“Here are the photos you ordered, sir.”
“Thank you, Anthea.”
“Will that be all for tonight?”
Mycroft sighed, opening the envelope full of photographs and flipping through them. They were of various subjects - snapshots of records belonging to various important political leaders, supposedly top secret; a photograph of the inside of 221B Baker Street in which Sherlock looked almost alarmingly gleeful. Alarming, that was, until the second photograph, which showed John Watson grinning up at his flatmate - Sherlock must be capering around for John, then. Perhaps they had just solved a particularly exciting case. Or…
Charades, Sherlock? Business a little slow, then? —MH
“Sorry, what’s that, Anthea?”
“Will you be requiring my assistance for anything else tonight?” she repeated, patiently.
“Yes - the reservations -“
“Are for half an hour. Greg is probably already there. He’s the only one I can think of who is more punctual than you.” She sounded amused.
Piss off, Mycroft. Stop spying on us. —SH
“Very well, then. You may go.”
Mycroft flipped through another dozen or so photographs as Anthea gathered her things to leave.
“Goodnight, sir,” she said from the doorway.
She froze, turned gracefully on one stiletto heel, and faced him. “Yes?”
“What is this?”
He held the photo up to her. It was little Gregory. And he was in the bath with Sif, Mycroft’s young boa constrictor.
“That’s a photograph of Gregory and Sif in the bath together.”
“Yes.” Mycroft rubbed his temples tiredly with on hand, holding the rest of the photographs together in the other. “But why is he in the bath with the snake?”
“I expect he threw his food at her. He’s such a messy eater.”
“And is this photograph by any chance from the night that I asked you to watch Gregory?”
“Hm. Perhaps. Although as I recall, that night was supposed to be my night off. I was picking baby food out of my hair for hours afterward.”
“Anthea! Do you know what Greg will say if he ever sees this photograph?!”
She had learned, from him, mostly, how to school her face to almost perfect stillness. Mycroft, however, could detect the barest hint of a smirk at the corner of her lips.
“Sir, really, you should get going. You’ll be late for dinner.”
Her lashes flickered minutely. Another, less disciplined assistant, might have rolled her eyes.
“I’m sorry, sir. But I did tell you: I’m not your babysitter.”