Hearing the telltale click of the door of the flat opening, Mycroft Holmes stood up from the armchair in which he'd been waiting for the past hour and a half, preparing his driest little smile before turning around in greeting.
"Detective Inspector," he'd started to say.
But now he was frozen in place, eyes roaming the man in front of him while his brain loaded up recovery protocols. Greg Lestrade was taking off his muddy sneakers, as if it would alleviate the fact that the rest of him - namely, the t-shirt that was a bit too tight and the shorts that molded his bottom perfectly - was covered up in grass and dirt as well. He must have noticed the ogling, because he chuckles, eyes crinkling in the corners.
Mycroft's mouth had gone dry, then entirely too wet to formulate a response.
"I won't ask how you got in," Lestrade says, "Those crafty officials from the Traffic Department always have a way, don't they?"
He directs a cheeky grin at him as he moves to the small kitchen, Mycroft following a few seconds later to find him chugging on water. Greg wipes his mouth with a paper towel, flashing a smile.
There's a strange glint in his eye as Mycroft quickly clears his throat, attempting to compose himself.
"Detective Inspector," he says.
Mycroft ignores the by now familiar pang in his chest as his eyes take in the dimples that have just now formed in Lestrade's face, instead deciding to continue.
"I'm here to discuss today's crime scene."
"What about it?"
Mycroft opens his mouth to speak, but his words die down when Greg lifts up his shirt, snaking another paper towel under it to dry the delicious sweat most definitely running down his body right now.
Mycroft swallows, closing his eyes for a second. In his mind's eye instead of the towel it's his hand doing the job, feeling the hardness of muscle underneath the soft stomach Greg has acquired with middle age, leaving behind traces of coolness as he wipes the sweat away. The image shifts, showing him doing the same in other even more intimate circumstances.
Mycroft beats it away, feeling the hateful telltale blush rising to his face. Does this wretched man not know the effect he has on everyone within his proximity?
"Are you alright?" Greg has the gall to ask. "You'll have to forgive me, just arrived from playing footie with some mates and you know how it gets. It's all dirt and sweat. Good cardio, though!"
I can think of some other more entertaining exercises that make for good cardio, Mycroft's brain supplies, making sure that if the blush wasn't evident before, it certainly was now.
It takes all he has to not evaporate into a cloud of steam when Lestrade's hand flies up, feeling his forehead with a hum.
"You're not feverish I don't think, but you're looking a bit bothered. You should sit down."
Before Mycroft can respond he's been led to a sofa, where he's now sitting and staring blankly in front of him, cushions piled around him. A few minutes must have passed because soon Lestrade arrives with a tray of tea in hand, depositing it in front of him.
"Here you go, I'll leave you to fix your own cup while I shower. Then we can talk more comfortably, yeah?"
After a second Mycroft nods, taking in what he'd said.
Greg's going to shower. In the room right next to this one. Hell, if Mycroft turned around he'd almost be able to see the door to the bathroom, where the man will be strolling around naked in ignorant bliss of the effects he's having.
He's not even closed the door, the beast. How can someone be so unselfconscious?
And now Mycroft has to sit there, cooling tea in hand, trying and failing to tune out the sounds of the shower that's just been turned on along with the thoughts of the man in it: feeling the hot steam adhering to his body as he scrubs dirt off soapy skin and cleans the scrapes unassisted, lacking someone else's careful, appreciative hands to do so.
I'm torturing myself. I should be home working. Instead I'm drinking tea and fantasizing like a young teenaged creep in Gregory Lestrade's flat.
...No, not Gregory. I don't deserve to call him that.
He returns the full cup to the tray, tea spilling off one side. His empty fists clench as he stands up, searching for anchor.
Enough minutes have passed that Lestrade is probably almost done. This leaves Mycroft with little time to scramble with haste, uncaring of how impolite he will seem.
His brain doesn't register the sound of the water turning off, too busy counting his belongings as he reassembles himself, readying to take off. Jacket. Phone. Umbrella. He doesn't hesitate. It crosses his mind that he could leave something, have to come back later for it, earning himself another chance at seeing this man who's plagued his brain for so long, take another small moment of his time in close quarters. It would be easy, he thinks, and unearned. He brushes the scenario away with a frown, scolding himself for even considering it.
He's halfway to the door when a hand stops him.
"Mycroft? Thought you needed to talk about the crime scene."
It takes him a moment to tear his gaze away from the door to the hand on him, eyes sliding up Lestrade's arm to his shoulder, categorizing every minute detail in the journey. He ignores the man's glistening skin and the fact that he's only wearing trousers, which are unbuttoned and secured with his free hand.
"Detective Inspector," Mycroft manages to say, unwilling to look at Greg's face as his own cold mask slides up with effort. "Work calls, I'm afraid. This can wait another time."
Greg's silent. When Mycroft dares look up, the man's face is serious, and he's glancing at his own hand on Mycroft's arm as it slides down.
"Really? Can it really wait?"
It's no louder than a whisper, and it makes something squeeze in Mycroft's chest.
The thick hand rests over Mycroft's, leftover warmth from the shower's steam coaxing a shiver. Then it lifts, finger trailing over to Mycroft's wrist, stopping right before the boundary of his cuff as if asking for permission to explore. It's a single point of contact, almost resting on his pulse. Mycroft's blood feels like it's pounding through and out of him without arrest, leaving him breathless, overwhelmed and entranced. When he manages to look up he sees it, written on Greg's face.
It's in his resigned smile, the affection shining through his eyes.
"You've seen it."
Mycroft manages to look down at Greg's hand on his, still over his hammering pulse. His own fingers extend, searching for Greg's pulse in confirmation. In response he receives a beat matching his in strength. He can only look up, mask gone.
"Detective Inspector, I... Did not realize." He says, disbelief coloring his every word.
"Well, you Holmes boys may be geniuses, but when it comes to emotions..."
"We're pretty daft," finishes Mycroft.
Greg's eyes open wide before he huffs out a laugh, eyes crinkling.
"Yeah, you can be."
It's in that crinkle of his eyes that Mycroft can now read it clearly: Fondness, want.
For me. All this time...?
"Yes, all this time."
At his startled look Greg smiles, warm.
"Don't need to be a mind reader to know you're wondering. You're smart, gorgeous, and witty. There's a lot to like, Mycroft, so you shouldn't be surprised." Something crosses his face and he looks away, the smile straining. "Just don't let Sherlock find out, alright? Don't need him to start being a prick about me having a crush on his brother."
Mycroft is silent, a part of him still absorbing it all. His lack of response seems to make Greg feel self-conscious because he takes a step back, apologetic.
"Have a good night, Mycroft."
It's Mycroft's turn to grab Greg, hand stopping him mid-turn.
"Detective Inspect- That is to say, Greg," he starts, "Well... Words seem to fail me at the moment."
"I understand if you don't. You don't need to explain."
"Please, Gregory. I meant to..."
Mycroft stops, then gazes at Greg helplessly. His eyes look down at Greg's mouth without his permission, but his slowness in reversing the gesture is deliberate.
Greg's suspended in time, smiling in disbelief.
Mycroft nods, unable to lie.
Without another word Greg steps in as if in a trance, hand traveling up Mycroft's face to gently reel him down. Mycroft does the rest of the work for him, sinking into Greg with unpracticed ease until their lips touch.
The first kiss is barely a brush, a feather over skin.
The sensation melds with a smell of mountain spring, the aroma of soap and light cologne mixed with the scent of Greg Lestrade, who's leaned up again then twice more, taking his time with his chaste kisses. Whether it was on the first or the third or the fifth one they don't know, but the light touch is enough to notice their pulses are thrumming in unison, and when they manage to pull apart their eyes meet, sharing a glance of complicity.
Then a hand makes its way to Mycroft's side, firm yet gentle in its coaxing, and before he knows it his arms are snaking under Greg's and they're clinging to each other, Greg's fingers tangling on the soft auburn hair in Mycroft's neck, while Mycroft's hands begin traveling the expanses of Greg's back as the muscles tense then yield under his touch, uncaring that whatever drops of water remained have most likely been moped up by his sleeves.
The wet sleeves are still forgotten thirty minutes later, both too busy behaving like teenagers snogging on the sofa to mind.
After a long while Greg rumbles against Mycroft's mouth, and Mycroft can feel the smile on his face - Greg's or his, it doesn't matter - before they separate, flushed beyond relief and beyond their senses.
Greg clears his throat, voice rough as he looks up at Mycroft.
"So... Did you still need to talk about, um... The crime scene, was it?"
Mycroft raises an eyebrow, impish little grin blossoming.
"I believe, Detective Inspector, that talking is the last thing I'd like to do right now."