Because sometimes, Watson and Holmes act remarkably like an old married couple. Just a little piece of my imagination.
She had observed them from time to time. Those two. A scruffy, yet attractive young man and a rather exotic looking young woman. They had frequented her diner quite often, both ordering the same thing every time. Cornflakes and coffee for the man, Eggs Benedict and a smoothie for the woman.
There was no variety, yet each day she saw them seemed like something new. They would sit at the booth in the corner, just staring at each other or outside, watching the people walk by, seemingly without a care in the world.
But she knew better. In her sixty-two years of life, Margaret Hanson had become quite adept at reading people, and it had come quite in handy when you have a profession like a waitress.
When the woman, Joan, her name was, wasn't looking, the man, Sherlock, would glance at her from the corner of his eye, a small smirk brightening his face.
Sherlock, it was such an unusual name, even for a Brit.
And when the man wasn't looking, the woman would sigh fondly and roll her eyes at him, a secretive smile playing on her face.
Of course, they had their ups and downs. One day, the woman had come into her diner with an incredibly furious expression of her beautiful face. She was about to ask what was wrong when the man came in quietly behind her, looking very much like a loyal puppy. He had placed a hand on the woman's shoulder and guided her to their booth, a semi apologetic look in his face. All Margaret had caught was snippets of a conversation that had included words such as "high class restaurant" and "completely embarrassed" and "arrogant prick."
Margaret had grinned slightly. Those two. It seemed as though the man was trying to appease the woman, but was not succeeding at all.
They were such an odd couple. Indeed, she knew that they were a couple. Maybe not the way she and her husband John had been in their days of courtship, but they were a couple nonetheless.
She saw it in the way that the man's eyes trailed over the woman's face longer than necessary, or how the woman would always use the man's bicep as a clutch when they exited the diner. While there were no overt signs of affection, some underlying feelings were always on the surface.
Margaret smiled brightly when her two favorite customers entered her diner. The woman waved while the man sulked in the back, grudgingly throwing a hand in the air at her after the woman nudged him. She shook her head slightly. Yep, definitely a couple.
But today, she wanted to find out for sure. Walking over to them with a pad and paper (which was completely unnecessary as she knew what they were going to have), Margaret stopped by their table and waited until they noticed her.
"Good morning Margaret." The woman chirped warmly. "I'll have my usual."
Margaret nodded and turned to the man. "What about you, young man, the usual?"
"Young man?" The man muttered angrily. His eyes bored into her own, yet she was not frightened in the slightest because in her eyes, he most definitely was a young man. "I am not a young man. Being a young man implies that I am in my early to late twenties, which, I will tell you now, I am not. Furthermore, even if you were to argue that from your point of view, I was a young man, it does not negate the fact that I AM NOT A YOUNG MAN!"
A small silence descended over the trio. The man slumped in his seat, mumbling something to himself while the woman and Margaret exchanged exasperated looks.
"I'll take that as a yes then." Margaret dryly said, gaining a short laugh from the woman.
"Forgive him," The woman said, shooting her companion a glare. "He didn't get much sleep last night."
"And who's fault was that?" The man shot back, ignoring the flush on the woman's cheek at the implied meaning.
"That's what fifteen cups of coffee does, darling. Besides, you're the one who said you needed my help, so I helped." She shrugged her shoulders at the man and opted to stare out the window.
"Helped?" The man cried out incredulously. "You call that help?! I asked you for one thing, one sodding thing, and you turned it into an all-nighter!"
Margaret watched as the woman's dark eyes lit up in ill disguised rage. "Well excuse me for helping you solve that case! Without my valuable insight, you wouldn't have caught that man!"
Margaret's eyebrows rose. Were these two with the police? They certainly didn't look like it.
The man's mouth opened for a second before closing. He stared at the woman's smug expression shrewdly, and let out a rather exaggerated sigh. "I suppose you're right, darling."
"I always am." She replied. "Behind every great man, is an even greater woman." The woman winked at Margaret.
Margaret took that as her cue to talk. "So, I've been meaning to ask, and I hope you two can appease an old woman's curiosity." Both stared at her with odd expressions.
"How long have you been married?"
"Do we look married to you?" Sherlock asked Bell later that day. The old woman's question had thrown him off guard, and judging by the redness in Watson's cheeks, she had felt the same way.
"Excuse me?" Bell knew who Sherlock was referring to when he said we, but he wanted to have a bit of fun with his colleague. "I sure as hell hope that we don't look married."
"I don't mean you an I you dolt, I mean Watson...Joan and I. Do we look married?" Sherlock stroked his stubble and ruffled his hair slightly. The man looked genuinely worried at the thought of being even hypothetically married to Joan. Bell didn't see why. Joan was very attractive, and loath though he was to admit it, sometimes Bell thought that Holmes and Watson made one hell of a team.
"Do you look like newly weds...absolutely not." The detective smirked at the older man. "But yeah, you do look married. Like my grandparents, you know? They're at each others throats all the time, but at the end of the day, they love each other and forgive each other as well. So yes, I think you two are like an old married couple."
Bell was genuinely surprised to see a fleeting look of surprise on Sherlock's face before it morphed into an expression of grim defeat.
"Yes. I suppose you're right Bell. I suppose the world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes." He said sagely. Sherlock clapped the younger man on the shoulder and spun out of the room in haste yelling a quick "I've got it!" as he left.
Bell stared at his retreating form, shaking his head. "For some reason, I feel as though everything's changed"
Joan narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the man in front of her. He was seated on the bed...her bed, legs crossed, hands placed on his lap, and he was looking right back at her...very intensely.
"SHHH Watson. I am thinking."
"Can you think on your own bed."
"You sound like a child."
And that ended that discussion.
Joan took the chair in the corner of the room, acutely aware that Sherlock's eyes traced her every move. This caused an involuntary response to her Sympathetic Nervous system. She felt butterflies in her stomach as he eyes locked with his. This hadn't happened since the first time she'd seen him shirtless.
"It's been three months." He finally said. Joan blinked in confusion.
"It's been three months since our six weeks ended. I'm curious as to why you haven't left yet. Aren't you sick of me?" His tone, though inquisitive, held just a hint of apprehension.
"You grew on me. Like a parasite." Joan deadpanned, her lips quirking up in a small smile. "I want to believe that the same can be said about me to you."
Sherlock chuckled, letting out a breath at the same time. "So you don't want a divorce?"
Joan furrowed her brows for a second before understanding flooded her face. "This is about what Margaret said this morning isn't it? About us being married."
"Maybe." He pushed himself off the bed and stood before her. "Does this mean that I can introduce you as my wife when we go to crime scenes?" Though he sounded completely serious, she caught the glint of amusement in his eyes.
"Not if you value your life. Remember that I was a surgeon, and was quite adept at using a scalpel."
Sherlock paced the length of the room, occasionally glancing back at the woman sitting on that small chair. A sudden, unexpected burst of emotion filled the void space in his chest. He frowned at himself. He had promised that no woman would hold any place in his life, let alone his heart. Not since Irene at least. But with Joan, something was different. Something just...clicked.
He would have to analyze these new found emotions more deeply before drawing any conclusion. He hadn't fornicated with any women since she had come into his life, and lately, his dreams seemed to be centralized around her...his sober companion.
"Right!" Sherlock exclaimed suddenly. "I've decided something."
Joan looked at him wearily before rising and plopping down on the bed. "What? You've decided to go back to your room and sleep?"
To her surprise, he had a mischievous glint in his eyes that didn't suit him at all. He was up to something...she just knew it. Indeed, when he slipped into the bed beside her, it came as an enormous shock.
"Sleep yes. In my bed? No. I think rest is a good thing sometimes. And for some reason, I feel that if we share a bed, both of us might enjoy some well deserved shut-eye." Sherlock rested a hand on her shoulder, waiting for her next move.
Joan sat still for mere moments, contemplating what he had just said. Sharing a bed? With him? Well...what's the worst that could happen?
"Fine. But keep your hands to yourself." She waggled a finger at him dangerously before shutting the light off, a thrill of excitement jolting through her at the thought of being in such close proximity with her husband.
"I swear to you on my mother's grave, that I will not intentionally touch you." She rolled her eyes at his clever wording. Joan turned her face towards him and placed a chaste kiss on the corner of his mouth. To her surprise, she felt him tense before relaxing ever so slightly. He returned the favor by letting his lips linger on her forehead.
She let out a sigh. This was very domestic.
Intentional or not, she just knew that they would wake up in a very odd position.
And she wasn't wrong.
Morning came with a side of rain and thunder. Luckily, it was a Sunday, the day of rest. The couple could be seen huddled close to each other, sharing body heat and invading personal space. The boundary between companion and companion had been crossed. Never before did Joan Watson or Sherlock Holmes imagine that they might end up in such a position.
To any onlooker, they looked quite cozy. His chin rested on her head, their arms snug around each other, legs tangled together. And indeed, they felt quite cozy as well.
Waking up wasn't as awkward as they might have thought.
Sherlock politely untangled himself from her, though it took much maneuvering. It felt almost...natural. The way her body had instinctively slipped against his, and how he had tightened his hold around her...everything felt...right. Like it was meant to be.
"Morning." The gravely tone of his morning voice coated with his lovely accent sent tingles down Joan's spine.
"We should do this more often. I feel very refreshed." He remarked, stretching slightly, giving Joan a nice view of his abdominal muscles.
For a moment, they looked at each other, sensing a shift in dynamic had just occurred, but neither of them felt the need to mention it.
"You know," Sherlock tapped his chin thoughtfully. "We really are like an old married couple."
"We share a bed and yet don't have any sex. That about sums up the definition of old and married."
The man didn't even dodge the pillow that was thrown his way.
"Why is there no milk in the house?" The woman's voice echoed through the empty diner. Margaret grinned and signaled for her husband to come near her.
"Those two are the ones I talked to you about."
"Because I finished it." The man replied condescendingly. "And here I thought that my powers of deduction were rubbing off on you Watson."
"You have an unhealthy obsession with cereal Sherlock."
"And you should learn to appreciate it."
"I don't know why I put up with you." The woman threw her hands up in exasperation.
"See," Margaret murmured to her husband. "The perfect married couple."
Her husband wisely kept quiet.
"Because you looooveee me!" The man smiled at her boyishly.
The woman just smiled. "Is it too late for that divorce?"
"I believe so."
They slipped into their booth, and Margaret made her way over to them, pen and pad ready.
The husband and wife looked at each other. "Actually Margaret," The man said. "I think it's time for something different. How about bacon and eggs with a side of hashbrowns, orange juice and coffee."
Margaret's eyes widened, as did the woman's.
"You hate change Sherlock. This is...unexpected."
The man barked out laughter. "Yes well, I suppose some change is good in life. Take last night for example." The way he was looking at the woman made Margaret feel like she was the third wheel in a private conversation.
The woman nodded, a blush staining her cheeks. "I'll have your chocolate chip pancakes and coffee then."
As Margaret left the table, she heard the woman say, "Don't make this a habit though. Do you know how much saturated fat and cholesterol have? Eating that everyday will clog your arteries in no time."
"Don't worry Joan. I'm at the peak of my virility and strength. I can handle some extra fat. My metabolism will neutralize it all."
"I'm just worried about you, dear."
And then the man said something so uncharacteristic, that it made both Margaret and the woman jump. "I know you are. And I worry about you as well, love. But don't be so scared. I'm completely self sufficient you know."
"You sure they're not married?" Margaret's husband asked her as she gave the order to the cook.
"Positive." She replied. "But they will be...one day."
And exactly seven months and four days from that day, Margaret Hanson received an invitation to the wedding of one Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson.
The old woman just smiled and looked to the heavens. If before marriage, these two acted like a married couple, she wondered what would happen after the wedding?
She couldn't wait to see what Mr. and Mrs. Holmes would do now.