I was inspired by all the parent!lock showing up on my Tumblr dash today. So then this happened. It was meant to be short, but then it kept growing and became an actual idea. Damn it. I don't need any more goddamn fics going at once. I can barely manage the two I've got going! This isn't good! Now I've got three!
Anyway, keep in mind that this was a whim, and is totally unedited. If you want to correct any mistakes you find, I welcome you to have at it.
When the topic of children had come up, they'd already been together for nearly eight years. John had made some passing comment about the fact that they could never have children, and Sherlock had gone still and quiet. His lips pursed. "Would you want children?" He'd asked.
"Well…" John thought for a second. "I suppose I would, but since it's not really a possibility with you, I'm alright with that. As long as I'm with you." He smiled, and kissed Sherlock slowly. The genius sighed against his partner's mouth, his eyes closing. When John pulled back, he saw Sherlock's brow was furrowed.
"What if it became a possibility? Would you want that?"
John laughed. "What… to raise a child with you?" Sherlock was deadpan, and John's smile faded quickly when he realized Sherlock was being serious. "I… I mean, really? I think you could be a great father. A bit of a bad influence, probably, but I imagine I could keep you from doing too much damage. Overall, I think together we could raise a pretty decent breed of child, don't you think?"
Sherlock smiled stiffly. "You're forty-five now."
"Yes, thank you for reminding me."
"I'm forty, now." He drew a deep breath. "If I'm being honest, we probably won't be chasing criminals across London for the rest of our lives. Your knees are already creaking with age, and it doesn't take a genius to realize you're going to need glasses one of these days." He blinked down at John, who smiled.
"What are you saying, love?" John reached up and stroked Sherlock's pale cheek. Sherlock placed his hand atop John's, and leaned in to the touch. "You aren't actually considering…"
"John," Sherlock interrupted. "I love you. All I want out of life is to make you happy, and to be the best detective in the world. I already am that," he said, and he looked extremely smug, "but I know there is a ways to go before I've done all I can to make you happy. I want to give you all I can. I want to give you love, and a family."
"It would please you."
"I thought you hated children."
"Only ones raised by morons," Sherlock sniffed, looking disgruntled. "We would make better parents than most."
John shook his head, smirking. "You are such a git," he said. "Children are all morons, in their way. They don't know anything. They have to learn everything from the ground up. I don't know if you'd be able to stand that."
"I am more competent than you give me credit for, John," Sherlock breathed. He looked a bit sad. "And I think… that if you wanted a child… I would be only too happy to oblige."
A little over a year later, after a ton of discussion and planning, Harry was pregnant. John spent most nights with her to see that she wasn't taking up drinking again. She moaned and complained about the weight of Sherlock's DNA in her womb, but she did so with a smile.
Once, when Sherlock and John were at her flat for dinner. Over dessert, she whined about how much she'd been eating. "Who am I to complain, though?" she chuckled. "I don't really want children of my own, so I'll probably never experience this otherwise. I'm lucky, really, and honored that you brought me into your family, John."
John put a hand on her stomach, grinning from ear to ear. "I can never thank you enough for this, Harry." Sherlock sat back in his chair, watching the interaction. John waved him over. "Come on, Sherlock. It's yours, too, y'know."
The detective reached over awkwardly. He placed his wide palm on Harry's bulbous stomach, and looked up at her, admiring how much she looked like John. Inside her grew a child—his child. He felt a tiny thump against his finger, and drew back quickly, looking shocked. His lips were parted in surprise, his eyebrows raised. Harry laughed. "Did it kick you?"
"Rude," Sherlock said, but there was no annoyance in his voice. He had never felt his heart so warm, and it frightened him. He blinked, staring at Harry's stomach, when John slipped his palm in his. They looked at each other. Sherlock felt numb with awe. John was still smiling.
"Beautiful, isn't it?"
Sherlock nodded. "Ridiculously."
John leaned forward and pressed his mouth to Sherlock's, to snap him out of his reverie. The detective delved deep with his tongue, tasting every inch of John, and that's when Harry gave a loud clap. "Oy!" she grumbled. "What's wrong with you two? You know I don't want to see that. You're my brother, John. Stop it. That's disgusting."
"You're only bitter because you're still single, Harry," John said with a laugh, pulling away from Sherlock's hungry expression but keeping a firm hold on his hands.
"Yeah, well, it's not so easy to seduce a girl when you're this pregnant," she said bitterly, forking another bite of cake into her mouth. "Believe me, I've tried."
"You tried to have sex with my child inside of you?" Sherlock looked disgusted. John burst into laughter.
"You do know that doesn't hurt the baby, right?" Harry was glaring.
"What about sexually transmitted diseases? You've got to be careful."
Rolling her eyes, Harry said, "Trust me, I'm careful. I haven't got any time to take risks anyway, with the tight leash John's had on me these eight months."
"Damn right," John giggled, putting a hand to Harry's stomach again and gazing at the spot with deep reverence. "I want it all to go perfectly, Harry. I want our child to be safe and healthy. Our child, Sherlock, can you believe it?"
"Not really," he sighed.
"You will. When you hold that little creature in your arms for the first time… then, you will."
John was right, as usual.
Sherlock felt an unusual amount of panic in his chest the evening that John called from Harry's flat to say that she was in labor. The doctors were good enough to let both men into the room, but Sherlock refused to go in. He paced back and forth in the waiting room with his hands deep in his trouser pockets. His life was about to change, and it was all for John. Only for John's happiness would this be worth it, he thought to himself. He and John had spoken about the detective work, and they'd come to the conclusion that they'd still do it, but if John deemed the case too dangerous, they'd solve the case from home, and let Lestrade do the legwork. They would no longer be risking their lives every day, because now there was another life to think of. He and John, after this day, would be responsible for a tiny, fragile life.
When John emerged from the private room where Harry has been holed up for the last seven hours, Sherlock stopped his pacing. He stared at John's dazed expression, feeling his heart pound against his ribs. "Well?"
John was breathing heavily. He approached Sherlock looking totally shaken. Sherlock waited with bated breath. A second later, John threw his arms around Sherlock's neck, pulling him into a bone-crushing hug. "We have a son, Sherlock," he cried in a trembling tone. "We have a real live son. He's got all his fingers and toes, and a tiny nose and oh god, Sherlock, he's real."
Sherlock clutched John tight as though he'd die if he ever let go.
"Thank you," John choked out. "Thank you, Sherlock. Thank you for giving me this. Thank you for all the sacrifices you're making for this family to be possible. I love you."
"I love you," Sherlock rasped. He felt numb. "Can I see him?"
John pulled away, and Sherlock felt cold without his warm body in his arms. John took Sherlock by the hand, not remarking on his partner's sweaty palms, and led him to the room.
The room was softly buzzing with nurses, and Harry was still lying in the bed. She looked happy, but a little sad at the same time.
Sherlock followed her gaze, and saw the little open plastic incubator. A small arm was waving over the edge, and a faint cry could be heard over the rest of the room's noise. John made his way over, but Sherlock hung back, staring as though he was seeing things.
"He doesn't bite, y'know. At least, not yet. Not until you teach him to." John smiled widely down at the little creature in the box, and Sherlock stared as a tiny hand partially closed around John's pinky. His heart leapt. He stepped forward.
The baby had his eyes closed. His mouth was wide, emitting a high whine. His little legs were kicking at the air as much as they could. He did have a tiny nose, indeed. Buttonish, like John's. He had a low brow, and a dark tuft of hair on the top of his head, like Sherlock.
Sherlock's head was reeling. He felt faint as he reached out instinctively to touch the little life in front of him, and when it clasped a delicate hand around his pointer, Sherlock actually gasped. His heart flooded. His eyes prickled.
"You big sap," John joked. "Look at him. Just look at him."
"Isn't he? I think he looks like you."
"He doesn't look like anything, John. He's pink and wrinkled."
"Look at that brow, though."
One tiny pair of eyes opened. John's smile was so wide, it looked painful. Sherlock's heart seemed to settle somewhere in his throat.
"Those are your eyes, Sherlock. You can't even deny that. I doubt they'll fade. They're so bright. Like yours."
Sherlock could not speak. He could not breathe. He could not do anything but stare at the flawless form in front of him; a tiny, impressionable human being to be molded and grown into something unstoppable. This was the very definition of potential. Life. That was it.
He felt lips on his cheek, and a warm arm around his waist.
"Shall I text Mycroft, Sherlock? D'you think he wants to come see him?"
"Mm," Sherlock grunted. He was transfixed. Awed. Broken. Remade.
"Excuse me," came a voice. Sherlock did not look up. "I'm going to have to move him, now."
"No," Sherlock said firmly.
"You can see him again very soon, but we need to run all the tests and take his footprint."
"No," Sherlock said again, finally looking up. "Later." His glare was so fierce, the poor man could not argue. "Go back to your three cats you've got at home and leave us be. I need to be with my son."
John stepped in immediately, apologizing profusely and looking increasingly awkward. Harry was chuckling weakly to herself in the bed, enjoying the pudding and painkillers they'd given her. "Jesus, Sherlock," John hissed. "There are certain procedures after a birth. You've got to let the doctors do what they do."
"He's ours, John. They can't make us leave him." The crying suddenly grew louder, and Sherlock's fiery disposition crumbled immediately. "What's wrong with him? Does he need to eat?" He glanced uncertainly at Harry, who flung up her hands defensively.
"No, no, no," she said. "I'm not breastfeeding him. That's all you, boys."
Sherlock turned on the heat again, and snarled at the doctor. "My son needs food. Now."
"We—" He gulped, fidgeting with his latex gloves. "We've got some, er—some formula right over there, on the table beside you."
Sherlock shot John a clear glare, and John snatched up the bottle of formula. John checked that it was warm while Sherlock slipped his enormous hands under the baby's fragile body, and gently lifted. The creature squirmed in his arms as he brought him close to his face.
John laughed blissfully. "Look at that," he said softly. "Amazing."
"See that, boy," Sherlock whispered to the wriggling baby. "You've already got your daddy praising you. You'll learn to like that as much as I do."
The baby cried out, blinked, and tried to grab Sherlock's chin. Sherlock lowered his head, and the tiny hands clawed lightly at the chiseled jaw. John squeezed Sherlock's shoulder.
"Beautiful," John sighed, touching the baby's cheek with the back of one finger.
"Go on," Sherlock said quietly. "Feed him." John pressed the bottle to the tiny whining mouth, and it closed around the nipple instantly. John and Sherlock both giggled at the little suckling noises the child made. "He is beautiful, isn't he." It wasn't a question.
"Gorgeous. Look at him! He's eating. He's so human. It's unreal."
"Quite an observation, John. Thank you for being painfully obvious."
"Oh shut it. He's amazing, and you know it."
"Yes," Sherlock said, taking in every inch of his child in his arms. "He definitely is. My god."
Nothing could be deduced from something so new. The baby had not been touched by the world yet. He had no experience and no damage that Sherlock could read into. He was a blank page for Sherlock and John to write upon. He was…
"He needs a name," John said, interrupting Sherlock's obsessed thoughts.
"I thought we'd already decided."
"Oh. I didn't think you were serious."
"Why wouldn't I be serious? Hamish is a great name. Even you suggested it once, a long time ago."
"As a joke, Sherlock. I wasn't…"
"Hamish. Is that you, child? Are you Hamish?" Sherlock pressed his nose to the baby's cheek, inhaling deeply. The tiny being blinked at him, but otherwise did not react. He was too intent on the bottle in his mouth to notice much else. "He is so small," Sherlock breathed, and John was sure it was mostly to himself.
John observed his partner. His eyes were glowing. His mouth was agape. His face was soft, the way it got when they were alone in bed together and, in a state of bliss, he'd gaze at John as though he were precious, as though he were a particularly exciting clue. John's heart felt light with pleasure at the sight. This was something to behold: Sherlock Holmes loved something that was not John or work.
"A gem," Sherlock said on an exhale. "A rare and precious gem, isn't he? So small. So simple." Suddenly he looked up at John with excitement dancing in his eyes. "Can you imagine the mind he'll have?" Sherlock looked downright devious. "Think of all the things we'll teach him. All he'll learn from us. All we'll do together."
"Alright, alright," John cooed. "Take it easy there, papa."
"Papa?" Sherlock asked. "Is that me?"
"Father. Papa. And I'll be dad. Daddy."
"I like it. Father." Sherlock looked back down at the feeding baby in his grasp.
Harry called out from behind them, suddenly. "Hey, Sherlock," she said. "Let John have a turn. Then I want some love, too. I've gotta start spoiling my nephew with love right away! Hamish, was it? You cheesy buggers."
John took Hamish from Sherlock, who looked absurdly devastated to let the baby go. When Sherlock took the bottle to hold it in to the child's lips, John put a hand on Sherlock's neck to soothe him. "I know you love him, Sherlock," he whispered under his breath, "but you've got all the time in the world to be with him. You can't claim him all for yourself. He's our child, and he's also got an extended family. We've got friends who are gonna want to hold him, too. You're going to have to get used to letting him go.
There were tears in Sherlock's eyes—actual pearly tears shining in his flawless, colorless eyes. "I don't want to," Sherlock said. "He's the perfect specimen. The perfect example of life, John."
John felt his heart expand. There was a great fluttering in the pit of his stomach at Sherlock's words. It was so beautiful. The baby in his arms was flailing, trying to push Sherlock's hand away. Sherlock pulled the bottle away, and Hamish gurgled happily. Both men preened. "I know, Sherlock. I know." Sherlock nuzzled into John's touch at his neck, gazing down at the small thing now licking his lips. "I love you, gorgeous," John told Sherlock. "When we take him home, I swear, you'll be able to hold him close as much as you need to, for as long as you like."
Sherlock nodded, swallowing hard. "Alright. Yes. Okay." He backed away, looking a little shaken.
John walked over to Harry, and handed Hamish over. Harry looked delighted.
"Hello!" she cooed, bouncing him slightly in her arms. "Hello baby Hamish! Aren't you precious!" Sherlock was rolling his eyes behind John. Harry suddenly laughed to herself. "I gave birth to my nephew," she said. "Isn't that funny?" He wrinkled her nose down at the baby. "You are so cute," she said. "You look so much like Sherlock. But you've definitely got that nose me and John share. I bet you'll smile like me and John, too. Look at those lips. Definitely not Sherlock's lips."
"If he's got John's smile, then he'll be handsome," Sherlock growled. He looked like he was itching to hold Hamish again.
John looked at Harry with raised eyebrows, then glanced at the doctor, who was still looking frightened. "Alright. Go on," he said. "Do whatever it is."
Sherlock sunk into a chair and breathed deeply, his head in his hands, trying not to cry. John joined him a moment later, his hand tracing light circles on Sherlock's back. Both men were stifling great sobs of unspeakable joy.
"It's easy, Sherlock."
"I'm going to hurt him."
"You won't. He's not made of glass."
"He might as well be. His bones are still soft. His skull is still taking its shape. He's only tissue, and that's breakable. We're all breakable, and Hamish is more so."
"I've done it, and I haven't broken him yet. So can you."
"You've got a surgeon's hands."
"And you've a scientist's. You dissect things all the time. This is nothing like that."
"Can't you just do it?"
"You need to learn."
"I don't want to."
John shoved the nappy into Sherlock's hands. "Come on. Do it."
Sherlock blinked down at the struggling creature on the table. Hamish was naked and giggling, playing with his toes. Sherlock loved those toes. They were absurdly small. Sometimes he'd touch them, just to remind himself that they were really human feet on this tiny little person, because sometimes he'd forget that this was not a new species, but really a tiny human being.
"It's been a week, Sherlock. At some point, you're going to have to change him while I'm at surgery." Sherlock sighed.
"I've avoided it thus far. Why can't it just be your job?"
"Because you're his father. When you're someone's parent you've got to get intimate with them. It's how you bond. It's a gross job, but one day you'll get to say to him, 'Hamish, don't be fresh. I wiped your bum as a baby, and you owe me some respect.' Y'know? It'll be worth it. Look at how sweet he is. He depends on you. You love him, don't you?"
"So much," Sherlock sighed with a dreamy smile. It was so uncharacteristic; it made John shake his head in amusement.
"Then clean his arse, you dick." John sat back, his arms crossed, waiting.
Sherlock glared, then fixed his attention on the wipe. He cleaned Hamish's bottom with a disgruntled expression. Hamish looked bored, and annoyed. It was unbelievably similar to some of the faces Sherlock made so often. John smiled as Sherlock finished, watching his partner wrap the clean nappy around Hamish's tiny waist. He struggled with folding it correctly, and John held back a laugh as he watched Sherlock redo it four times. He fastened it messily, and sat back, looking proud.
"Y'know, for such a genius to struggle with folding a nappy… it's really laughable."
"Look, Sherlock, you're going to have to do a lot that's new to you now that you're a father." John looked sympathetic when Sherlock glanced up at him. "You're gonna have to do a lot of stuff you don't want to do. Scold for bad behavior, even if you think it's smart behavior." Sherlock raised his eyebrows. "Praise for good behavior even if you think it's foolish or irrelevant." John stared pointedly at him. "I know you've got some questionable morals sometimes, but things like being mean, kicking other kids, stealing… that stuff's not okay. I want him to be a good person, while still being as clever as you."
"Are you saying I'm not a good person?" Sherlock bristled.
John reached out for his hand, and Hamish squealed. "Oh, Sherlock, no. That's not…" He took a breath. "You're one of the best people I know. You do, however, have…" He shrugged. "A little…I mean… Sherlock, we've been together nearly nine years, and I've known and loved you far longer than that. You must know you've got some… social problems."
Sherlock sighed dramatically, absent mindedly stroking Hamish's round stomach. "You were quite aware that I was a high-functioning sociopath when you made the moronic decision to marry me, and you know it."
"No matter how much you call yourself a sociopath, I'll never believe you." John's expression went soft. "You love with such intensity, and you're such a good man… there's no way you're really a sociopath." He shook his head. "Just no way."
Before Sherlock could say another word, John leaned across the table and kissed him. Those heart-shaped lips were soft and perfect. Sherlock deepened the kiss with a groan of need. He wanted John again. It had been over a week since last they'd touched intimately, and he needed it. Badly. "John," he sighed into his lover's mouth, and John whimpered in return. "I love you."
"I love you, too, Sherlock," John breathed. There was lust in his eyes.
Hamish let out a shriek of happiness, and they leapt apart. "Aw, Hamish," John sighed. "Your daddies love each other. You're very lucky." John winked up at Sherlock, who sighed.
"Let's put him down for a nap," Sherlock suggested. "People do that, don't they? When they want to be alone, and they've got children to think of? That's what baby monitors are for. We can go to the sofa while he sleeps. You can do that thing you like. I miss that. I miss you." Sherlock glanced John up and down as though he's delectable.
"Sure," John said quietly, his eyes sparkling with unsatisfied lust. "It's only been a little over a week, but it does feel like it's been a while. Let's."
Sherlock grinned. "Good."
Hamish slept without a peep.