Sustain III: Obbligato - Epilogue
Authors: OneMillionNine and MaybeAmanda
See Part One For Notes and Details
Sarah was trying to get over the past few months and everything that had happened since that day in the surgery when she delivered the baby. She'd told herself, again and again, that all she needed was time. Well, she'd had time. It wasn't working.
She felt so hollow. She didn't know it was possible to care so much for someone else's child. But it was. And she did. And it was awful.
When the hospital informed them, a few days after John came home from his last big adventure with Sherlock, that someone had stepped forward as possible genetic match for Chris, John had been so happy, so relieved. "That is great news," he'd assured her. "We won't have to worry about him now, Sweetheart. He'll have someone to love him."
She'd smiled and agreed. She'd felt as though she'd been gutted, though. He already had someone to love him.
Now, two weeks later, she was actively trying to let go and move on. Let go - move on - make peace - find closure. Chat-show psychobabble. Utter shite. What she wanted was to drink gin and lie on the sofa feeling sorry for herself.
"Need help?" John called from the lounge.
"No," she replied, rounding up her cooking supplies. "My turn. You relax."
It was all so bloody unfair. She had married John with the express desire on both their parts to start a family, and soon. It hadn't taken long to realize that was not happening. And it wasn't her. It was John.
Too bad he was such a good husband. Too bad he was such a good man. She felt like a complete cow for blaming him, even in passing; for letting that horrid little thought creep into the far corner of her mind. He was, in most ways, the best partner a woman could ask for, and it was a stupid bloody world where Sherlock Holmes could make a baby - two now, apparently - and John Watson couldn't.
She wiped her eyes on her sleeve. Sarah knew John would be understanding, but it was Sunday afternoon and she ought to be able to make a meal for her husband without bursting into tears.
She wiped her eyes again and glared at the onion on the cutting mat. She hadn't even touched it yet, but too bad - she was blaming the onion for her crying, regardless.
The buzzer sounded then.
"Are we expecting someone?" John asked.
"I'm not." She peeled the outer layer off the onion, set to work chopping it. She hoped it wasn't Sherlock dropping by to steal John. But, really, he never came by the flat without Molly in tow to act as buffer; he usually just texted, and John went running. Of course he did.
No sooner had Sarah finished wiping her hands dry than she heard conversation in the lounge. Another man, but she didn't recognize voice. Curiosity getting the better of her, she stuck her head out of the kitchen door to see who it was.
A man was standing with his back to her. It was as if John Steed was in her living room, brolly and all.
"Oh, Sarah, you've met Sherlock's brother, haven't you?"
"Yes, of course," she said. "At the christening. Hello." She was struck again by how different to Sherlock he was. He was tall and thin as well, but he was nowhere near as striking as his brother. "Nice to see you again, Mr. Holmes."
"Mycroft, please." He smiled a very small smile.
"Please call me Sarah, then," she replied. Mycroft? Sherlock? Had their parents hated them?
"So, Mycroft," John said, "to what do we owe this very unexpected visit?"
"Unsettled business, for the most part," Mycroft answered. "Shall we have a seat?"
It wasn't until she was at the table that Sarah realized that Mycroft Holmes had offered her a seat in her own home.
"To come directly to the point, Dr. Sawyer - Sarah, - I occupy a minor position in the British government -"
"Very minor," John said, holding his index finger and thumb scant millimeters apart.
"- and, thus, I am privy to certain confidential information."
"Oh, I see," Sarah said. She was bluffing; she didn't see anything but her husband sitting across the table with a death grip on his mug of tea, suddenly looking alarmed. Her mind raced. What in the world -
"Mycroft," John said, a warning note in his voice.
"It seems the anonymous party who came forward as possible match for the child delivered in your surgery has been shown -"
"Mycroft," John said, more firmly.
Mycroft held up his hand, staying John's objection. "As I was saying, was shown not to be the child's natural parent."
"I - oh." Something in Sarah's chest felt as though it was unfolding, something like hope. And yet there was something about Mycroft's actual words that felt odd. 'Natural parent' - what a strange turn of phrase.
Mycroft opened his case, extracted a folder. "Because of this unexpected event, and in light of services your husband has provided The Crown, certain persons have seen fit to expedite your application for the child's adoption."
John's head shot up. "What?"
"We haven't, we didn't -" Sarah tried to explain. "There must be a mistake. We've talked about applying, but -"
Mycroft frowned. "Nonsense. How could your application have been approved if you haven't made one? That would be both impossible and highly inappropriate."
Across the table, John cleared his throat softly and wiped at his eyes with his thumb. "Mycroft - "
"So, wait, what are you saying? Are you saying -" Her voice sounded strange and far away. She couldn't believe this.
"I am saying that, in a fortnight, when the child - Christopher Hamish, yes? - When Christopher is ready to leave the hospital, you'll be allowed to bring him home. Providing you still wish to, of course."
"Of course, of course we do," Sarah said, her heart racing. And then, to be sure, she asked, "We do, don't we, John?"
"Yes, of course we do, of course," John said. "But, but, Mycroft, what about -"
"My nephew needs playmates, John. Your son will do nicely. Now, I must run."
Sarah didn't remember Mycroft leaving, though he obviously had.
Several days later, she found a clipping from a newspaper, a scandal sheet, really, tucked into an unsealed envelop the folder Mycroft had left. An account of the sordid details of some cricket player's infidelities and his wife's fourth trip to rehab.
Something wouldn't let her throw it away.