"Sherlock, please, I beg of you. You can take over at the interval." Mycroft pleaded over the phone, something very rare to occur.
"Oh, I'm sorry Brother dear, but you made a promise. Nothing I can do to help." The detective explained, fixing his suit in the mirror.
"But you don't understand the pain of it, the horror." The older Holmes whispered.
"I am sure that you can make it through one showing of Les Mis." Sherlock finished and ended the call before more could be said. Jo-Ann approached the bedroom door, giving a light knock.
"Come on, you'll have to go down. They'll want the story." She smiled. Sherlock let his eyes wander the room before he responded.
"In a minute." He answered and slowly walked past her, running a hand down the hall. It took a moment for the doctor to realize what he was doing, and when she did, the most delightful sensation grew in her chest.
"You're happy to be back… aren't you? Back in 221B." she crossed her arms and leaned on the door frame. Sherlock glanced back at her a little while scanning the hall for every detail he could find.
"What gave it away?" he smiled back at her before walking on into the living room. Jo-Ann shook her head and followed after him, the sound of Mrs. Hudson chatting away and the clanging of champagne glasses reaching her ears.
"Oh, I'm really pleased, Marius." The landlady chirped. "Have you taught a class yet?"
"Well not yet, I start next month." The tutor, now also full time Professor, replied. He had accepted a new job at a private school, one that looked quiet promising.
"Cheers, Mar. Hope it goes well for you." Lestrade raised his glass a bit from across the room. Jo-Ann grabbed a drink for herself and smiled both men. Sherlock causally looked out the window, seeing all the reporters waiting to see the long missed detective. It had been a whole day since the incident, why did they still care?
"Oh, Sherlock! You are coming to the wedding, right?" Marius asked. Sherlock raised an eyebrow, not remembering such an event.
"Janine's. You haven't met her but Jo-Ann was invited so I assumed you would go as well." Marius explained. Jo-Ann rolled her eyes and took another sip of her champagne, knowing he wouldn't want to go and not mentioning it because of that.
"Mmm, weddings… Not really my thing." Sherlock smiled a little and went back to looking out the window. Marius shook his head but left it at that, interrupted by the knock on the door.
"Oh, hi Molly! Come in!" Jo-Ann grinned, but was a little surprised to see the guest she brought.
"Hi!" She waved and tugged a young man in after her. "Everyone, this is Tom! Tom, this is everyone." Molly giggled.
"Hello." Tom greeted with a smile. Jo-Ann had the same goofy look on her face as she looked him up and down. Tall, curly dark hair, defined cheekbones, long coat, scarf and dress shoes. Why, the only thing that differentiated him from Sherlock was some of his face and length of his hair. "It's really nice to meet you all."
"Wow. Yeah, hi, I'm Jo-Ann." the doctor shook his hand, although a little scared. Everyone else said their hellos but were all essentially thinking the same thing as she was.
"Ready?" Sherlock asked his doctor, not noticing the new guests.
"Ready." Jo-Ann replied but watched for his reaction. The detective walked towards the door, but stopped when he finally looked up and saw the man in his way. His face went from passive to confused in record time, and he glanced towards Jo-Ann for explanation while Lestrade offered the couple champagne. The doctor sealed her mouth in an almost straight line and tilted her head a little, just as confused as he was but telling him to be polite none the less. Sherlock shook Tom's hand and briefly walked past him and out the door. Jo-Ann took one last glance at Molly's date, thought about it for a bit, got a chill, and followed after her detective, grabbing her coat off the hook.
"Did you, uh…" she whispered from behind the closed door.
"Not saying a word." Sherlock replied and wrapped his scarf round his neck. The last time he commented on Molly's boyfriend, she got mad. And for some reason, he really didn't like it when Molly was mad.
"No, best not." Jo-Ann agreed. "You know, I'm still waiting." She said, putting on her black shooter jacket.
"Why did they try and kill me?" she clarified, referring to the bon fire incident. Nothing in the train carriage attempted bombing or Lord Moran's arrest showed any connection to it. "If they knew you were onto them, why come after me? Put me in the bonfire?" she continued to whisper.
"I don't know." Sherlock admitted. "I don't like not knowing." He scowled before going down the stairs and putting his coat on in the process. "Unlike the nicely embellished fictions on your blog, Jo-Ann, real life is rarely so neat." He explained as he reached the bottom floor, his doctor in tow. "I don't know who was behind all this but I will find out, I promise you."
"Don't pretend you're not enjoying this." Jo-Ann smiled smugly from behind.
"Hmm?" Sherlock mumbled, putting his gloves on and remaining forward.
"Being back. Being a hero again." She crossed her arms.
"Oh, don't be stupid." He replied quickly.
"You'd have to be an idiot not to see it. You love it." Jo-Ann continued.
"Love what?" Sherlock furrowed his brow as he turned around.
"Being Sherlock Holmes." She answered, stepping down onto the floor from the step she was stopped on.
"I don't even know what that's supposed to mean." Sherlock lied, and Jo-Ann knew it. She could see it in the way he moved, the way he spoke. That little glint in his eye when he was talked about, she could see it all. She bit her lip, holding back the ridiculous grin that was sure to some on her face.
"Sherlock, you are going to tell me how you did it?" Jo-Ann asked, watching as her detective slowed to a stop just before the door. "How you jumped off that building and survived?"
"You know my methods, Jo-Ann. I am known to be indestructible." He half joked.
"No, but seriously." She lost that grin she was holding back. "When you were dead, I went to your grave."
"Yes, you said before. And I should hope so." Sherlock said quietly, adjusting his coat that was perfectly fine.
"I made a little speech." Jo-Ann added. "I actually spoke to you."
"I know." The detective finally turned towards her and took a few steps closer. "I was there." He admitted. Jo-Ann paused for a moment but knew she should have expected as much.
"I asked you for one more miracle." She said, walking towards him as well. "I asked you to stop being dead." She stopped, as he did, only a foot away from each other. Sherlock leaned down and placed a tender, long awaited kiss on her lips, knowing it had been far too long since he had done so.
"… I heard you." He whispered. Jo-Ann smiled with half-lidded eyes, knowing that even if it took two years, even if it took twenty, Sherlock would have come back. Just to answer her broken-hearted request. The detective sniffed and went back to the door, trying to bury any emotion he had just let show in those few precious moments.
"Anyway-" he clapped. "Time to go and be Sherlock Holmes…" he trailed off as he reached for the doorknob. Going with a ridiculous idea, knowing the press would love it, he causally went into the coat closet and pulled out the abandoned deerstalker.
Greg Lestrade has had it up to here with the Waters family. They wormed their way out of court more than once, always finding ways to prove themselves innocent when he knew they were guilty. They always knew when the police were coming and they always escaped before getting caught. Donovan was there to calm him down when their plans were foiled yet again, but he could never truly let it go. He buried his anger and used it to plan so he could catch them the next time. Soon his anger didn't even come out anymore after months of robberies. One day, after another failure, he nearly broke his foot kicking a tire over and over again in frustration. Eighteen months of strenuous investigations, worth nothing. It was decided, they needed to catch the Waters Gang in the act.
And when the day came that nearly all of Scotland Yard was surrounding the bank the Waters were currently robbing, Lestrade was bloody well pleased with himself.
He strode down the hallways with utmost glee, listening to Donavan list the exits they had their men covering. He couldn't wait to see their disgusting faces as angry as he was when things went wrong. His phone chimed once, but he ignored it. No text from his wife was going to stop hi- then it happened again. And again. It was beginning to worry him a little. After five chimes in ten seconds, he decided to look at his mobile.
"I better get this." Lestrade said regretfully and quick unlocked his phone as Donovan rolled her eyes.
"It's him, isn't it?" Donavan guessed. However Lestrade stared at his phone in shock, not believing that these texts were real. And that they were all from Sherlock.
"I-I-I… I have to go!" Greg stuttered, knowing that when bloody Sherlock Holmes asked for help in all uppercases, something is severely wrong.
"What?!" Donavan walked back towards him as officers approached the door the Waters were behind.
"You make the arrest!" the DI ordered.
"Sorry! You'll be fine. I-I'm cool with this." He really wasn't. But his friend's life was more important than this case.
"Jones will get all the credit if you leave now and you know he will!" Donavan argued. Lestrade cringed at the idea and almost considered staying… but it was Sherlock!
"Y-Yeah well, yeah it doesn't matter, I have to go!" He quickly shouted and ran out the exit. Donavan sighed, knowing how important this was, but did as she was told. "Back up! I need maximum back up!" Lestrade yelled into his phone, running outside and to the car. "Baker Street, now!"
The detective inspector ran up the stairs of 221, looking in all directions for any kind of danger. He burst into the kitchen and sped into the living room, finding Sherlock sitting at the desk with his head in his hands.
"What's going on?!" Lestrade asked, ready to go across London, deal with any criminal, or save any hostage Sherlock had in mind. Whatever it was, it had to be serious.
"This is hard." Sherlock said, staring at his computer screen and holding his temples.
"Really hard. Hardest thing I've ever had to do." The detective built up the suspense and Greg wasn't sure how much his heart could take- "Do you know any of Jo-Ann's favorite musicians?" he asked, holding up a book that read "Marriage Proposals They'll Never Forget"
"…What?!" Lestrade asked, dumbfounded. Sherlock set the book down and finally looked at him.
"I need possible venue ideas. Didn't go to any trouble did you?" he asked, not knowing what the Detective Inspector just sacrificed.
And all that was going through Lestrade's mind as sirens wailed, helicopters approached, and Sherlock became concerned at the noise was:
"I am going to kill him."
"Holy hell, the bugger is getting married."
Sherlock Holmes never thought about marriage. Well, not often anyway. It was a simple enough thing to go through, two people who may or may not currently live together attend church, have a party, and move in together or carry on as before. It was hardly a new process and Sherlock never really thought much of it. Marriage was really only useful in business agreements or financial ease in his opinion. And yet, young people, barely capable of keeping their head on straight, go and get a husband or wife for the sake of companionship.
Now, companionship, Sherlock understood in a way. Someone to help around the house, to exchange ideas with is they were on the same intellectual level, to assist with complex crime investigations. At least that's the kind of companionship he always thought made sense. So when Jo-Ann Watson walked into his life, it was perfect.
Then the sentiment came flooding in.
New understandings, or at least acknowledgments, arose as Sherlock found the value in having a friend rather than an assistant. He knew why people grew attached to other people or why love was such a dangerous thing. He even knew why people had girlfriends or boyfriends, more or less. An occasional physical touch, maybe a kiss, though nothing further. He was still trying to figure out, completely, why he liked the occasional brush of their fingers or the times they sat so close together. But he never understood marriage.
Until she talked about it.
After the small press conference they had outside 221, they went back inside to their waiting friends. Jo-Ann began discussing Janine's wedding with Marius, and Sherlock watched as her entire demeanor changed.
There was a sparkle, brightness, in her eyes as she spoke of different bridal dresses she had seen. The way she played with her finger tips when sharing her ideas of the perfect vows and what it meant to devote yourself to someone else. Why, even the way she discussed her view of a wedding ring made Sherlock think.
"It's beautiful to see someone wear a ring. That promise you made to your husband or wife, always displayed…"
Then she would make a joke about affairs and tanning lines, but he could still see remnants of that joy in her eyes. Why was she so happy just talking about someone else's wedding? Did she want one that badly? She and Sherlock were back to dating and practically back to the intimacy they shared before. Did she want to be married to him? They had already admitted that they were going to spend the rest of their lives together, whether it was romantic or not. He did always feel the need, however, to make it official… to make her his and vice-versa in some way.
That's when Sherlock played with the idea of proposing. Then playing turned into considering, which turned in to deep thinking, which turned into planning.
After all, he did want to see her in a wedding dress.
For… science, of course.
Sherlock did end up going to Janine's wedding in order to observe the groom's behavior. How was he supposed to act should he have a wedding of his own? However, as soon as he and Jo-Ann entered the church, utter boredom and disgust washed over him. He had the sudden desperation for a murder to occur, but decided to keep that to himself. Considering that when he mentioned the bride's mother was a kleptomaniac to Jo-Ann, she hit his arm. "Beautiful" became a substitute for "boring" when he was asked what he thought of the ceremony. His new favorite place to go was the exit, but his date wouldn't let him.
Sherlock did enjoy that part though, Jo-Ann being his date. He had an excuse to link arms with her and he had someone to whisper comments to, most of which made her laugh. She was clothed in a light blue sleeveless dress with a hat Mrs. Hudson insisted she wear. She filled it quite nicely, Sherlock thought, now that a few months had passed and she gained most of her weight back.
They had the chance to greet Janine and her new husband, which was the first time Sherlock had been introduced to either of them. He deduced that thankfully, their relationship would last, considering that if he thought otherwise he probably would have told them and ruined the wedding. Janine pulled him aside as Jo-Ann greeted the groom.
"The famous Mr. Holmes… it's a pleasure to finally meet you." She said with her Irish accent. "Feel free explore the hotel, just no snogging in the corner, yeah?" the bride smirked.
"I-I'm sorry?!" Sherlock blinked rapidly and gaped at the notion.
"You don't have to look so scared. I'm only messing." Janine laughed and rejoined her new husband, leaving Sherlock to stand alone in shock.
Jo-Ann led them to their assigned seats, next to Marius, and towards the middle of the room. It didn't take long for Sherlock to be poisoned with boredom, but he did listen a little bit to the best man speech. He wondered for a moment who would be his best man, considering it would not be Mycroft under any circumstances. He thought maybe Lestrade, after all, he was a man and… good at it. Perhaps Mike Stamford, since he introduced to two, but Sherlock could only see him rambling on and on in pointless nonsense. Then he considered Marius.
He glanced over at the professor, who laughed at one of the recent jokes in the speech. Marius was, in terms of the definition Sherlock understood, a friend, a close friend at that. He was there for the detective when Jo-Ann was still recovering from his return, although Sherlock was mostly jealous at that point. He took care of the doctor when he was gone, but never asked for anything in return. In the months Sherlock had known him he proved to be a pleasant companion and even helped on a few cases despite Jo-Ann's protest. Why, he even helped Sherlock understand little things about relationships he still had trouble grasping. All and all, Marius was a good, intelligent friend and the best candidate so far to be Sherlock's best man.
With all the time Sherlock spent thinking, he just barely came back to the present in time to raise his glass to the bride and groom.
Everyone moved into the ballroom, where the new couple shared their first dance. Jo-Ann watched with a smile, as did everyone else in the room, while Sherlock disagreed with their taste in violinists. Soon after the dance was over, nearly every couple in the room joined the bride and groom on the dance floor. Jo-Ann remained by Sherlock's side, champagne glass in hand, and asked him what he thought about a shady looking waiter with a snicker. The detective was amused by her asking, but wondered.
"Don't you… you know…" Sherlock gestured to the dance floor.
"What?" Jo-Ann looked up to him. He groaned.
"Do you want to dance? Everyone else seems to enjoy it." He almost rolled his eyes. In all honesty, Sherlock loved dancing, he always had. But he enjoyed fine, sophisticated, dancing, not what everyone else was doing. Jo-Ann smiled for a little, wondering if he really just asked.
"I didn't think you'd want to." She finally said. "And I haven't danced in two years so it won't be attractive." She laughed. The song changed to a slower one, one that Sherlock could agree to dance to. He held his hand to his date and waited for a yes or no. Jo-Ann raised an eyebrow but shrugged and put her drink down. She had certainly learned by now that when Sherlock did something out of character, it had a purpose. He smiled ever so slightly when she took his hand, and they went to the dance floor. Marius noticed them when they began dancing and couldn't help a wide grin.
"So who are we looking for?" Jo-Ann asked when they started moving, a bit clumsily at first due to her lack of practice.
"What do you mean?" Sherlock looked down at her.
"Well, dancing is a great way to not only hide in plain sight, but you can look at the whole room too." She explained. "Anyone here you wanted to investigate?"
"I can't dance just once with my girlfriend?" he asked, although he did glance around the room, now that she mentioned it. Jo-Ann snorted in laughter at first, but stopped when he shot her a confused look.
"Oh, you're serious?" she asked. Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Yes. I happen to like dancing, although it would go along better if you stopped trampling on my feet." he groaned a bit when she did it again.
"Oh, sorry!" she apologized. "You never said you liked dancing before."
"Well, there are a few things you have yet to learn about me." Sherlock said, knowing he was being dramatic.
"Yeah? Like what?" Jo-Ann asked in a teasing tone, tilting her head up. Sherlock tried to think of something to tell her that wasn't too revealing, considering other people might hear.
"My Mind Palace really is a palace." He told her as they continued to dance. Jo-Ann laughed out loud at that, but not in a mocking tone.
"You serious? Does it have a dungeon?" she asked with a smirk.
"It wouldn't be a palace without one." He smirked back. "Everything I've filed away is in areas of the palace, the most important facts in the most important rooms."
"Yeah? Where are the facts about me 'filed away'?" Jo-Ann asked in an almost flirting tone. Sherlock slowed the pace of their dance when the question was asked, but he quickly tried to recover.
"…The ballroom…" he replied in a small voice.
"Really?" she was pleased; after all, the ballroom was where all the fun happened. "What other facts are in there?" Jo-Ann wondered.
"…None." Sherlock answered after a short while and made eye contact. "It's just you." He added. Jo-Ann gazed up at her boyfriend with the goofiest of smiles on her face. Sherlock couldn't decide if he liked the look or not as heat reached his cheeks.
"I have the whole ballroom to myself?" she asked. "The whole thing?"
"The whole thing."
"Just facts about me?"
"Yes, memories of us together."
"Doesn't it get crowded in there? We have a lot of memories." Jo-Ann smiled.
"Yes it's getting quite full but I don't dare delete anything and I suggest we get off the dance floor before people noticed we've been dancing to the wrong song!" Sherlock whispered quickly and quietly, causing Jo-Ann to realize everyone else was dancing to the new, upbeat melody. The doctor was confused at first but led them back to their table, still hand in hand. Nothing more was said about the Ballroom matter, but Sherlock could see glimpses of that stupid smile on her face, deciding that he did like it after all.
Sorry there was no Sherlock and Jo-Ann wedding (yet) but I have plans :]