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"This is new."

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“Well…” Greg sat back in his chair, studying the man sitting on the other side of his desk. “This is new.”

 

“I’m sorry?”

 

“You actually asking me for a favor and using the word ‘please’. I mean,” Greg sat forward, leaning on his desk with his elbows. “Generally, it’s ‘Lestrade, give my brother a case.’ Or, ‘Lestrade, Sherlock has upset the local constabulary. Go sort it out.’ My personal favorite was—“

 

“Yes, I see your point,” Mycroft interrupted irritably. “Forgive me for wasting your time.” He stood and adjusted his coat, tugging on the sleeves.

 

“Hang on, don’t you want to know the answer?”

 

Mycroft paused, and with visible effort, did not roll his eyes. “Of course, what’s your answer, Lestrade?”

 

“Sure, I’ll go with you. I’ve got nothing on that weekend.” Greg shrugged and leaned back in his chair. He smiled at the shocked look on Mycroft’s face. “But, you’ll have to call me Greg, or no one is going to believe we’re a couple.”

 

“Right. Yes, I’ll do that, Les—“ Mycroft stumbled over his words. “Apologies, Gregory.”

 

“Close enough.” Greg stood and came around the desk to face one very flummoxed Mycroft Holmes. “You’ll send me the details?”

 

“Yes, I’ll have Anthea forward them to you.” Mycroft was staring at Greg looking for any hint he was being taken for a ride.

 

“Great. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a full afternoon.” Greg gestured to the door.

 

Mycroft nodded, finally convinced he’d been successful in his quest. “As do I.” He picked up his umbrella and shook Greg’s hand. At the door he stopped and looked back. “Thank you, Gregory.”

 

Greg lifted his chin and Mycroft slipped out of the office. The door shut softly and Greg chuckled to himself. He rubbed the back of his neck and went back to his paperwork.

 


 

Two weeks later Greg stood outside his flat dressed in the blue suit he’d worn to John and Mary’s wedding, a lifetime ago. He had a new tie, shirt, and some rather nice cufflinks, compliments of his date, Mycroft Holmes. Greg wasn’t sure what possessed him to agree to be Mycroft Holmes’s date to this family wedding. He had second thoughts, but then he had third thoughts, quickly followed by fourth thoughts, eventually fifth thoughts occurred, and now...

 

A sleek dark blue Mercedes pulled up along the curb. The front passenger window rolled down and Greg could see Mycroft’s distinctive profile before he turned his head to greet Greg with a tentative smile. Greg slid into the passenger seat, breathing deeply the scent of leather and Mycroft’s cologne.

 

Greg stroked the dashboard. “If I’m very good, will you let me drive her home?”

 

Mycroft chuckled. “And good afternoon to you.”

 

“Oh, sorry. Didn’t see you there.” Greg turned to grin cheekily at Mycroft. “Good afternoon. You ready for this?”

 

“I should ask the same of you.”

 

Greg shrugged. “I’ve got nothing to lose, the way I see it. It’s your family. Which leads me to ask, won’t Sherlock be there?”

 

Mycroft pulled back into traffic and headed towards the motorway. “Sherlock, at a wedding? You realize it was a minor miracle he attended John and Mary’s nuptials.” Mycroft smoothly shifted gears as he wove the car through London traffic. “None of my immediate family will be at the wedding. In fact, it wasn’t my intention to attend. But I was informed by my mother that someone from the family needed to attend cousin Adelaide’s granddaughter’s wedding, and they’d be out of the country.”

 

“So really, you won’t know anyone at this wedding either.”

 

“Not very well,” Mycroft confirmed.

 

“And why do you need me?”

 

Mycroft sighed. “My experience is weddings are filled with people trying to find a partner, or worse, people trying their hand at matchmaking. Showing up at such a function without a date leaves one open to being preyed upon.”

 

Greg nodded. That made sense. “So why me?” he asked.

 

Mycroft cut his eyes over at Greg and looked him over. “I’d think that’s rather obvious.”

 


 

“I can always tell when a couple is truly in love.”

 

“Hmm?” Greg turned back to face his table mate, Mycroft’s cousin Adelaide.

 

The elderly woman smiled at Greg’s inattentiveness. “You know exactly where he’s at all times, don’t you?”

 

Greg looked back at Mycroft, standing a few tables away, chatting amicably with several older gentlemen. They all had the look of former government officials. “I suppose I do.”

 

Adelaide nodded. “He knows where you are too,” she observed as Mycroft met Greg’s eyes. He quirked an eyebrow and returned his attention to his conversation.

 

Greg could feel his cheeks flush slightly. He took a drink of wine. “It’s only natural in a strange place to keep track of your date,” he replied noncommittally.

 

“Oh, there’s definitely more to it than that,” Adelaide responded knowingly. The band finished their current song and a slower tune began to play. Greg felt his shoulder being poked. “Go ask him to dance.”

 

“What? No.”

 

“Don’t you dance?”

 

“Yes, but…”

 

“Mycroft dances beautifully.” Adelaide poked him again more firmly. “Now, go dance.”

 

Greg reluctantly stood. Mycroft disengaged from the group and moved to join Greg.

 

“Everything all right?”

 

“Fine…”

 

“Dance!” Adelaide made a shooing gesture towards the dance floor. Greg shrugged helplessly. Mycroft raised an eyebrow and held out his hand.

 

“We’ve out done ourselves. She seems to think we’re in love,” Greg murmured as they took a turn around the dance floor. “Something about how we always know where the other is.”

 

“I thought it was simply good manners to keep track of your date.”

 

“That’s what I said,” Greg replied. He pulled back a little to look at Mycroft. Mycroft’s eyes were dark and Greg could feel Mycroft’s pulse race under his palm where they held hands.

 

“But I could be wrong,” Mycroft offered quietly, his gaze intent. Greg swallowed. His heart pounded in time with Mycroft’s heart.

 

The world shrank away and Greg took a deep breath. “I could be too,” he murmured.