“They worked very fast.” Mycroft looked around. “Almost no sign of the explosion.”
“Yes.” Sherlock crossed his legs, sitting in an armchair that looked almost identical to his old one. “One could think nothing had happened...”
Mycroft nodded, but he knew he would never forget it, not hurrying out of the flat to save himself and Mrs Hudson, and certainly not this forsaken day in Sherrinford. And Sherlock couldn’t even mean that. “When will you visit her next time?” he asked, trying to not show what he was thinking about this. Why did Sherlock bother? Playing the violin with her. A reward for her deadly games? It was hard to not feel offended by Sherlock's attempts at bonding with someone who had wanted him to shoot his brother...
“I don’t know. I… I’ve got other things on my mind right now. Drink your tea, brother, before it gets cold.”
Mycroft sat down in what he knew was John Watson’s chair. The doctor wasn’t at home as he had a shift in the clinic, his daughter was in day care. But they were back. So far, the baby was sleeping in her father’s room. This wasn’t an arrangement that would work forever. But somehow Mycroft doubted very much John was still even sleeping there… It wasn’t as if he could see any signs of sexual activity on Sherlock, and so far he had not seen them together after this horrible night. But something was different about Sherlock. And what he had just said… It hadn’t sounded as if he was talking about an important case. He sounded pensive. But also… excited?
“The tea is fine,” Mycroft said, just to say anything. It was though. And that Sherlock had even invited him for tea was remarkable. They had not seen a lot of each other lately. But Sherlock had shown up for the confrontation with their parents. And he had jumped to his side when they had been rather nasty to him. Perhaps there was a chance for them. Mycroft blushed at the thought. Not this kind of chance of course, no matter how much he was still longing for it after all the years of denial and guilt and hiding his feelings. But a chance on a better brotherly relationship. He would be so happy about that.
Sherlock nodded and cleared his throat. “I… This is not easy for me. I… need your help.”
“Sherlock, I told you before – I’ll always be there for you. It’s not money I suppose?”
“I said ‘help’, not ‘money’, brother.” Sherlock’s voice was rather sharp and Mycroft winced.
“No, I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to snap at you. But it really has nothing to do with money. The insurance paid for the damage to the flat and my belongings. And I have my trust and… Anyway.”
Sherlock took a deep breath and Mycroft was pretty sure he wouldn’t want to hear whatever Sherlock had to tell him but of course he would listen. And help. It was what older brothers did, no matter how troubled their relationship was or how estranged they had been for so long or how different they felt about their younger siblings than anybody else did. Or should do.
“Just tell me, Sherlock. Whatever it is, I’m going to do what is required.” He sounded stiff and weird to his own ears. But when had Sherlock last asked him for anything? Well, apart from helping him organising his fake death… Or going to Sherrinford… And he didn’t even want to think about Magnussen… He had refused to do anything against the man and look what had happened...
“I… There have been… some changes lately,” Sherlock began, and Mycroft's heart clenched.
Hadn’t he seen this coming? Sherlock and John… It had been inevitable. Sherlock had finally fallen for a man who had beaten and kicked him into hospital, being at the mercy of a serial killer… Sherlock had forgiven John right away. Mycroft would never forgive him.
But this wasn’t about him and his feelings. Well, it never was… “I see.”
Sherlock narrowed his eyes. “Do you?”
“Perhaps I’m drawing wrong conclusions again, apologies. Just go on.” Perhaps it wasn’t John. Perhaps it was the little Miss Hooper… Wouldn’t that be even worse? A woman? At least he could be sure she wouldn’t violate Sherlock… But it would kill him.
“Well… Um… My feelings… for a certain person… have changed lately.”
Mycroft slumped in his chair. “I see,” he said again, his voice toneless.
Sherlock scrutinised him before going on. “This person… isn’t aware of this. And at the moment, I prefer to keep it like this.”
“Oh.” Well, Sherlock was very inexperienced in this romantic… stuff. Of course he had to feel a bit… overwhelmed? “And… What do you think I can do for you?”
“Well. I know… I believe you never had a serious relationship?”
Mycroft swallowed. He didn't like this conversation. He didn't like anything about it. But he had told Sherlock he would help him. And if this included talking about his own non-existent love life, then so be it. “I didn’t. No.” There had been short, meaningless affairs many years ago. He could hardly remember them and he was rather sure these few men had gladly forgotten about him as soon as possible...
“But you still know more about this… relationship business than I do. I’m not only a virgin. I… Well, you know how I am...”
“I do think you’ve come a long way over the past years though.” All his friends… Being John’s best man. Molly, helping him to fake his death. Mrs Hudson, seeing a son in him. Lestrade, a fatherly friend. Or wasn’t he? Was it Greg Lestrade? It was futile. And he wouldn’t ask Sherlock. He didn’t want to know… It was stupid because one day he would have to face this reality. But not right now...
Sherlock raised his eyebrows. “You think so? Right, let’s say I learned to… blend in a bit better. There are quite a few people I do care for to some extent, yes. But that doesn’t mean I’d know how to do anything… romantic.”
And he seriously thought Mycroft knew that? Yes, there had been dates. He had gone to restaurants with one or two men. Watched a film. He had always liked films. But he had never… courted anyone. In fact he had always been the one to be asked out. He had declined most of the times but sometimes, when the man had seemed promising, he had accepted. He recalled sitting around in silence, sheepish grins, early goodbyes, heartless groping in the dark. It had been all so dull. Well, he had been still young at this point. Soon enough he had realised nobody would ever be worth it and just let it be. “Brother, I'm sure Mrs Hudson...”
“Ah, Hudders. I know she could tell me a lot about this but she would be so nosy! She would giggle all the time and drive me mad.”
“Oh. Yes, I suppose that’s right.” And he couldn’t ask whoever was the person he had developed feelings for…
“There are other people I could speak to,” Sherlock continued. “But it’s all complicated. And I frankly don’t want them to know that I’m…” He broke off, looking sheepish.
“…just one of them when it comes to…” Mycroft couldn’t even speak it out. Love. No word was so loaded. No feeling was so destructive. Sherlock had avoided succumbing to it for so long. Whoever had made him change his mind about it had to be a very special person for him.
Sherlock nodded at once. “Yes. Exactly. Help me, brother. You’ve known me for so much longer than any of them. And we are so alike in regards of brain and not understanding what the goldfish are on about when it comes to… feelings. And still you managed to date people at some point in your life and you are dealing with rather sensitive and complicated people every day I guess. Help me behaving in a way that doesn’t snub this person right away.”
Mycroft couldn’t think of a more thankless job… Preparing the man he loved for being with someone else… Basically helping him win this god damn person’s heart… But of course he would do it. “It is pretty easy,” he made a last attempt at getting away easily. “Go to dinner with them. Or to the cinema. Listen and smile when they are talking to you.” God, it sounded awful… And it had always been awful...
And Sherlock sighed. “But that’s exactly the problem. I need to know how to behave when I go out with them. I’m not a very social person. Don’t make the same mistake as all my friends and think I’d turned into one just because I get along pretty well with some people. I’m still Sherlock with the sharp tongue and the lack of patience and care for others… It’s basically just this one person I want to know better. And if you don’t help me, I know I’ll mess it up.”
Mycroft straightened his back. Sherlock needed his help to get happy. Well, he wasn’t sure if this wasn’t a completely insane idea; in fact it sounded as if one asked a blind about the colour of one’s clothing, but he would do it. He was his big brother. He cared for Sherlock, much more than any of these people who had all his attention. Sherlock had gone through such dark times. He deserved happiness. And even though Mycroft would inevitably suffer if he had to see him with someone else, there was no question that he had to do his best to help Sherlock to find love and be happy. “Of course I’ll help you,” he said, and his heart skipped a beat when Sherlock smiled at him.
“Thank you, brother mine. I owe you. What do you think should be the first lesson?”
Mycroft had no idea. “Let’s meet tomorrow. Leave it to me.”
Sherlock smiled at him again and Mycroft could do nothing but smile back even though the sheer thought of seeing Sherlock with John or Molly or Lestrade or whoever it might be was breaking his heart.
“Hey John. Not a sublimely good shift?” It was hard to miss. John looked tousled and exhausted. Even his jumper looked tired.
“Ah, ghastly. Colleague called in sick.” John handed Rosie over to him and Sherlock took her, smiling at her.
“And how was your day, little bee?” Rosie, dressed in pink from her pretty head to her tiny toes, gurgled something and hit his face with her tiny palm. “Ah, so bad!”
John chuckled, walking over to the kitchen. “Any interesting cases I’ve missed?”
“Not really. My brother was here.”
“Oh. How is he?” John returned with a glass of water and sipped at it after sitting down in his chair.
“Hard to say. Okay I think.”
John nodded. “By the way I… might have a date tomorrow.”
“Yeah. Not sure if it’s too soon but… I guess it will always be too soon.”
“You have to do what you think is right. Mary wouldn’t want you to stay alone forever.”
John gave him a warm smile. “Thank you. That was a remarkably sensitive thing to say.”
“Don’t get used to it.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it. Will you be here to look after Rosie? If there isn’t an urgent case I mean?”
“No, John, sorry. I will meet up with my brother. I decided to try and have a better relationship with him so I will spend more time with him if he can bear me. And I him, naturally.”
“Ah, I see, that’s good. And it’s not a problem. I’ll ask Mrs Hudson and if she doesn’t have time, Molly might be free. Or a babysitter. Here….” John bent forward and showed Sherlock a picture of a young woman, dark hair, genuine smile, probably an architect. “Her name is Julia.”
“Looks nice. No assassin, eh?”
John sighed. “I really hope not.”
Sherlock grinned and he was relieved that after all those dark times, he and the doctor were fine. They would never return to the easiness of the beginning of their friendship but he hoped they wouldn’t experience such pain again, either.
He had never expected John and Rosie to stay in this flat forever though. One day there would be a new Watson family. Who knew, perhaps pretty Julia was already the one who would win John’s heart permanently.
Well, he hoped until then he wouldn’t be single anymore, either...
Dinner In A Restaurant
“Well, this is a rather modest place, brother.”
Mycroft gave him a wry smile and hung up his coat next to Sherlock's. “I suppose you wouldn’t want to have dinner with the… person of your choice in a stiff restaurant where they would feel completely out of place.” Of course Sherlock's crush could be someone he didn’t even know. Sherlock had to know him or her for a while though as he had said his feelings towards this person had changed recently. Mycroft didn’t have him observed all the time after all. He met clients. Went shopping. But he just felt it was someone rather close to him, and neither of these people could be called ‘posh’...
“See. That’s why I need you to teach me!”
It was hard to believe Sherlock shouldn’t have thought about this himself. But Mycroft assumed Sherlock had never dined with someone just for being with them. He had never even liked eating all that much. Which was why he was still slim and sculpted and Mycroft had been struggling with his weight forever...
Sherlock let himself drop onto his chair when they had been guided to their table. It wasn’t a shabby place in the least and Mycroft had made a reservation. The table was laid nicely and there even was a candle in the middle. It looked disturbingly romantic… But that was the whole point after all.
“Usually, um...” Mycroft broke off. He had to know if they were speaking about a man or a woman. Before Irene Adler, he would have sworn Sherlock was gay. Perhaps he was bisexual?
“Usually what? Oh, you mean I should have waited until you are sitting? But surely I wouldn’t have to set the chair for a man?”
One question answered… “This is true. I wasn’t sure about the gender of your…” Mycroft sat down without finishing the sentence. He didn’t say it was never wrong to behave gallantly towards the person one loved. Depending on who the man was, he might find it rather funny if Sherlock placed him at the table...
“You with all your deduction powers have not figured out that I’m gay?” Sherlock seemed genuinely surprised.
“I thought so until...”
Sherlock sighed. “...until I let Irene pull my strings?”
Mycroft winced at the expression. “Quite so...”
“She thoroughly confused me, I give you that. I admired her in a way. But that was it.”
“Still you saved her life after pretending you couldn’t stand her when...”
“You got that in Sherrinford, right? John and his loose tongue...”
Mycroft winced again as some highly unwelcome pictures appeared in his mind even though he was sure Sherlock hadn’t meant it as a pun...
Sherlock stared at him for a moment but didn’t comment on it. “I didn’t just pretend, brother. I admired her cleverness and chutzpah but I didn’t like her. I did save her, yes. I thought she doesn’t deserve to die for being a blackmailer. Unlike Magnussen… And after this I never saw her again. Sometimes she does text me but I never reply.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Mycroft said stiffly. He was sure Irene had never returned to England. And during his wild run to save every Watson on earth, Sherlock had hardly had time to visit her, wherever she was now. He could find out. But it was obviously not Irene he had to worry about. Not that he would need to worry about anyone as Sherlock was his brother, not his lover… But if it really was John - and really, who else? - he had every reason to worry. But he knew he couldn’t keep Sherlock from choosing whoever he wanted to have…
The waiter interrupted his cheerless thoughts and they ordered. Sherlock looked good. He always did but he had made an extra effort for this dinner. Of course only to rehearse the dinner that would really count…
“So,” Sherlock said when they had their wine. “I guess… I should compliment you.”
“I mean, we’re here so I can learn to, you know, behave and be nice...”
“Oh. Right.” Mycroft was feeling very awkward. “Do your best then. Tell me some kind lies...” He couldn’t quite keep the bitterness from his voice.
Sherlock clenched his jaws for a moment. “I don’t have to. You look… good. Your suit is perfect. You are… so elegant. And your hands...” He stared at Mycroft's fingers, which were clamped around his glass.
Mycroft looked down on his right hand with Uncle Rudy’s wedding ring. “What about them?”
“They are beautiful. Long fingers. Elegant. Everything about you is elegant.”
For a moment nobody said a word. Then Mycroft swallowed audibly. “That was nice. Thank you. See, you can make compliments.” His hands, of all body parts. But what else should his gorgeous brother have picked? Mycroft assumed his eyes were okay, too, but Sherlock wouldn’t compliment his brother for his pretty eyes, not even for the sake of pretending. And the rest of his face was forgettable at best. And that nose… Sherlock was so lucky, getting all the good genes. They both had long limbs though and Mycroft knew his backside couldn’t cope with Sherlock’s fantastic bum by far but wasn’t that ugly, either, and he had a very big… He almost groaned at these horribly inappropriate thoughts.
“Our food is here,” Sherlock mumbled, and he sounded rather resigned.
Mycroft sat back so it could be served, and he was very thankful that they had something to do which wouldn’t force them to talk that much…
They were quiet on the ride home, sitting on the back seat of Mycroft's government car. His brother had insisted on bringing him home first.
When they stopped next to 221B Baker Street, Mycroft said in a low voice. “You should thank me for this evening, Sherlock.” ‘If you mean it or not’ remained unspoken.
“Oh, sure. You see, I need more lessons. Ghastly conventions. Oh, and thank you. For the very good meal and bringing me home.”
“It was my pleasure,” Mycroft said and looked rather taken aback when Sherlock pressed his hand before getting out of the car.
“So. Tomorrow then?” Sherlock asked.
“Um. Fine. Would you like to go to the cinema?”
“Why don’t I come to your place instead? You have your own one after all.” He had seen it when he and John had prepared the film of their family to scare Mycroft, along with letting Wiggins’ people into the house. A truly nasty thing to do… But what else was new...
“Yes. Good idea.” Mycroft didn't look as if he really meant this…
“Try to pick a film that isn’t too ghastly.” Sherlock winked at him but his brother stared at him as if he had suggested watching a porn film together… Great… No jokes, Sherlock...
“I shall,” the older man eventually mumbled. “Good night, little brother.”
“Good night. And thank you again. I had a good time.”
“You’re learning fast,” Mycroft said, smiling wryly, and then he leaned back and Sherlock closed the door and watched them driving off.
On his way upstairs, his phone rang. He had only switched it back on when he had opened the front door; Mycroft had told him to turn it off during dinner when they had entered the restaurant as it apparently was very impolite to spend time with a possible partner and stare at one’s phone instead. Mycroft had actually switched off his own phone as well, a surprising action considering the fact he was the British Government and had to be reachable night and day...
He looked at the display and accepted the call. “Lestrade.”
“I thought we had agreed on ‘Greg’.”
“Fine. Greg then. You’ve got a case?”
“No, there’s nothing interesting enough for you at the moment. But there is going to be a little party at the Yard next week and I wondered if you may like to join us?”
Sherlock snorted. “Are you out of your mind, Gus? Me, celebrating with coppers? And Donovan would lure me into a corner to secretly strangle me.”
Greg sighed. “Yeah, I thought you’d say something like this. But it will be rather boring… And actually… I’ve met a woman and she’d like to meet you.”
“Ah, I see. Forget it. I’m not an exotic animal your crush can stare at. And I don’t go to parties. But… thanks for asking.”
“Oh, how polite!” Greg chuckled. “Have a good night then.”
“You too. And I really hope you’ll soon have a juicy case for me.”
“I’ll let the murderers of London know one is required,” Greg promised.
“Do that, Geoff. Bye.”
The flat was empty when Sherlock walked in. John was still at his date obviously. Well, he would go to bed. And as childish as it was – Sherlock hoped to dream about the man who had won his heart and didn’t even know it. And Sherlock had still no idea if he would be happy or appalled by his interest in him. His heart told him his feelings would be welcome. But he had to be sure.
Watching A Film
Mycroft blushed ever so lightly. “Pardon?”
“You sniffed. You don’t like my new eau de cologne?” Sherlock hung up his coat.
“It’s very appealing,” Mycroft mumbled. “And you… look exceptionally good. That’s what the man of your… this man should say.” His cheeks turned an even brighter shade of red.
“Well, thank you.” Sherlock knew he looked good. Tight black jeans and a slim fit black shirt, contrasting nicely with his pale skin and his pink lips he assumed. “You look dapper as well. New suit?”
Mycroft cleared his throat. “Quite. You don’t think the colour of the tie is too brave?” He rather nervously fumbled with it.
Sherlock smirked. “Never imagined you’d be wearing a salmon-coloured tie, brother. But it matches the suit perfectly. Bold nonetheless. But you can wear it. You can wear anything.”
“Enough now, Sherlock. No need to overdo the flattering.”
Sherlock closed his eyes for a moment but then he just nodded. “If you say so. Ready for movie night as our American friends say?”
“Um, I wasn’t sure which film we should watch. I mean, you don’t really want to watch it anyway and it depends on your… the man’s taste.”
They walked down the hallway side by side. “I’m rather sure I’d find anything he would like to watch rather appalling. I’m not the one to enjoy this kind of escapism.” Sherlock bit his lip.
“Oh. Yes, well, you can learn now how to endure something you don’t care to watch then. But what do you think he would like?”
Sherlock shrugged. “Something rather old-fashioned I guess. Not like John who loves war films and action nonsense full of explosions and macho cops.” He grimaced and then turned when Mycroft stopped walking abruptly. “Problem?”
“So it’s not… John?”
Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Since I’ve moved in with him, everybody’s assumed we’d end up as a couple. Why? He’s not even gay, or bi, if that’s your next suggestion. And he’s just met a woman he likes; told me the name but I’ve forgotten it. Doesn’t matter anyway. Coming?”
Mycroft looked relieved, Sherlock noticed. He wasn’t surprised about it. Mycroft had never liked the doctor very much, and he had certainly not begun to like him any better after John had beaten him so nastily. Mycroft didn’t understand though. John was an integral part of his life, and he would always be. But of course he wasn’t in love with him. This was just absurd…
They entered the film room he and John had discovered after breaking into his brother’s house. Well, actually he had a key… But he knew it had been a very bad move. They had destroyed this irreplaceable home made film about their family. And he had hardly paid attention to it. All he could remember was watching his young self embracing his then pretty chubby brother. “I’m sorry,” he said, turning to Mycroft, who hard started rummaging through his film collection.
“What for?” Mycroft looked genuinely surprised.
“For many, many things,” Sherlock said simply as there really was a heap of unkind actions he had done to his brother over the past two decades, probably more. If he listed them all, they wouldn’t be finished until Christmas...
Mycroft smiled at him and he looked very pleased. “All forgiven, little brother.”
But not forgotten, naturally…
Mycroft pulled out a box. “A love film then?” he said, sounding as if he was almost stumbling over the hardly if ever used word.
“Bringing the big guns in at once, hm?” Sherlock grinned but nodded. “Yes. Let’s watch a horrible love film, brother mine.”
It wasn’t John… Mycroft was feeling very relieved. But also very confused. If not John, then who? He knew he should ask Sherlock straight away. But whoever it was, it would not please him… Sure, the decent DI would be a much better choice than John. Not that Mycroft had ever noticed any kind of not-straight demeanour on him. But there was this other policeman Sherlock sometimes worked with. The short guy, Dimmock. Short but reasonably attractive…
When Sherlock gave him a questioning look, he hurried to start the film. Black and white, like most films in his vast collection. Old-fashioned for sure. And very heterosexual. He wondered why he didn’t own a single gay film. Too close to home, probably. Showing him something he would never have. Love. Romance. Someone to hold hands with. Watching straight romances was not that bad – he didn’t want that anyway… If only Elizabeth Smallwood would finally get that…
“No. Just try to relax and maybe make a kind remark about the plot.” Mycroft leaned back against the sofa and then tensed when a hard head was put upon his shoulder. “What… What are you doing?” What kind of a stupid question was this… Sherlock was rehearsing watching a love film with his future lover… He should have picked a spy film. Or anything which wasn’t romantic. Shame he didn’t have any zombie films...
“You mind?” Sherlock asked him, his breath hot against Mycroft’s neck.
He could feel the little hairs on it standing up. God knew what else was about to follow… But this was a one-in-a-million chance, wasn’t it? The only time he would be so close to the man he loved. Slowly he put his arm around Sherlock. “No. I don’t mind. That’s… how he would react, I suppose.”
“Feels nice,” breathed Sherlock and Mycroft almost groaned.
Baby brother was too close. Too beautiful. Too forbidden. But he forced himself to relax. And he would store this experience away in his very own mind palace. He knew he would revisit it again and again.
For a while they watched, silently, how the rather thin plot unfolded. Mycroft wasn’t watching these films for the love story (he liked to tell himself…) but for the brilliant camera work, the atmosphere, the… escapism… Right now he had big trouble to focus on anything of this though...
“Damn, is she stupid or what? Even I can see he’s totally in love with her,” groaned Sherlock suddenly.
Mycroft felt as if his skin was on fire. The warmth of Sherlock's breath, the heat of his muscular body so close to his own, his brother literally in his arms. “That’s not a nice thing to say,” he rasped out, and closed his eyes for a moment when Sherlock chuckled against his neck, accidentally brushing his lips over his delicate skin, making his nipples go stiff and his cock twitch in his pants.
“Sorry. It is a masterpiece!” Sherlock assured him, winking.
It really isn’t. You are… For a moment Mycroft feared he had actually said this. He shot up from the sofa, making Sherlock tumble. “My bad! We need something to drink! What would you like?”
Sherlock stared at him before he smiled softly. “I drink whatever you like, Mycroft.”
“Good answer! Whiskey then!” And Mycroft hurried out of the room without even bothering to pause the film, feeling Sherlock's gaze on his back.
He had no idea how he was supposed to sit through the entire ninety minutes of this ghastly film without making a complete fool of himself, being all over his innocent brother or running out of the house, screaming and tearing the poor rest of his hair out...
“This was a very… interesting film.”
Mycroft smiled. “Nicely put, brother mine.” He had got his composure back. When he had returned with the drinks, Sherlock and he had clinked glasses and drunk, and then they had leaned back again, and eventually, Sherlock's head had been back on his shoulder and his arm had sneaked back around him.
To say he had not even noticed anything of the film was no exaggeration. He had been hyper aware of the presence of the man he would have never thought he would get so close to. It had been hard to not caress his upper arm with his fingers and perhaps, once or twice, he had briefly stroked him. Sherlock had not reacted to this but he had not seemed appalled, certainly thinking, if he noticed it at all, that Mycroft did this to show him how it would be – with the man he really wanted…
Mycroft had gasped when Sherlock's hand, previously placed on his own thigh, had come to lie on his one, if accidentally or not was hard to say. And Mycroft had been busy with trying to keep something from getting hard again at this touch… So close to the forbidden area. But his virgin brother had of course thought nothing by it.
“What’s my next lesson?” Sherlock asked him.
It was amazing he didn’t have enough of it yet. “Maybe… We could go shopping and cook lunch together tomorrow?” It would be Saturday – no office for Mycroft if there wasn’t an emergency to take care of.
Sherlock's eyes brightened up. “Good idea!”
“Fine. I’ll send you the car at… eleven?”
“Suits me. I’ve never cooked though… You like to do that?”
“Well, you’ve always known I like to eat...”
Sherlock's face darkened. “Forget all my silly jokes about your diet, Mycroft. You haven’t needed one since you were fourteen.”
“That’s a kind thing to say. Everybody likes to hear they are in good shape, even if...”
“...there is no even if, Mycroft. You are slim and elegant!” Sherlock's voice was sharp now. “I was an idiot to ever say otherwise. You just managed to make me feel...”
Mycroft was staring at him, his heartbeat increased. “Made you feel like what?”
“Stupid, Mycroft. Unreliable. A lost cause. And for a long time, you were probably right.”
“Oh Sherlock. You never were a lost cause. You are miles away from being stupid. Just more reckless than it was good for you. I only meant to protect you.”
Mycroft gasped when he suddenly had an armful of baby brother. “I know. I understand it now. All of it. And I really hope we can be better with each other. I enjoyed the past days very much.”
Mycroft could hardly breathe, having his brother pressed against his body with his full length, the scent of his hair and his skin so infatuating; his arms had automatically closed around Sherlock's slim waist. “I would like that very much. And it was the same for me.” He knew these days were numbered. Soon enough Sherlock would decide he was ready to confront the man he wanted and then Mycroft would hardly see him anymore. Just like old times...
Sherlock pulled back and there was a strange glimmer in his eyes. “Thank you, brother mine. For everything. See you tomorrow.”
“Yes. I’m… looking forward to it.”
“Me too.” And with this Sherlock was gone and Mycroft watched him stalking down the pathway until he was out of sight.
When he went upstairs, his steps were heavy. He would miss this. He would miss Sherlock so much…
Sherlock saw that he had five missed calls when he switched on his phone. Of course there was no way to keep it on during watching a film.
He called back at once. “Dimmock. You’ve got a case?”
“Oh, thanks for getting back to me. Yes, it’s a really difficult murder case and...”
“...you are totally out of your depth, as always.” Dimmock sighed and Sherlock grinned. “Let me know where to come.”
He entered a cab a few minutes later and briefly wondered if the young DI even had a first name. He obviously had to but Sherlock had never bothered to find out. Well, he would certainly not start with it now…
On the way to the crime scene, he was staring out of the window, not noticing anything. His heart was filled with a joy he hadn’t known he was capable of feeling. But also with fear. Fear of the unknown, the weird, an unheard challenge. And what if… his feelings were not welcome? He was almost a hundred percent sure they would be. But that wasn’t enough. He had to be very, very sure.
Shopping And Lunch
“Don’t look so intimidated, brother mine. It’s just a supermarket.” Mycroft smiled at Sherlock, feeling deep tenderness at the rather disturbed expression the younger man was showing.
“I know. But all those people. So determined to get the best price and take the last piece of some unspeakable food away before someone else can get it. They are scary...”
Mycroft chuckled. The brave detective, used to dealing with killers, in fear of some stone-faced women or the odd, usually confused-looking man. “They won’t harm you. Just don’t get in their way.”
“Easier said than done,” Sherlock mumbled, avoiding an old lady with piercing eyes, who was eager to take a package of rice off the shelf behind him, apparently not even seeing him.
“We’ll make a fine lasagne,” Mycroft tried to distract him. His brother really had some serious social phobia. It was touching. Had he really never gone grocery shopping by himself? Was it always John Watson who had to buy his food? What he had done before John had moved in with him and during the time the doctor had been living with his wife? Probably Mrs Hudson had taken care of him.
Putting his hand protectively on Sherlock’s back (and trying to ignore how much he enjoyed this innocent physical contact) he guided his brother through the large shop, picking what they would need. “Now we just have to get the mince.”
“Um, Mycroft. I’m actually a vegetarian now.”
Mycroft stopped dead. He hadn’t even known this. But Sherlock had chosen a vegetarian meal in the restaurant already (while Mycroft had fish). “Oh. No problem.” Was it because of the man he had fallen for? “We can take vegetables instead. It will mean though that you will have to cut some of them.”
“I’ll manage,” Sherlock assured him. “But I’ll leave the onions to you...”
Mycroft grinned. “Fine with me. I usually don’t cry when I cut them.” He started walking again until he heard Sherlock asking, “Do you ever?”
Sherlock had never asked him such a personal question. And he didn't sound mocking in the least. He sounded as if he really wanted to know this, here, in a supermarket full of noisy, annoying people.
“I… I might have done it not so long ago,” Mycroft confessed, his voice quiet. “When you...”
Sherlock gaped at him. “Magnussen?” he concluded then.
Mycroft nodded. “Yes. I thought… I would lose you forever. I told you… that your loss would break my heart, and I meant it. I know I sent you away and I was afraid something could happen to you before I could get you out. But it was the only way at this point. I just couldn’t let you get away with a murder; my superiors wouldn’t have let me.”
“Mycroft. I know you wouldn’t have let me die. And I understand. I knew what I was doing when I pulled the trigger.”
Had he really? Hadn’t he only seen how he had manoeuvred himself into a hopeless situation because of the damn Watsons? Had he even wasted a thought at his future? He certainly hadn’t wasted one at Mycroft... “And I did it again when you had left the plane, going with John, almost having overdosed because you thought you had to die anyway.” He didn’t know from where he was taking the strength to be so open with Sherlock.
“I didn’t… I had it under control. I needed to think. I’m not that druggie kid anymore, Mycroft. And I swear I will never touch any illegal substances again.”
Because now he had a reason to live… Love was the biggest motivator after all. “I’m glad to hear that. Come, let’s go get what we need.” He could feel Sherlock staring at him, frustrated and disturbed, but he pushed all thoughts away for now to focus on their plans. Cooking would calm him down. He rarely got to do it but it always made him feel calmer and he definitely needed it now.
And he would also try to forget that with each lesson he gave his brother, whatever Sherlock actually gained from it, his beloved brother would get closer to reaching his goal – winning someone else’s heart.
“How’s your finger?”
Sherlock smiled. “It’s fine. Just a scratch.”
Mycroft had been terrified when he had cut his hand while taking care of the red paprika. “Be careful, brother mine!” he had hissed while reaching for Sherlock's hand, examining it, and for a moment, Sherlock had thought he might kiss the wound but of course he had only urged him to rinse his hand with cold water and then looked for a little bandage to cover the cut.
Sherlock had told him he could go on preparing the vegetables but Mycroft had insisted on doing it himself. And in all probability Sherlock wouldn’t have been able to cut them into perfectly neat little pieces with so much perfection.
“The food is excellent,” he said, and he meant it. The sauce was spicy and delicious, the pasta al dente, the porcelain didn’t have a single scratch, the wine glasses were polished thoroughly… For whom? Did his brother ever have guests for dinner? Or lunch, in this case?
“Do you ever...” He stopped, not knowing if he should ask it. He had surprised himself and his brother with asking about the crying already and Mycroft's answers had saddened him and the subject had certainly not been very cheerful for Mycroft, either. So many sore spots between them…
“Do what? Just ask ahead, Sherlock.” Mycroft gave him an encouraging smile.
“Do you have people over? Cooking for them?” He took the next fork of pasta.
Mycroft looked surprised for a moment but then he smiled sadly. “Of course not, little brother. I don’t exactly appreciate the company of the goldfish.”
Sherlock had known this of course. But not everybody out there was a goldfish. There had to be men who were at least nearly as clever as his brother. Well, half as smart at best but still. Someone he could very well talk to. Who wouldn’t bore and annoy him to death. “So you do the cooking just for yourself? You are so good at it.”
Mycroft smiled. “Ah, complimenting the chef! You really learned something over the past days.”
Sherlock tried not to look frustrated. “Ah. Yes. You’re a good teacher.” Mycroft had basically taught him everything when he’d been a boy. But he had chosen to forget that, along with Victor and Eurus. How had his brother felt about this? Well, there was not much question. Bad. Sherlock had always just made him feel bad. But he really hoped he had not done that for the past evenings. Not too much at least…
They ate up in silence. When they were finished, Mycroft put the dishes on a tray and brought them to the kitchen, storing them in the dishwasher.
“Will you stay for a while longer?” Mycroft asked Sherlock then, looking a bit – sheepish?
Sherlock nodded. “Yes, of course. If you don’t have anything better to do?”
“Naturally not,” said Mycroft, and his voice was soft.
For a moment there was an awkward silence when they had sat down on the couch next to each other. Perhaps it was the broad daylight? Or the fact that Mycroft knew that Sherlock didn’t need any more lessons to make a move on the man he fancied, if he had needed them at all in the first place. It had been a pleasure to be around him. And now someone else would have this pleasure…
There was no way to avoid this subject though. “Well. I think you are very capable of making the first step now,” he mumbled.
Sherlock looked at him with an unreadable expression. “I… I don’t think so.”
“Why not? What do you think you still have to learn?” Or had Sherlock given up wanting to get to know this mysterious man better? Mycroft knew he would be happy about it, as nasty as this was. He shouldn’t want Sherlock to stay alone. How selfish he was… But if this was the case, then why was Sherlock here at all?
“Mycroft… Do you think someone would want a man of almost forty who is completely inexperienced in… You know what...”
Mycroft swallowed, realising he had just asked a very stupid question. “Well. If he likes you, he won’t mind. And if not, well, he’s not worth having you in the first place.” Nobody is worth having you anyway...
Sherlock licked his lips. “I don’t think it’s so easy. I have never even kissed anyone for real.” He grimaced. “I let Magnussen’s assistant kiss me, yes,” - Mycroft winced at this - “but I hated it. I pressed my lips together every time. What if I can’t kiss this man either? What if it feels… disgusting to me?”
“I’m sure it won’t.” How could he even say that? He had never liked kissing a lot either… It had been ages ago and he could still feel too much wetness and too little pressure and he could smell ghastly breath…
“Please, Mycroft. Show me.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Teach me how to kiss!”
Mycroft stared at him, his eyes wide with shock. “No, Sherlock. You can’t ask me for that. It’s impossible.”
“Because it’s forbidden? I don’t care.”
“No, Sherlock. Because I can’t teach you how to kiss so you can kiss someone else!” Mycroft blurted, all shields shattered to pieces. He would never be able to indulge in beautiful kisses with the man he loved (and he damn well knew he would love kissing Sherlock), knowing he only did it to be able to pleasure another man!
“Oh Mycroft. You silly, silly man...” Sherlock was smiling at him when he said this, looking… relieved?… and then he wrapped his right arm around Mycroft's neck and pulled him in and kissed him.
For a moment of astonishment, sweetness and pure delight, Mycroft kissed him back, and he loved it. Sherlock's lips, so plush, so made for kissing, tasting of wine and pasta and uniquely-Sherlock, before he pulled back, his eyes even wider than before. “It was me? All this time this was about me?” My God… And he had called himself ‘the smart one’…
“Of course it’s you. Who else? Who else to keep up with me? Who else is worth my time? Who else should I love but you? It took me long enough to figure it out but I’m very sure now. You remember this moment in Sherrinford when you offered to die so I wouldn’t have to shoot John? That was when it happened.”
Mycroft recalled this one moment in Sherrinford, this heavily loaded moment, filled with an inexplicable energy, very well. In fact he would definitely never forget it. What a moment to find out you were in love with your brother, not knowing if you would make it out alive. It must have scared Sherlock to death so he had sent Lestrade to him instead, trying to make up his mind. And Sherlock had seen the sentiment in his eyes, too, but he hadn’t been sure what it meant. And so he had hatched this plan… Mycroft could see it so clearly now.
“You love me?” he asked nonetheless, as it was still so hard to believe.
“Yes, Mycroft. I love you. And… I suppose you...”
“Sure I love you, Sherlock. For so long…”
“And you would have never told me...”
“Of course not. How could I? I thought you… can’t stand me...”
“I’m sorry, brother mine. I was ghastly, horrible, and awful and I never thought you could love me like this and...”
And then Mycroft shut him up with a kiss, and he put all his love into it, holding Sherlock close, stroking his back, pulling him onto his lap, and with every minute they were kissing and pawing at each other another layer of resentment and hurt, guilt and pain, estrangement and nasty words seemed to crumble and fall, until nothing was left but love and trust.
When they finally broke apart, they looked at each other with dazed eyes.
“Will you now… teach me everything? Everything I need to know to pleasure you?” Sherlock asked him, still sounding almost shy.
“Everything,” Mycroft said, nodding vehemently. “But I want to pleasure you too.”
“No objections. But… I think now it would be a bit… too much...” Sherlock smiled sheepishly, his look begging for his understanding.
“Yes, of course. Not a problem. There will be no pressure. Take as much time as you...”
Mycroft smiled. “Sure, if you want. Come over for lunch again? We will have all afternoon and evening, and of course you can stay…” He broke off, suddenly remembering reality. John was living in Sherlock's flat again. Might be wondering where he stayed overnight. This had to be a secret. It would require deceiving everybody Sherlock knew. High discretion. Lies.
“We will figure this all out,” Sherlock hurried to assure him. “We are the Holmes brothers.”
Mycroft smiled again. “Yes. We are the smart ones.” Well, not recently, in his case… But it had been Sherlock who had fooled him after all.
“It will be fine,” Sherlock said quietly. “Can we kiss some more now?”
“By all means.”
And for the next two hours, they did nothing else, and when Sherlock more or less tumbled to the door, there was no doubt that he liked kissing very, very much.
Lessons In Love
“You’re setting the pace, Sherlock. This is about you.”
Sherlock shook his head, letting his hand slide over his brother’s cheek. “No, Mycroft. It’s about us.”
The older man smiled, his hand caressing Sherlock's neck. They were sitting on his bed, very close to each other. “Very true. Still you will decide how far you want to go. And if you realise you can’t or don’t want to have sex, it’s fine, too. We can still be close and tender, if you want this at all...”
It was his own fault, Sherlock knew it. He had deceived his brother in order to find out what he felt for him and had not wanted to do something more the night before, and now Mycroft thought he was a hopeless case. Apart from this, Mycroft only knew him as the awful little brother with the sharp tongue… These few days of getting along great could not erase all the hurt he had caused Mycroft over the past decades.
Deciding that actions did speak louder than words, he pushed Mycroft back so he was half-lying on the bed, and then lifted his legs up so he was lying flat on his back, and then he straddled his lap. “Don’t worry, Mycroft. I will show you exactly what I can deal with.” It would be everything two men could do with each other. Not all of it right now, obviously. But they were both naked except for their pants and it was time to learn something. He had always liked to learn… And his goal was clear: learn how to please the man you love.
And with this he was all over him, kissing him full of passion, and he shuddered when Mycroft's warm arms closed around his waist, holding him while his brother was kissing him back with equal verve. Yes. That was what he wanted. And it only was the innocent beginning of something Sherlock knew was the most important and most exciting development of his life, a life that certainly hadn’t lacked challenges and excitement.
After all he hadn’t deceived Mycroft all that much – he had wanted to be taught love. And he knew he had the best teacher anyone could wish for.
Mycroft closed his eyes in pleasure; his entire body seemed to be under the influence of electricity. But in fact it was ‘just’ Sherlock, obviously determined to find all his erogenous zones, well, at least the ones above the waist so far. He was nibbled at his neck, teasing his nipples with his tongue, his hands busy with caressing Mycroft's tender sides. It felt amazing.
He had been actually rather glad Sherlock had not wanted to start their sexual exploration the day before as it had given him time to adjust to the breathtaking truth that Sherlock had all this time wanting to please him, not one of his friends or some nameless stranger. But even though he'd had twenty-four hours to accept this, he still felt as if this all couldn’t be real. It was too good to be true.
And still Sherlock was here with him, almost naked and visibly aroused, doing marvellous things to him. Mycroft's cock was hard and throbbing as well, of course it was, but he felt weird in a way.
“Shouldn’t… Shouldn’t this be the other way around?” he brought out when Sherlock was busy exploring his navel with his tongue.
Little brother looked up to him. “Relax, Mycroft. I’m fine. And I’ve always believed in learning by doing.” He smiled at Mycroft but there was a suspicious look in his eyes. “You do want this, don't you? You haven’t changed your mind?”
Mycroft felt horribly guilty. “No! Of course not. I want it. I want you. I guess I just have to get used to you worshipping my rather… unappealing body and…”
“Mycroft, if you say something that stupid and untrue again, I’ll get very cross,” Sherlock snarled, and his narrowed eyes and his tone suggested he already was pretty cross. “You are damn handsome and in great shape and please do forget every nasty thing I said about your weight, all right? It was never justified and even if you gained some weight, it would be totally fine as I’m in love with you, not your stomach. Even though I do love your stomach and your backside and just everything about you.”
Mycroft was taken aback by this fierce speech and he reached out to cup Sherlock's cheek. “I'm sorry, little brother. It is just hard to believe someone so perfect could find me attractive.”
“Perfect?” Sherlock sat up, his weight a pleasant pressure on Mycroft's thighs. “You think this is perfect?” He looked down on his body, all plain muscles, no hair – but deep scars. And Mycroft was well aware there were more on his back. The souvenir from Serbia. But the worst one was on his chest, caused by the bullet that had almost killed him. Mary Watson… He owed them all to the Watsons, in one way or the other.
Sherlock read his thoughts from his face. “I did what I had to do, Mycroft. And you were wrong about something. The man I am today is not my memory of Eurus. I am who I am because of you, and because of John, and partly Mary as well. You can also add Lestrade and Molly. I did learn a lot about loyalty. And yes, about betrayal. It all shaped me and I hope you can love me the way I am.”
Mycroft's hand reached up to the remains of the wound that had nearly cost his brother's life. “I do, little brother. I love you, and I find you amazingly pretty. But I have to be honest – if something like this happens again or if Doctor Watson finds it necessary to raise his hand against you again, I will not sit back and watch. It was hard enough to accept your forgiveness when I was just your brother. But now as your… partner – I do hope we will get there – I won't allow anyone to injure you, ever again. I do hope you will accept this condition – if someone harms you, I will harm them.” He could hear how cold he sounded and he hoped that Sherlock wouldn’t be offended by this appearance of what some people called The Iceman.
But Sherlock just smiled and it was a smile full of affection. “I wouldn’t want you to let anyone get away with it,” he assured him. “But John will never get violent against me again.”
He sounded absolutely convinced and Mycroft didn’t question it, didn’t say he couldn’t actually know this. John was still working with him on cases, he had a daughter and a new girlfriend, and nobody knew into which kind of dangerous situations the partners in solving crimes could get. He did hope John would never take to violence again. But in the end Sherlock knew him better. Sherlock was still his own man. He would always make his own decisions and Mycroft would always support him. But he would not let anyone who hurt him go unpunished again, and he knew Sherlock had understood this.
“And now let me see what's in those pants,” Sherlock changed the subject to a much more pleasant matter. “Ooh,” he made when he had taken a thorough look. “You're big brother for real.”
Mycroft couldn’t help but laugh. “But you're not little brother. I'm confused.”
Sherlock's eyes were sparkling. “Don't worry – you're still big brother compared to me,” he smirked. “What do you think – would he like to see my mouth from the inside?”
Mycroft was amazed Sherlock wanted to go that far today. “I'm sure he would. But I insist on doing some exploration of my own first.” And with this he gently forced Sherlock onto his back, showering his mouth and face and neck with kisses, and Sherlock chuckled and succumbed to his efforts, and soon Mycroft was high on smooth, sweet skin, long fingers caressing his scalp and the infatuating taste of baby brother.
If Sherlock hadn’t owned a vast mind palace already, today would have been the time to build it and fill it with all the amazing moments he was sharing with his brother, the man he loved with all his heart. Perhaps he had not been a hundred percent sure if this love would stand the test of time and the challenges of a forbidden liaison before they had spent so much time together but now there was no doubt left that he wanted this, needed this, and thank God, Mycroft very obviously agreed.
As it was, a large part of his mind palace would be filled with these memories – Mycroft's soft kisses, the way his wiry chest hair felt on Sherlock's skin, all the stroking and kissing and feeling each other. And Sherlock would have gladly deleted everything else to make room for every sigh of pleasure, of every gasp his brother was eliciting while Sherlock was slowly and carefully learning how to please him with his mouth, for every entwining of their fingers and licking a stiff nipple or fondling a soft, swollen sack. He knew he would never forget a second of their first encounter and he couldn’t wait for all there was to come.
The taste was weird and wild but Sherlock couldn’t get enough of it. Concentrating on watching his teeth, he gently suckled at the wide crown of his brother’s cock. Mycroft had not done it for him so far; Sherlock hadn’t let him as he couldn’t wait to taste him. He pulled back to watch the shiny, dark-red head, blood-filled and swollen, and he looked up to see Mycroft's face. His brother’s eyes were dazed, his mouth slightly open, and he had a look of deep arousal and hunger that Sherlock wished he could use as a background picture for his phone and laptop.
Grinning, he wrapped his lips around Mycroft's cock again and sucked a bit harder this time, and Mycroft threw his head back and moaned – and Sherlock came, abruptly, his fingers only wrapped loosely around his penis.
“Did you just...”
Sherlock had let his cock plop out of his mouth. “I did,” he said dryly, panting, and slid his hand through the mess on his stomach.
Sherlock chuckled. “Your fault. Your indecent moaning did this to me.”
“I’m very sorry,” Mycroft said, his voice heavily sultry.
“No, you’re not. And now let’s see if I can get you over the edge as well.” And with this Sherlock resumed his task, lapping and licking Mycroft's cock, weighing his heavy sack in his hand, and he continued to suck, harder than before, when Mycroft told him he was close.
The eruption down his throat wasn’t all that pleasant and he gagged; he couldn’t help it. But he swallowed happily, proud of himself to have made his brother orgasm on his first try, knowing he would only get better with more practice. And he planned to practice this thoroughly, among other things.
They had opened the door wide to a fulfilling sexual relationship, and they would also do more of this romantic stuff Mycroft had introduced him to during the past days. They could never go into a restaurant as a couple; even with a masquerade Sherlock wouldn’t dare. There was no way to risk anything as the ignorant society wouldn’t accept their love. They would have to face problems; Sherlock was absolutely aware of this. They would clash and fight and then make up. They were still siblings with a long and not very pretty history, and they would need time to make up for this. And he was eager to cherish every moment they could spend with each other, not only the sex but the talking and the cuddling and certainly the kissing.
He scrambled up on the bed to be able to lay his head on his brother’s chest, and Mycroft pulled the blanket over them and held him in a firm grip.
“This was wonderful,” he said, playing with a curl on Sherlock's forehead.
“Yes. I loved to do that. And I want to do everything with you. You must teach me.”
“I think you’re a very good autodidact actually.”
Sherlock grinned. “I am. But still. Teach me everything about love.”
“I knew nothing about love until today,” Mycroft whispered. “We’ll figure it out together, okay?”
“Very much so.”
“Later I’d love to return this gorgeous oral favour if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all...” Sherlock shuddered at the thought of Mycroft's pretty lips wrapped around his cock.
“That is, if you don’t come again just because I moan,” Mycroft teased him.
Sherlock snorted. “Not my fault that you’re so sexy, Mycroft!”
“Sexy… I never found myself sexy. You are.”
“We both are. We are the Holmes brothers. It’s all in our genes.”
“I thought it was just the cleverness.”
Sherlock shook his head. “Nope. We’re smart, we’re hot, and we’re in love.”
“Without a doubt. Thank you, little brother.”
Sherlock looked up to him. “What for? The blowjob? Anytime!”
Mycroft smiled. “That too. Thank you for risking this. For coming to me and starting this adventure.”
“I wasn’t sure if I even deserve you after all I...”
“Hush, love. Forgiven and forgotten.”
Mycroft clearly meant it, Sherlock was well aware. But he would apologise for every damn thing he had done to annoy him, to hurt him and to damage their brotherly relationship even further, if Mycroft wanted this or not. Perhaps he would write it down. But not right now.
“I guess I’m ready for the second round,” he informed his brother.
“What?” Mycroft looked at him, aghast. “Already?”
Sherlock smirked, rubbing his hardening cock against Mycroft’s thigh. “I saved it all up for you after all.”
“I’m middle aged, Sherlock. Have some mercy.”
Sherlock straddled him and bent down to kiss him. “Okay. You have five more minutes.”
Mycroft gave him a smile that warmed his heart, his hands rubbing Sherlock's sides. “You’re too generous.”
“I know. I love you.”
And while Mycroft was still telling him that he loved him, too, he claimed his mouth in another kiss. Could anyone get addicted to kissing? Well, he was. And he was damn happy and he would make sure that Mycroft was happy, too. This was his new mission and the case of his life – making this work, making Mycroft happy. He deserved it. And perhaps, after all these dark times, he deserved it as well.