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Not Afraid

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Greg felt ridiculous, at first, standing to make a toast in a room of just nine people, but this day had been a long time coming. There were things he wanted to say, things that should be said, so he had stood, capturing everyone's attention.

"As one of the best men, it falls to me to offer a toast." Lestrade smiled at both Sherlock and John. "I remember a day, far too long ago, when I first set foot in 221B. That was the same day I first met John." He gave the doctor a rueful smile. "Little did I know the changes that his presence would bring about in all our lives. To be honest, I didn't really think too much about him and I barely remember that meeting. He was just another person that had drifted into Sherlock's orbit and I fully expected him to drift back out again right away. What I do recall is this: I said 'Sherlock Holmes is a great man, and I think one day—if we’re very very lucky—he might even be a good one.' Today, I can say with conviction," Greg grinned broadly at the two grooms, "that we have been privileged to witness the marriage of two of the very best of good men." He raised is glass in the newlyweds' direction and everyone drank.

As Greg resumed his seat, Mycroft stood. He pulled his eyes away from Greg with some effort and turned to regard his brother and John. He had never expected to see this day: his baby brother married to someone who adored him and who he adored in return. At the darkest times, he had expected to see Sherlock in a grave before he had reached fourty years of age. An uncharacteristic lump of emotion rose up in his throat and he swallowed it down hard. Mycroft ran one finger idly along the rim of his wineglass. "I, too, recall my first meeting with John."

"Kidnapped, you mean," the doctor corrected with a grin and a good deal less resentment than he had felt at the time.

"You have picked up my brother's flair for the dramatic," Mycroft stated with a half smile. "I thought, at the time, that John was blithely oblivious," he continued.

John interrupted again, "Ta for that."

Sherlock grinned at him with affection. His husband had interrupted Mycroft. Twice! John really was a delight.

Smoothly, the British Government responded, "Any time, John." He continued, addressing all present, "In the space of less than 48 hours, the good doctor proved me wrong. Just how he did that, perhaps it's best not to say." Mycroft's eyes darted to Greg who grinned and shook his head. "Since then, I've watched the bond between my brother and John grow stronger."

This time, the doctor bit his lip, resisting the urge to comment on the sometimes surveillance of the flat and the ever-present CCTV coverage in London. Sherlock pouted at him, disappointed, and John nudged him playfully in the ribs.

"Much of the time, I had to do that from afar, but I am glad to say that has changed and it's a change for the better. I thought this a cruel world and it often times is, but these two men have shown me that there is happiness to be found if one is willing to look for it." His eyes drifted back to Greg for a moment. "Please, John, Sherlock, accept my gratitude for that lesson and may you share long lifetimes together, without too terribly much drama and with much... love," he finished, almost choking on the last word. It wasn't a word he had had much occasion to use, but that was changing. Mycroft raised his glass and, again, all present drank to the couple.

There was a bit more chatting amongst the guests, the last of the food was cleared away and Angelo's people swiftly swept the dining tables and chairs away. John had adamantly refused to engage in the tradition of leading in a first dance. Instead, music played and he and Sherlock held back. There was a brief moment in which everyone else looked around in confusion, then Mummy and Daddy Holmes swept out into the open space and began dancing. The looks they shared were filled with bliss, their love for one another very apparent. They were happy and more content than they had been in years. The son they had worried over for so long was married to a wonderful man. Their other son had admitted that he cared and, unless they were much mistaken, there would likely be another wedding in the not so distant future. Life was uncommonly good.

Angelo walked over to Mrs. Hudson and took her hand. They joined the other couple, dancing and talking all the while. The two were still congratulating one another on the wedding, firm in the conviction that it would never have come about without their expert guidance.

At last, John let himself be coaxed onto the makeshift dance floor. The doctor led, because he was chronically unable to follow with any grace. Sherlock, uncontent with anything less, rested his head on the doctor's shoulder. It was a peaceful, contented place to be. The detective hummed his joy, wordlessly. After a moment, he lifted his head back up and stopped dancing. John, caught off guard, was briefly alarmed, then he saw a look of wonder come over Sherlock's face.

"What is it, Love," the doctor asked.

"I just realised I'm not afraid anymore."

John forced a laugh, trying to lighten the moment. "When have you ever been afraid?"

"Idiot. I've been afraid of losing you from the moment we met." The detective look slightly embarrassed at the confession.

John began swaying to the music once again and pulled Sherlock's head back to his shoulder. "But you're not now?"

"No. You're mine. You promised. You always keep your promises."

"If I had only known," the doctor held Sherlock tightly. "I would have promised sooner."

"Well, you've promised now. That's all that matters." Sherlock lifted his head again, this time to grin at John. He stole a kiss, one that was wildly inappropriate for public consumption. "We should dance with Molly."

"Let Greg or Mycroft do it." The doctor was too content, holding Sherlock in his arms.

"They can't," Sherlock pronounced, smugly, "They are rather busy."

John looked around and grinned at the sight of the British Government and the DI dancing together. He had known they were an item, but the sight was still surreal.

The detective abandoned John and went to fetch Molly. She allowed herself to be towed to where the doctor stood, blushing furiously. Sherlock deftly manoeuvred her and John into position and the three of them began dancing. It wasn't as awkward as it should have been.

Molly didn’t put up with it for long. "You deserve this," she said as she pulled away, placing a chaste peck on each groom's cheek. If she had been told that one day she would be happy to see Sherlock wed, she wouldn't have believed it. Oh, how she had thought she loved him. In a way she did, she loved them both as friends, and she was so very happy they had found each other.

They let her go and continued dancing. Time passed quickly and it was soon time to face the world. Everyone gathered by the front door to the restaurant and hugs were exchanged all around.

"Are you ready?" Anthea asked with a lift of her eyebrow. "The press caught wind of the wedding. It's a media circus out there."

The newlyweds exchanged glances. As long as they had each other, they were ready for anything. John gave the PA a nod and she opened the door. Together, they stepped out to face the world: Sherlock Holmes-Watson and John Watson-Holmes.