AN: I am so so sorry that it has been so long since I updated! Final year has been killing me and I've had a bunch of other personal stuff going on. This is the last of the chapters that I had pre-written but once I have my dissertation and coursework and exam out of the way I will be back on this! I love this 'verse too much to let it be (and the boys need to get together, right? ;)) Anyways, sorry again and I hope you enjoy!
"So I'm coming over, I hope it's alright,
Listen for me pulling into your drive,
Look out your window, you'll see my lights,
Baby girl, I gotta see you tonight," – Scott McCreery
After a day of running errands, Greg was making up a lasagne with plans of a few beers and whatever rubbish Saturday night television provided. Despite sending a couple of texts per day, the silver-haired man had heard nothing from Mycroft, causing him to wonder what had changed since their interactions the day after their date. He was considering what he would say in his latest text; he usually started with a 'good morning' text with a quick statement of what he had planned for the day and the evening text usually covered what he had done and saying he hoped the government official had had a good day.
Just as he was sprinkling the cheese over the lasagne his phone began to ring in his jeans pocket, so once his hands were empty he pulled the phone out to find the caller was Mycroft.
"Hey, everythin' OK?" he asked.
"It will be once I have had a shower, shave and have found somewhere to get a decent meal."
"Jesus, where have you been?"
"Out of the country; I had urgent work matters to attend to. I was calling to apologise for not responding; I have been unable to get reception on my personal phone until I arrived about an hour ago."
"Ahh, that's fair," he paused and looked over to his uncooked lasagne, "I can't help you with the shower and the shave, but I've got lasagne and a bottle of wine. I can set off in the next five minutes, I just need to find out the route to yours. I remember the street name, unless you want to make my life easier and send me the postcode?"
"I would try and stop you if I wasn't so tired and you did not sound so adamant. I will send you a link which will show the whereabouts of my house- you can open it in Google Maps- but afterwards you will need to delete it from your history; we can't have that kind of information getting into the wrong hands."
Greg turned off the oven. "Great, I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Until then, Gregory."
Greg failed to keep the smile off his face as he replied, "Until then, Mycroft." The call ended and he got out some tin foil to put over the lasagne before putting the wine bottle in a plastic bag. Whilst doing this, his phone dinged and he opened the message to find the promised link, which he opened. He then looked down, taking in his ratty, blue-grey t-shirt and jeans before darting to his room and changing into a dark grey, V-necked jumper, throwing a jacket over the top. Passing through the living room on his way to the kitchen, his eye caught something which he immediately darted to, collecting what he needed before returning en-route to the kitchen and after making sure he had everything, he picked up his phone, opened the web page in Maps and made his way down to his car, locking up the flat as he left.
Once in the car he started the app, following the directions out of the heart of London, heading deeper into the suburbs then into the area with stately homes more fitting to where he imagined the elder Holmes would live.
When his phone informed him he had arrived at his destination, he looked up at the house he had helped a drunk Mycroft into earlier that week before pulling into the driveway. Killing the engine, he undid his seatbelt before opening the door, picking up the lasagne and plastic bag sitting in the passenger seat and getting out of the car. After making sure it was locked he headed to the door and pressed the doorbell, stepping back.
Mycroft opened the door after a few seconds wearing a black dressing gown with a white t-shirt showing underneath and blue and white striped pyjama bottoms, his hair still damp from his shower. Upon seeing Greg, Mycroft smiled softly. "Good evening, Gregory."
"Hey," Greg smiled back shyly, "do you feel better?"
"Much; I feel human again," he answered. "Would you like to come in?"
"Please." He entered the house as Mycroft stepped aside, taking time to look around the simply yet elegantly decorated hallway he had been unable to appreciate the last time he had been there.
"The kitchen is this way." Mycroft walked ahead of him, leading him to the open door at the end of the corridor and into the large kitchen with dark wood cupboards and granite counters lining the back and side walls, hi-tech appliances and a breakfast bar in the middle of the room with dark, wooden stools.
"Wow," Greg enunciated, his jaw a little slack as he took it all in. "The fun I would have if I had a kitchen like this."
"I can imagine, with your culinary skill," Mycroft replied, walking over to one of the cupboards and pulling out a wine decanter. "What temperature does the oven need to be set to?"
"Two hundred degrees will do it," Greg answered, collecting the decanter from Mycroft- purposely letting their fingers brush- before putting it and the bottle of red on the island. "Do you have a corkscrew?"
"Naturally." After turning the oven on Mycroft opened one of the drawers and extracted a bottle opener before bringing it to Greg. The silver-haired man made light work of opening the bottle before carefully pouring it into the decanter.
"I brought you something, by the way," Greg said, going into the bag which had held the wine and extracting Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. "Maybe you could take it next time you go out of the country?"
Mycroft took the book from him, studying the cover, "Perhaps I will," he stated thoughtfully, turning the book over to read the blurb. He then turned his attention to Greg. "How has your day been?"
"Good, I did some shopping, ran a few errands, got this done," he gestured to the lasagne sitting on the breakfast bar. "What about you?"
"I finished what was necessary overseas then flew back. Travelling tires me more than anything else I do."
"Yeah, travelling kills me too." Greg looked over to the oven to see the light was off. "Is it up to temperature?"
Mycroft looked also. "Yes, it is."
Greg took the foil off before carrying it to the oven, setting it down on the counter to open the door before putting it in and shutting it, quickly figuring out the timer on it before setting it to twenty minutes, "It'll need another ten under the grill to crisp the top up nicely." He quickly turned the grill on before turning back to Mycroft. "Shall we move to somewhere more comfortable until then?"
"That sounds like a marvellous idea," Mycroft answered, a grateful smile forming on his lips and he led Greg from the kitchen, through the small yet grand dining room and into the living room.
Like the other rooms Greg had seen, it was light in colour but instead had dark furniture, the taupe, leather sofa between two matching armchairs with a coffee table in the middle and a large television in the corner.
Mycroft sat on the sofa and Greg joined him. "So, is there anything you can tell me about your trip, what you were doin', for example?"
"It was a simple case of mediation and translation, nothing that is new to me."
"How many languages can you speak?"
"Multiple, there are too many to say."
"Apart from the obvious English, I speak Welsh, Gaelic, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, Polish, Afrikaans, Latin, Greek, Chinese- Mandarin and Cantonese- Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian-"
"Jesus, how?" Greg exclaimed, his eyebrows raised.
"A number of languages have words which stem from other languages, it makes them easier to pick up," he answered nonchalantly.
"Like what?" He leant closer to Mycroft.
"Take English for example," he leant back in his seat, "English is a West Germanic language that originated from Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain in the fifth to seventh centuries AD by Germanic invaders and settlers from what is now known as northwest Germany, west Denmark and the Netherlands. Over the years, we have loaned words from French, Latin, Ancient Greek, German and Dutch from various invasions and social movements over the years. With all those roots, it makes it easier to pick up on those languages and then once those languages are mastered they are rooted in other languages, and so on."
"I knew we had roots in French, Latin and Greek, but I wasn't aware of the Germanic roots. But now you say that, it makes sense," Greg said, leaning back and crossing his legs. I never realised how sexy intelligence was, Greg thought, But then again, it is Mycroft's level of intelligence. "How long does it usually take for you to learn a new language?"
"A few hours if its roots are in a language I already know, less than a day if it does not."
"That shouldn't surprise me as much as it does."
"What do you mean?"
"Come on, Mycroft, it's you. You're the most intelligent man in the UK, if not Europe, if not the world. Of course you can learn a language in less than a day."
A barely-there blush tinted Mycroft's cheeks and he cleared his throat as he checked his watch. "Fifteen minutes until you need to move it to the grill."
"Yeah, we've got a while," Greg smiled, "What's your favourite holiday?"
"Guy Fawkes' Night or New Year's Eve, simply for the firework displays, however the former has more historical context which I enjoy. And you?"
"Christmas; everythin' feels a bit more magical, ya know?" Greg answered and Mycroft hummed in response, "It's more fun with my niece and nephew too, they're six and eight so they still believe in Father Christmas which makes everything more fun."
"You have a niece and nephew?"
"Yeah, I'm surprised you didn't know that."
"I did a background check on you, not your family."
"Fair enough. But yeah, they're my sister's kids, Allysandra- but we just call her Ally- and Jayden. I love them to bits," Greg smiled as he thought of his younger relatives, "Do you have any children in your family?"
"A few, two of my cousins have children, however it is difficult to see them as they live in the Midlands and our relationship is not very close. They do not share mine and Sherlock's intelligence."
"That's no surprise. Was there anyone you were close to growin' up?"
"Not really; Sherlock completely idolised me when he was younger and we played together a lot during that time, but that soon became disdain not long after I started my first degree; I had grown out of the games he wanted to play, and Redbeard was put down around the same time. It was after that he became more like the Sherlock you knew when you first met him, without the drugs of course, but I digress."
"What about your parents or anyone older?"
"I would converse with them about certain things, yet it was not the same as having someone who was ages with me to discuss such things. I have no regrets, however; it prepared me for the life I would lead in adulthood. Solitude has been incredibly helpful in my career."
"I'm sure it has, but it still doesn't make it fair you've never really had someone to be close with," Greg replied softly.
"Life is not fair, Gregory; but like I said, it has worked out in my favour."
"I know is isn't, but I still wish you'd had someone. You could have had a friend and solitude at the same time."
"I appreciate the sentiment, Gregory, however I could never maintain a friend as a child; not only did I skip several years of school but I was also not the most personable child, I was a lot less tolerable of my peers' lesser intelligence than I am now. But let's not dwell on the past."
"Alright, what would you say is your guilty pleasure?"
There was a long pause as Mycroft considered his answer, his eyes downcast. "I would have to say John's blog is the closest thing I have to a guilty pleasure; I like to know what my brother gets up to."
"Surely you could do that with the case files and CCTV?"
Mycroft met Greg's eyes again. "I could, however John's recollection of events offers more insight and are rather entertaining, despite the fact he romanticises elements."
"I have two: Strictly Come Dancing and ABBA."
Mycroft raised an eyebrow, "I never saw you as a fan of ballroom and Latin dancing."
"My ex loved the show, and she got me into it. It's the skill the professionals have and that the celebrities learn, I'd love to have a go myself but I can never commit to regular classes."
"I can empathise with the feeling," Mycroft checked his watch, "The lasagne should be ready to go under the grill."
"Brilliant. Stay here, I'll sort it." Greg got up and made his way to the kitchen, returning minutes later. "Ten minutes then we can dish up."
"Excellent," Mycroft sent Greg a soft smile, "Thank you, Gregory, for doing this. You had no obligation to come here."
"It's my pleasure; what kind of idiot would I be to miss out on time spent with you?"
Mycroft picked at the sleeve of his dressing gown, his eyes focussed on pulling the pills off the fabric and he cleared his throat, looking up at Greg again. "If you were stuck in an elevator, who would be the worst person to be in there with you?"
"That's easy; Donald Trump."
Mycroft huffed a short, soft laugh at the other man's speed of answering, "I can understand why. And the best?"
"Do you really have to ask me that?" Greg sent a knowing look to the other man.
"You're being a lot more forward than you usually are, Gregory."
"You keep throwin' the ball, I'm gonna keep hittin' it," he sent an easy grin to Mycroft. "What about you? Who would be the best and worst person to be trapped in a lift with?"
"I am not at liberty to say who the worst person would be, and there is no-one I would explicitly wish to be stuck in an elevator with."
"Boring," Greg's tone was teasing. "Alright, what kind of music do you listen to when you exercise?"
"I usually tend to do my workout in silence; it allows me to focus a lot more than if I had any distractions."
"Fair enough," Greg replied, sending his soulmate a smile. The conversation lulled and Greg took the time to look around the room, noting the small collection of DVDs organised into alphabetical order by the TV. In the TV stand he could see the latest Sky box and a DVD player stacked on top of one another. "Do you record anything?"
"On your Sky box, do you record anything?"
"Mostly documentaries that I would like to watch, the memory is almost always full due to my lack of free time, but when I do get the time and the urge I will watch as many as I can."
"Fair enough," Greg sent the redhead another smile before returning to looking around the room, noting the radio on a table near the radio and the small bookshelf sitting near to it.
Mycroft's voice cut through Greg's observations of the living room "The lasagne should be ready."
"OK, where d'you wanna eat?"
"Shall we have it in the dining room?"
"OK, cool." The pair stood up. "You get the wine and I'll serve up?"
The two headed into the kitchen and within minutes the pair were sat across from one another, steaming servings of lasagne sat before them with a glass of red wine beside their plates and the decanter between them.
Mycroft swallowed his first bite. "This is wonderful, Gregory."
The DI bristled with delight. "Thanks, Mycroft."
A comfortable silence fell over the pair as they ate, the two sharing glances occasionally but otherwise focussing on their meal. Once the plates were empty Greg leant back, smiling in satisfaction.
"I'm pretty happy with that, if I do say so myself," Greg said.
"As you should, it was a very good lasagne. Possibly one of the best I have ever had."
"Wow, that's very high praise, Mr Holmes." The DI stood and took the plates before heading into the kitchen. He was soon joined by Mycroft, holding their glasses of wine. "I hate to dine and dash, but I feel like you'll want to unwind alone and maybe even go to bed. You can have the rest of the lasagne, just gimme back the dish whenever you can." He took the glass of wine held out to him and drained the last dregs before setting it by the sink. "Thank you for making my Saturday night a bit more fun, Mycroft; as always, I've enjoyed your company."
The two began to walk towards the door. "Thank you again for coming over and providing me with dinner. But before you go, allow me to get something for you." Mycroft quickly ducked into one of the rooms off the corridor and Greg headed to the door to put his jacket on. Moments later, Mycroft returned holding a book. "Since you have been kind enough to lend me one of your books, allow me to lend you one of mine." Greg took it from him and studied the cover.
"The Importance of Being Earnest, thanks Mycroft; I'll make a start on it when I get home."
Mycroft sent him a soft smile. "We will be in contact soon, no doubt."
"You know it," Greg winked, a cheeky grin on his face as he opened the door.
"Until then, Gregory."
"Until then, Mycroft," he replied before stepping out of the house, shutting the door behind him before heading to his car.