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Mycroft’s fingertips traced a lazy pattern along the soft skin of his lover’s shoulder, cocooned in the warmth, darkness, and above all, quiet of his bedroom. The best double glazing available couldn’t keep out the most strident of London’s street noise, the ticking of his pocket watch was as familiar as the beat of his own heart, and becoming just as familiar, but infinitely more precious, were the soft, sleep-roughened breaths of his dear Greg. Where it most counted, in his mind, things were quiet.

In the past, Mycroft had tried to explain the workings of his mind to less gifted individuals - the closest parallel that he could draw was that of the air traffic controller of a major airport - responsible for countless projects at any one time, constantly receiving and interpreting endless streams of data, reviewing and then allocating each byte to the appropriate operations, whilst simultaneously both making connections between them and observing the overall pattern. Mycroft evaluated data unconsciously, the deductions happening whether he wished them to or not. He knew Greg didn’t understand his mind, yet his lover never seemed intimidated or bothered by his superior intellect, merely appreciative and impressed.

The sex with Greg was, initially, similar in some ways to his previous encounters; rushed, desperate and urgent, with both going their separate ways afterwards. On their first full night together, Greg had made a dark-eyed promise to take him apart, then had proceeded to do precisely that. To this day Mycroft had no idea how long much time had passed, or even what exactly had happened, but he had memories of the tactile pleasure of skin to skin contact, the press of lips, the slick caresses of a tongue and the wet heat of an eager mouth… all this combined with the stunning intimacy of being so close to Greg had set off a firestorm of bliss more intense than his mind could ever have conceived, leaving him incapable of conscious thought for several moments. When he finally gathered himself back together, it was with the stone-cold realisation that his analytical abilities were no longer functioning. The data was still flowing, but, for now, he was merely an observer amidst the river of information, no longer interpreting the currents or subtly influencing the paths of the channels. Half out of bed before he realised it, Mycroft covered his alarm with a quick kiss to Greg’s cheek and a promise to return with a warm flannel. Once back in bed, he lay on his back with Greg dozing gently beside him, trying to control his racing heart and mounting terror. After an agonising 45 minutes, normal service had begun to resume as the pattern of siren activations in the distance coalesced into the expected event - a minor traffic incident on an arterial route. Satisfied that there was no permanent damage, Mycroft allowed himself to sleep.

Once the initial panic of such occurrences was over, he began to relish these times. Times when he could just enjoy Greg’s presence, watching him sleep without any distracting thoughts. To enjoy caressing his skin without automatically cataloguing the events that led to each scar or blemish, to revel in the sensation of Greg’s breath against his body, (sometimes gently tickling the hairs on his chest) without calculating the depth of his sleep based on his respiratory rate. To allow the corners of his mouth to tug upwards fondly at his partner ’s occasional sleepy snuffle.

It was in these quiet moments, and these moments alone, that Mycroft allowed himself to enjoy the overwhelming emotions that he felt for Greg. Not just love, although love there undoubtedly was, these feelings were far beyond the scope of such a simple, mundane and overused word. In these moments alone, he allowed his feelings free reign, allowed joy to flow unfettered through his mind and heart, allowed himself to contemplate a future in which he could share these feelings completely with Greg. For now, he contented himself with a gentle kiss to Greg’s endearingly ruffled and sweat streaked hair, then settled in to enjoy the last of the quiet.