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Popping the question

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Sherlock woke up and, instinctively, stretched out a hand to feel his beloved at his side. Sadly, the other half of the bed was empty, but they’d been lovers enough for him to stop panicking every time John wasn’t there, jumping to the conclusion that their whole relationship had been a wondrous dream. John was a lark to Sherlock’s owl, and they still made it work. After everything they’d gone through, it wouldn’t be a difference in circadian rhythms to push them apart.

Besides, today was the detective’s birthday, which meant that John would attempt to surprise him. Getting up first was only logic. The curly haired man (he was past forty, where had his life gone? And seriously, why were there so many johnless years?) yawned loudly, to signal that he was awake.

As expected, the door cracked open...only, instead of John peeking in with a smile, in trotted what could only be a vision. A shaggy coated, adorable pup. A shaggy coated, adorable, wheaten pup with white spots on his chest and nose. A shaggy coated, adorable, wheaten pup with white spots on his chest and nose...wearing a blue ribbon, from which a tiny parchment and a gossamer pouch dangled. He couldn’t be sure what was in the pouch, because to be honest, his eyes might be tearing up a bit.

Ken

The puppy ignored his affected state and yipped to be allowed on the bed, with a voice incongrously deep for such a young thing. Of course, Sherlock picked him up. Before he could observe the message, the puppy decided they needed to familiarise and started laving his face with affectionate licks. The sleuth giggled, which was good, because now his eyes cleared up of the mist.

 For a moment at least, because when he saw the ring the eager messenger had brought him – a dark, titanium one, with a honeycomb engraving and a golden bee resting on it – he had to blink several times before he was persuaded it wouldn’t disappear. The parchment, in John’s best calligraphy – which still, wasn’t much, mind – said. “Marry me, love? JH”

Sherlock's ring

“John!” the consulting detective yelled, overcome by elation and not a little shock.

His lover strode inside, smiling and seductive but – clearly – a bit tense. “Yes, love?”

“Tell me the truth. Have I died?” Sherlock asked, perfectly serious. The pup looked between them, as if the sudden shout and tense situation had left him puzzled, but he was willing to give it a chance before panicking.

“Not to my knowledge, Sher. Any particular reason you would think so?” John queried, appearing to give the question actual consideration.

“This,” the sleuth said, encompassing the scene with a wave of his arm...which apparently the puppy took as an invite to snuggle him. Far from protesting, he absent-mindedly, automatically pet him, while he explained, voice choked with emotion, “I always thought that you loving me was already a fluke, a gift I had to cherish because someday you’d come to your senses. But...you actually wanting to tie yourself to me, I mean, officially...True, I’d never believed in God, and I wouldn’t get into heaven anyway, probably, but... well, being dead and in heaven was the only hypothesis that seemed to explain all the facts.”

“Oh, love. What explains all the facts is me actually coming to my senses. If you still feel like this, my move is long overdue. I want forever with you, and I want everyone to know that. Officially,” John replied earnestly. “...Of course, if you want it too. You haven’t technically answered me yet,” he added grinning.

“Yes. Obviously. Honestly, John!” the detective snapped, but his face was radiant. He held out his left hand, and his lover (after grappling a bit with the puppy who still was buried against the consulting detective, and seemed unwilling to turn to let him have their prize) put the ring around Sherlock’s finger.

The detective laughed at his beloved’s awkward attempt, but in sheer joy, not derision, and they ended giggling together. As soon as the ring adorned the sleuth’s hand, they kissed, breathless and sweet, interrupted all too soon by the puppy protesting being squashed between them. The kiss ended in more laughter.

“So? How are you calling him?” John asked.

“I was thinking Ken,” Sherlock decided, after a thoughtful moment.

“Like the doll?” his blogger retorted, a bit surprised.

“What?” the detective replied, blinking in puzzlement. “No, like two proto-indoeuropean roots that mean, respectively, young and love. Also, there’s the Scottish verb meaning to know. It seemed like something proper for him.”

“Proto-what?” John queried, baffled, though he loved the name’s meaning.

“A language academics have been reconstructing, whose roots have influenced languages from, how the name says, India to Europe. I do like languages, and it was...interesting,” Sherlock explained, shrugging.

“You’re so clever, Sher,” the doctor breathed, amazed still by the things his beloved knew.

The detective blushed. One would think that after so long he’d be immunised to his blogger’s praise, but if anything, he seemed to grow more sensitive to it with time. “What breed is he anyway?” he asked, hoping his love would not remark on that.

“An otterhound. I know, I know, they’re not really a breed to keep in an apartment, but well...He’s part of a breed more endangered than actual pandas, despite being utterly British, so he’s...well, special. And while they’re stubborn and need to be run a lot, they can smell traces out in water and on land, so it seemed like a proper companion for us,” John revealed, shrugging.

“Oh John, he’s perfect!” the sleuth replied, considering kissing him in thanks. Before he could, though, the moment was interrupted by Sherlock’s stomach, who saw fit to grumble. The detective blushed more, and tried to bury himself back in the bed out of sheer embarrassment.

“Hey, hey, love, none of that. I’ve been remiss, I apologise. It’s past breakfast time. But it’s all ready and spread out in the kitchen – Mrs. Hudson even brought up some special baked treats for you,” John replied, smiling, and fighting the covers from the sleuth’s hands. Ken thought it was a wonderful game, and joined nipping at them.

Facing the double assault, the sleuth gave up the comforter and inquired hopefully, “What?”

“Not telling, Sher. You’ll have to see, love. Come on,” the doctor teased, raising from the bed.

Sherlock sighed deeply, pretending to be very put upon. “Well, Ken, we’ll have to check ourselves, won’t we?” Ken barked enthusiastically, and they both followed his fiancé to the kitchen.