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Raising Hannah

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The day started as usual for John Watson, he got up, brushed his teeth, ate breakfast and took a shower. It was quite normal, minus the plastic cadaver at the dinner table and the fact that he’d nearly dyed his hair purple by using Sherlock’s experimental shampoo. This was his life and he wouldn’t want it any other way. He missed Sherlock so unbelievably that having him back now was too overwhelming. He didn’t mind it at all that Sherlock could be a completely demanding, bossy and absent roommate, as long as it was Sherlock acting that way he was happy.

Sherlock woke up while John was watching the morning news, he came out sheepishly covered in only a sheet. Again. Thank god it was a sheet this time, John vividly recalled the numerous times Sherlock had woken up with absolutely nothing on and carried about his morning ritual. That was an argument to be heard for a generation.

Jesus! Sh-Sherlock c-could you please put something on!
Why? We are both grown men and we know what the male body looks like. Come on John don’t be so puerile.
I’m not being puerile! I just don’t need to see that this early in the morning.
Well it’s too early for actual clothing, what would you have me do? Wear my bed sheets?
Yes if that’s what it takes.
That makes absolutely no sense.
Of course it makes bloody sense!

They went on like that for hours, until Sherlock finally agreed to comply with John’s simple request. “Anything interesting?” Sherlock’s voice still laced with sleep called from the kitchen where he was making himself a cup of tea. His hair was a tangled mess as was the norm on a morning for him. John sighed deeply “Nothing really. Lots on your big bank bust though” he replied smiling. Sherlock walked over to his armchair and sat cross-legged stirring his cup methodically “I don’t need constant reminders of what I’ve done, I NEED something to DO.” This was the third time for the week he’d been like this. Not enough crime in London to satisfy you, John thought. Sherlock’s brow went up “What are you thinking?”
“What?” John answered shaking himself out of his thoughts.
“Nothing.” Sherlock said unamused and went back to his tea. John shifted in his seat and went back to his paper. After reading a preposterous article about the dangers of living near tall buildings something on the news caught John’s attention. “Ah Sherlock could you turn that up a bit?” he asked pointing to remote adjacent to his roommate. Sherlock sighed extravagantly before proceeding to turn up the volume on the television. They’d caught the reporter right in the middle of the recap of the main story for the morning,

Sources say that the body of Selena Murry was mutilated in the iconic styling of the notorious Jack the Ripper. Police are continuing their investigation. I’m…
John looked over to Sherlock who now had a small smirk on his face. He got up quickly making his bed sheet fall to his waist and screamed “Mrs. Hudson!” Mrs. Hudson came up the stairs with a smile across her face which turned to shock as she saw Sherlock’s condition, “Yes?” she managed trying to keep her eyes elsewhere. “If anyone comes looking for us tell them where out.” He said walking off, “And uh Where will you be?” she questioned after him. Sherlock smiled towards John before stating “Out. I’ve finally got a reason to put on pants!” and he waltzed into his bedroom. John and Mrs. Hudson exchanged looks before she left the room mumbling to herself.

“It’s obviously a copycat John, what else could it possibly be? Jack the Ripper come back from the dead?” Sherlock commented fully enunciating his words to emphasize the ridiculousness of any other possibility. John stormed in after him huffing and puffing as he walked. They managed to keep from ‘discussing’ the case during the ride home, but here a war of words was brewing. John sat in his chair fidgeting like a toddler who’d been scolded, “I didn’t mean it like that, you asked me what I observed and that’s what I observed!” John shouted pointing his fingers accusingly at Sherlock. “As usual your observations are obvious.” Sherlock rebutted. John clenched his jaw and sat up straighter as he prepared himself for a full on analysis of the killer. “The stab wounds were six inches deep so a man, probably late twenties early thirties. Left handed by the looks of the way the knife exited the woman’s stomach, then the condition of her clothing very little blood on it suggesting that she wasn’t killed in the clothes she was wearing when she was found. And..”
Sherlock stopped pacing the room and turned his head toward his bedroom his brows furrowed. “No please do go on, tell more about how off I was” John blurted as Sherlock walked off to his room. John followed him, curious as to what could interrupt Sherlock from proving someone else wrong.
As John walked into the room his eyes immediately fell on the hand woven basket that was on the bed, “Was that always there?” he asked to no one in particular. Sherlock checked all the windows and his closet. “Whoever put it here is long gone.” Sherlock deduced, he tiptoed up to it and gently lifted off the blanket, John peered in closer unable to quell his curiosity.

As John walked into the room his eyes immediately fell on the hand woven basket that was on the bed, “Was that always there?” he asked to no one in particular. Sherlock checked all the windows and his closet. “Whoever put it here is long gone.” John deduced, Sherlock tiptoed up to it and gently took the blanket off. John peered in closer unable to quell his curiosity.
As the blanket came off a small innocent noise came from the basket, John immediately knew what it was and he cautiously moved in closer. There lying in a grey wool blanket was a baby, no older than a year. It was obviously well feed and had the sweetest smile on its face. John took the child up holding it carefully, it giggled in his arms something fell from the blanket when he picked her up and Sherlock seized it. “It’s a baby.” John said with astonishment, “Why is there a baby here?” he continued as Sherlock read the letter circumspectly.
“Well what does it say?” John said letting his impatience get the better of him. Sherlock stowed the letter in his pants pocket and uttered a flat “Nothing.”

Nothing John repeated under his breath obviously discontented with the reply, “Fine then, I’ll phone Lestarde and have him send someone to pick..”

The child started to giggle in John’s arms alarming them both, John smiled and then lay the baby down. “Alright, what was on the letter and don’t play all mysterious. Please, I know you might have your reasons, but I’d like to know why you want to keep someone else’s child.” John pleaded, Sherlock let out an over dramatized sigh and leaned back in his chair, “It’s not any random person’s child. She is the daughter of Irene Adler.” John’s eyes grew wide with shock at the mention of Irene. “Irene, well then why did she ask for you to keep her?” he question folding his arms, “Because she can’t raise a child living the life she does.” Sherlock retorted “Okay I get that. But why you? I mean does she honestly think you could properly raise a child?” John laughed pleased with himself. “It’s because she wanted the child to be with her farther.” Sherlock stung back venomously, snapping John right out of his fit.
Realization cloaked his face in a mask of confusion and disbelief. Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, having a child? This was definitely something that no one on the entire planet would see coming. “No.” John said shaking his head in doubt, “That’s not possible you -you’re well you’re not.” He trailed off leaving Sherlock disappointed a bit. John started at the floor for a moment gathering his thoughts, “How are you supposed to raise her?” Sherlock looked up at John putting on his indifferent mask and then went back off to his thoughts. John nervously ran his hand through is thin blonde hair, after he’d gathered his wits he went back inside to get the baby. She was on her stomach playing with the sheets, balling it up in her tiny stubby hands and tugging at it, making her giggle in sheer delight. John saw that she had her mother’s small sharp nose, but her father’s nearly translucent complexion. He noticed she had short thick black hair sprouting from her head and that she had small cat-like eyes resembling her farther. Thankfully she got Irene’s dramatic green eyes, all in all John would have described her as baby Snow White, down to the very last detail

As he watched baby Snow White lay there thoughts floated into his mind. Serious thoughts indeed. For example what were they supposed to feed her? What was she to wear? Where was she to sleep? How is this child supposed to live normal life when her mother’s a woman in hiding, her farther solves crimes for a living with his roommate who, just so happens to be the one who has to look after her. John put her on her back, barricading her with Sherlock’s pillows. She started at him in utter curiosity, her dynamic green eyes filled with reverence
He couldn’t help but smile at her, the fact that this child’s parents were two of the least emotionally expressive people one could ever come in contact with, and yet her she was, smiling and giggling with unfathomable glee. Maybe this was a blessing for both John and Sherlock, after his return things had become somewhat cold between them, maybe this child was there to help them. John had become entangled in his thoughts again, so much so he nearly forgot the pressing matters at hand. It was getting very late so the supplies they needed to accommodate a child would be impossible.

He walked outside the room and leaned against the fireplace, slightly playing around with the skull that resided on top of a few old books. “Where’s she going to sleep Sherlock?” John asked his roommate, who was currently in the kitchen eyes plastered onto his microscope. When he didn’t answer John decided to speak his mind aloud. “Well hello there everyone, would you like to know what my roommate has gone and dragged, not only himself, but me as well into? Raising a child.” He ensured to raise his voice at specific intervals to achieve his goal of getting through to Sherlock.
Sherlock had taken no notice of John’s lamenting , which didn’t go over well with John. He tried to calm himself, he truly did but there was just some things one cannot condone, and taking absolutely no interest in your own daughter, is one of those things. John stormed into the kitchen, and with as much force as he could muster he twisted Sherlock’s chair to face him, Sherlock obviously did not approved of this. “What are you doing? Can’t you see I’m working on a case?” he hissed through gritted teeth, John took in a breath to calm down, he truly was not in the mood for a shout off with Sherlock Holmes. He looked directly into Sherlock’s fury filled eyes and as calmly as he could have managed he outlined his concerns. “Where will she sleep Sherlock? How will we feed her? She can’t stay here.” He finished leaving a bitter taste in his mouth, he didn’t like the thought of dropping such a sweet and hapless child in some ominous orphanage, but having her stay here in this condition might actually be worse.
Sherlock ran his thin pale fingers through his thick dark curls and arched forward, bringing his face considerably close to John’s, “She will be staying here.” He reinforced, his tone and expression leaving no room for argument. He leaned back into his chair shifting his body slightly, then placed his hands under his neck as he often did when he went into deep thought. John just stared at him, he was about to get up when “She can sleep in my room.” He finally uttered. John stood up and contemplated this plan, on the one hand it would be dangerous to let a child sleep on a large bed alone, but on the other it was the only place she could sleep. “Wait, where will you sleep?” he decided to ask, knowing Sherlock wasn’t about to change his mind, “With you I suppose, the couch gets uncomfortable after a while.” He answered rising from his seat to get a mug from the cupboard. It took a second before John completely absorbed the information, and when he finally did he came to one decision. Sherlock could NOT sleep with him. “Uh, no. S-someone has to sleep with the baby, t-to make sure she doesn’t roll of the bed.” John argued breathlessly, he couldn’t even begin to imagine what would happen if Sherlock spent a night in his room. There were some things the detective did not know about his flatmate, and he’d like it to stay that way.

“I suppose you are right. Fine you sleep with her.” He retorted in a tone that suggested the conversation had ended and all problems were resolved.
Why me? John thought to himself, it eventually occurred to him that Sherlock was still in some state of consternation of finding his daughter on his bed. John understood that Sherlock might need some time to get accustomed to her.

After a night of silent television and finding strange substances and materials around the house, John decided to call it a night. He crept into the room praying that he wouldn’t wake the sleeping inhabitant, mercifully the baby lay sound asleep, surrounded by a pillow square. John, with pillow and sheet in hand, looked for a spot on the floor that wasn’t too dirty or covered with books. He finally decided to lay down on the edge of the dirty white carpet, he used his bed sheet as a makeshift sleeping bag after resting his head on his pillow he thought aloud “This is all going in the wash tomorrow.” He stared at the ceiling and slowly drifted to sleep.

Sherlock went to bed a bit later, he stayed up to sort out the day’s events in his mind, scrutinizing every image that fluttered past his gaze. He did not want to miss any detail, this was the first interesting case in months, and he wanted to ensure his success in solving it. When he was content with his review of the information, he warped himself up in his robe and then laid on the couch. Sherlock didn’t like the idea of sleeping in an unfamiliar bed, he would sleep there until morning and just before John wakes up, he’d slip inside his bedroom. Sherlock went to sleep, hoping the image he dreaded the most wouldn’t haunt his dreams.