Summary: A couple of fluffy 221B fics about Mycroft and his first love at Oxford. The second is for Pudupudu, whose exams have just finished.
Oxford changed both Mycroft and David rapidly – or maybe it simply revealed what was already there. Mycroft had known his sexual preferences, but never expected a boyfriend. The appalling college food, and more exercise – walking with David, sex with David - meant the pounds were now falling off him, along with some of the defensiveness.
David was learning how to talk to people, rather than just at them. Coming out of his shell. Coming out in other ways as well. David was the one who wanted to hold hands in public; Mycroft was far warier. There was a flamboyant streak in David, despite his shyness, Mycroft concluded. Maybe he needed to get the urge to be noticed out of his system harmlessly, before they joined the civil service.
So he didn't protest too much when he found David staring intently at the notice on the JCR board: Dye your Hair for Rag Week. He simply smiled benevolently and said: 'I'll sponsor you, but I won't be seen associating with you."
The hair dye was fluorescent green, and turned David's beautiful blond hair into a rigid mat. Mycroft helped him wash it out at the end of the week, rinse after rinse. And said: "If you ever do dye it again, at least try something more appropriate. Maybe a tasteful dark blue?"
Mycroft enjoyed exams, found the challenge exhilarating. Especially at Oxford, where you got to dress up, and march through the town in subfusc to match wits with the examiners. David hated exams: sick with nerves beforehand, dazed afterwards. The evening before David's Mods, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society marathon sing through started. Mycroft dragged David along, as a distraction.
“You stay for the whole thing.” David said, “I'll be fine.”
Twenty-three hours in, just before The Mikado started, Jo Malone appeared and collared Mycroft.
“Sorry chaps,” he announced, “got to go.”
“You're singing Ko-Ko,” Colin complained.
“I'm sure I won't be missed.”
“David was in a terrible state after the exam,” Jo said, scurrying to keep up with Mycroft's long stride. “We ended up taking him to the college doctor, only David got even more wound up when she asked if he'd taken any drugs. Did you really give him something last week?”
“Poppers. Helps with...internal tension. Nothing to do with this."
He'd picked up supplies, so when he got to David's room it was simple. David stood up, his face almost as white as his tie, gasping for breath. Mycroft gave him a gentle hug before they sat down on the bed.
“Hyperventilation, Jo told me. So here's a paper bag, and we'll sit together, and you just breathe.”