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                Greg awoke to a loud noise downstairs. He quickly got out of bed and grabbed his gun from the holster. As he silently walked out of the bedroom and to the stairs he began to hear a voice he knew all too well.

“Stop apologizing about the vase. Just help me to the chair.” Greg walked down the stairs as he saw a young man, he assumed an MI6 agent, help Mycroft into the living room.

“Will that be all Mr. Holmes? Would you like me to phone someone?”

“No need.” Greg said as stepped in the room. He recognized the young man, he helped Mycroft the last time he went on assignment and returned injured.

“Is he alright?” The young man nodded before he spoke.

 “A few cuts and bruises. Nothing major.” Greg eyed him carefully.

“On you go then. I can handle this.” The agent stepped out of Greg’s way as he approached the chair. A terrified look came over his face.

“A few cuts and bruises? Are you fucking kidding?” The policeman rushed closer to Mycroft, poking around Mycroft’s abdomen looking for further injuries.  

“Gregory I’m-Ah!” Mycroft yelled in agony as Greg touched his ribs.

“Broken ribs? Hey young gun, you think broken ribs are just a minor injury. Where’d you train the Moron Academy?” The agent stiffened at the insult but moved nowhere.

“Michael, go. I will be fine.” The agent nodded and found his way out.

“You just let him leave? He should be jailed for bringing you back here like this. You need a hospital.” Mycroft waved his hand in dismissal.

“He was simply following orders.”

“Oh yeah? Whose?” Mycroft looked at him, the pain evident on his face.

“Mine. Can’t have it getting out I was injured.” Greg ran his hands over his face.

“You can’t keep doing this. Showing up at-“ He glances at the clock on the wall. “Four in the freaking morning, Mycroft, battered to hell.” Mycroft’s head hung slightly.

“Mission gone wrong. Don’t worry, I will not being doing field work for a long while.” Greg scoffed.

“That’s what you always say until six months later when some country no one has ever heard of needs your help again.” Mycroft managed a smile at this. Greg never knew what it was, but no matter how mad he was, Mycroft’s smile always seemed to calm him. He sat next to Mycroft, gently enclosing Mycroft’s hand with his.

“Are you really okay? Not just putting on a show?” The politician sighed.

“I will be fine, Gregory. Don’t worry.”

“I always worry. When you are not within my sight I worry, let alone when you are in another country.” Mycroft slowly moved his other hand on top of Greg’s, giving it a squeeze.

“I am fine, dear. I swear.” It was Greg’s turn to sigh, but he nodded his head.

“Alright then, who did this?”

“No one of worry.” Mycroft grimaced as he pulled his hands from Greg’s and reached for his glass of brandy, taking a swig.

“Mycroft, it is of worry when you come home covered in bruises, what looks to be a broken rib and god knows what other injuries you’re hiding.” Mycroft glanced at him, a nearly sorrowful look on his face.

“You need not worry about what has happened. It has all been taken care of. That I promise to you.”

“It’s not been taken care of.” Greg said under his voice as he stood.

“Where are you going, Gregory?”

“What’s it matter?” Mycroft was taken back by his partner’s statement.

“What are you-“

“Just drop it. You’re hurt. I’m going to take a walk or something.”

“Gregory, say it. Say whatever you want to say.” Greg turned and looked at Mycroft.

“Fine. You know what? Fine. No matter what I do, when I wake up, you won’t be there. Whether you’re with the Prime Minister or one of your goonies out doing God knows what. You aren’t there when I wake up, you aren’t there when I go to bed. I swear to God if it weren’t for Sherlock I would never see you.” Mycroft now stood, slowly at that, but stood nonetheless. He reached for Greg, but Greg stepped back, a don’t you dare touch me right now Mycroft Holmes look sliding onto his face.

“Gregory, I don’t have goonies. However, I promise you-“

“Oh fuck off with your promises. What? You promise to be there when I wake up? When I go to bed? You promise not to run off to countries for weeks or months and not tell me where or barely have any contact with me? You promise to stop with all the lies or the vague explanations? Is that what you promise me, Mycroft? You promise me my boyfriend back?” Greg couldn’t stop at this point. He could barely hear himself speak. All of the pent up emotions he had felt for months came pouring out.

“Gregory, I- I had no idea.” The remorse was evident, even in the sleep deprived, painful state Mycroft was in. He sat back on the couch, regret covering his features. Greg walked over to Mycroft and stared him in the face.

“You had no idea because you’re never home. You don’t see the torment I go through. I chase these criminals, these bastards around London all day, no peace, no quiet. Then I come home to an empty house and my thoughts are louder than any street in London. And the only thing that could fix it was you. Yet you are nowhere to be found.” Greg straightened as the last venomous word left his mouth. He turned to go when he felt Mycroft grip his sleeve.

“I cannot control my work. You know this. You knew what you were getting into from the start-“

“Bullshit!” The policemen shouted back.

“Enough, Gregory!” Mycroft’s voice raised, his political mask reclaiming its rightful place. “You cannot and will not blame me for this. Not again. Enough. I had work to do and so I went.” Mycroft looked at Greg with an icy stare. The policeman smiled.

“When are you going to stop treating me like I’m a secretary at your office? I am your boyfriend Mycroft Holmes. At least I used to be.” Greg stood as a horrified look engulfed Mycroft’s face. He began to walk to the door when he heard the politician speak.

“Gregory,” It was quiet. Very un-Mycroft. Greg turned to him and saw a new image in front of him. He was cradling a glass of brandy, tears evident in his eyes. Greg sank down in a chair next to him and truly looked at Mycroft for the first time since he came home. He saw the newly formed wrinkles and the bags under his eyes that he only gets when he has gone days without rest. He saw the slight slump in Mycroft’s shoulders. He looked defeated. Mycroft looked at him and spoke.

“I know I am not the greatest man. I know you could be with someone who would love you more and be there more. I know you could be with a man who could treat you so much better. But Gregory,” He looked away from Greg, his voice quivering. “I could never find another man who would love me half as much as you do. I never dreamed I would find a man with whom I could love and cherish as much as you. I push you away, I do, and I realize that but it only because I am so afraid that one day you will realize what I have known all along, and I will not be able to take it. I love you Gregory Lestrade, more than I could ever put into words.” Greg took Mycroft’s hand, his thumb caressing the back of the other man’s hand.

“What is it that you think I’ll realize?’ Mycroft chuckled, a tear falling from his eye.

“I am so afraid one day you will realize how much I do not deserve you. How much better of a man you could be with, one who would take care of you and be there for you constantly. One who is a good man where I am not.” Greg knelt in front of Mycroft and softly took his face in his hands.

“Look at me and let me tell you something,” Mycroft reluctantly looked Greg in the eyes, a slight smile falling on the DI’s lips. “You are not a great man. You are married to your work, you are selfish, you are so stubborn and frankly, you’re a bit of an ass. And you leave without anything other than a text. But you? I could never do better than you. Even through all of that, I could never do better than you.” A teary eyed smile fell on both men’s faces. Mycroft leaned in a gently kisses Greg.

“I’ll at least call next time.” Greg laughed and gently hit at Mycroft’s chest, which elicited a mumbled groan from the younger man.

“Right, let’s get you to bed then.” Mycroft nodded and gratefully took Greg’s hand as he stood from the chair. They made their way across the lower level towards the stairs.

“Gregory?”

“Yeah, love?” A shy smile spread on the younger man’s face.

“I promise to be there when you wake up. Now and for the majority of forever.” Greg smiled.

“You better be, or I’ll find you and drag you back to bed myself.” They smiled and shared a kiss before ascending the stairs to bed, Mycroft leaning on Greg for support and Greg loving every second of it.