It was Christmas Eve. Unfortunately for Mycroft, it was also his birthday. He got into the car and sighed. He had people to meet, reports to scan and security footage to review. But, as usual, Sherlock's latest tantrum meant that Mycroft’s plans for the evening had gone awry. There was one meeting in particular that he’d been looking forward to. Gritting his teeth, he typed a message to Anthea.
Call DI Lestrade and inform him that our meeting must be postponed. Please express my regrets. -MH
He dismissed the pang of disappointment in his chest and put his head in his hands. When it came to threats, Sherlock rarely made idle ones. Mycroft could almost see the festooned hallways of the Diogenes Club and the horrified faces of his fellow patrons at the debauchery that would undoubtedly ensue. He read Sherlock’s text again, cursing under his breath.
I’m throwing a birthday party for you at my flat. If you’re not here by 7.00 pm, the party will come to the Diogenes. Happy 43rd birthday, Mycroft.
P.S: Don’t eat all the cake.
Surely there was more to this than mere spite. The moment he read the text, Mycroft had sworn aloud, thrown his papers on his desk and hurried to his car, nearly colliding with Anthea in his haste. They'd never celebrated birthdays in the Holmes household. Why would they? Whose achievement was being celebrated? They came into the world with no effort on their part. Why were there gifts involved? Did humanity really need more validation for doing the absolute bare minimum?
The only three gifts he'd given Sherlock were his violin, microscope and vintage pocket knife. They weren’t mere possessions, they were part of his personality. Sherlock had never given him any gifts, at least not ones Mycroft wanted. Once, after a particularly nasty Christmas at the family home, his brother mailed him a year's subscription to Weight Watchers. The mere memory of the membership card (complete with his photo and mobile number, and adorned with a blasted red bow-tie) still made Mycroft want to curse and break even more pricey china.
He massaged his temples. The last two years had been particularly difficult for the Holmes family. Yet, despite Sherlock ‘dying’ and returning, this insistence on company during Christmas, nay, his birthday, was disturbing. Their parents had already left for a month-long trip to Asia, having decided to forego the annual Christmas dinner at the cottage. Despite the security arrangements the trip had entailed, Mycroft was more than happy to have this most dreaded day of the year to himself. Along with clearing off his desk, he was particularly looking forward to a holiday drink with his favorite DI. But now? Now he was to spend it at 221B, surrounded by John and Sherlock’s sullen, sympathetic faces as he blew out forty-three candles atop a cake Mrs. Hudson had grudgingly baked.
This latest demand was both unwonted and yet strangely in keeping with his brother's behavior since he'd 'returned from the dead'. Maybe his parents were right. Maybe spending two years chasing terrorists in rural Europe had made Sherlock crave friendly company. The thought sent a shudder through Mycroft. "Oh, dear God", he whispered. Logistical and financial support he could provide, but this.. this involved emotions. His mouth twisted with distaste. Not my area of expertise. He has John for that now. Or even Gregory. He unclenched his fingers from the leather seat and picked up his phone as it chimed. It was a text from Anthea.
Couldn’t get in touch with DI Lestrade. He wasn't at his home or his office. Will scout through recent security footage to determine location. -AC
Mycroft's mouth fell open. Gregory was missing? Was he hurt? Kidnapped? Where was he? But before he could type a response, the Blackberry chimed again.
DI Lestrade was last seen with Mr. Holmes at the Landover robbery crime scene. -AC
Three hours ago. -AC
His PC found his phone, wallet and keys in his desk drawer. -AC
Mycroft snarled. What the hell was Sherlock thinking? What had he done with Gregory? He punched the keys on the Blackberry until he reached the list of recent calls. His thumb hovered over the call button as the possibilities raced through his mind. Sherlock kidnapped Gregory. To what end? Why tonight, on Mycroft’s birthday? Especially when it was also the first anniversary of Gregory's divorce. And Christmas Eve.
A weak laugh escaped him as realization dawned. Sherlock had long deduced his unrequited, unarticulated crush on Gregory. The furious tantrums and drug-laced fortnight that had followed said deduction convinced Mycroft that it was in his best interest to stay away from his brother’s new friend. Despite his feelings, despite the pain it caused him, Mycroft brushed off Gregory’s attempts to flirt with him with cold indifference. And now, abruptly, Sherlock had changed his mind. Mycroft shuffled through his phone to his conversation with Anthea and typed with a frown.
What were Sherlock’s most recent purchases on the credit card I gave him? -MH
It took her twenty-five seconds to reply.
Two meters of silk fabric, a two-kilo cake named ‘Death by Chocolate’, a can of whipped cream, and some accessories.
Toys, condoms and lubricant. Sir. -AC
His eyebrows shot up. This had gone too far. He tolerated the fat-shaming, the constant jealousy and pettiness. But this time, this time Sherlock had gone too far. He’d obliterated his chances with the one person Mycroft had ever been interested in. He cringed as he thought of Gregory tied to the headboard in the guest bedroom at 221B, cursing the day he met the Holmes brothers. “Bloody hell!”, Mycroft cursed aloud as he shot off a text to Anthea.
Call off the search. I know exactly where he is. -MH
He yanked the door open as soon as the car lurched to a stop and strode into 221 Baker Street, his hands clenching into fists. It was dark inside; even Mrs. Hudson's flat was empty. Mycroft didn't want to know what Sherlock and John had done to get her out of the flat. He climbed up the stairs in the darkness, groping at the balustrade as he pulled himself up with haste. The floor creaked under him as he made his way towards the soft noises in the guest bedroom.
The door was ajar. A soft glow lit the room, emanating from the string lights draped around the headboard. Red silk sheets adorned the bed, white rose petals trailing up to a beaming Gregory Lestrade lying on his side. Mycroft stopped in his tracks. Gregory was... naked. A red cord with blue wildflowers draped his mouth loosely and an enormous red bow held his arms together in front of him. His silver hair gleamed on his chest and stomach and on his muscular legs. His tanned skin looked delectable; it spurred Mycroft’s heartbeat into a stampede, rendering him incapable of rational thought. He was crafted to represent perfect symmetry. Mycroft nearly gasped as his eyes traveled over the curve of that spectacular arse and the candy cane strapped strategically to preserve his dignity.
“Gregory”, he growled. Mycroft blinked hard, trying to refocus his gaze. The room was suddenly rather hot. He tugged his tie and shuffled his feet, for his trousers were now oppressively tight. He'd fantasized about Gregory for eons. In his dreams, Mycroft made Gregory beg and cry for more, more, please as he fucked him into the mattress. Gregory would finish with a shout, coating them both in rivulets of come as he repeated Mycroft’s name, over and over and pleasure wrecked his beautiful features.
“Oh, dear God.” Mycroft backed away. “Gregory, forgive me.” he said in a croaky voice. He ran trembling fingers through his hair and shut his eyes. “I apologize for what Sherlock put you through. I promise you, this was not my idea”.
After a moment of silence, Mycroft opened his eyes to find Greg frowning at him, confused. The DI maneuvered his way out of the gag and spoke. “Mycroft, Sherlock didn’t put me through anything.” His voice was gentle, though the barely restrained laughter was obvious.
“What do you mean?”. Mycroft clutched the door frame for support. His ears were still ringing, his trousers becoming more uncomfortable by the minute.
“Hey.” Gregory said, his voice tinged with softness. “Mycroft, look at me.”
“This was my idea. You should have seen Sherlock’s face when I asked him to set this up.” Greg grinned at the memory.
“You... your idea? How?” Mycroft's head reeled.
“He let slip that you'd been nursing a crush on me for quite some time”.
“Mycroft, it’s okay, he only told me! And John. And Mrs. Hudson knows, somehow”.
“Brilliant! That’s exactly what I need.”
“Mycroft, there’s a happy ending to this.”
“Yes.” Gregory said in a firm voice. “Me.” His eyes glittered as he looked up and down Mycroft’s suit-clad figure, his pupils growing darker by the second. “I’ve fancied you for ages, Mycroft. For some horrid reason, you’ve been hiding yourself away from me. But not anymore. It’s your birthday, the residents of this flat are on holiday in Egypt, and I have a raging boner hiding behind this candy cane. One would think you wouldn’t need any more reasons to fuck me, but I could go on.” His front teeth snapped at the red cord gently as his tongue beckoned it back into his mouth. Mycroft watched with wide eyes as Gregory waggled his eyebrows at him.
“I’ve got supplies, too. Sherlock said something about a long-overdue birthday gift. I reckon he meant the cake,” Gregory jerked his head towards the window, under which a coffee table held the cake and the other items Sherlock so kindly purchased. “Well?”
“Well.” Mycroft said as every fiber of his being lit up, incandescent with joy. Bless you, brother mine, he thought, loosening his tie. “Happy fucking birthday to me.” He beamed, clicked the door shut and walked to the glorious man waiting for him.
“And a Merry Christmas to all.”
In the pocket of Mycroft's discarded suit jacket, his phone buzzed again.
Try not to get chocolate on my sheets. Happy birthday, Mycroft.