When you have grown accustomed to the general clutter that is practically attached to the younger Holmes, it is natural to assume that the older is also as untidy. Sherlock's flat is a mass of papers, case files, and, during one memorable drugs bust, body parts. I don't know how John can stand it sometimes.
So, when Mycroft finally asked me if I wanted to move in with him I was exited and slightly terrified. I had never seen his home before which is kind of weird when we have been dating for almost a year but I hadn't brought it up, fearing that it could be classified data and that he would have to kill me after telling me. Fortunately I survived and noticed that, as well as the spaciousness of the flat, it was impeccably clean. No sheep's intestines in the freezer, no dead octopuses in the bath, everything was where it should be. That's when I noticed it.
Mycroft is a clean freak.
No, freak is the wrong word. He is obsessed with keeping things in unnatural order. Several times he has berated me for failing to use a coaster and on more than one occasion gotten angry with me for placing the milk in the door of the fridge (apparently the temperature fluctuates in the door region so the milk should be kept on the shelf to be kept cooler).
That's when I realised that something needed to be done. Therapists were out of the question because, well, he's a Holmes, he would probably tell her life story before she got a straight answer from him. I was walking down the high street and decided to pop into the library. Mycroft was one for books so maybe I could find something that could help. As I rummaged through the shelves I came across a black paperback. It was called . . .
"Wreck This Journal." I nodded in response as Mycroft gingerly flicked through the pages. "Gregory, what is the purpose of this?"
I shifted in my seat beside him on the couch and cleared my throat. I had never said anything about it before because it was quite cute in a way. How he would get all flustered if I misplaced anything, but now it was getting out of hand. "Well, you know how you are always so neat and tidy about the flat? Well, I think you needed to have something that you could not be so tidy about. Something you can, well, wreck."
Mycroft placed the book down on his lap and lightly sighed. "I have always picked up my brother's mess, ever since he was little. Mummy was always working so she never had time and father was abroad most of the time. I suppose it has become second nature to me now." Mycroft then went silent for so long I thought he wouldn't continue. "I'm sorry."
"Hey, it's fine. No need to apologise. I don't expect you to suddenly turn this place into a skip, just little things at a time." I said tapping the book. Mycroft turned to face me then and captured my lips in a chaste kiss.
"Whatever would I do without you Gregory?" he smiled.
"Probably choke to death on disinfectant fumes." Mycroft promptly clipped the back of my head with the book playfully with a smirk gracing his lips. "There you go!" I said, gesturing towards the book, "You're getting the hang of it, now throw it at the wall." Mycroft was fully laughing now as he began to pummel me into the couch with the book. "Ok! Ok, I surrender!" I cried from within the sofa.
"So, how should I 'wreck' this journal?" asked Mycroft when we were upright again.
"Well, it gives you instructions on what to do with each page, for example . . ." I took the book from Mycroft and opened it at a random page. ". . . 'Pour, spill, drip, spit or fling your coffee here.' I don't think it would mind if we used tea instead."
Mycroft raised a confused eyebrow and looked at the page to make sure those were the exact words. "But if I did that wouldn't it soak through all the other pages?"
"That's the point. You're supposed to make this the most tatty thing you will ever own." I retrieved my mug of now cold tea from the table that still had a few dregs left in it. "Here." I said with my most 'no more questions' tone. Mycroft took it and cautiously poured it onto the page. Granted it was only a small drop but you've got to start somewhere. "There you go, that wasn't so bad was it?"
"No, it was . . . almost enjoyable, defacing something brand new." Said Mycroft, sounding quite surprised with himself. If he was surprised about spilling the tea or for actually admitting that he enjoyed it, I couldn't care less. At least he was making progress.
"Do you want to do another?" Mycroft nodded and handed me the book. Flicking to another random page I read out the following instructions. " 'Tear out and crumple'. That shouldn't be too difficult, besides, the page is pretty much blank anyways." I babbled as I handed the book back to him.
"Choose another." He said, swiftly returning the book.
"But My, it's an insignificant, little page. It's not important." Mycroft looked down at his hands and didn't answer. I scooted closer and placed a hand over his, causing him to look at me. "My, I want to help you. I see how stressed you can get after a long day at the office and I want you to be able to be relieved of that stress when you come home. I don't like it when you get upset over the little things and I don't think you like it either. I just think that this could help you to cope with the little things and help you to not be so wound up all the time. I love you My and would do anything for you, you know that. I just want to help."
"I know you do." He said quietly, squeezing my hand gently. "May I?" He took the book from my hand and hesitated for a moment before cleanly ripping the page right out and throwing it in a ball to the floor. I knew that positive reinforcement helps people learn new habits, so I hoped that it could work on Mycroft. I tugged on his tie and pulled him into a crushing kiss, threading my hands into his hair to pull him in further. After a while we broke apart panting for breath, my shirt rumpled and Mycroft's hair in disarray. "Positive reinforcement? Not that I'm complaining." Mycroft said smugly and I mentally slapped myself on the head.
"Damn, I forgot you could read minds." Mycroft pulled me close for another breathtaking kiss before pulling away, smirking slightly.
"Should we continue this tomorrow?" he said, raising a knowing eyebrow.
"I will never get over how you can do that." I managed before my lips were preoccupied once more.
I came back to the flat in a sour mood, I have to admit, and Mycroft was picking up on it. Crime scenes that include Anderson and Sherlock bickering over evidence would usually give me a minor headache and I would just yell at them to knock it off. This time said crime scene was outside in the pouring rain, Sherlock was marching around the bodies and splashing water everywhere, which Anderson didn't take too kindly too, and I had no umbrella. To put it simply, I snapped. Being soaked to the bone usually does that to people.
"Another bad day at the office?" Mycroft said conversationally as I squelched into the living room.
"Your brother can be a right twat at times." I slumped into a chair and was thankful the he had gotten the fire going before I arrived.
"Would you care to rip a page out of my book?" I chuckled at that. The next thing I knew Mycroft was sitting on the arm of my chair, book in hand, the other trying to tame my sodden hair. "I have been 'wrecking' my book. Care to see for yourself?" I took the offered book and opened it at the marked page. The instruction was 'Scribble wildly using only borrowed pens (document where they were borrowed from)'. Sure enough there were lots of multicoloured scribbles adorning the page, the person whom he borrowed the pen written beside each scribble.
"The Prime Minister? Honestly?" I gaped as I saw the blue ballpoint scribble. "How did you get- you know what, never mind." There was also a scribble from the Spanish ambassador, the secretary of foreign affairs and, oddly enough, 'the waitress from the restaurant'. "Should I be worried that women are so eager to offer you a pen? It makes me wonder what else they would be willing to offer." Mycroft snatched the book from me and whacked the back of my head. "Hey! You need to stop doing that."
"Then don't give me reason to." He said smiling down at me. "Also, don't call my brother a twat. I know he can be insufferable but I would have thought that you would be civil enough to conjure up a better insult."
"Shut up and give me that book. Now lets see . . . 'Crack the spine' nope, done that by you hitting me so much . . ." I muttered to myself scanning through the book until I came to a black page with white writing. I read the instruction on the page and grinning to myself I quickly shut the book so Mycroft wouldn't see and promptly hit the back of his head. He was so shocked he almost toppled off the chair.
"What was that for?" He asked, melodramatically rubbing the back of his head. Really, the Holmes brothers and their theatrics. I opened the book and showed him the text. " 'Make a sudden, destructive, unpredictable movement with the journal'. " He read aloud. "How crass."
"You love it."
"No, as a matter of fact I actually dislike being hit across the head with a book."
"If I was a girl I dare say we would be in this situation."
"Whatever, I think you'd be hot as a girl." This time Mycroft slapped me across my head, abandoning the book altogether. "You know, I think we do this too much."
"Oh you love it." He smirked, mimicking my tone.
"What I would love is a hot shower and sleep. If you hadn't already noticed it's been a trying day." I said, hauling my ass out of the chair and making my way to the bathroom.
"May I join you?" Mycroft purred into my ear. When did he get so damn close so damn fast?
"Hmm . . . maybe, I'm not sure. I've still got that lump on my head from yesterday you know, and from today now that I mention it." I babbled, rubbing the back of my head.
"I could bring the book."
"Well I- wait, what?!" Mycroft opened the book and as plain as day were written the words 'Take a shower with the journal'. "Well I'll be damned."
"I'll take that as a yes." Mycroft then pulled on my damp jacket that I had failed to remove and caught my lips in a slow and deliberate kiss.
"As long as it doesn't interrupt anything else then I guess I'm ok with it." I breathed hazily as we backed into the bathroom.
"Yes, about that . . ."
"What?" Mycroft then flicked to another page and held it out for me. " 'Sleep with the journal'. This guy must have been high when he came up with this."
"Are you choosing to disobey the journal's instructions?" Mycroft asked in mock astonishment as he slid off my jacket.
"Not at all. I'm merely . . . questioning the reason behind the madness." I said, feeling Mycroft's hands travel up my torso and unbutton my shirt.
"Why question a good thing?" he asked, peeling my shirt off my damp skin. I leaned forward and closed the distance between us. Why indeed. I stripped Mycroft of his suit jacket and shirt, leaving the tie for obvious reasons, and pushed him back into the compact shower, book and all. Soon I felt the gloriously warm flow of water stream over us and I completely forgot that we were still wearing trousers. Mycroft soon made short work of them though and then there was only heat and steam and Mycroft's body pressed wonderfully against my own.