06/12/13 @ 04:20pm
■ a little night music
Evan enjoyed the tour of the house but could tell that Mycroft hadn’t spent the time or energy to personalize his home the way Evan had. He briefly wondered if it was because the man didn’t have anything he felt like showcasing or if he simply didn’t feel the need.
Really, holding hands had proven the best part of the walk around. Mycroft had eagerly taken hold of his hand when the pair set out and didn’t let go until he pulled away to grab drinks.
"I’d love a glass, please," Evan replied, "where shall I wait for you? The piano room maybe?" The journalist wanted to hear his date play and while Mycroft hadn’t said a word about it since mentioning he could, the idea had firmly lodged in Evan’s mind.
"Evan, did you lure me home just to play piano for you?" Mycroft smirked, as he strode down the hall, fetching two glasses from the wet bar.
"Red or white? No- never mind, white," Mycroft called, recalling Evan’s natural inclination towards the milder wine. He selected a particularly good Pinot Gris and poured two generous glasses, before reconvening with his date.
"Here you are," Mycroft passed him a glass, and with his now free hand, pulled out the piano bench. "Please sit. I’ll play for you, but I don’t want you scrutinizing from across the room."
■ a little night music
Evan grinned back, once again at ease with his date, “Of course I think you’re handsome, how could I not?” He ran a finger down the taller man’s cheek and pressed another quick kiss on his lips before backing up off Mycroft whilst humming a rendition of John Coltrane’s My Favourite Things.
"So this is your pad, eh? Pretty hip." The writer turned around to try and keep up his persona. Clicking his fingers as he glanced into a sitting room off the foyer he called back, "Care to take me for a stroll around daddy-o?"
But the last remark was too much and he set himself off laughing, “I really don’t know where I get these things. Maybe you were right, maybe I am a looney.”
Still, the smile stayed on his face as he said, “But I did mean it. Could you show me around? This place looks amazing, absolutely gorgeous.”
"I’d be happy to show you around, if you promise not to call me daddy-o again," Mycroft laughed, hanging up their coats in the hall closet.
Mycroft reached out for Evan’s hand. He found himself craving even simple touches, and there was a comfort that came with linking his fingers with the journalist’s.
"Come along, then."
He lead him around, although he didn’t have much to say about the space. It was beautiful, but lacked any real personal touches. By the end of the tour, it was clear that while the home was lovely, Mycroft had limited attachment to the space.
"So…That’s that, I suppose… Can I get you something to drink, or eat?"
He hadn’t really planned on entertaining that night, but he wanted Evan to both feel welcome and comfortable.
"I’d be happy to open a bottle of wine."
Please don’t say no. Christ, I need a drink.
■ a little night music
Shit, you’ve fucked up. Look he’s uncomfortable, say something else.
But Mycroft announced they were nearly there and then they were there and then all of the sudden it appeared that the man he’d danced with in the middle of his living room had security. Professional security. Security at his home. Full time security.
He shook his head as if to clear it and automatically reached out to meet the man’s hand. “Evan please, I’m always happy to meet like-minded people.”
When McArdle smiled the journalist found himself smiling in return, his posture easing, “You’ll have to let me know if you think the column’s going dull. I constantly worry I’m going to run out of content.” He dropped a wink as the couple began to go inside, “And tell your wife she’s wonderful taste in men, marrying you and reading me. I can sign the book if you’d like to bring it over at some point.”
When the two men were securely inside, Evan barely looked around before he gave his coat over and spoken, wanting to make amends for his words in the car. “I’m sorry I reacted poorly before. You’ll have to give me a moment to adjust, you’re just this handsome bloke I stopped on the street for a picture. And now you’re apparently the unofficial head of Her Majesty’s government.”
Quickly making up his mind he didn’t allow his date to move and crowded Mycroft, coats and all, up against one of the gleaming banisters, “I need to know I can still do this,” he reached up and kissed the politician, “to the British government.”
Mycroft’s eyes widened at the forwardness of Evan’s gesture. He hadn’t expected that at all; truthfully, it was a much better reaction than the awkward silence he’d anticipated having to fill. He tilted his head, bringing their mouths firmly together.
He pulled back after a moment, cheeks flushed with a mix of embarrassment and arousal at the sudden kiss.
"Of course you can still do that. You can do whatever you’d like. Don’t be silly, I’m the same man, you just have a more complete job description. I still like brownies and pocket squares and jazz music…"
He broke out into a cheeky grin.
"You really think I’m handsome?"
Evan sat in stunned silence as Mycroft spoke and the silence continued after he concluded. The reporter had known Mycroft was smarter than a ‘minor governmental official’ but not even in his stupidest imaginings (some of which had been quite stupid, wondering if Holmes was actually a real-life James Bond for example) had he thought Mycroft was the British government.
Because that’s what Mycroft had essentially said, he was the British government. He may speed processes up but Evan was fairly certain that those he worked with had come to rely on him and that without his advice things would come to a halt while the government tried to remember how it functioned without him.
I’ve kissed the British government?
The journalists head hurt. Could one just kiss the man behind every major decision made over the last fifteen years? Well, clearly as he’d done it only two days prior. But….
He should say something, he should make sure that Mycroft knew he wasn’t a computer, that Evan didn’t think of his as cold or calculating at all. He should know-
"Have you met Wills and Kate?"
- that was not what he’d wanted to say. Well done you idiot, now he’ll think you’re an utter twat.
"Ah… Yes. They’re even lovelier in person."
Evan was clearly uncomfortable, which in turn made Mycroft uncomfortable.
You’re an imbecile, that was far too direct. Say something. Fix it.
But his eloquence was gone, and the best he could manage was to pat Evan on the knee and remind him that they were almost there.
Upon arrival, Mycroft opened the door for Evan and held out his hand to help his date from the vehicle. They were immediately confronted by a burly looking man who stood outside an iron-wrought gate.
Mycroft cleared his throat, and with as much confidence as he could muster -despite knowing that he was only digging himself a deeper hole- gestured towards the man.
"Evan, this is Bradley McArdle, my chief of security. Bradley, Evan Lance."
"Pleasure, Mr. Lance," the man extended his hand, his stern expression breaking into a warm smile. He was clean shaven and well dressed, appearing to be in his mid thirties. "The Missus loves your work, we have your coffee table book. She’ll be tickled pink to know I’ve met you."
Pleasantries exchanged, Bradley turned to unlock the gate, then lead the pair to the door. Holding it open, he smiled again.
"Welcome home, sir. Have a pleasant evening."
Mycroft nodded and crossed the thresh, immediately turning to Evan. They were standing in an open foyer; there were few decorative elements, but the hand-carved hardwood banisters and polished floors left little room for doubt: the owner was wealthy, and took pride in his living space.
"I can take your coat. Please, make yourself comfortable, and don’t hesitate to ask for anything."
■ I made a row house pic post!
■ look at it so you know what you're getting into
■ a little night music
Evan returned the smile with some to spare, his hands rising to play with the shoulder seams on Mycroft’s coat. He gladly met the kiss and sighed a bit as their lips pulled away.
"I suppose that depends on what you do for a living," he replied only half serious. "Will I need to be sat down and told with lots of detail about how you secretly run the world? Or can you just tell me know so we can get it out of the way and move on to better avenues?"
Mycroft clasped his hands together and leaned back, chuckling a bit as he breathed in deeply.
"Ah, yes. Well. As you are already sitting, and we are in a relatively secure location, I suppose I can, in fact, inform you that your assertion is more or less true."
He tilted his head and closed his eyes, trying to decide the best way to explain his role. It wasn’t something he had to do often; usually saying that he was a minor government official was enough to quell people’s interests. Few people got close enough to the politician to warrant a more precise answer.
"As I told you before, I am a member of Her Majesty’s Civil Service, and while I have no title and no official position, I am indispensable in the eyes of both The Crown and the government. You are, undoubtedly, familiar with my brother’s detective work. I employ the same deductive reasoning, only on a much greater scale, to assist with government planning. Every major choice England has made for the last fifteen years has been weighed, analyzed, and assessed by me. Obviously I don’t have the final say on any decision making, but my opinions are heavily considered. War, peace, trade, the economy, immigration, health care, taxes- you name it, I’ve been consulted about it."
He opened his eyes, but stared down at his hands, rather than turning to look at Evan.
"The really laughable thing is that I’m non-essential. I could die tomorrow and nothing would change, the systems are in place. Hardly anyone would even know. I’m a handy tool, something to tip the odds in England’s favor, until my time runs out."
His voice was so level as he spoke that it was difficult to assess what he was feeling. His expression was one of pride, but there was an underlying hint of sadness in his eyes that was impossible to ignore.
"And that’s what I do. I’m a computer."
■ evan lance
■ professional cocktease
■ to dance again!
■ I've been waiting all these years to dance again
■ a litle night music
Evan pushed his luck and crowded a bit closer on the pavement, “If we went out could I put my hand back on your knee? Or kiss you? Could we dance again? Or would we have to sit across from one another at table with you constantly watching the door to see who’s coming in?” He knew Mycroft didn’t want to share him with the world and while one day (if they made it to a future) that fact would piss him off, for now the journalist intended on taking full advantage of it.
A black car pulled up and a familiar driver stepped out to open the door for the couple. Evan slide in first, barely waiting for Mycroft to sit before he continued, “Because while I do enjoy talking to you and l fully intend on taking you up on your offer to explain what it is you do exactly,” one eyebrow raised up, “I’d rather not have to limit our interaction right now. Especially as we were having such a pleasant time before things got interrupted on Monday.”
"Evan Lance, you cheeky devil," Mycroft grinned as Evan spoke, his cock stirring at the mention of their last snog. He climbed into the car after him, and as soon as the door was shut and they were safely behind tinted windows, leaned over to kiss his date for the first time that evening.
"I understand, and I’m happy to indulge you."
He pressed his lips to Evan’s again, running his fingers under the fold of his lapel.
"It won’t be long, we aren’t far from Whitehall. Would you prefer to talk, or reacquaint ourselves with each other’s company?"
|Your kitchen is fully stocked. As always.||◤||
[SMS to A. Jones] Ah. Thank you. MH
■ a little night music
Evan had rushed out of a guest lecture leaving copious apologies behind him to reach the theatre in time. A regular theatre goer the writer always made sure to leave an appropriately wide window of time to arrive, find his seat, and get settled. Knowing he wouldn’t have that time caused him to fret the entire taxi ride over, Evan could only hope Mycroft didn’t think too poorly of him.
Luckily his date appeared in the lobby of the theatre just as Evan realized he didn’t have tickets. Together they made their way in and quickly settled, barely exchanging a hello before the lights went down and the curtain rose.
Evan sat rapt through the performance, not registering Mycroft’s lingering glances at all. At one point he reached out to lay a hand on Mycroft’s leg, but even that gesture was nearly subconscious, just a way to maintain contact between the men while Evan’s attention rested elsewhere.
The journalist purposely kept a small distance between himself and Mycroft as they left the theatre, conscious of Mycroft’s reaction to his last attempt to physical reach out. So he smiled when Mycroft brought himself closer and helped Evan into his jacket.
Reveling in their proximity he nearly missed what the civil servant had to say, “You know,” he maneuvered so no one could see him gently tug on Mycroft’s sleeve, “if you’ve a car near I’d rather go somewhere quieter than a lounge. We could go back to mine again if you’d like. Or yours if you’d prefer.”
Mycroft blinked in surprise, but nodded.
"Ah, yes, I can have a car here quite quickly…My place is probably closer, but-"
He tilted his head a bit.
"Are you sure you don’t want to go out? I admittedly haven’t been in for a few days, I’m not sure what my food situation is, are you hungry? We could get take-away. It’s not too late, is it? Do you have to work in the morning?"
Mycroft retrieved his phone and texted his driver to let him know that plans were changing, and promptly received a response that a car was on the way.
■ count me among thy saints
■ fucking brothers man
It was well after dark by the time Mycroft navigated his way to the hotel Sherlock had found. He was a bit worried; the afternoon had been an exercise in trust, as well as an opportunity to gather information. Leaving Sherlock alone when he had no guarantee that his brother wouldn’t use again felt like a huge risk.
He hadn’t found out much during his afternoon out. His initial scope of the area had turned up little out of the ordinary. He knew he’d need to make contact with the criminal underworld, and the fastest way to do that would be to find a drug dealer. It had been easy enough once the sun had set; skulking around in shady areas until a dealer happened upon him. He knew what to say to win the dealer’s trust, complete the transaction quickly, and simultaneously maximize the amount of information he could get from the exchange.
He’d immediately disposed of the drugs; he wasn’t stupid enough to bring them along to the hotel. That was just inviting Sherlock to relapse. Now, back at the hotel, he was making notes of his limited findings while tucking into a modest supper of potatoes and brats.
“What did you do all day?” Mycroft wondered aloud, without looking up from his notebook.
I checked on John. I resisted calling John. I resisted calling Mrs. Hudson. I checked on Lestrade. I tried not to see those closed eyes and slack jaw. I failed at not seeing Baillet covered in blood and dead, so very, very dead. “I found us a hotel and didn’t take any more drugs.”
“Well, that’s all I could ask, I suppose,” Mycroft replied. “There’s a hotbed of drug related activity just north of here. I did make contact with a dealer, and I spotted at least three more as I was walking around, but I didn’t want to appear too forward. I’m going to need more time to find where it’s all stemming from. ”
“And what am I supposed to do while you sniff out more drugs? I shan’t even bother asking if you’ll let me help.”
“Just rest. I’ll be quick about it. Go through Baillet’s records, see if there’s anything we missed. Have you eaten anything?”
Sherlock huffed at Mycroft’s dismissal of his help. Even though he’d expected it, especially after the incident last night, it didn’t aggravate him any less. “Fine,” he replied petulant. Sherlock had enough sense not attempt to go out after his brother and search for evidence. With Baillet dead, two of them asking around would only attract notice.
Only after resolving to be a good little brother and do as he was told, for now, did Sherlock process the final part of the question. “Yes, you saw me have water on the train. You also saw me pick up biscuits from the station when we arrive.”
“But I didn’t see you actively consume said biscuits. Besides, that isn’t enough to recover on. Finish this,” Mycroft replied, leaving no room for questioning as he pushed over his plate.
“I don’t need to recover,” Sherlock complained even as he took the utensils and plate from his brother and began picking at the leftovers. “And you’ve hardly left me anything.”
“I’ll order more if you’ll eat it,” Mycroft countered. “Finish that and see how you feel.”
Sherlock finished the rest of the food in silence, resolutely not looking at his brother. As he finished and deposited the empty dishes on a side table a thought occurred to him, “How have you been paying for all this? You aren’t using your card are you? Dear God- they’ll track that in a moment.”
Mycroft stared at Sherlock for several seconds, before replying flatly,
“You honestly think I’m stupid, don’t you.”
“I’ve never said that. You are, of course, far smarter than nearly everyone else in this world.”
“Including me? Really?” Something akin to a laugh seemed to hover around Sherlock’s eyes.
“Yes. Including you.” Mycroft’s lips curled back into a knowing sneer, challenging Sherlock’s amused expression. “And the fact that you think this is a joke- the fact that you still ask these questions- proves it.”
“You believe I don’t begin each day burdened by the chaos of my own mind? Life is a constant flurry of input, input, input. I see what you see. I feel as you feel. But do you know the difference between you and I? I’ve assimilated. I’ve spent decades building up this facade, learning to function where you simply rebelled. I ask questions that I already know the answers to, I know the social protocols and the conversation topics and the mannerisms that you’ve simply rejected. I can at least pretend to belong. You? You’re the black sheep and the enigma. You’ve spent your entire adult life living as a petulant child. And where has it gotten you? You’re on the cover of every tabloid in London, you’re the latest spectacle. You’ve got everyone’s attention, but no one’s respect.”
Mycroft’s features had hardened, but his eyes had drifted away from Sherlock.
“My mind is always rioting. I’ve simply perfected the ability to hide it. I’ve even got you fooled.”
"The fact that you care about what the masses think of you rather disproves your point," Sherlock countered.
Tense silence fell between the brothers before Sherlock seemed to deflate before the other man eyes. He shook his head ruefully, “We do always seem to be poised in the brink of all out war don’t we?” he said.
“I care about what “the masses think” because I need other people. I don’t have a brother looking out for me,” Mycroft replied. His face had fallen, there was no longer any hint of amusement or condescension in his voice. “I’m poised because I’m aware that shouting at you is pointless.”
“Perhaps you could try and treat me as an adult for a bit. See if that helps smooth the path forward?”
“You’re coming off a relapse and you want me to treat you as an adult?”
“Yes. Yes I do.”
Sensing they’d come to an impasse Sherlock huffed and pulled his coat on throwing a burner mobile and the room key in the pockets. “I’m going for a walk. Don’t bother following me. I’ll know.”