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You Keep Me Right, Watson

Chapter Text

The busy London streets were buzzing with talk about the famous Sherlock Holmes and his partner in crime-solving, John Watson. But I wasn't worried with that.

No, I had just been put out by my older sister and her wife, after having already been put out by my (now) ex-fiance. I was more concerned with finding a place to live than with what those men were spending their time doing. But John was family, and he told me before that if I needed him I could come to him. So that's why right now I was sitting in Speedy's with a suitcase next to me and an angry brother in the seat across from me.

"You should have come straight to me instead of Harry, Grace."

"You seemed busy," I shrugged. "And I didn't want to get in your way. It's what I'm good at, remember?" He sighed and crossed his arms.

"That was years ago, Gracie. And I already apologized. Now can you please drop it?" 

"Fine. I'm just teasing, you know." He smirked and looked out the window. "So, you and the great Sherlock Holmes. Best friends. Crime solvers together. That sort of thing?"

"I suppose. Where is he? I told him to meet us here ages ago. He can't be far away." He pulled out his phone and dialed a number. "Yeah, Sherlock it's me. John bloody Watson, obviously! Where are you? Are you kidding me? Yes, I meant it when I said I needed you to come downstairs! No, don't you dare show up like that! Sherlock, I swear you're going to kill me someday. Yes, thank you!" 

During this exchange, I was holding back my laughter. "What's so funny?"

"You sound like a testy wife," I giggled. 

"Oh, not you too! You'll get along great with Mrs. Hudson then." I sipped my coffee as a tall man came in wearing a long black coat and a scarf. "Sherlock, really? The coat? You were right next door!"

"I like my coat, John. Who's this? What's she doing here? What's so important?"

"Sherlock, this is-"

"I can introduce myself, John," I interrupted. "Grace Watson, pleasure to meet you," I shook Sherlock's hand and offered him a seat. He quickly sat next to John and looked me over. "Go ahead. Deduce me. I know John doesn't want you to, but I don't care." He looked surprised, but leaned forward and looked at me closely.

"You've been living with a man for three years, but you've broken up recently. You went to live with your alcoholic sister and her wife, but they didn't want you there so now you're here hoping to live with your brother and his brilliant flatmate. You never finished university like John wanted you to, but you have a job and you like it well enough. You've had a few flings with both men and women, but just haven't found the right person to spend your life with. At the moment you don't want any committed relationship, according to the stain on your collar despite there being mints in your bag. To answer your question, yes John has told me some of it, no I do not intend to get involved, and yes you may live with us." He stood and left without another word. John sighed and looked at his watch.

"That's the longest he's stayed still in weeks. Come on up, I'll introduce you to Mrs. Hudson and let you get settled in." He picked up my suitcase a put down some cash for the coffee before we headed out the door and to the flat. The black door looked like it hadn't been painted in a while, and the knocker was hanging to the left, as if whoever closed it did so by the knocker and didn't bother to straighten it. It was John's doing, no doubt.

"So you never finished university?" I rolled my eyes. 

"Can we talk about this later?" He put up his hands and sighed.

"Fine. Ah, Mrs. Hudson, this is Grace," he said to the older woman walking towards us.

"Oh, it's about time you two got a woman's touch around the place! I can't even stand to go in there half the time, deary. I'm Mrs. Hudson, the land lady. Lovely to meet you! John just goes on and on about you lately." She was beaming at me, and her smile was contagious! I grinned back and she led the way up the stairs and towards an open door.

"Excuse the mess, dear," she laughed nervously. "Sherlock! Didn't I tell you to clean up in case of guests? And where's she going to sleep? I doubt she wants to share with either of you!"

"Don't worry, Mrs. Hudson. We can figure that out," John said. She marched back down the stairs.

John turned to Sherlock, who was standing at their kitchen table and looking through a microscope.

"Sherlock, can you put that down for one minute? We need to sort out sleeping arrangements."

"It's obvious. She'll take my room since I rarely use it, I'll take the couch if and when I do sleep, and you'll go on sleeping upstairs in the other bedroom." He never even looked up from what he was doing.

"Sherlock, I swear I'll break your microscope if you don't come over here right now and be social for just one moment."

"John, you know that I'm a sociopath. I don't do social." I knee what to do.

"What are you working on?" I asked. He paused and looked up.

"I'm trying to determine which type of tobacco ash this is." 

"Do you mind if I have a look?" He rolled his eyes and stepped out of the way. After looking for a moment, I had the answer.

"This is from a Camel cigarette, from America. It's plain as day, actually. Look at how much of it there is and how thick it is. American's never have learned the proper way to roll one." He gazed at me with a blank expression.

"John, how are you related? She's far more brilliant than you." I grinned and turned to John with a smile on my face. He rolled his eyes and took my suitcase down the hall.

"So, Sherlock Holmes. You've made quite a name for yourself it seems." He hummed and cleaned up the table. "What's it like inside that head of yours?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"If I'm going to live here, I want to know what I'm getting into. Potential flat mates should know the worst about each other." He chuckled and grinned at me.

"That's what I said to John when we met." I nodded and took in more of my surroundings. Mrs. Hudson was right: they needed a woman's touch. There were papers scattered around the counters, containers full of God knows what, and dishes stacked in the sink. 

"So, tell me the worst about yourself, Mr. Holmes."

"I do experiments in here, I keep body parts in the fridge, I take out my anger on corpses using a riding crop, and I play the violin at all hours, sometimes instead of talking. John tells me I'm horribly insensitive and sometimes I smoke." I nodded. "And you? What's the worst thing about you?"

"I'm overly emotional sometimes, I don't eat when I should, I only sleep during the day because I work nights, I'm a college drop out and I used to smoke but now I use the patches." He sighed and looked around. "I mix drinks in a bar. I'm a bartender. But John doesn't know, so please don't tell him. If he asks, just say that I'm a babysitter or something. Please? He can't know, or he'll have a fit." Sherlock nodded.

"His fits when you were younger... They never ended well?"

"Dad's didn't. John always protected me, though. Dad was violent. I guess it rubbed off a little on John, though, because Harry had some stories." Sherlock rolled his eyes.

John came back and saw us getting along.

"Oh, Sherlock, I thought you didn't socialize?"

"I had to tell her the bad things about living with us. Just like I did you."

"Did he tell you that he shoots the walls when he's bored? Or that he used to be a druggie?" I shook my head.

"John, I chose not to tell her those things. Can we drop it?" 

"Fine. And there's someone at the door, by the way."

"Who?"

"Your brother." I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. They were light and slow, as if this person was.taking great care with every step. Soon a tall, brown haired man came into view. He wore a tan suit with a brown coat over one arm and he carried an umbrella. His long nose and barely existent lips coupled with his cocked eyebrow and smoothed back hair made him appear to be important.

"Brother mine," he said to Sherlock in a clear voice. Sherlock rolled his eyes.

"What do you want, Mycroft? I'm busy." He looked to me and offered a hand to shake.

"Mycroft Holmes, at your service. You must be Doctor Watson's youngest sister. Come to live with the child and and his pet doctor?" I refused to shake his hand. I just stood and looked him in the eye.

"If you're trying to intimidate me, it isn't working. Try again." He withdrew his hand and turned away to face John.

"I know Sherlock isn't really busy, but he will insist on it, so I'll hurry. I came to offer your sister the job I offered to you when you moved in with my brother."

"I have a job, thanks. And i like my job, so no thanks."

"Hm. Yes, I'm sure you'll get very far in the barmaid profession. In case you change your mind, here's my card." He handed me a business card and stalked out. John was livid.

"You're working in a bar?!?"

"No! John, why would I work in a bar if I lived with Harry? That's absurd." 

"Then why did Mycroft say you did?"

"Probably because he seems to know that I only work nights, so the probability that I worked in a bar was the most likely. Really, I'm a babysitter. People go out at night and need someone to watch their kids, I do it. Not that big a deal." He nodded and took a deep breath. 

"Okay. Sorry." I waved him off, just thankful that he believed my blatant lie. 

Sherlock grabbed his coat and pulled it on.

"Where are you going?" John asked.

"I'm bored. I want to take a walk. Care to join me?"

"Sorry, but I'm tired," John replied.

"I'll go. I need to get familiar with the neighborhood. Can I come with you?" Sherlock pulled his scarf on and tied it.

"Fine. Just don't try to chit chat or distract me. It's for a case." I followed him out the door and down the stairs.

Chapter Text

The brisk October wind blew my long, blonde hair back, and made me shiver.

"Where's your coat?" Sherlock asked in an annoyed tone. I shrugged. 

"Must have left is at Harry's." He rolled his eyes and walked on ahead of me. I jogged to keep up. "Oi! Slow down, long-legs! I'm shorter than John!" Sherlock slowed a bit so I could catch up and tried to stay slow enough for me to keep up with his long strides. Curse his long legs! 

A cell phone rang out from his pocket and he groaned ad he answered it. 

"What is it, Lestrade? I'm busy. Uh huh. What? Fine. John and I will be there shortly." He hung up and hailed a taxi before pulling me inside of it and us going off towards Scotland Yard.

"I thought you were bringing John," a tall man with grey hair, who I assumed was Lestrade, said as he saw us. Sherlock looked at me and shrugged.

"It's his sister. She'll do."

"Harry?" I gritted my teeth and took in a deep breath.

"No. I'm the youngest one, Grace. Does John just not talk about me?" Lestrade looked away nervously and I rolled my eyes.

"So, murder, yes? Let's go." We were put into a police car and taken to an old warehouse. Typical, for a murderer to leave a body in an old warehouse. Question is, who found the body? The place was abandoned.

"What do you want, freak?" asked a young woman at the police line. Sherlock rolled his eyes and I watched their exchange. "And why do you have a little fan following you around? Excuse me, miss, this is an actual crime scene. You can't be here." I was about to speak up, but Sherlock beat me to it.

"She's with me. Miss Watson, meet Sgt. Donovan. Donovan, Miss Watson. She's here in John's place at the moment."

"Hold on, I never said you could come in! And why on earth would I let in Dr. Watson's alcoholic sister? She's probably tipsy right now, why else would she come to a crime scene with someone like you?" I'd have quite enough.

"Okay, first of all, I am not Harry! If you want to insult me, at least know which sister I am. I'm not the alcoholic one, I'm the smallest one. I am not drunk, although after this conversation I will definitely want to be. There is a dead body over there, and as it is you may never catch your killer because you've just let him go." Sherlock and Sgt. Donovan both stared at me.

"She's right. Interrogate the one who found the body. He's your man." Donovan rolled her eyes and stalked off. "That's a first. You didn't even see the body, how did you figure it out?"

"Abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere? Who could find a body and not be pegged as a suspect unless they knew the body was there and were convincing liars? The killer obviously thought that he was being clever." Sherlock gave me a sort of proud smile and led me away from the sirens and police tape.

"Hungry? I know great place for chips." We walked on in the afternoon air until Sherlock stopped and looked at me quizzically. "You're just like John, but at the same time you're nothing like him. You're observant and your deduction skills are impeccable, but you read emotions like they're a book." I blushed and looked down. 

"I'll take all that as a compliment, I suppose," I breathed. He nodded.

"I think we'll get along nicely." He walked on and we eventually made it back to Baker Street with chips in hand. I gave some to John and went to put the rest in the fridge. 

"HOLY SHIT! SHERLOCK WHY THE FUCK IS THERE A SEVERED HEAD IN THE FRIDGE?!?"

"I couldn't fit the whole body in without it being dismembered," he said casually. I slammed the door shut and whirled around to look at him.

"We're not going to get along as well as you think unless you keep the body parts somewhere else."

"But they need to be kept cold."

"Then leave them at the morgue! Don't bring them here!" He groaned and walked off. John smirked and put an arm around me.

"How was your walk? You two were gone a long time."

"It was eventful. Sherlock got a call to a crime scene. I solved it in two minutes." The laughter left his eyes and his arm left my shoulders.

"He took you to a bloody crime scene?!?"

"What? He takes you all the time, apparently. And you talk about Harry to everyone who'll listen, it seems. They thought I was her when Sherlock said I was your sister. I almost got into a fight with one Sgt. Donovan." He groaned and put a hand to his forehead.

"Sherlock! You total cock! Get back here now!" Sherlock trudged back into the room.

"What have I done now?" he groaned.

"You took my baby sister to a crime scene and you thought that was okay???"

"She enjoyed herself," he shrugged. "And she solved it, so I don't see what all the fuss is about." John groaned and grabbed his jacket.

"I have to go to work. You two... You two are impossible!" He stormed out and I glared at Sherlock, who glared back.

"You got me in trouble!" We both shouted at each other. Our anger soon melted into laughter and I saw laugh lines on Sherlock's face that I didn't know existed.

"I think you're becoming my favorite Watson," Sherlock chuckled. I giggled and walked down the hall to my new bedroom.

"Get rid of the body parts, Sherlock. I mean it!" I closed the door and took in my surroundings. There was only a bed, a wardrobe, and a bedside table with a lamp on it. Hanging on the wall was a harpoon and a poster of the periodic table.

Why does he have a harpoon? You know what, nevermind. I opened the closet, which looked like a closet one would find on a movie set. Different uniforms, suits, and costumes lined the racks with the shoes placed carefully against the back wall. I shook my head and went over to the wardrobe, which turned out to be empty. I opened my suitcase and started settling in. 

There was a knock on the door, and Sherlock opened it before I could even process the thought of letting someone in.

"You're settling in." It was just a statement, not a conversation starter. He seemed to be accusing me of it, actually.

"I live here. Why shouldn't I settle?" He ignored me and examined my organization in the wardrobe.

"Why do you bother to sort things? They'll just get messy again."

"Is that why the rest of the flat is in such a state?" He scoffed. "Look, pretend all you want that you like it this way, but someday I'll have it all cleaned up and sorted, and you won't miss the chaos." 

"You sound like my brother."

"He sounds quite sensible, then." Sherlock rolled his eyes and walked out. 

A few hours later, it was time for me to head to work.

"Sherlock, behave while I'm gone. Sony tell John where I work, or you're gonna get it. And clean out that fridge before I get home, or so help me I'll hide your pet skull and microscope." He waltzed into the kitchen with a trash bag in his hand before I left.

Chapter Text

"What can I get for you, sir?" I asked without looking up from what I was doing.

"I came to ake my job offer more clear, Miss Watson." I rolled my eyes.

"I have a job, Mycroft."

"This isn't so much a job as it is... Payment for services you will render." I glared at him.

"Order a drink or get out. I don't need additional income."

"Miss Watson, Grace, please just listen to my offer. It is quite attractive if you think about it." I narrowed my eyes at him and leaned forward so that I was eye level with him.

"You want me to keep tabs on Sherlock for you." He remained silent with an amused expression. "I am not going to make him trust me just so you can keep up with him. I won't betray him like that. Find someone else to do it, you reptile. Now, get out of my bar, and don't come near me with that proposal again. Else I'll scream 'rape', and then we'll see how well your position as the British government holds up." I pushed away from the counter and walked down the bar to help other customers. I heard his stool scoot back and soon the door was opening and closing with an invisible sense of finality. Maybe I got rid of him for good?

 "I could use another drink, sexy," said a man down at the end. Luckily, I wasn't the only one working tonight.

"Coming right up," Evan said as he poured the man another beer. The guy looked embarrassed and a little disgruntled, but the others around him thought it was hilarious, so it was well worth it.

I wiped down where Mycroft was sitting just in time for someone else to come in and sit there. She was dressed nicely, as if she were here for a date. But she looked sad.

"What's troubling you, sweetie?" I asked as I poured her a shot. She shook her head and downed it before looking at me.

"I had a date... He didn't show." She was small, about my height, and had straight brown hair. 

"I'm sorry, hon. Here, these ones are on me, okay? Just don't make me cut you off." She gave me a weak smile and I went on with my work. 

The end of my shift was fast approaching, and the guys at the end of the bar were getting rowdy. I was not in the mood for a fight.

"Fellas, if you're going to fight, take it outside!" I shouted.

"Shut up!" One shouted back s he swung at his opponent. I grabbed the phone to call the police about a fight, but the phone was smacked out of my hand and I was yanked out from behind the bar.

"Let go of me!" Crack! A calloused hand made contact with my cheek. I saw red and started swinging, hitting one person square in the face and managing to hit the one who was holding me so that he let me go. I fell to the floor and scrambled to my feet.

"You! Call the cops, tell 'em there's a fight at Danny's!" The man behind me cleared his throat. I knew that noise too well.

"I did a few minutes ago, Grace. Come on. You're coming home right now." Dammit.

"How did you find me, John?" He crossed his arms and glared at me.

"Why didn't you tell me you worked in a bar? Why did you lie about it when Mycroft told me? Did you think this was a good idea?"

"John, I'm an adult, I can make my own choices." I turned to get back to work, but John grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the building just as the cops showed up.

"Grace? John! What's going on?"

"Not now, Greg!" John shouted as he opened the door of the squad car. "Take her and put her in a holding cell. She was involved in the fight."

"John if I get locked up I could get fired! And I was only defending myself!" He slammed the door shut and walked off. I slouched in the back seat and grumbled. Soon, though, the door was opened again and a pair of calm hands were pulling me out of the car.

"John can't actually make me do anything," Lestrade chuckled. "Don't worry, he's gone. How about I just take you home?" I shook my head. 

"John's there. And I don't want him to yell at me." He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. 

"Look, I need your statement of what happened, then I'll personally take you home and make sure you get in fine. So, what happened?" He had a pen and a notebook in his hands.

"I was doing my job and some guys were getting into it at the end of the bar. I told them to take it outside, they wouldn't, so I picked up the phone to call you guys, and they smacked it out of my hand and yanked me into their fight. They hit me, so I hit them until I got away." He scribbled down everything I said verbatim, then put me back into the car so he could take me home.

I was reluctant to go in when we got home, and I just knew John would be pissed. But Lestrade gave me a reassuring smile and knocked on the door. Mrs. Hudson answered and began fretting over me.

"Gracie! Where have you been! Why happened to you! Oh, when I find out who did this I'll give them a right-" she noticed Lestrade standing there. "Hello, inspector. What can I do for you?"

"I just came to bring Grace home. She's a bit nervous about how John will react. She got pulled into a fight at the bar she works at." Mrs. Hudson's eyes went wide.

"Sweetie, come inside. I'll get you some ice for that eye." Eye? I looked into a mirror in the hall and saw the beginnings of a black eye. I sighed and started walking up the stairs with Lestrade in front of me.

"John! Sherlock!" He seemed agitated already. 

"Did you lock her in a holding cell?" John asked. He clearly hadn't seen me yet.

"Actually, no. She's right here. And she doesn't need a cell. She's sober as a judge. But she needs some ice for her eye." Sherlock stared at me and I looked away from him. He quickly approached me and took me into the kitchen. He made me sit on the table while he grabbed a plastic bag and some ice from the freezer. 

"I guess you cleaned it out, then?" I asked with a smile. He shushed me as he pressed the ice to my eye carefully.

"Who hit you?" I shrugged.

"Just some guy. I don't know. I didn't see him." His muscles clenched and he turned to Lestrade.

"I need to go see the men who were in the fight." Lestrade shook his head.

"Not tonight, Sherlock. She needs you to be here." He stepped closer to Sherlock and whispered something in his ear before bidding us all a good night and trudging back down the stairs.

"Thanks, Grey!" I shouted. He laughed and I heard the front door shut. "What? Why did he laugh?" 

"His name is Greg," John sighed. "And we need to talk." I rolled my eyes and hopped off the table.

"No, you want me to quit my job. Not happening, by the way. I am keeping my job and you can't stop me." He grabbed my arm as I walked by, and I yanked my arm away.

"Why did you lie about it? That's all I want to know."

"So you wouldn't treat me like you treated Harry! She was going down the drain so fast, and you only wanted to help when it was too late. I didn't want you to be mad that I work in a bar."

"I have no problem with you working there, so long as you don't become an alcoholic. I just don't want you to lie to me about it." He pulled me in for a hug and I stood completely still. I didn't hug him back, I just waited for it to be over.

"Go to bed," I told him. He chuckled and nodded before walking out the door and up the stairs. I slumped into a chair and burried my face in my hands. Sherlock picked the discarded ice pack up from its place on the floor and knelt in front of me.

"Keep this on your eye to keep swelling down." He removed my hands from my face and pushed the ice pack against my eye. I smiled weakly.

"Thanks, Sherlock." I took his hand and sighed. He just examined my face.

"You fought back. And you will have bruises on your arms tomorrow." I shrugged.

"It's not a big deal. I think I should go to bed." He nodded and walked away so I could get up, but I didn't move. I just stared at the door and the person standing there.

"Are you okay?" asked the girl from earlier.

"Molly, what are you doing here?" Sherlock asked. So her name was Molly? And Sherlock knew her?

"I'm here to see Grace. Greg told me what happened. I came to see if she needs medical attention."

"My brother is a doctor."

"No offense, but your brother is also a drama queen and writes a blog about Sherlock all the time instead of acting like a doctor." I smiled and she walked over to me with a medical bag in her hands. "Thanks for earlier, by the way."

"No problem. I'm just glad you left before the fight happened. I can't imagine how they'd have held up against you." She giggled and shook her head.

 "Alright. No concussion, no stitches needed, you've got a clean bill of health. Except for, you know, the black eye." She shook my hand and got up to leave. "And Sherlock, keep an eye on her just in case there's something I've missed."

"You didn't miss anything. Thank you, Molly. Goodbye." Molly walked down the stairs and out of 221 Baker Street. Sherlock told me to go to bed.

"I'd rather stay up, if that's alright." He ignored me as he picked up his violin and began playing a calm, quiet tune that I had never heard before. I let my eyes slip shut as the music washed over me, allowing it into my being and letting myself get absorbed in it.

Chapter Text

"John, where are my cigarettes?" Sherlock shouted. I pulled my blanket over my head before I realized that I was not in a bed, and this wasn't a blanket. I sat up from my spot in the chair and Sherlock's coat fell to my lap.

"Why am I in here?" Sherlock didn't even look at me as he walked by.

"My question is, why are you in my chair?" I rolled my eyes at him and got out of his precious chair to hang up his coat. "Next time you fall asleep while I'm playing, I might take it as an insult." Oh. That's what I was doing.

"Sorry," I mumbled. "You play beautifully, by the way." He hummed in reply as he began rummaging in the cabinets.

"JOHN! WHERE DID YOU HIDE THEM?!" I couldn't help but laugh. John wasn't the one who hid them, but I wasn't going to tell Sherlock that.

"John's not here, Sherlock. He had to go to the shops." He groaned and slammed the cabinet door shut. "Why do you need a smoke anyway?" He glared at me.

"Because I need to go to the police station and tell that bastard who hit you what a useless piece of garbage he is." I blinked and a grin spread across my face.

"Aw, are you having emotions?" 

"I don't believe in emotions." He stalked off towards the bathroom and slammed the door shut. Well then.


We arrived at the Yard and Lestrade was reluctant to let us go see the people who were locked up, but with quite the deduction from Sherlock (regarding last night and who Lestrade was with in the latest hours), he let us go right in.

"Who here was at the bar last night?" People stuck their hands out if their cells and Sherlock walked me by the doors. "Not at yours, not at yours, not at yours... Ah! These two were there, they were fighting." I glared at one of them, and he flinched. 

"Wasn't him. He's too scared of me. It's the other one." The other one appeared more beaten and bruised than the other. 

"What do you have to say for yourself?" Sherlock asked him. He ignored us and just stared at the wall. "Just know, the moment you're out of there, I have people who can track you, keep tabs on you, and ensure that at any moment I can make your life a living Hell, should you lay another hand on any woman. Do I make myself clear?" The man looked up at Sherlock and smiled.

"The great Sherlock Holmes, reduced to threatening bastards who beat women. Look at what you're life's become. I got it better than you, and I'm locked in here." I tugged at Sherlock's sleeve and he bent down so I could whisper to him.

"Can we leave?" He nodded and put an arm around my shoulders to guide me out.

"Thanks Sherlock," I said as we walked back to Baker Street. We could have gotten a cab, but walking was much more fun. I pulled John's coat tighter around myself and kept close to Sherlock.

"I feel weird," he said when we stopped for the light. "Sort of like... My stomach is empty, but it thinks there's something there, and my brain is moving faster than normal even though there's nothing useful to process."

"That's called an emotion, Sherlock," I said, nudging his side.

"What emotion causes that? It's not anger, because I'm not angry anymore."

"I don't know. If I could read your mind, I would tell you. But I can't, so you'll have to figure this one out on your own." We walked the rest of the way in silence. Sherlock looked deep in thought, as if he were trying to puzzle this out in his head.

"I'm going to go take a shower," I said when we got back. He didn't acknowledge me, so I assumed he was still thinking. 

When I got out of the shower and pulled on my clothes, I found him standing on the coffee table and staring at the wall.

"I know what the emotion is, I just can't find the cause of it."

"What's the emotion? Maybe I can help."

"You won't be able to help," he stated. 

"Right. Emotions are just usually something I deal with all the time. What do I know? I'll be in the bedroom if you need me." I shut myself in the neat room and played some music through my phone. It was officially my day off, so I had time to do what I wanted, which was have a dance party by myself. 

After a few songs, there was a banging on my door. I shut off the music and smirked.

"Who is it~?" I asked in a sing-song voice. 

"I assume you were expecting this?"

"Yep!" I opened the door and Sherlock came in uninvited. "Hey! This isn't your room anymore!"

"John brought a girl home for a date and told me to leave the room. I can't lock myself in the toilet until she leaves, and I refuse to be forced from my own home." I rolled my eyes and turned my music back up.

"Just don't get in the way."

"In the way of what? What are you doing?" I ignored him as I went back to my personal dance party. Sherlock sat on the bed and watched me. After a few songs, I got a little too into it and tripped over my feet, sending me crashing to the floor. Sherlock chuckled and offered me a hand up. I smacked it away playfully as I jumped to my feet.

A moment later, John opened the door with annoyance etched across his face.

"Could you two keep it down if you're not going to leave? I don't want her thinking you two are having sex in here while we're eating dinner!" I cringed and started hitting myself in the face with a pillow.

"I'm not really interested in your sister, but I think if we were to have sex it would be much more obvious. What do you think, Grace?"

"I think we should stop talking about this. It's bad enough that John says it in front of me, I don't need you to start in!" My cheeks were a bright red and Sherlock just chuckled at me.

"Get back to your date, John. I suspect she's about three minutes from saying she needs to leave, so I think you ought to save the date if you want to see this woman again." John paled and hurried back down the hall. I pulled the door shut and turned the music back up again, this time offering my hands to Sherlock.

"Come on, dance with me! I know you want to!" He'd been watching me dance, occasionally swaying with the music or bouncing his leg to the beat. He stood and took my hands to twirl me just as John came back in.

"She's in the loo, could you please just-" he saw us dancing and I laughed as he tried to make sense of it. "Please tell me I'm dreaming." Sherlock and I each grabbed one of his hands and pulled him to dance with us, successfully annoying him and making him almost yell at us.

"You're like a little hedgehog when you yell!" I giggled as he ripped his hands away and straightened his sweater. "C'mon, let us come and save your date! We'll all four have a dance party and just have fun!"

"She doesn't like dancing. Just cut it out! She's coming back!" The bathroom door opened and a plain looking woman came out and saw us.

"Hello!" I greeted with a wave. She nervously waved back. "No worries, we're just dancing. Care to join us? We can move this little party into the living room, maybe get Mrs. Hudson up here - I'm sure she can still cut a rug." 

"Sorry, I'm not a very good dancer," she mumbled. I smiled even wider.

"Neither are any of us! See, it's perfect! Good practice with people around, and none of us have room to judge you!" She smiled a bit and nodded.

"What do you say, John? Can we dance with them? It sounds like fun." He sighed and nodded, so I grabbed my phone and my portable speaker so I could blast Ed Sheeran through the flat. 

When "Shape of You" came on, I made John dance with us, and I even got his date, whose name was Fey, to dance! Sherlock held onto my hands while we danced, and it would have been really great if Lestrade hadn't shown up halfway through our party.

"Sorry to interrupt the dancing, but we need John and Sherlock. It's Moriarty." Sherlock immediately grabbed his coat, tied his scarf, kissed my cheek and walked out. I stood there completely still. What the fuck? Lestrade's eyes widened and he stared at me. 

"Don't look at me! I don't know either!" John glared at Sherlock and asked Fey if she needed him to take her home.

"No, I'll get her home, John! Don't worry. You and Curly go and make the world a better place. Go on!" And so the men left while Fey and I stood in awkward silence. Until I piped up with a question that was gnawing on me.

"Are you interested in my brother at all? Because you seem to be here on less of a date and more of a little hang out." She blushed and shrugged.

"I was just giving men a try. My girlfriend and I had a bad break up and I had never given boys a try, so I thought I ought to give them a fair shake." I nodded. I knew how she felt.

"I've been in that exact position, sweetie. Don't give up, but definitely date around and see what fits your standards. My last girlfriend was great, but she ended up leaving me for a guy, so I figured that if they're good enough for her, maybe I should give 'em a shot."

"Are you and Sherlock..." I almost laughed out loud.

"God, no! I met him yesterday! I moved in here with my brother and Sherlock because I needed a place. I don't know why Sherlock kissed my cheek. We're just friends." She nodded and looked at her watch.

"I should go home."

"I'll get you a cab. I hope I see you again soon. Don't give up on John just yet. He's dedicated and genuine. Bit dramatic and a slight temper, but he's still pretty great." I put her in a cab and gave her money for the fare before sending her off.

Fey got me thinking: maybe I shouldn'tve swear off men just yet. Sure, my ex-fiance was a bastard, but that didn't mean all men were horrible. Maybe I could give another guy a fair try? 

Not Lestrade, obviously. Or Evan. Sure, they were both sweet to me, but that may just be because Lestrade sees me as the baby sister and Evan works with me all the time. I'm everyone's little sister once they get to know me.

My phone pinged and I looked to see a text from Sherlock.

I know what the emotion is.

SH

 

And what emotion is that?

 

It is either romantic/sexual attraction, or I have a brain tumor. Hopefully not the latter.

SH

 

What's causing this emotion, do you think?

 

Could be several things. Could be lack of stimulation, subconscious desire to mate, maybe I saw someone and my brain thought them pleasing. I'll have to experiment with it after this case. Would you help me with it?

SH

 

Sure.

 

He didn't say anything after that. I started to wonder what he meant by me helping with his experiment, and then it hit me.

Lack of stimulation. Romantic or sexual attraction. Desire. 

Fuck!

He basically just asked me to help him relieve his sexual frustration. Dammit. What have I gotten myself into?!?

Chapter Text

After days of the boys running almost non-stop, they finally came in one morning and practically fell into their chairs. I placed a tea tray on the coffee table and handed them each a cup.

"You guys need some rest," I said. Sherlock sipped his tea and looked around.

"You've been cleaning in here."

"And you haven't been home in a couple days. I was getting worried." I crossed my arms and looked to John, who was half asleep in his chair. I sighed and helped him stand up and made sure he got up the stairs before clearing away the tea.

"You've kept busy. Not because you wanted to, but because you were buried and you missed us." 

"Stop it, Sherlock. Just go to bed."

"I'm not tired, and I have an experiment to do with you. Remember?" My stomach flipped and I laughed nervously.

"Sherlock, I don't think you want to do that experiment with me. Heh, uh, I don't have much experience in that department."

"Neither do I, but I'm sure I could figure it out." He stood and approached me and I backed up until I was pinned against the table. He bent down so that he was eye level with me, and started examining my face.

"Don't be scared. I wouldn't hurt you." I swallowed my words and looked at him nervously. "I wasn't sure at first, but now I know I was right. I was feeling something, and it started when I met you. You feel it too, it seems. Your pupils are dilated, and I doubt that's from drugs or the low lights. Your breathing is nervous, suggesting mild attraction. I could be from anxiety, but the other evidence suggests the former." He ran his hands down my arms and I took in a shaky breath. I never knew what Sherlock was about to do.

He leaned in and pressed his lips to mine gently. His lips were soft and careful, every movement being calculated in his head before he continued. I couldn't help it, and I didn't want to fight it, so I kissed him back. I let my lips part and he quickly slipped his tongue in to explore my mouth. For someone who hadn't done this before, he knew exactly what to do.

Before I knew it, he had hoisted me to sit on the table while he stood between my legs, kissing me passionately. I instinctively wrapped my legs around his waist and my arm snaked around his neck so my hands could tangle themselves in his dark curls. His hands ran up and down my body before making their way to my legs and holding me up as he walked me quietly down the hall and to the bedroom. He was much stronger than I thought he was.

"You'll have to be quiet," he growled in my ear before he dragged his teeth along my earlobe. I whimpered. "You don't want anyone to hear us, do you?" I shook my head and he laid me on the bed before trailing bites and kisses down my neck. He bit down on my neck harder than he did everywhere else, and I gasped.

"Interesting reaction. Was that from pleasure or surprise? Actually, don't answer that." 

"Stop talking, you bastard," I groaned. He chuckled against my throat and pulled back to look at me.

"Let's try something. I'll keep talking and we'll see your reactions."

"No." I grabbed his shirt collar and pulled him back down for a kiss. He pulled away and ran his hands down my chest, stopping only briefly to squeeze my breasts. I let out another involuntary gasp and he pulled his mouth away from me.

"You're squirming so much... You really want to get on with this, but you don't want this to be over as quickly as it starts." Before I could tell him to shut up, he pulled at my shirt and had me sit up so he could take it off of me. "You know I'm not one for sentiment, but I can promise that I will not forget about you like you think I will. How could I forget my favorite Watson?"

I reached up and started undoing his strained buttons.

"Why are your shirts always so tight on you?" He shrugged as he tossed his shirt to the floor.

"Are you complaining?" I had time now to look him over. He was lean, not muscular, but fit. I ran my hands up his arms and bit my lip as I shook my head. He pushed me back down onto the bed and bit at my neck again, this time venturing lower to the space between my boobs. He reached behind me and unclasped my bra with one hand while he entwined the fingers of his other hand with mine, only breaking contact long enough to toss my bra to join the growing pile of clothes on the floor.

Sherlock pressed open mouthed kisses to my shoulders and across my chest before pinching one of my nipples. I whimpered and he smirked as he rolled the sensitive nub between his long fingers. 

"So sensitive," he mused. I ran my free hand up his arm and pulled him up so that I could kiss him, and managed to get my other hand free long enough to undo the zipper of his trousers. 

He grabbed my hand again and pressed kisses to my wrist. "You have work tonight," he muttered. "Don't start something you can't finish."

"How will I know if I can finish if you won't let me start it? I haven't exactly done this before." He held me by my hips and pressed his lips down on mine to stop me from talking. I was thankful for that, considering I could come undone if he said the right things.

I didn't want to just lay there and let him do everything, so I sat up and straddled his legs. He had an amused look on his face as I finished undoing his trousers and started pulling them down. He pushed me back onto the mattress, removed his trousers, and then started undoing mine. He yanked them down my legs and I squeaked as the cool air of the room hit my legs. 

"Sherlock..." He ignored my words and continued on his current path. He looked to me as if asking consent, I nodded, and he immediately yanked down my panties and tossed the soaked item to the floor.

"No need for a lubricant, then. Not that I would want to use it anyway. Tastes horrid." 

"Why do you -" before I could even get my question out, Sherlock had pushed my legs apart and lowered his head down between my legs. His hair tickled my thighs and his hot breath hit my entrance, making my head spin. I suddenly didn't have a question anymore.

"What if I just spoke from down here, Grace? How would you like that?" I groaned and whimpered. "Amusing. Perhaps another time we could try that. However, I haven't eaten properly since my last case began." I felt his nose nudge at my folds. "I bet you taste fantastic."

"Stop being a fucking tease!" I groaned. He chuckled and pulled away so he could look up at me. He didn't speak, he just smirked and went back down between my legs, this time hooking his arms under my knees and pulling me to meet his mouth.

"You should have deduced by now that I have a bit of experience in this area. This, however, is my favorite." I felt him press his mouth over my aching womanhood and I cried out softly as his tongue slipped through my folds and to my clitoris. I stifled my moans by biting a blanket and squeezing my eyes shut. It felt so good! 

His tongue and teeth worked at me until I almost couldn't control myself. Just as I was about to trio over the edge, he stopped altogether and pulled away from me. I groaned in annoyance and sat up.

"What the fuck, Sherlock?"

"I don't want you to wake anyone up." I groaned and was so frustrated that I could have hurt someone. That is, until Sherlock began eating me out again. I shoved my pillow into my mouth to keep from screaming as he allowed me to come undone. As I orgasmed, he continued to ride it out, pushing towards another one before my first had even finished. 

"Sherlock!" I groaned. He slowed down before stopping altogether. He pulled away from me and crawled up my body. I felt his hardened member through the cloth of his pants as he kissed up my neck.

"You tasted marvellous, Grace." I wrapped my arms around him and nuzzled into his neck before letting go and sliding off the bed. Sherlock sat up as if to ask what I was doing, and I simply made him swing his legs over the edge of the bed while I stood on my knees in front of him.

"Pants off, Curly," I said sternly. He smirked and complied, sliding his boxers carefully down so his erection could spring free. I took him in my hands and pumped him carefully, eliciting a groan from his throat. I continued to pump him until he was practically throbbing in my hands, and then I took him into my mouth. I sucked at him and licked his shaft, and what I couldn't take in, I pumped with my hands. He tangled one hand into my hair and began thrusting into my mouth. He hit the back of my throat, but I didn't gag. I didn't really have much of a gag reflex. As Sherlock fucked my mouth, I sucked and pumped as much as I could until I felt him twitch in my mouth and soon after he let out a soft groan as he came, eye squeezed shut as his seed sprayed into my mouth.

I swallowed as much as I could, but some ran out of my mouth and down my chin. He chuckled as he panted, wiping his cum off of me with his shirt.

"You... You are something. I thought you hadn't done that before."

"I read a lot," I replied with a shrug. He chuckled and pressed a kiss to my forehead as he pulled me to my feet. I swayed in place for a moment as he went to my wardrobe and pulled out some clothes for me.

"Put these on. You'll want to sleep." He tossed my clothes to me before going into the closet and coming out a few moments later fully dressed in a pair of sweatpants and a grey tee shirt. He picked up the clothes and put them into the hamper before he pulled back the sheets for me and tucked me in. With one last kiss to the lips, he was gone.

I rolled onto my side and inhaled his scent, which still lingered on the pillows. He really had been good, but I couldn't halo but wonder if this changed anything. After all, I was still his best friend's little sister.

Chapter Text

My alarm went off at seven like it usually does, so I rolled out of bed and went to take a shower. But it seems Sherlock doesn't fucking know how to lock a door!

"Oh my God, Sherlock!" I covered my eyes and slammed the door shut again. Who showers with the curtain open?? 

Sherlock started laughing, and I rolled my eyes. Yes, I know. It was in my mouth a few hours ago, but that doesn't mean I'm cool to see it anytime! Thankfully, John wasn't home from work yet. I got an idea, but it probably wasn't a good one.

I went downstairs and asked Mrs. Hudson if I could have a cup of flour.

"Dear, you have to go to work soon. What's the flour for?"

"Oh, just a little payback. Sherlock forgot how to lock a door and close a shower curtain, I'm an innocent young lady, that kind of thing." She sighed and handed me a cup of flour.

"Just be careful, dear. Sherlock will do anything to get you back, even if it hurts you." I smiled and walked back up the stairs, completely confident that Sherlock wouldn't hurt me. He was stepping out of the shower and about to grab a towel when I eased the door open again. Quickly, I tossed the flour out at his soaking wet body and slammed the door shut. He came bounding out in no towel, looking for the one who turned half of his body into a powdered mess. 

"Grace!" He shouted. I giggled and quietly locked myself in the bathroom. "You're in the bathroom. Just wait until you come out! I've got a surprise for you!" It was best to get it over with before my shower, so I wrenched open the door and grinned up at him. "What possessed you to pull a trick on me, Grace?" I winked at him. "Okay then. I hope you're not late for work tonight." He grabbed me and pulled me against his flour-covered body, successfully sticking a lot of the powder to me.

"Sherlock, this doesn't do much to me."

"Who says we're done?"

"I do. Don't worry, I'll be back in the morning. You and I can pick this up when I get back." I stood on my toes and gave his cheek a quick peck before I walked back into the bathroom.

 

Work that evening was boring, except when John and Sherlock came in.

"What can I do for you boys?" I asked professionally.

"Two beers," John sighed. "How's work?" I shrugged.

"Same as usual. Pour drinks, make nice with people, flirt a little and get extra tips. How about you? How was work this fine day?" He rolled his eyes and drank his beer. Sherlock just stared at me.

"How do you flirt with people? Why would you?"

"I do it with strategic smiles and comments so that I can get extra tips. Extra tips helps me throughout the week. And it just makes other people who come in here feel good." 

"Have you ever tried that on me?" I laughed.

"Sherlock, you don't have emotions so why would I waste my feminine wiles on you?" 

"Good point. I still owe you, by the way."

"Owe her? Owe her for what?"

"She thought it was a good idea to throw flour at me when I stepped out of the shower." Sherlock smirked at me, and I grinned.

"It's not my fault it's so easy to sneak up on you." John snorted.

"You let her pull a joke on you? And you really think retaliation's a good idea? She could kill you, Sherlock. I've been in a prank fight with her before, and both of us ended up in hospital for a week. Do not engage." I rolled my eyes.

"Anything else I can get you gentlemen?" Sherlock stood to leave as soon as I said this.

"I guess not," John sighed. "See you in the morning." John laid down cash for the drinks and walked out, but Sherlock stayed behind a bit.

"What do you want, Holmes?"

"I want John to ignore this." He leaned forward and pulled my face to meet his before pressing his lips to mine and dragging his teeth across my bottom lip as he pulled away. 

"Damn, if this is how you get revenge, I should throw flour at you more often." I was flushed and he chuckled.

"See you in the morning, Watson." He winked and sauntered out to join John in a cab. I shook my head to clear it and caught Evan staring at me with his mouth gaping open.

"You'll catch flies if you do that," I commented, closing his mouth with my hand as I walked by. 

The rest of the evening and early morning were spent pouring drinks, flirting with customers, and just doing what I normally do. By three when I got home, I was mentally exhausted. I greeted Sherlock since he was the only one still up and immediately went to bed. Sleep was my best friend!

I woke up and rolled over with a groan. I didn't want to get up! I didn't work today, so why should I have to get out of bed? I got up anyway and turned the doorknob, which made the door fall off of its hinges and crash to the ground.

"Are you fucking kidding me?!? Sherlock!" His head popped into view and I glared at him.

"You're being quite noisy. We have neighbors, you know." I lifted an edge of the door and propped it against the doorframe before waltzing into the sitting room.

"Sherlock, if that door is not back where it goes by the time I get back from Speedy's, I will have no choice but to retaliate." He laughed. "I'm not kidding. I grew up with John, I know how to get back at people." He rolled his eyes and turned a page of the paper.

I shrugged and walked down the stairs and to Speedy's. If Sherlock wanted to play dirty, then I could play dirty. I ate my breakfast slowly enough to give him time to right his wrongs, but I doubted he would. That's why I was formulating a plan. It involved Molly, John and Mrs. Hudson, but I could pull it off.

I called Molly with the plan.

"Hello, Molly? Yeah, it's Grace! Sherlock's being particularly insufferable this week, so do you think you could help me with something? Next time you see him, I need you to argue with him about everything, even if he's correct. I'm going to have a lot of people do this, so he's likely to be agitated next time you see him. Don't worry about that because that's what we're counting on. Thanks! You're the best!" 

I hung up and texted the plan to John, who was thrilled at the idea. I copied the message over and sent it to Lestrade, and then went back and talked to Mrs. Hudson. She wasn't exactly thrilled, but she agreed to do it anyway. Now I just had to send Sherlock off on a wild goose chase.

"Sherlock, they found a body somewhere and need your help. It's at the morgue with Molly. Better get there quick, because it doesn't look too good." He jumped up, grabbed his coat, and ran out the door, pulling me with him.

"Where are you off too, Sherlock?'

"I might have a case!"

"You can't possibly have a case, Sherlock! That's preposterous!" He ignored her and texted John to hurry and meet us at the morgue. He sent back that he was too busy and didn't care about a case at the moment. This clearly made Sherlock upset, but he would live. I messaged Lestrade and let him know that Sherlock might be calling him soon, and to be prepared to deny everything Sherlock said. I felt truly evil for this one!

Chapter Text

I really thought I had him with my last prank, which ended with him going on a wild goose chase all over London just to have him end up back at our flat with a screwdriver and a door waiting for him. What I wasn't counting on, though, was his patience and ability to retaliate.

Weeks after the initial prank war, John was going away for a weekend to meet with his old college friends, leaving me alone with Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson.

To make matters worse, Mrs. Hudson was leaving and wouldn't be back for a whole week because she wanted to visit her niece and nephew. So now it was just myself, Sherlock, and his pet skull. 

I had the weekend off, so as soon as I woke up, I laid there for a while, listening to Sherlock playing his violin. He really was good, but I could never tell him that. I sighed and got up and dressed. I might go out later.

Sherlock was standing in the living room with his dressing gown on and no shoes. This was normal, so I just put the coffee on and went to interrupt him. 

"Sherlock, coffee?" I called over the tune he was playing. He stopped. 

"Why not? I've got nothing better to do." He set his instrument down and turned to face me. Oh. My. God.

"Sherlock, where are your clothes? What if a client comes in!"

"What client? I put a sign on the door that said we were out and they should try again on Tuesday." He stepped towards me and I looked up, anywhere but between his legs.

"This is how all this started, remember? You being shamelessly naked in front of me?"

"Yes, but this is a touch more private. So, coffee?" He brushed past me, discarding his gown as he did so. I took in a sharp breath as he stretched to pull mugs down from the top of the cabinet. His v-line was clearly visible, and, if course, so was his half-erect member. He poured the coffee and set the mugs on the table. 

"I had a feeling you weren't just the quiet type, Mr. Shameless Holmes." I got an idea. "I wonder if Mycroft likes to parade around naked too." He shifted uncomfortably and his erection lowered noticeably. I grinned at my own genius and sipped my coffee slowly.

"I can make this worse for you, Grace," Sherlock warned. I laughed and slid off my stool.

"I'd like to see that." He set his coffee down and crept around the table, walking over to me and placing his hands on my hips from behind me.

"You won't see it, but you'll definitely feel it. I'll have you begging for me by the end of the weekend." I shuddered and he pressed a kiss to my neck before biting it sharply and waltzing off. I would have been weak at the knees if I was that horny, but I could hold off. I just shook my head and went to sit in the big black chair.

"That's my chair," Sherlock growled. I shrugged and sat cross-legged in it.

"And? It's not like there's nowhere else to sit." He walked over and stood in front of me with his arms crossed over his chest.

"That's my chair," he repeated. I turned a page in my book.

"And this is my book. This is my coffee. What's your point?"

"No one sits in my chair but me." I looked up at him with a smirk.

"Then sit in your chair." He bent down and growled into my ear.

"You don't want me to do that. Or maybe you do." He sunk to his knees and ran his hands up my legs slowly, caressing my inner thighs. I but back a groan as he rubbed me through my trousers. I clenched my legs together to hold his hands still. "I will have you begging. Whether you realize it or not."

"I'm not begging yet, Shameless. You're the one trying to feel me up." He pulled his hands away from me and rested them on the arms of the chair as he gazed into my eyes.

 "I never said I wouldn't make you beg." He pressed a kiss to my lips before standing and pickup up his violin again. "The violin is quite an errotic instrument if you think about it," he said as he began to play. "The gentle way one plays it. The languid back and forth motions. Then there's the rough way, moving quickly and harshly, attempting to hit the right note every time. But it can be sloppy, and you won't get the full experience of the music. Running fingers along the neck and body to pluck out rhythms and form notes that sound wonderful if you do it just right. The bow strings drawing out each sound like moans, the strings quiver and shake like an orgasm each time you drag across them. Then there's the appearance of the instrument. The curves, the notches. Perfect in every way, especially with all of its cracks and scrapes. It plays beautifully, and so it is perfect, much like your body." I was clenching my legs together at this point. I couldn't let him get to me. But God, was it hard to ignore the growing wetness in my core when he kept talking like that!

I couldn't just sit there and let him win. I stood, pulled on my coat, and grabbed my purse.

"I've got to run to the shops. You need anything? Other than clothes, I mean." He froze mid note, his shoulders tensed, and I could tell that the look on his face would have been one of pain.

He shook his head and began playing again. I hurried out the door and bolted down to the sidewalk. I refused to take a taxi after John told me that story, so I walked down the street and tried to calm myself down. If I didn't keep my head until John got home, things wouldn't end well. I'd lose something that I couldn't get back.

I really did need something from the shop, so I walked on after I had cooled down. I needed more cleaning supplies. I had been too afraid to tackle the kitchen cabinets and the bookcase, so I could start those next time the boys had a case.

Or I could just go home and do it in front of Sherlock. Two could play the teasing game. If I was as confident in my body as Sherlock was in his, I would be walking around naked too. But since I'm not, I could do the next best thing. Naked Sherlock means he's not wearing a coat. And I could easily steal one from the closet without him knowing. 

This would end badly either way, but I will make him crack first.

Chapter Text

I slipped out of the bedroom with the coat tied tightly around me, the sleeves rolled up to my elbows so I could get to work. I started with climbing onto a stool and dusting the top shelves of the book case.

"What do you think you're doing?" Sherlock demanded when he saw me.

"What, never seen someone clean before? That explains why you're so bad at it." He sighed and securely placed his hands around my waist to pull me off the stool, his coat almost touching the floor when I was all the way down.

"You're wearing my good coat."

"And you're wearing a frown. Wat's wrong? Scared I'll get it dirty?"

"Yes, actually." I laughed and turned back around to continue dusting, but he took my dust rag away and tossed it to the sofa.

"Take off the coat." I turned to him and placed my hands on my hips.

"Put on some pants."

"No!"

"Then shut up!" I went and grabbed my rag again and was about to get started when he wrapped his arms around me and started undoing buttons. I smacked his hands, but he didn't stop until he had ripped the thick fabric from my body. I curled against myself in Sherlock's chair and shivered. It was so cold without the coat, but I had to not give in first.

"You're not wearing anything. You were naked under my coat!"

"Oh like you have any room to talk!" We glared at each other before he scoffed, tossed the coat back at me, and turned to pick up his violin again. I put the coat back on and got right to work on the bookshelves. 

It took most of the day to get it dusted and organized, but I eventually did it. Of course, Sherlock's coat kept slipping from my shoulders since it was so big, so I spent a considerable amount of time readjusting it so it wouldn't keep falling off. Not that it worked, but still.

Sherlock had been successfully ignoring me for the most part. That is, until I pulled things out of the ice box and started cooking dinner. As I was stirring the gravy for the roast and potatoes, I felt a pair of hands rest on my shoulders and a set of soft lips caressed my cheek.

"It smells as good as you taste, darling," Sherlock purred seductively. I shrugged his hands from my shoulders and moved to check the oven. Things were nearly done. "Are you still angry with me?" 

"I wasn't angry in the first place, Sherlock. You were. I'm just doing what I would have done anyway." He wrapped his arms around my waist and burried his face into my neck.

"I'd argue with you, but I don't think fighting will get me anywhere with you. No. Yes it would. And don't think I didn't notice how turned on you got when I spoke of my violin." I blushed and continued to cook. 

"No use denying it, I guess. Hungry?" He hummed against my neck and started to sway with me. I felt him hard against me and considered commenting, but the doorbell rang. In a panic, we both hurried to pull on clothing before I went to answer the door. I hoped didn't look too flushed as soon as I saw Evan.

"Evan, what are you doing here?" It didn't even occur to me to ask how he knew my new address. 

"Are you busy tomorrow night? I was wondering if you'd like to go to the movies." He kicked the ground with his foot and had his hands clasped behind his back. I was hesitant.

"I don't think I'm busy, but I'd have to ask Sherlock if he minded. He gets ruffled when someone isn't home with him, and John isn't home right now, so-"

"She's not busy," Sherlock said as he walked up to the doorway. "Go on with Evan tomorrow night. It would be less stressful that putting up with me all evening, right?" He was trying to manipulate me into not going just so he could keep teasing me. 

"Okay. Sure, Evan. I'd love to go to the movies with you. Tomorrow night, right?" He nodded.

"About nine at night, if that's alright. The movie starts at nine thirty, but we want good seats." I nodded and he turned to leave.

As soon as I turned around, Sherlock was standing directly behind me.

"I know what you're doing," he said slowly. "You want to make me jealous. I don't feel jealousy. Your plan will not work. And he isn't interested in you the way he wants you to think he is. I give it... Three dates before his real intentions are revealed to you." I crossed my arms over my chest and glared up at him.

"First of all, Mr. Detective, I'm not trying to make you jealous. Second of all, I know he isn't as interested in me as he might seem. He wasn't fidgeting enough to actually be nervous, and he didn't shave or attempt to groom himself at all since yesterday. I know that because that's exactly what he was wearing and how he looked last time I saw him. And third, Mr. Holmes, I have no intention of going on another date with him after tomorrow." He rolled his eyes and marched up the stairs. 

I got another idea.

Our food was still untouched, but warm. We sat at the kitchen table and I got comfortable right next to Sherlock. He was quiet, as if he knew something.

"What's on your mind?" I asked him. He shrugged and picked at his potatoes. "C'mon, don't you want to share?" He glared over at me.

"I'm angry with him," Sherlock stated firmly. I gave him a false questioning look.

"At Evan? Why?"

"Because he knew full well that I wouldn't be okay with this, and yet he came anyway." I smirked.

"Sherlock, your emotions are showing. May want to cover those up. We wouldn't want people staring." He chuckled and brushed my hair from my face.

"I'll change your mind about this date with him," Sherlock said. He seemed to be trying to assure himself. 

"And how do you plan on doing that?" His eyes darkened and his hand gripped my thigh under the table. My breath hitched in my throat and I held onto the edge of the table.

"Oh, don't pretend you don't love it when I try to seduce you. You're the only one I would try to get into bed, after all." 

I was this close to cracking when he leaned forward and pressed his lips to mine softly. I pulled away and smiled.

"I win," I teased.

"I accept defeat," he growled, pushing closer to me and closing the gap again. It was just beginning to get heated when there were pounding steps on the stairs. Sherlock quickly pulled away from me and I sighed. This close!!!

"Sherlock! We need you! It's Moriarty! We've called up John, and he's coming in by morning. So sorry, Grace, but this is urgent," Lestrade babbled. I nodded and got up to clear the plates as Sherlock pulled his scarf on. He gave me a quick peck on the cheek before running down the stairs before Lestrade, who stared at me and had an uncomprehending look in his eyes. I panicked for a second.

"Don't tell John, he'll kill us both," I pleaded. Greg nodded and placed a finger to his lips.

"Not a word. Good night, Grace."

"Good night, Gavin!" I called after him. 

Dammit! "I swear, if this Moriarty bastard cock-blocks me one more time, I'll kill him."

Chapter Text

Sherlock and John were on edge for days. Sherlock especially. He wouldn't sleep, he barely ate, and when he was home trying to figure things out he was more rude than usual.

"Sherlock, you've got to relax," I pleaded. He ignored me and continued to stare through his microscope. "Sherlock Holmes, this case is important, but so is your health!"

"Two children were kidnapped, and they think it was me. Everyone is starting to believe that I have orchestrated all of this just to get my thrills. My reputation and the lives of everyone I've ever met are in danger. Just shut up and go away! I've got to figure this out!" I glared at him and marched past him to lock myself in the bedroom. A little while later, there was a knock on the door.

"Go away!" I called out.

"I've taken this door off the hinges once, Grace. What makes you think I won't do it again?" I sighed and got up to open the door. "I was awful to you earlier, and I'm sorry." I grinned at him and wrapped my arms around his waist.

"So, the Great Sherlock Holmes has apologized to someone? Call the presses, Hell must have frozen over." He chuckled and pushed me further into the room.

"I believe a few weeks ago, Lestrade interrupted something with all this Moriarty mess. Shall we pick up where we left off?" I nodded enthusiastically and he kicked the door shut as he pressed his lips to mine hungrily. Sherlock pushed me back onto the bed and nipped at my neck with his teeth. I let out a soft groan and Sherlock shushed me.

"Mrs. Hudson is downstairs and John is trying to sleep. I suggest keeping quiet if you don't want to upset anyone and if we don't want your brother finding our what we do to each other." He pulled off my clothing as he spoke, moving his fingers delicately over the button of my jeans and pulling at my shirt. He pulled down my trousers and my underwear at the same time, and yanked my tank top over my head so that I was now in just my bra.

He rubbed my neck with his nose before sinking his teeth into me again. Sherlock covered my mouth with one hand as he reach around to unclasp my bra with the other. "The sooner we get this thing out of the way, the better. Are you ready?"

"You undress first," I ordered. He shook his head and ran his hands down my body.

"So demanding, when really you're in no position to demand anything."

"For the love of God, Sherlock, just do it!" He smirked and pulled his shirt off over his head while I quickly undid his trousers. He pushed them down his legs and kicked them off before pinning my hands to the bed and attacking my neck with kisses and bites. I did my best to suppress my moans, but the way Sherlock was touching me... It was more than difficult, to say the least.

"Why are you trying to go so fast?" he asked.

"Because last time we tried anything you got called to a case. I'm not letting that happen again." He ran a hand down and traced his fingers along my dripping entrance, teasing me into silence.

"Let me take care of you, love. You do so much for me... Let me appreciate you," he purred as he inserted a finger into me. It's been almost two months since our first sexcapade, and I have been trying to get some sort of satisfaction since then. Let's just say, I was overly sensitive to Sherlock's touches.

He pumped his index finger in and out of me slowly as his palm hit my clit. Then he added in another finger, stretching me and curling against me and hitting my g-spot every time. He held his other hand over my mouth to stifle my moans. All too soon, I came undone in his musician's hands and I whimpered against his shoulder and my fingers dug into his back. 

When my shaking stopped, he pulled away from me and pushed his boxers down and kicked them away. He positioned his gardened length at my entrance and pushed in slowly. He groaned as he hilted himself in me.

"So tight after all that preparation? My my."

"Do you ever shut up?" I whimpered. He swivelled his hips and I moaned softly. He started pulling out, then he pushed himself forcefully back in. I bit my hand to stop myself from screaming in pain. I hadn't ever done this with someone before, to be honest. He must have known that.

"Sorry, I'll be more careful," he chuckled. He started moving more slowly, more gently. He found a rhythm and stayed with it until he couldn't take it anymore. He pumped and thrusted faster and faster, hitting me in all the best places every time. I felt myself coming undone again and again, but he was still going hard and strong. 

Unfortunately, there was a clanging sound in the living room.

"Sherlock, you in??" John called. Sherlock immediately pulled out of me, snatched up his clothes, and quietly snuck out and into the bathroom. "Sherlock?!?"

"In the toilet!" Sherlock shouted in annoyance. I yanked the blankets over me and pretended to be asleep, although trying to steady my breathing would be difficult. I heard the toilet flush and Sherlock's loud sigh of frustration. He must have hated to finish by himself.

I calmed down enough in time for John to come looking. I yawned and lifted my head to look at him.

"What, John?"

"Just wondering if you go to work tonight?"

"Yeah, I do. Guess I'd better get ready." I gave a convincing yawn and motioned for him to go.

There was chatter in the living room as I pulled my clothes back on, and then the door shut quickly downstairs. I didn't think much of it since both of the boys were worried about this case. But I was mostly worried about Sherlock. He'd never been this anxious before. I could tell during our little secret rendezvous that he was still tense. Not that he didn't let loose.

Work that evening was calm, but people were chattering about how Sherlock was a fake. I wanted so badly to defend him, but if I got into a fight with a customer, it would be my job, so I needed to be careful.

The next few days, I didn't see much of either of the boys. That is, until before they went to Bart's. John had already walked out to get a cab, and Sherlock pulled me into his arms like he never had before. He held me in a crushing embrace and burried his face into my neck.

"Thank you for not doubting me, Grace."

"Sherlock, why would I doubt you? You've given me no reason to." He chuckled weakly and kissed my lips softly before whispering in my ear.

"Whatever happens today, just promise me you'll stay here, stay safe, and remember that I care about you."

Knowing that Sherlock was a complete sociopath, this was almost the same as him telling me he loved me. Since moving in, I've done extensive research on how people with sociopathic tendencies think. They form very strong bonds with specific people, closer to love than anything else. He's bonded with John, Mrs. Hudson, and Lestrade. And now with me, I guess.

"I care about you too, Sherlock." I kissed his cheek. "And I promise, I'll be right here when you get back." He gave me a sort of sad smile before kissing me one more time and rushing out to meet up with John.

I thought all this was a little weird at first, but I understood later. Later, when John ran in to check on Mrs. Hudson and then quickly ran back out. When I got a call half an hour later from Lestrade. That call that nearly ended my life was to inform me that Sherlock had just committed suicide.

The phone slipped from my hand and fell to the floor with a loud thud. I stared at the wall that Sherlock had spray painted on and shot at, my face devoid of any emotion. John would come in soon, distraught. Mrs. Hudson would wail, John would be angry, and I would just... What? What could I do? 

I had wanted to tell Sherlock that I loved him earlier, but I was scared that he would just run away if I did. But what if I did it? Would he have not done this? 

Why did he do it? He wouldn't have unless he was forced to. Moriarty was my only guess. Sherlock would do it to save those he cared about, I reasoned. He was protecting us... By hurting us himself. 

As I predicted, John was furious. He had tears running down his face and he started throwing things. I had to call Lestrade to come and pick him up until he calmed down. As another officer took John to be put up for a few hours, I went to the bar with Lestrade. I hadn't touched liquor in years, not since I started working in a bar. But now... I just paid for a bottle and drank straight from it. Lestrade didn't speak. I didn't speak. What would we say? 

The bottle was empty and I still wasn't drunk enough to talk. I was barely buzzed. I guess being around it so much made me build up a tolerance for the stuff. Too bad. I wanted to forget. 

But how could I forget? Sherlock Holmes, the man I so loved, was gone. On the same day I gave all of myself to him, he leapt to his death from the roof of Saint Bart's. 

"Lestrade, I don't need to be by myself tonight," I finally said. He nodded and put an arm around my shoulders.

"I'm guessing you don't count Mrs. Hudson, then?" I shook my head.

"I love her to death, but she'll want to talk about it. I can't talk about it." He hugged me and I let a few tears slip from my eyes. "And I can never tell John." Lestrade led me out of the bar and helped me into his car.

"It's alright. It's gonna be okay, Gracie." He didn't sound so sure himself, but he was trying to calm me down. That's more than anyone else was doing at the moment, so I was grateful. He drove me home and walked me inside. As soon as I looked around, I burst into tears again.

Sobs wracked my body and I collapsed to the floor. I was shaking and trying to contain my emotions, but that didn't seem possible. Lestrade sat on the floor with me for a long time, even after I stopped crying. We just sat in silence. It was the kind of silence that settles in when all the tears have been shed, all things have been said, and there's nothing else to do. It was heavy and comforting at the same time, like a homemade quilt from your grandmother who makes king sized quilts every time she's getting another grandchild.

It was daylight again by the time either of us said something.

"I know you blame yourself," he said. "But don't. You were probably one of the only ones in his life who didn't doubt him." Another tear ran down my cheek, but I stayed silent. "I'm sure... I'm sure he loved you, Gracie. All of us do."

"That's different. Him living someone is a bigger deal than any of us loving someone. He loves with everything he has, if at all. Caring about someone is the most he can do sometimes, and he only cared about John, Molly, you, and Mrs. Hudson."

"And you, Grace. He cared about you the most." I scoffed.

"Really? You wouldn't be able to tell. He ignored me until people weren't looking."

"He wanted to protect you from the press and your brother. He wanted to respect your privacy, and he didn't want a fist to the face for his efforts."

"How would you know that?"

"Because Sherlock told me. He knew that I knew, and I asked him why he wanted it to stay a secret. He told me that you didn't like the idea of being out in public, and he knew that John had a temper. He wanted to keep both of you safe from tabloids and the wrath of the older Watson." I would have cried if I weren't too exhausted from crying already.

"Thanks, Greg." He sniffed and gave me a small smile. "What?"

"You've never called me by my real name before."

"Haven't I?" He shook his head.

"You were just like him, you know. Except you were more caring. You take care of people and you express yourself more." He stood up and looked at the clock. "You probably knew him best, you know. Just... Don't let everyone else forget him. You're good at remembering, so help others to." He kissed my forehead and walked out of the flat, leaving me sitting there.

Mrs. Hudson came up the stairs a few minutes later with a tea tray.

"Oh, where's John? I thought he'd have been released by now."

"Not yet. Greg's on his way to see about that." She set the tray on the coffee table and beckoned me to the sofa. 

"Sweetie, I know this is hard. He was like the son I never had." She blinked back her tears and took in a shuddering breath. "John will want to move out soon. He won't be able to stand it without Sherlock. I'll be alone again." I shook my head.

"Without you, I'd be homeless, Mrs. Hudson. I'm staying here with you. You're like the mum I never had, to be honest." She hugged me and we had our tea in silence.

I was heartbroken, and so was she. We both had fond-ish memories of Sherlock, and we both didn't have much family left. Maybe I could do this. I had to do this for Mrs. Hudson. Mum. She was my new mother, and I had to take care of her. That would be my new purpose. Sherlock didn't need me anymore, but Mrs. Hudson did.

I can do this. I can do this.

Can't I?

Chapter Text

The funeral... The funeral. I met Sherlock's parents and arranged things the way they wanted just so they didn't have to deal with this. It looked like it would kill his father. 

After they heard the news from Mycroft, they invited John and I to stay with them. John didn't want to go, and said he didn't feel right about going, but I went. The last thing any of us needed was to be alone.

"He was so sweet as a boy," Mrs. Holmes sobbed. Her husband held her and comforted her while I made tea for all of us. Mycroft was sitting in the corner, a blank expression on his face.

"Mother, please. He barely spoke to any of us anymore. Miss Watson was the only one he actually spent meaningful time with." I started shaking and I dropped a teacup. As it shattered on the floor, I grabbed Mycroft's shirt front and whispered menacingly.

"You ignorant bastard. You think the time he spent with people wasn't meaningful? He changed the lives of everyone he met. John, Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson, Molly, everyone! Stop acting like you don't have to feel anything. Your parents are distraught at the loss of their youngest son, when he should have been the last to go. So get off of your high horse and grace us with your presence, or get out.

I shoved him back into his chair and wend to get the dustpan to clean up the teacup. "So sorry about the teacup, Mrs. Holmes. I'll replace the whole set."

"Oh, don't worry dear. With these boys in the house as children, you learn to just let teacups break. The set hasn't been a proper set since my wedding day." She gave me a sad smile, and I brushed away the tears that were streaming down my face.

I excused myself to step outside for a few minutes. There were too many Holmes' in one room. I hadn't touched a cigarette in three years, but now...

I pulled the pack I had out of my purse, stuck one in my mouth and lit it. I inhaled the smoke and breathed it out slowly. My shaking soon ceased and I heard the door open and shut softly.

"Mind if I join you, Grace?" Mycroft asked as he approached. 

"Go away." He sighed and stepped up next to me. Neither of us looked at each other. He simply lit his own smoke and we stood in comfortable silence. Until he decided to ruin it.

"I wish to apologize. I wasn't thinking when I spoke earlier."

"Yeah, no shit."

"Let me finish, dear. I do miss my brother greatly, despite what you may think. I just cannot afford to let my emotions run away from me. You see, I fear that if I do, then I shall never reign them in again." I took another drag from my cigarette and held the smoke in before blowing it out slowly. "That's your first smoke in three years, isn't it?" I nodded.

"I forgot how good it feels in the moment. But I always remember what it feels like when the tobacco is gone again. I used to hate that ending feeling so much that I'd smoke a pack a day just to feel good. But I had to stop when John caught me smoking something other than one of these, you know?" He nodded.

"I have experience with siblings who stray from legal means of stimulation."

"Sorry I snapped at you back there," I whimpered. "I was just-"

"Angry, hurt, heartbroken. Confused. All those negative emotions I'm suppressing, you're putting out in full."

"Well, sometimes you have to do something to feel something, I guess."

"The code of a drug addict," he sighed. "Sherlock's old excuse. That I made him into what he was because I didn't allow him to feel in his youth. He ran off and got high because I didn't let him feel happy. It was a lie, of course. We often played as children." I scoffed.

"You? Playing? I can hardly imagine you as a child, let alone having fun. What did you play?"

"Sherlock likes to play pirates. He was certain that he would be one when he grew up." A tear fell from my eye as I smiled. "We'd play deductions as well." 

"See, that I can believe." I stamped out the butt of my cigarette and looked over at Mycroft. "What are you going to do now?"

"Run the government, what else? And what about you?" I shrugged.

"I got drinking after closing. My boss is probably going to fire me. I don't know what I'll do. Maybe become an artist."

"Grace, don't waste your brilliant mind. You could be so much more."

"It's not a waste if I'm using it to do what I want to do. Sherlock put his mind to use and saved millions of lives as a mere detective, as you put it. Sure, he could've been a philosopher, but would that have rid the world of Moriarty?" He sighed.

"I suppose not. I could employ you." I laughed.

"I've already told you, Mycroft. I'm not working for you. In fact, I don't think I'll ever work for a Holmes. I wouldn't be able to do it."

"I know. And I know about how close you and Sherlock were. I won't tell, of course. Wouldn't want John going on another rampage." I looked at the ground and sighed. It was starting to get cold.

"I'd better go say my goodbye's to your parents. Oh, uh, do they know?"

"By now, most likely. But they love you. After you came out here, mother berated me for upsetting you. I think she has a soft spot for the lover of her son." I cringed.

"Don't put it that way! It sounds awful. I suppose I'll, er, see you at the funeral." I walked back into the house, said my farewells, and pulled my jacket on. Mycroft walked me to my car and soon I was driving back into London.

 

It wasn't rainy on the day of the funeral. It was just... The perfect day for anything but a wake. A wedding, a picnic, anything. Just not Sherlock's funeral.

John delivered the eulogy. It was a closed-casket ceremony, as per the family's request. White and red flowers. Roses. When they burried him, his sleek headstone got specks of dirt on it, but no one could bring themselves to dust it off. It was just like him. Proud and firm, perfect because of his blemishes. Like his violin that he described to me all that time ago.

I stood off to the side most of the time, letting the family have their final words before I approached. Everyone was gone by then. Even John had said his piece to the headstone.

"Sherlock... It's... I know that it's completely ridiculous to be talking to your headstone. I shouldn't even be standing here. You would tell me that people we've met in passing die and we feel nothing, so why should we care if someone closer to us dies. But... Sherlock I didn't tell you this and I should have. When you said, that day, that you cared about me, I wanted to tell you that I love you. I love you so much, and now... Now you'll never get to hear me say it. What to tell you before I go... What is there to say? 

"I love you. Mycroft knows about what we had together and your parents know. Whatever it was. I don't even know anymore. They had me arrange the funeral. Can you believe that? Mycroft thinks I should work for him now, but... I don't know, maybe I'll be an event planner now. Or an artist. I don't know. But I just have to get this out there, and I never can because you'll never hear it, but I love you, Sherlock fucking Holmes." I choked out the last bit and almost fell to my knees on his grave. "I miss you so much... And I wish I could kiss you and hold you just one more time." I dried my tears and looked up. An ironic smile crossed my lips.

"Look at that. Now.it starts to rain, after the important people have gone away. I should go before I start crying again. And... I'm sorry, Sherlock. For all of this. I wish I could fix it. I've lost my job, I've lost you, and I've started smoking again. I'll try to stop, I really will. I'll take care of Mrs. Hudson for you. And John. I'll even keep an eye on Lestrade, if he's not already keeping an eye on me. Goodbye, Sherlock." I placed my hand on his headstone, dropped the flowers I was holding, and walked away as the rain continued to drizzle ever downwards.

 


My first event to plan was a funeral for an older woman who I never met. I arranged the flowers, sent out the invitations, and contacted the funeral home to make sure everything was in order. It went rather well, actually.

John thought that what I was doing was morbid, though.

"How is it morbid? I plan the funeral so that grieving people don't have to! I planned Sherlock's funeral, and it wasn't morbid then!"

"Yeah, because we knew him! You're acting like you care about strangers!"

"I do care! I have always cared! When anything horrible happens, I care so much that it hurts, John! And who's the first person you think of to shout at when things aren't perfect for you? Me!" 

"That's enough," he said quietly. "You are not going to talk to me like that, young lady."

"You aren't dad! Stop acting like you are, because you're not!"

"April Grace Watson, you will not take that tone of voice with me." I glared at him and brushed past him, but he grabbed my arms and looked me in the eyes. "I'm not going to yell at you anymore. I won't tell you to stop this that you're doing. Just tell me why you're doing it."

"So I don't go back to drinking and smoking and doing drugs. So I don't go back to what I did to cope when we were kids and while you were off to war." His gaze softened and he pulled me in for a hug.

"Grace, I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. I had no idea."

"We all cope in different ways. Just let me find a new way." He let me go.

"I'm moving out, Grace. You want to come and live with me?" I shook my head and stepped back from him.

"I promised to take care of Mrs. Hudson, so that's what I'm going to do. She's older than our parents, John. And we're all she's got."

He sighed and nodded. Just as he turned, Lestrade came up the stairs carrying a box, Mrs. Hudson right behind him.

"We've finished cleaning up Sherlock's possessions that he had when he fell. We were going to give them to his immediate family, but there was a note in the pocket of his coat that said to bring his things to Baker Street for you three." He carefully set the box on the coffee table.

"Thank you, Greg," John said. I hugged Lestrade as tight as I could.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome," he chuckled. "What's all this about?" I let him go and faked a smile. "I know, Gracie. I know. You don't have to fake it with me, love. I know you miss him. We all do." He put his hand on my cheek before turning and leaving again.

"For the three of us?" John asked, eyeing the box. "Why would Sherlock leave these for us?"

I cut open the box and, written on a slip of paper in the top, was something in Sherlock's writing.

'The contents of this box are property of Grace Watson.'

"Just for you, then? Huh. I didn't realize how close you two were."

"I didn't either," I lied. I lifted his coat out of the box first. They had cleaned the blood out of it, but it still smelled of him. I set it carefully next to me on the sofa and next pulled out his billfold. I let out a small giggle when I opened it. Just notes about things. His ID, of course, and then just slips of paper. He early carried cash. In the bottom was a Polaroid photo I took of all of us. Mrs. Hudson was sitting with a cup of tea in the back, John was fighting me for the camera, Sherlock had an amused smile, and I was just visible, holding the camera up so I could take the picture. He kept it, even after John made him promise not to.

"That dick," John chuckled. "He promised."

"I guess he forgot." I held it to my chest and sighed. "I should go to bed. Long day." John went upstairs to his room, Mrs. Hudson went down to her flat, and I just... Stood there. I stared at the picture for a few minutes before I dropped all of the items back into the box, except the coat, and closed it with packing tape. I wrote 'Sherlock' on it and put it on the top shelf of a closet.

I took the coat and hung it back in it's place in the closet. This was his good coat that I cleaned in that day we were teasing each other. I sat on my bed and just stared at the wall. I had to do this. Had to.

 

The next few months were spent moving John out, packing all of Sherlock's things and putting them away, and planning weddings and funerals. I even helped plan someone's sixty-first birthday party. I made myself so busy that I didn't even have time to smoke or drink. I hardly had enough time to cry. Mrs. Hudson let me use John's old room to store my paintings and decorations and notebooks full of themes. 

After the first year, things weren't getting easier. But they weren't getting worse. It was the one-year anniversary of Sherlock's fall when there came a knock on my door.

A bearded, wild looking Anderson stood before me. 

"Finally lost it, then?" I asked. He sighed and held out a notebook to me.

"I believe that Sherlock is alive. He can't be dead. He just can't be." I glared at him with fire in my eyes.

"And you picked today of all days to come and tell me?" He flinched and looked down.

"I should have come before, but Lestrade told me not to. He said you would freak out. But I lost my job with the Yard, so I figured he couldn't tell me not to do this anymore."

"What's your evidence?" I let him in and made some tea.

"I haven't got much, but there are police stories from far across the world. Miraculous solvings of impossible cases." I sat and listened for a good two hours while Anderson spoke. I didn't believe him, but I learned from experience that when people grieve, it's best to just listen. This was just his way of coping. Coping, and dealing with guilt.

"I believe you, Anderson. I won't tell Grey you told me, don't worry." He shook my hand and I saw him out the door before I grabbed my coat and walked to the closest bar.

Lestrade was there, just like we agreed. We agreed that we were to meet here every six months just to drink and be in each other's company. But tonight would be the worst.

"Happy anniversary," he said sarcastically as I sat next to him. I scoffed.

"Yep. Happy anniversary, Gavin." I drained my glass of scotch in seconds and soon I was on my fifth one of the night.

We talked about anything but Sherlock until the bar was nearly empty.

"I fucked him, you know," I slurred. "About four days before he jumped." Lestrade choked on his drink a little.

"Really? Huh. I thought he was a virgin and that's why there were all those white flowers at the grave," he laughed.

"Nah. I wasn't his first, actually." Lestrade was almost howling with laughter. "Hey, it's not funny!"

 "I didn't realize how close you actually were!" We started talking about Sherlock after that. Until the bar closed, we just talked. Lestrade got me a cab home and I slept for most of the next day. When I woke up, I got dressed to go to the cemetery. 

I stood in front of the grave and just stared. The sun was shining cheerfully, but none of this was cheerful. Someone had come by recently and put fresh flowers at the grave. 

"Thought I'd find you here," said a voice behind me. It was John.

"Did you bring the flowers we talked about?"

"I did. Odd request. People don't really put roses on the grave of a flatmate." I needed to come clean, but could I?

"He really liked them," I said with a sigh. "And he wasn't just a flatmate. Best friend, companion. Whatever he was was, he wasn't just a bloke." I took the flowers from John and placed then carefully on the headstone.

"Anything you want to say before we go?" I nodded.

"I need to tell you something, actually. About Sherlock."

"Look, I know you liked him a lot. I know that. But whatever this is, let's not talk about it now." I nodded and hugged him.

"Thanks John." He rubbed my back.

"Will you come and meet Mary today?" I nodded. The two of us left the cemetery and he took me to meet his new girlfriend. She seemed nice, and she actually was much better for John than I had initially thought. Maybe he could keep this one.

 

Over the course of the next few months, I met up with Evan again. It was an accident, but he was nice and asked me out again. I didn't want to go be alone in my flat, so I agreed.

We went out for a few months, actually. He was supportive of my business and he was really sweet all the time. That is... I thought he was.

On the day of the six-month drinking date with Lestrade, I came back to Baker street after someone's wedding and he was reading a book in the black leather chair. That's not his chair, but I couldn't get mad at him for it. Not today.

"I'm going out with a friend tonight, thought you should know."

"Oh, sounds fun. Mind if I join you?" I froze. He didn't know that that this friend was Lestrade.

"I don't think you'd enjoy it. We just meet up every six months to chat because..." I took a deep breath. Evan is your boyfriend. You can talk to him about it. "Because we drink to Sherlock once every six months. Lestrade... He's the Detective Inspector for the police. We met through John and Sherlock, and he's like an older brother to me." Tears welled in my eyes and Evan wrapped his arms around me.

"Sweets, if you aren't feeling up to it, you should stay here." I shook my head.

"Neither of us feel up to it, that's why we go and drink and talk." He held my shoulders tight and looked me in the eye.

"No, I think you should stay here. Really." He leaned in and nipped at my neck, but I pushed him away.

"Evan, you know I can't. No." His fingers dug into my arms and he glared into my eyes.

"It's all about this Sherlock bloke. All the time. You can't come with with me because you and Sherlock shared this flat."

"That's not why and you know it!"

"You won't sleep with me because of Sherlock. You go out drinking with some man I've never met because you both knew Sherlock. You're bloody in love with a dead man, Gracie!" I struggled to get away, but he pinned me to the wall.

"Evan, let me go!"

"Sherlock is dead and gone, sweetheart. He didn't love you, but I do. So how about it? You may have slept with him, but he didn't really care. I care." He caressed my cheek and I turned to bite his hand. He growled and struck me across the face. I glanced at the clock on the wall.

I was late to the bar. Lestrade would call, and if he couldn't get me, he'd come over here. If I could just keep Evan at bay long enough...

"Evan I will not sleep with you. I will not live with you. And saying that I love Sherlock is not fair. He was my best friend, of course I loved him! I love all of my friends!"

"But you won't say you love me, and I'm your bloody boyfriend!"

"Well maybe that needs to change!" He grabbed my face and pulled me closer to him. I whimpered and tried to get away from him, but he was stronger than I was. 

"I'll only tell you this once, Grace. I'm the closest thing you'll ever get to a boyfriend again. Trust me, you don't want to break it off. I still work in a bar, remember? I hear about men talking about you, I can turn 'em against you so fast it'll make your head spin." 

"Fuck off!" He slammed me against the wall just as I heard pounding footsteps coming up the stairs.

"Gracie! Gracie, where are you?" It was Lestrade.

"She's not here!" Evan shouted. "Or at least she won't be for long." His hand squeezed around my throat and I clawed at his wrist, but i was quickly losing consciousness. Everything was starting to go fuzzy when I heard a gun cock.

"Let her go, get on your knees! Hands in the air!" I could breathe again suddenly and Evan was laughing.

"So you're the one she's cheating on me with!"

"Screw you!" I shouted at Evan. He was cuffed and another officer pulled him out of the flat. Lestrade hugged me and offered to buy me a drink.

"I think I need one," I admitted. He reached into the pocket of his trenchcoat and pulled out a bottle of scotch.

"Maybe we should bring the bar to you. Eh?" I nodded and retrieved two glasses from the cabinet. 

We sat there in the living room of 221b Baker Street, drinking and talking like we usually did. 

"I guess you'll go to the cemetery tomorrow, then?" he asked. I nodded.

"With John bringing a dozen red roses to lay on the grave. I haven't told John about Sherlock and I yet, though. I tried, but John stopped me."

"Bringing a dozen fresh roses to the grave of his sister a lover," Lestrade sighed. "And he doesn't even know it."

"Yeah, I know. But the way those two fought, you'd have thought they were the married ones!" We laughed. "You heard from John lately?"

"Not since he got a new girlfriend. I think she's good for him, though. She seems lovely."

"I met her, and she is." The conversation ended suddenly, and for no apparent reason. We sat on the floor, our backs against the sofa. I scooted over and rested my head on his shoulder. "Does losing someone ever get easier?" He sighed.

"Not really. You know, you'll have good days, you'll have bad days. You have days when you don't need to distract yourself, and then days when all you want to do is curl up and cry. It won't get easier. The grief will always be there. But you know what?"

"What?"

"You are very talented. I think you can do what all those famous artists did and turn your grief into art. Look at where it's got you to so far. You've started a successful business, arranging things so that people who are going through what you went through don't have to deal with it. You're painting and doing things that even I could never dream of doing, all because you aren't getting your sadness control you. It's still there, but you're using it to power yourself through." He hugged me into his side and I took another drink.

"Thanks, Grey. How's your wife?"

"We're working things out," he said. "She wasn't completely okay with me coming over here to drink with you, but she understood why I needed to." I nodded and looked up at the ceiling. 

"I'm glad you're getting better with her," I said with a smile. "You deserve that after all the crap you've been through." He chuckled.

"Thanks, Gracie. You call me if you need anything, alright?" He stood up, hugged me one more time, and left.

Six more months until the next drink. Six more months until I would visit the grave again.

 

Anderson came up to me in the street one day a few months later when I was taking a walk and he wanted to show me something, so I humored him and went into Speedy's with him. He showed me on a map of the world where he marked crimes being miraculously solved.

"It's like a staggering path, but it's clear! They're being solved and then the next one is closer and closer to England! It has to be Sherlock. He's alive and on his way home." I had had enough.

"Anderson, please. I can't pretend to be on the same page as you anymore, I just can't. Sherlock is dead! If he were alive, he would have come to one of us by now. It's been nearly two years, Phillip! He's dead. He jumped off of the roof of Saint Bart's Hospital. His... His blood covered the sidewalk, I arranged his funeral. I live in that empty flat and pray every night that I'll die in my sleep so that I can see him again. He. Is. Gone." I stood to leave and ran up the stairs. Mrs. Hudson tried to greet me, but I ignored her. I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. I cried and cried for the first time in two years. When the tears finally stopped, I walked out to find Mycroft sitting on the sofa.

"Are you feeling better now?" I nodded and he patted the space next to him. "I thought you'd be at the grave site today. Tomorrow's the wretched anniversary, you know." I cringed and held back the tears in my eyes again.

"You're the one who sends the flowers all the time."

"A little tribute to my brother. He always loved being the center of attention. Oh, if he only knew how much he was getting now." I leaned against Mycroft, who froze and looked down at me as I rested my head on his shoulder and hugged his arm.

"I know you miss him. You don't have to hide it." He sighed and removed his arm from my grasp.

"I do miss him, you are correct about that. But I came to deal with something else. You go out drinking with Lestrade once every six months to commemorate Sherlock. He wanted me to tell you that he won't be able to make it this time, and he'll call you to reschedule on Friday."

"That's all you're here for?" He nodded and stood to leave. "Tell me why he can't make it."

"Goodbye, Grace." He waltzed down the stairs and I heard the door shut with finality at the bottom.

Whatever the fuck that was about... I went to my bedroom and crawled under the blankets to go to sleep. No drinking tomorrow night, I guess.

Chapter Text

The cemetery was quiet, as usual. John brought the flowers, asked how I was holding up, and just chatted about this and that.

"I'm going to propose to Mary this weekend," he said simply.

"After one year? Wow, that's big."

"A lot can happen in a year, Grace. I have met the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with."

"Good for you, John!" I hugged him and then looked back at the headstone. I thought I saw a splotch of spray paint, so I stepped closer. When I walked around it, I saw something that brought me to tears. "Someone... Someone spray painted a yellow smiley face on the back of his headstone, John." It was exactly like the one in the flat.

"What? Who would do that?" He was upset, but I thought that it was sweet, in its own way. A replica of what Sherlock loved on the wall of his flat was now on his headstone.

"Why do I bother coming to visit, John? It's not like Sherlock knows."

"He would appreciate the gesture."

"No, he would insult me for caring about him, and then half an hour later he'd realize what he did and come apologize to me." And then he would make love to me, but we don't need to mention that one.

"He apologized to you. That's something, Grace. He would only apologize to you and Mrs. Hudson. You're so special, Grace." I sighed and hugged him. "Let's get you home."

I walked back to the road and walked all the way back to Baker Street. No need to call a cab if I'd rather walk. The street was busy, and people were bustling around every which way. All I wanted to do was go home and try something out. 

I had never touched Sherlock's violin, so it was just gathering dust in the closet. I knew how to play, I just hadn't in several years. But I felt like I needed to now. As soon as I was back, I told Mrs. Hudson that I would be playing so she wouldn't freak out, and walked.up the stairs. 

I shed my coat, dug out his instrument, and made sure it was tuned. I dragged the bow across the strings gently, just like he used to before he started playing. It sounded so sad, as if the violin knew I wasn't Sherlock and it wanted him instead.

I played through most of the night. I wasn't drinking with Lestrade, so I had to do something. I've stopped drinking all the time and now I only drink with him. He keeps an eye on me and makes sure I don't do anything stupid. 

It was barely light outside when I got a call from Lestrade.

"Gracie? It's Greg. I wanted to see how you're doing."

"I'm fine," I said as I put the beautiful instrument back in its case. "Thanks. But why couldn't you come tell me yourself? Why send Mycroft?"

"He went and told you before I knew I wasn't going, sweets. I'm sorry."

"No worries. I didn't do anything to hurt myself, so I guess I'm getting over it," I laughed. He was quiet for a second.

"That's not funny, Grace." I sighed.

"I know, I'm sorry. It's just... I tell jokes as my defense mechanism, you know that." I watched through the window as the sun came up, peeking over the buildings and through the clouds.

"Hey, I've gotta go. Just... Don't do anything rash today, alright?"

"When do I ever?" I could practically hear the look he had on his face when he hung up. I giggled and set the phone down. Thursday morning... I had a wedding. The couple asked if I could come, but I told them that I don't attend events I plan so that it doesn't seem like I'm there to praise myself. 

I had to go just to make sure the flowers got there alright and the bride was happy. Then I could leave and paint something. No dresses or nice slacks for me, I'm afraid.

It was a quick trip to the church, some handshakes, a paycheck, and a kiss on the cheek. Nothing too complicated.

The next morning, I threw on some short shorts and a tank top, turned on some classic rock, and grabbed my brushes. I needed something to paint now. I first just painted the large canvas black to save for later. 

I had everything cleaned up shortly and my music off, about to play the violin again, when I heard a scream downstairs. 

I instinctively grabbed the gun from the desk and hurried downstairs. I heard Mrs. Hudson sobbing, so I shouted to her and threw open her door, pointing the gun inside. She was hugging someone and had tears streaming down her face. 

"Oh, Gracie!" she sobbed. I set the gun on the table in the hall and gave her a questioning look. The man she was hugging let go of her and straightened. As soon as he turned to me, I broke.

His dark curls hung loosely on top of his head, his eyebrows were furrowed, his cheekbones were more prominent than I remember them being. He wore his black trenchcoat and scarf as if he had never left. 

"Sherlock." His eyebrows un-knit themselves and he stepped towards me. I instinctively took a step back, though I don't know what for. I shook my head and smiled as tears streamed down my cheeks. "You've got a lot to answer for." He stepped in closer to me and rubbed my arms before leaning down and kissing my lips softly.

"I know. Just let me." I nodded and he followed me up the stairs. As soon as we were in and the door was shut, he wrapped his arms around me in a crushing embrace, and I clung to him as if he were a lifeline. 

"Sherlock, why did you fake your death?" He pulled back from me and held me close by my hips, resting his forehead against mine.

"I had to. It was that, or lose everyone I care about." I looked up at him and had him go sit on the sofa while I made tea. When I joined him, he looked me dead in the eyes. "You tried to hurt yourself."

"Sherlock, I'm better now. And you have more explaining to do, and I swear if you don't tell me, Mycroft will. Because I have a feeling he knows about this." He nodded.

"I had to protect people from Moriarty. He had guns on all the people I care about, and all of you would die unless I died or Moriarty called them off. But he killed himself so that the only way out was for me to die. I had arranged with Molly a way to make my death look real enough for his men to leave."

"Then why didn't you come back sooner?"

"Those men were still out there, and I had to take apart Moriarty's web of people before I came back, otherwise they would come and kill all of you." I snuggled into his side and breathed in his scent. 

"I went to visit your grave after the funeral," I whimpered. "I talked to it."

"I know. I was there. I heard all of it." I sat up and glared at him.

"And you didn't say a damn thing to me."

"I couldn't! Those men were still watching, and if you were suddenly cheerful, they'd think something was up. They'd have tortured you for information without thinking twice." I looked down at my hands, and he took them carefully. "And I love you, too." I shut my eyes and let out a quiet sob before hugging Sherlock again.

"I tried moving on. I really did," I whispered. "But Evan tried to kill me when I was going to meet Lestrade." He tensed under my touch and held me tighter.

"And?"

"He obviously didn't succeed. He's in prison for assault and attempted murder." He sighed and rested his head on my shoulder. 

"Good. One less person for me to have to track down." 

"He blamed you for everything he didn't get to do with me. Said I wouldn't go live with him because of you, that I wouldn't sleep with him because of you, that I wouldn't say that I loved him... It wasn't true. At least, I thought it wasn't."

"Why do you think you wouldn't do those things with him?"

"I promised to take care of Mrs. Hudson, so I stayed here. I couldn't tell him that I loved him because I wasn't sure if I did or not. And I couldn't sleep with him because... I just couldn't. That's the only thing he got right. I wouldn't fuck him because he'd never be as good as you were." He chuckled and kissed me softly before pushing me back against the sofa and slipping his tongue into my mouth. He laid over me, legs between mine and elbows supporting him on either side of my head. I held him to me by the collar of his purple shirt. He had removed his coat and scarf when we came into the flat.

Neither of us heard the door open, so neither of us expected it when someone cleared their throat in the doorway. Sherlock jumped back from me and I hit my head against the arm of the sofa.

"Dammit, Mycroft!" I groaned. "Do you ever knock?"

"Not when my brother is here. I find it best to try and surprise him in case he's taken up old hobbies." I sighed.

"I'm here, do you really think he'd be back to drugs?"

"What do you want, Mycroft? I'm busy." I had learned by now not to be embarrassed when it came to Mycroft because he pretty much knew everything already.

"I came to see that you're settling in alright. Have you contacted John?"

"No, I was going to do that tomorrow. I have quite a bit of catching up to do with Grace." I sat up and tried to not look like a hoe, but it was hard to do that right now.

"Alright. But he won't be happy, just so you know."

"He'll be even more upset when he finds out what Grace and I do. What's your point?"

"He's a changed man now. He's moved on with his life."

"What life? I've been away." I snickered and pushed his arm with my foot.

"He's asking his girl to marry him this weekend, dummy. A lot has happened in two years." He sighed and looked over at me.

"Are you done, Mycroft? I'd like to continue my conversation with Miss Watson."

"I'm sure," the older Holmes boy said sassily. "Very well. Just remember what I said, brother mine." Mycroft closed the door on his way out and I rubbed Sherlock's back. He was just staring at the wall.

"Are you alright?"

"I need to talk to John. I have to." He stood to grab his coat and pulled it on quickly. "And Grace?"

"Yeah?"

"I love you." He turned quickly and ran out the door. I sighed, knowing exactly what he was about to run into.

 

A few hours later, John came storming into the flat with Sherlock close behind. I jumped up and ran to hug Sherlock, which John was furious about.

"Care to tell me what's gone on behind my back since the moment you moved in here, Grace?" He spoke softly and quickly, so I knew he was enraged.

"Before I say anything and before you explode, I would like to point out that I am an adult," I began. I sighed and looked up at Sherlock, who was holding a paper towel to his nose. John had clearly beaten the shit out of him before bringing him home.

"He's got to find out sooner or later," Sherlock sighed. 

"Sherlock and I had sex a few days before he faked his death." John's face turned bright red, his mustache bristled, and he stared into my soul.

"Anything else?"

"He and I were seeing each other behind your back for months before that."

"How long?"

"Since after Fey, and before Rose."

"So you use my past girlfriends to measure time now? Good God!" Now he was shouting. I flinched and shrunk behind Sherlock, who also didn't enjoy John's fits.

"John, you can't expect us to live together and not get close," I reasoned. "And don't act like you're innocent! Bringing women home and expecting us not to say anything. We never did anything when you were right there!"

"But you knew how I would react! Sherlock, she's my baby sister! You can't just sleep with my sister and then disappear! She was heartbroken!"

"But she got on fine without me! She moved on and started a business! She didn't let me ruin her life!"

"She couldn't have a stable relationship! She turned into what I did when I first met you! I couldn't keep a woman past the first date!"

"And it took him dying for you to meet Mary, John!" I shouted. "Mary loves you! She wants to marry you, for God's sake! Him leaving was good for both of us, and now that he's back we shouldn't just throw him out!" I burried my face in Sherlock's chest and sobbed. All this anger, all these emotions, were too much for me.

"Sherlock, you broke my little sister. You sure as Hell better be able to fix her." He turned and marched out of the flat. He went up the stairs, probably thinking he'd find his old bed. I heard him groan in frustration.

"What's wrong with him?"

"He forgot that when he moved out I replaced his bedroom with an art studio. His bed is still there, it's just covered in canvases.

"Come and get your art shit!" he shouted. I marched up to gather my things. "Just for tonight, Grace. Then he'd better be taking this bedroom. Permanently."

"We're both adults, John. Just leave it alone." I shut the door on my way out, the canvases under my arms. Sherlock helped me put them down and then he took my face in his hands. I sighed and closed my eyes.

"I missed you too much," I breathed. He gave my lips a quick peck.

"You don't have to anymore. Let's get you to bed; you've had a long day." He and I walked into the bedroom and he looked around it as I changed into something not covered in paint and sweat. 

"You're coming to bed, too," I said. He shook his head.

"Grace you need to sleep..."

"I'm not talking about sex moron. Sleep. Come on." He sighed and started stripping. I handed him some of his pajama pants and he pulled them on without questioning it. When his back was turned, I saw the scars. I hesitantly reached out and laid a hand over one of the several. He tensed under my touch.

"What are you doing?"

"You were tortured. You didn't say." He sighed and turned to face me.

"It wasn't important." I cupped his cheek with my hand and smiled up at him.

"It is important, but okay. We can have that fight later." He pulled back the blankets and we slid into the bed. He wrapped his arms around me and held me close, as close as he possibly could. I curled into him and inhaled his scent. God, I missed this little shit.

Chapter Text

The next morning, John burst into my bedroom to find out if Sherlock had "violated me" again. John was completely shocked, though.

We were both fully dressed and Sherlock was braiding my hair. 

"Sherlock, where did you learn to braid hair? It's not like you had much chance to practice as a child."

"I have many skills that aren't normally useful. You should know that by now." He finished off my braid, kissed my cheek, and looked up at John, who was still standing in the doorway with a confused look on his face. "Morning, John."

"Did you sleep with her last night?" Okay, right to it then.

"If by that, you mean did we share the bed? Yes. If you mean to ask if we had sex, then no." Sherlock brushed past John and walked into the living room. "This room is different. Why is it different?"

"I actually cleaned everything and made it into more of a home and less of a lair," I answered, leaning against the bookcase. "And I put away all your things. Your papers from your desk, all your detective things and chemistry equipment, all of it." 

"Well where is all of it?"

"In a closet upstairs. I didn't need it down here when I had clients coming in. I didn't want to be reminded of you every time someone sat in the chair or every time I sat down to read." He sighed and looked over at the mantel.

"But you kept the skull."

"I needed someone to talk to," I replied with a smirk. He laughed and looked over at the desk.

"The gun drawer... It's been opened the most, but not for a long time."

"I got jumpy at night. I always thought someone was going to come in and hurt me or Mrs. Hudson. I didn't want that to happen." He looked around more, making deductions.

"You started cooking more. There's new dishes and silverware. You were clumsy and shaky, but now you're better." He looked towards the windows. "New glass suggests they were broken out, probably by the ex-boyfriend. You don't open them, but you wash them regularly to keep some light coming in." He went along until he had deduced everything in the flat but the carpet.

"Are you done?" demanded John. Sherlock looked over at him.

"I've been away for two years, John. I didn't expect this much to change. Let me reacquaint myself with the space." John tapped his foot impatiently.

"John, do you have somewhere you need to be? Why are you waiting around for Sherlock?"

"I want to set some ground rules before I leave you two alone again!"

"To be fair, John, you being upstairs and Mrs. Hudson being downstairs didn't stop us before, so I doubt it would stop us if we ever did it again," Sherlock drawled as he rifled through a box he retrieved from the closet. I knew that was the wrong answer, but I couldn't make myself look at either of them.

"Okay, rule number one, no sleeping with my sister!"

"How about I set the rules, John," I interrupted. I was not taking any shit off of him today. I had too much to do, none of it fun. "You don't live here anymore, so rule number one: don't tell me what to do! You're not dad, and you aren't Sherlock's dad either! Number two, Sherlock, you are going to continue to respect the boundaries we set two years ago when this started, got it?" He nodded. "Let me know you remember them." He sighed.

"Do I have to in front of John?" I raised an eyebrow at him and he looked defeated. "Only touch when it's warranted, no strutting about naked without you knowing prior, lock the bathroom door, and keep dirty thoughts to myself unless I want a slap." I looked to John, who was glaring at me.

"Satisfied? Those are the rules you were going to set, right?"

"You need to tell him not to go around naked?" I shrugged.

"He's a nudist when the mood strikes him. I thought you knew that."

"Yeah, but he's always dressed in a sheet!" Sherlock scoffed.

"That's just with you in the flat." 

"Sherlock, stop talking and go back to your box." 

"Yes ma'am." John stepped closer to me and whispered fiercely.

"I do not want my best friend shacking up with my little sister."

"John, you can't control everything. Would you rather we do it and you never know about it?"

"I'd rather it not happen at all!" I sighed and looked over at Sherlock, who had found one of his scarves and was tying it around his throat like he always did.

"John, look at him," I said. Sherlock pulled his microscope out of the box and was smiling like a kid at Christmas. "Like it or not, I fell in love with that man over there. That's never going to change. And he said that he loved me, too. Say what you want, but this is happening either way. With or without your blessing. He needs us right now, so we need to be here for him." John sighed and nodded.

"Fine. But if you get hurt-"

"If I get hurt, I know how to handle myself. It's Sherlock, how hard can it be?"

"We thought that about Evan."

"But this is Sherlock, and he would never hurt anyone who lives in this flat. Would he?" John shook his head.

 "I guess not. But you know that this can only end one of two ways, Grace."

"And I'm sure we'll be on the same page when the time comes. Go check on Mary, I'm sure she missed you last night." He hugged me and walked out. As soon as the door downstairs closed, my cell phone rang. "Damn florists, always calling first thing in the morning." 

After a ten minute argument with an incompetent florist, I finally got through to them what kind of flowers we needed for the funeral of an Army veteran. His family wanted carnations, so they would get carnations. Sherlock watched as I made calls to the funeral home to get a casket, a paper company so I'd have the paper to print invitations and memorial pages, and the family of the deceased to give them the cost.

"Why are you doing all this?" he asked when I finally hung up and sighed.

"So that grieving families don't have to. I also help plan weddings since they're such an ordeal. Flowers, dresses, suits, food, music, decorations... It's too much for one person to do, and the bride always ends up doing everything, so I place orders and worry about the technicalities while they worry about being healthy and well taken care of for their big day."

"Seems like a lot to go through just to have a piece of paper saying that two people are supposed to live together the rest of their lives." I sighed and looked over at him.

"It is, but people like traditions. I swear, if John wasn't my brother, I wouldn't be going to his wedding. I never attend the events I plan. Ever. It doesn't end well if I do. There's ways an old lady who thinks I'm just there to steal their money or to congratulate myself. It's easier just to do the job and leave it at that." He sat next to me and I curled up at his side.

"If I ever get married it won't be a big deal," he sighed. 

"I like that idea. No big party, no fancy proposal or anything. Just go to the courthouse, sign the papers, and be done. I won't even wear a dress." He rubbed my arm and kissed my forehead. "I have to go," I muttered.

"No, stay."

"I wish I could." I disentangled myself from him, kissed his cheek, and walked out of the flat. I had meetings with three different brides today. I successfully got them all to agree on a lunch meeting in the same place so that I could help them all at once. We already had dates set, so the one with the closest date would be handled first. If they didn't like the way I did things, the they could do it themselves.

At the restaurant, the bride's were already waiting. They were getting along and comparing ideas, which was a good sign. Different ideas from the meant and easier job for me in the end. I had three different notepads in my bag so I could make sure none of this got mixed up.

"Nice to see you, ladies," I said with a smile. "Let's go and discuss everything." We were seated and I was talking with the first bride when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Two of them looked up with blush on their cheeks.

"What is it, Sherlock?" I asked with a sigh. He slid into the booth next to me.

"I missed you. I need to spend more time with you while I'm not on a case." He picked up my menu and immediately closed it. "Nevermind. I don't need to eat. So, weddings."

"Sherlock, this is a business meeting."

"You are my business, and I need to know how weddings work before John gets married. I don't want to go and act the fool." I looked to the ladies, who smiled.

"Oh, let him stay," the second bride said sweetly. "We might need a man's opinion anyway! There's enough estrogen at this table to kill an elephant." Sherlock grinned at me and I couldn't help but smile back.

"So, is he your fiance of something?" asked the first woman. I choked on my water and Sherlock's eyes went wide.

"Heavens, no!" I coughed out. "He's just my... Er..."

"Sherlock Homes, consulting detective and her... Something? What's the word you used last time we talked about it?"

"Uh, boyfriend I guess. And we didn't discuss it. You had that discussion by yourself in your head. So, anyway back to your seating arrangements."

"Right. I don't want a traditional one. They're picking a seat, not a side. I mean, we're all friends and future family, so we should all be on the same side." I nodded and wrote it down.

"Oh, that's lovely! Do you mind if I use that?"

"Really, both of you can for all I care. It doesn't make sense why they separate the families at weddings."

"I don't know why they do it, either, buy they do," I sighed. I wrote it down all all three notepads. This would be easier than I thought. But Sherlock was being a little distracting...

Half an hour later I was pulling color samples from my bag and letting them pick. Sherlock had started fiddling with my hair, though.

"Are you bored?" I asked him.

"A little."

"I have coloring pages in my bag, if you'd like. You're acting like a child who wants his mother to take him home." He chuckled.

"I'm a different kind of bored," he whispered in my ear. He then nipped it with his teeth and nudged the side of my head with his nose.

"Bloody exhibitionist," I muttered.he chuckled.

"You have no idea." I tried not to blush as I wrote down the requests of the ladies. 

"Alright. I think that's everything. Thank you, ladies. I will have your flowers and cakes ordered and delivered the day before your weddings. I hope you enjoy yourselves, and I wish you the best!" I shook hands with all of them and watched them leave before Sherlock cornered me in the booth.

"I need you."

"Not here. You know I hate being like this in public."

"Yes, I know."

"Especially now that you're all over the news as the resurrected detective." He sighed and pulled away.

"Sorry."

"Sherlock, really, you're lucky someone from the press didn't follow you like Kitty Riley did." He and I slid out of our booth and I paid for the meals before we walked out and towards Baker Street.

"Mr. Holmes!" shouted a young man. He ran up with a camera and I ducked away. Sherlock ran after me and past me, turned into an alley, and took the shortcut home while I was stuck taking the long way. "Miss! Come here a minute!" I kept running. I knew he'd get a picture of my back, but only Sherlock and I would be able to tell it was me. 

When I finally got back to Baker Street, I trudged up the stairs to find Sherlock standing by the window with his violin. He seemed to be composing.

"Thanks for waiting for me," I panted. He chuckled.

"I like it when you sound out of breath."

"Just shut up and write your music." 

Chapter Text

I heard weird noises coming from Sherlock's new room upstairs, and Mrs. Hudson urged me to check on him.

"I would, dearie, except I can't get up the stairs with this hip."

"Yeah, I'll go check it out. Just... Go out for a while just in case. I'll call you if something goes wrong. Just go meet up with a friend or something." She scurried out quickly, and I grabbed my gun from the desk before going up the second flight of stairs.

There were grunts and groans coming from the room. I quietly turned the doorknob and pushed it open to look around. Nothing was amiss except the Sherlock was turned onto his side, his face was burried in his pillow, and his trousers were pushed down to his knees. I put the gun down and cleared my throat. He went quiet and turned to look at me, covering himself as he did so.

I've never seen a man's face go that red! He sat up quickly and demanded to know why I was standing in his doorway with my arms crossed.

"Mrs. Hudson heard you and thought something bad happened. I came up to check and find you jacking off when I was right downstairs the whole time," I laughed. He took a deep breath but didn't speak. "Sherlock, if you were horny you could've come downstairs." I stepped further into the room and sat next to him on the bed. "I would've fixed you up." He swallowed and let out a nervous laugh.

"I thought you were too busy." I shook my head. "Too busy with... With the wedding and... Stuff."

"No amount of stuff is going to keep me away from you, Sherlock Holmes." I placed a hand on his cheek and pulled him in for a kiss. "Now, last time we got up to anything, we were interrupted by your brother. And before that it was my brother. I think we're out of brothers, so I don't think we'll be interrupted again." 

"What are you suggesting?"

"I'm suggesting you pull your trousers back on, we go downstairs, and we pick up where we left off."

"Or," he purred, "we can stay here and get on with it like two sex-crazed teenagers. I have some new things I'd like to try with you." I grinned and nodded. "Good. There's a box under my bed. Take out what you'd like me to use on you. Wait, don't tell me. I know what you want me to use. Strip and close your eyes."

"Yes, sir," I giggled. As soon as I was naked and my eyes were shut, I heard the sound of a cardboard box sliding against the rug. 

"On the bed, on all fours with your legs apart." I complied and kept my eyes shut. I felt his hand slide along my back and he pressed his lips to my ear. "If you want me to stop, just shout 'murder' and I will. Okay?"

"Okay... Why?"

"It will hurt. So, what is your safe word?"

"Murder," I repeated. 

"Very good." He kissed my temple and I looked over my shoulder to see him putting on his leather gloves. Oh boy. This is what I get for being infatuated with a dominant man.

"I didn't say you could look. Bad girl. You'll have to be punished." I felt the end of something rub against my ass before it was quickly pulled away and struck across me. I gasped and turned to look at Sherlock, who was holding his riding crop tightly in his hand. "You can lay down if it would be more comfortable." I flattened on the bed and clung to the sheets as he started again. With each strike, I felt a wave of ecstasy course through me. Really? Was I really the masochistic type? Well, okay then.

"You'll do as you're told next time, right?" Sherlock growled at me. Another strike hit me and I nodded. "Words, you need to speak! I want to hear your broken voice!" Another strike.

"Yes!" Another strike.

"Yes what?!?" More strikes crossed my backside.

"Oh fuck! Dammit Sherlock! Murder!!" The strikes immediately stopped and I heard his gloves being taken off. He laid down next to me and pulled me close to himself. I clung to his shirt and tried to catch my breath.

"Let's not try that again, then."

"No, it's fine, it just... That was too much for my first time doing that and I wasn't prepared, and-"

"I'm sorry. If you don't want to continue, I completely understand."

"I want to, believe me, I do. I'm just not ready for the rough stuff yet." I kissed him softly and he ran his hands along my body.

"Maybe I hit you too hard... Oh, Christ there are bruises forming already!" He examined me carefully and I giggled.

"Ever the romantic, you are." He rubbed where the marks were carefully before running his hand back up my body and resting it on my waist.

"Forgive me. And let me make you feel better." I kissed him softly and nodded. "This time, just lay back and let me do the work."

"I'm not some damn pillow princess, Sherlock."

"I never said you were. And if you won't lay back and let me work, I'll have to keep your hands occupied elsewhere." I raised an eyebrow at him and he chuckled. There was a look in his eyes that made their bright blue seem to turn a dark grey. That was a sinful look, and I didn't care. 

"Okay then, Mr. Holmes. You can have your way this time. But next time, I get the riding crop. And I may or may not have something else coming in the mail that you'd enjoy."

"I know."

"How do you know?"

"You left your computer unlocked and the webpage up. I must say, I am intrigued. Which of us will use it, though?" I giggled and he moved so that he was on top of me. His lips made contact with my neck and soon he was kissing every inch of my body, occasionally biting and sucking to make sure I wasn't letting my thoughts drift off and so I wouldn't start rubbing myself. 

As soon as he was at my core he stopped and swiped a finger into me to test how wet I was. "Oh, now this won't do. We'll have to get you more aroused than this if I'm going to get all the way in there." A shiver ran down my spine and he blew a warm breath into me. I bit back a whimper, but Sherlock crawled up and pressed gentle kisses to my lips and cheeks.

"We're alone in the flat, Grace," he muttered. "You don't have to be quiet. I want to hear your gasps of pleasure." He made his way slowly back down my body. When he started nipping at my inner thigh, my legs clenched on either side of his head. He groaned and pried them apart. "If you won't behave we're going to have problems."

"Well, sorry if you were my first and the last time I did this was two years ago." He eyed me carefully. 

"Yes but you didn't cause problems last time."

"Maybe you should stop taking so damn long, then." His eyes glinted and he quickly dove down into me. He hooked his arms under my legs and held me against him. He moaned into me and I gasped as he sucked at my clit.

"Fuck, Sherlock!" He came up for air briefly before diving back in and pushing his tongue into me as far as he could. I writhed under him and he had to hold me down to be able to keep going. I let out a loud moan and I felt a wave of pleasure surge through me as I came, and Sherlock slowed himself down as I came down from my high. He stood up and wiped his mouth on his sleeve before stripping completely and sliding into the bed next to me. I smiled at him before reaching under the bed and snatching out the handcuffs he kept under there.

"What are you doing?"

"Shut up and put your arms above your head." I cuffed him to his headboard and he smirked at me. I ran my hands down his body. "I have barely touched you since you've been back. I want to remember every bit of you." 

"Why are you so fidgety today? It's like you want to be in charge or something."

"Sherlock, you know better than anyone that I'm a control freak." My hands ran along his arms. He was more muscular now than he was the first time. "You've built up muscle. And your tolerance for pain is better due to your time as a torture victim." He raised an eyebrow at me, but didn't speak. I slid my hands up his torso and cupped his cheeks for a second before using his shoulders to pull myself up.

I straddled him and then started pumping is shaft until he was fully erect and squirming underneath me. He pulled against him restraints a bit before I stood enough to be able to lower myself onto him. I gasp as I stretched to fit him, and he groaned at my tightness until he was all the way into me. 

"Dammit Grace," he groaned. "Gah, I can tell it's been a while." 

"Shut up!" I moaned. I started moving on top of him, lifting myself up and then sliding back down again slowly. I wanted him to be able to take over, but he couldn't so I was having to keep myself under control. He pulled against his cuffs so much that his knuckles were turning white, and I heard the sound of the metal bending. The muscles in his arms were strained and I knew what was about to happen. I grabbed onto him and dug my nails into his shoulders as I moved, until I heard a loud snapping sound and the jingling of loose chains. His hands flew around me and soon we were flipped so that he was pounding into me roughly. I dug my nails into his back as he thrusted his hips sharply. 

As I came again, I bit down on his shoulder and groaned into him. He hissed at the pain but never stopped his punishing pace. 

I felt his length throbbing and soon he was twitching inside of me and going faster. Then it was as if a dam broke and with one final thrust, he came inside me, triggering another orgasm from me.

He collapsed on top of me and we were both panting as if we had just run a marathon. He pulled out of me and rolled onto his side to look at me. 

"Much better than doing it myself," he breathed. I slid closer to him and he pulled the sheets over me. I burried my face in the crook of Sherlock's neck and he put his arms around me. "So much better." I tried to calm my breathing and I willed myself to not be tired, but it wasn't working out. I couldn't speak, so I just snuggled up to Sherlock and closed my eyes to let sleep overtake me while Sherlock played with my hair and whispered sweet nothings to me.

 

When I woke up I was clothed in my pajamas, in my own bed, and by myself. And I didn't feel as sticky as I thought I would. 

I went into the bathroom and found a washrag that was still wet, and I had a feeling that Sherlock cleaned me up before John got here. I only knew he was here because I heard him talking.

"You awake then?" asked John when I came in. I was really confused and tired, so I had no clue what was happening.

"Only a little," I mumbled. Sherlock handed me a cup of tea, which I set down in favor of one that I could fix myself.

"Rude," Sherlock murmured.

"Last time you made tea for someone, they were passed out for twenty four hours. I don't trust it." I yawned and poured my tea carefully. "What did I miss while I was out?"

"I've asked Sherlock to be my best man, but he just kind of stood there staring at me for about ten minutes." I giggled a little and put an arm around Sherlock's waist.

"Aw, he didn't understand. That's cute." Both of the boys rolled their eyes at me and I yawned again before shipping my tea. "Ugh do we have any painkillers? I've got the worst headache."

"Are you sick?" John asked, going into doctor mode. I shook my head.

"I feel fine, it's just my head." And my backside, no thanks to Sherlock. But I wasn't going to mention that. John eyed me carefully and when his eyes drifted to my neck, I realized how much trouble I was probably in.

"What the hell is on your neck?" I felt and gave Sherlock and confused look. He smirked down at me. "Grace, is that a hickey?" I shrugged and went to look in the mirror.

It sure as Hell was a hickey. 

"Uh yeah it... Uh... It is." John sighed and shook his head.

"If you go out, scarves work best. Don't use make-up to cover it, it'll come right off." Sherlock and I both stared at him in disbelief. "At least, that's what I hear. Plus can I really be so pissed? Sherlock's got a few as well, and it's not like I didn't come home late with them all over my neck when I was in school."

"John, are you okay? You're not meant to be fine with this." He shrugged.

"Mary pointed out that you're both adults and that I couldn't keep you two both under control. And Grace, you seem happy with Sherlock so who am I to take that away? Just ad long as you're being careful." Careful. Fuck. 

Sherlock and I must have had the sane thought in that moment. 

Did we use a condom? No. No we did not.

Chapter Text

Over the course of the next few weeks, I took several pregnancy tests to make sure nothing had happened. Luckily, all of them had come up negative. 

I hadn't told Sherlock about any of it since he'd probably go on about how much he didn't want children. I mean, I didn't want children right now, but someday I might.

Since I wasn't pregnant, I celebrated by helping Mary plan the wedding. Fun, right? Until it wasn't, anyway.

"What do you think of these?" Mary showed me some lilies and I nodded.

"I think they're nice, but this isn't about my opinion, it's about what you want." My typical answer. She rolled her eyes.

"Gracie, we're going to be family! Your thoughts matter to me. Don't think of me as a client, I'm your future sister in law." I grinned.

"I really like them." She nodded and we continued looking around the flower shop. 

"So how are things going with you and Sherlock?" I almost dropped the flowers I was holding. "Oh, did I scare you?"

"No, just I forgot that you knew about it. We're trying to keep it private since he's all over the news. And we're doing fine."

"Oh, come on, spill. I know you two, and this isn't just some normal romance." I blushed.

"It's more like friends with benefits, but we're not friends. You know?" She nodded.

"No dates, just staying in and such?" 

"Oh, I guess there is a nice way to put it," I laughed. "Yeah, we don't really take our relationship out of the flat."

"Are you okay with that?" I had to think. It would be nice if we could be more affectionate, but I know that Sherlock is very reluctant to do that. I nodded.

"This relationship can only move as fast as Sherlock can. He's not ready, so I'm perfectly content to stand beside him instead of running ahead and making him keep up with me." She smiled.

"You're the best person for him, Grace. He knows it, too. I doubt he'd let you go easily." I looked down and we continued poking around and looking at flowers. My phone started ringing and I answered it.

"Yes? John, what is it?"

"Sherlock needs a case."

"That's not my job, John. I'm the night-sitter, you're the day-sitter. If you want to have your wedding, you need to keep Sherlock distracted long enough for us to get things done."

"No but he really needs one. Can you ask Mary if I can take him out?"

"Ask her yourself, she's your future wife!" I handed the phone to Mary, who laughed at John and said he could go. She laughed as she handed back my phone.

"I don't know why he's asking me permission! We aren't married yet!" I shrugged.

"Oh well. Reign him in early, and he'll get used to being on the leash." She snickered as we walked out of the shop. "You have a dress yet?"

"Not if you haven't helped. I don't want to do a bit of this without help from a professional, or without input from one of my bridesmaids." I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and stared at her. "What's wrong?"

"I can't be a bridesmaid."

"Why not?"

"I never attend the events I plan, let alone be in them. I couldn't do that. I don't even want a shred of recognition for what I do." She gave me a sad smile.

"Yeah, I suppose I should've asked you before just saying you were one."

"We're going to be family, but I wouldn't even do it for my older sister, so please don't be upset."

"I'm not, sweetheart!" She hugged me and took me by the hand. "Alright then, non-bridesmaid. Let's go find dresses. You can just be the model for the bridesmaid dresses. And who knows? Maybe we'll find the dress you're going to marry Sherlock in." I laughed.

"Oh, like we'll get married! He won't talk about it, and he knows how I feel about big weddings. At best, we'll just keep living together until we bite the dust." 

"Oh, humor me, at least!" I sighed and went into a bridal shop with her. This was the one where customers got a discount if I was planning for them.

"You've got another one, then?" asked the woman sweetly. I nodded.

"This one is actually my future sister in law. Think we could fix her up?" Lindsey nodded, examined Mary closely, and then led us to the racks of dresses that would fit her. Lindsey had a way of knowing your size, and I had no idea how.

"You still not getting hitched?" she asked me as she showed dresses to Mary. 

"Nah. You know me, I'd plan it and not show up." All of us laughed and we sent Mary to a dressing room to try her choice on.

"I don't see why you shouldn't get married, Grace. You're so sweet and charming. Your man is lucky to have you."

"Thanks, Lindsey, but I think I'm the lucky one." 

"All girls say that about their partners, sweetie. Trust me, he's the lucky one." Mary came out and we saw to what needed to happen, and they said they'd call us when the alterations had been made.

"Well, that was easy."

"It helped that you're more easy-going than most women I deal with," I laughed. "I've seen brides pitch fits that rival John's."

"I'd pay to see that," Mary giggled.

"Honey, I get paid to see that." Her phone started ringing and she was soon in a squeaky conversation with her Maid of Honor, Janine. 

"Yes, I got a dress. I want you with me when we pick out the bridesmaid dresses, Jan! Well because you're going to be the one wearing it, not me. Yes. No. Sure. See you Friday, then!" She hung up and sighed.

"Janine wants to meet you," she breathed. "I've got to warn you, though, she's a little intense."

"Trust me, I live with Sherlock. I can handle anything." 

 

When we got back to the flat, John hugged us and Sherlock was playing his violin.

"Sherlock, put that down for a second, will you?" John asked. Sherlock just got louder and ignored us. I knew how to handle this, though.

I went up to him and touched his shoulder gently. He got quieter, but showed no signs of stopping his arms, so I wrapped my arms around his waist and rested my head against the collar bone that wasn't supporting his violin.

"Sherlock, I'm done with everything for today, and my package came in the mail." His playing faltered and he hit the wrong note before he set his instrument down altogether and kissed my forehead. "Maybe when they're gone, I'll use it on you." 

"Or maybe I'll use it on you," he muttered. I giggled and pulled him towards the kitchen.

"I'll never understand how she can get him to do things," John sighed. Sherlock sat on one of the table stools and I jumped up to sit in his lap. He wrapped his arms around my waist and rested his chin on my shoulder. 

"So all that's left to do now is get the flowers, the bridesmaid dresses, and arrange seating. All the fun stuff," I said.

"And why do I have to be involved?" Sherlock asked. I felt his voice vibrating on my back and it sent a shiver up my spine.

"Because you're the best man and you'll ba able to tell who actually wants to be there and who doesn't."

"Well when you put it that way it definitely sounds fun," John chuckled.

"We can get all of this done by Saturday and have a week off from all this wedding stuff, or we can procrastinate and rush to finish on the last day. Which would you prefer?" Everyone agreed to finish a week early, so after our mini-meeting in the kitchen, John and Mary left Sherlock and I to our own devices.

"Grace I need to tell you something you're not going to like," Sherlock muttered in my ear. I slid off of him and stood between his legs to look at him.

"What is it?"

"I have a case and I'll need to break up with you for it."

Chapter Text

"Sherlock, if you're joking right now, it's not funny. And if you're not joking, then you must be mad." He sighed and looked down at his feet.

"I'm sorry. I just... I have to."

"Okay. But tell me why before I agree to this. And it had better be a good reason, or I'll seriously question why I love you." He started trying to speak, but he couldn't get a word out of his mouth. I pulled.him over to the sofa and I sat on one end and told him to lay down. As soon as his head was resting in my lap, he calmed down enough to talk about it.

"There's this man. He's a horrible man, and I can't tell you his name. But he hurts people, not because he wants to reach an end goal, but because he can and has the information on people to do that. His assistant is Mary's best friend, so I know he has documents on her. I have to protect Mary, because if Mary is safe, that means John is safe. To get the information away from this man, I have to be close enough with his PA to get her to let me into his office, which is one of the most secure facilities in the world. Only she and him have access to it on a regular basis. 

"Mary doesn't know about any of this, and she can't know. If I tell her, she'll be in even more danger."

"So to protect John, you're going to hook up with the Maid of Honor," I stated. He nodded.

"But please don't leave Baker Street. There's a flat downstairs, C. I can get you moved into it and you can live downstairs."

"I'm not staying here while you're with another woman."

"Then at least go somewhere so I'll know you're safe. Mycroft always wants to hire you as his assistant, go live with him and you can still run your event planning business. How hard can making a few phonecalls be, really?"

I had sworn that I could never work for a Holmes. I always turned Mycroft down. But maybe this is what I had to do. My business was falling apart anyway, what with everything being so expensive and brides being absolute devils. Maybe this wedding would be my last event. 

"Sherlock," I sighed, "you are insane. And maybe I am too. But when are we going to break up?"

"I have an idea. At the wedding, we can have a row in front of a few people, including Janine. That sets the stage for us to be separating. Janine will think I'm available, thus making her believe she can swoop in for the rebound. But please, I don't want to end things before I have to. Please." I sighed and brushed his brown curls away from his forehead.

"You're lucky I love you, or I wouldn't be letting you get away with this."

"I love you, too. And I know, I'm lucky." I bent down and kissed his forehead before I made him sit up.

"Oh, God, I have to meet Janine on Friday!"

"Good, if she asks, tell her your relationship is rocky." I glared at him.

"Keep talking about it, and our relationship will be rocky." He leaned over and rested his head on my shoulder like a dork.

"What will our fight be over? It has ti be convincing." I rolled my eyes and nudged him.

"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll do something to piss me off at the wedding." He laughed and took my hand, entwining our fingers.

"I seem to be good at that lately." I pulled him down for a soft kiss. His comments like that made me so sad, as if he truly believed what he was saying. I looked out the window and watch the sun begin it's descent behind the buildings.

"Sun's going down," I commented. He just stared at his hands. "Funny, i didn't really notice the sunset after you left. Just the sunrise."

"You stopped sleeping. You were drunk by sundown and still awake when daylight broke. You also started smoking for a time, but quit after a few weeks." I glanced at him and smiled before nudging him with my knee.

"It's more beautiful when you stop making deductions and actually look at it with me."

"I've seen enough days end to last me a lifetime, thank you." He let go of my hand and stalked off to his room upstairs. A few minutes later, I heard him stomping back down the stairs and coming to sit with me again. "I'm sorry. That was rude."

"It was, but I forgive you." He put his arms around me and sighed before pressing a soft kiss to my temple.

"I just want all of this to be over. I want to be able to relax without the world falling apart."

"I know, Sherlock. I know. And you will be. In fact, until the wedding, I want you to just push all the other cases from your mind. Your only job right now is to be there for John on his big day." He kissed my lips softly and I sent him off to bed. I needed to make a call that I just knew I would regret.

 

As soon as no one else would notice, I got dressed, slipped outside, and dialed Mycroft's number. He picked up on the second ring.

"You never call me, what's wrong?" Oh, he knew me so well.

"Mycroft, I called to take you up on your many, many offers. I'd like to become your assistant." There was silence on the other end. Just silence. "Mycroft?"

"Get in the car, Miss Watson. And don't look so suspicious."

"Okay, Mycroft, it is really creepy how you keep a camera on Baker Street."

"When one's brother is a drug addict recently risen from the grave, it becomes a necessary precaution." A black car pulled up and the door was opened for me. I hung up the phone and was driven towards my future career.

 

"Have a seat, Miss Watson, and we can conduct the interview," he stated, pulling a folder out of his desk. I rolled my eyes.

"Honestly, Mycroft, you've known me for three years, and you know everything about me."

"You're right. And the reason you're coming to me for a job is because Sherlock asked you to. He's going to have a case that requires him having relations with another woman, and he doesn't want you around for that. Lovely."

"Mycroft, I know I said I could never work for you, but please. I need you right now. My business is going down the drain, and I can't stay at Baker Street if Sherlock is going to be shacking up with someone else." He sighed and closed my folder. "And don't you want someone working for you who can keep even Sherlock Holmes in line?" He sat back and examined me. He must have seen the desperation in my eyes.

"I need a personal assistant, who will live and work with me. Who can easily learn my habits so as to accomplish their duties in the most efficient manner possible. This job will not he for the weak willed or faint of heart. I tend to be rather unforgiving."

"I know that. Mycroft, it tore me apart when Sherlock faked his death, you know that. But I kept going anyway. Most people wouldn't have had the strength to go on."

"Yes, I am aware of that, Grace. But I can't just give you the job." I sighed and slouched in my seat a little.

"I know that. Nevermind. Forget you ever heard me say I'd take the job." I smiled at him and stood to leave. "I'm so sorry to have wasted your time. Have a nice evening, Mr. Holmes." As I made for the door, he called for my attention.

"Wait, Grace, don't go." He sighed and was probably regretting what he was about to do. "Alright. You can start after the wedding, since I know that's taking up a fair amount of your time at the moment. Give me a call when you're available, and I'll have everything prepared for you." I smiled and shook his hand.

"Thank you, Mycroft. You won't regret this, I promise you."

"My dear, no one can make promises about the thoughts and feelings of others." He escorted me outside and put me into the black car again to send me home. On the way back, I got a text from Sherlock, wondering where I was. I messaged him back that I was on my way home from a job interview with his brother. This should be fun.

Chapter Text

"Are you kidding me, Sherlock?" I laughed when he came into his bedroom Friday morning. He was wearing his purple shirt, some of the shortest shorts I had ever seen a man wear, and some black leather kinky boots that went up to his mid-thigh.

"What? I did some research. Some men and women have made several cartoons of me wearing exactly this, and all the comments say that this makes them aroused." I laughed and hit myself in the face with one of his pillows.

"Sherlock, that's called fan art! And why would they make fan art of you?"

"I expect it's because I'm a world famous detective with nice cheekbones." I rolled my eyes and slid off the bed. The boots had heels on them that were about four inches long, so now I only came up to about the middle of his stomach. 

"Damn those bastards, wanting you to be even taller than me," I giggled. Then a thought occurred to me. "Please don't let her wear your purple shirt." He rubbed my cheek with the back of his hand and gave me a sad smile.

"Why would I let her wear the shirt I wear just for you? She won't even know it exists. In fact, I'm going to wear it up until the wedding, then make you take it with you." I laughed.

"Sherlock, please take off that ridiculous outfit!" He chuckled and sat down to take off the shoes. "Where did you even get those?"

"I ordered them from the same website I got the rest of my toys from. And the shorts are actually yours. I didn't know we wore the same size." I giggled and suddenly got an idea. We hadn't used my new toy yet.

"Speaking of toys," I giggled, pulling a box out from under the bed, "we haven't tried this out yet." I tore open the box and sifted through the packing peanuts to find what I had ordered. I took some batteries out of the nightstand and Sherlock raised an eyebrow at me as he tried to get out of my shorts. When the batteries were in, I looked up at him and grinned.

"What even is that thing? It looks like a weird plastic dick."

"It is a plastic dick, Sherlock. But it vibrates, too." He scoffed.

"What are we supposed to do with that?" 

"I could always shove it up your ass," I replied cheekily. Sherlock rolled his eyes at me and took it from my hands. He fiddled with the switch to turn it on and off, before his eyes lit up as if he just had an idea. 

"Take of your clothes and put this on," he said, removing his purple shirt and pushing it into my hands. I furrowed my eyebrows, but he gave me a pointed look to tell me not to argue. 

"How does it fit me better than it fits you?" He shrugged and set the toy down to put his arms around me. He held me by the hips and pressed kisses to my lips and jaw. I melted into him and let him push me backwards so that I was laying flat on the bed. Sherlock ran his hands up my thighs as he bit down on my neck. That was his favorite place to bite, though I had no idea why. I heard him slide the dildo from the nightstand and he ran it up my thigh and towards my wetness.

"Tell me if you want to stop, love," he purred against my throat. I hummed and tangled my fingers in his brown curls. He slid the toy between my thighs and teased me with it to get it wet so that it wouldn't hurt me, and then he raised one of my legs before pushing it inside me slowly. I let out a gasp and ended up pulling his hair. He groaned as he hilted the plastic dick inside me, and I threw my head back onto the pillow. I had to be quiet, but damn, Sherlock was making it hard to do that when he started pulling it out and forcing it back into me. I bit my lip and whimpered, squeezing my eyes shut in an attempt to keep the moans from ripping through my throat.

"I want to hear you," Sherlock growled into my ear as his hands worked me over. I whimpered in reply, and he chuckled. "Louder, precious. I want to hear you." I gasped as he quickly yanked the dildo completely from me, not allowing me to reach my orgasm. I groaned and whined as Sherlock licked it clean.

"You're mean," I complained. He hummed as he swallowed my arousal that he had sucked from the toy, and he placed it in the drawer of his nightstand carefully. 

"You need to listen when I tell you to do something, love. I wanted to hear you, and you wouldn't let me. There are consequences when you do not obey." I raised an eyebrow at Sherlock defiantly as I sat up, looking him in the eye with a smirk on my reddened face.

"Sherlock, you and I both know what happens when you try to play this game."

"I'm changing the rules this time. And with these rules, I always win." He captured my lips in his own very briefly before he pushed me back onto the bed with darkened eyes.

He squeezed my breasts through his shirt and I bit my lip. I wouldn't give him what he wanted until he ripped it from my throat himself. He growled and pulled me closer to himself and bent down to bit my neck as he curled his fingers inside of me. One of his hands was working at my insides, his lips and teeth were clamped onto my neck, and his other hand had worked its way under the shirt I was wearing and was rolling one of my nipples between his fingers. I was whimpering, clinging to his hair, and trying to keep quiet, but when Sherlock switched sides of my neck and moved his hand to my other nipple, I couldn't help it. I cried out and pulled at his hair harder than before as the knot in my stomach loosened and I came undone underneath him. He let go of my neck and slid his hand out of the shirt, but kept using his left hand inside of me. As I calmed down, he pulled his fingers out of me and sucked them clean before removing the shorts he was wearing, which were more of a tent at this point. He wasn't wearing boxers, just my shorts. 

 "Very good, darling. You've redeemed yourself. There's a reward for girls who do as they're told."

"Suck my dick," I laughed.

"I already did that, love," he chuckled. "But there's something else I haven't done today... I think I'll have breakfast." Sherlock hooked his arms under my legs so that my thighs rested on his shoulders, and he burried his face into me. My breath hitched in my throat as his tongue swept into me and he sucked at my clit. I bit down on my lip again and clung to the sheets. Sherlock was stroking himself as he ate me out, which made it just that much more arousing. I was already overly sensitive, so it didn't take long for his skilled mouth to bring me to climax again. I cried out softly and Sherlock quickly pulled his mouth away from me. Before I could protest, he had positioned his length where his mouth had just been and pushed inside. I couldn't hold back my moans anymore, especially when Sherlock started quickly thrusting in and out of me. He skilfully flipped us and held me so that I could ride him. I rotated my hips and Sherlock let his head fall back onto the pillow as I lifted myself off of him and let myself fall back down onto his throbbing cock. 

He groaned as I tightened around him, and he flipped us again, this time resting on his forearms as he pumped in and out of me to ride out my orgasm. Sherlock twitched inside of me and he came with a loud shout and a groan, spilling inside of me and panting above me. He pulled out of me and lowered himself next to me, pulling me into his arms gently.

We were both breathing hard and Sherlock's hair was a tangled mess. His purple shirt was wrinkled against my skin, and probably smelled of sex, but neither of us cared.

"Grace... You are... Excellent," Sherlock panted.

"Shut up, Sherlock," I breathed. I looked over at the clock and almost jumped out of my skin. "I have to shower! I'm due to lunch with Mary in an hour!" I tried to get up, but Sherlock pulled me right back down and burried his face in my hair.

"Five more minutes," he muttered. I pushed his arms from my body and stood up. After giving him a quick kiss, I shed his shirt, pulled my clothes back on, and hurried down the stairs to the flat. John wasn't there, which was a relief, so I quickly laid out my clothes for the day, grabbed a towel, and hurried to the shower. I let the warm water run down my sore body as I scrubbed the smell of sex from myself. I was a little worried after the pregnancy scare, so I started taking birth control. I mean, I'd make Sherlock use a condom, but we were told explicitly by John that if he found one, he would pitch a fit. And, of course, we were both too stubborn to be the one to purchase them, so I figured it was easier on everyone if I used the pill.

After my shower, I dried off, took my pill, and went to get dressed. However, where I had left my clothing before was a freshly cleaned purple shirt that belonged to a certain detective, along with a note. All it said was 'please?' 

I sighed and shrugged before getting dressed in my regular pencil skirt. I hung the shirt over my arm and walked into the living room to find Sherlock reading a newspaper. He looked up and frowned.

"Aren't you going to wear a shirt? It's a bit chilly today." I rolled my eyes.

"Where's my shirt?"

"I can tell you where it isn't." I crossed my arms and raised an eyebrow at Sherlock.

"Sherlock, I swear that I will call your brother and tell him how you're doing if I don't get my blouse back."

"That's not how this game works, darling," he said lazily, turning the page of his paper as he spoke. "You do as I ask, and you'll be rewarded. Don't, and you'll be punished." I scoffed.

"You just want me to keep wearing your shirt so you'll have a reason for me to take it with me."

"Not true. I actually think it suits you."

"I'm not wearing a man's shirt to lunch with Mary and your future girlfriend," I stated. What would you have them think?"

"The average person doesn't notice if someone is wearing clothing made for a specific gender. You'll be fine."

"Mary will recognize the shirt."

"And because she loves you and won't want to embarrass you, she won't mention it. Besides, I said please." I rolled my eyes and sighed.

"Fine, you horrible, ugly man."

"Oh, stop it! I look nothing like Mycroft!" I laughed and sat next to Sherlock as I buttoned up the shirt.

"Mycroft isn't that bad. He's quite handsome, in his own way." Sherlock scoffed and looked down at me. "What? You're not worried that I'll fall for him while I'm living there?" He rolled his eyes.

"Mycroft doesn't even recognize that he has reproductive organs. And you love me, so you won't."

"I might love you, but what if I get lonely one night and Mycroft offers himself to me on silken sheets. What do you think I would do then?" Sherlock laughed.

"Tell you what, if you can make Mycroft initiate any affection during your time there, I'll let you sleep with him once and I won't be upset. Deal?"

"That's a deal, Mr. Holmes," I laughed. We shook on it and I stood to tuck in the shirt and pull on my coat. "I'll see you later. I don't know when I'll be back. We've go to go pick out bridesmaid dresses." I kissed Sherlock on the lips quickly before walking out of the flat and down to the street. We were meeting at a small café next door to the bridal shop.

A short taxi ride later, I was hugging Mary and shaking hands with Janine, a very Welsh sounding young woman with dark hair and full lips. So this was my replacement.

"Lovely to finally meet you, Janine," I said sweetly. "Mary's told me so much about you."

"She's told me all about you, too! I couldn't wait to meet you. So, you're the famous Gracie Watson!" I laughed nervously and glanced at Mary, who looked away and fiddled with her hands. "So, what's it like, living with a famous detective?" I felt all the color drain from my face and I shrugged, trying to stop being nervous.

"Well, it's different, I can tell you that." I looked down at my menu and when the waiter came by, we placed our orders.

"Mary tells me that you and Mr. Holmes are very close," Janine commented suggestively. I glared at Mary, who grinned and motioned to my shirt with her eyes. I frowned at her and sighed.

"We don't really like being public about it. We like to keep our personal lives out of the papers." She nodded and put her hands up.

"Sorry, I'll keep it under my hat." Throughout the rest of the meal, janine was pleasant and relatively likeable. This, of course, made me hate her a little, but then I remembered that this wouldn't be her fault, and Sherlock was only going to do this for a case. That only helped so much, though.

We all went to the bridal shop and Janine went to look at bridesmaid dresses while Mary hung back with me.

"You know you're wearing Sherlock's shirt, right?" I blushed and sighed.

"He made me do it."

"Trust me, I know you wouldn't go anywhere in his clothes if you didn't have to. So, I'm guessing things are good between you two?" This was my chance to set the stage. I shrugged.

"He's been more cold than usual lately. I mean, I expect it to some degree since he is the way that he is, but it feels deliberate." 

"Have you told him how you're feeling about it?" She was now genuinely concerned. Good!

"I've tried, but you know how he is. Brushes it off and changes the subject. Thing is, he's also really interested in your wedding and just weddings in general." I suddenly had a thought. "Please don't tell John that we're having problems! He'll flip out and insist I stay with him." She smiled and patted my shoulder.

"You and Sherlock will work things out. I won't tell, I promise." Janine came out of a fitting room with a lavender dress on and looked in the mirror.

"What do you ladies think?" she asked us. Mary was beaming.

"I think it's perfect! What do you think, Grace?" I nodded.

"Beautiful," I replied. "But it isn't up to me, ladies. I'm not involved, I'm just making sure things stay on schedule."

"And you're letting us use your discount," muttered the bride. The dresses were soon ordered in the appropriate sizes and we walked out and I said my goodbye's to the ladies. Or so I thought.

"How about we go and see if the men are busy. They have to get their suits, right?" I chuckled nervously at Mary, who was dead serious.

"I was going to take them to do that tomorrow."

"Oh, today isn't over yet, though! C'mon, if we do it today, you can take tomorrow for yourself!" I sighed and looked to Janine for help, but she sided with Mary. 

"Fine," I sighed. "You're an evil, evil sister-in-law, Mary Morstan."

"And you're a joy and I love you, Gracie Watson," she laughed. I rolled my eyes and we got a taxi back to Baker Street. I texted Sherlock to tell him what I told Mary, and he replied to let me know that he would be sure to treat me like he treats his brother no matter what I did. Good thing we were on the same page.

 

As soon as we walked into the flat, I could practically feel Sherlock's bad attitude without even seeing him.

"Sherlock, I'm home!" I called. "John's on his way, and we need to take the two of you to get fitted for your suits!" He came out of my bedroom in his white button down and jeans. He ignored me, like I had hoped he would. "Sherlock, didn't you hear me?"

"We can't do anything until John gets here, so there was no point in my replying." I huffed and crossed my arms as I glared at him.

"Uh oh, trouble in paradise," Mary whispered to Janine, who was examining Sherlock in appreciation.

"Mary, who is she? Why is she here?" Mary giggled and cleared her throat.

"This is Janine, my maid of honor. Janine, this is the best man, Sherlock."

"I've heard quite a bit about you, Mr. Holmes." They shook hands and Sherlock gave her a half smile. 

"Grace, do you know when John will get here? I'd like to get this over with."

"Sherlock, can I talk to you in the hall for a moment?" He rolled his eyes and followed me out the door, which I softly shut and leaned against. "I can't do this. I don't want her here with you." He gave a slight nod as he usually did when he was about to argue with me.

"She seems pleasant enough."

"That's why I don't want her here," I whined. "She's nicer than me, and she's prettier than me!"

"I'd like to argue with that," he stated. I scoffed.

"Please, I look like my brother with a wig and breast implants." Sherlock grabbed my shoulders.

"Listen to me, Grace. If you are even remotely worried that I'm going to actually leave you for Janine, then you are out of your mind. I love you, and that will not change. She only seems pleasant because she wanted to make a good impression. She has recently broken up with someone and is looking to get laid as quickly as possible. Believe me, she is not as nice as you think, and she wears a lot of make-up and has had cosmetic surgery twice on her face to make it look that way. Those are hair extensions, and that isn't her natural color. She may seem prettier, but she is a false immigration of beauty. Yours is genuine." I rested my forehead on his collar bone and sighed. 

"Thanks, Sherlock. I needed that."

"You need something else as well, but that isn't going to happen until we're alone again."

"I asked Mary not to tell John we were having problems. Think you can dial it back for him?" Sherlock nodded and pressed a soft kiss to my forehead just as the door downstairs opened.

Chapter Text

"Sherlock! I need you and John to come in here right now! We have a week, and you two need suits. And no, we cannot push the date, because it's too late for any of that nonsense." Both of the boys came into the living room, fully dressed and ready to go to my tailor so they could et the suits they needed. She had several starter suits based on the measurements I had already given her, but she needed to have them try the suits on so she could fix anything that needed fixing. Sherlock's measurements were easy, what with me being familiar with his entire body. It was John that I was mostly worried about.

"Okay, fellas! Let's go before I grow old and die alone." Sherlock smirked, but John thought there was something wrong. Excellent!

"Why would you think you're going to die alone? Are you two fighting?" 

"Of course not, John. She's clearly just pointing out that fact that I am not going to propose marriage to her, or anyone, and a long-term relationship of that nature with someone like me is impossible. She is exaggerating this and saying that if I am not with her, no one would want her, making it an insult to us both. Shall we go?"

"Sherlock, stop over-analyzing everything. I'm sure that if you ever left me, I would find someone else. You're not the only goldfish, you know."

"But I am the only one you will even consider. And please do not use my brother's terminology for other people, it reminds me of why I dislike him." I rolled my eyes playfully and we grinned at each other. John was thoroughly confused.

"Are you guys going to make out now or something? Because I can go if you need me to."

"No, we need to go meet my tailor. She has two suits prepared already, and will make any necessary adjustments that we need her to make." We walked down the stairs and got into a cab. I was squeezed between Sherlock and the door, and his legs were positioned in such a way that John couldn't see what we were doing with our hands.

This was good, because as soon as we were moving, Sherlock entwined our fingers and began rubbing circles over my hand with his thumb. I don't know if he was reassuring me or himself, to be honest. I gave his hand a gentle squeeze and he hid a smile.

"So, boys, the plan today is to get all of your measurements finalized, try everything on and make sure it fits, then we have to drop John off at his dance lessons, leaving me and Sherlock to our own devices for a while." 

"Why doesn't Sherlock have to take lessons? That's not fair!" I rolled my eyes and opened my mouth to say something, but Sherlock beat me to it.

"Unlike you, I already know how to dance, as your sister has been teaching me and practicing with me. So has Mrs. Hudson, which was made quite embarrassing when Grace caught us mid-dip." I snorted and looked out the window while John seethed in his seat. 

"And you couldn't teach me?"

"I can't fix two left feet like a proper instructor can, John," I joked. He gave an eye-roll and I grinned at him. "Don't worry, your appointment isn't until eleven. It's about... Nine now, and we're here at the tailor. Perfect!" I paid the driver and the three of us went into the suit shop. 

"I have an appointment for Watson, two suits for fitting," I said to Charlie, the boy at the desk. He has worked here for as long as I've been helping plan weddings.

"Is this finally your wedding, Gracie?" he asked with a hopeful grin. I shook my head.

"Sorry, Charlie. My brother is the one getting married, not me."

"Oh, so you're still available? In that case, I'll propose now," he joked. I giggled as I signed in, and I felt Sherlock's eyes boring into the back of my head. He walked up behind me and put his hands on my shoulders.

"Actually, she is taken. And you ought to call back that girl you slept with last night. She enjoyed herself, though I can't imagine why. I'm sure she misses you and wants to spend more time with you in the future." Sherlock gave him a sarcastic smile before turning and walking off, leaving me embarrassed and angry. 

"I'm sorry about him, Charlie. Sherlock is just... There's actually no way to describe him."

"Jealous? Tends to over react? An asshole?" I laughed and shook my head.

"Yep, you nailed it. But he's only an asshole when he feels threatened."

"Oh, so he thinks I could actually steal you from him? How insecure can you get! You're way outta my league!" 

"Charlie, I am not! It's okay for you to say I'm not your type. Don't worry, I'll talk to him." I walked over to where John was already in his suit and telling the tailor what alterations needed to be made. I stood next to Sherlock, who was thumbing the material of his suit and frowning at it.

"You didn't have to snap at Charlie. He wasn't hitting on me." Sherlock scoffed.

"I clearly saw it, he said he would propose."

"He makes that joke every time I come in, Sherlock! I'm not even his type; you have nothing to worry about." 

"Mr. Holmes, if you would like to go get dressed while I'm taking care of Mr. Watson, I will get to you in about twenty minutes." Sherlock nodded and walked off towards a dressing room. I followed since we were so not done discussing his behavior.

"Sherlock, for a genius, you really are a dumbass sometimes," I hissed as I followed him. As soon as he had opened the door to the dressing room, he turned, grabbed my wrist, and pulled me inside before pushing me up against the door and kissing me fiercely. His teeth dragged across my lower lip and he had one hand at my jaw and the other holding the doorknob, searching for the lock. When he pulled away from me, we were both panting.

"I'm sorry I overreacted. Please forgive me." I scoffed and pulled him back down for another kiss as I undid his shirt and pushed it from his shoulders.

"I have to get you into your suit," I murmured against his lips. He grunted and shoved his tongue into my mouth to silence me more completely. When I pulled away with the intention of making him get dressed, he had other ideas. He started biting down my neck quickly and roughly.

"We've got approximately seventeen more minutes before someone comes back here to look for us," he growled. "And as this is likely our last week of contact for a while, I intend to have you under me as often as possible, no matter where we are." He let his shirt fall to the floor and started to grope me. I bit back all the noises I wanted to make and melted into his touch.

"Pull your skirt up," he commanded. I obeyed as he undid the zipper of his jeans. He was half hard already, but I knew he was about to be a lot harder than that. I slid my underwear down and stepped out of them before pulling him closer by his hips and running my hands up his chest, then back down to palm him through his trousers and pants.

"Grace," he growled, "I hope you know that you only have fifteen minutes to do what you want down there." He leaned his head back to rest on a wall as he hardened in my hands.

"I'll have you done in ten and dressed in three," I whispered. I pulled him out of his pants and stroked him gently before grabbing onto his shoulder with one hand and stepping up closer to him. He was too tall for me, so he had to take over. 

He hoisted me up and pressed me gently to a wall as he slid into my wetness carefully. I bit down on his shoulder and started peppering his neck with kisses and bites as he thrusted. He held one of my legs up higher than the other so he could go as deep as possible, and I used his reddening neck and shoulder to muffle my moans.

"I can't wait to hear you, love," he grunted softly. I whimpered as I came and then hung almost limp in his arms as he finished inside me. He took his handkercheif out of his pocket and handed it to me so I could clean myself up while he stripped down to his pants and began to pull his suit on. As soon as I was cleaned and dressed again, I made sure I didn't look like a whore before exiting silently and waiting like a lady. Well, as much of a lady as I could be when my cheeks were red and I had Sherlock's cum sitting inside me. When he came out to look at himself in all the mirrors, I almost took him again.

Don't get me wrong, I love his button down and jeans look most of the time, but there's just something about a man in a three-piece suit that is delicious. 

I put my arms around him from behind and grinned at him in the mirror.

"You look sexy when you dress like your brother," I giggled. He scoffed.

"And you look like you want to eat me alive. Not like my brother, I would hope."

"I don't know," I joked, "I do love a man in a suit." He chuckled and turned to wrap me in his arms. I sighed and burried my face in his chest happily. "I'm going to miss this."

"I'll tell Mycroft how to take care of you, don't worry." I rolled my eyes.

"Sure. And I'll tell Janine to do everything you hate like a good girlfriend would. I don't want you thinking she gets to stay." He chuckled and bent down to give me a quick kiss on the lips. 

Soon the tailor was checking Sherlock's suit and making sure everything was in perfect order for him. I got a couple measurements off: the crotch measurements and the shoulders. My excuse, although I didn't say it, was because I normally saw his arms on either side of my head or holding my legs, and if I ever saw him in trousers lately, there was a tent. 

The reason I gave was that I guessed wrong, since I don't actually have a reason for why else I would have the measure of his crotch. It's not like I can tell the world I sleep with Sherlock Holmes. Sure, I have some notoriety for being John Watson's little sister who lived with the two of them, but other than that, nobody cared who I was unless they had an event that needed planning.

By ten thirty, we were out of there and due to pick up the altered suits on Wednesday, giving us two days to take care of them before the wedding. Sherlock and I hailed a cab while John walked down the street a few blocks. That was where the dance school was, after all. 

"So, care to go do a bit of dancing of our own?" I asked Sherlock. He grinned and shook his head.

"Let's go to lunch first. You need to eat. You didn't eat much yesterday, and you've not touched a thing today. You need to eat. And then I am taking you to buy a dress for yourself. Nothing you have is appropriate for your brother's wedding." I rolled my eyes.

"Fine, but when we get home, I'm doing what I want to your body."

"Fine."

And that's precisely what I did. I took his riding crop and used it on him like he used it on a corpse, then had my way with him until neither of us could go anymore. 

I woke up early in the morning and found Sherlock still asleep, resting peacefully and adorably. He had his arms around me and I used his arm as a pillow. Sherlock was snoring softly, his eyes darted back and forth under his eyelids, and he was breathing calmly through his nose. I grinned sleepily at the way his hair flipped onto his forehead and into his eyes, the way his beautiful, swollen lips were parted, and the way he didn't seem worried or deep in thought for the first time in weeks. My gaze drifted downward to his neck and I caught sight of something that made me stifle a laugh.

Sherlock Holmes had a hickey.

I curled back up against him and smiled to myself, knowing full-well that I had put it there and that there were probably several on me as well. However, I wasn't the one who had to give a speech at a wedding in a week. Sherlock wouldn't even notice it or worry about it, even if someone pointed it out to him.

His eyes fluttered open and he held me tighter. He knew I was already awake, but gave me the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to go back to sleep before he realized something.

"John wanted me to come over today," Sherlock sighed. "He wants me to look over the rest so that you won't have to. You stay in bed today, I'll go tell them what they need to know."

"Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective and consulting wedding planner. We could go into business together and just call ourselves ''The Consultants," I sighed as he got out of the bed. "Have fun. And thank you so much!" I rolled over to go back to sleep while he got dressed, and by the time I was dozing off again, he he was walking down the stairs.

Chapter Text

I came in from grocery shopping with Mrs. Hudson on Wednesday to find Sherlock explaining the duties of a ring bearer to Archie. It was kinda cute, to be honest. He seemed to be really good with children.

"How are you boys doing?"

"Fine. He's agreed to be the ring bearer as long as I share things from cases with him."

"Beheadings!" Archie said excitedly. I gave Sherlock a look and he grinned at me. There were voices in the hall and I smiled to myself.

"I think your mum is on her way, Archie. We'll see you at the rehearsal!" I helped him get his jacket and shoes as his mother came up the stairs.

"Thanks so much for watching Archie, Sherlock," the woman called from the stairwell. As soon as they were gone and Mrs. Hudson's door was shut downstairs, I slid into Sherlock's lap and started peppering his face with kisses.

"Can I help you, Grace?" He seemed agitated.

"We have three more days, Sherlock," I whined. "Then we won't be able to see each other anymore. I'll be stuck with your brother, and that's no fun." He sighed and pulled back to look at me.

"I'm sorry, but this case is just bothering me too much."

"Then let me help, I'm good at this stuff." He sighed and pulled his laptop closer so I could see. I turned around in his lap and examined the chat that was going on. "You're talking to these kinds of people? Oh my God! This woman had better back off, or I'll come through this screen and rip out her dyed hair by the black roots!" Sherlock chuckled and pressed a kiss below my ear.

"It's cute when you're jealous." 

"Then I guess I'm a fucking model at this point because I really don't want you to be with Janine."

"Don't worry, I'll be thinking of you the entire time." I lightly punched his arm and sighed.

"Check out of they all have any secrets or not. By the way, how did the stag night go? I noticed you were gone all night."

"We did a pub crawl, and Lestrade had to pick us up and hold us until we were sober. Nothing exciting happened." I laughed.

"You getting drunk? I never thought that would happen. And I missed it!"

"You didn't miss much. But that's also where this case came from."

"Okay but you have to promise to drink with me right after the wedding. I'll leave before you and get the alcohol, then when it's over, you come and we drink. Okay?" He sighed and pressed his forehead against my back.

"Fine. But only to celebrate our last night together." I grinned and took his hands that were wrapped around my waist. I was going to miss this the most. Sure, I'd miss the wild sex, but these tender moments... Him barely being awake and snuggling closer to me even though he knew I had to get up, him holding me like this and not letting me get up, just moments that were cute and fluffy. Kinda like in those fanfictions I've read online. Person A and person B just being together and being cute when no one else was watching.

I closed my eyes and sighed before I took his arms from around me and stood up. He looked confused and I just pulled him over to the sofa. He knew exactly what to do, and soon we were both sitting in a corner of the couch, me curled up next to him, and Sherlock holding me and running his fingers through my hair like a comb. I picked up a book that was sitting on the coffee table and started reading aloud from it like I normally did when we sat like this. 

I wanted to stay in this moment forever. There was no pressure to move, no fear of someone walking in, and no problems with how we did things. This was probably the most intimate we could ever be. Just sitting with my back against his side, his hands moving slowly through my hair, and the only thing we could hear was my voice and the occasional car in the street. If someone were to walk in right now, all that would happen would be Sherlock's hands stilling and my voice stopping. But we could remain like this for as long as we wanted. 

But things like this were destined to end. My phone started ringing and when I picked up, it was the tailor. The suits were ready.

"I have to go pick up your suits, but I'll be back."

"You need an assistant."

"No point. After this wedding, I'm shutting down, remember? I'll give all my planning things to someone else, and my canvases are going to live in the room upstairs by themselves until I get back." I stood up, went to use the loo, and came back through to give Sherlock a quick peck on the forehead. He had picked up the book I was reading so he could read some. I never expected him to enjoy Lord of the Rings, but then again, I also didn't expect him to care about me at all. 

The trip to the tailor was short and quick, but when I got back to the flat, John was there and he was worried.

"Gracie I don't know if I can do this." I hung the suits from the top of the door (since it was standing open, as usual) and put my hands on John's shoulders.

"John Hamish Watson," I began, "you can absolutely marry this woman. She is the girl of your dreams, she loves you, and she is just as scared as you are. How long have you lived together?"

"About five months, why?"

"That is usually the length of the honeymoon type period after the wedding when you two are so in love, so you're basically going to have a ten month honeymoon. It's going to be great. And don't you think that if you can survive burning fires, war injuries, and losing Sherlock the first time, you can get through a ceremony so you can keep living with the woman you love?" He sighed and look down before nodding.

"Thanks, Grace. But are you sure it's going to be okay?"

"Absolutely. I have seen so many brides and grooms second guess themselves that it has made me into a lre-marriage counselor as well as a planner. You can do this. If Sherlock can come back from the dead and keep his shit together long enough to see you get married, I think you can do this. Hundreds of people do this every day, you are going to be fine on Saturday. I promise." John hugged me and I handed him his suit.

"I think I'll go see Mary," he announced. I reclaimed my place on the sofa next to Sherlock and took the book from him, and his hands went immediately back to my hair. "Good Lord, doeaking of domestic bliss, when did all this happen?" I shrugged.

"What, you never just sit down with Mary and read?" 

"Not really," he admitted.

"You ought to try it John, it's much more intimate and fulfilling than sex," Sherlock commented. I blushed and hi my face with the book, and John chuckled.

"Oh, right. But I thought you hated being touched, Sherlock."

"Only by people I don't normally have physical contact with. Her touching me is just a normal thing now. I've learned to accept it."

"Accept it? What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, setting the book down and moving to sit more by myself.

"I mean that since you insist upon us having physical contact, that I have stopped trying to stop you, as I realize you will persist if you are denied. Just letting it happen saves time and effort." I knew he was just trying to make it look like we were in less domestic bliss and more just being domestic, but this still bothered me.

"Oh, well would you like it better if I didn't bother then?" 

"It would keep me from getting distracted from my work, yes." I rolled my eyes and stood from the couch to go make tea. 

"John you should probably go. You being here isn't helping him be less of a drama queen." John sighed, kissed my cheek, and headed out with his suit in hand. As soon as the door downstairs was shut, I heard Sherlock jump to his feet.

He practically ran into the kitchen to pull me in to hug him. He held me as tight as he could and kept apologizing in my ear.

"Sherlock I know it was just for show so that we can let this go easier, but it still hurt. I didn't realize you felt that way."

"While it is true that I do not often care for touching or anything, with you it's different. I don't put up with your touch, I need it. I want it. You are one of the few people who can touch me without my objections." He kissed my cheek and pulled back to examine my face. There were tears starting to spill over my cheeks. "Darling, please don't cry. Please." 

"Sorry. I don't know why I'm crying." I wiped my eyes and Sherlock pulled me closer so that I was flush against him, my hands pressed against his chest. I felt the cool fabric of his white button down beneath my fingertips and tried to stop crying, but it was hard. Sherlock, upon realizing that I was still crying, picked me up in his arms and carried me back over to the sofa.

He laid down and tugged at my arm so that I would lay down on him, and he held me close. I eventually stopped crying and then we just laid there in each other's arms.

"Sherlock I don't want to leave you. I don't think I can." He rubbed my back and sighed.

"Mycroft will take care of you. As much as I hate him, he keeps his word and can protect you as well as I can, if not better." 

"I'm not worried about that, Sherlock. And I know you won't stay with Janine after the case because I think you'd get tired of her, especially her voice. I just don't think I'll be able to leave you as easily as you think."

"I'll be by to visit. I haven't visited my brother... Ever. But I am willing to make exceptions for you, and I'm sure he'd let me." I sighed and slid off of him and to the floor. 

"Sherlock, I know that you're doing everything you can to make sure things go right, and I appreciate it. I just wish there was another way."

"I do too. But there's not so I'm afraid we'll have to make the best of the situation." Someone cleared their throat in the doorway and I turned to see Mycrift standing in the doorway.

"Grace, I was wondering if you knew precisely when you would be coming to stay with me?"

"Monday morning, she will be standing outside, waiting for your car to come pick her up. And Mycroft, please know that I am going to come over on occasion to make sure you are treating her right." I sat in silence as Sherlock spoke.

"I asked Grace, Sherlock. Not you. My dear, what time Monday morning will you be ready? I will be sending a car, after all, and if I leave it parked outside of Baker Street for too long, there is a chance that some people would become suspicious."

"Probably around eight in the morning. I'd like to start work as soon as I get there."

"Very well. And you're sure you wish to work for me? I am almost as demanding as Sherlock." I laughed.

"If I can handle him, I can handle anything." 

 

Boy was a wrong about that.

Chapter Text

As the afternoon rolled by on Friday, I started feeling restless. Sherlock was wrapped in the sheet from the bed upstairs, meaning that he was naked underneath. Hm... I suddenly had an idea.

While he was seated at his computer doing research on something, I slipped into my bedroom and dug in a box under my bed. From it, I pulled the handcuffs that Sherlock broke apart, some black lengire that I bought without telling Sherlock, and his riding crop that I stole from him.

I took all the items and locked myself in the bathroom so I could shower, dry off completely and blow dry my hair, and get dressed in the skimpy underwear. I locked the separated cuffs aronmund my wrists and slipped back into the bedroom to take his purple shirt from its place in the closet. After buttoning it so that the underwear was concealed, I picked up the riding crop and waltzed back into the sitting room. I put a hand on Sherlock's shoulder and got his attention. He raised an eyebrow when he saw me wearing his shirt, broken cuffs and holding his riding crop.

"Can I help you?" I smiled and slid into his lap, facing him and teasing his cheekbones with the leather tip of his favorite toy. It was his favorite when I used it on him, but we still had to work on him getting to punish me. His eyes slipped shut and I felt him begin to harden underneath me. I ground my hip down and he took in a sharp breath.

"I think you can help me, Mr. Holmes. See, my boyfriend is leaving me, and I want him to miss me when I go to live with his brother. What do you say?"

"I think," he breathed, "that you are misbehaving."

"So what if I am," I murmured in his ear before sucking his earlobe into my mouth and grazing my teeth over it.

"Then you're going to be punished, Miss Watson." He gripped my waist and pushed me so that I had to let go of his ear. "Let's see... Interrupting me while I'm working, stealing my riding crop and handcuffs, not wearing much underneath the shirt... I'd say you're being quite naughty today."

"What are you gonna do about it?" I was daring him, practically begging him to do something. He smirked and took the toy from my hands, running his long fingers along it and cracking it againt his chair sharply.

"If you are going to behave like a child, then you ought to be punished like one." He was completely hard now. He liked to take control sometimes even though he usually wasn't really one to play for power. 

"And what if I squirm and try to get away?"

"Then I'll have to restrain you before you're punished. You must learn your lesson somehow, right?" Sherlock's face had no emotion on it, but I could see his pupils dilating and I could feel him pressing up at me. His best man speech would say he didn't believe in emotions, and as far as everyone else knew, that was true. I was the only one he'd let his guard down for.

He let his sheet fall from his shoulders as he teased at the back of my neck with the riding crop. I lazily draped my arms around his neck and pressed a kiss to his lips, and he quickly smacked his weapon onto my thigh. I squeaked and frowned at him playfully.

"You aren't going to enjoy yourself, darling. Naughty girls aren't meant to enjoy their punishments."

"Oh, I'm sure this is going to be agony." There was a deep growl coming from the back of his throat and he quickly pushed me off of his lap before pulling me to lay across him. His hard dick was pushing into my abdomen, and I wriggled in anticipation. He took in a sharp breath as he pushed his shirt up to reveal the black lace panties I was wearing.

"You purchased these a long time ago, but are only now wearing them. You were saving them for a special occasion. I sighed and pinched his arm.

"As sexy as your deductions are, we were in the middle of something. If you're going to deduce, wait until after and whisper them into my ear like sweet nothings." He cleared his throat and finished pushing the shirt up half my back, not quite to the bra clasp.

"Now you're criticizing my methods, darling. That's another strike against you." He teased at the exposed part of my ass cheeks with the leather tip and gave me a few quick taps before he leaned down to whisper to me. "What was the safe word, darling?"

"Murder," I whispered. He ran his fingers through my hair once before I felt the stick smack against my ass quickly and harshly. I yelped and held onto his sheet-covered thigh as he rained blow after blow down onto me. Never in the same spot twice, spreading the pain evenly across my behind. I would moan and yell, and he took that as a sign to keep going.

"Have you been punished enough yet?" he demanded, continuing his abuse.

"Yes!" I cried out. I felt the knot in my stomach beginning to release, and soon a wave of pure ecstasy was flooding over me. It had never felt this good to be spanked.

"Are you going to do it again?"

"No!" He slowed his swats as I came and dropped his crop to the floor before carefully turning me over in his lap so I was facing him. My breathing was slowing and I gripped his shoulders as I sat up. "Sherlock..."

"Yes?" He ran his thumb across my cheek and held me close.

"Fuck me, Sherlock." His eyes darkened and he swept me up into his arms, discarding the rest of the sheet and carrying me into the bedroom. I unbuttoned the shirt I was wearing and tossed it to the floor before we made it to the bed. He tossed me down and laid over me quickly. He was hard and probably more than ready to get going. He glanced at my chest only briefly before yanking down my underwear and clamping his teeth onto my neck.

I reached back to unhook my bra and slid it from my body as Sherlock worked his way down. He sucked one if my nipples into his mouth and bit it slightly, making me gasp and causing my back to arch towards him. He switched sides and then began to hungrily bite down my entire body. When he nipped at my inner thigh, I was writing and in the verge if release again. He slipped his fingers into me and curled them against me while rubbing my clit, and I almost immediately came. My shouts filled the room and Sherlock licked his fingers clean after pulling them out of me.

"You always taste so good," he mused. "I'm a bit jealous. I hope you won't let anyone else have a taste." I shook my head and Sherlock carefully climbed back over me to position himself at my entrancre. "I want this to be special for you, Gracie," he murmured against my ear. He was right against me when he laid himself more fully onto my body and held me carefully as he pushed in slowly. I gasped and he groaned as his hips hit mine. He gazed into my eyes darkly as he began to move his hips, pulling and pushing, rocking and swivelling. I moaned gently and wrapped my arms around his torso. I dug my fingers into his back as he thrusted harder, each time getting a little more rough and a little less caring. 

He twitched inside of me and began to pump faster and harder. He pulled one of my hand from behind him and entwined our fingers, holding onto me so tight his knuckles turned white. He groaned and I came as I felt his seed spray into me. He emptied himself inside if me and held himself there for a moment to catch his breath. He eased his grip on my hand and pulled out of me, rolling us and holding onto my hand gently. He pressed his lips against my knuckles and held me as tight as possible.

"For someone who doesn't believe in emotions," I breathed, "you sure are good at making love." He chuckled and pressed his lips to my forehead.

"And for someone who doesn't think she'll ever get married, your husband will have an excellent wedding night." I tucked my head under his chin and breathed in his scent. "Assuming you do actually marry, that is. However, where things are now, you may be right." I looked up at him with a raised eyebrow. "What I mean by that, Grace, is that you don't need to get married for someone to know that you love them. You are wonderful at expressing it on your own." He rolled us again so that I was laying on top of him, and I listened to the hard beating in his chest. When you weren't you close to him, you couldn't tell if he had a heart. I guess you'd have to be as close to him as I am to know that he's capable of caring.

 

I rolled over in the morning and heard the sound of a violin. I knew Sherlock had been composing for the wedding, but it didn't make sense for him to be practicing this early.

I slid out if bed and set my bare feet on the cold, wooden floor. I smiled down at my toes and sighed. I would miss this floor, as dumb as it sounds. So many memories involved with it. 

Sherlock and I standing by the microscope on the day we met, and realizing just how much taller he was. Me dancing in my room and Sherlock laughing when I fell, then joining me and convincing John to dance with us. Sitting on the floor with Lestrade and drinking together. A those times we were intimate and on our knees, pleasuring each other. The wooden floor of 221b was a big part of my life. It caught me when I collapsed after the fall, it would cradle me when all I could do was lay there and cry. It was a place to lay, a place to sit with friends. This floor is one of the things I'd miss the most.

I stood and walked into the sitting room to find Sherlock practicing his dancing to the piece he had composed. I just leaned in the doorway, content to watch. He was as nervous about the wedding as anyone. His best friend had moved out and was moving into a new chapter of his life, one that didn't involve Sherlock as much as the previous one. He cared about John, even if he didn't want to admit it.

I heard my phone ringing in the other room, so I went to check. It was Mary. She needed me to come over as quickly as possible. 

I got dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, shoved my nice clothes, deodorant and shower things into a duffel bag, and tried to sneak out. Sherlock caught me, though, and gave me a loving kiss before letting me go.

"I love you," he sighed. I smiled and kissed his cheek.

"I love you too, Curly. I'll probably come back before the wedding but I don't know."

"IdI like for you to help me get dressed, if possible." I rolled my eyes.

"Just go back to dancing with yourself." I hurried down the stairs and caught a cab to Mary's. Her bridesmaids weren't here yet and she was in the toilet, throwing up and crying. After working in a bar for years, I was used to vomit, so I just held her hair back and grabbed a wash cloth.

Whenever she was done being sick, I washed her face and calmed her down.

"Mary, you're going to be fine. John is just as nervous as you are, he's just too scared to call Sherlock for help. Honestly, I would be too at this point."

"I don't know if I can do this, Gracie."

"Yes, you can, Mary Morstan. You've put up with John this long, don't back down now! You are the bravest woman I know, just beating Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock's mother." She coughed and laughed, and I wiped the tears from her face.

"Thanks, love. And I'm sorry you had to come all the way here."

"It was either this or listen to Sherlock rant about how dumb weddings are. Honestly, if I didn't love him, I would have killed him by now." 

"I know, but you two are so sweet together, even when you're having problems." I sighed and smiled at her. 

"Are you going to be okay now? Or do you want me to wait with you until Janine gets here?"

"No, you can go. I think my sickness passed. Wedding jitters, I guess." I wiped her face one last time before kissing her cheek.

"I'll see you later, Mrs. Watson," I called as I walked out. I checked my watch. It was eight in the morning.

I got a taxi back to Baker Street and made it in just as Mrs. Hudson was leaving the flat, apparently having just had an awkward conversation with Sherlock. He was standing in front of the wardrobe, staring at his suit.

"Hey," I said, walking up behind him and wrapping my arms around his waist. He squeezed my hands and rubbed my forearms gently.

"Time to go into battle," he murmured. "Still haven't caught the Mayfly Man."

"Don't worry about that today, Sherlock. Please? I want us to get through this with the only problem being our fight that isn't really a fight. Please?" He sighed and nodded before removing my hands from his waist and pulling me around so he could see me.

"Do something for me when you get to Mycroft's. Will you?"

"What is it?"

"Don't hesitate to text at any time. Anything you want to send me, I won't get upset. And I'll send the same to you, alright?" I nodded and stood on my toes to kiss his lips.

"Also, give him Hell for me, I don't get the chance to do it enough." I giggled and hugged him as tight as I could before going to get dressed. Sherlock had bought this dress for me. It was light blue with dustings of gold here and there, and the flowing skirt went down to my mid-calf. The bodice was modest, not showing much cleavage at all, which I was thankful for. The sleeves were wide starps that covered about half of my shoulder. He didn't bother getting any jewelery since I wouldn't wear it anyway, buy the sandals that went with the dress were cute and surprisingly comfy.

I helped Sherlock get his suit straight (ehich meant making sure he didn't have his collar standing up) and then went into the bathroom. As this was a special occasion, I decided to wear some make-up. But since I never really wore it, I had a hard time doing it. Sherlock came in and saw my struggling, so he washed my face and had me sit on the toilet while he sat on the side of the tub and did my make-up.

"Sherlock, why do you know how to do this?" He told me to hush. I sighed and let him manipulate my face for a few more minutes before he told me I could look.

I looked just like myself, but with highlighted features. Less pale cheeks, fuller lips, more pronounced eyes and eyelashes. "This is the proper way make-up is done, if one wanted to wear it. The purpose of it is not to cover your face and make you into a new person, it is to highlight your best features to draw attention away from flaws. Yours was difficult because you have no flaws, though." I rolled my eyes.

"Kiss ass."

"Well, I want to keep you, don't I?"

"Yeah, because you can't suck yourself off."

"Ah, yes, if I could figure out a way to do that without removing any other body parts, I would imediately get rid of you. I can easily wake up with my arms wrapped around myself in the mornings." I giggled and wrapped my arms around his waist.

"You're cute when you're being sarcastic." 

 

A few hours later, I was watching as Mary walked down the aisle. You're supposed to watch the bride, but I was looking at John. Before he saw her, he looked nervous, but as soon as he set eyes in his radiant future wife, his eyes went wide and I could tell that he was starting to feel more at ease. He was happy! Sherlock blinked at Mary and his eyebrows were raised. Clearly, he was surprised to see her looking so beautiful as well. For the first time in months, I couldn't tell what he was thinking.

At the reception, I noticed Sherlock talking to Janine quietly, so I just tried to look like I was facing happiness and went to sit with Lestrade.

"Heya, sweets. Why aren't you up there with John and Sherlock? Aren't you...?"

"I told Mary I wouldn't be a bridesmaid. I'm just another face in the crowd here." 

"But we aren't starting yet, I thought you's be over there making sure Sherlock behaved." I shook my head.

"He doesn't need me to do that. He is perfectly capable," I replied. I sounded pissed off, and I was glad.

"You two having problems? I didn't think Sherlock would ever have relationship problems."

"You didn't think he'd ever have a relationship at all, Greg." He blinked at me and cracked a smile.

"Something must be wrong. You actually got my name right!" I laughed a little and looked around at the table decorations. "Nice decorations, eh?"

"They ought to be, I say up for two nights straight making them." He looked surprised.

"You did these? Wow! I didn't realize you were so artsy."

"You knew I had a whole room of canvases, Greg!" 

"Yeah but I thought that was more of a hobby, something for fun." I shrugged.

"It is fun. It's just weird to actually see them in place instead of in a box. I never come to events I plan, so this is really new to me."

"Well, conratulations to you, and to your brother." Attention was called and Sherlock and I mad eye contact from across the room. I nodded to him and took a sip of my wine. "Have you had a drink since we last celebrated?" Lestrade asked. I shook my head.

"I only drink when you're around. You keep me from doing things I'll regret." He chuckled.

"Don't say I never did anything for you, I guess." We listened as Sherlock spoke. He first insulted weddings and basically everyone in the room, then clarified his meaning. He is dismissive of the virtuous, ignorant of the beautiful, and blind to the happiness of other. As true as that sounded, I knew better. He went on to tell stories about John, but paused and dropped his glass. 

I held my breath. He was about to solve a murder that didn't happen yet. In the middle of his best man speech. Is this what he wants us to fight about? Because I don't think I can do that.

 

Eventually, his speech ended and we toasted the happy couple. After the meal, we all went into a sort of ballroom, and I stood off to the side with Molly while Sherlock played the song he composed for them. It was beautiful, but he looked so sad as they waltzed. When the song ended and more.upbeat music began to play, Sherlock and I walked out to another room. Janine followed, and he had Lestrade go to catch up with the photographer. He was, apparently, the Mayfly Man.

Sherlock ignored me for the most part, but then had me come over. 

"You're upset," he stated simply. I played along and crossed my arms. "Have you thought at all about what I said before the wedding?"

"What, that you'd be happy when you could live on your own again? Yeah, I did. And I get your meaning."

"Clearly you don't. I meant that I would look forward to living without someone less intelligent than I am." I blinked at him and I made tears come up. It's a good thing I'm an excellent actor.

"No, don't do that. Don't try and make it sound less like an insult. Sherlock, I have put up with you for months, hoping you'd stop acting all high and mighty and that maybe things could go back to normal, but it's like you don't even care about me anymore."

"Sentiment always hurts, Grace. Especially when you get attached to the wrong person." 

"I know that, Sherlock. And thank you for reminding me." I grabbed my purse and brushed past him, out of the room and towards Mary and John.

"Congratulations, you two. I'm really happy for you!"

"Dear, why are you crying?" Mary asked. I dabbed at my eyes with a tissue.

"No reason. I'm just... Er... I'll be leaving Baker Street. I'll be somewhere else by Monday afternoon."

"Gracie, what happened? What did Sherlock do to you?" John demanded. I shook my head and smiled.

"Nothing. It was my fault. I pushed him too hard." I drew in a shuddering breath. "I'll see you two after the honeymoon, then." I hugged them both and turned away quickly, pretending to keep crying when really I was just trying to get the make up off my eyes. When I turned back to find Sherlock, he was dancing with Janine. I smirked at them and hurried out to my car.

When I made it back to Baker Street, I stripped, washed, and then pulled on my pajamas. I hit play on my music and grabbed my suitcase out of the top of the closet. 

This was it. I was packing up to leave. I set my clothes inside the suitcase neatly and zipped it shut, leaving out enough clothes to get me to Monday. But let's be honest, there would be much clothing worn between now and then. I then grabbed a box from when Sherlock's things were packed away and started nearly putting my photos and knick-knacks in it. I didn't have much, despite living here for nearly three years. Most of what I had was staying here or being given away, since it was either a canvas or something related to my old job as a planner. 

Once my box was closed and sealed, I went upstairs to my little art studio in an empty closet and looked at the plain canvas sitting on the easel. This was the one I started right before Sherlock showed up. It was just black. 

I took it out, grabbed some brushes, and carried the easel downstairs to the flat. By the time I got there, Sherlock was standing there in his suit, staring at the box and frowning.

"Excellent acting, Grace. Really, I almost believed you." I shrugged and set up my painting.

"I hope you didn't really believe me, because I have some plans for our last weekend together."

"As do I. Although, Janine found a man after our dance. However, there is still a chance she'll call and want to get together. Her chosen partner seemed boring." I rolled my eyes.

"As nice as she was to me, I still don't like her." He went into the bedroom and came out a few minutes later in his own pajamas. 

"So what are you doing with your canvas?"

"I don't know. I might paint you. Or the room so I remember it."

"If you need a model, just say so." I nodded and he picked up his violin. "Does Mrs. Hudson know about our fight?"

"I don't think so. We should tell her."

"No! We can't do that, we'll tell her you're going to visit friends in Ireland. We don't know when you'll be back, so we are breaking it off to make it less stressful for each other, and make it clear that we are free to see other people until you get back." I hummed and nodded.

"She'd buy it. She won't approve, obviously, but she'll buy it." I took out my lighter paints and a fan brush and got to work. I looked over at the skull on the mantle and smiled. That's what I would paint. I moved closer to the object and examined it carefully, tracing over it carefully with my fingers.

I memorized the way my hand moved over it, and copied it onto the canvas. This would be a painting I took with me. I did the outline in a thin brush, then began filling it in. I put grey where there were holes and line, and I made it really pop out of the canvas. It took almost an hour to do, and the whole time Sherlock played the violin. It was soothing, and I honestly felt better. I's miss moments like this, too. When we were just together, but not exactly doing the same thing. We were just in comfortable indifference towards one another's presence.

We heard the door being to open downstairs, and I quickly put away my paints and brushes and Sherlock put down his violin. I left the canvas, where it was and ran into the bedroom to pretend I was asleep. Sherlock locked himself in the bathroom. You'd think we were two teenagers who almost got caught making out! 

Mrs. Hudson called up to us, and Sherlock went downstairs to lie through his teeth. 

When he came back, he came straight into the bedroom and slid between the sheets next to me. This was going to be the exact opposite of a lazy weekend.

Chapter Text

"Have fun in Ireland, dear!" Mrs. Hudson exclaimed as I hugged her. I had already put my things into the car Mycroft sent, so she didn't know I was taking everything I owned. Sherlock stood patiently, waiting for his hug. As soon as he had me, his arms were around me and my face was burried into his chest.

"If I meet someone else, you're gonna be okay with it?"

"Of course. You know I'm not one for emotional attachment. And if I meet someone else, I expect you to extend me that same courtesy." We both laughed at this, but deep down inside, I was worried that he would actually fall for Janine.

"We both know you wouldn't want to meet someone else. You think people are boring."

"You never know, maybe you've changed me. Go have fun, I'll be here if you decide to come back." I kissed his lips softly and hugged him one more time before I walked out and got into the black car that was waiting. 

An involuntary tear slid down my face as we pulled away from Baker Street. It had a sense of finality, but I knew it wasn't going to be forever.

 

When I made it to Mycroft's house, he met me at the door and insisted on taking my box up to my room. It wasn't necessary, but he wanted to be a gentleman.

"I need you to be aware if something, Miss Watson," he said as we walked up the stairs. "I did not bring you here to be my secretary or personal assistant. I already have one of those. I am simply doing this as a favor to Sherlock. He can never know, of course."

"Mycroft, I came here to work, not to be looked after." He sighed.

"I have done extensive research on you, April." I flinched. He knew my first name, but I wasn't used to being called by it. "I have discovered that you have several self-destructive tendencies that would cause great suffering should you act on them. I've been informed that you were a drug addict, you are a reformed alcoholic, and you suffered from severe depression in your teenage years, resulting in several attempts at harming yourself. You were forced to leave your sister's home and you were left by your fiancee because you were too much of a risk to keep around. Living with Sherlock and being the responsible one has helped to rehabilitate you." I hung my head. 

"Still, I don't think I need to be looked after. I came to work, and that's what I intend to do."

"No, April. You are under my charge. If you just needed somewhere to work, you would have stayed in the basement flat at Baker Street, but you subconsciously know you need someone to take care of you." I glared up at him.

"I don't like you, and I never will."

"I assumed as much. This is your room. My bedroom is right down the hall. Stay out of there if you wish to survive our time together. I'll leave you to get settled in. Sherlock tells me you like to do that sort of thing." He set down my box on the bed and left me alone in the room, closing the door behind him carefully.

"I don't like this," I said to no one. With a sigh, I started unpacking my suitcase into the wardrobe that stood on the left wall. It was too spacious, so the drawers were half full and when everything was hung, it didn't take up much space. Oh well. 

I went to unpack my box of items and then looked at the shelves near the bed. So many books were on the shelves, but there were spaces that looked like the perfect sizes for picture frames, as if he knew I was going to be sentimental.

As soon as I opened the box, I gasped and got the biggest grin on my face I had ever had. Sherlock had snuck his skull into the top of the box. I picked it up and held it at eye-level. Sherlock wasn't sentimental, but he wouldn't give up his skull. Ever.

I pulled out my phone and just had to text him.

Thanks for the skull! I'll take good care of it for you! <3

A few seconds later, he answered.

I know you will. I trust you. -SH

 

I miss you already, love.

 

I'll see you soon. -SH

I set my phone down and sighed before placing the skull on the nightstand. I went to unpack the rest of the box and put my photographs on the shelf. I sat on the bed and just looked around the room. Sure, I could live here for a while. But I wanted to go back home as soon as possible.

 

The first two weeks at Mycroft's were spent with me trying to figure out how to not be in the way, but to be useful and not stay cooped up in my room. I figured he didn't have much time to clean up in the house, so when I got bored, I cleaned. Just like at home. I usually woke up with a headache or cramps, but I wasn't on my period, so I didn't know what was wrong. Probably just stress and anxiety.

One night, after I had gone to bed, I felt really weird, so I texted Sherlock.

 

I feel funny. Stomach pains, headaches, and empty feelings in my abdomen.

 

Are you eating like you're supposed to? -SH

 

Yes. It feels weird in my head too.

 

Are you nauseous? -SH

 

No

 

I think I know your problem. Are you feeling horny, perhaps? -SH

I sighed and laid back in the bed. Was I? I guess I was. I hadn't really thought about it since I got here, so I just didn't realize it.

I think so. What should I do?

 

Look in your box, then call me on Skype. I've got the place to myself tonight. -SH

 

I got out of the bed and opened up my half-empty cardboard box. I sighed through in it even though I didn't know exactly what I was looking for. Then I found it. 

Sherlock really had thought of everything! I licked my lips and walked back to the bed with the toy in my hand. The vibrating dildo we used. I grabbed my laptop and called Sherlock as I laid back down.

"Can I help you?" Sherlock asked when he answered. I giggled. I hadn't seen him in two weeks, but it looked like he quit shaving and wasn't doing very well. But he kept a smile on.

"What did I do to deserve you?"

"Probably something horrible, since I'm technically cheating on you with a woman I will never care about." I rolled my eyes at his words.

"Sherlock, you know what I mean. Thank you for taking such good care of me."

"I haven't done anything yet."

"Then get to it, mister." He grinned and I pushed my blankets down the bed so they wouldn't be in the way.

"Do you have it with you?" I held it up and he smirked. "Good. First I want you to touch yourself. Get yourself ready." I took off my shorts and underwear and blushed as I let my fingers take their familiar path through my folds. He watched my every movement and I knew he was having a hard time. I ran my fingers along my clitoris and my wetness, experimentally dipping my middle finger into myself. I let out a sigh and then looked to Sherlock.

"Very good. Are you ready?" I nodded and picked up my little toy. "Don't switch it on yet, love. Just tease yourself. Push it in slowly." As he spoke, I did what he said. "Close your eyes and think back to when we would have fun. How far in is it?"

"I think it's halfway in," I whimpered. I couldn't make a lot of noise if I didn't want Mycroft to catch me. 

"Alright. Once it's in, I want you to pull your laptop closer to your head so you can hear me better and so I can see your face, love." I did as instructed. "Very good, love. Now, switch it on. I know you like to feel it vibrating inside your tight cunt." I shivered as I reached down and switched on the vibrator, not just because of the toy itself, but because of Sherlock's dirty talk. He's gotten better at it since I've been gone.

"What now?" I murmured, staring into his eyes as best I could.

"Just lay there and let me do the rest, darling. You can play with yourself more if you want to, but just watch me." He stood up and pushed his trousers and pants down his legs, and I watched his erection spring free. He sat back down and positioned his laptop better so I could watch him, and he started stroking himself while staring at me. As he pumped himself, I moaned and licked my lips. Damn, I just wanted to be next to him again!

He pumped faster and started groaning and cursing, signaling the closeness of his release. I felt the knot in my stomach let go and I shook as I came, my eyes squeezed shut and my insides clenching tightly around the vibrator as is continued to send pulse after pulse through me. Sherlock saw me and immediately came himself, spraying his cum into his hands.

"If you were here, I'd make you lick these clean." I wuickly reached down and turned off the toy and pulled it out of me carefully.

"If I was there, you wouldn't be using your hands," I corrected. 

"True. Do you feel better?" I nodded and put the dildo on my nightstand next to the skull. Then I got an idea. I pulled it onto the bed so Sherlock could see it and he raised an eyebrow at me.

"I really wish you were here, Sherlock. I wish you were mine." I ran my hand over the skull lovingly.

"I am yours. I'm just being borrowed by someone else. Don't worry, I'll save the best of myself for when you can come back." I sighed and looked down at my hands. Just thinking about Janine being close to Sherlock made me upset. "You don't like this. Don't worry, things are moving quickly, this should take only a few more weeks."

"Weeks. Sherlock, I really miss you. I just want to be with you."

"If I could come visit, I would. But I don't know when she will be back, and if I'm not here, it could compromise things."

"I know. And I know that your job needs to get done the right way. Don't worry about me, I'll be patient." He smiled at me and sighed.

"I want to kiss you."

"I want you to kiss me." He looked down and started typing something on his phone before looking back up.

"She's on her way back. She could be here any minute. I should go clean myself up from the mess you so beautifully made."

"Goodnight, Sherlock."

"I love you," he murmured in his deep, silky voice.

"I love you too." I exited the call and closed my laptop. I felt better, but I still missed Sherlock terribly. But this would only be a few more weeks! Not too long before I could see him again.

Thank God for video calls, right?

Chapter Text

The gunshot rang out in the flat and I groaned. Sherlock was at it again with the wall. Wasn't he on a case right now? 

As I came out of my sleepy state, though, I realized that I was not at Baker Street, that wasn't Sherlock, and that gunshot was really close by. I sprang up out of bed and grabbed my gun from the nightstand before slowly and silently making my way into the hall and down the stairs.

"April! What are you doing?" hissed Mycroft from behind me. He was doing the exact same thing I was. 

"What does it look like? I'm trying find out who's shooting!" I murmured in reply. He grabbed my arm and pulled me behind him.

"No. You are going to stay out of the line of fire."

"No, I am going to do the right thing!" I pushed past Mycroft and descended the stairs quickly and quietly. I could see the man. 

He was tall, built like a tank. He just had a hand-gun, but his attire said military. Scruffy face, unkempt hair. He was looking for something, someone.

I raised my gun and took a deep breath as I pulled the trigger. But I hadn't fired a gun in forever and I forgot to plant myself.

As I fell back, the bullet went into his arm, and he shouted and cursed at me. Thick Russian accent. I scrambled to my feet before Mycroft could come down the stairs, but the man shot in my direction. I dodged and fired at him again, hitting his other arm. He dropped his gun and I shot him in the leg so he couldn't get away.

"Who are you?" I demanded. "Who do you work for?" He spit in my face and I stepped on one of the bullet wounds I gave him, the one in his leg. "Who do you work for?" He just groaned in pain. I picked up the landline and called the police.

"Yes, can I speak toDetective Inspector Lestrade? It's an emergency. Yes, I know. Tell him it's Grace Watson, he'll answer." I was put on hold for a moment before a destraught sounding Lestrade picked up.

"Gracie, what happened? Where are you?"

"I'm at Mycroft's house. Look, send your most trustworthy officers and a forensics team. Don't tell John or Sherlock, and be completely discreet."

"What happened?"

"Nothing, just a break in. Which reminds me, bring an ambulance as well."

"Oh my God, is anyone hurt?"

"Yes, but dontdworry, it's the man who broke in." I glanced at Mycroft, who was glaring at me threateningly. "Maybe bring a body bag, Mycroft is giving me a murder look."

"Okay, I'll be there quick as I can, Grace. Just put your gun down and don't try anything."

"Do NOT tell the boys, got it? John thinks I'm in Ireland visiting friends and Sherlock doesn't need to worry." 

"Got it. See you soon." I hung up and kept my gun on the man.

"Now. The police are on their way. You can either tell me who sent you, or you can tell them." He snarled at me and Mycroft pulled on my arm.

"You can get off of him, April! You've already shot him, no need for torture."

"He isn't answering my questions, Mycroft. As much as I respect you and your house, this man needs to talk."

"He isn't going to, so you may as well stop, Grace!"

"Okay, Mycroft! Stop switching between my first name and my middle name, because it's really pissing me off. Just use Grace. I don't like being called April, and I never will, so stop it. Sherlock doesn't even know my first name, so you shouldn't either." He sighed and took my gun away just as we heard footsteps on the porch. 

"Gracie! Are you okay?" Lestrade asked as he rushed in. I was still standing on the burglar, so his words trailed off at the end and he was more confused than anything else.

"He's got a full in each arm and a bullet in his thigh. He's Russian, and he won't answer my questions."

"Dear Lord, Gracie, you can't just take this into your own hands."

"Why not? He shot first!"

"Just get off of him so we can take him. Was anything stolen?"

"No, Gregory, nothing was taken," Mycroft sighed. "Nothing but about two hours of sleep and a bit of sanity."

"How did he get in? I thought you locked everything up and had alarms."

"I suppose he had a man on the inside to let him in. I'll interrogate my staff and have the traitor taken care of. And Grace, next time I tell you to stay put, listen to me!" I rolled my eyes and snatched my gun back before Mycroft trudged upstairs and slammed a door.

"Weren't you supposed to be laying low?"

"Aren't you supposed to be faster?" He hugged me tight and sighed.

"Gracie, you can't draw this kind of attention to yourself. If you don't want John to know you're here, then stop it! And I'm guessing Sherlock needed you out of the picture for a case?"

"Yes, he needed to convince someone that he loves them so we're on a break." I looked down and sighed. "I want to go home, Greg."

"I know, sweets. I know. Don't worry, Sherlock is a genius. He'll solve this case before you know it. I better go and take care of things. I'll see you soon, yeah?"

"Sure," I sighed. "Good night, Gavin." He rolled his eyes.

"I swear, you do it on purpose now!" I giggled and locked the door behind him when he left. 

Back upstairs, Mycroft's door was standing open. Since this never happened, I went over to see what was the matter. I heard a grunt and a sigh before something clattered to the floor. Now I was scared.

I pushed the door open and saw Mycroft with a needle and a first aid kit. He was holding a bloodied bandage against his side. I had never seen him without his full suit on, so this was a little awkward.

"What happen? Did he shoot you?" He jumped and sighed. 

"Dammit, Grace! You shouldn't sneak up on someone like that!"

"Why didn't you tell Lestrade? He would have sent you in the ambulance!"

"I don't need the help of someone else." I rolled my eyes and came further into the room. He started to say something, but I shushed him and took the needle from him before threading it with sterile silk and taking out alcohol wipes. 

"I'm guessing you already dug the bullet out?"

"No bullet to dig out. Grazed me, my coat and the wall took most of the damage. This is just too deep not to stitch."

"I'm guessing this had happened before?" I asked, running my eyes over multiple scars on his torso. He hissed as I cleaned his wound and he gripped his sheets tight. "Don't be such a baby."

"Be gentle with me, I've been shot!"

"Grazed!"

"By a bullet!"

"You're such a child, Mycroft!" He opened his mouth to speak, but just hissed when I stabbed the needle into his side. "Hold still, or this will make it worse."

"I don't need your help, I can do it myself."

"You're worse than Sherlock," I spat. He stopped talking and just looked away. "Oh, are you gonna pout now?"

"I am not like Sherlock." I sighed as I continued to stitch him.

"I'm sorry, you're not like your brother. That was uncalled for. I'm sure Sherlock would he furious if I said that he was like you." He glanced down at my hands as I snipped off the needle and finished the stitches. "I assume you know to be careful and not stretch those?"

"Yes, I am aware of the protocol for stitches." I cleaned it up and threw out the needle and the rest of what I used.

"Get some sleep. Good night." He grabbed my arm and turned me to look at him as I got to the door.

"Thank you, Grace." He was being genuine, not patronizing. That was a first.

"You would do it for Sherlock, it's the least I could do. Good night." I pulled out of his grasp and shut the door on my way out.

 

The next week was spent with minimal contact between Mycroft and myself. We both seemed to be avoiding the awkward situation we were in. By the end of the next week, we were back on speaking terms. It was still weird, though.

"How are your stitches doing?" I asked. Mycroft sighed and pinched the bridge of his nise.

"They're fine. Stop asking."

"Gee, sorry if I'm concerned about your health and safety. Hang on, aren't you supposed to be the one looking after me? What happened to that, huh?" He rolled his eyes at me and returned to his newspaper. My phone went off and I looked to see a text from Sherlock.

Case nearly done. Taking final steps tonight. Be home between tonight and Tuesday evening, the kitchen has been ruined. -SH

 

I squealed and jumped out of my chair. Finally! I could go home in two days!

"Dear God, what is it with you and screaming? Even when you're in your room by yourself!" I didn't have time to be embarrassed about Mycroft hearing me masturbate, I was going home!

"Sherlock says I can come home by Tuesday!" He sighed and gave a small clap.

"Lovely. Now will you please stop? I'm trying to relax here." I ran upstairs and started to pack my things. I left out enough clothes to get me to Tuesday and put the rest in my suitcase before packing my box back up. I would leave out the skull and keep it with me, but the rest was getting out away. I decided to call John and let him know I was flying back home thus afternoon and would spend a day or so somewhere else so that Sherlock could get any other woman out of the picture before I made it home.

"Hey John!"

"Gracie! What's up? How's Ireland?"

"It's lovely. Actually, though, I'm flying back to London this afternoon."

"That's great! Have you told Sherlock? Do you need me to come pick you up?"

"I have told Sherlock, and that isn't necessary. I'm going to stay with a friend for a couple days to make.sure Sherlock gets any other women out of the flat."

"Funny you should say that, Gracie, because-"

"I gotta go, John! I'll see you when I get back to Baker Street!"

Chapter Text

No. No no no. No. No! I refused to believe this. I got a call from John on Monday night and immediately ran out of Mycroft's house. I didn't care how I got there, I needed to get to the hospital.

"Grace! Come back here and get in the car!" Mycroft shouted. Tears we're streaming down my face and I glared at Mycroft.

"Sherlock got shot!" I cried. "I gotta go see him! He might die!" Mycroft grabbed a set of keys and pushed me into the passenger seat before climbing into the driver's side and pulling away as fast as possible. I didn't even know he could drive.

I called Mrs. Hudson and told her I was on my way, that I had just gotten back and was going to surprise Sherlock, but that I'd just have to meet him at the hospital instead. Then I called Greg and he calmed me down.

"Lestrade I'm scared," I whimpered as I nervously picked at the skin of my throat. 

"I know, sweets. It'll be alright. Sherlock will pull through, he always does."

"But what if he doesn't? Greg, I can't lose him again! I did it once, and that was Hell, but this time he isn't going to come back." 

"Gracie, listen to me. I promise, as long as there are Watson's in this world, there will be a Sherlock. He cares about your family nose than his own at this point, and would try to come back from the dead to protect you. He cares more about you than he does anyone, and I know that for a fact. I'm going to meet you at the hospital."

"Okay. Thanks Greg."

"I'll see you soon, love." He hung up and I dropped my hand to my lap. Before long, we were pulling up to the hospital and I jumped out of the car before it had even stopped. I hit the ground at a sprint and headed straight for the front desk.

"What room is Sherlock Holmes in? It's an emergency." The woman tapped at the keyboard and glanced at me.

"Your relation to the patient?" What can I say? 

"Dammit, he's my fiance and he's been shot! Please, where is he?" She glanced at my shaking hands and sighed before telling me the room number. I ran fir the stairs, in too much of a hurry to wait for the elevator. I scaled them and made it to the right floor and began frantically searching for the room. His door was open and Janine was in there.

"Oh my God! Sherlock!" I ran in and tears we're streaming down my face. "What happened? Who did this?" His heart monitor jumped and spiked so fast that it set off an alarm.

"Well then," the Welsh woman huffed. "I'll be off now, Mr. Holmes. No hard feelings?"

"None at all," he breathed. Janine glared at me before sliding past the nurse, who was worried sick.

"What happened? Why is your alarm going off?" Her gaze turned to me, the crying, panting mess. "You. You we're running down the hall a minute ago. What are you doing, upsetting my patient?"

"Oh, leave her alone, she's here to see me."

"Only family can visit you, Mr. Holmes." 

"No, let her stay, she hasn't seen me in over a month and she just found out this morning that I was shot."

"Mr. Holmes, our policy is very strict. If she isn't family, she has to go." Sherlock glared at her and if looks could kill, she would have dropped dead.

"Miss Watson stays. Now get out." The nurse put her hands up and probably went to get her superior, but that would at least give us a few minutes. He sighed and pushed the button to make him sit up.

"Sherlock, what happened?" I sat in the chair next to his bed and he took my hand. He looked beaten and battered. Of course he did, he was shot in the chest! And who knows what else happened to him? At least he was alive!

"Just bad timing. I'm fine, love." I kissed his knuckles and felt a lump forming in my throat 

"By the way," I whispered. "I told the woman at the front desk that we were engaged so she would tell me where you were." He smirked and removed his hand from mine to put it against my cheek.

"You are evil," he chuckled. "Don't cry, please. I'm okay, really. I just have to let this heal up." I nodded and put my hand over his. 

"I missed you," I murmured. He smiled.

"I missed you too, love." His eyes lit up bit. "In that cabinet is my coat, could you bring it here?" I nodded and retrieved it for him. He dug in the pockets and grinned as he pulled his hand out. "Since we might be found out, maybe you should put this on." He opened a small velvet box and the tears I was holding back fell down my face. "ImInot really proposing right now, of course. I'll let you do that when you want to. However, you can wear the ring so they think we're engaged. I think it will fit."

Okay, in all honesty, my heart broke a little. I don't think Sherlock realized why I was crying, though. "Really, I'm going to be fine, Grace. No need to cry. Here." He took my hand and slid the ring onto my finger. 

"So I've gotta propose to you?" I asked with a fake smile.

"If you'd like to get married, yes. Based on the probability of me ever caring about another person, I'll most likely say yes." I looked into his uncomprehending eyes and swallowed my pride.

"Then marry me, Sherlock Holmes." He blinked up at me and his heart monitor spiked again. At least I knew he was feeling something now. His mouth opened and closed as he tried to form words. 

"That was unexpected," he finally breathed. "I thought you would start going on about how you're against marriage."

"No, Sherlock. Not this time. I thought you were going to die today. I don't want to be away from you anymore. I want to live at Baker Street with you and be Mrs. Holmes and I want to be there if this ever happens again." He nodded.

"Okay then. Since I can't promise this won't happen again, I guess I will marry you." I leaned over and kissed him softly as the nurse was coming back in. 

"Miss, visiting hours are over, you need to leave so Mr. Holmes can get his rest. Without rest, he won't get better." Sherlock glared at the woman.

"I already said that she stays. She stays, or I leave." 

"You can't do that, sir..."

"Watch me." I put a hand on his shoulder.

"No, Sherlock, I can come back tomorrow." He started to protest but I kissed his forehead and squeezed his hand. "The nurse is right. Get some sleep, and I will come see you first thing tomorrow."

 

But that wasn't going to happen. When I went back with John and Lestrade, Sherlock was gone. Just gone!

"What do you mean you list him?!?" I demanded as the bursetried to explain. "How can you possibly have lost him!"

"I'm sorry, miss, I wasn't on duty when it happened." I groaned and turned to go back to the car.

"Grace, where are you going?" Lestrade demanded.

"I'm going to find my sociopath fiance!" I stormed out and got a cab to Baker Street. He wasn't there, but Mary was.

"Have you seen Sherlock? He isn't at the hospital!" She checked her phone and sighed.

"No, but I think I know where he might be, love. You stay here, I'm going to go get him. Rest, you've had such a bad time." She hugged me and sent me down the hall to my old room.

As soon as she eat gone, I tried calling Sherlock. He picked up on the third ring.

"Sherlock! Where the fuck are you?! ImI worried sick!"

"It's fine, Grace. I'm working a case." I stamped my foot.

"Dammit Sherlock!" Tears we're streaming down my face. "Dammit! No, no you aren't! Come home right now!" I sniffed and sunk onto the sofa.

"I will come home by the end of the night, love. Don't worry. Everything will be fine."

"Sherlock I missed you and the first time I saw you in weeks, you were in a hospital bed! I love you, but we can't keep doing this thing where you don't communicate. I need to know things sometimes."

"You'll know everything when I get home, I promise. I have to go. I love you." He hung up and I dropped my phone to the floor. Fuck him, damn him, screw this case!

Chapter Text

I was reluctant to get back into bed with Sherlock until his injuries were healed. He almost died twice since I left, so I also didn't want to leave him again. And why should I leave him? We're engaged, I love him, and Mrs. Hudson needs help around the place. I can't leave her alone with him! He might give her a heart attack! 

I didn't even sleep in the same bed as him until he was better. Tempting him by accident wouldn't do any good. But now that he has a clean bill of health, I can be there when his nightmares come back. He won't admit that he has nightmares, but I know he does. He doesn't thrash around or call out or anything, he just lays there in a sort of paralyzed state for a while, eyes wide open, fists clenched. If I asked, he would probably say he was thinking, but I know what he looks like when he's thinking, and that isn't it. 

 

"Grace!" Sherlock called from the other room. I sighed and set aside my laptop.

"What?" I called back. 

"I need your help!" Weird. He never asks for help, so I was honestly concerned. I hurried into the living room and found him sitting in front of his parents. 

"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Holmes! Lovely to see you again. Sherlock, what did you need help with?"

"Give me your hand." He didn't wait for me to lift it, though. He just grabbed my hand and slid something cold onto my ring finger. "There, does that satisfy you?" he asked his parents. I pulled my hand away from him and stared at the ring. Simple, yet elegant. Like a violin.

"Sherlock, I can't take this," I said softly. "You know why."

"Mother insisted. I tried to explain, but she wouldn't have it." I sighed.

"Mrs. Holmes, Sherlock didn't propose to me. I proposed to him." She raised her eyebrows in surprise and I gently removed the ring form my finger. "And I'm not entirely sure you approve of how backwards our relationship is, so I don't think I can accept the ring with a clear conscience.

"Gracie, you took care of my boy and gave him someone to take care of. You are the only one I would ever consider giving my great grandmother's ring to. Even if you won't wear it, at least keep it somewhere safe." Tears welled in my eyes and Sherlock put an arm around me.

"Are you hurt? Why are you crying? Stop that." I hugged him and then hugged his parents. 

"Thank you both," I whispered. They hugged me back and stood.

"We'd better be off," Mr. Holmes said. "Wouldn't want to keep you two any longer than we already have." As soon as they were gone, I leapt into Sherlock's arm and kissed him as hard as i could.

"What's this all about?" he asked when I finally pulled away.

"I just love you, is all." He laughed and rested his forehead against mine. "Sherlock?"

"Yes?"

"Can we start planning the wedding today?" He furrowed his brows. I knew he didn't like the sound of that, since the word "wedding" was one that upset him. 

"I thought you didn't want a big wedding..." His voice trailed off. I hugged him again.

"You know I don't, Sherlock. But we still have to tell some people. And I need some flowers."

"No dress though, right?" I shook my head.

"No dress. Not even a necklace!" He kissed my forehead and nodded. "We need to pick a date."

"Tomorrow."

"Sherlock! I told you, we have to tell people." He sighed.

"Then I'll call them today while you get your flowers, and tomorrow we can go to the courthouse, sign the papers, and be done with it."

"You make it sound like you're getting a shot," I teased. He rubbed my shoulders gently.

"I'm sorry. I just really don't like waiting for this." I took his hand and kissed his palm. "Is tomorrow okay?"

"Absolutely. You call Lestrade, Molly, your parents, and tell Mrs. Hudson. I'll take care of John and Mycroft."

"Why are you telling him? He wouldn't come."

"Yes he would. He and I have gotten closer, remember?" Sherlock rolled his eyes and picked up his phone while I went into the bedroom to find mine.

Once I called John and told him, he groaned shouted for joy and hung up to go tell Mary. Then I had to call Mycroft.

"What do you want, Grace? You only call me when you want something." Well fine then.

"Well, dearest Mycroft, I was calling to tell you that tomorrow your brother and I are going to get married. We would like to it if you would attend the signing at the courthouse. Suit optional."

"A suit is never an option when I'm involved, my dear. Congratulations. I'll see if I can come, but I make no promises."

"Gee, I love you too," I said with a smirk before hanging up. When I walked back into the living room, Mrs. Hudson was squeezing the life out of Sherlock and Lestrade was on his way up the stairs. Well, that was fast.

"Gracie! Congratulations!" Lestrade exclaimed. He hugged me and kissed you forehead. "And Sherlock, same to you!" He didn't go near him, but Mrs. Hudson was on her way to hugging me. 

"Oh, you two! I was wondering when it would happen!" 

"Tomorrow, it looks like!" I exclaimed. We all hugged and laughed together like a proper family. "And I know it isnt an actual wedding but, Greg?" He looked surprised that I used his real name. "Will you be there to hand me off?" Tears welled in his grey eyes and he was hugging me again.

"Of course, Gracie. I'd be honored." 


The next morning, I got up to take a shower and put on my not-dress. Jeans, boots, and a blouse. Sherlock was already up and moving around. He was actually cleaning the flat!

"I told you, you wouldn't miss the mess someday," I giggled from the doorway. He came up to me and pressed a kiss to my lips before going to get dressed. His usual clothes, of course. This time, his purple shirt was nearly ironed and the buttons were straining more than usual. Hmmmm.

"You're starting. Do I need to shave?" I shook my head. He had a bit of scruff, but I liked it. 

"You're perfect, Sherlock. Are you ready to go?" He nodded and handed me the flowers. Red and white roses, like at his funeral. We walked down the stairs and Mrs. Hudson got into the cab with us.

 

Once we were at the courthouse, it all seemed like a dream. We got out and Lestrade greeted me with a hug. John and Mary were waiting on the steps for us. Mycroft stood off to the side, seeming to be completely annoyed, but he hid a smile. Molly hugged me and Sherlock, but she looked sad. 

We all walked inside together and John handed Sherlock two rings. We signed the papers, Sherlock slid a ring on my finger, and he kissed me in front of everyone. I was crying and laughing all at the same time and after it was over, he grabbed my hand and we ran. We ran down the street together and got into a cab that we took back to Baker Street. It was all so perfect! So, of course, that's when something horrible happened.

What happened? Magnussen. That's what happened.