Author's Note: This website is full of fantastic stories and I'm quite nervous about my own humble offering. I wish I was a better writer. Hopefully, with practice, I will improve. Perhaps I shouldn't be posting stories at all, but I love the Sherlock Holmes universe and wanted to at least give writing fan fiction a try. I gladly welcome constructive criticism, but please try to be kind as this is my first story. There will be more chapters, but updating will probably be sporadic as I'm very busy with school. Thanks for reading! I would really appreciate some input.

Disclaimer: I am not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and I had nothing to do with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Mary Morstan Watson, Mycroft Holmes, Mordecai Smith, etc. This is a work of fan fiction written purely for my own enjoyment and (hopefully) the enjoyment of other fans. I'm not being paid for this story. I'm not even getting a grade for it in school. (*sigh* If only...)

Even before I married John Watson it became clear to me that he would never be fully my own. While many women would have been dissatisfied with such knowledge, I loved my John too much to break my engagement with him. I knew I must share him with his friend or lose him entirely. Knowing as I did that I could never love another man, losing John was not an option. Rather than fight the inevitable, I immediately began getting used to the idea that I would have to share my husband with Sherlock Holmes. I initially wondered what made their brotherly love for each other so strong, though I soon began to understand. They had saved each other. When John arrived in London broken in body and spirit early in 1881, the poor, friendless soul felt lost in a meaningless existence. Mr. Holmes gave John not only the friendship he so desperately craved, but an occupation as well. For, while he appreciates his leisure time, John is the sort of person who can not thrive unless he feels useful, helpful, and has something constructive to do. His debt to Mr. Holmes did not go unpaid for long. I soon realized, even if Mr. Holmes never has, that Sherlock Holmes needs looking after. John gave Mr. Holmes the friendship that the latter did not realize he was missing. Mr. Holmes's mind is surely one of the world's most brilliant, but it is also one of the world's most disturbed. It sounds frank and harsh, but it is true. Without John's concern and support, Mr. Holmes surely would have lost himself forever in black moods and cocaine induced hazes. No one was and is more capable of watching out for Mr. Holmes than my husband John. Although he cannot penetrate all the detective's walls, John can reach Mr. Holmes more than anyone else. Even Mr. Holmes's brother, Mr. Mycroft Holmes, has not been able to reach Mr. Holmes the same way John can, although I know the elder Holmes loves his brother. Having already built a strong foundation to their friendship, John and Mr. Holmes continued to rely on each other and add to the warmth of their brotherhood.

And so I could not begrudge Mr. Holmes for his relationship with John. Nobody who truly loves someone else will make their beloved abandon all others. Only an abysmally selfish person would expect someone she loves to forget other relationships and shift all focus to her. And so with the knowledge that Mr. Holmes would always be an important part of John's life, I continued preparing for our wedding day.

On Christmas Day, 1888, John Watson made me the happiest woman in the world. Our wedding day has remained one of my life's happiest, and I still find my love for John growing each day. For almost three months after our marriage ceremony, I had John to myself. He enjoyed this time together as much as I did, but as we entered the second half of March, he began speaking rather wistfully of his old friend and their adventures together. One evening as he organized his case notes, I looked up from my needlework to address him.

"John dear, why not pay Mr. Holmes a visit? I'm sure he misses you quite as much as you miss him."

John smiled and shook his head sadly. "I don't know if Sherlock Holmes is truly capable of missing anybody. He put up with me because I became one of his habits."

"Well, you are very habit forming, but I think you judge Mr. Holmes too harshly. He's very fond of you and I know he values your friendship."

John seemed to consider this. "Well, perhaps I could drop by and see how he's faring. I do worry about him. You…You're sure you don't mind?"

I felt genuinely surprised at this question "Why on earth would I mind?" I inquired.

"Well, Holmes attracts a certain amount of danger, and he has a way of drawing me into his adventures. I-I promised when I married you that I would settle down…live a normal life.

"Hmmm… I don't seem to recall that promise in our wedding vows. John, of course I want you all to myself. How could any woman not want someone as wonderful as you by her side all the time. But marrying me did not automatically dissolve all other friendships. How could I resent you for paying a visit to a brother?

He eyed me carefully, "It may turn into much more than a visit."

I shrugged and smiled. "Well, if it does turn into an adventure, perhaps Mr. Holmes will need your assistance. Just promise me you'll be careful and come home safe."

He took my hands and gently guided me to his lap. "Mary, you are wonderful. I truly don't deserve…"

"I'll have none of that talk, John Watson," I said with mock severity, "If anyone is undeserving in this relationship it's me."

And so, the next day John paid his visit which turned, as I suspected it would, into an adventure. He called this incident "A Scandal In Bohemia," and it was the first of many adventures he would have during our married life. I knew John could never fully abandon a life of excitement and so, since our engagement, had carefully prepared myself for his absences. I have never regretted encouraging that first visit in March, for I could see that John felt truly invigorated by his escapades with Mr. Holmes. I also knew how much he valued Mr. Holmes's company and I sometimes verbally suggested his trips to Baker Street. I worried about John's safety, but I convinced myself that the benefits were worth the risks. Although I was now in the picture, John and Mr. Holmes still needed each other. I comforted myself through those worrisome nights with the knowledge that I was helping John in his responsibility to care for his friend. I also, I reasoned, was making a contribution to society by cheerfully allowing John to render his aid and abilities to Mr. Holmes's war on crime. Also, no matter where John was led on these capers he always returned safely home to me. These thoughts did not make John's absences any easier, but they helped me endure them until John was back in our sitting room.

As the months rolled by, I came to see that it was not so hard a trial as I initially feared it would be. No man cherished his wife more than John cherished me. He was and is an affectionate, loving husband. I did not resent the nights he was away, but valued all the more the time he spent with me, which was not so scanty as some people have imagined. John worked on one or two cases a month*, which meant he really saw much more of me than he saw of Mr. Holmes. I am convinced that no woman was happier than I. I became more used to John's absences and accepted them as merely another part of our life together and just an extension to his career as a doctor.

No, John's loyalty to Mr. Holmes did not bother me. The one thing that did bother me was Mr. Holmes's treatment of me. He was distant and cold. Resentful, even.

"That's just Holmes's way," John hastened to comfort me, "He's nearly impossible to become close to…and he's always had trouble befriending women.

"But he was so kind during my trouble with the Agra treasure," I worried, "What could I have done to offend him?"

"Please don't worry, dear. He showed interest in you because you were a factor in the problem. When the case was solved, he ceased to be interested in you."

I favored him with a wry smile, "Thank you dear, that makes me feel so much better. No, it's more than that. He feels I took you away from him."

"Mary, don't be ridiculous," John said quickly, though he carefully looked away from me.

While Mr. Holmes's aversion continued to bother me, I tried to ignore it. I succeeded in becoming used to it, but their was always the worry in the back of my mind that my husband's dearest friend despised me, and nothing I could do would change his opinion of me.

On September 19, 1889, I entered John's consulting room with the news that lunch was ready and the hope that he wasn't too busy to join me. I found him deep in thought over a telegram.

"It's Holmes," he said in answer to my questioning look, "He's requesting my assistance on a case."

"Could you leave after lunch?" I asked.

"He says 'come immediately.'" John must have seen my disappointment. "I could say no," he said hastily, "Poor Mary, I joined him for a case just last week."

I immediately smiled. "It's alright dear. It seems Mr. Holmes needs you more than I do right now." John held my face in his hand and kissed me softly on the forehead.

"My practice has been slow today and I have no pressing professional cases. Should anyone need medical assistance, please send them directly to Anstruther. Take care, my love, I'll be back."

"Be careful," I answered, and went on tiptoe to kiss him. I waved from the doorstep as his hansom rolled away. After he'd gone, I went back inside for lunch.

I occupied my day with a visit to Mrs. Margery Lestrade. I didn't know Mrs. Lestrade very well, but she had always been friendly to me and as she had just had a baby, I thought I would inquire after her health and bring her family some fresh chicken pies. Mrs. Lestrade immediately invited me in and the rest of my day was occupied in conversation with Margery and play with her four young daughters. I held her sweet new baby boy. I suspected I might be in the family way, and Margery's children made me hope all the more that my suspicions were correct.

Twilight had fallen by the time I arrived home, and my sitting room was quite dark. I lit the gas lamps and violently started. Sherlock Holmes was standing by my husband's armchair.

"Mr. Holmes…" I stammered, "Have you been here long?"

"I just came through the window," he answered matter-of-factly.

"The window! What on earth…"

"Yes, I believe I'm being followed. Mrs. Watson, I think you should sit down." His gentle voice and concerned expression terrified me. My frightened eyes met his icy grey orbs.

"Where is John?"

"Well," he began nervously, "I was making inquires in a pub by the docks and I sent him to watch for a suspect, and…"

I fought to keep my voice steady. "Mr. Holmes, where is my husband?

His eyes clouded as he looked away. "He's gone."

*I don't really know how often Watson was away, But in The Adventure of the Speckled Band he writes that he had worked on "seventy odd cases" in the past eight years. This gives me the impression that he couldn't have been away on a case more than once a month.