Mycroft did not very much like being kept waiting.
It was bad enough that he had been shipped out to this disproportionately aggressive little country, with its...oddly shaped... inhabitants and the sort of cheerfully inhuman attitude towards technological progression that had gone out of fashion in the UK around the 1890s. And while he had initially been glad to get out of the industrial smog and the rather depressing views of denuded forest, he could not in all honesty say that Saruman’s tower at Isengard was anything approaching welcoming.
From the outside, he had considered it somewhat excessively perpendicularly gothic, and the trend towards black and spikes did not at all abate on the inside. It was large and open, and there was a draft, and Mycroft (who far preferred the much softer stylings of the Diogenes Club) was not impressed.
He had not been provided with food, either, and it was becoming difficult to persuade himself that this was not something he was concerned about.
He had not brought a bodyguard, although Anthea was outside in the car and she was nothing if not quick and efficient. Being alone had not bothered him for the first half-hour he had sat there. It had now been an hour and a half, however, and that combined with the place’s strange atmosphere was beginning to make him uncomfortable. The thought that this was probably the intended effect caused enough of a spurt of anger to hold the uneasiness at bay, and he welcomed it.
None of this showed on the outside, of course. He remained seated, legs crossed in a civilised fashion, one hand on his umbrella, and his face deadpan.
Even when footsteps rang on the dark stone stairs and his host finally, finally descended to his level, all he did was raise his head and say, his tone bland,
“Saruman the White, I assume?”
His host cast a dark eye in his direction, his deep voice equally stripped of inflection.
“Mycroft Holmes. Not the British government’s usual ambassador. Your superiors must be worried.”
“Hardly,” Mycroft returned. “They merely felt that this was a case that would repay my expertise. Have you a study?”
The unspoken I refuse to be kept at arm’s length in the entrance hall rang as loudly as though he’d said it out loud. It was hard to see under his long beard, but Mycroft was certain that Saruman smiled ever so slightly as he gestured with the hand not holding his staff.
“Of course. Follow me. I apologise for keeping you waiting, but urgent matters required my attention. It is not easy running a country with such an... aggressive populace.”
Mycroft did not dignify that with an answer as he followed the tall, straight-backed man through the corridors. He took the opportunity instead to study his host, running his eyes over body language (confident bordering on arrogant) and clothing (a long, spotlessly kept white robe), reading him. Not difficult. Most definitely a man who knew what he was doing and believed utterly in his ability to do it; it seemed likely that manipulating him would be more of a challenge than Mycroft had initially expected. However, he, too, was a man who knew what he was doing and that he could do it, and there would be no backing down.
Holmeses did not back down.
He found himself rather looking forward to the sparring to come. It was so rare he came across a mind anywhere near as incisive as his own. This ruler, this self-styled ‘wizard’ may not be truly in his league, but he looked like he might come close.
Saruman led him into a study that was barely any less imposing than the hall. Seating himself in a high-backed chair, he folded his hands on the handle of his umbrella and cleared his throat delicately.
“You know why I’m here, of course.”
“Of course,” Saruman rumbled. “You are concerned about my country’s level of hostility to our neighbours. Neighbours in which Britain has considerable interests. It would, however, be unwise to either outright challenge us or openly negotiate with us, and so you have been sent to find a way to both preserve those interests and present a relationship which the international market will find... acceptable. The appropriate amount of tutting and wrist-slapping to camouflage the fact that you have no intention of engaging militarily with us just yet. Am I right?”
There was a smug set to his shoulders that said plain as day that he knew he was right, and he knew that Mycroft knew he was right. And he was right, and the straightforwardness with which he laid it out was infuriating.
The infuriation was annoying. He had not intended to get angry. Then again, he had also not intended to have his country’s plan laid out under his nose; most diplomats, even of small countries, had far better manners than that.
Still, he did not and never would allow Saruman to know anything he did was getting to his guest. He canted his head ever so slightly in acknowledgement and said,
“Since you prefer to be direct, I assume you would like to express your own terms right away.”
Saruman’s dark eyes met his from under bristling eyebrows, and there was a crinkle to them that said okay, yes, you can play the game too. Mycroft did not blink, but inside he wrestled down a surprising, sharp shock of Christ I want to slap that face.
It was not an impulse he welcomed, nor one he intended to have again.
“Raw materials and engineers,” said Saruman, after the brief pause. “I am sure you have seen evidence of our technological advancement, but there is a limit to what we can do with no help from outside.”
Mycroft had indeed seen the evidence, and he did not believe it added up to anything approaching a sustainable course. He had always been a city boy through and through and had no especial attachment to trees, but one thing he definitely did not like was wanton waste and there was plenty of that to be seen outside. The tickle of irritation rose again.
“I would require assurance, of course, that none of these items would be utilised in a military capacity,” he said, keeping his tone even. “And that you can be trusted to keep our people... safe. You will excuse me for saying, but your country does not have the best reputation for the safety of foreign nationals, and I’m sure you can appreciate how bad it will look if we encourage our best and brightest to come here only to have them...damaged.”
The tightening of Saruman’s face that bespoke annoyance gave Mycroft more of a tingle of pleasure than he expected- a literal tingle, that zipped through his stomach and made him shift ever so slightly in surprise. Saruman cleared his throat with a rough ‘harrumph’ and said, his voice so smooth it was obvious he had it on a very tight leash,
“You have my word that no harm will come to any of them. We would not want to cause our allies any distress.”
Mycroft smiled, a thin slash of a smile, and inclined his head, unable to resist the temptation to push a little harder. Unprofessional, perhaps, but he thought he knew exactly what would wipe the smugness from the other man’s expression for once and all.
“And we will, of course, expect you to vote alongside us on matters of environmental import.”
The sudden sound of nails against wood told him that the barb had hit home. Agreeing to any environmental sanctions would damage Saruman’s punishing pace of development, and he very likely did not have the funds to convert this ecological disaster of a country to anything resembling clean energy. Another tingle shot through him, and his lower half suddenly felt more sensitive than it had for years, which lent an odd, confused tinge to his triumph.
Saruman’s next words broke through his moment of internal examination, however, and brought him sharply back to reality.
“Now you are simply needling me for the sake of it,” the tall man said, and his tone held menace. His heavy brows were drawn like thunderclouds, and the noise his chair made as he rose to his feet seemed to scrape at Mycroft’s eardrums. “You have no interest in my country’s environmental plans and I know you do not.”
He leaned forward over the desk. Mycroft did not lean back; he looked up at the weatherbeaten face above him, smiled just a very small amount, and painted unconcern in the time he took to formulate his reply.
“You have been needling my country for years,” he said, deliberately pitching his voice soft. “And you cannot persuade me that you are not aiming for aggression. I have seen your people and I have read you, and I know what you want.”
“And what is it that I want?” asked Saruman, voice grating.
“You want to win. You want power, and you want to win.”
The statement fell with finality between them. Saruman sat backwards, moving with aching slowness as though anything more would cause something indefinable to break; he locked eyes with Mycroft for a long, long moment, and then he laughed.
It was a deep, dark laugh that seemed to vibrate through Mycroft’s chest, and his stomach clenched and swooped in a way that should have been fear- and it was, in part.
But over and above the fear, far more important, was excitement.
“You’re right, of course,” said Saruman, and every word sent more ripples through Mycroft. “But what do you want?”
Mycroft smiled wider.
“I would have thought that obvious.”
For the slightest moment, silence settled between them- an expectant, weighing silence.
And then both of them moved.
The desk between them was a minor obstacle for Saruman, who vaulted it with an athletic grace that did not match his aged appearance. Mycroft was already out of his chair, braced, waiting for what he expected to be a physical assault.
Instead, a wave of invisible force hurled him backwards, slamming him against the wall hard enough to knock the breath out of him and keeping him pinned there. Saruman, his staff held before him, walked slowly to stand in front of his new prisoner, regarding him with what was undoubtedly a smirk.
Mycroft sucked in a breath, keeping his lungs tight and controlled, and raised an eyebrow.
“Magic,” he said, loading the word with contempt. “Of course.”
“Do not tell me you were unaware of its existence,” Saruman purred, tilting his staff to stroke Mycroft’s cheek. “A man of your position? Surely you must have considered studying the art yourself.”
Despite himself Mycroft leaned with a tiny, minimal movement into the staff’s contact.
“Of course I was aware of it,” he said, tone dismissive. “But I have never considered it worthy of study. It is nothing but a set of children’s party tricks- and a supreme way of remaining ignorant of real power.”
The fury that crossed Saruman’s face sent a shiver through Mycroft that, even if he had still wished to, could not have been called anything but sexual. He could already feel himself hardening, and when the wizard thrust his face close he almost had to shut his eyes against the intensity.
“You know nothing of true power,” hissed Saruman. “Nothing, with your petty mind games and your government resources that would disappear as soon as I rendered your country a pit of mewling, legless screamers. What do you say, government man? Do you believe you can beat me?”
“Well I can certainly try,” said Mycroft, and kissed him.
There was a frozen instant before Saruman kissed back, hard. Mycroft gave as good as he got, catching the surprising softness of the wizard’s lips between his teeth and biting hard enough that he tasted blood. Saruman’s hands clamped down on his hips, fingers bruising even through jacket and shirt and trousers, dragging them forward so they met his own. The contact made Mycroft arch and hiss, and Saruman growled deep in his throat.
“Get on with it if you’re going to,” rasped Mycroft, mouth still pressed against Saruman’s. The wizard growled again and yanked hard on Mycroft’s neat grey trousers, hard enough that the button went flying.
“Bastard,” grated Mycroft, bucking against the spell holding him as he was divested of trousers and underwear. “Those were my best pair. You will be paying for their replacements.”
“That is what you think of at a time like this?” returned Saruman, a smirk crossing his face as he stepped back. “Petty, petty man. Petty.”
“You may call it petty if you wish. I operate under the belief that details are important. Stop flapping your mouth.”
Saruman sniffed, derisive, and made a sharp gesture; his enveloping robe and cloak disappeared, leaving only what he wore underneath.
There was a short silence.
“Really?” said Mycroft.
“Long ago I changed my allegiance,” said Saruman, drawing himself up. “On the surface I remain Saruman the White, but underneath I am Saruman the Many Coloured!”
There was another short pause, which Mycroft used to slowly look the wizard up and down.
“And this requires rainbow undergarments.”
He noted with some satisfaction the corresponding rattled undertone in Saruman’s growled “What is it to you, bureaucrat?”, and answered it with as much flippancy as he could muster.
“Nothing. I merely preferred the white.”
With a snarl, Saruman clicked his fingers sharply and vanished not only his own remaining clothing but Mycroft’s. Fluttering, ghostly touches ran themselves over Mycroft’s body; he fought not to writhe in response, even as they teased at areas that begged for firmer contact, and fixed his eyes on the wizard in front of him.
Saruman’s body was far more toned than he had been expecting, and his cock stood out hard and proud; Mycroft’s inner database swiftly assessed its length and thickness, compared it to national averages, and came out with a figure entirely in Saruman’s favour. His own cock- also, as he had been quietly and privately gratified to discover as a teenager, above average in several ways- pulsed in response.
“Are you going to stand and stare like a stunned fish forever,” he asked, hiding his need in acerbity, “Or are you going to come and do something?”
“You are hardly in a position to make demands,” said Saruman, his own hunger plainly evident in his voice. “Pinned as you are, little worm.”
“Physically, perhaps, you might have the advantage,” allowed Mycroft, “But I believe you will find that my superiors would be very interested in this- occurrence... and in that situation, I could break you with one, small, word.”
There was a pause. Saruman stood rigid, the potential ramifications evidently playing themselves through his brain. Mycroft smiled a very thin smile.
“So it is rather in your interest to satisfy me, is it not?”
The pause stretched on, and then as though something had snapped inside him Saruman bared his teeth and lunged forward, pressing himself against Mycroft and kissing him with such a rough, furious passion that Mycroft allowed himself the freedom to respond in kind, biting and bucking against him as much as the trapping spell allowed. Fingernails scored lines along his sides and dug into his hips; extra, invisible fingers pinched at his nipples, and he snarled into Saruman’s mouth and pulled away, twisting to reach and sink his teeth into the wizard’s ear. The hiss of indrawn breath and the twist of the hips this elicited were unexpected; he grinned and tugged a little, and was rewarded with another gasp and grind that made him stiffen up, the smallest of whines escaping him despite himself.
He wanted this more than he’d wanted anything of the sort for many, many years. He wanted Saruman’s cock inside him with an intensity that, had he been the sort of man to be afraid, might have scared him. And it seemed that Saruman had the same idea; he could feel his legs being drawn wider, and long fingers dragged their nails up the inside of his thighs, the sensitive skin burning with painful pleasure in their wake. He bit back a keen and arched his hips, an invitation much more obvious than he might have liked but effective as a result- two fingers, slick with what must have been some magically conjured substance, pressed up straight inside him.
This time he could not prevent the groan. Nor the subsequent sounds pulled from him by the fingers twisting and curling and stretching him out. As a third and then a fourth joined in his own fingers flexed, arm muscles tensing against the spell, aching to cling to the body pressing against his own and tear the skin.
And then, far too suddenly, the digits inside him were gone, and the emptiness left behind made him hiss. Saruman laughed, a dark, hoarse chuckle, and kissed him again, almost tender before he bit down hard against Mycroft’s lip, blood springing forth. Mycroft swallowed a gasp in a growl, and as soon as his lip was released lunged for Saruman’s ear again, teeth scraping. Saruman’s whole body shuddered, and as though in retribution something thick, and long, and heavy thrust itself without ceremony into the depths of him.
It burned. Burned and stretched and made him arch up and twist against his restraints, but within that burning was an undeniable pleasure and when Saruman drew out and thrust in again he pushed himself down to meet it, choking a moan. The disappearance of the pressure on his limbs was unexpected, and he fell forward before he could prevent it, but it allowed him to throw his arms around Saruman’s shoulders and claw violently at his back and biting at his neck as his legs wrapped tight around his hips. The wizard muffled a hungry groan in his hair and picked up the pace, fucking him with a quick, jerky urgency that had no regard for comfort or restraint, only desire and sensation that tore through their bodies with the heat of a forest fire. The world around Mycroft dissolved into fractured impressions of sweat and heat and panting, rasping, desperate breaths from both of them, the internal blaze stoked higher by the external feel of nails and teeth and lips and tight, clutching muscles and always, always the heat of Saruman’s cock plunging right to the core of him.
Which, just as it might have become unbearable in the best of ways, slowed and stopped with the length of it tucked inside him.
He made a noise of petulant discontent that was far more like his brother than he would have liked to admit, and Saruman chuckled again, that same deep and gravelly sound as before.
It was infuriating. Mycroft seized a handful of that long hair and yanked on it, pulling back to give Saruman the benefit of his best disapproving expression, one which had sent many a subordinate fleeing his office.
All the effect it caused here was the repetition of the frustrating chuckle, and a sharp nip at his jawline.
“Don’t pout, little bureaucrat,” said Saruman. “It’s for your own good.”
And with that he dragged his cock out and thrust it back in with a sharp, hard motion that made Mycroft jerk and yelp, and began once again to fuck him at a punishing pace, every forward motion of his hips sheathing him to the hilt in Mycroft. It was as though someone had taken a bellows to those internal fires; fed by the change of pace they roared higher than ever, engulfing his entire being. The part of his brain that could not ever turn itself off was still ticking, considering results and outcomes and consequences of this event- but for once it was not important, it was not at the forefront, it could be ignored in a way it never was.
It was, perhaps oddly, this realisation that made his body stiffen, the tightness that had been building in his abdomen snapping like an overwound spring and sending wave upon wave of pleasure crashing through him like waves- no, like a tsunami, overwhelming and powerful and terrifying. He felt, dimly, Saruman give one last, deep thrust within him before stiffening in his own turn, teeth sinking into his neck-and then it was over, and the last ripples receded, and he came back to himself.
“Well,” he said, because the situation appeared to call for comment but he could not think of anything else.
Saruman grunted and let go of him, and Mycroft slid with a distinct lack of grace back to the floor, where there was a moment of spacial uncertainty before he was sure that his legs would hold him upright. It was gratifying to see that Saruman appeared to be suffering from a few of the same problems as he did his best to stride imposingly back to his desk, but irksome to realise that he was not walking bow-legged.
Mycroft wondered if Anthea would smell a rat. She probably would. She was far too astute for her own good. With a huff of breath he bent to retrieve his clothes, and began the process of dressing, which seemed to be much more of an effort than it ought to have been.
He refused to envy the fact that Saruman had restored his own clothing with a wave of his hand, incongruous underwear included.
He remembered the lost button as he pulled on his trousers, and sent the wizard a sharp glare; Saruman smirked and with a negligent flip of his fingers restored it, a gesture that was far from appreciated by Mycroft.
Once he was dressed, Saruman stood, and they regarded each other.
“It appears,” said Mycroft, with a great deal of care, “That these will be complicated negotiations.”
Saruman inclined his head. “Far more complex than I anticipated,” he agreed.
“Requiring frequent future meetings?”
“I will have Anthea contact you to discuss the next one.”
“I look forward to it.”
Their eyes locked for a long, tense moment.
“As will I,” said Mycroft, and with an incline of his head that carried, perhaps, the smallest trace of respect, he turned and left the room.