If Mycroft lived to be 100, he would never understand why people loved babies so much. They were too little to do anything for themselves, too noisy and demanding for anyone else to get anything done, and just blatantly disgusting in the realm of bodily functions.
It irritated him that their insignificant accomplishments were praised and yelled about, while his own noteworthy accomplishments were given a crooked smile and a "Why aren't you outside playing, Mycroft?"
He remembered a particular bundle of annoyance that came in the form of Mummy's college friend's infant child. Catalan, as she was called, was seventy-five centimetres of gurgling drool and peculiar noises. Catalan's mother saw no reason that Catalan couldn't roam the house freely while she and Mummy discussed their golden days at Uni.
Mycroft had been trying to avoid all the fuss. He didn't particularly enjoy the company of strangers until he had had a chance to observe them on the sly first. So, he had hidden in the laundry room, where the air vent sat at just the right angle to pick up on the conversations of anyone downstairs.
Mycroft didn't know that babies could climb stairs. He had been awfully frightened when his hiding space was invaded by a tiny stumbling child with a big pink bow on its head.
"No, no," he said, standing up and trying to gently usher the baby back into the hallway. "Go on…go back to your Mummy…"
Catalan had never seen a little boy of Mycroft's age before, and was quite fascinated by his soft voice and small stature. She followed him with open arms even as he tried to back into a corner. Mycroft's only plausible solution was to lead her downstairs and back to her blissfully ignorant mother.
"Oh, Mycroft!" said Mummy when he crept by the sitting room. "Come and meet Cecilia, my old friend."
Mycroft nodded, shook the woman's hand, displeased by the cheery jangling of her jewelry as her arm wobbled back and forth. Little
Catalan babbled into the room with them, Mummy smiled impishly at the oblivious baby. "Mycroft, why don't you take Catalan to see your toys?"
Mycroft blanched. There was nothing the boy hated more than people touching his toys. A baby girl touching them just added insult to injury. That was the day he swore he would never entertain a baby so long as he lived.
Mummy was fat and incredibly excited. She and father had told him that his baby sibling was growing inside of her. He found this disgusting and wrong. And he didn't believe it for a second. How could the baby possibly get inside his Mummy to grow? It was completely illogical!
Then, on the day he was supposed to read a poem in front of his whole class (which he had secretly quite been looking forward to), Nana came to the school and took him out early. She was shaking, she was so excited. She chattered endlessly about how Mycroft was about to be a big brother, how the baby was on its way, how it was so sweet that Mummy had been rocking in her chair reading to the baby when it started coming. That just confused Mycroft more about where the baby was. Why would Mummy be reading to a baby that was inside her belly? Everyone needed to get their stories straight because at the moment they really weren't matching up .
Then, of all things, he and Nana just sat in the hospital, waiting and waiting for what seemed like hours. What a slow baby! Despite himself, as the time dragged on, he couldn't help but feel more than a little worried. Maybe the baby was sick. Maybe Mummy was sick. He kept his concerns to himself, seeing how Nana was smiling like a nutter.
Then finally, just when Mycroft was really beginning to get worked up, Father came rushing down the corridor to meet them. He was dressed in a surgeon's clothes, looking really sweaty and tired, but the grin plastered across his face was unmistakable. Nana rushed to meet him, chattering at a frequency that Mycroft wasn't even capable of hearing. Mycroft stayed in his chair, trying to look uninterested, while he listened intently to the conversation.
Father eventually came over and knelt beside Mycroft, getting on his height level as he often did when he was about to say something important. "Mycroft, would you like to come meet the baby?"
Mycroft couldn't say no. It would be rude. He would entertain his family's silly fantasy of enjoying the newborn baby, but he didn't have to truly care. He didn't. Babies were a bother, a pain in the neck, and he promised himself that he wouldn't talk to this one until it was at least seven, like him.
If Father looked tired, Mummy looked completely exhausted. But, she was still Mummy and she still smiled at him like she always had.
Oh, God, she was holding the thing. Everyone was looking at him, expecting him to go meet the baby. Mycroft was not above placating adults for his own convenience, so he confidently walked over to the bed and tried to catch a glimpse of the baby's head. Mummy had it wrapped up in a big, soft blanket, and she had to unwind it a bit to reveal his new sibling's face.
Mycroft was normally so discrete with his thoughts, but the shock of seeing this red, alien thing with its scrunched face and overly large crossed eyes was enough to make him lose his control temporarily. "What's wrong with it?" he asked. It didn't't look anything like babies he had seen in books. It was meant to be a normal pink human colour not purple like a beetroot!
Mummy frowned and then laughed. "He's just new, Mycroft," she said. "He's had a rough day, don't be too hard on him."
So it was a brother. That brought some relief, but not much. Nana popped over to the opposite side of the bed and squealed, making Mycroft flinch. "What's his name?" she asked, putting a wrinkly finger to the baby's wrinkly face.
Mummy and Father exchanged a smile. "His name is Sherlock," said Mummy, affectionately.
Nana tutted. "Oh, Love, why do you choose such unusual names?"
Mycroft didn't think it was unusual. He thought it was neat, like his own name.
Mummy was very, very tired, so a nurse brought in a little rolling bed to lay the baby in while Mummy rested. Father climbed into the bed next to Mummy and they both went to sleep. Nana announced that she was going to go call everyone, and don't bother the baby, Mycroft, and try to be quiet Mycroft, and don't leave the room, Mycroft.
She skittered out of the room, still talking to herself or Mycroft or the baby, Mycroft couldn't tell. Mycroft grimaced as he turned around. He was alone with the baby. Might as well check on it; see if it's still working.
Mycroft peered into the cot. The baby had managed to kick off the blankets and was wriggling around like an earthworm. 'Already trying to be uncooperative,' Mycroft thought staring at the mittens the baby was wearing, and the little wool cap on his head. Why all these accessories? Surely they weren't going to let the baby out to play in the snow.
Mycroft had promised not to talk to the baby until he was seven, but some things just had to be said. "All right, Sherlock, listen to me. I don't want you to start interrupting my life. I like the way things are, and it would be best if you could just stay to yourself and entertain Mummy and Nana, and I will be nice to you for appearance sake."
Sherlock babbled thoughtfully. "There, now I think that's a fair agreement, what do you say?" Mycroft nodded to himself as if the baby was in concurrence.
He started toward the chair in the corner where he could look out the window and watch the people in the hospital yard, when to no great surprise, a frustrated whine started up behind him. Mycroft went back to the bassinet slowly, not wanting to encourage the baby to cry at him, but still trying to figure out what was wrong.
The baby was trembling and whimpering, holding its legs and arms in the air like it might turn over and do a somersault. "What?" said Mycroft, looking at the quivering creature. He spied the baby's chattering lips. "You must be cold," Mycroft observed. He tucked the blankets back around Sherlock, tightly enough that he would stay tucked in. "Now, don't wiggle out of there this time and you'll stay warm."
A stealthy little hand had wound its way around Mycroft's finger. Sherlock pulled the finger toward his mouth and Mycroft pulled away, disgusted. "Don't do that!" Mycroft gasped. Sherlock giggled. Mycroft attempted to glare him down. "I'm going to be watching you very closely," Mycroft promised, crossing his arms.
Thanks so much to Aqua-Lily6 for betaing for me! :D:D:D