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The Witching Hour

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The soft wails over the baby monitor next to Greg’s ear made him groan. “Your turn.”

The only answer Greg got was a jolted snore before his husband rolled over and continued sleeping. Greg switched the monitor off and swung his legs over the side of the bed. “Yeah, you’ll get up with this baby my arse.” Greg did have to admit he was lucky as he padded off to his daughter, Lacuna’s room passing his four son’s rooms as he went.

The light was an evil evil invention Greg was certain as he was blinded to change his three-week-old. He couldn’t stop blinking against the harsh light. Lacuna decided she didn’t like it just as much as her mum didn’t. Her sobs turned to harsh cries increasing in volume at the cold wipes.

“I know kiddo, I hate doing the cold wipes too. Blame your uncle Paul, he broke the wiper warmer. It worked for three of five.” Greg spoke softly trying to hurry the process. He did NOT need any of the boys to wake up. When Lacuna was changed Greg swaddled her in one of her million pink blankets and held her against his chest. “You know I thought your Daddy was nuts for wanting to put an elevator in this house. I can see the appeal now, no navigating the thirty bloody steps in the dark.”

Lacuna just stared up at Greg, with the perfect Holmes stare. Greg scoffed slightly.

They reached the kitchen safely and Greg went about fixing a bottle. He blinked blearily at the clock as the bottle warmed up. “Fucking hell, how are you awake at three am? Don’t you know this is the dark hour? It’s the witching hour or at least legend says it is.”

Lacuna just blinked up at Greg and started to fuss for a moment when she knew her bottle was just about finished.

Greg chuckled softly. “Yeah, I know I know. You have Lestrade genes in there somewhere, maybe it’s just all your stomach huh?” Greg carefully checked the bottle temperature before giving it to his daughter. He swayed softly around the kitchen as she nursed from the bottle, in hopes that she would fall asleep.

“Mummy?” A little voice piped up from behind Greg.

“Sweet baby Jesus...” Greg grumbled trying to get his heart to stop pounding from the scare. He turned around to see three of his four boys standing in the doorway of the kitchen. “Oh lord, what are all of you doing up?”

Ten year old, Benjamin, the oldest of the three stepped into the kitchen. “Is she ok? We heard her crying.”

“She’s fine, I’ve got her. Now if you all were just worried about her you can go back to bed.” Greg smiled softly at the boys that looked so much like Mycroft in genetics it was scary. Ben nodded and left the kitchen. The other two boys, six year old, Calvin and two year old, Parker blinked up at Greg silently.

“Are you all going to back to bed?” Greg cocked an eyebrow that sent the other two scurrying back up the stairs to their rooms. Greg chuckled softly. “And people say your Daddy is the iron hand.”
Greg danced around a bit more and grinned at Lacuna, who had finally fallen asleep after thirty minutes. Her gently carried her back up to her room and laid her down gingerly in her crib so he didn’t wake her. He made sure the monitor was turned on before walking away. Greg gently opened the master bedroom door and frowned seeing Mycroft now awake trying to sooth their eldest, twelve year old, Charlie.

“Charlie babe, what’s wrong?” Greg asked softly climbing back into bed.

“Apparently, the wind made his shutter hit the glass window. He was already having night terror and it frightened him worse.” Mycroft replied his voice still tense, the type of tense that comes from being put on alert after waking immediately.

Greg grimaced as he reached out and rubbed a hand up and down Charlie’s back. “I’m sorry baby, we’ll take those shutters off this weekend, I promise. You can even burn em.”

“He’s not playing with fire Gregory, that’s not smart.” Mycroft rolled his eyes good naturally.

Greg shrugged. “Well we will still be taking the shutters down.”

Charlie nodded into his own pillow between his parents. Mycroft reached over and switched off the bedside lamp, engulfing the room in darkness. “Did she wake up?”

Greg gave a soft snort. “She woke up, got changed and fed all while waking every other child we have it seems.”

“I’m sorry I know I said I would help at night.” Mycroft reached a hand over to lace it with his husband’s hand.

Greg gave the hand a gently squeeze. “Not your fault, you sleep like the dead. All those years of international travel made you immune to waking once asleep.”

“Too very true my beloved. So, how was the little one? No issues?”

“None, what so ever.”

Mycroft gave a soft hum of acknowledgement. “That’s good…what would you say to another one?”

Greg harshly turned on his side and stared at his husband. “Not on your fucking life Mycroft Charles Holmes. I am way too old for this waking every two hours. Not to mention you are still traveling for work. So, if you want another one you better find a trophy wife cause it’s not going to be me.”

Mycroft reached both of his hands over and took Greg’s hands between his own. “I would never want a trophy wife. I WILL NEVER want anyone other than you, Greg. Gregory Andrew Holmes-Lestrade, you are the only person for me. You have made my life entirely complete and you have given me five beautifully smart and talented children.”

“Shhh! It’s too early.” Charlie whined blindly reaching towards Mycroft’s mouth.

“You just poked my nose.” Mycroft sputtered letting go of Greg’s hands to guide Charlie’s fingers away from his face.

“Mum, Dad won’t shut up!” Charlie whined turning and snuggling closer to Greg.

“Everyone should be sleeping in their own beds. Now either put up with talking or go to your own bed.” Greg grumbled all the while draped an arm over Charlie’s chest pulling him closer for a rare cuddle.

“Goodnight Gregory. Get some rest Charlie.”

“I’m kicking your arse out of bed next time she wakes, I have extra man power to help.” Greg commented playfully to Mycroft.

“Understood, now go to bed.”