“I mean, Jesus Greg, what are we doing here?” Jo gestured between them frantically, her wedding ring catching the light. He tried not to wince at her curt tone, at the stress dripping from each syllable, stress he had inevitably caused. “I mean... it’s been months, and you haven’t touched me! What am I supposed to think?” He didn’t know, but thought it wise not to speak. This had been a long time coming. “This is... it’s poison, poison Greg! And I started to wonder... is it me?”
No... No of course not, he wanted to reassure her but it was too late; she was already on another track.
“So I took up... fucking pilates to try and-” She brought her hand to her face and trembled. Greg’s heart quaked as guilt seized him, he could guess what was coming. “Make myself better. I’m such a fucking idiot-”
“No.” Greg’s voice was hoarse from the prolonged silence. He coughed to clear his throat and stepped into her space. “No, it’s not you. You’re perfect Jo, you know you are. It’s... It’s me.”
“Don’t you dare give me that shite!” She dropped her hand, face scarlet with anger now. “I am not one of your flings that you can brush aside with a pat on the shoulder, I’m your wife of 25 years you bastard! You...” She pointed accusingly and Greg instinctively straightened his back, steadying himself for the final blow. “You’re right. It’s not me at all... It can’t be. I’ve been sleeping with someone else Greg. I think... I think you probably know that.”
His face fell, eyes widening. “Oh god...” Of course he fucking knew. But that didn’t stop it from hurting like hell. He resisted the urge to hold onto his chest like some dramatic noir character, to scream as all he knew came crashing down. “Don’t-”
“It’s over Greg. I wish I could say I’m sorry but... it’s you. You need to face the fact that you don’t like me, you probably don’t even like women anymore.”
“Bullshit!” Greg closed his eyes, swaying as the room spun around him. He tugged on his collar, had someone turned the thermostat up? It felt like 90 degrees in the small kitchen. He wasn’t gay, but he knew now that he didn’t love his wife anymore and he wouldn’t disrespect them both by begging for her love. He offered a watery smile and tried to laugh, but the noise lodged in his throat, making him feel sick.
“I want you to leave the house Greg. Get a hotel room or something. Be gone when I get back.”
He could ask who the other man was, but he knew there was likely more than one. He could try to protect his sexuality, but it was too late for that. He could fight for his home, but Jo deserved better. She was right; he was a failure.
“Irene Adler, dominatrix.” Greg whistled as he scrolled through the notorious website, sat on the hard budget bed in his dark budget room in the budget hotel. Greg remembered hearing about the beautiful woman from John, how she broke Sherlock’s heart. Allegedly. It was cruel but, Greg figured that if she had managed to affect the coldest bastard he knew, then she must be something special. A warning sparked in Greg’s conscious. Mycroft would bloody kill him if he found out about this... potential dalliance... But he had to know for sure. Greg was assaulted with images of the beautiful woman as he scrolled, dressed in clothes that could only be described as ‘skimpy’, and he couldn’t help but wonder if she went for dinner with her mother dressed like that. Good god, he should have a hard on, not sit contemplating the woman’s fashion sense. Christ, he was either getting old, or he was perhaps a little... not straight. Greg sighed and scrubbed his face, clicking onto her contact details. There was only one way to find out for sure. If anyone could determine his sexuality, it would be the beautiful Miss Adler.
Alright darling. Meet me at Renaldo’s.-Miss A.
Greg was terrified, hell; he’d sweated so much that he had managed to soak through two shirts, and had to finally settle on a soft blue one. He prayed that after his second shower, the light colour wouldn’t show any signs of dampness. He felt sick, nausea roiling in his gut as he buttoned up the new shirt, eyeing his reflection in the speckled mirror that hung above the tiny TV set.
“Come on Lestrade,” he muttered. “You can do this. Get your shit together.” He straightened and nodded to his reflection. It was time.
Renaldo’s was one of the most illustrious bars in Soho, known for its clientele and incredibly popular drinks; it was a place that Greg Lestrade was never meant to be in. And it seemed the fates were in agreement.
“Oh for Christ’s sake!” Greg cursed as he hit yet another red traffic light. That made four already and Greg was growing more irate by the second. Sure, he knew that driving in the centre of London was a bitch, he’d done enough beats over the years, but this was just plain bad luck, in all its brutality. He was now running fifteen minutes late, and he began to fear that she would leave. Irene hardly looked like the sort of woman who got stood up much. “What the-” Greg pulled up to the blue tones that blazed in front of him, three police cars blocking the road. He wound down his window, cursing as he pulled out his badge.
“Oi, DI Lestrade, what’s the hold up?”
“I’m sorry detective,” a policeman called as he jogged over from redirecting traffic. “You’ll have to find another route.”
“And how the bloody hell am I supposed to get to Renaldo’s? It’s two streets away.”
“I suggest you park your car detective and walk. We’ve had an accident here and are trying to keep the traffic moving smoothly.”
“Right. Cheers. Ta for nothing.” He wound up his window, jaw clenched as he pulled away, indicator ticking as he turned onto a quieter road. “Fucking accident on the fucking road...fuckin’...” Somewhere, Greg distantly regretted his curt tone with the copper, it wasn’t his fault. And Christ knew that Greg had had his fair share of abuse on beats like those. But he was more pissed off with how everything seemed to be against him today. “I’ll be shat on by a bird next. Just wait,” he grumbled as he ran a hand through his soft hair. Too long now, he should have had it cut before the date. Date. Somehow, that word made him squirm as he walked down the road.
Greg spun round to see three kids with their hoods up, advancing towards him. He grunted in frustration, teeth grinding. Ignore it. Walk away... He turned back onto his route, down the quiet alley to slip back onto the main road but the kids had other ideas.
“OI! Talking to you old man!”
Old... He bristled in indignation.
“Yeah, show some respect to your youngsters!” He heard them walk faster, cackling and nudging each other as they followed him. “Are you frightened old man? You scared of the little boys?”
Anger bubbled to the service, Greg already had his hand on his id, ready to arrest the little shits and give them what for. He spun round but Irene’s face popped up in his head, smiling delicately. Greg faltered for only a second.
“DI Lestrade. I suggest you get home to your mothers before I decide to arrest you.”
The kids stopped walking, and one of them kicked a coke can against the curb. “Ain’t got no mum, sir.”
Well, that explains a lot. Greg bit his tongue from insulting the kids. He may be a copper, but one against three wasn’t particularly wise, especially when they could have weapons on them. “Go home, go play on your Xboxes and have a wank, whatever, I don’t care. Just move it along.” He pointed down the opposite way, leading onto the road where the police were. If the teens caused any more trouble then they could more than handle it.
Greg sighed, rolling his shoulders as he watched the kids slope off. The great and bored. He felt a pang of sympathy, but only briefly. A flash of silver and a small whirring sound caught his attention. A security camera had moved to focus in on him. He cocked his head slightly, glaring at the damned thing. One step to the left and it followed him. One to the right and it did it again.
“Fuckin’...” He debated having a cigarette but he was late as it was, besides, Miss Adler probably didn’t like the smell of stale smoke clinging to her clients. Christ but he wasn’t sure about this. Client... Yep, he was definitely going to vomit. The camera whirred again and Greg looked up to catch it zooming in on him. Resisting the urge to flip it off, he grunted and left the alleyway, hurrying down the road to reach the bar. There was a long queue outside, stretching down the road and he groaned internally. He was seconds from turning on his heel and leaving, but stopped when a bouncer waved him over.
“Lestrade?” He nodded, hardly believing his luck. “I need some ID before I let you in.” Greg handed it over quickly. “Excellent. In you go.” Greg swore the bouncer gave him a knowing smirk as he ducked under the red rope and slid into the dark room.
And good god but Renaldo’s was beautiful. Dark purple lighting cast over the bar where most congregated, the rest was a lighter glow, illuminating the floor and exits. A soft gentle music filled the air, nothing too oppressive like that of a night club, or too melodic like restaurants. It was... just right. Greg rolled his shoulders, casting his gaze around the room. Booths littered the walls, darkened so that any who sat would be in shadow from any angle other than to those sat opposite. No sign of Adler... Greg’s shoulders slumped and he crossed to the bar. She was probably having a good laugh at him. Or she had gotten tired of waiting. Either way, now that he was here, Greg would order a drink, soak up the atmosphere and then bugger off back to his hotel where he could feel sorry for himself in peace.
Greg nearly choked as he was handed a cocktail menu. “Good god!” He cried. One cocktail was nearly a week’s wage, this was ridiculous. Greg dropped the menu and stepped back, only to bump into something soft and warm. “I’m sorry-”
“That’s quite alright Detective,” a voice like velvet, close to his ear made him shiver. He stared at the mirror opposite, mostly obscured by spirit bottles. But there she was; leaning over him and looking straight back. “Are you going to buy me a drink?”
“S-Sure,” Greg croaked. “A drink... good idea.” His throat was parched and he ordered himself one of the less expensive cocktails, a cranberry and gin concoction.
“Mmm, dry martini. Thank you darling.” Greg flinched as he felt a hand trail across his arse, muttering an undignified squeak. He watched her walk away, finally plucking up the courage to turn and see her long green skirt stroke the carpet as she left. For a moment he hesitated, holding their £50 cocktails but then her elegant hand raised and he saw her snap her fingers. Greg all but stumbled after her.
“Sit.” Greg dropped into the chair at the command, swallowing nervously.
He held his drink carefully, fingers stroking the long stem as he looked anywhere but directly at the woman. She was truly stunning. Possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He licked his lips, the smell of gin assaulting his nose as he inhaled deeply. “So...” He winced as the awkwardness intensified tenfold. “Christ, I don’t do this; I’m not- My wife, shit, my ex...” He trailed off as he saw her raise her hand to silence him.
“Would you like to know what I think?” He nodded enthusiastically. “I think you should finish your drink and then we’ll go upstairs.”
“Upstairs?” He squeaked and took a sip of his drink. It was delicious, he wanted to drain the glass in one, but firstly he wasn’t going to waste such an expensive drink and secondly, the longer he drank, the longer it would be before he had to take the beautiful woman upstairs.
“Well...” He could hear the smile in her voice. “That is what you’re paying me for, isn’t it darling?”
Greg cringed at her condescending tone. “Don’t... don’t say it like that. You make it so... perverted.”
She laughed delicately. “Well, isn’t it exactly that?”
Greg hesitated, nursing his drink for a moment. Oh god, was he a pervert? He shuffled in his seat nervously and then felt toes rubbing against his leg, slowly lifting his trouser leg and then he could feel cold air against his calf. Someone inhaled sharply somewhere nearby, but Greg didn’t pay attention, too busy catching the drink he had almost knocked over.
“Okay... What... what usually happens?” Greg didn’t want to think about Miss Adler’s other clients, her work... He supposed he’d had this romantic notion that he could make a change, sweep her off her feet and woo her. But he could see now that she was a professional, which... he was grateful for, given the amount she was charging.
“That’s for me to know, and for you to wait, letting the anticipation build.” She smiled and rubbed her foot a little higher, stroking against his knee. Greg gasped softly, face turning pink. But he definitely wasn’t getting hard... Frustration spiked through Greg and he leaned forwards, taking another sip of his drink. “What’s the matter detective?” She dropped her foot onto Greg’s seat, toes resting against his crotch and it took all of Greg’s restraint to not flinch. “Oh dear...” She pouted. “A girl could get offended at such... resilience...”
Greg flushed furiously and ducked his head. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me-“
“Nothing we can’t solve I’m sure. Although... it will cost you a little extra.” She cocked her eyebrows and twitched her toes, making Greg shudder and sink a little into the leather seat.
“Oh... I don’t know.” Now he was looking at the woman he couldn’t seem to turn away. She was utterly captivating, her eyes shining in the dark and he watched a brown curl of hair slip from behind her ear. “You’re beautiful,” he whispered. But it wasn’t meant to be a compliment or a way of flattering her. It was a genuine statement, like mentioning the weather.
“Why thank you dear.” She smiled brightly, sensing his honesty. “How about I come over there and warm you up a little?”
“Oh I’m plenty war-” It was too late; Adler had already moved, walking round the table and sliding to sit in his lap. “Okay then...” Greg panicked, unsure of what to do with his hands. Eventually he settled on holding onto the table, arms resting lightly against her hips. He closed his eyes briefly as she pressed her weight into his lap. Focus... Feeling a little bolder he moved one hand to her hip, thumb stroking it lightly. But it just felt wrong... She wasn’t Jo; she wasn’t a beautiful young woman that he had picked up in this bar, someone who was genuinely interested in him. No, this was a woman he was paying for the pleasure of her company, and he felt like an utter fool. He felt old. Greg sighed and for a second felt a wave of despair. What the hell was wrong with him? And then there she was, kissing at his neck and swiftly unbuttoning his shirt. “Whoa whoa I’m not sure-”
“Shhh...” Greg was beginning to feel alarmingly anxious and he glanced around the room, was he being watched? “Enjoy the show baby.”
What... what show? Someone had stood up from the opposite table, walking towards them. Oh Christ, they were going to be kicked out now-
“Detective Lestrade.” All the colour from Greg’s face drained as that cool tone washed over him.
“Muh-Mycroft!” Cheeks warmed and a flush spread along his neck as he looked up at the politician. Greg felt like a scolded schoolboy, caught nicking sweets that he didn’t particularly want in the first place. He pushed at Irene’s waist but she didn’t budge and Greg despaired. What the hell would the politician think of him now?!
“I don’t remember inviting you to the party,” she said curtly and rolled her hips into Greg’s lap. Everything about her expression indicated possession, challenge. Greg decided very quickly that he didn’t like this at all.
“I think I’ve made a mistake-”
“Oh do be quiet; I’m doing business with the ice man.” Irene pressed a finger to his lips and Greg resisted the urge to bite and tell her to fuck off. Was that what this was all about? Some sick challenge between the two? Greg tried to push again.
“I’m not interested in any business transactions.” Something dark flashed in Mycroft’s eyes and Greg felt Irene flinch. “I will pay for your time and you will kindly climb off of the good Detective’s lap without exposing yourself further. And then you will silently leave. Is that understood?”
Greg watched her assess her options as Mycroft wrote out a cheque.
“Next time dear,” she tipped Greg’s chin up and kissed him fiercely, and Greg could practically feel the ‘fuck you’ addressed to Mycroft. He grimaced at the feel of tongue pressing against his lips, determined and he pressed against her waist in retaliation, pushing her away gently until she finally climbed off, making a show of wiping her mouth and plucking the cheque from Mycroft’s slim fingers. “How is little Sherlock doing?”
“Leave!” Mycroft’s fists clenched and Greg stood up quickly, resting his hand on the man’s forearm.
“Mycroft,” he whispered as the woman walked away. God, his hands were shaking now and he looked down at his chubby fingers, gripping Mycroft’s pinstripe sleeve.
“I was watching you, Gregory,” he snarled and pulled his arm free before sitting opposite Greg, sipping his own drink. Greg slumped in his chair, a sinking feeling making his face fall. “Have you any idea how it angers me to see you throw yourself-”
“Hold on- Was that one of your stunts with the traffic lights?”
Mycroft scowled, loathing the interruption. “Quite possibly. Perhaps I had to intervene when you insisted on making a fool of yourself with the woman who nigh on destroyed my brother. Have you no sense of loyalty?” The tips of Mycroft’s ears had turned pink and Greg was swarmed with guilt.
“Christ I-” He stopped, knowing nothing he could say would amend for his actions. He had been a bloody idiot and Greg sipped his cocktail to occupy his hands, lest he try to rip his own hair out in frustration. “Yeah... I would never hurt Sherlock, he’s a good kid and-”
“I’m not talking about my brother Gregory. I am referring to myself.” He sat back and watched Greg, waiting for the penny to drop. Being surrounded by goldfish was exhausting at the best of times...
“You?” Greg nearly choked on his drink. Clearing his throat he looked up at Mycroft, honesty plain on his face. “I will always remain loyal to you Mycroft.” A heavy air hung between them, the silence pregnant and Greg had to look away, blushing slightly.
Ahhh, there we go, Mycroft smirked. “What I can’t understand is your motives. You’ve separated from your wife and when any normal man would drink his sins in a night club, you however hire an illustrious harlot for the evening.”
“Fuck, don’t. I know it was a stupid, horrific thing to do.” Greg groaned and knocked back the last of his drink. “It was a mistake, one I’ll likely regret for the rest of my life. Jo...” Greg sighed, throwing his hands up into the air.
“Your wife has brought your sexuality into question, and you deemed it suitable to practice with Miss Adler, I presume.”
“Oh god, don’t say it out loud!”
“Judging by your reaction or lack thereof it would seem Joanne may be right.”
Greg’s head snapped up and he eyed the politician. “What the fuck? You think that-”
“I believe that when presented with the current evidence, it would seem that women like Miss Adler do not seem appropriate.”
Greg felt his face flush and he looked up. “I’m not... well... Shit. I loved Jo for a long time. But we were so young Mycroft... When we grew up, we grew into completely different people and it was just... bloody awful. She was having an affair, Christ knows for how long. And I don’t blame her, I’ve been a prat.”
“That’s not how I see it at all Gregory.” Mycroft’s voice was a lot softer now, and Greg sat up to listen, to study the new kindness in his eyes. “I believe you think you are suffering from some erectile dysfunction and that is the cause of your actions.”
“Uhhh.” Greg’s mouth hung open, furthering Mycroft’s goldfish association. But this fish in particular could be rather... delicious.
“I suspect in truth that that is not the case. It is merely a case of company. Might I make a proposition?”
Greg licked his lips, throat dry and he nodded. Oh god, he wanted to run. This whole night had been a fucking disaster but that smile... It was predatory, but hinted at something else as well. Something that he would contemplate later that evening.
“You are a trusted colleague of mine Detective, one that I feel has become my friend over the years. I’m not one for sentimentality but I feel that my brother has brought us closer. Would you consider coming home with me for the night?”
Greg froze. Oh god... Whatever he said now hung in the balance. It was the difference between falling and dying or being caught. Greg licked his lips and he reached out for Mycroft’s hand. It was so different, holding another man’s hand. It was larger, stronger than Jo’s and as it squeezed his, he couldn’t help but feel reassured. So he fell to be caught.
Greg was relieved as they stepped out of a side entrance to finally leave the bar. Everything about it had been the complete opposite to what Greg stood for. The man needed more noise, more friendly faces. He needed warmth and familiarity and Mycroft was more than willing to offer that to his detective inspector. It was raining as they walked to the car, small drops splattering onto Greg’s shirt and Greg couldn’t help the grateful chuckle for Mycroft’s ever present umbrella, affording him a chance to lean into the politician, feeling braver with every step.
“You smell nice,” Greg said quietly, hoping the rain would swallow his words. But Mycroft did smell pleasant, like pine, earthy and warm. He smiled faintly as Mycroft casually wrapped an arm around his waist and guided him down the alley, and out of the corner of his eye, he could see Mycroft too was smiling.
The silence as they sat in the car lasted only a few seconds as Mycroft shook out his umbrella and slowly peeled his jacket off. When he began to roll up his soft green shirtsleeves Greg swallowed and fisted his hands, watching pale skin slowly expose itself.
Good God. Greg bit his lip and after a moment’s hesitation, followed suit, clumsily shoving his own shirtsleeves to his elbows. “I don’t...” He didn’t know what to say, or do. But then the car moved and so did Greg. After so long, so many furtive but ignored glances at the politician, all those quiet inside jokes shared, every smile he had drawn from Mycroft felt like such an achievement. And now, he was finally allowed to show the man just how much he meant to Greg. He leant forwards and cupped the pale cheek, thumb brushing over the freckles that had been hidden by even pale foundation. “You don’t need this anymore, not for me,” he whispered and all he could see was Mycroft’s pink and full lips, and the greenest eyes he had ever witnessed. Up close like this they were beautiful, he could even make out tiny flakes of gold. “I could fall for someone like you,” and then they were kissing, hands grasping at each other until neither were sure who’s shirt was wrenched off first, or how Greg had ended up in Mycroft’s lap.
“Gregory,” Mycroft rasped as he ran a hand through the detective’s surprisingly downy soft hair, giving it a gentle tug. The detective looked utterly dazed, and he was, this was a bloke for Christ’s sake. But it really didn’t matter anymore because Mycroft was a bloody fantastic bloke at that, who was currently kissing his neck and running a hand over his bare chest, causing sparks of heat to build in his gut. “Gregory, look,” Mycroft whispered and when Greg looked down he laughed in sheer delight.
“Oh my god,” his trousers were tented, “fuckin’-” He hadn’t even noticed in his excitement and nerves. His grin was so wide and captivating that Mycroft couldn’t help but mirror it as he reached down to pull open the zip.
Greg threw his head back, hands fumbling to squeeze Mycroft’s shoulders as the politician took him in hand and began to stroke. As the movements became more confident so did Greg, eventually resting his brow against Mycroft’s, each exaltation warm and quick as they fanned across Mycroft’s face until the politician could no longer bear it and he had to steal another kiss.
The DI quickly dissolved into a mewling mess under the assault on his senses. Pleasure overrode everything, the strain of his legs as he pumped his hips up into Mycroft’s deliciously tight hand, the sounds of their pants, the slick slide of skin, the smell of musk and the sight of Mycroft looking up with pride and care, it was too much. When Greg came for the first time in months, he had tears in his eyes and he threw his arms around the politician, kissing him as he hoped to show exactly what he felt. Mycroft held him close, running a hand up and down the man’s back patiently as Greg’s harsh breathing slowed and began to relax again.
“Oh god...” Greg shivered and Mycroft wrapped his arms around him, ignoring the damp patch that spread from Greg’s stomach onto Mycroft’s shirt.
“You’re fine,” Mycroft soothed and pulled out his pocket handkerchief to wipe Greg’s eyes for him.
In all his years, the DI had never felt such affection, such pure adoration. He smiled and licked his lips. “I can’t believe you,” he said quietly as he leant into the hand.
“I can drive you home if you would prefer to end this.”
Greg frowned at Mycroft’s statement. Was there a possibility of continuing this? “Only if you come with me.” He smiled at Mycroft’s confusion. “Well, you don’t really think I’m letting you go now, do you?”