Lestrade has always been a traditionalist. It's not something you can help.

He has always adored Chopin and Debussy, within reason, and the works of Myron. So much so, that one day, when he's younger, Lestrade picks up the chisel and starts.

Of course, then came the policework, and a life outside of silly fancies. Investigation was his primary occupation, and nobody had ever paid for (or seen) any of his odd works. Usually, Lestrade ended up donating his work, or leaving it in the spare bedroom to gather dust and moths. Went the way of Lestrade's accordion, which he kept, but never played. He had been good, too.

It's no consequence if he still keeps a few at home. Perfectly normal-

"A bit weird," That's when Sally finds Lestrade's finest beneath a dust sheet. Really, he couldn't invite anybody round without them seeing, and that only ever ended in disaster. People thought it a little strange.

"Did you-..?" He's trying to get around her and cover the damned thing up again but Sally seems...interested. "Geoff, this is brilliant. When did you get the time-" Sally remains steadfast, snatching away the sheet and gazing up at the marble man.

"Before my last promotion," Giving up, Lestrade scratches at his chin and looks, greeting the sculpture like an old friend. The dust gives it a timeless look. Or so he thinks.

The trouble with this one, and there's always trouble, is that Lestrade is too fond of it. He remembers spending hours on each feature, working the long, attractive hands and the meticulous spread of freckles across parts of the body. Originally, he planned to sell it, but no price was high enough, and even when the price was right, he couldn't bear to part with it. Like an old friend. Always there.

"I couldn't sell him," He says, for good measure, as if explaining to the statue. the statue knows. It hasn't seen light in months, and before that Lestrade used him as an umbrella stand.

"Him?" Sally laughs at him. The statue says nothing, and Lestrade supposes, why should it?

"Well, it certainly looks like a him with that-" He gestures at the anatomy, guilty at the crudeness with which he addresses his statue.

Boldly, sally steps forward and brushes a jacket of dust from his shoulder. With practise, Lestrade's chest swells with protectiveness. It's nothing to do with sharing, but that statue is his, and to have any harm come to it would be awful.

"I bet you've named it," Lestrade refrains from correcting her with an overtly-sharp 'him'. He also doesn't mention the name he's given the piece and shakes his head, joking, lying.

"It's just a statue," The eyes seem to catch him then, sad, glaring. Lestrade casts the dust sheet back over the piece and wanders into the living room, hoping that Sally will follow without any more questions, or jests.

-

Later on, when Sally had left, Lestrade ventures back into his bedroom and pulls away the sheet. he spends a good twenty minutes in silence, dusting the piece, gentle with it, until it had been restored a little. As penance for the months in darkness. the umbrella remains in the statue' outstretched arm. Lestrade rather likes it.

He goes to the door and flicks the light, turning back to his bed. His mind remains working away at the half-remembered name he's once given the thing.

"Mart-..no, that's not. My-myke-mycr-...Mike?" That wasn't it, and he knows it. But it's a new one, a better one, and it'll do until he remember the real one.

-

Lestrade wakes to company. There's a man sitting on his windowsill. His statue is gone.

He tries to be quiet and find his firearm in the jacket. The man hears him.

"What are you doing?" The sharpness of the features greet Lestrade. He knows where his statue is. The man on the sill blinks at Lestrade, and for a few seconds, Lestrade blinks back.

And then faints.

-

He wakes to a very cool feeling on his head. Which throbs. Lestrade assumes that he smacked it when he fainted, after that hilarious hallucination previously. Statues don't stand and talk. They sit and think, like 'the thinker'. They're still, motionless, inanimate.

Somebody forgot to mention that to this statue.

Lestrade feels the panic start up in him again and wriggles like a live wire, because the statue is inches from him, leaning, breathing, tutting for goodness' sake.

"I'm sorry," It says. He says. 'lord,' Lestrade thinks 'How many Valiums have I taken?'. The statue appears to sense his apprehension, but not understand it. "You should really calm down, Inspector," It elicits another desperate wiggle from Lestrade. The statue huffs and lays a hand against his forehead.

"Well, you're not feverish," The hand is warm. The flesh is soft and there's a pulse. Lestrade sees the life manifest in it's shallow breaths, and the pink, wet lips. The features that he spent evenings carving, for goodness' sake.

"I can have you arrested for breaking and entering," Lestrade starts with a threat, for it seems a sensible place. The thing scoffs.

"And why would you do that?" It tries.

"Because you've broken and entered!" Lestrade bats away the hands and goes to his jacket, tumbling ungracefully onto the floor, bound in his duvet.

"Hardly," It says with a smirk and crosses the floor, still completely in the buff, arms akimbo. "I think you'll find me hard to charge, Inspector. I live here," Lestrade barks a laugh deliriously.

"You're not even alive!" But this things had brains. He settles onto his knees in front on Lestrade and takes one of his hands, placing it to his neck.

There's a steady pulse.

"But-y-you were..." But Lestrade can hear his breathing.

How do you determine life? Check for breathing.

-

For the most part, the statue sits quietly and drinks a cup of black tea. They don't have any milk in. It sits with Lestrade's umbrella, the one hooked on him the night prior.

"Thank you, Inspector," It says, the height of manners. Lestrade knows he's staring, and making the statue uncomfortable, but he can't look away.

"It's Geoff," He says, carefully. "My name," The statue looks up from the steam of his drink.

"You called me Mycroft once," It sounds pensive. The notion is ridiculous. So much so, that Lestrade laughs, and the statue-'Mycroft'-looks up, looking close to wounded

They drink in moderate silence until it finishes it's tea and rises to clean to cup. from the angle, Lestrade is very suddenly reminded how much of a 'he' the statue really is. And he really seems to know what he's doing, given he's been alive for around an hour and a bit.

"Uhm," The noise Lestrade makes doesn't get a reaction. He swallows his pride. At least it's not fattening. "Mycroft," He winces at the ridiculousness of it. The statue turns, eyes wide, innocent, even.

"Geoff," Lestrade doesn't like that at all. The way the statue speaks. Says his name like it's something secret, something special.

"Would you like to-" He coughs, embarrassed. "...-put something on? You must be cold," Mycroft quirks an eyebrow.

"Something wrong, Geoff?" It's there again. It's lose to being endearing and Lestrade can't believe how lost his mind it that he's dreamt up a statue that's got a name and an agenda and is talking to him causally, completely naked and beautiful.

Lestrade had made every feature and freckle. So, to him, Mycroft looked perfect. Disarming.

"You should really-..clothes, I mean," There's been a misunderstanding somewhere. Lestrade can tell by the look he's being given.

"It never bothered you before," The silence is killer. Uncertain, Lestrade coughs.

"You weren't waving-" He gestures, "-that in my face before," Mycroft turns, insulted, hiding his dignity.

"I'm not now," The cup squeaks from where he's washing it.

-

Mycroft's idea of clothes is a dust sheet. His dust sheet. He wears it proudly, toga-style around the house with curiosity all over his face. In a matter of hours, he's broken three glasses and sits at the kitchen table, uselessly wincing at the small spread of blood there. Lestrade fetches a plaster and ignores how dangerously pale his statue had gone. Like marble, one might say.

"I'm sorry-" The statue-'Mycroft'-keeps on cringing in pain, unable to look away from the cut. Childishly, he sucks on it as Lestrade frees the plaster from it's sterile plastic wrappings. He tries to be careful as he applies it. Mycroft looks positively consumptive, the poor bastard.

Even though the plaster is applied, and the bleeding had probably stopped, they stay for a moment, Lestrade holding Mycroft's hand with sincerity and care. Then the eyes. Lestrade still feels confused and sick, but Mycroft...Mycroft looks determined. Bound to something by will.

There's a knock on the door.

-

Do you need a doctor? Sally looks serious for a moment, then breaks out into a chorus of cheerful laughter. All three of them are sat around Lestrade's kitchen table, which had undoubtedly, seen better days. They're almost like some odd kind of sitcom family, Sally is still n her policing uniform and Mycroft insists that he's happy with his dust sheet. Christ, I think I need a doctor, Lestrade smiles at her, their hands brush briefly when he passes the sugar.

She might be interested, but he isn't. Sensing this, Sally turns to Mycroft, who's playing with the plaster on his hand.

See, I thought you'd have brown eyes, Poker-faced, forgetting any pretense of manners, Mycroft just stares at her. And stares. There's no expression in his gaze. As if he's looking right through her. She turns back to the sugar. Back to Lestrade. i mean, I always knew you were a traditionalist, but 'Mycroft' is a bit of a weird one- That's when Mycroft speaks.

It's perfectly reasonable, He says, and sniffs, as if disgusted by her presence.

Later, Mycroft wanders into Lestrade's studio and finds him chipping away at another bit of marble. There's pure concentration on the Inspector's face, and Mycroft likes the looks of it. So much so, that he let's it be for a good fifteen minutes before speaking. He's never seen Lestrade jump so much. Or ever, but-details.

I didn't mean to scare you, Geoff, He says, and notes how Lestrade flinches when he says it. Savours the word, and says it a lot, because it's gospel to him. I thought- And he laughs at his own silliness. I thought your name was 'Inspector' when we first- Lestrade gets the gist and laughs, kindly. It's not funny, but it's strange enough to get a chuckle.

Well, some days it is. He shrugs. It used to be Sargent,

Lestrade continues with his rough outline, and then, following Mycroft's suit, gives a little confession of his own. It's strikingly profound, in a way.

Jesus, I remember when you didn't have a head, Mycroft raises his eyebrows, and Lestrade notes how attractive they are. So he should, they'd taken four goes to get perfect. Come to think of it, all of Mycroft is pretty perfect...Lestrade snaps out of his trance as Mycroft finishes a sentence. I'm sorry?

I said, you should've left me like that. Said it was a metaphor about politics. People like those, It's so unexpected and impressive to come from a statue, mere hours old that Lestrade realizes he's left the silence too long, and goes to say something.

Would have saved me a few weeks, Suddenly, it's so strange to think of Mycroft like that. As a block of marble. Lestrade turns his face up towards Mycroft and says, as if only realizing it himself. You're really quite clever, And, strange to say, Mycroft blushes, looking a little flustered.

Only to the extent you made me,

No, no, Lestrade reprimands him, You're quite...extraordinary, They both stare eachother down. It's nearly intimate.

That girl- Mycroft nearly whispers. Was she- When he sees Lestrade's brow furrow, he backs the hell up, too. You're starting something new, He says, striving for a breezy tone. They both forget about the previous few words. It's better that way.

Hopefully this one wont come to life, Mycroft masks his offense with another question.

Anything in mind? Lestrade shakes his head. What were you thinking when you made me?

-

Sleeping is the most awkward part. Maybe not for Mycroft, who has probably never thought about another man in that way, but certainly for Lestrade. With the nobility of a gentleman, he takes the sofa for the first few nights, until the crink in his neck ends with him in a foul mood. After four days, he ends up in his own bed, feet away from Mycroft, who remains sleeping. It's an arrangement he can live with.

When Mycroft sleeps he looks closer to a statue again. Very strange and striking features, which Lestrade had painstakingly provided, and could now painstakingly assess. Each time he looks, it's different, and he finds it hard to look away. Of course, he is very much taken with Mycroft; he'd made him perfect for a reason-so he could gaze upon him. Now he can't look away.

There is no science to it. Lestrade knows that one day, Mycroft will stop breathing just like the rest of the world. Only, since he's been drawing breath, it doesn't seem fair. Before, he'd been a timeless beauty, something that would live forever. Lestrade has given Mycroft life, somehow, at the debt that all men pay.

It must be so lonely, too. Lestrade can't possibly know, and as he watches Mycroft stretch out in his sleep, he decided that he wants to do something.

-

The Saatchi Gallery is fairly empty when they arrive. Mycroft looks ridiculous in Lestrade's clothes, some too small, others too long. They shuffle in together, engrossed in conversation about the economy, because Mycroft really is exceptionally bright. There are lots of sculpture, it's a Duane Hanson exhibition, and while it isn't Lestrade's style, the principle still stands.

Why are we here? Mycroft asks, suddenly a little sharp. He turns towards Lestrade, who is smiling. Who thinks that it's a great idea.

I thought it'd be nice for you to see...it's like your... Lestrade is floundering and Mycroft is angry. He summons his rage and turns on Lestrade, turning ugly.

You think this is family to me? You think this is what I am? He's offended, that much is obvious. Lestrade goes to him, just a step and a half, to apologize. But Mycroft is having none of it.

I didn't mean- Lestrade actually sees Mycroft bite his own tongue.

Good evening, Inspector, He says, ragged with emotion, and walks off, fast as is polite down the hall. The intimacy is gone. All that's left are manners, and pretenses.

-

They don't talk for a good week. This is only possibly out of a long case at the Yard which leaves Lestrade too tired to apologise, and Mycroft keeping himself to himself, stealing Lestrade's laptop and leading a revolution quietly in the bedroom. Between meals and shifts, Lestrade continues to hack away at the marble block, half-thinking about Mycroft, and the other half about what he used to sculpt. His hands shake now. They aren't as steady as they once were.

Then, when Lestrade gets home one day, he hears music. His music. It must be...yes, it's his vinyl of Steve Earle's Copperhead Road. His less traditional side. It's coming from the bathroom, and so is steam. It paints little droplets on the bottom on the door. The door isn't locked.

From inside, he can hear the water running.

In a moment of instinct, Lestrade goes for the handle and the door swings inward a little.

After that, sleeping gets worse. Some nights, he stays in the studio and continues working at the marble.

-

Eventually, he get's forgiven. For a crime he didn't mean to commit. Lestrade is showering before work and finishes up, entering the bedroom. Mycroft is stretched out on the bed, looking half-asleep, and that's good enough for Lestrade. He goes over to the dressing table and drops his towel, getting dressed for the day ahead. It's only when he looks in the mirror, that he sees a pair of eyes fixed on him, confused but certain. After years of communal showers, Lestrade isn't adverse to being stared at.

Morning, He says, more of a low grunt, and Mycroft shies away back under the duvets. They're silent for a minute. It's unnerving. Sorry about the- Lestrade isn't really sure what for. -about the gallery. I didn't mean to insinuate anything, Mycroft lifts his head up and looks expressionlessly at Lestrade.

Quite alright, He says, and his gaze lingers. It's warm and welcome. Mycroft wants to say something. He's going to. I've been, uh, meaning to show you something, That can be taken in many ways. It hits Lestrade between the eyes, because his mind wanders to bad news, and he realizes belatedly how dear to him Mycroft had become.

Me too, He says, carefully. Gracefully, Mycroft climbs out from the sheets. He doesn't look tired at all, and it makes Lestrade even a little jealous. And then pleased to see a preview of skin before Mycroft fetches his dust sheet and wraps himself up. It's his pajamas: normally he wears Lestrade's shirts and looks charming in them.

Lead the way, Inspector, inspector. Not Geoff. Lestrade isn't sure he likes that, but it can't be helped, so he goes towards the next room, where he's been sleeping some nights, or, worse, actually carving. It's healthy, he thinks.

Before they reach the room, he feels a warm hand on his back and Lestrade turns, expecting a stern word but finding lips. It's clumsy, but it's perfect, too. He's never thought about Mycroft's lips before. He's though about his freckled back with a smile, or Mycroft's thighs with a sigh, but never the lips. Despite his marble origins, Mycroft is just as soft and warm (and perhaps even a little more) than any previous partner of Lestrade's.

Then, all of a sudden, there's arms. They stay like that for a very long time, unaware of the marching clock, but sensitive to eachother. He can feel the pulse underneath Mycroft's pretty little throat, and feel the shallow breaths on his neck. A sure sign of life.

Just in here, Lestrade says quietly, breaking the embrace, because there's something he wants Mycroft to see. There's a tall figure beneath a dust sheet in the corner of the room, Mycroft eyes it suspiciously. As if it threatens him. He looks to Lestrade for assurance.

Geoff, I don't... There it is. The trust. The name, like he's something secret. Lestrade strokes his arm fondly.

Go 'head, He says, cheerfully. With one last glance, Mycroft gives the sheet a tug. It falls gracefully, like a feather.

What's left is a marble man, with the head missing. For a second, he looks at it, thinking, doesn't get it. And then, it dawns.

It's a metaphor on politics. Mycroft laughs.

Or maybe I'm just lazy, Lestrade offers. They share another look, and Lestrade treasures it.

It's wonderful, Touching the blunt stump of a neck, Mycroft smiles. Wide enough that it's torn from him. As if happiness has hit him like a bullet in the back. I just don't want it waking me up in the middle of the night, that makes Lestrade laugh. He had thought something similar whilst making it. My turn,

In the other room, there's Lestrade's accordion. And Mycroft.

Then, there's music. Something about the way Mycroft plays is incredible. He's by no means perfect, but even his mistakes have a good feel about them. The instrument is given life by his clumsy hands, and Lestrade knows it. He watches the air escape from the bellows joyously.

How do you determine life? Check for breathing.