Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock.
A/N:Created for a prompt on the BBC kink meme. The article referred to in the story does exist; you can find it through google. Enjoy!
... with a newspaper article talking about some girl who married her boyfriend after he died. John is sitting at a café working his way through his third cup of coffee when he reads about it. At first it sparks no interest; it's just one article out of many that he skims and dismisses. But then right below it is another article about Sherlock and how he was a fake that fooled the whole world with a very familiar byline. His blood burns hot with anger and he thinks, not for the first time, that he'd love to have a few minutes alone with Kitty Reilly.
It's then that the idea hits him, takes seed. He brushes it off immediately, deeming it too crazy for even him to consider, and goes home to an empty flat. 221B Baker Street has not changed much. John couldn't bear to leave even though almost everyone he knows told him he should. He moves through the rooms, looking at what's left at Sherlock, and sinks into contemplation. Who else, if not for him, would Sherlock Holmes have spent the rest of his life with?
And gradually, over the course of a day or so, the idea starts to grow on him until finally he decides to do it.
Because John Watson believes in Sherlock Holmes and he'll do anything to prove it.
John walks in and sets the newspaper down on the neat, cherry wood desk. "I want to marry Sherlock."
Mycroft looks at the paper and blinks once. "Alright."
The two of them have gone out for a couple of pints, one of the few nights Greg has managed to drag him out.
John takes a drink and says, "I'm marrying Sherlock."
Greg looks down at his beer and wonders if he's had one too many. "That right?"
"Yes. I'm signing the certificate tomorrow. I need two witnesses. Mycroft will be there but I want you to be the other person. Will you come?"
A weird sense of déja vu hits Greg. He can remember saying those words to Sherlock the first night he met John. He shivers. "Course I will."
For the first time since Sherlock died, John gives him a true smile.
She's waiting for him in the flat on the day that John comes home with the marriage certificate. She doesn't say a single word. She just gives him biscuits and tea, and later, when he can't hold the tears back any longer, she sits down on the sofa and rocks him in her lap, whispering soothing words that can't put his world back together.
"John, I think we should give it another try." Sarah barges into his office without asking one morning. John looks up at her. She's clearly been psyching herself up for this conversation and wants to get it over with. "Now that things in your life have settled down a little, I - " she cuts herself off sharply when she sees his ring. "Hang on. You... got married?"
A look of bewilderment crosses her face. "To who?"
Sarah's expression undergoes an interesting transformation. "John... I didn't know you were in love with him."
"I believe in him," he corrects.
She frowns in confusion. "What's the difference?"
John looks at her. "Does it matter?"
The first time Harry hears about it, she asks John if he's insane.
Actually, no, she's knocked a couple back by then, so she asks him if he's fucking insane.
"No really, are you mad?" she says. "Because that's what I'm hearing. Marrying a dead man? Was he loaded or something?"
John just sighs and folds his arms across his chest. "No, Harry." His voice is overly patient and it pisses her off.
"Then why? Because it makes no sense to me, Johnny." She purposely uses the name that drove him crazy when he was younger. Sadly, it has no effect.
"It doesn't have to."
"Cause you know people are going to think you're in love with him, right?" she persists.
He closes his eyes.
She stares at him, suddenly shaken back into sober reality. "Jesus, John."
"You spent two years denying it and now that he's dead - "
Harry looks down at the paper and pushes her beer away. She doesn't say nothing else.
"I think it's a bad idea, John."
"You need to start learning how to move beyond Sherlock's death, not getting more attached to him."
"Quite frankly I'm getting a little concerned about you. It's been six months and you haven't shown any progress. You're starting to slide backwards."
"I believe you're clinically depressed. Would you consider taking medication?"
"John? Where are you going? John, wait, let's talk about this."
It takes them all while to notice. John doesn't have much to do with them anymore, after all. It was a long time before he could look at Anderson or Sally and not want to punch either one of them in the face. Sometimes he still gets the urge towards Anderson but that's just normal, really.
But he's there one night after work, chatting with Greg, when Sally walks in and immediately notices the ring on his finger. It's a simple white gold band with an odd mark on it that she can't make out. Normally she wouldn't care, but the position of the ring - on John's left hand, ring finger - stops her in her tracks.
"You got married!" she says.
"Yes," John says tensely. "I did."
Sally tries on a smile. She knows John doesn't like her. "Do I know her?"
"Yes," John says again. "You knew him."
She's confused until he holds his hand up, giving her silent permission to look. His body is tense, warning her to be cautious about her response. And when she finally makes out what the mark is, she stops breathing and just stares.
It's two letters.
Though the media never picks up on the marriage, Moran does.
He takes it to mean that Sherlock is still alive. After all, who would marry a dead guy?
If he had chosen to kill John Watson through the use of a long-distance rifle, like Moriarty had originally planned, that would have been the end of it.
But Moran decides that this needs to be a little more personal: a direct message to Sherlock, an eye for an eye.
John Watson agrees.
And the way he slowly, methodically takes Moran apart before the police and Mycroft arrive prove it.
He's sitting by the window, playing his violin when John walks in the door.
The groceries in John's hands hit the floor. His knees go weak and he very nearly hits the floor as well. He only just manages to make it over to the sofa. Through it all, Sherlock continues to play, drawing the bow back and forth steadily, never taking his eyes off of John even as the sweet sounds of John's favorite music pour steadily from the freshly dusted instrument.
He plays for hours, until his hands, no longer used to it, begin to cramp. Then he sets his violin aside, gets up, and sits down beside John, who hasn't moved once. John's cheeks are stained with tears and the occasional shudder stills works its way over his body but he allows Sherlock to pull him into a hug.
They cling to each other through the early morning hours and well into the afternoon. Each time one of them drops off into an exhausted sleep he wakes moments later, clutching at the other man in fear that it might have been a dream.
And if Sherlock notices the wedding band, he says nothing.
Sherlock is amused.
"We're married," John says.
"Yes, I know. Your ring made it quite obvious, and so did Mrs Hudson congratulating me the night I came back."
"Oh. Well, here."
The ring is white gold with two intertwined letters.
"You don't have to," John says nervously. "We can get a divorce. But I thought - "
Sherlock silences him with a kiss.
The ring fits his left hand perfectly.
... with another wedding ceremony, wherein both grooms are alive.