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Wet Leaves and Bean Juice

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Mycroft is nearing a sprint on his treadmill. When he can’t run any longer, he presses a button and the treadmill slows to a stop. Hopping off, he grabs his bottle of water and takes a greedy gulp. His ears perk at the sound of some dishes clattering in his kitchen. Grabbing his umbrella and wielding it like a cricket bat, he creeps into the kitchen.

A man wearing a blue beanie is rifling through his cabinets. His coat’s damp from the rain.

Mycroft tiptoes up behind the intruder, raising the umbrella threateningly. The man turns and screams.

“NONONO DON’T HIT ME, MYCROFT, IT’S ME!!” the man yells.

It’s Greg.

“For God’s sake, Gregory!” Mycroft straightens up and smoothes his auburn hair back into place. His sweat is drying but he is still sticky. “What on Earth are you doing?”

Greg was back to going through Mycroft’s kitchen, pulling out various bowls and food items. He grabs a whisk after setting everything down on the counter and walks over to the tall Holmes brother. “Go get cleaned up. You smell,” he says, tapping Mycroft on the forehead with the handle of the whisk.

Mycroft opens his mouth to argue but Greg just puts his finger on Mycroft’s lips. Mycroft glares defiantly at the silver-haired DI. Greg, who is used to Mycroft’s diva fits, glares right back. He knows how to handle the man better than anyone. Mycroft finally sighs, knowing that Greg never backs down.

“Don’t make a mess,” Mycroft throws over his shoulder on the way to the bath.

“Don’t make me promise,” Greg says back, playfully.

…..

Mycroft settles into the hot water, only part of him visible is his nose and eyes. His head is covered by a hot, wet rag. He closes his eyes. The smell of roses and honey are soothing to his aching head.

He dozes on and off in the warm water, until a new smell wakes him up. Chocolate. He sits bolt upright, the rag slipping into the water and the chilled air causing goose bumps on his arms. He drains the water and dries off his lean body. He dresses in his lounge trousers and a loose-fitting jumper. He slips on his slippers and opens the door, walking to the kitchen.

Greg is covered in brown cake batter. His face was smeared with flour and chocolate powder. He looks up angrily at the recipe note and flings the whisk into the batter. “For fuck’s sake! Three cups of sugar and five cups flour, not the other way around, you bloody twit!” he yells at himself. He turns and sees Mycroft leaning in the doorway, a coy smile on his face. “What?!” he shouts.

Mycroft pads into the kitchen and stands behind the fuming man, wraps his arms under Greg’s and rests his chin on Greg's right shoulder.  “Bake it. No need to waste the batter. It will not be too bad.”

Greg’s face heats up but he smiles, twisting his head up to kiss Mycroft's nose. “It will be awful, Myc.”

“Ah, I’m sure it will be, but I don’t mind.”

They finished mixing the mess up, poured it into the cake tins, and placed it in the oven to bake.

Mycroft makes some tea while Greg cleans up the mess he made. “You could help me…” he says, annoyed that the chocolate batter had dried already, making it a hard crust on the counter.

Mycroft shrugs. “I warned you not to make a mess.” He pulls out powdered sugar, vanilla, food colouring, and some softened butter. “I will make the icing.”

Greg nods and goes back to scrubbing the counter top. Soon, the buzzer goes off and the cakes are done. Greg pulls them out, careful to not burn himself on the pans. He pops them each out and sets them out on racks to cool. They look great.

“Not horrible looking,” Mycroft says, reaching for one. Greg smacks his hand away.

“No,” Greg says, giving Mycroft a ‘try me’ glare. “Not until they are cooled and decorated.”

Mycroft sighs and walks to the other side of the kitchen to get his tea. He had brewed a pot of coffee for Greg, but the man has yet to touch it. “I made you coffee, Gregory,” Mycroft gestures at the pot of black liquid with a touch of distaste on his face. Greg picks up the pot and pours some into a mug. He takes a long swig and sighs. Mycroft’s nose wrinkles. “How do you drink that? It’s repulsive. Bitter and just not favourable.”

“Says the man who drinks wet leaf juice,” Greg mumbles around his mug at his mouth.

“And that is wet BEAN juice! Your argument is irrelevant, Gregory.”

Greg steps towards Mycroft and puts his arms around his thin waist. “Oh shut up,” Greg says and kisses Mycroft’s forehead, breath smelling like Colombian dark roast. Mycroft can’t help but smile. He tilts his head up slightly and kisses Greg on the mouth. Greg sighs and leans into the kiss, putting his free hand softly on Mycroft’s cheek. Mycroft breaks the contact, much to Greg’s discontent.

“I need to finish the icing, my dear,” Mycroft says to the pouting Greg. “The cakes should be cooled enough.” He points at a drawer. “My piping bags and tips are there.”

Greg pulls the elaborate kit out and starts spooning the frosting into two of the plastic-lined canvas bags. Mycroft picks up one of the tips and fastens it to the open end of his bag. He grabs a cake and gets to work. Greg keeps up and does a wonderful job, making elaborate pipeworks on his half of the cakes.

Mycroft had never been too great at decorating the cakes and it shows. Greg glances over whenever Mycroft makes grumbling noises, setting down the cake he was working on and the frosting bag. It looked as if he was trying to make a rose but it wasn’t coming out quite right.

“Blast!” Mycroft yelled, startling Greg and sending the cake he was working on toppling to the floor. Mycroft stares at the blob on the tile. Greg snorts. Mycroft glances up to see Greg’s back towards him and his shoulders shaking.

“Gregory?” Mycroft spins Greg around to find that he was laughing, tears running down his face.

“Yeehhhehhes?” Greg’s laughter was infectious and soon Mycroft joins in. They finish the rest of the cake decorations, fits of giggles making both of them mess up often but they don’t mind.

….

“These are actually not bad,” Greg says through a mouthful of cake. They sat together on Mycroft’s bed, Greg leaning against Mycroft.  He takes a sip of his coffee to wash it down. He glances up at Mycroft who was staring down adoringly at him. Mycroft has a bit of frosting on the tip of his nose and Greg leans up and kisses it off.

Mycroft smiles. “I love you,” he says suddenly.

Greg’s eyebrows arch. Mycroft’s never told him that he loved him before. “I-ehm- wow…” Greg stammers. He sits up and twists around to face Mycroft. Mycroft is looking at him with big eyes, face red with blush.

“Ah, yes, well,” Mycroft bumbles, trying to regain his composure. “The emotion of love is difficult to express and I seem to not know how to properly convey my feeling for you other than the absurd notion such as love and, well, my point is that you, Gregory, make me feel…” he looks into Greg’s coffee coloured eyes, “…human.”

Greg stares at the blushing man sitting in front of him, no words. Mycroft’s eye gleam with tears and he smiles, eyes falling to look at his hands gripping each other. “Well, at least I got that off my che-”

Greg lurches forwards and wraps Mycroft in his strong arms, hugging him to his chest. “I love you too, Mycroft. Oh GOD I love you too.”  Greg held tight to Mycroft, never wanting to let him go again.

Mycroft sat stunned. “Y-you do?” He pushes Greg back to look at his face. Greg’s smile was broad and he nods vigorously. He kisses Mycroft full on the mouth, tasting the sweet chocolate and butter cream and tea. Little pinpricks of stubble lines Greg’s jaw where Mycroft’s fingers trace, moving their way to the back of Greg’s neck.

“I love you,” Mycroft whispers against Greg’s mouth and he feels Greg smile as his hand runs through Mycroft’s short, still slightly damp hair.

“I love you, too,” Greg whispers back.