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Our Love Is A Tragedy

Chapter Text

John wakes suddenly from his dream. It's the usual one. Not the one about Afghanistan or getting shot. No, because since he's being seeing Ella, his therapist, those don't occur as often.

This one is about a man; his flatmate, Sherlock Holmes. It's a mystery as to why John dreams about him every night, when said flatmate is only downstairs, but he does. It should probably worry John; it's the kind of thing he'd tell Sherlock was 'not good'. But no matter how John tries, he can't stop dreaming of him. The dreams are not very sexual. At least, he doesn't think they are but still, dreaming about your male flatmate when you're not gay, seems a little, well, not not gay.

He should probably talk to Sherlock about it, yeah, tomorrow they'll talk about it.

x..x

“Sherlock, um, I need to talk to you. And it's a … delicate issue.” John announces awkwardly, shifting uncomfortably in his chair.

“Go on.” Sherlock replies dismissively, not looking up from his laptop.

“Well, you see, I've been … um, having dreams, about you.” John coughs awkwardly.

Sherlock looks up at this, fixing John with a curious look.

“Really?” Sherlock asks, his lips quirking up into a smile.

“Yes, and God, don't look at me like that, please.” John replies, looking down as his cheeks flush pink.

“What kind of dreams, John?” Sherlock practically purrs, and John can't suppress the shiver that runs down his spine at the tone of Sherlock's voice.

“Well, they're not sexual. At least, I don't think they are. But dreaming about you, when you're my flatmate and friend, well, doesn't that bother you?”

“Not in the slightest, John.” Sherlock replies matter-of-factly.

“What?” John splutters, his eyes going wide.

“Well, I suppose, if we're being honest, then, well, I … have dreams about you too.” Sherlock whispers, looking back down at his laptop.

“Really?”

“Yes. In fact, I was meaning to tell you. John, you … you distract me, immensely. It's annoying but … not completely unpleasant.” Sherlock replies, walking over to John.

“Sherlock, we … we can't do this.” John stutters, as Sherlock gracefully climbs into his lap.

“Come on, John. You know you want to. I can see it in the way you look at me.” Sherlock purrs in John's ear, resting his hands on his friend's shoulders.

Sherlock. Don't do this. I … we're friends.” John stammers, his breath coming in short gasps as Sherlock starts licking his ear.

“You want this, John. Why deny it? No one believes you're not gay. I've been told you've been staring at my arse a lot. What do you want to do to me, John?”

“Oh God.” John moans, resting his hands on Sherlock's hips.

Sherlock chuckles softly, his breath ghosting John's ear and causing the older man to shiver.

“I … I want to … Can I kiss you?” John asks in a moan, his hands now gripping Sherlock's hips.

“Of course.” Sherlock smiles, nudging his lips against John's.

John practically whines into Sherlock's mouth, pulling him closer to him.

“Let's move this somewhere else.” Sherlock grins, climbing off John's lap and pulling his friend up off his chair.

As they stand up, John finds Sherlock's lips again and soon the kiss turns passionate; Sherlock grasping John and tugging him towards the bedroom.

“You're the most beautiful creature I've ever seen, Sherlock.” John sighs happily, walking Sherlock back towards his bed.

John.” Sherlock sighs, cupping John's face gently.

“I'm so glad I met you. You saved my life.” John replies honestly, leaning in to kiss Sherlock again.

“Me too.”

 

Chapter Text

“I need your help, John.” Sherlock announces, looking up at John.

“Alright, what can I do?” John asks with a smile, sitting down in his chair.

“Well, would you kill for someone you love?”

“Of course I would. I'd never let anyone hurt the people I love.” John replies confidently.

“Thank you.”

“Alright, so what was that about?”

“This latest case. A woman murdered her husband to protect her daughter.”

“Wait, what happened to her daughter?”

“The bruises on the little girl's body suggest she was beaten repeatedly, over a course of four years.”

“How … how old is she?” John stammers, trying not to get angry.

“Seven.” Sherlock replies, not bothering to look up.

After a few minutes of silence, Sherlock looks over at John.

“Are you alright, John?”

“Mm, yeah, I'm fine.” John replies distractedly, taking deep breaths.

“Cases involving children always get you upset. Is there anything I can do? Do you want to sit this one out?” Sherlock asks gently, walking over to John.

“No. No, I wanna stop this woman getting locked up for protecting her daughter.” John says with a slight edge to his voice, looking up at Sherlock.

“Alright.” Sherlock nods, resting his hand on John's shoulder before walking back to the desk.

“What can we do?”

“We can stop her getting thrown into prison for protecting her daughter.” Sherlock replies, tapping away on his keyboard.

x..x

In the end, Sherlock and John manage to stop the mother from being locked up. As it turns out, it wasn't just a crime of passion, the mother was defending herself and her daughter. She hit him with a small stone statue a little harder than intended and killed him.

Thankfully, the prosecution found the mother innocent of murder and, taking into account the evidence of abuse to her and her daughter, let the woman go. It caused quite an uproar with the press that she didn't get a sentence but all in all, John was glad she wasn't sent to prison.

“The case turned out quite well, don't you think, John?” Sherlock beams, sitting down on the couch.

“Yeah, it did.” John smiles back, truly elated that the mother and daughter will have a better life now.

“I'm surprised that the mother didn't get any jail time but really, I'm very glad. She didn't deserve to go to prison when there was a man like that around.”

John looks up in surprise and smiles softly.

“What?”

“Just you. Being all human and caring about a family for once.”

“Yes, well. I am capable of being sympathetic at times, John.”

“I know, love. It's just nice to see it.” John replies, walking over and sitting down next to Sherlock.

“I know it's unusual, John. But please, try not to sound so surprised.”

“Shut up.” John grins, leaning over to kiss Sherlock's cheek. “Anyway, I'm going to bed, love. I'll see you in the morning.”

“Goodnight, John.”

“Goodnight, Sherlock.”

x..x

Two days pass and another case comes in, taking up three weeks of John and Sherlock's life. The two men settle into a routine of solving crimes; locking up murderers, rapists, drug dealers etc.

As two months come and go, John feels more alive than he has in a long time and it's all thanks to Sherlock.

“You love this, don't you?” Sherlock asks with a smirk, looking over the table at John.

“Would I sound mad if I said yes?” John grins, sipping his tea.

“Completely.”

“Then yeah, I do.” John chuckles, causing Sherlock to laugh along with him.

“I never thought there'd be any one I could share this with. And then a short, thrill-seeking army doctor walked into my life.” Sherlock smirks at John.

“Oi, cheeky shit.” John smirks back, kicking Sherlock under the table.

Sherlock laughs manically, picking up his cup and heading to the kitchen.

“Being short has it's advantages.” He replies as he returns, “Mainly being that you make me look taller.” He grins.

“Any more of that and I get Lestrade to give you some truly boring cases.”

Jawn.” Sherlock whines, pouting at his friend.

“Then behave.” John warns, standing up and disappearing to the bathroom.

Just as he turns on the shower, the doorbell rings loudly, “Sherlock, get the door! I'm having a shower.”

After a few minutes of silence, John sighs and walks out the bathroom, “Never mind. I'll get it.”

“Bloody Sherlock Holmes, can't even answer a door.” John mutters as he opens the door.

“John Watson?” A man asks, looking at John with a wide smile.

“Yeah, that's me. Who are you?” John asks, looking at the stranger with a curious look.

“Ah, good. We need to talk.”

Chapter Text

“Sorry, what's this about?” John asks unsurely, blocking the man's entry.

“Trust me, I'm a doctor.” The man replies with a smile.

“Yeah, so am I. What are you a doctor of, exactly?”

“I'm the doctor.”

“Right. Of what?”

“John, you don't mind if I call you John do you? Shall we take this inside? Tea?” The man asks in random sentences.

“Right.” John repeats with a furrow of his brow, stepping aside to let the strange man in.

The man steps inside with a big grin, clearly oblivious to John's confusion and stands waiting for John to shut the door.

“Sherlock. Is this one of your friends? He's mad enough to be one of them.” John calls up to his flatmate as he walks up the stairs.

“Who's Sherlock?” The man asks, looking at John in what he hopes is curiosity.

“My flatmate. Anyway, just go through. I'll just turn the shower off.”

The man nods in reply, walking into the living room.

“Sorry, what was your name?” John asks as he enters the room.

“The Doctor.” The man replies, smiling at John.

“Doctor what?” John asks, looking over at the man.

“Just The Doctor .”

“Right. So, what's this about?” John repeats, walking into the kitchen. “Sherlock, I think we have a client. Come out here.”

Unfortunately, apparently Sherlock isn't in the mood to come out of his room right now so John just rolls his eyes and heads back into the living room with two cups of tea.

“Sorry, I didn't know if you took sugar or milk so I'll just get them for you.”

“I think you should sit down, John.”

“Alright.”

“Your flatmate Sherlock, where is he?” The Doctor asks, sitting forward on the couch.

“Probably sulking in his room.” John chuckles lightly, smiling at the Doctor.

“John, I need to tell you something and you're not going to like it.”

“Go on.”

“Does it look real to you? Does it seem real?” The Doctor asks carefully, looking at John sympathetically.

John gives a puzzled look before looking around at his flat and then back at the Doctor.

“You dreamed it for yourself because the truth was too terrible." 

“No." 

“I'm sorry, John. I really am. But none of this is real. It's all in your mind and I was asked to visit you.”

“Why?”

“Well, that's where it gets a bit complicated. Just listen to me and I'll explain everything. First of all, I'm not really here either, I'm actually inside your mind ...”

“Did someone put you up to this?” John scoffs, rolling his eyes at the Doctor.

“John, listen to me. Why would a man you've never met be here in your living room? Why would you let a man you've never met into your flat?”

“Because I thought you were a client.” John snaps, glaring at the Doctor.

“No, you didn't. You've known something was wrong from the start. But you couldn't quite figure out what, could you? I was sent to help you. Because you need to wake up.”

“Wake up? I am awake!”

“No, you're not. John, do you remember the accident?”

“What accident? If you're talking about Afghanistan then it's not what I'd call an accident .”

“John, you were in a car accident. You were working a case with Sherlock when a car sped down the road and hit you.”

“What is this crap? I'm fine! Look at me.”

“Have you looked in a mirror recently, John?”

“Well, no but I don't know why that matters.”

“Look, John. Just look.” 

John stands up and looks in the living room mirror, seeing the cut across his forehead and the black eye. He gasps in horror and turns back to the Doctor. 

“Who sent you? And why? You said someone sent you. Who was it?” John asks shakily, looking down at his hands.

“Sherlock's brother, Mycroft.”

“Why?” John asks in shock, not sure if he really wants to know.

“You've been in a coma for nearly two years. The last case you worked, you were tracking three men who killed a man. The drug dealer involved was going at 90mph when he hit you, you ran in front of the car to save Sherlock.”

“Two years?”

“John.” The Doctor starts, his tone gentle.

“How … how did I … what's going on?” John asks in a broken voice.

“Due to your PTSD and the speed at which the car hit you, the doctors don't think you'll survive. They put you in a chemically induced coma but now they want to take you off life-support. You have to wake up. There's no other way, John.” The Doctor replies carefully, stepping away from the army doctor slowly.

“I don't know if I can.” John chokes, tears starting to from in his eyes.

“Yes, you can, John. You have to do it for Sherlock. If you truly love him then you will try .” The Doctor replies, grabbing John by his arms and shaking him slightly.

“Okay. For Sherlock, I'll try .”

The Doctor smiles softly, “Goodbye, John. I'll see you on the other side.”

And just like that, the Doctor disappears and leaves the army doctor alone.

Chapter Text

One Year, Eight Months And Three Weeks Earlier

Sherlock paces the floor impatiently, running through the current case details through his mind while waiting for his flatmate to get a move on.

The ex-army doctor is always like this, taking too damn long. Sherlock thinks, wondering whether he should just bang on John's bedroom door.

“John, hurry up. We have a case.” Sherlock calls impatiently, all pent up excitement and furious impatience.

“Alright, bloody hell. I was in the shower, Sherlock. Unless you want me to go out naked, I need a least some time to get dry and dressed.” John replies, scrubbing his hair with a towel while trying to locate his shoes.

“As much as that would make the crime scene much more interesting, I don't think Lestrade would agree to such a state of undress.”

“I was being sarcastic, Sherlock.” John mutters, spotting his trainers under Sherlock's chair.

“Just as I thought.” Sherlock grins, practically bouncing on the spot.

John continues to mutter about 'idiot detectives' and 'just wanting a peaceful shower' as he puts his shoes on and grabs his coat.

“Sorry, John, I can't hear you due to your muttering.”

“Shut up, Sherlock.”

x..x

They travel in silence to the crime scene, the only noise coming from Sherlock's fingers tapping furiously over his phone keyboard as John watches the city pass by through the window.

As they pull up, the usual suspects are there; Donovan, Anderson, the rest of the forensics team and Lestrade.

Sherlock ignores the former three and walks straight up to Lestrade, only looking back to check John is following.

“This had better be more worthwhile than the last one, Lestrade. That one was so simple even a monkey could work it out … Oops, my mistake, a monkey did work it out.” Sherlock smiles, looking towards Anderson.

“Now listen, freak. You're invited to these crime scenes to assist Scotland Yard so do what you're told and assist.” Anderson replies, waving the detective in the direction of the crime scene.

Assist? Please, I do ...”

“Just get inside, Sherlock.” Lestrade interrupts, grabbing the detective's arm and pushing him into the abandoned house.

John smirks at Lestrade and follows him in.

“Everyone out. Lestrade, John, you can stay.”

Lestrade and John just roll their eyes and chuckle to themselves as the DI instructs everyone else to leave.

The crime scene looks like an ordinary drug den with the dead body of a drug addict who OD'd on his drug of choice. But obviously, something isn't right otherwise Lestrade wouldn't have called Sherlock and John in on this.

John immediately checks over the body while Sherlock surveys the scene around him, checking for discrepancies that he knows are there.

“Blue lips and nails, signs of spasms before death, bruises on the wrists and asphyxiation. My diagnosis is heroin over-dose. But I'm not entirely sure that it wasn't murder. What would you say, Sherlock?”

“Correct, John. Why do you think it was murder?” Sherlock asks, stooping down to look at the body.

“The bruises on the wrists, obviously. Someone held him down while another person injected him with enough heroin to kill him.”

“I'm impressed, John. I think you would use the term 'brilliant' about now. So , brilliant deduction, John.” Sherlock replies with a genuine pride.

“Alright, Sherlock. Bloody hell, no need to be patronising.” John sighs, looking up at the detective.

“I actually don't think he was, John. I can't believe I'm saying it but, I think that was genuine praise.” Lestrade replies, slightly stunned at Sherlock's open appraisal of someone else.

“Oh. Thank you, Sherlock.” John smiles softly, accepting Sherlock's hand to help him up.

“Although, you have missed one thing, John. But still less than what Lestrade and his team missed. That being, this man was also strangled.”

“Before or after death?” John asks curiously, looking back at the body and seeing the distinct bruising now unobstructed by the shirt collar.

“Before. It would seem three men were involved.”

“Three? That's a lot of factors, Sherlock. Couldn't he have been strangled then held down as a precaution?”

“No. In fact, John, may I borrow you a second. Lestrade, you as well.”

“Alright, but why do you need me?” John asks carefully, suddenly worried about what Sherlock might need.

“I always need you, John.” Sherlock replies absent-mindedly before adding, “You're my thinking post, when I'm struggling to come to a conclusion you usually say something utterly irrelevant that leads me to the answer. Now, lay on the floor and pretend to be dead.”

“Right.” John sighs, finding it's easier to do as Sherlock says the first time.

Lestrade shrugs and follows John's lead, walking round Sherlock to stand next to the doctor.

“Now, John, raise your arms above your head. Lestrade, grab his wrists.” Sherlock orders, kneeling down to straddle John's hips.

“Sherlock, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this.” John replies, raising an eyebrow at Sherlock.

“Nonsense, John. You're in safe hands here.”

John sighs and thunks his head on the floor, not even sure why he's bothering to argue about social conventions; he knows Sherlock doesn't have the slightest clue.

“Now, I'm going to strangle you, John. I need you to struggle.”

“Quick question. If you're strangling me and Greg's holding my wrists, who's injecting me with heroin?” John asks, its funny how before Sherlock that question probably would have never popped into his head.

“No one. We're simply proving that two people held the victim down while another injected him. Do keep up, John.”

“Right.”

“I bet you never thought Sherlock would be strangling you, did you, John?” Greg jokes, smirking at his friend.

“I suppose it's only fair given how many times I've nearly strangled him.”

“When you two are finished.” Sherlock snaps, glaring first at Greg then John.

John and Greg both snap their mouths shut and let Sherlock continue.

“Given the bruising, the second murderer was most likely leaning over the victim as he strangled him.” Sherlock says to himself, leaning over John and wrapping his hands around his throat.

John suddenly can't breathe and surprisingly it has nothing to do with Sherlock's hands on his throat, in fact, very quickly he gets a certain reaction to Sherlock being too close and his struggles aren't completely part of the act.

But then Sherlock presses a little too hard and the slight pleasure he feels from Sherlock being close is suddenly overrun by a sense of genuine panic as John struggles to breathe.

Sherlock.” John gasps, trying to break free from Greg's hold.

“That's it, John. Just like that.” Sherlock replies, a little purr seeming to seep into his voice.

Suddenly, John's worried about either dying of asphyxiation or dying of embarrassment as he tries to suppress a moan at the thought of those words in a different situation.

“Sherlock, I think you should stop. John doesn't look too good. Sherlock, seriously. Stop!” Greg yells, immediately releasing John's wrists as the doctor looks ready to pass out.

John feels when Greg lets go and he immediately grabs Sherlock's hands and simultaneously throws him off, thankful when the pressure disappears and he can breath again.

“John, you alright, mate? Still with us?” Greg asks carefully, immediately checking John's pulse. “Jesus Christ, Sherlock, you could have bloody killed him.”

Sherlock, seemingly not understanding the error he's made, quickly scrambles to John's side and grabs his face in both his hands, checking his pupils.

“John, are you alright? Breathe, John. Breathe!” Sherlock growls, listening to his friend's choked breaths. “Lestrade, call an ambulance.”

“'M fine.” John coughs, finally getting some much needed oxygen back into his system.

He continues to breathe steadily in and out, a practised ease from the panic attacks he has after nightmares. He nearly sighs in relief when he feels his breathing slowly calming.

“Sherlock's right, John. I'm calling an ambulance.”

“Piss off, I'm fine. I've had worse. I was bloody shot for God's sake.” John replies, his breathing finally settling.

“John, I'm sorry. I didn't … I'm sorry.” Sherlock whispers, letting go of John's face and sitting back.

John sits up slowly, mindful of the slight chest pains he still feels and looks over at Sherlock.

“Sherlock. Sherlock. Look at me, please.” He says gently, reaching out and touching Sherlock's hand. “I'm fine.”

Sherlock looks up at John carefully, searching his face for any signs of pain before smiling nervously at the doctor.

“Let's go find these guys.” John nods confidently, slowly getting himself to his feet.

“Are you sure about that, mate?” Greg asks anxiously, watching John warily.

“I'm fine, Greg. And not a word of this to anyone else. I just can't believe he managed to pin me. If anyone hears about that, I'll lose my reputation.” John laughs, brushing himself down.

“Be careful. Both of you.” Greg sighs, allowing John's self-diagnosis as a doctor.

“We will.” John smiles reassuringly, motioning Sherlock out the room.

They head past the Scotland Yard team quickly and John's strangely thankful that no one questions their hasty exit.

He takes a deep breath of air as they hit the street, standing still for a moment to enjoy the breeze and oxygen rushing to his head.

x..x

John and Sherlock have been sitting outside a local drug den for about two hours with no sign of their murderers or the drug dealer who sold the drugs.

The doctor shivers violently, feeling like his hands and feet are popsicles while the detective looks just as cold as John, if not more.

“I think we should just go home, Sherlock. Any longer out here and we'll both get hypothermia. Come on.” John whispers, slowly standing up to stretch.

“John, wait.” Sherlock hisses, yanking John back down into their crouched position.

John hisses at the pull on his left shoulder and glares at Sherlock, tempted to smack him across the head and deal with the consequences later.

“There, John. Look. Someone's heading out. Let's go.” Sherlock adds, standing up slowly and walking onto the main street.

John stands up and follows the younger man, trying to look inconspicuous while keeping an eye on their subject.

“Quicker, John. We can't lose him.” Sherlock replies, running across the main road.

That's when John hears it; the speeding of a car which he's sure wasn't there before and with only one thought in his head he barrels across the road, screaming Sherlock's name as he shoves him out of the way of the car.

Sherlock barely registers John's shout until it's followed by the crunch of metal hitting bone and John hitting the floor with a crunch.

“John!” Sherlock screams, dropping to John's side as the car speeds away.

He pulls out his phone and immediately dials for an ambulance before calling Lestrade and giving him the license number of the car.

They get John to the hospital quickly and operate on his injuries, forcing Sherlock to wait in the visitors room.

The hours pass by in a blur until the doctor returns and tells Sherlock the news.

Due to John's medical history and the force of the impact, they've had to put him in a chemically induced coma.

That's when it happens; that's when Sherlock's whole world stands still and he struggles to hold it together.

This is all his fault and now John is paying for it again.

Chapter Text

Every day after the accident, Sherlock sits by John's bedside and only moves to eat (very little) and to change clothes.

He never leaves the doctor's side for longer than an hour and has even refused to take cases until John recovers.

He just barely managed to solve the case which put them both here; the drug dealer who hit John with his car, but now even the dealer has a pretty black eye and broken nose for his time in a cell.

Sherlock doesn't even know how he avoided being arrested for assault, probably something to do with Mycroft and the circumstances surrounding the assault , as his older brother would probably say in his defense.

The detective looks at his doctor everyday, willing him to wake up today, but of course wherever John is in his head is a lot happier place than in this reality Sherlock has come to know.

He talks nonsense to John; telling him about the latest news, about what celeb has got fat or pregnant because he knows John likes knowing about all the current events and daft things like that.

Mrs Hudson comes to the hospital everyday; bringing him food and a flask of tea as she tries to coax him away from John's bedside; she still goes home as unsuccessful as the day before.

She talks nonsense too; tells Sherlock about Mrs Taylor down the street and about how Detective Inspector Lestrade is doing well with his current cases, solving them with a speed Sherlock used to possess.

Mycroft comes in and doesn't even try to coax Sherlock away, he just checks his chart and his vitals as though he knows what's going on but they both know it's just a front because Mycroft doesn't know what to say to help his little brother.

He stays for about an hour before silently excusing himself; not even bothering to tell Sherlock about some meeting or other, because what would be the point, he knows his brother wouldn't hear him even if he sat there talking for hours on end.

Sherlock knows he's slipping down a dangerous path; the path he took before John, when all there was was overwhelming noise in his head with nothing to do with. A dangerous path were he'd stick a needle in his arm just to quiet the ringing in his ears and the oncoming headaches that always followed.

He was so lost back then, even before John, he knew he was lost and alone, struggling to find away out of his hole and actually live in this world.

Then Lestrade took him under his wing and Sherlock felt needed and important, but still so very alone. When John entered his life, limping into Barts with a psychosomatic limp and an obvious military background, Sherlock felt as though it was Christmas. He saw the whole puzzle ready to be unravelled and solved

And how could he resist such an obvious looking yet extraordinary puzzle like Doctor John Watson, Captain of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers and honourably discharged with a hidden gun shot wound that had brought him here to the detective?

He'd worked so hard to unravel the mystery of John; one year, eight months and three weeks of trying to work out how the man beneath the woolly jumpers ticked and functioned.

And he is still a mystery to Sherlock even now, especially now, because where can John be in his head that is better than here with Sherlock?

Can he even hear Sherlock talking about all this nonsense? Can he even hear that Sherlock hasn't moved in days, weeks, months, a whole year?

Can he hear Mrs Hudson's endless prattling of mindless gossip? Or Mycroft's silence as he pretends to be of some support to his little brother?

Isn't it time to come back now? Time to come back to the real world and see Sherlock again? Is he even going to come back? What if he doesn't? Can't?

Sherlock has to admit that he's become a little dependent on John. Sherlock moans about how John should stop pestering him about doing menial things like eating and sleeping.

The young detective looks at his best friend now and wishes desperately that he'd chastise him for not eating properly and comment on the purple bags under his eyes, or about the fact that he's been wearing the same suit for three days and smells like most of the homeless people they consult with.

There's a knock on the door and that's the most unusual thing to happen since this unfortunate event, because nobody knocks before they enter this room.

The nurses just bustle in to check John's vitals and work around Sherlock's unmoving presence.

Mrs Hudson just walks in and starts prattling her mindless nonsense and Mycroft just seems to glide into the room like Casper the unwelcome ghost.

So who would knock on John's door before entering?

Hello, I'm the Doctor. Sherlock, right?” The man asks with a smile, stepping into the room.

Sherlock ignores the stranger and looks back over at John, because obviously  this doctor isn't actually a doctor of anything, if his clothes are anything to go by. Unless he's some barmy as hell psychologist that Mycroft's hired to help Sherlock with what he's going through.

But Sherlock doesn't need help , he needs John. He needs his actual doctor back, not some idiot who thinks he knows Sherlock and can help him.

Your brother asked for me.” The man continues to talk, standing by John's beside.

Sherlock scoffs in reply, rolling his eyes and muttering “obviously” under his breath.

I can help him. I have a unique gift that might be able to help.” The man adds, trying to meet Sherlock's eyes.

Help who?” Sherlock asks suspiciously, looking the strange man up and down.

John. I can … well, I can get inside people's heads and read their thoughts. I might be able to talk to him and bring him back.”

Who the hell are you?” Sherlock shouts, jumping up from his seat.

I'm the Doctor. And I told you, your brother asked for me.” The Doctor replies calmly, raising his hands in defense.

How can you possibly help him?”

I can get into his mind. I … I'm an alien, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. There's an organisation called UNIT, only the government know about it because they store anything extraterrestrial.”

Sherlock studies the man carefully, trying to work out the lie but he can't find it and maybe starts to think this man might be telling the truth.

So you can access his mind and bring him back?” Sherlock asks carefully, looking hopeful.

It's a little bit more complicated than that but yes, basically yes.” The Doctor replies, sitting down next to John's bedside.

Alright. Do what you can.” Sherlock sighs, feeling like the most useless friend to John.

The Doctor smiles softly at the younger man, before leaning over John's still form and pressing his fingertips to the man's head.

Sherlock watches as the Doctor pulls a face but setting on a near expressionless mask as he finally finds a point in John's mind.

John Watson? Ah, good. We need to talk.”

 

Chapter Text

Mycroft has watched his brother slowly slip away from reality for nearly two years. But when the doctors suggested to him that John should be taken off life support, that's when Mycroft saw his little brother's heart shatter into a thousand pieces.

That's why, as Sherlock's big brother, Mycroft has to fix this. He picks up his phone and searches for a number that doesn't technically exist, and why would it; they deal with alien artefacts and alien information, surely that's just all sci-fi nonsense.

But luckily for Mycroft, and Sherlock, such a thing does exist and is probably the only thing that can help bring John home.

“Hello, UNIT. My name is Mycroft Holmes, and I was wondering if you could find me … The Doctor?”

Mycroft spends the next half an hour being briefed on just exactly who the Doctor is and how to contact him and when that's finished, he immediately dials the number for the Doctor.

Mycroft explains to the Time Lord who he is and about his little brother's situation.

What do you need exactly?”

Mycroft smiles before replying, “Well, I need a doctor, of course.”

I'll be right there.”

And just as Mycroft puts the phone down, he feels a sort of gale force wind and a small blue phone box appears in the middle of his office.

The door opens and a man peeks his head out, “Hello.”

“The Doctor, I presume.” Mycroft replies, standing up and holding a hand out.

“Yes.” The Doctor grins, shaking the older Holmes' hand enthusiastically.

“Come with me, then, Doctor.”

Mycroft and The Doctor walk out of the office and climb into a government issued car.

“So you tell me again, you need me to go into the mind of a coma patient and bring him home?” The Doctor asks carefully, looking around at the lavish and most likely, expensive car.

“My brother seems to have fallen quite hard for Doctor John Watson and just a few short hours ago the doctors told him they would take the good Doctor off life-support.”

“Oh, so this is a love story. I love those.” The Doctor beams, much to the disapproval of Mycroft. “Sorry. Tell me, how did you get my number?”

“UNIT. Unified Intelligence ...”

“Yes, I know who they are.” The Doctor replies darkly and Mycroft finally gives the man a second look.

And what he sees, he's not sure he likes. Maybe this was a bad idea.

“Yes, well, they told me all about you and frankly I'm … trying to find a better word than desperate.” Mycroft says with disdain.

“Why lie about it? It's obvious that you are desperate. And what is wrong with wanting to help your little brother?”

“Oh, I'm sure Sherlock could give you a list.”

“Humans. You never say what you really feel.”

“Yes, well. We'll be there soon.” Mycroft mutters, turning to look out the window.

The Doctor hears him loud and clear and goes quiet, turning to look out of his own window.

The pair are silent for the rest of the journey and as the car pulls up outside the hospital, Mycroft climbs out the car and looks up at the building.

“Floor four. Room 221. Oh, and be patient with my brother, he's a man of logic. A time-travelling Doctor will not bode well with him” Mycroft informs the Doctor professionally.

“You're not coming up?” The Doctor asks in confusion.

“No. As I said, me and Sherlock have somewhat of a … complicated relationship. Goodbye, Doctor.”

And with that, Mycroft climbs back into the car and drives away. The Doctor rolls his eyes at the man, sighing as he walks into the hospital and searches for the lift.

It takes the Doctor five minutes to find Room 221 and he decides to knock before entering, waiting a suitable amount of time before walking in.

The young man sat by the bedside looks tired and worn and the Doctor's hearts break a little at the site.

Fragile. The Doctor thinks, watching the man study him carefully and critically.

“Hello, I'm the Doctor. Sherlock, right?” The Doctor asks with a smile.

The young man promptly ignores him and the Doctor should have suspected that given what Mycroft said to him.

Well, this is going to be interesting. The Doctor thinks before trying to talk to the young man again.

Careful, that's what Mycroft said.

 

Chapter Text

John had been pacing the floor for around twenty minutes.

Well, pacing the floor in his mind because technically he isn't at Baker Street and he isn't actually pacing.

“Just wake up. That's all I have to do. Wake up. Wake up, how? Right, just breathe” John mutters to himself, taking slow breaths and trying to focus.

After some more deep breaths, he closes his eyes and counts to ten, but when he opens them again, he's still in Baker Street and there's still no Sherlock.

“A little clue would have helped, Doctor!” John yells, after all, he isn't going to disturb anyone inside his own head.

“Right, I need to focus. Focus on something that matters. Focus.”

Then John hears it, a voice; the very recognisable voice of Sherlock Holmes calling his name.

“Something that matters? Well, that's easy. Sherlock. Focus on him. The sound of his voice. Those stupid cheekbones and the coat collar. The mess of curls that I just want to run my hands through … Whoa, easy there, Watson. One step at a time.”

John shakes his head and tries again, “Voice, cheekbones, coat collar, curls. Cases, adrenaline, stupidity, Angelo's.”

John chants these seemingly random things over and over, willing his mind to focus on waking up so that he can make his way home.

“That's it!” John yells in glee, “Wow, I think I just had a glimpse into what Sherlock goes through every time he solves a case.” He giggles, despite himself.

“Sherlock, cases, Baker Street, they all represent home. That's what I need to focus on. Home. Right, think about going home.”

John closes his eyes and smiles, his sole focus on going home; back to Baker Street, back to Sherlock.

x..x

“John.” Sherlock cries, his hand cradling John's face.

The Doctor had told him the conversation he'd had with John and that the doctor needed something to focus on.

It was almost like what Amy had had to do to bring him back but bringing John back should be a lot easier, considering.

It just depended on how much damage had been done to the ex-army doctor.

“John.” Sherlock repeats, and continues to repeat over and over.

He repeats John's name until it almost seems like a prayer and he wonders if John is doing the same, praying he can return to Sherlock.

The Doctor stands by Sherlock's side and waits, catching a glimpse of the concerned brother outside the room and wondering if he'll come in any time soon.

x..x

Suddenly, John feels like he's choking and he can't get enough air, that's when he realises it; this has happened before.

The night of the case; the drug addict killed in the abandoned house with Sherlock straddling him and his hands around his throat.

How could he have forgotten? No wonder everything had seemed so perfect; it wasn't real.

John almost sobs with the realisation of having to go back, back to a world were Sherlock will never know how much he loves him, one were they'll never be what John has always wanted them to be.

And for the first time since the revelation, he isn't entirely sure if he actually wants to go back.

No. That isn't fair on Sherlock; Sherlock's voice that's ringing inside his head, “Come back to me, John. Please.”

He has to go back, even if he and Sherlock never become what John so desperately wants, he can't stay here in this place.

Sherlock is his best friend and no matter what, they'll always have each other.

“Okay, I'm ready.” John gasps, tears falling from his eyes as he allows himself to be pulled back to the world of the living.

And just when he feels his heart breaking, he hears it; four little words that will change everything.

I love you, John.”

 

Chapter Text

John's coughing in the otherwise quiet room is a welcome relief for Sherlock; as horrible as that sounds, it really is.

For the first time since John's accident, Sherlock actually cries, his head dropping onto his and John's joined hands.

The nurses rush in and check John's vitals before removing the tube from his mouth so that he can finally breathe for himself.

John gasps out Sherlock's name; his voice raspy from lack of use, and looks to his side where a riot of ink-black curls are resting on his hand.

He tentatively reaches out and runs his fingers through them, oblivious to the Doctor's presence and when the sad tearful eyes of his friend look up at him, John's heart nearly breaks all over again.

John.” Sherlock whispers, his voice just as raspy as John's.

“Hey.” John smiles, and its the most glorious thing Sherlock has ever seen.

He's waited almost two years to see that smile again and it causes something inside him to break, his head dropping down onto their joined hands as he cries again.

“It's alright. I'm back now.” John soothes, stroking Sherlock's curls.

The Doctor, who had stayed out of the way until now, decides to make his exit quick, giving the pair some privacy.

John spots him and says quietly, “Thank you, Doctor.”

The Time Lord smiles and bows his head ever so slightly, opening the door and stepping out of the room.

He spots Mycroft sat in a nearby chair; the older brother with his head in his hands and walks over to him.

“He's going to be fine.” The Doctor says with a smile.

“I know.” Mycroft whispers brokenly, the only sign of emotion the Doctor has seen from him.

Mycroft sighs softly and looks up at the Time Lord, “Thank you, Doctor. You really have saved my brother's life.”

The Doctor takes in the tear-filled and tired eyes of Mycroft Holmes and inwardly sighs, nodding at him before heading for the lift.

Mycroft smiles after the man and looks back to his brother's room, standing up and looking in at the pair.

John smiles at him through the glass and Mycroft returns the gesture, before turning on his heels and heading for the lift.

x..x

The ex-army doctor looks down at his friend and sighs sadly at the physical signs of Sherlock's self-abuse.

“I'm sorry, Sher. I really am.”

Sherlock makes a noise in reply but barely moves; too afraid that this is all a dream and John will disappear again.

He doesn't look up until John says five little words that will change everything.

“I love you too, Sherlock.”

 

Chapter Text

It takes four months before John fully recovers and the doctors allow him to go out on cases again.

John had been hoping to be given clearance sooner, especially with the young detective going almost out of his mind with boredom, but he had been in a coma for nearly two years so he should have expected a longer-than-normal recovery time.

But two days after the doctor declares him fit to go back to work (and to do cases), Lestrade brings them a new case and this one is a nine.

John laughs as Sherlock looks about ready to kiss Lestrade for his gift, while Lestrade looks ready to smack the little maniac if he so much as takes one step closer.

“A nine, John. Finally! Isn't this brilliant?” Sherlock cries in delight, practically bouncing with excitement.

“Yes, Sher. It's brilliant.” John smiles softly, standing up from his chair and grabbing the file from Lestrade.

But as he grabs it, Sherlock surprises him more than he ever has, by cupping his face in both hands and kissing him gently.

John sighs into the kiss and the file drops to the floor as it slips from John's grasp.

Sherlock pulls away with a soft smile and holds John's gaze for a moment, only pulling away when Lestrade clears his throat.

“Sorry, Greg. So the case, um … right. What is it?” John asks in embarrassment, blushing as Lestrade grins at him.

“Double homicide, John.” Lestrade replies, grinning even more.

“Right. Let's go then.” John smiles, ushering Lestrade out the door.

Lestrade chuckles to himself all the way down the stairs as Sherlock follows after John, grinning like the cat that got the cream.

x..x

Sherlock, John and Lestrade walk into the crime scene where two bodies are positioned side by side; the male is a Caucasian man in his mid-forties and the female is a Japanese woman in her twenties.

“Oh, great. Why did you bring our favourite psychopath?” Anderson asks with distaste.

“Sociopath, Anderson.” Sherlock snaps back, glaring at the man.

“Sherlock.” John warns, throwing a look at the younger man.

Sherlock sighs in frustration, “Can we just get on with it?”

“Right. Double homocide. Male victim shot at point blank range and female victim had ...”

“Her throat slashed, yes. I do have eyes, Lestrade. It's been staged as a murder-suicide but you don't believe it is.” Sherlock replies, stooping down to look at the bodies.

“Yes. Because the two victims don't even know each other ...”

“How do you know that?” John asks in surprise, looking down at the two victims.

“We ran a background check on both of them. The man is a Derek Tapp, he's a manager at HSBC and has lived in London for thirty-five years. The woman is Isa Zenko, she's lived in Japan her whole life and only flew here last night.”

“That's it?” Sherlock snaps, glaring at Lestrade. “Incompetent.” He mutters to himself.

“Sherlock.” John warns again, raising an eyebrow at the younger man.

Sherlock takes a deep breath and looks back up at Lestrade, “Anything else, Inspector?”

“Well, we're going to contact their families to get some more information. But is there anything else you can give us?”

“Both of them were coerced into coming here by a female team ...”

“How did you come to that?” Lestrade asks in confusion.

“If a man came over to you and asked you to come with him, would you? Never mind, you already have.”

“With who, genius?”

“My brother.” Sherlock smiles smugly, causing Lestrade to cough awkwardly and blush.

“How about if the man wasn't Mycroft, Sherlock?” John asks, trying to bring Sherlock back to the case.

“Lestrade?”

“No, I wouldn't.” Lestrade replies firmly, folding his arms across his chest.

“Well then, obviously a woman lured him. And a young woman visiting a new city wouldn't just follow a man willingly. Most women are smarter than that. So obviously she was lured by a woman as well. Women tend to trust other women more. I don't know why that is.”

“Well, unfortunately, our victim trusted the wrong woman. Now all we need is proof and motive.” Lestrade replies grimly.

“That's why you brought us in to help.” Sherlock smiles smugly.

Lestrade rolls his eyes and sighs in exasperation.

“Now, who was she coming to visit?” Sherlock asks, looking over the female victim again.

“Well, coming all the way from Japan, I'd say family or a partner.” John replies, standing up to stretch his legs.

“Family then. So, find her family and we can plot her movements from the airport to here.”

“What about him?” Lestrade asks, pointing at the other victim.

“Shouldn't be too hard to get information on him. Even you should manage that, Lestrade.”

“Right, I'll call you when we get hold of Zenko's family.” Lestrade smiles gratefully.

“Come along, John.” Sherlock replies, holding a hand out to John.

John takes his hand with a smile, allowing himself to be pulled to his feet and carefully walking around the bodies.

Sherlock squeezes his hand before opening the door, directing John out with a gentle hand to the small of his back.

“Bye, Greg.” John says, looking back with a smile.

“Bye, John.” Lestrade grins, winking at the doctor.

John blushes and ducks his head, knowing that Sherlock is probably sporting a little smirk at John's expense.

Chapter Text

For the next three days, Sherlock sulks, and shoots the wall, and generally does everything he can to get on John Watson's last nerve.

The case was going smoothly, until a metaphorical spanner was thrown in the works.

Three Days Earlier:

They contact Isa Zenko's sister, Naoko; who tells them that she was supposed to meet Isa at the airport but her sister said she had some business to take care of first.

“Did she tell you what business?” Sherlock asks impatiently, receiving a sharp glare from John.

“Unfortunately, no. She just said that she would … call us when she was nearly here. But, well … the call never … came.” Naoko sobs, her face dropping to her hands.

“Did she know anybody else in the UK other than you and your family?” Sherlock asks carefully, trying to avoid another chastisement from John.

“Not that ... I know of … no. I'm sorry I can't be … more helpful … Mr Holmes.” Naoko continues to sob.

“That's … fine. You've tried your best.” Sherlock replies with a forced reassuring smile; causing John to hide a smirk.

“You will find the murderer, won't you, Mr Holmes?”

“Obviously. If you think of anything else. Give me a call. Come along, John.”

“We're very sorry for your loss.” John smiles softly, patting Isa's sister on the arm.

Naoko nods and gives a sad smile, watching as the pair leave.

x..x

Unfortunately, even three days later, they're still no closer to finding the killer and John is frankly losing the will to live having to deal with his boyfriend's sulking.

“Who would we trust without a doubt?” Sherlock asks aloud, causing John to look up from his newspaper.

“Family, obviously. No matter what happens, we always trust them despite our better judgement.” John replies absently, frowning at a particular article in the paper.

“What did you say?” Sherlock asks suddenly, sitting up on the couch.

“We trust family. No matter what.” John replies slowly as if talking to a small child.

“Stupid, stupid, stupid.” Sherlock snaps, shaking his head.

“Well next time, don't ask me to bloody repeat myself then, if it's so stupid.” John snaps back, throwing his paper down and heading to the kitchen.

“No, no, John. Not you. Me! I'm the stupid one. I missed the most obviously clues. And you, frankly, you've been brilliant this whole time.” Sherlock grins, grabbing John's face and kissing his forehead.

“Right.”

“Exactly. I forgot not all families are like mine, like how I have a distinct lack of trust for my brother. But you, ordinary people, you always trust your family. It's just who you are ...”

John raises an eyebrow at Sherlock in a sign of 'Not Good, Sherlock'.

“Oh, don't look at me like that. You know what I mean. Ordinary, less … dis-functional families.”

John smirks at his boyfriend, causing Sherlock to smile back and look at John just that little bit fonder.

Something warms in John's chest at the look and he has to turn away; memories of things he and Sherlock did in John's comatose dream-state coming back to the surface.

It wasn't real. We're not at that point yet. John tells himself, walking back into the kitchen to make two teas.

Sherlock's smile falters but then he remembers that they have to take this slow, otherwise one wrong move and one or both of them could break.

Sherlock moves back to sit on the couch; typing out a quick text to Lestrade about who he's deduced is the killer of Isa Zenko. He looks up and smiles gratefully as John holds out a fresh cup of tea for him; letting his fingers gently brush against John's as he takes the cup.

John smiles warmly in return, gently brushing Sherlock's curls with his now free hand before turning round and sitting back in his chair.

“So, you've obviously come to the conclusion that Zenko's sister murdered her but what about our banker?” John asks casually, sipping his tea.

“How did you know I'd deduced it was Naoko Zenko?” Sherlock asks in confusion, looking over at John.

“Elementary, my dear Holmes.” John grins, sitting back in his chair smugly.

“Ah, I've taught you well, John. So, you tell me, who killed our banker? Or at the very least, why he was murdered.”

You tell me why you think Naoko murdered her sister?” John counters, challenging Sherlock.

“I asked you first.” Sherlock quips back, smirking at John.

“You love to show off. So, impress me.” John slyly smirks back, looking over the rim of his cup at Sherlock.

At that Sherlock's heart seems to stop beating because suddenly John is flirting with him and sure, it's not the conventional kind of flirting but then again, their friendship/relationship has never be classed as conventional.

But Sherlock feels his face heating because this is more than just friendly teasing; John is actually flirting with him and it's far too normal for this stage of their relationship but …

Suddenly, Sherlock is on his feet and standing in front of John's chair; while the doctor's face goes from smug to surprised in a matter of seconds and before Sherlock can stop himself, he leans down and grabs John's face; kissing the doctor passionately as John pulls Sherlock into his lap.

“You're brilliant, do you know that?” John says into Sherlock's lips, smiling softly at the younger man.

“The murderer … it's Naoko because … because her suitcase, Isa's suitcase, that is … is in Naoko's hallway cupboard.” Sherlock replies, stumbling over his words as he tries to process what's just happened.

“You see, brilliant.” John grins, kissing Sherlock once more. “You've told Lestrade then?”

“Obviously.” Sherlock replies without any of his usual bite. “So, who killed our banker?”

“I deduce Naoko killed them both. We already know that Isa had a large amount of money in her bank account and obviously she had a meeting with the bank manager about her finances. When Naoko found out just how much money her sister had, she planned to kill her sister and the only person who would have had contact with Isa.”

“I believe I should be impressed now, John.” Sherlock smirks, looking at John under his eyelashes.

“So, case solved then?"

“Well, unless you can think of anyone else who would have a motive and opportunity to murder both our victims.”

Just as John is mulling over this idea, Sherlock's phone buzzes with an incoming text.

 

You were right. Found the

suitcase at Zenko's sister's.

Also found the murder

weapon and Zenko's bank

statements. Thanks a

lot, guys.

GL

MESSAGE RECEIVED

 

“The case is now officially closed.” Sherlock smiles triumphantly, jumping off John's lap and doing his little victory dance.

“So, what shall we call this one then? International Affairs? Blood Is Thicker Than Water? Sibling Rivalry?”

“I'll leave that up to you. You are the writer after all.”

“Oi, you cheeky shit. Just remember who always makes you look good, Mr Consulting Detective.”

“And you do a remarkable job of it, my dear blogger.” Sherlock grins, grabbing his tea and downing it in one mouthful.

John shakes his head at his boyfriend, chuckling to himself and picking up his discarded newspaper.

“I'm going for a shower. Won't be long.” Sherlock smiles, disappearing out the door and towards his bedroom.

“God, I love that idiot.” John mutters to himself, settling in his chair to read the rest of the headlines and current events.

 

Chapter Text

One Month Later:

“Ah, here you both are. So new case for you guys to consult on, it's really …” Lestrade greets the pair brightly, until he notices John's death stare. “Alright, what did you do this time, Sherlock?”

“Why do you suspect I've done something?” Sherlock snaps, glaring at the D.I.

“Because John has his 'kill-mode' activated and you're usually responsible for anything and everything.”

“It wasn't my fault.”

“It never is!” John growls, shooting the death glare at his boyfriend.

“Alright fighters, enter the ring, also known as my office.” Lestrade replies, directing the pair into his office and shutting the door behind him.

“It wasn't my fault!” Sherlock shouts as John continues to glare at him.

“Oh, so my jumper just jumped onto the kitchen table and your chemicals just gained a mind of their own and poured themselves onto my jumper and ruined it, did they?” John yells back, resisting the urge to hit his boyfriend.

“I didn't know wool would react that way to such a small amount of sulphuric acid!”

“You're a so-called chemist! Or at least that's what you claim to be, Mr-I-Know-The-Exact-Properties-Of-Every-Chemical-And-Their-Reactions!”

“I diluted that solution to exact measurements. It's hardly my fault that your clothing is so cheap and non-durable.”

John growls and takes a step closer to Sherlock, his patience with his boyfriend rapidly running out.

“Now, now boys. Let's not do this here.” Lestrade replies, stepping between the pair.

“Just tell me, how would you feel if I poured chemicals on your Savile Row silk shirts?” John asks in a threatening tone.

“Bloody furious considering how much they cost!” Sherlock growls dangerously.

“Good to know.” John replies casually.

“You wouldn't dare.” Sherlock snaps, trying to be threatening.

“ENOUGH! Knock it off, children. We have a case to solve when you're finished bickering.” Lestrade yells, now completely done with the two immature man-children.

“This isn't over.” John warns, letting the matter rest for the time being.

x..x

In the end, Sherlock solves the case in under two hours and the pair have to return home; John's warning now ringing in Sherlock's head.

They take a cab back to Baker Street in silence and for once Sherlock pays for the taxi, unlocking the front door and letting John in ahead of him.

Sherlock waits and waits for what seems like an eternity for John to scream and shout at him again, but it never comes. Instead, John goes to the kitchen and makes a cup of tea for himself, heading back into the living room and reading the newspaper.

Sherlock wants to breathe a sigh of relief but he can't because John is acting too normal and it's like the calm before the storm; terrifying yet strangely exciting.

And Sherlock is surprisingly turned on by this; watching his dangerous and angry boyfriend being dangerously calm provokes such a reaction in Sherlock that he actually makes a sound like a whine.

John unconsciously looks up at the unexpected noise in the quiet flat and just stares at his boyfriend, taking in his stiffer than usual posture, the slight pink tinge to his cheeks and the way his eyes move around the room to avoid eye contact.

Is he … no, he can't be. This cannot seriously be a turn on for him. Is he seriously turned on by the fact I'm angry at him? No, it's not that. This is Sherlock Holmes, he's … he's turned on by the danger. He's waiting for me to make a move and because I haven't already, he's anticipating danger. Fuck, that's actually surprisingly … hot.

John's thoughts go unspoken as the silence in the room goes on just a little too long and then he does something very unexpected; he jumps up so suddenly that Sherlock actually takes a step back in surprise but John just continues to stalk toward his boyfriend and slams him against the wall, pinning his hands above his head with one hand.

Sherlock's head spins before he lets out the most erotic moan John has ever heard, followed by a full body shudder that makes John's cock twitch in interest.

John lets out the full force of his anger on Sherlock as he kisses him roughly and sets a bruising pace; which only seems to heighten Sherlock's pleasure as he takes the roughness willingly and openly.

The ex-army doctor knows he should still be furious with his boyfriend's antics but as Sherlock continues to moan and shudder under his touch, John's arousal wins out and he presses his whole body against his boyfriend's, gripping onto Sherlock's hip hard enough to bruise the younger man.

They're probably so far past the line of 'taking it slow' but they're two months into their relationship and three years into this waiting game that if they take it any slower, they'll be dead before they get past kissing.

And right now, John isn't patient enough to wait another thirty or so years to get close enough to this man to finally call him his own. And given the sounds coming from Sherlock, neither is he.

John breaks away from Sherlock's mouth to bite into his collarbone and mark him as John's.

Fuck.” Sherlock gasps softly, his a voice raspy and breathing hard.

“Not really the thing to be saying right now, Sher.” John breathes against Sherlock's skin, trying to calm himself down.

Fuck” Sherlock gasps again purposely before leaning close to John's ear and finishing his sentence in a whisper, “me, John.”

John stops breathing for a minute before sternly replying with, “No. Not after we've had an argument. I won't do that for your first time, Sherlock. I'm still mad at you.”

“I do like it rough, John.” Sherlock purrs into John's ear.

And maybe if it wasn't Sherlock's first time then he'd take him up on the offer but he can't do that now, not to his perfectly imperfect boyfriend.

“No, angel, I can't do that.” John sighs reluctantly, pulling away from Sherlock and releasing his arms.

“Angel?” Sherlock asks in confusion, wondering why John would call him that.

John chuckles and brushes Sherlock's curls tenderly, “Yes. Angel. Something wrong with that?”

Sherlock's cheeks flush as he smiles shyly and replies, “No. Nothing at all.”

“Good.” John smiles fondly, stepping away from Sherlock.

“I still want sex though.” Sherlock replies, sporting a little smirk. “Would it help if I apologised for the hideous jumper incident?”

“Try apologising without insulting my jumper.” John smiles despite himself.

“I can't help it if you have such hideous taste in clothes.” Sherlock grins at his boyfriend.

“Hey, my mum bought me that jumper.”

“Well, that explains everything then.”

John laughs out loud, because in all honesty, it was a hideous jumper and Sherlock probably did him a favour; he never wore it anyway, it just took up space in his wardrobe.

Sherlock walks over to John and kisses him as he continues to giggle softly at the absurdity of the situation.

When he pulls away, he smiles softly at the older man, “I always wanted to know what your laugh tasted like.”

“You daft idiot, a laugh doesn't have a taste, it's just a laugh.” John continues to giggle at his boyfriend.

“Yours tastes like happiness and most importantly, not anger.” Sherlock continues on as though John hadn't spoken.

“You're a bloody idiot.” John smiles, pulling Sherlock forward for another kiss.

“So on a scale of one to ten, how angry are you at me now?”

“About a five but only because if I always stayed at a nine, I'd have bloody killed you by now.” John chuckles, turning around and heading to the kitchen.

Sherlock follows him, intent on getting what he wants sooner rather than later.

“Are you going deaf or do you just have selective hearing? I told you I wanted sex.” Sherlock states, leaning against the kitchen table.

“And I told you, I'm still mad at you.” John replies, not bothering to look at the younger man.

“You're at a five. You probably wake up everyday at a five. You do live with me after all.”

“Well that's a point. I just … I don't want to get angry again while we're in bed and do something I'll regret.” John replies softly, finally turning to look at his boyfriend.

“Safeword.”

“What?”

“We'll have a safeword then. I can deduce your moods easily so if I can tell you're getting angry, we can use the safeword and you won't go too far.” Sherlock states, walking closer to John.

“Safewords don't always work, Sherlock.”

“Please, John. I've wanted you for so long now, don't make me wait any longer.”

“But, Sherlock ...”

“You trust me, don't you?” Sherlock asks carefully, meeting his boyfriend's eyes.

“Of course I do.”

“And I trust you, so this will work. Did we think our relationship would work? Or our friendship? No, but we took a chance. You've stuck by me at my worst, if things go wrong, I'll stick by you.”

John looks at his boyfriend and smiles softly, overwhelmed by Sherlock's words and unwavering trust in him.

“Come here, you.” John replies, pulling Sherlock in for a tender kiss.

But it becomes clear that Sherlock is done reasoning with the ex-army doctor as he backs him up against the counter and kisses him forcefully.

“Okay, I promise I'll be careful.” John promises, grabbing Sherlock's hand and pulling him towards their bedroom.

They undress slowly and carefully, the nerves of their first time now setting in as John considers the next step in their relationship.

“We don't have to do this, if you change your mind, I mean. If you tell me to stop, then I'll stop. You make all the decisions from now on.” John says carefully, standing next to the bed in just his t-shirt and underwear.

“John, stop. You know better than to try and talk me out of anything, so don't.” Sherlock replies with a smile.

“Alright then. So we're actually going to do this then?”

Sherlock chuckles lightly, walking over to his boyfriend and kissing him as he continues to giggle.

“We're not teenagers, John. You don't have to be so nervous.”

“You're telling me, I've got grey hair from putting up with you.” John laughs, squeezing Sherlock's hip. “I'll warn you, I've got a little bit … chubby since being back in London and the scar, it's not ...”

“I don't care. I … want you. Just you. I'm not the same man I was and neither are you, it doesn't matter to me.” Sherlock replies with surprising gentleness, resting his forehead against John's. “You're mine now. That's all that matters.”

John sighs softly, lifting his head up to kiss this wonderful man he's lucky enough to have in his arms.

“Okay then. Lie down and I'll take of you, I promise.”

“I know you will, John.” Sherlock smiles, stepping round John to climb on the bed.

John pulls off the rest of his clothes as Sherlock removes his boxers and gets everything they're going to need.

The ex-army doctor looks over at his boyfriend and smiles one last time before joining him, chuckling when Sherlock all but throws the lube at him.

“I'll have to open you up first, love. It will be a bit painful and probably a bit uncomfortable at first, but it will get better.”

“Angel.” Sherlock sighs, looking down the bed at John.

“What?” John asks in confusion, sitting back on his heels.

“I like angel. I don't know why but I do.”

“Okay. You sure you're ready, angel?” John smiles, kissing the inside of Sherlock's knee.

“Yes.” Sherlock smiles back, a fond look in his eyes.

John leans over and kisses Sherlock slowly, running his hand through the younger man's curls.

He pulls back and flicks the cap on the bottle pouring lube onto his fingers.

“Just try to relax.” John says carefully, gently pressing into Sherlock.

Sherlock gasps in surprise and grips John's arm hard, causing the doctor to pause in his actions.

“Do you wanna stop?”

“No! Carry on, please.”

“Alright, bossy.” John chuckles, gently pushing his fingers back into the younger man.

John feels Sherlock relax and leans over to kiss him, nibbling his bottom lip and drawing out ragged moans from his boyfriend.

He continues to open Sherlock up for a few minutes longer until Sherlock starts pulling on his arm, signalling his impatience at John not moving things along fast enough.

“This isn't going to be some fast and rough fuck, you know. I'm going to be slow and gentle with you so that means, if you've got some experiment to get back to then you better go now.”

“This isn't my first time, John but … I finally get to re-write with someone I truly care about and want to spend the rest of my life with.”

“Sher, that's ...”

“So, if you need your fix of tea any time soon you better go now, because I personally don't plan on leaving this bed until we've had at least two rounds.

“God, I should have known you'd be a filthy one, although I always suspected you would be an animal in the bedroom.” John smirks, leaning down to bite Sherlock's collarbone again.

The resulting moan that the younger man makes would have been enough for him to rip Sherlock's clothes off, if he wasn't already naked and lying under him that is.

“Before we do this, I need to tell you something …”

“I know …”

“No, just let me say it, please. I need you to know that … I'm in love with you, Sherlock. I have been for a while and now just seemed like the right moment to say it. So, yeah.”

“I've always known, John. I was just waiting for you to act on it. And … I'm in love with you too so let's prove it, let's take the next step.”

“Right.” John replies, remembering where he is.

John lubes himself up thoroughly, lining himself up to Sherlock's entrance and pushing in slowly.

Sherlock moans softly and his eyes slide shut as he blindly reaches for John.

“I'm right here, angel.” John smiles, leaning forward and causing himself to slide deeper into Sherlock.

Sherlock's face contorts at the extra stretch and John quickly apologises to his boyfriend.

“I'm sorry, baby. I'll be more careful.”

Sherlock shakes his head in response, sliding down and forcing John deeper.

“Stop that. I could do serious damage to you.”

“Better now. Needed … more.” Sherlock replies, finally opening his eyes and looking at John.

“Bloody idiot. I thought I'd hurt you.” John chuckles lightly, leaning down to kiss the younger man.

“You could never hurt me. It's yourself you should worry about.” Sherlock replies honestly, looking into John's eyes.

“We've been there and done that already. Let's focus on the future instead. And in your future, I see me making love to you for a few hours and then we either get dinner at Angelo's or order a take away, is that alright with you?” John replies, kissing Sherlock's forehead.

“Show me just how much you're in love me and make love to me properly, then we'll discuss the semantics of dinner.”

John pulls out slowly and pushes back in, watching Sherlock's face as he moans softly.

John continues to go slowly, kissing Sherlock lazily and watching as the younger man surrenders himself to John; body, soul and heart.

“I love you.” John whispers, nuzzling his nose against Sherlock's as he continues to move in and out of him.

John.” Sherlock purrs, shifting his head to gently nibble on John's bottom lip.

The nibbling slowly turns into lazy kissing which slowly turns more heated as John starts to speed up.

Sherlock has a moment of panic that John's remembered their earlier argument and then he himself remembers that they never came up with a safeword.

“John.” Sherlock whispers in a panicked tone.

John immediately stops, “Too much? Sorry, I thought that …”

“I thought your anger from before had come back.” Sherlock replies softly.

“No, angel. Sorry, it's my fault, I thought you wanted more. I must have read you wrong.”

Sherlock relaxes and smiles at his boyfriend, “No, I should have trusted you.”

“Do you want to stop? We can do this when that argument isn't fresh in our heads.”

“No, I trust you. Carry on, please. And John … go back to what you were doing before.” Sherlock smiles, leaning up and kissing John.

“Okay.”

John speeds up slowly, kissing Sherlock deeply before moving to his neck to bite and suck at the flesh.

Sherlock moans louder, dragging his nails down John's side and leaving his own claim in his boyfriend's skin.

“Fuck, Sher. Don't stop doing that, please. In fact, go harder. Make me yours.”

“Oh, John. I think I'm going to ...” Sherlock gasps breathlessly, shifting his legs to lock his ankles with John's.

“Go on. You don't need to hold back with me, angel. Let it go.” John moans into Sherlock's neck, his hand reaching up to gently pull on the younger man's curls.

“JOHN.” Sherlock yells to the ceiling, orgasming between them.

John goes faster as he chases his own orgasm, the stickiness of Sherlock's release between them bringing him closer to the edge.

“God, Sher, you are … you're just so …” John mumbles, as he rides out his orgasm.

He pulls out slowly and collapses next to Sherlock, looking over at him as though he's some sort of wonder.

He turns Sherlock's face to look at him and smiles.

“Beautiful.” He sighs happily and breathlessly, “ You're beautiful, my angel.”

Sherlock rolls over and rests his head on John's chest, “For the record, that's what I wanted from my first time. Protection, safety and love.” He whispers, kissing John's chest.

John remains silent to process this rare moment of vulnerability and honesty and files it away in his head, promising to bring it back to the forefront of his mind when he and Sherlock next argue.

“That should be our vows one day. Not about the first time but the rest of it.” John muses to himself, not expecting Sherlock's reply.

“Yes, one day.”

 

Chapter Text

“I need your help, John.” Sherlock announces, looking up at John.

“Alright, what can I do?” John asks with a smile, sitting down in his chair.

“Well, would you kill for someone you love?”

“Well, if I had no choice and it was to protect the people I love then yes, I suppose I would.” John replies confidently.

“Thank you.”

“Alright, so what was that about?”

“This latest case. A woman murdered her husband to protect her daughter.”

“Wait, what happened to her daughter?”

“The bruises on the little girl's body suggest she was beaten repeatedly, over a course of four years.”

“How … how old is she?” John stammers, trying not to get angry.

“Seven.” Sherlock replies, not bothering to look up.

After a few minutes of silence, Sherlock looks over at John and sees the clenched fists of the older man.

“Are you alright, John?”

“Mm, yeah, I'm fine.” John replies distractedly, taking deep breaths.

“Cases involving children always get you upset. Is there anything I can do? Do you want to sit this one out?” Sherlock asks gently, walking over to John.

“No! No, I wanna stop this woman getting locked up for protecting her daughter.” John says with a slight edge to his voice, looking up at Sherlock.

“Alright.” Sherlock nods, resting his hand on John's shoulder before walking back to his desk.

“What can we do?”

“We can stop her getting thrown into prison for protecting her daughter.” Sherlock replies, tapping away on the keyboard of his laptop.

In the end, Sherlock and John manage to stop the mother from being locked up. As it turns out, it wasn't just a crime of passion, the mother was defending herself and her daughter. She hit him with a small stone statue a little harder than intended and accidentally killed him.

Thankfully, the prosecution found the mother innocent of murder and; taking into account the evidence of abuse to her and her daughter, let the woman go. It caused quite an uproar with the press that she didn't get a sentence but all in all, John is glad she wasn't sent to prison.

“The case turned out quite well, don't you think, John?” Sherlock beams, sitting down on the couch.

“Yeah, it did.” John smiles back, truly elated that the mother and daughter will have a better life now.

“I'm surprised that the mother didn't get any jail time but really, I'm very glad. She didn't deserve to go to prison when there was a man like that around.”

John looks up in surprise and smiles softly.

“What?”

“Just you. Being all human and caring about a family for once.”

“Yes, well. I am capable of being sympathetic at times, John.”

“I know, love. It's just nice to see it.” John replies, walking over and sitting down next to Sherlock.

“I know it's unusual, John. But please, try not to sound so surprised.”

“Shut up.” John grins, leaning over to kiss Sherlock's cheek. “Anyway, I'm going to bed, love. I'll see you in the morning.”

“Goodnight, John.”

“Goodnight, Sherlock.”

x..x

Two days pass and another case comes in, taking up three weeks of John and Sherlock's life. The two men settle into a routine of solving crimes; locking up murderers, rapists, drug dealers etc.

Eleven months come and go by since John first moved in to Baker Street and he feels more alive than he has in a long time; and it's all thanks to Sherlock.

“You love this, don't you?” Sherlock asks with a smirk, looking over the table at John.

“Would I sound mad if I said yes?” John grins, sipping his tea.

“Completely.”

“Then yeah, I do.” John chuckles, causing Sherlock to laugh along with him.

“I never thought there'd be any one I could share this with. And then a short, thrill-seeking army doctor walked into my life.” Sherlock smirks at John.

“Oi, cheeky shit.” John smirks back, kicking Sherlock under the table.

Sherlock laughs manically, picking up his cup and heading to the kitchen.

“Being short has it's advantages.” He replies as he returns, “Mainly being that you make me look taller.” He grins.

“Any more of that and I'll get Lestrade to give you some truly boring cases.”

John.” Sherlock whines, pouting at his friend.

“Then behave.” John warns, standing up and disappearing to the bathroom.

Sherlock smiles shyly as he sits down in front of his laptop, checking his emails and looking for clients.

As he hears John exit the bathroom and go up to his room to get changed, Sherlock decides to ring their favourite Chinese take away, feeling hungry for once and knowing John probably is as well.

The doorbell rings ten minutes later as John is heading down from his room and he goes down to the stairs to answer it; knowing Sherlock probably won't bother.

“Take away for Sherlock.” A younger man announces as John opens the door.

“Oh, yes. Thank you, Jay. How much is it?” John asks in surprise.

“It's already paid for, Doctor Watson.” Jay replies with a smile, handing the bag over to the older man.

“Here's a tip then.” John smiles, handing a five pound note over to Jay.

“Thanks, Doctor Watson.” Jay beams brightly, taking the money.

“I've told you to … never mind. Have a good night, Jay.” John laughs, rolling his eyes.

“Thanks, you too.” Jay grins as he practically bounces away from the door.

John laughs at the younger man and shuts the front door, heading back upstairs.

“You ordered Chinese?” John asks the younger man.

“Yes, problem?” Sherlock asks, raising an eyebrow at John.

“Not at all, love.” The older man smiles, dropping a kiss onto Sherlock's curls.

Sherlock coughs to hide his blush, accepting the tray of food from John.

The pair eat in comfortable silence until they're finished and Sherlock picks up his violin to play.

John listens to Sherlock play until his eyes start to drift close and then suddenly he's woken up by Sherlock shaking his shoulder.

“Go to bed, John. You're falling asleep.”

“Oh, sorry.”

“Not a problem. Take my bed if you're too tired to head upstairs.”

“Okay, thanks, Sher.” John smiles sleepily, stretching his back before getting up and kissing Sherlock's cheek. “Night, Sherlock.”

“Goodnight, John.” Sherlock replies, feeling his cheeks heat as John walks away.

 

Chapter Text

John wakes the following morning to find a tall, lanky detective wrapped around him tightly; snoring softly in his ear.

Desperately needing to relieve himself but unwilling to disturb the rare situation happening next to him, John tries not to think too much about needing to pee but as Sherlock snuggles closer, a new problem arises; quite literally.

The army doctor sighs to himself and carefully tries to untangle himself from Sherlock; subtly trying not to draw attention to his body's reaction to Sherlock's closeness. Of course, he fails miserably as Sherlock's hand brushes his erection and John involuntarily moans; waking the sleeping detective.

“M'ning.” Sherlock rumbles sleepily, making the situation worse.

By this point, John has two choices; try to escape without Sherlock noticing or just be upfront about the situation. He chooses the latter as he is currently in bed with the World's Only Consulting Detective.

“Sherlock, I need to get up and piss. And well, deal with myself. So, could you move, please?”

For a millisecond, Sherlock looks confused until his hand twitches again and John barely holds back a moan.

“Oh, right. Well, it's been a while but I'm sure I remember the mechanics of it.” Sherlock smiles, sitting up and looking down at John.

“Wait, what? Did you just offer to … That wasn't a request or a hint, Sherlock. That was me being polite. You don't have to do that. I can manage myself.” John replies, trying to be delicate about it.

“I'm sure you can, John. But wouldn't it be more pleasurable with my help?”

“Oh, for fuck's sake.” John practically whimpers, throwing his hand over his eyes.

“Would it not?” Sherlock asks in confusion.

“No. Well, yes, but we haven't got to that point yet. We're still trying to work out how we work, Sher.” John replies softly, looking up at the detective.

“Well, obviously we work very well together. We've already had sex so what else do we need to work out?” Sherlock asks, rolling his eyes.

John laughs at the absurdity of the situation, realising that once again Sherlock is right about everything.

“Yes, but having sex and giving someone a blow job are too very different things.”

“How? They're both sexual acts.”

“Yes, but … I'm not going to win this, am I? And it's probably a waste of time arguing with you about it, isn't it?”

“Obviously, John.”

“Okay then, are you sure you're comfortable doing this? Because if you're not then that's fine. But I don't want you doing it because you think you have to. I won't force you to do anything you're not comfortable with because ...”

"John, you're still arguing. I could have had you moaning for about … three and a half minutes by now.” Sherlock replies, smirking at the older man.

“Well then, put that mouth to good use then if you think you're so good.” John challenges, which probably isn't the best idea he's ever had given Sherlock's smirk.

Sherlock leans over John and whispers in his ear, “Hurry up in the bathroom. I'll be waiting.”

John jumps up so fast, he's pretty sure he probably threw Sherlock out of bed and quickly tries to relieve himself while having a raging erection.

He's sure he manages quite successfully and even manages to aim properly but with the promise of what's to come, he wouldn't bet money on his success.

John re-enters the bedroom to find a dishevelled and very interested consulting detective waiting for him; looking up at him with pupils blown wide and a seductive smirk.

“God, you're gorgeous.” John smiles, climbing back onto the bed.

“That's usually how you'd talk someone into your bed, not to someone who's already in it.” Sherlock grins, leaning over John.

“Well, as we're in your bed, how did you manage to get me here?” John chuckles, leaning up to kiss Sherlock.

“Originally, I do recall it was by destroying one of your jumpers. Last night, all I had to do was offer you an easier way to sleep.”

“Ah, ever the romantic, aren't you?”

“That's your job, not mine. Mine is to be dashing and irresistible.” Sherlock replies with a smirk, shuffling down the bed.

“That's true.” John sighs as Sherlock's hand brushes against his erection again.

Sherlock quickly pulls off John's pants and boxers, leaning back down to lick a stripe up John's cock. John moans at the action and reaches down to stroke Sherlock's curls, gently encouraging him.

Sherlock  repeats the action before taking John fully into his mouth and beginning to slowly move his head up and down.

“That's it, Sher.” John moans softly, continuing to stroke Sherlock's curls.

The older man grips the sheets, moaning loudly and trying not to thrust into the younger man's mouth. But as Sherlock practically purrs around his partner's cock, John instinctively thrusts into his mouth.

Sherlock speeds up slightly, reaching up to scratch John's chest and the doctor is startled that that's all it takes before he's orgasming down the younger man's throat.

Sherlock wipes his mouth before crawling back up to lie next to John, his hair even more ruffled thanks to John's hands.

“Well, that was embarrassingly quick.” John chuckles, running his fingers through Sherlock's hair.

“Actually, given how worked up you were and with my talents, I estimate it was longer than expected.”

“God, I love you, you mad idiot.” John laughs, rolling over to kiss his partner.

Sherlock rolls John onto his back and they continue to kiss lazily for a while until the sound of Sherlock's phone interrupts their sanctuary of quiet.

“Go on, it's probably a case. I'll get myself cleaned up and dressed.” John smiles reassuringly, sitting up and stretching.

Sherlock grins and all but runs from the room, quickly snatching up his phone and answering it.

“What is it, Lestrade?”

Chapter Text

“Just so we’re clear, you’re sure about this? Because it’s a big responsibility, Sherlock. You can’t walk into lightly.” John asks unsurely, trying to process what his partner is suggesting.

“John, I’ve done the research and I’ve got the application forms right here.” Sherlock replies, handing over the stack of papers.

“Children take a lot of work, Sherlock. You can’t just stick a child in the corner and hope they feed themselves. When I go to work, you’ll have to look after him or her.” John replies, sitting forward in his chair.

“I know that, John.” Sherlock sighs, rolling his eyes and lying down on the couch.

“You barely feed yourself, Sherlock.”

“I thought this is what you would want, John.”

John sighs softly and walks over to his partner, sitting down on the edge of couch and running his hand through his curls.

“Of course I want to start a family with you, Sher. I just don’t want it to become a strain on our relationship. We go out chasing criminals all the time. We’re barely home some days because we’re on stake outs or running through the city. So you can understand my concern. I just don’t want a child to interfere with your work.”

Our work, John. And we can work around the work, can’t we?”

“Of course we can but … it’s just a lot to take on, that’s all. I’m worried you’ll end up regretting it.”

“Of course I won’t.” Sherlock snaps, sitting up and grabbing John’s arms. “I want to have a family with you. I see how you look at all the other people walking around with children and I know you want that. Of course I can’t bear a child for you, but there are so many that need a home.”

“I know, love. But when we got in a relationship together I knew having a child might not happen. Of course, I’d like to be a dad but I love you and that isn’t going to change, Angel.”

“But John …”

“Let’s sit and think about this rationally first. Give it a week and we’ll see if this is still something you want to do. If it is, then we’ll make plans to prepare for it.” John replies softly, kissing Sherlock’s forehead.

x..x

One Week Later

John is on his way home from work after a long day of dealing with colds and coughs when it happens …

The force of the impact isn’t what paralyzes him with fear; it’s the noise and the screaming that follows it.

The worst part is, he’s a doctor and he fought in Afghanistan; if anything, a bomb on the tube shouldn’t scare him. But it’s been so long since he was in Afghanistan and he’s so far from there that it’s completely unexpected and terrifying. And what scares him even more is that he should have been on the tube but he’s running late. If he hadn’t have left his phone at work and had to go back for it, he’d have been on the very train that just exploded.

Before John even realises it, he’s running towards the subway; shouting to bystanders to call for emergency services and bomb squad while he tries to assess the damage and if he can get down to the subway safely. Slowly, he tries to navigate down the steps to help find survivors and take a better look at the damage. He loses his balance as he trips on rubble but quickly regains his footing, listening for any signs of life.

He hears a woman sobbing and follows the sound, carefully stepping over chunks of rubble and the mangled remains of those who were clearly too close to the bomb to survive. As he passes by more people; checking for signs of life, he starts to wish he hadn’t let his phone battery die because now he can’t ring for assistance or even call Sherlock.

He finds a small child and manages to carefully pull her out from under her dead mother; she’s got scratches across her face and a sprained ankle but seems relatively unharmed. John realises that her mother is lying next to what used to be the wall of one of the subway entrances and managed to shield her daughter from the worst of the blast.

“Hey, can you tell me your name?” He asks the child, who seems to be in a severe state of shock and completely unresponsive.

When she doesn’t answer, John gently guides her face towards his own to stop her eyes from wandering and help her to focus.

“Hey, sweetheart. What’s your name?” He asks softly, careful not to frighten her.

“Beth … Bethany.” She whispers, turning to look around her again.

“Bethany, we need to get you out of here. Okay? Police officers are on their way so let’s go over to the steps, yeah?”

She nods but makes no attempt to move so John carefully directs her back to the steps just as Lestrade and members of his team come down into the subway.

“John, are you alright?” Lestrade gasps, running over to his friend.

“Yeah, I missed the tube. Found this one under … um, can I get a paramedic over here, please?” John calls, waiting until Bethany has been taken away by the paramedics before he continues speaking, “I found her underneath the body of her mother. I’m not sure she realises yet. She’s in serious shock.”

“Yeah, she’s bound to be. So you acting as doctor and first responder then?”

“Looks like it. Oh, text Sherlock for me, please. My phone’s dead and he probably expected me to be on the tube.”

Just as Lestrade pulls out his mobile, the men hear Sherlock’s yelling from the surface.

“John! John!” Sherlock yells, running down the steps.

“Sherlock, be careful, you’ll break your bloody neck.” John calls, watching his partner stumble over rubble.

“John.” Sherlock sighs in relief, grabbing John’s face and kissing him.

John sways slightly before gently gripping Sherlock’s coat and kissing him back.

“I thought … John. I …”

“I know, love. I missed the tube. My battery died so I couldn’t text you. Sorry for worrying you, Angel.”

Sherlock huffs in response, pulling John into his arms and burying his face in his neck.

Around them, Lestrade is directing paramedics and police officers to various parts of the scene, giving the pair a moment of privacy.

Sherlock finally pulls away and collects himself, looking at the scene around them and at what could have cost him his partner.

“I’ll consult with Lestrade about this. It could be just the beginning.” The detective replies, scanning for every detail.

John is glad for the distraction; relieved that they’ll be able to be of assistance in this situation.

“I’m gonna help check for survivors. You get any details you can into that mind palace of yours.” John replies, knowing Sherlock is barely registering his presence as he processes the scene.

John nods once and kisses Sherlock’s cheek, heading off to help the paramedics search for survivors.

Sherlock smiles softly as John walks away, finally fully submerging himself into his mind palace now that he’s certain John is unharmed.

“Anything I can do to help? I’m an army medic and used to dealing with this sort of thing.” John asks one of the paramedics.

“Yeah, that would be great. We could use all hands on deck right now.” The paramedic smiles gratefully, directing John to help him lift a large chunk of rubble.

Together they carefully lift the chunk of rubble, finding an elderly man trapped underneath; barely conscious.

“Sir, can you tell me your name?” The paramedic asks carefully, checking the man’s breathing and pulse.

The man gasps and coughs in reply, clutching his chest as he struggles to breathe.

“It’s alright, we’re going to get you out of here.” The paramedic reassures the elderly man. “Stretcher over here!” He calls to another paramedic.

Two paramedics carefully come rushing over with a stretcher, laying it down and slowly sliding it under the man; John and the other paramedic carefully manoeuvring the man onto it.

The paramedics fix an oxygen mask to the man’s face, strap him onto the stretcher and then carefully carry him away.

“So you were first on the scene?” The paramedic asks John, as they move around the ruined subway.

“Yeah, I was actually supposed to be on the tube when it happened. Was running late home from work.”

“Bloody hell, someone was looking down on you then.” The paramedic chuckles dryly, kneeling down to check the pulse of an elderly woman. “Well, that’s another death to add to the list.” He sighs sadly, standing back up.

“Yeah, I’d like to hope there’s less but it doesn’t look good.” John replies, checking a young man near the dead woman.

He shakes his head as he finds no sign of a pulse and the broken neck of the kid who’s probably no older than seventeen.

After three hours, the list of the dead is so long with the majority of the dead being aged between twelve and twenty-one; that John sighs sadly at the loss of so many young lives and how things could have been so different if he’d been on that train.

He’s sitting down on a bench on the street near the subway, his head in his hands as he tries to breathe in something other than the stench of death when Sherlock walks over to him; his hand rubbing gently at John’s neck.

John’s hands drop to his sides as he relishes in the touch of the younger man, calming his nerves and providing him a new smell to process; something purely Sherlock.

Sherlock steps closer as he recognises John’s need for comfort and allows John to rest his head against his hip; continuing to rub his partner’s neck.

“Go home, you two. Get some rest.” Lestrade says, rubbing a hand through his silver hair.

“You should as well, Lestrade. It’s been a long day for everyone.” Sherlock replies, not looking at the D.I.

“Got some paperwork to do first but yeah, it has.” Lestrade sighs, patting Sherlock’s shoulder. “Good work today, John. You’ve been a life-saver, literally.”

John nods slightly in reply, standing up and stretching his aching muscles.

“Tell my brother not to start a war over this. Even if he does care greatly for John.” Sherlock replies dryly, causing John to smile just a little.

“How did you … never mind.” Lestrade chuckles, walking off towards his team.

“Lestrade and Mycroft?” John asks in surprise, chuckling to himself.

“Yes, for quite some time now. Not that they thought I knew.” Sherlock replies in distaste, directing John to walk the opposite direction.

“It’s killing you, isn’t it? Those two being together.” John smirks, looking smugly at his partner.

“Of course it isn’t. They’re adults, what they do in their private time is nothing to do with me.”

“Bollocks. You’re just mad because that means that someone finds your brother attractive and actually wants to be in his company.” John laughs.

“Why would I care?” Sherlock sniffs in annoyance.

“Because it means you were wrong. Your brother isn’t as repulsive as you make out.”

“Wrong? I’m never wrong. It’s Lestrade who’s wrong. He thinks my brother is capable of loving something other than his power.”

“That’s crap and you know it, Sher.”

“Yes, well, can we not talk about my brother and Lestrade?”

“Sorry, Angel.” John replies, grinning at his partner.

“We have more important things to talk about. Adoption for starters.” Sherlock replies, grabbing John’s hand.

“Yeah, I suppose we do.” John smiles, squeezing Sherlock’s hand.

Chapter Text

I just want to say apologies to everyone reading this story as I just realised that I haven't updated in a while.

First of all, please be patient with me as I haven't given up on this story. Since last time I updated, I gave birth to my daughter and have since been preoccupied with her and therefore haven't had the time to sit down and write.

Secondly, on the note of writing, my laptop recently crapped out on me and the screen is completely dead now. But I've recently bought a tablet so I should be updating ASAP.

Thirdly, for those of you who live outside the UK, you may or may not be aware that on Monday 22nd May there was a bombing in the city of Manchester; only a few miles away from me.

As my last chapter included a bombing incident, I'm finding it hard to read the chapter in order to remind myself what I was going to write next, especially as a friend of mine was at the concert were the bombing occurred. He wasn't injured thankfully but there were a lot of deaths including children. As a mother this makes it difficult to deal with even though my child wasn't involved.

I will update soon but I need time to process and to consider what I'm going to do for the next chapter. This may involve writing chapters for other stories first until I can manage to come back to this one.

Thank you for your patience and for reading/reviewing this story, it means a lot to me.

PrettyKitty93 xxxx

Chapter Text

"Morning, John.'' Sherlock greets with a smile as John walks into their living room.

''Morning, love.'' John smiles back, walking over to kiss Sherlock softy. ''Did you get any sleep last night?''

''I was busy doing an experiment.''

''Sherlock, if you're serious about adopting then you need to get a better sleeping pattern. You can't be awake at all hours when we finally have a child, it will only disrupt them.''

''But John, the work.'' Sherlock replies, waving a case file to emphasise his point.

''Yes, I know, Sherlock. That's why I said we can't go into this lightly. If you can't adjust your work around a child then we just won't be able to adopt.'' John says gently, boiling the kettle and making up to cups of tea.

''But you want a child more than anything.'' Sherlock cries desperately, stepping up behind John and grabbing his shoulders to turn him around.

''No, love. I told you, I want you. And if we can't have a child then we can't have one. It's as simple as that. I'd rather miss out on something I don't have then lose something I already have. I love you, Sherlock. You know that. If that's all I can have then I will gladly take it and cherish every moment I have with you. Regardless of if we have a child or not.'' John replies softly, stroking Sherlock's curls to reassure him.

''I would do anything to make you happy, John. I love you too. And if you want a child then I will do whatever it takes.''

John smiles at his partner with all the love he feels in his heart, "I'm so lucky to have you, Sher."

"No, John. I'm lucky to have you." Sherlock replies, leaning down to kiss his army doctor.

"Listen, I'm gonna meet up with Harry today. Last week made me realise the importance of family and about second chances. I was lucky I wasn't on the tube when that bomb exploded and I need to make things right now. I need my sister back in my life, despite her past."

"I understand, John. Tell her I said hi."

"Really?" John asks in disbelief.

"Well, you're hardly going to tell her I asked if she's still an irresponsible alcoholic, are you?" Sherlock smiles, making his way back to the living room.

"Sherlock." John warns, finishing off the cups of tea.

"Have fun." Sherlock calls back.

"Dickhead." John mutters with a smile, shaking his head.

x..x

“Hey, Harry, are you still up for meeting me? Okay, see you soon.” John replies before hanging up.

John makes his way to the nearest café, ready to make amends with his sister after so many years apart.

“Hey, Harry. Thanks for meeting me. How are you?” John asks politely, sitting down at the table across from his sister.

“I'm alright, yeah. I'm off the booze now. Oh, me and Clara are going strong too. Anyway, how are you doing, little brother?” Harry asks with a big smile.

“I'm great. Yeah, well, more than great actually.”

“Oh yeah? Tell me everything, what's she like then?” Harry chuckles, playfully kicking him under the table.

“Who?"

“There's only one reason you'd be smiling like that and it's either because you had sex or there's a woman in your life. So which is it?"

“Neither. Well, there is someone but not a woman.”

"Nooo, you like guys? God, mum's gonna love this. Both her kids are gay. Well, at least she'll get both a son in law and daughter in law, just not the way she expected it to be." Harry giggles, playfully slapping John's arm.

"That's the thing though, I don't know if I do like men or if it's just Sherlock."

"Sherlock? Wait, the guy from your blog? From what I've read he's a right dickhead, why him? I mean, no offence, Johnny, but isn't he just a little be too high maintenance for you? After all, you dumped Emily because she was a Class A bitch."

"Harry, you don't see him the way I do. Everyone thinks he's an insufferable dick, and yeah, most of the time he is but sometimes ... Sometimes he's caring and loving. And he's just so insecure. He has a brilliant mind but also a gentle heart ..."

"Oh fuck, bro. You're in deep. You're in love with him, aren't you?" Harry replies softly, looking carefully at her younger brother.

"Yeah, I am, Harry. I've never felt like this before about somebody and now he wants us to have a kid too ..."

"Do it."

"What?"

"Do it. Have a kid. If you're in love with him then take that next step. If you want a family then have one. Now that you're officially out of the army, you can finally have that family you always wanted. You were always great with me, and we both know that I was supposed to be the older sibling.”

“Harry, I want to but there's so much to consider and Sherlock, he ... I think he'll have a hard time with a child. But he's willing to do anything so I get the chance to be a dad."

“Johnny, you love each other and I assume you want to spend the rest of your life with him, right? Well then, if you've really discussed it then go for it. Having a kid isn't easy, I know, but it isn't impossible. There are so many kids that need a loving home and I know that no matter what, you can give a child that."

John looks at her properly, trying to figure out what her angle is. But all he gets is honesty and complete support. She also looks good too, John notices with pride. She doesn't twitch from alcohol withdrawal anymore and her face looks a nice shade of pink from the cold. She looks like old Harry did when they were kids.

“So you're going to support us with this?” John asks with a smile.

"Of course I will, Johnny. Just... Uh... So long as you support us, me and Clara I mean."

"Of course I will but you've got to tell me what's going on, Harry."

"Well, me and Clara... We are gonna adopt a kid too. We've already started the process, we just have to wait for the all go."

"Harry, that's fantastic. I'm so proud of you." John beams at his sister, truly happy that everything is working out for her now.

“Thanks, little bro. Now as someone who is already going through this, remember one thing, adopt a child because you want someone to love and take care of. Your main weakness is that you need to be needed, John. But in the right circumstance, it can also be your strength. Isn't that why you joined the army? To be needed to help people? Well, you still can. And I know it probably doesn't count for much but, I think you'll be an amazing dad.”

“Harriet Watson, that means the world to me. God, why didn't we do this sooner? We've missed out on so much." John smiles, grasping his sister's hand.

“We both needed to sort ourselves out, John. You needed to leave the army behind completely and at that time you couldn't. As for me, I needed to get through my alcohol addiction. But I blame, this right now, on Clara. That woman's changed me, John. She really has. We've had our issues but she's never given up on me. I'm a better person because of her." Harry smiles back, squeezing her little brother's hand.

Me too John thinks to himself, remembering how Sherlock changed his life for the better. 

“Well, remind me to thank her.”

“Come over on Friday and you can. She's cooking tea for us. She really wants to meet you, John. Hell, you can even invite Sherlock too, after all, I've got to give him 'the talk', don't I?"

“Alright. Friday. We'll be there.” John grins.

“Good.”

Chapter Text

"So you're sure about this, right?'' John asks carefully as they leave 221B.

''Yes, John. I am very sure about this.'' Sherlock replies in an exasperated tone.

'' I just want to make sure, Sher. Children are...''

''A big responsibility. Yes, I know, John. But I've already told you, I want to have a family with you.''

''Okay then.'' John replies with a smile.

John and Sherlock walk into the orphanage and are just looking around for someone when an older woman walks up to them with a bright smile.

“Doctor Watson and Mr Holmes, I presume.”

“John, please. And this is Sherlock.” John smiles back, holding a hand out for her to shake.

“Nice to meet you, John, Sherlock. I'm Kate Willows, the Governess. Well, we don't get many army doctors and consulting detectives coming here, it's a bit of a surprise.” The woman replies, shaking John's hand before motioning for the two men to follow.

''Surely an army doctor isn't that rare but of course you have never had a consulting Detective here. I'm the one and only.'' Sherlock replies with a sneer.

John elbows him in the ribs and shoots him a dirty look.

“Governess? I didn't realise that's what you still called yourself.” John chuckles lightly, trying to change the subject and following Kate into her office.

“Ah, I'm the only one who keeps the title really. I've been the Governess for over thirty years. We're very traditional here. My great grandmother set up this orphanage back in the old days. She didn't like the word 'nanny' so she called herself Governess Kathrine instead, and it's been tradition since.” Kate replies animatedly, pointing to various photographs on the walls.

“Wow, so family run place then. Nice.”

“Oh yes. Kathrine was quite the care-giver, couldn't cope seeing children on the streets. She had a good heart.”

“I bet she did.” John agrees with a nod and a soft smile.

Sherlock mutters something under his breath causing John to shoot him yet another dirty look and sit down at the desk.

“Yes, anyway, down to business, Doctor Watson, Mr Holmes. Obviously, we need a couple who are good with children and can provide a steady and loving home. So, from what I can see neither of you have a criminal record and you both have a steady income. Which is a hopeful sign.” Kate smiles again, quirking an eyebrow under the silver framed glasses. “Now, if you'd like to come with me and meet the children.”

John smiles softly and nudges Sherlock to respond, to which the younger man smiles awkwardly and stands.

“Of course.”

x..x

John sits with the children for half an hour under the supervision of Governess Kate while Sherlock, on the other hand sits in a corner, smiling softly as he watches John interact with the children around him.

''John, Sherlock, I just need to talk to some potential foster parents for about 30 minutes. Another carer will be here any moment."

“No problem, I'm sure we'll be fine. Won't we, kids?” John beams at the children.

They cheer in unison before going back to playing with their toys.

A little boy with dark curls and abnormally pale skin is the only child sitting quietly in the corner, reading a book. John looks at him and his heart stutters in his chest; he's so much like Sherlock it's unreal. He looks back at his partner and sees that he's currently pre-occupied with studying the books on the shelf; no doubt mentally critiquing them as 'boring' or 'predictable'.

“Hi, what's your name?” John asks carefully as he approaches the little boy.

The little boy looks up and he has the brightest blue/green eyes John has ever seen.

He eyes John warily before whispering, “Caden.”

“Hi, Caden. I'm John.” John replies, sitting down in front of the boy.

“John.” Caden replies simply, before looking back down at his book.

“What are you reading?”

“A Midsummer Night's Dream.”

“I've read that one. It's a good book, isn't it?” John asks with a bright smile.

Caden looks up warily and when he sees John's genuine interest, nods excitedly, showing John the book.

“Where are you up to?”

“Helena and Hermia in the forest.” Caden replies with a smile.

John moves over to sit next to Caden and the next twenty minutes are spent helping the little boy understand the more difficult words.

Unnoticed by John, Sherlock watches the pair interact the whole time and feels a lump in his throat at how natural John is with the child.

A carer enters the room and sits with the other children but Sherlock pays her no attention beyond the facts; single, two cats, late twenties, loves children, had to get the bus to work - boring, ordinary and predictable.

Caden and John are just finishing the book when John hears his name being called by a familiar voice.

“Johnny!”

“Harry, hey.”

''Oh good, the alcoholic sister. We finally meet.'' Sherlock drawls, standing up to look at John's sister.

“Hey, little brother. Ah, and the famous Sherlock Holmes. Nice to meet you, Sherlock.” Harry smiles with a far too fake smile.

''Ah, the infamous Harry Watson. How's the alcoholism?''

''Sherlock!'' John snaps at the younger man, fixing him with his 'not good' look.

''Apologies, Harry.'' Sherlock replies, offering a hand to the younger woman.

''Must have hurt sucking up your pride like that, huh? You must really love my brother.'' Harry replies with a smirk, shaking Sherlock's outstretched hand.

''Could you two just try and get along?'' John sighs, shaking his head at the pair.

''I'm sure we'll try.'' Harry replies, turning back to face John. ''So what have you two been up to?''

“Me and Caden here were just reading A Midsummer Night's Dream. Weren't we, Caden?”

Caden nods excitedly, smiling brightly at Harry.

“It's a good book.” Harry agrees, before looking back at Caden, “How are you, Caden?”

“I'm fine, thank you, Harry.” The little boy replies, smiling at Harry.

“Have I missed something?” John chuckles, looking at his sister.

“I told you that me and Clara were thinking of adopting, right? Well, when we saw Caden, we just knew … Um, come over here, Johnny.” Harry replies, helping John up onto his feet.

She pulls him out of ear shot before continuing, “Clara fell in love with him the minute she saw him. She said he's the most beautiful little boy she's ever seen. So, we're thinking of adopting him. But it's still a work in progress. That's why we haven't told him yet. But if you're bonding with him then ...”

“Harry, don't be silly. If you want to adopt him, then do it. I'll have a lot more bonding time with him when you do. Besides, I was thinking of a little girl. I always wanted a little girl.” John smiles wistfully at his sister.

“Are you sure, John?”

“Harry, it's only been a day. How long have you and Clara spent with him, eh?”

“About seven months now.”

“Then adopt him. He's a bright little boy and deserves some love.” John says with a smile, touching his sister's arm.

“Oh, Johnny. You're gonna be a great dad.” Harry cries happily, hugging her brother tight.

“Thanks, sis.” John replies, hugging her back.

“I'll go tell Clara.” Harry grins before running off to find her partner. “Oh, Johnny, thank you.” She calls back from the door.

“You're welcome, Harry.” John calls back, grinning widely at her.

“John. John, what's going on?” Caden asks softly, tugging on John's jeans.

John crouches down until he's at eye level with the little boy before replying, “I think, your day is about to get better, Caden.”

Caden looks at John in confusion before looking back at where Harry was stood.

“I don't understand.”

“You will, trust me.” John smiles, patting Caden's head gently. "Come on, Sherlock. Time to go."

"Goodbye, Caden. Enjoy the rest of your book." Sherlock says, genuinely smiling at the child.

John looks at his partner with Caden and smiles softly; he'd never realised how good with children his partner was.

Sherlock gently ruffles the boy's mess of curls before grabbing John's hand as the pair walk out into the hallway.

"John, why didn't you tell him that your sister is going to adopt him?" Sherlock asks when they're out of earshot.

"Because it's not my place to, Sherlock. Besides, it will be better coming from them." John replies carefully, looking over at his sister and Clara.

The pair fall into a comfortable silence as they reach the office of Governess Kate.

She leads them into her office and all three sit down at the desk, ready to discuss the next step in the adoption process. 

“Thank you for coming here, gentlemen. So, how was it? Are you still considering adopting from our home?" Kate asks the two men with a smile.

“It was good, yeah. Um, we'll have to discuss it more but I'm sure the plan is still the same, right Sherlock?"

"Yes, very much so. It will mean some adjustments to our lifestyle and home but we can make it work." Sherlock smiles, leaning towards John just a little.

“Aww. Well, we're glad. If you do change your mind however, let us know. Obviously our main priority is rehoming the children in safe and loving environments. And if potential foster parents are unable to provide that then that means a child's welfare is going to be at stake."

"We understand that. And I know I'm not at liberty to say anything but if Harriet Watson needs referees then we'd be willing to step forward to support her and Clara."

"As her brother, I will say this, we were worried when we first saw Harriet. She looked a little worse for wear. But after seeing the way she and Clara were with Caden, there was no mistaking were he belonged. He was a difficult case when he came in. The poor lad was only three when he was dropped off on our doorstep, and he rarely opened up to anybody. I think other than myself; you two, Harriet and Clara are the only ones who ever made him open up to somebody. I still can't believe it only took you two half an hour.” Kate replies with a proud smile, touching John's hand.

“Yeah, me too. He's a very bright little boy and we had something in common.”

“Oh?”

“His book, A Midsummer Night's Dream. I read it when I was younger too. I re-read it when I went into the army so it's still relatively fresh in my mind. Reading it with Caden took me back to when Harry used to read it to me.”

“Aww. Well, I'm glad he'll have a couple of familiar faces around him. Lord knows that boy needs some stability in his life after what he went through.”

“Yeah, he's only seven after all. Poor kid. But I know for certain that my sister and Clara will take good care of him.”

“Of course, well, I've got to get the children ready for tea, otherwise I'm afraid I'll talk all night.” Kate giggles, standing up from behind her desk, “I'll be in contact about your next appointment, gentlemen. Thank you for your time."

“Thank you, Kate.” John replies, standing up and shaking her hand.

"Yes, thank you, Kate. It's been very insightful." Sherlock replies with a smile, kissing Kate's hand.

“Oh no, thank you, gentlemen.” Kate smiles blushing a little.

She leads them out of her office before disappearing, when John sees a little girl stood in the doorway to another room.

“Oh, hello.” John says, smiling down at the little girl who's face is mainly covered by a teddy bear. “What's your name?”

“Harriet.” She mumbles into her teddy.

“Nice to meet you, Harriet. I'm John and this is Sherlock."

Sherlock smiles awkwardly at the child.

"Is that your teddy? What's his name?” John asks to cover up Sherlock's discomfort.

“Benny.” The little girl whispers, looking down at her teddy.

“That's a very nice name.” John nods, crouching down next to Harriet.

“Did you come to take someone home?” Harriet asks, looking back up at John.

“Well, yes if we can.”

“I saw you with Caden.” She replies, playing with her teddy's ears.

“Yeah, my sister is going to adopt him. He's … going to be very happy now. Are you two friends?”

Harriet nods in reply, squeezing her teddy tighter.

“Well, I can tell my sister and I'm sure she'll bring him round here to visit. Would you like that?”

Harriet looks up at John then Sherlock curiously before nodding.

“Alright then.”

“Harriet! Harriet! Has anyone one seen Harriet?” John hears Kate's voice shouting worriedly.

“Kate! She's down here!” John calls up the corridor.

“Oh, goodness. Harriet, you gave me such a fright. I was worried, dear.” Kate replies gently, touching the girl's head.

“We were just talking, weren't we, Harriet?”

Harriet nods in reply before holding a hand out for Kate.

“Sorry, Governess Kate.”

“It's alright, dear. Let's get you some tea, shall we?” Kate replies with a smile, grabbing hold of the little girl's hand.

“I swear, we'll make it out the door this time.” John jokes, standing up straight again.

Kate giggles in reply, patting his shoulder.

“Bye, John. Bye, Sherlock.” Harriet whispers, trying to wave with her teddy in her hand.

“Bye, Harriet.” John smiles, waving at her before Kate gently pulls her away to the dining room.

She disappears round the corner, still looking over her shoulder at the pair.

“Cute kid.” John says aloud, turning back to Sherlock.

"Yes, quite." Sherlock replies, grabbing John's hand and leading him out the door.

Chapter Text

For the next few days John and Sherlock visit the orphanage, the highlight being the children’s smiling faces as they walk through the door. Then John sits down to read them a story and little Harriet crawls into his lap every time while Sherlock sits to one side watching the pair.

Unfortunately though, the criminals of London don’t take vacations and the following three days sees the pair chasing after a murderer and solving yet another case.

“Are we going to see Harriet tomorrow?” Sherlock asks as the pair sit down to eat their Chinese.

“Well, I think we’ll have to. After all, we haven’t been to the orphanage in three days now and if we want to adopt a child then we’ll have to choose one, spend time with them then start sorting the paperwork out.” John replies, avoiding the mention of Harriet.

“You didn’t answer my question, John.”

“Yes, I did. You asked if we were going to the orphanage tomorrow. I said yes.”

“No, I asked if we were going to see Harriet tomorrow. You decided to avoid the question and speak in a general sense.” Sherlock replies with a smirk.

“Sherlock. Don’t get the girl’s hopes up for goodness sake. If we can’t adopt her for whatever reason, it will break her heart.”

“Who says we won’t be able to adopt her? I like her and you obviously felt an instant connection with her even after only spending a few minutes with her.”

“It’s not that simple, Sherlock. What if somebody else wants to adopt her?” John replies, eating a forkful of rice.

“Then ask her.” Sherlock says matter-of-factly.

John nearly chokes on his food as he realises what Sherlock has just said, “We can’t ask her if anyone else wants to adopt her, Sherlock. She’s a child. You don’t ask children that sort of question.”

“Then ask Kate.”

“Sherlock, be reasonable. We’ve not been able to go to the orphanage for three days because of a case. At this point I’m wondering if we’re even able to adopt a child.”

Sherlock’s fork clatters loudly into his bowl as he stares worriedly at John, “Don’t say that!” He shouts in the quiet of the flat.

“Sherlock, I’m just being realistic. I want a child with you, yes, but we’ve discussed this. I don’t need to have a child with you. I love …”

“Yes, you love me. And I love you too but I want a child with you, John. I don’t want you resenting me later on!” Sherlock yells before snapping his mouth shut, realising he’s said too much.

John puts his fork down and looks at his partner carefully, “Sherlock.”

The younger man ignores him in favour of staring down at his half-eaten curry.

“Sweetheart, look at me, please.” John says softly, reaching over to gently clasp his partner’s hand.

Sherlock’s eyes slowly meet his with a sad expression.

“You need to stop thinking that I’m going to leave you. I’m not. But if you think we can manage this then we’ll go to the orphanage tomorrow and see Harriet again. Or any other child you might want to see.”

“I like Harriet, she makes your eyes light up and your smile go soft.”

As if to prove his point, John’s face softens at the mention of the little girl and Sherlock’s heart swells with affection and love.

“Okay.” John replies simply, leaning over to kiss Sherlock softly.

x..x

“I see you’re getting along very well with little Harriet, John.” Kate smiles, bringing the cup of tea to her lips.

“Yeah, I don't know what I did but she seems to like me.” John chuckles, gratefully sipping his own cup of tea.

“Maybe you're kindred spirits. Harriet had a difficult little life before she came here. She came from an abusive home and her mother brought her here to give her a better life. She said that she was terrified that Harriet's father would start on her when it was too much for her mother to take. That was two years ago and we … haven't seen her mother since.” Kate replies sadly, looking down at her tea.

“Poor thing. Well, both of them really. But her mother was brave to take her away from harm.”

“Yes, she was. We tried to contact her to see if she wanted to visit Harry but we've never heard anything back.”

“Most likely the mother tragically lost her life.” Sherlock cuts in, causing a look of horror to cross Kate’s features.

“Or maybe she's making sure that the father doesn't find Harry. It's the best way to keep her safe, Sherlock.” John replies, glaring at Sherlock.

“Well ...” Sherlock begins until John gives him the ‘Not Good’ look, “That could be a possibility too.” He says instead.

Kate’s features relax dramatically and she resumes drinking her tea, eyeing Sherlock warily.

“Sorry about him, Kate. It’s the detective in him.” John replies gently, nudging Sherlock.

“I apologise, Kate. Please go on.” Sherlock smiles, trying to be caring.

“Well, as I was saying she's a wonderful little girl despite it though. And she has a lovely little smile.”

“I know, I can't understand why anyone would want to hurt a child, especially one as small as her. Poor thing wouldn't have stood a chance.”

“No, she wouldn't. John, Sherlock, I know it's only been a few weeks but … would you both consider adopting Harriet? She needs a good home and a loving family.”

“We’d love to but …”

“Yes.” Sherlock interrupts, smiling at Kate.

“Oh, great.” Kate replies with a beaming smile.

“Sherlock. Kate, I’m sorry but we need to discuss this first.”

“Of course. Lord knows that girl needs some stability. Well, all the children here need that. But I understand, I really do.”

“Thank you, Kate. Sherlock, a word, now.” John replies, the tone of his voice leaving no room for argument.

The pair walk out of the orphanage into the open air to prevent the children witnessing the conversation they’re about to have.

“Sherlock, I want to adopt a child as much you do but you can’t just promise to adopt a child without discussing it first.”

“Apologies, John. I got ahead of myself.”

“Yes, you did. Now, I get the feeling you want to adopt Harriet?”

Chapter Text

A few days later, Harriet walks cautiously up to John; her little stuffed bear in her hands.

“John.” She whispers softly, looking up at him with big eyes.

“Hey, Harriet. What's up?” John asks with a smile, crouching down to the little girl's height.

“Um, how come nobody wants to adopt me?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, all my friends have got mummies and daddies now but I haven't.”

“That doesn't mean nobody wants to adopt you, Harriet. It just means that the right person hasn't come to see you yet. You'll get a mummy and daddy soon enough. You just have to be patient, sweetheart.” John replies gently, touching the little girl's hand.

“I don't care about having a mummy and a daddy, specif - ikly.” Harriet says, trying to use the correct words before continuing, “I know why mummy brought me here. Daddy was a bad man who hurt Mummy.” She whimpers, closing her eyes and burying her face in her bear.

“Not everybody is like that, Harry. Some mummies and daddies love their children and take care of them.” John says carefully, sitting down properly and pulling Harriet into his lap.

“Are you and Sherlock going to adopt me?” Harriet asks hopefully, looking back up at John.

“Um, we don't know yet, Harry. We … um … need to discuss it and make sure we can give you everything you need.” John replies softly, stroking Harriet's hair out of her face.

“Oh, okay.” Harriet says with a slight nod. “That's okay.” She adds, kissing John's cheek and climbing out of his lap.

John stares dumbfounded at the little girl when a cough behind him knocks him from his thoughts.

John looks up and sees Sherlock standing behind him with a soft smile on his face.

“So, she wants us to adopt her then?” He asks carefully when the little girl is out of ear shot.

“Yes, she does. So, what do we do?” John asks, standing up to properly look at his partner.

“We talk to Kate and see what we can do about adopting her.” Sherlock replies softly, leaning in to kiss John.

x..x

The two men are heading to Kate’s office to explain the situation to her, when Sherlock stops suddenly; walking into the room with the children in.

“Sherlock?” John asks when he notices he’s disappeared.

“Go on ahead, John. I’ll catch up with you.”

John rolls his eyes and decides to do as he’s told, despite wanting the three of them to have a conversation about Harriet.

After John tells her the situation, Kate smiles softly before replying, “She talks about you all the time.”

“We’re considering adopting her but we obviously wanted to speak to you first before saying anything to Harriet.” John replies sadly, looking back over at the room of children.

“Well, honestly, John … You’re the first couple to actually approach us about Harriet. The girl tends to become very difficult around most couples.”

“Difficult?” John asks unsurely, wondering if they’re talking about the same child.

“Don’t get me wrong, John. I’m not saying she’s a naughty child or anything of the sort. The difficulty lies in having a … well, honestly, it’s more difficult with a heterosexual couple. She seems to think that all male/female couples argue and the male tries to hurt his girlfriend or wife.”

“Ah, right. Okay, I guess that could be because she was from an abusive home. So, what about homosexual couples?” John asks carefully, watching Kate with concern.

“Well, you see, other than you, your sister and your respective partners … we actually don’t get many homosexual couples adopting from this orphanage.”

“Oh, okay.”

“I honestly don’t know why as we’re very open to same sex couples adopting. We don’t judge by colour, race, gender or sexuality. All we care about is ensuring safe environments and support networks for both our children and potential foster and adoptive parents.”

“That’s a really positive view, Kate. I’m glad that couples like me and Sherlock are being given that opportunity. So, tell me more about the support network.”

x..x

"We need to think about a support network," John says out of the blue, six hours after returning from the orphanage.

"Come again?" Sherlock asks, having been up to his eyes in his latest experiment.

John glances behind him, making sure no more of his jumpers are suffering; after losing three already.

He hides one under his chair before continuing, "A support network. Harriet asked if we'd adopt her, and I think it might be wise to have a look into creating a support network for her and ourselves. Harriet may be young, but this is the age where children start to remember things more vividly, and she's already got her own mindset, beliefs, and opinions because of her past. We'll need people who are willing to be a listening ear for all three of us, people who'll run errands when we're rushed off our feet, people we can call to babysit if needs be. All of that and more, Sherlock."

"You mean like personal assistants and therapists?" Sherlock asks disdainfully, looking up at John to make a face of disapproval.

"No, not personal assistants and therapists. Like friends, family, and colleagues," John sighs, a bit aggravated by his partner's inability to get it. "Kate mentioned it to me, and she explained it. It’s a good idea. God knows that with our jobs, we'd need the help."

"Very true, but that's why we have Mrs Hudson," Sherlock replies indifferently, waving his hand dismissively and going back to his experiment.

"We can't adopt a child and drop it on Mrs Hudson every time we have a case, Sherlock!" John exclaims.

"Why not? She might like the company of someone small," Sherlock says, then snickers quietly to himself, so quietly that John almost doesn't hear it. 

Almost.

"Were you about to make another joke about my height?" John asks suspiciously.

"No, not at all," Sherlock dismisses, grateful that his back is turned away to hide his smirk.

“Cheeky shit.” John chuckles, leaning down to kiss Sherlock’s curls.

Sherlock lifts his head up and watches his partner as he makes his way over to the kettle to make teas.

“What?” John asks when he realises Sherlock is watching him.

“Nothing.” Sherlock replies sheepishly, lowering his head as a blush starts to creep up his cheeks.

“It’s okay, if you’re not comfortable with all the public displays unless it’s you instigating it.” John smiles softly, reaching out to touch the younger man’s curls.

Sherlock makes a noise that almost sounds like a purr as John gently strokes his curls. The older man smiles and then feeling bold, he gently tugs on a handful of the ink-black curls, suddenly causing Sherlock’s purr to turn into a low moan.

John grins mischievously, pulling them again a little harder and relishing in Sherlock’s surprised gasp.

The ex-army doctor decides to take it a step further and gently pulls Sherlock to his feet by his hair drawing another long moan from the younger man as he complies to John’s man-handling.

“I didn’t know you like that sort of thing, Sher.” John whispers into Sherlock’s ear, the tone forcing the younger man to lean against the table to steady himself.

“Very interesting information to have that.” He continues to torture the younger man with his low husky tone; just a hint of Captain lying underneath it.

God.” Sherlock gasps, grabbing a handful of John’s jumper and pulling him slightly.

“You’re so hot like this, darling.” John praises sweetly, trying out the new endearment.

It has its desired effect as Sherlock whines softly, clearly wanting more than what he’s being given.

“What do you want, darling?”

“You, John.” Sherlock sighs, gravitating closer to his partner.

John contemplates torturing Sherlock a little more but when he sees his partner’s face properly, he realises he could probably snap his fingers and it would undo the younger man completely.

Instead, he pulls him in for a rough kiss that has Sherlock melting in his arms immediately as he roughly rubs at the bulge in the younger man’s pants.

“I have a strong feeling I could make you cum like this. What do you think, Sher?” John whispers huskily, leaning in to nip at Sherlock’s neck.

The younger man keens at the first gently nip, body twitching slightly as his orgasm hits him like a freight train, causing John to smile proudly.

Fuck you’re beautiful like this. I love you, Sherlock, so fucking much. Marry me.”

“I’d love to, John.” Sherlock breathes, leaning in to kiss his partner, “But I’ll need to clean myself up first.”

John laughs loudly, pulling Sherlock flush against himself, “You’re a bloody idiot but by God do I love you.”

Sherlock grins at the older man, nuzzling his nose against John’s, “And no, I don’t mind public displays of affection. Not with you anyway.”

John smiles warmly, “Go on, sweetheart, go get yourself cleaned up. I’ll order us a Chinese for when you’re done.”

“What about you?” Sherlock asks, his hand dropping to John’s own very impressive bulge.

“You can make it up to me later, gorgeous.” John grins, pecking Sherlock’s cheek.

The younger man’s eyes light up and he practically runs to the bathroom to clean himself up.

John giggles as he goes, pulling out his phone to order food for them both.

Chapter Text

Two weeks go by in a blur of cases for Scotland Yard, sleepless nights and visits to the orphanage for various appointments.

By the end of week two, John is practically dead on his feet and struggling to keep his eyes open as they enter 221B.

“John, when is our next appointment with Kate?” Sherlock asks as he flops onto the couch.

“Two weeks, Sherlock. Kate did say we could drop into the orphanage and see Harriet if we rang ahead first though.” John replies sleepily, trying to suppress a yawn.

“Ah.” Sherlock replies simply.

“What’s wrong, Sherlock?” John sighs softly, rubbing his tired eyes.

“Do you think Kate would let us take her out for a day trip?”

“Not sure, Sher. Listen, sweetheart, I’m completely shattered and need at least twelve hours sleep. Can we discuss this after I’ve slept, please?” John asks gently, standing up to stretch his aching muscles.

“Of course, John. And take my bed for the night. I think I’ll stay up and sort a few things.” Sherlock smiles softly, holding his hand out for John.

John grabs Sherlock’s hand and leans in to kiss his partner’s forehead.

“Thanks, Angel. Love you.” He replies softly, squeezing Sherlock’s hand before heading off to his bedroom.

“I love you too, John.” Sherlock calls after him, a soft smile playing at his lips.

He jumps up from the couch and gets to work on what he needs to sort out, hoping John will be happy with what he’s done.

x..x

John wakes from the most restful sleep he’s had in years and looking over at the clock explains why. The numbers slowly come into focus as John’s eyes adjust; 3pm the clock tells him and the doctor swears as he jumps out of bed in a rush.

He hastily shoves his clothes on and brushes his teeth before he runs towards the door; it’s only Sherlock’s voice that stops him from leaving the flat entirely.

“It’s Saturday today, my love.” Sherlock calls with a chuckle as John shuts the front door and makes his way back upstairs.

“Could have told me bloody sooner, you git. Wait, did you just …” John replies as he enters the room.

“What?” Sherlock asks in confusion.

John moves to stand directly in front of Sherlock’s chair as the younger man watches him.

“What you said before, say it again.”

“I said it’s Saturday today.” Sherlock replies in his ‘bored’ tone, rolling his eyes.

“No, all of it, Sherlock. Exactly as you said it.” John replies with a smirk.

“I said, it’s Saturday today, my … Oh.” Sherlock stops before the end of the sentence, only now realising what he said.

He looks down at John’s feet, trying to determine if he’s made an error. Not that he realised he’d even said it; not consciously anyway.

“Say it, Sher.” John says gently, reaching out and tilting Sherlock’s head up.

Sherlock takes a deep breath and replies almost in a whisper, “It’s Saturday today, my love.”

John sighs softly, smiling at his partner before leaning down to kiss him slowly.

Sherlock’s hand reaches up to cup John’s cheek as he pulls him forward to stand in between his legs.

John follows Sherlock’s pulling willingly, debating about straddling his lap before deciding to kneel on the chair between his partner’s legs; never once breaking the kiss.

“John, I don’t understand.” Sherlock murmurs as they break the kiss.

“Sorry, Angel. You just got me by surprise that’s all. I didn’t expect you to say that.” John smiles reassuringly, a blush forming on his cheeks.

“It wasn’t a conscious thought, John. It just …”

“I know, love. And it’s fine. It’s better than fine really.”

Sherlock smiles at his partner, running his fingers through his slightly greying but still blonde hair as said partner smiles down adoringly at him.

“I love you, John.”

John chuckles lightly, “I love you too, Sherlock.”

x..x

The pair spend the rest of the day having a lazy day; well, John does as he watches tv while Sherlock decides he has ‘very important experiments to see to’.

John chuckles as he occasionally glances over at his mad-scientist partner until Sherlock interrupts his thoughts.

“Are you going to do that all night?”

“Do what, love?” John grins, turning to properly look at Sherlock.

“Watch me working. It’s incredibly distracting.” Sherlock replies, a smirk sliding across his lips.

“I thought you loved having an audience while you worked.” John replies innocently, making his way to the kitchen in search of tea.

“Yes, but I told you …”

“You’re working on very important experiments that need your full attention and focus. I know, Sherlock.”

“Well, if you know then why are you so intent on distracting me?” Sherlock huffs, glaring at John from over his beakers.

“If you were so focused then I wouldn’t be able to distract you, would I?” John counters, flicking the kettle on.

“You’ve always distracted me. You know that.” Sherlock replies distractedly, noting down something on some paper.

“I didn’t actually.” John replies, looking over at his partner.

Sherlock stops mid-writing to look over at John in confusion.

“Oh. Well, now you do.” He says simply, going back to his experiment.

John chuckles lightly, unsure how to respond to that; instead deciding on making two teas and some toast before going back to watching tv.

“Eat something at least, love.” He says with a slight command, setting the toast and tea next to Sherlock’s elbow.

Said detective sighs dramatically and rolls his eyes, but still obliges to John’s pestering and shoves a piece of toast into his mouth.

“Thank you.” John grins, hearing the tell-tale sound of chewing even if he can’t see him eating.

There’s a knock on the door and the sound of Mrs Hudson answering; Sherlock groans loudly before the sound of footsteps and an umbrella notify them that Mycroft Holmes has arrived.

John grins and picks up today's newspaper off the coffee table; checking to see if anything interesting is going on in the world.

“What the hell do you want, Mycroft?” Sherlock growls, glaring at his brother as he enters the kitchen.

“I wouldn’t annoy him, Mycroft. I don’t know what chemicals he’s messing with but I’m sure that at least one or two of them combined could kill you.” John calls conversationally from the living room, flicking through the newspaper without really reading it.

“Why thank you for the warning, Doctor.” Mycroft calls back in a mocking tone.

“Fine. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” John replies, recognising Mycroft’s tone.

Sherlock sniggers from the other side of the table and gives his brother a grin.

“Must you two behave like children all the time?” Mycroft replies in his usual bored and exasperated tone.

“We’ve had this conversation before, Mycroft.” John replies, still not rising to the bait.

“Yes, something about blogs and pants.” The older Holmes drawls, almost visibly shuddering at the memory.

“Something like that, yeah.” John agrees conversationally, grinning to himself.

“Very funny, Doctor Watson. I can practically feel you grinning from here.”

Before John can reply with his comeback, Sherlock reluctantly interrupts the conversation.

“As much fun as it is to watch you two spar with words, brother mine, I believe I asked you a question.”

“I have a case for you, it’s …”

“No.” Sherlock replies immediately, before adding, “Goodbye, Mycroft. Try not to let the door hit you on the way out. Or do, I’d much prefer that.”

“Sherlock.” Mycroft warns, causing John to sigh loudly.

The ex-army doctor makes his way over to the kitchen, ready to stop the argument before it starts.

“See what he has to say first, Sherlock. It might be a good one.”

“I’m not his lapdog. He has Lestrade for that. If my brother can’t be bothered doing ‘legwork’ then why should I do it?” Sherlock replies, not even bothering to look up from his note-taking.

“As much as I’d rather deal with this myself, unforeseen circumstances have made it that I cannot actively get involved.” Mycroft replies, an edge to his tone that peaks Sherlock’s interest.

“Ohh. It’s a matter concerning someone very important and for you to get involved could cost an alliance.” Sherlock deduces easily, almost grinning with glee.

“Very good, dear brother. Now, will you take it?” Mycroft replies tensely, not impressed with his brother’s antics.

“Busy.” The younger man replies with a smile.

“For the love of … Sherlock, this is a matter of national importance.”

“Sherlock, stop winding your brother up and just take the case.” John replies in exasperation, looking pointedly at the younger man.

“Fine.” The younger brother sighs, rolling his eyes.

Mycroft barely suppresses the urge to breathe a sigh of relief before dropping the folder on the table and throwing a grateful look to John.

Sherlock picks up the file and scans it quickly, “I can’t possibly prove this man's innocence.”

“I don’t expect you to, Sherlock.” Mycroft replies with a knowing smile, turning and exiting the kitchen.

John looks after the older Holmes before moving to Sherlock’s side to read the contents of the folder; his eyebrows rising to his forehead as he sees what they’re going to be dealing with.

Chapter Text

It takes Sherlock five days to deal with the case his brother handed to him. Five days to prove that a certain man with substantial power is guilty of both espionage and murder.

Neither Sherlock or John knows what happens to this man after being found guilty but the younger Holmes has a pretty vague idea about the consequences.

But of course, five days working a case means that Sherlock’s plans to organise a day trip for the pair and Harriet had to be put on hold.

The following week, Sherlock contacts Kate and asks her about taking Harriet out for a day and what that would entail.

“Supervision would be required, Mr Holmes.”

“Ah. I see. That won't be a problem, Kate. When would we be able to arrange that?”

“Well, our next appointment is tomorrow so we can discuss it further then.”

“Thank you. We'll see you tomorrow.”

Yes, you will, Mr Holmes. Goodbye.”

“Goodbye, Kate.”

Sherlock smiles as he ends the call and pockets his mobile as John enters the living room.

“What have you done?” John asks suspiciously, eyeing Sherlock’s grin with amusement.

“Kate is going to discuss with us about taking Harriet out for a day trip at our appointment tomorrow.” Sherlock replies, practically bouncing where he stands.

“That's great, Sher. I'm glad you're taking some initiative.”

“Yes, well. I'm hoping we can take her somewhere this weekend.”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, love. We’ll talk with Kate tomorrow but it might be a couple of weeks before we can take her out for a day.”

“Yes, of course.” Sherlock replies in a disappointed tone.

“But who knows, love. We’ll see what Kate says.” John replies with a soft smile causing the younger man to smile back hopefully.

John kisses Sherlock’s cheek, before turning and heading for the kitchen to makes two teas.

Sherlock watches him go, a fond look on his face for the man he loves.

x.. x

“Hello, John, Sherlock.” Kate greets with a smile. “Step into my office.”

“Hi, Kate. Come on, Sherlock.” John smiles, grabbing his partner’s hand to prevent him from wandering away again.

Sherlock rolls his eyes at his partner; knowing exactly what he’s doing but allows himself to be pulled into Kate’s office.

“I love you, you daft sod.” John whispers in his ear with a smirk, kissing his cheek.

Sherlock smiles back at his doctor; turning him around to face him and leaning in to kiss him properly, whispering as he pulls away “I love too, John.”

John’s face goes soft, appreciating how affectionate Sherlock is being despite struggling with his own emotions.

John turns back towards the door, pulling a willing Sherlock along with him and into Kate’s office.

“So let’s get started shall we?” Kate smiles at the pair, completely unfazed by their little scene outside.

The meeting goes on as usual; Kate updating the pair on Harriet's progress and the progress of their application before she gives them the news about the day trip.

John is practically bursting with joy when Kate tells them that; yes, they can take Harriet out for a day trip but it must be supervised by one of the staff.

“As you’ve both had a background check and are clear of any crimes, we can start the paperwork for the day trip right now.”

“That’s great news.” John beams, looking over at Sherlock; who looks just as excited.

“It will take a couple of days to sort out but should be ready by Friday. Which means you can take Harriet out on Saturday. If you could both just sign here.” Kate replies with a smile, pointing to the relevant part of the contract.

The pair sign their names and hand the form back to Kate; who quickly signs her own name at the bottom of the form.

“Now, I have to go and check which carers are working on Saturday and who will be available to supervise the day out. I’ll be right back.” Kate says brightly, standing up and heading out of the office.

John turns to look at his partner with a smile, “So good news, eh?”

“Indeed, John.” Sherlock replies with a smile, leaning in to kiss John’s cheek.

Kate returns fifteen minutes later with a man who John estimates is in his thirties.

The man is taller than John with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He has a kind smile which quickly gets John’s attention, as well as the fact that it’s hard to deny how handsome he is.

Sherlock scowls at his partner’s obvious admiring of the newcomer, even going so far as to pinch him in the leg as punishment for staring.

John gives his partner an apologetic look, leaning in to kiss his cheek to emphasis his apology. Sherlock seems to soften at the gesture and even deduces that the man obviously gets attention very often.

“Gentlemen, this is Fraser Willows. He’s one of our senior carers and has been with us for ten years now. He has offered to supervise the day trip on Saturday.” Kate introduces the man with a fond smile.

“Hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you both.” Fraser smiles, holding a hand out for John to shake.

“Like wise. I’m John and this is my partner Sherlock.” John introduces, shaking the man’s hand.

“Yes, I’ve heard about you both. You’re the famous duo. It’s wonderful to know you’d like to adopt from our orphanage. Kate does such a brilliant job here. It’s a pleasure to be a part of it.” Fraser says with a soft smile, his genuine love for the job obvious to the pair.

Kate smiles shyly in response to the praise, patting Fraser’s arm gently in appreciation.

“Well, it’s a pleasure to be adopting from such a lovely place.” John replies brightly.

“Yes, well, when you two have finished.” Sherlock snaps, clearly not liking the newcomer or the apparent ‘threat’ to his relationship.

“Its not like that, love.” John whispers gently, stroking Sherlock’s knee.

“I’m sorry. It’s my fault. I just carry on talking once a conversation has started. I didn’t mean to push you out of it, Mr Holmes.” Fraser responds apologetically, a blush creeping across his cheeks.

The sweetness of the man makes him more annoying to Sherlock but he offers him a convincing kind smile in return anyway. Clearly the man is just too nice for his own good and while it annoys Sherlock, he knows that John appreciates when Sherlock is nice to other people.

“No apology necessary, Fraser. And please call me Sherlock. I believe I owe you an apology for my rudeness. I forget that John is the more social one out of the pair of us.”

“That’s alright. I was a little socially awkward myself as a child. It took me a long time to come to terms with ‘social conventions’. “ Fraser replies with a smile.

And despite himself, Sherlock finds himself smiling back in return.

Clearly he’s not as annoying as I first thought.

“Anyway now that all the formality is put of the way. Shall we go tell Harriet the good news?” Kate says with a nod of her head. 

“Yes, let’s.”

Chapter Text

John's still smiling as he and Sherlock leave the orphanage and head home; Harriet's excitement at going out with the pair still filling him with a pleasant buzz.

Sherlock looks over at his partner and smiles fondly, wondering what his parents will say when he tells them he has a partner and a child.

Don't get ahead of yourself, Sherlock. First, you have to get through Saturday with the girl.

“Did you see her face, Sher? She looked at us like we were the best Christmas present she's ever received!” John says with a grin.

“Yes, John. I did. As I've told you twice already.” Sherlock replies, unable to suppress the grin that crosses his face.

John stops dead in the middle of the street, trying to control the rush of emotions he's feeling by taking slow breaths.

“Sorry. I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I?” He asks softly, his smile dropping and a blush creeping up his cheeks.

Sherlock turns to look back at his partner, walking towards him and immediately running his hand through John's hair.

“You're not the only one, John. In all honesty, I never thought I'd be the kind of man to do all the … sentimental things that ordinary people do. But with you, I … I find I quite enjoy it. I'm already looking forward to telling my parents I have a child. And a partner, of course.” Sherlock replies with a gentle smile, leaning in to kiss his partner.

“You're a wonder, Sherlock Holmes.” John sighs, resting his hand on the detective's hip.

“As always, John, you see but you do not observe. For in actual fact, you are a wonder. Not me.”

John looks up at his best friend and partner, wondering what he had done to deserve such a brilliant and wonderful man that he can call his own.

Sherlock observes the play of emotions across the doctor's face and leans in to kiss his forehead.

“Let's go home, John.” He smiles, slipping his hand into John's.

John smiles in response, allowing Sherlock to lead the way as always; knowing that wherever his partner goes so will he.

 

Saturday

John is awoken by the sound of banging and cursing that seems to be coming from Sherlock's wardrobe.

“Sherlock, what the bloody hell are you doing? It's … six am! We're meeting Harriet and Fraser at nine-thirty!”

“Yes, I know, John. That's why I woke up early. I have to find the right outfit.” Sherlock replies, continuing to rummage through his wardrobe.

“Really? You woke up early to find an outfit? For the love of … Just wear what you usually wear, Sherlock.” John sighs, burying his face in his pillow.

“I can't, John! I need to look … what's the word when you want to look happy to see people? Nice? Kind? No, it's not that ...”

Friendly, Sherlock! The word you're looking for is friendly!” John snaps back, trying to ignore his partner and go back to sleep.

“Exactly, John! I need to look friendly. Like the type of person you'd actually like.”

John rolls his eyes and resigns himself to knowing he won't be able to sleep until he helps his partner.

“Sherlock, Harriet is a child. You can't fake friendly with children. They know when you're lying ...”

“I'm not trying to fake it, John. I want to seem more friendly so I don't scare Harriet away.” Sherlock cries in frustration.

John climbs out of bed, walking over to his partner and wrapping his arms around his waist; Sherlock is practically shaking with nervous energy and trying to slow his racing heartbeat down.

The ex-army doctor holds him in his arms as Sherlock starts to relax and he slowly melts into the embrace.

“Listen to me you mad genius, you are brilliant with children. I've seen it. Harriet will love you, even with all your mad genius antics.” John says into his partner's shoulder, giving the detective a reassuring squeeze.

“You really think so?” Sherlock whispers softly, clasping John's hands on his waist.

“I don't think, I know she will, Sher. Because she'll see what I see in you. What I've always seen.”

Sherlock smiles and turns in his doctor's arms; wrapping his arms around his shoulders and kissing his hair.

“Now, Detective Holmes, I think it's time to get some more sleep. We have a big day ahead of us.”

“That we do, Doctor Watson.”

x..x

The pair arrive at the park just before 9.30am to find Fraser and Harriet feeding ducks by the pond.

“Ah, gentleman, hello. Me and Harriet arrived a bit early so we decided to feed the ducks, didn't we, Harriet?” Fraser greets with a smile, shaking each man's hand in turn.

“Sorry, I was a bit excited for our day together.” Harriet replies sheepishly, looking down at the ground.

“There's no need to apologise, Harriet. I'm sure we can stay and feed the ducks for a while, can't we, John?” Sherlock replies with a smile, ruffling the girl's hair.

“Of course we can. Whatever you want to do, sweetheart.” John agrees, holding his hand out for Harriet to take.

Harriet smiles shyly and grabs John's hand tightly before immediately reaching for Sherlock's hand too.

Sherlock's lips quirk up in a small smile as he holds the girl's small hand in his own before she tugs them closer to the pond.

Fraser gives John a knowing smile and hands him the bag of bread, before stepping behind the three of them to give them some semblance of privacy.

“So this one is called Daffney, and then there's Bert over there. That's Bill, he pretty much stays over there ...” Harriet informs the pair, motioning to each duck without actually letting go of their hands.

John smiles as the little girl continues to name each duck and tell them different things she's learnt about each of them.

A few hours later, John and Sherlock walk hand in hand through the park as Harriet runs ahead of them picking flowers as she goes. Fraser has taken to staying about four feet behind them as he supervises and observes the day's progress.

“Fraser.” Sherlock says as he stops and turns to look at the other man.

“Yes?” Fraser asks with a smile, catching up to the pair.

“Does Harriet have a favourite food or meal?”

“Well, yes, she does. Her favourite meal is Spaghetti Bolognaise.”

Sherlock's eyes light up as he has a thought and John smiles knowingly at his partner.

“Angelo's?” The detective asks the ex-army doctor with a grin.

“Angelo's.” John agrees, grinning along with Sherlock.

A look of confusion passes across Fraser's face before realisation dawns on him.

“Are you talking about Tapas Brindisa round the corner?” The man asks curiously, pointing behind him in the direction of Angelo's.

Now Sherlock looks confused and gives John a questioning look, to which the older man replies with a grin, “Yes, that's the one. Ignore him, he's always called it Angelo's after the owner.”

“Is that what it's called?” Sherlock asks in genuine confusion.

“Yes, Sherlock. The name on the front is hard to miss.” John giggles, shaking his head at his partner.

“I prefer Angelo's.” Sherlock replies, looking back over at Harriet.

John rolls his eyes fondly before saying, “Fraser, would you and Harriet care to join us for dinner?”

“I suppose I can call Kate and tell her that Harriet will be eating before we go back.” Fraser replies, pulling out his mobile to call the Governess.

The ex-army doctor smiles and nudges his partner gently, “Let's go tell her the good news.”

“Yes, let's.” Sherlock replies with a soft smile, pulling John along as he heads over to the girl.

“Harriet, it's time to go.” Sherlock says by way of greeting, holding his hand out for the girl.

“Already? But … but ...” Harriet stammers, her bottom lip pouting.

“Don't worry, Harriet. We're going for dinner. Fraser is telling Kate now.” John says with a smile.

“Really? That's brilliant.” Harriet exclaims, grabbing each man's hand and pulling them back over to Fraser.

“Ah, you're back. I take it that means you're ready to go?” Fraser asks with a smile, noticing the beaming smile on the child's face.

“Let's go!” Harriet exclaims excitedly, urging the three men to move.

x..x

They arrive at Angelo's twenty minutes later and are greeted by the man himself.

“Sherlock. John. My favourite customers. Come sit. Anything you want, on the house.” The man beams at them, directing them to a table.

“Angelo, we've told you before, we can pay you for a meal.” John laughs, just barely able to keep hold of Sherlock's hand as Angelo pulls him towards the table.

“I know. But for my best customers, meal is on the house.” The Italian man grins, handing them menus.

John and Sherlock chuckle at the man, shaking their heads in disbelief as Harriet and Fraser look confused.

“Who is this? Client?” Angelo asks, pointing towards Fraser.

“No, this is Fraser. He's a carer at the local orphanage.” John informs Angelo with a smile.

“Oh, looking to start a family, eh? Just the one or lots of little children?” Angelo asks with a big smile.

“Um, well, we're not sure yet.” John stutters, wondering why he didn't just say Fraser was a client.

Sherlock gives John with an amused expression so the doctor subtly kicks him under the table, causing Sherlock to glare at him.

“Ah, I see. Angelo's big mouth. Apologies, gentlemen and young lady.” Angelo replies, giving Harriet a little bow.

Harriet giggles in response, completely oblivious to the silent exchange going on between John and Sherlock.

“I will leave you to order.” The man smiles, walking away to greet another customer.

“Do you really get everything for free?” Harriet asks in awe, looking over at the pair.

“Well, not everything. Angelo just does us a special deal ...” John replies, smiling at Harriet.

“Why?”

“I got him off a murder charge and proved ...”

“Sherlock! You can't tell her that.” John cries in shock.

“Why not? You love that story.” Sherlock asks, completely oblivious.

“Yes, I do. But Harriet is a child, Sherlock. You can't be telling her about murders and other things at her age.”

“John, may I speak with you privately?” Sherlock asks, standing up and leaving no room for argument.

“Fine. Fraser, please tell Angelo me and Sherlock will have our usual. You and Harriet are free to order whatever you like.” John replies, forcing a smile as he goes after Sherlock.

Outside, Sherlock is already pacing and that immediately concerns John.

“Alright, what is it?” The ex-army doctor asks calmly, waiting for the younger man to stop pacing.

“John, you realise that when we adopt Harriet, she will hear about our cases and know what's going on. There's no reason to hide it from her.”

“First of all, if we adopt Harriet. We don't know if we can yet. And secondly, yes, she will, but that doesn't mean we should drop that all on her right now.”

Sherlock stops to think about this for a few moments, weighing the pros and cons of informing the child before actually adopting her.

“You're right, John. Our cases are stories for another day.” Sherlock sighs softly, giving John a smile.

“Let's go eat, love. Harry will have to go back before it gets too late.” John replies with a reassuring smile, holding his hand out for his partner.

The detective nods in agreement, taking John's hand and allowing himself to be lead back through the door and to the table.

“Sorry about that, guys. He loves his work and what he can do for people.” John informs them proudly, sitting back down at the table.

Fraser nods in understanding and replies, “Well, it is brilliant work you both do; solving crimes and catching criminals. It must be very exciting.”

“Oh, it's definitely … exciting. That's one word for it.” John replies unsurely, giving Fraser a smirk.

“So are you going to say how he got the nice man off a murder charge?” Harriet jumps in excitedly, her food sitting untouched while she listens intently.

“Not tonight, I'm afraid, Harriet. But maybe another time.” John smiles, motioning for the girl to keep eating.

“Really? You mean it?”

“Well, if it's alright with Kate and Fraser then I'm sure another day out can be arranged?” Sherlock asks, directing the question at Fraser.

“I'm sure we can work something out.” Fraser smiles reassuringly, continuing to eat his own food.

The four of them eat the rest of their meals in comfortable silence; with the exception of Harriet's content noises as she slurps her spaghetti off her plate which causes the three men to grin at each other.

“Well, unfortunately it's time to go, Harry. But I'll speak to Kate about another day out.” Fraser says, helping the girl put on her coat.

“Are you amenable to walking back to our flat and we shall call you a taxi from there?” Sherlock asks hopefully, clearly wanting more time with Harriet.

“I suppose that could be managed, seeing as your flat isn't far from here.” The carer grins, noticing Harriet's beaming smile of agreement.

“Off we go then.” John replies, grabbing Sherlock's hand and leading them out onto the street.

As they walk back, Harriet talks more about the friends she's made at the orphanage and all the children that have been and gone since she arrived.

John and Sherlock listen intently, the detective even tells her about the friends he's made over the years and how he met John. The little girl listens carefully, asking questions for more details and John is content to listen to the two of them talk so happily.

The ex-army doctor steps back to talk to Fraser while Sherlock and Harriet are busy chatting between themselves.

“So I assume she's not always this talkative?” John asks with a grin.

“Not usually, no. But in all honesty, you're the first people outside of the orphanage to properly engage with her so it's no surprise that she's coming out of herself more.”

“She's a great kid. I think Sherlock is smitten with her already. But then again, he's always been great with kids.” John smiles, watching as Sherlock allows Harriet to climb on his back for a piggy back.

“I can see that. You're not so bad with her yourself, if I might say so.”

“Um, thanks. I'm trying to be. I mean I have an older sister but I've never looked after kids before.”

“Well, it isn't easy. But nothing ever is. All that matters is providing a good, stable home for her where you will always love and protect her. The rest will come with time.”

“Yeah, I suppose it will. Thanks, Fraser.”

“You forget, John, my job isn't just to support the children but also the parents too.” Fraser replies with a smile.

Before John can answer, Sherlock calls his name and he sees the car outside their flat.

“Ah, work calls. Well, at least it's time for you and Harriet to go back anyway.”

“Of course. No rest for the wicked. As I will probably be chaperoning the next visit and no doubt be your social worker for the adoption, I will give you my number. Feel free to call any time to ask any questions you may have.” Fraser replies, pulling out a card with his name and number on it.

“Thank you, Fraser. We will.”

They catch up to Sherlock, Harriet and Lestrade just as the D.I is about to inform them of the latest case.

“We'll discuss it upstairs, Lestrade.” Sherlock says, motioning the D.I inside. “I'm afraid it's time for me and John to say goodbye now, Harriet. But I'm sure we'll see you again soon.”

“Did you enjoy your day out, Harriet?” John asks softly, ruffling the girl's hair.

“It was great! Thank you, Daddy!” Harriet exclaims, throwing her arms around John tightly.

“Oh. Um.” John stammers, trying to gather his thoughts.

He looks over at Sherlock; the look on his face makes John's heart sing and his eyes water, Sherlock is looking at the pair as though he sees his whole future right there.

“What's wrong? Did I do something wrong?” Harriet asks sadly, starting to whimper as tears run down her face.

“N-no. No. Harriet, you haven't done anything wrong. Come here.” John replies softly, pulling the little girl back into his arms. “It's okay. Everything's okay.”

“You don't want me, do you?” Harriet sobs into John's shoulder.

“Of course we do, Harriet. More than anything.” Sherlock replies, stroking the girl's hair tenderly.

“There's a lot of things we need to do before you can join our family, Harriet. And some of it can take a lot of time. We all have to be patient, sweetheart.” John says carefully, wiping away the girl's tears.

“Okay. I understand.” Harriet replies confidently, hugging both John and Sherlock.

“For now, it's time for you to go back with Fraser and we'll arrange another visit soon. I promise.” John says with a smile, stepping back so Fraser can grab her hand. “I'll call a taxi.”

“I'll … um, go and see Lestrade about the case.” Sherlock replies awkwardly, clearly not wanting to say goodbye to the girl.

“Alright, love. I'll be there soon.”

 

Chapter Text

The cab pulls away and John walks into 221 slowly; thoughts spinning around in his head.

“So, um, cute kid.” Lestrade says awkwardly as John enters the room.

“Yeah, she is. Anyway, what's this case then?” John replies, clearly wanting to change the subject.

Lestrade takes the hint and clears his throat, “Yes, well, it's an unusual one.”

“Go on.” Sherlock says, leaning forward expectantly.

“Well, you see, most the evidence points to a suicide ...”

“But you don't believe that.” Sherlock interrupts, hands pressed together in his usual prayer like motion.

“No. Listen, it would be better if you saw the crime scene. Come on.” Lestrade replies, getting up off the couch and grabbing the folder.

Sherlock nods in response, looking over at John for confirmation; who nods in agreement and gives him a small reassuring smile.

“The game is on." Sherlock replies with a smile.

The three men head down the stairs and Sherlock immediately hails down a cab as Lestrade climbs into his car.

It takes twenty minutes to arrive at the crime scene and Sherlock immediately groans out loud.

"Anderson." He says by way of response to John's quizzical look.

"Ah." John replies with a rueful smile.

"And here's the freak." Sally remarks as the two men step out of the cab.

John quickly pays the driver and follows Sherlock to the crime scene.

"Ah, Sally, always a pleasure." Sherlock drawls with fake enthusiasm and an even faker smile.

Sally scoffs in reply and leads them up to the second floor flat.

"As you can see officers had to break the door down." Lestrade informs them, pointing to the broken lock on the front door. "And here's where it get's interesting, every window is also locked from the inside."

John makes his way over to the body in the middle of the room.

"Gun shot wound to the right temple. Powder burns around the wound and shot at close range. Definitely points to self inflicted."

"Lestrade, you said 'most of the evidence' points to suicide so why don't you believe that?"

"As I said, all the windows were locked from the inside, just like the door was."

"Yes, yes, Lestrade, as you've pointed out, you've already said that. But why are you doubting it was suicide?" Sherlock asks impatiently, scanning the room for evidence.

A smile crosses Sherlock's features as he notices something very important about their male victim.

"You see it too, right, Sherlock?" Lestrade asks with a slight smile.

"Yes, obviously." Sherlock replies, practically grinning.

"See what?" John asks in confusion, looking around the room.

But just as Sherlock is about to spout off his deductions, John notices the tea cup on the table; the handle pointed to the left, which means ...

"Our victim was left handed." John announces, looking over at Sherlock for confirmation.

"Exactly, John. But the gun is in his right hand."

"So you see why I don't believe it was suicide." Lestrade replies, gesturing for Sherlock to continue his deductions.

Sherlock scans the room again and sees that everything definitely points to the victim being left handed, he, of course, takes the opportunity to show off.

"The top of his tablet is pointing to the right. The pen, on the left side of the notepad. Consistently uses the left power sockets."

"Deduction, Sherlock?" Lestrade asks with a hopeful smile.

"You were actually right, Lestrade. This is not a suicide. I'm sure you can handle narrowing down the suspects." Sherlock replies with confidence, sweeping out of the room.

Lestrade gives John an enquiring look, to which the ex-army doctor shrugs and follows after Sherlock.

"Sherlock. Wait, is that it?" Lestrade calls after the detective, following him down the stairs.

"Surely you don't need me to do your job for you, Lestrade. You're the one who realised it was murder, after all."

Lestrade struggles for a reply, not entirely sure if Sherlock is complimenting him or if he's just being an arse.

"Contact me if you have trouble narrowing down the suspects." Sherlock adds, without any sign of his usual sark or condescending tone.

"Right." Lestrade replies dumbfounded, surprised at Sherlock's response.

John gives him a slight nod as the D.I watches the pair leave and Lestrade gives him a nod in return before he walks back over to his teak to notify them.

Sherlock hails a cab and the pair climb in, a companionable silence falling over the cab.

When they're nearly home, John breaks the silence.

“What you said to Lestrade, it was sweet, almost like you had confidence in him.”

“Of course I have confidence in him, John. He's not a complete idiot.”

John looks up in surprise and smiles softly at his partner, reaching over to lace his fingers with Sherlock's.

“The rest of his team, however, they are idiots.” He adds with a long suffering sigh.

“Ah, there he is.” John chuckles, sliding closer to Sherlock.

“There who is?” Sherlock asks in confusion.

“The man I fell in love with.” John replies with a soft smile, lifting their joined hands to kiss Sherlock's knuckles.

Sherlock's breath catches and he coughs to cover it up, turning his face away to grin to himself.

John giggles and tilts Sherlock's head back towards him.

“You forget, I know you too well, love. And I know you're trying so hard to be better. But I mean it, Sherlock, the man you are is the man I fell in love with. You're not perfect and there's things that need to be … adjusted, but you don't have to change into something you're not. I'll always love you just as you are.”

“Nobody's perfect.” Sherlock tries to snap but his voice comes out as a whisper as tears sting his eyes.

“I never said anyone was, sweetheart. I don't want perfect, I want you. I want this family we've made and the one we're making.” John replies sincerely, leaning in to kiss Sherlock.

And that's all it takes to break the detective as he lets out a choked sob and the tears fall down his face.

“I want to be better for you, John. I love you so much, I'd do anything ...” Sherlock whispers, pressing his forehead against John's.

“I know, sweetheart. Listen, we'll discuss this when we get inside.” John replies softly, kissing Sherlock's forehead before pulling away slightly.

The cab slows to a stop outside their flat and Sherlock looks out the window in confusion.

“How did you know …”

“I always know when I've come home.” John replies with a smile.

Sherlock looks over at his partner before pulling him into a passionate kiss that steals John's breath away.

The subtle cough from the cabbie is what forces them apart and John sheepishly hands over the fare as Sherlock chuckles to himself.

“Come on, you.” John grins, giving Sherlock a shove.

Sherlock's chuckles turn into child-like giggles as he opens the door and drags John out of the cab.

“You're ridiculous.” John sighs, failing to hold back a grin.

“Says the one who invaded Afghanistan.” Sherlock giggles, his cheeks now a lovely shade of pink.

“Says the one who pulls up his coat collar to look cool.” John replies, gigging along with Sherlock.

“You're the one who fell in love with a madman.” Sherlock grins playfully.

“Yeah, I did. And there's nothing ridiculous about that.” John replies with a soft smile.

“No, there's nothing ridiculous about falling in love with an adrenaline junkie either.” Sherlock whispers, pulling John close.

Suddenly, John feels overwhelmed with love for his detective as he remembers what he said to him a few weeks ago.

Marry me.”

The words echo loud in his head as he looks up at his partner and best friend. Tomorrow he'll buy a ring and do it properly, like Sherlock deserves.

“John?” Sherlock asks in a concerned tone.

“Let's go home, love.” John replies with a smile, grabbing Sherlock hand and pulling him towards their front door.

Sherlock lets himself be lead, happy to go wherever John goes.