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Shelter Me

Chapter Text

"OK, here goes," I mumbled and pressed start on the timer on my phone.

The longest two minutes in my life were about to begin and I looked anxiously at myself in the mirror.

I sighed. "How the hell has it come to this?"

We hadn't known each other that long and even if he was the love of my life, I wasn't sure he wanted this, not with me. This wasn't planned at all and now I stood here and was almost freaking out while he was still sound asleep next door.

He had arrived two nights ago, exhausted from work, stressed out, a bit grumpy and annoyed because the flight had been a pain and some paparazzis had recognized him at the airport.

"I can't even be anonymous here any more," he had complained with an annoyed look in his gorgeous eyes.

He had been a bit tense when he hugged me, but as soon as he had kissed me, he had relaxed and sighed.

"You can here with me, you know," I had answered and he knew I was right.

No one in my hometown gave a toss who he was and even if someone recognised him, he was always left alone, he could relax and be himself.

Now he was sleeping in my bed. I knew I had to leave him alone the first couple of days, he needed a lot of rest and especially this time. They had just wrapped up shooting Sherlock and it had been excruciatingly hard work. The first few days he just had to get the work out of his system and reboot his head in his own way.Then he would be mine 100 percent. 

The alert on my phone went off and I jumped with fear. I quickly turned it off and my stomach just turned. I closed my eyes for a short moment, just to get a hold of myself. My heart was beating so fast and loud I thought the entire world could hear it and with trembling hands I took the pregnancy test and looked at it.

Positive!

I just stared at the two very clearly pink lines on the test, my legs collapsed under me and I sank to the floor with a moan.

So many thoughts ran through my head as I sat there on the bathroom floor leaning against the cabinets. How the hell was I to tell him this? I suddenly felt really sick. This was certainly going to change everything!

I don’t remember how long I sat there or how I even got up, but somehow I managed to get up and suddenly I found myself standing in the door to my bedroom, staring at the gorgeous creature lying in my bed. He was still sleeping, breathing calmly and so many emotions ran through me.

“I love you,” I whispered, afraid of waking him up, but I felt I had to say it.

His eyes met mine as he woke up and he gave me a tired smile.

“Hello,” he mumbled and his soft deep voice just melted my heart.

I smiled back, full of emotions and anxiety, trying to hide how nervous I was.

“Come here.”

He lifted the duvet and with his usual cheeky smile he invited me to join him in bed. Settled in his arms under the warm duvet I tried to relax, but he instantly noticed something was wrong.

“Tell me.”

“I’m pregnant,” I whispered against his neck and I felt him tense up.

Chapter Text

We met at the first ever official Sherlocked Convention in London. I had been standing in line for the photo session with Benedict for a couple of hours and when it finally was my turn for my two pictures, the technique crashed. The camera and the computer didn't want to work together.

"Erm... It seems like they’re having some problems." Benedict looked a bit confused at the staff.

I didn't look at them, I looked at him, taking it all in standing so close to him. I noticed he looked tired, I always notice that in other people. After a moment he finally turned towards me for the first time ever.

"So sorry.... How rude of me not to say hello..." He smiled. "Hello....!"

He gave me that typical cheeky smile and wave and I was totally gobsmacked. He was even more stunning in person than in all the pictures I'd ever seen and I struggled to keep calm, not to give off I was totally star struck.

"Erm... H-hello..." I stuttered.  "Keep calm," I thought to myself. "Be a duck... Calm on the surface... Paddle like hell underneath".

"This is apparently going to take some time," he said still smiling.

I nodded and took a deep breath, just to calm myself even more.

“Nervous?”

“No… No,” I lied and gave him my most convincing smile.

“Good... No need to be… It’s just me… Not some hugely important actor...”

I looked surprised at him, then we just began to laugh and I started to relax. 

 

“So… are you also one of the artistic ones?”

“Artistic?” I asked a bit confused.

“Yeah… Many of you fans are brilliant at drawing, painting, writing, making muffin tops… Very creative...” He smiled.

“Erm….No…I can’t draw or paint, I’m terrible at writing, my baking is horrible… So no….” I giggled. “The only thing I’m good at is taking pictures.

“Ohhh… you are creative then…” He gave me an even bigger smile. “Are you good?”

“Erm…Well, people do say I have an eye for it….” I tried not to sound too pleased with myself as I continued. “No… Honestly….I’m a freelance photographer… Not educated though…. But I’ve been doing it for many years now.”

“Ohhh…..” He paused and looked surprised at me, then he frowned.

“Ohh… I-I’m not a paparazzi photographer, if thats what you think...” I quickly said in a horrified voice and he smiled a bit more relaxed at me. “Oh God no,” I continued. “I hate those bastards”.

"What kind of camera do you use?” He clearly changed the subject.

“Erm… I have different ones, my favourite is my old-fashioned 35 mm still camera… But the one I use for personal use looks much like the one they are using here…” I answered and pointed at the camera the staff was working with. “But I don’t think its the same model...”

I was very tempted to take a look at their camera as the tech-geek I am, but resisted, I didn’t want to shift my focus away from him.

“But it’s pretty good, I’ve taken some brilliant pictures the last few days” I smiled confident at him.

“Taken pictures of any famous people then?”.

“Erm…. I’ve taken a couple of Martin a few hours ago” I blushed.

He looked interested at me. “Oh… Can I see?”

“Sure…”

 

Luckily I had my camera bag at my feet and in a flash I had the camera out, turned on and was showing him pictures of other fans and a very funny picture of Martin Freeman photo bombing a group of cosplaying fans dressed as Sherlock and John.

Benedict laughed when he saw it. “Oh that is so typical Martin... What a copycat.”

I nodded and smiled. It was clearly he was inspired by Benedict photobombing U2 at the Oscars.

“You are good!” He looked, what I took as impressed, at me.

“Thank you.” I could feel I blushed.

“It seems like we still have to wait a while…” He paused and then gave me that typical sassy look. “Do you want to take some of me?”

I stared at him. “Erm…”

I could feel I blushed even more and had to think really fast to not give myself away, but stay calm. The truth was though, I was very nervous again.

“Erm…. In front of the other fans? Can we do that?” I looked surprised at him.

“Why not?” He smiled.

“Will your publicist not object to this… I mean… I’m here as private person, but still… I’m a photographer...”

He looked at his publicist. “I wouldn’t recommend it,” she said in a firm voice.

He frowned at her. “I want to… I’ll take the blame if anything happens.”

He sounded determined and then he turned to me. “Well then…. Let’s do it. We have all the facilities for a shoot right here…” He pointed at the setup.

I nodded, it was a perfect professional setting and a great opportunity for me to shoot some pictures in.

I took a deep breath and smiled at him. “It would be an honour to take some pictures of you.”

“So… How do you want me…?” he asked and gave me the most naughty smile ever.

I almost choked and coughed.

 

It was very odd to stand in line a couple of hours later at the autograph session. I had taken some pretty awesome pictures of him, but I had no way of getting them printed to get them signed. It was a really awful feeling. On the other hand, I had only bought two autographs and I really wanted him to sign the Sherlock book he had written the introduction to. I wasn’t able to give him a copy of the pictures either, that kind of made me sad.

“So… how did the pictures turn out?” He gave me a big grin when he saw me standing in front of him.

He looked relaxed and as if he was enjoying doing this, sitting there behind the table, meeting his fans, signing pictures, books, posters… you name it.

“They turned out pretty good… I’m so sorry you didn’t get a chance to see them.” I smiled back.

“I would love to see them, you know…” He winked at me and I could feel my cheeks get warm.

“Erm…. Yeah… My camera just ran out of battery and stupid me forgot the spare one in my hotel room… Not very professional...” I smiled apologetically and tried to stay really calm.

“Hmm…” He just said and then took the book I wanted him to sign.

“You’ve taken pictures of me I haven’t seen yet and I don’t even know your name,” he then said just as he was about write his autograph.

“Erm.. S-sorry… I-it’s Helena…” I stuttered in surprise.

“Well, then Helena…. “ He started to write in my book. “How do we manage to get me to see the pictures then?”

He tilted his head just a tiny bit and gave me a look that hit me like a bolt of lightning.

“Oh god in heaven… is he flirting with me?!” Thoughts ran through my head and I felt like panicking, but I somehow managed to stay totally calm.

“Well, you could get your people call my people…” I then to my own surprise said.

He beamed at me. “So… If my people call your people then perhaps I can get a copy of them or something?”

I nodded and suddenly felt pretty confident. “Yup!”

“I see…” He nodded and gave me that look again. “How can my people then get a hold of your ‘people’ then?”

I was now totally convinced he knew exactly what we were talking about. The way he said ‘people’, with a tiny pressure on the P, it was like sweet music to my ears.

“Well… E-mail… By phone even…” I felt bolder now and gave him a cheeky smile.

He turned to the staff and ‘his people” who was standing around him.

“Can I have a piece of paper… Or even better… My phone…”

Quickly a woman gave him both.

“Now… Helena… The contact details of your ‘people’.... “ He winked and handled me the paper and a pen.

While I wrote he was on his phone, looking from time to time at my writing, I suspected he was typing my contact details, but thought it must be me dreaming.

“Ohh… You’re from Denmark…?” He looked sincerely surprised at me, then he put down his phone and went back to signing.

“Erm… Yes….”

“Oh… Your English is really impeccable…”

I blushed. “Thank you.”

I handled him the paper with my contact details. “For your people.”

“For you… Helena of Denmark…” He handled me my book and my signed photo of him. “Your ‘people’ will hear from my people very soon…”

“They will look forward to it…” I smiled.

“Oh... I’m sure they will...” he said and winked.

 

When I left the table I took a look at the picture, beautifully signed. Then I opened the book and much to my surprise I saw not only his signature, but a dedication;

“Dear Helena. In memory of a very interesting photo shoot.”

In utter amazement I turned around to look at him, hoping to catch his eye, but he was giving his full attention to the next fan in line, which of course just made me smile even more.

 

******

As much as I had enjoyed the Sherlocked Convention and meeting Benedict, just as much I hated how I had reacted while meeting him. I felt really embarrassed and thought I had been too much of a star struck teenager. Not that there is something wrong with that… when you are 17! When you are almost 42 and even older than him, no! I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of that I actually thought he had been flirting with me.

Well, I don’t look horrible, but I’m definitely not a model or skinny like one. I’m a grown woman, reasonably comfortable with my body and in my own skin, I have curves and bumps and I might be a plus size girl, but I’m proud of what I’ve got. I’m proud of what I have achieved in my life so far, even though I was still single and never had started a family all though I really wanted to.

But him flirting with me, no. I was pretty sure I wasn’t his type at all, that he had done that to all the female fans and I was very sure that I would never hear anything from his people  - his management - about the pictures I had taken. So I put the whole case to rest and decided to see it as an once in a lifetime experience and as something that had been great fun.

 

Four weeks later,much to my surprise, an email landed in in my mailbox. I didn’t recognize the sender, but the subject made me stare;

“Enquiry about pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch”.

First I seriously thought it was some sort of spam mail, I had never actually thought I would hear anything about the pictures, but then I read it. It was in fact from his people and they asked - very politely - if I would email them the pictures so Benedict could see them. No, I could definitely not email all twenty 24 in their original size, that would be too large a file. I wrote back and asked how he wanted the pictures, original size or not and unedited or not.

 

During the following month several emails were sent back and forth his management and we had a real struggle to get to an agreement. I found the whole thing really ridiculous, I really thought I was playing this fair, it was my pictures Goddamnit, but his people - the assistant I corresponded with - was hard to please. It was actually quite simple, his management just had to tell me how he wanted the pictures and how I could deliver them. Nothing more, nothing less. After he had seen them, we could discuss the usage of them.

I was busy planning a trip to London, both work and pleasure. I had a minor photo assignment and I wanted to meet up with my friend Ellie and even make it a holiday. So I was really irritated at those pictures and all the fuss, I even told his management in my last email, that I was coming to London late October and I could deliver them myself, in person, at their office.

The truth was I was dying to publish some of them on my website, just to show the world what brilliant subject he was, but I knew I couldn’t because he had asked to see them, I kind of wanted him to see them first and I felt I had to get his permission to actually publish them. So while I waited for an answer from his management, I planned my trip and got on with my work. The pictures were ready for him, as files on a memory stick and even as printed versions in a specially made portfolio.

Then more than two months after the pictures were taken and a week after my last email, my phone rang. I didn’t know the number, but I could see it was a call from the UK...

Chapter Text

"So... You want to know if I want the pictures in original size and unedited or not?"

A pretty familiar voice sounded in my ear as I answered my phone. I was stunned. Did I hear right? Was that...?

"Erm... excuse me?" I asked pretty confused.

"Hello Helena… Helena  of Denmark...It's Benedict…." He sounded like he smiled and I could feel my heart beat faster.

"H-hi..." I stuttered.

”I hope you don’t mind me calling you myself… Am I interrupting you in something important?”

“Erm… No no… I was just… You’re not interrupting me...” My voice trembled a bit.

“Good…” It still sounded like he was smiling. “Now…. How do we solve this with these damn pictures?”

“Well… I’m still waiting for a reply on my last email…” I answered and tried very hard to get a hold of my voice and sound professional, but the truth was, I was nervous as hell.

“Yes… I have the email here…”

”You have?” I was surprised.

“Yeah... I have all the emails, the assistant have forwarded yours to me and sent me hers as blind copy…”

“Oh… I didn’t know that,”  I bursted out in utter surprise and cursed at myself for sounding so unprofessional.

“Oh… Is that a problem?” He sounded really surprised to my reaction.

“Erm… It would have been nice to know that you… Erm... I find it kind of impolite and unprofessional not to inform me that she forwarded my mails...” I answered a bit harsh and instantly regretted.

“Sorry… “ I continued. “I-it’s not your fault.. So sorry… But… Yes… I hope you understand…I-I didn’t mean to be rude...” I was really trying hard not to sound like I blamed him.

“It’s OK… Of course she should have informed you… You’re right, it’s very impolite. I apologise….” His voice was very calm and soft.

“Th-thank you” was all I managed to answer.

 

“So we are good then?”

“Of course we are,” I answered a bit too eager and bit my tongue in regret.

“Now then, Helena… You write in your last email  that you’re going to London… “

“Yes…Yes I am….”

”Hmm… Work?” he asked and I couldn’t miss that tiny bit of change in his voice, it suddenly felt warmer somehow.

“Bit of both actually… A bit of work and some days off…”

”Oh... You have plans then?”

I couldn’t help but wonder why he had such an interest in me. “He’s just being polite,” I thought to myself.

“Erm… I-I’m meeting a friend and we are going to see a play… After that, I’m just having some days of relaxing on my own,” I much to my surprise blurted out.

“Ooh…. What play?”

I bit my lip to stop myself from giggling, it was obvious he thought of his own play.

“Well, there’s this play… Don’t think you’ve heard of it, it’s not that well-known….There is this odd guy... Some actor…. Not hugely important though…. He is playing this weird Danish prince in this play written by some dead writer….” Oh god, was I flirting with him? I paused.

“Hmm… Doesn’t ring a bell,” Benedict answered and we both bursted into laughter.

 

“Seriously…. Are you’re going to see Hamlet?”

“Yes, we are, we bought the tickets 3 months ago… Listen… About the pictures…” I quickly turned our conversation back to the main subject to stop myself flirting with him. “I could drop the pictures off at the theatre,  your management or wherever suits you…”

“Erm… Yes… Of course...” He sounded disappointed and I much to my surprise felt guilty.

“My management would be perfectly fine,” he then answered and his voice sounded a bit chilly.

 

We very briefly settled the agreement and it was clearly time to end the phone call.

“Helena… Thank you so much for your time and effort to get the pictures to me.” His voice was a bit warmer again.

“My pleasure, Benedict… I’m serious… It’s really my pleasure.”

I felt awful and I was so confused when the call ended. Why did he call himself? Was he interested in me and did I just cut him off? My heart sank to my stomach. What the hell was going on?

 

I was so angry at myself the next few days, but I tried not to think about the phone call at all. I kept reminding myself, that I’m a grown woman and I don’t need to act like a lovestruck teenager. The truth was though, I was very confused and especially about my own feelings. 

But I just kept myself busy getting my work done and getting ready for my trip to London.

 

*******

The following week I found myself in a taxi pulling up to the address of his management. After Benedict’s phone call an email arrived shortly after from his people, and within a few days I had an appointment with the assistant I had been corresponding with the entire time. I tried not to think much about it, I was just there to hand over the pictures and maybe talk a bit about how to go from there with publishing some of them. A receptionist greeted me as I came out of the lift and much to my surprise, I instantly got shown to a conference room as soon as I said my name.

I gasped when I entered. I was certainly not prepared to see Benedict standing right beside the assistant. He looked absolutely gorgeous, very casual and relaxed, although a bit tired, and all my concentration disappeared like snow in the sun. What the hell was he doing here? The assistant came right over and presented herself, but I don’t even think I heard her name. I just gave Benedict a very confusing look.

“Oh yes, you two have already met,” she giggled as Benedict came towards me.

“Hi Helena…” he said and gave me his hand.

His deep but soft voice almost knocked me over and as I took his hand, it felt like an electric shock. We both apparently felt it, because we looked directly at each other in utter surprise. I almost lost my breath when our eyes met, and he gave me a questioning  look and just a tiny hint of a cheeky smile. It was so humiliating how I reacted, but I just couldn’t help it.

“Hi…” That was all I managed to reply.

 

As we sat down at the enormous table - me on one side, them opposite me - I tried very hard to calm myself down and get back to the professional appearance. The assistant small talked constantly and I tried not to look directly at Benedict as I answered all her questions about my trip, my work and so on, but I couldn’t help but notice he sat and looked at me the entire time. It made me feel a bit uneasy.

Then we finally came down to business, the pictures. I pushed the portfolio with the memory stick on top across the table to Benedict. The assistant looked odd at me, but I didn’t care. He wanted to see them, that was what all this fuss had been about. She was just about to comment on it, as I - a bit rude - interrupted her.

“The unedited versions are on the memory stick, the edited in the portfolio.”

 

“Oh… These are very, very good, Helena…” Benedict exclaimed after a moment as he looked through the portfolio.

He looked up from time to time and gave me approving nods. I could feel I blushed, but the assistants constant eye on me kept me from responding. I couldn’t quite figure out why she looked so intensely at me, maybe she didn’t like the whole reason for the meeting.

When he was done looking at the pictures, he pushed  the portfolio to her and as she started to look at it, he just sat back in his chair and looked directly at me. He didn’t say anything, just looked. As our eyes met across the table, he gave me a smile that went directly to my stomach and I couldn’t think straight.

“Oh God… This is not good” I thought to myself.

“Ohhh… They are really good…” The assistant sounded almost as if she was surprised.

“That is really some look you have in your eyes… And your smile,” she said to Benedict and kept flicking through the pictures.

“Hmm… Yes… That might have something to do with the one who took the pictures,” he answered with a very warm tone in his voice and kept looking me directly in the eyes.

I blushed even more.

“Well... Yes...Erm...” she coughed as if she felt uncomfortable. “Down to business then…”

She clearly wanted to break up whatever connection Benedict and I were having across the table.

Slowly he broke our eye contact and looked at her. “Of course.”

 

After 30 minutes we finally had some sort of agreement about the pictures, an agreement both his management and I could live with, but it had not been easy. I had to fight for my rights to my own pictures and still convince her I respected his need for privacy. I found her arguments stupid, it wasn’t pap-pics for goodness sake, he had asked himself if I wanted to take pictures of him. But we finally managed to agree. I could publish a couple of them on my website, but not sell any. It had never been my intention, but I did understand why she stood so firm. It was more her way of doing it, she wasn’t very polite.

Benedict didn’t say anything until we were finished.

“I’ll walk her out, “ he said to the assistant and she clearly showed she didn’t approve.

I raised my brow as I looked at him. He gave me a tiny smile. 

 

“Well, that was interesting,” I huffed as we walked towards the lift.

“She clearly didn’t liked me being here or the entire idea of you seeing or having the pictures… or even that the pictures were taken for that matter.” I looked directly at him.

“No…She didn’t…” He paused. “I wasn’t supposed to be here today, that made it difficult for her…”

He pushed  the button to the lift.

“Why were you here then…?” My voice was low and trembling.

The lift door opened and we went in.

"I wanted to see you… “

The door closed and we stood all alone in the tiny space.

“You w-what…?” I stuttered.

“You heard me,” he said and turned towards me.

None of us had pushed a button, so we weren’t going anywhere.

“Erm...I wanted to thank you in person for the pictures.” He sounded hesitant.

He pushed the button for ground floor and the lift started moving.

“Oh….” I suddenly felt very disappointed.

Had I been hoping for another reason? He must have heard the disappointment, because he looked at me with a frown.

 

When we came out on the ground floor, he walked me the entire way out the entrance door.

“Thank you so much for the pictures and for your patience about this…Mess...” He looked hesitant at me. “They are really really good, I like them alot”

“You’re so welcome…” I mumbled and looked insecure at him. “I guess it’s goodbye then.”

Our eyes met and I quickly looked away.

“I guess so,” he answered.

Slowly he leaned down towards me.

“Farewell, dear Helena of Denmark…” He whispered softly in my ear and kissed me on the cheek.

I closed my eyes just for a split second and held my breath. Then he moved a step back.

“Goodbye Benedict.”

I slowly walked away and my heart just broke. This was definitely not what I wanted.

 

I turned around after eight to ten steps just to get a last glance of him and saw him still standing there, watching me as I walked away. Our eyes met and my heart went crazy.

"Oh God..." I whispered to myself and suddenly I couldn't move out of the spot. "This is not just a star crush.... I'm seriously falling in love with him..."

The thoughts ran through my head and I felt dizzy. Before I could even think, he was standing right in front of me again. He didn't say a word, but cupped my face with his gorgeous large hands, tilted my head back and then he kissed me. A soft sweet kiss.

"I can't let you go..." he mumbled against my lips.

".. And I don't want to go," I whispered and answered his kiss.

 

Chapter Text

It was only two small kisses, but we both felt it. Neither of us wanted to stop or let go, but we both knew we were standing where everyone could see us.

“My sweet, sweet Helena….” he mumbled and put his forehead against mine.

His hands slowly moved from my face to my shoulders, his stunning blue-green-grey-ish eyes were locked on mine and it was like staring into galaxies. We both knew it, we both felt we had to go with this - whatever it was - but we also both knew it couldn’t be right now.

“I can’t leave without knowing I’ll see you again.” It was almost a whisper but I heard every word he said.

I reached up and touched his gorgeous face for the first time. Oh... Those cheekbones. He automatically leaned into my hand and sighed.

“I want this too,” I mumbled.

He grabbed my hand from his cheek, kissed it and our fingers automatically entwined.

“You have work…. You’re meeting a friend…. I have work… ”He kissed my hand again. “But Sunday night… You... Are... Mine…”

His deep voice was low, loaded with passion and it made me tremble. The look in his eyes changed and it was clearly what he meant. I swallowed hard, that was a long time to wait - 4½ days to be precise - but God it was sexy.

I nodded. “Yes… “ I whispered. “I’m yours...”.

“Good…”

He leaned down again and put his gorgeous lips on mine but before I could respond, he took a step back and gave me a very promising and cheeky smile. That was the last time we kissed in public.

 

It was very hard to leave him, but I had to. He had his play to go to, I had to prepare for my photo assignment the next morning. As a taxi drove me back through London to my hotel I couldn’t help but think about the few kisses we had shared…. the sweet short kisses. My heart fluttered and I knew I had to really pull myself together to get through the next few days.

I did manage to get through the evening and night without too much thinking, but as soon as I woke up the next morning he was on my mind. I had dreamt about him. I moaned into my pillow.

“Get out of my head… I’m busy…”

The Sherlock reference made me laugh and I knew it was never going to happen.

 

Luckily I had my job that day. As I sat in a taxi on my way to my assignment, I received a text. I recognised the number and my heart went crazy.

“Good morning x B.”

That was all it said. Before I had a chance to reply the next arrived.

“I dreamt about you last night… “

“Oh… We are playing that game,“ I smiled to myself and replied his text. “Good morning… Dreamt of you, too. xx”.

That was it, no more texts arrived that morning, but the game was definitely on.

 

My photo assignment went well, I got the pictures my client needed and after 5 hours it was a wrap. I was starving but also pretty exhausted, so I went back to my hotel, ordered room service and made a bath ready. Just when I was most relaxed in the bath a text arrived. My heart jumped. Another text from Benedict? Much to my disappointment it was from my friend Ellie. I sighed annoyed.

“Keep your head straight you silly girl,” I mumbled to myself and let my body slide more into the hot water.

 

The rest of the day I kept myself busy with my work, but as soon as I went to bed that night, he was on my mind again, the thought of us being alone together Sunday night made me shiver in anticipation and I suddenly felt very hot.

“Oh God, what are you doing to me?” I groaned into my pillow.

 

The next morning he texted a “good morning” to me again. And so it went on. He texted more during the day and they slowly got hotter. I tried to keep very calm but it was difficult as hell. Luckily Ellie arrived later that Friday afternoon and we had some brilliant girls on the town time that weekend.That took my mind off of it a bit. She did ask about the meeting with his management and I told her about it, but I didn’t mention a word to her about Benedict. I must admit it felt a bit strange now things had evolved as they had. All the texting with Benedict didn’t make it any easier and I was so afraid she felt I wasn’t concentrating on her, but she didn’t seem to notice.

 

I was so nervous when we sat in the theatre Saturday night. I knew I was about to see him, share him with more than a thousand other people! But when the lights dimmed, the play started and he came on stage, I felt like it was just him and me. He didn’t know what day I was to see the play. He never asked and I didn’t want the thought of me in the audience disturb him. But when I sat there, I kind of wished he knew I was watching him.

 

As I finally was alone in my hotel room after the play, I sent him a text.

“You will always be my Hamlet. You were amazing xx”.

Immediately he replied; “Oh. You were there tonight?”

“Yes.”

“I would have loved to see you” he texted back.

I would have loved to see him too, but I wasn’t there alone and he knew that.

Another text arrived. “Tomorrow. My dear Helena. Tomorrow night.”

I shivered. Oh God yes.

“I can’t wait,” I replied.

“I promise it will be worth it. I’ll make it up to you, all the waiting.”

I whimpered.

“I look forward to it” I very boldly replied and couldn’t help a giggle escaping my throat.

“Get some sleep. You are going to need it… xx” That was the last text from him that night and it nearly blew my mind.

“Oh God, you turn me on… “ I moaned and that night I fell into the most restless sleep ever.

 

On Sunday Ellie and I met in the hotel lobby and went for brunch at Speedy’s Café in North Gower Street. I found it so hard to concentrate, my mind was on Benedict, the very naughty text he had sent me as a good morning and the fact I was seeing him again that night.

“You seem very distracted, is something wrong?” Ellie gave me a very questioning look.

I immediately felt guilty.

“No no…” I sighed. “Sorry… I was thinking about my photo assignment.” I felt awful for lying to her.

“Oh.. something wrong?”

“Oh, I got an email yesterday about some of the pictures… just a minor disagreement.. Not important.” I brushed her off and dug into my brunch.

“Hmm… It must be, since you are so far away in your thoughts.”

Her voice revealed she didn’t believe a word I said, but much to my relief she left the subject alone and I tried hard to be present.

 

The rest of our time together was rather fun, and actually it had been so much fun spending the last few days with her and I sincerely hoped I hadn’t been too distracted . As we said goodbye to each other at the train station, she gave me a big hug.

“It’s been so lovely to see you and spend time with you, my dear friend.” She gave me a big smile.

“You too,” I answered and hugged her again. “Talk to you soon, have a safe trip.”

“You know…” She turned around just as she was about step on to the train. “Whatever it is that distracts you so much… I really hope it’s worth it.”

Then she winked and got on the train.

“Oh, if you only knew,” I thought to myself as I watched the train leave.

 

The rest of the day I spend at my hotel room, getting ready for my… well yes, what was it? A date? I didn’t know, but I knew he was up to something. I was getting bit nervous. It had been a while since my last boyfriend and I broke up, a very long while actually.

Early in the evening Benedict texted me; “A taxi will pick you up at your hotel at 10.30 pm. He knows where to take you. See you in a few hours xx”

I shivered and moaned as I looked at my watch. “Good God, still 3 hours to go…!!”

 

I got picked up by a taxi as promised and 45 minutes later it pulled up to a very nice house in a - what I could see in the dark - very posh area of London. As I stepped out of the taxi I saw Benedict standing in an open door with lights from the house beaming out from behind him into the dark. It was a beautiful sight.

We didn’t say anything to each other but as soon as had he closed the front door behind us, he took my purse and removed my jacket and dropped both on the floor. He slowly grabbed my face and only brushed his lips against mine and I could feel his hands shaking. Then he looked me in the eyes as if he was asking for permission to go on and I grabbed his t-shirt, pulled him closer and pressed our lips together.

The sensation of his lips against mine was unbelievable and I instantly wanted more. With a sigh against his mouth I simply gave in and closed my eyes. He moaned as I slightly opened my mouth and let my tongue slide across his bottom lip. His hands moved from my face, one to the back of my neck, the other to my lower back and he pulled me close to him. He opened his mouth to my invitation and deepened the kiss letting our tongues clash together. It was the most amazing kiss ever, full of passion. Quickly the kiss got more and more heated and lustful, and it was only interrupted because we needed to breath.

“Hello…” He smiled as he put his forehead on to mine.

“Hello…Hard working you...” I smiled back.

I let go of his t-shirt and put my arms around his waist. We stood like that for a while, not saying a word, just gazing into each others eyes, taking it all in. Then he gave me a naughty smile.

“Maybe we should continue this somewhere more comfortable?”

We both knew why I was there and we both wanted it. My pulse was most certainly elevated, I knew my pupils were just as dilated as his and the way he looked at me made me tremble in anticipation. God, I wanted him so much.

“Yes...” I breathed in an almost inaudible whisper.

There was no need to pretend, we were both adults and we wanted this, so he lead me straight to his bedroom.

 

Slowly we undressed each other with a lot of caressing, kissing and gentle biting. He quickly got fond of kissing and licking my neck just behind my ears, I discovered it was something I really liked,  and I… I fell in love with his neck freckle. The mole on the right side of his neck. I just wanted to bite it, kiss it, mark him right there, but he wouldn’t let go of my neck and I groaned in a mixture of pleasure and frustration. At that point the height difference between us was to my disadvantage but that was soon not an issue at all.

His hands were all over me and his fingers… Those long, slender amazing fingers. He knew exactly what he was doing and he soon had me totally under his spell just by sliding his fingers up and down my body followed by soft kisses.

“Ohhhh, this is amazing” I moaned and stretched myself on the bed when he found yet another spot on my body I didn’t even know I had.

“I love you are so responsive….”  he mumbled hoarse against my lips as he got in eye level with me again and our eyes locked.

His hands was still all over me and as he slowly let one hand move smoothly further down my body I instinctively moved towards him, invited him to continue. He smiled against my lips and as he bit on my bottom lip he let two fingers slip inside me. I couldn’t help a loud groan escaping my throat and my hips tilted up against his hand. Slowly he began to move his fingers and my mind went totally blank.

“Oh God you are beautiful, “ he suddenly mumbled against my lips, I was breathing hard, trying to keep his gaze.

Those fingers were pure magic. He could feel I was close.

“It’s OK…” He kissed me, slipped his tongue over my lips. “Come for me Honey…”

His deep sexy voice and hot breath against my lips was the last straw. My head tilted back into the pillow, I shut my eyes, my back curved and I whimpered without control very loudly as my body started shaking. The entire time he just held me and let me slowly come to myself again.

“Oh….My… Gooooood… “ I moaned and kissed him frantically until we both gasped for air.

“Good?” He gave me a cheeky smile.

“Are you kidding?” I giggled still with my lips on his.

He smiled against my lips. “Ready for round two?”

“Oh God yes.”

I grabbed him by the shoulders and forced him on his back.

“My turn now…”

He moaned loudly as I finally got to kiss and bite that gorgeous freckle on his neck and slowly let my hands move down his body.

 

I woke up the next morning and found myself almost trapped by an octopus. He was spooning me and his long legs were tangled with mine and he had an arm around my waist, the other was under my neck on the pillow. His body was warm and it was so comforting just lying there and feel his heartbeat against my back. He was still sleeping, his breathing was slow and steady and I just couldn’t help myself. I had to look at him.

Carefully I untangled our legs and slowly I moved around to face him. He reacted a bit as I shifted position, but he was still sleeping when I finally got to see his gorgeous face  He was absolutely stunning. The messy hair, the stubbles and the soft look on his face. I couldn’t take my eyes of him and we lay like that for a long time.

He started slowly to wake up just as I whispered “I’ve fallen in love with you.”

He opened his eyes and gave me a big smile as soon as he saw me.

“Hello….” His sleepy voice was incredible sexy.

“Hello….” I smiled back.

He pulled me in for a hug.

“I’ve fallen in love with you too,” he then whispered in my ear and my heart skipped a beat of pure happiness.

 

We didn’t leave his bed that much during the day. It was his day off, Hamlet wasn’t playing on Mondays, so we had the entire day to do whatever we liked and so we did. Sex before breakfast. Breakfast in bed. A lot of cuddling and talking. A shower together. More sex. More cuddling, talking and a nap. We did eat takeaway in his kitchen, but only because I demanded it. No more eating in bed. That was also the only time during the day we actually had any clothes on, even though it wasn’t that much.

Before we went to bed again that night, we changed the bed linen (I hate bread crumbs in bed) and after even more amazing sex, we were both very content lying there cuddling in the dark, me with my head on his chest and our fingers entwined.

"You know… “ He mumbled into the dark. “The age difference between us, that is not important…. My mother is 4 years older than my father…”

I smiled and gave his chest a soft kiss. He hummed.

The important thing is, that I want to be with you….”

My heart melted and I suddenly had a huge lump in my throat. I opened my mouth, but not a sound came out.

“Did you hear me?”

I nodded against his chest and much to my surprise I began to cry.

“Hey… Are you OK?”

I could hear a shuffle and feel him shifting position a bit, he was reaching over to turn on a lamp on the bedside table. He pulled me up in eye level.

“Hey...Honey… Why are you crying?”

I shook my head. I couldn’t answer, I was too overwhelmed and he realized it.

“Shhh.….It’s OK.”

He held me tight to comfort me and after a while I relaxed again.

“I love you…” I mumbled but didn’t look at him. “I-I know it’s way too early to say it… But… I… I…”

“Honey…. ? Shut up… I love you too…”

 

******

It was clearly we had fallen in love with each other and we soon found a way to be together, meeting up every time his work made it possible. It wasn’t easy, he was always working.

We both knew we had to keep our relationship a secret. Benedict himself had always tried to keep his private life out of the media as much as possible, he understood I wanted to stay out of the spotlight, even though he really wanted me to come along to charity events, on the red carpet and so on, as our relationship got more and more serious.

“I love you, the private you. I don’t want the paps or journalists to know. I know how it is, I’m in the business myself. I would hate to see our relationship as front page news and getting my privacy invaded… Having ex-boyfriends sell their story about me…” I paused and gasped for air.

I was angry. “I don’t want the media to scrutinize and you know they will!”

That was the only time we ever had a row about it.

Of course our closest family and closest friends got to know about us, but we kept our life together out of the media and the ones who knew, also knew they had to keep quiet, even though my parents found it very difficult not to talk about their daughter and her relationship to friends and family. But they soon learned it was important to keep it a secret. Our families and friends were like a wall surrounding us, making it possible to be private when we were together.

The Benedict Cumberbatch the public saw was still single, but in private he was mine. It wasn’t easy though. Everytime we went out together we had to be very careful and it was very stressful for the both of us, but it only made our relationship stronger. If we were in London, we rarely went out, it was only to see his friends or parents in private.

The only place where people didn’t care at all was in my hometown, there we relaxed and could be a couple even in public. Luckily for us the paps in Denmark were so stupid they hadn’t figured out who he was yet, not even after he got nominated for an Oscar. But we knew it could change very quickly, so we enjoyed it as long as it was possible.

Then 10 months into our relationship I found out I was pregnant.

 

Chapter Text

“What did you say?”

“You heard me,” I whispered still with my face buried in his neck.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes… I… I just took a test… A moment ago...”

I could feel his tension disappear as he held me even tighter and I totally lost it. I shook like a leaf, sobbed like mad against his neck and held onto him as if my life depended on it. Carefully he pulled a bit away from me, just enough to get eye contact.

“Hey…” he looked worried at me. “Don’t cry… Why are you crying?”

“W-we haven’t been together for that long,” I stuttered. “I-I wasn’t sure you wanted this… W-we have never talked about it.”

I looked insecure at him, still crying and shaking, but the look in his eyes made me relax a bit.

“Well…” He smiled. “Now we don’t have to... do we?” He gave me a soft kiss. “Honey… This is fantastic news…” He kissed me again.

“It is?” I still wasn’t sure I fully understood he was reacting in a positive way.

“Oh yes… Of course it is!” he mumbled against my lips.

I sighed and as soon I gave in he deepened the kiss.

“Oh Honey… A baby!”

 

"How far are you?” he asked several minutes later as he gave my pregnant belly a soft kiss.

His passionate kisses had convinced me that he was indeed very happy with the news and now we were both relaxing, trying to fully understand it all.

“Erm… eight or nine weeks?… I don’t know…I haven’t been feeling well for a while...“

He gave me a cheeky smile. “Hmm… Eight or nine weeks… That means it happened in London...”

“Oh yeah?” I giggled. I did remember that couple of weeks in London.

He kissed my belly again.

“Listen… This changes everything….” I began and he looked surprised at me. “Us… This.. Me still living here in Denmark… You in London… Everything.”

He nodded and got in eye level with me again.

“I know... But first we have to make sure everything is OK with you and the baby… Have you contacted your GP?”

I shook my head. “No…Not yet... I will... Later today…. Listen… We  have to talk about this.”

He nodded again.

“I know… It’s difficult enough to keep ‘us’ a secret… How the hell do we keep ‘this’ away from the press?” He sighed and put a protective hand on my baby bump.

 

*********

I was exhausted emotionally when I went to bed that night. There had been so many things to take in. The pregnancy, Benedict’s reaction, my reaction, the worrying, the excitement. I now had an appointment with my GP a few days later and we were both very anxious to find out if everything was OK. But the major concern was how to keep it out of the media.

“You know… We can’t keep it a secret forever.”

He tossed his phone on the drawers and began to undress, a sight I never got tired of.

“What… The baby?” I smiled and stared at his beautiful body.

“Us… I mean.” He gave me a cheeky smile, hurried up and got under the duvet to me.

“I’ve been thinking about this all day. We have to give them something eventually or they will skin us alive if they find out the truth without us saying anything….”

He put his arms around me and kissed me on the nose.

“But I don’t want to be in the spotlight.”

“I know,” he sighed. “But I could just let it slip in an interview that I have a girlfriend… And then say nothing else.”

I looked at him with doubt.

“And you don’t think that will make them go hunting for a story?....  What paper will have the breaking news first… News flash…. She is Benedict Cumberbatch’s girlfriend… And then horrible pictures of me all over the frontpage...”

I winched. “You know they will go nuts and we’ll never be able to be seen together anywhere.”

“And you think this will make it any easier?” He put his hand on my belly. “This changes the game completely, Honey. It’s not just about the two of us anymore.”

I knew he was right. This was definitely not going to be easy. We both wanted the privacy, but the question was how to keep it. It was still easy to have a private life in Denmark, but the question was for how long.

“Now I just want to enjoy lying here with you and enjoy your gorgeous baby bump,” he whispered against my lips.

“Hmmm,” I mumbled and kissed him back. “Have you ever made love to a pregnant woman before?”

I gave him a daring smile and his eyes instantly grew bigger. He shook his head.

“Wanna try?” I kissed him again.

“Oh God yes!”

 

********

My GP was a very nice man, in his 50s, always smiling and up for a joke or two. He was very surprised to see me on that occasion.

“Sooo…. You think you’re pregnant?” he asked hesitant in English.

This was definitely new to him, me sitting there with a boyfriend I’d never told him I had and even asking for the conversation to be in English, not Danish. There were no jokes this time.  

“I know I’m pregnant,” I replied with a smile. “I’ve taken a test and your nurse is doing one right now.”

He nodded. “I see… Well, let’s see what the test says, it could be a false alarm.”

I felt my heart sink to my stomach and Benedict looked scared at me. Of course, it could be I wasn’t pregnant at all, but the test was definitely positive.

“And this….This is definitely news to me.” He looked at Benedict and smiled. “May I ask how long you’ve been together?”

“We’ve been a couple since late October.” Benedict grabbed my hand, kissed it and gave me a look that totally melted my heart.

My GP’s phone rang and he looked directly at me when he got the result.

“Well, yes… You are definitely pregnant,” he said and hung up. “I guess congratulations are in order?”

“Of course they are!” Benedict almost jumped out of his chair to hug me.

 

“Now… You’re not exactly a young woman any more, so we have to make sure everything is alright… And being a first time mother and all...”

My GP smiled and even though I should feel a bit offended by that comment (why is 42 not young?), I just smiled back and we all felt the excitement fill the room.

“First… How far do you think you are?”

“I think eight or nine weeks, but I’m not sure.”

“Hmmm…” My GP gave me an odd look. “When was your last period?”

“Erm… June?” I was suddenly not sure at all.

“You don’t write it down?” He looked down at the stack of papers he had taken out.

“Erm… Normally, but things have been crazy the last few months and I’ve been feeling really tired and odd for a long time… And...” I paused. I was actually in doubt when my last period had been.

“Well, then… Let’s find out how far you are…” He smiled as he wrote some things down on his papers.

 

A few minutes later I found myself lying in a room on an examination table, with my pregnant belly covered in gel about to get an ultra scan. Benedict sat beside me staring with wide eyes, holding my hand and I thought he looked absolutely gorgeous. This was definitely not something he was used to, even with all his acting skills he couldn’t hide he was very emotional and I just loved him even more.

“Now… Ready?”

I nodded, Benedict nodded. None of us could say anything, we both kind of held our breath.

 

“Hmm…” my GP mumbled after a couple of minutes.

“OK… This is interesting...” He mumbled again. “Let’s see…”

“Spill it… What is it… Is something wrong?!”

I instantly regretted I kind of yelled at him, but I was beginning to freak out. I was on the brink of crying and look scared at Benedict for comfort, but he looked just as scared as I felt.

“No no… “ My GP began. “But I have some very interesting news for you…”

We both stared at him.

“Can you hear this?”

He pushed a button and moved the ultrasonic sensor to a specific spot on my belly. The sound of a heartbeat filled the room. We both sighed in relief and just smiled happily at each other. That was the most fantastic sound in the world… the sign of life. Our baby. Benedict was almost crying.

“Oh G-god..” I stuttered. “That is the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.” I smiled at my GP.

“Well…. Then I think you’re gonna like this….”

He gave me a confident smile and I got really confused. Slowly he moved the ultrasonic sensor to another spot on my belly and the sound of heartbeat filled the room again, but it was a bit different.

“What the….? Is that….?” Now it was Benedict’s turn to almost yell.

“Congratulations…. You’re expecting twins!”

My GP gave us the biggest smile, both of our jaws just dropped to the floor and I was totally overwhelmed with emotions and started to cry.

“Ohh my God… Twins… Oh Honey… Twins!!”

Tears of happiness ran down Benedicts cheeks as he kissed me again and again with so much love and tenderness.  He put his forehead against mine and looked me deep in the eyes.

“I love you so much…. Oh God I love you.” He removed some of my tears and gave me a kiss on my nose

“I love you too…” I whispered.

 

We just stayed like that for a short while, staring into each others eyes, enjoying this incredible emotional moment and just sharing the deep love we felt.

“So...Twins eh?” He gave me a cheeky smile and we started to laugh.

“Is everything OK with them?” he asked my GP.

“Everything is perfectly fine… There is one thing though…” My GP paused and Benedict instantly sat down on his chair again looking very overwhelmed.

“You are not eight or nine weeks pregnant!”

I looked surprised at him. “I-I’m not?”

He shook his head. “Nope… You’re more likely 13 to 15 weeks… It’s a bit difficult with twins… I have to send you to a scan at the hospital to get….” He paused when he saw we both looked very confused.

“13 to 15 weeks… When the hell was that?” Benedict asked.

“Erm….. That was…. “ My GP took a calendar and counted backwards “The end of May…”

We looked confused at each other.

“What were we doing at the end of May?” I asked.

“I know what I was doing, “ Benedict answered. “I was shooting Sherlock and… “

He stopped. Then he looked very odd at me, his eyes grew very wide and his entire facial expression got so familiar.

“Ohhh…..”

“What…??!” I still didn’t understand and I hated when he got those Sherlock-moments. I knew exactly how John Watson felt.  

“Ooooh…..!!!”

He stood up, began to walk around just in front of me and then he laughed.

“What…??!... Stop being all Sherlock on me...Tell me…!”

He gave me a very cheeky smile.

“Dammit….I owe Mark money….” he just said.

“Money… ? What for?”

He smiled again.

“Do you remember Cardiff?” He winked and the penny dropped.

“Ohhh…. “

He nodded. “Exactly….!”

 

Chapter Text

We hadn’t seen each other in more than four weeks when I came down to Cardiff to visit him. They had started shooting Sherlock in North Gower Street in the beginning of May right after the read through. Now they had moved to Cardiff and was shooting inside 221B Baker Street. I knew he was tired, stressed and working hard, but he had asked me to come. He needed me, he said. He missed me. I of course missed him too, I was dying to see him, touch him, kiss him, put my hands in those íncredible sexy curls and make love to him all night long.

The last few nights before my travel to Wales from Denmark had been very long with some pretty steaming hot phone calls and texting and we both knew we had some things to catch up on.

 

He had asked me to come directly from the train to Roath Lock on Cardiff Bay, the television production facility where they film Sherlock. I just wanted to check in at our hotel and wait for him there, but he had insisted on the phone.

“I don’t want to disturb you while you’re working.”

I had tried to reason with him, but I wasn’t going to win that argument.

“You’re not going to disturb, I’m professional…. Please… I just want to see you as soon as you arrive…”

So I had given in.

 

They were in the middle of shooting a scene when I arrived. A very friendly production assistant greeted me as I arrived. They apparently all knew I was coming.

“They are almost done,” she explained and let me stand by some monitors so I could see what was going on.

“But you never know… Benedict loves a lot of takes…” She gave me a big smile and I smiled back.

I had heard that before. I felt like peeking and it was a bit sexy watching him work without him knowing it.

 

After 15-20 fascinating minutes the scene was done and they all came out from the 221B “flat”. As soon as I saw Benedict, my heart jumped. Oh God he was gorgeous. I love him no matter how he looks, whether he’s suited up or wearing his favourite casual clothes, no matter how his hair is or what part he is playing, but there is something special about him when he is Sherlock.

“It’s OK,” the assistant said. “You can go out, they are done for now.”

Quickly I got on the other side of the monitors and he saw me right away. His face lit up as soon as he saw me, but he still kept his distance, standing there and discussing the shoot with the crew. I stood like nailed to the floor. He looked so damn sexy in that suit and all Sherlocked, but he was Benedict, my Benedict.

 

Finally he came over to me and as soon as I felt his arms around me, I was home. He gave me a soft kiss, put his forehead onto mine and looked me straight in the eyes.

“Hello…”

“Hello… Hard working you...”

We smiled at each other.This was how we always said hello. We stood for a long while like that, just enjoying being in each others arms, not taking any notice on what went on around us.

“How was the trip?”

“Very long.” I sighed. “But I’m fine now I’m here with you”.

He gave me a tiny kiss on my nose. “Good.” Then he gave me a cheeky smile. “So… Do you want to see 221B?”

I looked surprised at him. “Erm… Are you not going to shoot another scene?”

“Nope… “ He winked. “Late lunch break!”

 He grabbed my hand and let me to the famous flat of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, located behind the set of the entrance to 221B.

 

I couldn’t quite get my head around how they had built it, but in order to get the feeling that Sherlock and John actually are climbing the stairs to their flat, they had built the upper half of the stairs, so we were in fact a bit above ground. But it was weird to get on to a flight of stairs at that level. That really confused me and made Benedict laugh so hard.

“Everyone who sees it for the first time doesn’t get it, but you’ll get use to it very quickly”.

He opened the door for me and as a true gentleman he guided me into the famous 221B Baker Street.

I gasped. It was absolutely amazing. All the details and all the clutter you don’t notice in the series. I looked at him with a dumb grin on my face.

“This is absolutely brilliant!” I giggled and he laughed.

“Yes, it is quite brilliant… We love working here, it’s very cosy.”

 

I was stunned and just looked around as I went further into the flat. The sofa, the smiley face with bullet holes on the wall. Sherlock's chair, John’s chair. The fireplace, the skull on the mantelpiece. It were all there and so many things I’d never seen before. I didn’t touch anything, didn’t dare, but for several minutes I just walked slowly around and looked at everything in utter amazement. It was so exciting. As I turned and saw the kitchen I just burst into laughter.

“This is so surreal.” I looked at Benedict, who still was standing by the door. “Me… Here with you… In 221B… You all Sherlock…” I paused. “It’s so crazy!”

He didn’t say a word, he just walked right over to me and cupped my face with his gorgeous tender hands. As soon as his eyes locked on mine, I stopped laughing and swallowed hard.  His eyes were blown wide and dark and I almost lost my breath. Instinctively I licked my lips.

Very very slowly he leaned over me, getting close to my lips. The entire time he looked me in the eyes as if he was building up to something very special. I could feel his hot breath and it send shivers down my spine.

“I‘ve missed you so much…” he whispered with a very low, deep hoarse voice.

I whimpered. He knew exactly how to turn me on and he hadn’t even kissed me yet.

 

Finally he put his lips onto mine and brushed his tongue over my bottom lip, gently teasing me to let him in. As soon as I gave in he moaned loudly, dived his tongue into my mouth and kissed me hard and rough. I had missed the taste of his mouth and his kisses so much.

I grabbed on to the collar of his suit jacket to keep myself on my feet and that just made him even more eager. His hands moved from my cheeks onto my neck and lower back, and as he pulled me in to get closer to me, I let go of his collar and put my arms around his neck. His hand slid down to my bum and pressed me even more against his body. I mewled against his lips, panting for air as soon as I felt him hard against me.

 

“... And you’re professional?” I murmured when we for a short moment broke our kiss to breath.

He looked at me with a naughty smile. “Even professionals have urges…”

He winked and then slowly kissed me down my neck.

“S-stop… “ I stuttered after a moment even though I had tilted my head to give him access. “We can’t... Not here…”

He still kissed me and found the spot behind my ear, the spot he knew turned me on.

“There’s no one here… They are all out.”

His hot breath on my skin made me tremble. He began to bite me and lick me and he knew I wasn’t going to stop him despite I protested. I moaned out loud, put my hands in his gorgeous curls and pulled a tiny bit. He groaned, let go of my neck and stared me right in the eyes. There was absolutely no doubt what he had on his mind and it turned me even more on.

Slowly I moved a hand from his curls, down his neck to his chest and further down. He gasped and closed his eyes as my hand palmed his not so small straining bulge in his trousers.

“Need some help with that?”

He panted hard as I gently, but still firm gave him a tiny squeeze through his trousers, and in a flash he had me slammed up against the not so steady wall, my arms pinned over my head and his entire body pressing on to mine.

“Don’t tease…” He groaned hoarsely into my ear and I whimpered feeling him even harder against me.

Slowly he let go of my hands and ran his hands down my arms, cupped my face and kissed me hard. Quickly I palmed him again. He grunted into my mouth.

“I’m not teasing, “ I mumbled against his lips. “Now… Move it to the sofa…”

He stared surprised at me, but then a tiny cheeky smile showed and his dark eyes were pure delight.

 

Still kissing and me still with my hand on him, we somehow managed to get to the sofa. I pushed him to sit down and before he could grab me, I crawled onto his lap, straddling him and began kissing him like he had kissed me a moment before, hard, rough and demanding. Instantly he grabbed my bum, pressing me closer to him.The contact made us both gasp, but I removed his hands again.

“Keep you hands on the sofa,” I commanded and looked strict at him.

He was about to object and I put a finger on his gorgeous lips.

“Don’t even say a word.”

I loved this, me on top, in charge, height difference not an issue. He frowned, but then his face lit up and he smirked. I got his suit jacket of him and still straddling him I slowly began to unbutton his shirt and as soon as I had it open, I pulled it down over his shoulders and began to kiss and bite his gorgeous neck. Oh, how I had missed those freckles.

“I’m so gonna give you a hickey,” I whispered in his ear and nibbled on his earlobe.

He groaned loudly but let me do to him what I wanted and all his sexy noises filled my ears. That made me even more eager and soon he had the perfect mark on his neck. I smiled satisfied as I looked at my work of art.

I removed his shirt and my own t-shirt, tossed both on the floor. He looked hungry at me, but still kept his hands on the sofa. Greedily I kissed him again, clashing our tongues together and pressed myself close to him, putting my hands in his gorgeous curls.

As our kisses got really heated I instinctively began to move my hips, and the friction made him react instantly. His hands were all over me, he tilted his hips to get more friction and moaned loudly into my mouth when I pressed myself even more against him.

 

Suddenly he broke the kiss and buried his head between my breasts.

“Stop…” he groaned, grabbed my hips and held me still.

Then he looked at me with a totally wild look on his face, panting hard. “Stop… You make me come in my boxers in a moment, if you don’t stop…”

He removed me a tiny bit to take the pressure of him.

“These damn trousers are so tight…” he growled and looked really uncomfortable.

“Let me help you with that…” I undid the button and zipper, then nothing more.

He looked disappointed at me,  but still sighed with relief. I cupped his gorgeous face.

“God I love you,” I mumbled against his mouth. “I want you so bad… and I don’t want you to come just yet….”

He hummed as I began to explore his mouth again, this time slowly but still with a lot of want.

His hands moved from my hips and up my back to my bra and it soon joined the shirt and t-shirt on the floor.

 

“They will soon be back from the break.”

His hands gently cupped my breasts and he started kissing me down my neck. Instinctively I threw my head back and let him do what he wanted.

“Mmmm….?” I wasn’t actually listening to what he said.

“Damn… I want you so much,” he panted and kissed my breasts.

“Mmmm…I...Just...”  I had my eyes closed and was concentrating on not moving my hips too much. “I just want you too…. Oh… That is sooo good…”

I tugged his curls, making him groan. He looked at me, then he kissed me hard and I almost lost it, moving my hips frantically again.

“We have to be quick,” he breathed against my mouth. “But not here…”

He removed me from his lap and I whimpered by the loss.

“Come...” He stood up and gave me the most naughty smile ever. “Grab our clothes… And come with me…”

I looked confused at him, but did as I was told.

“Just leave the jacket…”

Impatiently he grabbed my hand and dragged me to the kitchen and towards Sherlock’s bedroom. 

 

“Thank God they haven’t cluttered up the room again after we did a shoot in here yesterday….” He opened the door, dragged me in and closed it again.

“Well… A partial shoot in here…” He winked.

I gasped. He looked absolutely gorgeous standing there with no shirt on and his trousers undone, with messy hair, swollen red lips, red cheeks, my masterpiece of a hickey on his neck and with the most wanting look in his eyes. There was absolutely no Sherlock about him in that moment, he was all Benedict and he was mine!

We quickly were all over each other again, kissing hard and longing, panting and moaning.

“We have to be quiet,” he mumbled between the kisses.

“Mmmm….” I slowly ran my hands down his chest to his trousers.

He moaned loudly into my mouth when I finally got a hand in his boxers, grabbing on to him and gently began to stroke.

“I want this… Now!”

“Oh fu..… Ahhh....!” That was all he managed to say.

 

It was so naughty and sexy as hell ending up on top of Sherlock’s bed, knowing we had to be quiet and everyone could be back before we even knew it. When I finally felt him inside me, I had to kiss him hard not to cry out loud. It was pure want for the both of us, four weeks of sexual tension that at last came out in raw need. It didn’t take long, clinging on to each other we both came hard, me screaming into his mouth and him groaning into mine like I’ve never heard him before.

 

“Ohhh….Shit… That was…” He breathed hard and buried his head in my neck.

I couldn’t speak, I was desperately trying to catch my breath again. I gave out a small whimper by the loss of the feeling of him.  

“Shhh…” He put a finger on my lips.

“That was the most amazing thing ever,” I sighed.

“I know…”

We looked at each other and then we just started to giggle.

“Did we just… Have sex in Sherlock’s bed?” I bit my lip, trying hard not to burst into laughter.

He nodded.

“That is the craziest thing I’ve ever done.”

“But it was good...Right?”  He gave me a cheeky smile.

“Oh God yes!” I mumbled and gave him a kiss while we still giggled like mad.

Chapter Text

“You still haven’t told me why you owe Mark money,” I said and poked him teasingly as we lay in bed later that evening, cuddling, fingers playing.

He just looked at me with his usual cheeky smile. “He knows…”

I was puzzled. “He knows what?”

“He knows we did it on set and where we did it….” He licked his bottom lip and gave me a naughty look.

“What?” I sat up in bed and stared shocked at him.

“Mmmhmm…” He nodded. “He actually almost caught us red-handed…”

I stared even more at him.

“Are you telling me.. That… When we…..?”

He nodded again as I continued. “Oh God “ I moaned. “Really?”

I didn’t quite believe him. He started to laugh.

“Yes… Well, they all knew we had been up to something on set, red swollen lips, red cheeks, messy hair… The hickey…”

I started to giggle, but still I hid my face in my hands.

“How embarrassing..!”

“Erm...” Benedict was still laughing. “It wasn’t that difficult to deduce…”

He looked quite pleased with himself and stretched his entire body. No of course it wasn’t difficult to deduce, it was fairly obvious we had been making out, anyone could see that, but surely not that we actually had had sex. But it could have been worse, it could have been the entire cast and crew on set that day betting on us.

“Mark came up to me after you had left for the hotel and told me he had heard us and if we had made a setlock-baby, I owed him a tenner.”

Benedict pulled me down to him and I cuddled myself up against him again.

“He heard us as we tried to catch our breath giggling... Then he saw us a moment later and just put two and two together.” He paused and gave me a tiny squeeze.

“I actually just thought it was a joke and didn’t think more of it because you seemed to… You know... Get your period…. But yeah, we didn’t use any protection…. And we have the proof here.”

He put his hand on my baby bump. “I wonder if he’s going to charge me £20 now it’s twins.”

I giggled. “No wonder he looked so suspicious at me when he saw me in London in June… I’d bet he was trying to deduce whether I was pregnant or not!... Oh poor Mark!!”

We looked at each other and then we bursted into laughter.

 

*********

That was just another addition to a day that had been totally crazy and we were now both pretty exhausted by all the news. After the scan there were a lot of paperwork to be done and I had to have a medical check up too, and while my GP and I did took care of that, Benedict had to make some phone calls with his management.

I wasn’t as fit as I thought and I finally found out why I had been so tired lately. I had high blood pressure and was in very high risk of getting diabetes due to pregnancy and because of my age, the fact I was expecting twins, I was a first time pregnant and we didn’t quite know how far I was in the pregnancy, my GP managed to get me an appointment at the hospital in the afternoon to a kind of emergency scan and check up. That freaked Benedict out, he got really concerned and seemed very nervous and tense.

The scan and check up went well, I was 14 weeks into my pregnancy, I was officially in the second trimester. And yes, it was definitely twins, non-identical, but it was too soon to tell if they were boys or girls or even one of each. That was a bit disappointing and it was especially disappointing for Benedict when we were told, that possibly in week 20 they could tell us.

“In six weeks?” He looked sad. “I’m away in six weeks… Opening night in US and UK, you know…”

The look on his face was devastating and it broke my heart.

 

He was going to miss out on a lot, he had work to do. He always had work to do, but now it was different and he very soon had to leave again. He didn’t want to go, I didn’t want him to leave, but he had to. He had commitments and contracts to fulfill and we both knew that. It had always been like that.

The night before he left we had a long serious talk.

“Honey, I want you to come to London with me… Please…” He was resting his head on my baby bump.

“Why? You will be working, you leave for Canada in a few days and  I have work to do here too.” I had my hand in his gorgeous hair and is was very relaxing just to lie there in bed.

“You have to cut down on your work... You heard what the doctor said at the hospital….” He looked up and gave me a very concerned look. “You are in high risk of diabetes, your blood pressure.. Twins… Please… Do as he says.”

I stared surprised at him. I saw he had tears in his eyes as he came in eye level with me.

“Please…” he pleaded and kissed me softly. “For me….For us… For our babies...”

I could feel his tears falling down on my cheeks. I grabbed his face and looked at him. My sweet, sweet Benedict, totally overwhelmed with the most vulnerable and scared look I had ever seen in a mans face.

“Oh Sweetie….” I smiled at him. “I’m pregnant, not dying….”

I softly wiped some of his tears away.

“Of course I’ll take it easy, but I have to finish my assignments  before I get even more pregnant. I only have three jobs in September, I’ll take care of them and I promise I’ll say no to whatever offers I get… OK?”

“Promise me you’ll be careful…!”

I nodded. “I promise… It’s only routine photoshoots, nothing dangerous.”

He grabbed both my hands and kiss the palms and gave me a thankful look.

 

We cuddled up in each others arms.

“I’m just so scared something is going to happen and I’m not there…”

“I know… I’m sad you are going to miss out on so many things…” I buried my head in his gorgeous neck. I could feel he nodded.

“Will you move in with me when I come back from the US?”

I could feel he held his breath. I moved back a bit and our eyes locked.

“I want live with you for the rest of my life,” he continued when I didn’t answer right away.

I gave him a kiss. “I want to be with you too…. But… London?”

He nodded. “Yes…. I know it’s going to be tricky with the media, but we can make it work. We have to tell them eventually that we are a couple… You can still stay out of the spotlight…As much as possible”

I sighed. “Not yet though… Promise me that? We will not tell them anything yet.”

“OK… but I think we shouldn’t wait too long…You know…After “Lost City..” … All the fuss about Sherlock is just going to intensify…” He kissed me. “I just want to be able to show the world I love you...”

I kissed him back. “You don’t need to show the world... I know you love me…”

“You know what I mean,” he answered and tickled me.

I giggled. “I know….”

“So you’ll move in?”

I nodded. “I will move in after the UK premiere…. is that OK?”

“And we’ll tell the world soon?”

“We will….”

 

He was very concerned about me when he left, but I assured him everything was OK. And it was. I took care of myself, didn’t work too hard, got my work done and said no to whatever offers I got. I had weekly check-ups at my GP’s and I felt fine. Yes, my blood pressure was a bit high and I was tired, but no diabetes. I was sorting out how to move from Denmark to the UK, getting all my pregnancy papers in order so they could be handed over to my new GP in London. I was actually excited, I was moving to London, to be with the love of my life, the one who was the father of the two babies I carried.

I actually enjoyed being pregnant, despite I was tired. I loved my baby bump,  I loved how it developed. The twins were doing absolutely fine. I enjoyed my last weeks in Denmark, preparing to leave, packing all my stuff, preparing to say goodbye to my friends and family. I was excited and so happy, but I missed Benedict like mad.

He was busy working, he only had a few days in London after leaving me, then he left for TIFF in Canada. He was back in London for two weeks to do some audio recording and official appearances (and to watch some sport, he’s crazy about that), then he went to the US and stayed there to promote “The Lost City of Z” and had the world premiere in the beginning of October.

He was so hard to keep track of, I actually told him I needed a GPS on him to keep track where he was in the world. He just laughed, but did agree when I complained a bit about finding it hard to figure out what time zone he was in.

“I never know if I’m waking you up,” I complained very early on.

“I know… How about I text you good morning every single day from now on?” So he did.

 

We talked a lot on the phone, we texted a lot and even got to Skype a couple of times. I made sure to keep him up to date on all the news, big and small. Most of all I tried to keep him calm and make sure he didn’t worry too much.

Just as a peculiar coincidence, I had a scan the same day he had the opening night of “The Lost City of Z” in the US. I was dying to tell him the good news and had to wait until late afternoon before he finally texted me his good morning. I rang him up immediately.

“Oh God, is something wrong?” He sounded anxious.

“Good morning my love,” I answered calmly. “No… Nothing is wrong, I just wanted to hear your sexy sleepy voice.”

He snorted. “Oh you tease!”

I giggled. “I have some news for you… Wanna hear?”

“Yes...Yes.. Of course…”

“I had a scan today…” I deliberately paused and I could hear he held his breath. “It’s a boy and… A girl…”

“Oh…Oh….” His voice was pure emotions “Oh Honey….”

“Are you crying?” I asked and began to cry myself.

“No…” he lied.

“You are…” I laughed and cried at the same time. I was so emotional.

“One of each…. That is just perfect…” I could hear the joy in his voice. “Are they both OK?”

“They are doing fine, they are perfect. She is twin A and he is twin B. They are lying back to back at the moment….” I paused. “I have some pictures, I’ll email them to you… Two seconds…”

Quickly I mailed him the pictures I had received on a CD at the hospital.

“They should arrive in a second.”

I could hear he shuffled with his phone and shortly after I heard some loud gasps.

“Honey… Our babies…. God I miss you so much…”

“I miss you too…“ I started to cry again, this time because I really missed him, I was sad he wasn’t here to take part.

“Listen, I’m flying back to London Sunday night… I have a few days off before my next commitment… I’m coming to see you…”

“Oh… I could meet you in London…”

“Nooo…! “ He almost shouted into my ear.

“No… You just stay there, you are not going anywhere before you are moving in… You are not traveling unnecessarily…” He paused. “I couldn’t bear if anything happened to you or the babies… Just stay put… I’ll be there Tuesday… That’s in four days time….”

I was still crying, almost sobbing now and couldn’t say a world.

“I can’t wait to see you, kiss you, hug you... And kiss your gorgeous baby bump.”  

 

Tuesday afternoon he arrived at my flat and as soon as I saw him, I burst into tears. That pregnancy had really turned me into an emotional wreck. I held onto him as if I never wanted him to leave again. Six and a half weeks without him, that was too much!

Softly he cupped my face, kissed me with so much love and then he put his hands on my now pretty impressive almost 21 week baby bump. He gasped and instantly got tears in his eyes.

“Honey...You are beautiful... I love all the pictures you have sent me…But you are even more gorgeous standing in front of me now….”

I giggled. I stood in large socks, tights and a oversize t-shirt, my hair was messy and I had no makeup on, I didn’t exactly look beautiful, but hearing him say it made me feel like I did.  

He fell on his knees right in front of me and gave my belly soft kisses. Then he put his ear to it and I automatically put my hands in his hair. It sounded like he hummed.

“I could just stay like this forever,” he mumbled after a while and looked up towards me. “Hello….” He smiled.

“Hello… Hard working you…”

He stood up and kissed me again. “Yeah.. It’s hard to be an actor.”

“You must be exhausted…” I mumbled against his lips.

“No… I’m here with you now…”

 

He only stayed for three days, then he had to leave. Work again. European premiere of “Lost City…”. But we somehow managed to make the best of it, because we knew, that in a few weeks time, we were going to be together forever, in London and soon we were going to be a family. But little did we know we had made a huge mistake in keeping our relationship a secret for so long.

 

Chapter Text

I kept my promise and moved in with him 10 days after the London premiere of “Lost City of Z”, just a few days after our one year anniversary and somehow, with a lot of help from my friends and family back in Denmark, all my stuff arrived too.

All my activities with my freelance photography were put to rest because of the pregnancy and after I had sorted everything out with my residence permit, my health insurance, a new GP and contact to a hospital etc etc, I was exhausted. Because I couldn’t work, I had no income, so Benedict had to support me. That gave some problems with immigration, but we got it sorted after a couple weeks. 

Finally I could relax, it was mid November and I was 25 weeks pregnant. The twins were thriving, and despite I was very tired, I actually felt OK. I loved being pregnant and I especially loved that Benedict loved I was pregnant. He was so proud and loved my baby bump so much. He was really looking forward to become a father and he had even given up smoking. I must admit, I had been on about it since I found out I was pregnant. He was so proud he had managed to quit.

Everything was just perfect, except we were still hiding our relationship from the world and we had really created a monster. The issue about keeping our relationship and now keeping the pregnancy a secret grew into an even bigger monster day by day. I felt so trapped and because we were scared about the media finding out, I had to go to my check ups alone, go shopping without him, everything was without him.

It was exactly like when I was living in Denmark and he wasn’t there with me. Now he was there, we were living together, we just couldn’t do anything together. It was killing the both of us. Even his publicist now told us, that she thought we had gone too far in keeping everything a secret. We had to tell something or it would definitely blow up in our faces when the media and his fans finally found out.

 

One afternoon I was really upset. I had been to another check up, I was now 26 weeks pregnant and had been told I was too stressed and needed to eliminate whatever it was that caused it. It was definitely time to do something, but we both knew it could be just as stressful or even more when we told the world.

Benedict was really concerned and we ended up having a meeting with his publicist Karon at our house. That was so surreal to me, having a person to guide me how to deal with my personal life in the media, how to deal with the tabloids and the paparazzis. I thought I knew the game because of my job, but I knew absolutely nothing. It was scary as hell, but I finally realised we had gone too far.

“I could just let one or two of my mates start a rumour on Twitter… Sow the seed…So to speak...” Benedict looked at Karon and then at me.

“You can’t ask your friends to do that…!” I was shocked.

“Well, we’ve done it before,” he answered with a cheeky smile.

Karon nodded. My jaw dropped. I looked at them both in disbelief and they nodded again.

“Oh….” I frowned and had to have a moment to understand.

“If we do that,” Karon began. “Then you have to go out yourself and talk about it real soon or they will really hunt you down.”

Benedict bit his lip and nodded.

“Yes…” He paused and seemed anxious, but concentrated.

He kept touching his neck as he always does when he’s out of his comfort zone.

“We could just send out a press release… Or how about all the Sherlock interviews?”

They looked at each other.

“BBC will announce the air date soon and the fuss about series four is only going intensify within the next weeks.”

Karon nodded. “There’s also the BFI screening….”

I didn’t say a word, I actually didn’t know what to say. It was so strange hearing them talk about when and how to spill the news.

“Do we have a date on that yet?”

“I don’t think so,” Karon shook her head and flipped through her calendar. “But my guess is it’s going to be December 13… If they stick to what they did with series two and three.”

Benedict nodded. “Well, there’s a lot of media and interviews there, so….”

“Stop!” I cried out and interrupted him. “Just stop…”

I stood up. They both looked surprised at me.

“I’m sorry…. I-I can’t… Just fix... This...” I made frantic hand gestures at them and began to cry.

“Whatever you decide I’ll go with it, but….” My voice broke. “....Don’t tell them about the babies yet…. Please….”

Then I left the room and went up stairs to our bedroom, crawled onto the bed and sobbed like mad.

 

Benedict instantly ran after me and when I felt him spooning me and holding me tight, I cried even more.

“Honey…. Shhhhh….” He put a protective hand on my baby bump and buried his nose in my hair.

“It’s OK….” His voice was soft and low and he just let me cry.

“I’m so sorry, “ I mumbled after a while and turned around to face him.

“No… Honey… I’m sorry….”

He dried some of the tears away from my cheeks. I was looking and feeling like a mess and a complete idiot. He softly kissed me.

“I wasn’t thinking… I got carried away… I wasn’t thinking we’re in this together… This is new to me too…”  

I put my arms around him and buried my face in his gorgeous neck. It always calmed me down feeling his soft skin and his pulse.

“I overreacted…” I mumbled.

“Hey… You are pregnant, exhausted, having raging hormones, it’s normal you’re emotional… You didn’t overreact at all.”

He stroke my back gently and we lay like that for a while.

 

“Listen… I’ll figure this out with Karon… OK?” he suddenly said. “We’ll only tell about us, then after Sherlock has aired in January, we’ll tell about the babies…. “

His voice was calm and comforting.

“Your due date is in late February, right?”

I nodded.

“Yes… 24th, but…. Twins…. They arrive earlier… And you know they are considering C-section because of my age, my blood pressure and so on… So the due date is more likely in week 36-37.”

He nodded. “Don’t worry… We’ll figure it out. We’ll come up with a plan. It might not be perfect and it might get really crazy, but we can’t wait any longer….And we’ll get through this together...”

I knew he was right and I knew I had to do whatever they decided.

“I trust you…”

He gave me a kiss and left me to rest while he went down to Karon downstairs. But I was scared, really really scared.

 

The plan was definitely not perfect, but under the circumstances it was all we could do. Benedict and Karon decided to get help from his friends and yes, a rumour got started on Twitter. That immediately made the fans buzz a lot on the social media and with all the fuss about when BBC released the air date for “Sherlock” series four, the press went nuts within a few days. We were still low key, the plan was to break the news about our relationship ourselves when the air date was out, then we kind of hoped it didn’t get all the attention and kind of got overshadowed by the Sherlock news. Oh, were we wrong!

 

*****

On the last day of November, my 43rd birthday, BBC broke the news about the air date, which was a couple of days earlier than expected, and as an even bigger surprise one of the large tabloid papers broke that the rumours about us were true.

“Oh…. That was a bit sooner than I thought,” Benedict bursted out in utter surprise when we read the newspapers over breakfast.

“I wonder how they got the story, my management weren’t supposed to break it before the air date…” He looked puzzled at me.

I was on the brink of freaking out, but when I saw there were no pictures of me and my name wasn’t mentioned, I relaxed a bit more. But now it was out and we both hoped his fans would take the news positively.

The plan was that in a few days Benedict would give the official statement - I couldn't believe my relationship was turned into an official statement - and confirm the rumours were true. That was all. No details whatsoever.  Much to our relief we later found out, that the fans seemed to take the news mostly positively.

 

“Well, then… Happy birthday, Honey…” he said and kissed me.

I laughed “That is not what I call a great birthday gift, now we have to be even more careful and can’t be the same place outside these four walls.”

“Hmm…That’s not necessarily true…” He gave me a cheeky smile.

I frowned. What was he up to now?

“More tea?” He stood up and smiled cheeky at me.

“No!... Spill it!”

He sat down again and laughed. “You know, they don’t expect me to have a pregnant girlfriend.” He put his hand on my baby bump.

“What are you saying?” I looked suspicious at him.

“I have arranged for you to go to the BFI screening.” He gave me a big smile.

He knew how much I wanted to watch the first episode of Sherlock, that I was dying to attend the screening, but I didn’t want to go, because I was afraid people would know I was his girlfriend.

“You have what?”

“Yup… I have arranged for you to be Marks plus one”.

I almost spat out my tea in laughter. “Are you kidding me?”

He looked offended at me. “Noo… I mean it…!”

“Oh….” I sat down my cup and tried to be serious.

“I have asked Mark to take you, because I knew how much you wanted this… And you can’t go with me…” I kept quiet and he continued.”And he said yes.”

“Why Mark?... Not that I don’t want to go with him, I like him a lot…”

“Because he’s a dear friend and I wanted to do this for you.”  Benedict answered.

“That was the least he could do for charging you £20 for making me pregnant on set…” I bursted into laughter again.

Benedict gave me the eye and I bit my lip.

“Sorry Sweetie…I really love it….Thank you so much… Come here and kiss me…”

He leaned over and gave me a big kiss.

 

********

The media didn’t rest, and the two weeks up to the BFI screening was totally crazy. I tried to stay calm, but that was a bit difficult with the press snooping around the house. It became so crazy during the first week, that his management had to throw them a red herring to get them to calm down.

 

The second week, the BFI week, his management released a confirmation and the statement from Benedict, that just simply said;

“Yes, I have a girlfriend.”

 

Despite all the stress and that I was exhausted, I was actually feeling great and the twins were doing just fine, so I tried to relax and when the Sunday of the BFI screening arrived I was actually very excited and couldn’t wait to go with Mark. It was going to be a real treat to get out of the house and do something completely different, I knew it probably was the last time I had a fun day out now I was 29 weeks pregnant. I actually felt like the fans who were going to attend the screening, it was so exciting to see Sherlock again after two years. And no, Benedict hadn’t told me anything despite I had been nagging him about it.

 

Benedict left for the screening three hours before start, just to lure the paps to follow him. It seemed to work.

When Mark came to get me, I got  out of the house unnoticed. He was a real gentleman and he was such a sweet guy.

”We have to pass the fans when we get there, but they are still waiting outside… I hope…. So hopefully it will go smoothly, “ he said as we drove through London to the BFI.

I nodded. I could feel I was nervous, but I was very excited too. This was so new to me, I had never done anything like this before and I really felt like I got the VIP treatment.

As we drove up to the BFI he gave me my VIP pass.

“Now, my fair lady, are you ready for the brilliant and fun madness of the world of Sherlock?”

“Oh yes, my dearest knight in a shining… erm…Whatever we are driving in...” I began to giggle.

I could feel I was excited like a teenager and a fan and it was a brilliant feeling.

 

It was totally madness as we arrived. The fans attending the screening had already been let inside and the fans outside were either there to see the actors or waiting in line for spare tickets. If it was a struggle to get inside, it  was even more of a struggle to get past the wall of happy fans waiting inside the BFI.

 

They all seemed so pleased to see Mark. Luckily security saw the problem and while Mark decided to take time to talk to the fans, a security guard let me another way through the crowd. I was totally surprised and was so pleased to see the fans reactions to the actors. But I was glad I didn’t had to pass through them.

 

When I finally got upstairs to the VIP area, I instantly caught Benedict’s eye. The cast and crew knew who I was and as we were separated from the fans and the media, we didn’t need to pretend anything. As soon as I went over to him, he hugged me and gave me a big kiss.

“Get a room, won’t you?”

Not to my surprise came that comment from Martin, sassy as ever. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“My God, you are soon big as a house!”

Amanda hit him on his arm. “Hey… You… Be polite...”

I just laughed. This was so much better than being cooped in the house. Amanda gave me a hug too.

“You look gorgeous, darling.”

 

As soon as we all went into the cinema and the screening was about to begin, Benedict became totally professional. I kept my distance and sat way further back in the audience and no one seemed to notice me and if they did, no one asked who I was. That was kind of a relief. Then it was easier for me to relax and let Benedict do his job. Hopefully he wasn’t worrying about me.

The first episode of Sherlock was of course absolutely brilliant and after the screening the Q&A followed and that was great fun, 45 minutes of lots of laughs. The interviewer was a new one (thank God for that, people still remembered what happened  last time) and it was great fun to watch. Some of the fans had some really brilliant and clever questions. 

Then it was over. The fans were shown down stairs again and the rest of us - the VIPs - went back to where we were before the screening, to a small reception. The main cast and the producers had all the interviews with the press and Benedict and I gave each other a hug before he went on with it.

“Go get them, kill them if they ask too much about us,” I whispered.

He winked.

 

I was really having a great time, I enjoyed myself and had a great talk with Andrew Scott, Louise Brealey and Una Stubbs. They were all so friendly and asked interested how on earth I had managed to catch that Mr. Cumberbatch. I had to admit, it might have been the other way around.

The interviews took forever and after an hour I began to feel pretty tired. Both Louise and Una noticed it. Luckily we had some pretty comfortable sofas to sit on or I would not have been able to stay for that long. 29 weeks pregnant with twins, then you don’t stand around for an hour.

“Are you OK dear?” Una suddenly asked and looked kind of worried.

I looked surprised at her. “Yes… Why do you ask?”

“You are suddenly getting very, very pale…”

She turned to Louise. “Isn’t she suddenly very pale?”

Louise nodded.

“Oh, I’m just tired…” I smiled. “You try and be pregnant with twins who are fighting every day.”

I laughed. It really felt like that sometimes, that they were fighting for the limited space in my womb. Both Una and Louise smiled. They had never heard that explanation before.

 

I reached for my drink at the table and a split second after I felt the strongest pain I have ever had experienced in my life. I moaned loudly and my glass fell out of my hand and broke on the floor.

“Oh… Are you OK?” I heard Louise ask and in the second after I felt the pain again.

“Ohhh… My God… “ I moaned and instinctively put my arms around my belly.

It hurt like hell, it was like someone was stabbing a huge knife into my stomach.

“Jesus… Are you in labour?” someone asked.

“I don’t know…. “ I groaned. “It doesn’t feel like it… Oh God it hurts…..” I started crying in pain.

“Try and lie back on the sofa.” I heard Louise's soft and friendly voice.

“I can’t…” I cried. “It hurts too much.”

 

Una and Louise tried to get me to lie down, then they saw it.

“Oh fuck…. “ Louise almost shouted. “She is bleeding!”

I was in so much pain I hardly heard her say it.

“I want Benedict...” I moaned and cried at the same time.

“Of course, “ Louise said and stroked my hair. “… Quickly… Get Benedict and call an ambulance… Something is really wrong here...” she said to someone - I don’t know who.

“You are sure it’s not labour?” someone asked me.

I couldn't answer and just moaned.

“Helena, we have to get you to lie down… You are bleeding….”

I somehow managed to get down on my side, but I refused to get on my back, that simply just made everything worse.

“You have to… We have to get your legs up.”

 

“What’s going on!?” I heard Benedict's scared voice.

Instantly I cried even more. He fell on his knees in front of me.

“Honey… What’s happening?” He looked so scared and confused.

“I don’t know… It hurts so much… Please make it stop….” I grabbed his hand and squeezed it hard.

“What happened?” He asked the others and I didn’t even recognise the voices anymore, I only heard his.

“Have you called an ambulance?” Someone answered him.

“Is it labour, Honey?”

I shook my head. I couldn’t even answer, the pain was horrific. I was sweating cold sweat, my heart was racing, I could feel something was really, really wrong. I moaned out loudly, the pain was really bad.

“My babies,” I cried. “Am I losing my babies?”

Benedict’s scared and nervous face was right in front of me. He stroked my hair to comfort me and let me squeeze his hand.

“No… You are not. The ambulance is here shortly… Hang in there Honey.” He looked away.

“Where the hell is it?” Someone answered him.

 

At that point I was in so much pain I hardly registered when the paramedics arrived. They asked a lot of questions, and I could hear someone trying to answer them.

“Helena….” A paramedic was looking me straight in the eyes “Helena… I need to know… How far are you?”

“29 weeks and 4 days,” I somehow managed to answer.

 

I moaned and groaned in pain and I was not easy to get to cooperate.

“Please Helena… Do as they say,” I head Benedict plead as they tried to get me to lie on my back on the stretcher.

“I can’t…. “ I cried.

“OK… We have to let her lie on her side... We have to go now!”

I wouldn’t let go of Benedict’s hand.

“I’m coming with you Honey… Don’t worry.”

 

At that point I didn’t give a shit about anything, I just wanted the pain to stop and Benedict not to let go of my hand.

There were a lot of fuss and arguing around me, but only later I found out, that the only way out was going through all the fans that were gathered on ground floor. I could hear a lot of voices and feel every time the stretcher moved, but I wasn’t paying any attention to it. 

The last thing I remember was hearing Benedict’s scared voice shouting; “Move… Bloody hell… Move for God’s sake… She is losing the twins…”.

Then I passed out.

Chapter Text

It was evening as I woke up again, very tired, confused and I was feeling awful. As soon as I tried to move around in the bed I was lying in, someone grabbed my hand.

“Stay there….” Benedict’s soft voice sounded.

“What..?” I mumbled and found it very hard to speak, I felt so weak.

“Don’t move too much…” His gorgeous face was right in front of me.

I moaned and had to close my eyes for a moment. I sighed and slowly opened them again. He was still there, still looking at me with a caring but concerned look. I groaned again.

“Just take your time to wake up properly…. Are you in pain?”

I shook my head. No pain.

 

Slowly I began to wake up and my mind started to work a bit more. Suddenly it hit me.

“Oh God… My babies…”

With a very loud cry I tried to sit up in bed, but Benedict grabbed me by my shoulders and held me down.

“Don’t move, don’t get up…. Be careful”.

Someone came running into the room.

“She’s awake….?”

Benedict nodded.

I was still pretty groggy and didn’t fully understand what was going on around me, at that point my babies were the only thing I had on my mind. I felt a very warm hand on my left arm.

“Helena… Do you know where you are?”

I heard a very soft female voice to my left, but I didn’t take my eyes of Benedict, who was still holding on to my shoulders.

“Helena…?”

The soft voice spoke again, slowly I reacted and looked at her. Benedict let go of my shoulders and I didn’t move.

“Helena, please stay calm… You’re in hospital. Your babies are fine, but you have to lie still…. We are monitoring their heartbeat and your heartbeat too, so you can’t move too much around… Or get out of the bed”.

She removed my duvet and I saw all the sensors and wires on my chest and belly.

“Oh….” I looked at her and then at Benedict in surprise. “They are OK?” I looked at her again.

“A doctor will come and talk to you soon, just try and relax.”

I nodded, but was still pretty concerned about my babies.

“Are you experiencing any pain?” she asked.

I shook my head. Still no pain.

She nodded. Then she looked at the monitors.

“Everything looks just fine. If you need me, just pull the cord.” She smiled and pointed somewhere to my left.

“We will,“ Benedict answered and she left the room.

 

He sat down on a chair beside me and took my hand.

“What happened?” I asked.

“You don’t remember anything?” He frowned and looked concerned at me.

“I meant… Have the doctors said anything about what happened?”

He shook his head. “Not much, they wanted to wait til you woke up… But they say the twins are OK.”

I sighed with relief and looked tired at him.

“How are you feeling?”

“Like someone has beaten me to a pulp!” I gave him a tiny smile.

He looked awful, tired and concerned. I shifted a bit in my bed and tried to make room for him, then I patted the bed, giving sign I wanted him to lie down beside me. He looked hesitant at me.

”Please… I need you close to me...”

 

Very very carefully he got into bed with me, there were just enough room for him to lie on his side. As soon as I felt his arm under the nape of my neck, I instinctively buried my nose in his neck. I sighed. It was so comforting. Very carefully he put his hand on my baby bump under the duvet.

“How remarkable,” he mumbled after a moment.

“Hmmm..?” I looked up at him.

“All three heartbeats just dropped… Only a tiny bit, but they all dropped.” He looked at the monitors on my left side.

I smiled. “That is how you affect us, Sweetie. You give comfort….”

He looked surprised at me with tears in his eyes. He quickly blinked them away and gave me a smile.

I frowned.

“What?” He gave me a questioning look.

“Are you OK?... This must be just as scary for you if not even more…” I looked him straight in the eyes.

“I’m OK…”

I listened carefully how his voice was.

“Be honest, Benedict…”

“I am… I’m OK now I know you are OK…” He tried to keep a straight face.

I was still looking at him with a frown.

“Don’t you go all actor on me… I know you, Sweetie. You can’t hide it from me… And please….” I paused and swallowed hard. I was on the brink of crying.

“Don’t try and be strong for me, we are in this together whatever happens… OK?” I still kept our eyes locked.. “So be honest with me all the way… About everything….”

He took a deep breath. “I don’t want to worry you…”

“I’ll be even more worried when I don’t know what’s happening…I need to know what goes on in your head…You’re not to hide anything from me...”

We stared into each others eyes.

“OK?”

He nodded. “OK...”

I sighed and grabbed his hand on my belly. Our fingers instantly entwined.  

“I love you…” he mumbled and gave me a soft kiss. “

I love you too…”

 

We just lay like that resting in that narrow hospital bed, in our own thoughts, holding hands right until the nurse from earlier and a doctor came into the room. Benedict instantly wanted to remove himself from the bed, but the doctor just smiled.

“Don’t get up on my account, I can see the heart rates have dropped…” He blinked at us and smiled.

 

“Now… How are you feeling?” He looked me.

”Tired, beaten up… Confused….”

He nodded. The nurse gave him a chair and he sat down to our left, right beside the monitors. He looked concerned at me, but seemed calm. That kind of reassured me.

“Helena… You have what is called placental abruption. That means the placenta has separated from the uterus… In your case it’s the placenta concerning twin B….” He paused to make sure I understood.

I stared at him and could feel Benedict squeeze my hand.

The doctor continued. “The placenta hasn’t separated so much that it’s critical, but we have to monitor you and the twins and keep you under observation from now on. Twin B is in a bit of distress because of it, but as I said, it’s not critical.Twin A is doing fine, but a bit affected because twin B is a bit distressed.”

He looked at us both.

“So the pain and the bleeding…?” I asked a bit confused.

“That was because of the abruption. You experienced severe pain, but that is different in all women.”

I nodded. The pain had sure as hell been severe.

“But why me?” I asked.

“Many factors… Your age, high blood pressure... many things can cause it….” He put his hand on my left arm. “And no, you haven’t done anything wrong. This just happens sometimes.”

 

“So what’s the treatment?” Benedict asked.

“I have to be honest with you, there is no treatment…” The doctor paused. “We have to keep you here for observation, you are to stay in bed and rest. It can get very critical if the abruption gets worse…But we can’t do anything with the separation that has happened….”

I took a deep breath.

“And the babies…?” My voice trembled.

”The longer you carry them, the better. They are very immature now, so I would like to see you keep them for two-three weeks more, that would make a huge difference… But they are most definitely going to be delivered prematurely…”

“So it can get worse?” I looked scared at him.

“I have to be honest with you… Yes, it can… but right now everything looks good under the circumstances…”   

I looked at Benedict in panic and began to cry.

“Helena… That is why we have to keep you under observation… So if… I’m not saying it does… But if anything happens, we can intervene very quickly….”

I looked at the doctor again and nodded.

“And by intervene you mean….?” Benedict’s voice trembled a bit.

“Emergency C-section...”, the doctor replied and  Benedict squeezed my hand again.

The doctor looked at me.

“So you are safe here, Helena… Look….”

He pointed at the monitors.

“This is your heartbeat… We are monitoring that because you were in distress when you came in.  The IV drip in your left hand is because you lost some blood and you were in so severe pain, we had to give you some pain medication… The cuff you have on your left upper arm is to measure your blood pressure…”

He turned to the nurse. “How often do we measure?” “

Every sixth hour,” she replied.

Only at that point I realised I had a cuff on my left arm that was hooked up to my heart monitor and I had an IV-needle in my hand. No wonder they didn’t want me to move too much around in the bed.

“The twins are on this monitor… Twin A... And twin B….” He pointed as he explained. “They are doing fine under the circumstances… The more you relax, the better it is for your twins…”

I nodded. I got that. I had to relax. Anything for my babies. But I was so scared and I was still crying. This was definitely not how it was supposed to be.

At that point my mind just shut down again. It was too overwhelming.I didn’t hear the rest he explained and said. I couldn’t help it and just thought of my two precious babies. I could hear Benedict asked them a lot of questions, but at that point I didn’t register anything else but being close to him. That somehow made me feel secure and a bit more calm.

 

*****

The next morning I woke up to find a very pale Benedict by my side. He instantly tried to hide he was upset and worried, but he knew I had seen it and he knew we had agreed he had to tell me everything. Very carefully I raised the bed, so I sat a bit up.

“Morning….” He leaned over me and gave me a soft kiss.

I instantly grabbed his face and looked him straight in the eyes.

“What’s wrong…?” I kissed him and let go of him.

He sat down on my bed. Then he took a deep breath.

“Everything is out…. Everything…” He looked so vulnerable as our eyes met. “It’s all over the news…Front page... Us... Our relationship… The babies… What happened yesterday…”

He paused and rubbed his forehead in despair and anger. Then he looked me straight in the eyes again.

“They even fucking printed pictures of you on the stretcher on the way out of BFI and into the ambulance!” His voice was very angry and trembling.

That was the first time I ever heard him swear like that. I looked horrified at him.

“And by everything you mean….?” I hardly dared to ask.

“Everything… Fucking everything….Someone must have spilled it to the tabloids or they couldn’t possibly know a lot of the stuff they’ve printed…” He paused and looked angry at me.

“When I find out… “ He stopped.  

“Daily Mail I presume?”

He nodded and huffed. “A couple of the others too… Not as detailed as Daily though, but it’s bad enough… And it’s online…”

I bit my bottom lip. “And the fans?”

He shook his head

“I don’t know… I haven’t been in touch with anyone at my management yet, a nurse came and told me about Daily Mail… And that journalist and paps are snooping around the hospital entrance….” He sighed.

 

I moved a bit to the left  and he instantly knew I wanted him to lie down with me. I lowered the bed a bit so we both were comfortable and we quickly both found comfort in each others arms.

“It’s like I only can relax properly when I have you close to me,” he hummed against my hair.

“I know what you mean…” I mumbled. “I feel so safe when we are this close.”

“Mmm… Exactly,” he mumbled back.

I closed my eyes. I was always safe with him, no matter what.

“Benedict?”

“Hmmm…?”

“What are we going to do about everything is out in the media... The pics and all…?”

He exhaled loudly. “I don’t know… I really don’t. I.. .We have to talk to Karon and my management, we can’t deal with this ourselves…”

I sighed. “I better call my parents and tell them about the twins and what’s going on….”

He nodded. “I better call mine.”

We looked at each other. “

We’ll get through this…” He kissed me on my nose.

“Of course we will.” I smiled.

 

None of us made a move, it was too comfortable just lying in each others arms.

“Oh crap…” I looked horrified at him. “Where is my purse?!”

 

“Ok… Ok…. Don’t panic…” he mumbled a few moments later and walked around in front of my bed.

We had called the nurse to ask if the staff had seen it and the answer was negative.

“We’ll find out who’s got it, someone at the screening must have it….” He looked at me. “Louise?”

I shrugged my shoulders, I couldn’t remember much from the last 15 odd  minutes at the BFI other than all the pain.

“I’ll give her a call…. I’ll find it… I promise” He gave me a reassuring look.

I nodded and turned to the nurse, who was still in the room with us.

“Am I allowed to go to the bathroom or am I to stay in bed all the time?”

She smiled. “Of course you are allowed, but not without assistance from me… All the cords and sensors…. Would you like a bath now you’re up?”

“Oh God yes,” I exclaimed in relief. “I really need a bath!”.

 

While I got myself a nice bath, Benedict was on the phone, trying to locate my purse and phone. It was pretty clear we both were alarmed and worried if a journalist had got a hold of it, that would be a disaster, but could explain how the Daily Mail knew so much about our relationship. 

 

When I was settled back in a clean hospital gown and hooked up to the monitors again, Benedict had located my phone and purse.

“Una got it.” He sighed with relief.

“Oh thank God!”

He nodded. “I’ll pick it up later…” He tossed me his phone. “Call your parents.”

I nodded and while biting my lip, I phoned my father. Benedict sat beside me on my bed during my entire phone call, held my hand comforting me. It wasn’t the easiest phone call to make, but thank God my father is as solid as a rock and he took all my news very calmly.

 

We talked it through and decided he and my mother shouldn’t jump on the first plane to London. If it got worse and the babies were born, then they would come as fast as they possible could. It made me kind of sad though, but I knew it was for the best, my parents couldn’t hang around for weeks in London with all their obligations at home.

 

“Yes, he is here with me right now,” I answered to my fathers question where Benedict was.

Benedict whispered something I couldn’t hear.

“Just a moment dad, he’s saying something…”

“I want to talk to your father,” he said out a bit louder.

I looked surprised at him.

“Erm… Dad.. he want’s to talk to you….”

I handed Benedict the phone. He kept his eyes on me and I frowned. What the hell was he up to now? I’d never seen him talk to my father on the phone, so I was really puzzled.

“It’s Benedict….” He paused and I could hear my father say something.

“Yes.. Yes… It’s a bloody chaos, but we’ll get through this somehow… I promise I’ll protect them…. Listen….” He paused again and smiled at me.”I want to ask you something important…”

He coughed nervously and then he looked me straight in the eyes.

“Erm… I want to ask your permission to marry your daughter…. If she wants me….”

 

“D-did you……” I began and my voice broke. I took a deep breath. “Did you just propose to me?”

I stared at Benedict, who just had ended the phone call with my dad. He looked shy down on his phone and then right back me with a gorgeous nervous look on his face. While biting his lip, he smiled and nodded.

“Yes…” he then said almost whispering.

I could feel tears running down my cheeks.

“Oh my God, Benedict…..” I whispered back.

He quickly pulled in for at hug.

“I’m sorry… That wasn’t a very romantic proposal….”

I grabbed his gorgeous face and looked him straight in the eyes.

“Oh…. Sweetie.. You idiot…. That was very romantic….” I kissed him passionately.

“Is that a yes then,” he manage to ask between my many kisses.

“Yes…” I whispered back. “Yes… Yes.. Yes….”

He deepened our kiss and held me tight.

 

Suddenly one of the twins gave me a huge kick and he jumped back.

“Oh my God….” He stared at me with big eyes. “I could feel that…That was one hell of a kick!”

I leaned back in the raised bed and grabbed his hands and put them on my belly. There was a look of utter amazement over his entire face and he had a huge smile on his gorgeous lips.

“Did it hurt?”

I shook my head, still silently crying from all the feelings, but smiling. My belly moved again.

“That is quite some kicks you are getting there…”

I looked at the monitor. Twin A’s heartbeat was a bit higher than Twin B’s.

“I think we are having a sporty girl… A footballer or something like that…”

He gave me a large grin, then he bent down and gave my belly a big kiss.

“That’s daddy’s girl…” he hummed and kissed the baby bump again.

 

That was it, all the feelings just came out and I started to loudly cry my heart out. Seeing him so full of love and passion for our babies, the proposal, the events the night before, all the fuss with the media, not knowing what was going on, I just couldn’t hold anything back anymore.

 

Benedict instantly reacted, he sat up straight and looked first confused, then scared at me.

“Jeez...Helena… Honey…. What’s wrong?”

I opened my mouth, but not a sound came out. I gasped for air, started hyperventilating and then I just freaked out. In pure panic, I leaned forward, grabbed him on his upper arms and squeezed.  

“Oh my God…” He almost panicked himself. “Breath for God’s sake…”

He looked me straight in the eyes. “Helena… Focus on me… Breath… Nice and easy….”

The alarms on the monitors began to sound and I was on the brink of panicking even more. He kept looking me straight in the eyes and breathed with me.

 

Very very slowly I stopped hyperventilating and I eased my grasp on his arms. He took me in his arms and as soon as I felt them around me, I gave a loud gasp and inhaled, then I just sobbed uncontrollably against his neck, holding on to him like I would never let go.

“Shit Honey… “

The alarms stopped again.

“What’s happening?”

First at that point I noticed a nurse had come into the room, she had turned the alarm off. I could feel Benedict shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.

“She just started crying, then hyperventilating and panicking…. I’ve never seen her like this before…” He sounded worried.

“Helena?” She put a soothing hand on my back. “Helena?” Her voice was very calm.

”Helena… what happened…? The heartbeats are up… Are you in any pain?”

I shook my head and slowly turned to look at her.

“I… I couldn't breath… “ I sobbed.

She nodded and ran her hand soothingly over my back.

“I think you’re having a panic attack…” She looked worried at me.

“Can you lie down for me… We need you to calm down to get the heartbeats down again.”

I looked scared at her and started panicking again, feeling like I couldn't breath again.

“Has she ever had panic attacks before?” the nurse asked.

“I don’t think so,” Benedict answered and looked really scared.

 

20 minutes later I was breathing normally again. I had had a panic attack so severe it was distressing the twins and a doctor had to come and sedate me. Not much, that wasn’t good for the babies,  just so I could relax and breath again and the heart rates could drop.

I was exhausted and confused, but I was just lying there with my eyes closed. I had no clue why I had reacted like that and it scared me. Benedict was on the phone, talking to his management. I didn’t pay much attention to his words, I was concentrating on breathing, but I could sense he was pretty angry.

“I don’t care, Karon,” he suddenly said in a very loud and angry voice. “We have to do something, it’s affecting the twins too much…. and…”

He exhaled hard. “Helena has just had a fucking panic attack…!”

I managed to open my eyes and saw him walking around the room, gesticulating frantically with his left hand and he had furious look on his face. He looked over at me and saw I was still awake.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to protect them…” His face relaxed and he gave me a smile. “I’ll do anything for my wife-to-be…”

 

I was about to fall asleep when he suddenly kissed me on my forehead.

”I’ll let you sleep, Honey… I’m going to take care of some things in the meantime… I’ll be back later…”

I nodded, but didn’t open my eyes.

“Benedict…?”

“Yes…?”

“Don’t ever leave me….I can’t live without you...”

“I’m never leaving you… I’m going to marry you…”

“Hmm…” That was the last thing I remember saying before I drifted into sleep with a smile on my lips.

Chapter Text

It was evening before Benedict returned to the hospital. I had been awake for some hours and a doctor had given me a thorough examination to make sure the twins and I were OK after my panic attack and the medicine.

I was obviously stressed out by all the things going on around me and he made it even more clear I needed to relax. The panic attack was a clear sign how serious it actually was, and I was in real danger of aggravating the placenta abruption because of the stress level.

Benedict got really scared when I told him.

“Jesus Christ… Helena…! “

We were lying in bed together again fingers locked and me with his arm under my nape.

“I know… It’s scary and crazy.”

He nodded. “Everything is scary and crazy…” He sighed.

“What have you been up to? Did you talk to Karon?”

He nodded again, but didn’t answer.

“Benedict…? Are you going to tell me…? How bad is it?”

“Bad!” He exhaled loudly.

He sat up and looked down at me.

“The paps are all over the place, I got followed everywhere I went today… And that despite I managed to get out of the hospital another way than the main entrance…” He huffed annoyed.

“They followed me home, they followed me to my management…” He paused and looked concerned at me and I squeezed his hand to comfort him.

“Helena…. I saw all the papers… Jesus Christ… We have really hit the news…” He paused again.

“Daily Mail, The Sun and the other tabloids...They are the worst, obviously... They have really provocative pictures of you on the stretcher... and their writing is so awful… But even the more respected papers have the story… Even online…”

I nodded.

I figured since the whole drama took place at a public event with the media there, it of course was to end in all the papers and online. But it scared me the mayor tabloids had printed pictures of me on the stretcher and written stuff they possible couldn’t know of.

“But what about the stuff in Daily Mail….?” I asked confused.

He shook his head.

“We don’t know… We talked about it today… No one could come up with an explanation how the hell they knew all that…But they’ll try and find out...” He sighed.

“Who are we?... You and Karon?”

“No…” He shook his head. “Me, Karon, my manager, his two assistants Lucy and Jane… You met one of them… Back in the days with the pictures...”

I frowned. I remembered that assistant, not her name though. She didn’t like me back then, but I never gave it that much attention, not even the few times I met her after Benedict and I became an item. Somehow thought of her made me a bit uneasy, but I shook the feeling off again.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I thought to myself.

“And the fans?” I looked concerned at him.

“Oh the fans…” He paused. “I have the best fans in the world!” He gave me a big smile.

“They are amazing… Of course they are just as shocked about what happened yesterday, especially the ones who were there…” He paused again.

“They are so furious about the papers and especially Daily is getting a lot of beating….”

I frowned.

“Oh… I had a talk with James, he told me what was buzzing on Twitter…. The fans are so fucking supportive!!”

He began to laugh and I couldn’t believe my ears. I didn’t find it funny at all and frowned even more. He looked surprised at me for reacting like I did.

“Oh… Honey… They support us, they hate what the Daily did… Of course they themselves want to know what’s going on, but they don’t approve of the tabloid's methods…”

I nodded and sighed. I was relieved the fans supported us and seemed to respect our wish for privacy.

“So now what? What is the next step?”

He looked me straight in the eyes. “Next step is me marrying you…”

 

“Benedict!” I pushed him gently and began to laugh. “That’s not what I meant…”

He still looked me straight in the eyes and they began to sparkle that very special way. He put a finger on my lips to silence me, I instantly stopped laughing and swallowed hard.

“Helena… I love you so much and I want to protect our babies, I want to protect you, keep you safe…” He put a hand on my belly. “I want to be with you for the rest of my life…”

I could feel the tears in my eyes, but didn’t say anything.

“I want to marry you right now… As soon as possible…” He bent down and kissed me and I just had to grab his gorgeous face.

“You big softie..” I mumbled against his lips. “I can’t go anywhere before the twins are born…”

“I know…” He mumbled back.

“So how… When…?” I looked confused at him.

He smiled, gave me a soft kiss and got of the bed. I was really puzzled. He was up to something.

 

“I haven’t had much time to prepare this,” he said while searching for something in the pockets of his jacket.

He came back to the bed, looked at me with a cheeky smile.

“So I’m afraid there’s no flowers or chocolate, but thank God I got this not so long ago…”

Then he dropped to the floor on one knee and presented me with the most stunning ring in a box. My jaw dropped and I stared at him with big eyes.

“Now I can do it properly….” He paused and coughed.

“Helena…. Love of my life… Will you marry me right here… In your bed… As soon as we can…?” He paused again.

“I don’t care about a church wedding or anything like that… I just…” He choked and his eyes teared up.

“I just want to be…Ermm... Be... Your….Husband… In sickness and in health…”

A tear ran down his cheek and then I started to cry.

“Oh my God Sweetie…. Come here….” I sobbed and he quickly got off the floor and onto the bed with me.

He grabbed my hand and put the ring on my finger. I was so confused and overwhelmed.

“How…?” I stared at him, at the ring, then at him again.”How…? I mean… Have you bought this today?”

He shook his head. “No… “ He paused. “I bought it right after your birthday….”

He looked shy down at his hands and then continued. “I… Erm….I was planning to propose when the twins were born…”

I gasped “Oh…” I began to sob even more.

He looked scared at me. “You’re not getting another panic attack… Are you?”

I shook my head. “No.. no.. “

I grabbed him and pulled him in for a hug and I kissed him passionately.

“I love you so much Benedict… Of course I’ll marry you… Right now… On the spot… You big romantic...”

He smiled against my lips.

“I know… I’m a big softie….” he mumbled and I nodded.

“Yeah... But you’re mine…“

We both giggled. He let go of me and bend down to my baby bump and gave it a big kiss.

“Did you hear that guys… Mummy and daddy are getting married…”  

 

********

We quickly agreed on very simple and private ceremony, no one was to know other than the closest family and friends. He did have to tell his management because of the media’s constant eye on his every move, but other than that, we wanted to keep it for ourselves. It was our day, not for the entire world to know.

Benedict had serious problems getting to the Register Office without having the paps tracking his every move and within a couple of days the rumours were buzzing all over the place, especially the tabloids and the social media were really busy. But the fans stayed supportive and gave the tabloids the cold shoulder, even though they were curious and wanted to know if the rumours were true.

It got so crazy after a few days, that even my parents back in Denmark got contacted by the English tabloids. Even the Danish tabloids were now very interested in the story. I felt so sorry for them, but again, my father was the rock in the storm. He took everything so calmly. They changed their phone numbers to secret ones, he instructed my friends and family who knew about my relationship with Benedict to keep their mouth closed.

“My sweet girl, don’t worry about us, I’ll take care of it here…” he said to me on the phone when I talked to him.

 

Then, the 24th of December, the day before Christmas Day, The Daily Mail dropped another bomb on us.

My regular nurse Susan came in to help me when I woke up that morning and she seemed very nervous. I’d never seen her like that before, she was always so calm and professional. But that morning she was fumbling, making mistakes and didn’t want to look me in the eyes. When I was back in my bed again after my visit to the bathroom and a quick shower, I simply asked her what was wrong.

“I’ll get you your breakfast, then I’ll show you….” She answered nervously.

I frowned puzzled. There was definitely something wrong.

A moment after she came with a tray with my breakfast and a newspaper under her arm. My heart instantly started to beat faster.

“Oh God….” I breathed hard. “Don’t tell me…” I couldn’t even finish the sentence.

She nodded, sat down on my bed and gave me the paper.

“I’m so sorry Helena….” She looked sad at me. “I think someone is spilling things about you to the press…”

Horrified I looked at the paper and saw my face and the most horrible headline ever over the entire front page of Daily Mail.

“The future Mrs Cumberbatch?”

The byline wasn’t better; “The whole story about the woman Benedict Cumberbatch apparently is to marry right on New Years Eve.

“Oh my God,” I cried out loud.

I tossed the paper on the floor, I couldn’t even look at it one second more. I looked horrified at her and she grabbed my hand.

“I’m so sorry Helena… I’m so, so sorry… The article is really, really bad… “

I started to cry. “What the hell is going on?”  I didn’t understand a thing.

“Erm… Someone is talking about you… There are all these old pictures of you… But… That’s not all… They know you’re getting married too…”

I stared at her.

“I think you should call Mr. Cumberbatch….. “ She gave my hand a squeeze. “You are not to be alone now.”

I looked confused at her. “He’s coming later… He has things to do first.”

“No,” she said firmly. “He has to come now!”

She handed me my phone. “Call him!”

 

An hour later a furious Benedict came running into my room. Susan was still sitting on my bed holding my hand to keep me calm and preventing me from having another panic attack. The paper was still on the floor. I hadn’t looked at it at all. I was afraid to.

She jumped up as soon as she saw Benedict.

“Oh thank God you’re here, Mr. Cumberbatch…”

He looked like he was about to kick someone’s arse. He looked confused at us, then his face became a bit more relaxed. “

It’s Benedict… You know that…” He gave her a smile.

She did know that, he had told her several times during my admission, but she still refused to call him by his first name. She nodded.

“So from now on… It’s Benedict….Thank you for staying with Helena…”

She nodded again. “My pleasure… “ She hesitated. “Erm… Benedict.”

He smiled even more.

“Now… can I get an explanation? I haven’t seen the paper… I just got dressed and grabbed a taxi…”  

 

Susan picked the paper up from the floor and gave it to him.

“Oh for fuck’s sake!” he yelled angry when he saw the front page.

Then he flicked through the paper and found the the so-called article about me.

“Have you seen this?”

I shook my head. “No… Don’t want to….”

He huffed. “How the hell….?!”

He got up and started walking around, still looking at the paper. Susan and I looked at each other.

“This is old pictures of you…With some guy...”

He came over to my bed and put the paper down on my duvet. We all three looked at the pictures

“Oh my God… “ I exclaimed. “That bloody idiot!”

Benedict looked very questioning at me.

I huffed. “My ex-boyfriend Brian… That bloody moron!”

I looked at Benedict then at Susan.

“These pictures are from when we were together back in the 90s….” I sighed. “I broke up with him… “ I paused and had to count back. “Erm.. 18 years ago or so…”

“Hm…” Benedict hesitated. “How long were you together?” “

Four-five years….”

He nodded. “And you haven’t spoken with him?”

I looked offended at him. “Hell no… I haven’t seen or spoken to him in what… Ten odd years?”

He nodded again and sighed.

“OK… We kind of knew the fucking irritating old boyfriend trick might get used…That’s not a catastrophe….It’s just annoying….”

We looked at each other and I nodded.  

“Erm… Excuse me….” Susan coughed nervously. “That doesn’t explain this….”

She pointed at a specific section in the article.

 

“WHAT THE…..?!!”

Benedict grabbed the paper again and got pale as the white walls in the room. He looked at me with a horrified and repelled look. He was gasping.

“How can they possibly know that?!”

I looked scared at him. “What?!!”

He looked confused at me.

“I don’t get it… How the hell do they know about the wedding date? Someone confirms the rumour and spills the date….” He rubbed his face in pure frustration.

“I think you should read on... That is not all they know….” Susan said hesitant.

Benedict looked at the paper again.

“Oh no…..”

He sat down on my bed again and looked shocked at me.

“They know we’re having a boy and a girl….They know about the placenta abruption...”

I gasped. The old boyfriend trick I could live with, I couldn’t change my past and the fact one of my ex-boyfriends was a complete idiot, but not that they knew about my wedding and my babies. That was too close to home. I could feel the panic crawling up my spine and suddenly I couldn’t breathe.

“I… I can’t breathe…” I managed to say before I started hyperventilating.

 

*****

Another severe panic attack had hit me and all hell broke loose after that. The doctors were really concerned about the twins and loudly told us that is was serious. If this carried on the twins were definitely in danger of being born too prematurely.

Benedict was furious, concerned and looked like he was ready to commit murder on whoever it was who spilled things about us to the Daily Mail. He was so angry he couldn’t even explain on the phone to Karon what was going on. Early in the afternoon she arrived at the hospital to talk to us.

“There’s no doubt someone close to you is feeding Daily Mail with information,” Karon said and took another look at the paper.“The question is who….”

She looked first at me, then at Benedict, who was agitated, angry and walking around my room.  

“Could it be anyone of your friends?”

“Of course not!” He sounded almost offended.

“Sorry… I had to ask.”

He nodded. “I know… Sorry..” He sighed.

I knew it couldn’t be any of my friends, I had only told one friend about the wedding and I knew she would never do that to me.

“How about the staff or any of the other patients?”

We both shook our head.

“I’m only out of this bed when I need to go to the bathroom and I haven’t talked to any of the other patients…”

She nodded. “And the staff?”

Benedict and I looked at each other.

”We don’t know….” He then said and I felt so uncomfortable.

“I don’t think it’s Susan… My main nurse during the day….” I paused. “But I can’t be sure about the rest…”

Karon nodded. “We have to talk with the director and staff then… We have to be sure….”

Benedict sighed and nodded. “I’m sure they want to be sure the leak isn’t coming from them….”

“I’ll arrange a meeting then, will try and make an appointment today… but it might only be after Christmas.”

“Oh God.. Christmas… I’ve totally forgot about that…” He huffed.

“Fine… Do your best Karon, but the 26th the latest, I don’t give a shit it’s a Saturday,” he said angrily. “We have to stop the leak before the wedding.”

I looked hesitant at them.

“I don’t want to be at the meeting,” I then finally said.

Benedict looked relieved at me.

“I understand that, Honey… I think it’s best, too, for you not to participate… It might get really uncomfortable…”

 

*****

We had a quiet Christmas day alone and thank God the tabloids seemed to give us a break while the entire country stuffed themselves with Christmas dinner and watched Doctor Who on the telly.

My nurse Susan was off duty Christmas Day and Boxing Day and the other nurses were really nervous around us and they didn’t feel comfortable being around us. The rumours about the leak to the Daily Mail were well known around the ward and amongst the staff and everyone seemed anxious about it. It made us all really uncomfortable and I just wanted Christmas to be over, so we finally could find out if the leak came from the hospital.

Other patients on the ward actually began to approach us and showed their sympathy. Many of them were admitted to hospital because of pregnancy problems like myself, so they really understood how scared we were. Their sympathy and disgust towards the tabloids really moved us both deeply.

We didn’t see anything in the tabloids until the day after the meeting with the hospital director, staff and some doctors.

Karon had managed to make an appointment on Boxing day, despite it was a Saturday. She and Benedict were both very puzzled but also very relieved when they returned from the meeting. The hospital director was absolutely sure the leak didn’t come from them and the doctors and staff had ensured them, they had not compromised the rules of confidentiality. They were professionals and the hospital had dealt with celebrity patients for many years.

 

It was a real puzzle to us all who the source was and it was an even bigger puzzle, when a nurse the next morning came and showed me that day’s Daily Mail. It wasn’t a big article, but  they knew we were trying to figure out who the person or persons were that told everything to them, and even that we had had a meeting with the hospital. I kind of felt Daily Mail was mocking us, they of course denied everything in their writing and had absolutely no intention of revealing their source or sources. But the thing that alarmed me mostly was they under the small article announced a big one was coming in up in the paper in a few days.

Benedict got really angry when he saw the paper.

“How the hell…?” He huffed. “We are not even a step closer… Quite the contrary.”

He looked concerned at me. “Helena… This is really scary… I… We can’t figure out who the hell it is that is revealing everything about us….”

“I don’t want to think about it,” I said quietly and leaned back in my bed and closed my eyes. “I’m fed up… I’m tired, I’m stressed out, I’m afraid, I’m having panic attacks….I constantly worry about my babies….”

I could feel the tears in my eyes.

“I have a feeling they are printing a big revealing article this Saturday… our wedding day…”

I opened my eyes and stared shocked at him and he continued.  “I wouldn’t be surprised if they did that….”

He sighed.

“Can’t we stop them….? Please…?”

I looked horrified at him. I really didn’t want my special day to be ruined.

“I don’t know… I have to talk to Karon and my management…”

I nodded. Thank God we had their help, we had never been able to manage this ourselves.

“Now… don’t think more about it…” He leaned over me and gave me a soft kiss. “We are getting married in a few days… Think about that…:”

He gave me a big smile and his eyes sparkled again.

“Mmmm….” I hummed and sighed. “Yes… No more bad news… Please.”

 

*******

We weren't that lucky. It was really like all luck had deserted us. It not only seemed impossible to stop the Daily Mail from printing yet another story about us, we couldn’t even get access to what the article was about. That was really devastating. As a last chance, Benedict contacted his solicitor, but the chances he could do anything were small because of New Year’s Eve and bank holiday January 1st. Our wedding day was January 2nd.


On top of all that, if that wasn’t bad enough, on New Year’s Eve England got hit by the worst snowstorm in centuries, totally closing down the entire city and the airports. No flights arrived or departed for two days.

My parents were stuck back in Denmark, unable to get to my wedding. I cried like mad, I was so unhappy when it was clear they couldn’t be there. Benedict was beside himself. He knew how much it meant for me to have his parents and my parents at the small wedding, having them meet for the first time actually. He didn’t know how to comfort me and was anxious it was effecting me and the babies too much. But again, my father was the rock in the storm and little did I know a very lovely surprise was in store for me at my big day.

Chapter Text

Nothing was going to ruin my big day when I woke up Saturday morning. I didn’t care about snow storms, medical issues, the paps, the tabloids or anything else negative in the entire world. This was the day we were going to get married.

If New Year’s Eve was all about the bloody snow storm, then January 1st was all about the new series of Sherlock airing that evening, and on the morning of my wedding day all news was about that first episode of series four. There were no mention whatsoever about Benedict or me, our babies, the relationship, the wedding or anything. I was so relieved and at that point I actually thought Benedict's management and solicitor had managed to stop the article.

 

I was so happy my dear friend Ellie had managed to come to London despite all the snow, but thank God the trains were still mostly reliable. It hadn’t snowed since New Year’s Eve, but there were a lot of it.

Benedict and I had decided my best friend and his best friend should be our witnesses and then of course our parents had to be there. That was it. Just a small ceremony, nothing fancy, just us making promises and vows.

 

As I was getting dressed and getting ready for the ceremony, for once I was out of the hospital gown and not attached to any monitors, cuffs etc., Benedict came crashing into the room way too early. I was in the bathroom and Ellie quickly got out and closed the door so he didn’t see me.

“Hey… You’re not allowed to see the bride before the ceremony… It’s bad luck!”

I could hear her laugh. “What are you doing here?”

I peeked out and saw them hug.

“I have a surprise for Helena…And I think that is much more important than worrying about bad luck.”

His radiant smile melted my heart totally and I carefully stepped out of the bathroom.

“What surprise?”

They both rushed to help me back to the bed again.

“Erm….” he began and his eyes were shining bright with excitement. “I know how sad you are about your parents can’t be here at the wedding, so we are going to bring the wedding to them…”

I looked confused at him.

“OK… What are you up too?” I gave him a suspicious smile.

“Well, I can’t take the credit, it was actually your dad…. “ He paused and smiled, then he turned around and began fiddling with something.

“Here you are… Your parents….”

He stepped aside and pointed at my laptop and my mum and dad online on Skype. I gave out a loud gasp.

“Oh my God… “ I started to cry, but it were tears of happiness. “This is the best surprise ever!”

I waved to my parents and they waved back. I looked at Benedict and shook my head in utter amazement. The two most important men in my life  - except for my baby boy - had just done the best thing for me they possible could, now my parents couldn’t be there in person. Benedict gave me a big grin and came over to me. “

Thank you so much, my love…” I mumbled against his lips as he kissed me.

“Anything for you, Honey…Now they at least can see their daughter getting married. It’s not ideal, but it’s a pretty good solution...”

I held him tight to me.

“Thank you… Thank you.. Thank you….” I looked him straight in the eyes. “.... And thank you so much for getting your solicitor and management  to fix the stuff  with the Daily Mail….”

His eyes changed and he frowned, that made me nervous.

“What…?”

He let go of me and went over to the laptop again.

“We know it works now…We call you up in an hour or when we are ready to go… No need for you to sit and wait while we get ready….”

He smiled at my parents, but I could sense something was really wrong and that it was not for them to hear. The video call ended, but he didn’t turn around to look at me. Ellie too sensed something was going on.

“Erm… I just think I’ll pop out and get some fresh air for a moment….” She grabbed her coat and purse and quickly disappeared.

 

“Benedict?” My voice trembled.

“I’m so sorry Helena… “ He turned around and looked at me with tears in his eyes. “Nothing is fixed with the Daily Mail….”

I looked confused at him. “But.. There’s no article today….?”

He shook his head.

“No… It’s going to be in tomorrow’s paper….” He paused. “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you right away…”

I huffed. “How long have you known?!”

He bit his lip and looked guilty at me. “Since New Year’s Eve….My solicitor told me...”

He hesitated when I gasped, but came over to me and sat down on the bed.

“Honey… I…. Oh.. I’m a bloody idiot… “ He grabbed my hands.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I was about to, then all the shit with the snowstorm and your parents happened and you were so sad and upset…” He kissed my hands. “I was afraid if I told you, you would get another panic attack and… “

He looked devastated at me.

“.... I was scared... OK? It freaks me out everytime you get a panic attack and you and the twins are in distress….” Tears were now running down his cheeks. “I’m so scared something is going to happen to the three of you….”

I cupped his gorgeous face and gave him a soft kiss.

“Sweetie… Please….” I kissed him again. “You had to tell me eventually, you know the nurses tell me when Daily Mail has been bad…”

I looked suspicious at him, but was still smiling just a bit.

“Or were you going to bribe them not to tell me?”

He looked offended at me. “Of course not!”

He put his forehead against mine.  

“Are you mad at me?”

I shook my head.

“No… Lucky for you I have decided nothing is going to ruin our wedding day…” I smiled cheeky at him and he exhaled loudly in relief and his shoulders fell back down.

“But don’t ever do this again… OK?” I looked strict at him.

“I promise...”

 

Nothing ruined our wedding. It was a very beautiful little ceremony. My parents attended on Skype,  Benedict’s parents was right beside us and Benedict’s best friend James and my friend Ellie were best man and maid of honour.

It took 15 minutes including exchanging vows and rings. Then we were Mr. and Mrs Cumberbatch, newlyweds, parents to be and very much in love. No one was ever going to harm us. From that moment it was the two of us together forever against the rest of the world.

It was actually a very romantic afternoon despite the fact it took place in my hospital room, but we had made it cosy with flowers and candles and I actually don’t know who cried the most, Benedict, me or our guests. But they were happy tears.

 

The staff at the hospital were so sweet. Normally Benedict would go home at nights, only the first night he had stayed and slept in a chair, but they had a sweet surprise for us. After our guests had left, a new bed came into the room, a wider one that actually was for larger patients, with colourful paper draped around it to make it not look so much like a hospital bed.

The bedding was still the one from the hospital, but they had put rosebuds on the duvet and the two pillows.  We both looked very surprised at each other as two hospital porters switched the beds and took my “old” bed with them. A card was attached to the “new” bed, a card from the staff, signed by the doctors, nurses, medical secretaries etc., wishing us a happy wedding night. For the first time in three weeks we were actually going to go to sleep in the same bed and wake up together. That almost made me cry again.

Then we finally were alone and I was back in a hospital gown and hooked up to the monitors again, we could relax in each others arms and for the first time since I was admitted, I slept like a baby the entire night. It was just like home, lying in Benedict’s arms, hearing him breath and feel his pulse. It was comfort.

 

*****

The next morning I woke up to see a Benedict lying beside me and just staring at me.

“Are you aware of how absolutely stunning you are in your sleep?”

He kept staring at me. I stretched myself and hummed.

“No… But I know you are gorgeous when you sleep.” I winked, then I put my arms around him as much as my enormous baby bump allowed and looked him straight in the eyes.

“G’morning Wifey….”

“Morning Hubby…”

He leaned in for a kiss and put his arms around me.

“God I’ve missed this,” he mumbled and I just hummed back, burying my nose in his gorgeous neck.

We lay like that for a long while, not saying anything, just enjoying being close.

“How are you today? Feeling alright?”

I nodded. I was actually feeling alright. Being close to Benedict was comfort and comfort was what made me relax. Relaxing was good for me and the twins. This was what I needed. Not all the fuss and stress.

 

My regular nurse Susan popped her head in half an hour later, just to see if we were awake. She gave us a big smile when she saw us lying there and cuddling, Benedict with a large hand caressing my gigantic baby bump.

“Good morning… Am I disturbing?”

“No no…” Benedict smiled blissfully and she came up to the bed.

“Many happy returns on the big day yesterday… Was it a good day?”

We both nodded as we looked at each other. It had indeed been a good day.

“Thank you for the… Bed…” I smiled and she smiled back.

“You’re so welcome… That was the least we could do…I hope you both got a good night’s sleep”

She looked a bit shy at us. “So… restroom?”

“I’ll help her with that,” Benedict said.

“You’re sure?” I looked surprised at him.

“Of course, my dear wife…” He gave me a big smile.

Susan removed the cords to the monitors.

“Erm… If you want a bath you have to wait til later, we have our usual boring Sunday staff meeting in a moment… I hope that is OK…”

“Of course it’s OK,” I smiled at her and tried to get out of bed.

Benedict jumped to my side and gave me a hand.

“I’ll get you your breakfast then… Mr. and Mrs. Cumberbatch…” She winked at us.

“No no... I can help with that,” Benedict looked guilty for letting a nurse serve on him.

“Nonsense… You have your hands full helping your wife… And it would be an honour and my pleasure to bring you your first breakfast as a married couple.”

“Oh… I better get dressed them.”

“You better do that.” She gave him a big grin.

“Oh… by the way…” she said, just as she was about to open the door. “Daily Mail…”

She paused and looked really uncomfortable. “They have really done it this time… I’m so sorry….” Then she went out the door.

We looked at each other.

“Oh… That didn’t sound good,” Benedict mumbled and stared at me with big eyes.

I shook my head. I felt really uneasy now.

 

We both knew it could be bad and quite possible really bad, but not as bad as this!  Even all the voice mails on Benedict’s phone - which he only checked after he had helped me in the restroom - indicated it was not only bad, but really really bad.

The article told almost the entire story about how we met, where and when, when I had moved in, that we for a long time held our relationship and the pregnancy a secret. It told the story - again - about the drama at the BFI, that we were having a twins, my conditions, us getting married, how the fans had reacted on the social media… everything.

And then there were the pictures. Pictures of me on the stretcher at the BFI, two pictures of us I’d never seen before and my pictures. The pictures I had taken of Benedict at our very first meeting at the official "Sherlocked Convention" back in August 2014.

 

“This….This is….” Benedict was absolutely horrified and struggling to even say a sentence.

“This is absolutely awful… How the hell do they know all this?” He threw the paper down on the bed.

“Your pictures…” He pointed at the four pictures they had printed. “How the hell did they get hold of them?”  

I just stared, couldn’t say a word.

“Have they hacked your website?” He looked shocked at me.

“What…?” I looked confused at him. “My website…?”

He nodded.

“These pictures are not on my website.”

“Say what?” Now it was Benedict’s turn to look confused at me.

“They have never been on my website,” I repeated and continued. “None of the pictures have.”

“But… You were going to publish some of them…Weren’t you?” He still looked very puzzled.

“Yes... I was… But…” I paused. “I never did…”

“Why?”

“Because ‘we’ happened, Sweetie…”

He frowned.

“Remember the meeting at your management? You walked me out… We kissed and four days later we were together for the first time and it have been us ever since….”

I grabbed his face and forced him to look at me. “I never published any pictures… “


We stared at each other.

“How the hell did  they end up in Daily Mail then?”

I shook my head.

Benedict took the paper again and studied it thoroughly.

“They write they have been published on your website, but were removed later….When we became a couple….” He pointed in the paper.

“They what??!” I almost shouted. “That is a bloody lie!!” I was shocked.

“That’s their fucking way getting out of trouble and not reveal their source… How the hell are we to prove they didn’t come from your web site?”

“That’s very simple… My website has a log!”

He exhaled hard in relief. “Thank God for that…. But….” He paused. “That means we still don’t know how they got the pictures… And who this source is….”

He shuffled with the paper.

“I’m going to bloody kill whoever it is when I find out…” He huffed furiously. “It has to be someone who could get access to the pictures… Have you been hacked?”

“They can’t have got hold of them that way,” I answered. “The pictures are not on my computer and haven’t been since right after we became an item. I removed them because no one was to find out. They are on an external hard drive and a memory key and both were never near my computer since…. Now they are in our safe-deposit box in the bank….”

I paused and then it hit me.

“Oh…..” I looked shocked at him.

“What?” He stared at me.

“You have them….”

“Me?!” He looked puzzled at me. “You seriously don’t believe they got them from me??! That I’m the source?!”

I rolled my eyes. “Don’t be ridiculous, Benedict! Of course not!”

“What do you mean then?” He looked accusing at me.

“You got the pictures back then… At the meeting at your management… All of them. As printed pictures and on a memory key… Remember?”

He looked concentrated at me.

“Yeahhh….” He sounded hesitant. “But…..” He paused and frowned.

“You don’t have them yourself… Am I right?”

“No… I don’t….” He stared at a spot behind me, away in his own thoughts.

“Benedict… There are only those copies besides my own digital ones….”

He looked puzzled at me. Then realization hit his face.

“Oh… You are not saying….?” He stared horrified at me.

I nodded. “Daily Mail got those pictures from someone at your management….”

He looked at me as if I had lost my mind totally.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” he huffed angry. “No one at my management would do such a thing.”

“Then how the hell do you explain this?” I yelled angry and slammed my hand down in the paper.

I was on the brink of freaking out. This was too much. It was the day after our wedding and we were arguing about a horrible article and some Goddamn pictures.

“Honey, I know these people… They have been working there for years…”

“Do you have a better explanation then?” I looked angry at him.

“We know they don’t have the pictures from my website, you don’t have them and as I said a moment ago, the only copies there are besides my own digital ones are those at your management!”

He rubbed his face in frustration.

 

I began to cry, it was all too much for me.

“This is exactly what this person wants…” I sobbed. “Break us apart…”

He took me in his arms.”Shh… No one is breaking us apart, Honey…”

“Then why the hell are we arguing about this the day after our wedding?” I looked at him. “They printed this on purpose today… I’m sure of it.”

He dried some of my tears away.

“Honey, isn’t that a bit paranoid?”

I shook my head. “No… Someone is trying to break us up….”

He looked concerned at me. “Who on earth would want that? Everyone loves you….”

I shook my head again. “Not everyone….”

“Hmm?” He looked questioning at me and I continued.

“Not that assistant at your management… I can’t remember her name….She was the contact back then with your pictures...”

“Jane?”

“Yes… She never liked me….”

"Honey, this is ridiculous….” He almost began to laugh but instead he bit his lip when I gave him a warning look.

“No one at my management hates you…. I think your pregnant brain is messing with you…”

“Don’t patronize me!”

“OK… OK…” He sighed. “Let’s try and look at this in a reasonable way….”

“I am reasonable…” I looked hurt at him.

“I’m so sorry Honey…” He pulled me in for a hug. “We shouldn’t even be arguing about this….”

I started sobbing loudly again.

“Shhh…. It’s OK…”

I buried my nose in his neck and he lowered the bed so we could lie down more comfortably. He tossed the paper on the floor.

“No more arguing about that idiotic paper…Try and calm down… We don’t want you to have another panic attack.. Do we?”

I shook my head.

 

I slowly stopped crying again and relaxed more and more, he always managed to calm me down. He put his hand on my baby bump.

“Honey…?”

“Hmmm….?”

“The heart rates don’t drop like they used too when we are cuddling like this…” He sounded worried.

It wasn't easy, but I managed to turn around and looked at the monitors.

“Oh… I don’t think we should worry… Maybe I just need to relax more… I’m pretty sure they will drop again” I gave him a smile.

“Good…”

He sighed and we stayed silent for a long while, right until my nurse Susan came to help me with my bath.

 

Despite a relaxing bath, I felt really uneasy and it still affected all our heart rates a bit. The whole deal with the article in the Daily Mail and that we had been arguing about it, really made me sad and anxious. If they could print all that, what else did that source know about us? What could we expect next? Pictures of our babies? I would do anything to prevent that from happening.

I could feel Benedict was tense, too even though we didn't talk about it. The paper wasn’t even in our room anymore, but it still was very much present. He was lost in his own thoughts and I was in mine. I couldn't help but think about that odd feeling I had in my stomach, my gut feeling had never failed me before, but I also knew I was very emotional, had raging pregnancy hormones and maybe wasn’t thinking straight. So I decided to keep my thoughts to myself for now.

Benedict seemed to become more and more tense and restless as the afternoon went by. We didn’t talk much, we were just lying together in my bed cuddling, watching some boring film on the Telly I had in my room. When I asked him something, his answers were short or just a one syllable mumble. There was no doubt he was  just as worried as I was, but he didn’t say anything.

 

Suddenly he let go of me and got out the bed.

“Sweetie?” I looked worried at him.

“I’m so sorry Honey…. I can’t help but think about that bloody article…” He looked sad at me. “I have to clear my head… And I need to talk to Karon about this… It scares me that I don’t know what they’ll print next.”

I sighed with relief. “Oh thank God you feel the same way… I’m so anxious about that, too….“ I gave him a sad smile.

“I’m so scared they print something about the babies.. pictures, names… Anything…”

He nodded. “Me too… I have to talk to Karon... We have to make sure no one knows when it happens, when they have arrived or anything… Absolutely nothing…!”

I sighed with relief again.

“Will you be OK?”

I nodded.

He grabbed his jacket and came over and gave me a soft kiss on my forehead.

“I’ll be back later… In time for Sherlock…Try and get some rest...“

 

I tried to relax and take a nap while Benedict was away, but I just couldn’t. I got more and more anxious and nervous, my heart began to race and I started to feel really weird. A couple of hours after he had left, I felt so uneasy, I had to call the nurse. Susan was done for the day, so it was another really nice girl who had been looking after me before, that came into my room.

“Is everything OK?”

I shook my head.

“I don’t know what it is, but something is definitely wrong…” I looked anxious at her. “At first I thought I was on the brink of having a panic attack, but this is something else…”

She looked at the monitors and gave it a concerned look, then she looked at me.

“Do you feel any pain?”

I shook my head again.

”No… But I can’t find any rest…It’s like my body…” I paused and tried to find the right words. “It’s like it won’t relax…It feels so tense...I feel uneasy”

She nodded. “Well, something is going on… You’re heart rate is up and you’re blood pressure is higher than earlier today…”

She looked at the twins monitor. “The twins are reacting a bit too…”

She looked at me again but seemed calm. “It might be nothing and just your body reacting too all the stress the last week… A lot have been going on…”

I nodded.

“But I’ll better get a doctor to take a look at you… Just to be safe.”

I nodded again as she smiled reassuring at me.

“Where is your husband?”

“Out… He’ll be back around eight….”

“I think you better call him…”

I looked scared at her.

“No, no.. Helena… Listen to me… It’s just to be safe, OK?”

I nodded again and as she went out to get a doctor, I tried to get a hold of Benedict. I was on the brink of crying when I got his voicemail, but I somehow managed to leave a message that hopefully didn’t freak him out too much.

Then I just leaned back in my bed, trying to relax and waiting for the doctor to come and Benedict to either call or return, but as the minutes passed, I just felt more and more awful.

Chapter Text

It felt like forever, but after 10-15 minutes my nurse, a doctor and a midwife came to check on me. At that point my pulse was up even more, my belly felt hard and sore and I was beginning to feel some pain in my back that gradually got worse. That really scared me, because it didn’t feel like what I thought contractions would be like.

“So Helena, what’s all this?”

The Doctor looked calmly at me and was smiling. That made me relax a bit.

“I don’t know, but it’s not good…”

He looked at the monitors and frowned a bit.

“Hmm… Any pain?”

“Yes…In my back...and everything feels so tense...”

The nurse turned to him. “She wasn’t in any pain 15 minutes ago…”

He nodded.

“I think we better give you a check, but I think your twins are trying to tell us they are coming soon…” He smiled again.

“Will you prepare her for examination, we need some tests too… Just to be sure…”

He looked at the nurse and the midwife. They both nodded and were fully aware of what he meant.

 

“Now… Try and relax and take some deep breathes… This might be a bit uncomfortable…I’ll be careful… OK…?” the doctor said ten minutes into the thorough examination while putting on some rubber gloves.

I nodded and took some deep breathes as told, but almost instantly gave out a loud cry as soon as he continued the examination. It hurt like hell.

He looked concerned at me, then at the midwife. I looked scared at them both as they almost inaudible talked to each other.

My nurse tried to make me relax by stroking me on my arm. Then the doctor finally turned towards me again.

“Helena, something is definitely up. Your pulse is up, your blood pressure is getting too high now, and the twins are at this point also a bit affected by it. It worries me you are this sore and in pain already…. “ He paused and looked concerned at me.

“We will monitor you even more now, make some tests, nothing indicates that it’s the abruption that is getting worse… But… “ He paused again… “I do suspect pre-eclampsia…”

I nodded. I was still staring scared at him and again I felt pain in my back. I moaned a bit..

“So… Now listen Helena…“

He made sure he looked me straight in the eyes to keep me listening.

“We are going to give you some medication that will help your twins lungs to develop... That will help them breathe better when they get delivered before week 34, but it has to be given twice during the next 24 hours to have the wanted effect…OK?”

I nodded again.

“If you feel any change at all… Change in the pain, begin to feel nauseated, the twins heart rates go up, your water break or anything… Nothing is too small here… You pull the cord immediately… OK?”

I nodded yet again.

“Understand Helena?”

“Yes,” I mumbled. “Are my babies OK?”

He squeezed my hand. “They are fine… And we’ll make sure they stay fine…”

 

I was so confused and felt awful after the examination, but tried to do what the doctor and nurse had told me. Relax! But it was difficult, I was scared, the pain was not unbearable but it hurt and I couldn’t understand where the hell Benedict was. What took him so long? It had been almost an hours since I left a message on his voice mail.

I was on the brink of panicking and crying, when he finally came running through the door. He looked awful, scared, angry and like he himself was on the brink of a panic attack.

“I’m so sorry…” he breathed hard trying to catch his breath. “My phone ran out of power... I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…!”

He was almost on his knees beside the bed with tears in his eyes, looking so guilty. He grabbed my hands and kissed them.

“I’ll never leave your side again… I promise!”

“Sweetie… You’re here now… “

He nodded and stood up, leaned over me and gave me a soft kiss. Then he sat down on the bed next to me.

“What’s happening?” He looked concerned at me, then at the monitors and then at me again.

I tried to explain what had happened since he left and he looked concerned at me every time I had to pause and breath because of the pain in my back.

 

“So now we just wait?”

I nodded. “Yeah… Hopefully they can tell us very soon what’s going on….”

We looked at each other and he gave me a tiny smile.

“We are going to be parents really soon…. That is crazy...”

I nodded. “I can’t wait to meet them… Even when it’s way too early…”

He leaned over me and carefully gave me a kiss on my belly. I leaned back and sighed, trying to breath calmly through the pain.

Benedict gave me a concerned look.

“Anything I can do for you?”

“You could tell me what the heck you've been up to…” I gave him a looked that might have been full of blame for leaving me.

He bit his lip.

I've been talking to Karon… About the Daily Mail… And…” He paused and looked like what seemed ashamed, he didn’t want to look me in the eyes.

“And…?... Benedict..?”

He sighed. “OK… I think I might end up in the papers tomorrow…”

I looked confused at him.

“The paps… “ He huffed and rolled his eyes. “Some of them followed me again… And yeah… Erm…” He coughed and blushed a bit.

“I might have yelled at them when I arrived all panicking because of your message…” He gave me his typical boyish grin.

“OK… spill it… What did you do…?”  

He bit his lip again.

“Erm… I might have looked very angry at them and I might have said some not so nice things to them….” He paused.

“They called you my girlfriend and I told them you are my wife and they should all just fuck off… And whatever was going on… It was none of their Goddamn business! ”

He looked like a five year old who had been caught with the hand in the cookie jar.

“Oh you idiot…” I giggled and he looked offended at me. “You’re my idiot… Come here…”

I pulled him in for a kiss.

“And the talk with Karon?” I cupped his lovely cheeks and kissed him again.

“I told her about our argument this morning and what you had said about your pictures… We had a long talk about what to do next and how to prevent the tabloids to know about the babies…”

He made a face at me.

“She is so going to kill me when she hears what I said to the paps…”

I began to laugh, but in the second after pain hit me again. I moaned.

“Oh… crap… That hurt…”

Benedict looked concerned at me. “Shouldn’t you call a nurse or something…?”

I breathed through the pain and shook my head.

“Not yet… It’s not, “bad”, bad… But I guess it’s going to happen sooner than we think…”

 

The pain came and went. It was not in any pattern or consistent. I just felt weird most of the time. Benedict was getting pretty anxious and I was so exhausted and felt awful. I wanted to hear about his talk with Karon, but I was just too tired to listen.

The doctor came back half an hour after Benedict had returned and told us it wasn't pre-eclampsia and now he wanted an emergency ultrasound to find out what was going on, because I did have some symptoms that was off, and that worried him.

 

Ten minutes after the doctor had left the room, the pain got really severe. It hit me just like the day on the BFI, like a bolt of lightning.

I gave a loud cry and Benedict, who sat in the chair next to the bed, jumped up and was pretty shaken.

“Oh my God, Helena… What’s happening…?”

I moaned.

“Oh,God it hurts…. “ I grabbed his hand, squeezed it hard and started panting.

Then I felt it, a warm wet feeling between my legs.

“Oh my God…. “ I moaned again, still in pain and looked scared at him. “I think my water just broke…..”

Quickly he removed my duvet and went all pale.

“Oh fuck….. !“ He sounded petrified and I looked scared at him.

Then the alarms on the monitors went off and in a flash he had pulled the cord to call for help.

“I don’t think it’s your water… Your bleeding… A lot…!”

A nurse came running.

“Something is really wrong… She is bleeding… The pain… The alarms.. “ Benedict was almost in shock.

I was in pain, in really severe pain again, moaning loudly and almost panicking. The nurse went to the door and called out for help and within a few seconds, my room was filled with a lot of people and it felt like they all were all over me.

There was a lot of talk and I was really panicking at that point. It hurt so bad and I was so scared. The doctor from earlier gave a lot of instructions and everyone seemed to be totally aware of what to do.

“Helena… Helena…” I looked at him and he made eye contact with me.

“Helena… Your babies want to come out now, OK? Don’t be scared, we are going to do an emergency C-section… Your babies are fine, but they have to come out now…”

I nodded, too scared and in too much pain to say anything. I tried to look at Benedict, but the doctor was explaining something to him and two nurses were all over me and the monitors. The alarms sounded again and at that point I just started crying.

 

*****

Everything was a blur when I tried to wake up and I just couldn’t open my eyes. I moaned.

“Helena…?”

“Good… Benedict is here,” I somehow managed to think.

I felt a large warm hand on my arm. I tried to speak but it was just a mumble.

“Helena…?”

“Ohh… That...Voice… I... Love it,” I thought in my fuzzy mind.

Why was it so hard to speak and even open my eyes?

After several minutes I managed to open them and keep them open. I felt pretty awful, dizzy and nauseated. That’s why I couldn’t remember anything after I was rushed to the operating theatre, they had knocked me out on the operation table.

“Hi Honey….”

Benedict’s gorgeous face and his stunning eyes were looking at me as soon as I turned my head to the right. He smiled. A very large smile. A happy smile.

“That is good,” I thought to myself.

“How are you feeling?”

“Awful,” I managed to mumble. “I hate general anaesthetic….”

He smiled even more.

 

Slowly the sedation wore off and I started to feel more awake. I looked at him and he was still smiling.

“Hi…” I mumbled and smiled.

“Hi mummy…”

“Oh yeah… Right… My babies…” I thought. My mind was clearly not fully awake yet.

“Are they OK?” I looked concerned at him.

“Oh Honey… They are perfect… So tiny but absolutely perfect…”

His eyes was tearing up, my gorgeous Benedict, so full of emotions. He grabbed my hand and kissed it.

“Were you there?”

He nodded.

“Yes… I was right there beside you… I got a glimpse of them before they were put in the incubators…” He swallowed to hide how emotional he was.

“I followed them to the neonatal intensive-care unit, got them settled… Then I came back to sit with you….”

I smiled tired at him. “And they are OK?”

He nodded. “They are doing fine.. They are getting a bit of help breathing, but other than that.. They are perfect…”

I sighed with relief. “Tell me… Everything…”

I tried to shift in the bed to make room for him to lie down with me, but it hurt too much, I was too sore after the operation. He sat on the bed instead and automatically our fingers entwined.

He looked so proud, so happy and my heart just melted. Benedict, my Benedict, finally he had become a father and it made me so proud I was the one who had made his biggest wish come true.

 

He told me everything. How they had rushed me into theatre and they had to move fast, that I was more in distress than the doctor was aware of and it had only been a matter of minutes before it got very critical for the twins, too. It was the placenta abruption that suddenly got worse and they had to deliver the babies in a flash. But he had been allowed to be there, to see the twins.Twin A, our baby girl was delivered first at 7.55pm, 41 centimeters, 4,4 Lbs (2 kg), then 2 minutes later twin B, our baby boy, 40 centimeters and 4 Lbs (1,8 kg). She did fine from the beginning, he was struggling a bit more and Benedict had followed them to intensive care unit. 

He kissed my hand.

“I can’t wait for you to see them… Oh Honey…” His eyes teared up again. “It is love at first sight… I can’t explain how I feel….!”

“I can’t wait to see them… when can I?”

He looked at his watch.

“Tomorrow morning, I guess… I think it’s too late now… It’s past 11….”

I suddenly felt sad. I wanted to see my babies.

“They asked if we had found names for them….”

He leaned over me and found the cord to the alarm and pulled it.

“Sorry… They want to know when you were awake….” He smiled.

“Names… ?”

He nodded enthusiastically.

“We haven’t talked much about names… Have we?”

“Nope….” He smiled even more. “But I’m pretty sure we know when we see them in the morning.”

 

A nurse came into the room.

“How are you feeling, Helena?”

I looked tired at her.

“Awful… I’m really sore and it hurts… “

She nodded. “Yeah… They had to be really rough with you, sorry about that… I’ll get some pain medicine for you…”

I nodded thankfully.

“When can I see my babies?”

“Tomorrow, you’re not stable enough….” She paused and put her hand on my arm and nodded towards the monitor. I was still hooked up.

“They are doing fine, Helena… I’m sure your husband has told you how they are…”

I nodded again, but still, I was very sad that I didn’t get to see them right away.

 

I quickly felt the pain ease when I finally got some pain medicine and I started to drift off.

“Have you called your parents...?” I mumbled as that glorious warm fuzzy feeling began to spread in my body.  

“Yes… And yours too… They all send their love…And your parents are catching the first plane tomorrow...”

Benedict’s lovely deep voice sounded so good, but so far away.

“That’s nice…” I mumbled with a smile on my lips and slowly fell asleep.

 

*******

Benedict was absolutely right, it was love at first sight! As soon as he wheeled me into the intensive care unit, all my anxiety, fear, thoughts about the Daily Mail, the C-section… everything just disappeared.

I looked at him in amazement and he had tears in his eyes.

“Our baby boy…” He whispered and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

“You can touch him,” a nurse said and showed me how to open into the incubator.

Very carefully I touched our baby boy for the first time and it was the most fantastic feeling ever. That tiny little person was my son.

“Benjamin…” I whispered.

“What?”

“Benjamin…” I said again, this time a bit louder and looked Benedict straight in the eyes. “Benjamin Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch”.

His face lit up in a huge smile, then he nodded.

“Perfect…”

Then I looked at this tiny person again and I just couldn’t take my eyes of him. My son was so gorgeous and I just stared at him for minutes, holding on to his tiny hand.

 

“Honey… Time to meet our daughter…”

He wheeled me over to the incubator opposite Benjamin’s and gave me a kiss on the other cheek.

“Our daughter…”

“Oh…. Sweetie…” I felt tears running down my cheeks, I was so emotional. “She is beautiful…”

Slowly I opened into the incubator and carefully I touched our baby girl for the first time.

“Amelia…. “ Benedict whispered into my ear. “What do you think about Amelia…?”

I nodded. “I love it…”

“Amelia Helena Carlton Cumberbatch…”

I looked at him in utter surprise.

“She is just as beautiful as her mother… “

That made me cry even more. Oh those damn hormones.

 

******

After a couple of hours at the intensive care unit I was totally beaten and Benedict had to wheel me back to my room and help me back to bed.

“Are you in pain?” He looked concerned at me.

“A bit… It’s OK, I’m mostly tired.”

He nodded and sat down on the bed with me.

“Listen… “ He paused and took my hand. “We have to talk…”

I gave him a concerned and scared look.

“No no, don’t be scared” he quickly continued and gave my hand a kiss.

“Helena… You and our babies are the most important thing in my life and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking….” He paused for a moment. “I know, I wasn’t there for you during a lot of the pregnancy…”

“Noo… don’t say that,” I interrupted him and he put a finger on my lips.

“Let me finish, Helena…” He took a deep breath. “I wasn’t there enough… You know that… I missed out on so many things… I don’t want to miss out on anything else…I… Erm...”

He swallowed hard to keep his voice from trembling.

“I want to be here… Now… Taking care of you… And be here with the twins…” He looked me straight in the eyes.

“What are you saying?” I whispered.

“I’ve decided to cancel all of my commitments the next couple of months or more…”

“What?! Sweetie… “ I almost started crying. “Can you do that? I mean, I’d love if you stayed… But…. You have the award season coming up…”

“Honey, I’m not leaving you… I can’t go... I don’t give a shit about work right now… I don’t care for awards, talk shows… Whatever… You are my life… My life is important to me….” “

But…”

“No but,” he interrupted me. “I was going to cancel the Oscars anyway, with you having due date late February and the Oscars being in the beginning of March…You didn’t seriously think I’d leave you just after you had given birth… did you?”

He gave me a big smile.

“Sweetie… you can’t abandon all your commitments…”

I looked worried at him, but everything he had just said filled me with such a warm loving feeling inside.

“Honey, I’m not leaving you and let you go through this alone… And I’m sure as hell not going to be on the other side of the pond while you and the twins are here…. I want to be here... More than anything else in the world…I want to take care of our babies, too… ”

I nodded. Of course he did. That’s how he is, that’s is the loving and caring Benedict I fell in love with.

He leaned over me and put his forehead onto mine.

“We are in this together….This is what it’s all about, not work… There will be plenty of work later… This.. us… the babies… this is now!”

I nodded and cupped his gorgeous face. “I love you so much… You know that?”

He nodded. “I know… I love you too and we are going to do this together….”

 

“Does Karon and your management know?”

“Karon knows… We had talked about clearing my schedule when the time came close to the birth, but she doesn’t know I want it cleared now… She doesn’t even know the twins are born…”

I looked surprised at him.

“I only phoned all the grandparents last night… No one else knows…” He paused. “I don’t want Daily Mail or anyone to know anything… Nothing…”

His voice was low and serious and I nodded.

“We can’t trust anyone right now and I just don’t want anything about the twins out in the media….”

“Me neither…”

“We decide when and what we’ll tell, right?”

I nodded again.

 

His phone rang and he huffed annoyed.

“Oh….” He looked surprised when he saw the caller. “It’s your father…. I bet he’s calling about when they arrive…”

I looked confused at Benedict, then I vaguely remembered what he had said the night before just as I fell asleep. My heart jumped. I just couldn’t wait to see them and I couldn’t wait for them to meet the twins.

“They arrive tomorrow afternoon… Thank God the airline traffic is almost normal again after the snowstorm.”

He smiled as he hang up and gave me a kiss. “They can’t wait to see us.”

I bit my lip, I was almost bursting with happiness.

“What about your parents?”

“That’s a bit tricky.” He sighed. “How do we get them in without the paps see them?”

I looked confused at him. “Why hide that they are visiting? No one needs to know why… I mean…They’ve been here several times during my admission…”

He nodded. “You’re right…”

“Just let them walk through the crowd of paps and no one will suspect a thing…”

He began to laugh. “No… I bet they won’t…”

 

“When will you talk to Karon?”

He sighed and gave me a serious look.

“I’ll phone her in a moment and tell her about the twins and what I’ve decided…”

I nodded. “And your management?”

He bit his lip.

“I don’t know… But I’ll be careful who gets to know…” He paused. “I think you’re right in your suspicion that the source is from my management.”

I stared surprised at him. That was definitely something new.

“OK... What made the difference?.... I mean.. You didn’t think so yesterday morning…”

“Just a gut feeling… “

That was all he said, then he took his phone and called his publicist and after that his parents and asked them to for a come visit.

 

*******

The next morning after breakfast is was my nurse Susan that wheeled me to the intensive care unit to be with my twins.

“Where’s your husband?” she had asked, when I asked her if she would help me to the unit.

I had then explained he was at home taking care of some things before my parents arrived. He had left the night before, making sure I was OK that he couldn’t be there the next morning.

“I have to deal with this mess…” He had sighed and I knew exactly what mess he meant.

“I’ll pick up your parents at the airport tomorrow afternoon, OK?”

I nodded.

Then he had kissed me goodnight and left.



“Ohh, your parents are coming? How nice…” She gave me a big smile. “I hope the visit from Mr. and Mrs. Cumberbatch yesterday went well without the paps being too nosy!”

“It was perfect, they fell in love with the twins immediately and the paps haven’t got a clue..:”

Susan gave me a triumphant smile “They so deserve not to know, those leeches!”

That made me laugh; she was so right.

 

Later that afternoon Benedict arrived with my parents and I instantly noticed he was a bit tense, but tried hard to hide it. I gave him a questioning look and he mouthed “later” at me. I nodded, this was a happy time. My parents were finally here. Oh God, I had missed them so much.

They too fell in love with their grandchildren and we had a lovely couple of hours together, before I was worn out.

“I’ll be back in a flash,” Benedict said and kissed me goodbye. He was going to take my parents home. They were staying in our house while visiting. They wanted to stay in a hotel and keep out of our way,  but Benedict had insisted.

“We’ll talk when I get back… Get some rest in the meantime…”

I nodded, but I already knew I wasn’t going to get much rest, the serious tone in his voice made me nervous.

 

Much to my surprise was he very calm when he came back two hours later after getting my parents settled in our house. He was actually more calm that I’ve seen him in ages. That puzzled me a lot, but before I could ask, he sat down on my bed and began explaining.

“I went to my management with Karon this morning and had a serious long talk with my manager. I told him that the twins were born Sunday evening and I briefly told him what had happened… I also told him that we don’t want anything about the babies in the media. Nothing, no names, when they were born, nothing! As far as the media knows, they are not born yet and it is to stay like that for a while. You and I decide when to spill the news... And what….”

He paused and I nodded in agreement.

“My manager agreed with that, but he also knew we have that serious problem with the Daily Mail. I told him about what you had said about the pictures and his assistant Jane, and even when he didn’t quite believe it, he agreed on making a rather bold and pretty mean experiment with her and the other assistant Lucy….”

He paused and looked a bit guilty at me.

“I know,” he exhaled. “Not the most clever plan, but we had to try something….”

I nodded and he continued.

“We called them into the meeting and I gave them some fake…Erm… Information… Something we knew would be very interesting for the Daily Mail…. “

I frowned, but kept listening.

“Then…. Without Jane hearing it, my manager asked Lucy to make an excuse to Jane about a meeting and then leave the office. We had to make sure Jane was alone….”

He jumped off of my bed and began to walk around the room, looking very excited.

“It was a stupid, desperate plan, we weren’t even sure it was Jane… But it fucking worked! I can’t believe it worked!”

He began to laugh.

“As soon as Lucy left the room, Jane got on her mobile phone and called the bloody Daily Mail!”

He exhaled loudly and continued.

“We all four heard it, Lucy listened in at her as well… And yeah… Jane admitted on the spot when we caught her red handed walking in on her talking on the phone.”

He shook his head.

“You were bloody right, Helena… It was her all along.”

I just stared at him, I couldn't say a word. I couldn't believe they actually had caught her in the act.

 

He sat down on my bed again.

“She totally spilled it all, crying hysterically and then got angry… She admitted everything… Not liking you at all, that she was jealous and for years had tried to show me she was interested… That she was the one for me...“

He looked down and seemed a bit ashamed.

“She did try to come on to me a couple of times, the first time after Olivia and I broke up, but I never told anyone. I just turned her down as nicely as I could and there never seemed to be any hard feelings from her side… How bloody naive am I?”

He sighed and rolled his eyes.

“What about the pictures we’d never seen before? Where did she a hold of them?” I looked puzzled him.

“She admitted she had taken them herself at two different office parties… She couldn’t explain why she had taken them, but they suddenly came in handy… And your pictures… Well, she had access to them. She did get a bit pale when I told her, that her research was poor, because you had never published any of them on your website…”

He smiled a bit wickedly.

“But how did she get in contact with the Daily Mail? Did she just call them?”

“Ahh… She has a girlfriend who’s a journalist there and has been for three-four months… She admitted, she was in a drunken state and had complained about you… How happy you made me and then the girlfriend planted the idea in her head… It started out with small things in the paper, we didn’t even notice them… But it soon went on to the nasty stuff. It was Jane that broke the news about us in Daily Mail the day BBC announced the Sherlock air date….”

 

I bit my lip. “It’s over then?”

“It’s totally over… No more telling on us! Whatever the Daily Mail is writing about us from now on is totally made up….”

He pulled me in for a hug aand I sighed relieved. This was the best news ever, besides of course that my twins were fine and doing fine.

“So what now?”

“Now, my dear wife, we are going to take care of our babies and take them home when they are big enough… And then we are going to tell the world what we think the world should know…”

He gave me a soft kiss.

“The tabloids can just sod off… I don’t care….” He kissed me again.

“And the fans…?”

“Oh… when we think it’s time, we let James spill the news on Twitter… They love that…” He winked and I giggled.

He kissed me again and again, right until I put a hand on his chest.

“What’s going to happen to her?.. Jane, I mean...”

He looked surprised at me. “Do you really care about that?”

I nodded. “Yes… “

He sighed.“ She got immediately expelled from the office… and she can look forward to being sued for breaking the confidentiality… Office policy….”

I nodded again “Poor her… “ I mumbled. “Never underestimate a jealous woman... She is capable of everything.”

He looked at me and frowned, but still smiled.

“Remind me never to  make you jealous….”

I giggled and pulled him in for a kiss. “I will Mr. Cumberbatch… I will..”

Then I kissed him passionately and promised myself to love him for the rest of my life.

Chapter Text

I was late. I’m always late, but this time I was really late for my appointment. I know my friend David knows I’m like that, but still, it made me very uncomfortable, especially today. Today we had a very specific reason for meeting up.

The waiter at my favourite restaurant greeted me as soon as I came in and at once I was taken to the table I had asked for. We needed a quiet place to talk where guests, journalists or paps couldn’t hear or see us, so I had asked the chef’s table in the kitchen. I love that table, it’s so much fun to watch the cooks at work, it’s not particularly quiet in that sense, but it’s private. David was already seated and well into his red wine when I finally managed to arrive.

“You’re late…” He raised his glass at me.

I sighed. “Yeah… I know… Domestic life…”

He gave me a big grin. “Domestic life suits you, my friend.”

He put his glass down, stood up and we gave each other a hug across the table. Then we both sat down and I could finally relax.

“Congratulations on the BAFTA nomination yet again…” He raised his glass again. “Do you think  you’ll take it home this time as well?”

I laughed.

“Well, you did finally win one last year for Sherlock.”

I nodded. “Yeah… That one is special to me, but heck yeah… I would love to win for Richard III…”

A waiter came with a glass of my favourite red wine. That’s what I love about this place, they know what I like.

 

“Sooo…” David looked hesitant at me. “How are things in domestic life then, Benedict?”

I leaned back in my chair and smiled content at him.

“It’s absolutely perfect… I love it…. Still a bit surreal, but I love it.”

“Surreal?” He frowned at me.

“Yeah,” I sighed and stretched myself, a bit worn out by the lack of sleep.

“If you had said to me 2 years ago, that I would be sitting here today and about to talk about it, married to the love of my life and a father of 2, then I had laughed my arse off…”

“But here you are….”

“Yes… Here I am.”

I grabbed the menu, flicked through it, but I knew what I wanted. I always know that. A waiter came to the table and we ordered some lunch and got a bottle of wine on the table.

“How is Helena… And the twins?” He sipped his wine.

“Good… they are great. Helena is brilliant and the twins are thriving….”

I paused and I could see from his reaction he was a bit unsure if he was sitting there as my friend or as the professional journalist he is.

I bit my lip, I didn’t want this to be uncomfortable for any of us.

“You have to come see us… Meet the twins,” I quickly said and we both relaxed a bit more.

Hopefully the awkwardness would soon be over.

 

“OK, I’m curious,” David refilled his glass and sighed. “You never talk about your personal life in the media, so why now?... And more importantly… Why me?”

I looked him straight in the eyes. “Because I trust you…”

I leaned forward and rest my arms on the table as if I was to tell him a secret.

“You are my friend and I trust you. I trust you will tell the facts and not take things out of context just to sell a story…”

I knew this was a bit risky to say, he was after all a journalist who had to sell his stories, but I had to say it. He had to know I wanted this interview done my way and I knew, he knew that, too. Hell, we had known each other for 20 years. He knew how much I hated to be misquoted in interviews, when things were taken out of context, but I still had to say it out loud.

He nodded. He understood.

“I know...” I sipped my wine and continued. “It’s much to ask of a friend, but… I need this… I need your help to set the record straight.”

He nodded again.

“OK then… Tell me what it is you want exactly.”

 

“I have to ask… That Daily Mail business… Who was it that spilled all the stuff about you?”

David looked curious at me while digging into his lunch on this plate.

We were in the middle of our conversation about the interview we were going to do, and I kind of knew that question would come up eventually.

“An assistant at my management.”

“You are kidding me!”  He stared at me with big eyes and his fork just stopped mid air with large bite on it.

“Nope, I’m afraid not,” I sighed. “But this is not to end up in the interview.”

“No no… Of course not… But… I mean… Wow... That is kind of creepy…”

He finally took the bite and pointed the fork at me. “I mean… Jeez… You must have been freaked out by that.”

I couldn’t believe it when I realised it… It was so weird. I’d known her for six-seven years or so….”

“Why did she do it?”

I sighed again and took a sip of my wine.

“Jealousy… She was jealous… She had tried to get my attention for years and then Helena showed up in my life, making me happy… And she hated that…”

David stared at me.

“Wow… Jealous women… Dangerous stuff!”  He pointed his fork at me again.

I laughed a tiny bitter laugh. “Yeah… That taught me never to get Helena jealous…”

 

“Is it true then, that you and Helena met at the official Sherlocked Convention?”

We were apparently going through stuff the Daily Mail had written about us.

”Yes.”

He nodded and his questions kept on coming.

“Is it true you asked her to take the pictures of you?”

“Yes.”

“I bet you flirted like mad… Right?”

“Yeah…”

“Was it love at first sight then?” He looked me straight in the eyes.

“Yes…” I could feel I blushed a bit.

He began to laugh.

“Oh, Benedict, you old romantic… Of course it was love at first sight…. Was it love at first sight for her too?”

I smiled and looked down into my plate.

“I think so… “ I paused, this was just like being a teenager again, talking about crushes on all the pretty girls.

I took a deep breath. “She has admitted, that she didn’t realise she had fallen in love with me until the day we met again at my management…”

David smirked. “But you knew…”

I nodded.

“I knew… I fell the moment I saw her…And I knew I’d never let her go again, the moment she walked in the conference room at my management….”

 

He still waved that fork around and I was really close to take it from him when he finally put it down and looked straight at me.

“Why is it so important for you to set the record straight?... I mean… You’ve been under the radar for some months now… Why not just go on and work like you always do?”

“Because I don’t want every journalist asking me the same questions about my personal life and the thing with the Daily Mail over and over again for the rest of my life… If I do this, then I can say, I’ve come clean, I told my side of the story… What I think the world is entitled to know, not what the tabloids think… And then the journalists hopefully can concentrate on what the interviews initially are about….”

I paused and took a large sip of my wine.

“Besides, I’m sick and tired of all the speculations in the tabloids about my children… I need to say my work is for the public and my life is for me… And no one gets anything from my life unless I tell it myself.”

He nodded.

“I need that quote for the interview, that is bloody awesome!”

He grabbed for pen and paper in his jacket.

I laughed. “It’s not new… I’ve said it before… At some convention I think… The fans will know… Ask them.”

He scribbled like mad on his scribbling pad.

“I see you’re still into pen and paper.”

“Never runs out of power my friend… “ He winked and I laughed.

That was such a typical remark from him.

 

“Do you want to talk about your children?” He looked up at me.

“No…Erm... I don’t know… No… I don’t… “ I hesitated. “Both Helena and I don’t want them in the media, but again… I have to set the record straight… So I’m going to say a tiny bit about them…”

He nodded even though nothing I just said made any sense at all.

“OK... Back to you and Helena then…”

“Are we doing the interview now?” I interrupted a bit confused.

“Well… Haven’t we been doing that since you told me what you wanted?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “Erm… “ I felt really uncomfortable.

He looked at me and frowned.

“Listen, Benedict… Just talk as we always talk…Trust me, we’ll get this interview like you want it “

I nodded, I could do that.

 

“Soo… You and Helena…” He said again. “You got together a few months after your first meeting at the convention, right?”

He had clearly done his homework by reading all the stuff in the Daily Mail and of course, as my friend he knew about our relationship, but not in detail.

“Yes, there were some email correspondence about the pictures she had taken and… Well, it took so long to sort it out because of the assistant…”

“The assistant who sold you out to the Daily Mail,” he interrupted.

I nodded.

“Yes… She kept on hesitating about those pictures and I was bloody curious, so I rang Helena myself…”

“Yeah... Of course you did…” He gave me a wink and a big grin.

He just knew me too well, when I want something, I go for it.

“Helena was coming to London and I just wanted to know… Erm… Yeah… So I phoned her, we had a great talk, we made an agreement how she could get the pictures to me, and I decided to be there when she handed the pictures over to the assistant…. “

I paused and frowned.

“Erm… You don’t need to put all that in the interview… “

He looked surprised at me.

“I mean… Details… Let’s just confirm we met at the convention and we met again at my management because of the pictures.”

“OK…” He sighed and crossed over some of the questions he had written beforehand. “You decide.”

“Thank you” “

So... when was that?” “

Erm.. The meeting at my management? Late October…”

He nodded. “And you’ve been together ever since?”

I smirked. “Well, we got together four days later… Late evening though… And after that evening and night, we’ve been together ever since…”

He looked at me and laughed. “Spare me the details…”

“... Oh you don’t want them now, eh?” I shook my head. So typical David.

 

“You kept your relationship a secret for quite some time… How the hell did you manage that?”

“By staying low key… Out of sight,” I answered. “It helped a lot the paps in Denmark for a very long time they didn’t have a clue who I was… And when Helena was in London with me, we stayed at home most of the time.”

I gave him a big grin.

“We’re actually both stunned that we pulled it off for so long…But yeah… It kind of exploded in our faces in the end.” I sighed and he nodded and looked at his questions.

I still wondered why on earth he never use a dictaphone or a tablet, but nope, David is old school.

“Yeah…. The BFI… Get back to that in a moment…. First… The pregnancy…. Obviously not planned I guess…” He gave me a very questioning look.

“No… But you don’t need to mention that either…”

“But you didn’t live together at that point?”

I shook my head. “No… Helena moved in late October I think it was… It was after the UK premiere of ‘Lost City’ and right after our one year anniversary..”

He looked at me and frowned. “She must have been a lot pregnant at that time…”

“She was… More than half way…”

He still looked at me and I could see he was thinking.

“Hmm… And you still kept everything a secret?”

I nodded. “Yes.”

“Why?! I mean… She moved in, you were obviously planning on staying together, you were having a baby… Well two actually… Why not make it clear at that time you two were an item….?”

“Helena wanted to stay out of the spotlight…. And we wanted to be left alone. We didn’t think, it was anyones business and why… Why on earth should we tell anyone? As I said before, my life is for me… Not the public….”

“No… But you are a public person, too you know… And it sure as hell blew up in your faces…”

“Hey… We did tell the media I had a girlfriend..”

He gave me a look I only could read as “Yeah right, mate” and I continued.

“Listen… Helena didn’t want to be a part of my public life and I respect her for that…. We talked about telling the world about our relationship when she found out she was pregnant, but we both wanted to wait, we had only been together for about ten months at that time... We wanted to wait because we knew the tabloids would go mad and really hunt us for a story… And yes… I admit it, we waited way too long. It’s never easy to figure out when to go public…. And our plan was crap… I know that...“

I sighed.

“We kind of hoped it would all drown in the ‘Sherlock’ news, but then the first reveal in the Daily Mail happened…. We had planned to tell about the twins in January because of her due date in February… Little did we know it all would explode at the BFI….”

I refilled my glass and took a large sip. I felt like I was making up excuses for not come clean earlier, but it’s my life goddamnit. I started to feel tense and angry.

David looked very calm at me.

“Benedict… Mate… I understand… I just have to ask… Even the more unpleasant questions…”

I nodded. Of course he had to do that. It was his job.

 

“The BFI… that must have been a huge shock….”

I nodded. “It was… I’ve never been so scared in my life!”

I looked him straight in his eyes and he gave me a reassuring smile. As a father himself, he knew what I meant.

“If you didn’t want to be seen together, why was she there in the first place?” He gave me a very questioning look.

“It was my birthday gift to her… And a treat for her before she got too pregnant. She so wanted to be there and watch the first episode of Sherlock… But...”

I hesitated as a waiter came and removed our plates and asked if we wanted dessert. We both nodded politely.

“... But she was afraid everyone would find out we were a couple, so she didn’t want to go… That’s why I asked Mark… Gatiss… To take her…” I paused as the waiter returned with the menu.

“And yeah… It went well, none of the fans or journalists had a clue who she was… And that would have stayed that way…. if it wasn’t…”

I swallowed hard. This was actually the first time I was about to talk openly about that afternoon. I looked him straight in the eyes again.

“David… It was horrible…! I mean… Really horrible…. I was in the middle of an interview with… I can’t even remember who… Then suddenly Andrew… Erm.. Andrew Scott…  He comes up behind the journalist, making weird gestures at me, mouthing something I can’t figure out. I actually got really annoyed until I finally realised he was mouthing ‘Helena’ at me and cut in on the interview, whispering in my ear I had to come quickly…”

I looked down at my hands.

“I’ve never been so scared… Seeing her on the sofa, in so much pain… I didn’t know what to do…”

I paused and rubbed my face. It was actually really hard to talk about. David looked calmly at me and gave me the time to get a hold of myself.

“When the ambulance came, neither Helena or I gave a shit about the journalists or fans or anyone…. We were scared and I sure as hell wasn’t going to leave her side… She didn’t want to let go of me either…. And yeah… It was really bad luck we had to pass all the fans to get out of the BFI and into the ambulance….”

“... And then next morning everything exploded in the media…” David commented and I nodded.

“Oh God yes, it sure as hell did…. And then everything just got mad with the Daily Mail….”

 

“I think we need more red wine instead of dessert,” he then said and called the waiter again.

“We’ll skip the dessert for now, but we need another bottle…” He pointed at our glasses. The waiter nodded politely and left.

“Go on…”

I exhaled loudly and continued.

“Helena was exhausted, stressed and she and the twins were affected by it…. And all that crap with the Daily didn’t make it better….She began to get severe panic attacks and it was really not good for her or the babies...”

He looked sad at me and I sighed. He understood and I could see he for a short moment got lost in his own thoughts.

“OK… Erm… The Daily Mail…. When did you realise someone was telling them stuff about you?” he then said and got back to the interview.

“I got suspicious the morning after BFI… They had printed some details none of the other papers had printed… And they couldn’t possibly know how far Helena was in her pregnancy or details about our relationship… So obviously someone was talking…. That really got the rumours buzzing everywhere and it got really crazy, paps following me wherever I went… Even to the Register Office, buzzing about that for days…. “

“Oh yeah… About that,” he interrupted me.

“Sorry… But… The getting married part… What was that all about? Was that improvised or something you had planned?” He looked curiously at me.

I laughed, I just knew that question would come. The waiter came with a new bottle and filled our glasses.

“Erm… Kind of both…”

I smiled.

“I had actually planned to propose when the twins were born and had bought the ring… But when all that stuff with Helena happened, I just wanted to get married as soon as possible… For many reasons… Yeah, there was the legal part if anything happened to her and I was to take care of the twins… But I do love her, David… I really do... And I was afraid of losing her…”

He smiled. “And lucky for you, old friend… She loves you, too…”

He raised his glass. “To love…”

“To love…”

We both took a large sip of our refilled glasses.

 

“So.. back to the Daily Mail… They dropped quite a bomb on you on Christmas Eve… That must have been a real shock…”

I nodded.

“It was… That’s when it got really scary… We hadn’t a clue who it was and it were more and more personal stuff….. OK, the old boyfriend trick… That was just silly, but they did write about the twins, us getting married and what date… And even they told about Helena’s condition…”

I shook my head.

“I’ve never been so angry in my entire life… .And at that point I was convinced it was the staff at the hospital, so I was really puzzled when we found out a few days later it wasn’t...”

“You never suspected it to be someone closer?”

I shook my head again.

“No… Never…Erm… Karon… You know my publicist… She actually asked if it could be any of our friends and I found that question so offensive...”

“And the Daily Mail kept on writing?”

I nodded. “Yes… they kept on mocking us right until the big reveal the day after our wedding… It was just tiny notes in the paper, but it was driving us mad…”

“Hmm…” he mumbled and looked at his questions.

“And then what…? After that big reveal the day after you two got married, the Daily suddenly goes back to writing utter rubbish about you… What happened? You figured out it was the assistant?”

He looked for the second time that day hesitant and unsure at me, as if he was getting a bit uncomfortable, like he knew, that we were coming to the really uncomfortable things.

“Yes…”

“After you’d read the big reveal in the Daily?”

“Yes…” I bit my lip.

He frowned. I could see in his face he knew something had happened.

“Benedict… Wanna tell me?”

I bit my lip again.

“OK… But off record first, then we… Erm… Maybe some of it can go in the interview…”

“OK…”

I took a large sip of my wine.

 

“Helena had an emergency c-section that evening…It was very critical...”

He stared at me. “You are kidding me?”

I shook my head. “Nope….”

“Are you telling me, the twins were born the day after your wedding?”

I nodded. “Yes…”

“Oh my God…” He sat back in his chair and looked shocked at me. “Benedict… That is… Oh my God… I don’t even know what to say….”

“Helena was so stressed, that the placenta abruption got worse…I almost freaked out when I saw how much she was bleeding... “ I paused and swallowed hard, it made me sad to talk about it.

“It was only a matter of minutes and I could have lost all three of them…”

David still stared shocked at me. “Oh Benedict, I’m so sorry…”

I nodded. He understood. I knew he would.

“The twins were born seven weeks too early, but did well despite the way everything happened, our baby boy struggled a bit at first, but they both did so fine…Erm... Yes… They were in the neonatal care unit for about four weeks before we could take them home…”

I got a bit emotional talking about all that for the first time.

“And Helena?”

“Oh, she was fantastic… Oh my God… I’m so proud of her… Everything she’s been through…”

 

“So… Hmm…” He looked puzzled at me.

“So that’s why you went under the radar that suddenly... And cancelled everything… The twins were born… But… “

He paused and frowned. “No one knows… right?”

I nodded.

“No one knows about this beside family and very, very close friends….” I looked very guilty at him.

“Sorry about that, David…”

He smiled. “I understand… Truly... I do… no hard feelings…”

I sighed in relief.  

“No one knows they were born that prematurely. No one knows the exact date of birth… No one knows how much Helena went through… And no one is to know… Just that they were born and I decided to stay at home to enjoy my family…”

He nodded.

“I understand… I didn’t stay at home when any of my 3 kids were born… I must have missed out on a lot….” He looked me straight in the eyes and he looked sad.

“I missed out on too much during the pregnancy and when all that happened with Helena and the emergency c-section… I had to be there… Not miss out on anything or leave her to deal with it on her own…”

I paused and we looked at each other in a short moment of silence, then I continued.

“David… I know I’m a public person…. but my personal life is what gives me reason to live and work…Yes... I love my work… Hell… I wouldn’t keep on doing it if I didn’t… But I couldn't do it without friends… Family…. And Helena and my twins are my life…That is more important than all the Oscars and BAFTA’s in the world...”  

He raised his glass again. “To family…”

“To family…”

 

“I guess you don’t want anything about your children in the interview then….”

I shook my head.

“No… No names, no birth dates, no pictures… They already know it’s a boy and a girl, the Daily revealed that… Just write that they mean everything to me and I’ll protect them with my life. They are not to be in the public eye.”

He nodded and looked at his scribbling pad.

“And I guess you don’t want to reveal anything about the assistant from your management….”

I shook my head again. “No… I might be really pissed at her still, but I not that mean….”

He smiled. He knew I could be a real arsehole when someone pissed me off, but he understood.

“And…. You’re back… Working again…?”

I smiled and leaned back.

“Yes... Three weeks ago I think it was… The end of March…”

“And…? Care to reveal something about it?”

“Erm… Just some audio… Radio play… A few commercials…And a few public appearances…“

He nodded. He knew I couldn’t tell him a lot about it.

“Any projects coming up?” He smiled. “I know... This is the usual boring shit I have to ask you….”

We both laughed and toasted yet again.

“There might be something…” I smiled and winked.

“I write the usual….” He smirked.

 

“Now…. One last thing… Then I think I’ve got what I need to write you an interview you would like…” He winked.

“The fans… Your huge supportive fan base… Jeez… Benedict… You have the best fans…”

I nodded. “I know..”

“Anything you want to say to them?”

I leaned back in my chair again and smiled.

“Thank you… From the bottom of my heart… Thank you so much…!”

 

********

I love to go for a run, especially in the morning. It kick starts everything and I think better when I have done a good run or exercise. Helena is different, she is not an exercise junkie like I am sometimes, so if I want to run, I have to do it by myself and I don’t mind. I get a lot of thinking done while running.

That morning was a glorious Sunday morning, sunshine, spring was everywhere and even if it was a bit chilly, it was going to be a warm, bright and sunny day in May… Just perfect for the BAFTA Television Award. I was really looking forward to that. Not because I was nominated for “Richard III”, but because Helena was to be my plus one. This was my first major public appearance after all the stuff happened with our babies and the love of my life as going to be right there, by my side to support me. She was going to step out in the spotlight for the very first time and she was doing it for me. Needless to say I was proud of her and I loved her so much. 

 

It was a good run and I was happy as a puppy when I got home to my beloved wife again and found her in our bedroom with our twins. She gave me a big smile when she saw me standing in the door all sweaty, looking at the pretty picture of my family in our bed.

“A good run, eh?”

I nodded and smiled back.

“What are you up to?”

“I’m trying to calm your son down and cure your daughter's hiccups…” She smiled at me.

I went over to the bed and grabbed Benjamin. He was a bit fussy, but he soon calmed down in my arms when I walked round our bedroom and rocked him for several minutes. He could be a bit of a handful sometimes, but he was mostly a happy baby. It just warmed my heart so much they both did so well, now almost 4 and a half months and thriving.

“Oh.. by the way…” I looked at Helena. “The Guardian… The article is in it today…”  

She looked up at me with her big brown eyes. Those amazing eyes I fell in love with the moment I saw her.

“Oh…” She frowned in that typical way she always frowns when she gets nervous.

“Honey,” I whispered and looked at Benjamin in my arms. He had finally fallen asleep. “The article is going to be great… I promise… I’ve seen a draft… David is the best…”

She nodded, but the frown remained.

“Seriously Helena, I trust him.”

She sighed. “OK… But I’m still not sure about it.”

“That is too late now.” I smiled.

“He’s asleep…” I nodded at Benjamin. “I’m just gonna pop him into bed.”

“Amelia needs a nap too,” Helena whispered and got of the bed with our daughter and followed me into the kids’ bedroom right next door.

 

We stood for a long moment, holding each other and looked at our precious babies napping in the same bed. They loved that, being close, just as much as their parents did. This was life, my family, and it made me feel happy to the core.

I kissed Helena on her cheek and gave her a tiny squeeze.

“Coffee?” She looked up at me.

“I need a shower first…”

“OK…” She smiled and looked at the babies again.

“You could join me you know…” I whispered in her ear and I could feel she shivered.

“Oh yeah?”

She turned so we stood face to face and looked me straight in the eyes.

“And what makes you think I will join you then?” Her voice was low and seductive and she gave me a naughty look.

“I scrub your back if you scrub mine…” I answered.  

She smirked. “Oh… I was rather hoping for something else…” She winked.

I leaned down to kiss her.

“Well, if you behave, you might get that, too….” I mumbled against her lips and she hummed in response.

 

“What time does the makeup artist and hairdresser arrive?” I looked at Helena as we were settled in the kitchen after our “shower”.

“Erm… I think around 1 o'clock… Karon made the arrangements…She will be around at that time…The babysitter, too...“ She handed me a mug of coffee.

“Nervous?”

She nodded. “Petrified…”

I gave her a reassuring smile.

“You’ll be absolutely brilliant… And you’ll look gorgeous.”

She gave me a nervous smile.

“So... is that the article…?” She nodded at the paper in front of me.

“Yup…”

She sighed. “Are you pleased with it?”

I nodded. “He did a brilliant job… I want you to read it…”

I turned the paper around, she grabbed it and began to read, looking up at me from time to time, but she didn’t say a word the entire time she read.

 

“Oh Benedict,” she suddenly gasped and looked at me with tears in her eyes. “That… That…”

She sniffled, came over to me, sat down on my lap, put her arms around me and buried her nose in my neck. As soon as I put my arms around her she began to sob like mad.

“Honey…“ I stroked her calmly on her back.

She looked at me with tears running down her cheeks.

“That is the most brilliant, moving, genius interview you’ve ever done…”

She put a hand on my chest.

“That… Benedict… Is the most wonderful love declaration ever…”

I cupped her gorgeous face and gave her a passionate kiss.

“I’m glad you see it that way…” I mumbled. “I just hope everyone else sees it that way.”

“Oh they will,” she mumbled back between the kisses. “You are going to be the talk of the town… Even if you don’t win today…”

“Oh never mind the award… I’ve won the best and biggest already…” I whispered against her lips. “You…!”

 

*******

I will never forget the sight when she came down the stairs in her brand new dress, with her hair and make-up done. She looked absolutely stunning and I almost lost my breath. Karon came down right behind her and she nodded with approval. If we hadn’t had an award ceremony to go to, I would have taken Helena right back upstairs and undressed her, thrown her on the bed and made love to her till the next morning. But we had an award to go to and I had to brace myself. I swallowed hard. Helena is gorgeous in her normal way, but this… I was so gobsmacked I couldn't say a word.

 

“She’s beautiful, right?” Karon gave me a big smile.

I nodded.

“I better watch out,” I finally managed to say.

Helena beamed at me and gave me the biggest smile I’d seen since she saw our twins for the first time.

“You are so going to kill them.” I almost stuttered.

“I feel like a million.”  

“You look like one, Honey!” I grabbed her hand and kissed it. “You look amazing…”

“Thank you…” She blushed a bit.

“Are we ready?” Both Karon and Helena nodded.

“Well, then my ladies, let’s go and get them all!”

 

Helena was very quiet in the limo on the way to the award ceremony. I could feel she was nervous and I looked at Karon for help. My publicist had been a tremendous help for us and for Helena up ‘til this BAFTA Television Award and she gave me a nod.

The last way to the venue she went through the steps again with Helena and I watched as my darling wife listened, nodded, ranked her back and let go of the tension and anxiety. Slowly the sparks in her eyes came through and she finally beamed at me and gave me the most brilliant smile. 

As we were about to pull up to the red carpet, Karon gave us both the last instructions.

“Benedict, you know the drill…”

I nodded.

“Helena… Stick with Benedict… And I’ll let you know as we planned, when you have to stick with me…”

Helena nodded and looked like she was concentrating.

“Enjoy this… and smile.”

We looked at each other and giggled. The smiling part was not going to be a problem at all.

 

The car stopped and I grabbed Helena’s hand.

“Ready?”

She nodded.

The door opened and I gave her a wink.

“Time to go and be Benedict Cumberbatch…”

 

THE END