(Note: AU-ish. Set after Sherlock returns; John did get engaged to Mary, but broke it off when Sherlock returned and confessed his feelings. This is also pure crack/fluff for me.)
Mycroft was leaning forward, handing a printed sheet of paper to the DI when it happened. They had been in a meeting for forty-five minutes and Mycroft had had to personally apologize for having to take a case from Lestrade, who had resented it fiercely. He appreciated the man very much for what he did in his job and most importantly for his little brother, and he'd felt it only prudent to go in person rather than call or have someone else do it.
The door was thrown open, the knob slamming against the wall and startling the two occupants. Sherlock strode in, his cape flaring and behind him, John was there looking as red as a cherry. Mycroft frowned a bit; he had known that they'd been dating for a month, not that he had been told. The two had been keeping it quiet as things settled down with Sherlock's reappearance.
"Sherlock, bit busy here," Lestrade growled. "If you changed your mind about that case you turned down—"
"Hardly. Boring. The sister did it in a fit of jealousy." Sherlock turned instead to Mycroft and he felt a cold slip of unease down his throat. His brother simply did not come find him for something unless it was dire and it usually meant bad news for him. "Mycroft."
"Sherlock. As you can see, I am also a bit busy."
"I'll make it quick then. John and I are getting married. You're arranging it."
The paper fluttered from his outstretched hand, the umbrella in his other hitting the floor as his fingers grew lax in shock. He heard Lestrade's shocked 'What' but it paled in comparison to himself. He wasn't even sure what he felt. Congratulations that he was getting married, all very well, and he supposed he had no choice to actually attend, but plan it?! Didn't he have enough work to do?!
"You will also be my…best man." The term almost sounded like insult out of Sherlock, who turned to Lestrade. "I had originally chosen you, as John informed me I had to have a best man, but then I realized just how wonderfully hilarious it would be to have Mycroft forced to make a speech that is positive about me."
There was no other word for it: evil. Sherlock was evil. The silence in the room was deafening and Mycroft probably would have fallen to the floor if he'd been standing. Slowly the world began spinning again and he shifted, his back hitting the chair with a thump. His eyes couldn't move from his brother, who seemed smugger and smugger by the moment. The only thing that broke his attention was the feeling of fingers on his pulse. He looked to the side at John, who had apparently been concerned enough to check to make sure his heart hadn't stopped. Even Lestrade had come around his desk to peer at him.
"Mycroft? You okay, mate?" the detective asked cautiously.
It took a minute to find his voice. "I'm…perfectly…fine, Inspector." He swallowed a bit and drew in the tattered remains of his dignity and control. "While I do sincerely congratulate you both on your upcoming nuptials, I must respectfully decline from planning the wedding. I would also like to recommend you to follow up on your original choice as the Inspector for your 'best man'."
Sherlock grinned in that way that Mycroft hated because he knew he was going to play on his emotions for his little brother and there was nothing he could do to stop whatever he was about to say. "Then we won't be married. I won't have anyone other than you planning the wedding and making a speech. Really, being married to John would have made me so happy too…"
Damn him. Damn him to hell. The last line clinched it and while Mycroft knew that Sherlock was manipulating him, those damn feelings he'd had ever since Sherlock had been born, that kept him coming back and protecting his brother no matter the abuse thrown at him from said brother, rallied against his mind. Weakly, with the hand that was not currently being held in John's, he rested his forehead against his fingers, covering his eyes as he let out a soft breath. He had been truly outmaneuvered and it was not a feeling that Mycroft was familiar with or liked.
"Very well, Sherlock."
That delighted, if slightly perverse, grin flashed over his brother's face, but Mycroft only glared in return. "September 30th."
"What about it?" Lestrade asked, glancing between the two.
"That's the date they've chosen for the wedding," he muttered. That meant he had four months to move heaven and earth to get everything taken care of. So he had to manage the country, corral his little brother, and plan a wedding. When was he supposed to even have time to breathe, much less sleep or eat?
"I tried to talk him out of it," John said helplessly, shrugging. "I suggested a wedding planner when he said he didn't want to do it himself or let me do it, but he refused. He said the only person he would accept doing it if he was going to get married at all was you. He said you'd know exactly what he wanted and wouldn't have to ask any stupid questions."
Mycroft might not have been enthused about doing it, but he was going to do it right no matter what. He stalked into his office the next morning, gesturing for Anthea to follow him. "Close the door."
She did so with a curious look on her face. "Is something the matter, sir?"
"My little brother is getting married and I have been informed by him yesterday afternoon that I am to be his 'best man' and plan his ceremony. Given this, there will have to be adjustments in the schedule amid every day to attend to matters."
"Sir…there's very little time to work in. Your schedule leaves you only time to sleep and eat."
"Then there will be no sleeping or eating," he said frankly. "Now what I need is a list of possible venues for a small wedding ceremony and reception for September 30th. There is no restriction on money," That was something he had never once considered, other than using his own money because it was Sherlock, "and I shall need also choices on wedding rings to present to Sherlock." That was the only thing he was going to insist that his brother look at; Sherlock had completely washed his hands of the process, but not this. This would be quite a personal thing and he refused to let him ignore this point. "Find the best caterer, florist, and photographer and videographer. I wish to see three candidates for each. There will be a small guest list." Mycroft handed the stunned woman the list of people that John had written up and there were under thirty. That was a simple blessing.
For a brief minute he considered just leaving it at that, but there was still more. "Book their honeymoon to either Paris or Greece, whichever has more draw to it in the first week of October. It should be for two weeks, but leave their itinerary up to them. Merely set up the location and the place they will be staying. As I am best man, I will not be officiating so we must find someone that passes the security checks. Both Sherlock and John will naturally be having a separate 'stag' night and make sure that Sherlock is set to stay at my home after. I have been informed it is bad luck to see each other before the wedding on that day." Inconveniencing Sherlock was the least he could do for all this trouble. "Inform Sherlock and John that they will be writing their own vows. All of this must be completed in four months." Planning a wedding that should have been at least nine months to sixteen months of time into four…inwardly he shivered at the work.
"Anything else, sir?"
Bless Anthea, she had gotten all that and he wouldn't have to go through it again. "Find a store with the highest quality wedding cakes," he said with a nod. "I shall have to find some time in the next month to choose a cake." Briefly he considered asking her about the best man speech, but decided that he would do that on his own. It was…only proper. Sherlock would only be married once and if he was going to make this day for his little brother, he would make it perfect.
He looked up from his desk, drawn out of his contemplation on murdering his brother and how to dispose of the body. "Yes?"
She seemed to hesitate a bit before saying, "Never mind, sir. You have the French delegate waiting for you."
"Send them in."
Mycroft leaned back in his chair, noting that it was almost seven and he was exhausted. In between meetings, he'd been perusing some of the magazines that Anthea had brought in to 'give him ideas', but the truth was, he didn't know if he cared. He already had something in mind, the majority of the decorations going to be white and purple, which happened to be Sherlock's favorite color…not that he'd ever admit that. Besides, Sherlock looked his best with something purple. Pastel in color, not something bright and garish.
Really, why were they even going through with a wedding? The thought had been nagging at him for some time. Sherlock didn't care, weddings didn't make a difference to him. They were just places people gathered and he'd already made it clear he would spend the rest of his life with John. Mycroft was of the same opinion: so long as one was committed to the person in emotions, there was no real reason to do anything of the sort, except sign some legal paperwork. Which meant that Sherlock was doing it for John; did John really care? Was Sherlock just assuming that this was something John wanted or did the doctor himself actually want a wedding?
He blinked as his mobile began to ring and he looked down at it, relaxing at seeing the words D.I. Lestrade. Bone tired, he slowly picked up the phone and said, "Mycroft Holmes."
"My—Mr. Holmes, it's Greg. Greg Lestrade?"
"You may call me Mycroft at this point. Good evening, Inspector. Is there something you needed?" Please, please say no…
"Then you can call me Greg." There was a pause on the other end and he heard a light noise, like keys fumbling and the sound of a car door opening. So he was going home, was he? Mycroft envied him. Even if he managed to make it to his house before midnight, he would still have work with him, both part of his job and for the wedding. "I was thinking…"
"Well…planning a wedding is a big thing and you've never been married before, right? Neither has Sherlock or John."
"You are correct."
"I…have. I mean, it was fifteen years ago and my marriage rather crashed and burned two years ago, but I thought I'd…offer."
He must really be tired if he wasn't sure what the detective was saying, "Offer what?"
"Expertise. Thoughts. Help. Whatever you need. It never hurts to have a second opinion and you're going to be overwhelmed, not just with the wedding, but your work. So…if you want to delegate a bit…"
Could he do so with Lestrade? Did he trust him enough? Sherlock had specifically required him to do it, because he knew what Sherlock wanted. So long as he gave specific instructions… "If you insist, but when I give you instructions, you must do them exactly as I have said. If you have questions, call me immediately."
"No problem." There was another moment of silence and Mycroft resisted the urge to fall asleep. "Can I ask you something?"
"Why did Sherlock insist that you plan the wedding?"
His eyes closed and he leaned his head back against the headrest of the chair. "In his own twisted way, it's because he trusts me. I know what he wants in a wedding and would not have to ask his opinion on it, therefore reducing someone 'bothering him' as a wedding planner would."
"Really?" Lestrade's voice was highly skeptical. "I'm sorry, but you guys argue about everything. Wouldn't he argue with every single choice you made?"
He smiled softly as he replied, "Sherlock is quite contrary, as I'm sure you've noticed." Rubbing his eyes, he straightened a bit in his seat. "While we are speaking, am I assured that you will be attending?"
"Of course," he said. "The thought has never crossed my mind that you would not be the first on the guest list."
He could almost hear the blush. "O-Oh. W-Well, of course then. Do you…need any help with the best man speech?"
Part of him wanted to scream yes, but he took a deep breath and said, "I should agree, but this is something that I…want to do myself."
"All right. Um…so…what's my first assignment?"
Mycroft chuckled. "To go home and sleep, Inspector. There will be time in the morning to do something."
"Only if you do."
The words surprised him. "I'm afraid that I can't. There is still much that has to be done today."
"With your work or the wedding?"
"Oh. Well…I guess it can't be helped then, but seriously…call me if you need anything. Even just to talk."
"Thank you for the kind offer, Inspector. Now I suggest you go home. Goodnight."
"Night, Mycroft. And please, it's Greg."
He ended the call with a sigh, feeling a little better at least that he was not entirely alone.
The car rolled to a stop. Three weeks into planning the wedding and Mycroft found Gregory Lestrade to be absolutely invaluable. His experience had had him avoiding pitfalls that he wouldn't have considered, letting him know the actual way something worked. He kept in contact with the professionals he needed to, kept them appraised, and he had trusted the detective's judgment when he picked a small venue after being shown the three that his PA had left Mycroft.
This was the time he was almost dreading, though. Mycroft slid from the backseat, spotting Lestrade waiting for him outside the door of the cake store. He loved such desserts a little too much and if nothing else, the man was there for moral support even if he didn't know it. Umbrella in hand, he stepped forward. "Gregory. I'm pleased you could find the time to join me."
"No problem. Had to learn how to do a bit of delegating myself the last few weeks to help, but I wouldn't miss it for the world. I mean, Sherlock and John are only getting married once, you know? Did you know that John asked me to be his best man? So I guess we're the pair." Seeing his confusion, Greg added, "You know, like best man and maid of honor?"
The news that the two were getting married had spread like wildfire on the internet and the papers. That was not something Mycroft had been expecting and had been on the receiving end of many an annoyed call from Sherlock that the only people that had called him were journalists with questions instead of cases. There was nothing he could do about it other than keep the venue a secret as much as possible. If he'd had to threaten the photographer, caterer, and florist to keep their mouths shut, then so be it.
"Ahh, and of that, I am sincerely glad."
The detective eyed him a bit. "You look exhausted, Mycroft. When was the last time you slept?"
"I had four hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, thank you." Without even thinking about it, he held the door open for Lestrade, who walked in reluctantly, clearly hearing the 'I don't want to talk about it' in his tone.
As he stepped in, he paused at the question, "So bride or groom's cake, or both?"
For a moment, he wasn't sure what he was asking. "Excuse me?"
"Well, traditional weddings have both. Bride's cake, then groom's; the first for the wedding and then the groom's for the reception." He hadn't been aware of that; why hadn't Anthea told him? Surely she had researched the information behind the cake while he was in a meeting? "Given that John is not necessarily a bride, do you want to even do a wedding cake?"
They would be lucky if Sherlock even ate one slice, so it didn't make sense to have two cakes. Secondly, as he looked around the building at examples of styles, often three-tiered monstrosities in design, he didn't think John would appreciate it. He wanted to ask what Greg thought was best, but at the same time, he found it hard to admit that he didn't know.
As if sensing that, the detective continued, "Groom's cakes aren't like bride's cakes. You see the bride's cakes, but groom's can be any shape or color or type. I had a mate that had his groom cake in the shape of a football. Mine, when I married Louise, was something the guys at the Yard all chipped in for: it was shaped like my badge."
His response was interrupted by a staff member, who smiled brightly. "Can I help you?"
He stepped forward toward the counter, relieved that Lestrade was right next to him the whole time. "I would like information on designs for a cake."
She pulled out a binder from behind the counter. "Is your wedding near?"
He frowned a little at her implication, but Greg beat him to it. "Oh, it's not our wedding! It's his brother's. He's planning it."
"Oh! I thought… Well you made such a cute couple…"
Greg blushed and even Mycroft shifted. He and the Inspector? He glanced at the man out of the corner of his eye. There was no denying that the man was attractive, now that it had been pointed out to him, and they were both single, but there just wasn't enough time to even contemplate it. His imagination helpfully tried to suggest what the man might look like relaxed in his home, perhaps even without clothes, and he quickly shook it off.
"Do you have a baker in mind?"
"I will be doing it," he said absently, flipping through the laminated pages.
"Are you a baker?"
"Then I would highly suggest you hire a professional—"
He flashed his eyes up in annoyance, cutting off whatever she'd been about to say. Did she assume that he couldn't do it? He might not have been a professional, but he could make it and it was something he wanted to do.
"Mycroft, I know you'd rather do everything with your own hands for Sherlock, but baking a wedding cake is not the same thing as baking a regular cake at home, even from scratch," Greg suggested gently. "Besides, you've got so much to do, do you honestly have the time to for it?"
His fingers tightened on his umbrella, but he couldn't deny the truth of the inspector's words. It was unlikely that he had the ability to do an actual wedding cake, but even if he did, he didn't have the equipment a bakery did or the time to do it. He sighed as he came to the end of the book, not seeing anything he liked. "…You're right of course, Gregory."
"Can I get that on tape?"
He half-glared at the tease, but a smile tugged at his lips. The man gestured to him a little away from the woman and said, "Look, I'd suggest, which you're free to ignore, just do one cake and leave it as a groom's cake as the wedding cake itself. We don't want some three-tiered and flowery cake for either of them. Do you think Sherlock would want that?"
"So just find a design, a shape you like that suits both of them, get a really good baker, and have him do it. Hell, I'd suggest making it out of cheesecake or something. It's different and at the same time, unlikely to 'offend sensibilities'."
Mycroft nodded and led the way out of the store. "I do know an excellent French baker."
"He in town?"
"No, he is in France."
Greg stared at him. "Are you talking about importing a cake?"
"No, I intend to import him a few weeks before the wedding and have him do it here." He smiled slightly in amusement. "That is far easier."
He enjoyed the laugh more than he probably should. "So do you have a design in mind?"
"I'm not sure. Perhaps a violin? No…" As a sudden inspiration hit him, he held up his finger to the detective to ask him to wait, and pulled out his notepad. "Do you have a pen?"
The man fumbled in his pockets before pulling one out and Mycroft sketched a bit before he was satisfied, holding it out for the detective's perusal. Silvery eyebrows rose to his hairline and a grin formed over his features so wide it must hurt. "Let me see if I've got this right. You're going to have it made in the shape of Sherlock's laptop, with a page of John's blog showing the first entry he ever wrote about their first case together, 'A Study in Pink' and leaning on one edge is Sherlock's famed skull."
"Yes. Did that not come across?"
"Oh, hell it did, I just didn't know if I was in the twilight zone. It's so hilariously them. Can your baker do it?"
"Of course. Would you assume he wouldn't if I chose him?"
"…Not at all, Mycroft."
As the wedding grew closer, Mycroft grew more and more ill-at-ease. Thanks to Gregory, the preparations were proceeding smoothly, John and Sherlock had chosen their rings, and while this was taking quite a bit of money from his accounts, he was happy…except with one thing.
He lifted his head at the sound of his doorbell and he left his scotch to answer it. He didn't even need to look because he knew who it was. Greg smiled at him and he stepped aside without a word to let him in. It was nine in the evening, the man had had a long day, but Mycroft had asked for him to come over anyway and he felt guilty about it. In the past four months, planning the wedding had made them closer than ever and sometimes they'd collapse in his home, Greg falling asleep on his couch. Mycroft had always carried him to a guest room.
"Something up, Mycroft? You said everything was going well," the Inspector commented as he slid off his jacket and hung it up next to the door.
"Everything but one item."
Mycroft, jaw clenched shut, nodded. "I cannot seem to get it right."
"Want to let me read it?"
He showed him to his living room where he'd been sitting, a pad of paper next to him, and gestured to the fire. Inside it were dozens of pieces of paper that he'd thrown away when he'd found it wanting. "I'm afraid I have nothing to let you read." He turned, pouring them both some whiskey.
The man dropped onto the sofa as he took the glass. "You want me to help?"
Mycroft sat in his chair again, tapping his pen against the pad on the table next to him. "No…but your presence soothes me and might help me to write something."
He looked over at the surprised man's face. "Sherlock has always said that John was his conductor of light; in this case, I suppose, you are mine in a sense. You…relax me and when that happens, often things come a little bit easier, as of late."
He watched a flush come over Greg's cheeks, but the smile was pleased. "Well, then I'll just lay here then, shall I?"
"If you wish."
Silence filled the room, but it wasn't oppressive or upsetting. It was soothing. Yet he still found no words coming to him. How did one describe Sherlock? How did one describe his relationship with his brother? How could simple words convey all his concern, worry, and happiness for that ball of energy that had invaded his life when he was seven years old? What words could he use to describe how proud he was of the man that had managed to make something good out of his life when he had been convinced that the drugs would rule it entirely?
Fingers touched his shoulders and he blinked when he realized they were massaging him. "Come on, find a spot to lay down and I'll work out this tension. Get a long night's sleep. You have at least one whole day more before the wedding and you took tomorrow off, right? Well besides the upcoming stag night."
"…Yes. I shouldn't have—"
"Yes, you should have. Now come on, up, let's head to your room." aHe raised an eyebrow at Greg's manhandling him out of the chair. "Where's your room?"
Sighing, though not entirely displeased, he led the way up the stairs and into his darkened bedroom. The predominant color was a soft blue hue, with a king size bed, silken sheets, and several dressers and nightstands. A laptop sat on a nightstand next to the bed, and an almost closed door led the way into his bathroom. The evening was cool enough that he had opened the window and a quiet breeze ruffled the mostly open curtains.
"…I think the size of this bedroom is the size of my entire apartment," Greg commented, but continued to nudge Mycroft to the bed. He sat on the edge and watched in amusement as the detective removed his shoes and socks. "Off with the rest." At his raised eyebrow again, the detective blushed. "I meant…" He gestured to the vest and his pocketwatch among others.
He removed them silently and pulled off his tie as the last part of the ensemble to go, loosening the top two buttons of his shirt. Following directions for once, he settled on his stomach and watched out of the corner of his eye as Greg shucked off his own shoes and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt. "Tell me if I make you uncomfortable," he warned and Mycroft didn't realize why until he felt the man straddle his waist.
He stiffened, but hands were quick to press down on his back right at the small of his spine. He gasped in surprise, nimble fingers finding their first knot of tension and attempting to work it out. "I'm not an expert or anything," Greg said conversationally, "but one of my sister's does this for a living, you know for medical therapy? She gives me one often enough."
A soft sigh escaped him as it felt as if the tension just rippled away little by little. "I believe you have missed your calling, Inspector," he murmured.
"Hardly! You mind if I get rid of the belt? It's in my way. I never realized clothes caused so many problems." There seemed to be a moment's hesitation. "I won't actually remove the shirt, but can I get my hands underneath it? Is that all right?"
Mycroft considered it, particularly in light of his growing attraction and attachment to the Inspector, but he was feeling pleasantly content at the moment. "Yes, you may."
The man's fingers slipped down beneath him as he lifted just a little to undo the belt and lightly opened his pants. For a moment he was concerned, but all Greg did was yank his shirt out of his trousers before they went back to his back. He relaxed back down, enjoying the callused fingers sliding against his bare back underneath the shirt.
"Could make a man feel envious, you know."
The words breaking the comfortable quiet drew Mycroft's attention from where he was fighting the urge to doze off to sleep. "What?"
"Well, look at this place. Look at your clothes. It's not so much the money, but the quality. The suits are top-notch, the house is great, and then there's you."
He felt his heart begin to thud. "What about me?"
"You're damn near perfect. Tall, lanky, and successful, and it's amazing that you've managed to juggle your work and planning Sherlock's wedding. You're doing everything because you love him and sometimes he's a little shit about it. You're just downright amazing at times, even if you're just as bad as Sherlock in your attitude sometimes, and I don't think you get told that often enough." He made to shift onto his arms, but hands pushed him back down. "No, no, no getting up. I'm not even close to being done."
"You don't have to—"
"If you say I don't have to lie, I'll smack you. I'm not lying. It's the truth. Everything about you is impressive. You can just walk into a room and without saying a word, take command of it."
Mycroft shivered as those hands became less kneading and more rubbing, gentling and seeming to explore. He couldn't help the soft moan that escaped him as the sheer relaxation caused him to harden…well, not only because of that. He blushed a bit as he realized that the words, the fact that it was Greg touching him, were causing him to grow aroused.
The detective's voice was a low murmur by this time, hands slipping down to Mycroft's stomach. "It's actually a bit hot, listening to you give orders." Fingers eased down and he gasped as he felt the man cup him through his underwear.
"Shh, Mycroft. Relax."
The last thing he did was relax; instead he stiffened further. Was Greg…only touching him because he was tense? The last thing Mycroft wanted was any kind of relief just because he was trying to relax him. He would have refused such actions from a professional masseuse and he certainly wouldn't take it from Gregory.
"Oh shut up. Now I know how John feels."
He blinked and looked over his shoulder at the man still straddling his hips. "Excuse me?"
"You know, both you and Sherlock are genius'…but also idiots. You're thinking that I'm doing this just because I want you to relax, aren't you?" His silence must have been an affirmative because there was a roll of his eyes and suddenly Greg leaned forward, pressing something hard into the small of his back. "You think I get hard just for anyone? What about me just telling you all the qualities I like about you didn't you get?"
Mycroft flipped the man over in an instant, throwing him from his back and following, pinning him to the bed. "Gregory…" he growled, leaning down, ready to capture those lips as his own as he froze.
It was like a flash of brilliance and he wondered if this was how Sherlock felt around John. In an instant he rolled off him and grabbed his laptop from the side table. It took one simple tap to open up his word processor and his fingers flew over the keyboard as fast as they could.
Greg sighed heavily next to him, but when Mycroft glanced over, he noted that there was a rueful smile on his lips. "I take it you've got it handled then?"
"Yes." He hesitated, fingers pausing. "Gregory—"
"What are you stopping for? Continue, before you lose your train of thought!"
Despite his misgivings, he did as he was told and focused solely on the laptop. By the time he looked up again, he realized it had turned one in the morning after he'd written and rewritten and perfected his draft. A soft snoring was beside him and he glanced over at the man that had fallen asleep next to him. Gently he ran his fingers through the salt and pepper hair and was it his imagination that Greg nuzzled his head closer toward his fingers? Mycroft debated about moving him to the guest room or sleeping somewhere else himself, but decided that both would entail waking the man up and he didn't want to. So for now…he'd allow someone for the first time to stay in his bed. This moment of solace was something he soaked up before the rest of the day while he'd have to suffer Sherlock the upcoming night.
Mycroft, despite rather wishing he could stop it, was smiling throughout the ceremony. While he couldn't exactly stop all crime that day, he had seen to it that Lestrade and his team had had the day off for the wedding. The wedding itself had had no hitch and he blessed his PA that she had managed to keep everything under wraps and there was not a single journalist in sight.
As they stepped out of the church, the photographer gestured for pictures and Mycroft smiled indulgently at seeing his brother. Honestly, even Sherlock was smiling a bit and John's grin seemed to be threatening to hurt if he tried to widen it anymore. Of course Sherlock, being dramatic, changed the script at the last minute and as the shutter clicked, he'd tipped John back and kissed him fiercely. Clearly the night apart had caused a lot of tension between the two and he raised an eyebrow at the thought that they might just start making out right there.
John, usually the sensible one, remained so and nudged the consulting detective back. Not that he could actually extricate himself from the arms that wound around him like a particularly clingy octopus. Sherlock raised an eyebrow at him as the two best men were called to share a photograph. He rolled his eyes at the silent statement and gestured for Gregory.
He wasn't sure if one of the grooms had stuck his foot out or if the detective really was that clumsy, but he tripped and stumbled for. Mycroft, seeing that there was nothing to catch himself onto, quickly reached out and wrapped an arm around his waist from behind. As he pulled him back up, their eyes meeting, the shutter clicked and he almost frowned. He stepped back, but Greg grabbed his hand with a twinkle of mischief in his eyes. With his other hand he grabbed the gray top hat Mycroft still held and pulled the taller man close, lifting the hat to cover their faces from the shutter as if they were kissing. The shutter clicked as Greg asked, "Having fun?"
"…I suppose," he said, but his smile said he was. It was probably the first day since they were children that he and Sherlock hadn't argued too much.
There were plenty more pictures as they moved to the reception and nerves began to form in Mycroft's stomach. The cake was placed nearby the long table for the wedding party, and John couldn't seem to stop laughing. Sherlock raised an eyebrow and yet he seemed to be smiling as well. Much to his surprise, his brother even pulled out a seat for John.
As everyone grew settled and conversation flowed, he took a deep breath. His timing was impeccable as he stood up , tapping a fork against his glass of champagne. Everyone's attention was on him then, and he drew on his ability to look into presidents and dictator's eyes equally without flinching to handle the nerves. Greg, sitting next to John as he'd sat next to his brother, was watching him and his calm and reassuring presence helped more than he was willing to say.
"I'm told the first thing that one does in these speeches is congratulate everyone for being able to make it, but I feel that that is hardly necessary, since every single person in this room would be more than likely to sacrifice their arm to be here at such a one-time-only occasion." He'd been very glad for his photographic memory because he had no need of notes…and yet sometimes he rather wished he hadn't because he could use something to grip and his PA had refused to let him bring his umbrella.
"I was also informed that one usually reads well-wishes from those that couldn't make it, but we all know that everyone invited is here." He paused and relaxed a bit as he fell more and more back into his diplomatic role. His chin tilted a little, unconsciously spreading what Greg referred to as his 'commanding aura'. "There is nothing anyone in this room has spoken about Sherlock that has not already been said by myself first when he was a child."
There was a chuckle from his mother and father nearby and he felt their happy looks, but he didn't glance at them. "He is selfish, frustrating, too brilliant for his own good, and there isn't a day that goes by that I do not have the urge to strangle him." Sherlock was glaring at him and John poked him to silence when he was about to reply. "If I attempted to count how many times I have had to bail my little brother out of his scrapes, I would quickly lose track. Starting from the time he set the Christmas tree on fire when he was four," Here his parents laughed, "to the time he was first thrown in jail for trespassing for one of his 'cases', I have had no end of headaches because of his behavior.
"However," he continued before Sherlock could deny that he'd ever needed Mycroft for anything, "I would do it all over in a heartbeat." He turned his blue eyes to his brother. "Insecure, childish, and so insolent that many would not hesitate to say hates me, but I have never once doubted that no matter what he does, he's quite worth it. For a long time, there has been much in my life, in my career, that I am unable to express verbally, but if there is one thing that I have never stopped or hidden: my joy in Sherlock. While I have been accused that I have saved the world time and again," And here there was a smattering of laughter, "my greatest accomplishment is and will always be Sherlock, and he is the source of my greatest of pride."
Sherlock was the one to look away and it didn't take his deductive skills to see he'd embarrassed the man. Mycroft turned back to the crowd. "He has carved out his place in the world through his own skill, adhering only to one principle: the truth. I have always known Sherlock to be a brilliant person, if highly arrogant, but soon enough others began to see what I did. Yet nothing gave me greater pleasure than seeing him meet Doctor John Watson. While I grew proud of the cultivation of Sherlock's mind in his childhood, John continued my work, cultivating his heart, until he is the man I always knew that he could be."
Before they could clap, Mycroft turned to his brother and saluted with his champagne flute. "Congratulations, dear brother."
Their eyes met again, Sherlock's boring into him. John leaned in a little, whispering something in his ear, and the applause paused a bit when the younger Holmes stood up. "Just hug him already," Greg whispered with a grin in his voice and the two men looked at him almost as if horrified. A ripple of laughter filtered through the guests and Mycroft held out his other hand in the closest approximation of a hug they were really capable of.
Sherlock took it and there was a tight squeeze around his fingers. Mycroft glanced down at their hands and then back up, seeing everything that would never come out his mouth. His fingers would feel numb in another minute, but he actually found himself smiling. This was the most obvious display of Sherlock's affection for him that he had ever seen. He squeezed back in reassurance and after a long moment their hands parted and they both settled in their chairs.
Greg stood up and rubbed his neck. "'Fraid my best man speech isn't going to be nearly as eloquent as that, but I think when you start to compete against Mycroft Holmes in elegance, you've drunk a little too much alcohol." Mycroft smiled in amusement as the room began to laugh much more heartily. "When I'd first met John, I'd been dealing with both Holmes' for about five years, so let that be clear that I knew what Sherlock was like before him. I'll go on record to say at the time, I agreed with Mycroft about his childish behavior and not thinking he'd ever grow up.
"I guess Mycroft and I had grown into a give and take with Sherlock, kind of a limbo, and then in walks John and it was like someone tossed a bomb. My impression when I first met John was a mild-mannered, quiet doctor and war hero," Here there was a snort from John, "that wanted to just relax. Nothing out of the ordinary…and then I'd begun to feel a sense of dread."
He laughed at John's rueful grin. "Sorry, mate, but it's true. I'd find my jaw dropping that instead of calming Sherlock down, I'd find him running his arse off right after Sherlock. Proper Doctor Watson giggling right along with Sherlock at crime scenes! I knew then that my headaches wouldn't stop, they'd only get bigger, but you know, I find myself grinning along with it anyway. John's a good mate and a great friend. If you need help, there's no one better to ask. You want facts, you ask Sherlock; you want someone to understand, it's John."
Greg grinned down the rest of the table. "So here's to more headaches and yelling and the future of watching Sherlock and John solving cases until they're old and gray and can't drive me round the bend anymore!"
There was more laughter and clapping, and John stood up, hugging the detective. Sherlock raised an eyebrow and Mycroft chuckled at his almost-pout. As the reception proceeded, finally it was drawing to a close and time for the dancing. Mycroft signaled for silence and went to the corner of the room with a piano, sitting down and hoping that his practice didn't fail him. Until three months ago, he hadn't played the piano in twenty years and he'd been horrified at how terrible he'd sounded.
The piece he'd created seemed to be a success and he blessed that he'd spent every night, no matter how late, practicing even a little. As he stood up, bowing a little graciously, he stepped off the slightly raised stage. John and even Sherlock were clapping before the band that he'd hired, John's favorite, began to play.
Sherlock, seeming to be the moment he was waiting for, grabbed John's hands and began to dance. His new husband's eyes widened, clearly not having expected his partner to be graceful or as perfect at dancing as he was, but there was a delighted smile on his face. Had he expected to have to coerce Sherlock into dancing with him? Mycroft smiled indulgently and made to step over to the nearby bar, when an arm slung around his waist.
"Where you goin'?"
"Over to the bar," he answered, raising an eyebrow at the detective that accosted him.
"Nope. You're dancing with me. It's tradition. You know, chosen of the bride and groom, in this case two best men, dancing together." Those brown eyes softened a little, almost pleading. "Please?"
As if he could say no to Gregory after all this time… With a heavy sigh, he smiled a bit and nodded. "Oh very well." He could practically feel the staring of his parents, their grins at his and Sherlock's back and this was going to be really difficult to explain away.
He raised his eyebrow in a silent 'So what'? as he wrapped an arm around his partner as they danced.
"There's also another tradition about the groom and groom's chosen ones."
Greg's arms slid around his waist and he seemed to step closer than strictly necessary. "Yeah, usually end up in a bed with hot, wild sex. Interested?"
He thought back to the last night the detective had spent at his house. Before he'd had his inspiration, he'd been more than willing to press the man flat on his back and have him, but his passions had cooled some since then. Was it truly a wise idea? Did they really know what they were getting into?
"Give us a chance, Mycroft. We can have a night of uncomplicated sex and leave it at that…or we can have a night of complicated sex that leads to dates and possibly something more. Personally, I'm hoping a bit for the latter."
"I'm already too attached to you, Gregory. To date me would only invite that more," he murmured, unable to keep the words stern. "Are you prepared to be my 'John'? It isn't easy being the focus of a Holmes' affections."
"Yeah, I am. Now would you finally just up and kiss me? I've been waiting for months!"
Mycroft smiled slowly, paused their dancing, and lifted the man's chin up just so before their lips met. It was like lightning going through him, pushing him to deepen it, and perhaps planning a wedding had some unexpected benefits, he thought as he held the man close.
He would never do it again, though. Ever.
(Because seriously, who else would plan Sherlock's wedding? I've never been married and wasn't around for my sister's planning of hers, but I did some googling to see what has to be done. Sorry if it's not right.)