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[personal profile] ellie_hell
Title: The Pull of One Magnet to Another - Part 6
Rating: R (Sexual activities)
Warnings: Mention of animal cruelty.
Beta: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] anarion who is always an inspiring plot consultant, and to [livejournal.com profile] omletlove who was an all-star beta, both for SPAG and plot; I couldn’t have hoped for a better beta, she’s amazing.
Pairing: Sherlock/John, with a tiny hint of Mycroft/Lestrade.
Word Count: 46 500 total, 5310 this part.
Summary: Mummy has arranged Mycroft’s marriage with an ex-army doctor. However, John meets Sherlock first, and sparks fly.
Disclaimer: The case was stolen from the movie Untraceable, and so was the computer speech.
Notes: Written several months ago for a prompt on the kink meme, but I wasn’t happy with it at the time, so I gave it a huge makeover. If anyone from the meme is reading this, I want to thank you for your huge support. The title comes from the song I Was Married by Tegan and Sara.

Back to first chapter.
Previous chapter.

Chapter 10

After their initial knee-jerk reaction to stop groping each other, Sherlock and John froze. Their trousers were undone and opened, sitting low on their hips and exposing their underwear. Their shirts and jackets were on the floor, their lips were swollen and red from kissing, they were breathing heavily, and Sherlock still had an arm around John’s waist. Of all the stupid excuses that crossed John’s mind (his clothes were on fire, he had something lodged in his throat and I was administering the Heimlich manoeuvre), none would have fooled a complete idiot, let alone Mycroft.
 
“Mycroft, I am so sorry,” John said, but Mycroft brushed him off with a small wave of his hand.
 
“Mummy wants to take pictures with Sherlock in them,” Mycroft said, his voice perfectly undisturbed, “I expect you in the banquet hall in no more than ten minutes.”
 
“Mycroft wait, we need to talk,” John said, but Mycroft paid him no attention.
 
“Please try to look decent,” Mycroft said before getting out of the closet and closing the door behind him.
 
Darkness engulfed them again, and John closed his eyes as he let out a very soft and sad laugh. Sherlock pulled him close and held him tightly, his hand tracing soothing circles on his back. John tilted his head forward until he could rest his forehead on Sherlock’s shoulder, and he exhaled loudly.
 
“This is bad,” he said.
 
“It’s not,” Sherlock answered, “you never wanted to marry him, but for some reason, you feel you have to. What problem can he fix that I can’t?”
 
John laughed again, a defeated laugh that gripped Sherlock from the inside and twisted. He didn’t mind that John came with problems or demons; Sherlock had plenty of demons of his own. He had solved more puzzles than he could count; he was ready to deal with whatever Mycroft would have dealt with. Had John done something illegal? He was more than willing to cover traces, wipe off blood, dissimulate stolen jewels, or hide bodies.
 
“Now is not the time, we need to go back,” John said as he took a step away from Sherlock. He picked up his discarded shirt and jacket, and started getting dressed again.
 
“You’re not really following through with this?” Sherlock asked as he put his shirt back on, trying to smooth it as much as possible with his hands only.
 
“We’ll take the bloody pictures in order not to upset your mother in front of her guests, then we’ll talk,” John said as he buttoned his trousers.
 
When they were both presentable, Sherlock stepped into John’s personal space again, and he delicately nibbled at his earlobe.
 
“I want you to come back to my flat tonight. And tomorrow, and the day after, and all the other days after that,” he murmured, and for a second, John forgot all about his debt to imagine a future with the brilliant man crowding him against the shelves.
 
“Let’s go,” John said, and they reluctantly got out of the closet.
 
In the lift, Sherlock grabbed John’s tie and drew him closer so he could kiss him. John’s lips parted, and Sherlock slid the tip of his tongue inside, teasing. John buried his fingers into Sherlock’s curls, and he pulled him even closer, taunting the taller man’s tongue with his own. He was a drowning man, and Sherlock was his anchor – had been since their first day together – and he felt as though he would drown if they broke the kiss. When the lift stopped, they grudgingly stepped away from each other.
 
“For courage,” Sherlock said, and he winked before stepping out of the lift, John following with just a hint of uncertainty in his steps.
 
The banquet hall was still filled with guests when they entered. A lot of them were dancing, some were beginning to be a little drunk, and loud bursts of laughter could be heard coming from different small groups scattered across the room. Mycroft had a glass of wine in his hand, and he was talking with his mother. When he spotted them, he nodded once and John felt his stomach drop. It wasn’t long before Mrs Holmes became aware of their presence and walked up to them.
 
“Sherlock, your hair is a mess. If you refuse to use a comb, you should at least cut it,” she said as she tried to flatten her son’s curls, but he batted her hand away.
 
“My hair is fine, Mummy. Now where is your photographer? I want to get this over with.”
 
Within a few minutes, Mrs Holmes had gathered everyone who had to be involved in the pictures, and they were all standing in varied states of awkwardness close to the cream-coloured curtain they had used as a background throughout the evening. They took pictures of Sherlock alone, followed by pictures of Sherlock and Mycroft, and then pictures of the two brothers and John that were terribly uncomfortable. They took pictures with Mrs Holmes and her sons, then with various family members, and by the time they were done, half an hour had passed.
 
For the rest of the evening, Mycroft fluttered from one group of people to the other while Sherlock and John sat at a table within a reasonable distance of each other. It took three more hours for all the guests to leave, and John had plenty of time to tell Sherlock all about his money troubles. Sherlock listened without interrupting, resisting the urge to take John’s hand and kiss his knuckles. When the last guests left, John got up, and Sherlock was about to do the same, but John put a firm hand on his shoulder to stop him.
 
“Don’t, I need to speak with them alone,” John said.
 
“I can help you explain,” Sherlock argued, but John shook his head.
 
“Please, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re impulsive and unpredictable. I think it’s better if I speak with them alone,” he said.
 
Frowning and mildly offended, Sherlock watched John walk away from him to join Mummy and Mycroft. Unfortunately, Mummy and Mycroft thought it was undignified to raise their voices, so Sherlock couldn’t hear what was happening. John was bright red, Mycroft looked as calm as usual, and Mummy was listening to John speak, her mouth looking thinner than Sherlock had ever seen it. They talked for only twenty minutes, and yet it seemed longer for Sherlock who couldn’t hear, but who could see Mycroft and Mummy often turning to look at him.
 
There was nothing he could do, so he busied himself with cataloguing all the facial expressions he could recognise on John, Mycroft, and Mummy’s faces. John was the easiest to read; he looked sheepish, repentant, guilty, scared, and a little hopeful. Mummy was disappointed at first, but by the time they were done talking, there was softness in her traits that suggested a resigned understanding. As for Mycroft, only small flashes of emotions sometimes showed on his face, and Sherlock thought he recognised acceptance with a hint of a bruised ego.
 
When Mycroft detached himself from the trio and walked up to him, Sherlock got up, unwilling to face his brother while in a vulnerable position. For a few seconds, the two brothers looked at each other in silence.
 
“Do you love him?” Mycroft asked.
 
“That’s none of your business,” Sherlock answered petulantly.
 
“Oh I believe it is,” Mycroft replied threateningly, taking a step forward.
 
“John Watson is a good man, and for some unfathomable reasons, he loves you and wants to be with you. I am not letting him go just so you can have your way with him, get bored, and break his heart,” Mycroft added.
 
“Can you hear yourself talk? ‘I am not letting him go’, what is he, a dog?”
 
“Do you love him?” Mycroft asked again.
 
“Still none of your—”
 
“Do you love him?” he insisted, his voice low and menacing.
 
Sherlock held his brother’s gaze for a long time, the question hanging between them like a sentence waiting to be pronounced. He thought about John, about the longing he felt every time they were close, and about how he could feel his soothing presence even when they were in two different corners of a crowded room. He thought about John’s many different smiles, about his comfortable jumpers, and the way his hair was ruffled in the morning. He thought about the way John fit in his flat, in his arms, in his life, about how easily he could bring Sherlock’s playfulness to the surface, and about the desires he had awakened. Not just sexual (although he had awakened those as well), but the desire to share, to comfort, to follow, to slow down a little. Was that love? He quickly scanned his inner dictionary, but he couldn’t find a better definition that included all the different things he felt for John.
 
Love, then.
 
“I love him,” he finally told Mycroft, because it was true and because he wanted to be left alone.
 
Mycroft nodded once, and he returned to the place where John and Mummy were still talking. Sherlock remained where he was, but he was getting restless. He wanted to go back home, he wanted to take John with him, and he wanted to do very bad things to him. His mother interrupted what would have most likely been particularly naughty thoughts when she walked up to him. Once again, Sherlock was baffled by how small his mother could make him feel when she looked at him this way.
 
“I asked you to pick him up, not to seduce him,” she said, and Sherlock was surprised to hear she didn’t sound angry.
 
“Mummy—”
 
“You brought him to see corpses in a morgue, you dragged him along in one of your cases, you chased after a criminal together, and you almost got him killed. Yet, he’s obviously smitten,” she told him with a small disbelieving frown.
 
Sherlock looked across the room at the man who was crazy for him, and who was now talking animatedly with Mycroft. Mycroft was leaning towards John, and he was smiling, watching as John emphasised what he was saying with enthusiastic gestures. The possessive monster in Sherlock’s stomach gave an angry growl, but Mummy distracted him.
 
“He’s completely insane, I hope you know that,” she said, and Sherlock smiled fondly.
 
“I know,” he replied.
 
Of course he knew. John wanted to be with him; he was clearly insane.
 
“You’re a very lucky man.”
 
“I know,” Sherlock said because there wasn’t anything else to say.
 
He was fully aware of how fortunate he was. What he didn’t know was what he was still doing in a banquet hall at almost two in the morning. “Can we leave?” he asked.
 
“John should come back to my house; his luggage is there,” she said.
 
He won’t need any clothes, we’ll spend the whole day naked, he thought, but that wasn’t something one told his mother. Even when said mother had just given a relationship her blessing. Not that he needed it, but it was reassuring to know they would be left alone. The last thing he needed was his mother pestering him with less than subtle judgement.
 
“You can send your driver with his luggage tomorrow,” Sherlock suggested, and his mother let out a dramatic sigh before agreeing.
 
Sherlock kissed his mother on both cheeks, and he walked up to the place where John and Mycroft were still talking. He couldn’t help feeling ticked off that Mycroft and John still seemed to be getting along.
 
“Are you ready to leave?” Sherlock asked a little more gruffly than he had intended.
 
John turned around, and the smile he flashed him was so wide and bright he was instantly forgiven for being agreeable to Mycroft.
 
“God yes, I’m so tired I can barely stand,” he answered before turning to Mycroft.
 
“Goodnight Mycroft,” he said.
 
“Goodnight John.”
 
“Thanks. For everything,” John said and, with one last smile, he turned to leave. Sherlock nodded once at his brother, and he was about to leave when Mycroft stopped him.
 
“Sherlock?” he said.
 
Sherlock turned around with an irritated sigh.
 
“What?” he asked.
 
“Consider this the official ‘break his heart and I will make your life a living hell’ conversation,” he said, and Sherlock frowned.
 
“You’re my brother, aren’t you supposed to say that to John?”
 
“I did,” Mycroft answered. “Goodnight Sherlock.”
 
Mycroft turned around to join his mother who was watching from afar, and Sherlock hurried to catch up with John who was waiting for him by the door. Together, they walked out of the hotel where a soft breeze was just cool enough to be pleasant. They found a cab and fell into bed together as soon as they arrived home.
 
:::
 
Sherlock woke up with his arms full of John. A very warm, very naked John. The events of the night before came flooding back, and he smiled at the sleeping doctor whose head was pillowed on his chest. The last twelve hours felt like a dream; the pain when he had realised that John wasn’t coming back, the hope when he had received his text, the surge of ardent desire when they had kissed in the closet, followed by the shock when they had been discovered. Then, there had been the anxiety and hope while he had been excluded from the discussion that would change the course of his life. But most of all, he remembered John’s smile as he had looked at him, and the feeling that everything would be alright.
 
They still had many things to discuss, but John had wanted to wait until this morning, and Sherlock had agreed because John had started undressing, and that was an extraordinarily convincing argument to postpone a discussion. Apparently, even when he was exhausted, John gave mind-shattering blowjobs, and Sherlock had ended up sprawled on the bed, clutching the sheets and John’s hair while he had made sounds he had never heard himself make before. Despite his tired state, Sherlock had enthusiastically reciprocated until John had come apart while calling his name.
 
Sherlock calculated how long John had slept, and whether it had been enough not to mind being awakened. Six hours, was it enough? It sure was enough for Sherlock. To distract himself, he started running a finger up and down John’s thigh. Soon, John was squirming in his sleep, and he woke up with a smile on his face. He extended a hand to grab Sherlock’s wrist, and he brought the hand up so he could kiss his palm.
 
“Morning,” he said, his eyes still closed.
 
“Can we talk, now?” Sherlock asked, and John laughed, his lips still pressed against Sherlock’s palm.
 
“Can’t you wait until I’m actually awake?”
 
Sherlock thought for a moment. He had been waiting since the night before, and the desire to know was stronger than the need to make love to John again, which was saying something. Also, he had been abnormally patient, and, therefore, deserved to know.
 
“No,” he answered honestly, and John laughed again, snuggling closer until he could kiss Sherlock’s jaw.
 
“Alright, then,” he said. “What do you want to know?”
 
“Everything.”
 
John’s story was told between sleepy kisses on Sherlock’s pale, inviting neck. He told him how he had started the discussion by telling Mrs Holmes and Mycroft that he was in love with Sherlock. He had told them it had been a surprise, but the attraction had been immediate, and the feelings had gotten too strong to ignore.
 
“That’s when your mother asked me if I was sure,” he said, smiling as he recalled Mrs Holmes’ surprised expression.
 
“What did you answer?”
 
“What do you think I answered, you idiot?” John said before biting Sherlock’s chin lovingly.
 
Sherlock laughed, and he stroked John’s side lazily, enjoying the way the sleep-warmed skin felt under his fingertips.
 
“I told them I was sorry, and that I couldn’t follow through with the wedding. Your mother seemed upset, and she reminded me she had worked very hard on the organisation, but Mycroft asked her, and I quote, ‘How many other men do you think will declare their love for Sherlock?’”
 
“Mycroft was on your side?” Sherlock asked, disbelieving.
 
“There were no sides, and stop interrupting.”
 
They were distracted from the story for a while because Sherlock started pouting and John declared it was adorable, which caused Sherlock to insist he wasn’t pouting (while pouting some more). John then tried to kiss the pout away, and they ended up wrestling each other, John laughing so hard he almost fell off the bed. Several minutes later, when they had regained some composure, John resumed the story.
 
He told Sherlock that Mrs Holmes had seemed more upset because they were breaking the tradition than by the fact that John was breaking his engagement with Mycroft. He also said that Mycroft hadn’t seemed upset by the events, only a little surprised. Then, John had been the surprised one when Mycroft had left to speak with his brother. Sherlock filled in the blanks on the conversation with his brother, and John looked up with bright eyes.
 
“That makes sense; Mycroft came back saying he had no intention of standing in the way of a union born from love. It sounds a lot like something you would find on the back of a romance novel, but I think that’s what convinced your mother because soon enough she left to speak with you.”
 
“She said I was lucky,” Sherlock said before remembering that they hadn’t even discussed the reasons John had agreed to marry Mycroft in the first place: John’s enormous debt and his father’s need for an EMI home.
 
“I thought about your debt, and I think we could make it work. The rent isn’t that expensive, you could start coming with me on cases, and I could start accepting payment for every case I work on. We’ll figure something out for your father. I’ll take even the boring cases, or—”
 
John, who had propped himself up on an elbow to watch Sherlock fondly, shut him up with a closed-lipped kiss.
 
“You’re brilliant, but that won’t be necessary. Your mother said she still wanted to pay for my father’s home. I told her it was out of the question, but she insisted, and told me that anyone living with you deserved a little help.”
 
Sherlock huffed, and John kissed his nose.
 
“Are you going to pout again?” he asked, and Sherlock poked his stomach.
 
“I continued to refuse her offer, but your mother is bloody persistent. I accepted after she threatened to break seven bones in my body. Deep down I knew she wasn’t serious, but there was a small part of me who believed her. Your mother can be terrifying!”
 
“Did she say which bones?” Sherlock asked.
 
“She didn’t, and I didn’t ask. She said she liked me, that I deserved to be happy, and that she had more money than she could keep track of. The only condition is we have to attend her Christmas party, and not just the dinner, the whole evening.”
 
“John,” Sherlock moaned, “say you refused!”
 
“I didn’t. But there are so many dark closets in your mother’s house,” John said seductively as he positioned himself over Sherlock.
 
Humming in appreciation, Sherlock arched his back to gently rub his groin against John’s, and he smiled mischievously when John gasped. John then started sliding down, leaving long wet stripes on Sherlock’s skin along the way until he reached Sherlock’s iliac crest, and he started giggling uncontrollably. It had been too dark the night before to see all the moles and birthmarks sparsely scattered across Sherlock’s pale skin, but it was different now with the morning light coming in through the window. Over his inguinal ligament, in the place people often called Apollo’s belt, Sherlock had a birthmark shaped like a slightly squished heart. John spent nearly a minute staring at it while Sherlock wriggled impatiently under him, urging him on with small hip thrusts.
 
Sherlock knew what John was thinking; he also remembered their first evening together, the deduction game he had suggested, and John’s surprise when Sherlock had revealed the location of his peculiar birthmark. He remembered how John had blushed and choked on his lasagne, and now that many details came flooding back, it seemed as though the first signs of attraction had been shown earlier than he had originally thought. Interesting.
 
Yet, not quite as interesting as John’s tongue that was now circling his birthmark, flicking over the brown little heart, and making coherent thoughts so much harder to form. It was usually so easy to be attentive to dozens of small details at once, but he could feel every single one of his neurons focusing on John. On his fingers gripping his hips, his tongue flicking lower—always lower, his mouth suckling gently, and finally—oh, finally, heat. A thick, wet, maddening heat wave that engulfed him and made his eyes roll back.
 
:::
 
They left the bedroom after several hours spent thoroughly exploring each other’s body, and only when John’s need for tea and food became too urgent for him to ignore. They stumbled into the kitchen wearing only their pants and extremely smug expression, Sherlock attached to John’s back like an overgrown limpet. When they entered the room, John stilled and closed his eyes as he was assaulted by the smell of lilacs he had been too exhausted – and aroused – to notice the night before.
 
“Mm, that smells just like our first date,” John said playfully, smiling as he turned around to kiss Sherlock.
 
“Wrong, our first date was the morgue and Angelo’s.”
 
“You’re such a romantic.”
 
“It worked for you, didn’t it?” Sherlock asked, and John laughed, kissing him one last time before moving away from his long arms to start preparing their breakfast.
 
He put the kettle on, and found the two mugs Sherlock had broken and repaired. He picked up the one that had become his, the red one, and he ran a finger over the cracks. He had a hypothesis regarding what had happened to the mugs, but he didn’t mention it. Instead, he smiled at Sherlock when he sat in his usual place.
 
“There’s pancake batter in the fridge,” Sherlock announced.
 
“You kept it?” John asked while taking the bowl out.
 
“No, I made some on Saturday. In case you came back,” he answered very quietly.
 
Something about Sherlock’s defeated expression touched John, and he hugged the taller man from behind, kissing his neck.
 
“Pancakes sound amazing,” he said, and he started looking for a pan.
 
It was their old routine again, but it felt even better now that they knew their time together wasn’t limited. Sherlock sat on a kitchen chair while John made delicious tea with milk in it. Then, John cooked the pancakes while Sherlock observed and did absolutely nothing to help, which would annoy John sometimes, but not on that day. On that day, it felt natural and right; like the kind of morning that he had wished for all his life. Post-coital glow included.
 
When John smiled at Sherlock from across the table, it was the same smile he had flashed him the night before. It was the smile that had made him incredibly happy because it had been so different from the way he had been smiling at Mycroft the moment before. Thinking about that made him remember that John had seemed particularly enthusiastic while chatting with Mycroft, and he needed to know why.
 
“What were you and Mycroft talking about before I interrupted?” he asked, and John’s eyes lit up while he tried to swallow his mouthful of pancake as quickly as he could.
 
“I had forgotten about that, thanks for reminding me! He asked what it felt like when I met you, and how I knew I was in love with you.”
 
“What did you say?” Sherlock asked.
 
“That’s not the interesting part. Aren’t you curious to know why he asked?”
 
“Not really,” he answered while chasing a stubborn piece of pancake across his plate.
 
“Well, I’m telling you anyway because I think it’s fantastic. He felt some butterflies fluttering in his stomach when he met DI Lestrade,” John said, hardly able to contain his excitement.
 
“John!” Sherlock cried, his mouth full, “I don’t want to hear about my brother’s fluttering stomach!”
 
“And I had no desire to see the half chewed food in your mouth. See, you can’t always get what you want,” John said as he got up to rinse his empty plate.
 
As soon as he was done, Sherlock grabbed him by the waist and pulled him close. He dipped a finger into the golden syrup pooling in his plate, and he slid it over John’s right nipple before bringing his mouth to John’s chest to lick it clean. John groaned, and he ran his fingers through Sherlock’s hair.
 
“After the very dirty things I did to you earlier, I wouldn’t have thought a bit of half chewed food would have bothered you that much,” Sherlock said before giving John’s left nipple the same treatment.
 
“We need to organise a meeting between them,” John said, his breath hitching just a little when Sherlock seductively sucked the excess syrup off his finger, his eyes fixed on John.
 
“Why would we do that?” he asked.
 
“Because,” John said as he slid a finger across Sherlock’s sticky plate, “if your brother is busy shagging the DI,” he added before trailing his finger across Sherlock’s lips, “he won’t have as much time to interfere with your life.”
 
John watched, fascinated, as Sherlock licked his lips.
 
“Plus, if the DI is high on endorphins from shagging your brother,” John said and he watched his finger disappear into Sherlock’s eager mouth, “he might be more inclined to let you in on cases to – ah! – solve them faster and be home sooner,” he finished, a little breathless just from watching Sherlock suck on his finger, his pale eyes never leaving his.
 
Then, Sherlock let John’s finger go with a pop and he flashed him a feral grin.
 
“Fetch me my phone, will you? We have some matchmaking to do.”

:::

Epilogue

Christmas at Victoria Holmes’ house was an event the whole family (minus Sherlock) eagerly awaited. The house was always beautifully decorated, the meal was always delicious, and there was always an endless supply of eggnog. Mrs Holmes had outdone herself on this particular year, but the circumstances were exceptional; her two sons had brought their significant others. That fact had gotten out at the same time as the invitations, and no one doubted Victoria had leaked the information on purpose. Nonetheless, she had refused to discuss the matter, driving most of her relatives downright mad with curiosity. Therefore, the attendance rate was higher than normal; some Holmeses had even travelled for several hours just to see with their own eyes the most likely insane – albeit courageous – people who had engaged in relationships with Victoria Holmes’ sons.
 
Most of the couples in the family were the result of arranged marriages, and other than Bernard and Mathilda who regularly had epic fights involving ancient swords, they were all quite happy. The Holmeses had always been an unusual family, but the world didn’t lack unusual people, and parents almost always found someone to marry their offspring. However, there had been doubts regarding Victoria’s sons. They were both particularly strange (even for Holmeses), and neither seemed interested in relationships, which could get in the way of an arranged marriage (it usually worked better when both parties were invested in settling down with someone).
 
There had even been a wager once; people had bet on which one of her sons would get married first, how old they would be once they decided to get married, how long it would take to find them a partner, and if said partner would be a man or woman. Then, the wager had gotten quite silly as more eggnog had been consumed, and they had bet on the circumference of the partner’s right eye, the length of fingers and other random body parts, and the taste in underwear. By the end of the evening, the sum of money amassed had been considerable. Unfortunately, everyone participating in the wager had been so drunk by the time they had gone to bed that no one had remembered what the bet had been about, save for Adam who had kept shouting “The eyes! We must measure the eyes!” during breakfast.
 
It was terribly late. Some of the guests had left, but most of them would be spending the night in one of the numerous guest bedrooms Victoria had in her enormous house. The dinner was long gone, the presents had been opened, and an extremely large quantity of alcohol had been consumed. Three brothers were standing close to the fireplace and signing Christmas carols in Latin, and some of the children were playing what seemed to be a game of chess with the youngest children acting as pieces.
 
Victoria was watching her family from the sofa when her younger sister Cecile made her entrance in the living room with her husband. They had moved to America several years ago, but they came back for Christmas every year. Unfortunately, their flight had been delayed, which explained their unusually late arrival. When Victoria saw her sister approaching, she got up and embraced her warmly before leading her to the sofa.
 
“How was your trip?” she asked, and Cecile laughed.
 
“It was fine, but you know that’s not what I wish to talk about. Tell me, did you really manage to find partners for my nephews?”
 
Victoria smiled proudly. “I did, I arranged the marriages of both Mycroft and Sherlock,” she said.
 
“It’s true then! I couldn’t believe it; Mycroft and Sherlock, married!” Cecile exclaimed.
 
Victoria frowned, realising she hadn’t been entirely honest with her sister. “Well, they’re not married per se,” she admitted.
 
“Still, I must congratulate you; no one, including me, thought you would ever get those two interested in a relationship. Tell me, how did you do it?”
 
“I found John Watson first. On the Internet,” she said as she looked around the room to see whether she could find the doctor.
 
She had lost track of Sherlock and him for almost an hour, but she spotted them coming into the living room, and she pointed at them so Cecile could see the man she had found after years of research. Victoria hadn’t actually thought about where the two men had disappeared to, but now that they were back, the motive behind their absence was blatant. It wouldn’t have been more obvious if they had been holding enormous signs with fairy lights spelling ‘WE JUST SHAGGED’ in wide blinking letters. Cecile let out a small laugh that she tried to hide behind her hand, without success.
 
Sherlock’s hair was a mess of tangled curls, his shirt was ruffled, and it looked as if it had recently been shoved carelessly back into his trousers. Where there had been one undone button earlier, there were now two, and Victoria could see the hint of what would soon be a truly impressive love bite over his collarbone. His lips were plumper and redder than usual, and the lower part of his face seemed irritated, as if he had rubbed it against something scratchy (like the stubble on John’s face). John’s mouth was just as unusually red, he sported a very guilty expression, but a smug smile, and his tie was nowhere in sight. Victoria didn’t doubt she would eventually find it in one of her many closets. She rolled her eyes at her son’s complete lack of shame, and she watched as the two men walked up to the Christmas tree where Gregory Lestrade was standing, surrounded by small children.
 
“Very nice, Victoria, he’s gorgeous. I must admit I am surprised Sherlock expressed the desire to meet someone, but you found him a very suitable partner; they obviously can’t keep their hands off each other,” Cecile said, still giggling discretely.
 
“He didn’t want a husband. Mycroft did, however, so I started looking for someone and I found John,” Victoria said, and Cecile frowned, trying to figure out how John had gone from Mycroft’s potential husband to having sex in a dark corner of Victoria’s house with Sherlock. There were quite a few pieces missing from the puzzle.
 
“What happened?” she asked, unable to figure it out by herself.
 
“Mycroft couldn’t pick John up at the train station, so I sent Sherlock instead. I thought it would be safe, but Sherlock refused to let him go, and John refused to be let go of.”
 
“Sherlock seduced him? Well done, nephew,” Cecile said.
 
“I think it’s fair to say they seduced each other. They’ve been together for over seven months now.”
 
“Do they plan on getting married?”
 
Victoria had asked them earlier, soon after their arrival, but she hadn’t had a clear answer. Sherlock had just huffed, but John – kind and polite John – had said they didn’t feel the need or desire to be married for now, but that they could change their minds eventually.
 
“Not right now, but it’s a possibility,” Victoria answered.
 
“What about Mycroft?”
 
“He’s sleeping in that armchair over there, and that’s his boyfriend, Gregory Lestrade. He’s the one holding the baubles,” she said as she pointed at the grey-haired man who was standing close to the Christmas tree.
 
“Oh, he’s so handsome!” Cecile exclaimed.
 
They watched as Gregory took a few more baubles off the tree and gave them to the small children gathered around him. The children who had been disappointed earlier when they hadn’t been chosen for the chess game had forgotten all about their previous sorrow. They were roaring with laughter as Lestrade pressed a single finger to his lips, gesturing for them not to wake Mycroft who had fallen asleep in the armchair closest to the tree. Tiptoeing, the kids brought their baubles close to the armchair, and they started attaching them to Mycroft’s ridiculous Christmas jumper (a gag gift from Gregory that he had refused to take off). The children who were too small to reach were jumping up and down excitedly beside Gregory, and he took them in his arms one by one to bring them close to the sleeping Mycroft so they could participate in the decoration of his jumper.
 
“Where did you find him?” Cecile asked when she could finally tear herself away from the sight of that handsome man playing with the little ones.
 
“I didn’t really find him. He works for Scotland Yard, and he sometimes calls Sherlock to ask for his help on cases,” Victoria said.
 
“You thought he would make a fine fiancé for Mycroft, and you organised a rendezvous?” Cecile asked.
 
“Not exactly. Mycroft met him once, and he was attracted to him. John knew, he told Sherlock, and together they planned a series of what seemed like chance meetings. When Mycroft and Gregory seemed comfortable enough with each other, John organised a dinner for the four of them, but he and Sherlock never showed up. After that, it was only a matter of weeks before they confessed their attraction, and they’ve been a couple for three months.”
 
Cecile thought for a while, examined the facts, and observed the two couples. They weren’t married, and the more she thought about it, the less convinced she was that her sister had had anything to do with the relationships. Sure, she had found John Watson, but she had found him for Mycroft, and he was now hugging Sherlock from behind, standing on tiptoes so he could kiss his neck. Not what Victoria had had in mind in the beginning.
 
“How can you keep calling it arranged marriages? They aren’t even engaged, and from what I understand, Sherlock and John got together on their own because they loved each other, not because you suggested it. Also, you had nothing to do with Mycroft and Gregory. If their relationship was arranged, it was arranged by Sherlock and John.”
 
Victoria smiled to herself and didn’t respond for a while. She thought about the long search for the perfect fiancé, about the many conversations she had had with John Watson who had been hard to convince. She thought about her two boys, and how happy they seemed, especially Sherlock who was usually so gloomy when he attended the Christmas dinners. For the first time in years, Sherlock and Mycroft hadn’t bickered like spoilt children; their attitude towards each other had been almost civil, and she was sure John and Gregory had something to do with it. Either way, it had been a particularly enjoyable Christmas.
 
“Imagine that I topple the first domino in a long line. The domino topples the second one, which topples the third, and so on. Who do you blame for the fall of the last domino? The penultimate domino, or the person who toppled the first one?” Victoria asked.
 
Cecile laughed and shook her head, still unconvinced. Victoria didn’t mind; she knew her boys were happy, and she knew she had played a role in their happiness. Not much else mattered.

The end.


Date: 2011-10-27 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] omletlove.livejournal.com
I am still surprised that Sherlock is the one who wanted to talk about relationship things. John, you work miracles!
Several hours! <3 You make me so happy.

Date: 2011-10-27 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellie_hell.livejournal.com
It's for you!

ALL THE UNWRITTEN SEX IS FOR YOU!!!!

Date: 2011-10-27 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] omletlove.livejournal.com
ALL of it?

Photobucket

You are so generous!

\o/

Date: 2011-10-27 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sabrinaphynn.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed this roller coaster of a story. And Victoria's bit at the end was just fantastic. (being the mum of two sons who are also exceptionally unique creatures, I really feel for her... But you knew that! )
And I love John being a bit of a sneaky matchmaker and understanding how to encourage Sherlock to see it his way. :D
Excellent job!

Date: 2011-10-27 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yee-gee-wren.livejournal.com
Wonderful! Loved it, loved it, loved it. Thanks so much for writing a sexy, romantic, just plain interesting story so well!

Date: 2011-10-27 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyprydian.livejournal.com
Brilliantly epic, shmoopy and fluffy. Going to re-read from the beginning now.

I love the image of Lestrad helping and encouraging the smaller kids attach Christmas ornaments to Mycroft's terrible-Christmas-sweater. I don't think it helps that my brother and I do that when we're decorating the tree at my parent's place at Christmas. XD

Date: 2011-10-27 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lenap-trap.livejournal.com
hehhe))) such a nice happy end))) thanks a lot)))

Date: 2011-10-27 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firstqueen.livejournal.com
Really lovely fic. I just found it and read it all the way through in one go. I really like your take on Mrs. Holmes and the whole extended Holmes family.

Date: 2011-10-27 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lillianone.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, everyone participating in the wager had been so drunk by the time they had gone to bed that no one had remembered what the bet had been about, save for Adam who had kept shouting “The eyes! We must measure the eyes!” during breakfast.


Sounds like my kind of party and I am always happy to read a good ending to a fine story :)

Date: 2011-10-27 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rte-175.livejournal.com
Lovely, lovely, lovely! Fantastic story. I have to admit, though, that I had a suspicion that Mrs. Holmes and Mycroft had planned for Sherlock to fall in love with John from the beginning, and that Mycroft's engagement was just a set up because she thought John was perfect for Sherlock. :-) This is ALMOST true of your story, but not quite. Love the irresistible attraction between John and Sherlock!

As always, love your work!

Date: 2011-10-28 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samati.livejournal.com
Oh I loved this story! It took me a while to read it, but usually I love everything you write, I was just worried that Mycroft would keep John and Sherlock apart, and that made me sad. But! They fell in love and everything worked out in the end and there was even Mystrade! Well done!

Date: 2011-10-28 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ourdramaqueen.livejournal.com
YAY HAPPY ENDING! :D A lovely last chapter, and my mind was filling in the blanks regarding all the things John and Sherlock got up to back at Baker Stret... *is in happy place*

Date: 2011-10-28 11:52 pm (UTC)
innie_darling: (good times)
From: [personal profile] innie_darling
Very nice!

Date: 2011-10-30 06:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] killerweasel.livejournal.com
I enjoyed this very much. :D

Date: 2011-11-01 11:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] retts.livejournal.com
I LOVE this to bits. I really do. Wonderful.

Date: 2011-11-06 09:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janesaysstop.livejournal.com
My god, this was absolutely GORGEOUS. I literally could not stop reading and now it's 2am and I have all these butterflies in my stomach because everything worked out perfectly. You truly have a way with words and this was just beyond glorious.

All the feelings

Date: 2011-11-06 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whatisreal19.livejournal.com
Good god, that was amazing! I just spent several hours reading the whole thing from beginning to end. You made me laugh, cry, and grin like an idiot. That bit when John leaves with Mycroft and Sherlock is so hurt and angry...oh my heart! Fantastic work!

Date: 2011-11-13 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xjill.livejournal.com
This fic just makes me happy. Thank you.

Date: 2011-11-21 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leona-macewan.livejournal.com
Loved it! I think the Lestrade with the kids image is so nice. I could picture those two actually having children. At least in the universe you have so beautifully created here. Thanks for writing!

Date: 2011-12-22 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-ines.livejournal.com
Awwwwwwww HAPPY ENDING :) For moments, I really thought you would let John marry Mycroft!!

But then you wrote all that fluff!!!

"John then tried to kiss the pout away" <- aren't they sweet? (And the first date? LOL)

Also, the arguments John used to convince Sherlock about L/M were awesome :P

This was lovely! AHH I LOVED MUMMY!

Date: 2012-02-25 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rubywisp.livejournal.com
This. Is. Amazing.

Seriously, I love it so hard. I have been cleaning all day, reading a chapter of fic here and there between tasks. Um. I haven't left my chair since I started this one. ^_~

Date: 2012-03-10 06:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ant3ka.livejournal.com
OMG that was so much fun!!! I loved your concept and the story was really well executed. Bravo! That was a great read!

Date: 2012-05-24 05:34 pm (UTC)
ext_29986: (John or Arthur Dent -- martin freeman :))
From: [identity profile] fannishliss.livejournal.com
This was a really fantastic story. I love the idea of Sherlock and John meeting as if by chance -- but then being so perfect for one another. The way John escape from Moran was fabulous! John ROCKS.

I loved your portrait of Victoria Holmes. It's nice to know that she is a reasonable person, and that she still insisted on helping pay for John's dad's bills.

Lovely story!

Date: 2012-05-26 09:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holyfant.livejournal.com
Yay, what a lovely emotional journey you've led us on! I really, really enjoyed this; the way all of the elements from John and Sherlock's canon relationship fall into place with the extra pressure of his engagement to Mycroft, Mummy Holmes being appropriately impressive, Mycroft being his usual glib, mannered self. Lovely, lovely. :)

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Ellie L.

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