After the new and exciting realm of the playroom, Greg half-expects dinner to feel tame. Mycroft requests them a table in the corner of the room where they have a good view, both of them still relaxed and smiling over their wine. It’s another formal night, this one specifically leaning toward Interwar fashion and an “upstairs/downstairs” aesthetic. Mycroft has a perfect 1930s era suit, of course, but Greg just wears his own. Quite a lot of the women are wearing glittery, loose dresses, and Greg has a guess that most of them have elected to forgo brassieres. The staff have been adorned in modified maid and valet costumes, keeping them mostly nude according to Rookridge’s standards while still making it clear what their role is in the elaborate setting they’ve staged for the evening.
A string quartet stands in one corner, though like the cooks they must be special hires, as they do not share the nudity of the rest of the staff. They’ve made some concessions to the venue, however, as the men are shirtless and the women are wearing very slinky, low-cut and form-fitting gowns.
“What song is it?”
Mycroft’s eyes flick over, one brow lifted. “I’m flattered that you assume I know.”
Greg’s foot nudges him under the table. “Bet you do.”
“You realize I do not actually know everything-”
“Not everything, sure. But classical music? Pull the other one.”
He watches as Mycroft fights to look serious and loses, instead rubbing his own shoe back against Greg’s as he hides his grin in his wine. “Vaughan Williams. Quartet number 1, second movement.”
“Knew it. God, I’ve got to get you into pub trivia.”
“A dangerous prospect, Gregory,” Mycroft notes with a wry grin. “I was barred from pub trivia for most of my university years.”
Greg snorts. “No one willing to deal with good competition?”
“They assumed I was cheating.”
“What? Really?” He leans closer, their knees touching along the corner they’re sharing. “But that’s just normal facts, it’s not like- you know, what Sherlock does, where he tells people things they’re trying to keep secret.”
“Apparently knowing too many normal facts invites suspicion. Even in the days prior to an easy internet search”
“Tossers. You’re coming to trivia with me, and we’ll trounce the lot of them.” Greg reaches over, linking his fingers in Mycroft’s. “No one will recognize you with a pint in your hand, anyway.”
“Is that… a date, Gregory?” There’s the briefest skip in his words, the scantest little pause that gives him away. Mycroft is… nervous about it.
Not me, though. It’s strange how much confidence Greg has in that- Mycroft’s nerves are not because he doesn’t want to be seen with Greg, it’s simply his lack of confidence with ordinary socializing. Even Sherlock has that, for all his faked confidence when Greg’s seen him playing a part in some club. The Holmes brothers can do all the “normal” parts of socialization when they don’t have to be themselves. Gives them distance, maybe. Doesn’t have to be real.
Kind of like here, his mind adds. Rookridge is a glorious fantasy catering to every possible whim, and inside it Mycroft is all confidence. But he’s willing- hopefully, he wants - to see Greg outside of it in the real world where they’re both just ordinary men. Or as ordinary as a Holmes and a DI can get, anyway.
“Yeah. It’s a date, Mycroft.” Greg squeezes his hand. “I’ll even take you for a nice fish and chips dinner beforehand. Proper pub meal.”
“And dessert after?” A touch of that mischievous glint is back in Mycroft’s eye, and Greg’s got a fairly good idea of the many wonders that dessert might entail.
Ah, cheeky now that you know I’m a sure thing, aren’t you? Greg grins slyly. “If you’re good. I make a decent Eton Mess. Or a Cambridge Mess, if you prefer,” he adds, running his thumb slowly over Mycroft’s palm.
“Oh?” Mycroft strokes his hand back, their fingers intertwining. “I fear I am not familiar with that variation.”
“You’ll like it. It just needs strawberries, bit o’ whipped cream, and a naked Cambridge man.” A faint flush heightens the lines of Mycroft’s cheekbones. Ah, you like that, don’t you? “That work for you, posh boy?”
“I believe that will work very nicely for me, Gregory.” Mycroft is quiet as their food arrives, though the warmth of his fingers never leaves Greg’s. “I feel I ought to tell you… it has been some time since I have… engaged in anything resembling a traditional relationship.”
Greg nods. He’d suspected as much. With his job alone dating must be a big ask for Mycroft, and add in that he owns a venue that would set the faint of heart to clutching their pearls, and he can see why it probably hadn’t been worth the effort. “I don’t mind. What’s traditional these days, anyway?”
“It’s not still outdoor walks in the rain while ignoring the impropriety of a lack of a chaperone? Heavens, Miss Austen has lied to me.” Clearly reluctant, Mycroft finally releases Greg’s hand so they can both eat. “Jests aside, it will be difficult. My position is challenging enough merely in terms of the time-”
“So’s mine.” Greg shrugs. “Listen, f’I have to go run down a murder or f’you have to save the world, we’ll make it work.”
Mycroft huffs. “I’ve told you, I do not-”
“Yeah, you do. S’alright. I’ll keep it a secret.” Greg winks across the table. Of course he knows why Mycroft has to keep up the pretense, but it’s silly to pretend he has no idea what sort of power Mycroft wields. “There might be some days where we end up meeting up in bed at 3am and that’s all we get, but both of us know that going in. M’not gonna be mad f’you have to run off in the middle of the night either.”
“It will happen, Gregory.”
“It will for me too! And it’ll probably be your brother’s fault at that.”
That gets him a brief chuckle. “True enough. I do also feel I should say… I have not engaged in any sexual relationships outside of Rookridge in quite some time. ” Mycroft glances down at his plate, stirring some morsels around aimlessly with his fork. “The structure here, the rules- I am aware the ‘real’ world does not function in that way, but it… has proven useful to me. Everything is clear and consistent.”
Greg nods. He can see that, especially for someone like Mycroft. “You like knowing where you stand. I like the same. We can do that, all we need to do is keep talking. Set expectations and be honest.” His hand slips back over to Mycroft’s, his fingers curling into the warmth of his lover’s palm. “I think you’ll be great at it, for what it’s worth.”
“And you would be my… paramour, Gregory?”
His smile broadens. Paramour. It seems formal for such an early relationship, but maybe that’s right. Mycroft seems like a man who’d find boyfriend too informal . “Mycroft, I want to take you out to dinners and have you over for films that we don’t watch ‘cause we’re too busy kissing. I want to romance you, if you’ll let me. So, yeah. Paramours.”
Gazing into Mycroft’s hopeful eyes feels a bit like looking into eternity.
Oh, shite. I’m falling for you, aren’t I?
Realizing it is far more exciting than it is terrifying. Greg’s lived long enough to have loved before, to know what the feeling’s like in his chest when he can sense that maybe this person is his person. With Mycroft, that pull feels far more clear and tangible than it’s ever felt before, like a rope that’s tied itself between them, just out of view.
A few days and just like that I’m gone on you.
Somehow it doesn’t feel so short. It feels like just enough time to catch the connection, the possibility that this is exactly what’d he’d always wanted.
Over dinner he can’t stop falling into Mycroft’s eyes, smiling like a sap until Mycroft starts blushing and asking him what he’s looking at.
“Just you, love. Just you.”
Toppling into bed later there’s no experimentation, no guests. They kiss for what feels like hours before Greg even gets his hands near the buttons of Mycroft’s vest, lips exploring every inch of skin as it’s slowly revealed. He loves how it feels having Mycroft beneath him, savoring all the parts of him Whitehall will never see. “F’I mark you a little… just here….” Greg nips at Mycroft’s collarbone, eliciting a quiet moan. “...would that be alright? Just- I can’t stand the thought of us back at work-”
“And treating this all like a pretty dream?” Mycroft nuzzles back up at him, his teeth caressing the slope of Greg’s throat. “It’s not a dream, Gregory.”
“No.” The confidence in that fills him almost as much as his arousal. “We won’t let it be.”
Their eyes meet in the dark, specks of moonlight reflecting in deep pools. “Yes,” Mycroft murmurs back. “Of course you can.”
It’s just a little thing, a small bruise that will fade in time, but they’ll both know it’s there. Even when Mycroft must go back to his suits and Greg to his cases, when the real world calls them away from Rookridge, they’ll know. “You should- on me too.”
“Where?” Mycroft’s breath is heat in his ear, and Greg wants to sink into it like one of Rookridge’s luxurious ensuite jacuzzi tubs.
Mycroft huffs a laugh. “I do keep telling you that’s a dangerous mindset.”
“Maybe I don’t mind if people see, Mycroft. I’ve just been on holiday, haven’t I? They ask, I’ll tell them I had a very nice time, thanks.”
“I see. And what if I prefer it to just be mine?”
Greg smiles in Mycroft’s hair. “Then it’ll just be yours, love.”
Mycroft hums contentedly as Greg’s lips close on his clavicle, sucking a little dark mark just under the bone. It turns into a moan as Greg drags his kisses lower, down the line of Mycroft’s sternum to his belly, soft and promising of more as he reaches the vee line of Mycroft’s hip. “Gregory-”
“Want to taste you, Myc.” He nuzzles into the thatch of hair, lapping his tongue out to the hardening member he’s been seeking. “Can’t get enough of you.”
Greg laps slowly, taking his time to lick every inch before he closes his mouth over that delicious cock, taking it into the warmth of his mouth and sucking his cheeks in. Mycroft’s hips buck, but Greg’s broad hands are the perfect size to hold them down while Greg has his way with him. He’s not aiming to get Mycroft off, not yet. This is all foreplay, and Greg could do this all night.
He keeps at it for a while, until the shudders beneath him and Mycroft’s moaned pants tell him he’s drawing close enough, and then he kisses his way back up, pausing to mouth over Mycroft’s nipples and make him moan from that touch as well.
“You are- getting a taste for this, Gregory,” Mycroft murmurs, words just a little shaky.
Greg catches his mouth in another kiss, firm and passionate. “A taste for you, I think.”
His hand wraps them both, cocks spit-slick as he slowly strokes. Mycroft’s hands roam his skin like he’s planning to make a sculpture, like he needs every inch of Greg affixed in his own memory. Maybe he does. Greg knows about Sherlock’s memory palace, and though Mycroft says he doesn’t keep one Greg wouldn’t mind living a second life in the art exhibit of Mycroft’s mind.
He keeps them both on edge and wanting, panting into each other’s mouths and hair and ears, until finally he can’t take it anymore. “Want you. Want to ride you. That alright with you, love?”
“You may have anything you could ask of me, my dear.”
Greg takes a nibble of Mycrof’s ear as he shifts, straddling over his lover’s hips. “Thought you said ‘anything’ is dangerous.”
“It is.” Mycroft runs his hand up Greg’s stomach, caressing until his fingers can cup Greg’s cheek. “But I trust you.”
Reaching between them, Greg finds Mycroft’s hardness. There’s little need for additional lubricant, not after the time Greg’s spent sucking him off, and Greg is pleasantly open after all the fun they’ve had this weekend. He bears down, gasping and pressing his fingers into the bones of Mycroft’s hips. It doesn’t matter how often they’ve done this- and god willing, there’ll be even more once they’re back in London- every time he’s absolutely certain that Mycroft is filling him the perfect amount, like they’re perfectly built for each other.
His hips rock, sure and steady. There’s a power here, in riding Mycroft, in watching that lithe, clever man come apart beneath him. Because of him. Greg’s not new to it anymore, and he sinks into it, embracing it. There’s so much trust in making someone come. He’d never really thought of it like that before this, before Mycroft. But being given that, so freely, it’s better than any high. Let me have you.
Let me love you.
His heart expands even in letting himself think it. Yes, he could love Mycroft, fully and truly. There’s potential here that he never had with Becca or anyone before her.
Maybe. Just maybe.
You could be everything.
He cants his hips harder just to listen to Mycroft moan, taking that well-put-together man apart in just the way Greg likes. No one else has that power here- or anywhere. Not with Mycroft.
“You gonna come for me, love?” he purrs, eyeing the glisten of sweat beginning to collect along Mycroft’s brow with a serious consideration as to whether he should just lick it off. “Fill me up just right, just like I like?”
“Fuck,” Mycroft grunts, and Greg smiles, tossing his head back. He can feel the throb of Mycroft within him, deep and pressing just where he likes, and the constant whisper of mine, this is mine, in his head.
It builds as he listens to Mycroft gasp and pant and Greg rides the crest of it, losing himself to the heady bliss of possessing his lover. “That’s it. That’s it, love, come for me- come in me-”
As soon as Mycroft cries out, Greg’s done for. It’s an even more intense orgasm than usual, the burst of white and stars behind his eyes sending him to another galaxy as he arches, his only tether to this reality the heat of Mycroft’s climax within him.
When he does come back to himself, he collapses down onto Mycroft’s chest, burying his face in sweat-slicked skin. “Fucking hell.”
“Quite.” Mycroft’s breath is heavy under him, his lungs pressing against him with every deep inhale. “I’m afraid I’ve corrupted you quite thoroughly, Gregory.”
“Nah.” Greg presses his lips against a nipple, kissing softly. “Y’just let me off the leash, is all.”
They lie there for a while, just breathing. Greg drifts to the sound of Mycroft’s heartbeat, his fingers idly tracing patterns in delicate, pale skin. “You’ll be back in London on Monday, yeah?”
“Mmmhm. A long weekend is usually all I can spare.”
“Come to mine.” Greg looks up from Mycroft’s chest, studying those gently flushed cheeks, the angular nose he’s become so fond of. “I’ll make you a roast. You can spend the night. F’politics allows, that is.”
“That… would be very amenable to me, Gregory.” His arms fold around Greg’s shoulders, pulling him into a kiss. “Shall I be able to try your ‘Cambridge Mess?’”
Greg laughs. “Only if you’re good.”
“Very well, Gregory.” Mycroft kisses him again, slow and lingering. Promising. “Then I shall endeavor to be quite good indeed.”
One Year Later
“Couples massage, is it?”
“Mm. There’s a new masseuse, and I really ought to be familiar with her services as an owner.”
Greg reaches across the console and rubs his fingers over Mycroft’s knee as he listens to Rookridge’s security system open the gate. “You should see Carlo, love. I’ll see your new girl and give you a full report.”
“See Carlo, and the knots in your back from the last time you had to deal with the Americans can thank me later.” Carlo is a known quantity, and Greg knows too well that after Mycroft’s had to deal with some manner of political nonsense (apparently saving the world is easy, so long as one can keep politics out of it) he’ll get a massage, a good dinner in him, and promptly pass out for ten hours. It’s one of the major benefits Greg’s come to value about Rookridge: when Mycroft is there his team is far more likely to leave him alone and let him rest, and that’s something Greg’s been good about enforcing himself in the last year.
Besides, one can’t really enjoy all of Rookridge’s offerings if they’re exhausted.
“Anything else you’re particularly looking forward to, love? Anya’s got a new routine, doesn’t she?”
“Mmm, she’s come up with something delightfully hedonistic involving aerial ribbons. I fully expect the new show will be keeping our rooms busy for a while.” Mycroft’s hand closes over Greg’s, warm and affectionate. “And what are you looking forward to?”
“Having you all to myself.”
Mycroft huffs a laugh. “Gregory, you have me all the time.”
“I do, love. I do.” Greg lifts Mycroft’s knuckles to his lips, pressing a soft kiss against them after they pull up and park at the front door, waiting for the valet. “But here I get to have you even more. Even when I’m sharing you with someone else for a little while, I get to see all of you, and I like that, Myc. Even if all the suits are a turn-on, we both know which set of trousers suits you best.”
“Ah, speaking of.” Mycroft reaches into the back and pulls up a ribbon-wrapped parcel that Greg has dutifully pretended not to be staring at in the rearview for the entirety of the drive. “I think you can have your present now.”
“Mycroft, you’re spoiling me.” It’s true, they’d done their one-year anniversary gifts before they took off for the weekend, and Greg had been gifted with a luxurious suit and set of coordinating shirts and ties from Mycroft’s tailor that hardly seemed to match up with the subtle leather and platinum cufflink and tie clip he’d gotten for Myc.
“Perhaps. But I do so enjoy spoiling you.”
Greg smiles, slipping his finger into the loop of the ribbon to pull it open. The scent hits him even before the box is open: leather. Fine leather, recently oiled. He lifts a brow. “Sure this isn’t something I should open inside?”
“It may be something you would like to enjoy tonight.” Mycroft’s grin is a little smug, but Greg likes that about him. “And we both know that if you smelled that anywhere near a bed you’d be terribly distracted.”
“True.” Greg lifts the lid, his fingers landing on supple navy-dyed leather, smooth and finely tailored. He unfurls it slowly, smiling wider as he finds the zip and the picture falls into place. “Trousers?”
“Mmm. Do you like them?”
“I love them.” He reaches over, stroking his fingers along Mycroft’s jaw and pulling him closer for a thorough kiss. “And I love you.”
“I love you too, Gregory,” Mycroft murmurs back against his lips. “I love you too.”