Chapter IX: You Can Dance If You Want To
A/N: This story was inspired by "The Thin White Sleuth…" by Pika-la-Cynique ( art/The-Thin-White-Sleuth-277488920) of Girls Next Door fame.
Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan ( . ).
Major Sholto had been taken to the hospital for surgery, but was expected to make a full recovery. (Surprisingly to the EMTs, but not to those who knew, it seemed that Sholto's wound had healed slightly.) The guests were waiting for the bride and groom to appear for the last major event of the night: dancing.
Jareth helped Sarah adjust her hair so it would look more presentable after the day's events. Sarah checked her make-up in the bathroom mirror. "I thought you knew what the plan was. Sherlock knew the goblins would come if I was in danger and we hoped that they would protect Sholto from whatever would come."
He pressed a gentle kiss to the back of Sarah's neck. "Don't scare me like that again."
"I'll try not to," Sarah said.
Jareth spun Sarah around and kissed her deeply. It was a leisurely exploration of her mouth and Sarah returned his desire. She broke off the kiss, but barely moved their mouths apart. "We have to see the bride and groom dance, Jareth."
"Dancing. Hmmm… I shall allow it," Jareth said.
Jareth escorted her into the hallway outside of the dining room now dance hall. Sarah asked, "How did Sherlock know the Mayfly Man was connected?"
"Tessa called John by his full name. The only people who knew that were those who received the invitation. Sherlock guessed that all of the women who the Mayfly Man contacted were connected to whoever was the intended murder victim."
"He generally is."
They saw Sherlock do a fantastic spin for Janine. The two spoke for a moment. Jareth heard the end of the conversation.
Janine said, "I wish you weren't... whatever it is you are."
"I know," Sherlock said.
John came over to where the group was standing. He said, "Well, glad to see you've pulled it off, Sherlock, what with murderers running riot at my wedding."
"One murder - one nearly murderer," Sherlock said before saying to Janine, "Loves to exaggerate. You should try living with him."
Lestrade came in from the front entrance, the photographer with him. "Sherlock? Got him for you."
Sherlock clapped his hands with glee. "Ah, the photographer. Excellent! Thank you. May I have a look at your camera?"
Jareth grinned as he realized what was happening. What a clever idea. Unfortunately, an unwise, clever idea.
The photographer looked at Sherlock suspiciously as he handed over the camera. "What's this about? I was halfway home."
"You should have driven faster," Sherlock said as he began going through the pictures, "Ah, yes. Yes, very good. There, you see? Perfect."
"What is? Are you going tell us?" Lestrade asked.
Sherlock passed the camera to Lestrade. "Try looking yourself."
Sarah looked with Lestrade. She said, "Um, look for what? Is the murderer in these photographs?"
"It's not what's in the photographs; it's what's not in them – not in any of them," Sherlock said.
"The showing-off thing: we've discussed it before," John said.
Sherlock took the camera again. "There is always a man at a wedding who is not in any photograph, but can go anywhere. Even carry an equipment bag around with him if he likes, and you never even see his face. You only ever see the camera." He quickly handcuffed the photographer to the baggage trolley by them.
"What are you doing? What is this?" the photographer said.
Sherlock held up his phone. "Jonathan Small, today's substitute wedding photographer – known to us as the Mayfly Man. His brother was one of the raw recruits killed in that incursion. Johnny sought revenge on Sholto, worked his way through Sholto's staff, found what he needed an invitation to a wedding – the one time Sholto would have to be out in public. So, he made his plan and rehearsed the murder making sure of every last detail."
Jonathan was oddly calm for someone being accused of attempted murder.
"Brilliant, ruthless, almost certainly a monomaniac – though, in fairness, his photographs are actually quite good," Sherlock said. He gave the camera to Lestrade. "Everything you need is on that. You probably ought to... arrest him or something."
Mary came over to John as she was trying to find him. She did not even raise an eyebrow at the handcuffed man.
Janine said to Sherlock, "Do you always carry handcuffs?"
"Down, girl," Sherlock teased.
"Come on, quick!" Mary said. John put his arm around her.
"It's not me you should be arresting, Mr. Holmes," Jonathan Small said.
"Oh, I don't do the arresting. I just farm that out," Sherlock said.
Jonathan Small grinned manically, though it began to fade the more he talked. "Sholto – he's the killer, not me. I should have killed him quicker. I shouldn't have tried to be clever."
Jareth whispered, "You should have driven faster." He grinned and showed his goblin teeth, causing Jonathan to have a small fright.
Sherlock took Janine's arm and led the way to the dance hall.
"Shakespeare would be pleased," Sarah said to Jareth as they followed Mary and John.
"Why ever so?" Jareth said.
"Because this story started out as a tragedy and ended up a comedy. A very Shakespearian thing to do I should think," Sarah said.
"And no comedy is complete without a wedding," Jareth said as he realized her train of thought.
Sarah jumped slightly to kiss his cheek. "My clever husband. You figured it out before Sherlock, didn't you?"
"No," Jareth said, "About the same time. He had a bit of a head start."
"You let him solve it so he knew he could do it without you," Sarah stated.
"You make me sound like a sentimental old man," Jareth said.
"You are a sentimental old man."
Jareth said nothing, as denying it would a lie.
Jareth tapped the rhythm of Sherlock's waltz against Sarah's belly. He knew logically the baby could not hear the music or feel the tapping, but it made him feel closer to his son. Sherlock was playing a soft waltz on his violin while Mary and John had their first dance. At the end of the song, John dipped Mary, surprising her by the grace of the move.
The guests cheered. Janine directed her applause to Sherlock, letting out several whoops of praise. Sherlock took the buttonhole flower he had taken off for the song and tossed it to his new friend.
Sherlock came up to the microphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, just one last thing before the evening begins properly. Apologies for earlier. A crisis arose and was dealt with. More importantly, however, today we saw two people make vows. I've never made a vow in my life, and after tonight I never will again. So, here in front of you all, my first and last vow. Mary and John: whatever it takes, whatever happens, from now on I swear I will always be there, always, for all three of you. Er, I'm sorry, I mean, I mean two of you. All two of you. Both of you, in fact. I've just miscounted. Anyway, it's time for dancing. Play the music again, please, thank you."
…What!? SHERLOCK DID NOT JUST SAY THAT!
The song "December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)" began to play. Sherlock said, "Okay, everybody, just dance. Don't be shy! Dancing, please! Very good!"
Sherlock rushed to where Mary and John were standing while Sarah and Jareth did the same.
"Sorry, that was one more deduction than I was really expecting," Sherlock said.
"You have that right, Sherlock" Jareth said.
Sherlock stared at Mary intently. "Increased appetite, change of taste perception, and you were sick this morning. You assumed it was just wedding nerves. You got angry with me when I mentioned it to you. All the signs are there."
"The signs?" Mary said.
Sherlock looked at John, then at Mary, and then at her abdomen. "The signs of three."
"What?" Mary said.
"Mary, I think you should do a pregnancy test," Sherlock said.
John almost fainted but then began grinning like the proper idiot that he was. Mary had never looked happier. Jareth and Sarah tried not to begin dancing about.
"How did he notice before me? I'm a bloody doctor," John said.
"It's your day off," Jareth said.
"It's everyone's day off!" John snarked.
"Stop panicking," Sarah said as she laughed.
"I'm not panicking," John said.
"I'm pregnant; I'm panicking," Mary said.
Sherlock stood to his full height. "Don't panic. None of you panic. Absolutely no reason to panic."
"Oh, and you'd know, of course?" John said.
"Yes, I would. You're already the best parents in the world. Look at all the practice you've had!" Sherlock said.
"What practice?" John said.
"Him," Jareth and Sarah said just as Sherlock said, "Me."
"Besides," Jareth said, "if you are ever in need of slightly dubious babysitters, I know of a soon-to-be-Goblin-King who would be more than willing to send out his subjects to help you two."
John punched Jareth in the arm. "Bloody hell. Our kid is going to be babysat by fairy tales."
"Well, you're hardly going need me around now that you've got a real baby on the way," Sherlock said.
Mary and John were caught up in each other while Jareth and Sarah let them enjoy the moment.
"Shouldn't you lot be dancing?" Sherlock said, "We can't just stand here. People will wonder what we're talking about."
Jareth pulled Sarah into his arms and began to sway. "I thought you would never let us."
"And what about you?" Mary asked.
"Well, we can't all three dance. There are limits!" John said.
Mary was teary-eyed. "Come on, husband. Let's go."
"This isn't a waltz, is it?" John said, making Mary laugh.
"Don't worry, Mary, I have been tutoring him," Sherlock said.
"He did, you know. Baker Street, behind closed curtains," Sarah said.
John began dancing with his wife. "Mrs. Hudson came in one time. Don't know how those rumors started!"
Jareth sighed and rested his head against Sarah's. "This has been far too exciting of a wedding."
"I must agree. I think it is safe to say that on the 'excitement' front, John and Mary have us beat." She began to look around and frowned. "I lost the best man. Do you see him? The lanky detective is kind of hard to miss."
Jareth looked around as well and did not see Sherlock anywhere. "Hmmm… possibly the loo but…"
"It's Sherlock. He's sulking," Sarah said, "Come on. Let's go find him."
As predicted, Sherlock was moping outside. He was wearing his coat with the collar popper up and was walking away from the reception,
"You owe me a dance, Sherlock," Sarah said.
Sherlock turned back. "Do I?"
"Of course you do," Sarah said, "It's traditional."
"No, it's not," Sherlock said.
"Yes, it is. A new tradition. Every time the two of us are at a wedding, we'll dance together. Got that?" Sarah said.
Sherlock glanced over at Jareth and they both smiled slightly. "Are wives always this assertive?" Sherlock asked.
"If you have not realized that Sarah gets her way at this point, I have lost all hope in your magnificent little brain," Jareth said.
Sherlock stayed for another hour, having a dance with all of the ladies he knew and doing the Electric Slide with a ridiculous happy John Watson. (Jareth could claim innocence when "Honey and the Bee" by Owl City started playing when Sherlock and Molly danced. His wife on the other hand…) Sarah was exhausted from the day's events, so the residents of 221 Baker Street had a valid excuse to go home a bit earlier than the rest of the party.
In the taxi, Jareth said, "You shouldn't have been on your feet all day. The baby might get hurt if you keep doing that."
Sarah glared at Jareth. "Are you carrying this baby?"
Jareth was silent as he thought the question over. Is this a trick question?
"Answer me," Sarah said.
Sherlock looked back at Jareth and gave a look of pity.
"No, I am not carrying the child," Jareth said.
"Then you get to keep your mouth shut. Just because you donated a microscopic amount of DNA does not mean that you suddenly have power over me."
Jareth felt ill. Sarah was looking at him with a mixture of anger and something that he had seen from her since his return.
Fear. She's scared.
"I do not want to talk right now," Sarah said.
The rest of the ride home was silent and unpleasant. When they reached 221, Sherlock and Jareth made sure Mrs. Hudson made it safely to her room. Sherlock waved to Jareth before going down to 221C. Sarah had already made her way up to 221B.
Jareth leaned against the bathroom door frame. He watched Sarah clean off the last bit of make-up before she began unpinning her hair. She shook out her hair and then messaged her scalp with a groan.
"Do you need help with the dress?" Jareth asked.
"I would rather sleep in it," Sarah said sharply.
"I wasn't trying…"
"Ha! You've been trying all day," Sarah said. She pushed past him to their bedroom. "I am sick of it, Jareth." She threw herself onto the bed and curled up on her side, her back facing Jareth.
"I truly was not trying. I am merely concerned," Jareth said. He sat on the edge of the bed and tried to touch Sarah reassuringly.
"Don't," she said.
Jareth rested his hands on his lap and watched Sarah's breathing for a few moments. Her shoulders were shaking and her breathing was uneven.
"Sarah, what have I done to hurt you?" Jareth asked.
"Nothing," Sarah choked.
She's crying. Damn it. I made her cry.
"Obviously, I have done something."
"You have… done nothing wrong."
Jareth hazarded to touch Sarah's shoulder. She did not flinch so he lay behind her and pulled her against his chest.
"Oh, precious, what have I done to you?"
"It's not you. I know it's not you."
"Then what is it?"
Sarah was choking back tears. "It's me."
"I'm being a silly little girl."
"I doubt that," Jareth said.
Sarah shook her head. "I keep thinking… it's so stupid. I just… you always need something new and I can't. I can't do it. You're… you're going to forget me after the baby is born. I won't be a mystery anymore."
Jareth turned Sarah onto her back. "Who said that to you?"
"No one," Sarah said.
"The idea then," Jareth said, "It was Titania, wasn't it?"
Sarah's eyes widened. "How did you know that I have been…"
"I am a detective, Sarah. There are not many who would be able to make Joanna fetch you," Jareth said.
Sarah began crying in earnest. Jareth sat the both of them up. He rubbed her back and made soothing noises. He took off his gloves with his teeth so he could better calm his wife. He let his left hand hold her steady around her waist while his right tangled in her hair.
"You are not a mystery to solve. You are a person. You are a person who loves so deeply it hurts. If I have ever caused you doubt, I am sorry with every part of my being."
"I am sorry. I am so sorry," Sarah said, "I'm being stupid."
"You are not," Jareth said, "I am not the most stable of men. I move from one thing to another. But you have seen me with my family. Do you think I have grown weary of them?"
Sarah shook her head.
Jareth tilted her chin up and locked his eyes with her. "I love you and will do so for forever."
Sarah kissed him and shoved him down on the bed. "You are wonderful."
"Thank you," Jareth said with a smirk.
She lay on top of him, propped up on her elbows as she kissed him slowly and passionately. "Mine."
"Entirely," Jareth said, "Do not keep these things from me, Sarah."
"Only if you do the same."
Jareth raised a slanted eyebrow.
Sarah smiled softly. "Something has been bothering you. Something to do with a case."
"It's not a case. Not yet. I had been pondering this question for a while before a client came to me with the same issue I was wondering about before the stag party."
"Why are you hesitating to take it?"
"… Do you remember when you told me the morning after the stag night to not do something stupid without telling you first?" Jareth asked.
Sarah nodded. "Of course."
"I want to take on a case that will take everything I know and have. I will never be able to succeed without you, my Champion."
Sarah kissed his right palm before placing his hand against her cheek. "What is it?"
And so Jareth began to tell his plan for his last trick as a detective before becoming the Goblin King again.
"His name is Charles Augustus Magnussen."
A/N: Since this particular story is over, I can tell you, dear readers, about my feelings on my episode.
"The Sign of Three" is the best Sherlock episode and one of the best episodes in television history. Writing this scared the crud out of me more than just about anything else I have ever written. It took me almost two weeks to work out how to plot this (when the other episodes took about a day at the most). I hope that this has been an entertaining read. Thank you for reading.
Thank you for reading! The next story will be "His Last Trick" A.K.A. "His Last Vow".