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Gaze and Obedience

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The smile is barely there, so small Greg can’t be sure he’s really seeing it.

He watches Mycroft’s pale fingertips rub together - lazy in the air, almost predatory - and tries not to stare at the two inches of socked ankle revealed by the casual shift in position.

“Not in this instance,” the politician says, and reaches for a glass of something small and dark to his side. “You can relax, detective inspector.”

Greg thinks he’ll stick to hovering and panicking, thanks.

“If it’s not a Sherlock problem, then… what is it?” he says.

Mycroft takes a slow drink, watching him over the rim of the glass.

His eyes are shark-skin grey.

Greg can’t really cope with that.

He’s never been able to cope with it - not since the first night they met. Some warehouse in Peckham. Kidnapped off the street by the poshest man on the planet, and sleekly interrogated as to his intentions towards Sherlock Holmes… all while trying to hide a raging hard-on. Greg’s sexuality sometimes feels as if someone cobbled it together out of leftover scraps from other people. He’s like a tin of Christmas chocolates, full of odds and ends: manipulative types he knows will hurt him; cuffs, commands, praise; people in dark formalwear; people who speak like they mean every word and expect him to listen; clever sorts who peer at him over their reading glasses; powerful men who make his clothes feel transparent.

Mycroft Holmes is the crowning glory of it all.

They say he’s smarter than Sherlock. He sees the same things that Sherlock sees - the loose thread that announces someone is lying, the dot of ink on a cuff that spills every secret. He can sweep his eyes across a person, and it’s all there for him to read.

And if it’s true, then Mycroft Holmes knows exactly what effect he has on Greg.

He knows Greg will leave here a flaming mess as usual, head back to his lonely flat and try to settle himself with horlicks and the TV. He knows Greg will last maybe twenty minutes before giving up, going to bed and getting lube out of the drawer. He knows that by ten o'clock, Greg will be fucking himself with his fingers until he can’t stay quiet about it, imagining that voice crisp and sleek in his ear, calling him detective inspector, telling him to make all the noise he needs, telling him he’s doing beautifully.

Mycroft can probably see it all.

The posh bastard still makes him come and stand here - his private room of his private club. Greg’s pretty sure it means that, on some level, Mycroft likes it. 

Not enough to do anything about it, of course. That would ruin the fun. The arrogant arsehole just gets off on knowing that he could.

And that makes it so much worse.

Placing his drink aside, Mycroft Holmes runs his tongue briefly across his lower lip - cleaning up the taste of his liquor - then says,

“You’ve always been helpful to me in wrangling my insufferable little brother… I’ve come to appreciate your discretion very much, Lestrade. I hoped I could request your assistance with another private matter.”

He’s killing Greg - the way he speaks. All those long and lazy words, nearly purred; that intimate glimpse of dark grey sock; the creases of his slim-cut trousers, the sharpness of his eyes, the ease of his fingers now resting on the arm of the chair.

It’s not okay, and it’s not fair.

Greg needs it more than he needs to breathe.

“Sure,” he says, as casually as he can. “M’always happy to help… what do you want?”

Mycroft takes another drink.

“Lock the door,” he says, and puts the glass aside. “Take your clothes off, lie down on the rug - and don’t come until I give you permission.”

In one quick motion he throws something from out of his sleeve.

Greg catches it, shocked. He looks down.

It takes him a second to realise it’s high-end lube.

“I suggest you keep your tie to hand,” Mycroft adds, settling comfortably back in his chair. “You strike me as the loud type, and these walls are fairly thin.”

The corner of his mouth curls - and that’s definitely a smile.

“Make it pretty for me, Lestrade,” he murmurs. “I might let you finish me on your knees.”

Greg can’t move. He can’t speak. 

He can’t even think. 

He can only stare, now certain this is a dream.

Mycroft raises a wry eyebrow. “You’re not dreaming, detective inspector… merely boring me. Now relax, for god’s sake. Kindly strip.”

He picks up his glass, his eyes gleaming. “And take it slow.”

***

Fuck me up is the first thought in Greg’s head when his brain comes back online.

He probably will, his mind supplies unhelpfully.

I hope he will.

He tries to swallow past the lump in his throat, manages it on the second attempt, and walks over to the door on autopilot. It takes a moment for his fingers, suddenly clumsy, to figure out how to engage the lock.

The snikt of the bolt sliding home shoots straight down his spine.

This is crazy, he thinks, even as he turns back to face Mycroft, who is still sitting there, perfectly at ease and perfectly predatory.

Bastard.

Maybe Greg is crazy. He certainly feels that way as he comes to stand before the chair, feeling exposed to the bone without having shed a single thread of clothing.

God, how much more exposed is he going to get?

Is he actually - actually planning to go through with this?

Apparently, yes: his hands have decided for him. They’ve moved to his tie, sliding it off his neck in a practiced motion. Next to his jacket, undoing the button carefully. He shrugs the jacket off, letting it land by his feet in a crumpled heap.

“Now, now, Detective Inspector,” Mycroft purrs, and oh God Greg isn’t sure how he’s going to last at all, “this is a very prestigious club, and I won’t have you being untidy.”

He gestures at the jacket with his chin. “Pick that up and fold it. You may place it, and the rest of your clothes, here.” One elegant finger points at the floor, just beside his shoe.

You have got to be kidding me, Greg thinks. Even as he does, the order and the gesture, so casually dominant, send another bolt of lust through him. It’s amplified by the fact that his tie is supposed to stay by his own feet, where he can reach it when he -

Well.

He’s already hard, much to his embarrassment. He can feel the blush staining his cheeks as he kneels to pick up his jacket, folding it carefully. There’s the faintest tremble in his hands.

He’s sure Mycroft’s seen it.

As he places the jacket, folded, by Mycroft’s shoe, he feels a hand in his hair. A brief moment of confusion flashes through him before his head is being tilted back - not hard, but firmly enough to remind him exactly who is in charge here.

He meets Mycroft’s glittering gaze, mouth open slightly. He’s panting, a little, he thinks. He’s not entirely sure why.

“Detective Inspector,” Greg shivers again, “when I tell you to do something, I expect a response. Do I make myself clear?”

He swallows and nods as much as he’s able with the hand in his hair. “Yes.”

One slim brow arches upwards and Greg thinks he might die. “Yes, what?”

No, now he might die. He trembles a little, doesn’t let himself think about his next words.

“Yes, sir.”

The slight curl at the corner of Mycroft’s mouth feels like victory. “Good.” He releases his grip on Greg’s hair, cards it back in a surprisingly gentle manner before settling back in his chair. “Back to it.” He picks up his drink and sips at it, watching Greg intently.

Greg swallows. “Yes, sir,” he says again. The words feel good on his tongue, feel right, and he doesn’t know how to feel about that, he really doesn’t.

He’s probably more than a little fucked up, enjoying this so much, he admits to himself.

But it’s worth it. Worth it to feel Mycroft’s gaze on him as he rises to his feet again.

He can only meet that gaze for a moment or two before it’s too much. He looks down, ostensibly to undo his buttons better.

He’s halfway done with his shirt when the next command comes.

“Slower.”

Greg’s breath catches in his throat and he looks up again, unable to help it. That stare - does the man never blink? - focused solely on him; it nearly has Greg falling apart already.

His hands slow, pushing each button through its hole at what feels like a glacial pace.

He’s managed two more when Mycroft speaks again. “Look at me, Detective Inspector.”

He looks up, meets Mycroft’s gaze. It hasn’t changed a jot. “I believe,” he says smoothly, eyes narrowing a fraction, “that I told you I expect an answer when I tell you to do something. Was I unclear?”

The veiled threat sits low in Greg’s stomach, curling through his veins with something that feels like heat and something that feels like fear and he’s not sure whether he wants to fall to his knees and beg or back into the corner and hide, but either way his heart is hammering so hard he’s afraid he might pass out.

“No, sir.” He’s a little proud of how steady his voice is. “Sorry, sir.”

Those fucking hands - Mycroft laces his fingers together in front of his chest, regarding Greg with an expression Greg so does not have the brainpower to decipher right now.

“Do not forget again, Detective Inspector, or it shall go poorly for you.” His voice is crisp, pronunciation as perfect and elegant as ever.

Oh Christ.

Greg had thought the veiled threat had been bad - this open threat is so much worse. Mostly because he doesn’t know what the man would do, and that unknown factor has him reeling in all the best ways.

Somehow, he finds it within himself to nod, inhaling quickly through his nose. “Yes, sir.”

Mycroft nods and gestures at his shirt. Continue. Greg can hear the unspoken command as clear as if the man had shouted it from the rooftops.

It feels like years by the time the last button comes undone. He slides the shirt off his shoulders and folds it carefully. The shake in his hand is more pronounced now, but he isn’t afraid.

Or at least, he’s only a little afraid. It reminds him, absurdly, of being a young boy and swinging just a little too high on the swings. That same thrill of what if? runs through him, that knowledge that he could go flying off and soar, only to come crashing down.

Somehow, he thinks that the consequences from this are going to be more dire than a couple months in a cast.

He doesn’t care.

Still, he can’t stop the shivers running over his skin as he kneels once more by Mycroft’s chair and places his shirt on top of his folded jacket. He thinks, wildly, that this is the best he’s ever treated the damn things.

He’s startled when a hand appears under his chin, lifting with inexorable force. His eyes meet Mycroft’s and his breath catches in his throat. He feels like he’s being examined, pinned down and cut open so Mycroft can see exactly how he works.

Maybe that’s not so far off. He’s often felt like that around Sherlock, after all, and if Mycroft is even better than Sherlock…

Greg pushes those thoughts out of his head. He does not want to be thinking of Sherlock now.

Mycroft examines him for a moment longer (Greg has no doubt he saw everything) before letting him go.

He takes a moment to find his breath again, find his feet. He stands and pulls his vest off over his head, taking it as slowly as he can without feeling like a complete berk. Having that barrier removed feels like being naked, even though his trousers and his shoes are still on, even though he’s only halfway to being naked.

He can feel Mycroft’s eyes on him, no doubt cataloguing ever scar, every blemish, every line of his torso and deducing his life story from it. Where he’s been shot, where he’s been stabbed, where he fell off a bike and broke his wrist, all of it and more.

Hell, Mycroft probably knows more about him than he does at this point, and he’s still wearing fucking trousers.

The vest gets the same treatment as shirt and jacket, but no touch comes this time. He finds himself startled by that, and reminds himself that the man is completely unpredictable and he should really just stop trying to anticipate what he’s going to do.

When he’s standing again, Greg’s hands go to his belt buckle. He swallows, takes a breath, and undoes it. He unthreads it from his belt loops, feeling it slither around his waist like the ghost of a snake. It sends tingles down his skin, and he’s pretty sure the hair on his arms is standing on end.

Carefully, he rolls the belt up and places it beside his slowly growing pile of clothes. He stays kneeling beside Mycroft to tackle his shoes and socks; he can only imagine how stupid he’d feel, standing in socks and pants, or worse, going into a panic and trying to take his trousers off over his shoes.

He’s pretty sure the humiliation alone would kill him.

As he tucks his socks into his shoes, he feels a hand land in his hair again. He stills, hardly daring to breath.

The hand tightens slowly, not stopping until the prickle of pain has drawn a gasp from Greg’s throat. It then tightens further, and the gasp turns into a soft noise that is certainly not a moan, thank you very much.

When Greg is allowed to draw back, stand, he catches a glimpse of Mycroft’s eyes, storm grey and dark, matching the smirk he’s wearing.

Greg nearly falls back to his knees.

Christ.

Heart pounding in his ears, he undoes his trousers. The movements are now so slow it’s almost painful.

Mycroft shifts in his chair, and Greg thinks that he’s about to be told to stop - or maybe go faster? - and he pauses, waits for the command.

He’s struck with realization when no command comes: Mycroft is hard. He’s adjusted his position to be more comfortable. Greg can see the outline of his cock against his posh trousers, and it sends a deep thrum of need and satisfaction through him.

I did that.

He’s hard, for me.

He can’t hold back the small, proud smile as he pushes his trousers to the floor. It disappears as his own erection finds a small measure of relief, freed from the fabric. It’s contained by his pants, but barely.

He feels every motion as he kneels, folds his trousers, and places them in their spot.

Once he’s standing again, he brings his hands to the waistband of his boxers. He considers not doing it, not shedding this one last vestige of defense.

But it’s pointless. Mycroft has already torn down all his defenses, stripped him bare before he got anywhere close to nude.

And Greg is so hard it fucking hurts and he wants this and really he’s so far past giving a fuck he can’t remember what it looks like.

His boxers drop to the floor. He makes a soft noise of relief when his cock springs free of the cloth, and he can feel Mycroft’s amusement even from here.

He fights down a blush (unsuccessfully, he’s sure) and puts his pants with the rest of his clothes. He feels vulnerable, open; it’s not just that he’s bare while Mycroft is still in a three piece fucking suit, it’s everything.

Greg can’t remember the last time he was so open to another person. Maybe never.

It feels good.

He takes a moment to kneel there, and finds the courage to look up at the man who’s the source of all this.

Mycroft still looks composed as all hell, sitting there as if Greg is a bloody intern, giving a report on something or other. He’d almost look bored if it weren’t for the glimmer in his eyes.

Oh, and the erection still clearly pressing at his trousers. That too.

Greg glances down, looks at Mycroft’s cock trapped behind fabric, and feels himself lick his lips. He wants that, has wanted that for so fucking long -

“Only if you’re very good, Detective Inspector,” and Greg can’t even be embarrassed that he was read so easily, not with that molten voice in his ears, carrying that teasing promise.

“Yes, sir,” he breathes, trying so very hard to keep himself under control.

He snags the packet of lube out of the pile of clothes and returns to the rug. He’s almost grateful to get to his knees, feels like he can’t stand for a moment longer.

“On your back,” comes the order, and Mycroft is moving, Christ, Christ -

But no, no. The man is just shifting to put both feet on the floor, sit forward a little to better watch Greg.

“Y-yes, sir,” Greg says, unable to disguise the tremble in his voice. He arranges himself on his back, knees up and spread and fuck he feels so exposed it’s not even fucking funny but it is good and he can’t even think about it right now.

His hand moves down to grip his cock and he does moan then, head falling back and eyes closing. It’s better that way; like he can pretend he’s alone, doesn’t have to watch Mycroft and his fucking eyes.

The illusion only lasts two strokes, broken by Mycroft’s voice. “Slower, Detective Inspector.”

“Yes, sir,” Greg gasps, tries not to whine. His hand slows, and the dry friction isn’t exactly what he likes, but he knows that if he gets the lube out now, puts it on himself, he’s not going to be able to hold back.

He wants to. He wants to be good, wants to earn his reward.

He doesn’t examine that thought too closely.

Even though it’s not quite what he likes, it still feels good. The pace is tortuously slow, the drag of his callouses against his achingly sensitive cock is just this side of pain, and the knowledge that Mycroft is sitting there, hard, just makes it all the sweeter.

He’s panting now, he can feel it. Feels like he can’t quite catch his breath, and doesn’t mind. He teases himself, rubbing his thumb over his frenulum every other stroke. He can feel Mycroft’s gaze on him like a weight, hot and heavy, and his hips buck up against his will.

“Get the lube,” Mycroft orders. Greg whines, but says, “Yes sir,” and does as he’s told.

It’s hard to let go of his cock, harder still to get his fingers to cooperate long enough to get the packet open. He spreads just a little in his palm - he figures a little will go a long way, and he wants the rest for the activities he’s sure are coming.

“Good boy,” Mycroft purrs, and it sends a thrill of pleasure through him.

He groans as his hand finds his cock again. The noise turns into a gasp (not a whine, definitely not) as he begins to move his hand slowly. The slick substance feels like Heaven and it’s all he can do to keep his pace slow.

“Show me what you like,” comes the command, and Greg knows he is well and truly fucked.

His cheek heat as he repeats what is quickly becoming his mantra: “Yes sir.” He strokes himself harder, faster, bucks up into his hand and imagines that it’s someone else (a very certain someone) fucking him into his own hand.

He can’t help it - he moans, louder than before.

Mycroft chuckles, and there’s a thread of dark amusement in it. “Hush, Detective Inspector, or you’ll be putting that tie back on.” Greg can hear the unspoken words - and not around your neck.

“Yes, sir,” he whispers. He bites his lip and returns to pleasuring himself. Quick flicks over the head, teasing strokes followed by quick, tight motions - everything he likes.

He quickly finds himself with heat coiling in his stomach. Even through clenched teeth, the noise he makes is audible. He’s not sure how long he can hold off if he keeps touching himself -

And then, praise be, the order comes: “Stop.”

He immediately releases his cock and lays back, panting. “Yes, sir.” A moment later, he follows up with, “Thank you, sir,” and isn’t entirely sure why.

Greg thinks he can hear a sort of ‘hm’ - but it might just be wishful thinking. He can feel the tremble setting in to every limb, the need and want squirming together into something he has no words for.

He can hear Mycroft shifting, but he doesn’t move. Can’t move. He can’t sit up, he feels too heavy for that, and he’s pretty sure that if he looks down the length of his body, sees Mycroft sitting there all posh and dangerous and perfect, he’ll be coming without a hand anywhere near his cock.

That’s the last thing he needs.

“As lovely a display as that was,” Greg can’t tell, is that sarcasm? Is it arousal? Damn the man, “I told you to show me what you like, Detective Inspector.” Mycroft’s voice drops back into a low purr, something that’s just this side of a growl. “You and I both know that’s not all you like.”

Heat suffuses Greg’s body. He can feel it settle in his face and chest as a blush, feel it as a twitch in his cock, and knows that Mycroft sees it all and more. “Y-yes, sir,” he breathes, voice unsteady.

“If you can’t keep quiet just from touching your cock,” Greg whimpers a little, hearing that word falling from Mycroft’s lips, “you’re certainly not going to be able to keep quiet for what comes next, are you?” This, nearly condescending, and Greg hates him for it.

Only a bit, though.

“N-no, sir, I don’t think I will,” he says. It’s the most he’s said - shit, since he was told to strip, probably. Mycroft’s always left him tongue-tied and speechless, but this is on a whole new level.

He can hear the fucking smirk in his voice. “No, you won’t.” Condescending, patronizing, arrogant, posh, delicious bastard.

“Before you begin again, sit up.”

Greg pushes himself into a sitting position and sneaks a glance at his -

Whatever.

Whatever Mycroft is to him right now, looking at him wrecks Greg in all the right ways. His breath catches in his chest and refuses to move for the long, excruciating seconds it takes for Mycroft’s eyes to finish roving over his bare skin and meet his own.

When their gazes do finally meet, Greg’s breath rushes out of him like he’s been punched. The dark, glittering gaze pulls him apart, piece by piece.

He can only hope Mycroft will put him back together when he’s done.

“Take your tie,” Mycroft murmurs, pointing without looking, without extending his arm, the very barest of movements, “and silence yourself with it. I won’t have security breaking down my door because you can’t control yourself, Detective Inspector.”

Greg feels blood rush both to his head and cock at once, leaving him more than a little dizzy. He still says, “Yes sir,” even manages to find the tie lying by his side.

He doesn’t want to examine the feeling wriggling in his gut as he places the length of material between his teeth, ties it securely. Every motion serves to remind him that he’s choosing this, doing it all to himself.

That’s probably the point, he thinks. Like having to respond to every command, acknowledge that there are two of them here. Acknowledge who is in charge, and yet with every word he speaks, Greg is admitting that he is choosing to do this.

That he wants this.

He’s grateful for the tie almost immediately, because when he looks into Mycroft’s eyes and sees the slight pleased curve of his mouth, hears the murmured, “Good boy,” he’s certain he’s whimpered into the cloth at least twice.

He’s fucking doomed, he is, and he might as well embrace it.

He watches Mycroft pick up his glass, swirl it, take a sip, as if he has all the time in the world.

Greg nearly moans in relief when he gestures with glass in hand for him to lie back down.

“Show me what you like,” Mycroft orders again. “Properly, Detective Inspector.”

A shudder wracks his body and he nods, probably a bit too eagerly. He wants to do that, wants to show Mycroft - everything. Everything he has to give, he wants to give to this man.

Yep, completely doomed.

He finds the packet of lube and manages to spread some on his fingers. His hands move down - one to his cock, the other to his entrance. He strokes himself and whimpers into the cloth as he teases himself with slick fingertips. Sometimes, on the very rare occasion that he’s not absolutely desperate to come, he’s teased himself for ages like this. He remembers, crystal clear, one shining time when he teased himself so long and so thoroughly that he came just from breaching himself with one finger.

As fucking fantastic as that had been, he doubts that’s the kind of show Mycroft wants, and frankly it isn’t what he wants either. He wants - well.

He times it just right, pushing into himself with two fingers right on the downstroke, and the mixture of pleasure and pain makes his spine arch. The muffled “Fuck!” is still pretty loud, even through the tie.

He gives himself a moment to breathe, feels the tie growing wet in his mouth as he pants around it, through it. He loves the burn, feeling a little wrecked and unprepared. He knows it quickly settles into pleasure, especially if he can just -

He crooks his fingers and sees white, moaning as his head falls back against the rug. His fingers aren’t quite long enough to reach his prostate properly, but the teasing nudges and flicks he can manage have always served him well in his wanks.

Even through the sound of his own rushing pulse, Greg can hear the clink of the crystal glass being set aside, the little brushes of fabric against fabric that mean that Mycroft is adjusting his position.

Greg revels in the attention. Apparently the chocolate box of his sexuality has a few surprises left for him, like digging through the wrappers to discover a truffle or two that had been missed in the previous searches.

For instance: he’s definitely an exhibitionist, because knowing that Mycroft is sitting there watching him is doing all sorts of wonderful things to his libido. He wants to squirm and show off, knowing that this is affecting the other man.

You learn something new every day.

He moves his fingers in and out, relishing the slow drag and burn against his unprepared muscles. The small, low noises he makes get caught in the material between his teeth, but he’s pretty sure Mycroft can hear them all the same. He’s probably deduced exactly what Greg looks like when he comes, what he sounds like, how he likes to work himself through it until he’s just this side of overstimulated, until his nerves almost tip from singing to screaming.

He’s sure Mycroft knows it all.

That doesn’t mean he isn’t going to show the man anyway. Maybe Greg will manage to surprise him, just once.

That would be a treat.

He pulls his fingers back and catches his breath. The lube packet, he finds again, coats his fingers, and pushes back inside himself - three fingers this time. He wants it, wants to feel the pain and the shock of too much too soon because it feels fucking good and he doesn’t care if Mycroft is judging him for it.

He doubts he is.

Small, steady whimpers leave his throat on each exhale. He fucks himself with those three slick fingers, slow and unforgiving. His other hand matches pace, dragging along his sensitive cock in all the right ways.

Every time his fingertips skate over that magical spot inside him, it sends showers of stars through his field of vision and makes his spine arch. He writhes against the rug (expensive, probably costs more than his rent for a year) and groans as he feels the friction on his skin.

He can feel his orgasm approaching again, feels it building with every stroke on his cock, every movement of his fingers in his arse. His motions speed up, becoming more forceful until he’s truly fucking himself, noises getting caught in the tie with each motion.

“Don’t you dare come,” Mycroft purrs, and fuck Greg nearly comes from that alone. “And don’t stop.”

How the hell is he supposed to do both?

He’ll try. He bites down on the tie and thinks of nothing, thinks of ice and cold and every unappealing thing he can think of.

It helps a little.

It helps enough.

Greg feels his orgasm retreating almost sullenly, slinking to the base of his spine to wait.

He can breathe a little freer now, pulls air in and out through his nose to calm himself further. He’s so focused on controlling himself that he almost misses the next command, several long moments later.

“Stop.”

It takes him a few moments, but he does. It’s almost worse, hand on his cock and fingers in his arse but all still.

“Again. Harder,” and this is purred, and how the fuck does Mycroft expect him to be able to stave off his orgasm now?

He whimpers, loud enough to be heard through his gag.

Now, Detective Inspector. I don’t repeat myself.” Mycroft’s voice feels like a knife edge on his skin, dangerous and threatening and so very, very thrilling.

All Greg can do is give in. He resumes his earlier actions, harder than before - it makes his arms ache, position not quite right, but he doesn’t care - it feels so fucking good and he wants it.

“Hand off your cock,” Mycroft orders. Greg whines, high in his throat, and blushes furiously upon hearing himself, but the other man is unmoved.

“You heard me.”

Greg did. He shifts from gripping his cock to gripping his thigh, feeling like he’s going to fly apart if he can’t hold on to something. He arches his back, writhes against the rug, and manages to find his prostate again.

He’s a little afraid the muffled curse hitting it draws from him can be heard from outside the room.

(Maybe a part of him hopes it can. He’s not sure at this point.)

He’s still fucking himself, fast and hard and merciless, but the ache has completely dissolved into pleasure and he feels amazing, wanton and panting and more than a little filthy.

He fucking loves it.

Heat is coiling through him again, building with every thrust of his fingers, surging every time he nudges his prostate, and he hopes, is fucking praying that the order doesn’t come -

But it does. “Stop.”

Greg wants to sob, or maybe scream. He can feel his climax, right fucking there, but no. The bastard has made him stop, again. He’s lost track of how many times this is - is it three? Four? It feels like a million, however many times it’s been.

“Remove your fingers and sit up.”

That’s a little unexpected. It startles Greg enough that he has to blink and process the words before he can move. He shifts slowly, rolling to sit on his knees.

He’s sure he’s a sight: he can feel his hair standing on end, he knows he’s panting and probably flushed. His cock is leaking, has been for sometime, mimicking the saliva he can feel working its way down his chin. He feels dazed, wrecked.

Mycroft is staring at him, gaze heated and bright and wolfish. “What a pretty picture,” he purrs - growls.

Greg can feel the flush darken. Tingles run over him with the compliment. He wants to ask - did I do well, did you like it - but can’t. And not just because of the tie in his mouth.

Mycroft crooks a finger, wordless, and Greg shuffles forward until he’s between Mycroft’s legs. He lifts his hands, wants to touch, wants to feel, but he hasn’t been given permission.

Not to mention that ruining what is probably a very expensive suit with the lube and precome covering his hands is not a great plan.

Instead, his hands settle behind his back. The pose feels natural, as natural and right as kneeling here. He lifts his chin, looks up at the other man and waits.

Mycroft searches his expression for something, Greg isn’t sure what. When he finds whatever it is, he leans forward and undoes the tie. He drops it to the side, letting it land with the rest of Greg’s clothes.

“You did very well, Detective Inspector,” Mycroft croons, cupping Greg’s jaw with one elegant, powerful hand. “I’m pleased.”

Greg shivers with the praise, feeling the glow wash over him like a wave.

“You’ve earned a reward.” He sits forward in the chair, bringing himself closer to Greg, who immediately starts to salivate.

Mycroft unzips his trousers, frees his erection without ceremony. Only the minutest change in his expression reveals what a relief it is.

Greg can’t help it. His eyes are drawn to the freed cock like a magnet. It’s perfect, like everything else about the man. Long, clean, and thick enough that Greg’s jaw aches a little just thinking about having it in his mouth.

He knows immediately that he fucking needs it.

He only realizes he’s started to lean forward when Mycroft’s hand on his jaw stops him. “Eager little thing, aren’t you,” and it’s patronizing again, cooed, and Greg can’t decide if he hates it or loves it.

“Open.” The hand on his jaw tightens, and Greg can only obey.

It moves from his jaw to his hair, threading through silver and gripping with a force that makes Greg tremble with need.

He’s not sure what he expected, but being held an breath away from Mycroft’s cock is not it. He whines, but doesn’t struggle.

“You want it?” Mycroft purrs.

“Yes, sir,” Greg moans. “Please.”

“Tongue.”

His tongue is outstretched before his brain has really properly processed the word, tasting the head of Mycroft’s cock and fuck Greg wants it. He pants hard, letting the warm air roll over Mycroft’s cock, wants to taste and suck and feel.

Mycroft just holds him there, move his free hand to his cock. He rubs the head against the flat of Greg’s tongue, letting him feel the transition between head and shaft.

Greg’s not sure who Mycroft is teasing more at this point.

He kind of feels like it’s him.

Finally, fucking finally, Mycroft draws him down. Greg moans softly as the thick shaft fills his mouth (he was right, his jaw is going to hurt after this, he can feel it already), head bumping against the back of his throat.

He swallows eagerly, uses his tongue to trace the vein along the underside, hollows his cheeks and sucks, does everything he can think of. He looks up through his lashes, watching Mycroft’s face for a reaction.

The man still looks fucking put together, and Greg hates him a little bit for it. The only sign that Greg has his bloody cock in his mouth is a faint flush staining his cheeks and the fact that his pupils have blown wide.

It’s something, anyway.

He makes a noise, low in his throat, and tries to press forward, take more of it.

The hand in his hair tightens, holds him back, and he makes a different noise, this one of frustration.

I will decide when I fuck your throat, Detective Inspector. Not you.” Greg practically comes right there. He’s never hear the man say ‘fuck’ before, and it’s sinful and dark and Greg wants to hear it again. Repeatedly.

Mycroft uses his hair like a handle, setting a languid pace. He barely seems to register Greg’s presence outside of his mouth. Heat and a little bit of humiliation washes over him at being used like a sex toy.

It’s mostly heat. He loves it. Yet another thing he’s discovered about himself today.

He wonders if Mycroft deduced it about him before this moment.

His thoughts fly away when the head of Mycroft’s cock moves from bumping his soft palate to nudging the opening of his throat, and he makes a startled noise, eyes flying up.

Mycroft is looking at him, holding him in place. “No gag reflex,” he murmurs, eyes bright. “Very interesting.”

A renewed flush passes over his cheeks. He had bemoaned it in primary school, when he couldn’t make himself sick like his friends could.

He had discovered the positive side as a teenager. It had made him quite popular.

Now, he’s praising God, the heavens, the universe in general, anyone who was listening that he hadn’t developed the reflex over time. He’s certain he’s going to be even more grateful for it by the time this is all said and done.

He swallows around Mycroft’s cock, letting the want shine in his eyes. He wants this, needs this, needs it more than air.

Apropos, since all he gets is a quick inhale before Mycroft’s cock is breaching his throat, inexorable as the tide.

It’s slow, and he wonders if it’s to tease them or to give Greg a chance to back off.

He’s sure as hell not going to back off. The heavy weight in his throat, the fullness of the shaft in his mouth, it’s perfection. With his nose nestled against the thatch of hair gracing Mycroft’s pubic bone (red, he realizes, and wonders for a moment if Mycroft has freckles), Greg can smell the musky, masculine scent he’d forgotten he loves.

He can’t moan, throat too full for that, lungs too empty, but he swallows and hums as much as he’s able. He works his tongue, swallows again, looks up.

He revels in the faint look of surprise Mycroft is wearing. Apparently the man hadn’t expected him to take it all -

Or maybe he hadn’t anticipated the look of sheer gratitude and pleasure Greg is wearing.

Mycroft holds him there a moment longer before drawing him back. Greg takes the opportunity to catch his breath, panting softly. He knows his mouth is hanging open, can feel the saliva and precome sitting on his tongue, threatening to trail down and join the damp already decorating his chin. He feels thoroughly debauched, and Mycroft is only just getting started with him.

He’s thrilled.

He inhales deeply when he feels the hand in his hair tighten, works his tongue over every inch of Mycroft’s cock as it fills his mouth, slides down his throat. His eyes fall closed as they set a rhythm: a long slow slide, a pause of moments, and then the slow draw back.

“Very good, Detective Inspector,” Mycroft purrs, and there’s a rough edge to his voice that hadn’t been there before, “you’re doing very well.”

Greg hums his pleasure around the shaft in his mouth, gazing up at Mycroft happily.

The hand in his hair tightens further, sending prickles of pain cascading over his scalp. He whines a little, throat vibrating with it. The hand draws him back and keeps him there.

He only has to wait for a moment before Mycroft is speaking.

“I’m going to push your limits, Detective Inspector,” he says - warns - threatens - promises - “and you’re going to let me. Aren’t you?”

Greg nods, eyes wide and expression open. He wants that. “Yes, sir,” he remembers to say. “Please.”

“Good boy.” He pushes Greg’s hair back in a soothing gesture, and it fills Greg with a warm glow that he can’t quite explain.

Then Mycroft is backing him up a little, giving himself room to stand. Using Greg’s hair like a lead, he moves them both back behind the chair. Greg’s confused - what the hell is going on, why are they moving, what the fuck -

Until Mycroft’s got him backed against the chair, trapped between furniture and body, and he’s got a grip on the back of the chair, braced.

Oh.

Oh, fuck.

Oh, Christ.

Yes.

Greg’s mouth waters, and he knows he’s going to walk out of here sounding like he’s been gargling gravel for days.

He doesn’t care.

The grip on his hair tightens, and Mycroft’s cock pushes into his mouth without ceremony. He relaxes his jaw and throat, open and accommodating.

Yes, he thinks. Yes, please.

He wants this. Wants this so fucking bad it hurts.

His eyes are closed, but he hears Mycroft’s stance shift, feet spreading for stability.

This is going to hurt.

He’s excited for it. Maybe that’s wrong - Maybe Greg is more than a little fucked up - Maybe -

At the first rough thrust, all ‘maybes’ fly out the window, along with every coherent thought in Greg’s head. All he can do is relax and take and yeah, it hurts - Mycroft’s cock fills his throat and it’s rough and hard and a little too big - but it still feels fucking glorious.

Every time the head of Mycroft’s cock breaches his throat, forces its way down, a surge of pleasure rises in Greg in response. Push and pull, give and take, and it’s wonderful.

It’s everything he’s ever wanted, ever needed, and he’s so far gone it’s not even funny.

He’s making noise around Mycroft’s cock, and he can’t even tell what the noises are - maybe moans, maybe whines, maybe wordless pleas - but he knows that they vibrate his throat in a way that makes Mycroft’s face go slack with pleasure so he’s going to keep fucking making those noises.

He’s not sure he could keep quiet if he tried, at this point.

The hand tightens in his hair again and Mycroft’s pace picks up, becomes just this side of brutal, and Greg fucking takes it, takes it gladly. He can feel the shudders pulsing through Mycroft’s cock, can taste each new flood of precome as it coats his tongue and throat, and he wants it. He wants to feel that rush of heat down his throat and fuck just the thought makes his cock twitch. It’s hard, still - harder than ever, and he’s pretty sure it won’t take much for him to come.

After one particularly harsh thrust, Mycroft’s hand fists in his hair and holds him, nose pressed to groin. The man is trembling, and Greg is proud of it. They’re both breathing hard at this point.

“I am going to come down that pretty throat of yours,” he says, voice rough and a little breathless. “And you’re going to come when I do. Do you understand, Gregory?”

Gregory.

He nearly comes right then. It’s all he can do to nod, chest heaving with the need to breathe.

“Good.”

Mycroft lets him pull back, then, gives him time to catch a few deep breaths.

Greg braces himself.

It’s not enough.

If he thought the pace before was rough - this new pace makes earlier look like a lazy Sunday morning wake up call in comparison.

To hell with sounding gravelly, Greg’s going to be lucky if he can speak at all after this.

It stokes the fires in him in entirely new, unexpected ways. All he can do is hold on - even working his tongue is beyond his capabilities now, and saliva rolls down his chin - he just takes, focuses on the feel of the cock in his mouth and the hand in his hair.

He can sense it before it happens, anticipates the salty flood down his throat and revels in the hot flood as it comes.

It’s the groan of “Gregory” that pushes him over the edge. Untouched, throat full of cock and come, he climaxes so hard his vision goes black at the edges. He feels Mycroft pulling back just enough that the final pulses of seed coat his mouth and tongue.

He’s leaning back against the chair, dazed and breathless, panting open-mouthed, when he feels the hand beneath his jaw. His mouth closes under the light pressure, and he winces at the ache.

“Swallow,” comes the quiet murmur, and he can feel fingers stroking along the column of his throat.

Greg manages a swallow, then another. It clears the last of the remnants from his mouth, though the tastes still lays thick on his tongue.

“Very good.” He smiles at the words, floating in the praise and the afterglow of an earth-shattering orgasm.

He barely registers Mycroft chivvying him back around to the front of the chair. He sits cross-legged, leans against the chair idly. A glass of - something - is placed in his hands, and he discovers that it’s whiskey when he sips at it.

He blinks blearily up at Mycroft, who gives him a small smile. It’s barely there, but it’s real. He notes, out of habit more than anything, that Mycroft looks pristine as ever. His cock is tucked away again, trousers done up. His tie isn’t even rumpled.

But there is a flush still staining his cheeks, and he’s more relaxed than Greg has ever seen him.

Greg smiles a little, and it feels loopy. I did that, he thinks to himself. Me. I did that.

He’s a little startled when Mycroft kneels in front of him, wipes his mouth and hands and abdomen with a warm, wet flannel (where that came from, Greg doesn’t know and isn’t about to ask). He makes a soothing noise when Greg hisses at the touch of flannel on his oversensitive cock, cleans him with gentler hands than one might expect.

Greg goes back to floating in his happy little headspace, riding the wave of endorphins as long as he can. He doesn’t register Mycroft’s movements until the man sits back down in the chair and pulls Greg’s head to rest against his thigh.

He sighs happily and closes his eyes, nearly purring at the feeling of long fingers stroking through his hair. It feels like praise.

It feels like comfort, too. Every movement puts more shattered pieces of Greg’s soul back together, and he’s glad for it.

They sit there in silence. Greg’s not sure how long it is. Doesn’t care. The minutes pass, him sipping at his drink, Mycroft combing his fingers through Greg’s sweat-dampened hair.

Eventually, he feels himself coming down. A bone-deep exhaustion is settling into him, and he can feel every ache starting to make itself known.

He stirs, regretfully, and pulls back. He begins to dress himself, nearly as slowly as he had undressed.

He’s startled by the helping hand that gets him up. He catches Mycroft’s eye - both still silent - as the man helps him dress. When he’s fully clothed (minus his tie, of course), neither one moves.

They stand like that, gazes locked. Greg can’t speak, even if he knew what to say, and Mycroft seems to be content to keep his silence.

Greg feels unbalanced again. He’s not sure what’s to happen now - is this a one-time thing? Is he going to be spirited away and told that this never happened, under pain of exile or worse? Is this going to happen every time he’s summoned?

He doesn’t know.

He can’t ask. Doesn’t know how to ask, doesn’t have the words.

Mycroft’s eyes are on him, still finding things even after all that has just happened. His hand rises, cups the back of Greg’s neck, and pulls him in for a slow, possessive kiss.

It melts Greg and strengthens him in one. Feeling brave, he steps closer - wraps his arms around the other man and reciprocates the kiss. He wants to show Mycroft that taking isn’t all he is, that he can give some too.

It’s appreciated, by the way Mycroft kisses him harder, pulls him close until they’re pressed together.

Greg’s dizzy again by the time they break for air. He catches the small smile Mycroft gives him before everything is gone - the smooth, polished politician returns. He steps back, gives Greg room to breathe.

“Thank you, Detective Inspector,” he says easily, returning to his chair. “I do hope the rest of your evening is satisfactory.”

Greg reels a little. He knows a dismissal when he hears one - but he has so many questions and no answers -

But he’s got his pride, much as recent events would indicate otherwise. He nods, just once, and salutes Mycroft a little in lieu of saying anything.

*

He’s out the club and in a cab back to his flat when he feels his mobile vibrate in his pocket. He draws it out and blinks in surprise. It’s a text.

From Mycroft.

You performed above my expectations, Lestrade. Dinner on Thursday, 7pm. A car will pick you up from the Yard. Do bring a change of clothes. -MH

Greg snorts softly and smiles, shaking his head. It’s not a question, it’s a command. Apparently he will be having dinner and it will be fancy. He can’t bring himself to be angry about being ordered about, having his schedule dictated to him.

After all, being abducted to a fancy restaurant is far more pleasant than being abducted to some abandoned warehouse, and he’s dealt with that just fine.

Will do. -GL

He’s just relaxed against the seat when another text comes through.

There’s no number.

Tea and honey for the throat. Bring your grey court suit for dinner - he likes that one. Wear the blue tie to match his eyes. ~A

A furious blush rises in his face - how the hell does Mycroft’s PA know…?

Whatever. He fights down the blush and makes note of her advice.

He arrives home and makes the tea, adding as much honey as he can stand. He pops a few paracetamol, too, knowing that he’ll be much worse for the wear in the morning if he doesn’t.

The shower, he eyes, but ultimately leaves for the morning. Upon finishing his tea, he sheds his clothing for the second time that night and crawls into bed. As he’s drifting off to sleep, he wonders what the hell this is going to become.

He realizes he’s excited to find out.

He can only hope whatever it’s going to become is worth the questions he’s going to be bombarded with at work tomorrow.

The smile on his lips as he falls asleep tells him it already is.

Chapter Text

Greg knows he’s distracted on Thursday. Even Sally notices, and she’s been so caught up in Anderson again (they’re idiots, the both of them) that she notices very little.

It’s probably the way that, as the clock creeps closer to 7pm, he takes longer and longer to respond to calls of his name. It’s been mostly paperwork all day, which always has him in a fog anyway , but the thought of what could possibly be waiting for him at - whatever restaurant he’s going to be brought to - has his brain essentially offline.

At least until Sally comes whipping in, face pale, and says, “Boss, we gotta go right now ,” and the anticipation that has been building in him all day turns to ice and steel and he leaves his chair like someone’s set it on fire.

Sally gives him the details as they jump into the car. He flips on the sirens and drives, expression grim as he listens. It’s awful - someone (Eric Olson, he thinks she said) snapped, killed his pregnant girlfriend, and disappeared, and the neighbors think he’s gone after his ex and their kids (aged two and four). Dispatch has already sent a protective unit to the ex’s house, and he can only pray that they get there in time, that they won’t be leaving this scene only to go to a fresh one.

They arrive, red and blue lights flashing, and the street’s already been cordoned off. Looky-loos are being kept back, thankfully, and it’s fairly easy for him and Sally to duck under the tape and head into the building. They pause long enough to get the suits and boots on, then head up for the flat.

Greg’s seen the highest members of society commit some of the worst atrocities, and he knows that some of the best people are the poorest, but he can’t help but be unsurprised by the condition of the flat. It’s cramped and dirty, there’s trash overflowing the bin, and there’s laundry everywhere. Olson got his girlfriend from behind while she was doing the dishes - her body is still laying on the floor and the sink is full of soap and water. She’s been strangled -- the deep bruising around her throat speaks to that. Her eyes are wide, startled.

She hadn’t seen it coming.

There are still suds in the water. He prays that means that the protective unit will have time to get to the ex and her kids. It’s too late for this woman, Sandra Marsden, but hopefully it’s not too late to save the others.

He wonders, briefly, why he’s here - it’s pretty cut and dry, as far as he can see, doesn’t seem to be a need for a detective.

He finds his answer when a crime scene tech comes up to him and says, “Victim’s been dead for hours,” garnering a frown from Greg.

“What d’you mean, she’s been dead for hours?” he says. “There are still suds in the sink. She can’t’ve been dead more than an hour.”

The crime tech (a young woman, Allison, he thinks), puts her hands on her hips. “And I’m telling you, she has been,” she says flatly. “And she’s been moved from where she was killed. This is a body dump - staged.”

He rubs a hand over his face. “Great. Where was she killed, then?” he asks.

She shrugs. “Not here, I can tell you that much. Beyond that, I don’t know.” She chews on the corner of her lip in a motion that makes Greg recalculate her age down a few years. “If I had to guess - which I’m not, you know, we don’t do guesswork - I’d say it’s somewhere she was familiar with.”

Greg’s brows arch up. “If you were guessing - which you’re not - why would you say that?” he asks, intrigued.

“Her clothes,” she says, pointing. “She’s dressed comfortably, and she’s not far enough along that she was just dressing for comfort. Not dressed for work, not dressed for a meeting, not dressed for a date or going out. So she was probably somewhere she was comfortable with - no one she had to impress or show off for. Friends or family, probably.”

He blinks, then blinks again. He wonders if this is Sherlock’s influence - it certainly sounds like Sherlock’s deductions - but he changes his mind when her expression flattens to smooth out some memory.

She swallows hard and says, “I remember being that far along,” gestures at the slight swell of Sandra’s belly, “I could still wear most of my clothes. Showed off the bump, which I liked, but I still looked good. So when I was dressed casually, I was just popping by a friend’s, or swinging in to see my mum.” She blinks hard and falls silent.

He doesn’t need to ask.

“Good work,” Greg says gently. “We’ll start looking into her friends and family.” He doesn’t mention that they would have looked there, anyways; most murders are committed by someone close to the victim, after all.

“Right,” she manages, and walks away from him.

He watches her go, then finds Sally and sets her on the task of looking into Sandra’s friends - especially her male friends. He’s seen it too many times, really: some old friend decides that if he can’t have the girl of his dreams, no one can, and offs her. He wonders if this is one of those, and if it is, if they’re going to find a second body - suicide.

He’s thinking too hard about this. Neighbors saw her boyfriend running out of the flat, heard shouting and yelling before it, and one had reported that he was covered in blood. The simplest answer is that Olson had killed her and gone after his ex and their kids.

But the fact that body had been dumped complicated things. Where had she been killed? Why would Olson have moved her? If he hadn’t done it, then why had he run? If it wasn’t him, then who was the murderer? Since it had been hours ago, were the ex and children okay? Had the protective duty officers arrived in time? Were they even necessary?

Greg exhales hard and pinches the bridge of his nose. He can feel a headache coming along, and he’s not sure he’s in any sort of condition to go to dinner. He’s just pulling out his mobile to text Mycroft an apology when a sleek black car pulls up to the kerb beside him.

He stares at it, and wonders how it got through the police cordon. Someone is going to get a bollocksing for that, and he’s pretty sure it’s him.

When the door opens and reveals Anthea, holding his court suit and a bottle of paracetamol, he knows exactly how the car got through the cordon and exactly what’s expected of him.

“Get in, Detective Inspector,” she says crisply. “You have already delegated all necessary duties. You needn’t linger here any longer. Come along.”

He twitches a little at being ordered about, but Anthea isn’t wrong , there isn’t anything more for him to do here, so he waves goodbye to the techs and gets in the car.

Greg knows he’s going to be ribbed for at least a week about being spirited away in a mysterious black car, and he’s just glad that no one saw the beautiful woman therein. They’d not let him live it down for months.

He takes the two paracetamol she’s handed him gladly and swallows them dry. She hands over his court suit (pressed and dry cleaned, and he knows it hadn’t been in that state when he pulled it out of his closet that morning and hung it in his car) and turns to her PDA, tapping away easily.

“Mr. Holmes has been informed of the situation,” she says smoothly. “Your reservation has been moved up half an hour accordingly. We will be making a stop before you go to dinner to allow you to get… properly attired.” She eyes him, still in his work suit and looking scruffy as Hell.

He tries not to be embarrassed about his appearance. He thinks for a moment that he’d like to see her looking her best after a long day of worrying and then a crime scene like that, and then realizes that she probably would . Anthea carries that mysterious power of Never Looking Ruffled, Ever, much the same as Mycroft does.

Greg wonders idly, as the car sets off smoothly, if she, too, looks completely unruffled even after sex.

Probably, he decides. She probably looks just as put together as she does now. He’d let the thought continue, but he’s pretty sure Anthea can hear his thoughts and frankly it’s none of his business, anyway.

Especially since she’s glancing up from her PDA and giving him a wry look and now he’s certain she can hear his thoughts. He desperately casts about for a topic that isn’t her sex life (or his) and settles on, “So do I get to know where I’m being taken for dinner?”

“No,” is the easy, amused response, and that’s the end of that conversation.

They sit in silence for a few more minutes before he tries again. “So how long have you been working for Mycroft?” he asks, internally wincing at his own poor attempts at small talk.

“Long enough.”

And it’s not like Greg can go anywhere with that, either. He decides to stop trying - it’s not an interrogation, after all, and even if it was he’s certain that Anthea would end up knowing more about him than vice versa by the end of it.

He loses track of time after that, and isn’t at all sure where they are when the car glides to a halt. “Out,” she directs, nodding at the door.

He blinks, but gets out as he’s told. Anthea follows him, somewhat unexpectedly, and ushers him into a storefront that looks like it should be locked - all the lights are off inside - and wonders if he’s become an accidental accomplice in a B&E.

The worry is soothed when a very posh looking woman, older than Anthea but younger than himself, comes out from the backroom. She’s clearly the proprietor; she walks like she owns the place. He notices, as she walks toward them, that they’re in some sort of tailor’s shop - there are suits and shirts and ties and pocket squares everywhere, and he’s now feeling very shabby, thanks.

She looks at him, looks at his court suit hanging in his hand, and looks at Anthea. She says nothing, but the looks are all distinctly frosty.

Anthea gives her a look in return, cool and composed. “I was told you’d be up for a challenge,” she says crisply.

Greg frowns. “Woah, wait a minute, I thought I just needed a place to change,” he interjects. “You,” he looks at Anthea, “said my court suit would be fine.”

“I did not,” she corrects, looking at him sidelong. There’s the very faintest hint of a smirk. “I told you to bring your court suit, and to wear the blue tie. I didn’t say you would be wearing your court suit, or your blue tie. Do keep up, Detective Inspector.” The way his title falls from her lips is a little pointed, but Sherlock does that too - the little jab at his ‘so-called’ deductive reasoning skills - and it doesn’t bother him anymore.

Much.

Greg opens his mouth, then closes it. It’s obvious he isn't going to be winning this argument, and it's looking more and more like he's going to be walking out of here in a new suit (which he absolutely cannot afford).

Again displaying that mind-reading ability, Anthea says, “Cost is no object, Detective Inspector. Put it out of your mind.”

Easy for her to say. He frowns, and is cut off before he can even open his mouth. “This is a birthday present from myself to Mr. Holmes. You are merely the conduit.”

He can't tell whether he's flattered or insulted. Probably a little of both. He steadfastly ignores the fact that being a present turns him on a bit.

Idly, he wonders when Mycroft’s birthday is. Soon? Already passed?

The woman tuts. “Come along then, Detective Inspector. You need to get cleaned up before I can attempt any miracles.” And it will be a miracle to get you looking decent hovers in the air, unsaid.

Greg decides ‘ fuck it’ and just goes along with whatever the hell is about to happen to him. It served him well the other day, and hopefully it'll serve him well here, too.

He's ushered into a washroom (seems to be for employees only, but it's stocked with posh versions of all of his products and he is so not thinking about that) and told to shave and freshen up. He does so, studiously avoiding his reflection in the mirror. He doesn’t really want to examine his life at this point.

At least it’s not boring , he muses as the razor glides over his skin.

Only a few minutes later, he steps out of the washroom and is met by the proprietor (he still doesn’t know her name, and he’s not sure he’s going to learn it at this point). She gives him another look, this one less frosty, and goes, “Hm. This, at least, I can work with.” She takes him by the elbow and leads him back into a private fitting room.

He’s ushered onto the low pedestal without ceremony. “Take all that off,” she says, gesturing at his clothes. The single syllable of ‘that’ sounds like she’s speaking of a dead rat in the parlor, not his (alright, slightly grubby) work clothes.

He goes bright red. “ Excuse me? ” She can’t be serious.

“You heard me, man. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before and I am not letting you walk out of here with one of my suits and shorts with holes in.”

He opens his mouth to argue, but is cut off by Anthea - she’s sitting in the corner and he hadn’t even noticed her and Christ he’s meant to strip off in front of both of them?

“Don’t argue, Detective Inspector. If it makes it easier, remember that my employer admires thorough sartorial elegance.” Greg supposes that’s code for ‘Mycroft is going to be seeing your pants tonight’ and honestly? The thought does make it easier to strip down to nothing.

He pretends it’s like the communal showers, back in the academy. It feels more like a trip to the doctor’s, though, with the way he’s being examined and measured and turned as though he’s a doll, completely irrelevant to the proceedings.

The two women have a murmured conversation. The proprietor leaves and returns only a minute or two later with an elegantly folded pile of clothing. “Here. Start with these,” she says, handing them over.

He takes the items carefully - cashmere socks, black, silk boxers, also black, and a cotton vest, white. All of them feel luxurious and hideously expensive, and he tries not to think about it as he puts them all on.

“A good foundation is essential to a well-crafted suit,” the woman remarks, taking his measurements once more. She purses her lips. “It’ll be off the rack, but I’ll do what I can.”

“Whatever you put together will be better than what he came in with, Elise,” Anthea remarks with just a hint of dry humor. Her eyes sparkle with it, Greg notes with interest.

“A bin bag would have been better than what he came in with,” Elise says crisply, striding out of the room.

Greg lets the underhanded insults roll off his back. So what if he looks pretty shabby half the time? He’s a hardworking man and he doesn’t have the time or the funds to keep up his appearance.

Besides. Mycroft clearly found his appearance adequate, which is really all that matters.

The next twenty minutes go by in a blur for Greg. He’s pushed, pulled, and pricked, turned around and back again, manhandled into and out of clothes that he doesn’t even see.

By the time Elise is done with him, he feels like he’s looking at a stranger in the mirror. He’s wearing a slate grey suit - nearly the same color as his court suit, but slightly darker and light years more well-fitting - and a rich blue tie threaded through with subtle hints of silver. It’s only a two piece ( only ) but it’s still far, far nicer than anything he’s ever owned.

“Send me the bill,” Anthea says to Elise as she chivvies him out to the waiting car.

“I will,” Elise responds, her eyes carrying the weight of a promise and wait what was that ? Greg swears he caught the faintest edge of - something -

But then they’re gone, out into the car, and he doesn’t have time to think about the two women because his mind has narrowed until all he can think about is his dinner companion and what the plans are for the evening.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Greg’s pulse is racing by the time they’ve arrived at the restaurant. Anthea nearly shoves him out of the car, says, “Just ask for the Holmes table,” and then she’s gone, leaving him stood in front of a restaurant he’s never even heard of, let alone been to, and there’s nothing for it but to take a deep breath and go in.

He realizes the new suit was a necessity from the moment he walks in the door. Everyone is dressed to the nines here, and he would have looked like a grifter even in his court suit. Putting on a brave face, he asks for the Holmes table and earns himself an appraising look for his troubles. The maitre’d does lead him away from the hostess stand, so he supposes he’s either being tossed out the back or brought to the table, and he’s prepared for either situation.

Upon being lead to the table, Greg realizes he was absolutely not prepared for this. Mycroft looks -

Powerful. Commanding. Stunning. Drool-inducing. His suit is dark and pinstriped, tie a blood red that highlights the auburn in his hair beautifully.

He’s made Greg’s brain short-circuit, and it’s sure to be the first of many times tonight.

Greg can feel the man’s gaze on him as the maitre’d seats him, and he preens internally. “Thanks for waiting,” he says, scooting his chair in.

“No trouble at all, Detective Inspector,” Mycroft says easily, eyes glinting in the candlelight. “I’m quite familiar with work cropping up at… unexpected times.”

He imagines, briefly, Mycroft on the phone with some important bigwig or other, a partner ( you, his treacherous imagination whispers) on their knees, or maybe on their hands and knees, and being used even as Mycroft keeps the country running.

The thought shoots heat through him and he has to take a sip of water to try and cool it. He hasn’t even been here five minutes and he’s already flustered with mind firmly in the gutter.

Typical.

Some piece of the thought must have crossed Greg’s face, because Mycroft is smirking at him, just a little. The look is predatory and a little dangerous and oh God how long is dinner going to take?

“I’ve already ordered for us,” Mycroft says smoothly. “A three course meal prepared by the chef - a surprise for us both.” His eyes glint, and Greg’s fairly certain he’s going to die. “You do so know how I like to be surprised, Detective Inspector.” The man’s voice is a silken purr, low and intimate.

“Right,” Greg manages to say. “S’always nice to be surprised. Good for the soul, so they say.”

“Indeed,” Mycroft says, just a little wry and condescending and fuck why does that go straight to Greg’s groin. “I’ve ordered wine, which will be a surprise for you. Two things that are good for the soul.” He says soul like he means something else, and Greg isn’t sure whether wine is a really good idea right now or a really bad one.

Turns out it doesn’t matter either way because the sommelier comes over with a bottle of white wine and pours them two glasses before setting the bottle on the table and walking away without a word. He wonders how much you have to pay for completely wordless service.

He’s pretty sure it’s more money than he’s ever seen, but frankly all of this is so out of his price range that it’s imaginary at this point, so he’s just going to go with it. He takes a sip of the wine - crisp and light, refreshing - and makes an appreciative noise. “Not my usual, but that’s delicious,” he comments.

Mycroft’s elegant fingers curl around the stem of the wineglass, lifting it gracefully. “Yes, I’m afraid they don’t do a pint of bitter here.” He smirks, sipping at his own drink. “ So glad the wine passes muster, Lestrade.”

Lestrade gets Greg going even more than Detective Inspector did. He flushes, hopes it’s not visible in the candlelight (knows it is), and sets his glass aside so he doesn’t do something embarrassing like down it in one gulp for lack of anything better to do. He tries to think of something, anything to say to fill the silence - something not Sherlock related, because bloody Hell enough of his meetings with the man have been about Sherlock, and he’d quite like to find a space for them outside of the catastrophe of a consulting detective.

He also stays firmly away from the subject of his own work. For one thing, he’s pretty sure he has nothing to say to Mycroft in that department that the man doesn’t already know, and for another, he’s had quite enough of work for one day. Corpses do not make for good dinner conversation, he knows that.

“Read any good books lately?” he finally asks, internally shouting at himself for asking such an asinine, predictable question.

Mycroft surveys him coolly, and his head tilts to the side, just a fraction.

Greg knows when he’s being studied, and manages to keep his composure.

Barely.

“As a matter of fact, I have,” the man finally says, and, thank Christ, they actually manage to slip into an conversation about books and authors and bias and perspective and Greg marvels at how easy it is to talk to Mycroft. He feels like he’s chatting with a friend at the pub over a pint, not sitting in a luxurious restaurant surrounded by wealth and power.

He’s almost disappointed when their first course arrives, as it interrupts the conversation they were having about historical revisionism, but he can’t bring himself to really indulge in the feeling when he sees the charcuterie board full of homemade pickled vegetables and pates and spreads and small cuts of meat, complete with three different types of bread.

“Jesus,” he says after their waitress walks away. “I don’t even know where to start with this.”

“Here.” Mycroft picks up one of the small forks and spears a piece of pickled broccoli. He smirks, just a little, and offers it to Greg. “Try this, first.”

Tonight is a night of firsts for Greg - first time wearing a practically bespoke suit, first time eating at a place with no visible prices anywhere, and first time being hand-fed pickled broccoli by the most powerful man in Britain.

He finds he likes all of these things, especially when he leans forward and takes the broccoli off the tines and can watch Mycroft’s eyes glitter with pleasure.

He sits back and chews, and he can feel his eyebrows go up as vinegar and heat and spices flood his tongue. “Oh, wow,” he says after swallowing. “I wasn’t expecting the spice, but that’s damn good.”

“I’ve always been rather fond of their pickled produce,” Mycroft says, inclining his head. Even though the I’m pleased you enjoy it, too , goes unsaid, Greg can hear it.

Feeling brave, he takes the other fork and snags a pickled string bean, offering it to the other man with a crooked grin. Mycroft gives him an amused smile, faint but there, and bites it in half. As he chews, he pushes Greg’s hand back towards himself, silently commanding him to have the other half. The touch lingers like sparks on his skin.

They go back and forth like this for the rest of the board, sometimes chatting, mostly just taking it in turns to feed each other the little tidbits.

It’s the most intimate thing Greg’s done in years, maybe ever. It feels good.

It’s good enough that he can feel his brain starting to unwind, stop running in circles.

Of course, as soon as he realizes he’s not thinking about work anymore, his brain picks right back up where it left off and takes off like a shot. Paperwork he’s not done, emails he’s yet to even open, let alone reply to, calls he hasn’t returned, and on top of it all Sandra Marsden’s face lingers, drawn and haggard and so painfully young.

He doesn’t realize he’s not paying attention until he’s startled out of his reverie by the slightest touch of fingers across his own.

“--trade.” Greg only catches the tail end of his own name, and bugger how long has he been stuck in his own head?

He looks up, startled, and realizes that the board is gone. He blushes, embarrassed, and feels the corners of his mouth flatten into an apologetic expression.

The look in Mycroft’s eyes silences the matching apology on his tongue. It’s understanding, not angry or irritated or frustrated or any of the emotions he’s used to seeing (expects to see) from across a dinner table.

“There you are,” Mycroft murmurs, sitting back in his chair. The words, so gentle and calm, soothe Greg’s worry.

He still feels bad about having zoned out for so long. Not exactly sure what to say, he opens his mouth anyway and is cut off. “If the next words on your tongue are any sort of apology, Lestrade, keep them.” Greg swallows the half-formed words down and instead offers, “Thank you.” It’s as sincere as he can make it, trying to show the depth of his gratitude in those two small words.

It’s the right move, if the faint smile he’s granted is anything to go by. “You’re welcome.” Mycroft tilts his head just so, and Greg can’t help but be captivated by the way his eyes catch the candlelight. “I would ask what you were thinking of.” In anyone else, it would be a question, or perhaps a request. In Mycroft, it’s merely a statement.

“But you don’t need to, do you?” Greg asks, a little wry and a little self-deprecating and a little fond and when the hell had that last note crept into his voice? It’s too late to take it back now, however it got there.

“No, I don’t.” The reply is not as condescending as he feared it might be. It’s not condescending at all, even. There’s a tone there that he can’t decipher, doesn’t dare to examine at all, because it sounds, it sounds almost like…

Affection.

Greg can’t even dare to hope.

“Didn’t think so.” He clears his throat a little, still faintly embarrassed by his lapse, although the feeling is almost nothing but a memory now. He casts about for something - anything - to say -- but he can’t even remember what they had been talking about -- feels himself starting to spiral again, what is wrong with him --

“Lestrade.” It’s just his name, Greg hears it a thousand times a day at the Yard, but never in that sure, commanding tone. It helps bring him back to earth, at least.

“Yes?” He winces, feeling stupid. The embarrassment is back in full force. He submits to the scrutinizing look, grateful it lasts only a few heartbeats.

“Give me your silverware.”

Greg blinks a few times, stunned. Of all the things he had thought Mycroft might say ( You’re embarrassing me, we’re meant to be having dinner, can’t you focus on me for once the echoes of his past whisper), that wasn’t even on the list.

“Don’t make me repeat myself, Detective Inspector,” and that tone is back, and Greg doesn’t even have to think about it. His hands move of their own volition, and before he quite realizes what’s happened, all he has before him is a half-empty wine glass. His cutlery sits to the side of Mycroft’s, all of it untouched as the main course is yet to arrive.

“This is how the rest of the evening is going to go.” The crisp accent holds him close, the tone so sure that Greg needs no incentive at all to listen.

To obey.

“We are going to finish this meal. I will feed you,” that explains why he took my silverware, Greg realizes, “and you will focus the whole of your attention on me. If I drink from my glass, I expect you to mirror the action. If I make eye contact, I expect you to hold it. If I place my hands on the table, you will do the same. Every motion, you will mimic. Do I make myself clear?”

Greg manages a nod, doesn’t trust his words.

Mycroft’s eyes narrow, and he doesn’t need him to speak to know what he did wrong.

“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.”

There it is again, that barest hint of a pleased look, and Greg nearly shivers with it. “Good. If you can follow me through dinner, we shall take dessert to go.”

Greg does shiver then, the weight of promise settling around him like a cloak. “Yes, sir,” he says once more, nearly a whisper this time.

Mycroft says nothing then, just takes a small sip of his wine. Greg does the same.

They fall back into conversation easily, and Greg finds that it’s not so hard to focus on the topic and mirroring the man across from him. He’s only a little slow at first, doesn’t earn a reprimand for it, and he relaxes into it.

It’s not long before he’s matching Mycroft movement for movement. Even subtle things, a shift of weight here, a glance to the side there; Greg copies it all. He’s never felt so in-tune with another human being.

He doesn’t even notice when the main course arrives. It’s like the rest of the world has blurred, or maybe softened -- everything has gone smooth and quiet. There are no sharp edges, no whirring thoughts sitting at the back of his mind.

All there is, is Mycroft.

Greg comes out of it, somewhat, when the fork comes to his lips -- but not much. Just enough to chew and swallow. Perhaps at another time, he would have felt a right berk -- this is a posh restaurant, what are they doing --

But it doesn’t matter right now. No one and nothing else matters. Just Mycroft.

Time passes, he thinks. It must; after all, that’s what time does, and the food is gone.

Mycroft stands, and Greg follows him up. The motion startles him out of his reverie. Questions begin to collect on his tongue -- is that it, are we done,

Did I do well?

None fall. They don’t need to -- Greg is fairly sure he can see the answers in Mycroft’s eyes, shining gently, in the curve of his mouth, set just so.

“Come along then, Detective Inspector.” The curve grows, becomes a smirk. “Dessert awaits.”

Greg inhales through his nose, licks his lips.

“Yes, sir.”