Sherlock straightened his black bow-tie in the mirror and removed the tuxedo jacket from its hanger on the back of the bathroom door. At least it's not tails, he thought. He didn't have a problem with ridiculously formal occasions, but those usually took place at the manor. There, he had the cupboard space for this sort of thing. Here in the flat, the tuxedo risked interaction with all kinds of dangers: his latest decomposition experiment in the kitchen for one. It was best to get dressed and leave the flat as quickly as possible. Even a quick email check on his laptop was a bad idea - cuffs dragging through God-knows-what. Mrs Hudson really needed to do a better job with that.
John had a cup of tea in his hand and was about to sit in his chair as Sherlock walked into the living room. He reared his head in surprise. "Where the hell are you going? I thought we were ordering takeout tonight. I didn't realise there was a dress code."
"I'm off to the opera with Mycroft. I'm sure I told you."
"I'm sure you didn't," John said with exasperation. "So it's just me for dinner then?"
"Why are you going? You don't even like opera. And I'm surprised you want to spend three hours with Mycroft at one. Is there a section just for bickering?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "I can be quiet when the occasion demands it, John. Besides, I'm not doing it for Mycroft; I'm doing it for Mummy. She bought the tickets." He gave John a wry smile, and continued, "She hopes it will bring us closer together." If only she knew, he thought with amusement.
"Well, good luck with that," John snorted. "What are you going to see?"
"Um, I'm not sure… something Italian I think."
"Well, it's nice to see you so interested in the arts," John said, with a trace of sarcasm.
"Right. Well, I'm off. I'll be back late."
Mycroft met him with the car. As the chauffeur closed the door, Mycroft gave him an appreciative glance. "Well, don't you look dashing," he murmured. "You should dress up more often. It suits you."
"Thank you, Mycroft. You look rather 'dashing' yourself, but then you've always done the suit thing better than I have. What is it we're going to see again? John asked, and I had no idea."
Mycroft sighed. "La Traviata. I did tell you, you know."
"I'm sure you did, but I clearly don't need to remember it when you'll tell me again, do I? Look, do we really have to go? Can't we just lie and say we went?"
"I promised Mummy we'd go. I'm sure there will be a test afterwards. We have a box, though."
"Your point being?"
"It'll be just the two of us. I'm sure we can find something entertaining to do during the slow parts."
Sherlock laughed. "Slow parts? I thought you enjoyed opera."
"I do. But there are always slow parts."
The car dropped them off outside the opera house, and they blended into the crowd of well-heeled socialites in evening gowns and distinguished-looking gentlemen in formal wear.
Sherlock muttered things under his breath as they passed certain couples. Mistress. Drunk. Prostitute. Gay. Drunk. Drunk. High. Wishes he was high. Wishes he was gay.
Mycroft stifled a laugh and somehow managed to kick him without breaking stride. "Hush," he hissed through gritted teeth.
"Oh, come on," Sherlock murmured, "let me have a little fun."
"Later," he replied, with a knowing look.
They both got a glass of Lagavulin at the bar and made their way to the box seats.
The opera hall was very old and very traditional in its design. Its box seats afforded both privacy and prime people-watching opportunities. Mycroft pulled the curtain closed behind them.
"See, I told you they were good seats."
Sherlock observed the throngs below and commented on the various couples. Mycroft had no objections, now that they were out of earshot, and he joined in with deductions of his own. "New money; the jewellery's all wrong. See that one? She's here with her boyfriend. She doesn't realise her husband is here with his. That might be an interesting scene in the foyer later."
Sherlock just stared at him. "Alright, the wife is obvious, but how do you know her husband is here when she doesn't even know?"
"I work with him. He's just over there."
Sherlock grinned. "Ah."
The lights finally dimmed and the opera began.
Sherlock inched his chair closer to Mycroft's.
"Don't get too close, Sherlock; the people on the other side of the hall can see us," Mycroft whispered.
"Why should I care?"
"Because they're all insufferable gossips, and it will get back to Mummy and my employers."
"Well then, I suppose I'll just have to be subtle, won't I?"
Mycroft let out a quiet huff. "That'll be the day." As the orchestra launched into the overture, he added, "Have you ever played any Verdi? I miss hearing you practise."
"Stop trying to change the subject."
"I wasn't. You should bring your violin to the house sometimes."
Sherlock gave him an incredulous look. "Mm, because 'quick visits to the morgue to assist Molly' would definitely require my violin. It's hard enough to come up with believable excuses to see you as it is."
"Well, the next time John goes off to some conference, I think we should take full advantage of it."
Sherlock's look softened, and he nodded. "Yes, they're too few and far between, if you ask me." He slouched down in his chair a little. "How long does this thing go on?"
"It's a good hour and a half until the intermission. I recommend you sip your scotch."
"I can think of better things to do with my mouth."
Mycroft swallowed, and then replied in a slow whisper, "As much as I would dearly love that, you know we can't. Stop being a tease."
"No sense of adventure. For all they know, I could be retying my shoelace."
"For ten minutes? With your head bobbing up and down in my lap?"
"Five, at most," Sherlock replied with a grin. "Probably less."
"Still a bit thorough for a shoelace, don't you think?"
He shrugged and placed his hand on Mycroft's thigh. "Subtle it is, then." His long fingers skimmed over the fine cloth of Mycroft's trousers as he inched his hand towards his brother's groin.
"That's not particularly subtle."
"You're right, it's not." Sherlock took his hand away, which earned him a quick look of disappointment before Mycroft caught himself.
He sat and tried to be interested in the opera for as long as he could stand it. Mycroft mostly kept his eyes on the stage, but Sherlock noticed every fleeting glance his brother cast in his direction.
He finally gave in to his urges; he didn't think Mycroft would mind. He carefully shifted in his seat and worked his hand onto the small of Mycroft's back. His brother adjusted to give him a little more room.
"Is that subtle enough for you?" Sherlock whispered with a smile.
"Perhaps a little too subtle, although God knows I never thought I'd live to say that about you."
Sherlock tried to negotiate the maze of tuxedo jacket, waistcoat, and shirt in order to find the warm skin of his brother's lower back. If he'd been standing, it might have been possible, but sitting down, there was no chance. He huffed in frustration and pulled his hand back.
"Giving up so easily, Sherlock?"
"Of course not. I'm just going to go with 'less subtle'."
They both smiled.
The orchestra reached a conveniently rambunctious portion of the score, and Sherlock used the ambient noise to cover his fumblings with Mycroft's waistcoat and trousers. He slid his hand between the folds of trouser fabric only to encounter his brother's silk boxers. Rolling his eyes, he worked his hand underneath the waistband and finally found the hot, silky skin of Mycroft's cock. He was already half-hard.
"Enjoying the opera, Mycroft?" he said, teasingly.
"Something like that."
If his rapidly hardening length was any indication, Sherlock's ministrations were far more enjoyable.
Sherlock slowly moved his hand along the shaft, pausing to rub small circles with his thumb just beneath the head.
Mycroft shifted awkwardly in his seat, so Sherlock simply tightened his grasp.
"Sit still and pay attention, Mycroft. Didn't you say there'd be a test later? I'm sure you don't want to miss anything."
"Bastard," Mycroft muttered.
A large bead of pre-ejaculate had gathered at the tip of his cock, and Sherlock used his thumb to smear it across the head. The orchestra conveniently masked Mycroft's small gasp.
It wasn't his favourite way to bring Mycroft to orgasm; he much preferred his brother's cock down his throat. But he was good at this. The slick fluid eased the way for his hand, and he palmed the head of it, twisting his hand over the sensitive skin of the glans and using his fingers to stimulate the corona. He flicked one finger across his fraenulum, and his brother's hips jerked involuntarily. He'd been assiduously avoiding eye contact; they were supposed to be pretending to watch the opera, after all. Mycroft's reaction was just too much though; he had to look, if only for a second.
He rarely saw Mycroft undone, and never in public. Mycroft's fingers grasped the edges of the chair so tightly that all the blood had gone out of them, and he was biting his bottom lip in an effort to remain silent. Sherlock smiled to himself; if he remembered this piece correctly, the orchestra should be transitioning into a quiet section any second now. And he knew his brother well enough to recognise the signs of an impending orgasm. He guessed Mycroft was too far gone to know where they were in the orchestral score, and he gave him the few long, hard strokes that sent him over the edge… just as the orchestra dropped to nothing.
He allowed himself another quick look. Mycroft's eyes had rolled back and his eyelids fluttered; his limbs were rigid and his hips bucked into Sherlock's hands one final time as he came violently, all over his boxers and Sherlock's hand. He never made a sound, and anyone viewing him from the waist up would have only wondered at the odd eye movements and the bitten lip. The hall was too dim to notice the sheen of sweat on his forehead and his flushed cheeks. It had probably taken almost as much effort to remain silent as it had for Sherlock to give him the orgasm in the first place.
Mycroft sat there for a few long minutes as he tried to compose himself. Sherlock left his hand where it was - covered in spunk and palming his brother's cock. When his breathing finally returned to normal, Mycroft leaned over to Sherlock and whispered, "You knew the quiet movement was up next, didn't you." It wasn't even a question, and Sherlock didn't dignify it with an answer. He just smiled.
"Don't I get a thank you? A handkerchief would be nice, as well. I forgot to bring one."
"Mm, thank you. It was lovely, Sherlock; the best opera I've seen in ages. But a handkerchief? I think not. I believe your little ploy with the timing demands a forfeit."
Sherlock gave him an exasperated look.
"You're so fond of using your mouth - I want you to suck your fingers clean. And I suggest you be rather quick about it; I believe it's almost time for the intermission." He gave Sherlock a wicked smile.
Sherlock shot him a glare, but his heart wasn't in it. Quite the opposite; just the idea was making his cock twitch with interest. He carefully removed his hand from Mycroft's trousers and placed one finger at a time in his mouth, slowly sucking the still-warm fluid from each one and letting his cheeks hollow a little with the suction.
Mycroft gaped at him, and then he realised his mouth was open and abruptly closed it. "Jesus, Sherlock, at least pretend to tie your shoelace or something. You look like you're sucking on a lolly."
"You're the one who wouldn't let me borrow the handkerchief," Sherlock smirked, and snaked his hand back into Mycroft's trousers to retrieve some more. "At least let me finish the job." He wrapped his hand around Mycroft's softening cock, wiping it clean of the remaining semen. This time, he did bend over slightly to make his finger-sucking less obvious; he'd already succeeded in mortifying his brother - there was no point in jeopardising either of them any further, just to belabour the point.
"You seem to be enjoying that," Mycroft whispered.
"And why shouldn't I? You taste delicious."
Mycroft busied himself with the complicated task of returning his tuxedo to a presentable appearance. "I think the boxers are a lost cause," he muttered.
"Something to remember me by," Sherlock countered with a grin.
He started to wipe his hand dry on his trousers, but Mycroft grabbed his wrist. "No, don't. Bring your hand up near your face… there. Can you still smell it? Just faintly?"
Sherlock gave his brother an incandescent grin. "I do. And you're a complete perv."
"And you wouldn't have me any other way," Mycroft replied, smirking. "I dare you not to wash your hands until the opera is finished - but you have to go out and mingle at intermission. Sow my wild oats with a few well-placed handshakes."
Sherlock almost snorted with delight. "I do love to meet new people."