The night began like so many others.
A drink beside the fire, Greg in the chair, Mycroft on the couch. They talked of the case that had just been closed, of the antics of Sherlock and John, of the audacity of the criminals who had been bold enough to hand over their identification cards before robbing the bank cashier. These nights were something Mycroft cherished. A friendship borne out of the shared task of maintaining a watchful eye over the safety of others. That this friendship meant something more than that to him was a secret he kept tucked away inside his mind, only to be taken out when he was alone in the dark waiting for sleep to capture him.
As the evening continued on and more scotch was poured, their conversation drifted towards the personal, as it often did. Their voices grew hushed, their bodies more relaxed, their laughter more open. At some point Greg had moved next to Mycroft on the couch and Mycroft could feel every movement that he made, every adjustment to his body, every breath that he took. It seemed to pull him closer into the other’s sphere.
It must be the scotch, Mycroft mused, as he listened to Greg’s husky laugh which was filling his body with warmth like a blanket, making his limbs feel heavy, making his heart beat faster and slower at the same time. These thoughts usually did not interfere like this when they were together, but tonight his mind had gone rogue. It must be the scotch.
He thought to refuse another glass but when Greg leaned over to top up his glass and to refill Mycroft's, their arms brushed together and the words left his mind. When Greg leaned back, it seemed their bodies had somehow gotten closer together. Neither man moved away. Greg leaned his head back and stared up to the ceiling while he continued telling a story from his childhood. Mycroft turned towards him to listen, their legs pressed against one another during the movement. Greg did not seem to notice as he did not stop his story. He took a sip from his glass and the subtle adjustment moved their legs into a firmer alignment.
It must be the scotch.
Mycroft leaned on his side into the couch and studied the man openly while he talked, his eyes tracing the column of his neck, the shape of his nose, the curl of his lashes. He gripped the tumbler in his hands tighter to keep from reaching out to trace where his eyes had been. His tongue wet his lips. His mouth felt dry.
Greg turned his head suddenly and caught Mycroft’s stare, their eyes locked.
“Apologies,” Mycroft whispered into the silence. “I missed what you were saying.”
“I forget,” Greg whispered back.
The fire crackled in the background, a log gave a soft pop and sent a burst of light that danced across their faces.
“It must be late,” Mycroft spoke again after a few seconds, his heart pounded in his chest, in his fingers, in his ears. It was like standing on the edge of a cliff.
Still, neither man moved. Mycroft so desperately wanted to reach across the small space between them and drag the man onto his lap. The space might be small in proximity, but emotionally, it was gigantic. It was insurmountable. It would take an act of courage, an act of stupidity, an act of parliament to push him to action. In the past his heart had failed him, lied to him, betrayed him. He couldn’t be the one to risk it now.
“You probably wish to be getting home then?” his voice came out husky.
“Mycroft,” Greg’s breath ghosted his lips. When had they become so close? Mycroft’s eyes closed against his will. “Myc...”
He felt the first brush of lips tentative against his own. He held his breath, tried to focus his mind, tried to memorise everything, tried to slow down time. He did not want to lose a second. The next brush of lips came and all his plans went astray. He melted. He tried desperately to hold on to his wits. Greg moved the tumbler out of his hands that he had forgotten he was holding. His hands now free, he reached up to grab on to Greg and pull him closer.
The kiss deepened and Mycroft's busy mind went blank. All the spaces that were empty were suddenly full of Greg. Everywhere. Hands ran up and down his back as he clutched and tugged Greg’s hair. It wasn’t enough. He pushed forward. Greg fell on his back pulling him down. They were falling, falling, falling. Greg bit his lip and tugged, causing Mycroft to moan. Mycroft pulled his lip free and ran his tongue along Greg’s neck. Greg arched into him as he ground his hips down. Greg captured his mouth again as they continued to grind into each other. Greg’s movements became frantic and wild, his hands running up and down his back and into his hair. It felt as if he was being touched all over. They gasped for air in between kisses. Suddenly, Greg stilled and buried his face into his shoulder. He let out a shout. Mycroft followed soon after.
Time drifted slowly back. The fire still crackled, but lower now. It needed tending to, the kindling was glowing amber and a single log remained. Mycroft started to lift off Greg, but the arms around him tightened. He settled back down carefully to shift his weight not to crush him. He felt out of breath. Their actions were coming back to him and he was beginning to feel exposed. Greg nestled in further, tucked his head into the nook of his neck and took a deep breath.
“Are you smelling me?” Mycroft asked, his voice raspy to his own ears.
“Mmm,” Greg repeated the action. “Smell good.”
“I could not possibly smell good,” he felt a blush rising on his face. After everything they had just done, just shared, just experienced, this was going to bring the blush to his face? Foolish.
“Alright?” Greg leaned back to look at his face.
Mycroft nodded. Fears were rushing in like an oncoming thunderstorm, rumbling in the distance, flashing worst case scenarios across his mind, washing away the bliss he had felt moments before. Greg ran a hand along his face. Unable to help himself, he leaned into the touch and kissed his thumb, pulling it into his mouth. Greg groaned his name and pulled Mycroft’s face down to meet him. Mycroft thought it would be another passion filled kiss, he felt some safety in that, but instead it was soft, gentle, filled with tenderness. He did not wish to label it love. That was reserved only for his own moments of weakness when he was alone.
“Mycroft. Myc. I want to be clear about where I stand here,” Greg started, framing his face with his hands, looking him in the eye. Myroft tensed up, expecting the worst. “I have wanted this, wanted you, for a very long time.”
Mycroft leaned back down and captured Greg’s mouth in a demanding kiss. The world exploded and was put back together with those words. He pulled the man closer, grabbing at the base of his neck, his arms, his hair. Wherever his hands could reach from his awkward angle.
“I am throwing this couch out immediately. It is too damn small,” he muttered into Greg’s laughing mouth as they almost lost their balance and rolled off.
“And here I was, wanting to save it and keep it forever as a momento.” After a moment, Greg asked. “Am I to take it, you are ok with me feeling this way?”
“Have I not made that clear?”
“You didn’t really say anything.”
“And that is important to you.” Mycroft nodded, understanding. Words left no room for error when used properly. He ran a hand through Greg’s hair. “It would be spectacularly foolish of me to have an issue with it, as I have to admit to feeling the same for you. Perhaps more so. Greg, I have greatly admired and cared for you for some time now.”
Greg paused and processed the words. Mycroft’s heart beat wildly while he waited. “I think I am in love with you,” Greg finally whispered. He broke into a shy smile. “I love you.” Mycroft stilled in his arms. “It’s ok, you don’t have to say anything back. I just wanted to be clear with you.”
“Wait, no. I,” Mycroft hurried to speak. He struggled to find the words. His mind started and stopped. He took a deep breath. “I feel the same. I just never thought or believed or dreamed,” his voice trailed off.
“Well, it’s true.”
Mycroft took another deep breath, feeling overwhelmed. “Are you sure it’s not just the scotch?”
“Well, it is damn good scotch, but no, it’s not that good.”
“Not that I’m not enjoying this, but do you think we could maybe find a way to clean up a bit?” Greg indicated their trousers.
Mycroft started. He had completely forgotten their situation which was becoming more uncomfortable by the moment. He had been so caught up. It was unlike him. Still. He cleared his throat. Greg’s bravery encouraged him.
“Well, then. We should take care of that, shouldn’t we?” he stood up and kicked off his trousers and started to head towards the stairs that led to his bedroom. He turned back to see Greg sitting there with a slightly shocked and aroused expression on his face. “Coming?” he asked.
Greg snapped out of it and stood up, quickly shucking his clothes as he moved towards Mycroft.
“Oh, and grab the scotch,” he called over his shoulder.