A/n: Ok, so this has been a long time coming. And I want to apologize to any Sherlockians who think the idea of domesticity is just too strange for Sherlock. But I think that's why I like it; there's just something so interesting about playing with the idea of what Sherlock would do if he was forced to feel something 'sentiment'-related. So, if this is not your cup of tea, or too OOC or anything, then so be it. But those of you who find this idea intriguing like I do, I hope you enjoy. Also, in my story-verse, 'Reichenbach Falls' has not happened; it would've just been too complicated to work into this piece.
Disclaimer: I do not own Benedict. I will be in a corner cursing at the universe for not allowing me to have him.
"Intelligence has nothing to do with years lived; rather, it correlates to the amount of time one spends truly paying attention."
"I hope you now that the second Annalie walks into that crime scene, she's going to run away from you and try to solve the case before you do, right?"
The consulting detective-rights patented- frowned in two-part irritation; the first part being that he knew she was right and he was annoyed at himself for even agreeing to this and the second part being that even after eight years knowing her, Irene could still make him feel like a child sometimes.
He was not used to feeling much of anything in the 'sentiment' department, besides anger and excitement regarding cases of course.
However, not being able to handle some of these emotions-still- did not stop him from having them. He learned years ago that when the harder he fought his 'sentiment;-he still gagged a little at the word-for the Woman, the more his head started to hurt.
Six years ago, some months after he'd saved her from Karachi, he'd finally just gave up trying to stay the emotionless sociopath. He'd looked down at the smirk she wore as she stood at his door that night, and he'd sighed in defeat. It took him a while not to hate that.
Of course, he was still a sociopath-it's not really a condition one can grow out of- but he had learned how to be...not more in touch with his emotions per se, but more accepting of the fact that he was actually human, and inevitably, feelings would happen. Whether he wanted them to or was prepared for them to or not.
Just then, a small girl appeared at the top of the stairs, smirking excitedly-something she'd inherited from her mother- when she saw her parents waiting at the doorway to 221B Baker Street. (John had moved in with Mary after they'd gotten married; the couple now resides in a nice, posh little flat a couple streets over from Baker Street. And yes, Ms. Hudson still lives upstairs.)
The girl rushed down the stairs, her dark curls bouncing on her shoulders as she rushed out the doorway.
The ex-dominatrix- she works as a fairly successful singer now, but she still uses her old talents sometimes…when Sherlock has done something particularly psychopathic to upset her- grabbed the five year old girl by her collar, "Not so fast, Annie. Now, we're letting you come because you promised you would behave. You know not to touch the evidence or call me 'Irene', right?"
They had explained to the girl a while ago that according to the government, her mother was dead. Being the absurdly bright girl she is, she actually understood what that implied-that she couldn't give out her mother's name on school papers or let it slip to anyone.
Annalie rolled her eyes, a move that made her look disturbingly like her father, and nodded impatiently, "Yes, Mom, I know. You're dead and nobody can know who you really are and I'm not allowed to contaminate evidence because it's 'illegal' for me to even be there in the first place. Are we leaving now?"
The little girl stared up at the two adults before her , her eyes blue eyes glowing with irritation and impatience. Irene sighed, nodding; she had hoped that her daughter would turn out more like her, but the biggest thing Annie inherited from her mother was the smirk.
Sherlock chuckled as the three of them got into the car. It was rather amusing, he noted, to see the effect your own personality has own others when it's not actually you causing the effect.
He could deny it all he wanted, but the man kind of, sort of liked the little girl.
Irene glanced over at the sound of his laughter, cutting her eyes to him in a sharp glare, but it soon softened when she realized Sherlock was looking at Annie, not her.
She shook her head , I would've never expected him to adore her.
"You called in the freak again?" Sergeant Donovan immediately turned towards Lestrade, disbelief and disgust clear in her tone and on her face.
Irene crinkled her nose, That look of annoyance really does not suit her face…she laughed at her own thoughts as she walked in behind him.
Lestrade sighed, ignoring her and turning to the 'freak', "We need him, Donovan," he called over his shoulder with a weary look on his face, "Sherlock, the body is-"
The DI trailed off as his expression morphed into one of bewilderment and surprise; he'd spotted the two females coming in behind Sherlock, "What…who are they? Sherlock, you have to stop bringing strangers onto these cases, I-"
Sherlock snorted a laugh as he walked by Lestrade, offering no response.
Irene rolled her eyes, "Sorry, I'm sure you've realized by now that he finds amusement in strange places. Don't worry, we won't interfere. I'm just here to watch her," she nodded down at the little girl who was standing in front of the Woman.
Lestrade's brow pinched as he looked at the beautiful woman before him, then turned around to watch Sherlock walking around the crime scene, "Sherlock."
Sherlock was busy leaning over the dead man's body, picking up his sleeves, checking for something that would no doubt have flown over the other operatives' heads.
He kept his eyes trained on his work, but he raised his voice just enough for Lestrade to his reply of, "Yes?"
"Not to be rude or anything," he started in an agitated tone that he was trying to make sound polite for the sake of the ladies looking at him, "But, just who have you brought with you?"
The little girl in question, who had been staring at the scene, seeming to take it all in, suddenly grew restless and pulled her hand away from her mother's, running to the room Sherlock was in with the body.
Sherlock looked up for a second at the sound of the girl's footsteps. His eyes betrayed interest as he looked at her, slightly curious and just a tad amused, before he flicked his eyes back up to the DI, "Give us five minutes."
Lestrade breathed a laugh in disbelief, well, not disbelief, it wasn't unlike Sherlock to pull something like this, but still, "I don't even know who they….Ok, fine, since every time you bring someone on the cases, it seems to help, I'll humor you. Five minutes."
By that time, the woman had walked into the house as well, leaning against the door-frame with a hard glint of amusement and control in her eyes, and the little girl was now crouching on the ground next to the consulting detective.
Well, that's a strange sight, Lestrade shook his head as the thought flew through his mind, Sherlock next to a kid.
Irene noticed his expression and held back a laugh, If he thinks just the sight is strange, wait until he finds out who she is…
"We'll only need three," the child piped up, in an alarmingly confident voice. Her tone was clear, not garbled, and her grammar was perfect. Most children don't sound like that until they're at least ten.
Lestrade only blinked in shock.
Donovan and Anderson were not so silent.
"You're letting a KID in on this now? Where's the line, sir?" Anderson was appalled. Sherlock he forced himself to tolerated because he did, at times, he grudgingly admitted, help out with the cases. But a little girl being allowed on a crime scene? He was pretty sure that was illegal.
"Seriously, she's not even allowed to be behind the yellow tape! It's a child, Detective Inspector!"
"She," Sherlock corrected sharply, speaking for the first time in four minutes, "She's a she. Not an 'it'."
Donovan almost stepped back at the defensive edge in 'the freak's eyes; his gaze seemed steelier than usual somehow as he spoke.
"Sorry," Donovan spoke hesitantly, her eyebrows pushed together in a 'What the hell?' type of expression.
Anderson rolled his eyes.
Lestrade shook his head, "Don't you think I know all of that? But she's already here, she's seen all the evidence already and it doesn't seem to be bothering her. I doubt she would leave if we told her to and frankly when was the last time you saw Sherlock let someone help him?" he raised an eyebrow at his officers, effectively silencing them. He was right; Sherlock never let anyone, besides John, help.
"It's not a murder," the girl spoke up again and upon hearing her words, all eyes turned towards her, even Sherlock's. He'd become distracted a little and had forgotten to tell his findings.
Hmm, he thought, becoming more entertained by this the longer he looked at her and realized she'd figured it out, Turns out she's useful after all.
"What?" Lestrade looked down at her, breaking the shocked silence.
"Sorry, Sweetie," Donovan looked at the little girl, feeling sorry for her on instinct, "But I'm afraid you're wrong; we found signs of violence on the victim's body. It was a murder."
The little girl rolled her eyes automatically in response and Donovan took a step back in shock as she noticed the similarity, "Yes," she spoke slowly, as if explain something simple, "But they're too deliberate. No murderer would slow down enough to deliberately make clean, even knife cuts on his victim. Also, the way she's laying…"
Sherlock's mouth quirked up into a smirk, some might even call it a proud smile, "She's right you know. I noticed it too."
The little girl made a displeased groan, purposefully loud, "Sherlock, please. You said I could explain this one."
Irene chuckled at the fact that even when at home, she sometimes preferred to use his name instead of 'Daddy'. She said 'Daddy' sounded too cheesy and she didn't understand why she couldn't just use names with her parents like she did everybody else. She loved them of course, but she didn't distinguish that social concept of saying 'Mamma and Daddy' like others kids do.
She truly is his daughter.
Plus, she liked his name; she liked how odd it sounded coming out of her mouth. It used to make her giggle when she was a baby.
Lestrade couldn't stop blinking. Anderson was staring at the scene unfolding like he was watching a elephant dance. Donovan was a little disturbed by how..un-child-like this child was and she was starting to get a nagging feeling that she wasn't putting something obvious together…
Sherlock sighed, sounding disappointed; they both loved being the one to solve the puzzle.
"Be fair, dear, she won this one fair and square."
Sherlock rolled his eyes, nodding, "Yes, I know. Go ahead, Annalie."
Annie hid her smirk at the sound of her full name; he only calls me that when he's displeased, normally, he just calls me Child or Fellow-Sociopath, "Thanks," she grinned, "Anyway, as I was saying, if she had been pushed over violently by someone, she would've put her hands out to catch her fall, but her hands are by her sides. It's unnatural; it looks like how she would lay down to sleep, way too neat and purposeful. No, she did this on her own. This was a suicide….and before you mention it, I did notice the signs of struggle, thank you very much, and I already told you-they were deliberate. She wanted to make it look like she'd been murdered."
The three officers in the room blinked simultaneously. They had never in their lives seen anyone deduce a case like that besides Sherlock. They had also never seen Sherlock let anybody take his glory. Who IS this kid? Was the basic thought running through all of their heads.
"But why would she do that?" Lestrade was the only one with enough sense left to speak.
Irene chose now to add to the conversation, speaking casually and somehow seeming more elegant for it, "Because she was ashamed of course. Look at what she's wearing; no doubt she comes from a rich, high-class family. And am I the only one that saw the cross necklace around her neck? Christians have a very negative view of suicide."
Sherlock said nothing, only nodding, keeping his eyes on the ground as he fought a smirk.
Annie jumped up then, running towards Irene, "That was a good catch, Mum," she grinned, showing all her teeth. Irene winked, mostly to thank the girl for not using her real name.
Sherlock stood, brushing the dust off his trousers as he turned his back and walked towards the two ladies at the door with three Scotland Yard officers staring wholes into the back of his head, their mouths hanging open.
"Run a blood test, Lestrade. I'm sure you'll l find some trace of poison or narcotics. The girl really was clever, but she had no way of knowing that three of us would be the ones investigating."
"Wait, hang on, why should we trust this theory of yours?" Anderson interrupted angrily.
Annie raised an eyebrow from her place in Irene's arms, "Um, because he's solved over eighty of your cases that you yourself couldn't solve?"
Lestrade restrained at laugh at the look on Anderson's face; he was just insulted by a little girl, who in all likelihood, was smarter than him, "Wait," he stared at the odd three, "How did you know how many cases he's had with us? Who are you two? I let you into my case after all; you owe me an explanation of some sort."
Irene laughed, a dark rich sound, "Detective Inspector, use your brain. It's really rather obvious."
Lestrade frowned at the dig and turned to Sherlock, "I will withhold your pay if you don't tell me who they are, or better yet, I'll send it to them?"
Irene chuckled at the uselessness of that; the money would go to the same address either way.
Sherlock sighed, rolling his eyes as if he was no longer interested in this conversation now that the case was solved, "That's my wife. That's my daughter. Can I go now?" he turned his back on the shocked faces and began to walk out of the house, "Come, Child, I'm not really sure, but I think you're supposed to be in bed by now."
Donovan was horrified; how on Earth had the universe let that freak pro-create?
Anderson couldn't pick his jaw up off the floor or regain the pride he lost at being bested by a five year old. He was speechless.
Lestrade shook his head in bemusement; that damn man was a mystery in every sense of the word. Just when you think you know who he is, he does something like this. He knew it was an inappropriate reaction, but he kind of wanted to smile.
He laughed as the three of them walked away back to their car.
"Oh, and by the way, when John gets here, tell him Annie's already solved the case and for him to just come back to Baker Street. Ms. Hudson seems to miss him for some reason," Sherlock called as he got into the car, frowning as he tried to understand Ms. Hudson and her penchant to have so much feeling for everyone.
Lestrade nodded, not sure why he was still listening to the man. Maybe next time, I'll just call the little girl in…she seems easier to deal with than her father. Father! He laughed at the ridiculousness of it all.
Stranger things had yet to happen.