“I would like to adopt a dog!” Greg looked up seeing a young man, he got in so quietly Greg only realised he was there once he spoke. The young tall man was in an impeccably tailored suit, not a sight he was used to at the shelter. He would expect him to buy a dog and have a dog sitter take care of it instead of him. Don’t judge Greg warned himself and smiled at him as warmly as he could.
“A smaller dog if possible.”
“You know, it’s a bit more complicated…”
“I’m aware of that.” he straightened his suit jacket nervously.
“You seem nervous.”
“I…just…it’s nothing.” he sighed and tried to smile.
“Not scared of dogs?” Greg smiled at him knowing his assumption was wrong.
“Not of dogs.”
“No need to be scared of me either.” Greg chuckled.
“Easy to say.” he mumbled fiddling with his umbrella. Overworked, well dressed lonely young man needing company and love of another creature; which he hasn’t experienced in a while.
“What kind of dog you are looking for…other than small?” he tried to distract him.
“I live in a flat, so someone who could live there. A calm dog…”
“Why have you decided to adopt today?”
“So I leave the office in time, I leave my flat and…maybe help me relax after the day…or I read on the internet that it could be beneficial.” his voice got quieter and quieter.
“Okay…not a young pup then.” Greg mumbled to himself.
“I don’t know.” he whispered.
“Why I’m here to help.” he smiled giving him a form. “Please fill this out…then we look around. If you think you found someone, one of us will be over to check your flat, to make sure she goes to a good place. And see how you two get along.”
“She?” he looked up from the form.
“I have someone in mind, of course it is your choice. Also she is a bit bigger…middle sized I’d say.”
“Very calm, a sweetheart…she could definitely help you relax and she’d be more than happy to just snooze during the day.” he smiled and took the form for him, running his eyes through it. “This way Mycroft. We walk around and see if anyone speaks to you.”
“They are all barking.” Mycroft followed Greg through the door.
“Well yes…” Greg chuckled and turned to look at him. “Are you all right?” he asked worriedly, Mycroft was pale when he walked in but now he looked even whiter.
“It is really noisy in here.” Mycroft gripped his umbrella.
“They are just excited.” Greg smiled softy, stepping closer slowly, like he was approaching a scared dog, after all the young man seemed to be on the breaking point. “Why don’t I show you the garden, you can wait there…it’s quiet, promise. I bring a few possible candidates for you.”
“Okay.” he mumbled and hurried his steps to get out of the noise. “Be right back.” Greg left him on a bench under the tree.
“Hey girl, hey…I might have found a dad for you.” he petted Peach, who followed him to the garden curiously.
“Mycroft meet Peach…we named her Peach because of the colour of her fur. She is as we guess an eight years old Pit Bull. She is the sweetest and calmest and most gentle creature I’ve ever met. She loves to snuggle and sleep. She is pretty well trained…had a home but they just left her behind.”
“A Pit Bull?” he regarded Peach with concern.
“Lots of misconceptions. May we approach?” Mycroft nodded hesitantly, Greg loosened his hold on the leash, letting her closer to Mycroft. She sat in front of him resting her head on his knee.
“Hello Peach.” he whispered his hand was shaking as he reached for her. “You are a pretty lady.”
“She is.” Greg sat next to them. “No one really wants her, she is older and a Pit Bull. Another factor is that she is not too good around other dogs, we tried to socialise her, but…” he trailed off. Peach looked up at Mycroft lovingly wagging her tail but Greg watched Mycroft, who was much more relaxed and in the sunlight more handsome.
“Yes, sorry...” Greg cleared his throat. “The problem is…when meeting other dogs she freezes or runs for cover. Not aggressive, she never even barked at them; she just hides which makes walking a bit trickier.”
“She was the one you thought off?”
“Yes. What do you think?”
“I like her, really like her.” he smiled at Peach, still petting her.
“She does too.” Greg smiled at him. “Look at that smile, look at her smile.”
“Yes, happy darling?” Mycroft patted her back. “Happy.”
“Want to meet someone else?” Greg asked, secretly hoping the answer will be no.
“No.” Mycroft answered immediately. “Is she trained…I mean…”
“She is flat safe.” Greg chuckled. “I fostered her before, she did really well. It will be strange at first, new space and all but…I think she’ll do perfectly fine. Do you have time now? We could go for a little walk with her.”
“I have the time.”
“Great!” Greg got the leash off her. “Here.” he handed it to Mycroft. “You do it.”
“All right.” Mycroft didn’t take his eyes off her. “We go for a walk now, okay?” she licked his hand.
Greg was a bit worried seeing how shaken up Mycroft was before, how uncertain he seemed but he put the leash back confidently and started to walk with her. “Gregory…which way?” Peach walked forward showing the way.
“Just follow the boss.” he chuckled closing the doors behind them. “Now…you take charge.” he stopped them when reaching the streets.
“I’m in charge.” Mycroft repeated.
“At least I’m in charge of this walk.”
“After you boss.” Greg bowed making Mycroft chuckle.
The walk successfully completed and Mycroft said his goodbyes to Peach.
“So, someone will come by on Saturday.”
“I…” Greg thought for a second. “Maybe I’m free?”
“It’s just voluntary work…Police force.”
“Oh…I would prefer if it was you.”
“Are you home on Sunday?”
“Then Sunday it is. I go, look around and if everything is fine she can go to you the next week.”
“It’ll be better for her and maybe for you too.”
“You calmed down not long after I brought her out.”
“I have a lot to do.” he mumbled to himself.
“If you have any questions…” Greg tore a piece of paper and wrote down his number. “Call me.” he handed it over.
“Thank you Gregory. See you on Sunday.”
“I’ll call when I can go.”
“So, the boss gave her blessing to bring her and see the flat together.” Greg smiled at Mycroft when he opened the door. “To see if she likes it or not.”
“Welcome in my humble flat.” Mycroft stepped aside.
“Thank you…it’s…not that big, but there is a park close by where I can walk her…not lot of dogs around here, I checked.” Peach already got entwined between Mycroft’s long legs. “Hey lovely.” he smiled, petting her. “Hey Peach…I missed you too.”
“I look around if you allow me, you two just play.” Greg smiled at them.
“Sure.” Mycroft leant down petting her.
When Greg got back from the inspection, Mycroft was sitting on the floor with Peach in his lap, his face buried to her fur.
“You got lots of stuff for her.”
“All approved.” Greg sat next to them.
“Thank you for your help Gregory.”
“Sure thing…I’ve seen the way you two looked at each other. I want this to happen as badly as you. Let’s show her around. Come on girl. Come on…” Greg called her again, but she remained seated in Mycroft’s lap. “What is it? I’m not taking you away Peach, you can stay love. Let’s look at you pretty bed.” she still didn’t move. “Strange.” Greg mumbled, Mycroft got up too.
“Come Peach.” she followed Mycroft not taking her eyes off him. “This is your bed.” she sniffed around now, all the new things peaking her interest.
“She is like in love, not taking her eyes off you…not that I blame her.” Greg mumbled turning red.
“May I offer you a tea?” Mycroft asked not being sure what to answer to that.
“Thanks. If you don’t mind, later I’d like to see how you walk with her around here too…not that I don’t trust you just…”
“It’s okay.” Mycroft smiled at him. “I put on the kettle.”
“What do you think?” Greg leant down to Peach when they remained alone, she couldn’t decide which toy to play with, her mouth full with three at once. “Like it?” her tail was waggling rapidly. “You’ll be treated like a queen.” Greg chuckled. “What you deserve. Told you I’ll find you someone and I keep my promises. Took me longer than I first imagined, but here you are…”
“Here you go.” Mycroft came back with tea.
“Thank you.” Mycroft sat next to him, Peach jumped up too laying next to them on the sofa, resting her head on Mycroft’s thigh.
“She loves her new place.”
“I’m glad. I tried my best.”
“You certainly did.”
“I wanted to ask…how’s she with water?”
“Oh, bath time isn’t her favourite, but manageable. I can come over if you need help wrestling with her.”
“Thank you.” he whispered turning red. “I might need that.”
“Thank you for coming Gregory.” Mycroft sighed relieved.
“Sure. Shift ended late, sorry that you had to wait.” Greg looked tired but he kept smiling at Mycroft.
“You could have told me how tired you are.” Mycroft felt guilty dragging Greg to his flat after a long tiring shift. “I wouldn’t want to keep you…” he mumbled.
“It’s okay, you seemed desperate for help!”
“I am.” he sighed, stepping aside.
“Oh…” the flat was covered in mud and muddy paw prints.
“We went for a walk, it started to rain…we ran home. I tried to bathe her but…” he waved around with despair.
“Where is she now?”
“Under my bed. I gave up tackling the task on my own and tried to save my clothes instead.” he sighed. “Learned my lesson! I must get changed before walking her!”
“Yes, that might be a good idea.”
“She is fine, just filthy.”
“Okay…” Greg clapped his hands. “Do you have a t-shirt I can borrow?”
“Yes, right away!” Mycroft hurried to fetch one, almost dropping it when he came back and Greg was standing in his living room, shirtless. “I…” he swallowed hard his ears burning.
“Thanks.” Greg smiled taking it from him. “Let the battle commence!” he smiled and walked past the still stunned Mycroft.
“Hmmm? Yes! I get the water ready.”
“Do that. I try to trick her out of hiding.”
“Hey baby.” Greg laid on the floor. “Hello.” he chuckled. “What have you done gorgeous?” he chuckled reaching for her. “What?” he pulled her out to be met with a big wet kiss. “I love you too.” Greg picked her up. “Mycroft!”
“Ready!” Greg quickly stepped to the bathroom, Mycroft closing the door behind them. “One step closer.” Mycroft mumbled. Peach looked at them with hurt, they betrayed her. “Sorry Peach.” Mycroft tried not to laugh. “Sorry.” he chuckled. “She looks so cute this angry.”
“Peach, darling, it’s okay.” Greg kissed her head. “It’s all right.”
“Water is nice darling, look at the bubbles, look…” Mycroft knelt next to the tub while Greg tried to lower the wiggling dog to it.
“It’s okay.” she whined when the water touched his paws. “It’s okay.” Greg knelt down too, holding her by the collar, trying to prevent her jumping out. “Quickly My.”
Mycroft washed her paws and stomach with the warm water.
“It’s nice, isn’t it?”
“Nope.” Greg chuckled seeing her eyes. “Peach says no.”
“We’ll be ready soon…promise. Then you can…damn.” Mycroft grunted.
“What is it?” Greg asked with worry.
“I don’t want her to go out till I clean up.”
“I’ll dry her and you clean or the other way around.
“I clean.” Mycroft rinsed her off. “Can you manage?”
“I can, just run out quickly…I hold her back.”
“Well…” Greg chuckled dropping to the couch wet and exhausted. “This was fun!”
“It was…something.” Mycroft sat next to him with a deep sigh. “Thank you so much for the help.”
“I offered it.” he smiled widely.
“Want something to drink? Or eat?”
“I’m famished to be honest…I better go home.”
“Don’t go! I have dinner prepared. Just a second!” he jumped up. “I heat it up.”
“The least I can do, please. I don’t cook that badly.”
“I would never dare to question your cooking skills. Thank you I accept the offer.”
Peach peaked out from the bedroom when Mycroft left the room.
“Hey Peach.” Greg chuckled. “Don’t be angry at your dad. You are nice and clean now…you smell like vanilla. A peach smelling like vanilla.” she huffed and dropped to her bed turning her back to the room.
“She came out? Good…” Mycroft sighed putting plates to the coffee table. “You think she’ll forgive me?”
“Of course. And you?”
“Lots of carpets, the sofa and the bedding in need of cleaning, possibly professional cleaning.”
“It’s fine. I’ll do it, somehow…” he mumbled. “There is more if you want…” he handed Greg a packed plate.
“Oh, no, no…I’ll be fine.” he looked at Mycroft’s plate which barely contained anything. “You are not hungry?”
“Not really, late lunch.” he waved.
“You said in your form that you work for the government.”
“Yes, minor position in the government, just papers and…lots of papers and forms and...” Mycroft reminded himself he needs to find a better cover story.
“It is…anything to do with people and making phone calls and…yes…stressful.” he mumbled, Peach walked up to Mycroft, placing a paw on his knee. “Hello love.” he smiled stroking her head.
“Why not change occupations?”
“Because I like the challenge, that I can use my mind and come up with solutions to…” he bit the end of the sentence.
“It’s sounds interesting.”
“It is to be honest, too much to change jobs.”
“Told you she will forgive you.” Peach licked Mycroft’s hand.
“She just wants my dinner.” he tilted his head smiling at her.
“No…I don’t think so.” Mycroft got up putting the plate to the table but she ignored it, sitting to Mycroft’s lap once he returned to the sofa. “I should clean up the bathroom.”
“You helped plenty today Gregory, thank you.”
“In that case, I head home if you don’t mind, work tomorrow! Thank you for the dinner.”
“Sure thing, thank you for your help.”
“Do you mean it?” Mycroft asked hesitantly.
“Yes.” Greg smiled at him. “I’d be happy to spend time with you two.” he blushed.
“You know where to find us.” Mycroft was equally red.
"Gregory." Mycroft answered the phone.
"Hello Mycroft hope it's not a bad time."
"No...just grocery shopping."
"This late? I hope it’s not work keeping you busy."
"Less people." Mycroft admitted. "And last walk before bedtime for Peach."
"The weather is nice for a walk...I planned on having a beer and thought...would you like to join me?"
"It is nice of you to call..." Mycroft hesitated a bit. He wanted to spend time with Greg but not out in a pub, surrounded by people. No, that wasn't for him.
"It's okay." Greg said quickly. "It is rather late, just...don't know. Missed talking to you." he sighed.
"Maybe at another time Gregory."
"Sure, it’s okay. How about Friday evening, are you free?"
"To my knowledge. We could watch a movie maybe...I..."
"Not a pub kind of guy. Get it! Movie sounds lovely. Your place, seven?"
"See you then."
"See you." Mycroft sighed ending the call. Movie and dinner he can manage that, or he hoped.
"Hi." Greg smiled at Mycroft when he opened the door for him. Mycroft was wearing an apron drying his hand in it, under it he was still wearing his usual attire, minus the suit jacket.
"Hello Gregory. Dinner will be ready soon."
"Dinner?" he asked back with confusion. "Hey Peach." she jogged to him.
"Make yourself comfortable." Mycroft disappeared.
"So...staying in then?" he murmured as he petted Peach. "What about the movie!" he called after Mycroft.
"I selected few possible ones...they are on the table. But you can go through the rest of my collection."
“I should have known.” he murmured to Peach. “He got you to get out of the flat and I’m sure that is the only time other than work he does so. Am I right?” Peach barked. “I am right gorgeous.” Greg chuckled. “Let’s see what we have here…you know I selected a movie we could watch in a small theatre, not much people usually, a classic. Mycroft strikes me as a old movies kind of guy…and I’m right.” he glanced at the selected movies. "My?"
"Not to your liking?" Mycroft turned to Greg who stepped to the kitchen.
"I found one, thank you." he smiled at him. "Just came to offer my help."
"You can take the plates out...be there soon."
"Hmm, smells amazing." Greg leant over the pot.
"Chilli." Mycroft gently hit Greg’s wondering hand with a wooden spoon.
"Perfect." Greg smiled.
“Plates!” Mycroft pointed at the cupboard.
Greg moved closer to Mycroft on the sofa, they settled on the two sides of the sofa. Greg was the first to sit and he hoped Mycroft will settle closer, but he chose the furthest spot. Greg really slowly, during the movie moved closer till Peach jumped up, snuggling between them, stopping his attempts to approach Mycroft.
"Hey Peach." Greg sighed patting her back as she laid her head on Mycroft's chest.
"Shhh baby, it's almost over." Mycroft petted her. "Then we go for a walk, promise." she licked his neck.
"May I join you?" Greg ran his hand over Peach’s back.
"Sure." he still didn’t look at him.
"Why do you ask?" Mycroft turned towards him.
"Just asking...don’t want to impose…”
“I don’t wish to keep you from seeing Peach. She was in your care for a long time, I can understand you got attached to her.”
“I do miss her, she was one of my favourites. If I could keep a dog in my flat I’d have adopted her. But this is much better for her, much better.” he smiled at Mycroft. “I honestly say that, you two are perfect for each other.”
“Thank you.” Mycroft placed a kiss on her nose. “The movie will be over soon if you…”
“I want to know how it ends.” Greg leant against Peach.
“This won’t work.” Greg petted Peach. “I’ve read the signs wrong.” she tilted her head with confusion. “Your dad…I like him a lot but he doesn’t seem to have feelings for me.” he sighed. “Which is okay…it’s okay.” he sighed. “Perfectly fine…”
“I’m ready!” Mycroft joined them in the hall.
“As we are.” Greg smiled at him.
“After you.” Mycroft closed the door behind them.
As they walked Mycroft made sure that Peach was between them all the time. Talking came really easy, just before. Greg forgot about what he observed before, getting his hopes up again by the time they arrived back to the flat.
“I must invite you over Mycroft, you cooked for me several times and I should…”
“It’s okay Gregory.” he waved.
“But I can’t take her with me.” he looked down at Peach.
“I know, it will be just us for once.”
“But you visit to see her.”
“And to talk with you.” Greg smiled now realising what Mycroft thought of his visits.
“With me? Am I that interesting?”
“More than you can imagine.” he chuckled.
“I would never…”
“You better.” he stepped closer. “I wish to spend more time with you. I don’t have many friends…barely any to be honest. I mean there are people I spend time with but that is nothing like having meaningful conversations without fear of being rejected or frowned upon.”
“Thank you.” Mycroft blushed fiddling with Peach’s leash. She repeatedly put her paw on Mycroft’s thigh trying to catch his eyes.
“What’s up with her?” Greg frowned.
“Not sure…she does this and sitting next to me or on top of me usually. She just…does this from time to time. Sits and looks adorable when she doesn’t try to drown me in saliva.”
“She is always adorable.” Greg chuckled. “I let you two rest now, thank you for the evening.”
“It was my pleasure.” Mycroft smiled at him.
“I’ll call you about that dinner…” Greg waved back.
Mycroft looked down at Peach who still had her paw on his leg. “Now what darling? What you want? You can’t be hungry.” Mycroft sighed opening the door.
“I think I scared him away.” he sighed walking up the stairs. “I’m so out of practice.” Mycroft landed face down on the sofa. Peach laid next to him placing her head on his back.
“I only dated before because he was very…how to put it.” Mycroft grunted. “Made me think twice before letting anyone into my life. Gregory seems different, so different I think. I trust him, which is hard for me, considering my job and past. But for some reason I do trust him. It’s not bad, is it?” Peach licked his neck. “Hey…” Mycroft chuckled. “Okay, okay…you know him I believe you dear.” Mycroft turned to his side petting her.
“But there is still something holding me back and I’m not sure how long he’ll be willing to try. If he’s going to wait for me to figure my feelings out and let the walls down. He is trying, I can see that…I might have to collect my courage and tell him…show him some way.” he sighed. “It is pointless. I’m too…too…just not a boyfriend material at all, I was made sure I know that. I’m sure he’ll stop seeing me once he realises it.” he grunted Peach licked his nose, ears, hair. “At least I’ll have you.” he cupper her head, Peach wagged her tail enthusiastically. “Yes, you gorgeous…lucky me I went in that day. I found you and…Gregory.” he sighed. “I fell head over heels for him.” her head shot up. “And you, yes.” Mycroft chuckled. “Let’s head to bed love.”
“I read up on what Peach did.”
“Hello Gregory.” Mycroft chuckled cutting him off.
“He must have been an emotional support dog…she is sensing when you are anxious or anxiety is coming up and tries to help you…I guess.”
“You could take her to get a proper training...” he mumbled.
“Thank you, I’m already going to dog school with her.” Mycroft said without considering it.
“And that is enough human interaction for you.”
“Yes.” he said hesitantly.
“I just wish to help, maybe she was already trained and it would be easy to refresh the memories.”
“Maybe.” Mycroft mumbled.
“I can go out with you two, to help…if my presence helps.”
“Does…help. I usually don’t open up to just anyone but…I feel like I could do so in your presence. I feel you wouldn’t judge me for what I might say. That you understand what I go through, what I feel...” Mycroft rubbed his eyes not believing what he just said out loud. Peach climbed to his lap, trying to push his hand away with her nose.
“I’m glad you are not scared of me anymore.” Greg chuckled.
“No, not anymore.” Peach leant against his chest pushing him into the sofa. “So, dinner on Friday?”
“Yes, any dietary restriction?”
“No.” Mycroft ran his hand over Peach’s back repeatedly.
“I’m not as good of a cook as you, just warning!”
“Nonsense, you are perfect…perfectly capable of putting a meal together!” Mycroft hit his forehead with his fist till Peach stopped him again. “She is doing that thing again.” Mycroft changed the subject quickly, he was gracious that they were talking on the phone, that Gregory couldn’t see him.
“Talking to me makes you anxious?”
“No! Kind of…it’s complicated.” Mycroft huffed.
“That is the hard part to be honest.” his voice was barely a whisper. "I do want to talk to you but...don't know..."
“Still there Mycroft?” Greg asked to break the silence.
“You can say no to my dinner invite you know. It’s perfectly fine with me, I can understand it.”
“I…I want to say yes but also…I don’t know.”
“How about you call me on Friday if you are coming or not. I need to cook for myself anyways. So it’s no trouble at all.”
“Talk to you later My…if you don’t wish to talk about something now.”
“I wouldn’t mind talking some more…”
“Sure. Just let me settle…there, I’m all yours.”
“Look who got brought in.” Greg was greeted by his co-worker as soon as he stepped to the shelter.
“Who?” he asked sadly. It was always a terrible thing when an animal ended up back at the shelter.
“What? That can’t be possible…”
“Found sitting in front of Scotland Yard…No answer from the owner.”
“When was she brought in?”
“She can’t be here, Mycroft would never...” he mumbled to himself.
“Hey baby.” Greg smiled sadly, Peach was uneasy, pacing in the kennel. He couldn’t imagine Mycroft abandoning her like this. Something must have happened or someone took Peach from him, worse and worse scenarios run through Greg’s mind.
“What happened?” she seemed distressed. “Where is Mycroft?”
Greg kept meeting them, going on walks with Mycroft and Peach, dog school, therapy dog training, the always dreaded bath times or just staying in and watching movies. They became close friends and that was fine with Greg, Mycroft was a really special person and Greg was glad to have him in his life in any way.
He tried to call Mycroft, but the phone went unanswered.
“Where is My?” Greg opened the door, Peach bolted out immediately, barking at the next door. “All right dear, all right.” Greg put a leash on her and opened the door for her. “Okay, show the way.” Greg had to run to keep up with her.
She took Greg straight back to Mycroft’s flat, the door wide open, flat turned upside-down. The police was too engrossed in work to stop Greg from entering the flat.
“Blood.” he whispered his eyes growing wide. “Oh Mycroft.” Peach sat next to him, whining. “Good girl.” Greg petted her. “You came to get me.” she licked his hand. “Clever girl.” Greg mumbled distractedly.
They waited on the corridor for any news or theory of where Mycroft could be. Pretty soon the police was sent off and men in black suits took over the scene.
“Who are you?” a tall man hovered above Greg who refused to leave.
“DS Greg Lestrade, Mycroft’s friend. And you?”
“His uncle.” he said reluctantly.
“Oh, yes…Mycroft talked about you. The flat was like this when we got here…there is blood on the…”
“We know.” he stared at Greg coldly, making him feel like an idiot, an overly worried idiot.
“Peach was found by the Yard this morning, most likely that is when it happened.”
“It?” he raised an eyebrow.
“Whatever happened to Mycroft.” he whispered.
“Remove yourself or get dragged away.” he pointed at the stairs not giving Greg any information.
“Will you…I take Peach with me. My number, he knows it but in case…” he gave him his card. “Please call me…”
“Leave, now!” he cut him off, but at least he took the card.
“Good bye Sir.” Greg sighed equally annoyed now. Now he could understand why Mycroft complained about his uncle, a lot. But he knew that there was nothing to be done right now. Nothing else than to let them take care of it.
“Come baby. Come Peach.” he tried to drag her away from the flat. “I’m sorry love, we have to go.” Greg leant down and picked her up. “Sorry Peach.” he murmured to her. She just kept whining and looking back over Greg’s back.
Peach and Greg were sitting on the floor as every night before, staring at the door waiting for Mycroft to step through it, when the ringing phone cut through the silence. Greg looked over slowly, not really interested in talking to anyone at the moment.
No caller ID
“Hope it’s not work.” he grunted but answered it never the less.
“That is me.” he sighed.
“St Thomas’ Hospital.”
“Oh! Mycroft…” he sat up properly. “Thank you, I…I’ll go and see him.”
“Don’t rush, he is not conscious yet.”
“That bad? What happened?”
“You can’t expect me to tell you that.”
“Yes, sorry.” Greg ran his hand through his hair. “Thank you so much for calling me.”
“Night Sir, thank you.” he dropped his hand to his lap. Peach was sitting up, ears up, scanning Greg curiously.
“He is back.” he kissed her nose. “Mycroft is alive…he is alive. I begged every entity that might exist that he’d be found in time and he was.” tears rolled down his face. “He is back, he is back.” he kept repeating it, Peach wagged her tail excitedly, licking his face.
“All right.” Greg got up. “Shower and change of clothes and we go to see him.” he looked at the clock. “Or maybe not. It’s rather late, he is not up…I don’t think they would let us in now.” he mumbled. “Shower never the less.” he’s been on forced leave for the past few days, meaning he was home all day long not caring about his appearance. Even his superiors realised that he wasn’t able to perform his duties properly.
“Shower…for both of us.” suddenly Peach was up and looking for cover. “You want to look nice for your dad, don’t you?” Greg easily caught her, there wasn’t a lot of place to hide in his flat. “Shower time!” Peach whined, looking at him with big sad eyes.
“Not working on me babe.” he chuckled hugging her tighter.
The bathroom thoroughly soaked, both of them smelling nice and clean Greg tried to settle for the remainder of the night. He gave up after an hour of tossing and turning.
“Hey Peach.” he stumbled out rubbing his eyes. “You can’t sleep either?” she was doing her zoomies in the small living room. “No, too excited. I’m also worried…my thoughts are flying around, not letting me settle.” he sighed. “What a mess I’ve made.” he frowned staring to collect trash in the living room.
By the time the sun came up the flat was in a tip top shape. Peach chose to hide under his bed this time, in case Greg was planning something against her again.
“Are you joining me for breakfast.” Greg lay to the floor. “Then we go to see Mycroft. I don’t want him to think I did not take good care of you.” Peach huffed and slowly crawled out. “Thank you.” Greg chuckled.
“No dogs are allowed in here!” the nurse stopped Greg.
“She is a certified therapy dog.” Greg showed up her papers.
“Still no!” she didn’t even look up.
“All right.” he sighed making Peach sit. “Stay Peach!” he ordered her. “Stay!” he warned her.
Greg stepped to the hospital room holding his breath back, not being sure what to expect.
“Oh dear…” Mycroft looked almost lifeless, extremely pale, circles under his eyes, bandages on his arms. He sunk to the visitor’s chair taking Mycroft’s hair gingerly.
“Hey, it’s me Greg. Don’t worry Peach is well taken care of…even if it doesn’t seem like that. She missed you terribly, it was hard to get her eat; vet said she was depressed…me too. I missed you Mycroft, I was really worried…still is.”
“I’ll be fine.” Mycroft whispered, slowly blinking his eyes open.
“Hey!” Greg smiled widely at him. “How are you?”
“Been better to be honest.” he whispered.
“What happened?” Greg arranged the pillow behind him so he could sit up better.
“Just a bit of torture; nothing interesting.” he said nonchalantly.
“Mycroft…” Greg rolled his eyes.
“They didn’t get anything from me.”
“I’m sure your boss is delighted.”
“Yes, my uncle was pleased with my training.”
“Got trained to withstand torture?” Greg frowned.
“Yes.” Mycroft said like it was obvious.
“What department are you working in exactly?”
“Haven’t you figured?”
“Oh My…” Greg shook his head.
“Like you are not in danger every day.” he tilted his head.
“That is…okay, fair.” he chuckled. “Are you truly okay?”
“Yes, just really exhausted. How’s Peach?”
“She came to the Yard, just sitting in front of it…I think she was waiting for me. I always knew she is clever but…”
“She got brought back to the shelter before I finished. Then she dragged me back to your flat.”
“Is she staying with you?”
“Yes, landlord allowed it temporarily. Anyways I’m moving soon and she can stay in the new flat if it’s needed.”
“Thank you so much. Where is she now?”
“Sitting outside. She was so depressed…we both were.”
“Why?” Peach sneaked in at that moment. “Hello love.” Mycroft spotted her, she put her front paws up the bed, licking Mycroft’s hand, her tail waggling excitedly. “Hey…hey…I’m perfectly fine.” Mycroft tried to calm her. “I’m here…” he petted her clumsily with his bandaged hand.
“We did all right. Last night had a nice shower.”
“Nice?” Mycroft raised an eyebrow.
“Well she smells really nice now.” Greg chuckled. “She also graduated.”
“I can see…good job Peach.”
“I told you she can’t come in.” the nurse came in. “Time is up…he needs to rest.”
“Sorry, she sneaked in.” Greg got up. “I’ll come back tomorrow Mycroft.”
“Thank you.” his eyes were closing already. “For everything Gregory.”
“It was nothing. Rest My. Come Peach,” Peach followed Greg out reluctantly.
“He is in good hands dear. He is safe now.” Greg sighed petting Peach. “He is safe now.” he felt much relieved. Mycroft didn’t look well, he was still a long way from being fine, but he was home and alive.
“Damn it, Peach!” Mycroft yelled, Greg dropped the box he was packing into and hurried to the other room, Mycroft was laying on the floor Peach on top of him, books scattered around them.
“She is always under my legs.” Mycroft looked at Greg, begging for help.
“Missed you too much.”
“Me too but…” he sighed shaking his head. “Not wanting to keep falling over her.”
“Heard the boss Peach.” Greg rescued Mycroft.
“Thank you…and for letting me stay while I get a new place.” Mycroft sat up.
“Sure thing.” Greg was more than happy to house Mycroft since he didn’t feel safe in his old apartment. Greg was moving as well and Mycroft insisted on helping out, it didn’t matter he was ordered to rest. Greg smiled at Mycroft softly, stroking Peach’s back.
“What is it?” Mycroft tilted his head trying to understand Greg’s expression.
“I’m just glad you are well and here.” he smiled at him. “Thank you for your help also.”
“It’s the least I can do.”
“You should be resting as you were told.”
“I’m fine.” Mycroft ran his hand over Peach’s back. “I know better when I’m well enough to be released.” Mycroft argued.
“Yeah.” Greg chuckled, remembering how Mycroft called him asking to be collected from the hospital only days after he was rescued.
“It was really nothing.”
“Thankfully not. Hope it won’t happen again.”
“What your uncle said about that?”
“Comes with the territory. For him it’s just another day…He would had me back at the office already and on the field as soon as physically possible.” Peach climbed to Mycroft’s lap, repeatedly placing her paws on his chest.
“That is not the case for you” Greg took his shaking hand, lacing their fingers. Mycroft gripped his hand.
“No.” he whispered. Greg could see it, but Mycroft would not admit it till now.
“Did they offer you help?”
“There is no need for therapy.” Mycroft snorted.
“You are not leaving the flat without me, not even with Peach. I wouldn’t call that…”
“You know how quickly I tire out.” Mycroft cut him off sharply. “Also I have nothing to do outside.”
“I asked you once to do the shopping.” Greg continued softly.
“I fell asleep, I apologised plenty.” Mycroft snapped. Peach licked his face.
“Even she can tell that you are lying.” Greg tilted his head not letting Mycroft to pull his hand away. “There is nothing shameful about asking for help.”
“I just wish to help you Mycroft.” Greg slid closer to him.
“Why?” Mycroft kept his eyes on Peach.
“Because we are friends.” Greg ran his hand over Peach’s back.
“We are, but not one of my other friends would consider helping me like you do, care like you do, worried like you are…”
“I think…well I know that I…love you.” Greg whispered glancing up at him. Mycroft turned really red but didn’t meet his eyes. “I didn’t mean to…”
“I like you a lot too.” Mycroft whispered glancing at him shyly.
“Really?” Greg smiled at him.
“Really.” Mycroft stroked Greg’s hand with his finger.
“Because form the way you acted before…”
“I’m a rather reserved person, to get me open up to someone…It takes time and trust. I do trust you Gregory but you must know that I’m hard to live with, to love, to…understand sometimes…”
“I haven’t noticed.” Greg chuckled softly.
“But you seemed annoyed, disappointed when I didn’t go out with you.”
“I was just confused, because you were more than happy to meet me if we were home, talking for hours through the phone, texting. But not wanting to meet me outside. At first I thought you might be ashamed of me or scared to be seen with a man, or I wasn’t worth leaving the flat for.”
“It had nothing to do with you I just really don’t feel well when surrounded by strangers. I deal with that during work…I don’t want to be in a crowd during my free time.”
“It’s okay…” Greg smiled reassuringly.
“Also I needed time to convince myself that what I was seeing is true and that I can…I hope I can give you what you deserve. I’m still not sure that I’m the best for you.” Mycroft mumbled not looking up.
“I know; you are the best that happened to me in a long time and I’d be happy if you would consider trying it. Also understand if you need bit more time and space.”
“I’m not against starting a relationship with you.” Mycroft leant against Greg.
“Me neither.” Mycroft chuckled, Greg placed a kiss on his head.
“We should continue packing Gregory.”
“It can wait.” Greg mumbled not really wanting to get up, he wrapped an arm around Mycroft’s waist resting his head on his. “I can wait…”
“Wait for me to admit I need help?”
“I assume you can only visit a few selected people. If you get me a number, or tell me who to call to get it…I make all the calls for you.”
“Would you?” Mycroft looked up.
“I have the number. Should have called days ago to be honest.”
“I do it now.”
“When we can get up.” he chuckled as Peach laid across their laps.
“It’s nothing My. It’s nothing.”
“Hello there darling.” Greg greeted Peach sitting in front of the shop. “Mycroft left on his own? Yes baby? How gorgeous someone is…yes, smells nice too. Where you two have been? Hmm…” he knelt next to her. “Good girl…”
“I was the brave one.” Mycroft came out with a bag.
“Hello love.” Greg took the bag from him. “Home early.”
“Yes.” he sighed. “Been home for hours and hours.”
“The least interesting kind.” Mycroft was back in work, although he was kept under closer surveillance till he got cleared by the therapist. Which meant boring work or boring for Mycroft’s always working mind.
“Sorry to hear that.”
“You are not.” Mycroft tilted his head.
“If this means you are safe.” he shrugged. “I’m not complaining. And you can work your creative mind plenty at home…” he smirked, Mycroft turned really read.
“Gregory…” he hissed. “We are on the street!”
“I know…hey! What you did to your hair?”
“Got a haircut, that bad?”
“Not at all, I like it.”
“Thank you. Peach was pampered too.”
“I can tell, she is gorgeous.”
“I left before lunch since there was nothing to do. Consequently I was bored out of my mind. So we had an us…rather me day.” he looked down at the sulking Peach.
“How she took it?”
“Angry at me now. But she had her nails clipped and a bath, everything you can imagine. And the same for me.”
“Your paws as well?”
“Well yes.” Mycroft turned red. “I just like…please don’t think…I just...”
“It’s okay My, your hands are always very lovely and soft.”
“My feet feel much better afterwards. You should try it too.”
“Okay…” Greg said hesitantly.
“Just saying.” Mycroft chuckled.
“I’m glad you feel safe enough to leave the flat.” up until now Mycroft would not leave the flat without Greg or his uncle’s driver.
“You want me to admit that therapy helps?”
“You don’t have to say it out loud for me to know that.” Greg kissed his temple making Mycroft chuckle. “I love to hear you laugh again.” Greg whispered taking his hand.
“Peach if you don’t stop that I’m going to put you out to the terrace.” Greg mumbled as he stumbled out of the bedroom. Peach kept scratching the bedroom door and howling. “Shhhhs already. Shhhhs Peach!” Greg turned the lights on. “It’s the middle of the night.” she ran to the bedroom, sniffling around franticly.
“I’m here Peach.” Mycroft reached for her. “Looked for me and I wasn’t there?” she jumped up, licking Mycroft’s neck.
“Hey…” he chuckled. “She sometimes checks on me in the middle of the night.” Mycroft sat up.
“Making sure you are still here with us.”
“I guess.” he sighed. “Off the bed Peach!” she jumped down settling by the open door. Greg got back to bed, wrapping his arms around Mycroft.
“She is so cute.” Greg chuckled. “As much in love with you as me.” he kissed Mycroft behind his ear. “However she will have to get used to sharing you with me from now on. I’m sleeping with Mycroft from now on Peach!” her head shot up. “You heard that right, he is mine.” Mycroft chuckled, gently elbowing Greg. “Why? You were more than willing to do so.”
“Shut up, she is too young to hear about that!”
“She, young? She is the old judging lady.”
“Are you judging me Peach?” she licked her nose. “I think she is fine…just leave the door open for her this time.”
“She’ll get used to me not sleeping out on the sofa.”
“No more sofa time for you love.” Greg threw his leg over him, kissing Mycroft.
“It was really comfy.”
“I’m glad…you know, I didn’t really want you to move out My.” Greg whispered.
“I wasn’t too keen on finding a new place either.” Mycroft admitted. “I feel safe with you.”
“I’m glad.” Greg kissed him behind the ear. “Ewww, Peach!” Peach sneaked up to the bed again, joining in on the kiss.
“Off you go!” Peach whined looking at Mycroft with big eyes. “Ah damn…” Mycroft sighed. “Just this once.”
“How many times you allowed her to sleep on the bed?” Greg chuckled as she snuggled between them. “Hey…” Greg detested.
“Settle down children!” Mycroft tried to scold them. “And to answer your question only when I had trouble falling asleep. She helps me to calm down and fall asleep actually.”
“Do you have trouble falling asleep now?”
“Well, having someone so gorgeous and persuasive as you in here makes it harder.”
“Harder?” Greg chuckled sliding his hand down Mycroft’s chest.
“Stop, now!” Mycroft warned him half-heartedly. “You are just jealous.”
“Noo, noo.” he petted Peach. “Peach comes first I’m just second…I know where my place is.”
“Gregory.” Mycroft laced their fingers bringing their joined hands up to his mouth.
“I know My.”
“She went through so much…abandoned and she again thought she got abandoned by me.”
“You didn’t abandon her.”
“How could she know that?”
“Because she seen you get dragged away, beaten, in pain…and she came to get me to help you. She knows My, she knows.”
“But the trauma…I caused for the both of you.”
“We got over it.”
“My please. All that matters that you are back and well and with us.”
“You know.” he turned to face Greg. “I feel like being with you helps…I mean it makes me want to get better sooner, makes me work for it. I might as well just stayed in the pit I was pushed to without you two.”
“We couldn’t know that…but I’m glad we can help.” Greg stroked his face. “Listen…” Greg chuckled. “She is snoring.”
“Yes, she does that sometimes.”
“Grandma fell asleep.”
“That makes you…great grandpa, with your grey hair...”
“And you too.” Greg smirked.
“Nope, you were her first dad, which makes you…”
“Young man how dare you disrespect the elderly!”
“Shhh, don’t wake her.” Mycroft chuckled.
“Night My.” Greg kissed him.