Testing the Theory
Hi all! This is just a ficlet to commemorate my awesome evening. This is, in fact, based on true events, to an extent. If you would like to know what really happened, feel free to message me. But I thought this would be a lovely chance to write something, as I haven’t for a while. Do enjoy this Mystrade take of my first real date in a long while. For elucidation, I am Mycroft, and my date is Greg. :) Enjoy!
His foot tapped against the floor, a deep sigh escaping him. He leaned back in his chair, readjusting his already perfect tie. A slender-fingered hand reached down to the watch chain and withdrew the pendant of the watch. A quick glance and a scoff as he took in the time. Another sigh.
Mycroft Holmes’ gaze flickered over to the umbrella propped up beside the window, chewing the inside of his mouth in disdain. This establishment was not his natural milieu. The Italian restaurant was shabby, dingy, and overall not a place he would care to frequent again. But, he was here because one Detective Inspector Lestrade had convinced him of something.
A dinner date.
As Mycroft recollected the agreement, a few more seconds ticked by. He did not tolerate tardiness, and the DI was testing the government official’s patience. The elder Holmes was this close to leaving.
Or so he told himself. Deep down in that cavity where allegedly no heart resided, Mycroft had felt a small tug when Lestrade had fumbled into his office for one of their unscheduled meetings where New Scotland Yard had to meet with the government and discuss future plans. Mycroft always looked forward to those meetings, especially when it was with the DI with the glistening silver hair and the fantastic stubble that would feel great against his—
Mycroft stopped that thought when he heard the bell of the door jingle. His narrowed eyes snapped onto the scene at once. At last his, the Detective Inspector had arrived for their dinner date. Mycroft smiled civilly and nodded to him, gesturing a hand to the chair across from him. Greg beamed and took the seat opposite.
“Sorry I’m late, Mr. Holmes. There was a brutal double murder and Sherlock wouldn’t give me the a—
Mycroft cut him off with a raised hand. “Can we not discuss my brother, Detective Inspector?”
Lestrade chuckled. “Right, sorry. How are you doing?”
Mycroft took in the other man’s unseemly appearance, immediately cataloguing it with a sigh. His normally spiked and gorgeous hair was flattened, an unkempt mess. His face was smeared with dust and what appeared to be blood. Whether it was his own or not, Mycroft had not yet deduced. There were the beginnings of a shiner sporting against his left eye – the British Government winced inwardly for the other man – and his suit was disheveled, his tie torn down the middle.
“Much better than you, Inspector.” Mycroft said. “The culprit must not have come quietly, I take it?”
Lestrade laughed. “Oh, yeah. Right, sorry about that. I just came from the crime scene, and the perp returned to the scene of the crime and we nabbed him. Well actually John did. It was all very insane, but I got into a scuffle with the man and he did not go down easily, no.” Another chuckle escaped him. Mycroft’s lip twitched, and he decided it was best to change the subject.
“So, this place is quite… quaint.” He remarked, a small smirk on his face, a hand gesturing around them.
Greg blushed. “Oh, yeah. It’s a family thing. We used to come here a lot…”
And so the date progressed. The conversation was lively and amusing, and the meal even more so. Mycroft was amazed that such a place could have food that was that enjoyable, no, even that edible. He had become much more relaxed during the evening, enjoying his time spent with the DI.
“So… Mr. Holmes…” Greg said, scratching his face.
Mycroft clasped his hands together on the table and shifted his gaze to the man. It was a fond look, his face softer than it had been in ages. “If this is an outing to test the theory of romantic entanglement, Gregory, I daresay you should call me by my first name.” A laugh escaped him, his eyes dancing with the light around them.
Greg nodded. “Right, yeah. Sorry. I haven’t done this in a while. And you’re… you.”
Mycroft let loose another laugh. “What on earth does that mean?” Try as he might, the government official could not read what was on Greg’s face. Sentiment? Most likely. How tedious.
Greg’s face blushed even redder, as if that were possible at this point. “I mean you’re Mycroft Holmes. You’re that scary voice on the end of the phone, the one who calls when things get too messed up even the Chief Superintendent can’t make amends.”
Mycroft furrowed his brow. “Is there a point to this babbling, Gregory?”
“Yes! Yes, Mr. Holmes, Mycroft. Sorry.” Greg glanced away, feeling like an idiot. Then, he began speaking very fast and his words were garbled as he did so.
“I’m just trying to really say that you look great tonight. With the suit and the tie and just, I am at a loss for words. I’ve been meaning to tell you all night, but I’m a bloody idiot and I don’t know how to do it. Well, I guess I do, all things considered.” Greg smiled at him, his face steaming now.
Mycroft squirmed in his seat, unsure of what to do with the compliment. He’d never received one. Well, that was a lie. But it was never about him. Just his job. He failed to hide a smile. It was a genuine smile that stretched across his face, his eyes lingering on the man across from him.
“I would return that sentiment, but you don’t exactly look… good.” Mycroft rubbed his face. Do better, you idiot. “What I mean is that you’ve been through hell this evening. I’m sure under other, more usual circumstances, you would have cleaned up quite nicely.” It was the Holmes’ turn to blush. Greg met his fond gaze and reached out for his hand. Mycroft tentatively met him in the middle and leaned forward, brushing a thumb over Greg’s rough skin. Then, he spoke.
“I am very pleased that you asked me to accompany you, Gregory. I was honestly starting to find myself going stir crazy in that old house of mine. Perhaps Sherlock was right. Maybe I am… lonely. Maybe caring is an advantage after all.” Mycroft said softly, his voice just a whisper now. “We’ve known each other a long time, Gregory. I am honestly amazed that you would even consider doing this with me.”
Greg furrowed his brow, running his free hand through his hair. “What do you mean?”
“I’m implying that I don’t normally do this. Romantic entanglement is tedious. And often dangerous for whoever is involved.” Mycroft explain, his grip tightening slightly on Greg’s hand.
“So, how are we going to leave this dinner? I’m honestly getting mixed signals.”
That was when the waiter dropped off the check before disappearing again. Greg reached for it with his free hand. As he was the one who initiated the date and chose the place, he insisted on paying. Mycroft watched him, amused. “Although tradition dictates, I will gladly assist you in paying, Gregory.”
“No no, it’s fine. I’ll use my card.” Greg smiled at him, not letting go of his hand. Not letting go of his opportunity to impress the Holmes brother. Mycroft nodded.
“Very well. I’ll get the next one.” His tone was certain, but his face was questioning, unsure if he had said the right words or not. This was new territory, and he only learned so much from his silent film collection. Greg nodded.
“Sounds like a plan.” He said, placing his card in the little black book and returning his attention to Mycroft. The waiter immediately came over to grab it, taking their dishes with it.
“Tonight was… lovely. Thank you for agreeing to come with me. I’ve been meaning to ask for years.”
Years? Mycroft maintained his composure, wondering why on earth neither of them had made the first move for so long. He had always admired the DI from afar, but now, when he was so close? What did he do with him?
Before the government official could respond, the waiter was returning with the book and Greg’s card. “I’m sorry sir. Your card was declined. I tried running it twice.”
“Declined? I just got paid today!” Greg said, clearly vexed. His brow creased and he met Mycroft’s eyes. “Sorry, give me a second. Need to check my bank account.”
Mycroft nodded. “Not a problem, Inspector.” He leaned back in his chair, admiring the gaze from the window for a few moments, his thoughts on how splendid the evening had been for the both of them.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Greg said, tossing his phone down on the table with a sigh. He put his face in his hands for a few moments, dragging them across his features. Mycroft looked over at him.
“I’m sensing a problem.” He said, brows raised in concern. He could have just read the conflict, but he honestly didn’t want to show off anymore. He felt he was already in Greg’s good graces and stayed calm.
Lestrade nodded. “Damn right there’s a problem. My account is 30 pounds overdrawn even though I got paid today. Ugh, my life is a disaster – if only I hadn’t wrecked my account with that last hospital bill.” He withdrew his wallet again, leafing through the notes he carried. “Shit.”
Mycroft chuckled at his reaction, evidently amused. “I can cover the bill, Lestrade. It is hardly an issue.”
Greg pointed a finger at him. “No, no. I asked you. It’s only right.”
The Holmes brother rolled his eyes, but smiled. Greg was stubborn. He already knew this, having seen it in his mannerisms during meetings and when observing crime scenes via CCTV when he wanted to keep tabs on the lovely man across from him. However, he had never dealt with it firsthand. “If you insist on paying, which you clearly cannot today, you can return the favor in the future. Just let me cover tonight’s bill, Gregory.”
Greg sat there for a few moments. “Alright, but I am paying you back as soon as I can. Got it?”
Mycroft nodded and withdrew his black credit card. Greg watched him, an evident question on his lips. With a laugh, Mycroft placed it in the checkbook. “There now. All taken care of. See?”
“Still though. How embarrassing. I score a date with one of the most handsome men I know and then learn I have no money.”
Another laugh, and Mycroft picked up his wine glass, sipping it. He licked his lips afterward, his eyes staying right on Greg. “If it is any consolation, it makes for a fascinating story to tell in the future.”
Greg burst out laughing and he nodded. “That it does. I would have loved to continue the evening, but it seems that I need to call the bank and figure out what in the hell is going on? Can we raincheck the rest of this evening, Mycroft?”
“It will be my pleasure. I do trust it will be sooner rather than later, though.” Mycroft smirked at him. “I’ll send a car for you. After all, it is my turn to plan the next outing, is it not?” His gaze was solid, unwavering, but incredibly kind. Greg shifted slightly.
Greg blinked, taken off guard for the moment. “Um, yes. If you like. Also here is… my… private number.” He withdrew a business card and slid it across the table. Mycroft looked at the card. The corner was bent over, so he could only read part of the DI’s name. He smiled and pocketed it.
“Thank you for the lovely evening, Detective Inspector. I eagerly look forward to the next one.” Mycroft nodded to him as he grabbed up his coat and umbrella.
Greg frowned at him. “You’re not just leaving, are you?”
“Isn’t that what is normally done when a date has reached its conclusion, Gregory?” Mycroft said, donning his coat.
“Well yeah, but something usually happens before it ends.” Greg said, getting to his feet. Mycroft’s face twisted into confusion. And that was when Greg hugged him.
The warmth of the hug spread across the Iceman, melting his cold exterior and bringing his walls crashing down around him. It only took one evening, one hug, for Greg to get further than anyone else had. Mycroft swallowed and set the umbrella down nearby, his arms coming up to wrap around the other man. He felt safe; he felt at home here. He hadn’t been hugged like this in years. If he wasn’t careful, if he got too sentimental, he would have teared up. But he didn’t. The elder brother had more control than that. He was Mycroft Holmes after all.
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