It shouldn’t have been like this.
Sherlock didn’t really have a very concrete plan. Everything he found on the internet about the matter was absolute insipid rubbish and just…. not John, was what he felt. It wasn’t until a very wise little girl pointed out what was really important that Sherlock decided it would be best to simply pose The Question and show John how very much he was loved.
Sherlock had spent a few days composing something on the violin. Here in one bright passage was John’s smile and his irreverent sense of humor, so very like Sherlock’s own. Here, in another, was his quiet strength and gentle calm, solid and steady as the earth itself. Here was a theme that hinted at the darkness in John himself, hidden away behind fuzzy wool jumpers and chamomile tea, bleeding out into that formidable temper, that thirst for danger and willingness to jump right in, at Sherlock’s side, where angels would fear to tread. But most of all, Sherlock’s violin would sing of John himself, everything that Sherlock loved and cherished about the man.
He would play John’s song, just for him and then, ask The Question.
God help him, Sherlock even found a little silver hedgehog, small enough to conceal a ring.
It shouldn’t have been like this, pacing restlessly in a hospital corridor, unable to sit still, every breath a frazzled, labored thing, eyes burning, throat closed up and words, bitter, raging, frightened, choking him.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death…
No - Death will not have John Hamish Watson today. Sherlock had already courted
Her once for John’s sake, risked his undying hatred and anger, thinking that this was the best choice to ensure that there would still be a world with John Watson in it. So he would not lose John to bullets fired by a desperate petty criminal. Not today. Not ever.
The silver hedgehog is cool in his hand and absently, he runs a thumb over the ridges of its carved quills. Sherlock will be able to place the thing in John’s hand, watch his eyes light up in amusement and then wonder, perhaps when he found the ring inside. There will be a later for Sherlock to do that and a tomorrow to wake up with John safe in his arms and many tomorrows after.
He believes in this.
He has to.
Lestrade’s a silent, supportive shadow hovering nearby. He’s the one who helps Sherlock sit down when he suddenly finds his legs unable to work, after the doctor comes and tells him that John has gone into cardiac arrest, for the second time, on the operating table. Sherlock almost doesn’t hear how he’s told that John has rallied back, fighting to cling to life and that he is, yes, out of danger now.
It’s Lestrade who again states the obvious, what Sherlock has missed, in those first, few terrible moments after the words cardiac arrest. Alive, he’s still alive, Sherlock, he’ll be all right…. finally penetrated the initial mental fog of stunned, shocked grief and Sherlock finds himself holding on to the little silver hedgehog, mouthing little bits of verse and nonsense, because he’s forgotten every prayer he’s ever been taught in childhood. But everything he’s saying all amounts to one thing.
Please, God, let him live.
An eternity later, Sherlock is finally told that he can go and see John. He only registers that it’s Lestrade, again (and he knows John will insist on doing something nice for the man once he’s out of the hospital, for everything he’s put up with for their sake) who helps him walk those final steps into John’s room, manages to find him a chair so that he could sit next to John’s bed and not collapse on the floor. Sherlock barely registers the Detective Inspector taking his leave of them, too busy pressing John’s fingertips against his lips, taking in his warmth and the taste of his skin and the knowledge that he is alive.
It isn’t until a few days later, when John is finally awake and beginning to get stroppy (doctors do make the worst patients, it’s true and Sherlock will never let him live it down once he starts muttering about Certain Consulting Detectives reverting back to five years old when they catch a bad cold), that Sherlock finally manages to ask him The Question.
All right, to be absolutely fair, Sherlock blundered into it.
To this day, he can’t quite recall what they were originally arguing over, only that the words were out of his mouth before he quite knew it.
“I insist that once we’re married, you’ll not end up making me a widower. I would not make a very happy one, I assure you!”
John blinks. “Excuse me, was there a proposal in there somewhere?”
“Was there? I thought I’d already asked you The Question to begin with?” Oh damn and blast - he’d gone and right bollicksed it up, that was what he just did. Sherlock mentally berated himself for his inattention.
It isn’t helping that he could quite plainly see the beginnings of a smile teasing at John’s lips. “The Question, Sherlock Holmes?” Naturally, John would pick up on the capital letters and emphasis in those two words.
Sherlock manages to find his chair and pulls it up next to John’s bed, because his legs are refusing to cooperate with the rest of his body yet again and it was either the chair or the bed and Sherlock would much rather prefer the chair because then he’d get to hold John’s hand again and be able to kiss it all he wanted.
“This isn’t how I planned to go about this, you realize,” Sherlock stalls.
“Oh my,” John answers with a little giggle. “Surely you weren’t about to woo me with dinner at Angelo’s, flowers and you on bended knee?”
“Hardly,” Sherlock sniffs and unable to resist the temptation, again begins to take tiny, biting little kisses against John’s fingertips. “I composed something for you on the violin.” His breath catches. “I should wait, really, until I get you back to the flat but I find that I can’t, not anymore.”
“Oh, Sherlock,” John breathes, tugging his hand free so he could card it through Sherlock’s hair. Sherlock leans greedily into the touch and no, he is not purring - he is most certainly not a cat after all. “Play it for me once we’re home, all right?”
“As you wish.” Sherlock turns his head so he could press a kiss into John’s palm and then he catches hold of that precious, precious hand yet again and slips the little hedgehog into it.
Now onwards into the breach.
“John Hamish Watson, will you marry me?”
When John joyfully answers “Yes,” he finds himself with an armful of relieved, delighted Consulting Detective. He contents himself at first with pressing kisses into the soft curly hair - Sherlock is careful not to press too hard on his wounds - but he finally gives in to curiosity and takes a better look at what Sherlock just gave him.
John starts giggling. “An engagement hedgehog?”
Sherlock lifts his head. John’s giggles are always infectious - he’s trying to draw out the moment for as long as he can so he really shouldn’t give in to the urge to laugh himself. He puts on a look of perfect innocence. “Problem?”
“Most people proposing would give rings,” John says with mock seriousness.
“Dull,” is Sherlock’s pronouncement, which sets John off yet again.
It takes a few more minutes of giggling and stolen kisses before John figures out that his engagement hedgehog is simply the keeper of his actual engagement ring but it is patently obvious that Sherlock’s new fiance does not mind this one bit.
And much later, it is with evident reluctance that John tries to send him back home. John is rather observant when it comes to Sherlock himself - taking in with a practiced doctor’s eye all the signs of Sherlock’s exhaustion, the evident soreness in his neck and shoulders from taking nothing more than a scant few hours’ sleep in the chair.
“You need to go home,” John chides him. “I’ll still be here - I’m not going anywhere, especially since I’ve got this little fellow standing guard over me.” He waves the little hedgehog with a fond smile.
“Nonsense,” Sherlock tells him. “I’m already home - I’ve no need to go anywhere.”
John snorts. “The last time I looked, this is a hospital room, not 221B.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Sherlock answers. “You are here - therefore, this is home. That’s all there is to it.”
John’s eyes soften. Surprisingly, he doesn’t argue the point after that declaration.
Sherlock does get to play John’s song for him. He will play it again, at John’s request, during their wedding reception.
- #Sherlock Holmes
- #greg lestrade is awesome yo
- #john watson
- #john watson is a hedgehog
- #john watson is adorable
- #martin freeman is a hedgehog
- #sherlock BBC
- #sherlock fell liek a ton of bricks
- #slash rules
- #benedict cumberbatch
- #Benedict Cumberbatch Professional Life Ruiner