Sherlock Holmes wondered what sartorial sadist invented the bowtie. He hoped whomever was responsible had died a slow and painful death. He found it remarkably uncomfortable, lashed around his neck and forcing him to have the buttons of his starched white shirt closed all the way.
He much preferred his normal style of dress, which was far more formal than most of those he associated with. Why was it so important for him to dress even more formal for this particular occasion?
As much as he had rebelled against it initially, in the end, he had acquiesced to the requests he wear the tuxedo. Molly and John had begged for him to behave, trying to impress upon him the importance of the day.
Sherlock pulled at the bowtie irritably, his nose crinkling.
"Will you please stop fiddling?" John asked, crossing his arms over his chest. "You know you can take that thing off as soon as the ceremony is over. It's just an hour, Sherlock."
Sherlock let out an irritated groan. "This is terribly uncomfortable. What is the point of it? All it does it restrict my breathing. It has absolutely no functionality..."
John shrugged slightly. "Molly will think you look hot."
Sherlock paused, considering this statement. He nodded. "All right. Fine. But just for the ceremony. After that, I am taking it off. I don't think I've ever been so uncomfortable."
John's forehead crinkled as he straightened Sherlock's bowtie. "Says the man who wears the wool overcoat throughout the summer."
Sherlock frowned. "What's your point?"
John smoothed down the lapels of Sherlock's jacket. "Okay, Sherlock... Do we need to have a talk about what's proper behaviour at a wedding?"
Sherlock sighed. "John, I have been to weddings before."
John glanced up at Sherlock. "Yes, but you've never been in this particular situation at a wedding before. It's really important you don't..."
John trailed off and Sherlock stared at him in question.
"Don't be yourself."
Sherlock narrowed his gaze on John, giving him a withering look. "I rather thought 'being myself' is what put me in this position."
"I just want to make sure you're comfortable with this," John sighed. "It's really important that this go smoothly. Don't do it for me. Do it for her. You know she'll be devastated if things don't go well. Or else kill you."
Sherlock pulled away from John and looked into the mirror, adjusting his bowtie and jacket to his own liking. He was scowling slightly in the mirror. "I am not going to mess things up. Why would I mess up today? I know how important it is."
John eyed Sherlock suspiciously. "Do I need to remind you when you were thrown in jail because of your testimony against Moriarty?"
Sherlock turned to face John. "Do I need to remind you I was completely aware that trial was an utter miscarriage of justice from the off? This is something that everyone is taking a bit more seriously." He smiled tightly. "All right. I'm ready."
"Are you sure?" John asked. "I mean, this is big."
Sherlock waved his hand. "Please John. I have been preparing myself for this eventuality for longer than you realize."
Sherlock rolled his eyes as John stared at him for a long moment. Finally, the doctor nodded. "All right then. As long as you're absolutely certain."
Sherlock looked askance at his friend. "You're trying to talk me out of this."
"I'm not trying to talk you out of this!" John protested. "I just want to make sure if you decide to become a complete tit, you do it here and now, rather in front of an entire congregation of people."
Sherlock huffed out an annoyed breath as he strode out of the room and down the corridor. "You know, Molly's been fretting too. It certainly says a lot about those closest to me that they think I can't handle myself in public for an hour."
John trailed close behind him. "It says that we know you."
Sherlock and John walked to the altar, standing side by side. They looked to the minister who nodded. "We're ready to begin then?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Obviously. Can we please get this over with?"
"Sherlock!" John hissed under his breath.
Turning, the two men looked down the aisle. Music had started and the processional began. Sherlock paid no attention to the people who came down the aisle and stopped at the altar. They were unimportant. And then, he saw her.
Molly was beaming as she walked down the aisle. Her brown eyes were riveted to him. He looked her up and down. While he didn't much care about formal wear, he couldn't deny she looked lovely. He felt the corner of his mouth curve up in a small smile.
Once she reached the end of the aisle, Molly stood on the other side of the altar, beside Harriet.
The music changed to the wedding march and Sherlock felt John reflexively grasp at his sleeve when Mary began to walk down the aisle.
"Breathe, John," Sherlock muttered softly. "Wouldn't do for you pass out on your wedding day."
"Look at her, Sherlock," John whispered in awe.
"I see her," Sherlock replied, his brow furrowing slightly. He didn't see what John was getting so worked up about. Then, he wasn't the one that was marrying Mary.
Once Mary reached the altar and took John's hands, Sherlock turned his attention back to Molly. He smiled once again at her. Maybe he did understand John's reaction.
Sherlock was quite happy standing in the corner, observing all of the wedding attendees with a keen, analytical eye.
He had to admit, as weddings went, the joining of Morstan and Watson was one of the more tolerable. For one, he actually liked the couple that was marrying. Well, if he were honest, he liked John. He liked Mary in so far as she was not an intolerable companion for his friend to have.
From his observations, John and Mary actually cared about each other. Most of the weddings he had been to had been obligation from being a part of the Holmes family. Those weddings always seemed more like business mergers than any sort of celebration of sentiment.
Sentiment. Sherlock couldn't believe he actually care a moment's thought to sentiment. He supposed he could blame that solely on the slight woman in blue, who was currently cooing over the infant Redford Lestrade and talking animatedly with his father.
Sherlock sipped his champagne as he undid his bowtie. He watched as John moved away from Stamford and strode over to him. "So, Sherlock... Are you going to make your toast?"
Sherlock gave John a small smile and raised his glass. "Congratulations, John. Mary is a charming woman. You've also managed to pick a bride whom I believe might actually benefit rather than hinder our work with her keen intellect."
John laughed softly, shaking his head. "Well, thank you, Sherlock." Sherlock didn't miss the wry note in his friend's voice. "Coming from you, that's... Well, that's actually good. But I did mean a proper toast. You're best man."
Sherlock scrunched up his nose. "You want me to make a speech? Oh, John."
"It's tradition." John sighed. "Why is it such a problem for you? You love to hear yourself talk."
Sherlock glared at John. "It's sentimental. It's all for show. You and Mary both know how I feel about your nuptials." He arched a brow. "Beside, I didn't force you to make a speech, did I?"
John stared at Sherlock blankly for a long moment. "You didn't give me the chance! You and Molly ran off to the civil office! No one besides me, Mary and Mrs Hudson even know you're married."
Sherlock crossed his arms over his chest, straightening up. "Our brothers know," he knew he sounded slightly defensive. Just because he and Molly haven't advertised their marriage to the world didn't make it any less valid. "But if you insist, I'll say highly complimentary things about your compatibility and how you two are no doubt going to beat the odds of global divorce rate."
John gave a sharp nod. "Molly Hooper is a lucky, lucky woman."
Sherlock watched the aforementioned lucky woman make her way towards them. "She seems to think so."
Molly eyed the pair. Sherlock waved his hand, urging her to him. "Am I interrupting?"
Sherlock shook his head as he gazed down at Molly. "Not at all. John was just insisting I make a speech."
"I think everyone wants you to," Molly replied, unbuttoning the top two buttons of his shirt, much to his relief. "There's a wager going on that you'll say something horribly inappropriate. Anderson's even bet that you'll reveal you've always been in love with John."
"What?" Both John and Sherlock said together.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Honestly. Does everyone believe me to be completely incapable of behaving in public?" He scowled when he saw John and Molly share a look. "It's John's wedding, I do know to comport myself."
Molly dipped her hand inside of the collar of Sherlock's shirt, taking hold of the wedding band he wore on a chain. "Don't pout. I would've bet on you doing an excellent job toasting John and Mary, but I have an unfair advantage."
Sherlock smiled down at Molly, looping an arm around her waist, pressing her close. "Molly Darling, you should take absolutely every advantage to take money from Anderson. In fact, money does not have to be a factor. Just making him look like an idiot should be enough."
Molly giggled softly. "Now Sherlock, do I really need to try?"
That made Sherlock's smile broaden and he pulled Molly closer. "I do think I'll keep you."
John rolled his eyes. "All right then. I think I'm going to go find my bride." He pointed a finger at Sherlock. "And you- it's my wedding reception. Please try to restrain yourself from working the Jones Case."
Sherlock watched John go off to join Mary. He hugged Molly close to him as John kissed his new wife, laughing with Mrs Hudson and Rebecca Lestrade. He could feel Molly's fingers continue to play with his wedding band.
"Do you wish we had something like this?" Sherlock asked, glancing down at Molly. He smoothed his hand over her back. "I was confident you didn't. But you seem to be having a good time."
Molly let go of Sherlock's wedding ring, sliding her hand up to cup the back of his neck. She shook her head. "This is the first wedding I've enjoyed in ages. It wasn't just reminder I was alone."
Sherlock frowned in thought. "And the last wedding you were at your were kidnapped by a criminal mastermind."
"Don't remind me," Molly sighed. She rubbed the back of Sherlock's neck with the tips of her fingers. "I never really cared about having my own wedding. I mean, this is lovely... For John and Mary. But you wouldn't have liked this. You would have hated this."
Sherlock nodded. It was true. He then looked down at his wife. "I would have done it. If you had wanted it."
"Never been much for being the centre of attention," Molly murmured. She urged Sherlock down towards her. "I didn't want to be your bride, Sherlock. I wanted to be your wife."
He allowed Molly to guide his mouth to hers. He slid his fingers into her hair and sighed softly against her lips.
After a moment, Molly pulled back. She took a hold of Sherlock's hand. "Dance with me."
Sherlock looked warily down at her small hands, clasping his wrist. "I don't dance."
Molly gave his arm a light tug. "Come on. It's not hard."
"I didn't say I can't," Sherlock stated plainly. "I said I don't."
Molly glared up at him, her lower lip jutting out in a pout. Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Molly..."
"Fine then," Molly said, releasing his arm. She turned. "I'll go ask Greg if he wants to..."
Sherlock moved quickly, grabbing Molly by the waist, spinning her around and up against him. He lead her out onto the dance floor. "That," he said firmly. "Is not playing fair."
Molly's brow knit. "Hm. All's fair in war and something else if I remember correctly..."
Sherlock cocked his head slightly. It seemed to be another one of those sayings he didn't always get. "What's that?"
"Love and war, Sherlock," Molly replied, pressing closer as she slipped one arm around Sherlock's neck. "All's fair in love and war."
"And what exactly does that mean?" Sherlock asked, one hand firmly on the small on Molly's back, the other clutching her free hand to his chest.
Molly glanced up at him. "It means I'm your wife and will end up winning far more arguments than you ever thought imaginable."
"I want a divorce," Sherlock said quickly, in jest.
Molly gave Sherlock a poke in the chest. "You're stuck with me, Mister Holmes."
Sherlock looked down at the woman in his arms and the corner of his mouth curved up. "Yes I am, Doctor Holmes." He bent down and kissed her again, a firmer, lingering gesture of his affections than their previous kiss.
When they parted, he noticed John and Mary dancing close to them. He swept Molly over towards them before pulling away from her. "I hope you don't mind if I cut in," Sherlock said.
"But which one of us do you want to dance with?" Mary asked with a smile.
"Highly amusing." Sherlock took a hold of Mary's waist and her hand, sweeping her across the floor to the music. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Molly and John dancing.
"Is this the 'you better not hurt my friend talk'?" Mary asked as she looked up at Sherlock.
Sherlock studied her expression. She was glowing. That was really the only way he could describe it. She was truly happy with John, with everything that had happened that day. "You saved him," Sherlock murmured. He moved his gaze off of the happy bride and onto her husband, laughing and dancing with his own wife. "I broke him apart. He went thousands of kilometres to escape my ghost. And he found you. And you put him back together. I did everything I could to hurt him. You saved him. I don't know what would have happened if he hadn't found you."
Mary went still, looking up at Sherlock in shock.
"You know as well as everyone else my skill at reading human behaviour," Sherlock continued on. "I have never seen John Watson as happy as he is with you, Mary Morstan." He paused for a long moment, keeping his eyes trained on his best friend, unable to look at Mary. "Thank you. For making him happy."
Sherlock abruptly pulled away from Mary. He tugged down the jacket of his tuxedo and took a deep breath. "Right then. So now it's time for me to make a toast to you and John. I hope you don't mind terribly, but I will leave everything out that I just said to you and instead make jest of the number of times he has been mistaken for my date."
Mary smiled and nodded. "I think it's what everyone is expecting." She looked to John and Sherlock could see her beam anew. "Sherlock?"
"Hm?" Sherlock furrowed his brow.
"Thank you," Mary whispered.
Sherlock shook his head. "I don't-"
"For him," Mary explained. "For giving him to me."
"He was never mine to give," Sherlock said with a frown.
Mary stretched up and pressed a kiss to Sherlock's cheek. "Yes he was. Thank you."
Sherlock smiled softly. "Take care of him."