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Waited Long Enough

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Love doesn’t discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep loving anyway
We laugh and we cry
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there’s a reason I’m by her side
When so many have tried
Then I’m willing to wait for it
I’m willing to wait for it
Hamilton
“Wait For It”

He knew his brother worried. After everything, his brother had shown he had a heart larger than anyone had known. Well, perhaps their sister had known.

That showed how blind he had truly been, it seemed.

He knew Sherlock meant well sending him off in Gregory’s care. They were quite well acquainted; they had to be, after all, since taking care of Sherlock from the days of his habits damn near consuming him and getting him to this point had been a damn near all-consuming task for the both of them at some points. There were times when he felt the only people in the world he talked to about anything not concerning politics were Gregory Lestrade and her.

And so it was that Gregory knew fairly early on that he was not...not so much not wanted as not preferred. They shared a few glasses of brandy once Gregory had delivered him at home as Mycroft let go of the whole bloody truth, once and for all, to him. No hedging around the edges, Gregory got the full import f just how enormously flawed the Holmes family really was. It was delivered in a voice that became slightly more vexed with each sip, because he knew when it all came out to Mummy and Father, they would blame him harshly.

As they should, the obnoxious voice in his head spoke out to him. He attempted to drown it out with more brandy but he knew that wouldn’t work. It never did.

Finally, after his second glass, Gregory stood. “You know,” he said, “I should call Hopkins and get her to take me home. And you should call your PA and have her come over.”

Mycroft actually scoffed, a sound that didn’t sound abnormal, really, but sounded harsher tonight than normal. “I’ve sent her away. To another office.”

“Is she in London still?”

“Yes,” he said, looking in his glass, debating a third glass.

“Will she still come over.”

Yes. “Doubtful.”

“I bet you a thousand quid she will.”

Mycroft snorted a laugh and looked up at Gregory. “Have you got a thousand quid to spare, Gregory?”

“I’ll take up a collection.” He waved his hand in Mycroft’s general direction. “Call her, you git.”

Mycroft sent a glare his way and then shifted to pull his mobile out of his pocket. He was ashamed to look and feel this slovenly but right now he frankly didn’t care. Near death experiences were not a dime a dozen in his line of work. That was his brother’s business. And especially not at the hands of Eurus and her cavalcade of psychological horrors. It had been like being inside the horror movies he had fancied for a time. He knew he would never watch them again.

After a moment he dialed the quick number to Andrea’s private mobile. He didn’t know whether she had kept it upon being transitioned out of his office or discarded it. He had not explained why he had transferred her, but when he had seen Moriarty’s video he had, for a moment, panicked. She meant more to him than merely being the best personal assistant he had had in the years he had worked for the government. She had been the closest he would allow himself to a friend. The closest he would allow, if he might, to a woman he might fancy. He had not been lost as to what Lady Smallwood’s invitation had meant, he had simply not been interested. Had it been an invitation from Andrea, it might have been a different matter.

“I thought you didn’t know this number anymore.”

Her tone was a tad bit cross, but mostly curious. Gregory stood, arms crossed. Mycroft sat up a bit straighter under his gaze. “My sister nearly succeeded in offing my brother and I. I think the problem has been neutralized without her death. Sherlock, once again, outwitted me. Outwitted both of us. But not without loss.”

“John Watson?” she asked.

“No,” he said. “Eurus has slipped inside herself. I don’t know if she is reachable.”

“I’m sorry,” Andrea said, and it sounded as if she meant it. There was a pause. “Do you need me?”

And that was it, the loaded question. Yes, yes, of course he needed her. He was sure he needed her the same way Sherlock needed his pathologist; he would destroy more than a coffin with his bare hands in Andrea was in any danger. He would destroy bare flesh. But he was never sure if she would have him. He wasn’t like his brother. He made deals with devils and was never going to side with the angels, ever. He wasn’t sure he deserved love. He wasn’t sure there was a happy ending waiting for him. He was sure if he said yes, he would lose more than his heart, and losing that would be bad enough.

But for her, he would do anything.

“Yes,” he said quietly. “I need you tonight.”

“I’ll be there,” she said, and then he heard the connection go dead on her end.

He lowered his mobile and looked at Gregory before hauling himself out of his seat and then going to his bottle of brandy, glass in hand, ready to pour himself another drink. “I’ll have a cheque sent to Scotland Yard first thing in the morning.”

“And I’ll donate it to getting some better coffeemakers at the Yard,” Greg said with a grin. “I’ll wait in the foyer for Hopkins. Hope your evening improves, Mycroft.” He nodded to Mycroft and then turned around, making his very slightly unsteady way out of Mycroft’s study. Mycroft watched him leave, and then looked back at the brandy and glass and set the glass down. Enough for now. He should keep his wits about him for the moment, to see where his conversation with Andrea might lead.