On a wet, windy, chilly day in December, John sighed as he stared at the seventeen steps he still had to climb in order to get home after a never-ending double shift, then he stopped and took another deep breath in and shook his head. Mrs. Hudson must have baked her gingerbread biscuits.
But, no, she and Mrs. Turner had left for that cruise that Sherlock had surprised them with the first day of December, an early Christmas present he had said. John had stared at him as he placed the tickets in front of her, and started as she threw her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek, then ran, yes, she had actually run to begin her packing. He shook his head again to clear the memory, and finally made his way upstairs to find a disaster in the kitchen, but a beautiful gingerbread house in place of where his laptop usually sat on his desk.
It was a farmhouse, with a wrap-around porch, complete with porch swing and a tiny marzipan dog stretched out by the front door as if waiting for someone to come home. Somehow they had even put a Christmas tree inside the house and made it seem lit up. Their chairs were next to it, and a tiny cat was fast asleep in his. He was so lost in thought that he missed Sherlock steal up behind him, and slip his arms around his waist.
“D’ya like it?”
“You made this.”
“I was messing about online a couple of days ago, and came across this house. It’s in Sussex Downs, bee hives are included - I would have made them, but I ran out of gingerbread, and I thought it a bit much… there are apple trees, the closest neighbors are a good half kilometer away…”
“Sherlock?” John turned to face him and looked up into his eyes. “What did you do?”
“After the last case, when you -”
“It was just a scratch, Sherlock. I’m fine.”
Sherlock shook his head, then kissed his forehead lightly and pulled him tight against his chest. “It just reminded me how fragile life is, how precious you are to me, and to be honest, I’m getting tired, John. It’s not the casework itself, it’s the press, living under a microscope as we do - we can’t even leave Baker Street without someone trying to get a snap of us together, it’s not worth it anymore, and I’m not willing to risk you any longer. It’s not perfect, it needs a bit of work, but we can move there in the spring. Only if you want -”
“Won’t you be bored, Sherlock? Without the puzzles, the work -”
Sherlock used a single finger to gently lift John’s chin so he could look him in the eye. “John Watson, you have always been my greatest puzzle. I want to spend the rest of my life trying to solve the unsolvable…”
“You bought the farm.” John snorted at his own terrible joke, but was soon lost to the touch of Sherlock’s fingers in his hair, and his mouth on his, kissing him as if it was the single purpose he had in life.
Sherlock pulled away, breathless, and nodded. “Yes, John. I bought the farm for you, for us, only if you want it - if you don’t, I understand -”
John blinked up at him and shook his head. “Of course, I do - you can’t think - wait. Sherlock?”
“Lift that piece of roof, the one without the icing.”
John did as he was told and his right hand went to his mouth as he reached in with his left, then lifted out a simple band of softly brushed platinum. “Sherlock?”
“John.” He took the ring from John’s fingers and gingerly got to his knees. “John Hamish Watson, will you do me the honour of becoming my husband?”
John laid a trembling hand on the sharp face, and saw the bright eyes worry for a split second before he saw the answer in John’s tears before he answered, “yes, you idiot, of course I will.” He bit his lip as Sherlock slid the ring on his finger, then he helped him to his feet and leaned against his chest, sighing as he felt Sherlock’s arms wrap around him once again. “Of course I will.”