A/N : I did something stupid today. I accidentally deleted my fandom blog, and so, although I am absolutely furious at myself, I am also amazingly inspired. I also dedicate this to Tearstainedashes. She always seems to make me smile when I'm feeling down, and plus I know she has a soft spot for kidlock.
Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock or anything really. I'm just writing out my own anger and pain, basically.
Warnings: FEELS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
John was frozen in place. His whole body was rigid with fear, his mind was whirring, and he was silently cursing all technology. If Sherlock were here then he would have probably been leaning over John's shoulder, tutting softly, stating how idiotic John was.
Even without Sherlock's presence, John knew that he was bonehead stupid. How does one simply just delete a blog? A blog filled with fast fading memories, of a time that the good doctor could only relive through the posts he had written.
He stared at the screen and swallowed down a thick lump of irrational fear and guilt. He hadn't meant to delete it, god, how had even managed to do such an awful thing? What if he'd subconsciously done it on purpose? What if it was his minds way of saying "let's move on now Watson."
No. John could never do that. He was fairly sure that it's impossible to move on from a man such as Sherlock Holmes. He had been the wisest and bravest man John had ever known. It was shocking to think that it'd been three whole years since the worlds' only consulting detective had fallen to his untimely death. To John, it didn't feel like Sherlock was gone at all.
He could feel Sherlock wherever he went. Sherlock was in the dust covering 221B, he filled the silence that had once been occupied by sad and soulful music, he haunted the streets of London, and it seemed that John could barely go anywhere without feeling like the detective was one step behind him. Little had Sherlock known it, but he had touched a lot of lives, and it was only becoming evident now.
Not a day went by where John didn't find someone who had had their lives enriched and bettered by Sherlock. A lot of people thought of Sherlock as a sociopath that hadn't cared about anyone but himself, hell, even Sherlock had held that opinion of himself. But John, the ever observant soldier, knew that couldn't be further from the truth. He had cared, perhaps just not in a conventional caring kind of way, but he had cared none the less. The evidence of this was sewn into the smiles of the people he had helped, and it was stitched into John's own battered heart.
Sherlock had cared about him, hadn't he? It was a question that he wished he could receive the answer to, and it was killing him inside, because he never got to tell Sherlock that he was perhaps the closest friend he had ever had. Sherlock had been his best friend, and the man had died with a two word lie in his mind, "You machine!"
John felt a quiet sob escape his lips. He moved a trembling hand up to his face, wishing that he could erase that lie. Maybe Sherlock's death could have been prevented, if only John had swapped those two words for "Best friend." Maybe…
John's eyes focussed upon the flickering page, they zoned in on the two awful words :
A familiar anger began to brew within him. It was an anger that had been sealed into his soul, from the moment he saw his friend drop like a bag of potatoes onto the cold, hard ground beneath Bart's.
Deleted. Just like that. All those stories, all those wonderful memories, gone?! It wasn't fair! Why was the universe so against John being happy? What had he done other than be kind and good and faithful?
In one sweeping moment, without thinking about the consequences, John threw his laptop across the room, a scream of rage escaping him. A second later and he was an emotional wreck, shedding yet more tears over Sherlock, eyes squeezing shut and fists clenched in a poor attempt to regain his cool.
John Watson hadn't been one for crying before he'd met Sherlock. He'd been as tough as old boots, a proper army boy, skin thick and strong standing when bad things happened. He had seen so many good men die but he hadn't cried over them, hadn't felt like he was dependent on them to live and to breathe. Sherlock was different, though.
Even after three years John was still inconsolable. He was barely holding it together, and no matter how many times he told himself that things were going to be ok, they never were. Things were only spiralling more out of control. John wasn't sure how much he could take of it. Without Sherlock, it felt like he was missing a vital piece of himself. Christ, how stupid does that sound?
What are you Watson? A woman from a really bad chick flick?
John wasn't quite sure how much time had passed by the time he reopened his eyes, wasn't sure when he'd stopped crying either. It was dark in the flat now, though, so a significant time had passed. Obviously.
Oh god. I'm even starting to sound like him.
He slowly lifted his head off of the table and sniffled sadly as he saw a plate piled high with jammy dodgers (Sherlock's favourite) , a note from Mrs Hudson by its side, telling him that it was important for him to enjoy the sugary biscuits, even if Sherlock couldn't. If it hadn't been for the fact that John's eyes were now red and dry from crying, John was quite sure another round of tears would have quite happily flowed forth.
He didn't feel hungry, and looking at the jammy dodgers caused all sorts of memories to flood his mind, but he took one anyway and began to nibble at it. He knew that Mrs Hudson was worried about him and he didn't want to upset her by not at least attempting to eat them. The biscuit tasted bitter and wrong on his tongue, but then, everything in John's life was now wrong and bitter. It was hardly surprising that the biscuits didn't break the rule. He had barely gotten past the first swallow when he heard the knock on the door.
The knock sounded too light to belong to Mrs Hudson, and there was something that made the knock seem important. He grumbled beneath his breath as he stood to his feet, grunting as his leg throbbed beneath him. His limp always threatened to come back on more emotional days, and unfortunately for him, emotional days were starting to become much more common.
"This better not be a salesman or god forbid a journalist." He said, voice laced with a threat that he hoped would be enough for the person, whoever they were, to go away. But there was another knock, this time much more demanding. He cursed beneath his breath and hobbled to the door, practically having to drag his bad leg behind him.
When he finally reached the door he was red in the face from the effort it had taken him. He opened up the door, rather reluctantly, only daring to peek through a crack. He frowned when he saw two cool blue eyes connecting with his through the gap in the door.
He slowly opened up the door, eyeing up the man suspiciously. John had every right to be suspicious. The last time he'd seen Mycroft had been at Sherlock's funeral, and even then it had seemed that Mycroft had only been passing by, something that at the time John had found infuriating. Surely Mycroft could have bothered to stay for the whole of his brother's funeral. Surely their relationship hadn't been so poor that the Elder Holmes hadn't felt anything over Sherlock's death. Back then John had written off Mycroft as heartless, but now, looking at the poor man, heartless wasn't the correct word. Grief ridden, yes, and perhaps a little broken, too.
Mycroft looked haggard and worn down, huge bags rimming his eyes. And Christ, those eyes. They were even more dead and icy than John remembered them, and now they lacked the light that always shined in them, that little spark that had once shone through Mycroft. The Elder Holmes' suit was perhaps the only thing that made him recognisable. It was pristine and everything looked in place, apart from the man wearing it.
God he's thin, John thought sadly, I can practically see his ribs beneath that blasted suit of his. Then again, I bet I'm one to talk. I can barely manage to eat a jammy dodger.
He realised that he must have been staring because Mycroft was raising a sharp eyebrow at him, and the man was now possessing a rather quizzical look about him. John felt as if Mycroft was trying to read his mind. It was incredibly creepy if he was being honest. He coughed awkwardly and opened the door fully, but he still remained as cautious as ever, still unsure of why Mycroft had graced him with his presence.
Mycroft, seemingly satisfied that he was allowed into the flat, stepped inside. Closer up he looked even more fatigued, and John found his doctor side worrying, because it wasn't normal for anyone to be that thin or that tired. Sherlock's death had obviously hit Mycroft just as hard as it had hit John, maybe even harder since he'd been Mycroft's only sibling.
"Is there…" John tried to word his thoughts without sounding too rude, he really did, but he rather failed. " Why are you here?"
Mycroft was silent for a moment longer. His eyes were captured in a distant place, and John felt like he was treading on something incredibly precarious, only he didn't know what. "There's no easy way to say this, John. I'll try to be delicate and to the point. My brother was a selfish person to die like he did. At least, I thought he was. I still do think that he was incredibly selfish, but-"
John held up a hand to stop Mycroft in his tracks. He didn't like how Mycroft was talking about Sherlock, and he really didn't want to punch him out of protecting Sherlock's memory. "Just stop, ok? Stop what you're saying. I don't want to hear one more bad word about your brother."
"Please, Johnathan, hear me out. What I have to say is of vital importance. I am not trying to taint your view of my brother, nor am I trying to bring you more grief. Quite the opposite in fact."
"Say what you have you have to say and if I don't like it prepare to run, because don't think I'll refrain myself from punching you if I don't like what I hear."
Mycroft nodded, his mouth a grim line peeling through his features. " Very well. As I said, recently my thoughts of what my brother did have been brought into perspective, so to speak. Sherlock did something before he jumped, and I believe it was his idea of a gift to those that he… appreciated the company of, and those he didn't find too boring."
"What did he do, Mycroft?" John demanded. "What did he leave?" At this point Sherlock could have left everybody three year old toes and he wouldn't have given a toss, anything to remind him of his best friend. Anything.
" He… left a son behind."
John blinked. Perhaps he needed his ears tested, because Mycroft's words did not compute in his mind. "A son?" He asked dumbly.
"Indeed, it would appear so. He did not have a son in conventional terms, however. Can you recall Baskerville?"
John nodded and briefly chuckled. "Yeh, course. How could I forget that particular adventure?"
Mycroft hummed, seeming quite amused himself, even though at the time he had been beyond annoyed. "Yes, well, it seems that Sherlock got involved with one of the projects there. He cloned himself three years ago to this date, and I believe that he planned it perfectly, so that we can all move on. Logically he must have thought that we would all stop being so sentimental if there was another version of him around. I received a phone call yesterday from the woman working on the particular project. She seemed concerned that now the boy is ready to go out into the world that he no longer has a home to go to. I told her that I would solve that particular problem."
"Solve…" John's head was spinning. This all seemed so surreal. Sherlock had cloned himself? There was a literal mini version of the consulting detective alive and breathing? Was this some form of joke? One look at Mycroft told John that this was not a joke. This was very, very real. "Oh god. The idiot! How could he think this would solve anything?"
"Like I said," Mycroft muttered, bitterness tainting his words. "My brother was selfish. Still, that doesn't mean the boy has to suffer, does it? It is hardly his fault that he exists."
"No." John mumbled, shaking his head in utter disbelief. "I don't suppose it is his fault. What's going to happen to him?"
"Well," Mycroft wet his lips. "if he is not collected soon he will most certainly be destroyed."
"What?!" John felt himself sway with a fresh onslaught of anger. " He's a child. He isn't an experiment that you can simply get rid of. That's…that's horrific."
"Baskerville isn't a place for children to grow up, John. That's the way they see it."
"What about adoption? Surely that's an option?"
"The child can't go to just anyone. There will be questions, and those questions can't be answered. The world isn't ready for a boy like him."
"So, what exactly are we going to do?" John swallowed. The thought of another part of Sherlock being destroyed was devastating. His heart rattled in his ribcage at the thought.
"I was rather hoping that you could give me a solution to this problem."
"You mean…" John thought about it, his brow furrowing. "Me?" He asked. When Mycroft nodded John felt like he was going to throw up. "Why me? Why not you? Why not your parents for Christ sake? I can barely look after myself. I spent most of this morning crying like a flaming child. So, how in hells name do you expect me to look after an actual child?"
"John, it is what he would have wanted. He created this child for a purpose. It is a gift, and we must take it. I can't take him in. My life is far too dangerous. I lost him once because Moriarty was trying to get to me. Moriarty may be gone, but I have plenty more enemies that would be willing to kill him. I can't lose him again, John. I just…can't. And my parents? Have you any idea how devastating it would be for them to find out about the little one? It will crush them. Besides, it's hardly fair for them to bring up Sherlock twice. You're my last option, otherwise the gift he tried to give us will be destroyed."
John's fists clenched together tightly. "I can't believe this…I…fine!" He exhaled deeply and nodded. "Fine. I'll do it."
Because I'm sure as hell not going to lose him again, and because I can clearly see that you, Mr Ice man, are practically falling apart over this kid.
He uncurled his fists and gestured for Mycroft to go. "I suppose I'll see you and the child tomorrow."
Mycroft nodded and smiled softly at John. "I appreciate this, John. I really do. Which is why I shall make sure your blog is returned to its normal state, and perhaps I can replace your laptop? I'll get Anthea onto it right away. "
"How did you-"
Mycroft was out the door before John could finish his sentence.
John threw his head back in exasperation and slammed the door shut. "Bloody Holmes' brothers. I'm starting to think that I'll never shake my leg of them."
Then again, I really don't want to anyway.
John tossed and turned in his bed that night. It wasn't unusual for John to forgo sleep these days, but his mind was usually occupied with the image of Sherlock's body splayed out dead, his friend's skin a shade too pale, his head crowned by a flood of dark crimson. But tonight was different. Tonight he kept on thinking of a miniature Sherlock. The thought had his stomach in knots.
When it hit morning, or at least something that resembled morning, John decided that he couldn't take it for a moment longer. There was no use in trying to sleep now. The best thing he could do was prepare himself for the day as much as possible, because he knew that a whole new can of worms was about to be opened today, and it wasn't going to be easy for any of the parties involved, especially him.
He started off his morning as he always did; with a hot shower. He stood there like a zombie, staring at the tiles in the flats bathroom like they were the most interesting things in the world. He must have been there for a good hour, because by the time he came out of his trance the room was brighter, sunlight flooding in through the double glazed bathroom window. He limped out of the shower. Dam his leg. The stress was again making his limp worse, the muscles in his leg ceasing up and cramping badly.
He dried himself off doggie style, shaking his body and hair of the water droplets on him. He clothed himself in his dressing gown and tip toed out, not wanting to wake Mrs Hudson. It was a Saturday and she usually had a lie in. Though, it appeared that perhaps she was awake already, as a tray with tea and a boiled egg was placed upon the table waiting for him. He silently blessed Mrs Hudson as his stomach gave off a little growl. Normally he ignored his hunger, but today he was in dire need of something to keep him strong.
He was just tapping at his egg with a silver spoon when –
"Breakfast can wait, I'm afraid."
John groaned. "Mycroft? What are you doing here?"
"I think you know why I'm here."
"Yeh, well, I wasn't quite expecting you this early."
"Parenting unfortunately keeps you on your toes."
John swallowed and nodded. He took a sip of his tea and hummed. It was perfect, just the way he liked it. He knew, however, that he wasn't going to be allowed to drink the rest of it." With a sigh, he stood to his feet. He began to make his way over to Mycroft when he heard a small gurgle. Blinking, he looked at Mycroft more closely. In his arms was the smallest and most delicate boy he had ever seen. "Oh."
"He's perfect." John cooed, stepping closer to Mycroft. His bad leg funnily ached a little less than it had a moment previously. "May I?"
Mycroft smiled and handed the tiny miracle over to John. "I'm sorry that we're so early, but I wanted to get him settled in as soon as possible."
"Ahuh." John was practically deaf to Mycroft now. He was solely concentrating on not dropping the baby he was now holding. He was perfect, just as John had imagined and more. There was no mistaking that this was a miniature Sherlock, what with those tiny cupid lips and those insanely intelligent eyes hidden behind a mass of curls. There was more hair than boy. John dared to touch the silky soft curls and he felt a lump rising in his throat, though unlike most times, it wasn't a lump of sorrow, but one of joy. Sherlock was back in his arms. Sherlock was no longer dead. He lived, he lived!
John steeled himself as he ran a finger over the boys wrist, looking for something, and laughing deliriously when he found it. "A pulse. He has a pulse."
"I should hope so." Mycroft sniffled. "John, you must understand, this isn't Sherlock. He could grow up to be a very different man to the one you knew. It's more than likely that he will, given the fact that his upbringing will be very different."
Although John felt his hopes dampen slightly, he wasn't going to let this moment be ruined. "Maybe not, but even if this isn't Sherlock, this is the closest I'm ever going to get to getting him back, right? And yeh, this kid isn't going to replace Sherlock, but who could? Sherlock is one of a kind, and this boy is going to be one of a kind too. Sherlock told me you know, about his first name. Would it be quite alright if I called him William?"
Mycroft's eyes shined slightly with something that John couldn't quite identify. "William Watson. It has a ring about it."
"William Holmes- Watson." John corrected, his voice a whisper as he rocked the baby boy to sleep.
"Will you two be quite OK if I leave now? I'll be back to visit later. I just need to finish off some business."
John nodded and pressed a kiss to William's head. "We'll be alright. Won't we little one? You and me, Watson and Holmes, an unbeatable duo to the end, best friends for as long as we're both breathing. My best friend."
Mycroft, clearly disturbed by John being overly affectionate, made his exit with a hasty mumble about clearing up things with Baskerville.
"Did you do it?"
"Yes, little brother. I did as you requested. Are you sure you're making the right decision though? It's not too late to change your mind."
"No," Sherlock said firmly, his silhouette dark and sleek in the allyway. " He has William now. He doesn't need me. Besides, there's an East wind coming, and I've got to protect them both from it. I can't afford to get sentimental."
"You're giving up everything, Sherlock. John, he…"
The detective shook his head. "I've made up my mind. There's no going back. Look after them both for me, alright?"
Mycroft nodded, then the detective's figure was gone. "Oh baby brother. What am I to do with you?"
*Runs away screaming because that's a horrible ending and I am a horrible person*