In less then half an hour, he was going to be married. John Watson paced around his new lodgings nervously. Well, but there was no reason to be nervous, was there? He wanted Mary as his wife. He did. He stopped and shut his eyes. What was this all about? It was too late to change anything anyway. Twenty-one minutes left until the wedding ceremony, his watch told him. He resumed his pacing up and down the hall, when suddenly, he heard a strange noise from one of the rooms. It couldn't be Gladstone. He had left the dog with Holmes. He just hadn't had the heart to take him away from the detective, who loved the dog as much as he did. Even though he had, well, strange ways of showing that...
Gently, Watson opened the door to the room he had heard the sound coming from. There it was again! It sounded like somebody crying. When he took a few steps inside the room, the sound stopped. Watson furrowed his brow. He had walked in so silently that nobody could have heard him. Well, except maybe for...
"Holmes! I know you're here!" Nothing moved. Watson sighed. "Don't be childish! The wedding ceremony starts in nineteen minutes and I want you to be there on time." After a little while, a dark figure moved out from behind a large wooden cupboard.
"There isn't any time to waste then, is there?", Holmes remarked and made his way to the door. But Watson took his arm to stop him.
"Have you been crying?"
"You have. I heard you."
"Then why do you ask?" Watson let go of Holmes's arm.
"We'll still see each other", the doctor remarked.
"Yes", Homes replied dryly and reached for the door knob. Watson sighed in frustration. Why was it always like that? Such a genius and such an utter failure when it came to human relations and social matters.
"You just could have told me, you know."
Holmes stopped in his movement, then he turned around.
"How do you mean?"
The doctor shook his head.
"Holmes, you... you tried almost everything to sabotage my relationship with Mary. I mean... Good god! You even paid a gypsy from the street! But do you know what you never did? You never told me to stay."
Holmes just stood there, letting his eyes wander around the room, wanting to look everywhere except into Watson's face.
"Why didn't you just come to me", the doctor continued, "and told me: 'Don't go!'?" He paused and looked at the detective whose eyes were still unfocused. "But you can't even look me in the eyes now. You're unbelievable." Watson passed him to leave the room, when he suddenly heard Holmes's voice, nothing more than a whisper.
He turned around, disbelief written all over his face.
"Holmes! In twelve minutes I am going to be married! Married! You had months to come up with that! It's just a little bit too late now! Besides that you would have never thought of that yourself anyway, would you? Why do I need to tell you how to deal with that situation? Why?" Watson didn't expect a reply and turned around once more, but again, Holmes's voice stopped him.
"Because I didn't think, you would want me to say it", the detective mumbled. Watson turned around. "I know that you detest my lack of hygiene. And my chaotic experiments. Having to patch me back together again after the boxing matches. Me playing the violin..."
"I love it when you play." Watson hadn't meant to say that. It had just slipped out of his mouth. Holmes looked at him questioningly. "I... I know that sometimes, I complain a lot... But we have lived together for years! I could have moved out some time ago had I really wanted to. I never did. Because..." Watson stopped.
"Because what, Watson?"
"Oh, this is ridiculous! I need to be at the church in five minutes. I'm going to be late already."
"You accused me of not speaking when I had the opportunity. Now you're doing the same yourself!"
"Yes, I know. Going to be married in five..."
"Minutes. Well... do what you want to do."
"Holmes, I... I don't know what I want."
"Well, then you should decide within the next three minutes." Holmes stepped close to Watson and looked him in the eyes. The doctor bit his lower lip. He knew exactly, what he wanted. But that would hurt someone he cared about very much. He didn't even know who started it, but suddenly, their lips met. Desperately, hungry at first, then softer, more gently. Watson dug his hand into Holmes's hair in order to keep him close, while in the distance, the faint sound of church bells echoed over the city.