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Under the weather (2/3)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (slash, swearing)

A sequel to David which was about Mycroft's first marriage. Also heavily influenced by Fengirl's Quiet Storm and Blooms84's Some Things He Doesn't Need to Know. Betaed by Blooms84.

Summary: the morning after the night before is never good, especially, when it's the morning after Mycroft finds out about Lestrade and Sherlock having slept together.

Part 1
Part 3
 

 

The headache Lestrade felt the next day was not improved by going into work and finding John there, even though the doctor had brought along a few industrial grade painkillers.

"Did I text you last night?" he asked, when he felt up to doing more than grunting. "Or do you just turn up randomly in people's offices now with hangover cures?"

"Sherlock texted you, asking if you had any interesting cases. You said to stop bothering him, because you'd started drinking and you weren't planning to stop any time soon." John smiled. "Probably a rash thing to say."

"He didn't come round, did he? I mean, even if I'd been drinking, surely I couldn't have forgotten Sherlock turning up."

"No, but he was texting you every quarter of an hour to see what replies he would get. Did you realise that you're still able to spell swear words perfectly when you're drunk, or have you just got some really peculiar predictive text function?"

That bit was coming back now. It hadn't seem to matter to him last night that it was Sherlock he was texting, just that someone was out there listening, someone who knew about Mycroft, who he could tell things to without breaching fifteen different sections of the Official Secrets Act. And better to text Sherlock when drunk than Mycroft.

"How embarrassing was I?"

"Sentimental and incoherent, but I don't mean that in a bad way. Only I gathered...you'd had what Mrs Hudson would call a domestic with Mycroft. Wondered if you were OK?"

"Screwed myself up properly this time. Mycroft found out I'd slept with Sherlock." Oh shit, he thought, as he heard John gasp. Not the best way to tell someone who'd probably been trained to kill with his bare hands. He had to start concentrating very hard indeed.

"When?" said John, with his chin going up, and a note in his voice that said: This is a warning shot.

"Before you and Sherlock got together," he replied, as confidently as he could, hoping that was right. Surely not even Sherlock would have been that stupid...

"What was he playing at?"

"No sodding idea," said Lestrade, and that bit he could make sound convincing. "We were out on a stakeout one spring" - make sure you don't say which one  - "Horrible sticky night, thunderstorm brewing, he just decided to mess with my mind. Oh, and with my body, obviously."

"Sherlock goes nuts in the heat," John said more calmly.

"He's always nuts."

"More nuts. Last summer he went round shirtless at 221B first thing in the morning, when I had an early shift on. I kept on having to walk to work, because if I'd gone on the Tube with the hard-on I was left with, I'd probably have been arrested.  And a thunderstorm as well. The electricity, or the air pressure does something to him. Like horses, or do I mean cows?" John always talked particular bollocks when he was trying to calm himself down, Lestrade knew that by now.

"I remember-" said Lestrade, and stopped abruptly. Not a good move to tell John that he'd once found Sherlock sitting on top of a filing cabinet in Lestrade's office wearing nothing but his underpants, because he was overheating from ecstasy. "Oh, God, it doesn't matter. I've had more than enough of his stupid stunts. Glad you're the one trying to sort him out now, not me. I'm a lot better off with Mycroft."

"Definitely," said John. "It's OK, Greg, it's fine, we're fine." And then the smile left his face, and he said soberly: "Just remember what happens if you ever touch Sherlock again."

"You break my neck?" he replied, trying to keep it a joke.

"No," said John, "You get to keep him next time."

Lestrade wasn't sure how white he'd gone, but from John's abrupt crack of laughter, he must have looked pretty damn horrified.

"Don't do that to me, John," he groaned. "I'm not up to it this morning. You're both mad bastards, you and Sherlock, you know that? You belong together."

"Yeah, well, so do you and Mycroft. If there's anything I can do to help-"

"Not sure what to do yet. I just know I can't force it," said Lestrade. "I mean, maybe I could talk him round, but it'd still be there, the way it always is. This stupid bloody obsession that no-one could prefer him to Sherlock."

"Can't help you on that," John replied, folding his arms, still smiling. "I was straight before Sherlock came along, and I still fell for him. Not surprising you couldn't resist him."

"I'm over him," said Lestrade, and his tone must have convinced John. He wished Mycroft was so easy to convince. "And...thanks for the tablets, and for not beating me to a pulp. I owe you one."

***

It was funny, Lestrade  thought, as he sat and failed to fill in last month's statistical returns, how the memory of Filing Cabinet Sherlock no long seemed arousing. He'd fantasised so much about that day afterwards – hadn't done anything at the time, obviously, wouldn't have taken advantage of  Sherlock when he was high. But now he wondered what the hell he'd been thinking about. Why he'd spent five years – five sodding years – lusting after a brilliant, fucked-up, posh boy, hoping, waiting, not just to get into Sherlock's pants, but for him to grow up. And why he hadn't done anything for so long about the brilliant, fucked-up, posh man who'd come into his life along with Sherlock.

Sherlock was dazzling, of course, and Mycroft wasn't. Sherlock had cheekbones and amazing eyes, and a wicked temper, and so everyone – Lestrade included – had thought he was romantic and sensitive. And so he hadn't noticed, or at least had noticed far, far too late, that it was Mycroft who was the one who really cared about things, beneath the layers and layers of waistcoats, and manipulation, and irony. Who worried about people – even bloody Sherlock – in between treating them like the chess pieces his job demanded. Of course  Mycroft was fucked up - it came with his background and the job  - but at least he tried to be an adult about it. Didn't think that being a genius gave him a 'Get Out of Humanity Free' card, the way Sherlock did.

Lestrade had wondered occasionally if Mycroft was interested, so why hadn't he made a move about three years sooner? OK, he'd been distracted by Sherlock, and it had been off-putting to think that if he was reading Mycroft's signals wrong he could end up his career in the obscurer reaches of Cornwall, or the British Transport Police. But more than that, he'd stupidly thought if Mycroft was interested, he'd do something. Whereas it turned out that he might be able to organise a coup in Africa, but not asking a middle-aged copper out for a date.  Then Mycroft's PA, Anthea, had either made the biggest organisational cock-up of her life, or possibly her most successful intervention, and Lestrade had been invited out to dinner with Mycroft to discuss the Pink Lady case.

***

It had been pleasant enough for the first twenty minutes or so  – the restaurant was a good, but unflashy Indian place, and Lestrade felt instantly at home. Then Mycroft had looked up from the poppadom he was crumbling into ever smaller pieces and said, abruptly:

"You know who shot Jefferson Hope, the serial killer?"

"Officially, no," he replied. "Unofficially, yes. And that's the way it's going to stay."

"I was informed that the Met were reconsidering opening the case."

"Not that I've heard. And the crime scene investigation unfortunately got hashed up. Some pillock misplaced the bullet, which was the only useful bit of evidence we had. No possibility of matching it with any gun that might happen to be discovered."

"Glad to hear that, Detective Inspector."

"Call me Greg," he replied. "Because I'm going to say that I'm off-duty at the moment, and that yes, I will do my best to keep John Watson out of jail in future as well."

"That's good," said Mycroft, smiling, "I understood from Anthea that you might be difficult on this matter. Need some...persuasion."

What the fuck, thought Lestrade, his temper flaring.

"I don't take bribes," he said, trying to remember to keep his voice down. "And I'll go fifty-fifty on this meal if it's intended as 'persuasion'. In fact, if this is just about ensuring I keep my mouth shut, you've got my word now, operation's been successful. Understood?"

There was an expression on Mycroft's face that you'd call gobsmacked, if it weren’t Mycroft.

"I...I'm sorry," he said at last, and he actually sounded sincere. "My dear Greg, I didn't mean this meal as an insult...or a bribe in any way. I simply...Anthea said you wanted to meet me privately about this matter, so I thought this would be the most civilised way to achieve it, rather than sitting on some dreary bench in Russell Square."

"Well, I certainly don't want to talk about John Watson and the cabbie," Lestrade said, "and it sounds like you don't either. Don't know how Anthea got her wires crossed on this one."

Mycroft was looking confused now. Never realised he had quite such a wide range of expressions before. OK, down to him to sort things out.

"Well," he said, "given we've got this far, and I'm bloody starving, shall we go fifty-fifty on the meal and have it anyhow? Because I'm dying for a decent chicken jalfrezi."

"What's that like? Is that quite hot?" said Mycroft, and it abruptly registered that Mycroft probably wasn't used to curry houses.

"If you want something mild, the lamb pasanda's a good bet, and we can ask for a jug of water as well. I like the spicy stuff myself, but it's not a competition."

"If you'd like to order, that would be wonderful, Greg. I'd gathered you're something of a curry aficionado."

"That's in my file as well, is it?" said Lestrade. "Anything that isn't in there that you want to know?"

"You lead an...interesting life. I mean, I know about the crimes you've solved, but I can never quite imagine what it's like to be a policeman. It's all so..." Mycroft's voice faded away.

"Mundane? Ridiculous? Unimaginative?"

"Impressive, I was going to say, actually. Facing danger, dealing with criminals face-to-face. It can't be easy. I...not the sort of thing I could do."

"You get used to it," Lestrade said. "And it's very satisfying, sometimes, when it works. All seems worth it, being a copper, then."

"So tell me," Mycroft said, "why did you decide to become a detective?"

***

 It had been a bit like an ant coming face to face to David Attenborough, Lestrade thought afterwards. That was what was really thrilling about the Holmeses, beyond any physical attraction. The way they could focus on you, make you the centre of their universe, that you could sense those brilliant minds filling up with data about you. Of course, with Sherlock, that was only for a few moments, before he told you were an idiot, but it still always gave him a kick. The fact that someone so intelligent, so astounding, thought you mattered. And Mycroft wasn't being like Sherlock, didn't just want to confirm a few hypotheses before slagging him off and disappearing. Mycroft tonight was greedy for information, wanted to understand Lestrade.

He was naturally greedy about food, as well, wasn't he, Lestrade thought. There was something ridiculous and yet impressive about the way that Mycroft ate his naan bread so slowly, didn't gobble it down the way he clearly wanted to. He might not go for curry, but he looked like a man who could eat the restaurant out of bread if he got the chance. Wonder what else he desperately wants and won't admit to? Maybe time to find out, he decided, when Mycroft doggedly refused the proffered dessert menu.

"The only downside of Indian places is you can never get a decent coffee," Lestrade said cheerily. "Got some reasonable stuff at my place, but it's a bit of a way out, and I'm not sure that Peckham's quite your cup of tea, as it were. Maybe we could find somewhere else that's open?"

"I have some rather good coffee myself," said Mycroft,  "if you'd like to come back to my house. It's not really much out of your way – I live in Dulwich."

"Two stations down the line from me, and a million miles. Sounds good."

"I'll have a car come round and pick us up. I find public transport rather uncivilised, especially in the evenings."

"I'm used to it by now," Lestrade replied truthfully, and then, suddenly inspired, went on: "Doesn't seem quite right if I've not got some bloke invading my personal space, so close I can smell the sweat on him. Or you're in the tube, and it comes to a stop somewhere and you're stuck down there for ten minutes, can't move an inch for someone's body pressed against yours."

Mycroft was possibly never going to be able to face the underground again, after this, he reckoned, but it hardly seemed to matter, because the thought of a body pressed up against Lestrade's was clearly firing up some long dormant parts of his brain. In fact, he looked like a man who'd just realised that Lestrade was not that bothered about the coffee. That what Mycroft really wanted was on offer, if he'd just take it. The way he was shifting awkwardly in his chair...

"I don't know-," said Mycroft abruptly, and then the sentence seemed to die in this throat. You don't know if you want to do this, Lestrade supplied, and if you have to time to think about it, you may back down. Better not give you a chance to second-guess yourself.

He smiled, and stretched slightly in his chair, and said, as casually as he could: "Is there CCTV coverage of the front of restaurant? And how long till the car comes?"

Mycroft's eyes were wide now. Lust? Fear? Probably both. And his voice was breathy, as he replied: "There's a CCTV camera at the front, but there's also a way out through the kitchens into an unwatched alleyway that connects onto Mortimer Street." He paused, and then added, slightly more calmly: "I always make sure I know an escape route from any venue I frequent."

"If  you want to escape this time, we go out the front," said Lestrade. "Otherwise, car in ten minutes, say, and before that we go round the back?" This was probably a bloody stupid idea, but he suspected things were either going to happen now or not at all. He also hadn't actually intended the innuendo about 'the back'. Not a bad move, though.

"Excellent idea. Please follow me, then," said Mycroft, as he stood up, trying to sound like he was still in control. Hadn't planned this scenario, had he, Lestrade thought, as he hurried after Mycroft's rapidly disappearing figure. Nor had he, but he was used to thinking on his feet. Or even on his knees. Terrible for the suit, of course, but now was not a time to worry about that.

They got outside, and Mycroft hesitated, looking round at the dingy alleyway. Might bolt even now, thought Lestrade, so he guided him rapidly back against a wall, and then reached down for Mycroft's belt. Mycroft just stood there, as if he wasn't quite sure what was going on, but when Lestrade started unzipping Mycroft's trousers, Mycroft's hands were suddenly batting his away. Oh shit, Lestrade thought, and then realised that it was just that Mycroft was being extremely cautious with the rather sizeable erection he was now revealing. He gave one reassuring pat to Mycroft's hip, and then got down on his knees, as Mycroft pulled his silk boxers down. Mycroft hadn't remembered to phone for the car, but this probably wasn't going to take ten minutes anyhow...

***

Mycroft came silently, but his hands were scrabbling against the bricks in a way that must have hurt him. And he hung against the wall afterwards, as if was all that was keeping him up. Lestrade got up slowly, his knees starting to hurt as the adrenaline wore off. Too old for this, he thought.

"Do you want to call the car?" he said. "You look like you need someone to take you home." He probably had blown it now, he thought, in every sense, but God, Mycroft wasn't going to forget this in a hurry, and nor was he. And then he added, because he suspected Mycroft always needed an escape route : "I can get the bus back to Peckham, if you want."

"Can I make it quite clear," said Mycroft, and despite the fact that he still had his trousers and pants at  half-mast, that voice was somehow back, and the hand that reached out to take Lestrade's wrist was surprisingly firm, "that we have not yet finished with this matter, Gregory Lestrade."

***

They did actually get back to Dulwich in the end, and Lestrade even got some of Mycroft's coffee, though only on the morning after. And yes, it was good stuff, smoother and spicier than anything he was used to. Mycroft leant by the kitchen counter, watching him drink. He didn't look like the man who had fucked Lestrade so desperately last night. In fact, he didn't look like a man who knew what fucking involved. And given that Lestrade had to go on duty in an hour, it was not helpful to think too much about that other side of Mycroft. Stick to something safer.

"I could get to like this coffee. Where did you get it from?" he asked.

"Oh, I don't really think you need to know that," Mycroft said, smiling benevolently at him.

Shit, he thought. Start a fight over this and he'd look ridiculous. Let it go and he worried he'd be agreeing to all of Mycroft's evasiveness. That he'd be automatically shut out of all but the tiny fraction of his life that Mycroft couldn't quite keep under control. But this time, just being in someone's bed wasn't going to be enough for him.

"All right," he said as calmly as he could. "If it's top secret coffee, that's fair enough. But for future reference," – he watched Mycroft register that – "you need to decide if you can trust me. OK?"

"I, I'm sorry," said Mycroft. "Bad habit of mine, I'm afraid. Rather comes with the job."

"I know," he replied, and then went on doggedly. "There's always going to be stuff you can't tell me, I realise that. But I'm used to keeping quiet about what I hear, a copper learns a lot of people's secrets."

"It's not that I don't trust you," said Mycroft. "It's just...one learns to say nothing, because even scraps of information can be used to build up a bigger picture."

"So that anything you do or say can let people deduce things. Some people, maybe. I can't work out your entire life history based on whether your coffee's from Jamaica or Brazil."

"Dominican Republic, as it happens," Mycroft said, and the smile this time had a real warmth behind it. "There's a little shop I know near Smithfield's does that, and a lot of other rather distinctive beans. Maybe we should have a tasting session there some day."

"Sounds good," Lestrade said. "I'm free on Saturday, well, provided not too many people die hideously before then. If that's OK with you?"

"It sounds ideal, Greg. I'm confident I can rearrange things to accommodate that. In fact... maybe I could take the whole weekend off. It's a been a while since I've done that, but one doesn't want to be rushed on these occasions, does one?"

"I'm sure you can find something to do with the rest of your weekend," said Lestrade, smiling back at him. "Maybe just take it easy. Have a lie-in and spend Sunday morning in bed."

"That sounds wonderful."

***

The relationship developed quickly after that. You could say too quickly, or you could say that after five years of acquaintance, it was about time they got their act together. They were grown men, they knew what they wanted. What Mycroft wanted, it was soon clear, was things settled, respectable. As far as Lestrade was concerned, what a civil partnership mostly meant was extra paperwork and having Elvira as a mother-in-law, neither of which gave him an enormous thrill. But if it made Mycroft  happy it was worth it. And Mycroft was happy – or at least as happy as a man who had to keep the world safe for Radio 4 listeners could be.

But it was harder than Lestrade expected being married to Mycroft. More work. Mycroft wasn't used to living with someone and it showed. Nothing like as bad as it would be living with Sherlock, of course. All the inhabitants of Baker Street should demand danger money, what with the noise, and the explosions, and Sherlock's tendency to grab things from random passers-by. But Mycroft and Lestrade still managed a few silly flare-ups over piles of paperwork left around, and what constituted an adequate evening meal. The sort of stuff that two tired and ratty men could find hard to sort out. There were times when it was useful that Lestrade still had the Peckham flat as a bolthole – gave Mycroft a bit of space, as much as anything, poor sod.

Still, it was doable. There was a reason that Lestrade had ended up with Anderson and Donovan and half the awkward squad on his team. And that Sherlock had fixed on working with him, rather than Gregson, or Jones, or Frost. Because he could cope with the uncooperative, and the aggrieved and the  anti-social (or in Sherlock's case all three), get something positive out of them. And he'd learned how to handle Mycroft over the years he'd known him. The need for calm efficiency, and that you didn't argue with one of Mycroft's plans unless you had a much better suggestion of your own. Of course, when it came to sex, Lestrade often had much better suggestions, and it was far more enjoyable handling Mycroft in that way. Made up for a lot of Mycroft's starchiness on duty sometimes, when you knew what he'd let you do to him after hours.

That was one of the good bits that kept them together when things got bumpy. He should have  realised that life with any member of the Holmes family wasn't going to be straightforward. They seemed to attract chaos, bizarre things happening.  As did Mycroft's job. Mycroft's life, really, was a bit like that old joke about the swan: all serenity at the top, and a lot of frantic paddling underneath.  Not to mention the beady eyes, the silence, and the occasional nasty reaction if you got too close. Though at least Lestrade was fairly confident that Mycroft couldn't break your arm with a single blow of his wing.

They got through things.  Like the first Christmas dinner – though admittedly Lestrade had been sneaky then. Entertained Elvira with true crime stories – well, mostly true - and left John to referee Mycroft versus Sherlock round 583. Not a pretty sight, the relationship between the brothers – he'd never understood why they were incapable of leaving each other alone. God, he'd been an idiot to wander into the middle of that one.

***

Good job they didn't have any cases on at the moment that required actual brainpower, he concluded by the afternoon, given he couldn't think coherently about anything . But then eighty percent of murders, at least, were done by the usual suspects. He didn't need to get Sherlock involved that often. Maybe not as often as he'd used to do.

He'd been stupid, of course, but it was all in the past. The whole thing with Sherlock had just evaporated – one of these things you look back on and think: why? Like some particularly dodgy outfit you once wore, or imagining that smoking was cool. Mycroft must know that there hadn't been anything serious between them. He'd have had a night to sleep on it, would have realised he was over-reacting. If he didn't call Lestrade at work, he'd phone him himself this evening, talk to him, get things straightened out.  Maybe even a quick bit of sex to seal the deal. He probably had the stamina for that, if he took enough painkillers and managed to eat something.

After all, he thought, if he'd put up with the stuff about David Holmes, Mycroft could get over a nasty surprise or two about Lestrade and Sherlock. Couldn’t he?

***

Lestrade tried to remember to call him 'David Holmes' even in his mind, now, and not 'Mycroft's idiot husband'. Not David's fault that he was an idiot, he had to admit. He'd definitely been a bigger idiot at David's age. In fact, there should probably be a statute of limitations on anything anybody did before they were twenty-five. All David, the poor bastard, had done, after all, was swear undying devotion to Mycroft, piss off his entire family in the process, and then get himself messily and prematurely killed.

Killed before he and Mycroft had got used to being with one another. Which was maybe half the reason that while Mycroft had desperately wanted  to marry Lestrade, he still found the being married side a bit difficult. After all, he and David had only really lived together a year or so, before David had disappeared off to the middle of Africa with the Foreign Office. Hard to think of a place that would have appealed to Mycroft less than Chad - Alaska or Guatemala maybe, not much else. You could deduce a lot about a marriage from that kind of behaviour, though probably better to keep your deductions to yourself.

He'd have minded less about David if he'd had more advance warning, if he hadn't had to deduce so much of what happened. He'd been pretty pissed off when he'd had to learn about Mycroft having been married before from Elvira. And then she'd said the one thing that had brought him up short. That David hadn't just died, but been killed, murdered. And it was like the way that sometimes a case would snap together in your mind, and you could see immediately how the pieces fitted together. Lestrade might know a lot less about most things than Mycroft, but he knew a hell of a lot about murder. And especially how it affected the victim's family.

Some people never got beyond that. You saw it sometimes on the cold cases, that their lives had just stopped at that moment ten, twenty, forty years back when their brother, lover, child had been killed. Even with the ones who did cope, there was always a terrible mess left behind. Regrets, guilt, anger – couldn't say goodbye, their fault for being in the wrong place, your fault for not being there. The urge to punish someone, anyone, to destroy as you'd been destroyed.

Lestrade suspected that Mycroft had tracked down the terrorists and had his revenge, and thought the thing was over, could be filed away. Sealed himself off from that bit of his past. Fair enough in many ways, but he should still have told Lestrade something about it, warned him about it. Not just left it and left it, even when David Smith's sister had come out of the woodwork, twenty years on, wanting contact.

It hadn't been Mycroft's finest hour, had it? That odd, stubborn inability to forgive, the revelation that he was still bearing a grudge against Melissa Smith after all these years. They'd had a hell of a row about that angle, even as Lestrade had carefully backed off the 'Don't you think you should have mentioned the previous marriage?' bit. Because yes, that was fucking infuriating, but you couldn't pick a Holmes up on every way in which they'd screwed you around, and withheld information, there weren't enough hours in the day.

But Melissa Smith was a priority, had to be dealt with, and Lestrade had ended up pushing the nuclear button on that one. If Mycroft wouldn't go and meet her at Wakehurst Place, show her where David's ashes were scattered, Lestrade would.

"We owe her that," he'd said, and hoped that Mycroft would clock the 'we' bit. And Mycroft, pulling out some fragment of correct British breeding from deep within his soul, had said, almost smoothly: "No, you're right, I should go myself. I will go, Gregory, Greg. But please...it would be easier without you there."

Lestrade had wondered then whether he'd made the biggest mistake of his life. Sent Mycroft over the top into some emotional battle zone he couldn't cope with. He'd at least managed to get John to go along with Mycroft, on the grounds that you needed someone around who was a fluent Holmes-English translator, and was used to coping with repressed men having emotional crises.

***

 Mycroft had come home after the day in Sussex with a puffiness about his eyelids that suggested he'd been crying, and a look in his eyes that told Lestrade he'd better not mention the fact. But the next day, he'd said, in an almost normal tone of voice, that he and Melissa were going to sponsor a tree in the garden in memory of David. And Lestrade had replied that if Mycroft ever wanted him to come down to Wakehurst Place with him he could. Best way he could think of to say: I'm not frightened of the past, we're in this thing together. Hadn't known what else to say, but then it wasn't as if Mycroft found it hard to work out things about him. He was bloody transparent most of the time.

Except Mycroft apparently had never worked out that Lestrade had fancied Sherlock, had slept with him, which in some ways was almost as big a deal as sodding David, or at least would be to Mycroft. Still, they'd got this far, they could work things out...

***

 A month on, he wondered if the stalemate was ever going to end. He'd tried to talk to Mycroft and got nowhere. Phoned and been told there was nothing to discuss. Gone round to the house and had a stand-up row. Well, a row on his side. Mycroft just sitting there like a bloody upper-class iceberg, repeating 'the matter is closed' like a mantra. He'd stormed off in the end, and now whenever he phoned, he just got the answer machine. Left stupid-sounding messages, not surprising he hadn't got a reply.

Mycroft wasn't actually doing anything. Hadn't insisted Lestrade move out of the house  - perhaps because he'd officially never moved in. Hadn't asked for a separation or a divorce. Hadn't found anyone else. Just withdrawn, refused any involvement, any contact. It was like the thing with Melissa Smith all over again, Lestrade thought. Hoped to God it didn't take twenty years for Mycroft to unthaw again.

It was the sodding Service for you, he decided, eventually. Things go wrong, you abort the mission, deny anything ever happened, bury the bodies. Literally, in Mycroft's case. Not like police work, where you had to live with your mistakes, realise they weren't the end of the world. Which meant that once he'd had a week or two of being royally pissed-off with Sherlock, for having accidentally bust up his marriage, and being only marginally repentant about the fact, he'd been back to working with the bastard. Had to.

He found it odd, sometimes, how much the Met was like the scene he'd once been on. Tight-knit community, outsiders didn't understand you, even hated you, simply for what you were. So you pulled together, because you had to. And you learned how to cope with being around the people who'd  previously screwed you, metaphorically or actually. Get on with people, even if part of you would secretly like to push them over a cliff. Life went on, the work went on. Even if his marriage didn't.

 

 

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
fengirl88
May. 7th, 2011 10:40 am (UTC)
hurrah! I was hoping there might be more of this today and this is terrific. loved Lestrade's ability to spell swearwords even when drunk, the accidental revelation, John's threat, the flashback to Mycroft and Lestrade getting together, an ant coming face to face with David Attenborough, Lestrade's seduction technique and the top secret coffee. amongst other things. hope things are going to improve for L and M in the third part...
marysutherland
May. 7th, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
You know my methods, Fen. Thousands of words of angst and then a soppy romantic ending. Well, romantic in the sense of Peckham in the snow.
fengirl88
May. 7th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
your methods

*jumps for joy*

Peckham in the snow will do beautifully for romance...
uwsannajane
May. 7th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, so good! Angst, angst, angst, but I do love how it's Lestrade being rational and Mycroft being ... oh, my, adjective hard to find, as adjectives like "agitated" don't fit him. Irrational, I guess.

Your writing isn't just fine, it's impeccable. And so much fun to read.
marysutherland
May. 12th, 2011 07:23 am (UTC)
I always imagine Mycroft to be pretty irrational where Sherlock is involved, and I've done several fics where he's jealous of him. But I think Mycroft's also one of those men who react to stress by closing in on themselves, so the more upset he is, the more he retreats into upper class civil service formality.

The last part is now up, which has a bit less angst, but more 80s music references.
emmessann
May. 7th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
This is just wonderful. Can't wait to see the rest. I really enjoy the portrayal of Mycroft through Lestrade's eyes.
2ndskin
May. 11th, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
oh, I missed this over the weekend! such great episodes--this tortured bit in the middle is full of a million different perfect Lestrade bits--just beyond perfect. Makes me never want to try to write him again since you've done it so well. I love the J-L relationship here, and the genesis of M/L. And best of all is the characterization of L as gatherer of misfits and antisocial tribe around him. Just terrific, as ALWAYS.
kalypso_v
May. 12th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
I seem to have missed this one, somehow. I do like Lestrade and John being so sensible and matter-of-fact about it (though I also like John throwing in his scary threat, of course).

And I greatly admire Lestrade's seduction technique; I was about to say it would work on me, and then I realised I would fuck it up by saying "But I don't like coffee, do you have any peppermint tea?"
weefreethings
May. 18th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
That first-date story is very cute! And John's threat is absolutely brilliant and hilarious! XD
nathcoelho
May. 18th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
omg.
poor LEstrade! but i know that even if mycroft is a idiot right now.. he suffering very much too!=X
great fic!
et_cetera55
Jul. 31st, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
Love this so much! Rushing on to the next part now but:
as happy as a man who had to keep the world safe for Radio 4 listeners could be :D Wonderful description!
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