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Three months before Zero Hour:




"What the hell kind of name is Ormond?"

"It's Teutonic. It means 'mariner.'"

"That was really more of a rhetorical question. Why do you even know what it means?"

"I've been doing research."

"And you couldn't come up with something better than 'Ormond'?"

"It's interesting."

"It's awful. We're not naming him Ormond. What else have you got?"

One Month:


"Ah, no."

"Why not?"

"Because I had a professor at uni. He was older than God, wore tweed, smelled, and looked at me like I was something in his fridge that had gone off. I hated him, and his name was Alastair."

"...You made that up."

"And you, I'm starting to realise, are pants at choosing names."

Three weeks:











Two weeks:

"I don't want to tell you. You'll just say no."

"Oh come on. It can't be worse than Ormond."


"I stand corrected."

Five days:

"Let's see your list then, since you're clearly the authority on names!"

"All right. I have it narrowed down to James - "




"And David."


"You're going to say that no matter what! You're just in a strop because I said no to your names!"

"All of which were unique and exceptional!"

"Unique. That's a nice word for it."

"You seem determined to raise a - a banker, or a civil servant, or, Christ, an estate agent, John! Something painfully beige! David Holmes will rot behind a desk! He'll never go anywhere!"

"Oh, and I suppose if we name him Bertram he'll grow up to discover the God Particle! Come on!"

Three days:

"Look, this is happening any day now. We've got to come up with something we both agree on. I don't want to be standing there gawping when they're trying to draw up the birth certificate on the day of!"


He was born on a Tuesday. Seven pounds, eight ounces. All requisite fingers and toes, no extras. And a shock of black hair.

"He looks like a Thomas, don't you think?"

Staring down into eyes far too intelligent for a newborn, Sherlock found he didn't have the words to object. They had a distinct expression, which shouldn't have been possible, and yet. It was...appraising...and concerned. It was, "No. No, no. No, I don't like you. I don't like your face. You're going to be raising me? Has someone alerted the authorities?" It's difficult when you're facing down what feels for all the world like a direct challenge from an hours-old infant.

So he just nodded.