Greg was starting to get nervous.
And he wasn't a man who got nervous easily
But forty-five minutes of silence, under the scrutinizing gaze of Mycroft Holmes could make the bravest and calmest of men tremble with fear, could make the coldest and most ruthless of criminals cry, asking to see their mother, and could make the most virtuous and selfless of saints scream, pleading guilty to horrific made-up crimes, just to end that torture.
They had met, as it was already a weekly tradition between them, in Mycroft's office at the Diogenes Club, to relax with a good whisky in front of the fire, talking about this and that most of the time, enjoying a comfortable silence when they were too tired physically or mentally to talk at all, others.
Yes, the silence between them was not new, but this silence felt different.
Greg really enjoyed the company of the man, and found himself looking forward to these encounters all week long. Even when they said goodbye, Greg felt lighter and happier, no matter how hard his day might have been, unable to wipe the silly smile off his face for hours, recalling in his mind fragments of the conversation, and
reliving in his mind the expressive man's gestures again until he fell asleep.
That night had passed normally, though Mycroft seemed a little distracted.
Greg took over the conversation, while the other one nodded or gave him small smiles.
At one point, Mycroft squinted slightly at him, resting his chin on his fingers in a position that looked very much like Sherlock's when he was thinking,with eyes fixed on Greg .
Greg was silent, assuming that the man had gone to his Mental Palace for a moment.
Now, forty-five minutes later, he wondered if more than a Mental Palace, Mycroft would not have a Mental Villa.
A small village with narrow cobbled streets, with crystal clear water fountains, little white-walled houses, a church with a bell tower situated in front of a small square, right in front of the town hall, grocery shops, a small library, a large bookstore, an antique shop, a café or two, with striped awnings and a terrace, with some farms on the outskirts, with stables for the horses, wheat and poppy fields, a large stately mansion at the top of the hill and even a small private forest surrounding the whole place, given how long it was taking to "get back".
Greg stirred in his seat, coughing slightly
Finally, Mycroft returned to reality.
- Oh, I'm sorry, Gregory. I was lost in thought, I'm afraid.
- It's all right. Anything bothering you? You know what, if I can, I like to help you.
Mycroft seemed to debate with himself for a moment. He began to deny with his head, as he opened his mouth to speak. He seemed to change his mind unexpectedly, hesitating.
Another anomaly today, Greg thought.
- Ah, actually, yes, you could be useful as this concerns you.
Now Greg was openly curious.
- To me? Have I done something wrong or...?
- No, no, not at all, but.... How long have we known each other, Gregory?
- Seven years? Maybe a little longer.
- Aha... you see, there's something that's been developing, something I haven't experienced before, and...
Greg straightened up, wondering if the intelligent man had noticed his attraction to him. More than attraction, if he was to be honest.
- Yes, you see, I... I feel a little confused. You... I like you, Gregory. And that's new.
The DI struggled against the big smile that threatened to form, as he told his stupid heart to stay put.
- Yes. You see, I don't like anyone. Well, there are some things I like about some people. I tolerate them a little more than the rest. But you... I've been liking you more and more since we met. And not just some things about you, like your kindness, or your patience, or your looks. I like everything, altogether... - Mycroft drew a circle with his index finger, framing Greg. - And I like spending time with you. And as I say, this is new for me.
Mycroft was silent again, as if he didn't know what to do with the facts once he had exposed them.
Possibly,it was so.
Greg bit his lips, smiling slightly, trying to control his expression so the man wouldn't think he was making fun of him. Something told him that the next few minutes would be crucial.
- I see. Well, I understand your situation. I mean, we're all a little uneasy about finding ourselves in unfamiliar situations,- Mycroft nodded briefly and Greg plucked up his courage. - If it helps, I like you a lot. So too, on altogether, not one particular thing. You're interesting, funny, kind and... Well, in short, I like you too. For a long time now. - Mycroft's ears blushed slightly, while frowned the slightly, puzzled. Greg stepped forward in his seat, nervous.- Okay, is this new too for you? That someone likes you?
Mycroft pursed his lips before nodding.
- I... uh, well, there are people who like some things about me. Some people like my power, others my money, some have appreciated my intelligence, some find me funny and some others have found me a good company to... You know. But... Yeah, that's new too.
They looked at each other for a moment, in silence, Mycroft thinking and Greg waiting as he showed him what he wanted the man would take as a smile of encouragement.
- Okay. So, what do we do?
- Well, since you like me and I like you, I guess we could... Start seeing each other?
- See you, Greg.
- Yeah, but I mean, out of here. You know, dinner, a walk, a movie at the other's house.... Get to know each other better.
- Like... Like on a date?
Mycroft's expression when he uttered the word "date" reminded Greg of a Youtube video where a baby came out licking a lemon.
- Well, if you want to see it like that... You can also see it as two friends who are comfortable and looking to expand the time they spend together, doing different things than they already do. Whatever helps you not to panic.
- Will there be sex involved in that "Expansion of the time we spend together"?
- Well, not right away. But yes, I suppose it will be something we both want to get to in a short time. We are adults, after all.... Unless you don't want to, of course.
- Yeah! Oh, well, not right now but... yeah, definitely, yeah, I will. A lot.
- Great! Well, it’s a deal then.
- When do we start.?
-How about Friday night? Dinner? Something we can afford halfway. Not too noisy or too fancy. Sound good to you?
-Yes. Yes, it sounds excellent.
- Good, I'm glad we talked. I should go now, we'll both be up early tomorrow. Shall we talk tomorrow to arrange the details for Friday dinner?
Mycroft imitated Greg when he got up, walking him to the door to go out, helping him put his coat on.
Greg turned around, noticing the nervousness on his face.
- Yes, of course, I...
- What's up, Mycroft? Are you changing your mind?
-No! No, of course not! I was just wondering if... I know we said we'd take it slow, but I was wondering if...
Greg's eyes lit up, understanding what the politician meant. Approaching, he cradled Mycroft's face with his hands, before kissing him gently. Mycroft put his arms around the DI's waist, bringing him closer and kissing him back. They parted after a few seconds, smiling at each other.
-Yes, Mycroft, we can kiss. See you on Friday.
Mycroft's radiant smile lit up Greg's way home.