Summary: Written for Sherlock BBC Kinkmeme prompt: Mycroft gets roped into participating in a bachelor auction. Terrified that nobody will bid on him, he begs Sherlock via text: 'Please save me from this; bid on me, and I will do anything you ask me to do.' Lestrade receives the text instead.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In the last chapter, there was much talk of going to Wembley stadium to see a football game in Mycroft's Executive Seating. Alas, looking over the Wembley stadium events schedule made this an obvious no-go, so I've retroactively changed the plan by changing one sentence in the last chapter to reflect that there are no football games at Wembley during this time. Apologies. I really tried to figure out how to make it work without doing this sort of modification, but I didn't have a better idea so here goes.
Warnings: Mycroft in this fic has really terrible self image issues in regards to his weight which might be a bit triggery. Also, as this is leading to a Mystrade first time, the rating will increase for the last chapter. This fic is also as yet unBritpicked and unBetaed. All suggestions welcome.
Disclaimer: I don't own the revisioned Sherlock series for BBC nor am I making any money off of this. Just playing with the characters for a bit.
Lestrade was glad that no major (and especially no interesting) crimes happened over the next week. He'd have been useless for them anyway. Lord, that kiss. Lestrade didn't know how he'd worked up the guts to try it, and he'd half expected the other man to shove him away, or return the gesture with mechanical precision if not enthusiasm, but instead Mycroft had practically melted into Lestrade, and that whimper. God. The thought that a simple kiss had inspired such response was overwhelming. A part of Lestrade didn't trust his experience, terrified that this might be some sort of experiment: how could someone as assured as Mycroft assume Lestrade's obvious interest was a form of pity? And he'd certainly seemed well composed when he'd called on Wednesday to coordinate their schedules. The call had come from a blocked number and they'd managed five minutes of inane banter before someone, not speaking English, had called Mycroft away.
But while Lestrade couldn't claim (and was pretty sure he was happier without) the genius of either of the Holmes brothers, years on the force had given him a good ability to read people. Even Sherlock's manufactured emotions became transparent after a while. It was possible Mycroft had been acting, but Lestrade's gut said Mycroft's awkwardness had been genuine. Which left Lestrade with the rather fascinating problem of how to draw Mycroft out of his shell, and if the date went well, out of whatever mastery of tailoring Mycroft chosen for their day together.
Lestrade stood in front of his bed, hair still damp from the shower, considering the three shirts he'd placed on the duvet with the critical attention of a teenager with a crush. It would be better if Mycroft had given at least some idea of what they were actually doing. Not that Lestrade minded surprises, in the right context. And this was definitely the right context. Probably. Mycroft had said casual dress, which for Lestrade meant some combination of jeans and t-shirt, but this was Mycroft who had probably never so much as owned a pair of jeans.
Lestrade took a breath and scrubbed his hand through his hair. "Assumptions, Greg," he muttered to himself. He really didn't know a thing about Mycroft's casual clothing preferences. Did Mycroft have casual clothing preferences? Did he have casual clothing? He couldn't bum about his home in a three piece suit. (The thought of Mycroft in night clothes—though he probably swathed himself into some neck to toes dressing gown like his brother favoured—was strangely endearing.)
On Lestrade's night-stand, his mobile vibrated with a text.
Cancelling? No, Mycroft wouldn't cancel by text. Lestrade picked up the phone.
"When you wear the blue button down to interrogate witnesses, you tend to have an on average 1-2 minute longer conversation than when you wear other shirts. The effect is more pronounced when you factor out from the sample heterosexual males." -SH
Lestrade read the text twice. God help him, but was Sherlock Holmes now giving fashion advice for dating his brother? It could easily be a trick. Maybe Mycroft despised blue. Though Sherlock's machinations thus far hadn't really caused harm. If anything they'd been instrumental towards facilitating today's date. Lestrade took the shirt and put it on. It certainly made him look fit, and it brought out his eyes. Good enough. Lestrade quickly finished dressing, dabbed on some cologne, and combed his hair.
The bell rang at exactly three. Of course Mycroft would be perfectly punctual. Lestrade's mouth was dry when he walked to the door. He'd cleaned his flat the night before, just in case Mycroft had decided to step in. Hopefully he wouldn't. It was obvious enough that Lestrade and Mycroft walked in different circles. A prolonged stay in Lestrade's flat would only call attention to that reality.
Lestrade opened the door.
In deference to the informality of the event, Mycroft had sacrificed the waistcoat and tie and unfastened the topmost button of his shirt. His trousers were still perfectly creased, of course, and he wore a pair of black Oxfords that looked like they'd just been taken out of the box. His gaze flitted over Lestrade, his green eyes narrowing in a way that seemed to sharpen the angles of his face. "Detective Inspector."
"Greg," Lestrade said, "Remember?"
"Greg," Mycroft said, his expression softening as his lips quirked upwards. "Thank you...Greg."
Mycroft was definitely smiling now, a restrained grin that didn't show his teeth. Today, Lestrade resolved, he'd get Mycroft to forget himself long enough to laugh. Lestrade tapped at his pocket for his keys and wallet, and then grabbing the blazer from the hook, pulled the door shut behind him. "You're lucky you weren't here yesterday. The lift was out of commission for a week. They only just fixed it."
"An oversight," Mycroft said. They started down the corridor. "But I'd have walked up in any case."
"Eight flights?" Lestrade laughed. "You must be incredibly fit." A fact Lestrade had already gleaned to some extent when he'd pressed himself to Mycroft to kiss him. The corridor was dimly lit, with paisley print carpeting and a mirror across from the lift. Lestrade said, "Maybe we should take the stairs down," and then before he lost his nerve added, "I've really been looking forward to this. Have to admit, I was a bit worried there that there that I might get stuck with a new serial murderer or you some secret governmental disaster to be averted."
Mycroft kept his gaze firmly focused on the lift doors. "I wouldn't have cancelled."
"No, neither would I." Lestrade added, "I'm glad you left the tie home. It's good to see you more...informal." He'd have said relaxed, but there was a tension in the set of Mycroft's shoulders and his determined gaze that belied the almost surreal calm of his tone.
"Considering today's agenda, business attire would be problematic."
"And what is today's agenda? I admit, I've been curious."
"The effect would be rather lost given an explanation," Mycroft said. "I understand I'm asking for a great deal of trust, considering..."
"I'm not jumping out of any aeroplanes, if that's what you've planned."
"Never." Mycroft coughed. "No. I mean, I don't like heights."
"Well, good then. I'm glad that's settled."
"Besides, I think your current work probably provides you with enough peril, especially in the wake of my brother."
"He's gotten better since John moved in." Well, better was a strong term, since John was, for all of his surface normality, just as cracked as Sherlock. But John was also military trained, and he gave Sherlock a reason to hesitate before throwing himself willy-nilly into a life or death situation, so it did improve things.
The quirk of Mycroft's lips made it clear that he'd understood what Lestrade had left unsaid and possibly concurred. Mycroft said, "I envy them sometimes. Not the unrelenting chaos, but finding someone so well suited, it's a gift."
"Well, if Sherlock and John can manage it, should be easier for the rest of us, don't you think?"
The lift arrived and Lestrade followed Mycroft in. Normally this would have afforded a good view of his bottom, but the suit jacket fell low. It was a shame. Mycroft walked to the back of the elevator and turned around. Lestrade followed, leaning against the back wall. The elevator was cramped enough that their hips touched. Lestrade said, "You know one benefit of a cheap flat?"
Lestrade shifted his weight and looked up, angling his face towards Mycroft. "No security cameras." Lestrade reached for Mycroft's hand.
Mycroft sidestepped, pulling his hand away. "I'm sorry."
Lestrade's face heated. "No, I shouldn't have." Shouldn't have what? Taken liberties? Misread the situation so badly? Sherlock's words drifted through Lestrade's mind: you see but you don't observe. What had he observed? Mycroft was, today as always, incredibly reserved. They hadn't hugged or even shaken hands when Mycroft came to his door. What else had they shared? A five minute phone call? And Lestrade had initiated their first and only kiss. Certainly, Mycroft had seemed responsive, but maybe he'd simply been playing along. Excessive politeness? Mycroft had a poor assessment of his physical attractiveness, but gratitude for Lestrade's interest didn't automatically make it mutual. How fucking humiliating...for both of them. Lestrade was going to strangle Sherlock within an inch of his life the next time he came to the Yard, never mind that John would have Lestrade on the ground with bones broken just after his hands wrapped around Sherlock's skinny neck.
Lestrade took a breath. Like making a statement to the press, best to do this quickly and calmly. "I really also apologize for any assumptions I might have made about what we were doing today. You know, this auction thing, it doesn't have to be a date. I'm happy to just get to know you better. As a friend." No, friendship implied too many liberties. "As an associate."
Mycroft's face was flushed, his gaze fixed firmly on the far doors. "This is my fault." He leaned over and pressed the emergency stop button. "You have nothing to apologize for."
"You can't help it if you're not interested Mycroft," Lestrade said. "I meant what I said though. You're an attractive, brilliant man. I'm sure you'll find someone who suits you." Lestrade was just surprised nobody had snapped Mycroft up before now. The world was, clearly as Sherlock described it, full of idiots.
Mycroft said, "Of course I'm interested."
"What? I mean, good. Great!" The relief was like a bird taking flight. Lestrade grinned. It was good to know Lestrade hadn't lost all of his perceptive skills, even though he was now, if possible, even more confused. "So, you just want to take it slow?" Maybe Mycroft thought kissing was only for after the date was over, like in films for teenagers. Well, films for teenagers from thirty years ago. It made sense, actually, as much as anything with a Holmes did.
"Yes. No. I mean, just not here, like this."
"Right. I didn't mean to get pushy."
"Because I've had surveillance put in this building. Namely cameras in the entrance, the stairwells, lifts, the corridor leading to your flat as well as the floors above and below, and motion sensors on your outside windows."
Lestrade studied the lift's walls. It was the usual patchwork of haphazardly applied off-white paint, but no telltale flash where a camera lens might be embedded. "Where?"
"Military issue are far more easily concealed than the types sold commercially."
"Your association with my brother made it necessary, though the surveillance was increased when Sherlock began to attract the attention of major players of the criminal world."
"How long? I only moved into this flat six months ago, after the separation."
"Yes, your former residence was also under similar surveillance, though it was a bit less extensive as most of the outside views were accessible via CCTV."
"Well, that's reassuring."
"I promise you, I endeavoured to keep the invasion of privacy to a minimum."
"Fuck." Lestrade rubbed his forehead with his palm. "I thought John was taking the piss when he said you'd had him kidnapped. So what, there's a poor sap in some basement office whose job it is to watch me go to work, fight with my ex, and occasionally bring home a bloke to shag all because I happen to be the unlucky DI your brother attached himself to so he could gain access to crime scenes?"
"You can't say nobody looks at it."
"Only my PA and I have access to the data."
"You have nothing to be ashamed of."
"I'm not. I'm ticked off." And Lestrade was too, the sort of furious that gripped the muscles of his neck and made his stomach feel acid. "Did you bug the inside of my flat too?"
"Well, that's something."
"You are, from what I've gleaned, one of a very rare breed of person who actually lives the same life in private as in public. It's truly admirable."
"I'm glad your years of surveillance have allowed you to hold me in such high regard. So, did you kidnap me too and just erase my memory after?"
"It's not a film." Mycroft's neutral tone broke and he sounded genuinely annoyed. "Besides, I had no need to kidnap you. Your role in Sherlock's life was absolutely predictable."
"Wonderful." Lestrade managed to maintain a level tone, which he felt was a true accomplishment. To think, he'd been worried about the disparity of information that Mycroft would glean simply by looking inside his apartment. But this was worse. The blazing intelligence, observing and creating theories from fragments of information, that was simply a part of the Holmes package. But surveillance over months, possibly years, had rendered Lestrade in Mycroft's words, 'absolutely predictable'. What was the point? What was Mycroft even doing? Lestrade said, "Listen, seriously, I appreciate the gesture of goodwill, but I think we should call this for today. I'm glad we were both able to donate so generously for the charity."
"I'll have all of the cameras removed. I promise."
"Don't bother. You'll just end up paying some poor aide to do the same thing." Lestrade took a breath. It wasn't really any worse than the CCTV, and the building did need better security. He wouldn't have been upset if the landlord had installed cameras. Of course in that instance, Lestrade would have also been informed. "And you have access to my work records as well. Case closing ratios. Evaluations."
"I would never abuse a trust."
"We don't have a trust. You trust me because you know everything about me. And what do I know? That you play the cello and your brother is convinced you're the British government." Lestrade was too short to reach the emergency stop from where he was standing, so he budged up off the wall and crossed the two steps to the other side of the lift. "Thank you for your honesty. I'll see you out."
Mycroft grabbed his arm."Wait." His face had a mask-like calm, but his voice was fragile. "Please. Allow me to finish."
"It's not...I like you Mycroft, it's just seriously...what can I offer you? Not even novelty it seems."
"I have myself under extensive surveillance too," Mycroft said. "I'll have my PA load the footage onto a secure laptop and send it over. Everything that's not classified. Take as long as you need to look it over. That should resolve the information disparity, shouldn't it?"
It was, as far as compromises went, absolutely nutters. Did Mycroft really think Lestrade had hours and hours to look over years of footage of Mycroft entering and leaving his flat? "I don't really think that's necessary."
"Because everything I know about you, at this point, is irrelevant."
"Excuse me?"Lestrade turned to Mycroft, the distance between them too comfortably close. Mycroft smelled of soap and a hint of aftershave. His grip on Lestrade's arm had loosened, until the weight of flesh on flesh seemed almost feather light.
Mycroft's eyes, more square than round, had a greenish cast as he spoke, "I know you prefer cooking, but when you're too tired you order sweet and sour chicken from one of three Chinese takeaways. I know you prefer strawberry ice cream and white wines, but I don't know how any of these things taste on your lips. I know you like to reconstruct motorcycles, but I don't know how you feel when you ride one. I know you have a large family, and that somehow you manage to maintain congenial relations with all of them, but I cannot say how you manage it. I know you're an intelligent and attractive man who has no difficulty pulling either men or women when you are so inclined, but you chose instead to spend a significant amount of money to spend a day with me for no obvious gain or advantage that I can understand.
"Okay, okay. I got it." Lestrade was undecided as to whether he was going to fall over from shock, desire, delight or simply emulsify in the focus of Mycroft's gaze. Was this pathological or sweet? Did it even matter?
"I'm almost finished," Mycroft said, and took a breath. "Your role in my brother's life I initially viewed as both boring and predicable. But I am not my brother. I do not yet have the information required to predict your role in mine."
God, how much passion was in this man, hidden beneath layers of tailoring and masks? It was hard to maintain a proper temper after hearing that. Hell, it was hard to maintain even breathing. Lestrade said, "You're much better at apologizing than your brother."
"I have more practice."
"And you're forgiven."
Mycroft's eyes widened. "I am?"
"Yes," Lestrade leaned back and with his free hand depressed the emergency stop. "But if you make any other recording of me you do I expect to be informed. This holds doubly true if I'm naked."
As the lift slowed, Mycroft's face was bright red. Lestrade leaned lifted his forearm and placed a light kiss on the top of Mycroft's hand. The doors opened.
"About time." Mrs. Donnelly on the fifth floor stood on the opposite side, leaning on a cane, a bag of groceries at her feet. She'd died her hair purple, and wore a matching shirt and lipstick.
"I'm sorry, police business," Lestrade said, feeling in his pocket automatically for his ID, which was of course, missing.
"Bullocks that," Mrs. Donnelly said. "The lift was stopped for a full five minutes. You kids want to enjoy your antics that's your business, but I've waited a week for the lift to start working again so I could do my food shopping. Do you have any idea what it's like walking up four flights with this replacement knee?"
Mycroft detached himself from Lestrade and took the bag. "Perhaps it would be best if we help you take this up."
"That's very polite, young man. You're a good one." Mrs. Donnelly stepped onto the lift with surprising quickness and held out her hand. "Give it here. I'll be fine. And you take good care of this one, Detective Inspector. He seems a bit flushed. Could be a fever."
As the doors shut, Lestrade was almost certain he'd seen Mrs. Donnelly wink.