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Rating 15 (swearing, implicit slash and violence)

Summary: A fancy dress party gets a little too exciting for Mycroft and Lestrade

Someone on the Mystrade Fest prompt post wanted John's "ripping your clothes off" line from The Great Game applied to Mystrade.

This is for my devoted beta Blooms84 who loves wet!Lestrade

Special thanks to my beta for this work: Fengirl

"I will kill you, My," Greg announced, giving me a particular dirty look. "I swear I will kill you for this."

"You agreed," I said, "and I did warn you it would be a costume party."

"There must be some other way to arrange this meeting."

"If you want to meet a billionaire's enemies, you go to his parties. Afanasyev keeps his rivals on a very short string. They will all be there and my informant among them."

"Even so-"

 "Whoever he is, he won't give his name, Greg, and he refuses to meet anyone but me. I have to find out if he might be a reliable source. And since you received an invitation to the party..."

"I still dunno why. Unless Mr Boris Afanasyev somehow got his list of London Officials to Phone Up and Complain To mixed up with his invitation list."

"You have something of a reputation now for dealing with cases within the expatriate communities of London."

"I know. Ever since the Elphberg case, I seem to have become the go-to copper for Eastern European bigwigs." Greg gave a weary sigh. "OK, I know it makes sense for you to use the opportunity."

When it comes to work, Greg is almost irrationally reasonable. A normal man, faced with the unpleasant prospect of collaborating with my brother, would refuse to do so. Greg is able to put the good of his job before his own personal preferences. It is an unusual talent.

He also has other unusual talents he is less keen to put to good use.

"But why do I have to dress up like this?" he demanded.

"It is a themed costume party. Be thankful the theme wasn't 'Chavs' or 'Colonials and Natives'. 'Mythical Characters' is almost tasteful in comparison."

"OK, I can see I wouldn't be allowed to be The Doctor," Greg complained, fiddling with his club. "But I was prepared to do Robin Hood."

"It's really Mrs Afanasyev's party and she is Greek. How better to make a good impression with her?"

"How better to make me feel a complete and absolute prat?" he said. "I look bloody ridiculous as Hercules."

He looked gorgeous. He always looks gorgeous. My prose style is more adapted to discussing security threats than male beauty, but one look from my love's brown eyes and you'd be willing to defect to him. And for a kiss from those warm lips I'd set off a small incendiary device myself.

Greg was currently wearing a lion skin – the lion had been shot by my great-uncle in Tanganyika – sandals, and not a lot else, although he had insisted on retaining some very unGreek looking Y-fronts. I was Homer, which allowed me a handily concealing beard and rather less of my body exposed. Greg had nobly refrained from making references to doughnuts or Duff Beer, but had commented that he supposed it was appropriate because I went round with a liar at all times. I thought it would be unkind to mention that his joke's punch line didn't really work properly.

"I just hope you'll be warm enough," I said. "Some kind of cloak perhaps? I don't want you getting chilled."

"Don't fuss, My," Greg retorted. "I'm going to feel hot and bothered enough as it is."


As I'd calculated, when we arrived at the party, the guests saw Hercules and Insignificant Man with Hercules. It's always handy to be underestimated on these occasions, and I could slip away with barely anyone noticing. I didn't even need to loosen the safety pins on Greg's lion skin, which was my emergency plan for distracting people.

An hour or so into the party and I'd already overheard several useful conversations and had at least one new potential target for my persuasive techniques. (Blackmail is such a sordid word to apply to a reciprocal exchange for mutual benefit). Then yet another Batman approached me, who proved to be my would-be supplier of information. Given the concealing costume, it was hard for me to deduce more than that he had formerly been in the Georgian army, played lead guitar in a rock group and had recently been left by his wife, but that was a start. And if even half the information he was prepared to hand over was correct, he could be an extremely valuable source.

When I had finished with him, I went off to look for Greg, only to spot him across the hall talking to Maria Afanasyeva. I had no wish for either her or her husband to remember me, so rather than joining them I simply stood and watched. I was too far away to lip-read (and I try to avoid spying on Greg anyhow, unless it is strictly necessary), but it didn't take my skills to see that she was interested in Greg. One of Hercules' labours had been to obtain the girdle of Hippolyta; I suspected this Queen of the Amazons would have been prepared to donate all her undergarments to Greg. He was looking more and more edgy, which suggested that his normal technique of discouraging unwelcome advances from women – by repeating "I am gay" in all the numerous languages in which he knows the phrase – wasn't working.

He managed to escape at last, and promptly vanished hastily through the crowd. Mrs Afanasyeva gave a look at his retreating back that suggested her chosen superpower would be turning people to stone. Then she disappeared off, probably to add an extra layer or two to her warpaint. It couldn't be easy for her, of course, being married to Boris Afanasyev. He was dressed as Eugene Onegin and waving a duelling pistol around in a particularly unseemly fashion, in between flirting with other men's trophy wives.

I couldn't find Greg anywhere, and then I realised that he had probably gone outside for a sneaky smoke. His attempts to quit follow rather the same pattern as my attempts to diet; a treacherous period of success, followed by relapses under pressure. I wondered if it was worth pretending I didn't know he was smoking again; I didn't want a quarrel tonight, especially when he'd been so successful a distraction.

Perhaps too successful, I thought, as I stood at a discreet distance and watched the door by which he'd gone out. When he returned I could see a ripple of interest in the crowd milling around there. I hoped there hadn't been a wardrobe malfunction, but as I craned my neck to assess the situation, I finally caught a glimpse of Greg himself. He was shivering in a way that made the lion skin sway on his hips. My idiot of a husband had obviously gone outside without bothering to put a coat on.

I decided I'd better get him more warmly dressed before he succumbed to hypothermia, but as I was about to head towards the cloakroom, Mrs Afanasyeva appeared, appropriately enough with a cloak. It was a large red affair, which she draped round Greg's shoulders, before stalking away again. I was suddenly struck by the triumphant aspect to her face and remembered that she came from the country that had produced Clytemnestra and Medea. And who would but a Greek would be more likely to know of the fate of Hercules? I snatched a glass of wine from the hands of a passing Billy the Kid, downed it in one gulp and hurried across the crowded room to Greg.

"I'm fine, My," he announced, as I arrived at his side. "I am not going to catch a chill, or my death of cold. In fact, I'm warm as anything now."

"Warm?" I demanded, "Or burning?"

Greg's arms went up to his back and shoulders, to pull at the enveloping fabric. "What the fuck?" he demanded.

"Follow me," I shouted . "This way." I started to run. Greg, who knows just how much of an emergency me running betokens, followed after me. Fortunately, I had studied the plan of the building beforehand, and a moment's thought gave me my strategy. Down the staircase at one corner of the building, turn left, and there it was: the Afanasyevs' private pool.

"Hold still," I yelled, as soon as we were in. No time to find the lights and I didn't want Greg blundering about in the dark. I grabbed the cloak from his shoulders, and pulled it off, then ripped away the lion skin, fur shredding horribly. "In the water, quick."

Greg jumped in, and I followed with a rather ungainly lunge dive. I rapidly pulled off my chiton and sandals and swam back to where Greg was clutching onto the side. I ducked down and started to pull off his underpants, only to get a frantic kick from him.

"What are you doing?" he demanded.

"They might be contaminated as well," I said. "Get them off, then get as much of your skin underwater as possible." In the low light I couldn't see if there was any blistering on his back or arms and I didn't want to touch them unnecessarily. Greg hurriedly finished stripping naked and then dived down into the water a few times.

"What the fuck was on the cloak?" he asked, when he emerged, shaking the water out of his eyes.

"No idea," I said, still clinging onto the side, "but presumably some powerful skin irritant. I doubt it's something lethal, but Mrs Afanasyeva clearly knows her classical mythology rather too well."

"What do you mean?" Greg asked, treading water.

"Hercules was killed by putting on a poisoned tunic."

"Well I don't think it's gonna come to that," Greg replied. "It still feels a bit like sunburn, but it's an awful lot better with the water on my skin. Good job you spotted what was going on, I was bloody slow on the uptake."

"My fault for making you wear the costume," I said. "Are you sure you're not badly hurt?"

"I'm fine now," he said, now floating on his back. "But I'm glad nobody saw that. You ripping my clothes off in a darkened swimming pool. People might talk."

"They do little else," I said smiling. "But since you're all right, and rather refreshingly naked, why don't we take advantage of the privacy? If you came over to the side here, I can check that you have, erm, suffered no damage to your nether regions."

"Honestly, My," he said, swimming smoothly over to me. "You need taking in hand."

"No," I said, reaching down. "I rather think you do."

My touch on his genitals was quick and expert. It had to be. I expected we had at most three minutes left before Afanasyev's security team arrived. It was why I'd brought Greg here for decontamination rather than taking him to a bathroom. The guards would not be faced with the worrying problem of a guest who had been viciously attacked by their employer's wife. Instead, there would simply be the reassuring spectacle of two drunken men – and I had enough alcohol on my breath now to appear very drunk – getting inappropriately frisky. In three minutes time, then, my poor Greg was going to be extraordinarily embarrassed.  Fortunately, there is quite a lot that a man with my unusual talents can do in less than 180 seconds.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 24th, 2011 11:26 am (UTC)
This is simultaneously cute, clever and absolutely bloody hilarious. Wonderful :)
Dec. 29th, 2011 07:52 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it. It's the first time I've written Mycroft first person, but somehow, this one just needed that voice.
Dec. 24th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
I loved his voice in this, such a mix of My's intelligence and espionage mixed in with Gatiss' self deprecating dreaminess.

What a nice Christmas treat!
Dec. 29th, 2011 07:55 am (UTC)
It was fun writing in Mycroft's voice, though I'm not sure I could sustain it for a longer piece. But you're right that Mycroft in love tends to have an air of Mark Gatiss in him. I'm looking forward to what we get of Mycroft in Series 2, even if it does mean changing all my head canon.
Dec. 24th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)
I must admit--I read this first thing this morning on my phone--in bed--on AO3 (what's better than a little naked, wet!Lestrade first thing in the morning--really, nothing comes to mind) but it being Xmas eve--no time to comment. Still Xmas eve, but I had to come and tell you THANK YOU HUGELY!!! I ADORE the Mycroft voice in this--he's adorkable in just the right measure--but also BAMFy as hell and the fact that he knows precisely what to do with his 180 seconds is . . . perfect. I will picture L in lion skin for the rest of my vacation. . . don't bother me, I'm fantasizing~thank again and Merry Christmas!!!!!
Dec. 28th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
I knew bloomy would love it! *grins happily*

poor Lestrade - it is just as well Mycroft knows what he's doing in this one...

I like your Mycroft voice here very much.
Jan. 1st, 2012 11:45 am (UTC)
Feb. 2nd, 2012 05:10 am (UTC)
Loved everything about this, great job!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )