Last chapter! Ending note at the bottom giving info about the third story. Thank you so much for sticking with this long story! My undying gratitude to those who reviewed, subscribed and favorited this story!
The trip back to the hospital was tense but Mycroft managed to smile softly when he entered the hospital room. "And here is a proud new father," he whispered with a glance toward Amy.
Sherlock was staring down at little Sandi, his elbows on his knees and fingers steepled under his chin when Mycroft walked in. Without looking to his older brother, he spoke in an icy hushed toned. "Get out. You and I are no longer on speaking terms." It was easy to displace his anger on his brother.
"You're honestly blaming this on me?" Mycroft shook his head and ran a hand down his suit jacket. "Sherlock, I didn't make him go back. It was his job. I don't have control of his previous company getting murdered. He needed to go back." Without a care he moved further into the room, looking down at Amy with a soft smile. Sleeping. Happy. She had no idea what was going on around her. "Don't be mad at me. I wasn't the one who decided to go back into the military."
"You stay away from her!" Sherlock hissed, standing from the stool quickly and ignoring the burning sensation in his feet. He advanced on his older brother aggressively, eyes narrowed. "They could have waited another few days. You could have made that happen, but you didn't. Don't think for a minute that I don't see Dad behind the scenes pulling the strings. You-you are just his puppet. God forbid you disappoint father. You are pathetic. You disgust me. Now leave."
The sudden movement in the room made Amy stir slightly and Mycroft tensed instantly. "This wasn't anybody, Sherlock. This was the Army. Dad had nothing to do with this and I couldn't stop it. I tried. Do you think I wanted to take him away from you and Amy? This should be the greatest moment of his life and he isn't here. I would never take that from him. The Army would." He straightened up and nodded toward the slowly waking infant behind his brother. "I'm here to help you with her."
"I don't want or need your help! Just get the hell out!" Sherlock didn't want to listen to anything Mycroft had to say. It was easier that way. Easier to remain angry at his older brother. He would have continued his childish tirade but little Sandi seemed to be waking up. He spun on his heels, teeth meshing into his bottom lip from the torment upon his feet. He picked the infant up carefully, rocking Amy in his arms. He didn't turn around to face Mycroft, opting to keep his back to his brother at this point.
Amy glanced up at Sherlock with wide eyes, taking several deep breaths before reaching a hand out toward his face.
"You don't mean that," Mycroft stated calmly. "You are upset at the situation. A lot of things just happened, Sherlock. Don't push me away." He was polite enough to turn toward the door and leave but he remained outside the door.
Sherlock managed a smile at the tiny hand reaching for his face. He sat back down on the stool carefully, purposefully ignoring whatever his older brother was saying. "Hopefully you won't develop my ill temperament. I don't think John could deal with two, stubborn children." He really wasn't sure what to do with little Sandi, other than to try and comfort her and keep the infant from crying. His fiancé had seemed to know what to do instinctively and despite all his book reading, he suddenly felt lost and overwhelmed.
Mycroft came back into the room but opted to stay near the door. Gazing at Amy from a distance was enough for him. "You're doing very good so far," he said with a small nod. It was true. A year ago Sherlock wouldn't know what to do with himself. Now he was sitting with his daughter in his arms. "And I'm here to help you while John is gone."
"You?" Sherlock asked, with a smirk. His tone was clearly amused and not accusing. "What the hell do you know about taking care of children? An infant no less." Probably not the best choice of words in hindsight. He could already hear Mycroft's reply in his head. His older brother had him to deal with, didn't he? He looked back down to little Sandi, who was being quiet. Not that was a bad thing, in fact it was marvelous. He had worried that Amy might turn out to be one of those infants who cried and cried for hours on end. Maybe this was just the calm before the storm?
"I practically raised you," Mycroft replied calmly. It took some effort but he stepped forward, freezing the moment Amy's eyes shifted to him. "A lot like John, then," he muttered with a half-smirk in his brother's direction. "She is very alert."
Amy yawned, a small squeak coming from her mouth as she wiggled in Sherlock's arms. The moment she was turned, her head resting against his chest, her eyes closed.
"And despite her better judgment, seems to really like you." He stopped moving, then. This was what he had always wanted. A family, a child to call his own. Now Sherlock had it all.
Sherlock smiled proudly. "You think so? She will probably change her mind later on if life. Children and that rebellion stage and what have you. I was reading about that recently and I ended up throwing the book in the trash. I think I will wait on the teenage years and just concentrate on now." After a moment, he picked up his train of thought once more. "Did you know some teenagers start having sex at thirteen? Thirteen, Mycroft. And given John's penchant for sexual release…Jesus, we just won't let her date until she's eighteen…no thirty…" He trailed off. Usually, planning and worrying about the future wasn't something he did but now it was all he could do.
It seemed Amy's entire life was already planned out. "You've really put some thought into this," Mycroft said with a small chuckle. "I'm sure Amy might be just as good as her mother, Sherlock. Sarah waited." He nodded surely and let his gaze drop to the child. "We don't want her to end up like you," he joked lightly as he stepped forward. Amy's eyes opened and locked on him again, her head pressed against Sherlock's chest. "I think she'll like you both, to be honest. A soldier and a consulting detective as parents? She'll have a lot of friends."
"Friends? No. Absolutely not. She won't be allowed to leave the flat without me, John or both. She won't need to go to school, we can teach her at home. I am all too aware of everything that is out in the world and I won't let any of that touch her. It is a very real possibility someone could take her or hurt her to get at me or John." Shit. When had he become so protective and overbearing? Sherlock hadn't thought about any of this until now. "Speaking of, how is cleaning up Moriarty's web going?"
"I think you might want to discuss some of that with John." Mycroft laughed again. "I think he might want her to go to school, have friends, a normal childhood. Probably a lot like him." While Mycroft was aware that he and Sherlock's childhood was far from average, he had determined a while ago that he didn't wish any other child to go through that. "She will want to be a normal little girl. John seems like the type to spoil her rotten." At Sherlock's next question Mycroft nodded slowly. "Almost done. He had ties with terrorist groups in Afghanistan so obviously we are uncovering more every day. But good."
"I'll just make him see…understand…" Sherlock muttered as he trailed off, his mind thinking furiously. He had not one vulnerability now, but two. It wouldn't surprise him in the least of it was used to exploit him later. He couldn't, wouldn't let that happen. If it meant keeping her locked up in the flat forever, then so be it.
"He is just as stubborn as you," Mycroft told his younger brother with a raised brow. "She will be fine, Sherlock. Let her grow up and be normal. Look at her, she deserves that much. Being locked away in a flat her whole life? That isn't for her." He understood, though. With Moriarty's web still operating Sherlock was naturally nervous. Honestly, Mycroft would be feeling the same. "Once John gets back you will be fine."
If John came back, Sherlock thought bitterly. "I guess you are right. I just don't want her to be used against me like John was. I know caring isn't an advantage but…" He shook his head as he trailed off once more. He looked down at Sandi with a worried frown, his dog tags dangling in the air above her.
The objects dangling above Amy's reach were suddenly the most interesting thing in the world. She reached one hand out and grasped one of the tags, holding on to it for a long moment.
"I think you will both be fine after we get rid of the last few men. With them gone you can return to normal. Working cases for the Yard." Mycroft was even getting distracted by the scene in front of him. It was impossible, he knew, but it was like Amy knew the magnitude of the situation around her. She knew that those dog tags were her Dad's.
Sherlock couldn't help but smile. "You like them too? They are your Dad's." He balanced little Sandi carefully in one hand and slipped the necklace off with the other. "Do you want to hold them?" He never thought he would take them off, but the infant had a right to them too. More so than he did, he supposed. He glanced up to Mycroft. "When do you think I can get the hell out of here? She is perfectly fine. No reason to keep her here." He was pouting a little because he hated hospitals and being stuck in one was annoying him.
Amy held the dog tags with amazement, putting one in her mouth as she glanced up at Sherlock curiously.
"Obviously they are a bit worried because she was born a month early." Mycroft glanced out of the room for a moment. "But I have already managed to talk to them. You are free to go. Your flat is set. Clothes, formula, diapers. The changing table is right in front of your desks in the living room." He smiled softly when Amy squeaked, continuing to gum at the dog tags. "I've got a car waiting if you really want to go."
"Do those taste good?" Sherlock asked little Sandi with a smirk. He held onto the chain so she wouldn't accidentally try and swallow the whole thing. "She will be fine. Amy here is a Watson. And yes, leaving now would be great." He stood, ignoring the immediate painful sensation in his feet. "Grab the bag Mum brought, would you?" He brushed by his older brother as he left the room, towards the exit of the hospital.
Mycroft rolled his eyes at the demand but did as he was told. "This child is going to be spoiled rotten," he commented softly as he followed Sherlock. He watched Amy curl tightly into Sherlock chest at the movements, holding on to the dog tags and keeping her gaze locked on him. "Do you want me to stay on the couch tonight?" He finally caught up to them, the doors to the hospital sliding open just as a black car pulled up. "The first night home is usually the worst."
It was Sherlock's turn to roll his eyes. "If I say no, will it matter? You and I both know you are going to do whatever you want to anyway." He smiled down at little Sandi again. "You sure do like Dad's dog tags don't you? I don't blame you, I do too." Since his hands were full he waited for Mycroft to open the door. Once it was, he smirked a bit. His older brother was always prepared. There was a car seat and he placed Amy in it carefully. He tried to fasten it, but he was having trouble getting the buckles to fall in place properly and snap into place. "Christ, this is the damn crib all over again…" He muttered to himself in frustration.
Mycroft went around the car and gently moved Sherlock's hands out of the way. Amy turned to him, dog tags still in her mouth, and watched Mycroft as he smoothly buckled everything. "You will figure it out in time." He smiled and fell into his own seat. "And yes, I do intend to stay in the flat. It is the least I can do." He smiled over at Sherlock and rested his hand on the side of the car seat. Amy immediately moved a hand to rest on it, patting at it as she looked over at Sherlock.
Sherlock sat next to the car seat, happy to be off his already aching feet. He watched little Sandi and Mycroft interact. "Apparently, dear brother, she also likes you. Boy is she in for surprise when she gets older." He smirked a bit. "Hey kid, you keep slobbering on Dad's dog tags I'll just let you keep them okay?" Of course Amy didn't understand, but just like Hamish he talked to her like a grown adult. Shit. The cat. How would it react to the baby?
Mycroft laughed and turned his hand so Amy's would fall in his palm. "She is making wonderful choices. Maybe someday she could work for the British government." He brought his other arm across his body and gently poked the tip of her nose. "I think Papa wants those back," he whispered playfully. Amy tilted her head at the sound of his voice as the dog tags slowly slid from her mouth, clinking into her lap. "She is rather quiet." His gaze lifted to Sherlock.
"Like hell," Sherlock growled. "She is going to have a nice normal job, like being a teacher. Something boring, safe." He narrowed his eyes at his older brother briefly before he turned and smiled at little Sandi. "So far she has been quiet but that could change. And don't you listen to mean old Uncle Mycroft. You can keep the tags as long as you want."
The little girl already had her life planned out by Sherlock. "What if she wants to work for the Yard? Would she be allowed to do that?" Mycroft smirked at the end of his question. Amy kicked her feet slightly and squeaked at the sound of the dog togs tapping together. She glanced at Sherlock and wiggled her feet again. "Who knows, maybe she'll have a set of lungs on her like John. You might be in for a long first night." He moved his hand to gently wiggle the dog tags, Amy's gaze fixated on them.
"And have her work with someone like Anderson? Please." Sherlock scoffed at the thought. He arched a brow at Mycroft playing with little Sandi. "For a man who hasn't been around kids, you do all right. Maybe you and Lestrade should look into adopting or a surrogate mother." Bringing up the Detective Inspector was always a sore point for his older brother, but he meant it as a compliment not to make Mycroft uncomfortable. Although, the latter would probably be the result. Oh well. His older brother would get over it.
Mycroft's gaze shot up to Sherlock and he tensed. "We just restarted our relationship," he stated softly. "Greg doesn't want kids. Amy should be enough." He wiggled the dog tags again and let his eyes focus on the little girl as the car came to a stop. "It's late. You should feed her and see if she will go to bed." He slowly undid the buckles of the car seat for Sherlock and got out of the car.
"Mmm," was the only reply Sherlock gave as he slid out of the car. He picked up Amy and snatched the dog tags from his brother. "Uncle Mycroft thinks he can tell me what to do. Isn't that silly of him? Maybe we will stay up late to annoy him." He smirked as he walked in through the front door. It didn't surprise him when he was greeted by Mrs. Hudson. "Amy, this is your other grandma. When you get older, you had best mind your manners."
Mrs. Hudson held her hands up to her mouth, looking at Sherlock before shaking her head. "Oh, Sherlock, she is beautiful." She looked over his shoulder and frowned almost instantly. "Where is the other proud father?" She looked at the little girl in Sherlock's arms with a frown. "Already gone, is he? You'll be fine. Sherlock she is wonderful." She reached a hand out and gently grasped one of Amy's wiggling it slightly before resting it on Sherlock's shoulder. "I'll be here if you need help. It has been ages." She grinned.
Mycroft went up the stairs calmly, looking around the flat proudly before falling on to the couch with a sigh. All set up and ready to go.
Sherlock matched the frown at the mention of John. "He had to leave early," a pause as he cleared his throat, "I know. Thank you Mrs. Hudson. She needs fed. You can visit tomorrow if you want." He walked up the stairs, always the worst part on his feet. "I'm supposed to warm the bottle, right? Pretty sure I read that somewhere." Sitting seemed like a great idea instead he passed off little Sandi to his brother and then went into the kitchen to prepare dinner for Amy.
Mycroft took Amy with a small frown, looking down at her. "Yes, warm it. Test it on your finger. It needs to be warm. Not too hot, not too cold." He rocked her gently. "You are in pain, do you want me to do it for you?" He stood up slowly and moved into the kitchen. "Sit, Sherlock, I'll do this." He managed to balance Amy in one arm and grabbed a bottle out of the cabinet he had set up. "The crib is in your room, then?" He mixed the formula and put the bottle in the microwave before glancing back down at Amy. "You are doing a good job, Sherlock."
"I can do it just fine!" Sherlock snapped when Mycroft came and took over. "Yes, the crib is in my room. There is a nursery set up in John's old room. I'll move it there when my feet have healed and I can go up and down stairs with a bit more ease. I bought one of those baby monitor's so I can hear her in any room as long as I have the receiver." Sitting sounded wonderful, but he stubbornly remained standing.
The moment Sherlock's voice rose Amy let out a small wail, taking a deep breath and letting out a louder one. Mycroft winced as she continued to cry, shouting and wiggling. "Shhh..." he rocked her, occasionally bouncing on the balls of his feet. "Shhh. Shhh, Amy." He held her so her head was resting against his shoulder, rocking his body from side to side and glancing at his younger brother. "I'm just trying to help," he stated over the slowly quieting infant. "I was going to let you feed her but I know your feet hurt. I was just helping so you could be out of pain." The microwave went off and he handed Amy over to Sherlock, who sniffed and snuggled into him. "Here." He passed off the warm bottle to Sherlock.
Sherlock snatched the bottle roughly, but took little Sandi gently. "Hey, no need to cry. I've got you. Stiff upper lip young miss." He offered the bottle to Amy. He remained standing out of stubborn spite. His feet would hate him later but he didn't care. He was trying to prove a point. That he could do this without help from anyone.
Amy turned her head away and let out a soft cry, slowly starting to shout again. Mycroft looked at Sherlock for a long moment. "Sit down, Sherlock," he told the consulting detective calmly. "She can feel every bloody emotion you are giving off right now. Take a deep breath, stop acting like a child, and sit down." By the end of his instructions Amy was wailing again, taking a deep breath before each shout.
Frustrated, Sherlock let out a growl. "Don't tell me what to do! You know what, if you are so damn smart you can feed her!" He gave the infant back to Mycroft, stalked out of the kitchen, went to his room and slammed the door shut. He collapsed onto the bed heavily. He clamped his hands over his ears to try and drown out little Sandi crying.
Mycroft stood in the kitchen for a long moment before setting the bottle down and rocking Amy the best he could. After two minutes of crying she calmed down and curled against Mycroft's chest. "There we go, it's alright." He grabbed the bottle and held it to her mouth. She latched on to it almost immediately, pausing in her loud eating to take deep breaths before resuming. "Papa is just stressed," he told Amy in a higher-pitched voice. "You didn't do anything wrong." She finished the bottle and he laid a towel over his shoulder to start burping her. "You could never do anything wrong."
After the crying died down, Sherlock dropped his hands. He should be the one feeding little Sandi, not his older brother. Yet here he was, pouting in his room. This was why he shouldn't be a father, he thought to himself. He just didn't have the emotional capacity to do so, he figured. Despite how much he had changed as a person. Despite all the changes he had made to accommodate Amy. He would never be a good enough father for her. A father that she would deserve. Mycroft seemed to have it all down already and he hated his brother for it. Fine. Let the snide Government official do all the work. He would just stay in here and hide, he was supposed to be off his feet anyway.
After burping the baby, Mycroft moved slowly to knock on the door to Sherlock's bedroom. "She needs to nap." He opened the door and moved toward the crib. He set her down slowly and pulled the small blanket over her. "Look, a present from Grandma." He put the stuffed dog next to her as she drifted off to sleep. "Do you want to talk?" He asked softy.
Sherlock almost started yelling but he bit his tongue. He didn't want to make little Sandi start crying again. Instead, he turned with a pillow in his hand and chucked it at Mycroft with a glare. He then promptly turned his back on his older brother. He had already broken down twice in front of Mycroft, all be damned if he was going to do it ever again. He just wanted to be alone.
"Right. Fine then." Mycroft tossed the pillow back at Sherlock and took one last look at Amy. "She will sleep until about three in the morning, I think. See you the." He paused when his phone went off and he answered it right away as he shut the door behind him.
After moving around slightly to snuggle against her stuffed dog, Amy fell asleep.
With a quiet sigh, Sherlock finally sat up in the bed. He stared over at the crib for awhile. After several moments lost in thought, he went through the nightstand and found the picture of John catching a Frisbee. With the picture in hand, he crawled over to the crib and attached it quietly to the mobile that hung above the sleeping infant. "There you go. Now when you wake up, you will see Dad every time." The words were barely an audible whisper. He dug out the empty necklace from his pocket and took out the dog tags. He placed the ring back on the original chain and wore it once more. He then hung the dog tags next to the picture. He slid down the crib to a sitting position. A fuzzy head came up and startled him by rubbing all over him. When had Hamish got in here? He shrugged, picked the cat up and set it in his lap. His head leaned against the crib, one hand petting the cat on the head.
Amy slept peacefully until a little after three in the morning. She started to stir in the crib, one hand curling into a fist as she opened her eyes. The new items in her vision caught her attention almost instantly and she sat in quiet contemplation for a moment. When she came to the conclusion that she was alone, and rather hungry, she let out a small cry.
Mycroft had been on the phone all night, stressed and worried, but had somehow managed to fall asleep on the couch. Even then he was prim and proper. Legs crossed at the ankles, shoes set neatly at the side of the couch, and hands folded on top of his stomach. Not even Amy's small cry could wake him up.
Sherlock had stayed up and sitting on the floor, petting Hamish the entire time. When the baby started crying, he sat stubbornly, thinking for sure Mycroft would get it. The cat pulled away from his hand bit it, growled, flicked its tail and glanced up at the crib. "Fine...I'll get it..." He muttered to the feline. It jumped from his lap as he stood. "Hey, little Sandi. I don't have any candy. No need to cry, I'll wipe your eyes dry." He recited the rhyme effortlessly as he picked Amy up carefully.
Amy quieted her cries for a moment, Sherlock's voice calming her down before she started again. It wasn't as loud but it was enough to attempt to capture Sherlock's attention. She hadn't eaten in a few hours and the new feeling in her stomach was making her uncomfortable.
Mycroft shifted on the couch turning to hide his ears and eliminate the sound coming from Sherlock's room.
First Sherlock checked the diaper. It appeared unfilled. "Hungry then?" He questioned out loud, as he moved to the door and opened it. "Uncle Mycroft is sleeping. We need to be quiet. We can wake him after your bottle, hm?" He smirked a bit and went into the kitchen. He got out a fresh bottle and warmed the milk. Once the bottle was ready, he slumped into a chair gratefully and offered little Sandi the bottle. "Here you go, time to eat." Hamish jumped up on the table and peered curiously at the infant for a moment, then lost interest as it began to clean a paw.
Amy took the bottle greedily, eating loudly as she kept her gaze locked on Sherlock. She lazily lifted one hand to rest on the bottle. Every swallow was punctuated with a loud gulp followed by a deep inhale through her nose.
Mycroft shifted slightly on the couch and sat up, turning the television on for some background noise. "Good morning," he commented softly as he moved into the kitchen.
Sherlock eyed the cat but Hamish didn't seem to notice. He turned his gaze to his older brother. "Your grumpy Uncle is up." He leaned down to whisper in little Sandi's ear confidentially, "He isn't a morning person." He shifted slightly so Amy would nestle a little more comfortably in his arms.
Mycroft had been about to reply when his phone went off. He answered it promptly and moved out of the kitchen.
Amy released the bottle right as the news started, curling against Sherlock's chest.
"This morning we start with breaking news from Afghanistan. A company out of Camp Bastion has been reported missing. It is believed this company is being led by Captain John Watson, known in London as the infamous blogger of consulting detective Sherlock Holmes..."
Mycroft reentered the kitchen right as he ended the call, freezing the moment he heard the news in the background. That wasn't supposed to be publicized yet.
Such a terrible and yet fun place to end! The next story will pick up right where this one left off. It is going to be very Sherlock-centric, and not a lot of Johnlock interaction. The story will be mostly Sherlock trying to figure out what happened to John and his squad. The name of the story is called 'Missing Present Company.' You will have to wait a bit for the story to be uploaded but it should not take more than a week.