This is a Mystrade Merm!lock fan fiction.

Alas this is the end. I hope you've all enjoyed the journey. A huge thanks goes to everyone who has shown me support with this story.

Mycroft groaned loudly, a hacking cough spilling from his lips for the tenth time in a matter of minutes. He was trembling despite the fact he was covered in layers of thick blankets, and snuggled against a hot water bottle, a warm flannel clinging to his sweaty forehead. Mycroft was decidedly sick, stuck in bed with a common cold none the less. He huffed and rolled onto his stomach, groaning again as his whole body seemed to throb in protest. He couldn't afford to be sick. He was on his way to becoming the British government for goodness sake, but Anthea had insisted on him staying in bed. All he could think about was the meetings he was missing. Well, that wasn't strictly true. There was something else on his mind, or rather someone else. He sighed loudly. Mycroft wanted nothing more than to cuddle up against his Gregory, but his Gregory wasn't here. They were on a 'break'. Mycroft was now chastising himself for ever suggesting that he and Gregory should part ways, even for a small amount of time. No matter how strange and utterly peculiar the situation was (he was romantically involved with someone who was part fish for goodness sake.) It still felt wrong to be apart from him.

Mycroft was longing after the silver haired D.I like a child craving for ice cream on a hot summers day. He missed breathing in the unique scent that belonged to him, having strong arms wrapped around him, and comforting words whispered down his ear. He could really use with some comforting words right about now.

He supposed that he should at least take the opportunity to think over what steps he wanted to take regarding his and Gregory's relationship but his brain was so fogged up that it made the already warped and twisted situation even more difficult to process. The cogs in his mind were turning but at an agonizingly slow pace, and it was starting to give him a headache. Or maybe that was just his brain telling him that he was sick and that he should be sleeping. As always Mycroft ignored his body. He shrugged the blankets off and dragged himself out of bed, creeping out of his room to his office. He slumped in his office chair as soon as he sat down in it and he picked up some paperwork in his urgent 'the state of this country is going to crumble if I don't attend to this' pile.

Anthea shook her head and sighed softly, watching from afar as her boss struggled to even keep his eyes open. He clearly hadn't listened to her advice to rest in bed, so she guessed she'd just have to get in a reinforcement. Maybe he wouldn't listen to her but he'd certainly listen to a certain D.I that she knew her boss was missing dearly (not that he would ever admit it.) Her hands clasped her phone, her fingers already twitching over her contact list. She tapped on Greg Lestrade and sent him a text.

Mycroft needs you. – A

He's ill and he won't listen to me.- A

What makes you think he'll listen to me? – GL.

He misses you. It's written all over him. He'll listen to you if it means getting to see you.– A.

Are you sure? He said he wants some time away from me. Surely I'll only make things worse if I start to interfere. –GL.

Believe me when I say I don't think you could make things any worse. – A.

That bad, huh? – GL.

I'd day this is one down from a code red Holmesian situation. –A.

Oh dear lord. Almost a code red situation? What's wrong from him.? – GL.

Nothing too serious but if he doesn't rest soon that may well change. – A.

Being stubborn as always? – GL.

Yes. Even when sick he still remains the most stubborn man I know. – A.

I imagine he's even worse when he's sick. – GL.

You imagine correctly. Now, will you come? – A.

Yes, but I'm not at all happy about this. Will you send a car to my flat for me? –GL.

I'm not too happy with the situation ever, inspector. But he seems to listen to you and someone needs to make sure he takes things easy, at least for a couple of days. – A.

There's a car already situated outside your flat.-A.

Thanks. Be there soon to pick up Mycroft and march his sorry ass back to bed.- GL.

Good luck with that. I've already tried various different methods of doing so.- A.

Ah, Anthea. I have my secret ways. – GL.

I'll try not to shudder at what you've just implied. –A.

I'm not sure what you mean. Get your mind out of the gutter. – GL.

Shut up and get into the car, inspector. Or I'll take drastic measures to ensure your arrival here. – A.

Greg smiled slightly at the last text and shook his head, pocketing his phone. He and Anthea were basically the 'rescue Mycroft from himself' team. Mycroft was far too proud to admit when he needed help and Greg imagined that with illness or physical pain his pride only grew. It was a tough job, making sure Mycroft didn't fall, and if he did catching him before the damage was too severe.

He shrugged on his jacket and sighed softly. He was really unsure of if he was doing the right thing. Mycroft had requested some alone time. Greg only saw that as fair. He had sprung a rather shocking thing upon him after all. It couldn't be easy to accept the existence of mermen let alone accept the fact you're dating one. Lord knows what was going in Mycroft's mind now. But it was the gentle tug of his heart strings making him want to comfort Mycroft. Greg as usual listened to his heart, not his brain. He hadn't listened to his brain in a long time (well, since entering a relationship with Mycroft actually)

He trudged outside and sure enough a sleek , familiar black car awaited him. He took a deep breath. It was going to be a long day."Well, here goes nothing." He slid into the back of the car and spent the whole journey with his face pressed up against the glass, trying to will his nerves away at the thought of seeing Mycroft so soon after 'going on a break.'

When Greg arrived Anthea was there to greet him, her face contorted in a grimace that told him all he needed to know. He nodded and stepped into the large manor house, Anthea mouthing "Good luck." As he passed her. From the loud crash and bang that clamoured out from Mycroft's room he could tell that he'd be needing it.

In that moment he forgot he forgot his worries about him and Mycroft being on a 'break' and of the fact that he was probably the last face Mycroft wanted to see right now. He just ran, his heart hammering in his chest. He burst through the door and laughed in relief at the sight of Mycroft sprawled out on the floor, groaning softly. It wasn't too serious then.

"I'm glad that my current situation is so incredibly funny to you, Gregory."

Greg chuckled and moved over to Mycroft. "Sorry, Myc. I just haven't seen ya like this before." He apologized softly, scooping Mycroft up into his arms.

"Like what?" Mycroft grumbled grumpily into Greg's shirt.

"Like…I dunno…but it's a cute look on you, Myc." Greg smiled gently at the man he was cradling in his arms. He pushed back a stray lock sticking to Mycroft's sweaty forehead and frowned, his smile fading slightly. "You're hot." He noted, concern dripping in his voice.

"First I'm cute, then I'm hot? Do make your mind up, Gregory." Mycroft sighed in exasperation.

"No, Myc. I meant that you're hot as in you're burning up." Greg's frown deepened in worry.

"Really? Mycroft cocked one eyebrow, shivering almost painfully so. "I feel freezing. I was just about to ask Anthea to turn on the centeral heating. No idea how I ended up on the floor. It jumped up at me. Perhaps I need someone to look at that. We can't have jumping floors, can we?" Mycroft was talking absolute gibberish now. If it wasn't for the heat emitting from Mycroft then Greg would have laughed at how adorably out of sorts he was. As it turned out he wasn't laughing in the slightest.

Greg pressed his hand a little harder against Mycroft's head and sighed. "Nope. You're boiling, Myc. I'm gonna run you a bath."

"Are you sure that's quite wise?" Mycroft asked him warily. "After what water … does to you?"

Greg sighed sadly. So Mycroft hadn't wrapped his head around the fact he was a merman then? "I'll be careful." He assured Mycroft, his voice sinking in fatigue. He padded into the en suite bathroom. Mycroft grunted and his face creased in deep thought. He looked like he wanted to say something but couldn't quite bring himself to do so. Greg merely ignored him, knowing that it was both incredibly dangerous and incredibly stupid to interrupt Mycroft whilst he was thinking. He very carefully set about running an ice cold bath, being ultra-careful about avoiding getting water on his skin . He slowly lowered the feverish man into the water.

"Gah!" Mycroft cried out sharply and kicked up a fuss as his temperature tried to right itself.

Greg closed his eyes as he felt a water droplet glide over his skin. He felt like he was going to cry , his eyelids suddenly the only barrier holding back his tears.

"Gregory, get into the bath."

Greg didn't have to think twice about it. He dove into the bath and landed in it in the nick of time, his tail sprouting out behind him, his clothes ripping to shreds. He instantly began sobbing. He wasn't quite sure why. He wasn't the one who was sick. He should have been able to keep his emotions under control. But nope. It would appear that he was sobbing thick and ugly tears just like a child and shaking with giant tremors.

He jumped at the sound of Mycroft calling his name softly and the sudden arm wrapping around his waist. He glanced up at Mycroft, his eyes red, puffy and filled to the brim with raw tears. Mycroft pecked Greg on the lips… Ok, he hadn't seen that one coming.

"Shh, Gregory. It's ok. Really it is." Mycroft's were supposed to be comforting but they only made him sob harder.

"No! No, it's not ok!" He was aware of how pathetic and childish he sounded but right now he didn't care. "I can't help the way I am! I'm not human, so what?! I still have a heart! I still love you!Qhat we have together doesn't mean any less! And So what I've got a bloody fish tail! I love your body the way it is! Why should I get different treatment from you?!"

"You're right, Gregory." Mycroft breathed, tugging Greg closer and nuzzling him, trying to get him to calm down. "It's no different. You love my body and I love yours."

"No you don't." Greg mumbled weakly. "How could you ever love my body. It's inhuman."

"Humanity isn't based on your appearance, gender, or personality. It is the heart that you carry and the memories that you leave behind." Mycroft reached out and gently brushed his fingertips against Greg's scales.

Greg felt a shiver wrapping its way around his spine and travelling through his whole body. His heart slowed down inside of his chest and a deep sound was emitted from the very back of his throat. "And what sort of memories am I leaving behind so far?" He asked, his voice a low whisper.

"The best, Gregory. The very best."

Greg laughed, mostly out of relief. He pulled himself up into a more comfortable position and brushed a thumb along Mycroft's slightly stubbly cheek. "You feel a little cooler. Want to finish up here and cuddle for a little while – at least if you really are ok with what and who I am now?"

Mycroft nodded and pecked Greg on the lips gently. "I'm very ok with this, Gregory. It's still strange... but in a most spectacular and marvellous way." Greg couldn't help but grin as he pulled the plug from the bath, the bath water draining away with a soft gurgling sound. He grabbed a towel from the side of the bath and began to gently rub away the water from his tail. "May I?"

Greg looked up, a little surprised by the sight of Mycroft holding out a hand for the towel. His eyebrows knitted together and he shrugged. "Sure, if you like." He handed the towel over, still quite puzzled by Mycroft's sudden change of heart.

Mycroft smiled and began to gingerly rub along the long, and astounding tail. "Tell me if I hurt you at all."

"Not hurting me…" Greg choked out, his voice hoarse and thick with arousal. "You're doing a bloody marvelous job."

Mycroft just made a brief chortling sound in reply. He moved up and down Greg's tail methodically till it was completely dry before dabbing at his torso till every last droplet of water was wiped away. At some point in the process Greg had closed his eyes, his breathing unsteady and irregular. He only opened them when he became aware of his tail splitting and reshaping itself into milky pink limbs once more. "Thank you." He whispered softly.

"You're very welcome, Gregory." Mycroft said, his eyes staring down at Greg's legs in wonderment.

"Come on you. We've got to get you to bed to sleep your fever off." Greg gradually moved his legs and moved to scoop his love up into his arms, stepping out of the bathtub. He padded to the bed and pulled back the covers, placing Mycroft on the mattress gently. He crawled underneath the covers and pulled Mycroft flush against him, kissing him light on top of his head. "Good night, Myc."

"Goodnight, Gregory."

"I love you."

"I love you too."

A few weeks had passed since Mycroft's bout of illness. Greg and Mycroft were swimming side by side, Greg's tail glimmering under the bright light from the sun shining down upon it. "You know, Gregory." Mycroft whispered softly, turning to face Greg. "You are the best thing that has ever happened to me."

Greg grasped Mycroft's wrist and turned it in his palm, his fingertips tracing over the faded scars from what felt like a life time ago. "And you, Mycroft Holmes, are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I never want to let you out of my sight."

"That can be arranged." A sly smile pulled at Mycroft's lips.

"What do you mean?" Greg blinked in confusion.

"We could – make our relationship a little more permanent."

Greg blinked again, his mouth opening slightly in a stunned silence. He swallowed thickly and forced himself to speak. "Are you asking me what I think you're asking me?" The almost dangerous glint in Mycroft's eyes told Greg that he was indeed asking him the 'big' question.

Mycroft's eyebrows quirked upwards. "What do you say? Gregory Lestrade will you do me the honor of being my husband?"

"Yes." Greg breathed softly, his whisper barely audible. "Yes." He repeated, a little louder this time, the truth of what he'd just said yes to finally sinking in. "God yes!" He pulled Mycroft against him, sealing their lips together in a tender kiss as the sun sank beneath the foamy waves.

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