Pssst, Mistterrrr, come over here. I got something to tell you. -Wags her cinnitail wanting to make a new friend- Mister, I saw you got treats in a bowl but I can’t reach it. Can you help me get it? Is it ice cream? I LOVE ICE CREAM! -Wags her tail faster and her collar bell jingles- Come closer and closer Mister. -Looks up and scoots back to sit down on her bottom- Just pick me up and put me on the table Mister. I can do the rest, okay? Okay. Pick me up please!
Well. Mycroft does not speak pug-anese —or is it pug-ish? pug-ian?— well, regardless, Mycroft Holmes does. not. speak it (although he is proficient in several other languages; all of them, alas, are human-based). But he gets the drift, easily enough; one excitable miniature dog wagging their tail is enough to get the message across. And he was walking toward it (her – as he notices, soon enough), anyway.
"Well. Come here, then."
The language barrier becomes a difficulty, however, when they come face to face. Or rather, face to…feet. Look up, up, up – there we go, good girl. After a moment’s hesitation (holding a dog is, generally, a really bad idea when you are dressed to the nines in a pressed wool suit worth more than the average man’s salary for two weeks), he picks her up, fully intent to take her out of the room and find her owner. But no. He’s being drawn back to his desk by an overly excited pup. Good god, how pets can flail. What now?
…Oh. Treats? With a sigh, he resigns himself to the fact, reaches over and picks up a cookie from (his secret stash) the bowl and stuffs it in her face. (Mycroft has never had a god as a pet, you see. He may consider cats, but-). Alas, not ice-cream. But it will have to do. “Right.” Here. Nom on this and stay still and quiet as we tour the office.Good. Time to find the owner then. It would greatly help if you cooperated. Yes, thank you.
[SMS; Him] Look, I’m aware I made a fuck up alright?
[SMS; Him] I just, I’ll try not to let it happen again. I’m am sorry, Mycroft.
Are we on first-name basis n You are not required to apologize. It’s perfectly fine, DI. -MH
Richard’s hand had already been sliding into his pockets, digits wrapping around his phone and ready to be pulled out at the first sign of immediate danger so he could call for help, have his flatmate come to his rescue to save him from the foul visitor. But he stopped himself— listening and watching the other man.
"I—" his head tilted down and his eyes found his hands, pulling them from his pockets and overturning them to inspect his fingers—very true— they were twitching from side to side, as were his palms and wrists. Muscles contracted and fingers curled into hiding, hands pressing to his thighs as he took steps backwards until he was pressed up against the sharp edge of the counter.
He was right. Richard hadn’t given it a second thought, but instead of dismissing the other man’s words, accusing him of wasting his time with lies or something of the like, Richard had considered them, believed that for an instant, he had done something as bad as murder.
His words were beating him down, he was carrying on mercilessly and Richard shrank back and into himself, as if the man’s very voice was pushing him around and physically hurting him. He was ready to shout back in defense, deny the other truths spilling from that face—the face whom’s eyes—who’s eyes he just wanted to rip from his skull get out GET OUT GET OUT—
The harsh cry of the kettle behind him startled him and caused him to jolt out of his temporary moment of disorientation, he turned around and there was still a strange vibration thrumming within his mind, and suddenly his problems with his visitor weren’t so important anymore. Hands gripped the counter and his head sank between shoulders.
"P-please leave. Please just leave," a pleading whisper, not for himself but for the other. "Go."
‘Interesting’, he had said, although the word was (although purposefully chosen) not quite accurate. Telling, yes; remarkably telling, and Richard’s body language – his voice – his jumps – was screaming out stories. But interest required something thatMycroft lacked in this situation. Perhaps it was an authenticity of feeling; the lack of a specific goal. …Or perhaps the word should have been ‘necessary’, because it was. Because certainly, it was a necessity to go looking for fragments of Jim Moriarty in what-was-now Richard Brook, ruthlessly, with the pity of a bulldozer pursuing its course (of course, that is a rather crass, unrefined comparison… but it will have to do; certainly, it wrecked the same amount of damage in its passage. Mycroft had no intention of being delicate.)
And you should be careful, very careful, darling – in what you allow me to perceive (be clever). You see, people like (us) me… we can be magicians. We can make other people disappear like a puff a smoke. Do you understand?
And there it was again. That…. thing. (And his dismissal.)
"Very well," Mycroft agreed – quite readily, quite warmly in fact, with an almost paternal kindness that one would use to address a small, frightened infant. Beneath the surface, that was almost an insult to the man that Richard had-been-but-wasn’t-anymore (was he?). He rose to his feet, hooking the brolly on the back of the previously occupied chair, and closed the distance between them with languid steps, coming to a halt before the other man. Trapped between a rock and a hard place, as the saying goes. How very true.
"If you will be as kind as to tell me why you’d prefer me gone.”
Aaaaaaaaaaand oh. Oh. Oh. There it was. The very first of what Jim hoped would be an eventual avalanche of reactions. Well, at least his psychotic blathering on about the painfully obvious had gotten him what he wanted; a baleful set to Mycroft’s aristocratic features being his not-insignificant reward. It was so delicious to watch that while Mycroft made a point of not meeting his gaze Jim allowed himself a little anticipatory bite at his bottom lip. God, that was gorgeous. The downward turn to the corners of his mouth, the crease in his brow - the whole damn picture was better than birthday cake.
When his newly acquired cellmate’s eyes swung back towards him, Jim knew that he very likely looked ravenous; a quality that sat easily on his face and was usually complimented by a slight edge of madness that most people found immensely off putting. Fortunately for everyone involved, Mycroft was not (would never be) most people. Ever taciturn, the politician let his acute silence answer all of Jim’s questions and suppositions, knife sharp and loud enough to make the criminal’s ears bleed with the sheer volume of it. The softest rustle of cloth broke the thick, cold pane of quiet between them as Mycroft shifted where he stood, eyes locked on Jim.
His posture changed subtly as he bore down on Jim with a disapproving gaze (the one that was positively wasted on his younger brother). Was the toe of one impeccably shod foot pointed slightly towards the door, while his opposite shoulder tilted subtly at the camera in the ceiling? Did the carefully controlled expression on his face have just the barest hints of doubt and scorn about it? Perhaps. Perhaps there was a whole novel set there in the lines of his body, every single angle and plane mathematically precise in a way that had Jim shivering, and not from the constantly dropping temperature in their cell.
Are we really playing alone? Not just in this cell but in this game altogether? Good question if it is what you’re asking, handsome, because at this point even I don’t fucking know.Read more
I can read lips.
But you knew that already – didn’t you. (It is not a question mark, you see. Never would have been.) Knew so much more (and more than I will acknowledge in speech or in behaviour) and still saw fit to aggravate me. …Tedious.
”Mr. Moriarty, please have the decency to cease scowling like a child.”
It’s (off-putting) (irksome) wholly superfluous, just as that endless charade had been (praise all that is holy that it had ceased …for now). You and I do not need so very many words to communicate, now do we? Be a clever boy-
(do not need words at all – but that is too high a price for the whole bargain, and not one that Mycroft Holmes is willing to pay again.)
-and be quiet.
Before I go, I should tell you something.
Leaning against the wall, as far removed from his ‘companion’ as space will allow – save for removing himself to the opposite corner of their “shared facilities”, Mycroft remains still and unmovable. Judging from the expression he favoured at present (neither frozen nor sentimental, but a detached, polite neutral), he may as well have been located within the confines of a luxurious parlor, waiting to be admitted into a long-scheduled meeting, perfectly poised and in perfect control… willing to slip into genteel agreeableness at the slightest sign. He would have indulged a small quirk of lips at Moriarty’s expense (that must add insult to injury; doesn’t it, Jim?) (what will your fingers grasp onto now-) had those eyes not fixed so insistently upon (reading) him – had the private jest not been ruined if it was to be shared – had the situation in itself lent itself to being humorous in the least.
But it wasn’t. Nothing about this could bring even the faintest trace of amusement in him.
Mycroft’s life can always be traced back to that continuously-running, single red thread that punctures the most important moments (people) (places) (instances) (everything) in his life – duty, responsibility, accountability. He doesn’t resent it (precisely) (at all) (never will), has never let his fancy fall so low as to visualize his life otherwise, but habits chain us down, habits and liabilities and so of course, of course his mind wanders and he lets it—
to everything he has left suspended in midair; everything he should be doing but is not because he cannot (and this inability leaves his throat dry, leaves a bitter, venomous taste at the back of his tongue, as if— vaguely, he acknowledges it as a normal, human response, and abhors it all the more for it). The flight to Beijing scheduled for the morning, the folders he was to peruse, numbers in rows and in columns, arranged perfectly, yet out of his hands (the screech of wheels against pavement and the murmur of leather, and good god, he should be thinking less coldly but cannot, as he plays the odds on what could have happened to Charl- )
Alone protects me.
(‘No, sir, I-‘)