Chapter 1: The Talk
Sherlock felt John shift under the covers. He pulled him closer and buried his nose in the light hair. The morning light was fighting its way into the room through drawn curtains. Sherlock let out a content sigh and opened his eyes.
“John,” Sherlock breathed in his lover’s ear. “Are you awake?”
“Yeah, ‘course,” John said, voice laced with sleep. “What time is it?”
“About ten,” Sherlock sounded surprised. He leaned in to nip at John’s earlobe. “You were right, John. You said we’d fuck so hard I’d sleep away my morning.”
“Regrets?” John sat up, much to Sherlock’s displeasure.
“None,” the dark haired man stretched his arms out over the pillows.
John pushed himself out of bed and began to dress. Sherlock watched him pull an old jumper on and a pair of worn trousers. He smiled at how predictable his husband was. Sherlock did notice, however, a certain tension lying in John’s shoulders that was uncommon for this hour, especially after the night they had.
Sherlock glided over to him and began to massage John’s shoulders. “What is it, John?”
“I was wondering if we could have a chat?” John said, relaxing into Sherlock’s touch. His voice was still anxious. “Can we move to the kitchen? I’ll put tea on.”
“Of course,” Sherlock nodded.
The two men entered the cluttered kitchen. John let out an annoyed sigh that had Sherlock moving quickly around the kitchen to move his latest experiments. He had two plants sitting on the table that were dyed purple, a set of human fingernails, and several pigeon feathers. John smiled secretly at how quickly Sherlock reacted.
“What do you want to talk about?” Sherlock asked nervously. “John, if I’ve done something…”
“No, no, why do you always jump to that?” John furrowed his brow.
John took the whistling kettle off the stovetop and poured the boiling water into their favorite mugs. He smirked at the differences between them: Sherlock’s was simple, dark, and overwhelmingly large while John’s was handmade by his niece, colorful, and normally sized. He made up the tea like Sherlock liked it and handed him his mug. Sherlock took a deep sip and let out a pleased murmur.
“Well?” Sherlock said impatiently, signaling to John to speak.
“I was just, well, no not just,” John stuttered. “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and I know we’ve had this conversation before, but I thought that we could maybe just discuss it again and see how things might have changed. It’s really been getting to me and I just need to have this discussion again.”
“I’m sorry, John, have you said anything?” Sherlock said seriously. “Please, just say what is on your mind. We can talk about whatever it is like-”
“Sherlock, I want children,” John blurted out.
“You,” Sherlock said slowly, letting the word hang there. “Want kids?”
“Yes, I do,” John nodded furiously.
Sherlock quickly brought his mug to his lips, giving him something to while he thought this through. “John, I need to go to my mind palace. You have to go.”
“Sherlock, you can’t just go to your mind palace right now!” John cried. “We are having an important discussion!”
“Mind palace, John, mind palace,” Sherlock steepled his fingers and let his eyes lose focus on the world around him.
John groaned and flopped down on the couch. He mumbled something about Sherlock being an insolent man and avoiding the subject. He pulled at the loose threads on couch absentmindedly. What could he have to go to the mind palace for? John peeked over the top of the couch to see Sherlock frozen in his chair. He was completely still, save for his eyes which were flickering over objects on Sherlock could see.
“Sherlock,” John said after a few minutes.
“Rude, John,” Sherlock said in the same tone that John usually uses to reprimand John. “I’m busy.”
“We were having a conversation!” John went back into the kitchen and retook his seat across from Sherlock. “Talk to me about this. This is important to me.”
“I don’t want children,” Sherlock shook his head. Fear was evident in his translucent eyes. “I have never had that desire.”
“What if it was yours?” John tried softly.
“I don’t want a smaller me walking around,” Sherlock said, his voice raising to an inappropriate volume. “That is so unappealing and completely strange.”
John swirled the tea around in his mug. He looked down and bit his lip to hold back the unexpected emotion that was creeping its way into him. Sherlock, of course, saw this and ducked his head to catch John’s eyes.
“This is important to you?” Sherlock said, voice even.
“Yes,” John heard his voice break. He put a hand on his collarbone and let out an embarrassed laugh. “This is very important to me.”
Sherlock looked down at John’s hands. They were rubbing the handle of the mug compulsively. The mug. I never cared about the mug. Of course I’ve looked at it, but I never really thought about it. It is merely a mug made by his… niece. I should have cared more about that, but it never factored into anything before! Of course the mug is important to him because it was made by his young niece! Damn, Sherlock.
“Maybe if it was yours,” Sherlock met John’s eyes.
“Please don’t joke with me about this, Sherlock,” John pleaded.
“Do I ever joke?” Sherlock said with a raised eyebrow.
John leaned across the table and kissed Sherlock. He tangled his fingers in the dark curls. He pulled away, leaving Sherlock with reddened cheeks and hungry eyes. It always amused John how quickly his porcelain skin flushed at just the slightest contact.
“Why don’t we go over to Harry’s and you can try re-meeting Leila?” John said excitedly. “Harry’s been on my case to visit her, and I really would like to see Leila. Maybe you shouldn’t bring up Clara this time? That’s tough subject.”
“Admittedly, that might have been a mistake,” Sherlock tilted his head to the side. “To be fair, I thought she would be over it by then.”
“It was only a month, Sherlock!” John rolled his eyes. “They were married. They have a daughter together. Imagine if we broke up, would you be fine in a month? I guess you would be.”
Sherlock looked up at John. “I would never be fine again.
John and Sherlock shared a meaningful look. Sherlock reached across the table and took John’s hand. He gave it a tight squeeze and shot him a small, boyish smile. John felt the familiar butterflies in his stomach. The flutters tightened around his heart as he realized that he had offended his husband.
“Though, Leila did like when you analyzed her dolls lives based on their outfits,” John added with a smile, trying to lighten the mood. “Who would have thought that you would be able to guess the characters she made up for them based on the little clothes she put on them.”
Chapter 2: A Nursery
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“This is proving to have been a poor choice on my part,” Sherlock mumbled, struggling under the weight of the unusually heavy object that was pressed against his back. “Why did I ever agree to this?”
“Sherlock,” John pushed against the box that he and Sherlock were carrying. “Just keep moving! This is the last of the boxes.”
Sherlock and John finally managed to move the box into the empty bedroom. Sherlock collapsed against the box with a huff. John leaned against it, looking down at Sherlock.
“You’re pathetic,” John commented. “You’ve run for miles, carried people, and suffered painful injuries, but you can’t curry furniture in a box up some stairs?
“No, John, I very well cannot,” Sherlock said easily, much to John’s surprise. “I can do all of those other things because I have one thing. Do you know that it is? Adrenaline.”
“For Christ’s sake,” John shook his head. “Help me open this.”
Sherlock crawled across the floor, something John did not think he would ever see his husband do, and started to rip open the box. He took out a metal gate and nodded thoughtfully at it. John took it from him, but as he was leaning it against the wall, Sherlock clicked his tongue at him.
“The likelihood of that scratching up the wall that I painted is far too high for my sound mind,” Sherlock said without looking up at John. “So spare me the pain and lay it on the ground.”
“You suddenly care if the wall is scuffed up a bit?”
“Of course, because this room is not mine. I will not have it suffering at the hands of somebody who does not think enough to realize that leaning a piece of metal on it would definitely chip the paint.”
John smiled. “You are excited, aren’t you?”
Sherlock felt John’s arms wrap around his chest, his head resting on Sherlock’s shoulder. Sherlock kissed John’s cheek, a small, chaste kiss, and leaned into his husband’s grasp. John nuzzled his nose into Sherlock’s hair, planting a kiss behind his ear and trailing down his neck.
“Yes, I think I am excited,” Sherlock said, his deep voice vibrating through his throat, making John’s lips tingle. “How frightening.”
“It’s normal,” John insisted quietly. “Perfectly, adorably normal.”
Sherlock hummed in displeasure. “I am glad that you take entertainment in my miniature crisis.”
“It’s not a crisis,” John chuckled. “I’m excited as well.”
“You have migrated out of how excited and are not hibernating in ecstatic,” Sherlock said softly, sweetly, a small smile gracing his harsh features. He pulled away. “Let’s get this together.”
“Yeah, all right,” John nodded, smiling. “I love you.”
“I know,” Sherlock raised his brows before softening. “I love you, too.”
John grabbed a screwdriver from the toolkit, which they borrowed from Mrs. Hudson, and began to put together the metal gates to reveal a stunningly industrial crib. Sherlock watched his husband for a moment, but soon found himself opening two other boxes to reveal small chandeliers. He attached the crystals to it with deft fingers, and then laid it down carefully, only to repeat it with the other three. Finally, he left to find a step ladder.
“I’m still so glad you’re not trying your hand at electrical wiring,” John called, as a reminder that he was thankful that Sherlock agreed to call an electrician days earlier. “However, I wish you’d’ve let him hang the lights.”
“I can manage to attach chandeliers to wires, John,” Sherlock grumbled, pulling the ladder into the room.
“Chandeliers? Chandelier plural?” John looked up. “How many do you have?”
“Four,” Sherlock picked up the first chandelier and another screwdriver.
“That seems a bit excessive, don’t you think?” John stood the half of crib up to continue fixing it.
“Hardly, John,” Sherlock fastened the second chandelier to the ceiling. “Two over each crib seems about right to me.”
“Of course,” John rolled his eyes. “Well, just make sure they’re plates are screwed on tightly. The last thing I want is for that to fall on one of them as they sleep.”
Sherlock glanced over at John. “So, you’re to be the worrying father, then? Interesting. I suppose I shall take the role as disciplinarian?”
“Ha!” John let out an exaggerated sound. “You? Discipline? You will congratulate them for being so brilliant or something like that.”
“You might not be wrong,” Sherlock smiled around the nail he held between his teeth.
“Then again,” John countered. “They’ve got my blood, so there’s a chance that they will be perfectly sane, good children.”
“Nature versus nurture, John,” Sherlock pointed to him. “Plus, only the one has your blood. I still do not know how we managed two surrogates.”
“Well,” John bit his lip as he worked. “As I’ve said before, it was not difficult to find women who were willing to carry a child for the infamous consulting detective and a decorated war hero. And we know one of them, so... We really only had to find the one.”
“I still cannot believe that you truly asked the woman,” Sherlock grumbled.
“No, I cannot believe that she only insisted on it being your child she carried!” John shook his head. “‘He’s the one that saved me! I never wanted to carry a child, but I’ll carry his.’ What rubbish! At least he’ll be a right smart little guy.”
By the time they finished the room, the sun had long been set. John leaned into Sherlock, hoping for an embrace, and was happily rewarded with an arm around him. The two metal cribs sat in front of two mirrors. Between the mirrors, several photos, paintings, sheet music, and documents were hung. Pictures of Sherlock and John, paintings of the park, famous writings and musics all hung around three empty frames. One for their son, one for their daughter, and one for the four of them all waited to be filled.
The one crib was filled with light blue linens, and the other with dusty purple ones. A changing table made of walnut wood separated the cribs. On the other side of the room, bookshelves were lined with children’s books and adult books alike. Toys sat in a beautiful walnut toy chest, and two rocking chairs were waiting to be used.
The two men nodded at their handiwork, before Sherlock chuckled.
“Hm?” John asked, leaning his head on Sherlock’s arm.
“We’re so domestic,” Sherlock chuckled again. “Dear, I’m running late from the surgery... Do try to get the children to actually complete their homework. I’ll bring dinner home. Love you!’”
“And what’s so wrong with that?” John smiled widely. “‘John, John, all right, so we may have ran into a snag on the experiment. No, no, don’t worry, everybody is just fine. We’ve cut her hair and I didn’t even let him touch the acid. We need a new table... think you could buy one on the way home?’”
Sherlock and John laughed together. Sherlock let out a content sigh. “Come on. Let’s go get your baby name books and eat something.”
“Get the books,” John nodded. “I’ll call for takeaway.”
John walked from the room, leaving Sherlock alone in the new nursery that they had created from Sherlock’s former bedroom, a room that he had not used for his devices in years. Sherlock scanned the room for any part that did not fit. Once satisfied, he stepped into the corridor, flicked off the light, and started to his John.
Chapter 3: A Name
“Circe?” John asked, a book in hand a mouth full of Chinese. “That’s from the Odyssey.”
“Yes, John, it was the nymph in the Odyssey,” Sherlock said dryly.
“All right, not that one,” John said with a point of his finger.
“Athena?” Sherlock suggested.
“No,” John said. “No goddess names.”
“She’s the goddess of wisdom, John,” Sherlock tried.
“Wisdom, John, wisdom.”
John sighed. “Look, I want to give her a name that honors you. You want our son to be Hamish, after me, so I want our daughter to be after you.”
“Absolutely not,” Sherlock shook his head. “Shirley? No. Cheryl? No. My name does not work for a girl.”
“What about Locke?” John suggested.
“That just begs for ball and chain references,” Sherlock shot the idea down.
“Lark?” John tried again, putting his finger on the name in the baby book. “Songbird, playful, lighthearted. It reminds me of the ‘lock’ part of your name.”
“Lark Watson-Holmes,” Sherlock ran his tongue over the names thoughtfully. “Hamish, Lark, come here. Lark, Hamish, what are you doing? I would like to introduce my children. This is my son Hamish, and my daughter Lark.”
“Has it proved satisfactory?” John asked, mimicking Sherlock’s deep voice and cadence.
“I quite like it, surprisingly.” Sherlock nodded. A smiled creeped over his face. “Hamish and Lark, yes, yes, that will be quite good.”
“I mean,” John smiled, sliding across the couch. “They’re no Mycroft and Sherlock, but they’re not Harriet and John, either. I think it’s a nice in between of fucking unusual and fucking boring.”
“Hamish and Lark Watson-Holmes,” Sherlock smiled at John, and wrapped an arm around him. “Just the right amount of unusual and boring,” Sherlock leaned his head on John’s before he spoke again, softer this time. “Playful and lighthearted? I only hope you can teach both of our children those qualities.”
“Only if you promise to make them songbirds,” John whispered back.
“So domestic,” Sherlock said. “It is nearly criminal.”
“If by domestic, you mean ‘so outrageously in love,’” John took Sherlock’s hand. “Then, yes, we’re so domestic.”
Chapter 4: What to call two fathers?
“I will not be Father,” Sherlock shook his head. “Father is Father.”
“I’m sorry, what?” John lowered his brows.
“Siger is Father,” Sherlock rephrased. “I will not be like him. I will not share a title with him.”
“Okay,” John said softly, closing his book. John had started this conversation an hour ago, but Sherlock was just answering. “What do you want to be called? Do you want to be Dad? I knew you didn’t want Father. I just knew it.”
“Isn’t that what you wanted?” Sherlock narrowed his eyes.
“Well, I don’t really care,” John smiled warmly. “I can be Father, Papa, Da, or whatever they want to call me. I just want you to be comfortable with all of this.”
“Papa is nice.”
“Yeah, I think I’d like to be called that.”
Sherlock pushed himself out of the armchair, and flung himself onto the sofa. John groaned as the entire shook under Sherlock’s weight. He quickly smiled, though, when Sherlock curled up beside him, resting his head on John’s shoulder. Sherlock pressed his knees against John's thigh, trying to be as close as possible to his husband. John's heart fluttered, and he was thrilled that Sherlock still had this affect on him.
“For somebody that weighs nothing, you sure make a big splash,” John wrapped his arm around Sherlock before placing a kiss to the top of his head.
Sherlock closed his eyes, and pushed his face into John. “Say it. I know you want to tell me. You’ve been giddy all day.”
“Two weeks, Sherlock. In two weeks, we’ll have our son,” John’s voice was a mixture of excitement and peaceful sadness. “Everything is going to change.”
“Not everything,” Sherlock curled his fingers into John’s shirt. “We will always have each other, won’t we?”
“God, yeah, Sherlock,” John chuckled. “I will forever love you. We had vows for that. I say it everyday. Nothing like that will change.”
“I’ll love you always, John,” Sherlock said softly.