A/N – An odd piece of fluff I came up with. Just for you ScopesMonkey. Enjoy!
Disclaimer – Obviously I don't own them.
Strangers on a Train
The little blonde boy saw the teddy bear hit the ground. He frowned, pulling on his mother's hand so that she'd let go.
"What, Johnny?" she asked, looking down at her son. He pointed at the teddy bear and she let go. "Where did that come from?" John pointed towards the compartment at the front of the train.
"He dwopped it when he jumped," he replied, holding the dark brown bear wearing an oatmeal jumper. He examined it closely, squinting as he looked it up and down.
"Well let's take it on the train with us and give it to the man checking tickets."
"S'kay," John agreed, tucking the bear under one arm and reaching back up to take his mother's hand with the other.
John examined each person as they walked by on the train, looking for the little boy who'd dropped the bear. Bears were for babies and John was almost five now, but he'd hate for the baby to be without his bear. It was obviously an important bear. The baby would be scared without his bear, especially on the train because they could be so loud.
"Right here," Mummy said and she pointed to a seat. John climbed up on the seat, positioning the bear next to him so that it would be safe. He rested his hand on it as Mummy sat in her seat. He looked across the aisle and there was no little boy. John frowned, concerned that the baby was going to be scared when the train started.
"Mummy," he said looking up. "Can we ask the conductor?" John knew all about conductors. He liked trains, little ones. Not the big ones that were too loud.
"Yes, honey," she said, messing up his hair. He scrunched his nose up, he didn't like when she did that. People only did that to babies. "When he comes by will ask him if anyone's lost a bear."
John nodded sitting back in the seat, satisfied with that.
It took forever for the man to come by and ask about their tickets. John asked Mummy three times to find the man, but she insisted that he'd come by eventually. John had been positive he was never coming when he finally arrived. He sighed with relief when the old man leaned down, smiling at him.
John held up the bear and opened his mouth to explain, but his mother spoke instead.
"My son found this on the platform and said the boy who dropped it got on this train. He wants to know if anyone has asked about it."
The old man straightened and looked back to John. "Well, as a matter of fact, there is a little boy up in the first class compartment who's absolutely devastated because he lost his teddy bear. And from the description that looks like him. If it's okay with your mum, would you like to go up there with me to return him?"
"Yes," John said, relief sweeping over him that the bear was going to go home and that the baby would be fine now. John looked up at Mummy, waiting for permission, and she smiled, nodding slightly.
John stood, climbed over Mummy, and took the old man's hand. They walked down the aisle and past a little divider. John had never been on the other side of the divider before. His eyes went wide as he noticed how much bigger the seats were, and they were all a pretty shade of red. He followed the man past several people having quiet conversations and then he looked up and saw the boy.
He was still crying and had his face buried in his mother's arm. His mum looked angry - Mummy got that look on her face when she was angry anyway, or when John asked too many questions. It was okay to ask questions, just not all of the time.
"Excuse me," the old man said and the woman and the little boy looked up. John held out the bear and the little boys eyes lit up. He released his mother immediately and snatched the bear away from John.
"This little boy found it on the platform and tried to turn it in. I said I knew just who lost it."
The little boy wasn't exactly a baby but he was younger than John. He sat the bear in his lap and wrapped his arms around it, burying his face into the back of the bear's head. John smiled at him, wanting him to know that the bear was well taken care of.
The woman, the not-exactly-a-baby's mum, smiled at the old man then at John. She looked towards her son and ran her fingers through his hair, just like Mummy had done. The other boy's hair was dark and curly and looked funny compared to her bright white skin.
"What do you say, Sherlock?" The not-exactly-a-baby glared at John for a moment before mumbling something into the bear. His mum smiled at John again and then looked back to her son. "Again please, properly."
Not-exactly-a-baby pulled the bear way from his mouth and said: "tank you" before burying his face again.
"You're welcome," John said easily, knowing Mummy would be pleased that he'd remembered.
The woman examined her son another second before turning to John. "What's your name?" she asked and John straightened.
"John Watson," he replied and offered his hand, just like Dad did when he met new people.
Her smile grew as she took it and gave him a solid shake. "Virginia Holmes," she said. "It was a pleasure to meet you today, Mr. Watson. Thank you very much, you've made my son's day."
"You're welcome, Mrs. Holmes." John said. Mummy would be even happier that he'd called her 'Mrs'. John still didn't really understand that. Mummy wasn't a Mrs. but his teachers were.
The old man led John back to Mummy. He climbed back into his seat and told her what happened. She planted a kiss onto the top of his head and pulled him close. "That was very nice of you, picking up that bear and returning it. I'm sure the little boy is very thankful to have it back. I'm proud of you, John."
John stuck his chest out a little and sat back in his seat. He liked making Mummy proud, sometimes when she was proud she'd get him an ice cream.
John pulled the teddy bear out of the box and eyed it for a moment.
"My grandmother had those made for us when we were born," Sherlock said behind him. "Apparently I was unwilling to do anything without it until I was almost five. I am not certain that is accurate but have no evidence that it was otherwise."
John examined it a moment, turning it over and running his thumb over it. "It looks familiar," he said, holding it out to Sherlock. "Was it a popular brand or something? Some big Christmas item?"
"Hardly." The detective examined it for a moment before setting it aside. "Grandmother would have insisted that it be unique. Mycroft had a rabbit and my cousin Allison had a giraffe."
"Hmm," John said, looking at it another moment before turning back to the box. If they were going to get through all of the boxes then he couldn't get distracted by every item. John was certain that he'd seen it before though. He had no idea where, or when, but he was sure. He shook his head - it wasn't important.
He felt his husband's presence right behind him as the detective leant over his shoulder, peering into the box. "What else is in there?"