A/N: Welp, that was fast. I barely put up the final chapter of "A Shift in Priorities" less than a week ago, and already I have a new story for you.
There are few tropes I enjoy, and even less I want to do myself, but this is definitely one of them. My dream is to one day to the fake relationship trope. Anyway. While Sherlock and John is a ballet dancer and a rugby player respectively, don't expect a lot of technical terms for either. I know very little of either one, so if you see an error, let me know.
Like with "Shift" I do have a lot of the story written, the trouble is finding the time to type things up. I have a new schedule that allows me to write between calls at the end of the night, but I am usually too tired to do much of anything when I get home. So expect erratic postings.
Thanks to my ever wonderful and faithful beta, Old Ping Hai. I've been threatening to do this trope for a looooooong time and she is absolutely thrilled that I've finally started. Even though I tossed my original idea of over 2000 words written out the window and started anew.
EDIT: I finished writing the story and changed the date of their first meeting. After doing a bit more research on the ballet and rugby seasons, February isn't doable. Oops! I'm usually better at researching than that. So please forgive my error.
Angelo's was the new hit restaurant in town. Exclusive to the extreme and a waiting list that could stretch for months. Sherlock had had his reservation on the books since September and with it nearing the end of December, he was quite looking forward to taking his mother out for her birthday.
Mrs Holmes was really excited as well; she had been telling all her friends what a good son Sherlock was to take her to this fancy new place for her birthday.
She twittered happily when they got out of the car and stood there looking at the fancy front entrance while Sherlock handed off the keys to the valet. Sherlock ushered her in and up to the maitre d's station.
"Excuse me, I have a seven o'clock reservation for two. Holmes," he said.
The young woman looked over her list. "I'm sorry, I don't see you here. Are you sure you made the reservation?"
"Yes, I even called to confirm it an hour ago," Sherlock said through clenched teeth.
The maitre d' looked over her list again. "Oh, here it is. I erased it because you weren't here at 7, so I gave it away."
Sherlock nearly turned red from rage. "What! We are only a few minutes late and you gave our table away?"
The young woman sneered, "Well, you should have been on time, then."
"Oh dear," Mrs Holmes murmured. "We would have been, but there was this horrible accident that slowed everything down."
"That's hardly my fault," the maitre d' complained.
"It's not ours either!" Sherlock bellowed.
"We have an opening in..." she said, looking at her list. "In April."
"That's months away!" Sherlock screeched.
"It's all right, Sherlock, dear," Mrs Holmes soothed. "It was a silly old wish anyway."
"No, it's not, Mummy. I will not be put out because this twit couldn't use her brain!"
"Sir, I'm going to need you to calm down. You are making a scene," she sniffed.
"You want a scene? I'll give you a-"
"Pardon," a new voice interrupted. "Is there a problem?"
The maitre d' lit up. "Oh, Mr Watson!" she crowed. "It's nothing to worry about. Some people will try anything to get a table here."
Sherlock whirled away from her to pounce on the unsuspecting newcomer, but when his eyes lit on the man, he was blown away. Here was this fit, blond, smiling stranger in a shiny silver suit which really should have looked ridiculous, but really didn't. It took Sherlock's brain a few seconds to catch up.
"I had a reservation which this idiot," Sherlock said, sticking out his thumb toward the maitre d', "gave away because we were only five minutes late."
Mr Watson looked back to his table and then around Sherlock to look at the maitre d'. He frowned.
"Did you give me his table?" he asked.
"Of course I did," she said proudly.
"But you told me that the other party had canceled, when I arrived at a quarter til," Mr Watson said, his frown deepening.
"Well, when John Watson, the star of the London rugby team, comes in with his super model girlfriend, of course he's going to get priority over some nobody and his mummy." She made the last word sound like an insult.
"What's wrong with someone wanting to treat his mother to a nice dinner?" John asked.
The maitre d' rolled her eyes and then spoke slowly, "Because this is an upscale restaurant. If you want to take your mother out to dinner, go to some franchise."
Sherlock reeled from the sheer stupidity of the statement.
Just as Sherlock was drawing breath for another tirade, a second woman came up to the station.
"Oh, Mr Holmes!" she said, drawing up short. "I hope Julie here is being accommodating."
Sherlock's face took on a feral grin. "Actually, she isn't. She gave my table away to this man," he said, pointing to John.
"You know Mr Holmes?" Julie asked the newcomer.
"Of course I do. Sherlock Holmes, the premier ballet dancer who danced this Christmas to rave reviews in 'Swan Lake'.
Sherlock blushed and murmured, "Thank you."
"Julie, is it true that you gave away his table to someone else?" the other woman asked.
"He was late," Julie insisted.
"She gave me the table before she knew he would be, though," John defended Sherlock.
"Oh come off it, Barbara. How was I supposed to know he was famous, it's not like I know anything about ballet," Julie complained.
Barbara sighed. "It's not about who is more famous or less, it's about respecting our customers. And just turning around and giving a table to someone else isn't acceptable. Were this the first time, I would let it slide. But you keep doing it."
"What's point the of having a job at a posh place if you can't give your favorite rock star or sports player a little something on the side?" Julie grumbled.
"Because if we do it for one person then other people will start demanding that we do it for them, too. We take Mark Strong's table and give it to Becks, and he tells people that he can get any seat in our restaurant he wants, then other people come in thinking they are more famous than he is and demand that they be given a table, too. And that simply cannot happen!"
"Whatever," Julie said, rolling her eyes.
"I didn't want to do this, but with your clear lack of respect for the rules, I'm going to have to fire you. Grab your things and go. You can pick up your last check on Friday," Barbara said, with a sigh.
Julie opened her mouth to squawk, but Barbara held up her hand. "I have given you too many chances as it is. Go."
Julie stormed off.
"I'm really sorry for this, Mr Holmes," Barbara said after watching Julie leave. "What can I do to make this right?"
John looked between the manager and Sherlock. "He can come share our table, or rather we can share his, if he and his mother are amenable."
Sherlock was torn. He wanted to treat his mother, but the thought of having to share a table with someone he didn't know was abhorrent. He looked over at his mother, who looked hopeful at the prospect, and he caved.
"If your date doesn't object," Sherlock said. "Then neither do we."
Barbara looked as though she was going to kiss John right there on the rug. "That would really make things easier for everyone, if you could."
John smiled, "It won't be a problem."
This was a problem, Cathy fumed. How the hell was she supposed to seduce John with Mr Posh and his simpering mother there? At first it wasn't a big deal; Cathy thought she could get rid of them by being overly sexual to John. But no...instead, John would smile at her and then look back over to this posh arsehole. Cathy was going to start screaming.
She turned her attention back to John who was speaking, "Christ! I couldn't do what you dancers do."
Cathy waved her hand. "Don't be ridiculous, John. Of course you can and do. It's all the same thing, running and jumping. Only in rugby, you have the added worry of someone trying to tackle you. What you do is far more dangerous than any ballet."
John beamed at her, but that git had to stick his nose into it.
"We have to dance for two hours straight with no time outs and no backup string if we get injured. I have seen dancers perform on broken bones, sprained ankles, and even pulled tendons. All while looking as graceful and beautiful as possible. The pain mustn't show on our faces. Our female principals who do pointe can break bones in their toes, ankles, and calves if they don't build up their muscles properly. I'm one of a few male dancers who can do pointe. It is painful and beautiful."
"Wow," John said. "Why would you do that if you don't have to? I'm guessing that male dancers don't have to learn it, if there are so few of you that do."
"Mostly men do it for comedic effect," Sherlock admitted, "men doing the female roles, but there's a movement to see more of us take on pointe for other roles as well. Matthew Bourne's 'Swan Lake' is famous for having all male swans, and more and more directors are looking into doing similar things. As for why I do it, well...I push myself to be the best at everything. Also it helps connect with my female leads if I know what pain they are going through."
Cathy huffed. "And you expect us to believe all that?" She sat back in her chair and crossed her arms. "You clearly haven't seen a game of rugby in your life if you claim what you do is more painful."
"Hey, Cath," John soothed. "It's okay. He's just a bit defensive because dancers don't get a lot of credit for what they do, and the men are seen as gay."
Mrs Holmes smirked. "Which is something I never understood really. How is it that my son gets labeled a fairy when he gets to be around women in tight outfits, while rugby players, who roll around in the dirt with other men, aren't?"
John snorted and then started to laugh. "Point to ballet!" he crowed.
They finished their meal shortly after that. They were all standing around under the valet awning waiting for the valets to return with their cars.
"It was nice meeting you and your mother, Mr Holmes," John said, reaching out to shake Sherlock's hand.
"Mr Holmes is my father, call me Sherlock," he replied, taking John's hand.
"It was our pleasure, Mr Watson," Mrs Holmes said with a smile.
"Call me John," John said.
"John," Sherlock repeated, enjoying the way the rugby player's name felt on his tongue. It was warm and made him want to say it over and over again.
Their hands lingered a fraction too long to be considered friendly, but if anyone noticed, no one said a thing.
"If you ever decide to come see one of our home games, just give me a call and I'll get you as many seats as you need," John said, scribbling his number on the back of a business card that had John's manager's number on the front for endorsement deals and the like.
Sherlock took it with a small, sweet smile on his face. "And of course, if you and Kitty-"
"Cathy!" Cathy snapped.
"Whatever," Sherlock said, waving her protest away. "If you want to come to one of our performances, I'll make sure to leave two tickets under your name at the will call."
Cathy wanted to seethe in rage, but John only shone with sheer happiness.
"Our car is here," Cathy said, pointing at the valet who had just pulled up.
"Right," John said. "Again, pleasure to meet you both."
"The pleasure is all ours, I assure you," Mrs Holmes said, with a tender smile.
Sherlock helped his mother into their car and looked back to see John smiling at him. He thought John was the most interesting person he had ever met.
John thought that Sherlock was the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on.
Mrs Holmes was grateful that her birthday hadn't been ruined.
Cathy, on the other hand, just wanted to get John home and rip all his clothes off before she withered from sexual frustration.
Both cars drove off, going their separate ways.
Leaving John and Sherlock feeling bereft, and a bitter ache settled in their chests.