COFFEE, LIES AND CHEESECAKE.
Written for the Mystrade Birthday Buddies Exchange on Tumblr for @pvaluelessthanpoint05. Happy Birthday, lovely. Hope you enjoy this and that you have/had a fantastic day.
Rated for the solitary use of the word ‘wank' *eyeroll*
Mycroft Holmes didn't frequent cafés. Especially not the hideous franchised ones that littered the high streets with their noisy espresso machines and appallingly cheerful staff who insisted on knowing your name so they could scribble it on the side of your cup.
No, being hailed as ‘Microsoft’ once was enough. As was battling for a seat amongst laptop-wielding students and women who insisted on screeching, not talking, to their friends. He needed to find somewhere else to spend his lunch hour.
In a quiet street, five minutes walk from the office, he found it.
It was a tiny place, no more that three or four tables but it was quiet, it smelled incredible and the man behind the gleaming counter had a genuine smile on his face which Mycroft couldn't help but return.
“Good afternoon, sir. What can I get you? The New York cheesecake is excellent.”
“Really?” asked Mycroft.
“Yes, really. I made it myself.”
Mycroft gave this gift to the culinary arts a closer look. Tall, broad shoulders with, possibly, dyed hair, three earrings in one ear and heavily tattooed forearms, he really wasn't Mycroft's type at all, but there was something very alluring about him. Probably the incredible chocolate brown eyes fringed with thick, dark lashes.
“Then I will have a slice of that to go with my latte please.”
“Take a seat and I'll bring it over.”
The man, Andrew by the name tag on his apron, was swift and efficient, placing a large slice of cake on the table next to the coffee.
Mycroft knew he really shouldn't. His diet had been going well and it would be a shame to sabotage it, but he picked up his fork and took a tentative mouthful, almost moaning aloud at the creamy, velvety texture. It was exquisite and it took all of Mycroft's self-control not to shove it in his mouth as quickly as possible. This man had to be some kind of cake wizard or something for this was definitely bordering on genius.
The coffee was excellent as well and the view of Andrew behind the counter was just an added bonus.
Theorising that he had found his new lunch spot, Mycroft paid up and left, not at all eager to return to work.
Andrew watched him go. The handsome man with the red hair looked to be just about his speed, in spite of the three-piece suit and the posh accent. And the umbrella. Who carried an umbrella in July, even with the vagaries of the English weather? Andrew wondered vaguely what he looked like dressed-down, then shook himself mentally.
He had a job to do and nothing would get done if he allowed himself to be distracted.
The next day Mycroft found himself back at the café facing a slab of Death By Chocolate made, he was assured, by Andrew himself.
It was even better than the cheesecake and Mycroft theorised he'd need to visit his tailor to have his waistcoat and trousers adjusted if he kept eating at this rate, but he couldn't keep away, not when the other reason for his continued presence had added green tips to his silvery hair and wore a sleeveless t-shirt that showed off his toned arms and the tattoos that extended all the way to his shoulders.
It became a ritual in the four weeks of July that Mycroft would spend his lunch break there and, inevitably, they got talking.
“It's actually my uncle's place,” Andrew told him one day when the café was empty. “He's been ill so I said I'd help him out.”
“That's very good of you,” said Mycroft, utterly smitten by now.
Any further discourse was interrupted by someone Mycroft would have described as an utter thug.
He spoke aggressively to Andrew in Greek, finger pointing and arm waving, a clear threat. Andrew replied defensively and managed to edge the interloper out of the door.
“Sorry about that,” Andrew apologised.
Mycroft relaxed his tight grip on his umbrella.
“Ex-boyfriend.” said Andrew with a shrug. “Won't take ‘piss off’ for an answer.”
Part of Mycroft's slumbering libido awoke and sniffed the air at the mention of ‘ex-boyfriend’.
“You deserve better,” he ventured
Andrew's smile was radiant as he replied.
“Probably but I've never been lucky when it comes to relationships. Up to now, anyway.”
Andrew smiled to himself as Mycroft blushed a furious shade of pink and muttered something about needing to get back to work.
He knew Mycroft fancied him and was incredibly flattered but it wasn't a good time for him to be starting any kind of relationship.
For that, you needed honesty. Trust. Neither of which he was in a position to give right now, but that didn't stop him from watching Mycroft walk all the way down the street.
At work, Mycroft was fighting an internal battle, yet he deduced that no one in the MI6 meeting had guessed that the most junior member of the team was planning to ask another man out.
He was terrified of rejection and could imagine his mother's expression perfectly if he brought home a tattooed man with visible piercings.
Yet when was the last time he had done anything impulsive that might actually make him happy?
He was still debating internally as the meeting closed and he went back to his cubbyhole of a desk space. He realised that if he worked swiftly, he could be outside Andrew's café just as he closed for the night.
Mycroft remembered the time he had accidently been in the street when Andrew had locked up. The sight of him in bike leathers swiftly followed by seeing him drive off on a monstrously powerful motorbike had played havoc with Mycroft's thought processes for days, not to mention fuelling his nocturnal fantasies to the extent that he had wondered if it were possible to wank oneself to death.
“What's the worst that could happen?” he asked himself in the bathroom mirror as he washed his hands and straightened his tie, finally smoothing down the curls that were winning their daily battle against the hair product he habitually used.
Satisfied with his appearance he quitted the building at Vauxhall Cross and walked the short distance to the café.
He was just in time to see Andrew being slammed against the wall by the thug who had tried to intimidate him earlier, his cry of pain made Mycroft see red and he didn't hesitate, sprinting up the street to where the two men were tussling.
Mycroft saw a glint of metal in the thug’s hand and swiftly extracted the slim sword from where it was hidden in his umbrella shaft and pressed the tip against the thug’s neck, just hard enough for him to get the message.
Andrew saw the knife in the other man's hand and knew he had mere seconds but then the man's eyes widened in surprise and the knife clattered to the floor as a familiar voice, laced with deadly menace, announced.
“Let him go or I will kill you.”
Andrew blinked. It was Mycroft. With a sword ? Before he could register any more details, Mycroft clubbed the man with the hilt and he crumpled to the ground.
Andrew just gaped as Mycroft returned the sword to its hiding place, remembering in time to press the panic button hidden in his pocket
“You should probably arrest him or something, Constable.” said Mycroft with a shy smile.
“Sergeant, actually.” said Andrew as he knelt down and cuffed the man who was starting to stir feebly. “How did you know?”
“Simple, really. Your tattoos come off in water, they're too bright to be real, real ones fade with time. Your earrings are magnetic and you are far too observant for a mere café employee. Plus you can speak fluent Greek and the way you got rid of him this afternoon was a classic Met manoeuvre.”
“Just as well he didn't notice that “ muttered Andrew. He straightened up as the sound of sirens could be heard in the distance. “Minor government official, my arse.” Mycroft grinned.
“He’s an enforcer for a protection racket,” he continued, indicating the man on the ground. “We've never been close to catching them but they put Mr Theodopolous in hospital so my guvnor decided to put someone in undercover. Now we've got him, we're in with a chance of rounding up the rest. You'd better make yourself scarce, Mycroft. I don't want to have to explain you as well as everything else.”
“You're right. Andrew isn't your real name, is it?”
“It's my middle name,” he confessed. “Greg is my real name. Greg Lestrade.”
“It suits you,” replied Mycroft. “How would you like to tell me the rest over a drink later?”
“I'd love to,” smiled Greg. “Just as long as it's not coffee.”