It was a tedious occasion, really. Sally Donovan's wedding to some bloke named Cade Hammer and Sherlock and John had been invited. Well. John had been invited. And he had dragged Sherlock along. Sherlock really had absolutely no interest in going, but he'd been trying hard to keep John happy lately. Ever since he'd returned from three years of pretending to be dead. The ceremony had been exceedingly boring. Sherlock had amused himself by watching the surrounding crowd and deducing all that he could about them. Silently, of course. John wouldn't have appreciated that.
It was now the reception. There was loud music and the sun was setting. The party was crowded under a large tent, all laughing and dancing. Most of them drunk. Sherlock sat at a table covered with wedding dress-shaped confetti and brooded. John had left him to enjoy himself in the middle of the dancing crowd. It was a heavy beat and, with the bass turned up so much, Sherlock could feel the beat vibrate his very core. It was entirely irritating. He couldn't even continue deducing the crowd as they were all mushed together, sweaty, jumping and unrecognizable. Sherlock gritted his teeth, flicking at a piece of confetti.
One song transitioned poorly into another. After a few brief seconds, one person dislodged himself from the mass of bodies and made his way towards Sherlock. Sherlock tried not to let out a sigh of relief when he recognized John, eyes bright with adrenaline. John practically collapsed in a chair next to Sherlock, grabbing the glass he'd left on the table and taking a deep drink.
"Oh come on, Sherlock. Don't tell me you're going to sit here all night. You're missing all the fun."
Sherlock let out a sardonic chuckle. "Fun?" he repeated and waved a hand at the mass. "You call jumping up and down in the middle of a pile of sweaty, drunk idiots fun?"
"Yes. Fun. Interacting. Dancing. Fun." John set down his glass, smiling disbelievingly at Sherlock. Sherlock snorted.
"I don't see that as fun, John. Surely you should realize that would not appeal to me." He clenched his jaw for a moment before speaking again. "How much longer do we have to stay?"
"Not too much longer, Sherlock. But a bit." John smiled, and Sherlock scowled at the cheerful expression which was accompanied by an unconscious tapping of his foot. It never made sense to Sherlock how John could enjoy these sorts of occasions.
Sherlock watched John, whose gaze had fallen back to the crowd, humming happily along with the song. However much he failed to understand it, it was nice to see John in such a pleasant mood. Ever since Sherlock had returned to Baker Street, John had been really testy. Sherlock still wasn't convinced John had forgiven him completely yet. It was something Sherlock had foreseen, yes. But what he hadn't foreseen was how hard it was going to be.
The song finally transitioned into another one, this one slower. The mass separated minimally and started pairing off. Sherlock sighed, flicking at another piece of confetti.
"It's a slow song."
Sherlock looked up, eyes wide, to see John was looking at him thoughtfully. Sherlock frowned.
"Are you asking me to dance?"
John's ears turned pink immediately and he lowered his gaze, chuckling quietly. Sherlock continued to stare, mind whirling. Suddenly he found himself standing and straightening his suit jacket before holding out a hand to John. John looked up at it, baffled. Slowly, he took the offered hand and Sherlock wasted no time dragging him to the dance floor. Sherlock twisted John around easily, keeping their hands together as he placed his other hand on John's waist. John looked down at the hand before staring up at Sherlock incredulously.
Sherlock chuckled lowly. "Yes, John?"
"Why is your hand...there?"
Sherlock chuckled again. "Because I'm leading. Naturally."
"Why should you lead? I'm a perfectly good dancer. And I obviously enjoy it more. I should lead."
Sherlock's mouth twisted in amusement. John actually looked like his pride was wounded. It was rather adorable, actually. "I'm taller. It would be awkward for you, as the shorter man, to lead."
John sighed and removed Sherlock's hand anyway. Sherlock grabbed John's wrist quickly, stubbornly placing it on his shoulder before returning his hand to John's waist. "This isn't up for negotiations, John."
John scowled. "Fine," he grumbled. Sherlock smiled briefly, pleased that he had won. They fell into step with the beat of the song, a strange silence settling between them. Sherlock suddenly frowned, the lyrics of the song reaching his ears.
"These lyrics make no sense," he declared. John paused before answering, tilting his head subconsciously to listen.
"They make sense just fine, Sherlock. Stop over analyzing."
"'I have died everyday waiting for you'?" Sherlock recited skeptically. "'I have loved you for a thousand years, I'll love you for a thousand more'? How does that even begin to make sense, John?"
"It's not literal, Sherlock," John said patiently. "Obviously. It's the feel of it. Dying every day. Feeling as though it's been a thousand years, like it might as well be forever. Knowing that the feeling won't end. Not for as long as it's been going on. For a thousand years. For ever. And time doesn't matter." He stared intently at Sherlock, something in his eyes so sincere, so raw, so painful. "It's not meant to be logical," he added in a mutter, eyes suddenly flicking away.
Sherlock blinked at John stupidly. That... hadn't been just an explanation of the song, he realized slowly. His mouth went suddenly dry and he looked away as well, blindly staring out into the couples surrounding them. He tightened his grip on John's waist ever so slightly. Did John realize that he had been describing Sherlock as well? Sherlock gritted his teeth and dared to pulled John in closer, just minimally. John let out a small gasp at the sudden movement and Sherlock tensed, waiting for the doctor to pull back. But he didn't.
Sherlock wasn't entirely sure how it happened. Slowly, movements small and cautious, the two men moved closer to each other until their bodies were flush and John's head was resting in the crook of Sherlock's neck. Sherlock's eyes were wide, barely blinking, and he hoped to every and all gods that this wasn't going to turn out to have bad consequences. He was on edge, just waiting for John to suddenly realize what was happening and push Sherlock away, loudly professing he wasn't gay.
Not that Sherlock thought he was. Not that Sherlock was himself. And, honestly, was this really even sexual? They were just two men, two men who needed each other more than anything. More than air, Sherlock realized with a start. When had he become so dependent on this man? When had he, for lack of a better phrase, fallen so in love?
The song was dying down, slowly coming to a close. John shifted in Sherlock's arms and Sherlock released him quickly, preparing himself for the worst. But instead John looked up at Sherlock, lips pursed awkwardly, ears red. Sherlock stared at him in shock. John wasn't running away. He looked awkward, nervous. Almost like he was waiting for Sherlock to do what Sherlock was afraid John was about to. Like he needed Sherlock just as much as Sherlock needed John. Desperately.
And then it all made sense. Sherlock felt almost like he could float, though the idea was utterly preposterous. The song finally ended and a upbeat swing song started. Sherlock glanced up at the music, a grin falling onto his lips. Swing. He'd grown up on swing. He held his hand back out to John who blinked at it blankly.
"Dance with me," Sherlock said and it wasn't really a question. John looked up at him, wide-eyed, and then grinned.
A/N: Written with Olivia Gilbert who will be posting the story from John's POV sometime soon. Ish. Hopefully. She's graduating on Saturday, though, so be patient with her. 3
And, yes, we did just use "A Thousand Years", the song that everyone sort of associates with Alone On The Water. We went there. Because it gives us FEELS and we couldn't resist.
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