and Chris shared a look. "They didn't bond," grumbled Reid.

"But they were supposed to so we can move in!" Chris said, crossing his arms. "Mommmm..."

"That's not fair!" Cherie said.

Mycroft stammered, looking at the children in shock. He glanced down as Paul tugged his trousers "New Da? Up!"

Mycroft felt his throat grow dry and he kneeled down, wrapping Paul in his arms. "I want you all to listen very carefully," he said quietly. "Whether or not your mother and I bond is up to us. You cannot force it." He glanced at Greg. "I can't replace your father, but if you and your mother let me, I will take care of you as best I can. Is that understood?" The children nodded guilty, and Mycroft kissed the top of Paul's head. "Very good. Now, shall we go inside?"

Greg hugged his children. "I love you all, you know that."

"Yes, mum. Can we go in now? Nana and Mr. Anthea made ice cream," Chris said, still pouting.

"Yes, we can."

Chapter Text

Only a few days later Greg got a call. Seeing it was Alice, he steeled himself.

"Greg. What's this I hear about another alpha by my kids?" Alice asked the second he picked up, not waiting for a greeting.

"I know it's a shock, but I'm seeing someone," Greg gritted out.

"Did you fuck him?"

"That's none of your business anymore."

"They're my kids. I wanna know who they're around, especially if you're fucking some rich prick for his money," she sneered. "Chris told me about his giant house. What, is he some ugly old bastard?"

Greg closed his eyes and silently counted to five. "He's good looking, treats me and the kids well and it's got nothing to do with anyone's money."

"Bull shit. You couldn't get someone like that anymore. Maybe when we were first married, but now? With three kids?" She laughed. "Whatever. I'm in town next week, if I have time, I want to see the kids."

“You’ll have to give me a heads up on the time." Greg could only imagine the terror she’d cause if she came over when Mycroft was present.

“Why?” She snorted. “Not like you have a life, Greggy darling.”

“I do and it’s no thanks to you. Just give me some warning before you drop in, that’s all.”

“Make sure your new boyfriend isn’t there. I’d hate to have to tell him what you’re really like.” She hung up with a smug laugh.

Greg swore. He glanced at the time and dialed Mycroft’s number, hoping he was available.

“Gregory?” Mycroft answered, pushing the remains of his lunch to the other side of his desk.

“Alice just called me. Wants to see the kids next week.”

Mycroft made a small noise of understanding. “They are her children. Is this problem?”

“It’s just her attitude. And she knows I’m seeing you. Accused me of sleeping with you for your money.”

“Ah yes. My riches,” Mycroft said with a dry chuckle. “Does it matter, Gregory? You and I and the children know the truth. And it’s not as if we’ve actually had time to spend alone since your heat. In any case, I hardly think she’ll have any way to stop us from seeing each other.”

“I know.” Greg bit his lip. “I just...I’m kinda in love with you, and she knows what to say to hurt me.”

Mycroft’s heart stuttered and he fell silent, completely shocked.

Greg sighed at the silence. “I know it’s probably too early to say it. I...I’m sorry.” He swallowed back the disappointment. “I’ll talk to you soon.”

“Wait! Do not hang up,” Mycroft snapped. “Just...wait,” he repeated, modulating his voice to a calmer tone. “I...You have to know…” He gave a frustrated sigh. “It took five years.”

“Before you could say it to Belle?”

Mycroft nodded before realizing Greg couldn’t see him. “Yes,” he said weakly. “I...I knew of course. But I…just...I do not do...this. I don’t...cannot...” He gave up again, hitting the speaker button and setting the phone on the desk so he could bury his head in his hands.

“Hey. It’s okay,” said Greg. “I know. With your job and everything that’s happened. It’s all right if you can’t say it, okay?”

“Thank you,” Mycroft murmured, feeling foolish and guilty and immensely frustrated. “I will speak with you later, shall I?”

“Of course. Take care of yourself Mycroft.” Greg found himself feeling calmer, just for having spoken to him and knowing that Mycroft hadn’t rejected him for his confession.

“I will. Good afternoon, Gregory.”

**

“Mum?” Paul asked, padding into the kitchen a few days later. “Da here.” He smiled wide. “Open the door.”

Greg put on a smile. “Okay. Go tell your brother and sister.” He wiped his hands and went to answer the door. Alice was still gorgeous, all long blond hair and blue eyes. “Afternoon.”

“Greg,” she replied, pushing past him. “Where are my kids?”

“They’re coming,” he said, closing the door behind her.

Paul toddled in first, extending his arms to his father. “Da! Up!” Alice sighed and patted him on the head.

“No, dear. You have a bit of something on your face, you can’t ruin daddy’s new blouse.”

Paul blinked, raising his arms higher. “Up?” he repeated, voice full of confusion.

“No,” Alice repeated. “Honestly, Gregory, can’t you deal with him?”

“Your son hasn’t seen you in six months and he cries for you almost every night. You can damn sure hold him,” Greg growled, wiping Paul’s mouth, picking him up and depositing him Alice’s arms.

Alice huffed as Paul smiled, nuzzling into her. “Well, it’s hardly my fault you’re raising him to be such a baby.” Chris and Cherie darted into the room just then, excitement etched on their faces.

“Dad!”

“I’ll go finish supper, give you time with them,” said Greg, retreating towards the kitchen.

“Oh no, that won’t be necessary,” Alice said, depositing Paul on the sofa. “I just came to give you these and ensure they were behaving. I can’t stay.” She reached in her jacket pocket, and handed Greg an envelope. “You have two weeks.”

“But Da,” said Cherie. Paul started crying.

“Yes, Cherie?” Alice asked, buttoning her jacket again. “Whatever it is, hurry up and speak.”

“I’m doing really good in school.”

“That’s nice,” Alice said dismissively. “I’m sure you’ll do just as well in Scotland. Greg, I’ll see you in two weeks. Do have them ready, as well as the school transfer papers. I can’t be bothered.”

Greg stared after her as she walked out. He opened the envelope and stumbled to the living room, sinking to a seat as he read it twice, going pale.

“Da? Where’s Da?” Paul asked, tugging on Greg’s sleeve. “Da come back now!”

“Mum?” Chris asked. “What did Da mean?” Cherie looked worried, holding onto her brother even as Paul began to cry harder, calling for his father.

Greg fought back his own tears. “She’s got custody. Starting in two weeks.”

“I don’t want to go to Scotland!” Cherie said, stomping her foot. Paul jumped, startled at the noise and tried to climb into Greg’s lap, nearly wailing. Chris paled and ran out of the room, no one noticing him swiping Greg’s phone on the way.

Greg pulled Paul into his lap, rocking him gently. “It’s okay, Paul,” he said, not believing it himself.

“Want da!” Paul whimpered, burying his face in Greg’s chest. “Da.”

**

“Hello? Chris?” Reid said, picking up the house phone. “Why are you calling? Does your mum know you have his phone?”

“Dad came by and she said she’s got custody of us and Mum’s trying not to cry.”

“What?” Reid yelped. “But you’re supposed to my brother! My father is going to bond your mum and you’re gonna move in so we can share a bedroom!”

“Dad gave him a letter. You’ve got to get your Dad over here.”

“Okay,” Reid said. “But he’s still at work.” He thought for a moment. “Mr.Anthea is watching me. I’ll be there soon, okay?”

“Okay.”

**

Greg kissed the top of Paul’s head as his tears turned to hiccups and wiped his eyes. “Let’s finish making supper,” he announced with more strength then he felt, carrying Paul and leading the way into the kitchen.

Chris walked back in and set the phone down on the table before ducking back out without a word.

**

Mycroft glanced up as the door opened. “Yes?” He blinked in surprise at Reid standing there nervously. “Reid? What are you doing here?”

“Chris called me. Their Dad showed up with papers and is going to take them.”

Mycroft set his pen down, and sat back. “Come here, Reid.”

Reid bit his lip and came to him. “Is it not good that I came and told you?”

“No, Reid. It is very good,” Mycroft said. “I just need to talk to you.” He sighed. “You know I loved your mother very much, correct?”

Reid nodded, resisting the urge to climb into his lap, and clasping his hands together instead.

“What if I told you that even though I loved her, I love Chris’s mother as well?” Mycroft asked, reaching out and taking Reid’s hands in his own. “And that in time, I would like to bond Gregory.”

“I’d be happy,” said Reid. “I’d like to be Chris’s brother. And just because you love Miss Lestrade doesn’t mean you didn’t love Mom, too.”

Mycroft sighed. “I’m glad you know that. It’s taken me quite enough time to understand that. Would you like a hug?”

“Yes, please.”

Mycroft wrapped his arms around Reid, holding him tight. “Reid,” he said quietly. “You know I love you as well, right?”

Reid let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. “I love you, too.”

“Now, let’s go see the Lestrades shall we?”

**

“Mum? Someone is at the door,” Chris said, watching Greg do the dishes. “Can I let them in? I think it’s Reid and his dad.”

Greg looked back at his eldest. “Did you call them?”

Chris blinked innocently at his mother. “I like talking to Reid.”

Sighing, Greg wiped his hands and patted his head. “You finish the dishes, then.” He went to answer the door, knowing he looked about as shitty as he felt.

“Hi, Miss Lestrade,” Reid said, brushing immediately past in search of Chris. “Chris!”

Mycroft shook his head and stepped in. Greg shut the door, and Mycroft opened his arms to him. “I’ll fix this.”

“Can you?” Greg let himself be folded into the embrace. “Paul cried himself to sleep because she only came to give me the papers and left.”

Mycroft frowned. “Come here,” he said, leading Greg to his bedroom. He shut the bedroom door behind them and settled on the bed. “What exactly did she say?”

“I’ve got two weeks.” He pulled the papers out of his pocket and handed them to him.

Mycroft skimmed them quickly. “These papers only award her custody so long as you are unable to pay for schooling,” he said thoughtfully. “What if you were able?”

“That’s virtually the only support she’s been giving me. I pay for everything else.”

“So, you get the children a scholarship,” Mycroft said.

“I can try. Cherie has the grades for it, I’m not sure about Chris.”

"Get a need based scholarship," Mycroft said. "I know of one you can apply to. Made for omegas who are single parents. It will cover all three of them."

Greg scrubbed his face. “Okay,” he said. “God, she’s a bitch."

Mycroft sighed, tapping a quick message to Anthea about setting up a scholarship fund while Greg wasn’t looking, then hiding his phone away. "What can I do for you? To make you feel better, at this moment?"

“Hugging me felt pretty good,” he said quietly. “I just want to do right by my kids. I’m worried about Paul especially.”

"Because his father refuses to acknowledge them past her own selfish needs?" Mycroft asked, wrapping his arms around Greg once more. They both turned at the sound of the door opening. "Speaking of Paul," Mycroft said quietly as the toddler snuck in, rubbing teary eyes.

"Mum? Want da!" Paul said, voice hitching as he came over to the bed.

“I know you do, sweetheart.” Greg picked him up and held him on his lap.

"Da go 'way...." Paul whimpered. Mycroft could feel his heart break, and he reached out to wrap his arm around Paul.

"It's all right, little one," Mycroft murmured, catching Greg's eyes.

Paul shook his head, tears beading up again. "Don' wan' mum. Don' wan' Mycrowf. Wan' da!" He began to cry in earnest, burying his head between Mycroft and Greg, with all the heartbroken intensity of a toddler denied the only thing that could make him happy.

"Is it always like this?" Mycroft asked quietly.

“Often,” admitted Greg, his own heart aching for his youngest.

"Isn't there anything that can be done?" Mycroft asked. "Alice's scent on a blanket? It helped Reid to have one of his mother's jumpers after she died. But then again...Belle didn't have the choice to come back."

“I’ve tried,” said Greg, exhaustion creeping into his voice. “Paul, honey, I’m sorry.” he said, fighting his own tears.

"It isn't your fault, Gregory," Mycroft said, pressing a gentle kiss to his forehead.

"Da don't love me?" Paul asked, clutching tight. "Da go 'way. I hate da. Want da!"

“She loves you, loves all of you. She’s just made other choices right now.”

"Mum still loves me?" Paul asked.

"I do. So very much."

Paul sniffled and buried his face in Greg's chest again. "Mycrowf?"

"Yes?" Mycroft asked quietly.

"Mycrowf love me?"

"Yes, Paul. I love you. And I love your mother as well," Mycroft said, closing his eyes. "More than I expected to."

Greg pulled him into another hug. “Thank you,” he said in Mycroft’s ear so only he could hear.

"No, Gregory. Thank you," Mycroft said, inhaling his scent. "I...will not say it often. But you must know that I mean it. Completely and utterly."

“I do. Thank you.”

"Would you like me to stay here tonight?" Mycroft asked. "Not for sex. Just for the company. I believe we'll have a nighttime companion anyhow."

“Please?”

"My pleasure," Mycroft replied. "Though, if you would be so kind as to supply me with some sleep attire, I'd be pleased."

“I’m sure I can find something. Paul is it okay if Mycroft sleeps with us tonight?”

Paul looked up, glancing between them. "Story?" he sniffled.

“We’ll tell you one. I promise.”

"Oh-kay."

Mycroft stroked a gentle hand through his hair. "Good lad."

**

"Do you think your mum will say yes?" Reid asked quietly, hiding under the bed with Chris. "What if you have to go to Scotland anyway?"

“I don’t know. But it would make Mum really, really sad.”

"Well, I'd have to come with you. You're my best friend, so you can't go without me."

“I know.”

The door opened and closed and Cherie shimmied under the bed. “Your Dad and Mum are in Mum’s room with Paul.”

"What are they doing?"

“Just talking. I think they’re going to read Paul a story.”

"Should we go in?" Reid asked. "Maybe we're gonna stay the night."

“We can let them be,” said Chris. “You can sleep in Paul’s bed.”

"Awesome," Reid said. He giggled. "Hey, do you think they'll get married and bonded and then go on a honeymoon?" He wrinkled his nose. "Cause then, what if your mum has another baby?"

“I don’t know. You think they’d be ginger like your Dad?”

"Maybe. None of you look like me though, so I'll be the odd one out."

"What if mum wants more than one? What if he wants like, fifty?" Cherie asked excitedly.

“I don’t think mum wants that many,” said Chris.

"How do you know?" Cherie huffed.

"Children. Come out of there," Mycroft said, entering the room.

Reluctantly, the three of them climbed out from under the bed and faced Mycroft.

"Reid and I will be staying here tonight," Mycroft said. "Is that all right?"

“Yes, sir,” said Reid. Chris nodded along with him.

"Very good. Reid, borrow sleep attire from Chris. Bed in twenty minutes for the three of you."

"Yes, sir."

Chapter Text

Less than a week later, Greg had the award letter in his hands. He had a strong suspicion it had more to do with Mycroft than anything else, but he wasn’t going to argue. Both letters in his hands, he picked up the phone to call Alice.

"Hello?"

"You're not taking the kids. I've got their tuition covered," he said without preamble.

Alice laughed. "What? How? I've been paying since I left, how do you have the money? Is it your rich new alpha? How'd it feel to play the whore, Greg?"

"It's a scholarship. And you're the only slut in this relationship. I never cheated," he snapped.

Chris gasped from the doorway just as Alice laughed. "Maybe if you'd been home instead of off playing hero, I wouldn't have had to."

Greg didn't hear the small sound. "I should have taken Cherie and Chris and left the first time you did it. Lots of omegas work. At least I give a shit about the pups."

"Please, what are gonna do when he gets tired of you and leaves? No money, no school. You're fucked, Greg. So screw you."

"No thanks." Greg hung up and turned around only to see Chris standing there. "Chris..."

Chris shook his head and stumbled away, running and locking himself in the bathroom.

"Christophe." Greg followed him. "I'm sorry. Talk to me," he pleaded through the door.

"Go away!" Chris yelled, climbing into the bath to get to the window.

"It's just an argument between me and your dad." Greg tugged on the door handle.

"You called her a slut!" Chris yelled back. "You're why she left! You're why she doesn't love us anymore!" He succeeded in yanking open the window and clambered out, dropping into the small yard and taking off down the street.

"Chris!" Greg got the door open, only to see the open window. He went back for his phone, seeing the other kids watching, worried. "Mycroft. Chris ran off."

"I'll find him. Stay with the other two. And don't worry," Mycroft said. He hung up with Greg and turned back to Sherlock. "It seems I have a favour to ask, brother mine."

"Something to do with your boyfriend."

Mycroft sighed. “Yes. His child, Christophe, has run away it seems. Would you go find him? I’m sure you’re quite capable.”

“That’s the brown haired one, isn’t it? The one Reid is so fond of?”

“Yes. Has he been speaking to you about him?”

“He’s been mentioned a time or two. I’ll find him.”

"Thank you, Sherlock. Truly."

**

Sherlock found the boy an hour or so later, huddled up at the train station and watching the crowd like he was going to try and hop in after someone. “Hello, Christophe,” he said.

Chris froze, pulling his knees to his chest at the sight of the strange omega. "Who are you?"

“I’m Reid’s aunt Sherlock.” He crouched down so they were eye level.

"He talks about you. How did you find me?" Chris asked, watching him carefully.

“I have a number of contacts.” Sherlock shifted and sat next to him. “Going to Scotland?"

Chris sighed. "I don't know," he mumbled. "I...I want to see my da. But...I don't think she wants me."

“They got divorced last summer, yes?”

"Yes."

“Do you want to tell me about it?”

"Do you even care?" Chris asked sullenly, setting his chin on his knees.

“Not particularly. But my brother cares deeply about you and your mum.”

"They got divorced, Da moved to Scotland and Mum kept us here. Da never visits, never has time when I call, and doesn't even send us postcards," Chris bit out. "And then they were on the phone today. And I think Da said something really bad to Mum, because Mum got angry and snapped at her."

“Did you hear your parents fight a lot when they were together?”

Chris sighed. "They thought they were quiet. They didn't fight, they had ‘discussions’. But Dad went out when Mom was working late sometimes, down to her car. I used to peek out the windows and see...stuff. Other omegas, not mum."

“Your Mum doesn’t know that, does he?” Sherlock’s voice was quiet.

Chris shook his head, watching a train chug into the station.

“Do you want to go home or do you want to go to Scotland?”

“I just want to go home,” Chris said weakly. “But I don’t know where home should be.”

“That is difficult,” acknowledged Sherlock. “Do you want to call your Dad?”

Chris shook his head. “How far is it to Scotland? She’s in Edinburgh.

“Four point five hours.”

“Do you want to go to Scotland with me?” Chris asked. “I have her address. When I talked to her on the phone a couple days ago she said she had a place for us and couldn’t wait for us to meet Lucy.”

“Okay.” Sherlock pulled out his wallet and handed his card to the boy. “Go buy us two tickets.” As soon as Chris walked away, Sherlock texted his brother, watching the child in case he needed help.

Chris came back with the tickets only moments later, a receipt from the machine in his hand. “Platform nine. It’s leaving in ten minutes.”

“Very well.”

**

“Gregory?” Mycroft said, reaching out to the pacing omega as his phone dinged. “He’s been found.”

“Is he okay?”

Mycroft grimaced. “For the time being, although he’ll apparently be spending a prolonged time in my brother’s presence. They seem to be headed for Scotland.”

“He’s going to see his Dad,” sighed Greg. “I have to say I’m not inclined to warn her.”

“I don’t think you should. Sherlock obviously thinks this is something Christophe needs, and I’ve learnt that Sherlock is surprisingly apt at determining what is best for a child. He’s in good hands, Gregory. I promise.”

Greg ran a hand through his hair. “Okay. I trust you.”

“Perhaps this will be the explanation he needs. The closure,” Mycroft said, drawing Greg into his arms. “It will all turn out for the better.”

Sighing, Greg scented him. “I just want my pups to be taken care of.”

“And you’re doing that,” Mycroft promised. “But sometimes children need to hear the truth from an outside source. See things with their own eyes. He’ll be fine. They all will.”

**

“We have to go to Number 3 Magpie Way,” Chris said, tugging on Sherlock’s coat as they walked through Edinburgh Station. “That’s where she is.”

"Okay. I'll get a cab for us."

The cab ride was quick, but Chris was already opening the door before it halted, and hopping out. “Hurry up,” he called to Sherlock, rushing forward and checking the address before climbing the steps and ringing the doorbell.

Sherlock watched Chris bounce on his heels until the door opened and a woman, a rather pregnant omega, opened the door. "Can I help you?"

Chris faltered, stammering out his reply. "Is um ....ah...Alice Lestrade here?" he managed, eyes wide.

“She’s at work, be home soon though. Can I help you with something?”

"Don't...don't you know who I am?" Chris asked brokenly, hand curling into a fist.

“Sorry, lad. Should I?”

"I'm Christophe....she's my da.." Chris said, taking a step back. "She didn't even tell you about me? Or Cherie or Paul?"

The omega’s face softened. “I knew she was divorced, but no. Were you supposed to be here for a visit?”

"I was going to surprise her," Chris said, looking down at his feet. "She said we were gonna live here now. With her and Lucy. But then mum kept custody..."

The omega frowned. “My name isn’t Lucy.”

Chris froze, blinking up at her. "But...dad said she was gonna live with Lucy? Who're you?"

“My name’s Brigid.” Anger was forming on the omega’s face and she put one hand over her belly.

Sherlock stepped forward. “Perhaps you’d like to return to London with us. My brother is dating their mum. It might do you good to talk with him.”

"Did my da cheat on you too?" Chris asked with a sad look on his face.

“It sounds like it. I know she’s been working long hours…” Brigid shook her head. “Let me just grab a bag and I’ll come with you.”

Chris nodded and stepped off the porch walking over to Sherlock as Brigid went inside. "Miss Sherlock..." he said quietly. "Can we go home now?"

“Yes, Christophe.” Sherlock squeezed his shoulder.

**

"It's okay," Chris said, reaching out and squeezing Brigid's hand as the cab pulled up outside the house. "Mum might be mad at me because I ran away, but he'll be nice to you. And look, Mr. Mycroft is here," he said pointing to the black car nearby and grinning mischievously. "He's gonna be my new dad I bet. Mum kisses him and went with him for his heat. Ew, right?"

Brigid smiled at him, but said nothing as the walked up to the door, Sherlock following. Mycroft opened it, eyes analyzing the three rapidly. " I see," he said, voice not at all unkind and stepped aside to let them in. "Gregory! Christophe is home."

“Thank God,” Greg hurried to hug his son, only to find himself faced with the strange omega. Pregnant, smelled like Alice. Bonded. “Oh God, did she fuck you over too?” he asked, for once forgetting his language in front of the kids.

Chris gasped, a giant smile growing over his face. "Mum! You swore!"

"Christophe, why don't you go find Reid and tell him you're home?" Mycroft replied, nudging him away. "Here. Take Sherlock's phone, I'm sure it will entertain you. Don't mind the decomposed corpses."

Greg took the omega’s hand and led her to the kitchen, moving to make tea. “Please, what happened?” he asked.

"We bonded seven months ago," Brigid said, strikingly calm as she sat, one hand on her belly. "Right after I caught. I'd been using birth control, but it failed. I asked for the bond. Alice..." She hesitated. "She agreed. After a while."

“We were married almost ten years. Our divorce was finalized over the summer. She cheated on me. Repeatedly. I wonder if you’re why she finally left. Not that I’m sorry about it in the long run.”

"I'm not sure I am," Brigid replied. "My name is Brigid. Not Lucy," she said pointedly, taking the offered tea. "Your Christophe was under the impression they'd be living with Lucy and Alice. Apparently, Alice had told him so."

“She didn’t give me any names, only custody papers. I’ve got three by her. Chris is my eldest.”

"And Paul and Cherie. Chris told me all about them. And his friend Reid." Brigid sighed. "Alice didn't even tell me she had children. She said that ours would be her first. That she left you because you wouldn't have children."

“Christ,” muttered Greg. He moved to her side and hugged her gently. “I’m so sorry.”

"She is a fucking bitch," Brigid said bitterly. "I'm going to move back to London. And get the bond dissolved."

“You’re welcome to stay with us if you’d like. “

"Do you have the space?" Brigid asked. "Not to be rude, but you've got a full house here."

“We’ll figure something out. You shouldn’t have to go through having this child alone.”

"I'm due in a little less than a month," Brigid said quietly. "I'm just glad I don't have to rely on her anymore. She never seemed excited about taking care of the baby."

“She never was with any of mine, I’m afraid.” Greg gave her a sad smile. “But I’m sure my kids would love to have a half-sibling around.”

Brigid smiled. "I think we'll get along well, don't you?"

“I do.”

**

It only took two days for Alice to show up on Greg’s doorstep. Mycroft had taken the kids to the museum while Greg helped Brigid get settled into her room. Cherie had gladly given up her room for sharing a bunk bed with Chris. It wasn’t ideal forever, but they were young enough that it wouldn’t be a problem.

The front door rang and Greg and Brigid shared a look before Greg went to answer it.

Alice pushed in as soon as he opened the door. "What the fuck, Greg? My neighbor said that there was a kid looking like Chris at my house, and that my omega went off with him? Where is she?"

"Brigid is right here. She's moving in with everyone else you've abandoned," Greg said coldly.

Alice went red in the face, and clenched her fists. "You're looking for trouble," she said, ignoring the appearance of the children behind her and Brigid from kitchen. "You absolute-"

"Would you care to finish that statement?" Mycroft asked coolly from the front door, stepping in.

Alice turned and sneered. "Is this the rich fuck you've been whoring yourself out too?"

"Do not talk like that in front of our children."

"Oh like they haven't seen you cuddling up to him, just to reach his wallet. In fact-"

"In fact, l think it is time you left," Mycroft said, scent filling with a cold anger. "You've done more than enough damage here, you utterly reprehensible creature."

"Who is going to make me? You?" Alice laughed. "Fuck you."

"No," Mycroft said, and cocked his head. "You have no idea who I am. What I've done. What I will do to you if you continue this nonsense." He smiled dangerously and slipped a hand through Alice's hair, tilting her head as he leaned in. As he whispered, Alice's face went pale, the alpha swallowing hard until Mycroft stepped back. "Do you understand now?"

Alice stumbled away. "Fuck you," she spat. "They'll come with me anyway, won't you kids?" She asked sweetly, turning to the three of them.

Cherie shook her head, wide eyed as she held Paul's hand.

"Da...mean," Paul said uncertainly. "Wan' Mycrowf." Chris nodded in agreement.

"Now do you understand?" Mycroft repeated. "Let me put this in simple words for you. I'll appeal to your animalistic side. These children are mine now. This omega is mine now. This house is mine now." He cocked his head. "Mine. I am their alpha, not you. I will care for them."

Alice shook her head. "You can't-"

"Oh, yes I can. Don't worry," Mycroft said. "You'll still have custodial visits. Supervised of
course. But nothing more, unless the children wish." He pointed to the door with his umbrella. "I'll be in touch."

With another curse, Alice fled, slamming the house door behind her. Mycroft turned to Greg. "I hope I didn't overstep," he said quietly, aware of his scent drenching the air with possession and claim. Aware of the watching eyes of the children and Brigid.

"Not at all." Greg folded himself against Mycroft's chest, breathing him in. "Thank you."

"She was saying terrible things about you. I won't allow such nonsense," Mycroft replied, holding him close.

Greg smiled and leaned up to kiss him before turning to the kids and Brigid. "Are you okay?"

The kids all nodded, and Paul let go of Cherie’s hand, running over to Mycroft. He tugged on his leg, and Mycroft looked down. “Yes?”

“Mycrowf da?”

“What?”

Paul gave a very put upon sigh. “Mycroft. Paul’s. Da,” he said slowly. “Duh.”

Brigid chuckled. “Well then,” Mycroft said. “I suppose if you say so it must be true, right?” He turned and pecked Greg on the cheek.

“Why don’t I take the kids to the park?” Brigid suggested, seeing the heated glance Greg threw Mycroft.

“Would you?” Mycroft asked. “That would be lovely. Anthea is outside, I’m sure she’ll join you.”

Brigid nodded and in the space of five minutes had jackets and shoes back on the little ones and had scurried them outside. Mycroft turned to Greg. “It seems we’re alone.”

Greg wrapped his arms around Mycroft's neck, kissing him. "My. Alpha. My good alpha."

“Gregory,” Mycroft said in a low growl, nuzzling against his neck and scenting him. “You are mine. Not hers.” He pushed Greg away and up against a wall, kicking his feet apart so he could rub his covered cock against Greg’s stomach. “I’m going to fuck you, in your bed,” he said, eyes going dark with desire. “Going to mount you, take you until you beg me to let you come.”

"Bond me?" asked Greg, baring his throat.

"Christ," Mycroft said, nipping at Greg's throat. "Yes. Bedroom, now," he ordered, pulling back and slapping Greg on the hip. "Clothes off."

Greg obeyed, hurrying to the bedroom, habit keeping him from stripping until he was across the threshold. He climbed in on hands and knees, presenting, needing.

"Mine," Mycroft repeated, coming in after him. He quickly shed his clothes and climbed on the bed, stroking Greg's back. "My beautiful omega."

"Please. You treat me right. You treat my pups right." Greg rutted his small cock against the mattress.

Mycroft groaned. "Gregory..." He pushed Greg's chest to the bed, pulling his arse up and plunging two spit slick fingers inside Greg.

Muffling his cries, Greg pushed back against him, feeling himself grow slick, resisting the urge to touch his own cock.

"Say my name," Mycroft said hoarsely, working his fingers. "Gregory. Say it."

"Mycroft. Alpha,” he groaned.

"Beautiful," Mycroft said, reaching under Greg to stroke his cock.

Greg cried out at the touch. "Please. Bond. Yours,"' he panted.

Mycroft pulled his fingers away, slicking his cock with Greg's own mess. "You made me love you," he whispered, lining up and pushing in, laying his body over Greg's.

"You showed me I could be loved," he whispered, offering his throat.

Mycroft moaned, lapping over Greg's scent gland, readying himself to bite as he thrust his hips. "Be mine? Forever?" He asked, dragging his teeth.

"Yes, yes, please."

Mycroft bit down, teeth sinking into flesh, claiming Greg as his own. He marked them as lovers, confidantes, and friends as they came in sync with each other and once he could smell Greg's scent changing, he distantly noted their heart beats were matched as well. He pulled out, kissing Greg's bond mark and laying them down. "Are you alright?" he murmured, curling into his omega.

"Better than," Greg's words were slurred as his body hummed with pleasure. It felt more right with Mycroft than it ever had with Alice.

"We should shower. The children will come home at some point," Mycroft said, dropping a kiss to his cheek.

"Not yet. Need your scent on me."

"Then we'll rest for a bit," Mycroft said, tugging the blankets over them.

"I love you."

"And I love you."

Chapter Text

"Smells weird in here."

"That's the fresh paint, Chris, duh," Reid replied, putting his hands on his hips. "I still can't believe you're moving in here! And that Brigid is gonna stay at your old house."

"I'm sorry I punched you. But I'm glad you're my brother."

"Punched me? Oh! You mean the fight." Reid shrugged. "It's okay."

"I've never seen my mom this happy."

“I haven’t seen father this happy since before mother died,” Reid said and hugged his new brother. “Come on. Let’s go bother Cherie!”

Mycroft arched a brow as the pair ran past, giggling. “Gregory, do you ever feel that you should intervene in something, but by not doing so, you are allowing nature to take it’s course?” he asked, just as there was a loud thud and Cherie starting yelling. He smiled at the boys ran back the other way, and out the back door, yelping in fear as Cherie chased them.

“I do know that feeling very well,” smiled Greg.

“I’m sure it will resolve itself. Much of politics is the same.”

Greg leaned over to kiss his cheek, then put a hand on his stomach. “Excuse me,” he said, hurrying for the bathroom.

Mycroft frowned and glanced at the children before standing and following Greg. “Gregory?” he asked quietly, rapping on the door. “May I come in?”

“Yeah.” Greg wiped his mouth and leaned against the counter.

Mycroft stepped in. “You’ve been ill quite often lately,” he said, setting a hand on Greg’s lower back. “Have you considered what the cause might be?”

“I think I’m pregnant, honestly.”

“The birth control failed?” Mycroft asked calmly, closing his eyes. “Very well. Have you taken a test yet?”

“No. I bought one, but I haven’t used it yet. I suppose I was hoping this would pass, but it feels like my other pregnancies.” Greg reached out and took his hand. “I...I’m sorry.”

Mycroft opened his eyes and looked at him. “Why are you apologizing?” he asked with a small smile. “What would ever make you think you needed to?”

Greg ran a hand through his hair. “It wasn’t planned.”

“And?” Mycroft asked. “It is not as if we do not know how to raise a child, Gregory. Or do not have the space or monetary means to support one. Did you think I would be angry?”

“I wasn’t sure. The ones with Alice, we more or less planned them. Still getting used to things.”

Mycroft shook his head, pulling Greg into his arms. “I want this with you. Planned or not. If you are pregnant, than I am overjoyed. If you are not, you’ll be heading straight to the clinic for a work up, but either way, I love you. I want the family we have to be however we wish to have it.”

“Thank you for that.” Greg scented him. “I can take it now if you like.”

“Yes. May I wait for the results with you or would you rather be alone?” Mycroft asked, dropping a kiss to his forehead.

“You can wait with me. How do you think the kids will take it?” He grabbed the test from under the sink and sat down to use it.

“I’ve overheard them speaking. Cherie is expecting you to have no less than fifty more pups before you’re through. Are you able for that?”

Greg chuckled. “I don’t know about that many.” He set it on the counter to wait.

“I’m sure if you put your mind to it,” Mycroft teased. “She’ll be so disappointed.” He sat down gingerly on the edge of the bath, looking at Greg. “Gregory?”

“Yes?”

“You are happy, aren’t you?” Mycroft asked, acutely aware that this was not a conversation to be held in a bathroom, with children running through the hall beyond the door and a pregnancy test sitting on the sink. “There is nothing more I can do to make you satisfied?”

Greg smiled at him and leaned in for a kiss. “I’ve never been this happy. I have a mate that loves and supports me. I have a house full of kids, quite possibly with another pup on the way. I have a good job. Really. this is everything I ever wanted and more.”

“Then I am happy,” Mycroft said, holding his hand. “And there really isn’t anymore to say, is there?”

“I know this isn’t the life you planned for yourself,” said Greg, weaving their fingers together.

“No, it isn’t. This is utterly unplanned,” Mycroft said. “And I have never been happier than I am now.”

“Are you sure?”

Mycroft smiled and stood, taking the pregnancy test in hand and turning it toward Greg.

“Positive.”