"Har, har - no way." Lestrade crossed his arms and scowled at Donovan.
"Why not, Sir?" Donovan sighed in exasperation. "None of the other blokes are quite as blessed with your looks."
"What does looks have anything to do with it?" Lestrade asked desperately, voice raising an octave or so.
Dimmock walked in, having heard the commotion outside Lestrade's office. "What's going on here?"
Lestrade rounded his desk immediately and hid surreptitiously behind Dimmock. "She's being crazy, Dimmock, tell her she's gone mad!"
"You've gone mad." Dimmock drawled to Donovan without feeling, then turned back to Lestrade. "And what exactly has she gone mad about?"
"There's going to be a charity dinner in a few weeks and our Chief Superintendant can't go because he has an important hospital visit, so..." Donovan trailed off.
"So Lestrade's going?" Dimmock asked.
"I think he's our best option." Donovan shrugged. "He's got the highest solve rates, people will recognize him from his pictures on the front page, he's got a political superstar boyfriend, he's easy on the eyes-..." Here, Lestrade cut her off.
"And I hate those dinners, always so stuffy, I hate the suits, too uncomfortable, ...and I can't dance." he confessed.
"You can't?" Donovan raised both eyebrows.
"Nobody's perfect." Dimmock grimaced back.
"But, what did you do at your wedding reception?" Donovan asked him.
"Slow danced." Lestrade shrugged. "Just swayed back and forth to the music."
"He stepped on her foot at least three times. It was damn precious." Dimmock teased and Lestrade smacked him upside the head.
"We need to get you a dance instructor." Donovan decided.
"I'm not going to the charity dinner." Lestrade responded flatly.
"Whether you're going or not, you need to learn to dance sometime." Donovan told him.
Lestrade turned to Dimmock again. "Dimmock, tell her she's mad."
"You're mad, Donovan." Dimmock parrotted obediently.
"Oh God!" Lestrade stumbled. "Christ, sorry." When he stepped on his dance instructor's foot. "Fuck!" When he botched up the turn. "Bloody Hell!" When he somehow managed to trip his partner up. "Shiiiii-..." When his enraged and indignant dance instructor finally gave up and walked out on him in a fury.
He sighed to himself, alone in the dance studio, and pulled out his phone out of his sweat pants pocket. "Dimmock, tell Donovan she's mad."
"He told me to tell you you're mad." Dimmock said aside to Donovan.
"I mean it." Lestrade groused.
"He means it."
"Mad." Lestrade groaned.
"Mad, he says."
"What's this I hear about you learning to dance?" Mycroft asked in the car on their way back from dinner.
"Don't even ask." Lestrade rolled his eyes. Then, he looked at Mycroft. "I'll bet you were taught how to dance at a very young age, you bloody aristocrat."
Mycroft chuckled a little at the pet name Lestrade seemed to have picked up for him. Every time Mycroft's upbringing would show a great deal of difference from Lestrade's, he'd call him a 'bloody aristocrat'. Mycroft wasn't sure when it had started, but he thought it must've been either when Lestrade learned that Mycroft took horse riding lessons as a boy, or when he found out that Mycroft had never taken part in a spitting contest in his life.
"I confess, dancing was an area of expertise that I have had a little experience in." he replied modestly.
"Ugh! I knew it!" Lestrade threw his hands up. "I can just imagine it!"
"And how are your steps coming along?" Mycroft asked conversationally.
"They really liked my dance instructor's feet, they kept gravitating toward them like homing beacons." Lestrade admitted. "She gave up on me about half an hour after we started. I guess her feet could only take so much abuse."
Mycroft chuckled a little. "I am sorry to hear that."
"Well, you know, if worse comes to worst, I could always grovel in front of Anthea for mercy lessons." Lestrade shrugged helplessly.
"I'm sure she will indulge you."
"Until I step on her feet."
"Then, I don't see the reason to grovel in the first place."
Lestrade snorted. "You're a bastard, Mycroft."
The car pulled up in front of Mycroft's large, empty house mentally dubbed as the 'Museum'. Lestrade had only been inside the foyer and had already seen enough to come to that conclusion.
"Jason will see you safely home." Mycroft told him. "Unless, perhaps, I could bribe you into a drink with me?" He nodded his head in the direction of his house.
Lestrade nodded. "Yeah, I don't see why not."
They trudged up the few front steps to Mycroft's front door and was greeted by a tall elderly man with salt-and-pepper hair and an immaculate suit.
"Welcome home, Master Holmes." he said in a soft, mild voice that Lestrade could strangely feel vibrate straight into his core. "And you, Master Lestrade. Welcome."
"Hello, Merrim." Mycroft nodded, shrugging out of his coat.
Merrim took it without being bidden and hung it up on a rack without a crease. He then turned to Lestrade expectantly with a patient ready-when-you-are look.
Lestrade fumbled quickly out of his coat and watched as it was whisked away and draped over Merrim's left arm.
"Tea is already served in the sitting room, Master Holmes." Merrim informed with only the slightest hint of a smile.
"Thank you, Merrim." Mycroft smiled back, only half a kilo-watt brighter than Merrim.
Merrim nodded to the Lord of the House and retreated as silent as a ghost with Lestrade's coat slung over one arm.
"He's probably taking it to be spot washed." Mycroft whispered aside to Lestrade as they watched the man disappear. "That coffee stain on your sleeve must be killing him." he chuckled. "If he had his way, that coat would burn."
Lestrade shook himself out of his stunned trance and looked at Mycroft. "You've got a Jeeves." he said flatly.
"No, his name is Merrim." Mycroft smirked back.
"You have a bloody live-in servant!" Lestrade exclaimed.
"Technically, he is a valet." Mycroft chipped in.
"You have Alfred Pennyworth working for you, Mycroft." Lestrade said. "I honestly wouldn't be surprised if you told me you were secretly Batman."
"Batman?" Mycroft raised his eyebrows. "Nonsense. If anybody, I'd be Ra's al Ghul."
"I knew it!" Lestrade exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air. "You are immortal!"
"No protests against my international terrorist status?" Mycroft teased.
"Oh, I already knew that." Lestrade grinned back. "Bloody aristocrat."
"Seriously, you've never danced in your life?" Mycroft asked, almost sounding astounded.
"Not outside a club, no." Lestrade shook his head. "I always snuck out of those horrible folk dances that they always made us do in school." He shuddered.
"Many consider dancing to be a way to express oneself." Mycroft reminded him.
"Well, I can express myself without dancing just fine, thanks!" Lestrade scowled like an upset child.
Mycroft just chuckled. "Well, come here. It's not so difficult."
He made Lestrade stand up from his seat and hook his arm around his waist as he circled a hand around Lestrade's neck. Their free hands found each other in a slightly awakward clasp.
"Now, let's have none of that." Mycroft admonished when Lestrade rolled his eyes and tried to step away. "Just take a little step - a little step, Gregory!"
They managed a meagre six steps before the inevitable happened and caused Mycroft to rub his foot ruefully. "Sorry." Lestrade winced.
"Alright, take off your shoes." Mycroft ordered as he toed off his own footwear.
They continued their dance lesson in their socks on the Turkmen rug in front of the fire and Lestrade had to hide a grimace at the cheesiness of it all. And seeing the look on Mycroft's face, he was also sporting such thoughts.
Their gaze met and they chuckled.
"Cliche." Mycroft grunted.
"Cheesy." Lestrade agreed.
In that one moment of distraction, Lestrade had managed to mess up his steps again and tripped up Mycroft, who went sprawling inelegantly onto the carpet, taking his dance partner with him.
They lay stunned for a moment, waves of heat from the fire washing over them, at least, Lestrade thought it must be. Mycroft was flat on his back, blinking in disorientation.
"You're right." Mycroft said after an awkward beat. "You are horrible at dancing the waltz, I was even trying to teach you the easy one."
Lestrade didn't move from from his position above Mycroft, supporting himself with both his arms, hands bracketing Mycroft's head. "I'm better at horizontal tango." he replied, expression stone-serious.
"Prove it." Mycroft shot back smoothly without missing a beat.
Lestrade blinked and looked to his boyfriend for confirmation. Mycroft nodded back at him with a sly smile.
And, on the sitting room carpeted floor in front of the fireplace. Lestrade did.
"Cliche." Mycroft murmured.
"Cheesy." Lestrade agreed full heartedly.
They exchanged looks and laughed.