Greg stood at the window of Mycroft’s bedroom in the manor, peering out at the grounds. The crisp November morning was a study in browns and blues, the wind-whipped leaves contrasting with the rare, cloudless sky.
Mycroft, in an uncharacteristic show of extreme petulance, lay curled on his side with the duvet pulled determinedly around his shoulders. “I can’t believe he weaselled his way out of this.”
’He’, of course, was Sherlock. And ‘this’ was a short-notice weekend in the country at Mummy’s behest. A mysterious case had cropped up about an hour after Sherlock got his invitation, fooling no one, and Greg had explicitly forbidden Mycroft from fabricating any political uprisings.
And so here they were. Enjoying the fresh autumn air in the countryside. Well, at least one of them was.
“C’mon gorgeous, didn’t your mum say breakfast was at eight? You never stay in bed this late at home.”
“The company’s better.”
“Oh, come on. You don’t have to deal with them very often. You know me: I’ll do all the talking. I’ll charm the pants off of her just like I always do.”
“There’s an image I really didn’t need.”
Greg chuckled, realising just how inappropriate the phrase was. “Sorry. I’ll pay for therapy. If you don’t get up, I’ll have to go down there by myself and come up with a good reason why you’re still in bed.”
“And that would be?”
“Something obscenely sexual and embarrassing.” He got on the bed and curled up next to Mycroft, kissing the back of his head. “These things are never as bad as you think they’ll be.”
“She’s just so… aggressively cheery in the mornings. It’s not civilised.”
“You’re adorable when you’re irritated.”
Mycroft tried to execute a move that would have pinned Greg to the bed, but it had a difficulty rating of 9.6 and he ended up getting tangled up in the duvet instead.
“That didn’t go like you wanted, did it, love?”
He grumbled in reply as Greg pinned him down instead, this time giving him a proper kiss. Perhaps this wasn’t so bad.
“C’mon.” Greg slid his hand beneath the duvet, onto Mycroft’s chest. Toying with a curl of chest hair, he said, “Have you ever gone to breakfast in your pyjamas? Of course, you’d have to put them on first.”
Mycroft never slept in the nude. Ever. At least, not until he’d met Greg. Now he kept a pair of pyjamas just for appearance’s sake. “Never. She’d be horrified.”
“All the more reason to do it. I’ll wear mine.”
Greg’s pyjamas were equally unused, since he’d never worn any in the first place. Mycroft had bought him a pair for situations like this; his usual loungewear of boxers and a t-shirt was fine at home—sexy as hell, actually—but a certain amount of propriety was needed in the presence of others. Especially family.
Greg hopped off the bed and pulled the duvet back.
“Brisk. Brisk is the word you’re looking for.” Greg fished the neatly pressed pyjamas from the top drawer and tossed them towards him.
Mycroft frowned. “Pants, too. I can’t have everything just… dangling.”
Greg gave him a wicked smile and got out a pair. “God forbid there be dangling at breakfast. I don’t know how I’d restrain myself.”
As they walked into the dining room, Mummy looked up at him and beamed. “Oh Mikey! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in pyjamas at breakfast. You look adorable.”
Mycroft flashed Greg a glare that said “I’m going to kill you” in each of the seventeen languages he spoke. “I’m not sure I even know where to begin with that.”
“Don’t be silly. It’s nice to see you looking more informal. Isn’t it, dear?”
His father looked up from his newspaper, grabbed onto the dangling conversational cues, and said, “Um, yes?”
“Oh, Siger, you weren’t even listening, were you?”
“Would you like some more tea?” he said, nimbly dodging the question. “Mycroft? Greg?”
Mycroft tentatively felt the side of the teapot. “I think we could use a fresh pot. How long has this been sitting here?” he said, to no one in particular.
“Did you sleep well, Greg? Was the room too cold?” Violet continued spreading some jam that looked suspiciously homemade across a thick slice of toast. Mycroft’s question went unanswered.
“No. Lovely, thanks. It’s so quiet out here.”
“Would you two like some eggs? Sausages?”
“More tea?” Mycroft muttered under his breath, and quickly added, “Don’t be silly; I’ll do it.” He almost tripped over a chair in his beeline for the kitchen.
“He’s not a morning person,” Greg said, flashing them an apologetic smile.
“Don’t worry, dear, he never has been. I doubt even you can change that.”
“I’ll just go and help.” He grabbed the lukewarm teapot and hurried off down the labyrinthine corridors after him. Mycroft had almost made it to the kitchen by the time he caught up. “Abandoning me to their relentless cheeriness?”
Mycroft rolled his eyes. “They’re insufferable, especially before I’ve had my caffeine.”
Greg pressed him back against the counter and kissed him. “Mm, but you’re grumpy before you’ve had your caffeine.” He looked up at him with a cheeky grin. “I think there are equal forces at work here.” Mycroft wrinkled his nose at him indignantly and Greg tried to stifle a laugh. “We need to go for a run. It’ll put you in a better mood.”
Mycroft cocked his head to one side. “Mm. It does improve my mood. It must be the endorphin response.”
“—or the Pavlovian response.”
“The one that links it to the sex we have afterwards.”
“Ah.” For the first time all morning, the stress of being around his parents melted away and he sighed with a happy, unguarded smile. “Yes, you might be right.”
“And it would give us an excuse for a really long, hot shower afterwards.”
“With just a short break in the water flow so we can pretend it’s one shower for each of us.”
“Exactly,” said Greg. “Now, I suggest we have some toast and eggs, skip the sausages, and get off out before they can rope us into something relentlessly cheery.”
“Brilliant. You make the tea; I’ll cook.”