Through The Good
John stood outside of the door of his old room and watched Theodore sleep. Theodore. His son. Their son.
Biological child of a girl John knew through a medical school preparation program who was unprepared for and unwilling to partake in motherhood yet. Mental, physical, and emotional child of one John Watson and one Sherlock Holmes.
John taught classes as a substitute in the program so he'd seen the girl around. Seen her work diligently and stay focused on her studies, like most of these students who had their hearts set on the stress of medical school. He'd also seen when she'd become more stressed than usual and break out in sobs on more than one occasion. He'd finally gotten her alone and asked her what was troubling her and she'd confessed that she was pregnant and didn't know what to do. She didn't want a baby right now, didn't need a baby right now what with everything else that was going on, knew that stress had bad effects on the body and that would also affect her child. But she didn't believe in abortions so she was stuck.
John had been dumbfounded. He'd never had to face this issue before. Sure, students became parents sometimes, but it was never his problem to worry about. Now with this young girl, he was in a position to advise her on what to do with her own body.
He suggested adoption. It was the next logical course of action for someone that didn't want the child and who didn't believe in abortion. The girl said she'd think about it, but there were so many concerns to deal with with adoptions. Primarily, who would be adopting her baby? She wasn't ready for a child and the father apparently didn't want it either, but she wanted her baby to go to a family that could love it. It deserved the happy home she couldn't provide right now.
John promised to help. He was involved at this point, anyway. He told the girl he would be with her every step of the way. If she needed him to go to the adoption agency with her, he would do that. Hell, if she needed a friend to hold her hand at her doctor appointments, he'd do that too. Anything to comfort this scared girl through this momentous time in her life.
It had been a long few months. They'd gone to several adoption agencies and met countless couples but the girl had never felt right agreeing to let any of them have her child.
Finally John had had the girl over to dinner with him and Sherlock. John felt Sherlock watching him intently. John understood why. He knew he was getting too attached to the child. Knew he was secretly glad every time the girl decided some family or another wasn't the right fit for her baby. He hadn't thought they were the right fit, either.
When the girl left, Sherlock just pierced John with a silent stare. He didn't say anything. He didn't need to. After a year of marriage, and years before that of living together, John could read Sherlock's thoughts, face, body as well as he knew his own.
"We should adopt the child," Sherlock said anyway.
"Sherlock," John began.
They hadn't really discussed children. John had thought about it, of course. He'd always wanted kids. But he hadn't thought that Sherlock did and he'd wanted to wait a little while longer before bringing up the issue.
But in his fantasies, the child was wholly theirs. Someone with perhaps Sherlock's black curls and his own short stature. Someone with Sherlock's quiet, introspective nature and John's steady dependability. A mix of their features. A mix of their personalities. But short of some incredibly creative gene splicing, that child would never see life. Fantasies aside, John thought Sherlock was intentionally ignorant of all of this.
But looking at Sherlock's face, he knew. Of course he knew. He'd probably always known John wanted kids. The reason he hadn't brought it up was anyone's guess.
"You want the child," Sherlock stated the obvious.
"Yes," John confirmed, but more importantly asked, "Do you?"
"I-," Sherlock hesitated.
John felt his heart balance on the knife's edge. If Sherlock didn't want the baby, like he suspected that he didn't, John's hopes would shatter. He hadn't been aware that he'd harboured any hopes in this regard. Sherlock saying he didn't want kids would only be a verification of what he already thought he knew, after all. But still, some secret part of him had been calling this baby his for awhile now.
"-want the child," Sherlock finished.
"What?" John asked.
He was shocked. Honestly, genuinely shocked. He'd never known Sherlock even thought about children, let alone considered having any. His reaction to the Hansel and Gretel children from that one case years ago was reason enough for any sane person to never want Sherlock around kids to begin with. But surely he'd take better care of his own….
John looked at Sherlock. He saw the same man he'd known for years, a bit more age on his face, but he was projecting calm certainty. If he said this was what he said he wanted, then this was what he wanted. Sherlock said very few things without meaning them. But John looked past the words and past the face into Sherlock's eyes. There, he found certainty, but also a cell-deep fear. Sherlock did want the child, but he was afraid of the prospect of being a father.
That, John could understand.
John stepped up to him and wrapped his arms around the mad genius.
"Why didn't you say anything?" he asked.
He didn't elaborate. Sherlock would know what he meant.
"I…wasn't sure I would know how to be a father. My relationship with my parents is even more strained than that with Mycroft. What would qualify me to be fit to raise a child?"
"Me," John told him. "And wanting to. If you want a child, believe you can rear it, believe you can love it, then you are more than qualified to have one."
"You've always wanted one." Again with the obvious.
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"I didn't think you did."
"And you'd have gone forever not having one if I didn't?"
John was silent for a moment. He thought about it. Could he have been happy with just Sherlock and no baby in his life for its remainder?
"I wanted one, but I wanted you more. I was going to ask you. Some indeterminate time in the future. But if you'd said no, said you didn't want a baby with me, said I was enough…I could have lived. I could have been happy. Because you are enough. More than enough to deal with some days." Emotional levity to lighten this potentially sombre mood. But back to seriousness. "But I think a part of me would always be missing."
"I agree. Not that a part of me would be missing without children. But that a part of you would be missing. And you complete me, John. I need you complete."
John was thunderstruck. He knew Sherlock felt more whole with him. But he didn't realise the lack of a baby would affect Sherlock, as well. But this was important, for more than just him.
"But will you love it? The baby?" Because that was essential. John wouldn't take on a baby that Sherlock would only tolerate for his sake.
Sherlock gave him a look. Partly offended. Partly something John couldn't quite identify.
"If we adopt this child, it will be ours. I will always love something that is a part of us, John."
And frankly, that was all that needed saying.
So John asked the girl. She hadn't found anyone she wanted to give her child to. And John already loved the unborn baby. Would she mind if he and Sherlock took care of it?
He hadn't expected her response. She cried. Heavily. As apparently hormonal mothers were prone to do. Apparently she'd wanted John to adopt the child for months now. It was him who she trusted and no one else had felt right because inside the baby was already John's and she didn't know if John and Sherlock would want it so she hadn't said anything but she was so happy now and yes! YES, John and Sherlock could adopt her baby.
So together they all birthed a beautiful baby boy. The girl pushed and John helped delivery and Sherlock was present as the baby's father and the cut the umbilical cord. It was a brilliant day.
John and Sherlock's names were on the birth certificate and everyone signed the adoption papers they'd gotten straightened out and from day one after birth that baby was theirs.
They called him Theodore. There was no reason why. They just thought it fit.
So John stood outside the door of his old room turned nursery and watched Theo sleep. Watched the rise and fall of his back as little puffs of air blew his curls out of his face. This baby that looked nothing like John or Sherlock but was already taking on so many John-and-Sherlock personality traits at 3 months it was almost scary.
John stood and thought about the next 3 months, 3 years, 3 decades he'd be alive to watch Theo grow. Thought about how much more like he and Sherlock the baby would become. Wondered what bits and pieces of his biological mother and father he would take on.
John sent up a silent thanks to God that he had met the girl. That he had asked her what was wrong. That he had gotten close to her and she had blessed him and Sherlock with Theo.
He was thankful this baby was theirs.
Sherlock came up behind John, slipped his arms around the blond and tucked his chin over John's shoulder to look in on Theo as well. It was a familiar pose. One they'd long felt was as natural as holding hands or kissing. Their bodies were drawn to such things.
They stood in quiet contemplation for awhile. Then Sherlock spoke, as in tune to John's thoughts as he always was.
"He's ours," he said.
There was so much in that tone. Commitment. Wonder. Revelation. Gratitude. Steel.
John understood all of that. Echoed all of that in his response.