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Are you okay?

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Mycroft’s Jaguar, with Greg in the passenger’s seat, stood in front of the house. Through the kitchen window, Greg could make out Mycroft’s and his mother’s silhouette, and hear all too clearly the woman’s shrill voice as she was shouting at her eldest. Greg ran a shaking hand through his hair and fought the impulse of returning to the house. What an idiotic idea it had been to come here, and the idea had been Greg’s.

Greg and Mycroft were a couple for three years, without Sherlock or the Holmes parents knowing about them. They held hands in public, went on joint holidays and even lived together for nearly two years. Nevertheless, they didn’t talk about their relationship unless they were asked specifically, and since no-one voiced the question, the topic hadn’t been raised.

Some weeks ago Mycroft had popped the question though, and Greg thought that perhaps on the occasion Mycroft’s parents should learn of his existence. Against his own doubts, Mycroft had called his parents and told them he’d come over for tea with news and someone he liked them to meet.

Mycroft’s father had greeted Greg with quiet courtesy, but his mother had exploded almost immediately. She’d eyed Greg with an expression usually reserved for something particularly unpleasant found under one's shoe, before she’d told Mycroft what she thought about him and his relationship with Greg.

Greg’s own parents were dead but he knew that they would have adored Mycroft, not the least because he clearly loved Greg and made him incredibly happy. Hearing the formidable Mummy shout abuse at her son, felt like a punch in the gut. If he hadn’t promised Mycroft not to intervene, Greg would have given her a piece of his mind. He’d stayed quiet though, and even went outside to wait in the car when Mycroft requested it.

The shouting from the kitchen had stopped, and Greg watched Mycroft leave the house.

“I was willing to give you one more chance, but if you leave now, you will never return here.” Mycroft’s mother stood at the doorstep, her face furious and her back ramrod straight.

“Good-bye then,” Mycroft replied, turned his back to his mother and walked to the car with his usual long strides. He got into the car and once he’d fastened his seatbelt, started the motor without looking at Greg. Most men would have stepped hard on the accelerator to speed away, but not Mycroft. With care, he filtered from the driveway into the traffic, to begin their two hour drive back to London.

Over the past years, Greg had become rather good at reading Mycroft’s expressions. He could usually translate the slightest twitch of one elegant eyebrow and detected the smallest of hints in the man’s expression. But not now. Greg had no clue what Mycroft was thinking.

The silence in the car lasted for almost two miles.

“I’d like to get tea and scones before we drive home, if that’s alright,” Mycroft said eventually.

“Of course,” Greg replied, and a minute or so later, Mycroft turned into a back road and after another few minutes turned into an empty parking lot next to a sign in the shape of a teapot that simply declared “Granny’s Tea & Scones”.

Mycroft switched off the motor, but stayed silently in his seat, Greg reached over to touch his shoulder.

“Are you okay?”

Instead of answering, Mycroft got out of the car and beckoned Greg to do the same. Holding out a hand, Mycroft took Greg’s and brought it to his lips to kiss his knuckles. His face held a look of incredulity.

“I would have thought,” Mycroft said after a moment of contemplation, “that I would be quite upset about my mother’s reaction, but I’m not.”

‘Not Mummy but my mother,’ Greg noticed.

“In fact, I feel as if she just set me free.” Unshed tears glittered in Mycroft’s eyes, but his face shone with happiness. “I think I never knew how much I suffered from the her expectations. Expectations I would never have been able to fulfil to her satisfaction.” He looked Greg straight in the eye. “Why did it take me more than fifty years to see that?” He huffed out a short laugh. “She doesn’t want to see me again, and that is very much fine by me indeed.”

Mycroft pulled Greg into his arms and placed a kiss on the beloved grey strands. “Sherlock has his little family, lives with John and Rosie. The only person that I want to care for is right here.”

“You really are okay, aren’t you?” Greg asked, cupping Mycroft’s cheeks in the palms of his hands.

“Yes, I really am okay. I’m more than okay. I’m blissfully happy. You make me blissfully happy.” Mycroft kissed Greg, before he continued. “If I hadn’t proposed to you already, I would have gotten on my knee this very moment. I love you so much, and the knowledge that I will spend the rest of my life with you is my greatest joy.”

Greg felt tears of happiness prickle in his own eyes. Mycroft was right. They both were under no obligation to care for anyone but each other. A task they were both deeply invested in already.
”And I love you.” Greg didn’t know what else to say.

It was probably a good thing that the little tea room wouldn’t open for another twenty minutes or so, because two grown men kissing passionately in the middle of an empty parking lot was a bit of a spectacle. They were still in each other’s arms, when a camper van with a family inside drove onto the parking lot. The driver honked but he grinned at them when they jumped apart in surprise.

Looking at the van, Mycroft cocked his head to the side. “Do you know that I never went on a road trip? I travelled a lot but it was mostly for business. I know we haven’t talked about our honeymoon, and if you’d rather fly to Tahiti...”

“Shush! A road trip sounds wonderful,” Greg interrupted him. “France, Italy, and perhaps all the way to Greece?”

In his mind’s eye Mycroft could already picture Greg’s skin turning golden brown in the sun.

“Stop your wool gathering, love, and let’s get some tea and scones,” Greg grinned, deciphering Mycroft’s gaze correctly.

“Yes,” Mycroft simply said, and followed Greg to the tea room, but in his head already busy planning to buy a camper van with a large comfortable bed.