“Five known bolt-holes. There’s the blind greenhouse in Kew Gardens and the leaning tomb in Hampstead Cemetery.”
Mycroft’s eyes drifted down towards his laptop again, putting aside the brief disturbance he returned his gaze to the map on the screen. Zooming in on the yellow dot on the map, he checked if the agent was in position for the start of operation Ugly Duckling. His full attention was required now, the mission in Warsaw was at risk already and Sherlock’s friends would find him faster than any of his agents were able to, so he didn’t need to involve himself further. On the city map in front of him he watched the little target dot move through the streets of Warsaw, calculating the distances that needed to be travelled in his mind until an annoyed sounding huff startled him.
“Sorry, but what the hell was that?”
Mycroft looked up from his laptop in confusion. He’d assumed that Gregory Lestrade had left right after he dismissed him. Why was he still standing in his office? He just wasn’t used to disobedience, although it was refreshing now and then.
“Excuse me, Detective Inspector?”
“That thing you did with your hand.”
Oh no, had he done it again? He hated when he did things without realising.
“You just tried to wave me away.” The man laughed but he looked only slightly amused, disbelieve and disappointment shadowed his otherwise so handsome features. “I can’t believe it, after everything I’ve done for you all these years? You really should know better than to treat me like a dog. I always do what you say, no matter how ridiculous it might be, no questions asked. OK, mostly because I don’t know what would happen to me if I don’t, but this? I’m not one of your bloody minions!”
Of course he wasn’t; Gregory Lestrade had proven himself worthy on so many occasions that he saw him as one of his very few loyal allies. It had been very foolish of him to compromise his trust with such a mindless gesture. But with his mind preoccupied with the current situation in Poland and the renewed worry that Sherlock might have relapsed, his mind had switched immediately into work mode after giving Lestrade the information he needed.
“My sincerest apologies, Detective Inspector. It wasn’t my intention to offend you. Urgent matters are in need of my full attention right now, good day.”
With a slight bow of his head Mycroft put on an apologetic smile and hoped that would be enough for now, he wasn’t very good at face to face apologies after all. Once again he turned his attention to the laptop when an angry cough nearly made him jump.
“Oh, you think such a lousy apology will do? I can see that you don’t mean it, not really. Do you ever mean it when you send me things? Although, that wine I got after everything I went through helping Sherlock with his speech was really good. I probably should have sold it though.”
Continuing to look busy and important, Mycroft flicked his gaze between Lestrade and the screen, trying to hide his delight that his gift had received the man’s approval.
“What do you want?”
“As you wish.” That was easy. With a smug smile tugging at the edges of his mouth Mycroft reached for his mobile, typing away a short note for Anthea to make the arrangements. “I assume you will have found him by 8:30. There will be a table for you and the person you wish to dine with at Teyssier’s. Does that please you?”
Knowing that Lestrade didn’t allow himself to dine at his favourite restaurant very often, he hoped it would earn him one of those delightful smiles before he had to turn his attention back to his work.
“Yeah, works for me, thanks.”
Ah, there it was. The smile that never failed to lighten up Mycroft’s dark office, but it also distracted him in ways he couldn’t quite process.
“Good. Until next time, Detective Inspector.”
“Right, see you at 8:30 then.”
Completely caught off guard by the invitation from the still smiling man in front of him, Mycroft could do nothing but stare as Lestrade turned quickly to walk away, his coat swinging out around him as he went. Mycroft was still gaping as Lestrade suddenly stopped in the doorway, a seductive twinkle in his eyes.
“Don’t be late! I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for far too long, and I don’t like to be kept waiting.”