The reception hall was really more of a down-scaled ballroom, with high Corinthian columns supporting the vaulted ceiling. Cream white balloons were strung to the chairs and to the circular tables in one corner of the room while a stretch of light-wood indicated where the dance floor was situated. Simple—plain—like Molly herself, but dazzlingly bright and festive nonetheless. Sherlock hovered close by John's elbow as Greg swooped over and slapped them both on the back enthusiastically, a giddy smile stretched across his face.
"I'm glad you could come! I was afraid Mycroft hadn't gotten the message to you two," He chuckled and nodded to the elder Holmes, who lingered over by the dessert table, staring longingly at the plethora of baked goods before him.
"We wouldn't miss it," John grinned and clapped Greg on the shoulder, "Congratulations, mate." He nudged Sherlock stiffly in the ribs.
"Yes, yes, congratulations," Sherlock amended hastily, obviously trying to keep the impatient brusqueness out of his voice.
"Where's Molly?" queried John, craning his neck to see over the hoard of well-wishers occupying the dance floor.
"Getting buried by gifts, it seems," Greg pointed to where Molly sat, surrounded by what seemed to be her relatives and friends who were proffering present after present as they twittered away gleefully, "Feel free to grab a table, we'll be starting in a moment with the cake and champagne."
John led Sherlock over to an empty table and sat down, regarding his flat-mate curiously.
"You're being awfully-" He searched for the right word, "-Docile."
"Am I?" Sherlock drawled, already bored with the proceedings. He was positively itching to undo the uncomfortably restrictive collar of his tuxedo shirt.
"We don't have to stay for long," John reasoned, noting Sherlock's discomfort, "Just before the dancing starts we'll slip out."
Sherlock sniffed and avoided John's eyes, focusing instead on Molly, who was making her way over to them. She did look radiant, and deliriously happy. It seemed she had taken Sherlock's advice with the lipstick—and as much as John didn't want to admit it—it suited her better than the shocking red color she wore at Christmas.
"Hello John, Sherlock!"
"Molly! Congratulations!" John stood up to hug her, simultaneously raising his eyebrows at Sherlock, who had remained seated.
"Yes—congratulations." Sherlock smiled awkwardly and wrapped his long arms around Molly in a tentative hug. She flushed and beamed eagerly at them both. A young woman who looked like Molly's sister edged up next to them, eyeing Sherlock curiously and tucking a strand of her thin auburn hair behind her ear.
"Mols, the cake is out." She flashed a smile in Sherlock's direction before rejoining the group of women fussing over the gifts. John narrowed his eyes and glanced over at Sherlock, who looked ridiculously smug. Apparently he was not entirely lost when it came to recognizing when someone was being flirtatious.
When all the guests were supplied with a fair amount of vanilla bundt and a glass of champagne, the somewhat stroppy toasts began, starting with Molly's sister, who turned out to be named Lisa.
"My little sister was always the shy one in the family," She began, grinning around at the collected audience, "And the smart one. At least smart enough to catch this one!" She pointed to Greg and everyone laughed appreciatively. John heard Sherlock snort and shot him a warning look. The small speeches continued as everyone ate and drank, some relatives getting more than a little tipsy and slurring their words together before sitting down abruptly to fan themselves. Eventually, Lestrade calmed everyone down enough to usher the congregation onto the dance floor. By then, the lights were dimmed and the entire hall glimmered with blue and red lights. A medium paced song began playing and the guests started to shed their layers over the backs of chairs to go dance.
Before he knew what was happening, Molly was pulling John up by the hand and leading him onto the floor. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and moved her feet in time to the music, whirling them around the perimeter of the packed dance floor.
"Did something happen between you and Sherlock?" Molly asked, leaning in close so John could hear her.
"What do you mean?" He tried his best to hide his surprise at the question.
"I dunno—he just seems more—"
John shrugged and avoided Molly's eyes glancing instead to where Sherlock sat. He had finally ripped off the bowtie and tossed it on the linen table cloth. Still, Sherlock looked unusually forlorn.
"You should ask him to dance."
"Sherlock doesn't dance."
"He might with you."
"No, I don't think he would."
"He trusts you, John, whether you know it or not."
Molly waved Sherlock over eagerly as John protested weakly, a tension coiling tightly in his stomach. Reluctantly, Sherlock rose from his chair and came over, his brow furrowed in confusion.
"John was wondering if you would fancy a dance with him?" Molly offered, grinning fiendishly. Balking, John stared at her. He was just about to object to her statement when Sherlock nodded, his lips quirking into a half-smile.
"I'll gladly take it from here, thank you Molly."
She clapped her hands together as she let go of John and skittered away to find Greg in the tangle of people on the dance floor. John eyed Sherlock apprehensively as he stepped closer.
"I didn't think you liked to dance."
"That doesn't mean I won't."
Sherlock scoffed and pulled John closer, wrapping his long arms around his middle. "Must I always have a reason?"
"You always have a reason. I've lived with you long enough to know that much," He glanced up at Sherlock, who suddenly seemed unnervingly close. "Look, I know that we—you know—what we did last night—"
"Oh not this again—" Sherlock rolled his eyes, "Honestly, John. Even though you're a stickler for consistency doesn't mean you constantly have to deny your sexualit—" John silenced him with a withering look.
"If I didn't want to kiss you—I wouldn't have," Sherlock amended, dipping his head slightly. The music changed to something slow—Frank Sinatra or maybe Tony Bennett. They rotated slowly on the spot, seemingly oblivious to the guests around them.
"10 quid says they kiss by the end of the night," Lestrade murmured under his breath as he and Molly drifted past.
"Oh shh! Greg!" Molly scolded, breaking into a fit of giggles as he chuckled knowingly.
"We've all seen it coming."
It was relaxing, really, floating around the edge of the dance floor in Sherlock's arms. John hesitated before resting his head in the crook of Sherlock's shoulder.
"You'd sound good singing this song." He commented, inhaling deeply. Sherlock didn't answer, but instead brought one hand up from John's waist and tangled his fingers in his hair, massaging gently. Though uncharacteristically tender, John decided he liked this uncertain (and a tiny bit awkward) version of Sherlock.
"It's because of my voice; somewhat deep and even—coupled with my extensive knowledge of music and the delicate cadence that this particular tune—and of course at this close proximity you'd be able to press your ear to my chest and feel the words as well—In fact you're already doing just that." He paused and tipped John's head back slightly, examining his expression. Before John could affirm his deduction, Sherlock's lips were pressed against his. Drawing away, Sherlock's mouth quirked in a self-satisfied fashion. "I think we ought to get home. It's getting late."
Flustered, John nodded eagerly. "Yes yes, I think we must—just—slip out. Wouldn't want to break up the happy couple for a petty goodbye, now would we?"
"No—wouldn't want that," Sherlock began to pull John towards the door, snatching up the abandoned bowtie as he rushed past.