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Tactical Retreat

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Hushwatson picture and Hushwatson picture group are the links to the pictures mentioned below, now added with kind permission from Hushwatson.

The photos had been popping constantly, first the publicity shots from cases, the paparazzi snaps, and now John's wedding pics. All the same with Sherlock greyed out and blurry. It gave John chills to see them and there had been No Way to just make it stop. He clung to Sherlock in their bed and tried to think of who would be doing this, who would have access to the wedding pictures!
"Yes, that is their big mistake there are not that many people with access to those photos" Sherlock's voice jolted John from his frantic thoughts. "How can you.." John trailed off not bothering to finish, he squeezed Sherlock closer, knowing Sherlock was awake had calmed John down a bit. "You've been squeezing your left hand into my neck for the last 10 minutes, your ring finger has been tapping on my skin so much I'm likely to bruise" Sherlock smiled at John's amazed expression, he had been so calm and collected since this whole thing started though it seems his own existence is targeted.
"Mycroft has redirected all our correspondence to his office since last night, he is insisting on taking over the case as..." Sherlock let out a gusty sigh before he continues "I cannot figure this one out, I'm letting him take it" Long pale arms lock around John's shoulders, pulling him effortlessly on top of Sherlock's lean frame. "They want to separate us, they want to take me from you, you from Me, I cannot think John. Mycroft can have this one" it's whispered like a confession into John's hair. "We leave for Sussex Downs at first light, the media will be told it's for a case, which technically it is" Sherlock finishes, his voice a little shaky but his hold is still tight.
John nods into Sherlock's chest, Mycroft can have this one, he'll have a nice holiday with his Sherlock away from London. He starts mentally planning what to pack as they slowly get out of bed to start preparations; blankets, extra jumpers as Sherlock always acquires a few of John's when he is cold, will they need to pack food... and that black satin ring box he's had hidden in his old room for 2 months, that's definitely coming with them.
His back is turned to Sherlock who is watching John, hawk eyed, as he slips a deep red velvet ring box into the pocket of his toiletry bag.

They were packed in record time thanks to John's RAMC Evac experience and Sherlock's abundance of luggage. They piled into the obligatory black car and left London. John felt his left hand tremble for the first time in years and jumped as cold fingers lifted it gently off the leather seat. Sherlock stilled the tremors with a squeeze before he kissed each finger tip. “We're not fleeing” he stated “tactical retreat John. If the enemy doesn't know where you are they have to come out from their bunkers to find you”
“We’re Bait!” John exclaimed as visions of peace and romance fled even faster than they were leaving London. “No! No John. We tactically retreat” John could hear the hesitancy in his words, Sherlock wasn’t happy to leave his city, he knew the turf. “And then Mycroft bombs the daylights out of anyone who follows”. John slid his hand from Sherlock's grasp and around the back of his neck, hold him tightly and kissed him slowly. He smiled against Sherlock's warm lips “I like the bombing part."

The car stopped at the city's limits and the driver explained they had a rental for the duration of their stay. The beat up jalopy they were led to made Sherlock curse and John laugh until they saw the features of the interior. The smash proof glass, the GPS, the gun and holster set into the passenger seat and was that a flame thrower!... Now John cursed and Sherlock laughed “James Bond!” he crowed “I think Mycroft has the flat bugged again” he chortled as John’s face grew red.
But the smile reluctantly spreading across John's face told the truth of how pleased he was. “I just hope it runs" he griped good naturedly.
Politely refusing Sherlock’s offer to drive as it was a just petulant “the holster is in the passenger seat and you are a better shot" John put his foot down. The car drove like a dream and the trip was uneventful so they got there in good time. John was sad to leave Bond1 as they had christened it parked in the short drive way. “We're going out again John" Sherlock smirked "Mycroft refused to arrange a grocery delivery, he claims its a security risj, you need food but I’m driving”.
Sherlock strode into the house put their bags in the master bedroom and started the furnace, the geyser, and a small indoor fountain. “You know this place” John remarked “family holiday home" was the only response. They left to stock the pantry as they had no idea what would happen over the next few days, each swiftly packing a ring box into their bedside table when the other wasn’t present.

The next few days brought no news, no sun shine, but fortunatly no small amount of sex either. One evening after a hearty dinner, some of which Sherlock even ate, they were settled by the fire when Sherlock's phone buzzed in his pocket. “Fan type B" he said rolling his eyes and passing his mobile to John. “Your bedroom is just a taxi ride away" John quipped
“She was going to kill you Sherlock, she couldn’t have you so she was going to kill you so that I wouldn’t have you either” John's voice was utterly bleak so Sherlock pulled John to his feet and held him against his heart. “Fortunately Our bedroom is just upstairs and you can have me whenever you want” He smiled reassuringly as they moved into the bedroom and John pulled his shirt off more than happy to have Sherlock again but Sherlock wasn't moving as he sat on the edge of the bed, still dressed with his back to John. His head was down, staring at the floor.
“John I’m not..." His voice stalled “I’m pants at this" He finished before turning around and placing the red box carefully on the bed like an offering. John smiled, reaching blindly into his bedside drawer and placed the black box beside the red one. “Sherlock, now that the trouble is over" “John, I've never wanted anyone” talking over each other they stopped and grinned at each other. “We really are bad at words" John grinned picking up the red box and reverently sliding the broad gold ring onto his finger.
Sherlock picked up the black box and lifted the mirror shined titanium ring to his eyes before slipping it on too then abruptly dashing out of the room. Startled John waited and Sherlock returned a few moments later his mobile in hand and a smile on his face. “A few more days here I think and groceries delivered this time” He explained as he texted Mycroft, message sent Sherlock pressed his now Fiance into the mattress “You’ll need your strength John and you're not going anywhere”..

and he didn't.