Six months later

Sherlock glanced up as John bounded into the room and sat down at the table without talking to him. He was clearly daydreaming. He'd been gone overnight. Again.

"What's the matter with you?" Sherlock demanded.

"What? Nothing, I'm fine. I'm very, very... fine."

"You have absolutely no excuse for looking that happy. It's sickening."

John grinned. "I do have an excuse actually. Yesterday I asked Mary to marry me and she said yes."

The effect this statement had on Sherlock was startling. He instantly slammed his book down on the coffee table and rolled over on the sofa into his sulking position. John braced himself. Sherlock rolled back again a second later and started shouting at John.

"Why? What on Earth possessed you to do something so stupid? This is the worst possible news, John! I'd just got you decently trained! And Mary, what on Earth is Mary thinking? She has ample experience of bad marriages and yet for some reason she thinks she's going to buck the trend with you of all people! Hell, John, this is a really terrible idea."

"You don't think I'd be a good husband?"

"No, you'd make a perfectly adequate husband I'm sure. That's not the point."

"What is the point?"

Sherlock glared at him. "The point is... the point is..."

John raised his eyebrows at him.

"You probably have hideous, blonde babies too." Sherlock muttered.

"Oh I should think so. Not immediately but that's the plan."

Sherlock looked up. "You are kidding, aren't you? You're not seriously thinking of procreating?"

John laughed. "Oh yes, I think I'll definitely procreate, Sherlock. Now I know it'll annoy you maybe we'll bring the plan forward! Maybe I'll have... sixteen children. Yes, sixteen, hideous, blonde babies to get under Uncle Sherlock's feet."

Sherlock's eyes flashed and he tried, and failed, not to smile.

John laughed. "So you'll come to the wedding then? We're planning for in the New Year."

"Fine," Sherlock said, trying to look sullen.

"And you'll be my best man?"

Again, Sherlock tried hard not to smile. "Fine, yes. If you do insist on going through with this ridiculous plan, I'd better make sure you do it right."

"Marvellous. I'll let Mary know we've got our own personal marriage counsellor."

Sherlock didn't even try to hide his grin that time.

Thank you, reviewers! Thank you so much! I had such trouble with this one, lost the plot (literally, couldn't remember how I intended to finish it), put it down for a month, and managed to finish it off. It was very useful having people encouraging me to finish this one off.

It's been marvellous reading people's responses all the way through.

Next up, something Garrideb based, which I'll probably start over the course of the next week.