An ordinary afternoon: he thinks, and places the cup of his hand over the cage of John’s ribs.
Sunlight casts shadows over mountain ranges of duvet and John twitches his fingers, wraps them around a particularly pink-looking ear.
“Suppose we’ve an hour?”
Sherlock glances, not at the battered bedside clock, but at the watch wrapped round John’s wrist. “Only just. Maybe 45 minutes if we’re lucky.”
“Who needs luck,” John murmurs against a scrape of jaw.
Later, sunlight stretches into early twilight, and as they stretch out side-by-side on the big downstairs bed, John draws abstractions on Sherlock’s thigh. Touches the soft inside skin. Pulls gentle fingertips through downy hair, wiry hair. Sherlock shivers. Through the dusty windowpane he watches the setting sun move: a finger’s width, then a palm.
“I have something to tell you.”
They shift onto their sides, all the better to face one another. John, expectant, leaves one hand on Sherlock, the other tucks up beneath his cheek against the pillow.
Sherlock steadies his breath. Inhales.
“I want to be your.” Exhale. “Husband.”
John’s eyes widen. A moment, and then: a burst of a laugh, a true belly-deep laugh that makes a lovely sound and echoes into Sherlock’s skin before John slides his hand away. Without a word, he rolls from his side to his back to his other side, and with a deft pinch of fingers, tugs open the drawer of the bedside table and picks out a small box.
Sherlock’s brain says crimson crushed velvet 5cm x 5cm bespoke jeweler perfect size for a— just as John says with a grin, “Hoped so.”
The ring, of course, fits perfectly.