Authors Notes: Inspired by watching season 2 of 'Sherlock' and grumbling at the lack of Sanctuary/Sherlock fanfics, though everyone must read 'Sherlock Holmes, I presume?'…it is utterly amazing!
Summary: What if Helen Magnus didn't come out of her 113 year vacation without changing the timeline? What if, instead of leaving everything as it was, she bared two children to one her longest and dearest friends, forgetting of the consequences they could cause?
Disclaimer: I own neither Sanctuary or Sherlock
"Sherlock, stop it." John Watson growled sternly, dropping his head back against his chair as he closed his eyes but the irritating tapping continued, as if the man standing opposite him hadn't heard him; in fact in this state, John knew he probably hadn't. Their case load had been light lately, with only trivial matters appearing for their assistance and Sherlock's boredom was increasing with each day that passed without any real action.
"Sherlock, please, I beg of you, stop tapping."
Sherlock looked up at his flat mate with a bored expression, his fingers still tapping against the desk.
"Why?" He asked simply and John sighed, dropping his head into his hands. The tapping continued and a headache started to thrum against his skull; he had to get out for a while. John stood, snatching his coat from the back of his chair and he slipped into it, quickly shoving his wallet and phone into his pocket.
"Where are you going?"
"Out," Was his simple reply as he crossed the room to the door and as reached for the doorknob, the bell rang. Sherlock sat up quickly and Watson sighed, dropping his coat back onto the chair; so much for that plan. His friend watched him expectantly and he rolled his eyes.
"I'll get the door, shall I Sherlock?" He remarked sarcastically as he thundered down the stairs, the sound of his footsteps echoing in the small stairwell. John stopped at the front door and opened it slowly, his eyes falling on the brunette that stood in front of him. She was attractive; very attractive and she had piercing blue eyes that looked older than the rest of her, as if they had seen more years than one person should. She smiled politely at him.
"Good morning," he said after a moment.
"Dr Watson, I presume?"
He nodded cautiously, noting her well-dressed manner; he really hoped that she wasn't another one of Microft's people.
"My name is Helen Magnus; do you mind if I come in?" Her accent was soft but very Victorian era and he couldn't help but smile as he opened the door wider, allowing her to slip into the narrow corridor. Mrs Hudson passed the pair, excusing herself softly but when she saw Helen's face, she grinned, pulling the woman into a hug.
"Helen, my dear; how lovely to see you!" She said excitedly and Helen laughed, returning the other woman's embrace.
"It's been too long," She noted smiling.
"Yes, it has! Too long! How are you dear?"
John watched the exchange curiously, his eyes flicking between the pair as they began speaking animatedly to each other, apparently reminiscing about old times.
"You two know each other?" He asked when a brief moment of silence surrounded them and Helen smiled.
"I used to occupy your flat, many years back." She explained and John frowned but nodded.
"You and…oh what was your friends name?" Mrs Hudson thought a moment, "Oh yes, James. Watson, if I recall correctly."
John opened his mouth to speak but Helen held up her hand.
"I've had a rather long drive and I could use some tea, right about now if you can spare it Doctor?"
He nodded and as they bid goodbye to Mrs Hudson, he led his guest upstairs slowly, wondering silently about her and this 'Watson' fellow. He shrugged it off; after all, Watson was a common name.
"Mr Holmes is home, yes?" Helen queried as they reached the top step, the wood creaking slightly.
"Yeah, though, I apologise in advanced for any behaviour that he has towards you; he isn't in the greatest mood today."
"It shouldn't be a problem," She assured him and they entered the flat. Her eyes scanned around the room reminiscently, trying to ignore the current décor and remember it as she and James had lived in it.
Sherlock stood as they entered , though John wasn't sure if it was because he was fidgety or looking forward to what their guest had to say; John hoped to God that this woman's case was an interesting one, for her sake and his.
"Mr Holmes, it is a pleasure that we may finally meet," Helen greeted with a serene smile and to Sherlock's surprise, she didn't tense under his intense gaze as he studied her. After a few seconds, he met her eyes and John ushered her onto the couch, disappearing into the kitchen to boil the kettle. "What is it that you have deduced about me, if I may ask?"
"Oh, uh you might not want to-" John started warningly but his friend shushed him, his lips twitching with a smile.
"Now John, if the lady wants to know, I say we tell her." He watched her for another brief moment before he started. "You're rich though you live somewhere in downtown…America but you're originally from England. You're a scientist; you handle animals, large animals at that and yet you have seen much death and wars, so I say that you've travelled a lot in your life before you settled in one place. Your child, a daughter, recently died and you took a private car here, although, you drove, which is curious for a woman of your status who no doubt has people to do that for you. How did I do?"
Helen's grin widened as she took in the man across from her.
"Well done, Mr Holmes." John handed her a saucer of tea, eyeing Sherlock disbelievingly, "I would say that, you, my friend are an impressive man, if I hadn't already met someone that makes you pale in comparison, though I am in no way saying that you aren't clever and very observant."
Sherlock stood and started pacing around his chair, his eyes locked on Helen's as she sipped her tea.
"What do you mean you have met someone that makes me 'pale in comparison'?" He snapped and John rolled his eyes, dropping into his chair with a soft 'here we go.'
"Exactly that; take a seat, Mr Holmes, please. I insist."
He ignored her.
"What's your case? Why do you wish to employ me?" He asked quickly and she smirked.
"I have no case; actually, I have important information I wish to tell you both, if you'll let me."
"Go ahead," John spoke before Sherlock could.
"Thank you; well, I must apologise for not letting either of you know of this earlier; I believed it was in your best interest." She paused, gauging their reactions, " You see, gentleman, the both of you are adopted and are in fact, brothers."
John spluttered on his tea and Holmes froze, gazing over at Helen, studying her curiously.
"I'm sorry, what?"
She said nothing but held Sherlock's gaze, her eyes almost challenging him to question her. He held his silence for a long time but his curiosity got the better of him.
"You're not from the Adoption agency, though you sometimes work in the office so that leaves only three possibilities."
"And what are they, Mr. Holmes?" She raised her perfect eyebrows at him.
"One; you are just some rich lady who gets her kicks by making practical jokes, but your posture says otherwise. Secondly; you're a fan who wanted desperately to meet the great, Sherlock Holmes and his amiable sidekick-"
"I'm not a sidekick" John said quickly.
"-and you wanted to test our skill, though a fan would be fidgety, nervous. You're not. That leaves the improbable-"
"And of course, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. Correct?" Helen finished for him. Watson snorted and his friend shot him a look but nodded. "So, would you care to share your third, and 'improbable' theory, Mr. Holmes?"
"You're telling the truth and you're our mother, or a friend of hers and she recently died so you have come to tell us the truth."
She smiled and John stared at her incredulously, wondering with every second that passed if this woman was crazy. She certainly didn't look it, but looks can be deceiving as his parents had always told him.
His parents; the people who had revealed to him at the age 12 that he was adopted, and yet they treated him no different than they treated Harry, their actual daughter and he never thought of them as if they weren't his real parents.
"Wait, so you're saying that Sherlock, the most arrogant, self-centered man I have ever met and I...are brothers?"
Helen nodded; she had been expecting this reaction from him but she hadn't even dropped the bombshell yet.
"How do you know that? I mean, it's not like Sherlock was adopted, were you?"
Holmes didn't answer but studied the woman in front of him for another long moment.
"Yes, John, I was adopted," He stated shortly.
"I know these things, Doctor, because I am the woman who put you both up for adoption. I am your mother, though I never expected to be having this conversation with either of you."
"Wait, so you're saying that we are your sons?
A thick silence surrounded the trio as Helen let the two men take in the news. If she was to be honest, she had been extremely nervous to come here today; it had only been a month since she returned to the Sanctuary after her 113 year vacation and she knew that despite everything that she had told Will and the rest of her team, she hadn't left the timeline as it had been. It hadn't been intentional either.
Taking that long a vacation would be the death of anyone and while she had been working on her plan to fix the Sanctuaries in the future, she was lacking something. She craved companionship, someone to talk to who understood what she was going to without throwing her into a padded cell. She needed love; someone to touch her and hold her and while she could get any man she wanted, there was only one she wanted.
James Watson. Only he knew about the two hers in this reality, one thriving and building more Sanctuaries, helping Abnormals, while the other sat in the shadows, secretly planning and plotting a way to better her world, to prepare her world for what was to come.
She sat on a train in France in 1977, scribbling in her journal as the scenery flashed past quickly, ignoring the hum of chatter around her. A woman and her baby sat in front of her, the child sleeping and the woman's husband sat with his arm around her, looking out the window. Helen's heart ached as she watched the family in front of her. She knew in about eight years, her other self would be implanting Ashley into her womb and would then no longer be alone.
She craved for that; she wanted desperately to see her daughter again, to see her grow into the woman she had known her to become, but she knew that couldn't happen. Helen let out a sigh as she wrote in her journal but a sudden hand on her leg startled her. She wanted to pull her gun until she saw the man's grinning face. Without thought, she flung herself into his waiting arms, breathing in the scent of a man she never expected to see again.
"James, what are you doing here?" She grinned, burying her head into his neck.
"I could ask you the same, my dear. You're supposed to be in Peru-" He pulled back to look at her and realization crossed his face. "Oh I see. Well, it has been a long time, no see darling Helen."
"Come with me, away from others ears." She took hold of his wrist and led him down the carriage to her room where they slipped inside, shutting the door behind them. Almost instantly, her lips found his and she backed him against the door.
"Make love to me, James," was her only request and his only answer was to kiss her deeply, his hands exploring her body.
"Miss Magnus?" John's voice snapped her from her reverie and she looked to him quickly, noticing now how much he resembled his father.
"I apologize; my thoughts ran off with me again, I am afraid."
"So, if Sherlock and I are…brothers," Watson grimaced, "and you're our mother, who is our father? And this isn't saying that I believe you-"
"I do." Holmes said. He was seated now, in his chair and he was toying with his violin.
Helen went on to explain her story, leaving out of course that she was 273 years old and that she worked with what humans knew as monsters; how three months after that evening on the train with James, she had discovered that she was pregnant and not telling her friend who was now back in England where he belonged, she took the child-or as she later found out children- to term. She gave them up for adoption immediately, only on the conditions that she was able to name them; John after her once best friend and lover and Sherlock, after James' alter Ego. She had pleaded for them to go to the same home but it hadn't been possible and the twins had been separated for 33 years until by chance, they were reunited.
"I'm sorry that it has taken 34 years for you both to find out about this," Helen concluded, clutching her now cold tea.
The silence filled the room around them again as both men took the time to think of the news they had been given while Helen stared at her hands, wondering how they would react. She was suddenly nervous; her hands shaking and her heart was thumping hard in her chest.
"I have one question," John said finally, breaking the tension.
"Just one?" She laughed gently.
He smiled. "Who do I take after; you or my father?"
Helen's lips tugged up and she found herself grinning at him.
"Well Doctor, I would say that you got most of your personality from me, though you are a spitting image of James when he was younger. Mr. Holmes, on the other hand, has developed many of James' traits, such as his brilliant deductive mind; though I think he has more of my features."
Sherlock still hadn't said anything but he was starting to smile.
"Well, Miss Magnus, this has certainly lifted our once boring day, hasn't it John?" He said finally and the other man nodded. Helen stood suddenly and they watched her as she set her tea onto the coffee table and straightened her jacket.
"I'm afraid, gentleman, that I must be bidding my leave now." She handed Sherlock a card with the words 'Sanctuary for All' inscribed on it. "When you're in America next, pay me a visit; I would be delighted to show you what I do for a living."
With that, she was gone, leaving the men sitting, staring at each other.
"You know what this means, now don't you John?"
"Tell me, Sherlock, what does it mean?"
Sherlock stood and grinned, kicking the other man's feet off the coffee table.
"I am now officially allowed to tell you what to do," he paused, "little brother."
John groaned and dropped his head into his hands.
"I'm going out," was the last thing he said before Sherlock began throwing orders, not stopping even when the front door slammed shut.