Sherlock put down his cuppa and raised an eyebrow at his friend who was clearly struggling with his daughter.
“Rosie, why do you keep throwing the rattle if you want it? Just keep the rattle!” exasperated John as he leaned over to pick up the toy and hand it to the crying infant in front of him.”
“She’s learning, John.”
“Doesn’t seem like she is. She keeps making the same mistake over and over,” John scoffed.
“She’s experimenting, learning, teaching herself. She is discovering gravity, physics. She is uncovering the differences between dropping things and throwing things. How fast does it fall? What sound does it make? She is learning about angles and force and how they affect the trajectory the rattle travels. She is smarter than you give her credit for. She knows that the rattle will fall on the ground and she will be upset, but she also knows that her father will pick it up and give it back to her and she will be able to resume her experiments. The world is still so new to her and she has so much to discover. She’s grasping at it and taking it in, slowly uncovering the mysteries it holds,” Sherlock mused.
“So basically, she’s doing experiments and doesn’t care that she’s making a mess because she knows I will just clean after her and do whatever she wants anyways?”
“Well that’s familiar.”
They give each other knowing looks and hold each other gazes for a lingering moment, then they break into giggles.
John missed this. 221B. Sherlock. Smiling and cracking jokes with the taller man. But this was different. The way Sherlock talked about Rosie was… unexpected. Sentimental. At some point they must have stopped laughing because Sherlock was sitting there staring at him openly, quizzically.
“Ahem. Right, well,” John began with no follow-through.
He thought Sherlock would be annoyed by having a baby around, but clearly the man cared about her, was fascinated by her, even. John knew he would be a good godfather, in his own way.
Sherlock was simply sitting in his chair tea in one hand and mobile in the other, too distracted to notice John’s awkwardness. John sat in his own chair and watched the other man’s face as he scrolled through Twitter, scoffing at idiots’ comments. He felt a wave of fondness flowing through his chest. Maybe this was it, his opportunity to have The Talk. He needed to get it over with at some point anyways.
Sherlock felt his gaze and looked up.
“You’re doing a look,” he stated.
“Yes, well I have something I’d like to say,” John replied.
“It’s been… difficult, lately. Being a single dad, working at the clinic, having to get people to watch Rosie all the time, and I was thinking… hoping... that since you seem to think she’s so interesting and the two of us are here so often already, you would see your way to… you would allow us to…” John spluttered.
“You want to move back in,” Sherlock, deduced. This has different from his usual deductions, however, he usually looks so confident, smug even, but now he looked surprised, anxious, confused.
“Yes,” John admitted. “I know it’s asking a lot from you, having a baby around all the time. You could always call a sitter or drop her off somewhere else if I’m not home and you don’t want to deal with her. We’d have to get this place a bit more baby-proofed and there wouldn’t be any more experiments in the house,” his eyes jotted downwards at that last comment.
“Actually,” John paused. “This is asking way to much from you, you never wanted this,” John muttered.
Sherlock just stared at him blinking in shock. After taking a few moments to absorb what John was asking up him, his brain caught up with John’s current uncertainty and withdraw.
“No!” Sherlock bellowed. “I mean… no it’s fine. It’s all fine,” he said, softer this time.
“Come home, John. You were never meant to live in the suburbs.”
John’s eyes lit up as he looked at his friend in front of him who was clearly holding back his excitement as could be told by the rapid tapping of his shoe and fingers.
“Yeah, you’re right,” John smirked. “So I’ll call an estate agent and get things sorted as soon as I can- if that works for you.”
“Of course, John. You and Rosie are always welcome here,” Sherlock beamed.