Characters: Sarah, Molly, Alec, John, Josh, Abby, Reed, Mrs Hooper, Rupert
Pairings: Molly/Alec, John/Sarah, Josh/Rupert
Word Count 3,139
Summary: Molly and Alec are getting married. The Best Man and Matron of Honour are there to help.
Author's notes: Set in the Abby 'verse.
Okay, so, this is the wedding fic I've been hacking away at. It is in two parts: ceremony and reception. This part alternates between Sarah and Josh's points of view.
Part two is here
Marianne Hooper & Alexander Thornton
Sarah was fairly certain she was going to punch Linda Hooper in the face by the end of the day. Which was unfortunate, because the Matron of Honour punching out the Mother of the Bride was probably not in Molly's plan for a Perfect Wedding Day.
“The zip's stuck,” Sarah said. “Hold still, Molly.”
“I told you you should have ordered a bit bigger in case you gained weight,” Mrs Hooper said.
“It's just stuck in the fabric, Molls, don't worry,” Sarah said, quickly. “We already tried it on this morning before we went to the salon, remember. You haven't gained weight since then.”
“Don't tear it!” Mrs Hooper said.
“I won't,” Sarah said. “Ahem. I won't.”
She carefully lowered the zip and moved the fabric out of the way. ZZZZIP.
“There we go, perfect fit,” Sarah said. She fastened the buttons that hid the zip and stepped back.
Molly smoothed out the front and admired herself in the mirror in the Vicar's office. Mrs Hooper was too nervous to let Molly ride in the limo with her dress on, so they had waited to arrive at the church before dressing. Sarah could tell Molly was pleased with how she looked, but she was also waiting for her mother's next bout of negativity. It wasn't malicious. Mrs Hooper was just a very nervous sort of person.
“You look beautiful, Molly-girl,” Mrs Hooper said, with a sniff.
Molly beamed. Sarah had hope the day might progress punch-free.
“I just hope it doesn't rain,” Mrs Hooper added, looking out at the bright blue sky outside.
“Good luck if it does, though,” Sarah countered. She wondered where Molly's sunny optimism came from. Maybe her dad. Or perhaps just as a survival mechanism developed over the years of living with such a rain cloud.
“What time is it?” Molly asked.
“4:15,” Sarah said. “Forty-five minutes to go.”
“Hopefully, Alec will get here on time,” Mrs Hooper added.
It was going to be a long forty-five minutes.
“Isn't it left? Shouldn't we be going left?” Alec asked, as the cab turned right.
“No, the church is this way,” Josh said.
“Are you sure?” Alec said.
“Alec, there are four people in this car, three of whom know where the church is,” Josh said, patiently. “Of those three people, you are the only one who does not think it's this way. Of those three people, one is a cab driver with SatNav, one is me, who teaches Geography to ungrateful Secondary school children, and one is you, who gets lost in your own house. It's this way.”
“Yeah, okay,” Alec said. “Sorry. I just don't want to be late for this. It would be really bad to be late for this. Molly is forgiving, but not that forgiving. This is sort of the one thing I cannot be late for.”
Josh gave him a pat on the shoulder. “We've got forty minutes and we'll be there in five,” he said. “You could crawl from the cab to the pulpit and make it on time.”
“Can I crawl?” Reed asked, from Josh's lap. “That would be cool!”
“It would not be even a little cool,” Josh corrected. “Daddy would not be impressed with crawling.”
“But bears walk on all fours, Papa,” Reed said. “And I'm the ring bear.”
Alec and Josh both laughed at this, loudly.
“You're going to be an awesome ring bear,” Alec said. “But you need to stay on your feet.”
“Okay,” Reed said, sounding disappointed. “I need a wee!”
“We're almost there, hold on,” Josh said.
The limo that presumably had brought Mrs Thornton-to-be and her cohort was parked outside the church, ready for the getaway when Mr and Mrs Thornton emerged. Josh ran with Reed to the loo, leaving Alec behind. Thankfully, his small army of a family was there to guide him. He'd probably get lost and walk in on Molly if left to his own devices.
Once the loo emergency was taken care of, Josh brought Reed into the choir's change room, where Alec was to be held until he was released into matrimony. It was packed with Thorntons and semi-Thorntons.
“Where's Daddy?” Reed asked.
“Daddy's coming later,” Josh said. “He'll be here soon, though.”
“I need him to fix my tie,” Reed said.
“I can fix your tie,” Josh said.
“Daddy says not to let you fix my tie,” Reed said.
Josh was about to argue, but figured it was probably fair. Rupert would do a better job sprucing Reed up than he would. He was the swish one of the two of them. He accused Josh of dressing like a teacher. Josh really didn't know how else to dress.
“Okay, okay, could...could you just...” Alec said, over the din of his family. He made a sort of helpless gesture. “I'm a bit--”
Josh put his fingers in his mouth and gave a loud whistle.”All right, everyone who is not standing at the front of the church, wish your wells and get lost,” he said.
'Thank you,' Alec mouthed.
Josh gave him a thumb's up.
At four-thirty, there was a gentle knock on the door. Sarah went to answer it, finding John on the other side, looking quite fit in his suit.
“Delivering the flower girl,” he said. “And off to try and prevent Sherlock from offending anyone until the ceremony is over.”
Sarah took Abby's hand to bring her into the room. “Good luck,” she said.
“Thank you,” John said. He crouched down to give Abby a kiss. “You're going to be awesome, okay? Don't be nervous.”
Abby nodded, and waved goodbye as he left. “I not have my basket,” she said to Sarah, in a whisper.
“We've got it, sweetie, don't worry,” Sarah assured her. “Come in and we'll put your frock on, okay?”
Abby entered the room, her eyes going very big at the sight of Molly in her dress. “You look pretty!” she said.
Molly flushed. “Thank you,” she said. “Are you ready?”
“I practised lots,” Abby said, solemnly.
“I know you're going to be brilliant,” Molly said.
Sarah helped Abby into her dress, and put her Alice band on. Her hairstyle had thankfully survived the morning and afternoon with Daddy and Uncle Sherlock. She twirled happily in the mirror, watching her skirt swirl around her.
“I hope Alec is here by now,” Mrs Hooper said, at 4:45.
“I'm sure he is,” Sarah said.
Molly looked worried about this now, and Sarah drew on all her motherly and doctorly patience to keep from telling Mrs Hooper off. “He's often late,” Molly said, biting her lip.
“I'll check, shall I?” Sarah said. “I'll just go and check. Abby, you stay with Molly and Mrs Hooper, okay?”
Abby twirled and nodded.
Sarah slipped out of the room, and went off in search of the male contingent of the wedding party. Guests were starting to fill up the pews, Alec's side a bit more full than Molly's. He had a lot of family. Sarah hurried up the aisle.
Lestrade had arrived now, and was chatting over the pew to Sherlock, who looked surprisingly okay with being there. Mrs Hudson was already looking teary.
Sarah turned the corner toward the change room, and bumped into Josh, the Best Man. He was Alec's friend from uni, and his son was the ring-bearer. He was a very nice bloke, in the way that Alec was a very nice bloke, and Sarah wondered where all these very nice blokes had been hiding all this time.
“Alec sent me to make sure Molly isn't freaking out,” Josh reported.
“Molly sent me to make sure Alec is here,” Sarah replied.
“Alec is here,” Josh said.
“Molly is fine,” Sarah said.
They nodded to each other, with knowing smiles, and parted again. Sarah went back to the office where Molly was getting ready.
“Alec is here, everything's fine,” Sarah said. “Ten minutes to go.”
“I saw Sarah,” Josh reported. “She says Molly is fine.”
“Okay, good,” Alec said.
“Are you fine?” Josh asked.
“Erm...yes?” Alec said, uncertainly. “I want to do this, but I also have a very strong urge to run like hell. But I want to take Molly with me. So, is that cold feet?”
“No, that is common sense,” Josh said. “Straight weddings are way too much, mate. At least when I married Rupe it was just a nice suit and a non-homophobic city clerk, and you and Rupe's sister and his parents. Two weeks planning, tops, and then we all got pissed. Definitely the way to go.”
“It wasn't supposed to be this big,” Alec said. “But, it's sort of like, if you invite him you have to invite her and if you invite her you have to invite them, so it's a choice between five people and seventy people, or fifty people and a hundred people. And five people doesn't cover my family, and Molly is too nice to leave anyone out, so...now we're here. And I want to be here. I just want to be on the other side of here. The married side of here.”
“Well, half an hour or so, and we'll be there,” Josh said.
Alec shook his hands out and nodded, looking a little peaky still. Reed watched, and mimicked his hands shaking, obviously thinking this was part of the ring bear's ritual. Josh joined in, just for the hell of it, and they all had a good shake-out that ended with them laughing some of Alec's nerves away.
“Alec, when you marry Molly, is she going to be your husband?” Reed asked.
“No, when boys and girls get married, girls have a husband and boys have a wife,” Alec explained.
Reed looked sceptical. “Are you sure?” he said.
“Very sure,” Alec said.
“So, when I get married, what am I going to have?” Reed asked.
Alec looked, rightfully, to Josh to cover this one.
“You'll have whatever you bloody well want to have,” Josh replied. “You are the adopted half-Afro-Carribean son of two gay men, one of whom is Jewish and the other who is the child of immigrants. You are the BNP's worst nightmare. You do whatever you want.”
“Awesome!” Reed said.
They exchanged high-fives.
There was a knock on the door, and Rupert stuck his head in.
“Daddy, I can marry whoever I want,” Reed said.
Rupert frowned. “Yes, sweetie, I know,” he said. “Hey Al, how are you doing?”
“Contemplating taking Molly and running away,” Alec said.
“You're lucky, we didn't get a big wedding,” Rupert said. “We had to do it at the registrar’s office.”
And there, thought Josh, was a lovely example of opposites attracting. Alec grinned, probably thinking the same thing.
“Reedy, you come with me and I'll make sure you're all ready to go, okay? We've got about ten minutes left,” Rupert said. “I'll fix your tie and hair.”
“There's nothing wrong with his tie and hair,” Josh objected.
“There won't be when I'm done,” Rupert said. “Come on, Reed.”
Reed happily left with Daddy, leaving Alec and Josh alone to prepare.
Molly made a noise like air being slowly let of a balloon. She and Sarah both laughed; Mrs Hooper looked worried. There was another knock on the door. Sarah peeked out. Molly's brothers were there. One was older than her and one was younger than her, and one was David and the other was Chris, but she didn't know which name went with which brother because they had been introduced as 'David and Chris' and constantly referred to as 'David and Chris' as though they were one entity.
“We just wanted to say hey,” David or Chris (the Older One) said.
“And wish her luck,” David or Chris (the Younger One) added. “Because we know she's freaking out.”
Sarah stepped aside to let them in. She pulled Abby back into a corner and helped her get her basket ready for flowering.
David and Chris hugged Molly and told her she was beautiful, and made her cry. With five minutes to go, Sarah sent them back out so they could get Molly back in shape. Sarah cleaned up her make-up and reapplied it while Mrs Hooper worried about smudged eye shadow.
“All right,” Sarah said. “Final check. Something old?”
Molly pointed to her bouquet, which was tied with a ribbon with a button from one of her dad's old shirts sewn on.
“Something new?” Sarah said.
Molly shook her wrist, which had a bracelet from Alec's mum on it.
Molly pointed to her earrings, Sarah's from when she'd married John.
“What's next, Abs?” Sarah asked.
“Something...blue,” Abby said. She had memorized the book about weddings Sarah had bought as part of teaching her about being a flower girl.
Molly lifted up a foot. The soles of her shoes were painted Tiffany blue. “Something blue,” she echoed back to Abby.
“And a sixpence for your shoe?” Sarah said.
“Oh, I have that,” Mrs Hooper said. She rummaged in her handbag and pulled it out. “There we are, Molly-girl. That was the one I used. It brought me a lot of luck.” She crouched down and slipped it into Molly's shoe. “All set.”
Sarah glanced at the clock. “Let's go,” she said.
Molly suddenly looked like she was going to faint, but recovered herself a moment later and smiled again. Sarah opened the office door and peered out to make sure the coast was clear. Just Josh's husband crouched down to speak to the ring bearer.
“You practise lots?” Abby asked Reed.
“Yes,” he said.
“Me too,” she said.
There was an unspoken 'don't mess this up' to her tone, and Sarah wondered, not for the first time, if she really shouldn't be spending as much time with Sherlock as she was. He was very good for her self-confidence, not so good for her social skills.
“Okay, buddy, I have to go in now,” Rupert said. “You listen to Mrs, er, Dr...Watson?”
“Sawyer,” Sarah corrected.
“Mrs Dr Sawyer,” Rupert said. “It's just like at the rehearsal. And be nice to Abby.”
Reed nodded. Rupert stood up and slipped into the church. The music started up a moment later. Sarah organized the processional, and waited for her cue in the music. Mrs Hooper kissed Molly on both cheeks and they smiled at each other. Abby gave Reed a stern look. Sarah started down the aisle, putting a smile on her face.
John was in the first pew, next to Molly's brothers. Sherlock was next to John. He was texting. John took his phone away. Sherlock pouted. Mrs Hudson bawled openly while Lestrade tried to comfort her. Alec was full on beaming, and it was almost blinding. He really had a lot of teeth. Several of the women on his side of the church were crying as well. Sarah made it to the front, receiving a wink from Josh, and moved over to the side of the pulpit.
Reed came next, very carefully holding his pillow. Sarah could see Rupert's anxiety over this, while Josh just looked amused. Abby followed, solemnly sprinkling her flowers on the ground. She breathed a sigh of relief when she got to the front, and went to sit with John and Sherlock.
“I do okay?” she whispered.
“You were brilliant,” John replied.
“Well done,” Sherlock grunted. “Very good walking in a straight line.”
Sarah gave her a discreet thumb's up. Then everyone stood for Molly. Sherlock turned and passed a handkerchief to Mrs Hudson behind him. John lifted Abby up so she could see over the heads of everyone.
“Okay, here we go,” Josh murmured to Alec, who couldn't even take his eyes away long enough to acknowledge him.
If Josh was being superficial, which he sometimes was, he'd say that Molly Hooper was not particularly beautiful. She was a bit mousy. However, if he was being romantic, which he often was, he would admit that she was a person who grew more beautiful once you got to know her. She was sweet, and kind, and had a really odd, macabre sense of humour, and Alec was stupidly in love with her.
Today, however, she was beautiful inside and out, and Alec muttered 'wow' to himself a few times as her mother brought her up the aisle. She looked very uncomfortable with all the attention on her until about halfway down, when she locked eyes with Alec and started to relax. Alec stepped forward to meet her when she made it to the pulpit.
“Please take care of her,” Molly's mum said, sniffling.
“I will,” Alec promised, sincerely.
They settled themselves up by the vicar, who was the chaplain of the hospital where Molly worked. Josh imagined he and Molly saw a lot of each other, given how often she was around dead people. Sarah dipped forward to get Molly's train sorted out, and then they started the ceremony proper. Dearly beloved, and all that.
The ceremony started off smoothly, aside from one tense moment at the objection part of things, when everyone on Molly's side of the church seemed to stare expectantly toward that Holmes bloke in the front pew.
“I've only done that once and it was case related,” he hissed in a loud whisper to Sarah's husband. “I don't know why everyone keeps expecting me to go around doing it everywhere.”
Sarah's husband shushed him, and the ceremony rolled onwards. One of Alec's nieces read a little excerpt from a book Molly liked as a child, about a leaf that was too scared to leave the tree in autumn until it found another leaf to jump with it. Molly and Alec both got a big giggly during the vows, with all the 'Mariannes' and 'Alexanders'. Josh had to dislodge the rings from the pillow, as Rupert had used one of his super knots on it and Alec couldn't get it undone. Molly's brother played a song on the guitar while they signed the register. Then they were pronounced husband and wife, and told to kiss each other, and there was much rejoicing.
Alec and Molly recessed down the aisle, and Reed and Abby followed, Abby grabbing Reed's hand with great purpose, and Reed looking a bit grossed out by it. Josh linked his arm through Sarah's to follow.
“Not too bad,” Sarah said, through her smile.
“Not bad at all,” Josh agreed.
Reed quickly dropped Abby's hand once they were out in front of the church. Alec had his hands on Molly's face, and was muttering down to her, while she beamed up, her smile big enough to touch his hands on her cheeks.
“God, that's sickening,” Josh said.
“Yes,” Sarah agreed.
Josh held his hand out for a high-five and Sarah hit it, solemnly.