Startled by the sound of a doorbell, Mycroft put the book down and glanced at the bedside clock over the rim of his reading glasses. The glowing numbers read 1:28. Anthea would have called, had it been an emergency, the politician pondered. No one ever visited him at the hour like that. No one ever visited him, period. Besides, it was raining cats and dogs. He was about to ignore the unexpected visitor, when the ringing began again - much more nervous and intense. There was no possibility of getting around it. He had to get there by himself, damned legwork, and stop the abuse of the poor button.
With a soft sigh he stood up and without hurry moved to the hallway, pulling his navy blue robe tighter around himself. Tentatively, Mycroft glanced through the peephole first, now a bit curious as of who could it be. It didn't reveal much though, for the night was too dark. Whoever it was, he felt sorry for them, hearing the heavy rain banging against the door.
Nudged by the rare feeling of compassion, Mycroft eventually undid the hasps and pressed onto the handle.
He certainly wasn't prepared for the sight of a wrethed man that appeared before his eyes. The politician blinked.
There he was, Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade standing at his doormat. Holmes took his appearance in, his bloodshot eyes with dark bags under them, gloomy facial expression... He was also clutching something close to his chest and at the start the younger man thought he might had been hurt, but he believed Scotland Yard's finest would know better than to come to him for help with a wound.
On the whole, the man looked tragically.
The soaked clothing and dripping wet hair made his appearance even more miserable, and maybe in other circumstances Mycroft would compare him to puppy that in excitement had ran into the rain for the first time, only to realise it wasn't a sweet caress and come back with his tail between his legs. This wasn't the time though. It was the time to take a step back and silently invite him inside.
Greg hesitated for a second, as if having second thoughts, but went over the threshold. After finding himself in a familiar warmth, shed from the rain, in silence and with the auburn haired man beside, his body relaxed at least a little bit. Mycroft could see it by the way his shoulders slouched delicately and the wrinkles around his eyes softened. Mycroft liked these wrinkles, actually, but only when they were caused by laughter, not when they intensified the sadness creeping through Lestrade's features.
The thud of the door being closed behind him pulled the policeman out of his trance. He lifted his head, eyes seeking for Mycroft's in the dark of the hallway.
"Can I stay?" He creaked out, wincing at the roughness of his own voice.
Mycroft simply nodded, before taking the man by his elbow and guiding him to the bathroom.
Greg knew the way, but was rather glad for the assistance and reassuring presence of the other by his side.
The politician let the water fill the bathtub, while he himself wandered off, in search for something dry to wear he could offer his unexpected guest. He found a tracksuit he hadn't used in some time, and while it was sure to be too big or too small in places, Greg still thanked him as if he had received a promotion.
Waiting in the kitchen, with a mug of steaming tea sitting beside for the other man, Mycroft wondered. Most probably he hadn't expected Gregory on his doorstep just as much as Gregory hadn't expected him to actually let him in and, let's face it, take care of him. He had the idea of what had happen, obviously he had, but unlike Sherlock, he knew when to keep his mouth shut. It was for Lestrade to decide whether to tell him or not and Mycroft was going to respect that.
The older man took his time. When he appeared in the kitchen door frame, it showed that indeed, the pants and sleeves were too short, but the blouse itself tightly hugged his upper body. He looked a bit better. The clenched fist remained where it was though, a piece of cloth hanging down from it. Mycroft wondered still, but said nothing.
For a moment it felt like at the casual times, where Greg would sit in the place he did at the moment, hold the mug he was holding right now and discuss some Sherlock related stuff with the other.
The detective let out something that seemed like a muffled sob and the expression disappeared like a stung bubble.
Mycroft was patient, nursing his own tea and looking over to the man beside every now and then. He decided to make a move only when he heard a clock somewhere announcing it was 2 am.
The small talk first, Mycroft decided.
"How was your day at work?"
Greg forced a weary smile. "Decent."
And neither of man said anything more, letting the comfortable silence settle down. Which, well, lasted. Apparently the older man didn't feel like sharing anything. Mycroft was fine with it. Actually, he was just about to propose showing Lestrade the room, when the policeman eventually started to talk.
"She kicked me out." he muttered.
"I beg you pardon?" Mycroft didn't mean to make him say it again, but the statement, the fact Gregory decided to tell him took him but the surprise and he wasn't even sure he'd heard right.
"Sophie. She kicked me out." Greg repeated louder, finally pulling away the fist from his chest, revealing a crumbled shirt between his clenched fingers. He stared at it gloomily. "Said I was useless. Threw this at my face." As he was speaking, his shoulders shook in the way that was threatening the tears might follow, but then he looked up to Mycroft and his face was dry. Of course it was, he was a strong man.
Time to stop being passive, the politician thought and reached out his hand slowly, as if not trying to frighten a scared animal. His slender fingers brushed Lestrade's firm and rough one, before he began to delicately, one by one, unbend them. Halfway there, Mycroft raised his other hand and gently tugged the shirt away, letting it fall to Greg's lap.
The hazelnut eyes followed the movement, and when it stopped, closed.
"Thank you, Mycroft. I have no idea what would I do, if not you."
"You would go to Baker Street."
Greg snorted and Mycroft smiled a little.