Chapter One

Mycroft sighed in relief as he let himself sink into the familiarity of his surroundings. He expertly keyed in his new security code and unlocked his front door.

Nothing out of place, not even a speck of dust on the floor.

It was slightly unnerving, really, the efficiency with which his operatives worked. His apartment had been trashed a good deal during Lestrade's rescue. He'd know, he read the reports-... and seen the pictures-... and watched the CCTV footage.

But now, all was as it should be. The shattered glass coffee table in his lounge was replaced by one exactly like it, his China sat proudly in their place like Lestrade hadn't been thrown head-long into them just two nights before. And-... my, my, even his antique vase had a twin.

After shrugging out of his overcoat and hanging it up, Mycroft carefully set down his umbrella across the desk in his study and moved to the bathroom to shower. He stepped quietly into the bathroom, took one steady look at the ivory tub that he had nearly drowned in, and thought that, maybe his shower could wait until after he finished sweeping his house for bugs or checking for anything out of place...

He shook his head, mentally scolding himself. Foolish. He thought, if he spent all his days skirting the bathroom because of one trivial incident, he'd never get clean.

That option was simply not tolerable.

He shrugged himself out of his suit jacket and folded it over the closed toilet-seat, his vest following obediently. He was in the process of removing his dress shirt's cufflinks when his cell buzzed from where he left it by the sink.

He shuffled out of his shirt and picked it up.

"Good evening." Mycroft greeted, years of mistrust and a slight case of PTSD prevented him from dropping any names before knowing who was listening on the other end of the call.

"It's me." Mycroft resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the cryptic response, he knew, for a fact, that more than half of the Secret Intelligence referred to themselves as such.

"Ah, yes, what is it?" Mycroft inquired, he knew the voice on the other end. It belonged to a seasoned MI-5 field agent named Jan Hoover.

He was also informed that Jan Hoover was the man who had run the operation to track down Mycroft's would-be killer. "I just finished interrogating him." No clarifying who 'him' referred to, Hoover, like Mycroft, was very strict about potential leaks. "I haven't gotten anything concrete out of him, but we know that he's not working alone."

Mycroft grimaced. He wasn't a naive man, by any stretch of imagination. He knew how these cases could drag out, uncooperative informants, red herrings, false information, the list goes infinitely on. Mycroft imagined himself with the prisoner in MI-5's holding cell teetering on the tip of a very, very large iceberg.

He might well be working for an entire organization, and if he was intent on having Mycroft's life, he might well get it if he wasn't careful.

"I have a few agents preparing a safe house, just as a precaution." Hoover continued, following Mycroft's line of thought.

Mycroft frowned, not very keen on the idea of temporarily living in a strange house. "I'm not sure those lengths are warrented..."

Hoover cut him off, tutting. "Better than being caught with your pants down, yeah?" This said to a currently half-naked man. Mycroft chuckled to himself at the irony.

"If you say so." He responded coolly.

Hoover grunted on the other end. "We'll have a few words when we see each other, then?"

"We shall." Mycroft agreed and hung up.

He sat on the rim of his ivory tub and stared at the door leading into the hall. "Damn." he expelled and frowned.

If there was a chance that someone was coming after Mycroft, there would probably be someone coming after Sherlock. He'd place a call after his shower.