Copper Beaches

Remember, remember...

“Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.” - Thomas Fuller

The first scene of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes had not gone according to script. It would have been a lie to say that the producers were not a bit disappointed by that, but the play had only just begun, and there had been some promising moments. Therefore the show had to go on.

It was their weekly update meeting concerning the planning of the wedding, and Sherlock had decided that it should take place in the canteen of St Bart’s this time, because that way it would not interfere with his experiments and Molly’s schedule.

Molly had gone up a bit earlier than agreed with Sherlock to report to the Watsons how the scene with the riding crop had gone. As stated before, they were not happy about it, but decided to stick to their original plan.

The pathologist was standing in line to get herself something to eat when she heard the well-known baritone behind her, “What are you thinking: chicken or pasta?”

She turned around in surprise and found him standing a bit too close. “Oh, there you are!”

She knew that was probably not what she had said back then when he had asked her a similar question in the canteen to get access to the bodies of Eddie Van Coon and Brian Lukis, but she did not remember all her conversations with the consulting detective by heart, and they had not planned on re-enacting this particular scene. But since fate seemed to be on their sides, she decided to play along.

“This place is never going to trouble Egon Ronay, is it?” Sherlock went on.

Molly tried to remember what she was supposed to say now, when he did a double-take from the self-service display to her. “What happened to the lipstick?”

Molly didn’t need to think twice about what to reply, “It wasn’t working for me.”

Inwardly Molly prepared herself for the insult that was supposed to follow.

“I agree. Your lips don’t need artificial improvement. They are perfect just the way they are.”

Molly’s eyes became as big as saucers. Although he had said it very matter-of-factly it had not been as insulting as she had expected. It had not been insulting at all. It had been a compliment. She could not help but be flattered.

Sherlock pointed his head towards the queue. “Molly, I think it’s your turn.”

Molly had decided on pasta (sticking to Sherlock’s advice from a time when he had thought her mouth needed artificial improvement) and Sherlock on chicken (this Sherlock ate during cases; not on a regular basis – he still did not have an epicurean attitude towards food, but he did eat).

The Watsons opted for coffee only. Baby Watson was at Baker Street. Mrs Hudson loved to spend time with the little one and John and Mary were glad to have some time for themselves now and then.

“So,” Sherlock began while finishing his dish, “update me. Any progress?”

John had to suppress a smile. He found it funny that his best friend talked about the planning of his wedding as if it was a case or a military mission.

“We have the catering, the flower arrangements, the table decoration and we agreed on the menu,” Mary proclaimed happily.

“And we agreed on the stickers,” John added.

“You did?” Sherlock asked suspiciously, looking from his best man towards his bride-to-be.
Molly finished her pasta and nodded eagerly, “Yes we did. You’ll like it.”

Sherlock shrugged, “If you say so.”

Of course they had never agreed or even discussed the topic of stickers or flowers.

“What kind of flowers?” Sherlock asked. Sometimes it was a nuisance that he was such a curious person.

Before John or Molly could answer Mary responded with a wink, “It’s going to be surprise.”

“I hate surprises, and you know I could deduce it if I wanted,” the consulting detective challenged her.

Mary shrugged, as if she didn’t care, although inwardly prayed that he would not try such a thing. “We all know you could, but that would ruin it, wouldn’t it?” Yes, it would ruin their whole plan...

“Sherlock built a model from the venue,” Molly piped in before Sherlock would consider deducing some other things about the fake-wedding-planning.

“You did the same thing for our wedding, didn’t you?” John said and took a sip of his coffee.
The dark haired man nodded. “I took care of the seating.” He pulled out a piece of paper and presented them a blueprint of The Belvedere where the reception was to take place. Now John just knew that Sherlock went about his wedding just like it was a mission.

“You know that we are planning a wedding, and not a bank heist, do you, Sherlock?”
Sherlock had drawn a sketch with the seating arrangement and explained it to them, ignoring John’s question completely.

“You can take care of the place cards according to this plan,” he told them at the end of his explanation.
“Very well,” Mary answered for the other two, sensing this was all a bit much for them – especially Molly – and put the sketch into her bag.

To keep the conversation going Mary turned towards her friend, “Molly, you should think about what you’ll want to do for your hen night. And if you don’t come up with something fun, Meena and I will think of something.” Mary gave her a wicked grin which made Molly smile.

“That’s a threat! I’ll think of something.”

Mary turned to the future groom, “Just a shot in the dark, but...”

“Again?” Sherlock interrupted her, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

“Very funny...” John stated, not amused at all, as opposed to his wife. Her shooting his best friend was still a sore topic.

“Since we’ve already established that I am good at shooting in the dark,” Mary paused and flashed them an enigmatic smile, “I assume you don’t want a stag night, Sherlock?”

“Absolutely not!” He sounded almost scandalized.

“I don’t think you got a saying in this, mate,” John stated flatly. “As your best man it is my duty to repay you for the organisation of my stag night. And I could not destroy the dream of Lestrade and Anderson to see you get drunk.”

“Please don’t invite Anderson,” Sherlock said almost pleadingly.

John looked at him gobsmacked.

“What’s the matter?” Sherlock asked, not getting why his best man looked at him the way he did.

“You’ve just said please,” John explained, the wonder plain in his voice.

Sherlock scoffed, “Of course I’ve said please. It would’ve been quite rude otherwise, wouldn’t it?”

Mary kicked her husband under the table and pulled John out of his momentary state of astonishment.

He cleared his throat, “Yes, of course it would’ve... I mean... No, I won’t invite Anderson, don’t worry.”

Everyone went silent for a moment while John reprimanded himself silently for still showing his surprise at Sherlock’s new civil side.

“I thought about the waltz,” Sherlock suddenly said, “I’ll have to prerecord it, because I cannot play while we’re dancing,” he looked at his fiancée. “Unless you would like to have the first dance with someone else?”

“That’s out of the question,” Molly answered before she could even think about it.

“I thought so,” her fiancé said.

“Is there something else?” Molly asked. She wanted this meeting to end. Not only because talking about her fake-wedding made her insides turn into knots, but because she had to get back to work. She never overran her lunch break. She always hated her colleagues for doing that.

The pathologist did not really expect an answer to her question – it had been more of a rhetorical question – except to Mrs Watson, “We should not forget about the four most important things!”

When everyone looked at her in question, she elaborated, “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” It was obvious that the maid-of-honour had way too much fun planning this fake-wedding.

“I will think about it,” Molly said with a slightly angry note in her tone. She knew Mary meant well, but for her this was no game. This was her wedding they were talking about. The wedding she had always dreamed of. The wedding that could and would never be.

“How about a blue carbuncle?” John suggested and all turned to look at him.

Sherlock snorted, “Don’t be stupid! From where should we get a blue carbuncle? They don’t sell them in Christmas geese, do they? How come you even think of a blue carbuncle?”

John shrugged, “I read it in the paper: There was this robbery in Eastern Europe where they stole a blue carbuncle.”

Sherlock just shook his head. “Why do the most interesting cases always happen somewhere else?” he said wistfully and rose to stand and took Molly’s hand.

It did not escape his notice that she flinched slightly when he touched her. She did that most of the time. She thought he would not notice, but he did, of course. And he desperately wanted to know the reason for it. He had thought about asking her about it, but had decided to wait. He wanted to give her some time. She would talk to him when she was ready. He hoped she would. He did not want to force her, because he had the suspicion that doing so would make it worse.

“You should start to think about your wedding dress,” he told Molly and squeezed her hand gently.

She blanched slightly and swallowed. “I thought about wearing Mary’s” she squeaked.

Sherlock was taken aback. “Why would you do that? You would look horrible!”

Mary shot him a look.

The consulting detective hastened to correct his error, “I mean, Mary looked nice in it, but it would not suit you, Molly. I thought most girls dream was to buy a wedding dress. You’ve always wanted to look like a princess on your wedding day.”

He did not phrase it as a general statement. And it was not meant to be one. He was solemnly talking about Molly. He knew her well enough to be certain that this had always been her wish. She couldn’t argue with that, because it was true.

Helplessly Molly looked at the Watsons, and again Mary was the one to save the situation, “Molly was just joking. Of course we’ve already talked about the dress. Don’t worry, Sherlock, I’ll take care of it. You’ve approved of the last dress she bought with me, haven’t you?” Mary flashed him a knowing smile.

Sherlock turned towards his fiancée that had gone rigid beside him and said, “I have indeed.”

He then leaned closer to her so the others could not hear. He felt, rather than heard, her breath catch as he neared her. He then whispered in a tone full of seductive promise, “And this time you’ll be the one in for a surprise.”
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