|31 Drabbles of Solstice #14: Sherlock, Gifts & Beginnings
||[Dec. 18th, 2010|05:12 pm]
(lives between pages)
These two should be read together.
Not What I Expected
"Vindictive," Mycroft says, sparing the envelope's contents only the briefest glance, "but kind of you. I don't doubt that my staff will bend over backwards to ensure that my schedule allows for these...sessions. Thank you, Sherlock."
John is giving Sherlock a look that's just shy of hateful, and it's lovely.
"A gym membership," he says flatly. "Really, I don't know why you bother." Clearing his throat, he hands Mycroft an envelope of his own. "See, this is the reason neither of us suggested going splits on your gift to the other. We'd have never agreed on one."
Mycroft studies John's envelope, turning it over in his hands, and smiles.
"Kind of you, John," he says, pinching to test thickness. "There's one for Anthea, too."
"Yes, well," John says, blushing slightly, eyes lowered. "OddBins has quite a bit to choose from, and there's no guarantee that both of you will like the same thing."
"We don't," Mycroft says matter-of-factly, still smiling. He reaches into his coat and pulls out a packet covered in embossed card-stock that Sherlock knows all too well. He couldn't possibly. After such cruelty, surely he wouldn't. He hands the envelope to John, but his eyes never once leave Sherlock. "Forgive me for taking the liberty."
John is staring at the contents of the packet and losing his color.
"Let me see if I have this right," he says. "You booked us the entire terrace—"
"Of course I did," says Mycroft, evenly. "Surely this calls for a celebration."
"This?" Sherlock asks. "That's all the acknowledgment we'll get, then? This?"
"How ungrateful the wretch is," Mycroft says, subtly appealing to John.
"I'm grateful, no question," John says, reverently folding the documents back together. "I'll never have a meal to match this one again, not given Sherlock's line of work."
"You might take a lesson from your partner," Mycroft suggests, turning his smug expression on Sherlock. "Or, if you would prefer, lover. I can hardly disapprove."
John screws his eyes shut and tightens his jaw, but he's grinning in spite of himself.
"I told you he knew, how could he not know, he's got bloody CCTV cameras—"
"Not in the flat, I assure you," Mycroft says. "I'm no voyeur."
"Oh, very well," Sherlock snaps. "Thank you. We appreciate it, et cetera."
"Mummy will be so proud," says Mycroft, beaming.
Just What I Wanted
"That does it," John says, slumping in his chair. "You'll have to roll me home."
"You're not that drunk," Sherlock says, draining his glass. "But I am."
"Yeah, but I'm full," John points out, picking at what's left of his goose. "You're not."
"Six of one, half dozen of the other."
Sherlock waves vaguely, topping up their wine glasses with an unsteady hand. At a hundred and five quid a bottle, John isn't sure he can tell the difference between this and OddBins, but it is an awfully drinkable Chardonnay. He didn't even think he liked Chardonnay. Maybe Harry will think twice now before calling him a lost cause.
It's their second bottle, and there's some port waiting in the wings.
"She'll be impressed if she has any sense," Sherlock mutters into his glass.
"Note to self: get Sherlock drunk more often, he starts mind-reading. Imagine how much more efficient you'll be if you start turning up to crime scenes trollied."
Sherlock goes still and pensive, studying the fireplace. The décor is unbelievable, all gilded mirrors and white marble and mauve drapery. They're alone at a table for two in a room normally set aside for cocktails and dancing, and there are candles.
"Definitely a date this time," John says, reaching across the table for Sherlock's hand.
"Hmmm, what?" Sherlock asks, startled. His eyes fall on John's covering his own. "Oh. Yes, that. I should hope so. Your objections were always so tiresome."
"I'm not objecting now," John replies. "Call it my New Year's resolution."
"Boring," Sherlock sighs, but he turns his hand upward beneath John's so that they're touching, palm to palm, and the surreality of it all hits full-force: it's New Year's Eve, and they're dining at the Criterion. "I don't bother with them."
"What?" John asks. "Resolutions?"
"Not usually," Sherlock says, leaning forward so that the candlelight catches in his eyes, turns them eerie and golden in the low light. "But I might make an exception."
"Sounds like a start," John says, squeezing his hand.
"No," Sherlock insists, squeezing right back. "It's a promise."