Title: Decent Proposals
Characters: Sarah, John, Sherlock
Spoilers: The Reichenbach Fall
Word Count 1,650
Summary: In which John proposes to Sarah—twice—and Sherlock Holmes has very bad timing.
The phone calls were the things Sarah hated the most. She'd put up with a lot since Sherlock Holmes came back from the dead, but the phone calls were really the worst. The phone calls that came in the middle of the night, when John's place in the bed was empty, and she knew that, whoever was ringing her, it wasn't for something good. It was 'could you pick me up from the arraignment in the morning?', or 'now, it's not a bad sprain', or 'you'll need to bring a saw'.
The computerized voice on the phone announced the caller to be 'Sherlock Mobile'. Sarah lurched for it. Sherlock ringing was the worst of the worst. It meant John couldn't talk.
"Hello?" she said.
"John's in the A&E, we're at the Royal Wellington," Sherlock said. "Come now."
"How bad—?" Sarah began, but he'd already ended the call.
She muttered under her breath and groped in the dark for clothes. Gladstone lifted his head curiously, and trotted after her as she went downstairs. She found keys and her handbag. Gladstone pulled his leash from the hook at the front door and put it at her feet.
"Sorry, you have to mind the house," she told him. "I'll be back soon. Hopefully."
Sarah arrived in the waiting room and found Sherlock by the door leading into the treatment area. He had his head bent over his phone, and was texting when she approached.
"How bad?" she asked him. She knew it couldn't be that terrible—not even Sherlock would calmly text while his best friend was dying. "Hey. Hey! Sherlock!" She gave a hard pinch to his arm and took his phone from his hand. "I'm speaking to you. Listen."
Sherlock clapped a hand over his arm and glared at her. "That was juvenile," he said.
"What happened to John," she said, enunciating clearly.
"It's nothing, a dislocated shoulder," he said. "We were on a wall, he was pushed from it."
"Did he knock the pins out again?" Sarah asked.
"No, other shoulder," Sherlock said. He took his phone back. "If you want details, ask the nurse, and let me concentrate on catching who pushed him."
Sarah left before she said something to exacerbate the situation. She knocked on the door to the treatment area, and was let in by an orderly, who gave her directions to John's room. It was tiny, but private, and John lay in the bed, looking dopey.
"Heeey," he greeted her. "Hey!"
"Uh-oh, someone's had muscle relaxants," Sarah said.
"I very warned them, and so did Sherlock," John said. "But they couldn't reduce without it. You're pretty."
Sarah grinned. John got very mellow on muscle relaxants. When he got pissed—which wasn't that often—he tended to get quite blokey and obnoxious, but muscle relaxants just made him very pleased with the world.
"Thank you," she said. "I always look my best in the middle of the night, wearing my boyfriend's t-shirt and yesterday's trousers."
"I like your trousers," John declared. "And I like you."
"You should," she said. "You're lucky I put up with you."
John nodded, solemnly. "I know," he said. He brightened up and took her hand, rubbing his thumb over her palm. "I like your hands, too. And your face."
"Snap," Sarah said. She reached behind her to pull a chair over. It was made difficult by John's refusal to let go of her hand. She had to stretch to get hold of it. She settled in next to the bed.
"We should get married," he said, still staring at her hand with wonder.
"Yeah?" she said, amused.
"Yeah. You and me. And your hands. And face. And trousers," he said.
"Hmm, I don't know if that's legal, a five-way marriage," Sarah said. "You may have to settle for just me."
"That's my favourite part!" John said, happily.
Sarah felt a surge of affection for him. There must be something wrong with her brain to be in love with a bloke who constantly got himself into these sorts of situations, and who was mad enough to follow around Sherlock—who was definitely mad. Full stop.
She wasn't sure how it would go after Sherlock returned from the dead. After the initial shock wore off, she wondered if she would still fit into John's life; if she could compare to a resurrected best friend. They'd only been seeing each other again for a month when Sherlock turned up, as though he had some sort of alarm installed and could sense when John was near her. She was afraid he would force her out.
John had been very firm, though. One of the conditions of him working with Sherlock again was he accepted Sarah as part of his life. It had been bumpy at first—not with John, but with Sherlock, who she imagined was probably feeling the same about her as she did about him. Afraid she was going to steal John away. It had worked out, though—eventually. John and Sarah had even moved in together a couple of months ago without too much of a protest on Sherlock's part. He had learned to cope, and so had she.
Life was good, really. Aside from the occasional dislocated shoulder.
John's eyelids were starting to get droopy, and she didn't think it would be long before he nodded off.
"So, when are we getting married?" she teased.
"I dunno," he said, looking dumbfounded. "Soon. Because I like you."
His eyes were barely open now.
"I like you too," she said.
He smiled, and fell asleep.
Sarah had learned how to sleep well, if not comfortably, in hospital chairs, and she dozed on and off until morning, waking up when the nurse came in to check on John.
He slept most of the night, in between bouts of being awake but silly, and wasn't truly coherent until about seven in the morning. She awoke and found him sitting up, looking cleared-eyed, though a bit washed-out from his adventures.
"Hey," she said. "How are you?"
"Did I get midazolam? I feel like I got midazolam," John said.
"I'm not sure what the exact thing they gave you was, but you definitely got something," Sarah said.
John winced. "What did I do?" he asked.
"Nothing much. You kept your clothes on," Sarah said. "You mostly just talked about how you liked me and my hands."
"Well, I do," John said, with a smile. "And other parts."
She swatted him. "Oh, and you proposed," she added. "To me and my hands."
"Did you accept?" John asked.
"Of course, how could a girl resist such a romantic offer?" Sarah said.
He laughed. The nurse knocked on the door and came in to check on him. His shoulder was still swollen, but the dislocation hadn't been too severe. She seemed content with her findings, and she let them know the doctor would be in soon to discharge him.
"You know, it's not a bad idea," John said, after the nurse had left. "Marriage."
"No," Sarah agreed, tentatively. "No, it's not."
John's mobile beeped a text alert. He ignored it.
"I mean, we've never discussed it," he said. "So, I don't know if you're up for it. In theory."
Sarah couldn't tell if he was serious or not. She was fairly sure all the drugs had to have worn off by now. "I'm up for it," she said. "In theory."
John's mobile beeped again. He ignored it again.
"Well, do you want to?" he asked. "I mean, I know this would be better with a ring and roses and me wearing trousers, but I would like to marry you, if you want to marry me. But, I'm also good if you just want to stay like we are, too."
"Are—do you mean it?" Sarah asked.
"Yeah," John said.
John's mobile beeped for a third time. He grabbed it and read the message, then replied quickly, murmuring his response as he did. "Busy. Sod off."
He looked over at her expectantly.
"I feel the same," Sarah said. "I love you, and I'm happy the way we are now. But I also think we're—"
John's mobile beeped again. He ignored it.
"In it for the long haul?" he suggested.
"Yeah," Sarah agreed. "So, either way..."
John's mobile rang now. Seriously, Sherlock must have an alarm installed; he had to have some sort of sensor programmed to go off just when they were getting to the best part of things. John growled at the phone, and hit the speaker button.
"Sherlock, I'm trying to propose to Sarah, stop bugging me!" John yelled.
There was silence on the end of the line for a beat or two before Sherlock responded. "What's her answer?" he asked.
John looked over to Sarah. Oh, to hell with it. Sherlock or not, she wasn't letting this go by. She nodded. John beamed.
"Affirmative," he said.
There was another, longer pause, then Sherlock's very confused voice came over the line. "So, does that mean you aren't coming to the crime scene?"
John looked again to Sarah, like a puppy wanting to go out to play. She shrugged and nodded again, knowing there wasn't much point in objecting. John would be wondering what he was missing all day, and Sherlock would be ringing every five minutes to see if he could come now.
"No running, no walls, nothing but looking," she said.
John gave her the 'okay' sign. "I'm on my way," he said.
"Excellent," Sherlock said. "And...congratulations, I suppose."
"Thanks," Sarah said, loud enough for him to hear.
John hung up, and she helped him get dressed. "So, we're getting married," he said.
She smiled. "Yeah," she said.
"Good," John said. "I like you."
She nuzzled his nose, and gave him a kiss on the lips. "I like you, too."