So this is the third and final chapter of Find Your Footing. It is shorter than the first two, but I wanted to tie up all the loose ends and give our men a good ending. I want to thank all of you for reading. :)
Greg had really let the work pile up over the last few days. The serial murderer case had been left to stagnate on his desk for nearly three days. Luckily there had been no more murders that fit the pattern, so it seemed that the delay on the case hadn't caused any major problems. The case resumed where it had been left off before Mycroft was taken.
He started to sort through all the reports in his inbox, signing off on the ones that needed signing as he drank his morning coffee. It was dull work, but it had to be done. The last few days had been too exciting anyway. He welcomed some dullness.
He flipped through his stack of reports until he found the one that Sally had written up for Mycroft's case. He read through it, making sure all the little details were right. He got to the faxed paper with their tip on it again. Just a single line of type, a set of coordinate and the name Holmes.
He leaned back in his chair, staring at the paper. That was the confusing piece. Honestly, he had no idea how they would have found Mycroft in time without the tip, and there were no hints as to who had sent it.
He shook his head, because his only hypothesis was impossible. He set the file aside.
What really mattered, he told himself, was that Mycroft was safe now, recovering in the hospital.
His phone buzzed. 'Daytime telly is truly awful. It should be criminal, Gregory. Look into it. -MH.' Greg let out a laugh. Mycroft was safe and definitely back to normal it seemed.
One thing that Greg had noticed during his time with Mycroft pre-abduction was the man's tendency to order lavish coffee cakes whenever their coffee dates ran a late. Greg assumed that the hospital wouldn't have pastries of quite the same quality Mycroft was used to. Working off that assumption, he made a stop at their normal cafe to pick up some before visiting Mycroft in the hospital.
Every day Mycroft was looking better. It wouldn't be long until Greg got that pizza date.
"Ah, Gregory," Mycroft said, sounding relieved. He turned off the television. "Thank goodness. I needed a distraction." Mycroft was sitting in the bed, his hair messy, but looking healthy. Most of his bandages were gone now, but much of the bruising hadn't healed yet.
"Why don't you just read the paper?" Greg laughed.
"I finished them hours ago," Mycroft said, mentioning to a stack of newspapers and tabloids by his bed. " There's really so little to do here."
Greg gave a toothy grin and held up a small bag. "I brought you an apple turnover today."
"My dear Gregory, you are a godsend."
Mycroft's texts were becoming more frequent, and if possible, more endearing.
'They are making me leaving in a wheelchair. It's undignified. Should be criminal really. Look into it- MH'
Mycroft was still walking with a slight limp, but was otherwise ship shape. It had taken a bit of persuading (and bribery, Greg assumed), but he had gotten released from the hospital a few days early. He was eager to get back to work, and more eager to finally have his dinner date with Gregory.
Mycroft looked around the Pizza parlor, approving it. He got the sense that this was not the pizza place that Gregory normally frequented, but rather a spot he reserved for when his usual haunt would be deemed too low rent for a guest. He probably brought his children here. It had little patio tables and plastic table clothes and waiters. It was respectable.
As they sat down, Mycroft noted with some smug pleasure that Gregory was carrying the umbrella he had bought for him. The fact the the inspector, who was so very bad aboutlosing umbrellas, had managed not to lose this one was rather flattering.
"I see you've managed to keep a hold of that umbrella."
"Well, I was looking out for it, wasn't I? Tryin' really hard not to lose it," Greg replied, his lips pulling back into a smile.
Mycroft grinned at that and began to look over his menu. Mycroft wanted to order artichoke hearts and Greg wanted anchovies. They got one half and half. Greg ordered a beer, and Mycroft suffered through a glass of the only red wine the little place served. Greg folded his pizza over; Mycroft, much to Greg's horror, began to eat his with a fork.
"We really are Lady and the Tramp, aren't we?" Greg laughed. What was the old saying? Opposites attract?
"Excuse me?" Mycroft looked up from cutting his slice of pizza into evenly sized squares.
"It's a kids movie," Greg laughed. "My daughter loves it. It's a love story."
"...which one am I then? The Lady or the Tramp?" Mycroft quirked an eyebrow.
"Well, I'd be the tramp, yeah?"
Mycroft made a disapproving face, frowning into his glass of house red.
"Well, this was a good deal of fun, Gregory," Mycroft said. Greg was leaning back against the railing. Any moment now, Anthea would drive up in the car and their date would be over.
"Yeah. We'll do it again sometime," Greg suggested, his gaze running up and down Mycroft's frame.
"Mmm, perhaps. Yes." Mycroft was smiling softly, making the man even more handsome than normal.
Greg grabbed the man by his neck tie and pulled him into a kiss. Unlike their first kiss, which had been quick, one-sided, and baffling, the one stretched out. Mycroft reacted quickly, placing his hands on Greg's waist. Mycroft's tongue was warm and wet, slipping into his mouth. Greg couldn't help but let out a tiny noise from the back of his throat.
There was the sound of a car pulling up next to them and a small honk. Mycroft pulled away. "That's my ride."
"Until next time, Gregory," Mycroft said with a smirk and disappeared into the car.
Back at work and back to normal, Mycroft would disappear to various exotic locales for days at a time. Greg almost never knew exactly where he was, or what he was doing. It was a matter of national importance after all. Sometimes he did get little hints in texts though.
'Danishes are indeed better in Denmark. Shall we get Pizza when I return tomorrow evening? -MH'
Greg grabbed his coat as he headed to the door. It had been a long day at the office, and Mycroft was busy with work (something about Pakistan, but Greg couldn't get specifics) so he was headed home to an empty flat again.
He had a boyfriend. He supposed Mycroft counted a boyfriend, though the word felt far too juvenile for the frumpy, posh, pompous man that Greg found himself going on dinner dates with. It was a strange development in his life, but he wasn't complaining.
His phone gave a little buzz in his pocket.
'Drive safe, Gregory. And if you can, avoid the M25. -MH' Greg stared at the text, but didn't question it. Mycroft did seem to have an uncanny ability to predict the traffic. Even if it was an out of the way detour, he figured it was better safe than sorry when it came to Mycroft's advice.
"You kids go unpack in the guest bedroom, ok?" Greg smiled as his kids bustled into his flat. He finally had a weekend off, and had volunteered to take the kids. Karen couldn't really protest. She had a new boyfriend now, apparently, and a weekend without the kids wasn't something to be snubbed. Greg hadn't met this new boyfriend yet, but the kids seemed to like him well enough. It wasn't his place to get jealous.
"I'll be by tomorrow night for them," Karen said. She looked good, Greg noticed. She looked happy. "If something comes up Kennith is ok on his own for a few hours with Casey. And you can call me if something serious comes up." Karen was fiddling with a charm on her cell phone, a nervous habit that meant she felt awkward. Greg couldn't blame her. They were still on rather uneven footing with each other.
"Thanks, Karen," Greg said, shoving his hands in his jeans.
"So...you've...been well?" she asked. "I worry you know. You never could cook for yourself," she teased gently.
"Yeah," Greg laughed softly. "I've mastered the art of frying eggs at least."
"...sort of, actually." Greg cleared his throat. "We're uh...taking things slow." Besides a few rather subdued snogging sessions, he and Mycroft hadn't done much of anything. He wasn't complaining though. He'd never been with a man before. It was probably best to take it step by step if he was being honest. The suspense was half the fun.
"...Good for you Greg." Karen gave him a wider smile. "Really. How'd you meet him?"
Greg gave a small sound of protest. It was an odd sensation to have Karen assume, however rightfully, that it was in fact a him. "...Work. Kind of. I've known him for years. He works for the government," Greg told her. No need to mention how their first encounter had involved offers of bribery and very polite abduction.
"And how'd you get together?"
"I...rescued him after he got kidnapped by terrorists." Karen gave him a look that said she wasn't sure if she believed him or not. Greg just shrugged in reply.
"Daddy!" Casey ran back over to him. She was ten now. Ten year olds, Greg thought, had liquid caffeine in their blood. "I wanna listen to your records! Come help me! I wanna hear The Clash!" Greg laughed at that. It was good to see that his kids were inheriting his taste in music at least.
"I better go," Karen said. "...Maybe next time I can meet...him. This man you're seeing."
"Maybe we can do a double date? You haven't met Richard yet." Karen waved goodbye to the kids as she turned to the door.
A double date with Mycroft. The idea made Greg laugh. "We'll see. Bye Karen."
'Hope your weekend with the children went well. Shall we get Pizza once they are returned to their mother?' -MH
Raining. It was always raining. It seemed like a tired old joke now, Greg thought, but it was true.
He stood under his umbrella, still marveling at the novelty of not getting wet despite the weather, and watched Sally shove the handcuffed man into one of the police cars. Tomorrow he would have to hold a press conference. For now there were police reports to fill out, and a victim get a statement from.
Their serial killer was caught. The call had come in right at dinner time; a 911 call came in, screaming heard from a downtown flat. When they rushed in, bam. There he was, some nutter with pictures of all the dead girls pinned to his wall with knives. Another loose thread dealt with.
'We caught our serial killer. Celebrate with me tomorrow? -GL' he typed into his phone. It took only a few seconds for the reply to come.
'Good show. I'll have a car sent by after your press conference.-MH'
Unintentionally the pizza parlor had become he and Mycroft's staple date restaurant. It was familiar and warm. Greg was worried he may have been corrupting Mycroft somewhat. The man had begun to drink the tap beer, order pizza that didn't have artichoke hearts on it and, most importantly, Greg had even gotten Mycroft to stop eating Pizza with a fork.
"Congratulations again on catching your criminal," Mycroft said and took another sip of his beer. Mycroft still sat with poise and gave off his aura of posh nobility, but he seemed much more relaxed than he had been when Gregory had first met him.
"Yeah, well, the whole force really did it," Greg said, and finished the beer he had in his hand. He was trying to be modest, but it felt good to have that case wrapped up.
"It's been a lovely evening, Gregory." Mycroft dabbed the corner of his mouth with a napkin. "Perhaps I can see you again later this week?"
"Mycroft," Greg said, reaching across the table to take the man by the hand. Mycroft's hands were soft, only slightly calloused where he gripped his pens. It had been a fantastic day. He had a few beers and a nagging glorious idea inside him. "Come home with me."
"Excuse me?" Mycroft's eyebrows rose up, his face flushing slightly.
"If you want. I'm asking you to come back to my flat with me," Greg said. "For Coffee? Look at my etchings? Whatever euphemism will work."
"Oh. Well..." A smile was creeping over Mycroft's face through his blush. "I think that is a...very good idea. I'll just..." He took out his phone and tapped out a few texts very quickly.
"Excellent," Greg laughed, trying not to be too flustered by this.
Mycroft hooked up wrist behind the man's head and pulled him into a kiss, right there in front of the waiter, God, and everyone.
Greg woke up gently. The morning unfurled slowly, the light, and the smell of sweat and the cooling warmth of the pillow next to him eased him out of sleep. As Greg stretched out his muscles, he noticed the sound of his shower running. Mycroft had stayed the whole night. He grinned widely at that. He had missed waking up to the sounds of other people.
He made his way to his small kitchen and started a pot of coffee, enough for two and moved on to finding breakfast. In the soft morning light, Gregory Lestrade ate a strudel, sipped his coffee, as he waited for Mycroft to appear, feeling, for the first time in a very long time, like he was standing on firm ground again.