Chef!Lestrade x Mycroft
"Mycroft, you fat twat."
"Sir," Anthea's head appeared in the doorway, the oak door cracked just enough for her to make sure he wasn't in the middle of anything. It wasn't anything important, for the moment, and Mycroft lifted his head from the papers to give her the attention she needed.
"We found a chef for you and we need your okay." She always said 'we', but Mycroft doubted she consulted any other people on this personal request. He gave a small nod of approval and gathered his papers together to hide them away for the moment. With a job like his, he had to be very careful about everything he did, even if it was unlikely that the stranger could even read any of his papers from a distance. The door opened up and Anthea and an older looking gentleman entered.
He didn't look dressed for the part, in casual jeans and rumpled collared shirt, but he didn't look high priced either, and Mycroft found a little bit of relief in it. He was with people in suits all day, so this was always a nice change. It also alerted the him to who the man was. He was good at his job, obviously, otherwise he would be striving to impress him with looks. It would have back fired, of course. A good chef couldn't cook in a suit. He was older with greying hair and a well-defined face. The defining marks on his hands and wrists told Mycroft that he'd been doing his job long and the notepad and ink marks in his pocket told him he took his job seriously and even enjoyed it. The words peeking out from the notepad assured him he could expect good food; 'beef Stew'. He was a simple man then. His writing was slow and deliberate as a sign that he thought and made corrections as necessary. More personal information included his recent divorce, his refusal of another job, a new flat he wasn't happy in, and he had a pet bird. They might have to do something about that, but it wasn't important at the moment.
"This is Gregory Lestrade. He's considered a celebrity chef," she informed and the man proudly smiled.
"I'm not a celebrity, as you already know. Why are you here?" Mycroft questioned.
"Ah. Well, I'm a little sick of celebrities, to be honest and I've never really liked the cameras. I'm actually just a personal chef," Lestrade assured him patiently. "I just happen to work with famous people. I can promise you, it's because I'm good at my job." He approached the desk and fumbled with a plastic container for a moment. Mycroft was slightly put off at the idea of eating anything cold or in such a container. As it was opened, however, the lovely scent flooded from inside of it.
"I brought this for you to try. I wouldn't expect you to hire me without a sample. They took a bit to test, so that's why there's a chunk missing." He explained. A quick glanced toward Anthea confirmed his story. Mycroft wasn't so paranoid that he thought everyone was after him, but it was definitely something he had to consider. He was given a fork and Mycroft gave the dish a small poke through to distinguish what was in it. It was a pasta salad of sorts, and extremely aromatic.
"I would have brought something warm, but I don't like having to reheat dishes. They were very closed mouthed about what you would eat, too, but she mentioned you smoked, so I did my best." He explained. Mycroft gave him a curious glance. He could see how that would be important, but he was surprised the man would even consider it. He finally gave it a taste. It was impressive to say the least. He hadn't had a meal this good in years. In fact, he couldn't think of a time he'd ever had a meal this good. Lestrade looked at him with a painfully blank expression. He was trying too hard not to appear nervous.
"This is fantastic." He complimented, not bothering to hide his hunger. He hadn't eaten all day and this was good. That was all the compliment the chef needed, and Lestrade smiled.
"Anthea will help you move in."
"I'm hired." He stated with a bit of relief. It wasn't a question though. Lestrade smiled pleasantly and left with no further questions or statements. It was important to find someone who was compatible with Mycroft and if there was one thing Anthea was good with, it was people.
Lestrade was impressed at the size of the flat. He wasn't completely sure what his new boss did, they were very vague on the subject, but he was obviously doing well. He didn't mind that he didn't know what the man did. He was actually a little tired of being on top of gossip. Often times, people would insist he was the one giving out rumors. It had gotten him fired more than once, despite Lestrade never saying a word to anyone. Famous or not, that was an invasion of privacy. So far, everyone was very closed lipped. He wasn't even sure where the man worked, since he'd been picked up in a tinted windowed car and left in the very same. He knew the flat was located somewhere towards the outskirts of London, and he was glad that he wasn't being confined to the spacious room. There was a little market down the streets and plenty of places for him to do shopping.
The flat itself reminded him more of a picture out of a magazine than a place where people lived. The dark wood floors were shiny and high gloss, and the huge windows allowed them to see out but not for anyone to see in. There were chandeliers and were simple and minimalistic, and plush leather seats, and a glass table top, and it didn't look very lived in. He doubted his new boss was here often. Lestrade pulled his pad from his pocket and scribbled down another little note for later reference.
"The whole house is protected." Anthea assured him. "This glass in impenetrable and shatterproof. The roof is made to withstand impacts from the largest of explosions, as are the walls and floor." She tapped a foot against the wood absently. She had yet to look away from her phone. "The code for the door changes weekly, so don't forget it and don't write it down. You're not to have any guest and there will be no guests. If you have to open the door for them, they don't belong here. Easy as that. At any sign of tampering, the entire building will arm. Do not panic."
"So this is basically a vault." Lestrade murmured. Whatever it was Holmes did, he obviously had a lot of enemies. No wonder they'd done such a thorough background check on him.
"Is it to keep people out or him in?" He scoffed to himself. He couldn't imagine anyone would want a job like this. It had to be done, surely, as all jobs did, but it had to be awful. Could anyone really want to be targeted at any moment of the day. Lestrade was surprised he even left his house. Not leaving would be far worse, sitting alone in this cold place, but he only saw the choices as being alone or being dead. What had he gotten himself into? Anthea finally looked away from her phone, a delicate eyebrow arched at him.
"It depends on the day. Your bedroom's this way." She instructed with a small swish of the head. The first one was his new boss's room and right next door was his own. She stopped in the middle of the hall.
"That's the study. Help yourself. And the bathroom."
"There's only one?"
"Do you require a separate loo?" She questioned pointedly. Lestrade hurriedly shook his head.
"No," he said quickly. "It's just, people usually don't like sharing personal space." He would have to get used to the difference between the government worker and the strange habited celebrities he was use to working for. Instead of answer, she informed him of the cleaning.
"The maid visits every Monday and Thursday. Never the same person. However, you are expected to be relatively clean."
"I am." Lestrade promised her. That wasn't a problem at all. He never got too comfortable in the houses he was cooking in and this wouldn't be the exception. Even if Lestrade did think that the flat needed to be a little more homey. He supposed that wasn't at the top of the man's list to do. He peeked into his room. He'd never had a room so nice. To be honest, he usually worked in places twice as big as this, so it was nice to be somewhere small. The far wall of the room was made completely of glass and the bed was pressed against it, lacking a headboard to preserve the view. He had a dresser on one wall and a shelf on the other. It was nice, and would be even better when he got his things moved in. He didn't have a lot of things, considering he never stayed in one place long, but those that he did have, were very important to him.
"My bird. May I hang him from the ceiling?"
"About your bird," Anthea began.
"I don't work without my bird." Lestrade assured her firmly and unwaveringly. She didn't look too pleased by the firm press of her lips, but it wasn't a subject he would be moved on. She seemed to consider her argument before coming to the same conclusion; he had plenty of other jobs to take and she had been told about the creature when he applied for this job.
"Of course you may." She gave the smallest of pleasant smiles. Lestrade was glad they were rather friendly people. He'd been a little worried that moving out from celebrities to more quiet people would be a shock. It would take a while to get use to such a domestic life. Almost like living with his wife again. Perhaps a little quieter than living with his ex-wife.
"Your pay will be directed straight into your accounts and your expenses will be returned to you at the end of every month. If you have any questions, don't hesitate. My number and Mr. Holmes' number has been entered into your phone. Your things are being brought up now. It'll be a pleasure working with you, Mr. Lestrade."
Lestrade had moved into his new work place with relative ease. They handled everything to the point that it was a little startling. He'd just bought himself a new flat before he had decided he would go back to work. They had sold it. He had no problem with that; it would have taken him weeks to even get it on the market if he'd done it himself. He unpacked his clothes and personal effects, and even managed to get his bird settled in. When he finished settling in, and not a moment later, he received a message. He hadn't thought to ask if there were cameras. There probably were, but he put it out of his mind.
Holmes would be returning home at seven. To work it was, then. Lestrade made the kitchen comfortable to himself, moving things around to where he needed them and making notes of things he needed. There wasn't an ounce of ingredient anywhere in the entire house. The pantry was bone dry and the fridge was full of take out boxes. This was unacceptable. Lestrade didn't care what he did, this was no way to take care of one's self.
With the kitchen empty, Lestrade was forced to do all of his shopping before five rolled around. He found all the shops he needed within walking distance, but he didn't have to carry a thing. Every time he wandered out of a shop, an armed guard appeared out of nowhere and told him he, or she, would take them home. Lestrade was a little worried at first, but he had already promised himself he wouldn't be paranoid while working for this man.
Thankfully, when he returned home, everything was there. That was fantastic, actually. He felt a little guilty with them doing everything, however. This was the only time he'd allow them to and that was only because he had to do such a large stock. He unpacked everything and organized everything in a way that pleased his senses. He couldn't plan any meals just yet, but he had enough basics to prepare anything with minimum amount of shopping. The flowers he got were just because the room looked too dark even with all of the windows. Everything was looking better already, but it wasn't his job to make things look better. It was his job to cook and keep Holmes healthy.
So, within an hour, he had an assortment of dishes made. He didn't know anything about the man, and talking never worked very well. He'd tried talking to people before. Celebrities would tell him they liked or disliked all kinds of things and later all of those things would turn out to be untrue. This was easier because if he disliked anything or if he really liked anything, Lestrade would know. He'd been doing this for a long time now, and even a man as cold as Holmes appeared to couldn't fool him. People were very particular about the food they liked.
He was an absolute mess when he heard the door open. Lestrade hoped it wouldn't be minded, though, considering he was cook and therefore was bound to be covered in something or other. He couldn't turn away from the stove at the very moment, but he could spot the man's reflection in the glossy pan.
"Afternoon, Mr. Holmes," he called to assure his new boss that he had seen him come in and to let the man know he was there. With everything he knew about the flat alone, this probably wasn't a man he wanted to surprise in any circumstance.
"It smells good." The man stated as he approached the opposite side of the bar top. He straightened his tie a little and Lestrade knew it would be a little while before either of them were properly comfortable in one another's company. He would be in Holmes' life a lot, after all.
"That's a good sign. I'm almost done if you'll have a seat." Lestrade insisted calmly. He listened to the man store his umbrella and shed his outer coat before placing himself at the bar. Thankfully, the older chef was used to being watched while he went about his work.
"I take it you made yourself at home?" Holmes conversed calmly, but rather stiffly.
"Of course. You have a very nice, very safe, home, Mr. Holmes."
"You may call me Mycroft."
"I didn't want to seem rude." Lestrade chuckled softly, looking away from his pan momentarily to glance over the man. He was being watched closely already, so the cook simply smiled at him. He finished the vegetables he was sauteing and plated them with a skilled hand. He turned the fire off, placing the pan aside, and brushed his hands on the lap of his apron.
"Alright. First day, just want to run by some things so I don't disappear," he joked even though he was sure that could easily happen. Lestrade flipped out his notepad to take a few more notes.
"You're not a vegetarian or vegan?"
"You don't have any allergies."
"Are there any foods that you won't eat due to traumatic incidents?" As he usually did, he earned himself a strange look. Mycroft's answer only hesitated a moment, though.
"That's a legitimate question. I once had a man break down in sobs because I made eggs and grits. Not something I'd like to go through again," he murmured as he placed a plate before the man. He didn't get a response, but Lestrade wasn't fully expecting one.
"This is a light salad with seasoned boiled chicken, gouda cheese, almonds, and strawberries with a raspberry vinaigrette." The meal was eaten quietly. Lestrade decided that it was too light for the man, but he had quite the sweet tooth. Mycroft would need to keep a strict diet, but there were ways around that. He could make things sweet without the extra need of sugar or fats. When that was finished, he replaced the plate with another.
"Prime fillet wrapped in bacon with seared potatoes and asparagus and red wine." He wasn't a very picky man, and the meat was a little too heavy for him. He didn't dislike any of it, but the sweetness of the salad was preferred. He wasn't a heavy drinker, either, which was always nice.
"And a touch of dessert. Chocolate orange marmalade cake with gently spiked tea." Definitely a sweet tooth on this one. Now that he had a general idea of Holmes' appetite and taste, he could plan a little more accurately. It would be several weeks before he could adjust completely to the new man's taste. Mycroft gently patted his mouth clean. He was so proper, even in his own home.
"That was fantastic. You should join me next time," the man offered. Lestrade smiled. That was always an awkward question to ask and he simply assumed that they wouldn't want to eat with the chef.
"If you'd be okay with that, of course." He agreed as he began to wash plates. Mycroft seemed to hang back for a moment, as if he were unsure about leaving anyone in his house. However, it didn't last very long.
"I'll be off to bed, then."
"Good night, Mycroft." Lestrade smiled softly.
Lestrade was woken in the morning by his phone. He didn't recall setting it to such a loud setting, but he didn't have to with Anthea knowing exactly how his phone worked. It was easy to sleep in a strange bed with strange sheets. Sometimes he'd only have a job for a week, sometimes for a year, but regardless of the time spent there, he never called it home. Part of the job was never being home sick and Lestrade did that part well. It was still dark outside, he could tell since there was no curtains, and he deemed the time 'too damn early'.
He'll be awake in thirty. Twenty two minute shower. Don't let him leave without eating. That was right. Mycroft was a business man. He would have to adjust to the schedule change which was always a little bit harder for the older man. He forced himself out of a sound sleep and quietly moved about his room. He doubted the walls were thin enough to allow sound to penetrate them, but he was careful none the less. Even his bird was still fast asleep. He didn't bother dressing, however, since he would go right back to sleep once the man left. He pulled on an apron, more out of habit than anything else, and made his way into the kitchen.
He prepared tea and a small breakfast. Since Mycroft didn't eat often, he couldn't make anything big, otherwise the man wouldn't eat it and even if he did, it would probably make him sick. Part way through, he heard the man make his way into the bathroom as she'd told him he would. Exactly twenty two minutes later, he emerged completely dressed and ready for the day.
"Good morning, Mycroft," Lestrade greeted pleasantly, despite the ridiculous hour of the morning.
"Have some breakfast," he instructed. Mycroft appeared as though he were going to refuse, but if he was, it didn't leave his mouth. He quietly ate as Lestrade cleaned the pan he had used. It was still too early for him to eat. When the man finished, he quietly thanked his cook and left. Lestrade went back to bed.
Lestrade didn't stir from his sleep for several more hours. It was already clear that it would take some time to get adjusted to the new timing. Still, he managed to get himself out of bed with the help of his noisy bird. Thankfully, he didn't make a lot of noise under usual conditions. Only when he was hungry. Lestrade would never expect to keep him if he'd been louder. He uncaged the tiny zebra finch, allowing the friendly creature to dart out of the cage and plunge straight into the warm covers.
He liked birds. After being married to his wife for ten years and not once mentioning children, Lestrade had one day made the mistake of bringing it up. It had started out as a conversation and turned into a screaming match. He would have happily changed jobs in order to be around for their kids, but she responded with a flat out 'no'. Lestrade never got a straight answer to why.
Their relationship had been a little worn before, but that had been the crack that started it falling apart. In some kind of attempt to console his desire for children, she had purchased him a bird. Lestrade hadn't had the time to take it back and eventually, he didn't have the heart either. It was rather smart, actually, and didn't need a lot of care. Plus, he could take it anywhere and everything and no one really minded it.
It wasn't anything close to having a child, though. He didn't even know if it was girl or a boy. In fact, Lestrade had never actually given it a name. It was just sort of 'bird' or 'my bird'. Occasionally he'd call it something he needed to remember; Milk, Bread, Doctor's Appointment Tomorrow. The bird never cared. It wasn't that smart, after all.
"Come on Sweets." He whistled curtly, beckoning the creature to come along. It followed him into the bathroom where he ran a sink full of water for it to bathe in. A warm showed in the amazing tub left him feeling refreshed. He was loving it here already. Lestrade allowed his pet to wander the room freely while he dressed and prepared for the day. He scribbled down some more notes before parting for the kitchen. A light lunch catering to his sweet tooth but not enough to put him off.
Within an hour, he had a lunch packed and was out the door to tend to his new client. Lestrade wasn't surprised that there was already a car waiting for him. Although he still had no idea where Mycroft worked, he was taken there without question. It occurred to him that they were still watching him closely to make sure he wasn't a threat and he wished he could tell them to settle down. It was making him a little nervous.
Wait in the lobby. Lestrade checked his watch. It wasn't noon just yet, and he was getting the feeling that Anthea was not a woman he wanted to argue with. He did as he was told and quietly waited. At least it was a cold lunch. He'd have to plan more carefully if he was going to bring something warm. Lestrade knew that it was important to show off in the first few days, but he wouldn't be on his top work until he knew his boss better. His mind wandered and he began to wonder about the relationship between Mycroft and his lovely assistant. She seemed far younger than him, but he'd seen it all in his line of work.
That reminded him that it was none of his business. He was only here to cook, but even so, he jotted down a quick note on Anthea. It wouldn't harm anything to make a rough listing of her taste in case he ever needed to provide a meal for the pair of them. As if she'd been peering over his shoulder, Anthea appeared in the corner of his vision. She motioned to him and Lestrade quietly followed her into the elevator.
Anthea was as intent on her phone and Lestrade realized that he had yet to see her without the device. Young indeed.
"He's in there." Was all she said. Fortunately, Lestrade was used to dealing with tight lipped people and could take the hint. He gently knocked on the heavy door to alert the man that he was coming in before nudging it open gently. Mycroft's eyes were already focused on him and Lestrade pretended that it wasn't painfully eerie.
"Yes." The man seemed to state. The older chef couldn't tell if it was a question or not. At first, Lestrade had known that everything around here was very secret and on the down-low, but he was coming to discover that it wasn't just his job or his home, but the man himself who was mysterious. He wasn't sure whether he was okay with that or not.
"Lunch." Lestrade responded simply. He approached the desk, but the man made no movement to move anything out of the way. Surely he wasn't going to be stubborn about this. He positioned the container on top of the files.
"That was unnecessary," Mycroft stated. He was. He was going to be stubborn about this.
"Of course it was. If you eat out, I will make flavorless tofu for a week. It's not healthy to skip meals. I was hired to help you lose weight, Mycroft, do not try to fight me. It will only be unpleasant for both of us," the chef assured him casually, but firmly. He received a surprised arch of a brow in response. Lestrade uncovered the dish and stood off to the side to wait for the man to finish. Fortunately, he seemed to have no further need to fight today and patiently ate the savory sweet chicken salad prepared for him. He was glad he had gotten his point across, Lestrade took his job very seriously.
"Thank you Gregory." His own name threw him off a little and it must have shown for his boss gave him a questioning look. "Is something wrong?"
"No. Of course not. Most people don't call me by my name, that's all. It's usually Lestrade, or Greg, or 'you there, Chef'." Lestrade only partially joked. He had to say, not all celebrities were as nice as they appeared to be.
"Would you prefer I call you something else?" Mycroft offered.
"Oh. No. Call me whatever you'd like. I don't mind at all," the chef assured him with a fond smile. "It'll be nice to be called by my name for once."