Actions

Work Header

The Suit

Work Text:

John came in from a shift at the practice, it had been a relatively easy day for once. No one had thrown up on him at least, that was always a plus point in his book. He spotted his lover sitting in his chair, plucking absently at his violin and gave him a smile.

“Good but uneventful day, I see.” Sherlock declared as the doctor put his bag down on the floor by his own chair, he stepped forward and leant down to give the detective a kiss on the forehead before heading into the kitchen to make them both a cup of tea.

“Sometimes that’s all you can hope for. What about you? Get up to much?” John asked as he filled the electric kettle and put it on to boil, digging out a couple of clean cups for them.

“Not really, Lestrade said he had a case but I solved it before the phone call was over.” Sherlock’s voice was bored but not that destructive sort of restlessness that resulted in new bullet holes in the wall or toxic waste in the kitchen. The kettle popped and John poured the water into the cups, bringing them back into the living room. He placed Sherlock’s on his little side table before settling into his own chair with his mug.

“Then why are you playing with your violin?” The doctor asked, at getting a questioning look from his lover, he elaborated. “Generally, you only poke at the strings like that when you’ve got something on your mind that doesn’t have anything to do with cases or The Work.” The detective smiled at that demonstration of John paying attention to his habits.

“My parents are going to be in London in a fortnight, they want us all to go to dinner together.” Despite the pair of them being together for some months now, John had yet to meet Sherlock’s mother and father. He couldn’t say he wasn’t intimidated; he could hardly imagine what sort of people were responsible for bringing two geniuses like Mycroft and Sherlock into the world.

“Right, knowing you it’ll be a posh place, yeah? Good thing I’ve got a decent suit.” The doctor blew on his tea before taking a small sip, pushing his anxiety away. He usually made a good impression on previous partners’ parents, being a doctor tended to impress them if nothing else.

“Oh, you can’t wear that cheap off the peg thing, John, you’ll need a bespoke suit, I’ll make you an appointment with my tailor.” Sherlock placed his violin across his knees as he pulled his phone out of his pocket, about to sort that out when the doctor interrupted him.

“My suit isn’t cheap. It cost £450, it’s by far the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought and I’ve worn it twice. I’m not going to be fitted for something that costs more than a second hand car when I’ve already got something appropriate in my wardrobe.” John was from a working-class background, he was very conscious of the price of living and what it was like to scrape to get by, so he tended to baulk at the amounts of money Sherlock could spend without blinking at times.

“Can we just bypass your tedious pride fuelled resistance for once? It’s bad enough that you still insist on keeping your locum position when the money we get from cases is more than adequate to support the both of us.” The detective watched as John’s nostrils flared, normally a sure sign that he was about to start shouting but the doctor bit his lip hard and took a deep breath.

“Tell me, has anyone ever responded positively to being told they or their emotions are ‘tedious’?” John asked as he consciously loosened the death grip his fingers had on his cup. He watched the small flickering movements of his lover’s eyes that revealed he was rapidly reviewing memories in his Mind Palace.

“No, the best reaction I usually get is people just getting up and walking away.” Sherlock admitted with a frown, not really understanding why that phrase consistently produced a negative response from a wide range of parties.

“I don’t want a new suit. I don’t need a new suit. I have a suit. I will wear that suit to dinner with your mum and dad in two weeks’ time.” John was speaking very clearly and slowly, the way he tended to do when he wanted the detective to know he was being exceptionally serious and not to argue with him.

“I appreciate that you come from a different background, John, but my parents are old fashioned, there’s endless rules of etiquette and an expected level of elegance to observe. Don’t you want to make the best impression on them?” Sherlock tried a little guilt; his lover was usually responsive to that as long as Sherlock didn’t overdo it and take it too far.

“Considering I know jack about etiquette and I’m the last person who would be described as ‘elegant’, I think the price of my suit will be the least of our concerns.” John replied, downing the last of his tea and getting up from his chair. “If your parents would dislike me just because I wear things ‘off the peg’ then that says more about them than me. Cancel that tailor’s appointment, I won’t be going.” The doctor’s tone and the set of his shoulders told his partner that they were done discussing this… for now at least.

~~~

John was reading the news on his phone while sitting on a bench in Regents Park. He would have much preferred to be doing this inside where it was warmer but he was waiting out a certain annoying Consulting Detective. Today was the tailor’s appointment that Sherlock had refused to cancel and that John had refused to attend.

The detective had tried everything from bribery to threats and wasn’t above just dragging his lover there, hence John hiding in the park on the pretence of an emergency shift. He had actually called Sarah and begged her to let him come in but she didn’t want to pay him when he had no actual work to do.

John sighed and put his phone back in his pocket, money was always a trouble spot between Sherlock and himself, even before they started dating. The doctor had a fiercely independent streak, he’d watched his parents work full time to make ends meet and bring up two kids in a socially deprived area of Edinburgh. He’d learnt the value of money at a young age, getting a part time job in his teens while he was still at school.

There was no way his parents could afford to send him to university so he worked hard to earn a full scholarship to study medicine at St Barts. It came with a bursary for living expenses but it didn’t cover much more than rent, so again, he worked part time around his studies but his marks suffered for it. That’s when he saw an advertisement by the British Army, they offered him a generous stipend to complete his degree as long as he enlisted with them for a minimum of six years.

His salary from his Army days mostly accumulated in his account while he was overseas, he didn’t really have much of a chance for discretionary spending in an active warzone. That all changed once he was shot and medivacced back to the UK. It didn’t take long for his savings to be depleted and his Army Pension was a pittance due to the short tenure of his service.

It was money worries that had led him to look for a flat share, running into Mike Stamford and meeting Sherlock Holmes. Though John wasn’t sure why Sherlock needed a flatmate, he certainly didn’t give the impression of hurting for money. Even so, the doctor wasn’t tempted by Mycroft’s offer to spy on Sherlock for cash, it was less to do with loyalty and more to do with being a decent human being.

When John had finally got accepted for locum work at Sarah’s practice, he was relieved to be finally paying his own way again. It took some time but John eventually paid Sherlock back for his share of the food and the other bills that the detective had covered for him when John was short. Not that Sherlock probably noticed, if John had been that way inclined, he could have emptied the detective’s account more than three times over.

In fact, the only time Sherlock had ever taken an interest in his own finances is when he realised that very often John wasn’t taking a half share of the income they received from private clients. The doctor’s reasoning was that he didn’t do enough work for a fifty/fifty split, so he only paid himself the going hourly rate for an average bodyguard.

When Sherlock jumped and faked his death, he’d left John a sizeable inheritance but the doctor hadn’t wanted it. He tried to make Mycroft take it back and when he wouldn’t, John just opened another account and moved the money into it and refused to touch it, living off his locum wages and the small amount in savings that he had.

John hadn’t really wanted to stay in 221b Baker Street but he couldn’t afford another place, not with Mycroft covering Sherlock’s half of the already discounted rent. It hurt to be constantly reminded of the hole that Sherlock had left in John’s life, left with his regrets about what might have been if only he hadn’t been such a coward and had admitted his feelings when he had the chance.

When Sherlock had returned six months ago, John spent two weeks couch surfing between Greg’s, Sarah’s and Mike’s places while he worked through the emotional turmoil he was feeling. Eventually he had returned home, walked into the living room and had told Sherlock that if he ever pulled a stunt like that again, John would kill him himself. Then he’d kissed the madman on the lips and the rest was history.

If Sherlock had thought the change in their relationship status would make John more inclined to comingle their finances, he was sorely disappointed as the bills were still split between them. Then the detective had started to buy him some romantic gifts, like a cashmere jumper and a designer watch. But John refused to wear anything that expensive, too afraid that he’d lose or break them. Smaller and less expensive presents had been accepted eventually.

John was brought out of his musing by his phone ringing, he pulled it out of his pocket and frowned at seeing it was Mycroft.

“I have to say, I didn’t think he’d send in the big guns so soon.” John stated once he’d answered the call, he heard Mycroft give a small huff of amusement. The pair of them got along better than they used to, they might not always see eye to eye but they respected each other.

“He asked me to have a word with you because I know how to ‘not offend people’ apparently. So why don’t you want to wear a tailored suit to dinner with my parents?” Mycroft asked as John spotted a CCTV camera pointed straight at him, he guessed that meant at least the older brother was aware that John didn’t actually have an emergency shift today.

“Apart from the fact that it’s obscene to spend four figures on an item of clothing and I hate it when Sherlock spends ridiculous sums of money on me, you mean? Well, there’s also the fact I want your mother and father to like me for being me, not for me being some sanitised fake version of me. I’m working class, I’m not ashamed of that fact and I don’t want to be made to feel that I have to hide my background.” John replied, keeping his eyes open just in case Sherlock decided to show up and drag him kicking and screaming to the tailor’s studio.

“I suppose there’s no way to really change an ingrained view of the value of money, but tell me, is there anything you’d spend four figures on?” Mycroft asked with a curious note in his voice, he didn’t seem to be trying very hard to change John’s mind, maybe he recognised a lost cause when he saw one. John made a humming noise as he wracked his brains.

“A house and car come to mind… I honestly can’t think of anything else that justifies that sort of outlay. You have to replace your gadgets so quickly as they are superseded by more powerful and advanced versions. I’d be too terrified to wear something that costs more than all my other possessions put together and you can get plenty of other decorative items for lesser sums.” John evidently wasn’t someone who was materialistic in the slightest.

“Interesting, not even a holiday abroad?” John could just imagine Mycroft sitting in his wing backed armchair in the Stranger’s room at the Diogenes club, maybe holding a glass of brandy or sherry. Sometimes he truly believed that he and the Holmes brothers inhabited different worlds.

“No, maybe for a honeymoon but not for an average holiday. There’s plenty of ways to get away without it costing an arm and a leg.” He didn’t mention that the first time he’d travelled outside the British Isles had been with the Army either. John checked the time on his watch. His appointment was ten minutes ago, maybe he could head home soon.

“Sherlock just wants to spoil you, surely you could let him indulge on occasion without it insulting your masculinity?” Mycroft heard John exhale sharply and when he spoke again, his irritation was apparent in his tone.

“It has nothing to do with masculinity, I’d feel the same even if I was female. I don’t want or need expensive gifts. I want to pay my share of the household bills; I want to be self-sufficient. I want to earn my own wage and contribute to society… and now that I’m pretty sure I’ve missed my appointment; I’m going to head home and prepare myself for your brother’s inevitable tantrum. Goodbye, Mycroft.” John hung up the call and stood from the bench to head back to Baker Street.

~~~

A few days later found John sitting at the desk with his laptop, he was catching up on his emails and moderating the comments on the blog. He heard the front door close and Sherlock’s footsteps on the stairs, the detective had given him the cold shoulder after John had got back from hiding in the park before the issue was dropped again for a while.

“Your suit is ready!” Sherlock was holding a garment bag aloft by the hanger, the illustrious name of Steed of Saville Row embroidered into the fabric. John frowned and leaned back in his chair with a confused look on his face.

“How? I didn’t go to the appointment.” The doctor asked as Sherlock unzipped the garment bag to reveal a dark blue suit, waistcoat, crisp white shirt and a maroon tie. It looked very nice, but for the likely price, it better had do in John’s opinion.

“Oh please, John, I was able to tell The Woman’s measurements at a glance, and I’ve been so much more up close and personal with your body.” Sherlock answered, practically giddy at the thought of John wearing this beautiful suit, whereas John was debating whether it was worth over or under eating for the next week and a half to make sure it didn’t fit.

“How much did it cost?” John asked, watching as Sherlock immediately averted his eyes and refused to answer him. “Fine. I’m sure I can find an approximate price. There’s no way a full bespoke suit could be made in a few days so it was probably made to measure. Let’s see… ‘Steed made to measure suit cost’.” The doctor mumbled as he put the query into Google.

“Christ! Three grand! That costs almost as much as a hernia operation on the NHS!” John covered his mouth with his hand, genuinely horrified. When he finally glanced over to his lover again, he found Sherlock standing there looking uncertain, not wanting to offend the doctor and well aware that this was a topic where they struggled to see the other’s point of view.

“Won’t you try it on, at least?” He eventually asked in a hopeful tone, watching as initially it looked like John was going to refuse but he changed his mind.

“Ok, I will, but I’m also going to put my suit on too to compare, let me grab it from my wardrobe.” John pushed his seat back from the table and got up, he jogged up the stairs to what used to be his bedroom. Now he tended to sleep in Sherlock’s room every night, his bed was bigger and more comfortable anyway.

John came back downstairs with his suit in one hand, taking the Steed bag from Sherlock with the other and retreating into the bathroom to get changed. He emerged in his own suit a few minutes later, this one was a very dark grey, it came with a tan brown waistcoat and matching tie. John adjusted his cuffs as he stood in front of the fireplace to look in the mirror hanging above the mantlepiece.

“This is a nice suit…” Sherlock admitted as he came up behind his lover and straightened out his collar. “But it’s not suitable for every occasion, and it’s obvious that it’s not been properly fitted. You’re slimmer at the hips than your clothes size would normally dictate and your trouser legs don’t have a clean line because you’ve taken them up.”

“Yeah, but those are things only you and your brother would notice.” John replied, being as short as he was made it difficult to get trousers and jeans that were the right length. He’d become somewhat of an expert at adjusting the leg lengths and knew what methods worked best for different styles. “Is Mycroft coming to the dinner? Bringing someone?”

“Yes and no.” Sherlock answered as he pulled in the fabric of the jacket at the waist in an attempt to show John what a more fitted suit would look like. “The grey is a nice colour for you, it was a tough choice between that and the blue. Now go and try on the other one.” John nodded and allowed himself to be pushed back towards the bathroom.

Ten minutes later, John came out tentatively, he couldn’t help thinking that it would have taken his father months to save up and buy this suit, and that was assuming he’d forgone bills and food completely in the meantime. When Sherlock caught sight of him, he looked like he might have squealed in delight if he wasn’t a thirty-something adult male.

“Much better! Come here and take a look at yourself.” Sherlock grabbed John and pulled him to his side and turned him towards the mirror. “Loosen up, you’re ruining the look of the suit with your shoulders all bunched up like that!” The detective stood behind his lover and rubbed his neck and shoulders to try and relax him.

“Kinda hard when I know this thing costs ten times my annual registration and practice fee with the GMC.” Though he did make an effort to stand up straighter to look at his reflection. He had to admit it was a very comfortable suit and it fit perfectly. He caught Sherlock’s eyes using the mirror. “It’s a very nice suit, but it’s not two and a half grand better than my one in my opinion, I’m sorry.” Sherlock gave him a look that he usually reserved for Anderson whenever the latter attempted to be clever and missed by a country mile.

“What do you mean? Of course it is! This is a top quality wool blend and you just can’t get this sort of cut off the rack. You could run around all day in this without a problem because it’s so comfortable and well fitting.” Sherlock turned John back to the mirror, as if he couldn’t possibly have looked properly the first time.

“I wouldn’t run anywhere in this; I’m hardly daring to breathe right now. And most people can’t tell the difference between one fabric and another by sight alone. I know I can’t.” John turned and shrugged helplessly in the face of Sherlock’s stunned and slightly disgruntled expression. “If I wear this to the dinner, I’m going to be as stiff as a board and your parents will think I’m an idiot because I’ll be too uncomfortable to be myself.”

“It’s only because it’s new, I’m sure if you wore it around for a bit then you’d get used to it and be less nervous and conscious of what it cost.” Sherlock remembered saying something similar when he realised John had never worn some of the gifts he’d bought him. John gave him a small resigned smile, taking his partner’s hand in both of his and squeezing it.

“I don’t want to be someone who has ‘got used’ to wearing three grand suits, Sherlock. Not when I’m writing referrals to foodbanks for struggling patients on almost every shift. This isn’t me. It’s never going to be me and I don’t want it to be either.”

~~~

It was finally here. The day that John was supposed to be meeting Mr and Mrs Holmes for dinner. The suit issue had come up a couple more times in the intervening period but without a final resolution, they were at an utter impasse. John had expected Sherlock to mention it again over breakfast, and the fact that he hadn’t had made the doctor suspicious.

So, John had headed up to his old room, and sure enough, his grey suit was missing. He growled to himself as he looked for it, why couldn’t Sherlock just respect his feelings on this one thing? There wasn’t much John kicked up a fuss about, he was a remarkably tolerant partner, friend and flatmate by most people’s standards. So why couldn’t he wear the perfectly nice suit he already had instead of the ridiculously expensive one?

“Sherlock, where’s my grey suit?” John asked in a clipped tone as he came down the stairs, having searched every nook and cranny on the third floor for it. The detective was sitting at the kitchen table looking through his microscope and pointedly ignoring him. John sighed and headed into their shared bedroom to look in there. He was more careful in his search because Sherlock had some sort of clothes filing system that he didn’t like being messed up.

“You’d better not have thrown out a perfectly good suit because you want to get your own way.” John called out towards the kitchen, letting out a loud growl of pure frustration when he still couldn’t find it. There was a possibility that the suit was down in Mrs Hudson’s place somewhere, she had tried to stay out of the argument but she may not have noticed an unexpected addition to her clothes cupboard.

“I’m going up to my room, any time you want to stop being childish and return my suit, then drop it in to me.” John grabbed his laptop and disappeared up the stairs. He sat on his bed and checked his watch; he’d need to grab a shower in a couple of hours if he wanted to be ready in time. It felt like he was playing a massive game of chicken with his lover and he was fully anticipating a mad rush to get ready when someone cracked at the last minute. He was determined that it wouldn’t be him.

John was jolted out of his thoughts by the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs. He watched in silence as his door opened to reveal Sherlock holding on to the Steed garment bag. At spotting the doctor’s rather heated scowl, Sherlock wisely said nothing, hanging it from the hook on the back of the door before retreating back to the relative safety of the kitchen.

Some hours later and Sherlock was checking his appearance in the full-length mirror he kept in his room. John had yet to come back downstairs, except to have a shower an hour or so ago. The car that Mycroft had arranged for them would be here in half an hour and Sherlock needed time to co-ordinate John’s accessories for him. The detective was hoping to convince his partner to wear the Sekonda watch he’d bought for him; it would go marvellously with the colour of the suit.

“John, are you dressed yet?” Sherlock knocked on John’s door lightly, not getting an answer and not really expecting to. The doctor would have had no choice but to put on the Steed suit as his other one was currently hidden under the seat cushions of the couch. Being forced into a corner like this would have put John in a foul mood so Sherlock was planning to fuss over him until he cheered up.

“Come now, there’s really no use in sulking. You’re supposed to be meeting my parents and making the best impression, that’s what is important today!” Sherlock knocked again, frowning when he realised that he couldn’t hear any sounds coming from the other side of the door. He grabbed the handle and turned it, shocked to see that the room was empty.

The Steed suit had been taken out of the bag and was lying on the bed with a folded piece of paper on top of it. Sherlock strode across the room and picked up the note. It read:

‘I figured you could take the suit to dinner, seeing as its presence seems to matter more than my own. Up until this, you’ve never once made me feel inadequate because of my background, never made me feel like I didn’t deserve to stand at your side in all possible capacities. I’d like to think that your parents would accept me for who I am, the fact that you chose me should be all that matters to them. I’d also like to think that you’d stay with me even if your family didn’t like me, I guess I’ll find that out soon enough though.’

Sherlock’s first emotion was fury that John had decided to skip out on their dinner, he stalked over to the window and threw it open. His expertly attuned eye able to pick out how John had got back down to ground level. It looked like he’d shimmied down the metal drainpipe, though there was evidence that it wasn’t a completely smooth journey with a couple of slips, in fact it looked like John had lost his grip and fallen for the last six feet or so.

“Why didn’t I hear anything?” Sherlock grumbled to himself as he pulled his head back inside the window. Then he realised that John probably timed his escape to coincide with when Sherlock had had his shower, using the sound of running water to cover any noise he made. The detective growled as he pulled his phone out of his pocket and called John, but he’d evidently turned it off as it went straight to voicemail.

:: John! My parents are expecting us both, what am I supposed to tell them if I show up on my own? And I’m not taking the Hollow Client’s brother to dinner! – SH ::

Sherlock put his phone in his pocket and checked his watch, the car would be here in ten minutes. He didn’t have enough time to go looking for his wayward lover, he stomped down the stairs as he imagined Mycroft’s smug condescension when his younger brother turned up alone. Sherlock started coming up with believable excuses for John’s absence as he grabbed his coat and left the flat to wait on the pavement.

The car picked him up on time and Sherlock was sitting in the back seat, glaring out of the window when he realised that he still had John’s note in his hand. His eyes caught on to the word ‘inadequate’ and he froze as he finally registered what John had said and implied in that line and the next. Sherlock had made his partner and best friend feel like he wasn’t good enough for him.

His anger left him and he mentally berated himself, what John wore wasn’t important, it never had been. Otherwise those hideous jumpers would have put him off a long time ago. It didn’t matter if Sherlock felt his lover deserved the finer things in life, displays of wealth didn’t impress John and they never would. His humble beginnings made him one of the most down to Earth people Sherlock had ever met and he wouldn’t change him for the world.

His car pulled up at The Square in Mayfair, the restaurant his brother had booked them a table at two weeks ago. Speaking of the devil, Mycroft was waiting for him just outside the front entrance. Sherlock silently groaned but plastered a neutral look on his face as he climbed out of the vehicle.

“I wasn’t expecting Dr Watson to make his own way here.” Mycroft commented, waving a hand towards the window. Sherlock blinked in shock and looked through the glass, spotting John already sitting with his parents at their table and having what looked to be a lively conversation.

The doctor was wearing a new suit, it was off the rack, in fact it looked to be the exact same style as his grey suit except it was a white jacket over a black waistcoat with a white shirt and black tie, rounded off nicely with black trousers.

“I must say the monochromatic colours do suit him rather well. I think they are still discussing the Surgeons’ Hall Museum, Mummy asked where John grew up and when he said ‘Edinburgh’ there was no stopping her. But the good doctor is holding his own and looks like he’s enjoying the attention too.” Mycroft opened the door as he finished speaking and Sherlock walked through it, heading to the table.

“There he is! We were just getting to know Dr Watson while we waited for you.” Sigur Holmes rose from his seat to give his youngest son a hug, which Sherlock tolerated, doing the same with Violet and giving her a kiss on the cheek before he took the seat next to John.

“Yes, I would have never guessed that he was Scottish, there’s absolutely no trace of the accent anywhere.” Violet added, she had her hand over the doctor’s where they rested on the table between them.

“Sometimes the accent and slang come out if I’ve had a bit too much to drink. No one could understand me when I came down to study medicine at Barts so I worked hard to lose my accent. Speaking clearly can mean the difference between life and death sometimes as a doctor, and as a soldier too actually now that I think about it.” John was blushing a little at all the attention he was getting, he glanced to Sherlock and caught his eyes to try and assess his partner’s mood.

“I have the sudden urge to get you exceptionally drunk.” Sherlock quipped as he picked up the menu. “Have you ordered yet or do you want me to choose something for you?” John often let the detective order for him because he tended to stick to what he knew and he rarely felt brave enough to try something new. He knew Sherlock understood his tastes and would pick something accordingly.

“We were waiting until you arrived, I did glance at the menu but the font they’ve used is so ridiculously flamboyant I can barely read it.” John relaxed marginally at realising that Sherlock wasn’t upset at him, or he was at least willing to park his annoyance until after they got back.

“I agree with you, John, I just misread the apricot and apple tart as something completely different.” Sigur chimed in, giving the doctor a knowing smile while Mycroft rolled his eyes at his father’s immaturity. A waiter came over and took their orders, bringing over the wine that they’d selected earlier. It was then that Violet noticed.

“Oh, John dear, what have you done to your hands?” Mrs Holmes took the hand nearest to her and turned it palm up to reveal the reddened and slightly scraped skin. Sherlock took a hold of the other one to find that it was in a similar state.

“I grazed them earlier, they are fine though. I’d actually forgot all about them until you mentioned it.” John flushed again, unwilling to explain to Sherlock’s parents that he’d climbed out of a third storey window and slid down a drainpipe rather than wear the suit Sherlock had picked out for him.

“I suppose you’ve probably had worse injuries chasing after my youngest all over the place.” Violet shot Sherlock a warm smile. “I’m glad he’s found someone like you. Someone who can protect him, patch him up and stand up to him so he doesn’t get too used to getting his own way all the time. You tell me if he ever starts taking you for granted though and I’ll sort him out for you.”

“Watch out, brother mine, I think Mummy is going to swap you for John.” Mycroft teased lightly, getting an eye roll from Sherlock while he surreptitiously took his partner’s hand in his under the table. He felt John squeeze his fingers lightly, a subtle sign to show that his partner hadn’t forgotten him as he continued chatting animatedly with his parents.

~~~

John sank back into the leather seats of the sedan, they’d enjoyed a lovely four course meal, several bottles of wine and a conversation that had spanned everything from law, mathematics and even rugby and bagpipes. Sigur was more grounded than his wife, but both of them were surprisingly warm and open considering how much both the Holmes brothers actively disliked sentiment.

“That went pretty well, I think.” John commented to his partner as the driver pulled off. Sherlock made a noise of acknowledgement, pulling John into his chest and wrapping his arms around his shoulders to hold him tightly.

“Yes, Mummy is absolutely smitten with you.” They were both on the good side of buzzed, not having drunk enough to completely lose their inhibitions. “You were right, they didn’t care about what you were wearing in the slightest. I’m sorry for everything, I just wanted you all to get along so badly that I lost sight of what was important.” Sherlock pressed a gentle kiss against John’s temple and felt John give him an answering squeeze.

“It’s ok, I understand your reasons… and I know you wish I’d let you spoil me more often. I’m never going to be a kept man, but I’ll work on accepting the fact you want to spend money on me on occasion.” John reached into an inside pocket and pulled out a bank card. “Though you paid for this suit, it felt fair, seeing as you hid my other one.”

“More than fair.” Sherlock agreed as he took the card back and slipped it into his wallet. “The grey suit is under the cushions of the couch; it might be in need of a brush and a press but otherwise it should be fine.” John huffed in amusement with a small shake of his head as the car pulled up outside Baker Street. The pair got out and headed inside. Once they were in the living room, Sherlock came up behind John, placing his hands on the doctor’s hips while he kissed the back of his neck.

“Ouch! Careful!” John gasped and flinched away from his lover’s touch on his left hip. That was when Sherlock remembered that John had fallen during his dramatic escape. Sherlock moved so he was standing in front of John, his hands went to the doctor’s trousers, undoing them and sliding them down a little to reveal a large black bruise on the outside of the hip bone.

“Are you hurt anywhere else?” Sherlock asked softly as he traced the edges of the injury with gentle fingers. John slipped off his jacket wordlessly and rolled up his left sleeve to show another smaller bruise on his elbow. “You could have broken your leg… or your neck.”

“Admittedly it wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had; I just didn’t think I could sneak down two flights of stairs and out the front door without you noticing. Though it could have been worse. I could have landed on Mrs Hudson’s bins like our American friend.” That made the pair of them laugh lightly as the space between them naturally closed and their lips met.

“I’ve been thinking about the inheritance money.” John spoke in a low voice when the kiss broke, Sherlock beginning to unknot the tie he was wearing. “It’s been sitting there for over two years doing nothing so I think I’m going to donate most of it to charities that work towards eradicating poverty.” Once again, the detective found himself astounded at the compassion his lover had for his fellow man and an idea came to him.

“Why don’t you use the money to set up a charitable trust? That way you can support good causes while growing the fund through strategic investments. You’d be able to help more people and charities than a one-off donation that way.” Sherlock suggested as he slowly undid John’s shirt buttons.

“I’m sure Mycroft could recommend a good trustee and investment manager if you asked him. Maybe the trust could lend its support to encouraging students from disadvantaged backgrounds into university?” Sherlock gasped as he was pulled into a hard bear hug, his hands almost crushed between their chests.

“That’s a fantastic idea! I knew so many kids growing up who would have loved to go into further education but their families just couldn’t afford it and there’s only so many scholarships to go around.” John loosened his grip a touch and pulled back to look at Sherlock, his blue eyes sparkling in excitement.

“You’ll have to come up with a good name for the trust. I already know that you’re too modest to let it be named after you, maybe something more descriptive is needed.” Sherlock watched John’s face as it turned thoughtful. “No rush though, as there’s something else that requires your undivided attention right now.” He slipped one hand under the fabric of the half unbuttoned shirt to caress John’s chest.

“Something? …Or someone?” John lent forward marginally so his words were almost lost in the hollow of Sherlock’s throat as he pressed a soft kiss to the heated skin. “I can solemnly promise that taking care of that someone is my number one priority tonight.” Sherlock swallowed audibly before he stated sincerely.

“I’m sorry I made you think you weren’t good enough for me. If I thought you’d let me get away with it, I’d say it was the other way around. You are the only person I’d ever want, John.”

FIN