"We were perfect together when we were alone."
- Sylvia Day, Reflected in You
(one week later)
“May I have this dance?”
Greg looked up from where his head was resting on Mycroft's lap. He blinked, confused, not sure if he'd just imagined the other man's voice in his drowsy state.
Mycroft had stopped carding his fingers through Greg’s silver hair, hands still and eyes fixed on the fireplace. Outside, darkness had long descended over the city, and the room was lit only by the dim fire light. The flames danced on his pale face, and Greg watched, mesmerised, how they illuminated and darkened his eyes with the unsteady rhythm of their movement. When Mycroft neither spoke nor caught his gaze, Greg shifted his legs to sit beside him on the bed, back supported by the wall. The new position enabled him to sneak his feet beneath the blanket. The fabric was rough, made of heavy wool and slightly frayed from constant use.
Although he missed the soothing hand in his hair, the warm and steady body against his side wasn't so bad either. With a content sigh, Greg linked their feet under the cover and rested his head on the taller man's shoulder.
“I can't dance, Mycroft. Not what you're used to, at least.”
There was a short pause, before Greg felt Mycroft turn his head.
“Gregory...” he said, voice warm and laced with amusement, causing Greg to look up and meet his gaze. “The purpose of ballroom dancing is socialising. Dance well and you'll be respected; dance with grace and you'll be feared. Furthermore, a dance can prove as a convenient opportunity to forgo eavesdroppers.” He paused, then smiled. “I wasn't asking for a ballroom dance.”
“So I'm special then?” Greg teased, already pulling back the blanket and hopping off the bed.
Mycroft followed, smile widening as he watched Gregory spin twice in front of the fireplace. “Yes, very special.”
“And what is it that makes my company special compared to those of the people who grace your arm while socialising?”
It was meant to be teasing and light. Thus the depth in Mycroft's eyes as he reached for Greg's hand surprised him. He easily closed the space between them with one step of his long legs, sneaked one arm around his middle and gently pulled Greg close to his chest.
“You,” Mycroft answered, voice warm and soft beside Greg's ear. “I want to dance with you. It is neither my duty, nor is it pressed upon me without my will. Dancing with you is an honour and a gift.”
Striving for a response and failing, chest warm with affection, Greg simply let himself be swayed back and forth. Guided by Mycroft's sure hand, his feet soon remembered lessons long past and they started to slow waltz, their steps limited by the small space between the bed and the fireplace.
When they'd fallen into a comfortable rhythm, Mycroft started humming softly, surprising not only Gregory but also himself. He hadn't allowed himself the simple pleasure of singing in a very long time. Yet, the melody came easily, like it had been waiting for the right moment to quietly but steadily escape.
Of course, there was no real music to accompany their steps. Nor was their attire in any way fitting the purpose. In fact, Greg felt quite out of place with his sock-clad feet, loose trousers that were just a tick too short, and faded white shirt. But all that vanished when he finally stopped staring at his feet and met Mycroft's eyes. They were warm and so filled with love and affection, Greg found himself unable to look away. Here, moving without music, the fire soaking them with warmth, Mycroft holding him and looking at him like he was the centre of his world, a simple dance turned into something much more. Something incredibly precious and breathtakingly intimate.
Was it selfish, Greg thought to himself, to wish Mycroft would never dance with anyone else again?
The question must have been reflected on his face, because Mycroft's hand on his back tightened briefly, pulling him even closer. Without breaking their dance, he touched his forehead to Greg's and drew in a sudden, shaky breath. A few comfortable, silent seconds passed before Mycroft swallowed thickly and spoke.
“If I could, I wouldn't,” he promised quietly. “But since I have little say in that matter and am therefore condemned to attend many dances to come, I shall always be reminded of this moment. My longing for your presence shall forever be my comfort in those dark hours, and wish me back to your side as soon as possible.”
In lieu of a reply, Greg captured Mycroft's lips in a deep, loving kiss, trying his best to convey what words couldn't express. Successfully, it seemed, since Mycroft responded with equal enthusiasm, until both had to break apart for breath. Their lips lingered just for a moment longer, as they both enjoyed the comfort of the other's warm touch.
“Will you think of me then?” Greg whispered, his lips moving to kiss Mycroft's cheek. The laugh wrinkles of his right eye. Up to his elegant brow. “Whenever you demonstrate your dancing talent.”
“There shall be nothing else on my mind, but the touch of your lips and the warmth of your body.”
“Good.” Pressing one final kiss to Mycroft's forehead, Greg let himself be pulled into an embrace. His arms encircled the other's neck on their own accord, as he buried his face in the crock of Mycroft's slender neck. “Wherever your obligations may lead you, it is my honour to lighten your mood and grace your side with my comforting presence, if not in flesh then at least in mind.”
In a mix of relief and gratefulness, Mycroft breathed a muffled 'thank you' into Gregory's shoulder and squeezed his waist. Having stopped waltzing somewhere throughout their conversation, they were now both swaying gently back and forth again, bodies touching from head to toe. The movement caused them to drift away in the safety of the moment, dozing at the verge of sleep.
Their dance wasn't just a dance, but a silent expression of gratitude. An unspoken promise to always be there, wherever 'there' might be. Apart or together, through touch or through voice. And an unvoiced demonstration of their mutual love for each other.
Let the morning come, for they were ready to fight the day.