It had been a few months since the scare, when the “fan” the cab driver mentioned made himself known. Jim Moriarty was clever, oh so clever, but not clever enough. He had made the mistake of using Amy as a hostage, strapping a bomb to her chest after playing an extended game of cat and mouse using innocent people as bait. He still thought his actions were too lenient, but he didn’t share that opinion with anyone else. When Amy took time away to think about things it felt as if the glimmer of light in his life had shut out, and not even an incredibly challenging case from Lestrade had improved his mood. It wasn’t until she showed up at his flat six days later and told him that he’d scared her but it was okay because she knew she would have picked up the gun and shot the bomb at Moriarty’s feet if Sherlock’s life had been in danger that it came back. Her acceptance had marked a change in things for him.
He liked how things had settled, and he had turned his mind to other thoughts as time progressed. He did not hold to the label that he was a high functioning sociopath as much, though he would admit he didn’t care about the niceties and such of society, and he was too blunt for his own good and would say exactly what was on his mind without regard for what it meant to whomever he was talking to. He knew that the fact that he even cared a little about such things, which manifested in his attempts to be easier to live and work with, was all Amy’s doing. She had succeeded in convincing him that perhaps his view of himself was a bit off. But despite realizing she had made changes in him, most of the time, away from her or those who he knew he needed to treat better, he was still the same aloof, cold person he usually was.
After much thought, he had come to realize that, yes, what he felt for her was love. He had not intended for it to come out the way it did, after an argument in the middle of March, but the reaction on her face had been priceless and the argument had been squashed. She reciprocated in kind and he made her promise they would not become one of those sappy clichéd couples who made everyone in the vicinity want to vomit and she vowed if he ever got that way she would commit him to psychiatric care. She had made no such promises on her own behavior but so far he hadn’t seen a change in that direction, much to his relief. The evening of the argument they were nice enough to remain at her flat the entire evening and most of the next day. It was the first time he had actually blown off work, and he doubled up on it afterwards.
Now, he was contemplating a step he had never before thought would cross his mind: marriage. He and Mycroft had had a rather extended and vicious argument about the state of his relationship with Amelia, culminating in Mycroft threatening Sherlock with being brought up on charges for the Moriarty incident if he crossed him. Sherlock knew that Mycroft only cared about him marrying Amelia if she became pregnant with his child, but Mycroft had been warned that he would not use coercion to get Amelia to marry him, and when Mycroft had said he’d bribe her Sherlock had walked out. Mycroft had no say in the type of life he lead, the state of his relationship or anything else for that matter, but with the threat of prosecution in the air he had to be careful.
It seemed to be a moot point, however; it had come up in the conversation with Amy shortly after his fight with his brother that she wouldn’t be adverse to marriage to him, and in fact was not only eager to marry him when the time was right but was also fine with the possibility of carrying his child. It was more than he could have hoped for, and so he was giving marriage serious thought. Not so much that it distracted from cases, but enough that it loomed on his mind when he thought about her. There were many advantages to it, but also disadvantages as well, and he knew timing was one of them, because Amelia had said that she knew he wasn’t ready yet. He took his time weighing them against each other. It wasn’t a decision he wanted to rush into, and he knew she would appreciate it more if he went into the agreement wanting it wholeheartedly.
It was now mid-April, and he had decided he would ask, despite there being only a month since his feelings were made known to her. He couldn’t give her a flowery romantic proposal; that wasn’t his nature and they both knew it. He would ask her in a straightforward manner and let her answer as she saw fit. If she answered yes then he would move on from there. If she answered no…well, he hoped it would just be a bump in the road and not a stumbling block. He was almost sure she would say yes, though, so he wasn’t worried too much. He made up his mind to ask that evening, when John came carrying in the mail. “Anything interesting?” he asked.
He held up two envelopes, nearly identical to each other. Sherlock came closer to look at them. One was addressed to him, the other to John. “Yours has a number 3 on the back, and mine has a 4.”
“No return address,” he murmured, taking his envelope and opening it. He looked at the notecard inside. “Map coordinates and a date and time.”
“Mine has the same,” he replied. He looked over at Sherlock’s. “They’re the exact same coordinates.”
“Interesting,” he replied. He went to the closest computer, which happened to be John’s, and entered in the coordinates.
“I was reading that,’ John said, crossing his arms and shaking his head.
“I opened a new browser window,” he replied without looking up. “These coordinates are in Utah. At Lake Silencio, to be exact.”
“Do you know anyone there?” he asked.
“No,” he said. He stood up. “I don’t like this. It could be some sort of trap. Perhaps someone is taking Moriarty’s idea on a more global scale.”
There was a knock at the still open door and they both turned. “Hello boys,” Amy said. “Oh, so I see you got one too.” She held up her envelope. “Mine has a 1 on the back.”
“You received coordinates?” Sherlock asked.
She nodded. “Yes.”
“It could still be a trap,” he murmured, and got a chuckle from her in response. “What?”
“It’s from the Doctor,” she said, smiling. “I’d recognize his chicken scratch anywhere.”
“Oh, well, that’s better,” John said, relaxing. “Another adventure, perhaps?”
“Possibly,” Sherlock said. “I don’t know if I can go, though. It’s a few days from today and I’m in the middle of a case.”
“How close are you to solving it?” she asked.
“Close.” That was true, though he had just set a trap in motion and he wasn’t sure when his trap would be sprung. It was vital he got a confession because while there was evidence it was not sufficient on its own for a conviction.
“Then solve it and come with me. Us?” she asked, turning to John, who nodded. “Us.”
He thought about it, and then looked at Amy. “I will go if I solve the case.” She smiled brighter. “And as long as nothing else comes up. You know I place my work above adventures.”
“I know. You won’t regret it, though.” She put her arms around his waist and kissed his cheek. “It’ll be fun.”
“You hope,” he said.
She shook her head and let go of him. “I swear, sometimes you like to suck the fun out of things, Sherlock.”
“We might be being gathered for some other reason,” he said. “I don’t like jumping to conclusions. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”
“Well, I’ll try and make it as fun as I can,” she said. “Where do these coordinates lead, anyway?”
“A Lake Silencio, in Utah,” John said.
“That’s a strange place for an adventure,” she said with a frown. Then she shrugged. “Oh well. It’s the Doctor. None of us really understand how his mind works.”
“Very true,” Sherlock said, looking at her. “While you’re here, there’s something I’d like to ask you,” he said.
“Sure,” she said. “What is it?”
“I was thinking it might be better in private.”
“One of those questions,” she said.
“In a way.”
“And I think I’ll go to the nearest pub for a few hours,” John said. “Call me when I can come home.”
“We will,” she said with a grin. She waved at him as he grabbed his coat and left, and then turned back to Sherlock. “So, what’s your question?”
“I was wondering how you would feel about getting married. To me.”
She blinked, and didn’t reply for a moment. “Are you asking me to marry you, Sherlock?” she asked quietly, looking at him quizzically and moving closer.
“Yes,” he said. “I don’t have any flowery words to use to sway you. But you know how I feel, and how rare that feeling has been in my life for anyone, let alone someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. And I would take care of you, as best I can. Make sure you’re safe. I will do whatever I can to make you happy, I swear. I—“
He was cut off when her lips pressed against his. “Yes,” she said softly when she pulled away and looked at him. “Yes, I’ll marry you.” She had a warm smile on her face. “It may be a little fast, but it feels right.”
“I don’t have a ring,” he said, looking just a bit embarrassed. “I know women like to have rings when they’re asked to marry someone. I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay,” she said, putting her arms around his neck. He let his hands settle at her waist. “After America you can get me one.”
“That’s if I go,” he said.
“Well if you don’t, when I come back,” she said. “Do you want help in picking it out?”
“Yes,” he said, feeling very grateful for the suggestion. ‘I don’t know much about your preference in jewelry, though I could hazard a guess.”
“You did well with the locket for Christmas,” she replied.
“Only because Mrs. Hudson helped. If it had been left up to me you probably wouldn’t have gotten a gift.” He frowned. “I haven’t seen you wear it for months, come to think of it. Did something happen to it?”
She shook her head. “No, I just misplaced it, that’s all. Took it off to take a shower, forgot about it and now I can’t find it. It will come up.” Then she smiled. “We have the place to ourselves for a bit. I say we celebrate.”
“And how do you suggest doing that?” he said.
She leaned in and kissed him softly but deeply, and he responded in full measure. Slowly she began backing out of the living room to go towards his bedroom, still kissing him with no end in sight. They were in the doorway when she pulled away. “Oh.”
“What?” he asked, concerned.
“Just that feeling I’ve had the last month or so, that weird feeling in my gut I told you about.” She put a hand on her stomach and bent over as an odd look crossed her face. After a moment she stood up. “It’s strange. It’s been happening more frequently. Like I’m being kicked from the inside.”
He took a step back and looked at her. She hadn’t gained any noticeable weight, and after their time on the TARDIS they had been more careful. If she was pregnant from that encounter she would be five months along right now, approximately. There was always the chance she was pregnant from a more recent time together; they hadn’t talked much about whether she was taking precautions from pregnancy alongside the ones he was taking. “Do you think you might be pregnant?” he asked.
“Pregnant? God, no. I mean, I’m not regular all the time but I’d know if I was…wouldn’t I?”
“Perhaps,” he said. “Every pregnancy is different and every woman reacts differently to being pregnant. You could be and just not realize it yet.”
“What a way to kill celebrating,” she said with a sigh. “I believe it might be time for a pregnancy test. Would you get two of them? The men with the cameras don’t follow you when you’re alone.”
“Yes,” he said. He looked at her intently. “If you are, it is not a bad thing,” he replied.
“I know,” she said with a smile. “I wouldn’t mind carrying your child.”
The words warmed him more than she would ever know. He kissed her quickly, then went to the local convenience store after making sure no one followed him. He got the tests and went back to his flat to find her in the kitchen, nibbling on one of the cookies John’s newest girlfriend had made him. “I have them,” he said.
“Thank you. I just drank two huge glasses of cranberry juice, so I’m ready.” She took the boxes from him and went into the bathroom. He waited patiently, and when she came out she had a frown on her face. “Inconclusive, for both of them,” she said with a sigh.
“Then you can just go to the doctor,” he said.
“I will. After America,” she said. He opened his mouth to protest but she put a finger on his lips. “I need to go in anyway, and I already have an appointment in a week and a half. I’ll just ask for a pregnancy test then, all right?”
“Fine,” he said. “This is going to plague me, you know.”
“Yeah, I know,” she said. “Me too.” She went to the trash and tossed the tests inside and then began rummaging through the cabinets.
“Going to cook?” he asked.
“Mmhmm,” she replied. “I know earlier I wanted to take you to bed but right now, I’m not up to it.”
“Understandable,” he said, though he had to admit he was disappointed. “Anything I can do to help?”
“Get the eggs out,” she said. “And the cheese and bell peppers. I’m going to make us omelets.”
“All right.” He went to the fridge, his mind whirring with activity, doused in a veil of disappointment. He wanted to know now, but he knew it was no use to argue. He was going to get satisfaction in this, but the answer to this very important question was not going to be answered yet. He would have to wait, and the waiting might kill him.