"Alright, let's go down the list again," John muttered, unfolding a much abused piece of paper. "Have you spoken with Anna?"
"Last night, and she promised she and David would be there on time. What about Harry?" Greg asked.
"Same. She caved and told Clara, so now she's tagging along. At least we'll have enough witnesses, in case something holds one of them up," John pointed out, and moved his finger down the list. "Did you bin the milk and the rest of the takeout?"
"Yes, dear," Greg replied, giving him a smirk. John punched him the shoulder.
"Laugh now, but we're going to gone for over a week, and everything will have gone off by the time we get back."
"Sherlock would just perform experiments on the mould that grows."
"How would he get into the flat?" John asked.
"Theoretically, the same way he has been."
"You didn't know? I popped back to the flat last week for lunch and he was taking paint samples from the bathroom wall."
"That's...not unexpected, actually. I thought he had been taking the move out a little too well."
"I know a little B&E always cheers me right up," Greg replied dryly.
"Right. Well. All known perishables have been binned, and Sherlock can have the rest. Check. Have you packed everything? Got the tickets?"
"Yes, and yes. Although your duffel looks a bit light."
"Ah, don't expect to be wearing so much clothing the next few days. If you have a problem, I could always toss in a few jumpers-"
"No need. I think I just fell in love a bit more. Didn't think it was possible, but-"
"We have a schedule!" John giggled, as Greg grabbed him and dragged him into his lap. "And we've got everything on the list. We need to go!"
Greg kissed him tenderly on his temple, and then sighed. "The schedule. We'd better leave in case traffic is heavy. Why did we go through all this trouble again?"
John stood and pulled Greg to his feet, kissing he quickly before grabbing his bag. "Because I want to marry you, and very badly at that. And I want as few people to be there as possible almost as badly."
Greg grabbed his own bag, and led the way out of the flat. "There you go again, making me love you more. You are a marvel, Dr. Watson."
John gave him a warm smile. "As are you, Detective Inspector Lestrade."
Looking back, they should have realized something was off right away, but John was focused on Greg's hands and Greg was focused on John's backside, so neither were focused on how a cab pulled up to them quickly with little effort on their part. They didn't shift their focus, in fact, until ten minutes and several throat clearings from an annoyed cabbie later.
"Why are we stopped? This isn't the right address for the Registry Office…" Greg asked, peering out the window.
"Sorry, can't go any further. Looks like there's a bit of a jam up ahead. You'll be better off walking," the cabbie explained.
Greg passed him a few notes while John grabbed their bags. Once they were out, they could clearly see emergency lights further down the road, blocking the traffic.
"We'll just have to walk. It won't be so bad, we were making good time," Greg pointed out.
John, however, seemed to have regained his senses and was peering around suspiciously. "True, but we're in plain sight of the CCTV. The whole point of the cab was to avoid Mycroft…"
"You think he'd tell Sherlock?"
"Undoubtedly. Then there's the worry that he'll interfere."
"Mycroft? He seems like a sensible bloke, I doubt he's against civil partnership."
"In general? No. Ours specifically? Yes. He's been giving the evil eye for six months."
John gave Greg a disbelieving look. "He's in love with you."
Greg gave a snort. "Oh, come off it!"
John put his hands on Greg's shoulders, and looked him seriously in the eye. "Mycroft has a huge crush on you. He fancies you. He'd topple governments for you. You bend over at crime scenes, and the man licks his lips."
"I've known the man for years, we worked together to get Sherlock clean. I think I'd know if he fancied me. He's more likely upset because he thinks Sherlock is in love with you."
"You know that he isn't, right?"
"Sherlock asked me the other day if we'd consider leaving our bodies to him in our wills. I think I know where his passion lay."
Greg started walking, and after casting another wary glance around, John followed.
They made it just around the corner when they ran into Anna, Greg's sister, and her husband David, as well as their two daughters.
"Uncle Greg!" the young girls yelled, attaching themselves to his lower legs.
"Did you get stuck in the traffic, too?" John asked sympathetically.
Anna and David exchanged surprised looks.
"No problems for us. We did leave a bit earlier so we could find the new address you texted us this morning," David explained.
Greg, who had been trying to pry the girls' fingers off his trousers, froze. "New address?"
"Yes, to this house right here," Anna answered, motioning to stately home next to them.
Before they could press further, Harry and Clara walked up, joining the group. Harry opened her mouth, most likely to greet them, but John cut her off.
"My God, the dresses! Harry and Anna are wearing matching dresses!"
Harry glared at him, smoothing down the dark plum satin. "Of course we're matching. You sent them over with the note to wear them!"
Anna nodded, and motioned to the girls. "I was a bit surprised that you wanted them to come, too. Thought you wanted to keep it simple?"
Greg was frozen, but John was pacing, looking around frantically. "A set up! We've been played!"
They were both simultaneously considering making a mad dash in the opposite direction when Mrs. Hudson stepped out of the house and motioned them all inside.
"Come on now, we don't have all day!" She admonished gaily.
"Doomed," John whimpered before being dragged inside by his sister.
The front hall had more flowers than their combined yearly income could possibly afford. Mrs. Hudson kissed John on the cheek and ushered him and Greg into a side chamber, while directing their families further down the hall. The new room had a distinct lack of flowers, but in their place were two garment bags and Mycroft.
"I'm going to die. He's going to murder me and take my place at the alter," John whispered, clutching Greg's arm.
Lestrade didn't reply, seemingly shocked into silence.
"Gentlemen, I noticed that you haven't procured the proper formal wear for the ceremony, so I arranged to have these for delivered for you," Mycroft motioned to the garment bags, while grimacing at John's jumper and worn trousers.
"This is appreciated, but we're just going to the Registry Office and having a short ceremony. Very short," John stressed.
"Aha! No need for that any more, John!" Sherlock exclaimed.
John turned to see his former flat mate breeze through the doorway, looking sharp in what could be assumed was a designer suit.
"Explain," John demanded.
"Last week you started the paperwork and set the date for the ceremony. You didn't go through any lengths to hide your names, so naturally Mycroft knew about it as soon the processing paperwork went through and alerted me. I, however, did not receive an invitation in the following week. Naturally, I investigated further.
"The two of you recently decided to share a flat in order to save on money. You chose a location close to your respective places of work so you could save on cab fare. These examples of frugality, in conjunction with the insistence on a droll civil ceremony, led me to the conclusion that you are impoverished, and were simply too embarrassed to invite me, sensing my privileged childhood and assuming I would look down on you. I arranged this ceremony as a wedding gift, so that you need not be embarrassed by your lack of funds."
"I am without words," Greg replied, shaking his head.
"As usual. Of course there was only one other option, that you simply did not wish invite me to the most meaningful event in your lives, but I ruled that out quickly as an impossibility," Sherlock declared.
Greg opened his mouth, but John was quicker. "Of course we wanted you to come. You working this all out, well, it's brilliant. Completely worried about the money. Yes," John walked over and clapped Sherlock on the shoulder. "You'll be my best man, right?"
Sherlock smiled smugly. "As it comes naturally to me, I graciously accept."
"Let's change into our suits, Greg," John suggested, giving him rueful smile.
Neither of the Holmes brothers seemed inclined to leave, but Greg gave them his best authoritative glare until they finally left.
"Right," he said, turning to John. "The windows, then? I think I saw a ledge that could use to climb down."
John sighed. "Our families, friends and what I am now assuming must be half of Scotland Yard is waiting for us out there."
"They obviously stopped the traffic so we couldn't get to the office. The cabbie was a bit suspicious, too, now that I think about it."
"My God. He did. He invited them, I can feel it. Gregson's never going to let me live this down!"
"Look, the only reason I didn't want a big fuss in the first place was the money involved. And the only reason I didn't invite Sherlock was I was convinced that he wouldn't want to come. But everyone is here, and we don't have to foot the bill...I want to have the wedding like this," John admitted.
Greg sighed and ran his hand over his face. Then he pointed a finger in John's face.
"You," he growled, "Are not wearing any clothes for 24 hours once we get to the hotel. And we are doing whatever I want during that time. Understand?"
John grinned, looking fit to burst with happiness. Greg kissed him then, because how could he not, when John looked liked that?
The kissing continued, followed quickly by the removal of clothing. Greg had just slid the pads of his fingers under the waistband of John's pants when a knock startled them.
"Boys, are you almost ready? We haven't got all day!" Mrs. Hudson's voice called.
"Coming!" John replied, and flushed when Greg huffed a laugh against his neck. He then gave a resigned sigh when John handed him the garment bag with his name on it. The things one did for love.
The ceremony took place inside of a ballroom, resplendent in flowers and candles. John had been correct in assuming most of Greg's colleagues were in attendance, including Sally and an uncomfortable looking Anderson, who was sitting with his wife. John noticed that several nurses and doctors from the clinic were in attendance, as well as Molly and a select few of Sherlock's Irregulars.
Mycroft was seated at the front and was patting a weeping Mrs. Hudson on the shoulder. Anthea (or whoever she was today) was seated next to Mycroft as well, and was for the first time ever not typing on her blackberry. Sherlock and Harry stood on the right side of the clerk, Anna and David on the left.
Everyone stood when John and Greg started walking down the aisle, and before they knew it, the ceremony was well under way.
John knew he was smiling like an idiot, especially since Sherlock kept whispering it periodically throughout the ceremony, but Greg was spectacularly handsome in the black suit and purple tie to match their sisters' dresses, and they were surrounded by friends and family. John decided to just elbow Sherlock in the stomach the next time he whispered in his ear, because he just didn't care if he looked like an idiot. He was happy.
"You do realize that we've completely gone off the schedule? The ferry left over an hour ago," Greg reminded John. John, who had been tucking in heartily to his filet mignon, gave Greg a wicked grin. He took an envelope out of his suit coat and passed it to Greg.
"It seems that Anthea, er, actually I think she said it was Daphne today...Mycroft's assistant?"
"The one that would have her blackberry surgically attached if possible?"
"Be kind. And, yes. She rearranged our ticket times, so our ferry doesn't leave for another hour and a half, and she got us a later train. She also upgraded our hotel room. It appears she is ivery/i happy that you are off the market, as she has some plans for Mycroft," John replied slyly.
Greg looked over at Mycroft. His assistant was topping off his wine glass and smiling at him brightly.
"I'm still not convinced he fancies me, but good for her," Greg replied. "Now, I feel like I should point one more thing out, and then I'll just give in and let everyone have their way."
John leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. "Okay, grump, what else are you concerned about?"
He motioned to the other side of the room, where an orchestra was setting up. "They are going to make us dance. With everyone."
John blanched. "Dear God, no. We need to leave!"
"But John!" Greg mockingly protested. "Our family and friends went through all this trouble!"
"Oh, shut it. You've made your point. I suppose the windows are out. Let's use the loo, and then sneak out from there."
"I scouted that out earlier, there are security guards all over the place. They'd alert Mycroft before we could walk out. And the loo doesn't have any windows."
"But I hate dancing! Greg, there has to be-"
"Sir?" a server interrupted. He looked nervous. John tried to wipe the pure panic off his face. "I found this in the kitchen, it looks like it's a gift meant for you."
He set the gift on the table and John pulled the card off. Sherlock, who had been wandering around the room, most likely irritating Anderson, reappeared suddenly, peering over John's shoulder.
"What's this, then? No, let me open the present and I'll deduce who it is from!" Sherlock protested, but John already had the card open.
"Don't worry, I promise to keep my hands to myself while you're away.
I just had to give you this parting gift, I couldn't help myself, thinking of all the officers gathered in one room.
They all looked at the box, which upon closer inspection appeared to be ticking.
"A clock?" The server asked.
Sherlock snorted. "Obviously its an explosive device of some kind."
They stared at the box again.
"Bomb!" John shouted, suddenly snapping out of his daze.
Everyone in the room fell silent.
"A bomb! Yes, right! Everyone evacuate!" Greg commanded, grabbing John's arm and making for the doorway. Everyone else was doing the same, except for the security personnel from the hallway, who were filling in, and Mycroft, who was talking rapidly to someone on his mobile. And of course Sherlock, who was poking the box, looking fascinated.
Once they were in the front hall, John pulled away from Greg, but quickly reappeared holding their luggage.
"Did Moriarty really just save us from dancing?" John asked, looking a bit stunned.
Greg just smiled, and once they were outside, hailed the first cab he saw. Everyone's attention was on house, and no one saw them scramble into the cab. Greg sighed in relief, and started planning on how to send Moriarty a thank you note.
The 'bomb' turned out to actually be a clock, so no one was hurt. John received several texts from Sherlock over the course of their trip, as he had discovered it was a valuable antique clock stolen from a local clock repair shop, and his deductions now had him embroiled in a international embezzlement plot.
"At least he'll keep busy while we're away. Thank God someone else gets to handle this," Greg sighed, as he unlocked the door to their suite.
John was about to reply, but the door swung open and revealed a room easily twice the size of their flat, and a bed that could quite possibly fit ten grown men. He was so staggered that he didn't react when Greg grabbed his phone and duffel out of his hand, and locked the door behind him.
He did start when rough and warm hands slipped off his suit coat, untucked his button up and slid under his shirt, bunching it under his arms.
"Clothes officially are off for a day, starting now," Greg growled.
John grinned, and worked the buttons loose so that Greg could pull it off. He turned to start working on the other man's shirt.
"Just be careful," John warned, "I'd hate do ruin the suits, who knows how much they cost."
Greg rolled his eyes but folded the shirts carefully, along with the trousers that followed swiftly. Everything else was tossed in the corner.
They slowly migrated to the bed, made clumsy by their focus on skin and the best placement for hands and mouths. They fell sideways on the bed, and John noted vaguely that it was wide enough that their feet weren't even hanging over the edges.
All thoughts were erased when Greg licked his way up John's neck, stopping to suck on the sensitive patch of skin behind John's ear, and then nuzzled his stubbly cheek against John's temple, making him shudder.
John tugged lightly on the hair in the centre of Greg's chest, and he hissed in appreciation. Running his fingers down the trail of hair on his lower abdomen, John made the bold suggestion that the lube in his bag might like to make an appearance.
Greg reluctantly got to feet and staggered over to the bag, and used the opportunity to silence the phone that had been chirping with unread texts for the past few minutes. He opened the bag, and peered inside. True to John's earlier words (was that only this morning?) there was very few pieces of clothing, but there was a ready supply of lube, massage oil, a video camera and a rogue pair of Greg's handcuffs.
He looked over to the bed, where John was now stretched out near the head of the bed, twining his fingers around the rails of the headboard and curling his toes into the plush sheets. He felt Greg watching him and raised an eyebrow. Greg held up the handcuffs.
"Well, we do have over a week. Thought we could try some things out," John explained, grinning.
"When I said I loved you before, I was lying," Greg replied, looking tender. "This has evidently travelled to something far beyond ordinary love."
"I have an unspeakable wealth of deeper-than-love emotions for you as well. Do you mind if we shag now? I believe we're not truly married until we consummate it," John laughed, beckoning Greg over.
Greg didn't need any encouragement. He never had.
"Bloody hell! What are you doing here?" Greg shouted the next morning, having awoken with his husband wrapped in his arms and Sherlock Holmes lounging on the other side of the bed, typing on his laptop.
The yell woke John up, and he was now staring at Sherlock and rubbing his eyes, checking to see if it was an illusion.
Sherlock looked pleased that they were finally up. "I've tracked the clock thief here, and need to stay a few days to investigate further. Hotel prices in Paris are outrageous, and I've spent my monthly allowance on your ceremony yesterday. It was lucky that Mycroft's assistant arranged this room for us."
"You cannot stay here," Greg hissed through gritted teeth.
"Why? The room is spacious enough. John, I'll need you to come with me in an hour to-"
"Sherlock," John interrupted, "We are staying naked for another twelve hours. You, er, just go do something until then. Alright?"
Sherlock nodded. "Can I take the handcuffs?"
"We need them," John asserted.
Sherlock pouted briefly and, after donning his coat, strolled out of the suite.
"I thought he had been taking the move out a little too well," John sighed. He looked at Greg, who looked deep in thought.
"He couldn't get his own room because he arranged a wedding ceremony we didn't want, and he's decided to fill our honeymoon week with crime solving," Greg stated, sounding amazed.
John grimaced. "You still wish we had eloped?"
Greg grinned. "No, that would have been boring, and we are men of danger and excitement. But, my dear, even men of danger and excitement need to adhere to rules. So, you just stay there, naked, while I grab some supplies."
"Handcuffs?" John asked hopefully, grinning and flushed.