The Watsons' Care

Chapter 37

Lizzie dropped Mycroft off outside Greg's house, where the boy was greeting guests at the door. Greg waved enthusiastically at Mycroft, and he waved back, more timidly, but with feeling. Lizzie patted him on the shoulder, wished him luck and left. Mycroft took a deep breath, fixed his most charming smile, and approached Greg.

"Hey Myc! Glad you made it! The whole school's here, it's looking to be a really good night. Officially, it finishes at 10, but if you want to stay longer then that's fine. I'll be in in about ten minutes, when everyone else is here. Go get yourself a punch, there are loads of people you know around." Greg clapped Mycroft on the back and sent him inside with an exuberant smile. "By the way, you look great tonight!" Mycroft grinned.

"Thanks. Your hair looks great, Greg, you should spike it like that more often" Mycroft turned away as Greg greeted his next guest. He went to the back of the large room and found Tom hanging out with a few other boys. When he saw Mycroft he broke apart from the group and they went to sit down in the chairs lining the walls of the hall.

"Are you feeling... Better, since you came back from when you were off school?" Tom asked, something in his tone implying to Mycroft that he had guessed. Why the other boy had waited more than two weeks to ask was beyond him.

"Yes. Even the scars are healing." Mycroft pulled back his sleeves, revealing the thin white lines running down his forearm. Tom bit his lip and looked at them, interested.

"Were you trying to die?" He asked, quietly.

"Yes"

"I'm glad you didn't."

"Thank you. So am I."

"Good. Look, you can't tell anyone this, okay? The teachers know, but none of the kids. Promise you won't tell anyone?"

"I promise" Mycroft said softly, pulling his sleeves down.

"My dad... He hung himself when my brother was diagnosed with Down's. He died when I was ten. Mum cries every night still. I don't know why I'm telling you this." The sandy haired boy looked suddenly younger and more vulnerable.

"It's okay. I'm sorry about your dad."

"We both had pretty screwed up families, hey Mycroft?" He said, his tone lighter and his face brighter.

"Yeah, I guess we do!" He laughed a little.

"It was really brave, what you did in class the other day." Tom said self-consciously. "I wouldn't have had the guts."

"Erm... Thanks." Mycroft shifted in his seat.

"I told my mum, and we made a donation to the NSPCC for you. She sends her love" and with that, Tom jumped up, pulling Mycroft with him, to get another drink. The next two hours were spent dancing, drinking the quickly spiked punch, and talking to Tom. At 10, Greg caught up to Mycroft, and they sat down to talk.

"Hey Myc, how's your first party going?"

"Really good. It's been amazing, Greg, I'm having a lot of fun"

"I'm glad. Look, I was wondering, if you aren't busy, if you want to go out with me next Friday evening? Not tomorrow, the one after? I mean, it's fine if you don't want to, or if

you're... Not planning on swinging that way, but I think we'd have fun together." Greg smiled nervously.

"I-I, okay, that sounds good" Mycroft said, his mouth dry and his hands wet.

"Cool. How about pizza?"

"Great. 7.30 at the pizza place near school then?" Mycroft confirmed

"Sounds like a plan." Greg grinned widely, running his hand through his hair.

"Happy birthday, Greg" Mycroft said.

They left the party at 10.30, Lizzie waiting outside for Mycroft.

"Hey Mycroft, how was it?" She asked, taking in his creased t-shirt, his huge smile and his ruffled hair.

"Great. Lizzie, I... I have a date!" The news burst out of him, and he fell back against the seat, grinning manically.

"That's brilliant, well done Mycroft. Told you people liked you."

"He just asked me, like it was the most natural thing in the world. We're having pizza on Friday."

"I'm so happy for you, sweetheart. You're so grown up all of a sudden." Lizzie patted his knee and he grinned again, unable to wipe the emotion off his face.

"God... I can't believe he asked me out..." Mycroft sighed.

"I don't struggle believing it at all. You're smart, and handsome and funny. I wouldn't be surprised if, in a couple of years, you had queues of disappointed girls and eager boys following you around." Lizzie elbowed him playfully in the side, winking. Mycroft giggled, and immediately covered his mouth, embarrassed at the sound. Lizzie laughed, and Mycroft joined in, and within seconds, the car was full of deep, shaking laughter, pulling tears from both their eyes. It had been the most amazing night, and Mycroft was happy.


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