AN: Inspired by a prompt from the blog on tumblr, imagineyourotp. If it turns out even half as emotional as it was when I imagined it I'll count this as a success.
Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock. I'm not cruel enough to make us wait this long. Honestly, I'm going through a horrific stage of withdrawl right now.
Mycroft had never hated his position of power quite so much as he did right now. He'd had bad days before. There had been days when he'd felt so frustrated with the idiots surrounding him that he felt he would like nothing more than to find a way to shove the entire useless country off the side of a cliff. But this was the first time he wanted to give his job to somebody else.
Ordinary people, they could pin the blame. Everything bad could be blamed on the people who had more. More money. More power. More connections. But Mycroft was more. Was money. Was power. Was the connection everyone wished they had. And he was useless. Useless, with no one to blame for it.
He'd given in to Greg's plea that he be allowed to come home. The hospital wasn't helping any and Greg had made it all too clear that he would not be dying in a hospital bed. Mycroft had tried to argue that Greg wouldn't be dying at all, but the words had caught in his throat and all he'd managed was a desperate choking sound. He'd brought Greg home the next day.
Mycroft was sitting up against the headboard, blanket pulled up to his waist and the pillow behind him. He was sending out emails on his laptop, but it was a slow process at the moment. He was only using one hand to type, the other was carding through Greg's hair. The other man was still sound asleep, despite it being almost two-thirty in the afternoon. Mycroft felt somewhat disgusting, not having showered all day and still in his pajamas. He wasn't going to be leaving Greg anymore than he absolutely had to. Not now.
Greg whimpered and shifted in his sleep. The computer nearly slid off Mycroft's lap and to the floor as he moved to comfort his husband. Greg's eyes never opened but the whimpering grew louder. Mycroft pulled Lestrade in closer to his side. Another faint whimper, a violent shudder, and Greg fell still again. Mycroft lay his hand across the other man's back, reassuring himself that Greg still breathed. The doctors said that he could go anytime now.
Mycroft leaned his head back against the wall, staring up at the ceiling. He felt tears welling and tried to will them away. Greg was in bad enough shape as it was, Mycroft would not let him see him in pain like this. Even if it was eating him up inside. He felt as though something was chewing on him, slowly and painfully taking every emotion Mycroft possessed and jading away at it until it ceased to function.
"Caring is not an advantage." Mycroft's own words of warning echoed in his ears. They had never seemed so true before. There would be no pain for him now if he had been smarter, more careful. He was always lecturing Sherlock on the pitfalls of emotions, and yet it was he, not Sherlock, who had stumbled into such a deadly one. His stomach twisted painfully.
And yet… Greg shifted again. Mycroft closed his computer and set it on the bedside table before sliding down under the covers so he could pull Greg in closer. Greg shifted at the movement and whimpered again. He seemed to wake up a little as the two of them adjusted themselves and fell back asleep with his head on Mycroft's chest.
Mycroft wrapped his arms around his husband. He couldn't honestly say he wanted to change anything. He was everything to Greg and he knew it. Before him, Greg had no one besides his work friends. Dead family. A bitch of an ex-wife who never appreciated him.
Mycroft had enjoyed a moment of sadistic pleasure when she had tried to get Greg back while he was at his then-boyfriend's apartment, helping him to pack up and move out. Her eyes had gone huge with shock and disgust, anger that she made no attempt to veil on her face. Greg had actually managed to surprise Mycroft that day, pulling Mycroft into a kiss. Mycroft was fairly certain that the detective had flipped off his ex, but he'd been fully distracted at the time.
He couldn't even lie to himself that he wished he didn't care. Greg needed him to care. That was new for Mycroft, someone needing him to care that way. And appreciating it, that was very new. One could make an argument that Sherlock needed him, but Sherlock certainly wouldn't admit anything and he definitely didn't express appreciation.
Greg though… He loved Mycroft. There was no doubt in the mind of the older Holmes brother about that. Greg was surprisingly open with his emotions for a homicide detective and Mycroft was shockingly alright with that. They didn't seem like they should fit, the government man and the detective inspector. They did though. Two perfectly mismatched puzzle pieces.
Greg finally woke up over an hour later. Mycroft could see the muscle tension and flinches and hear the sharp intakes of breath that was Greg trying to hide how much pain he was in. Mycroft was not fooled for a second, but he allowed Greg his pride.
"What time is it?" Greg asked hoarsely once he'd managed to sit up comfortably.
Mycroft glanced over at the clock on the nightstand. "Three forty-six."
Greg rubbed his eyes and sighed. "Didn't we go to bed at eight last night?"
"Seven thirty-six, actually."
"Close enough." Greg sighed again. "I'm getting really sick of how much sleep I need."
Mycroft brushed a hand through Greg's hair and down one pale cheek and said nothing. There was nothing to say that was both honest and comforting and Mycroft refused to insult Greg with a lie.
Greg looked at him and smiled weakly. "I'm starving."
Mycroft nodded. "I'll make some tea and something to eat." He got out of bed at last, stretching. He used the bathroom, washed his face, and changed his clothes to something a bit more casual than usual. No sense in dressing up when he had no place to go. Time was he would have anyway, but there just didn't seem to be anywhere near enough motivation these days.
Mycroft stepped into the kitchen and put the kettle on. Down the hall he could hear the shower turn on. Soberly, Mycroft prepared some toast on a plate for Greg. His stomach couldn't handle anything more complicated these days.
Greg appeared at the table looking mildly refreshed but still haggard in sweat pants and an old t-shirt. He practically collapsed into his chair. Mycroft felt a pang of concern but kept it from showing on his face with the ease of a lifetime of practice.
The meal was quiet, but it was a nice sort of quiet. They quite often had a pleasant coexistence that didn't require any of the endless chatter that normal peopled seemed to thrive on. After they finish made their way to the couch and switched on the television.
They selected a cop drama, something that they could both enjoy because they could both recognize the gross inaccuracies. Greg leaned into Mycroft was a sigh. He'd downed his wide assortment of medications after they ate and it almost always led to him feeling even more groggy and lethargic. Sometimes even nauseous. Greg had decided against taking them in favor of the excruciating pain on more than one occasion.
Greg fought to stay awake and coherent for a good five and a half hours, reluctant to give in to the disease any more than he absolutely had to. He had his pride to think of, if nothing else. Mycroft had to admit, Greg was one hell of a fighter. Even now, face pale and obviously massively underweight, Greg was holding his own. Mycroft was proud of him for that.
He finally dragged Greg back to the bedroom when the last episode ended at eleven o' clock, noting the slurs and the delayed reactions that were steadily sneaking into his mannerisms. Greg changed into a fresh pair of pajama pants and slumped down against the pillow.
Mycroft pulled the blankets up over his husband's shoulder and kissed his temple lightly. "I love you, Greg," he whispered.
Greg smiled weakly back. "Love you too."
Mycroft forced the most authentic smile he could manage until Greg closed his eyes. He went into the bathroom and leaned heavily against the counter. He looked up and met his own eyes in the mirror. They were sunken in, deep shadows forming underneath. He'd lost a considerable amount of weight as well.
He gave a shuddering sigh. It was no wonder none of his co-workers had protested him taking a smaller workload; if he'd looked even half this bad then it was amazing they hadn't chucked him out earlier.
He hung his head and his shoulders slumped. He hated this overwhelming helplessness. He hated watching Greg be like this when there was nothing to be done to make him feel better. He wasn't used to his best not being good enough.
Mycroft jumped when he heard his mobile ringing. He shook himself sternly and slipped back into his usual well-composed mask. Greg hadn't even twitched at the noise when Mycroft exited the bathroom. He answered and brought the phone to his ear.
"Sir? We believe we've found a cure for Detective Inspector Lestrade's illness."
Mycroft nearly dropped the phone.
AN: That's as far as the muse took me, so I'll let you imagine the rest for yourself. Reviews yelling at me for this would be welcome. Any kind of review is always welcomed. Aren't I subtle?