Lestrade heard the door open and close and footsteps in the hallway. He opened the refrigerator to get out the red bell peppers and deliberately let it slam closed. The footsteps paused on their way to the bedroom. He grinned.
“Greg?” Mycroft called.
“No one here but us chickens,” Lestrade called back.
“What are you doing?” Mycroft asked as he turned came into the kitchen.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” Lestrade replied.
“Making chicken cacciatore,” Mycroft said. “May I ask why?”
“Do I need a reason to make chicken cacciatore?” Lestrade asked.
“You’re being deliberately obtuse,” Mycroft said.
Lestrade grinned. “Maybe I just wanted to cook,” he replied. “Besides, it’s your favorite, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” Mycroft replied hesitantly.
“And it’s your birthday, isn’t it?”
Mycroft’s eyes narrowed. “You knew.”
“What, did you think I’d forgotten?” Lestrade said. Mycroft had been gone that morning before he woken up, and his day had been absolutely insane with no time to phone or text. He’d felt bad, so he’d taken off at the first opportunity. Work would still be there tomorrow. Sally might be annoyed, but she’d figured out at some point last week that he was seeing someone. There had been a lot of sidelong questions and he’d heard some whispered speculation from around the office, but no one had confronted him directly. Yet. It was really only a matter of time, particularly with Sally. She was quick.
“I wasn’t sure you’d remember,” Mycroft said softly. “I really wasn’t sure if you knew.”
“Yeah, well, detective. I have my ways,” Lestrade said. He put down his knife and crossed the kitchen. “Mycroft, it’s your birthday. I wanted to celebrate with you.” He put a hand on Mycroft’s shoulder and pulled him closer. “Besides, I’ve had a shit day and I wanted to do something nice for you.”
Mycroft smiled. “Well, how can I say no to that?” he said quietly.
Lestrade smiled, grabbed him by his lapels, and kissed him soundly. “Welcome home. Go change, it’s nearly done,” he said, pulling back. Mycroft ran his fingertips through the back of Lestrade’s hair. Lestrade ducked out of the way. “None of that, it’ll burn if we start that. Go.” Mycroft turned to leave, and Lestrade gently swatted his backside. He grinned when Mycroft jumped, but the look that he got in return promised revenge.
He was looking forward to it.
He finished the preparations on their meal, plating them properly as he heard Mycroft come down the hall. He jumped a bit when arms slid around his waist, but relaxed when Mycroft pressed a kiss between his collar and his hairline, making him shiver.
“Thank you,” Mycroft said softly against Lestrade’s hair. “This is wonderful.”
“Don’t thank me yet,” Lestrade said, pouring glasses of wine. “You haven’t tasted it. It could be rubbish.”
“Nonsense,” Mycroft replied, disentangling himself from Lestrade and retrieving both glasses of wine. “I’ll set the table.”
Lestrade woke up when Mycroft got up and drowsed for a few more minutes, enjoying the chance to be lazy, the satisfied ache and tightness in his muscles. He stretched luxuriously, feeling the slide of Mycroft’s incredibly soft sheets against his bare skin.
Mycroft, being Mycroft, had laid his clothes for the day out before he had gotten in the shower. Lestrade slid out of bed and pulled on his robe when he heard the water shut off, shivering in the cool of the room. He looked down at the clothes laid neatly over the back of a chair, fingering the soft weave of the grey trousers, the fine white cotton When Mycroft came back into the bedroom, dressed in pants and a vest, Lestrade was waiting for him. Mycroft paused in the doorway, confused, his hair still damp and ruffled from the shower and the rough toweling it had gotten. He held Mycroft’s shirt up, the fine cotton soft against his fingers. It had been professionally pressed, the collar standing straight and stiff. Mycroft’s chin raised slightly, and Lestrade knew that Mycroft had understood.
“You don’t have to--” Mycroft started.
“Let me do this,” Lestrade said, cutting him off. “Please. I want to.”
Mycroft’s head dipped once, at the same time a quiet acquiescence and permission to begin. Lestrade stepped forward, holding the shirt, and guided it on, right arm, left arm, before coming around to do up the buttons. Tiny discs of plastic slipped through button holes, one after the other. He left the top button undone for now, waiting for later when the tie will have to go on.
Lestrade bent down, holding Mycroft’s trousers so that he could step into them. Lestrade tensed and braced himself as Mycroft used his shoulder as a prop, left foot, right foot, and then stood slowly, drawing the trousers up Mycroft’s legs and sliding the button through on the waistband before doing up the zip. Mycroft’s soft indrawn breath made him smile, but he kept his eyes down, staying focused on his task. He smoothed the cotton shirt where it met the soft wool of the trousers, bright white against slate grey. Next, he retrieved the royal blue tie already laid out over the chair Mycroft used to put his clothes on while he dressed.
“I’ve always loved this colour on you,” Lestrade said quietly as Mycroft tilted his chin to allow the top button to be fastened. Lestrade’s fingers were deft with the tie knot, a full Windsor, his fingers brushing Mycroft’s throat as he worked, not entirely accidentally.
There was a small dish on a side table near the bathroom, one that held tie clips and tie pins and various other paraphernalia. Lestrade pulled out a silver collar bar, one that complemented the silver threads shot through the tie. He threaded the end of the bar through the special eyelet in the right collar and then through the knot, pulling the knot up and putting it on display as well tugging it snugger, before he fastened it off. He offered the bowl for Mycroft to select a tie clip as well. Mycroft selected a plain silver clip, and Lestrade fastened it, high enough that it would show over the waistcoat, which he retrieved next. He held it up, and Mycroft threaded his arms through the holes. Lestrade pulled it snug around his waist before doing up the buttons. Unable to resist, he grabbed the front of it (gently, gently, mustn’t wrinkle) and pulled Mycroft in for a kiss.
“If you keep on like that, you’ll just have to take everything off again,” Mycroft said when he pulled away. “And we’ll both be terribly late.”
“We can’t have that, can we?” Lestrade asked, smoothing the front of the waistcoat. If he lingered longer than strictly necessary, admiring the line of the waistcoat, the way it framed Mycroft’s body, well, who could really blame him? Mycroft certainly knew exactly what Lestrade was doing.
Lestrade turned and retrieved the suit jacket, holding it up.
“Neither of us can be late today, so you’d better get going,” he said as Mycroft slid his arms into the sleeves. “Your car will be here soon.” He handed Mycroft his pocket watch and chain, letting him put it on himself. Mycroft checked the time before sliding the watch into his pocket. Lestrade checked him over, looking to see if he’d forgotten anything. He spied Mycroft’s pocket square on a side table and retrieved it. He folded it and tucked it carefully into its pocket.
Mycroft wrapped long fingers around Lestrade wrist, holding his hand against his chest before wrapping his other hand around the back of Lestrade’s neck and pulling him closer for another quick kiss.
“Have a good day, Gregory,” Mycroft said, pulling back.
“I’ll see you later,” Lestrade replied, stepping away. He’d done Mycroft proud, not a hair out of place, suit immaculate. Lestrade stepped aside, letting Mycroft pass on his way out of the door.