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Bells Are Ringing

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"Oh bloody fucking DAMN!" Sherlock shouted, apropos of nothing. John nearly dropped his tea.

John turned and found Sherlock shaking his passport. "Mycroft made me French!"

"Mycroft can do that?"

"He fucking HAS. Do you think it was Mrs. Hudson?" Sherlock shoved his passport into John's hand. It was... a French passport, for one Sherlock Etienne Beauchamp-Holmes, with Sherlock's terrible passport photo, date of birth, and, as John paged through, stamps for all the places John knew he'd been at the times he'd been. America, Belarus, Japan, Australia. They were all apparently real.

Well. Well. "Is this because of--"

Sherlock glared at him. Right, don't mention the Incident.

"What are you going to do?" John asked.

"Not going to apologize to Mycroft, for fucking certain," Sherlock said.

"Even though that would be the sensible thing to do?"

Sherlock glared at him again.

"So that's off the table, but what's on?"

Sherlock knotted his hand into his hair. He turned and paced. "Mycroft will send Immigration by shortly. No point in doing a thing if it isn't noticed. And if he's done this--this was in my safe--he's changed the computer records. Best to assume I'm now fucking French."

"Never heard you say fucking so many times in a row," John said.

"Fuck off." Sherlock paced to the wall and slapped it with the palm of his hand. He turned back, took the three steps to John, and fell to one knee. "Will you marry me, John?"

"Er."

"Quickly? Before I wind up in sodding France?"

"When you put it like that, how can I resist?" John said.

"Excellent. I'll put on a tie. Is your dress uniform clean? I fancy a man in uniform." Sherlock stood and scrambled for his bedroom.

"Does it have to be such a rush?" John asked, as he followed Sherlock up the stairs.

"Of course! Mycroft knows how long it takes me to work things out. I'm sure I don't have more than an hour and then it's hello Paris."

"What's wrong with Paris?"

"It's not London," Sherlock said, and he slammed the door to his room.

John's Number One uniform was clean, hung up in the plastic bag. He checked his shave; still smooth. He'd risen late. It wouldn't do to scrape Sherlock's face with his beard.

With that thought, he sat roughly down on his bed; then stood back up, because he had no time to process, he had to dress. He stripped down to his skivvies and started donning the uniform.

Sherlock's door slammed open. "Mrs. Hudson! If you want to see us married, I suggest you put on a hat!" Sherlock shouted down the stairs. He then threw open John's door. "John! You look lovely, actually," Sherlock said, pausing in the doorway.

"Lovely?"

Sherlock gestured in a squarish manner. "The uniform suits your shoulders. Well, come on! You're not half dressed!"

John tied his shoes, shrugged into his jacket, and started on his buttons; Sherlock fetched the box of medals and started pinning them on. John checked and found it was in the right order. Of course.

"I learned about uniforms the moment I saw yours in the wardrobe," Sherlock murmured. "There's something compelling about the individuality of the soldier above the identical garments. There, you look very good." He brushed John's jacket with his palms from shoulders to waist.

John checked Sherlock's tie. "Windsor."

"Yes."

And a pinstriped black suit with a navy shirt and tie that matched John's uniform. "If you planned this--"

"I'm exceedingly fond of navy blue," Sherlock said. He took John's hand and they catapulted downstairs to the ground floor.

Mrs. Hudson stood in the front hall with an enormous hat on. "Oh, bless me, you're serious! Don't you look handsome!"

"Quite serious. John has agreed to make an honest man of me. Damn, I need five minutes to make a marriage license--" Sherlock ran to his computer.

"And we need another witness," John said.

"I'll get Mrs. Turner!" She went back downstairs. John caught his breath, which was possibly a mistake; the oxygen made him realize he was marrying Sherlock in the next, oh, fifteen minutes. He rubbed his temples.

Sherlock ripped a paper from the printer. "John! They're coming! We're just in time." He took John's hand in his and pulled him downstairs.

Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Turner (an Asian lady of mature years and Junoesque build) stood just outside the front door. Mrs. Turner's tenants, a pair of middle-aged gentlemen, stood beside her.

"We had to come see," the dark-haired one said.

"Aren't you a feast for the eyes!" the light-haired one said.

John barely managed to lock the door before Sherlock started dragging him down the pavement.

"Is this a race?" Mrs. Hudson asked.

"Yes! We have to make it to the registry office before my brother has marriages banned."

"Oh! Well, then!" Mrs. Hudson put on a surprising turn of speed. They passed a black car with two stern, suit-wearing women in it; the car paused and both women stared at Sherlock. Sherlock grinned fiendishly and towed John and the others past.

They skidded through the front door, Mrs. Hudson panting and clutching her hat, John checking to make sure he hadn't dropped any medals. "Married! I'm getting married!" Sherlock cried out.

The clerk gaped at them. "Which one?"

"What? John, of course," Sherlock said. He cast a disparaging glance at the married gays.

"Er, do you have an appointment?"

"Yes, yes, under Holmes."

John looked at him, suspicious again. Sherlock met his eyes, leaned in, and whispered into his ear: "Used a back door into the system."

"And your witnesses? I'm sorry, normally I meet with couples--"

"Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Turner. Here."

"Mr. Sherlock Beauchamp-Holmes and Dr. John Watson. You didn't book the room--just--"

"Just sign," Sherlock said. He signed his name and passed the pen to John. John signed his name and passed the pen to Mrs. Hudson.

Then he looked at Sherlock. Sherlock sighed; he threw his arms around John's neck. "You've saved me," he said, and kissed John's mouth. The married gays applauded.

"Saved you from being French?"

"Saved me," Sherlock repeated, and touched his forehead to John's. Mrs. Hudson took their picture.

*

They returned home--Sherlock pausing to flash a V to the two women in suits--and Mrs. Hudson stopped with Mrs. Turner to give them some privacy.

Sherlock followed John up the stairs. "Sherlock."

"John." Sherlock smiled.

John shook his head. "Come on, then."

He returned to his room and started removing his jacket. "Let me," Sherlock said.

John turned around. "Really?"

Sherlock started on his buttons. "We are married. And your uniform is marvelous."

"My head is spinning," John said.

"Your hand is steady."

John let his breath out. He took Sherlock's shoulders and tossed him on the bed, making Sherlock laugh. He stifled the laugh with a kiss.

*

After (after he bit Sherlock's stomach and Sherlock dissolved into giggles, after he ascertained that Sherlock wasn't a virgin but, inconceivably, had never slept with a man before and this was all up to him, after he realized they both had their socks on and laughed so hard he fell off the bed, after Sherlock picked him up and settled down with his head on John's stomach) all of it, he asked Sherlock: "Did you plan this?"

"Not a bit," Sherlock said.

"Did Mycroft?"

"I never rule it out."

He ruffled both hands through Sherlock's hair. "Damn!" John realized suddenly. "We'll have to do this again, a proper ceremony."

"Why? What did we miss?"

"I didn't make my sister wear a bridesmaid's dress."

Sherlock raised his head. "I could make Mycroft wear a top hat and morning coat." His fingers clenched on John's hips. "And spats."

"Summer wedding. Renew the vows."

"Can our colours be navy blue and black?"

"I don't see why not."

Sherlock grinned widely. "It's a date."

the end.