Chapter 1: First Meeting
John was waiting for Sherlock to come home. A few days earlier Mycroft had informed his younger brother that their cousin, Lysander, and his wife had been killed in a car accident. Sherlock had looked stunned then saddened. He'd explained to John that he and Lysander had been quite close as children, being similar in age. He hadn't cried, just sunk into silent contemplation, moonstone eyes distant.
Two days ago the Holmes brothers had left for the funeral. John had wanted to go with his husband but hadn't been able to get the time off. Sherlock had looked lost for a moment before John assured him he'd be waiting at home, with tea and a take away, when he returned.
The slamming of cars doors seconds before the front door banged open, alerted John to Sherlock's return home. The door to the flat smashed into the wall as Sherlock strode in, face like thunder. John stared at him, alarmed.
"Sherlock? What's wrong?"
"Lysander... He... It's too ridiculous!"
"Take a deep breath and explain."
"Prehaps I can assist there, John," Mycroft said calmly, from behind his brother. "I would like to introduce you to Lyssa."
Sherlock moved out of the door revealing a tiny figure.
"This is Lysander and Diane's daughter. Sherlock was named as her guardian in their will."
"Which is incredibly stupid!" Sherlock snapped. "What do I know about children? Why can't you take her?"
"Because I know even less than you," Mycroft replied, tugging his cuffs straight. "And you are the legal guardian."
John couldn't tear his eyes from the girl. She couldn't have been any older the six. Her long, black hair was caught in a ponytail, skin as pale as Sherlock's. Her eyes were huge and as green as jade, looking straight at the doctor. Tears filled those eyes and before he known what he was doing, John knelt down, wrapping his arms around the girl.
"You poor thing," he murmured as she sobbed into his jumper. "It's alright. We'll take care of you."
"I beg your pardon?" Sherlock asked, incredulous. "WE will take care of her?"
"Yes, Sherlock, WE will. She hasn't got anyone else..."
"On the contrary, she has Mycroft..."
"I think not," the elder Holmes snorted.
"For God's sake, she's nearly 80."
"And Diane's parents."
"Who want nothing to do with her as well you know. You heard them at the will reading."
Lyssa clung tighter to John as the brothers argued.
"We could put her into care if you're truly against raising her," Mycroft suggested.
"No!" John cried. "Sherlock, we can't. She's alone and frightened. You two are the only family she knows."
Sherlock's sharp gaze focused on his husband, seeing how he was holding the little girl so protectively.
"You want us to raise her together," he deduced. "You want to be a father figure to her."
Looking down into the tiny, tear streaking face, John nodded.
"Yes I do."
Lyssa slid from his grasp, crossing to Sherlock. Staring into his face, eyes so serious, she studied the detective.
"My Daddy talked about you alot. He said you were the smartest, kindest man he ever knew. He said you'd always look after me if... If anything..." Fresh tears rolled down her cheeks. John took a step towards her but Sherlock had knelt and taken her in his arms. His face was thunderstruck. It reminded John of the moment Sherlock realised he was in love.
"Please, 'Lock," Lyssa sobbed. "Don't send me away."
"What did you call me?" he asked gently.
"Daddy always called you 'Lock. Thats how I know you."
Long, pale fingers brushed the tears from Lyssa's face and Sherlock gave her a small smile.
"Of course we won't send you away. You belong here, with us."
Chapter 2: Boundless
Sherlock has never been so frustrated! How could anybody raise a child? They were inscrutable. And why did John look so fondly exasperated instead of stressed beyond belief?
Not mine, sadly *hides a sad tear*
No particular timeline so please don't be mad if they bounce about with ages and stuff.
Comments always welcome
Sherlock was beginning to doubt his sanity. Were all children like this? Lyssa had been charging around the flat for three straight hours, playing noisily with every toy she owned. She'd pestered Sherlock until he stopped his experiment to listen to her chatter. She'd found fluff and dust and a hundred other things, it seemed, to shove under his microscope, messing with the view finder. He'd tried distracting her, suggested DVDs or games for her to play.
"Boring!" she shouted, racing off to jump on the sofa.
John was sat in his chair, tea in hand, smiling fondly as the small girl leapt from the cushions to the floor, up on the table and back on the couch.
"Does she ever stop?" Sherlock groaned, collapsing in his chair.
"She's six, darling. She's just full of energy."
"Why aren't you stressed out? You love peace and quiet on Saturdays." He was aware he sounded whiny but it didn't seem fair that John could be so calm in the face of chaos.
"I'm married to you, Sherlock. Boundless energy seems to be a family trait and I'm very use to it."
Lyssa ran across the room, launching herself into the dark haired man's lap.
"'Lock, I'm bored. Do we have to stay in? Can't we go somewhere fun?"
John stood, taking his cup in the kitchen.
"Sherlock's working a case, sweetpea," he explained, gently. "He needs to concentrate. How else will he catch the bad guys? And I've asked you not to look at crime scene photos. You'll give yourself nightmares."
"John, why was the man in those pictures wearing a poppy wrist band?" Lyssa asked, tiny fingers playing with Sherlock's curls. He'd come to love the little girl in the last two months that she'd been living with them. She seemed to fill the last hole in his life. And he loved the way John lit up with her.
"What poppy wrist band?" He asked suddenly focused.
"He's wearing one of those bands that the veterns sell around November 11th," John answered, showing Sherlock the picture.
"Thats it!" the detective shouted, leaping up with Lyssa in his arms. "Thats the answer. Lyssa you're a genius."
Grabbing his phone in one hand, he text Lestrade.
"I'd ask but I'm fairly sure the answer would give me a headache," John grinned, watching his husband and their charge spin round the room, giggling like mad.
"It's much too nice to be inside," Sherlock announced. "How about a trip to the National History museum? Then we can have dinner out."
"Yay!" Lyssa cheered, pressing a kiss to her guardian's pale cheek. "You have to eat too, 'Lock."
"I will. I find keeping you entertain gives me quite the appetite."
Placing her on the floor, Sherlock missed the triumphant smile the small girl shot John. The good doctor beamed back. He was fairly certain that his beloved husband was going to meet his match as their girl grew.
Chapter 3: The Joys of Parenthood
John was seriously considering handcuffing Sherlock to his chair. Just because Lyssa had gone on a date was no need to panic...right?
Quick warning for minor assault and two very vengeful daddies.
Comments always welcome
John glanced at the clock for what felt like the millionth time. She'd promised to be home by 10pm and it was half past now. He tried to be rational. Maybe it was busy or she'd missed the Tube.
"Why isn't she home yet?" Sherlock demanded, pacing back and forth across the room.
"Sherlock, please sit down. You're giving me motion sickness."
"Something's wrong, John. Lyssa would have let us know if she was running late."
Grabbing his husband's hands as they tugged fretfully at dark curls, John tried to sooth the fear he saw in those moonstone eyes.
"She probably just forgot the time. She really seemed to like this boy."
"She's 16, John. She should be home, studying, not out on a date," the detective growled.
"It was either we let her or she would have snuck out anyway. This way we set the rules."
"Which she has ignored! She's so grounded..."
The ringing of John's phone cut off the tall man's rant. Snatching it up the doctor frowned seeing Lestrade's number.
"Greg?" he answered.
"John, I'm at Bart's... with Lyssa."
"What?!" John shouted, frightened eyes flying to Sherlock.
"What's wrong?" he snapped
"Is she alright? Greg, is she alright?" John's hands were shaking as he pressed the phone closer to his ear.
"John, where's Lyssa?" Sherlock demanded. John waved a hand, motioning him to be quiet.
"Seems some boy she was out with got a bit rough. She's alright, a bit bruised and shaken. She wants you both to come and get her."
"We're coming now. Tell her we'll be there in a minute."
Hanging up, John grabbed his jacket, throwing Sherlock's coat at him.
"John, if you don't tell me what's going on..."
"The boy Lyssa was out with assaulted her. Shes's at Bart's with Lestrade."
Sherlock slammed into A&E, ignoring the startled looks from nurses and doctors. He spotted his daughter, because thats what she had become in the last ten years, huddled in one of the cubicles. Her right eye was swollen, beginning to darken into an impressive bruise. Her bottom lip was split, blood drying on her chin. Her clothes were torn and dirty, her long black hair a mess. Tears swam in her jade eyes, tracking down her scuffed cheeks.
"Dad, 'Lock," she whispered.
"Oh sweetpea," John sighed, rushing to her, wrapping his arms carefully around her.
"Where is he?" Sherlock demanded, glaring at Lestrade. Rage like he'd never felt boiled in the detective as he watched his husband sooth their sobbing daughter. John's blue eyes were brimming with worry and pain causing the rage to spike viciously.
"I've got some units looking for him. Lyssa managed to fight him off, said the moves you taught her allowed her get away. She broke his nose and thinks she dislocated his shoulder"
Sherlock's smile was wolfish as he looked at his girl. Then he whipped back to the DI.
"Did he... Was she...?" His mind shuddered away from the thought of Lyssa being raped but he had to know.
"No," Lestrade answered softly. "She got away before he could."
Striding over to his family, Sherlock knelt by the shaken girl, running his fingers gently over her face.
"Are you going to be alright, sweetpea?"
"I think so. I'm so sorry, 'Lock. I should have never gone." Fresh tears filled her eyes but Sherlock merely shook his head.
"This is not your fault, Lyssa. Dad's going to take you home. I have something I need to take care of."
Pulling off his long coat, he wrapped it round her. John pulled him to one side, eyes assessing quickly then his face set in grim lines, voice dropping to a whisper.
"Don't kill him. But make him hurt, Sherlock. Make him regret trying to violate our girl." Pressing a quick kiss to his husband's lips, John turned back to Lyssa helping her up.
"'Lock? Be careful," she called.
It was several hours before Sherlock returned to Baker Street. His knuckles were split, blood was smudged on one sharp cheekbone. John had just finished checking on Lyssa when he stalked in, dark smirk on his plush lips.
"Well?" John asked, heading for the first aid kit in the kitchen.
"Lestrade has him now, albeit in a slightly less than pristine condition."
"Good," John growled, cleaning the gashes on his lover's pale hands. "She blames herself, says she should have known he would try something."
Sherlock felt sadness well in him. It wasn't Lyssa's fault, not at all and that someone had hurt her, made her bleed, renewed the rage in his heart.
"I'm glad you went after him," John stated, surprising the detective.
"Why? You don't usually condone violence."
"If I'd gone after him, I'd have killed him."
Looking straight into his husband's eyes, Sherlock saw the cold truth of the statement. He often forgot that his John was a very well trained Army doctor, he could fight as well as heal. Not for the first time, Sherlock marvelled at the change Lyssa had wrought on their lives. That he could love not only John but the dark haired girl as much as he did, constantly surprised him. It seemed his heart wasn't an ice block after all.
Chapter 4: Growing Up
Lyssa cringed. This was so embarrassing!
Lyssa wasn't sure why she'd agreed to come shopping with 'Lock, especially this time.
"Please just stand there and don't say anything?" the twelve year old begged as they entered the clothes shop. Moving quickly, eyes flicking over jeans, shirts, shoes and other bits, the girl made straight for the underwear. But when she saw all the different bras her mind stuttered and she felt lost. A young, female sales assistant spotted her confused face, drifting over to help.
"First bra, sweetie?" she inquired kindly.
"Is that what we're doing here?"
Lyssa felt her cheeks heat up at the startlingly loud baritone. Casting a sharp look his way, she nodded.
"Thats what I said this morning, 'Lock," she muttered.
Glancing quickly around, Sherlock rushed off, grabbing several bras off the racks, giving a running commentary on the pros and cons of each one. Lyssa thought she might die of embarrassmnet. The sales lady grinned, winking at her.
"Most dads just stand there, all mortified and uncomfortable."
"I wish mine would," Lyssa huffed.
Thirty minutes later they left with five training bras. Lyssa was so red she was sure she'd be this colour forever.
"That was most informative," Sherlock announced, smiling. Looking into his daughter's face, however, he realised he'd done something wrong.
"A bit not good?" he asked.
"A bit, yeah," she sighed. "Why didn't you just stand there like I asked? I was so embarrassed!"
"Oh," Sherlock replied, quietly. "I thought I was helping."
Seeing the hurt on her beloved 'Lock's face banished any anger the girl felt.
"Well you certainly knew more than that shop assistant after just a few minutes. That was cool," she smiled, slipping her hand into his. Beaming down at her, Sherlock squeezed her hand gently.
"Shall we pop into Thorntons? I'll buy you a hot chocolate with cream."
"Yes please! Can we go to the book shop after? I'd like to look for a new forensics book."
"Of course, sweetpea."
People stared at the tall, pale, dark haired man striding along, hand in hand with an equally pale, dark haired girl, arguing about the best was to assess blood spatter.
Chapter 5: Dream Catcher
Nightmares were nothing new in this house
The sand was always so hot, it burned his hands as he scrambled to get away. Blood flowed freely from his shoulder, pain spiking with every move, causing bile to flood his mouth. He kept sliding as the sand shifted but when he looked down, it was a landscape of blood.
John jerked awake, sick, cold sweat coating his body. It took several deep breaths to steady his breathing and calm his shaking hands. Sherlock had been called on a case a few hours before, leaving John to settle Lyssa into bed. It had only been two weeks since the tiny girl had come to live with them. They were all still trying to adjust.
The faint cry came from John's old room, now Lyssa's. Throwing the covers off, the doctor hurried upstairs and pushed open the door.
Lyssa was tossing and turning in her sleep, mumbling, hands flailing. Her small face was screwed up with anguish, hair damp with sweat. Sitting gently on the bed, John ran a soothing hand over her forehead.
"Lyssa, wake up. You're dreaming."
With a gasp the girl snapped awake, green eyes wide and confused. John continued to smooth her hair back, murmuring softly until she calmed.
"Bad dream?" he asked gently.
"I saw Mummy and Daddy in a car then..." Tears swam in her eyes, rolling silently down her cheeks. Although she hadn't seen the accident, she had a very active imagination and it had clearly been working against her.
"Do you want to come into our bed for a bit?" John asked, noting how the girl was clinging to him. Nodding mutely, she buried her face into his neck as he picked her up and carried her downstairs.
Sherlock was bone tired when he returned home at 4am. Pushing open the bedroom door, he paused, taking in the sight of his husband and their charge, fast asleep, faces peaceful. Shrugging, kniwing he'd get an explaination when they all woke, he climbed into bed, curling around John and falling instantly into a dreamless slumber.
After that, whenever she woke from her nightmares, Lyssa would creep into their room, crawl in between them and fall back to sleep. And whenever she was in their bed, neither man was plagued by his own nightmares.
Chapter 6: Learning the Art of Silence
It couldn't be that hard...right?
Sherlock groaned loudly as John bit his neck. Dark curls thrashed against the pillow, back arching off the bed.
"John!" he moaned, gripping his husband's bare shoulders tightly.
"Shh! You have to be...quiet," John hissed, hips moving rapidly.
The cry was shockingly loud in the otherwise silent flat. Above them, small feet thudded to the floor, a door opened and Lyssa padded down the stairs. Scrambling, desperate not to get caught by the 7 year old in such a compromising position, the two men yanked their pyjamas on, hastily smoothing their messy hair.
"John? 'Lock?" a sweet, quiet voice called, as the door inched open. "Is everything alright? I thought I heard a noise."
"Everything's fine, sweetpea," John replied, as calmly as he could manage. "Go on back to bed."
"I was having a bad dream. Can I stay here with you?"
Her huge eyes looked at them both with such hope that neither one could refuse.
"Alright," Sherlock sighed, shifting to make room. Over her head he mouth "tomorrow" to John, winking.
The ringing of the phone startled Sherlock so much, he nearly bit John's cock off.
"Fucking hell!" he yelped, cradling his smarting privates. "Be a bit more bloody careful."
"I'm sorry... the phone..." Sherlock tried to explain.
"Just answer it," John sighed, hobbling into the kitchen for some ice.
"Hello?" the detective snapped. Would he never get a moment's peace with his husband?
"Mr Holmes? My name's Linda Sherridon, I'm the deputy head teacher at St Michael's."
Sherlock frowned. Why would Lyssa's deputy head be calling unless....
"Is she alright?" he demanded, fear gripping him.
"Lyssa's in a bit of trouble for fighting. She's been suspended for a week. We'd like for you to come and collect her."
"I'm on my way," he sighed.
It had been a long month. John and Sherlock hadn't had a minute alone and the dark haired man was beginning to lose his temper.
"We're parents now, love," John sighed, smiling fondly. "Having no privacy comes with the territory."
"I just want one night alone with you, is that so much to ask?"
"Yes. But, luckily for you, I am a loving husband."
Sherlock gazed at the doctor, raising an eyebrow.
"I am aware of that, dear heart. However..."
"I have asked Mrs Hudson to look after Lyssa tonight. You and I are going out to dinner, somewhere posh. Then we will be going to a fancy hotel and having a lot of loud, passionate sex. And tomorrow we will go back to being parents."
Sherlock grinned devilishly, incandescent eyes sparkling.
"John, you're a genius."
"Thats why you married me."
Chapter 7: Painful Memories
Its hard to look at the past
John came in, heavy shopping bags weighing him down, and paused, confused.
Sherlock was curled in his chair, eyes red rimmed, a pile of tissues next to him. Lyssa lay in his arms, sound asleep, dried tears on her pale face.
"What's wrong?" John whispered, concerned. Sherlock shook his head, standing and carrying the 8 year old to her room. When he returned, John was just putting the last bits away but stopped when his husband's arms circled his waist.
"She wanted to see the pictures," Sherlock mumbled. John felt his heart break slightly that Sherlock had to deal with that alone. Lyssa had never asked to look at the pictures of her parents, not once in the last two years. Both men dreaded the day she would ask.
"She cried a lot," Sherlock continued. "Said she was wanted to look at them, to remember them. She... she told me all sorts of stories about them, John. Things I never knew about Lysander. About how proud he was of me, how he always told her about you and me, our work. He told her stories of us as children."
John felt hot tears splash onto his neck, heard Sherlock's breath hitch.
"Its alright, love," he soothed. "Its alright."
"She laughed and cried and screamed that it wasn't fair, that she missed them so much. I wanted to die," Sherlock groaned, folding himself closer to John. Moving them to the sofa, the doctor pulled his husband into his lap, stroking his dark curls.
"We knew this day was coming, darling. I'm sorry I wasn't here."
"I didn't realise how much I missed Lysander before. Now... I can never tell him all the things I want to. How can I make him proud now?" Sherlock pressed closer to John, fresh tears soaking into his jumper.
"You can do the very last thing he asked of you," John answered firmly. "You can raise his daughter as your own, give her the best life possible. I will be here with you, every step of the way and we'll do it together."
"She misses them so much."
"Of course she does. But she's as much our daughter now as she is theirs. We will love and protect her, give her everything she needs. You are so wonderful with her, Sherlock. She adores you."
"She loves you too," Sherlock sniffed, gazing at his husband. "She always goes to you with questions and problems."
"She does that to both of us." John studied his beloved for a moment, smiling softly. "Tell me about Lysander."
The rest of the evening was spent in the past, reliving old memories and crying away the unresolved pain.
Chapter 8: Teenage Drama
John was one of the world's most patient men. You'd have to be, married to Sherlock. But two of them? That would test a saint.
John ground his teeth, making the tea much more slowly than usual, trying to remain calm. He could hear Lyssa shouting at Sherlock, complaining it wasn't fair, that they were so horrible.
"You're fourteen, Lyssa. You cannot go running off across London, chasing muggers!"
"Why not? You and Dad do! You chase murderers and thieves. You get banged up all the time!"
"We're adults, we can handle ourselves. You are a teenage girl!"
John scrubbed his hands over his face, praying for patience. Lyssa had spotted an old lady being mugged and had set off in pursuit. John had to admit he was impressed with the guts it had taken but he couldn't ignore the danger she'd put herself in. Lestrade had called them just an hour before, explaining that Lyssa had taken the mugger down with a flying tackle, rendered him unconscious with a nerve pinch before calling the police. Sherlock had expressed his delight, that she was using the skills they had taught her until John pointed out everything that could have gone wrong. Now his husband was in the process of explaining it to their daughter.
"I managed just fine. He never even touched me. I scraped my face when I tackled him."
"You are a child!" Sherlock snarled. "He could have easily killed you."
"You are such a hypocrit. Uncle Mycroft told me you were chasing criminals when you were younger than me."
"That is not the issue here..."
John entered the living room, once again struck by the similarities between the two. Lyssa's skin as pale as his, her hair as dark. Her cheek bones had the same sharp defination, mouth slightly softer contours. Even her eyes had the same luminesence though the colour was vastly different. But the biggest similarity was their natures. It often caused them to clash, John trapped in the middle.
As they argued back and forth, John felt his calm stretch then snap.
"Enough!" he roared. His husband and daughter both froze, surprised.
"I have had enough of this. Lyssa, while we're very proud that you helped that lady, you must understand that what you did was incredibly reckless. It doesn't matter what Sherlock did as a child, all that matters is what you do."
"Exactly," Sherlock smiled, smugly.
"And as for you," John growled, round on the tall man. "Do you ever stop to think what will happen if one of us is killed on one of your cases? Do you ever consider the implications of your actions? Now I've had enough of the pair of you. Go to your rooms and think about what I said. I'll call you when dinner's ready."
Watching the two slink sheepishly from the room, John shook his head. Kids!
Chapter 9: Waiting
Sherlock had learnt patience raising Lyssa with John. Now he needed very scrap.
Lyssa sat bolt upright on the sofa, breakfast ignored, ears straining. John sat beside her, equally as alert, watching his husband pace the room, long fingers combing through silver touched curls.
"Please, 'Lock, you're making me even more nervous than I already am," Lyssa said, smiling at her father. He grinned sheepishly back, settling beside John, arms around his waist.
"This postman hasn't been late once in the last year. Why today of all days?" Sherlock groaned.
"Maybe the traffic..." John statred only to fall silent at the clatter of the letter box. Standing, Lyssa looked at her fathers, eyes nervous before she walked slowly to retrieve the post. John couldn't help but marval at the beautiful young woman their girl had become.
"Eighteen," he sighed. "Where have the last twelve years gone?"
"It hardly seems possible," Sherlock agreed, softly. They heard her light tread coming back up the stairs, saw the letters in her hands and one envelope in particular.
"This is it," she whispered, sinking down to sit between them. With shaking hands she tore it open, eyes quickly scanning the paper inside.
"Well?" Sherlock asked eagerly.
"I passed," she breathed. "I scored A pluses across the board! I passed all my A levels!" Shouting for joy, Lyssa flung her arms around her fathers, tears dampening her lashes.
"You can go to any uni now," John laughed, wiping his eyes. "They'll be fighting over you."
"I want to stay close to you and 'Lock, Dad. I applied for Oxford a few months ago. I received a letter last week, saying that if I scored my predicted grades... they'd take me!"
"That's fantastic!" Sherlock cheered, sweeping her into his arms, dancing across the room. "We are going out to celebrate."
"Alright," the girl laughed, breaking free. "Let me go and change. And call Uncle Mycroft. I'd like him to celebrate with us."
Standing slowly, easing his suddenly sore shoulder, John gazed lovingly at his family. Sherlock wrapped his long arms around his husband's waist, kissing him deeply.
"Tension release causing muscle pain," he deduced.
"Yeah. It's alright, it'll ease off in a bit." He glanced towards the stairs to Lyssa's room.
"We raised one Hell of a kid."
"Yes, we did."
Chapter 10: Parents Evening
Sherlock hated stupid people
John glanced around the class room, admiring the colourful art on the walls, thinking how different it was from his school days. The teacher, a nice young woman called Miss Callen, was sat on the other side of the desk, a folder open in front of her.
"Lyssa is an execptionally bright child. She grasps concepts far outside her age range."
"It's a family trait," Sherlock sniffed, eyeing the teacher distainfully.
"I'm sure, Mr Holmes. I have, of course, read about you. And Lyssa tells the most wonderful stories. But the reason I asked you both here was because, well, I feel Lyssa is missing something."
John frowned, puzzled. Their girl was a well adjusted 10 year old. She was intelligent enough to keep up with Sherlock's lightening fast brain but kind enough to make friends easily. She was the best bits of John and Sherlock, with her own, destinctive twist to top it all off.
"Lyssa lacks nothing," Sherlock snapped. "She works at a high school level. She has plenty of friends. What could she possibly be missing?"
"She needs a childhood," Miss Callen said softly. "Yes, she does study at a high school standard. But she also spends her free time working on forensic sciences, chemical experiments and medical texts. She needs to be a little girl. I don't want to tell you how to be parents but, surely, she deserves some fun too?"
John suddenly saw their lives from another perspective. It looked like they were trying to mould the girl into a fusion of themselves, forcing her to be what they wanted, not what she wanted.
"You might be right," he agreed, startling his husband. "She needs to persue her own interests, be a little girl and her own person. Thank you for sharing that, Miss Callen. Is there anything else?"
"O...only that I was going to recommend she be moved up a few years. She really is much to advanced for my class."
"That is because she is our daughter," Sherlock informed her, proudly. "She is unique."
"No argument here, Mr Holmes," the teacher nodded. "She has expressed an interest in singing and horse riding. Prehaps those are hobbies she could persue?"
"We will look into it," John promised, wondering how long it would be before Lyssa demanded a singing horse.
Chapter 11: Dancing in the Dark
Sherlock couldn't decide if he wanted to laugh or cry
Sitting on the bar stool, watching the other guests, Sherlock Holmes wondered if he would ever be so emotional again. On the dance floor, under the spot light, Mrs Lyssa Michaels, danced with her husband. The detective both loved and hated Alex Michaels. Loved him because he made Lyssa so happy. Hated him for taking her away from her parents.
"You're going to burn a hole in the poor boy, stop it," John admonished, shoving his husband's shoulder lightly. Sherlock thought he looked delicious in his dove grey morning suit, white shirt open at the throat. He wrapped his arms round his doctor, resting his head on the strong chest.
"I've never been so sad," he sighed. "She doesn't need us anymore."
"Don't be so dramatic. She's married not immigrating to New Zealand. Besides, they live two minutes away, we see her every day and we all have dinner every weekend."
"Yes but now... I don't know, it's different, more permanent."
John tilted his beloved's face up, forcing luminous eyes to focus on him. He saw pride and sadness and admiration in those glorious orbs, dropping a kiss onto the cupid bow lips.
"We knew that, one day, we'd have to let her go, darling. It's part of growing up."
"What is?" Lyssa asked, appearing next to them. John beamed at her, stunned again by how beautiful she was in the ivory dress, black roses embroidered on the bodice, long, dark hair swept up in an intricate style. He kissed her cheek, tears shining in his eyes.
"Will you dance with me? Both of you, like when I was little?" she asked, smiling.
"We'd love to," John replied, tugging Sherlock to his feet. Sandwiching their girl between them, the little family swayed together, arms all tangled up, enjoying the familiar closness.
"We're so proud of you, Lyssa," Sherlock whispered. "Medical examiner for the police, out there, solving crimes, at the age of twenty six, youngest in the country."
She laughed, burying her face into John's shirt, arm reaching back to cling to Sherlock.
"I wanted to be just like both of you, even when I was small. Now, I am. I can never thank you both enough, for everything."
"You don't need to," John soothed. "We love you, we were happy to do it, still are, in fact."
"Dad, 'Lock... Thank you for helping me to become the person I always wanted to be. I could never have done it without you."
"Easy now," Sherlock murmured, rubbing her arm. "You were on your way to being that person when you moved in. We just encoraged you a bit."
"I love you both, so much."
"We love you too."
They stayed there, swaying around in a circle, for a long time.
Chapter 12: The Child of the Fathers
She was her fathers daughter God dammit, now think!
The duct tape around her wrists was slowly cutting off the circulation, causing an unpleasent tingling in her hands. More tape bound her ankles, knees and thighs. One final strip covered her mouth, stifling any possible noise. Panic bubbled in Lyssa's chest but she forced it down, tried not to let it consume her. She could get out of this, she could. She had learnt many lessons from her fathers. John had taught her to shoot, basic hand to hand and advanced first aid. Sherlock had taught her to think, to look at everything.
'Come on,' she admonished herself. 'Think!'
Slithering across the floor (wooden, warped with age and damp, from the smell) she searched for a nail, a large sliver, anything she could use to start a tear. The floor creaked and groaned alarmingly, several of the boards bowing under her weight. Heavy footsteps vibrated through the floor, signalling someone's approach. Coiling her legs close to her body, Lyssa lowered her eyelids, pretending to still be unconscious. Her head throbbed as a reminder and she swore she'd pay them back. The door opened, a short, bulky figure blocking the light.
"She's still out," he yelled over his shoulder. The figure moved closer, kneeling a foot away.
"Sure are a pretty little bitch," he leered, reaching out to run a hand down the prone body. Striking like a snake, Lyssa's bound legs whipped out, hitting him square in the face, knocking him out cold. Wriggling over to the man (at least 30 pounds over weight, bad personal hygine, thick South London accent, cheap clothes) she spotted a key hanging from his pocket. Contorting like a trained gymnast, she brought her hands round to the key and began sawing at her bonds.
'Come on, come on,' she chanted in her head. Her arms burned, breath coming faster making her light headed.
"Pace yourself," John's voice echoed in her head. "Just because Sherlock does everything at a thousand miles an hour, doesn't mean you have to."
Lyssa paused, letting her breathing even out, then started again. The ping of the duct tape breaking was the best noise she'd heard in a while. Tugging her hands she let relief chase the fear away as the tape snapped. Rubbing the blood back into her hands, peeling it from her mouth, Lyssa began working on the rest of it, straining her ears. She heard another set of footsteps below her. Once her legs were free she crawled slowly to the door, trying to stay as quiet as possible. She could smell stagnant water, mould, stale air.
"An abandoned house," she murmured. "But where?"
She was beginning to wish that 'Lock had a normal job, one that didn't put them all in danger. The last thing she remembered before waking up in that room, was a man yelling about Sherlock losing the evidence. Which meant...
"Dad and 'Lock are looking for me." She was so happy she felt weak.
"Hank? What are you doing? If you're messing with her I'll smack you sensless!"
Scrambling across the hall, easing open another door, Lyssa waited as the person came upstairs, hardly breathing. If she could sneak passed, get out, she could lead the parents here.
"Hank? What the bloody Hell?!" There was a scrabbling, several loud slaps and a groan. Peeking into the corridor, Lyssa watched as the two figures argued then began to think. Taking her chance she slipped from her hiding place, hurrying down the stairs.
"Get back here!"
Heavy feet thundered behind her, a sharp blow landing between her shoulders making her stagger, banging her head off a window frame. Blood trickled into her eyes, making her blind.
"Little slut!" the man, Hank, snarled. Lyssa heard a gun cock and closed her eyes, sending silent goodbyes to her fathers. Two cracks from a hand gun caused the girl to jump, heart hammering. She heard two bodies hit the floor, one screaming about his knee, the other about his shoulder.
"Lyssa!" Sherlock shouted, bounding to his daughter's side. She had a nasty gash on her forehead, an impressive black and purple bruise on her temple and red raw wrists.
"I've got her," John said calmly, hands already moving over his child's face.
"'Lock?" Lyssa called. "The last piece of evidence is in the upstairs bedroom. It proves that they were smuggling the jewels."
Sherlock dropped a kiss on her head, relief and pride rushing through him.
"I'm sorry my work caused you to get hurt, sweetpea. I'm so sorry."
"It's alright," Lyssa smiled. "Apart from the thumping headache, bashed up face and almost being groped by a pig, it was kind of fun."
"Oh for God's sake," John groaned. "Not another one."
Chapter 13: Mycroft Discovers His Heart
Who had thought that the secret ruler of the British Goverment could be melted by such a simple thing?
Sorry its been a while I was ill (gross)
Comments always welcome
Mycroft Holmes hadn't really considered the implications of sending his brother and brother-in-law on this case. The spy needed stopping and Sherlock had been getting so bored, it was really quite a simple decision. What he had not realised, however, was that Mrs Hudson was away visiting friends, John refused to let Harry care for Lyssa and there was simply no one else to look after the girl.
That was how he found himself, three days later, staring at the nine year old who reminded him so much of Sherlock. So much so, in fact, that he had removed all personal and private papers to the secret safe in his London office, aware that his brother probably encouraged his charge to spy on Mycroft.
"I'm bored," Lyssa announced, flopping back onto the sofa with a dramatic huff. Mycroft hid a smile. All she needed was a dressing gown.
"Have you done all your homework?"
"Even the religious studies piece?"
Sherlock had hated studying religion, found it all too theroretical.
"Oh yes, I enjoyed that one. The books in your study were fasinating." Lyssa sat up suddenly, jade eyes gleaming.
"You were in my study?" Mycroft exclaimed.
"Yes. 'Lock says you keep all the good stuff in there. He said you had books and papers on foreign nations and artefacts so I went to see."
"When was this?" Mycroft was finding it hard to be angry in the face of her excitment. She had obviously enjoyed her trip into the forbidden realm.
"Yesterday, while you were at work. 'Lock gave me a set of lockpicks for my birthday. He says I'm a natural."
"John must be so proud."
"No, he mostly just rolls his eyes a lot. Anyway, I really think the books I found have made my report extra special."
"And what was this report about, exactly?"
"How multi deity cultures are similar whilst being different. It's a wonderful subject piece."
Mycroft found himself agreeing, even asking Lyssa to explain her findings.
They talked for many hours. All through the preparation and eating of dinner, through the long evening, even as Lyssa climbed into bed. Mycroft had long wished for someone with a similar interest to talk to. Who would have thought he would find a kindred soul in a 9 year old girl?
"I also enjoyed your history books. They helped with my course work on the Tudors."
"Well, prehaps we can discuss that tomorrow," Mycroft smiled, moving to the door.
"That would be fun. Goodnight, Uncle Myc," Lyssa yawned, snuggling under the duvet. Mycroft stilled, shocked by the simple words.
"Goodnight," he whispered, gently pulling the door shut. Such small words but they had a huge impact. He felt the ice of logic around his heart melt slightly, just enough for the love for that small girl to blossom inside him.
Chapter 14: You Get Use to It
Being a doctor came in handy
Written mainly because my 14 week old and 3 year old girls have been like this all week *exhausted*
Comments are my life's blood, please do
John flailed awake, tense neck muscles pulling as he shot upright. The sound of vomiting echoed around the flat, followed by soft, comforting murmurs. Sherlock appeared in the living room doorway, carrying Lyssa.
"I thought we'd managed to keep that bit of toast down," the tall, pale man sighed. "But evidently not. Here, sweetpea, try to sleep."
John crossed quickly to the sofa, hands moving automatically to check the girl's pulse and temperature. Lyssa watched him with glassy, feverish eyes, spots of colour high on her cheeks.
"Still getting hot and cold flashes?" he asked softly. "Headache? Dizziness?"
"Yes," she croaked, curling deeper into the couch. "M sleepy."
Brushing back her sweat soaked hair, John rocked back on his heels.
"Sleep then. We'll wake you in a while and see if you can keep some water down."
Sherlock tugged him urgently into the kitchen, luminous eyes on their child. He ran a frustrated hand through his curls.
"I woke up when she climbed on my lap," he started, voice low. "She tangled her fingers in my hair, said she was cold but she was burning up. I wanted to wake you. Lyssa said not to, said she was just tired. Then she started to feel sick... Why isn't she better? You said it was a virus, that it would be gone in 24 hours."
"Calm down. She's going to be alright. Besides, she only started feeling so ill a few hours ago. We have a long night ahead of us yet." John patted his husband's arm encouragingly, absent mindedly tidying the side.
"I thought I was going to be sick when she began heaving," Sherlock sighed, slumping into one of the chairs. The shorter man carded his fingers through inky locks, comforting as best he could.
"It's a common reaction."
"How do you cope? How do other parents cope with snot and puke and other vile bodily excretions?"
"Practise," John nodded sagely. "Years and years of practise. I've seen mothers who can feed one child while cooking and clean, polishing the windows... Its just a simple matter of practise."
Sherlock's indignant huff made his husband smiled fondly.
"Come on, you sleep first shift. I'll wake you in a bit to swap," John decided. Sherlock looped his ape arms around strong shoulders, feather kisses scattering over John's skin.
"Will we ever be like that?"
"We already are, " John smiled
Chapter 15: Wingless Flight
They wrapped their arms around each other, mesmerized by the sight.
Because I love, and miss, horse riding
Comments keep me sane
Lyssa held her breath, fingers tugging the end of her long braid, feet drumming against the floor. If her Dad could work his magic on 'Lock, her long time dream could come true. Unable to sit still, she began cleaning her room. Sorting through her clothes, Lyssa put the dirty ones in her washing basket, the old or too small ones in a bag to go to charity. She could hear the deep vibrations of 'Lock's voice, raising and falling melodiously. Dad's voice mingled with it, a softer counterpoint that melded so perfectly. Lyssa couldn't help the contented smile that appeared on her face.
Thise voices, twisting together like climbing roses, were the sound track to her life. She could remember her parents, her mother's proud, smiling elfin face and huge green eyes still lighting her dreams. She could hear her father's voice telling her stories. But now the voices that soothed her, the faces that smiled proudly, were her fathers.
"She's thirteen," 'Lock huffed. "She's not responsible enough."
"Lyssa will be fourteen in two months. And she is the most responsible person I know. She certainly didn't learn that from you. She goes every weekend and every day when she's on holiday. You're btother has no objections to finding a place to keep it. What's the problem?"
Lyssa held her breath, deserate hope pounding in her chest.
"I want to be involved every step of the way," 'Lock stated. "I want to get a proper horse vet to examine the animal. I want us to inspect any livery yard."
Flinging herself onto her bed, burying her head in the pillows, Lyssa squealed with joy. She was getting her own horse!
Sherlock couldn't take his eyes from the sight of his daughter sitting so easily on the back of her horse. The black Fell pony responded to her every move instantly, making it look like they were of one mind. John leant against the rails of the sand school, smiling happily.
"She's a natural," the doctor grinned. He brushed his fingers along his husband's arm, capturing his attention.
"Hmmm?" Sherlock breathed, dragging his gaze away. "Yes, she is. And she's so happy."
The look on Lyssa's face was pure contentment. The wind rushed over her face, causing her hair to steam out behind her. Her beloved horse, Dante, moved in long, easy strides as he cantered around the school, midnight mane and tail flowing around him. Putting the slightest pressure on the reins, she eased him to a stop, turning her beaming face to her fathers.
"He's fantastic," Lyssa cried, throwing herself from the saddle, crashing into the two men. "Thank you thank you thank you. I love him! And I love you both."
"You're welcome," John smiled, hugging her back. With another huge smile Lyssa scrambled back into the saddle and began to put the horse through his paces again.
"She's beautiful," Sherlock sighed. "She looks like she's flying."
Chapter 16: Birthday
Sherlock, John and Lyssa decide to have a joint party.
I must state that I do not enjoy my birthday but I enjoy other peoples. I imagine Sherlock would be the same.
Comments are always welcome
Lyssa brushed her hands over the skirt of her party dress, twirling in front of the full length mirror.
"Oh, sweetpea, you look beautiful," John breathed from the door. The small girl was wearing a dark blue dress scattered with small silver stars. Her long, dark hair was curled in elabrate ringlets that cascaded over one shoulder. She wore silver tights and shiny black shoes, a complete and stunning party outfit.
"You look good too, John," she grinned, eyeing the deep blue shirt and black trouser combo the doctor was sporting. Rubbing a self conscious hand through his sandy hair, John grined back.
"Sherlock said that if we were doing this, we all had to wear a similar colour."
Lyssa frowned, fiddling with the hem of her dress.
"He doesn't want a party, does he?" she asked in a small voice. John put his arm around her thin shoulders, hugging her to him.
"Sherlock is just a grumpy soul sometimes. He wants to celebrate your birthday though. Seven at last."
"But we're having this party for all three of us. Your birthday is at the end of this week, 'Lock's is two days after it and mine is today. Why isn't he happy?"
"He is, sweetpea, he just doesn't show it like other people. Come on, the guests will be arriving soon."
Sherlock was stood by the window, watching as the guests began to arrive. Lestrade arrived with Molly, laughing at something the small woman said. Mycroft pulled up in his sleek black car, assistant trailing behind. Several other people, children that were friends with Lyssa and their parents, filed into the flat, chattering happily.
Sherlock pasted a smile on his face, wanting to make the day special for Lyssa and John. He spotted his husband walk into the room hand in hand with Lyssa and felt his breath catch. Lyssa looked like an ethreal creature, all huge eyes, dark hair and pale skin set off wonderfully by her starry night dress. John looked stunning in the shirt that matched his eyes, finely cut trousers that hugged his frame.
"You both look fantastic," Sherlock greeted, brushing his fingers over Lyssa's face before taking John's hand.
"You do too, 'Lock," Lyssa smiled. The tall detective was wearing one of his signature black suits, sapphire silk shirt peeking from the open jacket. Small arms reached out to Sherlock and he automatically picked Lyssa up, relaxing as her fingers tangled into his hair.
"Stay until we cut the cake," she whispered. "Please? Then you can slip away."
Moonstone eyes locked on jade ones, assessing. He saw that Lyssa knew he was uncomfortable and wanted help him. A rare smile blossomed on the detective's face.
"Thank you, sweetpea," he whispered back, kissing her cheek. "Happy birthday."
Chapter 17: Can I?
John had only ever felt such emotions twice before
It took me years before I finally called my step dad just plain Dad. it was the only time I've seen him cry.
comments keep me going so please do =)
John groaned softly as he sank into his chair. It had been a hellishly long day at the surgery. There was a stomach bug going around and it seemed like every parent in London had descended on them with crying, puking children.
"Here, this will help."
John smiled as Lyssa set a cup of steaming tea next to him. The ten year old girl was going through another growth spurt it seemed. John shuddered at the idea of taking Sherlock on a shopping trip. Maybe they could sneak out one day, when his husband was preoccupied by a case? Then John could shop in peace without the detective tearing off every few minutes to chase something more interesting.
"Would you like to go shopping for some new clothes on Saturday? Looks like you might need some new shoes too. And maybe one of the DS things you were asking about. We'll nick 'Lock's credit card." He grinned up at her, winking. With a delighted squeal, Lyssa flung herself into John's lap, hugging him.
"Really, Dad? Can we? Can I get those new boots I showed you last week when we went for 'Lock's chemicals? They were so cool."
John stared at the babbling girl, shocked. She noticed his wide eyes and slack features, a frown marring her milky skin.
"What's wrong? We don't have to get the boots..."
"What did you call me?"
She looked momentarily confused then blushed slightly ashamed.
"I... I'm not sure. You treat me just like your daughter and I think of you as my dad, in my head, and how proud I would be to be your daughter. I won't do it again if you don't like it."
"It's not that, sweetpea. What about your actual dad? Don't you feel..."
Lyssa tilted her head, smiling slightly, long hair falling like an ebony water fall over her shoulder.
"He will always be my Daddy, I will always remember him as my Daddy. But you are my Dad now. And I would like to call you that...if you don't mind?"
John felt tears well up in his blue eyes. Only two other times in his life had he felt such a strong emotion.
The first time was when he'd been shot, pain, anger and frustration like he'd never felt before almost shattering him. The second was when Sherlock had dropped to one knee in the middle of the New Scotland Yard's christmas party and asked for John's hand in marriage.
"No," he croaked, happiness and pride making it hard for him to speak. "I don't mind. In fact, I like it very much. Thank you."
"What for?" she chuckled, resting her head on his good shoulder. She curled up in his lap like she used to when she was smaller, longer legs now tucked under the arm of his chair.
"You have no idea how happy you just made me, sweetpea. Thank you."
"Yo won't be saying that when we carry all the shopping home on Saturday," she giggled. John laughed with her, utterly content. He had a husband who loved him, who he adored in return, and a daughter who was proud to call him Dad.
Chapter 18: Screaming and Silence
Oh God, what had they done?
Good grief life does get in the way of my writing lol. Because no one likes fighting, not even slightly brilliant children.
Comments help me deal with my tempermental children so please, I beg of you *grovels* =)
Lyssa was two weeks away from her tenth birthday when she vanished. One minute she was there, hollow eyed and tearful, screaming at them to stop. The next there was a clatter of small feet and the loud slamming of the front door. John and Sherlock had searched everywhere they could think of, contacted everyone they thought she could be with. Nothing.
"This is our fault," John wept, slumping into his chair, head in his hands. Sherlock automatically wrapped his long arms around his husband, soothing him as best he could. They had been fighting for a while now, nothing important, just silly little spats. Sniping and spitting insults at one another, quiet disagreements that exploded into full blown rows, causing one or the other to slam out of the flat, only returning hours later to be greeted by icy tension. The fight that had caused Lyssa to run off had been the worse so far. John couldn't remember how it started, who said what and why it had been so hurtful but it had.
All his fears, tensions and frustrations had burst from him, voice climbing rapidly until he was screaming that Sherlock had only ever loved his work, never John at all. He vaguely recalled that Sherlock had been screaming back, something about how his life had been so much easier without messy emotions. The doctor had felt the dangerous words building in his chest, words with jagged edges that would shred his insides forever.
He saw the anger and resignation on the consulting detective's face, opened his mouth to demand a divorce. Then Lyssa flew into the room, long hair wild around her deathly pale face, green eyes burning bright with pain and unshed tears.
"STOP IT! JUST STOP! You love each other so much, why do you have keep fighting? I can't take it anymore!" And with that she bolted down the stairs and was gone.
"She'll be alright," Sherlock attempted to sooth John, heart clenched painfully tight. He'd come within inches of losing his husband and now his charge was missing. Lysander would have been furious. The ringing of his mobile startled them both.
"Lyssa?" Sherlock demanded.
"Not quite, my dear."
"Mummy?" he frowned, confused and slightly annoyed. "Now is not the best time, Lyssa has run away."
"Yes, I know. She told me everything when she arrived."
"Arrived?" John, who had been listening closely, interrupted. "She's with you?"
"Indeed, my good doctor. She apparently pick pocketed Mycroft yesterday and used his money to buy a ticket down here."
"Can we talk to her?" Sherlock begged. He was so relieved Lyssa was alright he had collapsed into John's lap, twining around each other.
"No," Mummy Holmes said firmly. "Lyssa will be staying here until you two have decided the fate of your marriage. The peace will do you good. Enjoy the silences boys." With that she hung up, leaving John and his curly headed husband staring at each other.
"It's so quiet without her," John whispered.
"Yes, eerily silent," Sherlock agreed. With a joint sigh, they looked at each other, palest blue eyes locked with much darker blue ones.
"I want her to come home," John murmured, pressing closer to his husband, relishing the heat of that wiry frame.
"Me too. We should talk."
It was a very long night for the pair.
Chapter 19: The Proposal
Lyssa had asked and they were happy to tell
Who wouldn't want to know how they got together?
Comments always welcome
10 year old Lyssa was cuddled up between Sherlock and John, drowsing lightly. Sherlock was reading a book on the chemical composition of exotic tree bark. John was flicking idly through the TV channels, not really paying attention.
"When did you decide to get married?" Lyssa asked sleepily, startling both men. Sherlock marked his page before setting the book aside, turning to her. John turned the TV off, smiling at his husband.
"Goodness, it must have been...6 years ago now. We'd been flatmates for 18 months before we even admitted our feeling to each other. It was very awkward, neither of us really knowing what to say."
"We stuttered and stammered, then collapsed in giggles," Sherlock grinned, remembering that evening fondly. How they had stood so far from each other, both ready to bolt if it looked like it was all going wrong.
"Eventually we just blurted "I'm in love with you" at the same time," John laughed. "I had never felt so shocked, so relieved."
"I couldn't believe he felt the same." Sherlock shook his head. "To think we had been dancing around each other all that time. After that we were even more inseperable."
John hid a small, wicked grin from Lyssa's keen eyes. Sherlock had left out a fair bit, like how they had spent several days in bed, learning each others bodies, talking about their pasts and families.
"A year later, at the New Scotland Yard christmas party, 'Lock surprised me again by dropping to one knee in the middle of all these coppers and asking me to marry him."
Sherlock threw his head back, a deep rumbling laugh spilling from his mouth.
"The looks on all those faces! It was wonderful. But it was merely a bonus when I heard John say he would become my husband. I honestly couldn't have cared less about anything else at that point." Leaning over the small girl, Sherlock pressed a soft, lingering kiss to John's lips.
"We got married 2 months later. Mycroft had, kindly, rushed all the paperwork. It was a simple service, just us, Mrs Hudson, Harry, Lestrade, Mycroft and Mrs Holmes... Sorry," the doctor cringed. "Mummy Holmes."
"It was the happiest day of my life," Sherlock murmured. "Until you came into our lives, Lyssa." He smiled down at the dark haired girl, jade eyes blinking sleepily up at him.
"You have made our lives just perfect, sweetpea," John agreed, dropping a kiss on her forehead. "Now, it's time for bed."
Scooping her up like he had when she was smaller, John waited for her to kiss Sherlock goodnight.
"Thank you," she said softly. "That was a lovely bedtime story. It had a nice ending."
"The story's still going, love," John smiled gently. "It's just a bit different now."
Chapter 20: The End
Standing in the empty flat the three of them huddled close together. It was the end of an era.
This is it, the last chapter. I love the Sherlock, John and Lyssa that I have created but all good things come to an end. Thank you for reading my lovingly written story, I love you all for it =)
Comments always welcome
Lyssa wiped the sleeve of her jumper across her sweaty forehead, sighing. This was it, the very last box of her childhood memories. Her husband stood in the door of her old room, a soft smile on his face.
"Everything alright, love?" Alex asked.
"Yes. Just... memories. This was my home for so many years, through so much. I'm going to miss it."
She moved into Alex's open arms, head resting on his chest. The sound of children shrieking with laughter filtered through to them, followed by John telling them to slow down, before the was an accident. Lyssa grinned up at her husband.
"Come on, let's save the parents."
John was stood in the middle of the empty living room, leaning on his cane as his twin grandsons raced around him. Spotting his daughter and son-in-law, he smiled, blue eyes twinkling.
"I swear they have more energy than you did at their age," he laughed.
"I believe it. Lysander, Locklan, calm down. Did you help Grandad take those boxes out?" Lyssa asked her 7 years boys.
They gazed back at her with innocent face, blue green eyes shining with excitment, black hair wild and spiky.
"Yes! Grumps is out by the moving van now. He was all stroppy because we were taking so long," Lysander beamed.
"He was saying that he'd be really mad if his equipment got ruined on the way," Locklan piped up.
"I'll bet," Alex chuckled. "Come on boys, you can help me make sure everything's secure."
Sherlock passed Alex on the stairs, smiling as his grandsons raced passed, yelling to each other.
"Good lord, how do you cope?"
"I grew up with you, 'Lock," Lyssa grinned cheekily. "It's just like having two tiny yous."
"You poor thing," John sympathised, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. Sherlock moved next to them, putting his arms around them both.
The curls were more silver than black now, the chiselled face more deeply lined. A small paunch had appeared around his, once flat, stomach and his lanky frame now stooped with ages. John's once blond hair was completely grey, face lined with worry and laughter. He relied heavily on his cane these days, for a very real hip problem. Lyssa had aged too. She had grown into her lean frame, filled out nicely after the birth of the twins. Her long black hair was tinted with the odd strand of grey but her jade green eyes sparkled as they always had.
Standing there, close together, they let the memories of their life roll over them. Each had tears in their eyes, good and bad mixing together to make special memories tied to this place. Finally, sniffing loudly, Sherlock straightened.
"We'd best be going. We have a long trip and lots to do before the day is over."
Lyssa took a final look.
"Bye, 221B," she whispered. "Thanks for everything."
Leaving her parents to say goodbye, she went to help Alex.
"We had some wonderful times here," John sighed, resting against his husband's shoulder. "Some bloody awful ones too. I'm going to miss it."
"I know, love, me too." Sherlock's moonstone eyes trailed over the familiar contours of the flat one last time. "Come on, a clean break is the best way."
Turning together, still wrapped in each other's arms, they left the place that had been their home for over 30 years.
Groaning, John stretched his legs slowly, breathing in the clean country air. He admired the small cottage that was to be their new home. Roses climbed around the front door, beautiful spring flowers filled the borders. Bees buzzed from blossom to blossom, collecting pollen.
"It's beautiful," Lyssa sighed. "And so quiet. I hope 'Lock won't get too bored."
"He has his bees," John smiled fondly. "I'll pop the kettle on while you get the van open... What on earth?"
Sherlock had just exited the cottage when he heard John's exclaimation. Following his husband's gaze he saw a second, larger moving van trundling down the road.
"Where is that going? The only thing down there is that farm," he frowned. Lyssa glanced at Alex, a silent conversation passing between them. The twins raced across the lawn, laughing, wrestling, tumbling in the afternoon sun.
"Well... we were going to tell you sooner but then we wanted to surprise you." Lyssa flicked her hair back, a nervous gesture she'd had since childhood.
"Brace yourself," John murmured to Sherlock.
"We went to look at it the last time we came down, you know, when we cleaned the cottage out? It was so perfect and it was for sale... so we put in an offer and it was accepted. That's our stuff going down now."
Staring open mouthed at their daughter, John and Sherlock could hardly believe their ears.
"But you're career!" Sherlock protested. "Alex's job, the boy's school..."
"The boys start at the local school after the holidays. Alex's job is all online. And I'm working at the local GP's. They were glad to have me."
"But..." Sherlock began again.
"'Lock, I'm tired of seeing the awful things people do to each other. I miss spending time with my family. Here, in a small Suffolk village, I can live my life the way I want. Besides, I don't want to be away from you both."
John blinked back tears, hugging his child tightly.
"You dear, sweet thing," he breathed. Sherlock wrapped his arms around her next, burying his face in her hair. If he was honest with himself, he was glad they had moved too. He would have missed his daughter desperately, son-in-law and grandsons too.
From the tiny, sobbing child she had been when she first came to them, to the beautiful, accomplished mother she was now, Sherlock and John had been with her every step of the way. Proud didn't even come close to describing how they felt.
"Come on, let's get the bed up at least," Lyssa grinned. "Then you can help us do the same at the farm. The boys are dying to show you round."
Pulling John to his side, hugging the smaller man close, Sherlock watched his family with a small, perfectly content smile.