Tell me about your childhood. - JW
What for? - SH
To keep you occupied. - JW
It won't help. - SH
Humor me. - JW
Several seconds of silence passed and John could see Sherlock huffing, putting on a show of being disgusted with such a pedestrian and pointless line of questioning from his best friend. In truth, Sherlock was probably trying to recall a good story to tell John so that John could be impressed. Knowing Sherlock, it would probably be the story of his very first deduction at age five or something.
John grinned at the idea of Child Sherlock. He was probably hyperactive, intent on getting himself filthy while investigating how Santa could possibly come down the chimney, being so fat. As a child, John had often wondered about the tooth fairy. I mean, receiving money for a tooth is great when you're the kid, but what did she do with all those damn teeth? It was just a very weird fairy tale.
Well? - JW
I'm endeavoring to think of something novel. - SH
It doesn't have to be a good story, Sherlock. Any one will do. - JW
I've practically deleted my childhood, John. - SH
John looked at his phone with a trace of horror. How could anyone just 'delete' their childhood? Unless it was particularly unhappy, that is. But by all indications Sherlock's childhood was fairly normal, for a posh git. He may not have had many friends and his brother may be a bit... stodgy, but it couldn't have been that bad.
What didn't you delete? - JW
Not much. - SH
I can't tell you how depressing that is, Sherlock. - JW
There was silence at that. John estimated that until that moment, Sherlock thought that deleting his childhood would be something that everyone did eventually.
There was one thing I do remember. But it's boring. - SH
Go on then. - JW
I remember when my father died. - SH
That's not boring, Sherlock. That's depressing. - JW
You didn't say that you wanted a HAPPY story, John. - SH
Fair enough. Go on. - JW
That's it. My father died. - SH
You are crap at telling stories, Sherlock. - JW
That's why I have you, blogger. - SH
Oh fuck off. - JW
You're the one who wanted to waste time telling pointless stories. - SH
Because I was fool enough to believe that you had a childhood that you'd want to remember. I had no idea that you'd delete the whole damn thing! - JW
It's all useless information, John - SH
No it's not! - JW
Again there was silence.
Sherlock, your childhood is an important time; those are the years where you learn about the world. Surely you remember your first deduction? Something that you find useful today that you draw upon without even realizing it? - JW
I remember bees. – SH
Bees? – JW
Yes. I had a fascination with them. It was silly. Childish, really. But then, I was a child. – SH
Bees. Like the kind that make honey? Seriously? Why bees? – JW
Yes, the kind that make honey. As to why bees, I have no ruddy clue. I was a child. They were interesting to me. – SH
I can’t imagine you as a child. – JW
There was a pause at this. John thought he may have said something wrong. He was typing an apology when his phone buzzed again:
I liked pirates too. – SH
I know. Mycroft told me. – JW
He what? Why would he do such a thing? – SH
Maybe because he loves you and has fond memories of his little brother? – JW
No. He said that to embarrass me. Tosser. – SH
I didn’t think you got embarrassed, Sherlock. – JW
That picture on your blog of me and THAT HAT are embarrassing, John. I’ve been meaning to harass you about taking it down. – SH
Not a chance. – JW
Oh for God’s sake, why not? – SH
Because people like the hat. They think it’s cute. Funny. I think it gives you a bit more humanity. – JW
I know it beggars belief, but I am actually human, John. – SH
Pull the other one. – JW
Fuck off. – SH
John smiled and lay his head back against the sofa. John thought to himself: ‘Just imagine if he had followed his dream of becoming a pirate who kept bees.’ Two hours later, Sherlock walked in the door.
“How did it go, captain?” teased John.
“What?” said Sherlock, distracted by the case files in his hands. His bothering Lestrade must have resulted in more cold cases for Sherlock. That was good. A Not Bored Sherlock was always a good thing. John watched Captain Sherlock, scourge of Scotland Yard, place his booty on the kitchen table.
“Nothing,” said John, hiding his smile behind a cup of tea.
“Is that a reference to my telling you about pirates?” asked Sherlock. “Why are you still harping on my childhood, John?
“As if there was something to actually harp on!” countered John, “If you had actually told me anything about your childhood that wasn’t a vague impression of something you thought might have happened, we both might be having a laugh about now.”
“Just because you remember every runny nose you had doesn’t mean that the rest of humanity wants to hear about it,” said Sherlock.
“Sherlock,” said John, “I don’t remember every runny nose… that’s just a ridiculous statement. And it’s not my fault that you think your childhood so damned unimportant.”
Sherlock’s phone buzzed. He looked at the text in utter confusion.
“Lestrade? A case?” John asked.
“Yes,” said Sherlock, “and no.”
As Sherlock and John entered Lestrade’s office, he pointed through the glass into the conference room next door and said, “This is not my division.”
Sherlock and John turned, each man having a mix of confusion on his face. They tilted their heads simultaneously in their curiosity.
John spoke first: “What exactly is going on here? Is he lost?”
“No,” said Lestrade, “He’s unclaimed.”
A boy of about four was coloring with a female officer at the conference room table. He had wide verdigris eyes under a mass of black curls. His skin was a shade darker than Sherlock’s, but all it took was a glance and you could tell that this child was part of the Holmes family.
“Sherlock,” said John, “did you…” He left the question hanging in the air.
“I…,” said Sherlock, staring at the boy as if he were the most horrifying thing he’d ever seen.
“Let me guess,” said John, disgusted, “You deleted it.”
“Certainly not, John,” said Sherlock, “I would have remembered if I had fathered a child. Although…”
“You donated sperm,” said Lestrade.
“A donation made years ago,” said Sherlock. “I wasn’t even sure if they’d keep it as I was extremely high at the time.”
“You made a donation to a sperm bank while high?” said John.
“Excuse me,” said a small voice. All three men looked over at the doorway of Lestrade’s office. “May I go home now, please?” The officer was trying quietly to get the boy to come back and color, but he was a Holmes. He was stubborn.
John’s heart broke. Judging by the look on Lestrade’s face he was feeling the same way. Sherlock looked confused as if he wasn’t expecting the child to possess the power of speech.
John walked to the boy and knelt down. “My name’s John Watson. I’m a doctor. What’s your name?”
The boy looked from John to Lestrade, to Sherlock, and back to John. “Michael,” he said in a very small voice, “Michael Weaver.” John could see that he was terrified out of his mind. John held out one of his hands and after a moment Michael took it. It was so small and fragile next to John’s; it only broke John’s heart more.
“It’s alright, Michael,” said John softly. “We’re going to figure this out. OK, mate? And then we’ll get you home.” Michael gave him a tight smile, the joy of which never made it to his eyes, but he was satisfied enough to allow himself to be taken back to the conference room. John stood and turned to Lestrade, his brow furrowed.
Lestrade explained: “The aunt who was caring for Michael is unable to. Her sister passed away in childbirth, the father scarpered. The aunt did a bit of research – she actually works at the sperm bank in question – and found out who the biological father was.” Lestrade pointed at Sherlock. “She heard about you in the papers and from John’s blog and since we work so closely together and I’m a police officer… well, she just dropped him by. And left.”
John asked, “She just left him here?”
“She gave him a note for the detectives downstairs,” said Lestrade. “I guess she couldn’t bear the idea of saying goodbye.”
“That’s abandonment,” said Sherlock. “You should arrest her.”
“Oh we did,” said Lestrade. “But that still leaves the kid. He’s got no other family.”
“There are orphanages—“ started Sherlock.
“Sherlock!” shouted John, horrified.
“Technically,” said Lestrade, “as the biological father, you have first parental rights. If you choose to give up those rights, Michael will be sent off to a foster home.”
Sherlock opened his mouth to answer and John cut him off: “We’ll take him.” Sherlock looked at John, shocked.
“Oh shut up,” said John. “Even you aren’t that heartless.”