It was the third telephone that had begun ringing as John passed it that set him off.
John tried to ignore it, really he did. Since Sherlock's death, he'd only exchanged a handful of words with Mycroft Holmes and that was the way he liked it. But enough was enough. John marched up to the telephone box, set down his shopping bags, and snatched up the receiver.
"What do you want, Mycroft?" he demanded. "I do have a mobile, remember?"
"Which you do not answer." Mycroft's smooth, unruffled voice came over the phone line and danced on John's last nerve.
"Some people might take that as a hint," John snapped. "What. Do. You. Want?"
As if in reply, a black car pulled up alongside the telephone box.
"Get in the car, Doctor Watson," Mycroft said.
John knew the futility of arguing. He slammed down the receiver, picked up the shopping, and stomped over to the car. The door opened and he pitched in the bags, hoping that the milk exploded all over the interior, then he followed. To his surprise, the man himself was sitting in the car, looking very unlike himself.
"What are you you wearing?" he heard himself ask as the door closed behind him and the car began moving.
Not that it really required an answer, although John almost heard an echo of Sherlock's "obvious, John" as he glanced over Mycroft's unusual wardrobe. Instead of a bespoke three-piece suit, Mycroft was attired in a black track suit, trimmed with red piping. A no-doubt expensive track suit, but one none-the-less. It couldn't have been any more incongruous if he'd been wearing bunny ears.
Mycroft didn't answer. His eyes were dark and there was an odd expression in them. Haunted, John would have said, and didn't it serve him right if he was? Mycroft grabbed the front of John's jumper in his fist and pulled him down onto the seat, then kissed him roughly.
John was stunned. He should have pulled back, pulled away, and said "what the hell, Mycroft?" but he did none of those things. He was angry. So angry with this man who had helped Moriarty destroy his brother, who might as well have pushed Sherlock off the building himself. More than anything, other than bringing Moriarty back to life so that he could kill him personally, John wanted to hurt this man, to dominate him, to see him look other than his cool, unflappable self.
So John grabbed Mycroft's shoulders and pulled him against him, taking control of the kiss. Mycroft made a sound - it might have been a protest but John wasn't having it. He pressed closer, pulled Mycroft closer, and pressed the palm of his hand on Mycroft's crotch. The hardness he found there told its own story.
[Note: and here is where time ran out. But I will not leave you - or Mycroft - hanging, so I have continued it.]
There was no time for finesse and John had no remaining patience for anything more complex than this. Mycroft had partially turned toward him on the seat and John pressed closer, frotting himself against Mycroft's leg while moving his palm firmly over Mycroft's crotch. It wasn't going to take long, fueled by anger and grief, and something else under the surface. John was damned if he came first, though, holding on by the skin of his teeth until he heard Mycroft's choking gasp, felt the shudder of his body and the dampness under his hand. John let himself go then, coming with a howling cry.
The car was silent for a few long minutes while both men gasped for breath, struggling to regain their composure. John was aware of the disgusting mess in his pants and hoped that Mycroft wouldn't dump him on the curb to make his way home on the Tube.
As if his thoughts summoned actions, the car glided to a stop and a moment later the door was opened.
"Your flat, I believe," Mycroft said, appearing to have once again regained his urbane aloofness.
John glanced out the window and saw that they were in front of the dismal building housing his flat. "Ta very much," he said, hesitating for a few minutes longer.
As if sensing his reluctance to go in, Mycroft said, "Baker Street is still available - "
"No," John snapped.
John stepped out of the car and saw that Not-Anthea was standing by the door, her eyes fixed on her Blackberry. He flushed, suddenly aware that there had been witnesses to that - whatever it was. He quickly looked away, back into the car.
Mycroft handed him the shopping bags. "I'll be in touch, Doctor Watson."
"Right," John said shortly. "We'll meet for fish and chips on the odd Friday night, yeah?"
He turned his back on the car, and on Mycroft, and strode off towards his flat. It wasn't until he was unloading the bags that he realized that Mycroft hadn't told him the purpose behind his visit.
The door closed and the car began moving again, pulling slowly into traffic. Anthea settled next to her employer with her eyes focused on the screen of her Blackberry, as always.
"You didn't tell him," she said.
"No need to take such drastic action just yet. Not until we're certain," Mycroft said, his voice calm, collected, with no trace of the frantic worry it had held an hour ago, when reports of the explosion had first come in. "Have the team search the area around the explosion site on foot. My brother has come out of worse situations in the past."
"And find the location of the nearest decent fish and chips establishment, then make an appointment on my calendar for a week from Friday."
Anthea didn't look up from the screen as she rapidly accessed the information and cross-referenced it with Mycroft's personal calendar. But she smiled.