Prince of Angels – Chapter Ten – Immortality
John could hear muffling. It was foggy and dull, wherever he was. He opened his eyes, and he thought he had just passed out somewhere, but where he was wasn't actually anywhere at all. He was alone, sitting on some kind of grey cloud or something. He still couldn't hear very well, and he couldn't really tell what he was seeing.
"Stop this," he told himself, slapping himself sharply. It didn't seem to work, so he sat down among the grey swirly stuff and meditated himself away. That seemed to work a bit better, but now he just couldn't open his eyes. He felt groggy at best. He tried to move, but he was paralyzed. His breath was ragged, and he was in a lot of pain. But he was hearing things: Mycroft and Anthea's account of what had happened. He had come back into his body, it seemed, right when Mycroft was telling Odin about what had just transpired down in the Ballroom, where John's body actually had been. John couldn't really do anything, so he just listened:
"My sons, I must apologize for everything that happened while I was away, obviously I did not mean any of it… but without Moriarty, it seems Sherlock would have never found someone who liked him for who he was, not what he could give them…" That must've been Odin. He sounded like a wise, kind old man. John hoped he was.
"He hasn't woken up. You said if Father started using his own life-force, John could be saved… it shouldn't take this long for him to recuperate!" Sherlock. John's heart would have leapt for joy, but something was slowing it down and John wasn't sure what.
"There's a way you can save him, Sherlock!" Anthea. She sounded excited. "Your Majesty… how did you save Mycroft and Sherlock's mother when she was dying, before she was Immortal?"
"Ahh… the Kiss of Rebirth." Odin. 'Wait… the Kiss of what now?' John thought
"The… the what?" Sherlock, who either read John's thoughts or was actually confused about something for the first time since John and he met.
"It's a bit like Midgard mouth-to-mouth," Odin. "Only with an active transfer of life-force. John was doing a bit with me, only he didn't use his mouth, but his entire soul…" Oh. Oh. 'Why isn't my heart doing flip-flops? Is this some sort of thing where I can only hear what's going on because my body is dying but my mind is very much alive?'
"He's still doing it, for the looks of it," Mycroft.
Anthea made a 'shush' noise, and John was sure she was elbowing her husband sharply in his flabby side.
There was a shifting of the bed as Odin got up out of it, probably. "Come Mycroft, Anthea. You can fill me in on meetings and Eye readings as I get my legs back."
There was silence as John listened for cues: three pairs of footsteps left the room, one pair limping from disuse. Then there was a longer bout of silence before John felt Sherlock get close to him, and then take him up in his arms. 'Come on, heart, you really should be doing flip-flops right about now!' John scolded the organ.
Then he heard Sherlock's voice: "I can't live without you, John Watson… And I know if I do this, you'll become a full Immortal, and we'll have to give you Prince lessons and Healing lessons… but… but I hope I can at least make it worth it all… And… And I really hope this works."
He felt Sherlock press his lips against John's, and nearly screamed. But his body had shut down. It was only when he felt Sherlock's life-force mingle with his own that he finally felt his organs tense up and slowly begin working again. But there was something new: he felt his organs rejuvenate, as well, like they were being re-oiled. His body was becoming Immortal!
'I'll live through all the lessons, Sherlock. You'd definitely make everything worthwhile,' he thought.
It took a very long time for John's heart and breathing to really start up. Apparently, John had just breathed out when his lungs had sort of shut down, and so he breathed in suddenly, startling poor Sherlock a bit, who surely must have thought that the Kiss of Rebirth hadn't worked this time. John was pleased that Sherlock was still holding John close. His arms found their muscles again, and he threw his arms around Sherlock, his eyes fluttering open. 'Yikes. Not use to the light.'
"Hello," John said, trying to sit up by himself. It didn't work, and Sherlock, still in shock, helped him to a sitting position.
"Were you kissing me just now?" John asked.
Sherlock's eyes when from round disks to a sort of confused expression, "Yes… Problem?"
"Oh, nothing," John replied, shrugging and getting some circulation to the places he hadn't used for a while. "People will definitely talk now…"
Sherlock blinked, slowly getting over his shock. He looked down at John with a sort of shy expression, "And you don't want them to talk about… us?"
John still had his arms around Sherlock's neck. He smiled and leaned in to kiss Sherlock's lips softly, his mouth closed this time. "It's better that they talk about something that's true, isn't it?" he asked.
"What… What's true?"
John laughed. For someone so clever, Sherlock sure was thick. "I love you, you idiot. I want them to talk about us because I want to stay here in the Palace with you. That means we'd be a couple, right?"
Sherlock blushed: actually turned a bit pink near those high cheekbones of his. He wrapped his arms around John's waist and pulled him onto his lap again. "Right. Right… I thought I lost you," Sherlock murmured, threading his hands in the Immortal mortal's hair. "I thought you'd hate that I turned you Immortal!"
"No… No I don't. It gives me an excuse to stay here and reign you in…" John replied.
Sherlock pulled away from John only to kiss him again. And again. And again—
"Sherlock!" John cried, laughing and pushing him away a bit. "I get that you missed me but—"
"Marry me," Sherlock suddenly said, a bit unsure.
"What?" John asked.
"Marry me," Sherlock said, a little more confident now.
John was shocked at first, but then he smiled. "Of course, Sherlock. Looks like I don't have to reign you in at all!"
Sherlock chuckled, and then kissed John again, but this time John wouldn't let him pull away, not for a while, at least.
It could have been in three weeks they were married, but by that time, John was used to the strange godlike being space-time, and so time was just… time. And they were married, Sherlock and John.
"Are you okay?" Anthea asked. She was the bridesmaid, of a sort. She was to shadow John, at least, and make sure he didn't totally freak out.
Mycroft was to shadow Sherlock and do pretty much the same thing.
Odin was to give away Sherlock, as he was the father of the Prince getting married. So it really was a nonconventional wedding.
John was just tugging down his white jacket and smoothing down a grey cardigan he had chosen to wear under it. "I really should wear my medals from the army," he said to her. She was one step ahead of him, arranging the awards and medal in the correct order on his breast pocket.
"I got them from storage when we pulled all of your things up from Midgard," she explained, "And studied them for about two hours a night to get them right."
John still checked over her work. "God, you're the best sister-in-law-to-be ever."
"The to-be will be knocked off in a matter of hours…" Anthea sang.
John grabbed his chest like he was about to have a heart attack, "I'm so nervous, Anthea! What did you do before your wedding?" he asked.
Anthea laughed and took her brother-in-law-to-be's hands and twirled him around, "I went out on the balcony and yelled out my vows to the world. Since Mycroft was on the other end of the Palace, he couldn't hear. Sherlock's getting ready in his rooms so…"
"No, no… but I do need some way of calming down. I might throw up…" John said.
Anthea stepped away from him, an expression of disgust on her face, "That will not do, John Hamish Watson. How about you write a letter to your friends on Midgard? They may have temporarily forgotten about you in favor of their daily lives, but you can send them a letter telling them about your marriage… they'll remember you for a split second, and then it'll go to the back of their minds again…"
John liked the idea, and Anthea sent for a ream of paper and a quill-and-ink set.
"How do I look?" Sherlock said, spinning away from the mirror towards his brother.
"For the eightieth time, Sherlock, you look fine," said-brother replied, slightly exasperated. After the fifteenth time, Sherlock's nervousness ceased to be cute.
While John was in white, with his medals of honor from his time in the Midgard army, Sherlock was wearing black, with a grey cardigan (one thing should match on the couple, said Odin when they were planning the ceremony) under the black jacket over a white button-down shirt (that matched his husband-to-be's as well). His pants and shoes were black, which was opposite of his husband-to-be. He also had a medal of honor for being head Knight of the palace on his left breast pocket.
"Are you sure?" Sherlock asked, breathless as he took a peek at himself in the mirror.
Mycroft chuckled and shifted the position of his staff to the other hand. "I know it's a big day for you, Sherlock, but you must believe me… you look fine, and everything will turn out fine. You will be married to the one you love, and tomorrow you can begin your life together…"
"No honeymoon," Sherlock muttered. "Too… too Midgard-ish…"
"Precisely," Mycroft said, "And you have your duties as Prince. Both of you."
John had gone through vigorous training to become a proper Prince of the Palace. Odin and Mycroft dealt with the politics of the Palace, as well as proper manners in the presence of Odin and any one higher up than John. John was to be the Head Knight's consort, and so Mycroft, Anthea, and Odin were the three people who were higher than him. He shared equal rights and benefits with his husband-to-be, and was higher than everyone else.
Anthea covered his Healing, which he learned much quicker than the politics and other trainings Mycroft and Odin gave him (though Odin was the better teacher of the two in that respect).
"What am I going to do for thirty minutes?" Sherlock asked, pacing a bit back and forth.
"Not worry?" Mycroft asked. "John will love you even everything goes terribly wrong. Remember my wedding? When Cook had gone temporarily deaf and made cream of ferret stew instead of cream of carrot? The meal was ruined, but Anthea made a running joke out of it for months afterward, and we still laugh about it to this day…"
Sherlock laughed, "All right. I just… I'm getting married…"
"Yes you are," Mycroft said. "Something the matter with that?"
Sherlock blinked, "No. It's just… I never thought I would be. When I was born, Father said the Eye clouded over. Nothing about what I was to become, nothing about who I was to marry. I was an enigma. And then Moriarty had our father throw me down to Midgard, and the Eye suddenly sees this beautiful person and I, this powerful, wonderful person who I am marrying today!"
Mycroft smiled at Sherlock's revelation and patted his little brother on the back, "You just needed time Sherlock. Time to figure out who you were. You needed John to soften you, and John needed you to get away."
Sherlock nodded, "And I want him to look back on this day as a day of triumph. For us both."
Mycroft nodded, "He will."
The wedding ceremony was a bit different than those on Midgard. There was no alter, no church, and no vows before God. They were among the gods all ready. Odin walked his son down the aile in the Great Hall and placed Sherlock's hand in John's. Anthea sprinkled water from the sea around the planet, blessed with a little life-force from both Sherlock and John, and Mycroft tied a red ribbon around the couple's entwined hands.
Their vows went smoothly, both promising fidelity and love. Odin said some words of advice, made the couple kiss the backs of each other's hands and then to kiss each other while the ribbon was untied.
Anthea coveted the ribbon, and later Sherlock and John found it tied to the handle of their bedroom.
At the small reception after the ceremony, Sherlock, who hadn't seen her for days, made a small observation about Anthea: "Anthea… are you pregnant?"
This lack of tact would have made John cringe, but as he wound his fingers around Sherlock's he only looked from his new sister to his new husband in awe.
The Lady only grinned and took her husband's hand, "It was time. The stress was gone, and we decided it was a better wedding gift than any materialistic trifle."
"It certainly is wonderful," John said, congratulating them both.
Later that night, the newly-weds slipped off to bed, and discovered the red ribbon on their door handle.
"Anthea kept hers on for ten days," Sherlock said, putting a finger to his lips. "It's kind of a code to the rest of the Palace not to disturb the happy couple once they retire for the night. Want to see how long we can keep our ribbon on?"
John rolled his eyes, "I never like to make my love-life a challenge."
"But?" Sherlock asked, raising both eyebrows almost playfully.
"But since Anthea rode me so hard on my Healing lessons, I may have to crush her spirits a little with this," John replied, pulling Sherlock into the room.
A SHORT(ISH) EPILOGUE
Time went by. It always does, even when it has a finicky personality like space-time on Asgard.
Anthea had a beautiful baby girl, who she named Molly: "A reminder of how you two met," she said to John and Sherlock, the former who had helped in the birth of baby Molly, "And I really like that name."
"Well, her namesake was a really strong, lovely girl," John replied.
"She has to be strong, she's Irene's sub," Sherlock muttered to Mycroft, earning him an elbow in the stomach from his long-suffering husband.
A few months after Molly's birth, with no children of their own (save for a puppy and two evidently married cats), John and Sherlock agreed to babysit the child while Mycroft and Anthea were in meetings. Odin was planning on retiring to breed puppies, so Mycroft and Anthea were getting ready for that transfer of power.
Sherlock was at work, so John was looking after the child alone.
And she was a bright young girl, with her father's hair and eyes but her mother's face and spirit. She had inherited the Holmsian gift of the infinite capacity for knowledge, as well.
"Is Irene having kittens?" asked the little redhead, looking up at her uncle and pointing at the dark-furred queen.
"Yes, she is…" John said, worried about the cat as she mewed unhappily.
"Why hasn't Thomas come around to help his wife?" Molly then asked.
"Oh, he's around…" John said, but the child was already looking around Sherlock and John's rooms for the tomcat. She found him out on the balcony, meowing sharply to come in. When John and Molly had followed the boy-cat in, Irene had all ready given birth to one kitten. John was not a vet, but he knew how to comfort animals who were birthing (he had helped two generations of puppies breed back on Midgard when he was a boy). The tomcat was a bit distressed at John's help, but once he realized that John was helping, not hindering, he calmed down a bit.
Irene gave birth to six beautiful and healthy kittens, three of which looked like the ginger-striped father, two of which were the same dark-brown of their mother, and one, which was an odd tan color.
Molly squealed in delight, and rushed to feed the mother after her ordeal.
Sherlock came into the room just as Molly was going over to the kittens again with a bowl of water.
"We've had kittens, Sherlock," John said, being licked by the dark-furred queen in thanks.
Sherlock smiled and sat down with his niece and his husband, patting the tomcat as he kissed John's cheek as a greeting, "I was hoping for human-like children, John, but I think the kittens will do."
Molly laughed and clapped her hands, "Heeheehee! Uncle John had kittens! That's impossible, Uncle Sherlock!"
"Not really," Sherlock said, petting the tan kitten with his pointer finger softly, "This one as Uncle John's coloring…"
"No!" John said batting at Sherlock's upper arm, but he was laughing, "Hopefully Uncle Sherlock knows what I mean and isn't being unnaturally dense."
Sherlock ran his fingers through his husband's hair, "I am never 'unnatural' or 'dense,'" he replied, kissing his husband's forehead fondly.
Once Molly had been returned to her parents, John found Sherlock out on the balcony. The kittens were asleep in a basket near the door, just in case any of the cats needed to go outside, and the rest of the room was eerily quiet.
"Do you ever miss Midgard, John?" he asked when he felt his husband's presence.
John's eyebrow rose, "Why would I, Sherlock?"
"Well… you named our girl-cat after the human dominatrix, Irene Adler. Anthea named her daughter Molly… You go off in your own little world in the evening sometimes…"
As Sherlock spoke he came around John and embraced him from behind, dipping his nose in John's hair after he had stopped talking.
"I sent them a letter the day of our wedding. Well… to Irene, at least. She'd have told Molly by now, and Mike, and maybe my sister. But they're… they're not where my heart is."
Sherlock's breath hitched at this, and John wiggled out of his husband's grip until they were face-to-face once more. The ex-military man cupped Sherlock's cheek. "My heart and life were bound to your heart and life when I married you. My heart is wherever you are…"
Sherlock wound his arms around John's waist, and John's arms voluntarily did the same around Sherlock's waist. Sherlock smiled and leaned down to kiss his husband softly. "Then thank you."
"For what? Marrying you?"
"No, John. For becoming my heart."