So I have always enjoyed reading Regency romances and thought it might be fun to transport my favourite BBC series characters there. However I am not likely to be maintaining historical accuracy. At all.
And while I am in the confessional, let me also add that I do not own Sherlock or any of the characters, much as I would like to.
John Hamish Watson had been brought up to believe that he was a free man. That despite being an Omega, he had the power to choose within the constraints that society placed on him. He had received a wide education and been allowed to read as many books as he wanted. He was allowed to learn horse riding and fencing and not just to play the piano and paint.
So it came as a shock to him when he was told that his marriage had been arranged.
John's father, Howard Watson, was a banker in the City. So while they did not have a title or lineage, they had plenty of money. It was more than enough for John and his sister Harriet, to lead a comfortable life and for his father to provide to them all the accoutrements a person of Quality was expected to have. However, it was also his father's single-minded obsession with obtaining a title and in his eyes, elevating his only son in the ranks of society, which had led to John's current predicament.
John's sister was an Alpha and was currently spending her time courting Clara, their neighbour's daughter and lounging about in ale houses. There was little hope of Harriet ever being able to marry a high born Omega. Omegas were rare and prized in society and a titled Omega, even if impoverished would find several takers within their own class.
John was thus Howard Watson's only hope for gaining an entry into Quality. John had known that he would one day be expected to marry and settle down with an Alpha but he had not thought that he would be asked to marry a complete stranger and too an aristocrat.
"But Father…how can I marry somebody I don't… I don't know at all", he tried pleading.
Howard Watson was a shrewd man who was used to having his way and getting on in the world, largely due to the force of his personality. This case was no different.
"But this is the perfect opportunity for you to enter the aristocracy Johnny! The young man comes from a long line of very distinguished noblemen. In terms of birth or breeding, there could be nothing more desirable. Additionally I am told he is very intelligent and prefers intellectual pursuits to social frippery.
His only misfortune is that due to the last Earl of Sherrinford's excesses, he and his elder brother, the current Earl, have fallen on hard times. The current Lord Holmes is already married so he has to find a match for his younger brother who will help them recover the lost glory of the Holmes estate. It would a very convenient situation for both them and for us."
"A convenient marriage…" John said slowly.
"Don't look like that Johnny", his father said more softly. "You know I only wish the best for you. Indeed I would give my life to ensure it. You have reached marriageable age and this match offers you not just a title but also a highly eligible bachelor. We may never get such an opportunity again!"
"Johnny, what is bothering you?" he said when John didn't reply. "Is there someone else? You may speak to me quite frankly. If you have set your heart on someone and he or she is eligible, I will not withhold my consent."
Howard Watson looked at his son – at the deep blue eyes lost in thought, the golden blond hair and the small, neat figure lightly muscled by exercise. He doted on his son and had been happy to ensure that he was not lacking in anything. His wife was a bit of a foolish creature and Harry had clearly taken after her but he liked to think that John despite being an Omega had inherited his common sense and courage. His John may not be a very handsome or very beautiful Omega, but he was nevertheless one in a million, Howard thought proudly.
John turned to look at his father seeing in the old man's eyes the love he hid behind his bluster. "I know you mean the best Father. It's just that it's come as a bit of a surprise to me and I had never really thought of marriage".
"Well then that's okay Johnny!" Howard Watson said relieved, clearly taking John's words to mean consent. "You are almost two and twenty. It's time we had you comfortably settled", he said affectionately ruffling John's hair.
"Lord Holmes and his brother will be visiting us tomorrow and staying for the weekend. I should expect that Sherlock will offer for you then and you will be happy to accept. Lord Holmes and I will arrange for the rest", he announced leaving no room for argument.
"Sherlock", John murmured thinking of what a strange name it was. He wondered how the man would be and how he felt about being compelled to marry someone he had yet to meet.