Disclaimer: I am not Steven Moffat, the BBC, Arthur Conan Doyle, or anyone else who has any kind of rights to Sherlock. I am simply a fan with a story.
Note: I'm sorry it's taken me so long to write this chapter, I wanted to re-watch the series in order to get characterization right and story ideas plus I had finals. But now I'm done and updates should come much quicker. Just curious, is it possible to get myself one of those Beta people to edit my story?
Chapter Two: Ryleigh
Sherlock Holmes held out his hand.
"Welcome to our humble abode, Ryleigh. I'm sure you'll like it here once we knock a bit of your father out of you."
John Watson rolled his eyes and Gregory Lestrade laughed. "Sherlock, she's two." John said, "she probably doesn't understand a word you're saying, and she certainly won't know to shake your hand.
Sherlock only and pointed his eyes down to Ryleigh, who had taken a step towards him and was reaching out her hand. "My brother was nothing if not a gentleman. Surely he would have taught her the proper way to greet someone."
As he finished speaking, Sherlock felt a tug coming from his outstretched hand. Not the up and down motion of a handshake, but a pull. One point for Doctor John Watson, then.
"Dada?" Ryleigh asked quizzically.
Sherlock was a little flustered. "Um, well, yes." Kneeling down next to her, he pointed towards John. "And that's your daddy too. We're going to take care of you".
While Sherlock was talking to Ryleigh, John realized that there was still a piece of the puzzle missing. What had happened to her mother? John leaned over to ask Lestrade where she was, but of course it was Sherlock who answered.
"One night stand. Mycroft was a little messy, don't know why, but she got pregnant. Mycroft of course felt responsible, and seeing that the mother was unable to adequately care for their daughter he took full custody of her. Ryleigh will have never known her mother, she's a girl in a world of men".
John was confused. "Wouldn't Mycroft have hired a nanny for her?"
"Too risky", Sherlock shook his head, "Loose lips sink ships, and in this case such a scandal would have brought Mycroft's whole career crashing down around him. Now, shall we go inside?" With that, Sherlock grabbed Ryleigh's hand and led her through the doors of 221B Baker Street.
Lestrade put an encouraging hand on John's shoulder, and then turned to leave. He was very sympathetic to John's situation; living with Sherlock Holmes was already like living with a child. John just shook his head. Of all the crazy things that had come from living with Sherlock Holmes, this took the cake. It was going to take a lot more work to convince girls that his relationship with Sherlock was purely platonic now.
In the middle of John's thinking, he realized that Sherlock was alone with the girl, and rushed in to save her from whatever he might be putting her through. Upon entering the sitting room, he was Ryleigh innocently being introduced to Mrs. Hudson.
"Hello dearie", she cooed, "don't you just have the most beautiful eyes".
John started. It seemed to him as if the girl had rolled her eyes at Mrs. H's patronising. But that couldn't be, could it? She was only a child, but then again she was a Holmes child. Then he realized that Sherlock was positively beaming.
"She's brilliant John. Oh yes, she's a smart one. And we've got her early enough, she won't have all my brother's corruption and manners that made him so prim and proper and boring. Mrs. Hudson," he now turned to the landlady, "You know I would never ask this of you normally, but do you think you could make us some lunch? For Ryleigh of course". Sherlock smiled.
Mrs. Hudson laughed, "You never ask normally because you just expect me to make it. But for this little one, I'll do anything".
Smiling, Mrs. Hudson walked out of the room, leaving Sherlock, John, and Ryleigh alone together. Sherlock sat on the couch, templing his fingers under his chin and staring at Ryleigh intently. John sighed, knowing it would be no use asking Sherlock to buy stuff for child-proofing the house, or getting toys and clothes for the child. He'd have to call into the surgery and cancel all of his appointments for the day. As he grabbed his coat and keys, and headed for the door, Sherlock suddenly looked up.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
"The store, Sherlock. This flat isn't even remotely ready to have a two year old wandering around in it."
Sherlock nodded. "Yes, yes of course. We'll need milk while you're out too, by the way".
Waving goodbye, he dismissed John and focused his entire attention back on Ryleigh. A bomb could have gone off (not an impossibility, given his line of work) and Sherlock wouldn't have noticed, but he needed to know everything about this girl and wanted to see how much of Mycroft he'd have to train out of her. John rolled his eyes and left the flat.
So far, Sherlock could see that she was observant. Ryleigh didn't just glance about the room vacantly but rather took it in bit-by-bit, remembering and noticing as much as her infantile mind could allow. She had called him 'dada', so speech was not yet developed but she did understand what was being said around her. Ryleigh's reaction to Mrs. Hudson's comment about her eyes (John hadn't imagined it) revealed to Sherlock that her brain craved stimulus and new information. Lestrade had probably said the same thing upon picking her up, as they were quite striking eyes and he was prone to such ordinary observations. Ryleigh was also active and daring. She was already walking about and exploring the room, looking back at Sherlock every so often. Mycroft probably hadn't let her wander the house freely to protect her from prying eyes and to protect his house from any destruction she might wreak, but she clearly desired to explore nonetheless. This was going to be a fun child indeed.