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Put Your Own Mask On First

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Sherlock is running through a dense forest. Tight and frantic movements. Branches drawing tiny lines of blood across his fingers. Snow soaked through wherever it lights. Living in the moment; weary but not tired. And his limbs respond, propelling him further on to relief. His eyes refused to close even after days; open, always watching. He hears the dogs barking ...his name?...wait…


“Sherlock!” John Watson risked yelling in his ear and ducked in time to miss the swing of Sherlock’s frantic arms.

Oh, God! The baby!” Sherlock scrambled to his feet, falling over them, and onto the floor on his side.  


“IS Sleeping as is Molly” John yelled at first but let his voice fade to a whisper as he pulls Sherlock back up to his seat.


Sherlock slumped heavily, squeezing his eyes open and close as he tried to adjust the bleariness. John stared arms folded at him much too long for his comfort. Sherlock grimaced looking up at him.“What is the manner of this visit?”


“Molly text me, I assume before she passed out herself, to check on you. But if you don’t want the takeout I brought or tea--”


“Shut up John, where is the food?” Sherlock shot up from his seat.


John waved his hand behind him. “Kitchen. You’re welcome, don’t thank me so much really I can’t handle that.”


Sherlock already had a container open, taking large bites of pasta.


John settled into a chair opposite of Sherlock. Molly and Sherlock rearranged the sitting room of her flat to be somewhat like 221B. They shopped until a chair similar enough in size and comfort suited for Sherlock’s need for mind palace work when he was home. 221b was just an office now. Lately, if he tried such thinking at either location though he found himself sleeping.


“Molly says you have taken good care of her,” John smiled softly at his friend.


“Why wouldn’t I?” Sherlock frowned deeply, both at the statement and the not quite good tea his friend made him.


“Of course...but she also said you aren’t taking care of yourself.”


“When have I ever?” Sherlock rolled his eyes, laughing but as his mouth opened a yawn escaped.

“You know when you take a flight and they are giving the safety demo…” John paused as he sees a confused look fall across Sherlock’s face.


He sighed, “Ok, I forgot who I am talking to. Anyway, the flight crew reminds you that if the oxygen masks come down, you put yours on first before you assist your child or someone else.”


John stared at his friend and watched the pattern of understanding fall across his face.


“I comprehend the sentiment...I’ll try to rest better today I promise if you’ll change the subject,” Sherlock huffed and returned to his food.


John snickered, “I saw Greg yesterday, told me about a couple cases--”


“Give me the details you have and I’ll text him. I am sure they are much more straightforward than he is able to see,” Sherlock said with a sigh as he grabbed his mobile from the recesses of the chair where it had settled.


“Sure you are up for it?” John teased with a grin.


“Either it will entertain my dulled mind or more likely, put me blissfully asleep from boredom, please proceed,” Sherlock spoke plainly staring at his friend.


John sighed before beginning laying out the details he knew for the next hour.




John left with two more cases done, all texted to DI Lestrade by Sherlock, and with a content and well-fed friend.


Sherlock heard well-known noises down the hall and quietly padded down the hall. Small grunts broke the silence in the room. His son waking, but not opening his eyes yet. Sherlock half jumped as Molly shot up from a dead sleep.


“He’s fine, just waking up,” Sherlock whispered as he put a hand on baby’s tummy. Molly’s shoulders relaxed and she rubbed her eyes.


“I slept so hard. I guess he did too,” she yawned stretching her neck out.


Sherlock lifted the baby, laying him against his chest. His son began rubbing his mouth back and forth. “Valiant effort, son, but alas, I am not equipped,” Sherlock chuckled.


Carefully placing a knee on the bed, he cradled his son placing him into the waiting arms of his mother.


Sherlock studied her face shift from sleepiness to pure love and alertness as she prepared to feed their baby boy. He saw hints of this face when he watched her care for their goddaughter. But it was veiled. It amazed him every time to see it fully realized with their son.


“You like to stare at me while I breastfeed him it seems. It would be more useful to feed me some of that food John brought,” she softly giggled while stroking the baby’s hair.


Sherlock frowned for a second, and she smirked, “I can smell the garlic. But don’t worry, now it just makes me hungry.”


She looked timid suddenly, “You aren’t mad I asked him to come by I hope.”


He smiled back as he shook his head. He leaned in, kissing her forehead tenderly. “I’ll be right back. Tea?’”


“Did John make it?”


Sherlock grimaced a bit but attempted to hold it back, “Yes.”


She bit her bottom lip. “You mind making some fresh?”


Sherlock grinned at the thought that she prefers his tea, “Of course, love”


When he returned with a plate full of pasta and tea just how she liked it, he saw that the baby was still eating.


“He must be going through a growth spurt,” she said quietly as Sherlock set the tea on the nightstand. “He is nearly done with the left. Bet he’s gonna want the right too.”


Sherlock pushed his pillow up on the headboard and sat by her gingerly, not to jostle the bed too much.


“Sounds just like his dad,” Sherlock teased and she elbowed his arm but the corner of her lip going up told him the joke did not land wrong.


He gathered a small bite on the fork, “Here, I’ll feed you as you work.”


Molly squinted her eyes, but Sherlock continued, “It is work Molly even if your body is doing a lot of it automatically.”


So they sat, the baby quietly eating and Sherlock nourishing his wife. Soon, their son fell fast asleep again.


Molly placed him gently in the cradle next to her side of the bed and rocked it with her foot as she sat back down on the edge of the bed.


Sherlock joined her. She tried to stretch her back but her face contorted in sudden pain.


Sherlock instinctively put a hand on her back.




She sighed, and took a couple breaths and took up her tea for a sip,  “I am ok, still sore from labor it seems. Back labor and all,” she chuckled.


His face still was tight with concern.


“We could have adopted you know, skipped this part,” she murmured, as she sat her tea back down, rubbing her lower back.


“And deny the world a perfect combination of our genetic material? No, it was too good to pass up,” he grinned but tempered it. “I do appreciate the extra effort required of you for this--”


She stopped him, “I was kidding. Every bit of it was worth it.”


Sherlock leaned in and kissed her suddenly on the lips. Tender and sweetly, they enjoyed it for a moment before she ended it to rest her head on his shoulder. They both stare at their sleeping son as if there was nothing else in the world. Sherlock knew for a fact there isn't anything more fascinating.


“He could end up not being like either of us in the end,” she murmured.


“I am aware,” he said softly as he found her hand with his. “But he will be brilliant. But kind. Easily so. Our minds, but your heart.”


“Oh Sherlock, you have the same heart. I wouldn’t have fallen for you if we didn’t share that,” she replied searching his face.


“Everyone insists on this now, yet effortlessly pointed to the contrary in the past.” His voice went low and with emotion.


“It’s because appears dissimilar in its approach, but it’s the same nature I assure you,” she said quietly lifting his hand to kiss and set it back down on her knee.


He gazed intensely at their son, his voice reverent. “I thought this beyond my reach once. That I was above it... then I realized perhaps it was the inverse; that it was above me.”


Molly ran her other hand down his arm to his hand, caressing his knuckles lightly with her fingertips. He laced his fingers with the hand he already held and leaned his head on hers.


“You will be an amazing father,” she encouraged. “We’ll make mistakes, but he will always know how much he is loved.”


She started to yawn and he joined her. She looked up at his face, capturing his eyes. “Lay down with me, Sherlock.”


And without question, he shifted onto the bed and his side adjusting his pillow. Molly crawled under the duvet and laid her head against his chest as he laid down. He could hear each heartbeat in the room; every breath taken if he concentrated. Grateful that it numbered more than just one.