Eleven loopy digits in scrawled blue pen ink stared hopefully up from his desktop. Carefully placed so as to not be thrown in the rubbish bin, the card with Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade's personal phone number and email address had been drawing clever brown eyes to itself several times each day. A week ago, Mycroft would have told himself the reaction was merely due to his constant worry over Sherlock that had him itching to contact the DI. Seven low-crime filled days later, he wasn't so sure.

Immediately after returning to his office, Mycroft had ordered Anthea to put Lestrade's contact information in his personal database, along with several world leaders' records. Of course, it would be extremely easy to obtain the number and address again—one simply had to put a few calls into the right place at Scotland Yard, even if they didn't head a massive network of spies and people to gather other useful information. But the sentiment of a handwritten note—silly as it was—was far too great to let go.

Now, at the end of a long and tiring day, filled with election setbacks and political scandals, the British Government himself was staring almost longingly at the thin shred of cardboard, fighting the urge to dial the number. To check on Sherlock, of course. That was a plausible explanation, was it not?

Mycroft scoffed at himself. Worrying over whether or not to call a man he'd just met—he could see himself being compared to a nervous preteen with a school-boy crush. Sentiment was getting the better of him in his middle age. And for what? Loneliness? Mycroft Holmes was not lonely; not in this dull world of inane goldfish, as he constantly reminded his smug brother. Sherlock having John to keep himself occupied did not mean it was mandated for Mycroft to find his own "friend". He certainly would not run the risk of falling for someone like Sherlock had.

This is getting out of hand, Mycroft thought to himself. Snatching up his mobile, he angrily punched in the number on his desk and waited. He was the bloody British government, and a Holmes at that. Just because the man he was currently calling was…nice, and…aesthetically pleasing…was no excuse to lose his nerve over a trivial matter such as this.

"Hello?" Mycroft froze as a tired, gruff voice came over the line—long day, little sleep, tiring case, frustrated—wasn't solved, possibly because of Sherlock.

"Is this Gregory Lestrade?" He winced at how uncertain he sounded.

A sigh sounded from the other side. "Look, I'm really busy right now, if you have a problem come down to Scotland Yard yourself. If it's really an emergency call 999, not my personal phone." A pause. "How the hell did you get my number, anyway?"

"I received it from you."

Now Lestrade sounded bewildered. "I don't remember...hang on, is this the bloke from the crime scene? Sherlock's brother?"

"That would be correct."

"Oh, sorry then, didn't know who you were. Mike, right?"

"Mycroft." Honestly, why did people insist on shortening his name to something stupid? 'Mycroft' wasn't exactly a common name, but it wasn't hard to pronounce, either. Sherlock, on the other hand…

"Sorry, Mycroft," Lestrade corrected, "So what's this all about?"

"Is it so impossible that I may just be calling to see how the only detective my brother gets on with is doing?" Mycroft asked innocently, nearly gagging at how completely unlike him it sounded. Lestrade seemed to think so as well.

The DI laughed from the other end of the line, "Nah, you don't really seem like the type of bloke to do that. Too posh." He could almost hear the grin in the other man's voice as he popped his mouth on the 'p' in posh.

Mycroft was growing weary of sounding like a fool over the phone. "Too true. I was checking to see if Sherlock was behaving himself at crime scenes—I must commend you on the apprehension of the diamond thief Tuesday evening, by the way."

"You heard about that?"


"Oh, right. Yeah, that was Sherlock's doing—something about a scratched tie pin or whatever. Anyway, I could tell you how he's doing in person…you know, if you're not busy."

What were his intentions? Was this a...date? A meeting between friends? Collegues? The social aspect of life continued to elude him.

"Maybe over a coffee?" Lestrade continued over Mycroft's silence, "I know this great place in near the Eye, might be nice to get a break once in a while. Tell you all about Sherlock's antics."

For God's sake, were all normal people this direct? "I...suppose the proper arrangements could be made," Mycroft mumbled. Since when have I mumbled?

"Great! Gotta dash, new developments on a case. I'll text details later," Lestrade said quickly.

"I look forward to it." And he meant it, for once, his tone lacking the usual dry sarcasm.

"Oh, and Mycroft?"


"I know why you're doing this."

Mycroft froze in his seat, fear coursing through his veins. "And why might that be?" The DI didn't actually think…he couldn't possibly know about Mycroft's trepidation over calling in the first place…

"Look, I get it; Sherlock's a danger junkie, you're worried and he's secretive."

That hadn't been the response he's been expecting. The relief Mycroft felt was palpable. "Oh," was all he could manage.

"Don't worry, I won't tell. See you later."

"Indeed." The line went dead, and Mycroft wondered just how deep into trouble he was getting himself into.