This story is a translation of my german fanfic "Hochzeit mit Hindernissen".
The one and only SwissMiss (on Ao3) was so kind ot translate this story into English. Thank you my dear! Thank you so very much for your work!
Not Necessarily Nuptials
Chapter 1: The Nervous Bachelor
The chapel, situated in one of London's outer boroughs, was simple and quaint. The altar in the semicircular apse was decorated with sprays of red and white flowers. John had been told they were gladiolas. Mary loved gladiolas.
The dark oak panelling on the walls gleamed as if newly polished. Mrs Hudson had pronounced the overall atmosphere oppressive, with the waist-high wainscoting, wooden ceiling and pews all fashioned out of the same dark brown, nearly black wood, but today, the sun was streaming through the stained glass of the narrow, arched windows, splashing colourful reflections across the wood, the white, pillar-lined walls, and the uneven stone floors, worn down by generations of churchgoers.
John flinched slightly when a red spot appeared on the white pillar beside the altar.
It's just the sun and the stained glass, John, he tried to tell himself, but the memory wasn't easy to dismiss. Even after all those years. It was still there. Still demanding his attention. John concentrated on breathing in and out slowly through his nose.
Just a reflection. Just glass and light and sun. No laser sights. No snipers. No pool. No vest of explosives.
Just a church and a morning suit.
John ran a finger inside the unfamiliar stiff collar around his neck. Why did Mike have to make the knot in his tie so tight? He felt like he was wearing fancy dress. But Mary had insisted.
A white dress, long gloves and a veil for her; a black morning coat, grey pinstriped trousers, a white waistcoat and a silver-grey tie for him.
She hadn't allowed any discussion.
If Sherlock could see him now... he'd laugh himself silly.
John squeezed his eyes shut for a moment.
No. Not today. For once, just for today, he didn't want to think about Sherlock. Today he wanted to start a new chapter in his life. Today he wanted to gain closure on the grief and the pain and the hole that Sherlock had left behind. He wanted to let the past rest in peace. He wanted peace for himself.
And maybe ... in a couple of years ... a little house in the suburbs ... a little garden ... a child's bike standing by the door ... relatively regular work as a doctor.
Yes. He was doing the right thing.
Mary was wonderful. She was the only woman who had really listened to him when he talked about Sherlock. Even after weeks, when any other woman would have lost interest and been disgusted by him and his stories and his grief – or at least bored stiff.
A slight tremor ran through his left hand. John sighed softly.
Since Sherlock ... since that day ... the tremor came and went of its own accord. Why was it acting up today, of all days? How was that going to look if the rings slipped out of his trembling grip and landed on the floor?
Mechanically, he pressed his lips together and made a fist, released it, repeated the action several times.
He looked around the church. There were several people he didn't recognise. But that was no wonder. Mary and he had also slipped into churches to sit in on strangers' weddings in order to get an idea of what to expect, and how they wanted to plan their own wedding. Some of the older ladies in the back row were probably members of the local congregation and never missed a service.
The more familiar faces were made up mainly of colleagues from work, the lads from rugby, and some of Mary's friends. Mrs Hudson was there too, of course, sitting in the first row and gripping a tissue that was already damp. And nothing had even happened yet.
His sister Harry, Gregory Lestrade, Molly Hooper, and Mike Stamford were also among the guests. In a fit of goodwill, John had invited Mycroft as well, but there had been no response aside from a bland congratulatory card, and he hadn't shown up in the church yet either. John didn't know whether to be happy about that or not.
When he turned his gaze toward the altar, he saw that the clergyman – dressed in white celebratory robes with red and gold embroidery – had finally arrived. Well, that was something at least. Mary would be there any moment. John had heard of having to wait for the bride to arrive. But never for the clergyman ... John had to stop himself from shaking his head in disapproval.
At least the man seemed to take his calling seriously. The way he was bent over the altar, his head bowed, deep in prayer...
Motion at the door. The organ started up. John turned around and watched as Mary, in a white bridal gown, her face hidden by a veil, walked toward him down the aisle.
John realised with a certain degree of finality that he was about to marry this woman. His collar seemed to become a little tighter, and his pulse sped up.
Did all grooms feel like this? John thought he should be more moved, feel more emotion or even joy.
But there was nothing. He had never felt so empty.
Damnit, John! he scolded himself. You love this woman. The wedding's been set for over six months. It's too late to panic. It's just cold feet. It'll be fine!
Mary, in the meantime, had taken her place at his side. John managed a smile. The clergyman had come over to them, and the bridal pair turned to face him.
A mocking smirk graced the clergyman's face. Full lips, with an almost absurdly exaggerated Cupid's bow. High cheekbones, glittering eyes, and dark curls.
John's knees turned to jelly.
"No..." he gasped.
Mary looked curiously from one man to the other.
"Do you know each other? John, do you know..."
John couldn't manage any more than a hoarse whisper: "Sherlock." He felt the floor spinning under his feet.
Then there were shots. The organ music broke off. People screamed in panic.
"Terribly sorry, Mary," Sherlock said in a falsely sweet voice. "Unfortunately, John doesn't have time for sentiment today."
John felt Sherlock's steely grip on his hand, and as shots continued to ring out, he ran after him – past the altar to the side door leading into the sacristy.
To be continued...
Here is a nice picture of a morning suit:
herrenausstatter . de / nutzwert / knigge / images / cutaway . jpg
(I spared John the top hat...)
Cover for this story:
media . tumblr 0d9f21b83f88671239bd73def95d2dab / tumblr _ inline _ ms8dhdICOD1qz4rgp . jpg