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Snow Angel

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Baker Street could barely be found under all the snow that had fallen in the last 48 hours. 4 feet had already fallen, and the winds and snow were only strengthening. Needless to say, nobody was leaving their homes that day.

Inside 221B, Sherlock was actually, for once, sleeping. Being pregnant had done almost nothing to Sherlock’s erratic sleeping habits, so John was always thankful when he was willing to lay down and sleep. John was sitting at the kitchen table, balancing the monthly budget and paying bills. It wasn’t fun, but what better day to do it? Besides, it was quiet in the flat, and his mug of hot cocoa made things infinitely better.

In the middle of writing down a figure, John heard Sherlock’s voice calling to him from their bedroom, sounding unsure and frightened. “John? Please come here…” John quickly did as he was told, his brow furrowed in concern. Upon opening the door, he found Sherlock sitting upright in bed, holding his rather large baby belly and looking even more worried than John.

"John, I think I’m going into labor."

The doctor’s eyes widened and his heart pounded. Now??

"Are you absolutely sure?"

"Yes. I have contractions, but you need to check for yourself."

It felt like years worth of medical knowledge suddenly disappeared from John’s brain, replaced with sheer panic and paternal instincts.

"Um, right, yeah. Okay."

He gently palpated Sherlock’s belly and felt some strong kicks before quickly finding the portable ultrasound monitor that St. Barts had given him and some gel at his bedside. “Lay back, please.” John’s head was swimming. Was this really happening to him? Was this happening at all?

Playing out the scenes from his recent dreams in a shocked numbness, John looked at the baby on the monitor and saw how much it had descended since last week. It was time. He nodded to Sherlock tightly.

Dread seized John and paralyzed him for all he was worth as he realized- they couldn’t go anywhere, not in this blizzard. Shit shit shit shit shit. I wasn’t ready for this.

Sherlock read his expression and made the deduction, sounding emotionless. Fear was only going to hurt him now.

"Get Mrs. Hudson. I’m going to have this child right here."

An hour later, Mrs. Hudson was fretting over Sherlock, nearly in tears and trying to stroke a damp washcloth across Sherlock’s forehead as he lay back in bed. He swatted her away irritably. “Mrs. Hudson, this is not the 1700s. We have medical technology, you know.” John shot him a worried look to remind him, No we don’t. Not here. "You’ll want to take all the help you can get, Sherlock."

Together, John and Mrs. Hudson supported Sherlock as he walked around the flat, trying to keep the contractions going. He was pale and didn’t speak much, except to answer John’s questions. Fear was breaking through.

After John checked the baby’s position a 4th time, he swallowed and met his lover’s patient’s ice blue eyes and nodded again to him. “Time to push.” His heart crushed as he saw the distress dilate Sherlock’s pupils and purse his lips.

Mrs. Hudson sat by the bed and stroked Sherlock’s arm, telling him in an overly cheery voice about how wonderful being a parent is and how brave and strong he was being. He looked like he wanted to yell at her again, but he didn’t. Once John started to take off Sherlock’s trousers and prop up his legs a bit, he suddenly understood why doctors should never operate or be medically involved with their loved ones. How was he supposed to balance the joy of becoming a father and absorbing this moment and also making sure Sherlock and the baby were safe?

"It’s okay, Sherlock, I’m right here. Our baby is coming and you’re going to be just fine. Give me a good strong push. Breathe, that’s right, good… Inhale, push… and exhale. Good, good.." He began the doctor spiel that was pounded into his head in medical school, the one he had used in real life only 3 times before. Not many babies to deliver when he was primarily an army doctor. Sherlock did everything that he was told, and didn’t speak a word. His skin was still pale and now showed a sheen of sweat, his eyes were closed tightly for most of the time and his lips formed endless words that only he could hear. He gripped the sheets in his hand instead of Mrs. Hudson’s (she was an elderly woman, after all, with bone density issues), and kept making low grunts under his breath as he pushed.

Fortunately the birth progressed without any complications, although it was slow. Mrs. Hudson was there to bring Sherlock water or soup to sip when they gave him a break from pushing, or to do anything John needed her for. The snowstorm continued to rage outside. After 8 hours, all 3 of them were exhausted, and this baby needed to get out. Both Sherlock and John’s nerves were nearly shattered. “I think you’re nearly done, Sherlock, just a few more pushes.” “You’ve been saying that for the last hour,” Sherlock snapped.”

Still, Sherlock once again pushed, and John’s heart leapt- he could see the head! “Sherlock, Sherlock, the head!” “Yes John, I feel it!” Sherlock yelled at him angrily, but continued pushing, ignoring Mrs. Hudson’s encouragements. John wiped sweat from his own forehead with his wrist, blinked hard, and set his jaw. “Push, Sherlock. Push!” Sherlock bellowed in agony and grabbed his knees. “John!!!”

At precisely 9:39pm, John and Sherlock’s baby was born.

"It’s a girl!" John cried, holding her up for Sherlock to see. There was no doubt her lungs were in working order- the new baby girl squalled loudly. "Oh, oh, oh," Sherlock breathed quickly and was crying, wiping his eyes to see their new daughter but still moaning in pain and unsure of what to do. "Sherlock, she’s beautiful…" John handed her to Mrs. Hudson who had some warmed towel rags to clean her up with and a blanket to swaddle her. John was smiling and shaking in relief as he stayed to mind Sherlock and clean him up, dealing with afterbirth as well.

Before Sherlock sunk into a well-deserved sleep, he and John decided what to name their daughter: Lucy Rose Watson-Holmes. Her hair was sandy blonde but curly, and her eyes were identical to Sherlock’s. The perfect angel.

That night, after they were able to convince Mrs. Hudson that they’d be okay for the night and would check into a hospital as soon as they could, John turned out the light in their bedroom and laid gingerly beside the 2 most important people in his life.

Sherlock held Lucy in a blanket, and though his eyes were starting to droop in fatigue he still couldn’t stop staring at her. Memorizing everything about her. Blue eyes meeting blue. John wrapped his arms around Sherlock and kissed his forehead, then stroked Lucy’s cheek. “I’m so proud of you, darling, so proud… we’re fathers now, can you believe it?” Sherlock shook his head, and both Lucy and Sherlock started to drift to sleep at the same time. John gently took the baby from his arms but still held her between them, tenderly kissed Sherlock’s lips again and just laid there the entire night, admiring how the moonlight made them both look like the most precious gems on the planet.