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Mycroft liked romance. In a, theoretical sort of way. Academic, he’d called it on previous occasions (to himself). His mother was fond of reminding him that he’d been an awkward child, and he had absolutely grown into an awkward adult. With relationships that is. At work he was perfectly comfortable.

Of course, from time to time, Mycroft ventured into the realm of ‘dating’. Other powerful men, pretty men, smart men. At university he had been well known for joining everyone at the pub around ten minutes to closing time, picking the most handsome man still around, and taking them home. He was known as a good lay, and an absolutely horrible date. Awkward. Uncomfortable. Mean, at times. Needlessly critical.

At 46, Mycroft has his work, his siblings, his elderly parents. He even has a niece these days. It’s a comfortable life, but he decides that he must be done with the awkwardness. He overcame the stutter he had as a child, overcame his discomfort around women right after he realized that he was excruciatingly gay, and no matter how much Sherlock made fun of him, he’d kept his weight in the ‘normal’ range for his height for almost three decades. It was time to figure out romance.

Through trial and error, Mycroft learned that letting colleagues ask him out (where he’s previously shut down attempts before they could be made) always ended with a request for something work-related. Going out to bars (and not wearing his fake wedding ring) always ended with an uncomfortable and ill-timed deduction, right as he and his conquest were letting their guards down. Anthea watched him struggle, and finally offered to set him up, having had to vet all his failures for security purposes.

“I promise he’ll be pretty,” she said, having figured out his type a long time ago.

“Do your worst,” he’d answered.

And she had – oh how she had.

 

“Lestrade?” Mycroft hears himself ask, as if it’s not perfectly obvious from the single flower in front of him. A narcissus? No. Even more surprising. A jonquil.

“Hi,” the stunning, bewitching man smiles, and he stands up. With no hesitation at all, he shakes Mycroft’s hand. “She did say you’d have no idea it was me. I hope it’s alright?”

“Yes,” Mycroft stammers, stutters back into motion. “Yes, quite.”

He takes a seat, keenly missing his diplomatic graces, his icy mask. As if it wouldn’t melt immediately under the warmth of deep brown, chocolate-coloured, chocolate-covered, no. Lestrade would see right through it anyway, he has for years. They’re friends, or so he says. Friends don’t have romances, except in books. And sometimes in movies.

Lestrade, to Mycroft, is not just a friend. He’s the one he calls when he wants to have Sherlock nuked from orbit. He called Mycroft every day for weeks following Sherrinford, until Mycroft had left the country for work and been unavailable. He also has beautiful eyes, but he’s not just here for a shag and so Mycroft’ll have to talk to him first. And not about Sherlock.

“Did you – were you informed as to,” he swallows and fidgets with his tie, tries to take back his aristocratic stance, elongate your neck, “my identity?”

“Yeah,” Lestrade laughs softly, a rich, wonderful sound. “A one-sided blind date, I’m afraid. But I had to threaten not to show up before she told me.”

At that Mycroft laughs too, Anthea does not give away her secrets easily. “You must have been most persistent.”

The waiter shows up, dressed casually, and Mycroft blanks entirely. “... to drink?” Is all he hears.

“I’ll have a pint,” Lestrade says easily, “something like an IPA?”

The man nods and scribbles something down, looks at Mycroft. “The same,” he manages. “Please.”

“If it’s not too forward,” Lestrade says when the man walks away, “and you’d want to stay here for dinner, I heard they have amazing mussels.”

“Mussels.” Mycroft looks at soft scruffy grey hair, soft brown eyes, soft leather jacket. Casual and warm. A date. “I like mussels.” Jesus Christ Mycroft.

Lestrade just smiles, like he’s perfectly at ease, and Mycroft tries to slow his breathing, relax his muscles and take a controlled sip of the beer. He doesn’t normally drink beer, but this one’s alright.

“They brew it themselves,” Lestrade tells him, and Mycroft smiles.

“You’re on to me, aren’t you?”

He nods, “hard to turn off the detecting. You aren’t exactly the beer type either.”

“I understand the sentiment. Thank you for your patience.”

“Thank you for staying,” Lestrade says, then, bizarrely, follows it up with: “I’ve been waiting to do this for ages.”

“Really?” His voice stays level, but only just.

“Absolutely,” Lestrade promises, “you in your suits, with your cars, that umbrella. Would’ve licked your hand the first time we met if you’d given me half a chance. You’re a good friend, don’t get me wrong. But dating’s exhilarating.”

“Weren’t you married then?”

Lestrade shrugs and laughs, “alright I wouldn’t have. But I wanted to. I promise.”

That confidence, the ease with which he talks and holds himself and feels entirely welcome. Just accepts that if Mycroft’s here he’s probably into it. It’s the strangest thing Mycroft’s ever seen. He spends the rest of the night baffled, while they share food, as they have one last drink, when Greg (he’s Greg now!) kisses him on the cheek before helping him into his car.

 

“Hey,” Greg’s voice is rough and sleepy when he picks up the phone. Mycroft almost hangs up as a reflex.

“Apologies, did I wake you?”

“Yeah, not your fault though. Shouldn’t have been asleep by six on a Tuesday.”

“Was it – a bad case?” Mycroft is still not sure whether he should let Greg sleep instead.

“Yeah, was out till four in the morning. How’re you? Is this the call for a second date?”

So sure of himself, so lovely.

“It was – but if you’re. Tired?”

“Yeah I’m tired, but I’ll forgive you if you bring me some takeaway.”

At his home? They’ve never been to each other’s homes. “What do you feel like?”

“Surprise me.” His voice is still gruff. “I’ll have a shower. Do I need to text you the address?”

“No.” Mycroft says, before he can think. “That is – ”

Greg laughs. Laughs! “Alright sweetheart, I figured. See you soon.”

Like a fourteen-year-old, Mycroft clutches the phone to his chest and wheezes out a happy breath. Dinner! At Greg’s house! Perhaps even – on the sofa! He wastes no time calling Anthea for wine and food from his favourite restaurant. To arrive by Greg’s front door in 40 minutes, exactly as long as it should take Mycroft to get there.

 

Greg opens the door wearing only a t-shirt and grey sweatpants. They complement his hair in the very worst way and Mycroft nearly swoons. His bare feet do things to Mycroft, and all he can do is hold out the bag and the bottle of wine.

“Hey,” Greg smiles. Kisses Mycroft on the cheek again. It proves too much entirely for Mycroft’s already fragile state, the greatest date of his life followed by days of texting each other little references to things they’d talked about, updates on how their jobs were treating them. Some flirty texts, occasionally. Mycroft sets down the bag and the wine resolutely on the table by the door, grabs Greg’s face, and kisses him deeply. Greg hums into his mouth, wraps his arms around Mycroft and just. Picks him up. Mycroft’s reflexes are sound so he wraps his legs around Greg’s waist, and nearly cries in happiness when he gets carried through the short hallway into a warm and comfortable living room. Greg turns them around and sits down on the sofa, heedless of Mycroft’s shoes touching it, uncaring about the food. All his attention is on Mycroft. They are kissing. Exploring each other.

Mycroft’s tie is being undone, his jacket is taken off.

“Your shoes, darling,” Greg suggests, and with some effort Mycroft takes off his shoes and drops them behind the sofa. Never stops kissing. The hunger he feels triples when Greg makes a little noise, and bucks up just enough to proof once and for all that grey sweatpants are god’s gift to humanity, and that he wants Mycroft.

“All your clothes,” Mycroft suggests, and Greg laughs. “No?”

“Yes!” Greg kisses him again, “just glad you’re eager too. I’ve wanted to do this for so long.”

“I bought a flower press so I can have the jonquils framed,” Mycroft confesses and immediately he realizes that that is not what he was going to say. He feels himself frown in mortified shock, but Greg looks at him like he wants to frame him so it’s probably alright? Kissing was going better, so he gets back to that. Greg kisses him even more enthusiastically now, and has managed to open all the buttons on his jacket, all the buttons on his waistcoat, and all the buttons on his shirt, and is now working on his sleeves. Presumably so he can push all of it off.

“My-” Greg pants, and Mycroft doesn’t mind at all, “get off for a sec so we can get naked.”

Mycroft obeys easily, because how could he not, and finds himself so drawn in by the sight of Greg peeling himself out of his shirt, pulling down his trousers, that he forgets to take off his own clothes.

“Come on then,” Greg laughs, entirely comfortable in his nudity. As he should be because he’s divine. Mycroft complies and gets back on to Greg’s lap.

“How’d you want to do this?” Greg kisses Mycroft and lets his hands explore, and Mycroft is going to take that as permission to do the same. Greg’s fuzzy, hairy all over in a soft and endearing way. Grey for the most part, deliciously clean and manly and so beautiful. When two hands settle on his buttocks and squeeze, Mycroft remembers that there was a question. When a finger creeps a little closer to the centre he remembers what the question was.

“Any way,” he decides, “but if that’s what you want – we’ll need some...”

“Lube,” Greg finishes, with an evil grin. He leans to the side, opens the drawer of the table next to the sofa, and holds up a little bottle. “Like this?”

Why would he have that there? Mycroft can’t help but tilt his head at it.

“I used it yesterday,” Greg whispers, putting some on his fingers, wrapping his arm around Mycroft again, “and the day before.”

“Why?” Mycroft croaks, as Greg gently rubs his skin, lets him get used to the contact before pushing in.

“Thinking of you,” Greg promises, and they kiss again. It’s a joy to be held, one finger moving in and out slowly, the other arm wrapped all the way around. Mycroft cups Greg’s face in his hands and kisses and kisses, bites his lip. Licks behind his teeth. Need.

“That’s enough,” he decides, rolling down the condom Greg holds up for him. He uses both his hands to get Greg’s cock sopping wet with lube, then lifts off on his knees a little, pushes Greg back, checks his face to see if they’re – oh. Stills.

“What?”

“You – ” want me? Pathetic. Are horny? Obvious. Actually seem to like me? Preposterous. Before Mycroft can decide, Greg does it for him.

“Think you’re fucking smoking and want to fuck you so bad I’m going to explode? Hell yeah,” Greg says, bucking his hips, which makes his cock swing about obscenely and distracts Mycroft from his thoughts.

“Indeed.” He sits up further and guides Greg into place. “Hold still, it’s been a while.”

Greg nods, the same strangely eager expression on his face. Mycroft slowly sinks down, panting and clawing his hand into Greg’s shoulder, until he’s had enough of slow and just goes for it.

“Oh,” he feels his back arch and his eyes roll and there’s nothing he can do. Greg isn’t just perfect in personality and grace and humour. He has the perfect cock. It was made for Mycroft. Would it be creepy to ask for a dildo to be modelled on his cock? Surely nothing else will do now? Breathe.

“All good?” Greg asks, sliding his hands up and down Mycroft’s shaking thighs.

“Look,” Mycroft says, in through his nose, out through his mouth, “I’m all for slow. I like teasing.”

“But the food’s getting cold and you’ve wanted this for days and can we just fuck hard and steady?”

Yes. Just that! He’s sure the look in his eyes gives it away when Greg empties out half the bottle of lube over Mycroft’s cock, takes it in one hand while dragging him closer by the other, and just. Fucks him. Hard and steady. Digs his heels into the carpet, and fucks up into Mycroft with little grunts of pleasure.

Mycroft makes sure to lean forward, to not move too much to disturb the rhythm, but he can’t help biting at Greg’s shoulder, can’t help digging his nails into Greg’s hip. Greg’s hitting the spot on every stroke, the lube and the pressure on his cock makes him want to cry, he’s sweating and he doesn’t care, and somehow the soft hairs tickling him all over are making this a sensory experience of epic proportions. Transcendental.

Mycroft is begging to come in minutes, his toes are cramping, his calves, his thighs, he bites down on Greg’s shoulder.

“My imma come if you keep doing that,” Greg groans, so Mycroft bites harder.

And Greg fucks harder and oh, “nngh. Greg.” It’s inevitable now.

“Ah,” Mycroft cries, into Greg’s neck, safe and held as he twitches, “ahh, fuck, Gregory, fuck.”

He comes harder than he thought possible and then Greg starts coming and that feels amazing so he keeps coming and oh. His very eyes hurt when he finally stops, his scalp is tingling, and the aftershocks make him shiver. Greg shivers back.

“We good?” He whispers, low and dark. Good. Mycroft makes a hiccoughing sound, then starts laughing hysterically. Greg is still in him, he’s so happy he could cry. Good?

He kisses Greg to make sure he knows that he’s not being made fun of, but Greg seems to know it already. His eyes shine, his grin is so wide it looks painful and the blush on his cheeks would bring anyone to their knees. He joins him laughing, rich and heart-stopping as always.

“Spectacular,” Mycroft manages, and then Greg’s soft cock plops out with a really gross sound and they’re laughing again. “Perhaps another shower is in order?”

In the shower they soap each other up, rinse each other off. After the shower Greg helps Mycroft into some clean pyjamas and now everything about him smells like Greg. He can’t seem to stop smiling. Is this why other people suffer through the awkwardness?

Wrapped in a fluffy bathrobe, in Greg’s pyjamas, next to Greg in a ratty old sweater and pyjamas pants with a hole at the crotch and extremely visible batman pants, he feels happier than he ever has. The wine is perfect, the salads are still crisp and nice, the tortellini taste fine lukewarm and the lamb’s ribs are fantastic. Probably would taste good microwaved. They eat all of it sitting as close together as possible, swapping containers back and forth, sharing one fork. Eating ribs with their hands.

“Is there desert?” Greg asks, when they’ve polished off all of it.

“Not sure,” Mycroft leans forward and Greg laughs again. “What?”

“You had your PA do this, didn’t you?”

“Well yes,” is that bad? “Should I not have?”

“Nah,” Greg kisses his ear, teases him a little, “did she get you all your favourites?”

She did, and Mycroft only needs to purse his lips and turn a little pink to confirm it. The big box at the bottom has the selection of chocolate desserts that Mycroft loves and he shows it to Greg full of triumph. “I could get used to this,” he thinks, then realizes he said it. With one of those sighs that comes from deep within.

“Me too,” Greg smiles, soft and sweet this time, like he knows Mycroft didn’t mean to say it but means it regardless. They share the chocolate.

 

After clearing away, which in Greg’s apartment apparently involves shoving everything onto the coffee table and pouring out some more wine, Greg takes Mycroft’s hand and puts it in his pants. Mycroft was making little circles on his thigh before, and he definitely doesn’t mind, but Greg isn’t even hard.

“Again?” He asks, unsure what’s happening.

“No,” Greg leans his head back and wriggles around a little to give Mycroft easier access to his genitals. “Just feels nice. You don’t have to.”

“No, I don’t mind.”

“But?” Greg urges, cracking open an eye to look at him. “Wait.”

He sits up, which dislodges Mycroft a little, but he was starting to enjoy exploring Greg’s soft balls and so he switches hands to get access again.

“Am I your first?” Greg asks, with an amused smile.

Mycroft huffs, wrinkles his nose. “What about shove your cock in me said ‘blushing virgin’ to you?”

 “Not the sex bit,” Greg implies the obviously with his tone, “this bit.”

“What would this bit be?”

“The after,” Greg shrugs, “you’ve no idea what you’re doing. Touching without sex is new to you.”

He doesn’t sound like he’s going to laugh or point or tell all his friends, but Mycroft feels his back straighten anyways. Elongate your neck. “You needn’t worry about my virtue,” he manages, haughtily and, of course, awkwardly.

“Aw My,” Greg grins wider, “’m just teasing. I don’t mind being your first boyfriend.”

Boyfriend! Absurd. Lovely idea, of course. “Partner,” he corrects. “If you’re... amenable.”

“Yeah, ‘course.” Greg kisses him fondly. He tastes of deep red wine from Sicily, chocolate, warm man. He touches freely, accepts and even expects affection, fucks like a king.

 

“I’m going to have to be romanced,” Mycroft confesses, later, after round two. They’re wrapped in the duvet and naked as the day they were born.

“Yeah?” Greg sounds mild and happy.

“I’ve been learning about romance.” Mycroft isn’t sure he’s making himself clear, “and I’m not good at it but I should like to be.”

“I think I can help you with that,” Greg sighs, snuggles closer.