He moved one file to one stack and opened another. The case had been dragging on for over a month, but had only been handed off to him a week ago. He had to catch up with all of the work that had already been done as well as add in the information on the victim that they had recently found. It was beginning to look like a serial murder. At least it wasn’t as bad, though, as the one who had chopped up his victims and then sent the pieces to their family members.
That hadn’t been a pleasant one.
No, whoever this murderer was, he apparently had a thing for women who looked nothing alike and whose only similarity was that they all had size eight feet. They were different ages, different races, they didn’t work in the same place or even really live in the same part of town. They didn’t do their shoe shopping in the same area, as far as he could tell. Lestrade groaned, tapping his fingers on his desk. There was something he was missing, something that he just couldn’t see...
A gentle knock on his door jerked him out of his haze of concentration. He looked up, his neck immediately protesting the movement, making him realise he hadn’t really moved for a few hours. He blinked, trying to get his eyes to focus on the person in his doorway.
“Do you often eat in your office?” Mycroft asked, standing in the doorway. Most of the lights in the hallway were off, so he was framed by shadow in the doorway to Lestrade’s office. It must be very late, for all of the lights except for the emergency lights to be off.
“What? Yeah,” Lestrade replied, looking up from the files spread across his desk and running a hand over his face. “What time is it?” He rubbed at his neck, trying to relieve some of the stiffness that came with sitting hunched over a desk, staring at files and photographs.
“Time and past for you to eat dinner, not to mention time for you to go home,” Mycroft replied, setting his umbrella against the inside of the doorway with his left hand. His right hand held a bag of take away, and now that he had distracted Lestrade from the files, the smell of curry from the all-night place down the road was intoxicating.
“That doesn’t really tell me anything,” Lestrade said, looking around on his desk for his watch. He’d removed it hours ago when the damn thing kept getting caught on the edge of his desk. It was a bad habit of his, since he kept misplacing them and forgetting where he’d put it, but he always found it eventually. Usually.
“It’s nearly midnight, everyone else is already gone from the office,” Mycroft said. “You should have been done hours ago. I thought that you had planned to take today off?” There was a slight wrinkle between his eyebrows, one that Lestrade knows means that Mycroft doesn’t approve of the hours he’s been keeping lately. As if Mycroft himself had any room to cast judgement.
“It’s tomorrow that I have off,” Lestrade replied, finally locating his watch on top of his computer monitor. He finally remembered putting it there for lack of any other safe place, and he’d have forgotten it completely in one of his drawers.
“It is tomorrow,” Mycroft pointed out, taking out his mobile and checking the date.
“It is not tomorrow until either I go to bed and wake up or the sun comes up, whichever happens to occur first. And there’s something I’m missing and I can’t put my finger on it,” he groaned, planting his elbows on the desk and putting his head in his hands. “Sherlock’s not answering his phone.” It had been two days since Sherlock had answered a text. Lestrade had been beginning to get worried about Sherlock, had been considering dropping in to Baker Street to check on him and John.
“I thought he had been banned from the Yard?” Mycroft said, settling down down into one of the chairs in front of Lestrade’s desk. He placed the containers of takeaway on the other chair. Lestrade’s stomach growled quietly.
“He has, that’s why he’s not answering his phone,” Lestrade replied. “He knows that I can’t let him into the crime scene, but he won’t give me advice without seeing the scene himself, but I can’t let him, and around and around and around...” he trailed off with a sigh. “I give it two weeks before the ban is lifted, but that’s too long.”
“Well, take a break, eat, and look at the files again later, my brother is fine,” Mycroft said, undoing the plastic bag tied around the styrofoam containers. “Unless you want me to take a look at it?”
“I can’t. If I do that, Sherlock will never speak to me again,” Lestrade replied as he carefully gathered up the folders and set them aside. “And it’s a conflict of interests for you somehow, isn’t it?”
“Probably,” Mycroft replied. “Although the details as to why are boring.”
“Which is to say they are classified and you can’t tell me,” Lestrade said, stretching his arms over his head. His shoulders popped loudly. He winced as he turned his head, his neck popping as well. Good Christ, how long had he been sitting here?
“Just so,” Mycroft said, smiling enigmatically.
“So you decided to bring me dinner?” Lestrade asked, his stomach rumbling audibly now that he had caught the scent of food.
“I decided to give you a distraction,” Mycroft replied diplomatically. He handed one container over to Lestrade, ignoring the raised eyebrow Lestrade gave him. “You look like you need one.”
Lestrade set the container on his desk and opened it. “I thought you were, um, somewhere. Doing something governmental,” he said, unwrapping the plastic silverware sitting in the container.
“I was. I got home three hours ago,” Mycroft replied. “I called your mobile, but it went straight to voicemail.”
“Really?” Lestrade said, surprised. He cast about for his mobile, lifting piles of papers. He took a bite of naan and continued to chew as he searched. “I had it earlier, I could have sworn...” he trailed off as he found it near his keyboard. Frowning, he pushed a button on it. “Battery’s died.” He ducked under his desk to fish out the charger he left plugged underneath it. “Wasn’t anything important, was it? You could have called the Yard if it was.” He couldn’t count the times his phone had gone dead on him at work. About a year ago, he’d finally caved and gotten a spare charger.
“It wasn’t,” Mycroft replied. “But when you didn’t call me back, I knew you were still working. Tell me about the case.”
Lestrade sighed around a mouthful of rice. “Murder, body found washed up by Tower Bridge. No identification, no mobile, and no shoes.” He swallowed, took another bite. “Two weeks ago, there was a body found in an abandoned building, no identification, no mobile, and no shoes. And three weeks before that, there was one in a warehouse.”
“Serial murderer, then,” Mycroft murmured. “Foot fetish?”
“That’s the working theory,” Lestrade replied, shuddering.
“What was the cause of death?” Mycroft asked.
“Asphyxiation,” Lestrade said. “We’re not sure with what, though. There’s no marks around the throats, but there were fibers in the second victim’s airway. Anderson found out the fibers were cotton, most likely from a pillow or a shirt, something like that.”
“Interesting,” Mycroft said, leaning back in his chair. Lestrade could practically see Mycroft’s mind ticking over the possibilities, laying them out and discarding them one by one. Lestrade had to fight the urge to show him the files, to let him take a look, to let Mycroft give him all the answers. He knew Mycroft could do it. The problem was, they wouldn’t have the proof to back it up. And Lestrade couldn’t name Mycroft as his consultant.
“Frustrating,” Lestrade countered, continuing to eat as he talked. “We’re trying to figure out that case, Sherlock’s banned from the Yard and not speaking to me because of it, and I’m bloody exhausted. So here I am, at half past midnight, at my desk, eating take away with my boyfriend and getting nowhere.” He smiled up at Mycroft. “With my incredibly understanding boyfriend, who is amazing and brings me curry at midnight after he’s gotten back from a week-long business trip to parts unknown.”
Mycroft smiled. “Who is also here to make sure that you get some sleep tonight, or at least at some point this week.” Lestrade opened his mouth to protest, but Mycroft cut him off. “And I don’t mean napping at your desk or on a couch. Actual sleep, at home.”
Lestrade sighed, defeated. He knew he could protest, he could argue and Mycroft would let him stay here and work more, but the thought of being in bed, in his own bed (with Mycroft?) was just too tempting.
“Yeah, alright,” he said. “I need to wrap up a few things here, and then I’ll be home.”
“I’ll wait,” Mycroft said.
“You don’t have to,” Lestrade said.
“I insist. It’s raining, anyway,” Mycroft replied.
Lestrade smiled and closed his empty take away container before dropping it in his trash can. He checked that his files were in order, making sure that all of his notes were in place for the next day. He grabbed his mobile from where it was charging and double checked that his computer was shut down for the day.
“I’m ready,” he said finally, standing up. His legs protested, and he winced as his right knee popped. Mycroft stood smoothly and followed Lestrade to the door, retrieving his umbrella and turning off the lights as Lestrade put on his jacket and gloves. They walked out together, the building silent and mostly dark around them. Mycroft’s car was just outside, parked in a no parking zone, but Lestrade doubted that any parking ticket issued would stick. Tiredness settled over him like a blanket, and he sank into the seat of the car gratefully.
“You could come to mine,” he offered when they were only a couple of minutes from his flat. “If you want. I don’t know what you have to do tomorrow.” Exhaustion smudged his words together, and he yawned.
“I’ve nothing pressing scheduled for tomorrow,” Mycroft said. “If you’re sure?”
“Wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t sure,” Lestrade replied.
The driver pulled up in front of his flat. Lestrade let himself out as Mycroft leaned forward to speak with the driver.
The rain was freezing. Fumbling with his keys, Lestrade struggled to remember the last time he’d done the dishes. Or the laundry. It hadn’t been that long ago, surely, and he’d pretty much lived in his office for most of the week. Between the case and Mycroft being gone, there hadn’t seemed much reason to go home. He jumped when a hand took the keys out from his clumsy fingers, but relaxed when he realised it was Mycroft.
“Come on, go inside,” he said, ushering Lestrade into his building. Out of habit, Lestrade turned to lock the door, but Mycroft had already done it. Lestrade shook rain out of his hair and brushed droplets off of his jacket before he started trudging up the stairs, Mycroft close behind him.
“You’ve still got the keys,” Lestrade said when they got to his door. Mycroft gently pushed him aside and opened the door. “In,” he said when Mycroft hesitated on the threshold. He plucked his keys from Mycroft’s fingers and locked the door behind him. He turned on the lights.
“You’ve been at the office all week,” Mycroft said, taking in the pile of mail at the door and the general air of a living space that hasn’t been lived in for a few days.
“Yeah, well, work,” Lestrade replied, taking off his coat and hanging it up in the closet. “It got busy, you were gone, I had to do something.”
“You need to be taking better care of yourself.”
“Pot. Kettle,” Lestrade said, pointing from Mycroft to himself. “Tell me you’ve slept within the past forty-eight hours.”
Mycroft’s mouth twisted. “I’ve been busy too.”
“Which is why,” Lestrade said, sliding his arms around Mycroft’s waist from behind and kissing him just below his left ear, “we’re both taking the day off tomorrow.” He pressed another kiss in the same spot. “So we can catch up.” Mycroft hummed in agreement. “But right now, I just really, really want to sleep.” He unbuttoned Mycroft’s jacket from behind. “So I’m going to shower. Make yourself comfortable.”
He let go of Mycroft and made his way to the bathroom. Once in his bedroom, he undressed, hanging up his jacket and dropping all of his clothes on the floor. They smelled like the office, and he needed to do laundry anyway. He heard Mycroft moving around in his living room, the open and shut of his coat closet door. He smiled, remembering that he’d cleaned it out so coats could actually be hung in it. Another small way his life had changed since Mycroft became a part of it.
He was in the shower, the water turned as hot as he could bear it, when he heard his bathroom door open. It jerked him out of his daze, and he grabbed his shampoo.
“May I?” Mycroft asked, one hand curling around the shower curtain. Lestrade froze, surprised, and then grinned.
“Yes,” he said, and Mycroft stepped into the shower with him. Without preamble, Mycroft took the bottle of shampoo and set it aside before tugging Lestrade to him and kissing him soundly. Lestrade groaned into the kiss and tilted his head back, tasting curry and a hint of peppermint from the mints Mycroft ate. His hand trailed up Mycroft’s back and into his hair, holding him in place.
“I’ve wanted to do that since I got back,” Mycroft said when he pulled back slightly.
“I wish you’d done that first,” Lestrade replied, and pulled him in again.
Mycroft’s hand came around to run through the back of Lestrade’s hair, ruffling it and massaging the back of his skull all at once. Mycroft’s fingers and the beat of the water spread relaxation through him even as arousal pooled low in his belly. He skimmed his fingers down Mycroft’s back and pulled his hips closer, so that they both gasped when their cocks brushed against each other. Mycroft’s hand snaked between their bodies and he grasped both of their cocks with his long fingers.
Lestrade groaned, rocking into the sensation. All of his exhaustion seemed to have dissipated. He mouthed along Mycroft’s neck, up and down his ear, and then across his collarbone.
“God, Mycroft,” Lestrade groaned as Mycroft ran his thumb over the head of Lestrade’s penis. “Don’t stop, oh God.”
He considered kneeling down and using his mouth, but Mycroft’s grip changed and he groaned again. He put his hand over Mycroft’s, increasing the pace, the water adding slickness to their grip, allowing for a smooth slide but still letting their entwined fingers grip. He nipped Mycroft’s collarbone, then ran his tongue over his left nipple. Mycroft arched into the heat with a small moan. Lestrade dropped to his knees, the water cascading over his head and hitting Mycroft’s chest. He grinned up at Mycroft before he took his cock into his mouth.
Mycroft groaned, his hips rocking helplessly. Lestrade moved with him, gripping the base of Mycroft’s cock in one hand and stroking himself with the other.
“I’ve missed you,” Mycroft gasped. Lestrade loved this, he loved that he could have this effect on Mycroft. “Oh, God, don’t stop. Please don’t.”
Lestrade’s orgasm took him almost by surprise. He moaned around Mycroft’s cock. Mycroft came silently in Lestrade’s mouth, Lestrade sucking him through it.
“Good thing we’re in the shower,” Lestrade said, running his finger through the mess on his stomach.
Mycroft smiled and retrieved the washcloth and a bar of soap. Gently, he washed Lestrade clean before cleaning himself. Lestrade leaned his head on Mycroft’s shoulder, yawning.
“You can shower properly in the morning,” Mycroft said. “Bedtime for both of us.”
“Excellent idea,” Lestrade replied around a yawn. “That’s why you’re the clever one, isn’t it?”
“One reason among many,” Mycroft replied with a grin. He reached around Lestrade and turned the water off. “Out you go.”
Lestrade pulled the curtain back and grabbed two towels off of the rack. He passed one to Mycroft and stepped out of the tub to dry himself.
He tossed Mycroft a pair of the pyjama pants he’d left weeks ago, along with one of his own shirts. Mycroft had proper pyjamas at his own house, but for some reason he had never brought a set to Lestrade’s. He pulled out a pair of his own pyjama pants and a shirt that was so old the cotton was nearly see-through and soft as anything. He pulled the shirt on and yawned so widely his jaw cracked.
“Bed,” Mycroft said, kissing Lestrade’s forehead. “Plug your phone in.”
Lestrade followed orders, too tired to protest. He slid between the sheets. Mycroft got in the other side and immediately pulled Lestrade to him.
Lestrade was out in seconds.
Lestrade’s mobile rang. He flailed for it, fighting his way out of the blankets he was cocooned in because his flat was bloody freezing. He finally located the damn thing and peered at the contact screen. SHERLOCK HOLMES was flashing across it. Mycroft sat up beside him, bleary with sleep.
“Fuck,” Lestrade mumbled, and answered just before it would have been kicked over to voicemail. “Hello?”
“Did my brother really come to see you at the Yard?”
Lestrade took the phone away from his ear and stared at it for a moment before his sleep-addled brain kicked in enough to realise that Sherlock couldn’t see him. “You really called me at half four to ask that?”
“What does the time have to do with anything?”
“Fuck off,” Lestrade said, and hung up. The phone rang again almost immediately. “For God’s sake, Sherlock, what the hell?”
“That’s oxymoronic,” Sherlock said.
“State your point or I’m hanging up again.”
“My brother is the most dangerous man you’ll ever meet.”
“I seriously doubt that. I’m a police officer. Your brother works for the government.”
“My brother is the government,” Sherlock said, sounding bored.
Lestrade blinked at the dark ceiling, cursing the day he’d met Sherlock. “I know.”
“I am telling you not get involved with him,” Sherlock said.
“I’m hanging up now,” Lestrade said. He hit the end call button with more force than was strictly necessary. When the phone didn’t immediately start ringing again, he looked over at Mycroft and said, “There are days when I want to kill your brother.”
“There are times I would not blame you,” Mycroft said, pulling Lestrade back down under the covers. Good Christ it was cold. “This is most definitely one of them.”
The next morning, Lestrade woke up and rolled over. He blinked at the light coming in the curtains and stretched before he realised that Mycroft wasn’t in the bed. He listened and heard banging coming from the general vicinity of the kitchen, so he relaxed back into the pillows. It wasn’t much past eight. He drowsed a bit longer and stumbled out into the kitchen when he heard a timer go off.
“Have I mentioned lately that you’re amazing?” he said to Mycroft before kissing his cheek from behind. There was a cup of coffee waiting on the counter, and Lestrade grabbed it. Coffee made morning less evil.
“Good morning,” Mycroft replied, smiling. “Breakfast is served.”