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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.

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John woke up with a stiff back and a numb hand, but never once did the baby cry and wake him up. He held her for a second, before realising she needed to be changed, thankfully Irene packed a spare diaper for her daughter. John changed the squirming baby and put back on her purple floral jumper, he then went to his room and woke Sherlock up by banging the door as loud as possible. John put the kettle on for tea, telling a vaguely interested Sherlock to watch it for him, before going to take a shower.

Tea was on the table by the time John was clothed, and he drank his leisurely, until he remembered there was a baby in one of the rooms. John put down his half empty cup and went to check on the child. He opened the door to find her on her back plump hands stretched upward, heart shaped lips curved up into a smile.
“What have I gotten myself into?” he sighed to himself. The child’s small eyes shrunk in glee as she started another fit of laughter, if anything were to be said about her, it would be that she is a very happy baby. Her laughter was infectious as John found himself unable to hold back a smile, he noticed Sherlock’s credit card resting idly on the nightstand and recalled all the problems that needed attention. “Let’s go get you sorted.” John chuckled taking up the child, then seizing the card off its perch. He secured her in her blanket and headed outside, sidestepping Sherlock’s occupied gaze.

They traveled to the market, which was bursting with frenzied shoppers trying to get discounts on different items. A woman in a grey Sunday dress and dark blue jacket nearly collided with John, mercifully she noticed his presence before a calamity occurred. “Sorry!” she squealed hurrying from behind her trolley to assist him, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you there and I’m in such a hurry you see.” She spewed uncontrollably, John calmed her down with his free hand and managed to get answers to where the things he needed would be, after all this was his first time purchasing baby items. John had gotten confused mid-way through her explanation of what formula he should buy, and to top it off his hand was cramping up badly.
“You look lost.” She acknowledged, John dropped his head to the floor before answering “This is my first time doing this, and to be honest I can’t make heads or tails of anything you just said.” The lady smiled and walked over to get a second trolley, “Here put her in the seat and I’ll tag along.” She smiled gesturing to the faded red area above the holding space in the trolley. John gave a relived scoff and gently placed the baby into the seat before turning back to the Good Samaritan, “John.” He announced putting out his hand, she took it up and gave a hearty shake before uttering “Mary. Shall we go shopping?”

They went through all the baby isles that the store had, and Mary was always there correcting John when necessary.
“No silly not those, that’ll give her rash.” She remarked snatching the diapers out of his hand and replacing them with a different brand. She looked at the trolley in awe and admitted “She is such a good baby. She hasn’t fused or cried, it’s amazing. What did you say her name was again?”
John gulped, the wheels in his head turning at lightning speed to come up with an answer, “Well I didn’t say.” He stalled grabbing up baby powder and thinking, hoping something would come to him. He nervously ran his fingers through his matted blonde hair thinking harder now; “Are you going to tell me?” she pried a bit confused. “Hannah. Hannah Watson.” He blurted out without a second thought.

Mary smiled and shaking her head turned back to the trolley putting the baby powder down. “Well she has her mothers, everything.” She responed, slyly prying the information she wanted out of John. He chuckled lightly wondering how much of the truth he could tell her, everyone had already known that Sherlock was back, and John did find it strange that she hadn’t noticed who he was. He even gave away his last name, and still she hadn’t strung together the connection. “She-ah, she’s lucky she got her mom’s looks.” He replied carefully reading the labels on the bottles of creams and lotions, he constantly looked back at Mary for approval. “No not that one, load of bollocks that is. What happened to her mother?” Mary pried ever restrained. John was becoming uncomfortable, he didn’t like lying to Mary, because she was an honest to God good person, but he couldn’t exactly tell her the truth either, it also became clear to John that Mary was trying to flirt with him. Hesitantly John replied “She, died. She wasn’t with me, she was close friend and I was named guardian in the will.” The lie itself was terrific and somewhat perfect, John just hoped he delivered it with enough conviction to fool Mary. He seemed to have done an excellent job, because Mary stayed quiet during the walk to the cashier.

While they got the items cashed Mary held Hannah, who seemed delighted in her arms. Even the man cashing the items commented on how lovely Hannah behaved. After they sorted out which items belonged to whom, Mary reluctantly gave Hannah back to John, “I wish my boys acted like that.” She commented picking up her bags and walking in front of John to her car. She skilfully lifted the trunk with one hand and said goodbye to Hannah before entering her car. She rolled down the driver’s window “If you ever need anyone to babysit, I’d be more than happy to help.” She informed him as she wrote her number on his free wrist, with that she drove off.

John walked up to his flat door, baby in one hand, and bags of products dangling around the other. Graciously the door was already opened enough for both John and Hannah to fit comfortably through. John rushed to the kitchen to relive his arm of the bags, Hannah started another giggle fit which awoke Sherlock from is suspended state.
“What are you doing?” he questioned obviously outraged, John sighed, his arm growing tired from holding Hannah. “Sherlock, can you please take her from me I have to unpack.” He replied, gesturing Hannah towards her farther. Sherlock’s eyes grew wide and he took a cautious step back, “No.” John could feel a confused smile spread across his face, “Sherlock, can you please take Hannah from me.” He repeated, turning to face him. Sherlock’s expression went from spooked to stunned, “Hannah?” he asked slightly appalled. John nodded meekly, surprised that he even remember the name he’d concocted earlier.
“Well, she didn’t exactly have a name.” John rebutted. Sherlock’s forehead creased in annoyance. He rolled his eyes and waddled towards the kitchen to relieve his aching arms of the added weight. John noticed the smell emanating from the lower half of Hannah, he fished out a pack of diapers and baby wipes from a shopping bag and made his way to Sherlock’s room. “You know, she still needs a crib.” He proclaimed before heading to address the problem in his hands. He placed Hannah on her back and moved swiftly to remove the soiled diaper. The change was much easier the second time, due to Hannah’s sleepiness. When John was done he re-emerged outside to start packing away the things he’d bought (which would be a feat in itself, trying to pack away things in Sherlock’s organised chaos.) To his amazement Sherlock wasn’t in his chair, and his blue scarf and dark grey coat were gone.

One of the first things Sherlock had gotten word of upon his ‘return to the land of the living ‘, was that Greg Lestrade and his brother Mycroft were dating. That, and John Watson has quite a right hook. So it was no surprise that when he knocked on the door of Mycroft’s house Greg answered. “Sherlock! What are you..” he trailed off looking down at himself and realizing he was only wearing boxers. “Hold on one minute.” And he disappeared briefly. Greg opened the door wider this time, to fully welcome Sherlock inside (with pants this time).
“You really should’ve called.” Greg continued as they walked inside. The living room would have been described by anyone as elegant. A high-end coffee table, encircled by lush floral and plain patterned sofas and love seats, Victorian styled paintings hung from the white marble fire place. Pictures of different events in both the men’s lives decorated the mild honey toned walls. All this would seem warm and inviting to any normal person, but not Sherlock. His highly analytical brain wouldn’t let him unsee the signs of things no person would ever want to think of their sibling doing. “Why don’t you have a seat while I go call Mycroft.” Greg asked gesturing towards one of the floral love seats. “I’d prefer to stand.” Sherlock replied with a forced smile. Greg walked over to the kitchen muttering ‘suit yourself’.
Sherlock didn’t have full comprehension of the house’s floor plan. So when Greg called for Mycroft from the kitchen he was intrigued. “Greg dear I’ve told about a million times not to shout from the kitchen.” Mycroft complained as he entered the living area from the corridor. He turned to face his brother, their appearances like opposite ends of a spectrum. Mycroft had put on more weight since Sherlock had last seen him. He looked like he’d been getting out more as well, a holiday in the Caribbean Sherlock guessed. Greg came out of the kitchen, beer in hand and stood an arm’s length away from Mycroft. “And why is my baby pest here?” he inquired shooting up a thin orange-brown eyebrow. “I’d like to speak to you. Alone.”

Greg got the message and picked up his keys from the table and left. As the door shut behind him, a unyielding silence crept into the house. Mycroft sat down on the largest sofa and invited his brother, who hold heartedly declined. “Are you going to tell me why you’re here?” he finally asked.
“It’s about Irene Adler.”
“Ah, yes the woman who fooled you, faked her death, then was captured to be executed, but was saved by you. The same woman you’ve been bunking with for the past..”
“She’s had a child.” Sherlock interjected throwing his brother off. Sherlock always cherished the moments where he knew more than his brother. “Well what does that have to do with me?” he piped up again. “She is my daughter, Irene left her with me.”
Mycroft shot out of his seat, “Well for god’s sake! Where is she now? Where’s the child?”
“I’m not sure where Irene is, but the child is with John.”

“You two can’t raise a child…I’ll take her.”

Sherlock’s head snapped in his direction, “That’s not why I’m here. I know that sooner or later you’d have your people spy on me, so I wanted to tell you beforehand.” He inched
closer to his brother “And to warn you. If you ever even dream of hurting her, you won’t live to regret it.” He spat.

“I’d never put her in harm’s way!” Mycroft shouted appalled.
“Oh really? You didn’t seem to have a problem throwing your brother to the sharks.” He replied venomously. Sherlock tightened the scarf around his neck and began to move towards the door.
“Does she need anything?” Mycroft whispered.

“She still needs a crib.” He answered before slamming the door behind him.

Lestrade was standing to the bottom of the steps, when he looked up at Sherlock. “Look, I know you have a lot of resentment towards your brother, and that’s understandable. But Sherlock, that’s between you and him. There’s no reason others have to suffer your cold shoulder too.” He started up the stairs but stopped midway to ask, “When was the last time you talked to Molly?” and then we went back inside.

When indeed. Sherlock thought to himself.

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I don't think I'm even writing to anyone right now but I feel the need to say it. I've left this piece of work untouched for 4 years and even though I know for a fact people have already forgotten it and moved on I still believe I need to apologise for doing this.

A lot happened during those years. A lot prevented me from writing and I all together forgot about this account as well. To the people who read this and hoped for more, even if you never see this I sincerely apologise.