It was several months before they were able to make a move. Mycroft did uphold his end of the bargain, supplying Lestrade with as much evidence as he could to implicate Rhylstone in the blossoming scandal. But at the end of the day, both knew that it would not be enough. They were going to have to catch the man red-handed.
As he sat on the couch in Mycroft's flat one evening, Lestrade couldn't help but wonder if they were ever going to finish the investigation. He just wanted the whole thing over with. He was tired of ill-fitting clothes and impossible shoes. He was tired of constantly looking behind him, praying his cover wouldn't be blown. And most of all, he was tired of lying to the charming young man who was currently fumbling about in the kitchen.
Mycroft wasn't a bad sort, really. He was kind, intelligent, and a very, very good kisser. . . Lestrade colored as that last thought came to mind. He hated this. All of it. The young aide deserved better than to be a pawn in this intricate game. But then, they were both pawns, weren't they?
Lestrade sighed. It was only a matter of time. Truth would out. And what then?
He was pulled from his reverie as the smell of burning caught his nose.
"Mycroft, are you alright in there?" he asked.
"Absolutely," replied a snippy voice. "No problem. Everything's fine."
He ran into the kitchen, grateful he'd taken off his heels.
The stove was ablaze, clearly the result of a buildup of grease. Mycroft was leaning over the sink, filling a bucket of water to dump on the thoroughly inflamed appliance.
"Don't you dare!" cried Lestrade, yanking him out of the room. "Christ, Mycroft, are you trying to kill us both? That's a grease fire! Pouring water on it won't help. We have to smother it!"
Mycroft stared at him in alarm. "What?"
Lestrade shook his head, charging into the younger man's bedroom. He returned with several wool blankets.
"Come on. Don't just stand there like a moron."
After several tortuous minutes, they managed to extinguish the flames. Mycroft groaned at the state of his kitchen and worse, his blankets.
Lestrade put a hand on his arm. "I'll buy you new ones."
Mycroft looked like he wanted to cry. "I. . . I'm sorry. I'm afraid dinner's ruined, Gaby."
"I wasn't that hungry anyway."
The younger man looked at him appraisingly before throwing his arms around him.
It wasn't as awkward as the first time they'd embraced. Lestrade was growing used to playing the doting girlfriend. And that terrified him more than a little.
He gasped as Mycroft's teeth found purchase on his carotid artery and he hummed gently against the sergeant's skin, sending shivers down his spine.
"'Croft," he gasped.
"Hmm?" mused the man, continuing to nuzzle against him.
The word came out harsher than he'd intended, and as the aide leaned back, he could see the hurt in his eyes.
"I. . ." Lestrade sighed. "I have to know if this is going anywhere."
The younger man smiled, running a finger across his cheek. "You mean this?"
He shook his head, strands of chestnut hair coming lose from its updo. "No, I mean this investigation. Mycroft, do you think. . . Are you sure you're committed to this? You say you are, but we still don't have any hard evidence. And I. . . I just want this dealt with."
He nodded gently. "I know. I know, sweetheart. Trust me, I want it almost as badly as you do. But I'm afraid that, to catch him, it'll be dangerous. I. . . I don't want to lose you."
Lestrade gulped at the desperation in his eyes. "I'm a police officer. My job is dangerous. I'll be fine. But the longer we wait. . ."
Mycroft nodded again. "I understand. There's. . . an event. Two weeks from now. A sort of social. Rhylstone will be there. I'm sure we can catch him getting up to something."
Lestrade frowned. "Why didn't you say anything before?"
Mycroft chuckled. "Well, I was going to. Over dinner. But you know how that worked out."
Lestrade smiled. "Next time, let me do the cooking, alright?"
He almost managed to keep his head about him as the younger man pulled him into a kiss.
Kissing led to touching. Touching led back to the couch. And after a while. . .
"What's wrong?" crooned Mycroft, his hand delicately caressing Lestrade's bony knee.
"Don't lie to me, Gaby. You know I can see through you when you do."
He sighed. That was true enough. He often wondered why the man seemed capable of observing everything except the biggest secret.
"I just. . ."
Mycroft seemed to stare into his soul. "Gabrielle. What is it?"
"Just going over the case." That was true enough.
Mycroft smirked slightly, nibbling on his ear. "Well, stop it. There's time enough for that tomorrow."
Lestrade tensed slightly as the man's hand played about his stomach.
He'd known it was only a matter of time before things reached this level. There was nothing he could do, no way to. . . No. He couldn't. Not this.
"Mycroft. I'm sorry."
He pulled away, standing abruptly. The younger man frowned.
"Gaby? Why. . . I don't understand. Don't you. . . Aren't you attracted to me?"
Lestrade gulped. It killed him to see the younger man like this, so vulnerable, so unsure of himself.
"That's not it. I just. . . I can't. Please."
He sighed. Of course he wasn't going to let this go. Not a man as stubborn as he was. "Because I'm Catholic," he said simply. That was true in either case.
Because it would be a sin.
Mycroft's eyes glinted in recognition as he stood, pulling the sergeant into a comfortable embrace, resting his chin on the top of his head.
"I'm sorry. I should be more considerate. I won't. . . I won't ask you to do anything that would make you uncomfortable."
He sighed, breathing in Mycroft's scent, sinking into the warm embrace.
God, why? It isn't fair.
AN: Sorry for the delay! Serious writer's block issues! Next chapter will have some lighter bits, I promise. Also, I'll be updating "Monster" next week as well. Thank you for your patience!