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Lending A Helping Hand

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Molly roused herself from the bed to realize it was empty. Every since Aileen Mary Holmes had been brought home from the hospital, Sherlock had tethered himself to her side. Molly wasn’t even sure if he had slept yet, which was concerning. Normally she would be grateful for the sleep, but it had been two days now and she knew soon that her dear fiancee was going to collapse from exhaustion even though he would swear up, down and sideways that he wouldn’t.

She gently got out of bed, still sore and tender from the process of giving birth, and padded to the door to get a dressing gown. She absolutely detested the fact there was still a saggy pouch of flabby skin hanging on the front of her and that her favourite dressing gown was still too small, but Sherlock’s was there and even though she swam in it, it smelled of him and that was comforting since he wasn’t nestled beside her. She put it on and rolled up the sleeves a bit, then went on the search for the newest Holmes and her father.

It didn’t take long to find them. There was soft violin music playing from the iPod dock and Sherlock was walking around the room, Aileen nestled in his arms, partially swaying and partially dancing. Molly’s heart filled at the sight as she caught Sherlock humming along. She recognized the tune as something original of his, something he had played when Aileen was particularly active one evening and it had calmed her down. She had no idea he had recorded it.

She didn’t want to intrude on such a beautiful moment but every once in a while Sherlock stumbled. The poor, dear man. He was so tired. She slowly came over to him and put a hand on his arm, careful not to wake the baby. “Is she asleep?” she asked quietly when he stilled.

“Has been for hours,” he murmured, trying to hold back a yawn.

“Sherlock, you don’t have to hold her every second of the day,” she said. “She’ll be perfectly fine in the crib, I swear. I promise on my medical degree.”

“SIDS,” he said. “Suffocation in her sleep. If she rolls over and swallows her blanket--”

“Do you trust yourself to set up the bedding in the crib, and make sure the monitor is perfect?” she asked, looking up at him.

He waffled a bit. She knew he wanted to say yes, but he also wanted to say no and continue to hold her, but she also knew he logically knew he was going to pass out from utter exhaustion and be no use to anyone sooner rather than later. Finally, he sighed and nodded. “I suppose.”

“Then may I hold her as we go to the nursery?” she asked.

He gave her a pained look. “Does she have to stay in the nursery?” he asked.

She should have known that was coming. She gave a soft chuckle, then stood on her toes and leaned in and kissed his cheek. “I’ll give you some more time with her and move the bassinet into our room tonight. Tomorrow, after you’ve gotten some rest, you can move the crib there until you’re done going through separation anxiety.”

The look he gave her them was one of the most grateful she’d ever seen cross his face, and he moved his head, leaning over to give her a soft kiss. “You know me so well,” he murmured against her lips.

“I suppose I do,” she said. “Now go sit and I’ll move things around for the night.” She pulled away, dropping a quick kiss on Aileen’s forehead, and then went for the bassinet. It was fairly light, and even with still being sore it was easy to move. She was lucky for that; Sherlock was absolutely not letting go of Aileen for anything in the world until he absolutely had to, she could tell. When it was in their bedroom and set near the foot of their bed, she went back out the see Sherlock sitting on the sofa, his head lolling down. “Sherlock?”

“Hmm?” he said, his head snapping up.

“Time to lay her in the bassinet,” she said.

He looked down at their daughter and then rather sheepishly handed the little bundled up girl to Molly. “I think, perhaps, it’s best if you do.”

“Go settle yourself in bed, then, and I’ll join you in a minute,” she said. She watched him heave himself off the sofa with some effort, as though every limb was leaden, and head towards the bedroom. She followed behind him and headed to the bassinet while he went to his side of the bed and pulled back the covers. She settled Aileen in the bassinet, pressing another kiss to her temple and smoothing back the dark curls on her head before going back to her own bed. She took off his dressing gown, draping it over the chair at the vanity, then slipped underneath her side of the covers and was surprised to feel Sherlock put his arm around her waist and pull her close against him. “Do you feel better with her here?”

He nodded, his nose nuzzling the nape of her neck. “Mmm-hmm,” he said. “Better.”

Molly chuckled softly and brought one of his hands up to her lips, kissing his palm. “Get some rest, Sherlock,” she said. “You deserve it.” His only response to that was a soft snore, and with a smile on her face she settle in against him, shutting her eyes and getting comfortable. It was going to be interesting to see how all of this played out, but she had no doubt that Sherlock was going to be among the most doting of fathers, and for that, she was glad.