It had been a troubling week for Sherlock Holmes. Normally, it was his preference to blame anything cumbersome on those around him. Mycroft and his self-righteous self was normally blamed for the rain. Mrs. Hudson for the lack of biscuits. John for the absence of a case.
Given his foul mood, he really, truly wanted to blame someone for his low spirits. Anyone would have done. Anderson, Lestrade, Donovan, hell, even the postman who always called him Sheldon would do. But, as much as he wanted to, he couldn’t fault anyone for the feelings running through his oversensitive nerves.
Probably too much sugar from when the children were here.
Ah, yes, the children. Only a week had passed since he had babysat with Molly, spending the weekend with his god-daughter Rosamund and John’s girlfriend’s eight-year-old son. In the quiet hours at Baker Street since, Sherlock had receded more times into his mind palace then he ever had before. He recounted and revisited every bloody minute of the weekend, from the endless superhero films, to the shared ice cream, to the football match, to even John’s cruel gift of rubbish macarons.
He had come to a conclusion that Sunday afternoon, sitting in his chair, staring out the window as the sun set over the city.
He wanted a child.
Sherlock tensed, although continued his movements along the pavement. The thought still gave him heart palpitations. In fact, since that realization, he had spent the week trying to sway his own mind.
It was ludicrous, really. Sherlock couldn’t have a hole in his chest. He was nearing his forties, doing a job he loved, living in a city he called home, and had his dearest friends around him. What more could he need from life?
But someone seemed to disagree. For the past week, he woke every morning with a pillow clutched to his chest, the memory of a dream-like child with big eyes and messy hair on his mind. And, for some bizarre reason, every time he left Baker Street, he passed a disproportionate number of children, especially babies.
Always cute, smiley little things, with big red cheeks and tiny little fingers. Their eyes always managed to find Sherlock, their smiles breaking through the crowd to squeeze at his heart and make his hands shake. And, as things went, as he currently turned the corner, he had to jump to the side to avoid colliding with a woman and a pram.
He glanced down at the opening, his stare meeting the wide-eyed, green gaze of a child with a messy mop of red hair on her head. He swallowed and couldn’t help but wave as he righted his balance. The child giggled and waved back to him, going so far as to turn her head to watch Sherlock, even as her mother pushed her away.
As the child disappeared from his view, he sighed and ran a shaky hand through his curls.
Whenever Sherlock had a case, he functioned a very particular way. Baker Street shifted from a place to sleep and run experiments to an expertly organized office. His back wall would frequently turn into a case map, with photos, files, and articles pinned to every open inch, his frantic scribbling moving from one page to the next.
So, unaware of how to treat his current predicament, he did what he knew best. He stood in front of the wall, his hands on his hips, admiring his work. Clad in his usual clothes and a dressing gown, he was currently in the brainstorming phase of his new case.
A Baby for Baker Street.
Oh, yes. That will do. John never lets me pick the case names.
He cleared his throat and studied the display on the wall, the crisp photographs and white pages in stark contrast to his dark wallpaper. He currently had five possible next steps, all with different protocols and opportunities for adding a child into his life.
Before he could contemplate his options, his attention was drawn to the opening of the flat door. With a quick glance over his shoulder, he returned to his viewing.
“John. I thought it was your day off. Weren’t you spending it with Lydia?” Sherlock asked, retrieving a pen from his desk.
His best mate pulled his jacket off and made a noise of agreement. “She had to work but we had lunch earlier. I was out so I thought I would drop by and say hello.”
Sherlock ran another hand through his hair and let his eyes jump from option to option. “I see.”
He ignored John’s footsteps and continued to think, his eyes jumping frantically from photo to photo. However, that was until John’s affronted voice filled the room.
“Sherlock! Why in god’s name is there a photo of Lydia and Alfie on your wall?” John studied the familiar photo before glancing at the one beside it, “And a photo of the Queen Mother?” His eyes drifted to the next, “Or a photo—”
Sherlock groaned and turned to his friend. “Isn’t it obvious?” He retorted, waving his hands, “Must you be so dull?”
John narrowed his eyes. “Really lost for this one, mate. But it’s not bloody normal for you to have a photo on my girlfriend on your wall! Where did you even get it from?”
His best mate shut his eyes and took a deep breath. “Sherlock. I’m going to need you to explain what’s going on here.”
Sherlock rolled his eyes and moved to the wall. “It’s quite simple. I have a new case.”
John narrowed his eyes. “And how exactly is Lydia involved?
“She isn’t. Not directly. She represents an opportunity.”
“Would you just—”
Sherlock rolled his eyes and cleared his throat. “I’ve decided to have a child. I’m currently evaluating my next step.”
Instead of responding, John’s mouth simply fell open. He blinked a few times and continued to watch his best mate but was unable to respond.
Sherlock rolled his eyes and waved towards the photos, mimicking the movements of a retail worker in a showroom. “Use your brain, John. I have five opportunities to become a father.”
He approached the first photo, one of the Queen Mother. He pointed and cleared his throat. “The first and most obvious option is to have a child through normal reproduction with a woman.”
He took a few steps to the right and pointed to a photo of a young girl with big red hair, an image that John immediately recognized as Annie, the orphan from the musical. Sherlock clasped his hands together. “The second option would be to adopt, although preferably a child that does not sing and dance.”
Sherlock took another few steps and stopped beside the photo of Lydia and Alfie, the one that had incensed John to begin with. “My third option would be to simply begin a relationship with a woman who is already a mother, thus allowing me to forgo the work of accumulating the child. However, I admit, the prospect of this one seems slim.”
He cleared his throat and moved to the next photo. Unlike the previous ones, the image was of a happy Irish Wolfhound puppy. “I have included the possibility of getting a dog. While it would not be the same as having a child, I figured it could be a possible alternative, although again, it seems less fulfilling.”
And then, finally, he stopped in front of the final photo, an image of a young boy with messy dark hair, bright blue eyes, and a knowing smile. John blinked a few times, clearly recognizing the face. Sherlock smirked.
“Indeed, this is a photo of me at three years old. My final option, although unfortunately the most unrealistic one, would be reproducing independently.”
John finally managed to squeak out a question. “Reproducing independently?”
“Well, yes. I have a few theories. After eating too much, using mitosis to split into two organisms. Or, perhaps, like a butterfly, forming a chrysalis. Or genetic cloning.”
John blinked. “You’re barking mad, Sherlock.”
The detective rolled his eyes. “I know these aren’t scientifically possible. Yet. But, I thought it would be irresponsible as a scientist to leave them off the list of options.”
At the mention of the options, John finally awoke from his mental stupor. He approached Sherlock. “Mate, let’s chat, okay? If you’re feeling a bit… Distant, or sad, we can work through it. You don’t have to—”
Sherlock scoffed and waved his hands, going back to evaluating his options. He quickly interrupted John. “I thought you would be delighted by my decision. I assumed you would want me to, as Mrs. Hudson always recommends, ‘settle down’.”
John rubbed at his temples, unbelieving of the conversation he was having with Sherlock. “Mate, look, you need to understand what you’re suggesting! A baby! I have one. I know what it’s like. And yeah, it’s rewarding, but it’s bloody hard too!” He cursed and began to pace, “And with you Sherlock, I can never tell if you’re being serious about this! This is the commitment of all commitments!”
Sherlock narrowed his eyes. “I understand what a baby entails. It’s another human being that needs to be nurtured, guided, and loved.”
“And since when have any of those things been something you’re good at?”
The detective frowned. “Look, I understand that I seem like an unlikely candidate to want to become a father, but lately the urge is overwhelming. It’s all I can thing about.”
John shook his head. “You’re talking about taking care of a child for the next eighteen years, Sherlock. A living, breathing, child. Your entire life will change.”
“I can deal with changes, John. I’m an adult.”
John cursed. “No, mate, you don’t understand! How you live now won’t cut it! You go days without eating and sleeping. You’ll disappear for cases. You put yourself in danger. You can’t do that with a child.”
Sherlock crossed his arms. “I’m aware. I see how your availability has become more selective since Rosie. That will be doable. I will never accept cases below a six.”
“Yeah? And what happens when another case needs you to start using? You think you can muck your life up with a baby in the mix?” His words were harsh.
“I’m not using now,” Sherlock began, watching his friend carefully, “and I haven’t in more than a year. I never will again. Do not use my past against me, John. We all make mistakes.”
John shook his head. “Yeah, and who will watch the baby when we’re on a case? Most of your options pose you as a single father. You can’t rely on Mrs. Hudson to read your kid to sleep every night.”
Sherlock cleared his throat. “There are many options. I presume my parents would move closer to London to be near the child. I could always hire a nanny.”
“This is mad, Sherlock. You’re not ready for a child.” He continued to pace, waving his hands as he spoke, “You always do this! You get an idea and then you just don’t abandon it! Why in god’s name do you suddenly even want a kid?”
“Why? This past weekend. With Molly and the kids, things just felt… right.” Sherlock sighed and rubbed at his neck, “I felt fulfilled in a way I never had before. I was so happy… My face hurt when the children left. I smile so little that a few days with them had actually made me sore.”
John frowned and considered his friend’s words. “I get it, Sherlock. I do. But taking care of someone else’s kids for a few days is nothing like raising a baby. There will be screaming, and crying, and dirty diapers, and temper tantrums, and that’s all before the kid is two. Then you have to teach them right from wrong, hold them when they get scared, kiss their scrapes, and read them to sleep. That’s even before they start to speak.”
Sherlock crossed his arms and dropped to his seat, refusing to meet John’s gaze. “I actually thought you’d be supportive of my desire. You of all people. My best mate. A father. I expected this response from Mycroft. Lestrade. Even my parents. But never you.”
John sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Sherlock, I’m just concerned that you’re doing this for the wrong—”
He sighed and moved to his old chair, dropping into the seat to face Sherlock. “Yes?”
“Is Rosie the best thing to ever happen to you?”
John nodded. “Yes. Of course, she is. She’s the most important thing in the world to me.”
“Then why should I be denied the same sort of happiness?”
John frowned and dropped his head to his hands. He cursed. “You’re serious about this? You want to be a father?”
Sherlock nodded, and to John’s surprise, smiled. “I do. It’s the only thing I’ve been certain of in a long time.”
The shorter man groaned. “Alright, then. I guess we should go over your options.”
Both men gazed back at the case map.
The Personal Blog of Dr. John H. Watson
Date: February 6, 2019
A Baby for Baker Street
I expect I’ll be working on this entry for a very long time. Say, nine months at least? I visited Sherlock this afternoon and received some of the most shocking news of my life. Sherlock wants to be a father. He wants to have a baby.
Initially, I assumed he was pulling my leg or conducting some ridiculous experiment. Yet, after talking to him, I think his desire is genuine. Babysitting Rosie and Alfie seemed to knock a switch on inside of him. But, I’m still worried about him. I don’t think he’s entirely clear with what he wants.
He’s told me that he wants a baby. I believe him. I do. But I think what he really wants is a baby with Molly.
I think their weekend—
John quickly shut his laptop at the sound of Sherlock’s footsteps reentering the room. He watched as his best friend ventured into the kitchen and began digging around in the cupboards for a snack. After their conversation earlier in the day, John left to pick up Rosie and finish the rest of his errands. However, they had journeyed back to Baker Street for dinner. Rosie was now in Mrs. Hudson’s flat, and John had taken to entertaining himself while Sherlock took what appeared to be a rather vicious call with Mycroft.
Padding back into the sitting room, Sherlock dropped to his chair, a Jaffa cake between his lips. He took a bite and looked to John. “What are you writing?”
John tucked his laptop back into his bag. “Just an email to a colleague.”
Sherlock hummed, and took another bite, dropping the question even if he didn’t believe his best mate. “Mycroft is such a twit. He’s unhappy with how we handled the Canterbury case. Apparently, the bloke had ties to the leader of the Labour Party,” Sherlock finished the biscuit and grabbed another, “Why that’s our problem is beyond me.”
“I see. And what’s Mycroft been up to these days? I haven’t seen him around here in a long while,” John studied his best mate, amused by the entire day.
Sherlock shrugged. “Licking his wounds, I presume. I believe he was passed over for a promotion he wanted. It would certainly explain his awful attitude.”
“Promotion? Is there any room left on the ladder for Mycroft to climb?”
“Mhm. Knighthood? He always did like showing off.” Sherlock tucked the box away and stretched, “Enough of this. Let’s chat before Mrs. Hudson returns Rosie.”
John cleared his throat and glanced at Sherlock’s bizarre case map before turning to the man himself. “Right. Let’s chat.”
Sherlock sighed and propped his hands under his chin in his normal, prayer-like thought pose. “Yes, well, unfortunately independent reproduction seems to be off the table for now. Such a shame.”
John blinked a few times. “Right. Such a shame. And the dog?”
He waved his hands. “That’s more of a backup.”
“I see. So, you have three options.”
Sherlock made a noise of agreement. “Hypothetically, yes. However, as the only woman around my age with a child that I interact with is your girlfriend, and that I have no desire to entertain a relationship with the majority of the city, I feel I only have two true options.”
John nodded. “Right. So, it’s adoption or the old-fashioned way. Although, to be frank Sherlock, I don’t expect the system to allow someone like you to adopt a child.”
He scoffed. “Someone like me?”
“You have a history of using drugs, live alone, are unmarried, and have a job that puts you in danger. That’s not normally the type of person they’re looking for to adopt a child,” John explained.
Sherlock grumbled. “I suppose. Admittedly, the prospect of the child sharing my DNA was certainly my preference.”
“Then it sounds like you made your decision, mate. What next?”
Sherlock cleared his throat and shifted in his seat, now avoiding John’s gaze. “I need to look into finding an egg donor that fits my gene and intellect requirements, and then I will find a surrogate to carry our baby.”
John blinked a few times. “Well, yeah, sure, but what about—”
The detective jumped to his feet. “I need to get to work on Punnett squares. I would prefer the child to have—”
John cursed. “Sherlock, mate, why aren’t you considering—”
Sherlock interrupted him again. “Mycroft is going to conduct endless background tests on the donor, so of course that will be a nightmare, but—”
John cursed and stood up. “Why are you—”
“I wonder what surrogacy rates are in London. The regulations must—”
John finally had enough. “SHERLOCK!”
The detective finally stopped talking. He swallowed and looked to John. “Yes?”
John cursed. “What are you doing?”
“You know there’s a simpler option that makes more sense.”
Sherlock cleared his throat. “I don’t—”
John rolled his eyes. “Stop talking, Sherlock. Why aren’t you considering asking Molly?”
At her name, Sherlock tensed. “Anonymity seems less… messy.”
“But that’s not what you want, is it? You don’t want anonymity. You want to have a child with Molly. That’s why this weekend changed your mind to begin with.”
Sherlock cleared his throat and turned away. “That’s not true—”
The detective cursed. “Alright. I concede that yes, if everything were up to me, I would have a child with Molly. Not only would it logistically be easier, but she is the ideal candidate to mother my child.”
“That’s not the only reason why.”
Sherlock narrowed his eyes. “What are you getting at?”
“You feel for her, Sherlock. You’d have to be a moron not to see that.”
Before Sherlock could respond, Mrs. Hudson strolled in, a giggling Rosie in her arms. She smiled at the two men. “Good evening, boys! I just came to drop Rosie off. I’m off to bed.” With a quick kiss on both of their cheeks, she set Rosie down and disappeared.
John pinched his nose and blew out a breath. “Sherlock, you know what the answer to this is. Don’t take the easy way out. You will regret it.”
Sherlock cleared his throat and looked down to Rosie. His goddaughter was playing with her shoelaces, her blonde hair done up in neat pleats. She met his gaze and giggled, offering him a bright smile. Sherlock swallowed, amazed by how much the little girl looked like Mary. Or, rather, a perfect blend of her parents. She had the striking blue eyes and pouty lips of John, and the shiny blonde hair and sharp nose of Mary. She had even begun to pick up John’s mannerisms. She shared the same incredulous looks and silly little run of her father. And, even without Mary, she shared her mother’s fiery personality.
He gulped, again remembering the little boy of his dreams—curly dark hair, big brown eyes, a small, slightly upturned nose, a charming smile…
He turned to John. “How does one ask a woman to have their child?”
John, who had been busy getting Rosie into her coat, stopped his movements. He blinked a few times, registering Sherlock’s words.
“You finally figured out what you want?”
“Do you know why you want that?”
Sherlock swallowed. “Not quite.”
John made a noise of acknowledgement. “Well, since you’re the genius, I reckon you figure that out before you ask Molly if you can knock her up.”
“Yes, yes, very well. I wish I had her family history. Then I could determine our genotypes and include them in my request.”
“And why would that get her to say yes?”
Sherlock shrugged. “If she were passionate about her child not having freckles or having blue eyes, it would only help our case.”
John sighed. “Mate, give yourself some time. I need you to remember what you’re asking.” He picked Rosie up and looked to him, “Remember how I said this was a lifetime commitment for you?”
“Well, this is a lifetime commitment for her too. So… Don’t be Sherlock when you ask.”
He grumbled. “Right. Goodnight then.” He looked at Rosie and smiled, “Goodnight, Rosie.”
She grinned and gasped. “Uncie Sherwock, I hab something for chu.” She reached into her sparkly bag and pulled out a white sheet of paper, covered in colorful scribbles. She smiled.
Sherlock swallowed and took the art. He glanced down at the paper, admiring the fine scribbles and vibrant colors. But, even amid the lines and shading, he could very clearly identify four outlines of people. He looked to Rosie.
She giggled. “It’s you, Auntie Molly, me, and Ow-fee.”
Sherlock swallowed. “Thank you, Rosie. I’ll cherish this forever.”
He pressed a kiss to her forehead and stepped back. He looked to John. “Thank you. I have a lot to figure out.”
John snorted. “That’s the understatement of the century, mate. Get some sleep, do some research, and be smart.”
With that, the Watsons disappeared out the door. Sherlock glanced down at the photo and couldn’t help but smile. He strolled back into the living room and began to remove his case map, satisfied with his choice (although, he did keep the photo of the Irish Wolfhound, as that was secretly still something he very much wanted, baby or not). On his empty wall, he taped Rosie’s drawing, as well as a photo of him and Molly from Rosie’s baptism that he had received as a Christmas gift.
He glanced at the three photos, ignoring the funny little flip inside his stomach.
Molly, a baby, and a dog.
What more could he ask for?
Well, her agreement for starters.