[Just to put the timing in context, the first two sections take place before the Fall; the last section happens on the day of Sherlock’s return.]
“You took a lot of notice of what the client’s daughter was holding,” John commented. “Did you have one when you were a kid?”
“Yes,” Sherlock admitted, “when I was very young. Mycroft sneered and told me that only little children needed such things. He persuaded me to get rid of it.”
“How old were you?” John asked softly.
Sherlock shrugged. “Five.”
“What’s this? We don’t give each other Christmas presents.”
John smiled. “Couldn’t resist; saw it in a shop window. If you hate it, it’s no big deal. You can chuck it out.”
Sherlock’s face was expressionless when he opened the box, and John never saw the contents again. John wasn’t surprised; his instinctive purchase had been stupid.
Once Sherlock had convinced a hysterical Mrs Hudson that she wasn’t seeing a ghost, he made his way upstairs. Seeing his home for the first time in two years was such a relief, spoiled only by John’s absence. Apparently he really had got on with his life.
He opened the door to his wardrobe and smiled with delight. Still sitting on the shelf inside was John’s ridiculous gift, proof of their friendship, proof that John cared, the pointless foolish ludicrous and soppy present which Sherlock had tried not to love but nevertheless did, and had named accordingly.
Saint Bartholomew the teddy bear.
The 221B Author’s Note
I’m sure there have been many other fanfics where Sherlock had a much-loved teddy bear, either as a child or later as an adult, but I was watching something over the weekend (I can’t even remember what, now), saw a teddy as part of the background and had a moment of not-very-original inspiration.
And then while I was thinking about a 221B ficlet (it had to be a 221 with such an obvious ‘b’ word at the end), I realised that if John gave Sherlock a bear, Sherlock would behave as if he wasn’t interested but would secretly be thrilled, and would name it in honour of the place where he and John first met.
I rarely write G-rated fic (mostly because I have a filthy mind, and also because I’ll ship the boys ’til my dying day), but if you’re feeling kind (and if you also have a filthy/shippy mind) I’m sure you can understand that, had I had more than 221 words to play with, Sherlock would have grabbed Bartholomew, gone round to John’s flat and stood outside holding up the bear and looking mournful until John broke off his relationship with Mary, packed his bags, dragged Sherlock home and the two of them didn’t leave the bedroom for days.
Actually, John probably wouldn’t stop to pack his bags.
Additional note: This was meant to be a silly one-off ficlet, but comments from some of my readers inspired an idea for a second chapter. Since then my plotbunny had even more inspiration, and this will now be a four chapter story.