Or I’m calling Sebastian!
It is easy to make a man dance with threats that make his blood run cold – with things that he is afraid of. It is considerably less easy, however, to threaten him with things that he is simply unmoved by. Case in point: Mycroft Holmes’s eyebrows merely ticked up, lacking in amusement but making up for it with a thick, disbelieving condescension that he was prone to adopting when someone was being either particularly absurd or particularly foolhardy. It was, however, short-lived, and the cordial (if cool) façade etched its way back into the lines of Mycroft’s face as he turned back to Richard, dissecting him with his gaze.
I will take that as a resounding ‘yes’. Obvious. Blatant. Irksome.
"There is no need," he replied, letting his voice slow, his tone smooth over into a less abrupt inflection. His hand stilled, laying flat against the surface of the table, and he made no move to acquiesce to that (demand) request, as if it had been quite insignificant.
“Interesting, yes? People’s reactions. They can tell you much beyond words.” The ghost of a smile touched his lips, just briefly – not quite a private jest, but… “You could be lying, of course, but I don’t believe that’s quite it. Or you could think that I am lying, and you have half-a-mind to do so. But. The fact that you did not disregard my words as ridiculous, gave them more than a second thought … the fact that you chose to consider them, the fact that your voice trembled and your fingers shook and your breathing rate increased… that your whole autonomous system turned on like a switch… No. You are alarmed by them, implying that you think that I might, just might, be speaking the truth.”
A brief pause.
Mycroft’s watery grey gaze slid to the floor, watching the idle movements of the twirling umbrella against the floor. Letting the words sink in. One, two, three… When his gaze rose up again, it was unreadable.
"And that thought terrifies you. It makes one wonder. Not the person you want to be? Defense mechanisms? Repression? Swinging the pendulum as far to the other side as possible? It’s no use. No matter how fast you run, you cannot outrun yourself.”
Mycroft’s hand rose, patiently (asking, quite politely, for another pause).
"And please. It’s absurd to think that I am antagonizing you for my personal pleasure. What could I possibly gain by it? Why would a man like me gain by wasting my time on someone so insignificant? Go on, Richard. Think. By all means. Deduce me.”
A heartbeat. Grey eyes like knives. Both a challenge and a noose. (Just a heartbeat. Mercifully, the frigid silence of the moment was broken by the high-pitched whistle of the kettle).
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."
Thursday, December 5, 2013 with 17 notes