Original Story Title: Lay Down
Original Story Link: http://sc010f.livejournal.com/310304.html
Original Story Pairings: Mycroft/Lestrade
Original Story Rating: Very Mature
Original Story Warnings: Explicit sexual content
Remix Story Title: Lay Down Your Burdens (the At Your Feet Remix)
Remix Author: brighteyed_jill
Remix Beta: jaune_chat
Remix Britpicker: blue_eyed_1987
Remix Story Pairings: Mycroft/Lestrade
Remix Story Rating: NC-17
Remix Story Warnings: none
"Lay Down Your Burdens (the At Your Feet Remix)"
Mycroft didn’t know when his mind had reclassified Lestrade’s flat as a place of absolute safety, but the moment he crossed the threshold, his muscled eased from battlefield readiness. Within minutes, he’d removed his shoes, jacket, and waistcoat, and switched off his mobile. His staff would observe his standing order about his visits here: not to interrupt him unless it became urgently necessary. Everyone who worked for him had a clear understanding of the consequences of failing to correctly judge the proper threshold of importance for such an interruption.
Standing in Lestrade’s kitchen, he took in every detail of the scene: remains of a take-away curry dinner at the top of the bin, dirty coffee mugs crowded together on the worktop, stool pushed out from the counter in front of Lestrade’s discarded mobile. He ran his eyes over the cupboards to deduce the location of the spirits, and succeeded on his first attempt: highest shelf, farthest from the sink. The fine single malt scotch he’d purchased for Lestrade at the New Year hadn’t been touched since his last visit. Lestrade didn’t lack appreciation for good alcohol, so the fact of his not drinking seemed anomalous. Perhaps Lestrade was reluctant to drink alone, and had no one else to entertain. Mycroft experienced a twinge of guilt that he couldn’t be present more often and immediately quashed it. Regret solved nothing: only action counted.
Mycroft twisted the top off the scotch, fetched a clean glass from the cupboard, and poured a generous double, neat. He frowned at the drink in his hand. The offering seemed inadequate, somehow: only himself and a measure of scotch tendered against all the cares and troubles that haunted Lestrade’s nights. Still, if Mycroft had no hope of being enough, exactly, he could yet do something.
Contrary to what some of his enemies believed, Mycroft Holmes did, in fact, sleep. He habitually indulged in a twenty-minute nap at three in the afternoon, and if he dined at the club, he’d lay down in a private room for an hour or so afterwards to digest both his food and the day’s events. Anthea insisted that he spend at least eight out of every 36 hours in sleep, and would schedule uninterrupted blocks of time for which a car would take Mycroft back to his house. He’d change into silk pyjamas, settle into his king-sized bed, and enjoy the sensual pleasure of sinking into a perfectly comfortable sleep.
Mycroft’s favourite way to take his rest, however, was far less regimented and nowhere near as neat. His favourite method involved rumpled bedsheets, unpredictable hours, five o’clock shadows, the click and hum of the refrigerator, and strong arms tucked around his middle. His busy brain always stayed anchored to his body in those moments. He became just another man, like millions of others in London, taking comfort in his lover’s bed.
During particularly difficult times, Mycroft looked so forward to those nights. He held them out like a special treat, the way he had when he was fourteen and at university, promising himself a piece of chocolate cake from the canteen when he’d finished his statistics problems.
So when Lestrade’s number appeared on his mobile at 2:57am on a Tuesday, he excused himself immediately from a meeting in which the phrase “chancellor of the Exchequer’s penchant for prostitutes” had played entirely too prominent a role, and answered the call.
In the bedroom, Mycroft found a sight that he quickly filed away for future reference: the pale, naked line of Lestrade’s back as he sprawled across the bed, his legs spread like an invitation.
Lestrade opened his eyes, sat up. His expression shifted: surprise. He hadn’t expected Mycroft to come. Mycroft banished his incipient frown, but made a mental note to thwart Lestrade’s expectations as frequently and thoroughly as possible until that thought pattern began to shift.
Mycroft offered the drink he’d poured and watched Lestrade’s throat as he swallowed. Beautiful. A small patch of stubble on his throat was longer than the rest; he’d missed a spot shaving that morning. The yellowy city light spilling in from the window left parts of Lestrade’s body in shadow. Mycroft enjoyed the tease of the semi-darkness, visualizing the missing pieces and assembling the whole from memory.
Lestrade handed back the glass. He had the glazed eyes and tense muscles of a man over-tired, but so immune to exhaustion that his body refused to give up the fight even when asked politely. Well, Mycroft had ways of breaking down stubborn resistance.
Mycroft set the drink down in front of the clock on the bedside table, blocking the harsh red glow that announced the passing minutes. He smoothed his palm down the expanse of Lestrade’s naked back. His fingers against Lestrade’s bare skin felt more indulgent than the touch of the thousand count Egyptian cotton sheets on his bed at home. Mycroft pulled gently, guiding Lestrade to lean his weary weight against his shoulder. Lestrade moved pliantly in Mycroft’s grip, inspiring a surge of arousal. Here was a clue to how Mycroft could make himself useful.
“Budge up,” he whispered. He guided Lestrade down onto his back.
Mycroft stood. He loosened his tie, let it fall. Unbuttoned his shirt, slid it down his shoulders and off his arms to pool at his feet. Reached for his belt. Lestrade focused his entire attention on Mycroft, on the bedtime story told in the revelation of his body.
“Yes?” Mycroft said when he picked up: a perfectly neutral greeting, no clues for an eavesdropper.
Holding the phone to his ear felt like a terribly intimate act to be engaging in while standing in the halls of Parliament. Mycroft closed his eyes as he carried on the conversation, the better to visualize the other end. Ungodly hour of the night: Lestrade in boxer shorts and a shirt, strong arms, strong legs on display, shoulders too tense. Echoey quality of the sound meant kitchen: likely a discarded cup of tea on the worktop, alcohol untouched so far, the hum of the fridge in the background. Fatigue-rough voice: Lestrade’s face coarse with stubble, eyes bleary with sleeplessness, forehead wrinkled in thought as he questioned his decision to call. Mycroft heard and saw and felt the scene so thoroughly that upon opening his eyes, he experienced a moment of disorientation at not already being in Lestrade’s flat.
Mycroft returned to the meeting and put on his second-most sombre face, the one he used to deliver news about unfavourable election results in moderately important countries. He announced the emergence of a delicate issue that required his immediate attention. Everyone around the table nodded sagely, too nervous to ask what that issue might be. On his way out, Mycroft suggested that an apology be prepared for the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s wife, and that flowers be purchased. Lilies, he noted, were her favourite.
“Yes, this,” Mycroft whispered against the warm skin of Lestrade’s belly.
Lestrade’s hands splayed flat against the sheets. The most obvious evidence of his desire jutted up between his thighs, but Mycroft’s forefinger against the thin skin at the join of Lestrade’s leg felt the rushing heartbeat in the femoral artery, a quantifiable measure of arousal.
Mycroft kept his fingers on Lestrade’s pulse as his attention narrowed, whiting out any thought beyond this bed: the taste of Lestrade when he took him in his mouth; the smell of Lestrade’s skin, the sweat of an honest day’s work, and beneath that, nicotine; the stretch of his lips around Lestrade’s thickness; the sound of his mouth moving on Lestrade, of Lestrade’s harsh breathing; the weight of Lestrade’s balls heavy in Mycroft’s hand; the shift of the mattress as Lestrade writhed, tugging the sheet loose; the sight of Lestrade’s throat bared as he threw his head back against the pillow.
There was nothing in the world so beautiful and important as this man.
Lestrade’s hand clutched weakly at Mycroft’s shoulder. “Please,” he begged on a breathy exhale. “Need.”
Mycroft pulled back, the better to see Lestrade’s face. “Anything,” he said. “Anything.”
Lestrade planted his feet flat on the bed and lifted his hips a fraction. “Please,” he said again.
The drive to South Bank seemed interminably long, and Mycroft spend two-thirds of it composing a mental list of prominent scientists who were working on the problem of short-range instantaneous transportation. He texted Anthea instructions for setting up an exploratory task force on the matter.
Once inside Lestrade’s flat, Mycroft set aside a moment, just one, to catalogue conditions so that he could later compare them to those he’d mentally constructed during Lestrade’s call. He’d developed something of a mania for accuracy when it came to imagining Lestrade.
He wished to preserve this moment in his mind as a defence against future nights alone, other times when he wouldn’t be able to attend to Lestrade as the man deserved. Tonight, however, he would discover what Lestrade needed and provide it. Mycroft would give what small service he could: a token of all he wished he could be for the man he loved.
Lestrade lay slumped on the bed, after, eyes closed and drifting, while Mycroft took care of all that was needful. He fetched a flannel to wipe Lestrade clean. He tucked the sheets back into place. He draped the discarded clothes over a chair to deal with in the morning.
Mycroft could sense the day’s cares crowding at the edges of his awareness, but he paid them no attention. There was only this flat, a bastion of calm in the dark London night, made so by the man dozing naked on top of the sheets.
Mycroft lay down and drew Lestrade to him. He pressed a kiss to Lestrade’s temple. Lestrade stirred, settling back against his chest, relaxing into the arms that held him.
“Hush, my own.” Mycroft indulged in one more kiss against the bare skin of Lestrade’s shoulder. “Sleep, Gregory. I’m here.”
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