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My Doubts Fade Away

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Waking up with Mycroft in his arms felt like a dream. Greg stroked his hand down Mycroft’s side, half-afraid that his boyfriend would vanish under his fingers and that he had imagined his return home. Mycroft stirred, and then rolled over to face Greg. The younger man had that slightly out of it, hazy look of someone finally catching up on his sleep after being awake too long. Mycroft smiled faintly, “Good morning, Gregory.”

“Morning, love,” Greg responded. He kissed him gently, first on the forehead and then on the lips. Mycroft hummed in satisfaction, curling more tightly into Greg’s warmth like an affectionate cat. As much as he wanted to stay there, cuddling with Mycroft, Greg knew they both had jobs to get to. He nudged his boyfriend, “Come on. It’s time to get up.”

Mycroft clutched him tighter in response, burying his face in Greg’s chest.

“I'll make you pancakes if you get up,” Greg coaxed.

Mycroft opened one eye, peering at him in consideration. “With banana smiley faces?” he requested.

Greg laughed, “Yes, with banana smiley faces.”

Mycroft grudgingly relinquished his hold on Greg, pushing himself into a sitting position and rubbing his eyes. “What time is it?” he asked.

“Early,” Greg responded, sitting up too, “but late enough that we can’t lie in bed, ‘specially if you want those pancakes.” He leaned over, pressing a brief kiss into the crook of Mycroft’s neck just because he could, and then stood up, stretching. “I’ll see you downstairs in a couple minutes.” He pointed a finger at his boyfriend, who had leaned back against the pillows, propping himself up with one elbow, “If I have to come back up here ‘cause you’ve fallen asleep…” He let the playful threat hang in the air.

Narrowing his eyes, Mycroft fired back, “Yes, Detective Inspector? What will you do?”

“Try it and find out.” Greg walked out of the bedroom, Mycroft’s chuckles following after him.

Apparently deciding not to test Greg, Mycroft made his appearance in the kitchen ten minutes later, fully dressed sans waistcoat and tie and with the top few buttons of his shirt undone, revealing the pale expanse of his neck. He looked delicious, and Greg swallowed hard at the sight of him, turning away in the hopes it would hide his flushed cheeks and clearing his throat. “I’m just about done here,” he said roughly, gesturing vaguely at the pan he was filling with batter. Thank God for Anthea; at some point in the recent past, she’d stopped by and made sure the house was properly stocked with the perishable necessities Greg hadn’t thought to pick up. “Why don’t you slice the banana?” he suggested.

Mycroft pressed up behind him, close enough that Greg could smell his cologne and feel the heat of his body, although they weren’t quite touching. Greg froze, telling himself that he wasn’t trembling as one of Mycroft’s hands settled low on his hip, the warmth bleeding through his pajama trousers and burning his skin. “I thought you were making me breakfast,” Mycroft said lowly, his breath puffing gently against Greg’s ear. “Why should I have to do any work?”

Greg was too busy trying to remain completely still to formulate a proper response. After a moment, Mycroft withdrew, and Greg heard the sliding of cabinet drawers and then the dull sound of the knife hitting the cutting board as Mycroft did as requested. Greg cleared his throat again and managed, “You seem to be…in a very good mood this morning.”

“I do, don’t I?” There was a hint of amusement in Mycroft’s voice. “I did say I missed you.”

Greg flipped the pancake and tried to decide how to get what he wanted to say out without making his boyfriend nervous. Sometimes it was hard to tell what could set Mycroft off. “It’s just that sometimes, love,” he settled on, “the teasing is a bit much for me.”

“Ah. I see.”

“It’s not that I mind it,” Greg said quickly, turning to look at Mycroft, who was studying the counter with a complicated look on his face. “It’s just that I-“

“Don’t want to frighten me,” Mycroft finished for him.

“Exactly.” Greg watched Mycroft, waiting for him to say something, but when a minute passed and the other man remained silent, Greg returned his attention to the pancakes.

He continued making them mechanically, and several minutes later Mycroft startled him out of his rhythm when he said, frustration clear in his voice, “I want you, Gregory.”

Greg nearly dropped the hot pan. He carefully set it to the side, turned off the burner, and slid the last pancake onto the proper plate before he finally faced Mycroft. The younger man looked caught between anxiety and irritation. Hesitantly, aware they were treading dangerous waters, Greg said, “I’m going to need you to be a lot more specific than that, love.”

Mycroft sighed, his hands curling into fists on the counter as he leaned against it. “I don’t know,” he said quietly, an admission that Greg knew was incredibly rare for him. “You…make me feel things I haven’t felt in a very long time. I know that I want you. I enjoy our flirting, and I like kissing you very much. But I’m not very good at…emotions…and I’m having a great deal of difficulty trying to determine exactly what it is I want from you.”

Carefully, Greg approached him. He laid one hand gently over Mycroft’s. “It’s okay to be nervous,” he said quietly. “That’s why we’re taking things slow.”

Mycroft wrenched himself away. “What if I don’t want to take things slow anymore?” he all but yelled. “It’s just sex. What’s the big deal?”

Greg was taken aback. He’d seen Mycroft upset in a variety of ways, but this was new. Mycroft’s shoulders were shaking, his jaw and fists were clenched tightly, and the look in his eyes was wild and lost. “Mycroft,” he said. “Love. You told me that physical intimacy was something that you weren’t ready for yet. If that’s changed, then that’s okay. But either way, this isn’t going to work unless you tell me exactly where the boundary line is.”

Mycroft deflated. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I wish I knew. I missed you very much, and I put a great deal of thought into our physical relationship while we were apart. I like teasing you and I like when you tease me back. But this is all very confusing for me, and I have a feeling that what I’m actually ready for and what I wish to be ready for are two very different things.”

“Look,” Greg offered, “I can’t pretend to understand what’s going on in your head. I can guess, but you’ve never told me exactly where the problem lies. I’m willing to be patient, and I’m willing to let you guide this, but I’m a bit out of my depth, and I need you to actually talk to me instead of ignoring the issue.”

“I’m not ignoring it,” Mycroft said. He took a step back towards Greg, not looking at him and sliding the sliced banana his way in a silent request. Greg took it from him and started arranging the disks on top of the pancakes, waiting for Mycroft to continue. Finally, Mycroft said, “I can’t tell you what to do here, Gregory. I don’t even know myself, and we can’t have a discussion about this until I’ve sorted out my own thoughts. For now, the physical contact we’ve already established is highly desirable, and I would encourage you to continue your flirtations with me.” He blushed, and Greg resolutely ignored the thrill it sent through him to realize the colour extended down his neck and into the open collar of his shirt.

“So,” he said carefully, pausing to lick his fingers clean, “just to clarify, if I wanted to tell you how gorgeous you look right now with your shirt unbuttoned like that, you would be okay with it?”

Mycroft stared at Greg’s hand, eyes trained on his fingertips, which were still shiny where his mouth had wrapped damply around them as he sucked the traces of banana off. Mycroft’s eyes darkened and his flush deepened. “More than okay,” he returned.

His boyfriend’s gaze not lost on him, Greg brought his hand up to cradle Mycroft’s face, swiping his thumb gently over Mycroft’s lips, which parted slightly at the pressure. “And you’re okay with this?” he asked, voice low. His accent thickened slightly with the words.

“Very,” Mycroft breathed, and met Greg halfway, crashing their lips together in a rough kiss.

When they broke apart, Greg rested his forehead against Mycroft’s and all but growled, “You drive me crazy, do you know that?”

Mycroft’s satisfied smirk was answer enough, but the younger man still purred, “But you love me anyway.”

“So fucking much,” Greg agreed, and kissed him again. He couldn’t get enough of Mycroft, having been deprived of him for twelve whole days, and every kiss felt like he was drinking in his boyfriend and filling the empty space in his chest. Mycroft was equally enthusiastic, and threw himself into the kisses, his mouth hot and his body pliable as he wound himself around Greg.

Finally, however, Greg had to force himself to pull away. “As much as I would love to spend the morning snogging you,” he said, “we do have jobs to get to.”

Mycroft pouted, but he conceded Greg’s point. “Breakfast?”

Greg handed him his plate, and they adjourned to the dining room. Mycroft ate like he was starving, which was probably an accurate statement considering his admission about lapsing back into bad habits. Greg ate more slowly, watching Mycroft. “By the way,” he said eventually, prompting Mycroft to look up at him, “my, er, my lease is up at the end of the month.”

“I see.”

Greg nodded. He wondered if Mycroft felt as awkward as he did, although the contemplative look on his boyfriend's face indicated otherwise. After a minute of silence Mycroft raised an eyebrow, “Did you actually want to debate this, or should we skip the conversation and agree that you'll be moving in with me officially?”

Greg choked at his bluntness. “I assumed there would be at least some discussion.”

“At this point, you sleep here every night. You hardly ever go back to your flat, except to get your mail, and most of your belongings, at least the ones you care about, have migrated here in the two months we've been together. I still have a flat in town if you ever desperately need to spend time away from me, and since our relationship seems stable and likely to continue for the foreseeable future, the logical next step is for us to move in together.” Mycroft hesitated, the confident look slipping, “unless, of course, you don't want to…”

“No, I definitely want to,” Greg said quickly.

Mycroft smiled, “Good. Conversation over, then. Of course, we’ll have to discuss moving you out of your flat, but I imagine we can save that for later.”

Greg glanced at the clock, “Looks like we'll have to. I am bordering dangerously on being late, and I'm not even dressed yet.” He stood.

Mycroft rose too, “I'll clean up. It wouldn't do for Scotland Yard to be deprived of its best detective.”

“Flatterer.”

“No, just honest.”

Greg pecked Mycroft on the lips, and then hurried upstairs to squeeze in a quick shower.

***

“You could help me, you know,” Greg said, looking over his shoulder at Mycroft. Greg was kneeling on the floor, packing up his meager collection of books and films into one of the many boxes scattered around the living room of his flat.

Mycroft looked downright regal, his posture giving the impression he was lounging on a gilded throne and surveying his court rather than occupying a spot on Greg's ancient, lumpy couch while he watched the policeman work. “I could,” he agreed, “but I find the view from here is quite enjoyable.” He did not wink, but with the lascivious look he gave Greg, he might as well have.

Greg stood up, walking over to the couch and straddling Mycroft's thighs with his knees. He planted a hand on the back of the couch on either side of Mycroft's head, effectively boxing him in. “Are you checking me out, Mr. Holmes?” he teased.

“I am indeed, Detective Inspector,” Mycroft replied with a playful grin. “What are you going to do about it?”

“This.” Greg swooped in and kissed Mycroft. When he pulled away, he tapped his boyfriend's chest with one finger, “Now stop distracting me. I'm never going to get this done at the rate we're going.” He slid off Mycroft’s lap and went back to work, well aware of Mycroft’s eyes watching him intently.

It had been an interesting week. Mycroft still didn’t initiate touch very often, letting Greg bridge the space between them and leaning into the contact whenever it was offered to him, but he had upped his game when it came to verbal flirtations. A trying case involving a kidnapped girl had Greg working late multiple days in a row, and he had nearly experienced a heart attack when he’d picked up the phone without checking to see who was calling only to hear Mycroft ask in a surprisingly husky voice, “What are you wearing?”

Greg’s response of, “Jesus Christ, Mycroft, I’m at work!” drew a laugh from his boyfriend, who proceeded to apologize and admit that he was joking before reminding Greg that he needed sleep if he wanted to be in good enough shape to catch the kidnapper. He’d ended the call with a quip about wanting Greg out of his work clothes and into bed that left the policeman reeling and shaking his head.

That wasn’t the only example, either. Mycroft delighted in hovering in Greg’s space until Greg gave in and kissed him. He made jokes about Greg getting lonely in the shower, although he never followed through on his suggestion to fix that (aside from cheekily offered permission to “think of him”). He seemed completely comfortable with all forms of verbal innuendo, had done something truly appalling to an innocent spoon, and generally did his best to insure that Greg was constantly bordering on uncomfortable arousal in his presence. The upside was that it meant Mycroft was getting more comfortable with the concept of intimacy. The downside was the sheer number of cold showers Greg had to incorporate into his daily life. It was a good thing Mycroft had money, because his water bill was quickly becoming ridiculous.

Mycroft always steered well clear of actual physicality and he always backed down when Greg asked him to. The dynamic worked for them, more or less, and Mycroft promised that he was sorting out how he felt, so it wasn’t too much of a hardship on Greg’s part. He did wish Mycroft would hurry up, because the constant teasing was threatening to drive him insane. Greg was a patient man, but even he had limits.

Greg returned his attention to the problem at hand. “This is actually a bit pathetic,” he said to Mycroft.

“What is?”

Greg made a vague hand gesture that encompassed the living room, “I've got maybe three boxes of stuff I'm keeping, and the rest of it's either trash or being unloaded on someone else who wants it. This was my whole life, and the stuff I actually care about condenses into a couple of boxes.”

“I don't see anything wrong with that,” Mycroft said. “You're not a particularly materialistic person, Gregory. That's not a bad thing.”

It was difficult for Greg to put into words exactly what he felt. Mycroft was right, he wasn't materialistic, but there was still the feeling of ending that accompanied getting rid of all of his stuff. Amelia had gotten just about everything in the divorce, so the furnishings of his flat marked the era of his life spent as a single man. He loved Mycroft, but relying on him so totally occasionally made Greg feel more like a pet than a partner. He just didn't know how to phrase it without offending Mycroft. Greg wasn't sure how his boyfriend would react when he realized he was on the other side of a power imbalance.

“You're upset,” Mycroft's voice broke into his thoughts. “Have I said something wrong?”

Greg pressed his cheek against Mycroft's leg, the sleek fabric of his trousers contrasting greatly with the roughness of Greg's stubble. He sighed, “You haven't done anything wrong, love.”

“Are you sure?” Curse Mycroft and his extraordinary perception skills. “You seem to be in distress.”

Lying to Mycroft wasn't really an option. “It’s just,” he admitted, “this is my life, and I'm just getting rid of it all. I'm relying pretty much entirely on you. It makes me feel a bit like your kept boy instead of your boyfriend, you know?”

Mycroft’s hand came down to stroke soothingly through his hair, “You’re my partner, Gregory. We’re equals in this relationship.”

“Are we though?” Greg asked. “You’re basically rich, Mycroft. You own the house, you pay for the utilities and the groceries, you have what’s essentially your own personal taxi service, and on top of that I know Sherlock’s only still in Baker Street because you’re pulling strings over there. That’s all well and good if I was looking for a sugar daddy or whatever, but I’m not.”

Although Greg wasn’t looking at Mycroft, he could tell his boyfriend was a touch offended by the suggestion from the way his whole body tensed momentarily and the brief tightening of his fingers in Greg’s hair. There were a few seconds of silence, and when Mycroft broke it his voice was carefully neutral, “I didn’t realize you felt that way.”

Greg groaned, “I didn’t mean it like that, love, I just meant-”

He fell silent when Mycroft stood up, moving away from him. Greg watched him pace across the room, weaving his way through the maze of boxes in long strides. Mycroft only stopped when he was on the other side of the living room, and even then he didn’t look back at Greg, who remained seated on the floor in front of the couch. “Mycroft?” Greg asked after a minute.

“I’ve been selfish,” Mycroft said.

“What?”

“I wanted control. I assumed all the financial responsibilities without asking you because I’m used to taking care of things without others requesting it of me, much as I do with Sherlock. You are correct, by the way. I am, in essence, his personal bank account, whether he knows it or not. At any rate, I should have had a discussion with you, at least when we decided to move in together, if not sooner. I’m sorry. Can you forgive me?”

Greg stood up a bit slowly as his legs groaned at him, and then crossed the room to Mycroft. “You don’t have to apologize,” he said, “but of course I forgive you.” When Mycroft still didn’t look at him, Greg laced their fingers together and said, “I’m not upset that you have money, love, and I’m definitely not going to complain about you taking care of most of the finances. But let me help out some, yeah? Even if it’s just paying for groceries. It might seem stupid or unnecessary to you, but I need to feel like I’m contributing.”

“I understand,” Mycroft said quietly. His eyes met Greg’s, almost shyly, and Greg smiled. More confidently, Mycroft added, “If that is what you need to feel like an equal part of this relationship, then by all means, we should do that. I never want to make you feel beneath me, Gregory. I only wish you had told me sooner.”

“Yeah, well,” Greg gave him a crooked grin that never failed to make Mycroft’s eyes soften, “I can be a bit of an idiot at times.”

“You’re far from an idiot, Gregory,” Mycroft said. He smiled too.

Just as Greg leaned in to kiss him, a shrill ringing broke the quiet. Mycroft raised an eyebrow, glancing down at Greg’s trousers, and Greg fished his phone out of his pocket. He frowned when he saw who was calling him, and he answered it, “Mum? Is something wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong,” Patricia Lestrade said. “Why would you think something was wrong?”

Greg glanced at Mycroft, who was watching him curiously, a slight frown creasing his forehead. “It’s pretty late,” Greg said. “I figured you and Dad would be in bed by now.”

“It’s barely ten o’clock! Your father and I are old, not dead,” Patricia retorted. “If anything, I should be asking why you’re still up. You need your sleep if you’re going to running around London catching criminals all day.”

Greg bit back a groan. “Okay, I get it,” he said. “Did you actually want something?”

“That’s no way to speak to your mother, young man.”

“I’m fifty-three years old, Mum!”

“And still sassing me as much as when you were a teenager,” she fired back.

“Alright, I’m sorry,” Greg relented. He shot a glare in Mycroft’s direction because his boyfriend was smirking at him.

“Damn right you’re sorry,” Patricia harrumphed. She shook it off, and her voice was lighter when she said, “Anyway, I was calling about next Saturday.”

“...next Saturday?”

“Not this upcoming one, the one after that.”

“Oh, right,” Greg nodded. Then confusion hit him, “What about it?”

“Well, your sister’s bringing her husband and their children, and of course your girls and Amelia are coming too, and I think Amelia mentioned to you that she was bringing her boyfriend along?”

Greg’s voice tightened, but he fought to keep it civil when he said, “I heard. What’s this got to do with me?”

“It’s just...I hate to see you coming alone.”

“Oh Christ,” Greg couldn’t stop the words. “Mum, do you get on Danny’s case about this too? He never-”

“We’re not talking about your brother, we’re talking about you,” his mother cut him off.

Mycroft touched Greg’s wrist lightly, getting Greg’s attention. He tilted his head slightly in a classic Holmes gesture of confusion. Greg stared at him for a second, only half listening to his mother ramble on about how she knew he wasn’t exactly seeing anyone at the moment, but maybe there was a friend he could invite, like that nice Sally from work, she seemed like a lovely girl-

“Actually, Mum,” it was Greg’s turn to cut his mother off, “I am seeing someone.”

Mycroft’s eyebrows shot nearly up to his hairline, and Patricia stumbled over what she’d been saying as she processed Greg’s words. “You didn’t tell me!” she exclaimed.

“Yeah, well, we were seeing how it went,” Greg said. “We’ve been dating about two months now.” He kept his eyes on Mycroft, searching for any sign of unease, but he found none. Instead, Mycroft looked surprisingly...relieved.

“Oh, that’s wonderful!” Patricia squealed. “You should bring her, then! We’d all love to meet her.”

Greg coughed. “About that,” he bit his lip, and then forced out, “He’s a man.”

“What?”

“It’s not a woman. I’m dating a man.” He felt sixteen all over again, explaining to his mother that no, Cedric wasn’t just a friend from school, they were actually going out. Mycroft, as if sensing his discomfort, squeezed Greg’s hand in support. Greg squeezed back.

“Oh.” Patricia was silent for a moment, processing the information. Then she said, “Well, he’s welcome anyway.”

Greg let out the breath he’d been holding. His mother was definitely the more progressive of his parents. He was very glad she had called, and not his father. “I’ll have to ask him,” Greg said.

“Ask me what?” Mycroft said.

Greg pulled the phone away from his ear. “You know how I told you my family has this collective birthday party in April?”

“Yes.”

“What are your thoughts on coming?”

Mycroft looked hesitant, “And this would be when, exactly?”

“April first.” At Mycroft’s skeptical expression, Greg rolled his eyes, “I’m not joking.”

“That’s barely a week away.”

“Look, if you really don’t want to go, I’ll make some excuse for you,” Greg gave him the easy way out. “I know my family can be a bit much, and I definitely don’t want them scaring you off.”

Instead of doing that, because Mycroft Holmes had probably never taken the easy way out in his life, Mycroft’s face set into a look of determination. “I want to meet your family,” he said. “I’ll go.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Gregory?” Patricia cut in. “Are you still there?”

“I’m still here, Mum,” Greg said. “He says he’ll come.”

“Excellent,” Patricia sounded beyond pleased. “Well, that’s all I was calling for. I’ll see you at the party.”

“See you then, Mum,” Greg responded. She hung up the phone, and Greg slid it back into his pocket. “You sure you want to do this?” he asked Mycroft.

Mycroft nodded, looking resolute, “Your family is important to you. Therefore, they are important to me. I should meet them.”

Greg sighed, walking over to the couch and slouching down on it. Mycroft sat next to him. “Look,” Greg said, “I told you a lot of them are going to take issue with the fact that you’re a man, right?”

“You did.”

“My dad’s probably going to be the worst. He’s one of those blokes who don’t really think you can be a man if you like other men, you know?”

“I am familiar with the type.” Even with Mycroft’s calm voice, he couldn’t entirely suppress a sneer at the idea.

“And Amelia’s going to have a right fit over it.”

“With all due respect, Gregory, I really don’t care what your ex-wife thinks of me.”

Greg raised his eyebrows, “Even if she goes off accusing you of seducing me away from her?”

“She’s the one who cheated on you, not the other way around.”

“Try telling her that,” Greg muttered.

“Your sexuality was great source of tension, then?” It was phrased in the form of a question, but Greg could tell Mycroft already knew the answer.

“She told me once that all bisexuals cheat on their partners,” he said. “And when we finally had it out over her cheating, she said she didn’t feel bad about it because she was just heading me off. And she accused me of lying when I said I’d been faithful to her the entire time.”

“Gregory.”

Greg was furious even thinking about it, and he spat out, “You know she once told me she couldn’t feel secure in our relationship because she thought I was going to randomly drop her for some man someday? It didn’t matter how dedicated I was to her, or to our daughters, because she was convinced that I was going to abruptly ‘switch sides’ and leave.”

“Gregory.”

He was gaining steam now. It wasn’t often that Greg actually ranted about anything, but now that he was going he found it difficult to stop. “She accused me of lying to her just because I didn’t tell her I was bisexual from the start. I almost wish I had, because I wouldn’t have had to deal with her shit, but it’s not like it was relevant! I was in love with her, so what did it matter who I’d been with before? And God forbid I didn’t want to have sex when she did, because then it was just one long argument about how I must be getting it from somewhere else and ‘aren’t bisexuals supposed to be horny all the time’ and shit like that.”

Mycroft’s grip on his hand tightened, not quite hard enough to bruise but just shy of it. “Gregory,” Mycroft said more forcefully, derailing Greg’s rant. When Greg turned to look at him fully, Mycroft said, “Your ex-wife is a terrible person, and nothing can excuse what she said to you. But as awful as her biphobia is, I would like to remind you that you are no longer with her. You are with someone who would defend you, every part of you, to his dying breath.” He paused, and then added, “Except your taste in music. That’s deplorable.”

The joke was enough to break the tension, and Greg laughed. He stroked his thumb over the back of Mycroft’s hand. “It’s still incredible to me sometimes,” he admitted. “I mean, after years of Amelia, to have you be so...supportive, I guess, of my sexuality is a bit weird to me.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being bisexual,” Mycroft said, “and I don’t see why more people aren’t of that opinion. Believe me, Gregory, I’m under no delusions that you intend to cheat on me. The way you talk about Amelia is more than enough to convince me otherwise. I highly doubt you’re going to ever break up with me because you’ve suddenly started fancying a woman, although it is possible you’ll eventually break up with me because I’m so ridiculously high maintenance. And as for her belief that your sexuality inherently makes you interested in sex at all times, I think we’ve proven that fairly incorrect.” At Greg’s blush, he smirked and amended, “Or, at least, you’re far more in control of it than she implies.” He covered their joined hands with his other one, “You alone prove that bisexual stereotypes are hardly accurate, and you’re far from the only bisexual I’m acquainted with. So naturally I’m going to support you.”

Rather than tear up like his eyes were threatening to do, Greg made a joke. “You supportive enough to go to Pride with me? Wear one of those rainbow ties, maybe paint the flag on your face?”

Mycroft gave him an unimpressed look, “Do be serious, Gregory.” But there was no bite to his words.

Greg squeezed his hand again, and then said, “Come on. I’m almost done here, and then I want to go home and pass out. My back is going to be killing me tomorrow.” Wordlessly, Mycroft got up and helped him finish packing. Once all the boxes were taped shut and sorted into piles, Mycroft hefted two of the three boxes that Greg was keeping, in spite of Greg’s insistence that he could carry them, and when they got outside there was a car already waiting. The driver opened the boot and they stowed the boxes in there, and then slid into the backseat together. As they pulled away from the curb, Greg leaned his head against Mycroft’s shoulder, and Mycroft took his hand.

“How did I ever get lucky enough to have you in my life?” Greg asked softly.

“Lucky isn’t the word I would use to describe it,” Mycroft murmured back.

“Yeah? And what word would you use?”

“I don’t believe in luck. What I do believe in is the universe, pushing everything together just so. There is no randomness, just what is meant to be.”

“So you’re saying…?”

“I’m saying, my darling, that you and I were simply fated to be together.”

Greg processed that for a moment, and then said, “I think so to.” He closed his eyes, breathing in the sweet scent of Mycroft’s cologne, feeling the soft material of his suit jacket against his cheek and the warmth of their hands clasped together, the vibrations of the car rippling through his body as they headed in the direction of home.