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It’s a day after she told Sherlock about his father coming home, he said nothing. As nothing had been said in a couple of days. She only told him that she forgave him and he should forgive himself and they could get through this. There was a ghost of a nod but his mood never improved nor any words in the passing days.

The phone buzzed. It was Mycroft, asking if she needed any help with his father. She replied no but she but the kettle on the boil as she knew that meant he was near now.

Lo and behold, 10 minutes later a knock at the door. Sherlock on the roof hadn’t heard it and wouldn’t be down until forced by his father. Which is exactly what she needed. A talk with his father, quickly.

As she opened the door, let him in and took his coat but it was obvious to each other this was just courtesy and they needed to talk at length.

“I take it you are Miss Joan Watson?”

“Yes, Mr Holmes.”

“The woman who wouldn’t leave after I told her to leave my son alone and dropped your money.” It was like being 9 and told off by a mates parent for keeping out after dark, “He never needed you, Sherlock can take care of himself however without airs he is. I needed a babysitter to stop him being too unworthy and I got him an enabler.”

“I thought he’d relapse without me at first, now I'm his companion.”

“And now he has relapsed so have you failed as a sober companion, a companion or a friend?!” He was semi loud, not shouting but his voice was sharp.

It set her eyes alight to hear the last and something snapped, “At least I didn’t fail as his father!”

“How dare you speak of nothing that regards you! I’m taking Sherlock back to London and not only are you not going to see him ever again, you’ll never get a job in either this city or London ever again. Indulge your hysterics and keep at this detecting business but you won’t be anything without him, you’re just a silly woman working off his whims.”

“Ha! Sexist as well as without a brain. No wonder he can’t stand you. Not even a guilty conscience that you threw the kids as far as you could when they only had their family. I may fail but I will stay with him to pick us up and work things out! I don’t care if I never work again and you roam the earth, he has friends and someone as genius and lonely as him deserves to know that even if he cant rely his family he can rely on me. And his other friends. I did well working on my own when he left by the way, I am a fantastic consulting detective and not your whispers nor your bribes can change that fact. I just refuse to leave the person I’m closest to in the whole world.”

The senior Mr Holmes, not used to not being listened to or being refused, did what he did best. He raised his hand.

Just then a bellow could be heard throughout the house and maybe in the next, “DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE TOUCH JOAN!”

Mr Holmes’ hand dropped and they both looked to the stairwell to a quickly descending Sherlock aiming straight for his father. He grabbed him by his collar and pushed him to the wall. Joan holding one arm back from the first blow. Sherlock looked at her for this in confusion but she shook her head and tried to tell him whatever the cause these actions were gonna make him worse.

“You slap or hurt Watson, I will personally beat you to a pulp, father.” the last word was spat out in distaste and he added, “Then I’d let Joan do her worst which I’d say is on par if not more impressive than mine.”

He then let his father drop. “Go have a cup of tea, Rupert. We’ll be through shortly.”

“When did you..?” she whispered.

“I saw the car, so I came down as he came in. I was gonna come down but you never shouted me. Then I came down and heard everything and this seemed like your battle and I thought you were amazing to stand so highly for yourself against my father not a lot of people would. But I’d never let him hurt you.” he whispered back, “Now I’ve intruded yours, would you like to intrude mine?”

She nodded and gave his hand a quick squeeze of reassurance and just before they left the room. Sherlock turned and said, “Thanks, Watson. For all of that. I wouldn't let you leave again either.”

And then they headed into the kitchen for a long winding talk.