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Inexplicable (Mystrade)

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A/N: Okay, first, I must say that this fic would never have been possible without jaimi-or-jaemi, whose prompt allowed me to explore an avenue I hadn't even considered myself. Second, I want to apologize in advance- if you've followed me for any length of time, you know that I pretty much post a chapter every day, when I'm working on a multi-chapter fiction. Due to the fact that my next semester of college starts up tomorrow, I will be much busier, which means that updates are highly likely to be less frequent. I will do what I can, when I can, and I hope that nobody is disappointed if it takes a little while longer than usual for me to post. I will be around, my darlings.

Now that I'm done rambling, I shall let you get on with my latest work! Thank you for reading, and if you have anything you'd like to say, do let me know. Enjoy!

"This is not—"

"This is most definitely your fault, brother dear, now do shut up!" Mycroft was snippy with Sherlock for once, instead of the other way around, and rightfully so. Mycroft, after all, wasn't the genius consulting detective who'd pissed off one of London's foremost drug dealers by causing his brother to get arrested, and prompting retaliation. And for once, it hadn't actually even been Mycroft's fault he'd been with Sherlock. The younger brother was the one who'd requested that they meet, and requested that he not bring Anthea as the matter was "sensitive."

Mycroft, who hadn't done field work in years, hadn't even managed to convince their kidnappers that he should be allowed to keep his umbrella. Not that it'd have helped; just one of him against six of them that he knew of was a bad risk.

So instead of fighting, or acting in any way, he and Sherlock had decided to be patient, and see if they could get any information out of their captors. So far they'd not been hurt, but then, the man who'd paid for Sherlock's kidnapping hadn't arrived yet. With any luck, he would understand that to harm Mycroft Holmes was a torture and death sentence, and would immediately give up on his plans. If he did not… Well. Mycroft didn't really fear death, as he knew death would come for him eventually regardless of when, and he'd recently found life rather unfulfilling anyway.

If he was honest with himself, he was probably lonely. He'd spent the past couple decades of his life simply watching over his little brother and doing his job, and now Sherlock didn't even really need him. He had John to take care of him now, and Mycroft had been doing his best to not interfere with their lives. Which left him with no one and nothing, really, at the end of the day.

So while Sherlock spat insults at their captors, Mycroft sat calmly, eyes closed, meditating on his life and how he'd come to be here. It was only after the kidnappers had left them tied to chairs and exited the room that Sherlock finally fell silent for a little while, audibly seething while he worked to free himself from his bindings.

Mycroft internally rolled his eyes at this, at least until his younger brother grunted in failure.

"John will be coming for us soon. We just have to wait." Mycroft sighed, giving in and opening his eyes.

"How lovely that your white knight will be coming to rescue us, when this all could have been avoided had you let Anthea come and meet you with me. What was it you wanted to talk about exactly?"

Sherlock blushed a little, biting his lip.

"Erm… Well, it seems a little silly now, but I was actually… John and I are getting married, and I was wondering if you should like to be my best man. I know that you and I are not close, but as you are the only family I have, and the only person I might call friend beside Lestrade and John, who neither of whom can obviously be my best man, so… Well. I suppose I was in the mood to play cloak and dagger as you do, but I truly did not mean to get you kidnapped."

Mycroft blinked, a little surprised, then sighed and nodded. It was the closest thing to an apology that Sherlock was ever likely to give him, and the offer was, frankly, unexpected enough to startle the elder Holmes. Not as much, however, as the gunfire he heard coming from the floor above them just seconds later.

Still tied up, there was little either of them could do but listen as a series of shots, a few screams, and the sound of pounding footsteps rang out, followed by two pairs of feet running down the stairs.

Mycroft was not surprised to see John Watson leading the charge, ignoring the fact that a bullet had nicked his arm in his rush to get to his flat mate… fiancée now, Mycroft supposed. He wondered when exactly that had happened, as he hadn't picked up on it, but decided it probably didn't bear thinking about.

What did surprise him, and instantly draw his considerable attention, was when Gregory Lestrade was right behind him, and instantly set to his ropes while John took care of Sherlock's. Mycroft hadn't ever actually met him face to face, but they had shared a number of surprisingly nice phone conversations over the years, concerning their mutual efforts to keep Sherlock safe, sober, and most importantly, alive.

He knew what Gregory looked like, but was a little surprised when he addressed him while hastily undoing the ropes that held him to the chair.

"Mycroft, are you okay? They didn't hurt you, did they?" Mycroft nearly gaped at the DI's obvious interest in his welfare. He hadn't considered the two of them particularly close, though he supposed they had shared more phone conversations than he would have with a mere acquaintance, and it was surprisingly pleasant shock to realize that Gregory cared about his condition, at least a little.

"I'm perfectly fine. They didn't hurt either of us. They were planning to when the drug lord arrived, I'm sure, but you arrived with plenty of time to spare, as it would have been at least another forty-two minutes before he would have been able to get here." Greg snorted at Mycroft's matter-of-fact tone, choosing the ignore the casual way he talked about the potential of getting injured or dying. That was something that maybe, maybe they could address later.

"How did you know who I was, Gregory? We've never met face to face before."

"Well, first off, I found an umbrella upstairs, and that's how John always talked about you. Second… you just sit like a Holmes. You've got that same haughty dignity Sherlock does, even when you should be terrified. It's a little scary, frankly. I think you might even have 'dignified' down better than he does. Anyway, let's get you out of here. I've got my men watching the doors, so everything should be good. Do you need to call anyone?"

"No," Mycroft murmured, even though he should probably have gotten in touch with Anthea. He had the strange urge to linger around the cop for a while longer, enjoy his candor and not think too much about the fact that there was no one, on a personal level, he would have been compelled to call. Until tonight, he'd thought his brother was the only one who might care… now, intrigued at the possibility that against all odds he might have found himself a "friend," he decided to see if what he was feeling was true friendship, or if it was just a reaction of realizing that the man had saved his life. It appeared, he realized with a small smirk that got him more than one raised eyebrow, that he had his own white knight.