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Hope Flies on Silver Wings

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Mycroft wandered through his mind, aimlessly following the marbled path beneath his bare feet. Red-gold wings flexed behind him, wings that were rapidly losing feathers. Which meant something had happened and he had zoned. He couldn’t remember, nor could he imagine anything making him zone. He’d always been a powerful Sentinel. So powerful that no guide could keep up; the very few that had tried always swooned. Which mean he was probably going to die.

He caught a falling feather, turning it in his hands and wondered how much time he had left. Once his feathers were gone, so was he. He’d done well, he knew that. He could go with the peace that he’d done more than his duty. Still, he’d worry about Sherlock. But at least the younger sentinel had his own guide now, would be taken care of. Mycroft, as always, would be left alone. A chill breeze blew against his skin and he watched feathers depart like dandelion seeds.

**

Greg paused as he moved through the rubble, the sound of something pulling at his mind. Feathers. Rustling. He looked around but saw nothing, the scent of ink filling his nose, bitter and dark. He turned, examining the scene with fresh eyes. There were paramedics hovering over someone and a hesitant step he moved toward them.

“Sir, I’m sorry but--”

Greg held up a hand, his other stretching out to the man on the stretcher. “He needs me,” he said quietly, the paramedics stilling as he placed his hand on the man’s head. With a gasp, he was gone, sucked into the redhead’s mind. He blinked, a sharp pain shooting through his head then disappearing, blown away by the cool breeze ruffling his wings. He looked back, shaking the silvery gray feathers out. It had been so long since he’d seen them properly, found a mind he could wander in. He shook his head, and followed the ink, the trail of reddish gold feathers blowing over his path, leading him forward. He kept walking, eyes fixed on the ground until the feathers stopped. He looked up and let his breath go at the man sitting before him, centered under a willow tree. “Who are you?” he asked, stepping forward and sitting down near him.

Mycroft blinked. He leaned back against the tree and saw a few more feathers fall. “Mycroft Holmes. How are you even here?” He knew who Greg Lestrade was, as he knew all of the people that moved in his brother’s life. But he’d never known him to be a guide.

“I heard your feathers. Smelled ink,” Greg replied, picking up one of the feathers as it blew past, tip stained black with the fresh liquid. “I don’t know. I haven’t been a guide in a long time. Holmes? Are you...do you know Sherlock?”

“He’s my brother. I do know who you are, Gregory Lestrade.”

“You know my name.” Greg smiled at him. “Mycroft, you have a lovely mind. It’s beautiful. But you have to leave, before you lose anymore feathers.”

“I don’t know if I can even stand,” he said softly, shivering, more feathers falling. “No guide has ever been able to handle my mind without swooning. I don’t know how you’re managing it.”

“I don’t know either.” Greg shrugged. “It’s just that I haven’t been able to guide in a very long time, not that I haven’t tried. I just...kept getting tugged out.” He moved closer, resting a hand over Mycroft’s. “Can I try to take you with me?”

Mycroft gave a tired nod and took his hand. “None of your records show you ever had guide training.”

“I had my record wiped. Couldn’t guide, didn’t want anyone trying to force me into their mind,” Greg said, gently pulling him up. “Whoa!” He caught him as he nearly fell again, lifting him into his arms. “You can’t walk at all, can you?” he murmured. It was easy. In his mind, Mycroft was weightless. Greg wrapped his wings around the man, Mycroft’s own tucked around him as well.

Mycroft found himself comfortable in the cradle of Greg’s arms. The records must have been really wiped clean for Mycroft to have not found it; then again he’d never thoroughly investigated Greg’s past, other than making sure he could be trusted and would be good for Sherlock. Mycroft had learned long ago that being invisible tended to be more powerful, especially with his Sentinel gifts.

He nestled into further Greg’s arms. It felt right. It felt safe in a way that it never had before. It was like a light shining into a room that had been untouched and sealed for years and years.

Greg moved forward, gliding over the marble path. “Where are we going?” he wondered aloud, hardly expecting Mycroft to reply. “I’ve never heard of anyone’s mind being like yours.” The man was a warm presence in his arms, pressing himself close. Greg chuckled as a large blue butterfly winged past. “I’d hardly believe it if I wasn’t here.”

“No one else has ever seen it,” he mumbled.

“You’ve never found a guide?” Greg asked, surprised. He looked up as a shadow passed over them, noting a large fluffy white cloud.

“Every guide that ever tried swooned. I stopped trying years ago.”

“Yeah, you said. But I didn’t think that meant that they couldn’t even get in…” Greg murmured. He came to a wall, large, solid stone. “I think I’ve found the end of the path. What do I do? I have to get you out of here.”

“I don’t know.” Mycroft buried his head against Greg’s shoulder. Now he was growing afraid. He’d been okay with dying a few minutes ago. But suddenly there were arms around him and hope. “If you can’t….just keep watching out for Sherlock.”

“I’ll watch out for him, but I think you’ll do a better job,” Greg replied, sinking to the ground. “Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out. Just gonna sit and think real quick, okay?” He settled Mycroft in his lap, shielding them from the icy breeze blowing through with his wings. “It’s getting colder,” Greg said softly. “It’ll be fine, Mycroft,” he said, noticing the man had hidden his face away. “Don’t be afraid.” He paused and leaned down, brushing a soft kiss over his temple.

Mycroft felt a single tear slip free. “I’m dying,” he said softly. “But...I’m glad I’m not alone.”

“You aren’t alone. I’m not going anywhere,” Greg promised. He tilted Mycroft’s face toward him. “Mycroft? Look at me.”

Mycroft blinked blearily. Greg’s eyes were soft and brown and kind and it would happen that he’d meet the one guide that could be his at the very last possible moment. Sherlock always had accused him of being drama queen when they were younger. His wings twitched, almost bare now and Greg’s wrapped around him as if trying to keep the few remaining feathers in place.

“Mycroft, just keep watching me okay?” Greg said, feeling tears spring to his eyes. He was useless, unable to find the track out, the way to save this remarkable man. He shook his head, the dim light filtering in through his feathers making Mycroft’s eyes light as though they held stars in their blue depths. His heart ached, and without thinking he leaned down and pressed their lips together.

With the softest of sighs, Mycroft kissed him back. Just as what should have been the last feathers shook loose, the wall crumbled before them.

Greg heard the stones falling, tightened his wings around them. He broke the kiss as Mycroft’s mind fell silent, and moved his wings away, blinking at the world around them. Where before there had been a wall, there was now a large marble archway, filled with a glowing light, swirling silver and red and gold. “Mycroft, can you see that? I think...I think it’s where I’m meant to take you. It’s the doorway.”

Mycroft didn’t respond, still holding onto Greg, head turned against him again as if trying to remember his heartbeat.

“Mycroft, come on love.” The word just slipped out as Greg lifted him, wings folding against his back. He took a few steps forward, placing a hand against the sheet of light. He gasped as Mycroft’s wings began to glow, the energy running down his arm and through him to the other man, new downy feathers forming.

Gasping, Mycroft’s eyes opened. He looked up and met Greg’s eyes again, feeling feathers blooming like flowers as the warmth of the sun chased away the cold breeze. “Gregory,” he managed. He’d never even heard of anything like this.

“Shh,” Greg said gently. “I’m going to take you through. If this doesn’t work...then at least we’re together now, right?” He pressed a gentle kiss to Mycroft’s lips and took the step forward.

**

Greg snapped back into his body with a cry, jolting from the table as if he’d been burnt. He caught his breath, and moved back over, cupping Mycroft’s face as the man opened his eyes.

The beeps and whirs of the machines were loud in his ears. Hospital. And Gregory. Was here. Mycroft stared into his eyes, uncertain if he should even try to speak, but also knowing that this man had just saved his life. And he could guide him.

“Mycroft? Are you with me?” Greg croaked, throat dry. How long had they been inside? He would glance around for a clock, but he didn’t want to look away from Mycroft’s gaze.

Mycroft nodded, raising a shaking hand to touch his.

“Mycroft!” Greg snapped around at the slam of the door, Sherlock filling the space, John right behind him. He stopped abruptly, his guide colliding with his back. “We...you two. John.” Sherlock stammered, blinking rapidly. “He brought him out.”

“Yes he did,” said John, moving to Mycroft’s side to check the screens and press the call button. “Sherlock thought he’d lost you.”

“Very nearly,” whispered Mycroft, all he could muster. “What happened?”

“There was a bomb,” Sherlock and Greg said in unison. Greg shook his head and turned back to Mycroft, letting the sentinel explain.

“Someone managed to get the bomb into the building. Distracted the guards by sending in a strange package, got open a loading bay entrance,” Sherlock rattled off, keen eyes watching Greg and his brother. “Planted it. It was meant to go off later, an attempt to get back at an old foe. But the wiring was bad. Suspect is already in custody.”

“Anyone else hurt or killed?”

“A few injured, one in intensive care, and one death. Overall good.” Sherlock replied.

“Who was the death?” Mycroft needed to know.

“No one of concern. A murderer, there for the final hearing before his last days. He was scheduled to die in the next week.” Sherlock smiled, then looked down guiltily at John’s muttered ‘Sherlock’ from across the room.

Mycroft nodded. The doctor came in and shooed Sherlock and John out. He would have shooed Greg out too, but Mycroft refused to let go of his hand. “You’re doing well, Mister Holmes,” he said. “Considering.”

“Considering?” Greg asked, reaching down for the chart.

“There were quite a few blunt force injuries. Internal bleeding. And the zone. It was very touch and go there. We thought you actually coded for a moment before coming back.”

Greg hummed, tightening his grip on Mycroft’s hand as he flipped through the chart. If anything, the doctor wasn’t being serious enough as to the injuries. “He’ll be fine with time, correct?” Greg asked, looking up at him.

"Yes. Rest and recuperation. I take it you'll fill out the paperwork to register as his guide?"

"Ah. I'll have to be reinstated," Greg said. "I'll handle it, make a few calls, head to the tower. But not yet." He nodded at the doctor's confusion. "Thank you."

Mycroft opened his eyes again. "You saved my life."

"Yeah, guess so," Greg said, examining the hand in his. "I didn't have any idea what I was doing."

“But you figured it out. I was...so close. I remember that.” He looked past Greg’s shoulders. “Silver-gray wings.”

"Like my hair," Greg chuckled. "You are red and gold," he continued, running a gentle hand through Mycroft's hair.

“Please, tell me about your history with the guides? You say you never succeeded with guiding before?”

"No. I was a teenager the last time I could. But she died. Not anything I could do, just a normal everyday car crash," Greg said quietly. "After Bell, I tried to guide, but I just couldn't. I'd get in, see a snatch of color and then get forced out. No one could figure out why I couldn't stay in, thought I was just a real weak guide. So I petitioned to be removed. Haven't tried again since I was 19."

"I'm sorry for your loss. As for me, I think I said in there that every guide who even tried swooned."

"You did. You said no one could even get close."

"It's true." He was still holding Greg's hand. "I'm not one to ascribe things to divine intervention, but you feel like a miracle."

Greg smiled at him. "We're not in your head anymore....but if you don't mind, I'd like to kiss you."

"I would like that...and can you help me with my shields?"

"Shit, they're still down aren't they. Sorry," Greg muttered. "Sorry." He cupped Mycroft's face gently. "Let's take care of that, yeah?" He leaned forward and pressed their lips together, gasping as the connection between them lit up like a thousand neon lights.

Mycroft couldn't help but lean into the kiss, like a wave of strength through him. They were in his mind in a moment and he found himself flying with Greg by his side, bolstering his fragile shields.

"It's not normally this easy," Greg said, as a wave of energy arced between them. He snapped his arms and flung it out, the netting in Mycroft's mind sparking as it caught. "It wasn't with Bell, and I haven't heard of anything like this before." He turned, gliding below Mycroft, wings keeping him in the air easily.

"It's seems we may already be soul bonded. Though I don't know how."

“The kiss?” Greg murmured. “It made the wall break, but..I don’t think that would do it.” He floated up, tossing another wave of energy out. “Mycroft,” he said suddenly, looking beneath him. “Your wings…”

Mycroft looked at them "Silver." He looked up at Greg. "Yours have gold."

Greg reached out, pulling Mycroft to him. They spiraled gently down to land on the ground, a river rushing nearby. “I don’t understand this,” Greg said. “But I am extremely glad it happened.”

"Soul bonds are extremely rare." Mycroft leaned in to kiss him.

Greg pressed into the kiss, wings coming around to circle Mycroft. “A person like you is extremely rare,” he chuckled. “Do you remember what I said about your mind?”

"I think you said it was beautiful."

“And I meant I’ve never seen anything like it. Not in a mind, not in the real world. It’s amazing.”

Mycroft smiled and pulled him up and out of his mind. He opened his eyes and smiled. "That's better."

Greg grinned. “Hello there.” He leaned down, brushing a kiss over Mycroft’s brow. “You need to sleep.”

"Okay. Get yourself food."

“Yes sir,” Greg teased, pulling his hand away. He pecked Mycroft on the cheek and left, wandering down to the cafeteria.

**

Mycroft went home a week or so later, stronger, but still leaning on Greg. He'd done as much work as he could from hospital bed, but there was still much to do.

Greg went home with him, unwilling to leave his side as the sentinel was still not back to full power and health. As they stepped inside the house, Greg paused to kick off his shoes, taking in his surroundings. “This is nice, Mycroft.”

"Nicer to share it with someone."

Greg smiled at him. “Well, would you care to show me around?”

Mycroft nodded and took him around his house. It wasn’t that large, but impeccably decorated. He ended upstairs and opened the door to his bedroom.

“Trying to seduce me?” Greg asked, winking at him as he strolled in. “That is a very nice bed, My.” He looked over the four poster, with a heavy white duvet hanging over the sides.

“Perhaps. I’ve never made much time for that. But I’ve heard that with a guide…”

“It can be fun,” Greg confirmed, walking over and opening the windows. He turned, light breeze ruffling his hair. “If you’re interested…” He smiled, catching Mycroft’s eye.

“I believe my doctors have cleared me for it.”

“Did they now?” Greg asked stepping forward and beckoning Mycroft closer. “Does this mean I get to see what lies beneath those suits?”

“I suppose it does.” Mycroft sat on the edge of the bed and looked up at him.

“Are you sure about this?” Greg asked, stepping between his legs and running his hands over his lapel. “We don’t have to, we have only just met.”

“You already know me better than anyone else ever could.”

“All right.” Greg leaned in for a kiss, slipping his hands under Mycroft’s jacket, pushing it from his body.

Mycroft moaned softly, tongue sliding past his tender lips.

“You gonna let me take you, My?” Greg murmured, fingers moving to his shirt buttons. “Show you how good it can be?”

Mycroft pulled his head back and licked his lips as he studied Greg’s eyes. “I trust you. More than I trust anyone else. I...feel safe with you.”

“Good, love. Very good.” Greg smiled at him, kissing him gently as he nudged him farther onto the bed.

Mycroft scooted back. He’d done this before, but not in a very long time. Always more work to be done, more meetings to have.

Greg slipped his own shirt off, moving forward to pull Mycroft’s from his arms. He frowned at the scars, a gently finger tracing over one of the larger. “This is from a knife wound, My.”

“I wasn’t always behind a desk,” he said, meeting his eyes. “I cannot tell you more than that.”

“Alright,” Greg said, pushing the duvet down to the end of the bed, settling between Mycroft’s legs on the dark green sheets. He reached forward, hands toying at the button of Mycroft’s trousers. “Can I?”

“It is a bit necessary for what you have in mind.” Mycroft reached behind him for the lube.

“Well, no,” Greg said, popping the button. “I could tease you mercilessly instead.” He grinned, tugging the zipper down slowly.

“You would enjoy that, wouldn’t you.” Mycroft opened his mind to him. It felt like the meshing of feathers.

“I would,” Greg said, groaning as Mycroft surrounded his mind. “Maybe next time.” He pulled at Mycroft’s waistband, both pants and trousers coming off, leaving the man bare before him. “Jesus, My.”

Mycroft blushed softly. “It’s not that much to look at.”

“Yes, it is,” Greg murmured, running a hand over his freckled skin. “No wonder your mind is so beautiful, look at the rest of you.” He leaned down, pressing a kiss to Mycroft’s breastbone.

“I could say the same regarding you.”

“Care to see the rest?” Greg asked, shifting back and unzipping his trousers. He licked his lips, watching Mycroft’s face as he tugged them off, wriggling until they fell to the floor. “No one promised I was graceful,” he said with a wry smile.

“But you fly gracefully. And you’re strong.”

“I’d like to fly with you,” Greg said, winking as he moved back to Mycroft. “Was that terrible? It sounded terrible.”

“A bit, but I’ll forgive you.” He handed Greg the lube.

“How do you like it?” Greg asked, taking it and slicking his fingers. “Easy? Rough? A mix of both?” He leaned forward, kissing him as he teased a hand between his legs.

Mycroft moaned. “It’s been some time. But I always did like it a bit rough.”

“I can do that,” Greg smiled. “Should I ask how long?”

“Years,” he admitted. “You?”

“Not that long,” Greg replied, slipping a gentle finger in to start. “But long enough, and as far as protection goes, I get tested regularly. Part of the job.”

“I know your records. And I’m clean as well.” He moaned and parted his legs for him, relaxing into Greg’s mind.

Greg gave a chuckle, feeling it echo between them as he pressed a second finger in. “You ever consider how strange it is that this is something we can do?” he asked, scissoring his fingers. “That our minds...mesh like this. It’s remarkable.”

“It’s beautiful,” said Mycroft. “You complete me, Gregory. Fill in all those pieces that are missing or broken.”

“They aren’t broken, or missing. Just misplaced, misaligned,” Greg whispered, sending a pulse of bliss and trust to Mycroft. “Let me find them, put them back together.” He dropped his head, claiming Mycroft’s mouth with a sigh.

Mycroft moaned and relaxed in his arms, letting himself float freely in his mind, give his body over.

Greg pulled his fingers away, aware of the trust Mycroft was placing in him. He reached down, prushing Mycroft’s legs farther apart, slicking himself. “Ready, love?” He murmured, pressing against his entrance.

“Yes, please,” Mycroft pulled him down for a tender kiss.

“Tell me if it’s too much.” Greg licked his way in past Mycroft’s lips as his cock slid home, burying himself to the hilt as he stole Mycroft’s breath.

Mycroft moaned and it felt like stretching his wings as he wrapped himself around his lover. “So good,” he whispered.

“Yeah,” Greg agreed, placing worshiping, trembling hands on Mycroft’s thighs where they were bent up. He moaned as Mycroft’s gasp sparked a pulse of ecstasy between them. “Gonna move now,” he muttered, swallowing as he pulled back and pushed in again, thrusting hard.

The pleasure between them lit up like a Christmas tree. Mycroft nearly came right then and there just from the sheer unadulterated sensation of it. He grabbed Greg’s arms to try and ground himself, crying out against him.

Greg gasped, nerves sparking as he fought to keep from shooting off into Mycroft at that first moment. Mycroft’s nails were digging into his skin, biting hard as the man gave a gasping sob. He thrust again, claiming Mycroft’s mouth as he began to pound into him.

Mycroft came in moments, body squeezing around Greg, embarrassed at the speed at which he came, but not caring as he was washed by more pleasure than he’d ever known before.

Mycroft’s body tightened around him, and Greg came only moments later, filling him deep. He eased away, Mycroft’s hand’s slipping to the sheets as he pulled out, reaching down for a shirt to clean them off.

Chuckling softly, Mycroft tucked himself against Greg’s side. “That better not have been mine.”

“I would never,” Greg said, tossing Mycroft’s shirt back down with an innocent smile. His face fell into a softer grin as he pressed a kiss to Mycroft’s temple, their legs twining together. “Was that alright?”

“Pff. Ask me if a Mozart symphony is ‘alright’. Or a Vermeer painting.”

“You’re snarky after a shag,” Greg chuckled. “I like it.”

“I’m always snarky. I just don’t always say it aloud.”

“I like it,” Greg repeated, turning onto his side and propping his head up on one arm. He trailed a finger over Mycroft’s damp skin, reveling in the goosebumps that followed his path. “You should be snarky more often.”

“We’ll see.” Mycroft closed his eyes again, revelling in the touch.

“We will, won’t we?” Greg murmured, leaning forward and kissing his neck, hand stilling over Mycroft’s stomach. “Seems we’re stuck together in any case. Not that I’d have it any other way.”

“It feels right to have you here. Do… do you feel that way too?” Mycroft opened his eyes.

“Yeah. Don’t you listen to anything I say?” Greg teased, catching his gaze with a soft smile.

“Just making sure.” He leaned up and kissed him. “That… that knife wound was nearly fatal.”

Greg frowned, reaching out to cup his face. “You aren’t in the field anymore...are you?”

“Not often. I do travel for my job, but it’s generally meetings.”

“If you have to go out...I want to be with you. What if you zone?”

“I never have, not until this. But I’ll make arrangements. You’re my registered guide now.”

“It should have taken at least two weeks more to process that,” Greg said narrowing his eyes as he started up his hand motions again. “What did you do, Mycroft?”

“Made sure that we’re registered,” he said.

“Mycroft, exactly how much of your job description that you’ve told me is true? Not just a minor servant are you?”

Mycroft closed his eyes. “Not exactly, no. I really can’t get into detail. For your own safety as well as mine.”

Greg paused, considering. With a sigh, he pressed a kiss onto each closed lid and slid down, pulling the top sheet over them. “That’s fine. I understand,” he said quietly.

“I have not allowed anyone to get close to me. Not for a very long time. Sherlock knows or has deduced certain things, but I keep even him at arm’s length. If the truth was known I and all those around me would be in constant danger.”

“You can keep things to yourself to keep us safe, but don’t put up walls.” Greg said, flashing back to that large, impenetrable wall that had been in Mycroft’s mind. “You can’t live like that.” He closed his eyes, Mycroft’s head coming to rest on his shoulder. “‘S not right.”

“I will try,” said Mycroft. “I can promise that much.”

“I mean it, My. Walls...it was what almost killed you before.”

“And letting you in saved me?”

“I think it did. Your feathers..the last one was falling to the ground when I touched that entryway. The light where the wall had been,” Greg said tiredly. “You...should have been dead, by any reasoning. But you’re not. The feathers came back.”

Mycroft sighed. “Before you came...I was okay with dying.”

“Why would you say that?” Greg asked, knowing that the stab of pain he had just felt was echoing through their link. “Why?”

Mycroft winced. “I didn’t think anyone would or could come. I watched my feathers go and it felt like putting down a burden. Sherlock has John now, other people could take my place in my job, perhaps not as effective, but things would be done. I was leaving behind no children or significant other to mourn me. It hurt, but I accepted it.”

Greg squeezed his eyes tight, fighting the sudden onset of tears. "Don't ever give up again, please."

Mycroft wrapped his arms around him to hug him. “When you found me, I found hope,” he said softly.

"I'm glad," Greg said, voice muffled in Mycroft’s arms.

Mycroft nuzzled against him and slipped into a dreamless sleep.

Greg stayed awake a bit longer, curled in close to his bond. As the clock ticked away another hour, he sighed, running a hand through his hair. "I love you, you foolish, brilliant man," he whispered, letting his eyes close. "God help me if you decide not to love me back."

**

Mycroft woke a few hours later. He looked down at Greg sleeping, the years eased on his face. He leaned in and kissed his guide gently, almost feather light.

Greg smiled, feeling the soft tug at the bond. He opened his eyes slowly, smiling up at Mycroft. "Hello."

“Hello, lover,” Mycroft purred, mouthing along his neck.

"You're in a good mood," Greg chuckled, sitting up.

“I just had my best shag in seven years. It’s bound to improve a mood.”

"Not the best shag ever? I'm offended," Greg pouted.

“Well, it was pretty quick. Not quite six hours with a Sultan,” grinned Mycroft.

"Excuse me?" Greg asked, turning and raising an eyebrow. He met Mycroft's eyes, grinned and pounced, pinning him to the bed. "You should not say such things," he purred, licking the curve of Mycroft's ear.

“Oh? What are you going to do, ravage me into submission?” Mycroft shivered.

"I could. Could make it so you don't remember anything, but my name." Greg threatened, biting down on his earlobe.

Mycroft groaned. “Please.”

"Fine," Greg pushed Mycroft's legs apart, hitching one over his hip. He growled, catching his lips as he thrust in on the slick left behind from last night.

Mycroft cried out, reveling in the pleasure and the pain. “Harder.” He demanded.

"You're bossy," Greg growled, snapping his hips forward.

“I thought you were going to make me lose my mind?"

"Maybe you should stop trying to take charge and let me,” Greg muttered, ducking his head and biting at his nipple as he sought Mycroft's prostate.

Mycroft cried out as he struck home, hips stuttering with pleasure.

"What's my name?" Greg asked, thrusting again,

“Ah! Gregory!”

"Again!"

“Gregory.” Mycroft arched against him.

"Gonna come already? Maybe that Sultan just didn't know how to work you." Greg purred, smirking as he reached out with his mind, thrusting hard.

Mycroft cried out, overwhelmed with the physical and metaphysical and loving every minute of it.

Greg chuckled, the sound echoing across their link. "Let me in Mycroft," he murmured, kissing him.

Mycroft let his last shield drop between them with a moan.

Greg felt the power flow between them, the pleasure sparking. "Come for me."

Obediently, Mycroft came, writhing in pleasure beneath him.

Greg groaned as Mycroft tensed beneath him, thrusting once more and coming. He pulled out with a low moan, moving down and lapping at Mycroft's entrance.

Mycroft cried out again, grabbing the sheet and spreading wide for him. Greg pushed the come dripping from him back inside with a deft tongue, moaning happily. “Yes, Gregory, oh yes.”

Greg gave one last wriggle before sitting up. He smirked down at Mycroft, pressed a kiss to the head of his cock, and moved from the bed, disappearing into the bathroom. He came out a few minutes later with a wet flannel, cleaning Mycroft carefully. He tossed it at the pile of clothing, settling down at Mycroft’s side. “Good as a sultan?”

“I do think you’ve surpassed.”

“Excellent,” Greg said, rolling to press a kiss to his cheek. “Now, what will we be doing today?” Mycroft began to answer, only to be interrupted by a rumble from Greg’s stomach. “Today after breakfast,” Greg amended.

Mycroft chuckled. “I don’t have any plans. I’ll have to check in with work, but we’ll see after that.”

**

The next weeks let the pair settle into a routine. They both were busy with work, but they also took time with each other. Greg moved in with Mycroft. Sherlock rolled his eyes at the situation, but he mostly kept his comments to himself.

Mycroft was happier than he’d ever been before, but he was still ruthless about his job. A couple months after their bond he got a call late in the evening that he was needed in Germany right away. Greg was at work, chasing a major case. He knew that Greg had asked to come with, but after all, they both had jobs to do. Instead, he wrote Greg a note, threw together a bag, and hurried to the airport.

Greg stepped into the house, whistling an exhausted tune. He kicked his shoes off, hanging up his keys. “Mycroft?” he called up the stairs, frowning as there was no answer. He listened carefully, hearing no noise in the house, reaching out with his mind but to no avail. Mycroft should have been home by now. He walked into the kitchen spotting a note on the table. He picked it up and read, swearing at the text. “Shit.” He slipped back into his shoes, and made his way back to the car, already dialling Anthea.

Mycroft took the call on the plane. “Gregory,” he said, taking the call into the back where he wouldn’t be disturbed. “There wasn’t time and you’re in the middle of a case.”

“Dammit, Mycroft. You come first, the case could have waited,” Greg scowled, tapping against the steering wheel as he idled under a red light. “I’m on my way to Heathrow.”

“You don’t have to come, it’s only some meetings. And you don’t have the clearance for them.”

“Then I’ll sit outside the bloody room! What if something goes wrong, My?”

“In all my professional experience, nothing has gone wrong.” Mycroft pinched his nose. “I’m sure you already spoke to Anthea who made arrangements, so really there’s no point in arguing about this right now, is there?”

“You left, Mycroft. You took off without me. You promised you wouldn’t.” Greg tightened his hands on the steering wheel, his fear bubbling and morphing into anger. “I’ll see you later,” he gritted out, hanging up the phone before he could say something he’d regret even more.

Mycroft looked at the phone. Nothing he could say would fix this. Instead he went back to his seat and the paperwork he’d been going through, trying to focus on work instead of the feeling that he’d done something horribly wrong.

Greg was waiting hours later when he finished the last meeting. He followed Mycroft wordlessly to the car, sitting in a stony, brooding silence all the way to the hotel. When they arrived, he moved from the parking structure, not speaking until they were safely enclosed in their room.

“Mycroft. The first thing. The only thing I’ve asked of you,” Greg said, crossing his arms and laying a hand on his brow, “was not to go without me.”

“You were busy and this wasn’t dangerous. In almost thirty years of service I’ve never needed a minder.” Mycroft was being defensive and knew it, but he couldn't help himself. “The people of London need you too and you’re in the middle of an important case.”

“The case is over. Your brother came in and solved the damn thing in twenty minutes after he decided it was worth his time,” Greg snapped. He was being irrational, and he knew he needed to calm down. But Sherlock had come in, trounced all over his team and then left, spitting out the murderer's name on his way. Greg had then returned home to find that Mycroft was gone, and dammit, but the fear that something could happen where he couldn’t stop it was overwhelming. He shook his head, scowling. “I’m not asking you to change your life, I’m just asking you to fucking talk to me once in a while. No notes on the kitchen table!”

“I tell you more than I tell anyone else. I’ve let you more into my life than anyone else. I can handle one brief meeting out of country!” Mycroft was starting to raise his voice and he knew it.

“I never said you couldn’t!” Greg shouted back. “I just want you to think about me sometimes. Remember that we aren’t all bloody sentinels, with the power to know all!”

Mycroft winced at his volume, automatically pulling his shields tighter. They’d been tight since before he arrived to allow him to focus on the task at hand, but now they were nearly impenetrable, hard stone. “I did think about you. That’s why I didn’t just vanish on you. I made sure you knew where I’d gone. I thought I was supporting you by not making you stop your life on my account.”

“Our lives are entwined, Mycroft! Stop my fucking life? It’s not mine anymore, it’s ours! You and I belong together. I don’t need to know where you’re going every single minute, but Jesus, even normal people can at least send a bloody text message before they leave the damned country!” Greg left an angry huff go, glaring at the wall behind Mycroft. He was so angry, and Mycroft was shielding himself, making it worse. He scowled, fists tightening. “Don’t fucking shield, Mycroft, it’s not like I’m gonna hurt you. Talk to me!”

Mycroft turned away, feeling his anger, not knowing how to respond. He could face down dictators and diplomats, but he felt helpless against this. No one had ever been this close to him, or cared this much.

“Mycroft, don’t turn away from me,” Greg said reaching out with his mind, only to recoil at the strength of Mycroft’s shield. “Mycroft!”

On instinct Mycroft pulled in on himself, trying to protect himself from the anger, trying to keep himself safe. Caring is not an advantage. He wasn’t supposed to care, wasn’t supposed to love. It would only cause pain, only cause problems…

“Mycroft!” Greg shouted, anger dissipating as his bond went pale, dropping to his knees. “Shit.” Greg darted forward, catching him and lowering him to the floor. “Mycroft?” He swore again, pulling out his phone and dialing Anthea. “I need you, he zoned. Yeah, a fight. Look, can you just come?”

**

Greg looked at Anthea, swallowing at the look on her face. “If this doesn’t work, we’re fucked, aren’t we?” She nodded, and he turned back to Mycroft, sliding onto the bed next to him. He licked his lips and leaned in, pressing their lips together, crying out as he spiraled down.

**

Mycroft was sitting with his wings wrapped tightly around him. He’d been crying, not that he’d admit it. He heard footsteps and covered himself more tightly with his wings, ducking into darkness, arms wrapped around his knees. Alone. Alone was best. Alone meant he wouldn’t be hurt.

Greg gasped. The garden that had once been bright and light was now covered in dark, creeping ivy. He moved forward, footsteps echoing on the marble, now cracking and yellowed with age. He frowned, a feather drifting past him, the wind carrying the sound of a sob with it. He yanked his feet away, the vines hissing and trying to twine up his legs as he moved closer to the willow tree where he had found Mycroft the first time. His head was throbbing, the emotions swirling through the air almost too much.

Mycroft felt Greg approach. He flinched as he felt the man crouch near him, shaking his head and pulling his wings tighter, even though they were already strained.

“Mycroft?” Greg whispered, an icy wind whipping at his feathers. “Mycroft, come back to me please. I’m not angry.”

“Yes you are. I hurt you,” very slowly, Mycroft pulled his wing back, just a bit. “I hurt you and you’re angry.” He looked at Greg’s hands, seeing the fists that had been there before.

“No, love. I just lost my temper. I was angry at the world, not at you,” Greg said gently, regretting his harsh words from before. “You didn’t hurt me, you worried me.”

“That’s what he said too,” said Mycroft, looking at the cold ground. “He hit me, because I made him mad.”

“What?” Greg’s heart stilled. “Who, Mycroft?”

“I knew him when I was young. He was the first guide assigned to me. He’s why I kept everyone out. If I let anyone close, I get hurt.” He worried his lip in his teeth, tasting the hint of blood.

“Stop Mycroft, you’ll hurt yourself.” Greg said gently, reaching a hand out. He pulled back as Mycroft flinched, hushing him. “Okay, I’m not touching, look, see?” He moved to sit in front of Mycroft, folding his wings as he placed his hands on his knees. “We’ll just sit here for a bit. Until you want to talk.”

Mycroft blinked at him. “How are you here?” he asked again, echoing their first meeting.

“I don’t know,” Greg said, repeating his words with a gentle smile. He ruffled his wings, tucking them around him as the wind blew again. “But it’s cold, My.”

Mycroft nodded. He swallowed and picked up a faded flower. “He was angry that I couldn’t let him in. I was still learning myself and when he tried to force his way in, it only made my shields tighter.”

“Mycroft, I’ll get angry sometimes. But I will never hurt you.” Greg turned his palm up, wordlessly requesting the flower. Mycroft set it in his hand, and Greg sent a pulse of energy though it, making it fill again. He set it back down between them with gentle, careful movements. “The way he treated you, it wasn’t right.”

“He taught me not to trust anyone,” he said quietly. “I became stronger than him, more powerful than him. I didn’t need a guide. I didn’t need anyone.”

“You can’t lock yourself away behind walls and shields, My.” Greg said, noting that the wind was stilling. He spared a quick glance at the vines as they crumbled away, before turning his attention to Mycroft again. “I shouldn’t have yelled. I’m sorry.”

“I upset you. I haven’t had to worry about someone so intimately in a long time.” Mycroft still wasn’t meeting his eyes. “I’m not used to having to concern myself with another person.”

“It’s okay, Mycroft. You know I still love you, right?”

“I love you, too,” he said softly, then shook his head. “It’s dangerous.”

“What’s dangerous?” Greg asked, shifting a bit closer, so just the tip of his wings were brushing Mycroft’s knee.

“Love.”

“Oh,” Greg said softly, the world around them hushing into a complete silence. “Yes, Mycroft, it is. But that’s what makes it worthwhile.”

“Nobody ever loved me before.”

“Did you ever give anyone the chance?” Greg asked, reaching a hand out slowly. “Mycroft, can you look at me? Please, love?”

“People just want to use me, or my talents, or my job,” Mycroft raised his eyes. “But not you.”

Greg shook his head. “I just want you.”

Mycroft took his hand. “I...I’m sorry I ran away. I got scared.”

"It's okay. Everyone gets scared sometimes," Greg said, smiling as their hands joined together.

Mycroft took a deep breath, then another, moving closer to Greg. “I’ve faced down a lot in my life without blinking, but not this.”

"I know. It's utterly terrifying, isn't it?" Greg replied, squeezing his hand gently.

Mycroft nodded. “I really thought I was doing what was best for us,” he said softly.

Greg smiled, bringing a hand up to cup his face. "I know, love. But this is why we have to talk to each other. To avoid this type of thing."

He leaned into the touch. “I’ve always done it alone.”

"Not anymore. You can tell me anything. Ask for help. Ask for some space. But please, don't ever lock me out," Greg said softly, an odd sense of fragility beating between them.

“I can’t promise, Gregory. I’ll try, but I can’t promise.”

"You don't have to. No matter how far in you go, how many walls you try and build, I'm gonna find you. I love you, Mycroft. And I'm never letting go."

“I love you, too,” he whispered, shifting over to curl up in his arms.

"I know." Greg brought his wings around them, making a cocoon for them as the earth changed outside. He stroked a hand through Mycroft's hair, gently humming.

Mycroft watched their wings mesh, silver and gold and red and gray. It was beautiful.

Greg caught his gaze and smiled, shaking one wing out so it lay bit flatter against Mycroft’s "They are gorgeous, aren't they? Shame we can't keep them back in the real world."

“Well, the physics and biology preclude the viability of wings in humans.”

Greg sighed, smiling at him. "I know that, you brilliant man." He cautiously leaned down, pressing a kiss to Mycroft's forehead. "I'm going to pull my wings away now. See how it looks out there, okay?"

Mycroft nodded.

Greg tucked his wings back, blinking at the bright sunlight that fell down on them. "Well, look at that. Seems like you're not as upset anymore."

"You always bring light."

Greg chuckled softly, kissing him. "Would you like to fly with me for a little bit?"

"I can try.""

Greg stood, helping Mycroft up. He stepped away, and they took off, wings beating in sync.

Mycroft relaxed as they flew. Greg wasn’t going to hurt him or leave him. Greg was here, right by his side. Always.