Apologies for bombarding you all with stories after months of silence! Heres another rather ridiculous story about our detective and doctor, not to mention a wee addition to 221B.

Please understand that I have no claim to ownership of any of these marvellous characters, just the storyline!

The Watson, The Holmes and The Baby

It was a quiet day in Baker Street. Sherlock stood with his back to the familiar living room, his most precious possession held with a delicate and slender hand, firmly wedged between his prominent jaw and sharp shoulder. The other hand held the horse-hair bow as he dramatically continued to play his violin.

The downstairs door slamming and a small cry from below the consulting detectives' feet stopped him in his tracks. He turned slowly round, facing the open doorway to their living room expectantly. Eyebrow already poised in a questioning manner.

John Watson walked predicatively through the doorway, cooing embarrassingly at a wriggling bundle in his arms.

"What" Sherlock started with a look of disgust, bringing his bow up to point accusingly at the bundle of wriggling blankets "is that?"

John looked up with a look of disbelief written on his homely features.

Breaking the silence in the room; a confirming gurgle emanated from John's parcel.

"It's a baby, Sherlock" John stated dully.

"It's alive" Sherlock stated, his stature frozen and alien-like as his eyebrow raised yet higher.

"Of course it's alive, Sherlock. It's a baby" John said as if speaking to a mentally stunted patient.

"Why do you have a Baby?" Sherlock asked after a moment's silence.

"It's Sarah's. She asked if we could look after her for a few days whilst she goes to hospital to have her twins" John explained, turning his attention back to the child.

"We are not suitable for that task" Sherlock said defiantly.

"I have the cot and pen in the surgery, I have to go back and get them. Could you -?" John asked, realising his problem.

"Certainly not" Sherlock said abruptly, turning away toward the window once more.

"Do you have a case?" John asked curiously.

"No" Sherlock replied instantly.

"Well then, you've got the time" John said determinedly.

"No" Sherlock repeated immediately.

"Sherlock, please" the doctor pleaded. "I need your help"

Sherlock sighed and looked from left to right, dropping his violin from its shelved position under his chin but holding it to his side instead.

"You won't have to do anything; she is as good as gold; and that's not easy for a ten month old child, if you could just hold her for me I'll be back before you know it" John said chirpily.

Sherlock sighed and placed his violin on the desk at the window. Looking dubious, Sherlock stood to attention, his fists by his sides.

"It's probably easier if you…sit down" John said tentatively, hearing his ward gurgle and sing as she reached up to tangle a hand in his woollen jumper.

Sherlock walked toward John's armchair and sat down, his back razor straight, his body all angles. He frowned and retracted at the whining cry that started as John dislodged the child from the comfort of his arms.

"Shh, it's ok, it's ok, this is Sherlock. I know he's scary looking, but he will look after you until Uncle John is back, ok?" The soldier cooed, Sherlock's lip curled in disgust at this display but he raised his arms none the less to relieve John of his burden.

"Put your hands either side, that's it, under her arms" John directed as Sherlock lifted her up and kept his arms straight. The baby stopped crying immediately.

The doctor laughed "Someone's got the knack" he said watching with amusement as Sherlock and baby stared at each other.

"Sherlock let her sit on your lap. You can't say that looks comfortable, can you?" John asked gently, guiding the little one to lean against the taller mans' stomach.

"John" Sherlock said, turning to look at the doctor. "Don't be long" he said pleadingly.

John smiled "Don't worry. Need I say no fire, no chemicals and no explosions?" he begged "The flat is not baby proofed. I will do that later"

And with that, Sherlock and baby were alone.

The little girl was quiet as she tilted her head back to look up at Sherlock in apparent awe.

"Hello" the detective stated dully. After receiving no reply, the tall man turned the baby round to get a better look at her.

"What would Sarah call her first born?" Sherlock murmured as he turned the young ones' head this way and that, studying her profile, her light dusting of blonde hair and her rather gorgeous dark eyes.

"Female, ten months and…three days old, only just learned to crawl judging on the state of those brown knees" Sherlock deduced aloud, receiving a shy smile for his efforts. "Unusually happy; either you have just been fed or you have just slept. Can't imagine you would have that information to hand" he continued, looking down at the child with a raised eyebrow.

There was a knock at the door and a shout out from Mrs Hudson. "Sherlock! Your doorbell isn't working again"

"Answer it, Mrs Hudson!" Sherlock shouted; realising too late that this was a bad idea as the little sweet baby girl jumped at the sudden sound and Sherlock watched the transformation in horror as she started to cry loudly.

"Oh, oh, oh…god" Sherlock said wanting nothing more than to drop the child and run, he tentatively placed two hands under her arms once more and picked her up like he had before when he took her from John. Immediately, she stopped and stared at Sherlock in surprise.

"Ahh, that's good. A mute button has been identified" the consulting detective whispered with a relieved expression. He placed her back on his lap and let her lean back onto his stomach.

"Good god" Came a familiar English drawl from the doorway to the living room.

Sherlock closed his eyes briefly in disbelief that he had been caught in such a situation.

"It's not mine" Sherlock murmured, not turning round.

Mycroft started to laugh. "Not for one second did I believe it was, dear brother" he said as he walked toward the leather armchair and sat down. "What is her name?" he asked, looking at the little one in expectation.

"I don't know" Sherlock stated, looking down at her. "I was just trying to deduce it"

Mycroft smiled. "Sarah's first born?" he asked quietly.

Sherlock nodded.

"You will need to make this flat safe, Sherlock. No chemicals within her reach and all that" Mycroft said, scrunching his face up.

"John will do the necessary" Sherlock dismissed.

"Her stare is quiet unnerving" Mycroft stated, meeting the young girl's gaze.

"Are you intimated by a baby?" Sherlock huffed out a laugh.

"Aren't you?" Mycroft replied abruptly.

"'Terrified' would be a better term" Sherlock replied, meeting his brother's small smirk with one of his own.

There was a far away thud as the front door to the flat closed sharply and the sound of an out-of-breath doctor climbing the stairs filled the otherwise quiet flat.

"My god, it's like three men and a baby" John panted with his trademark smile; his arms clutching at many items of folded equipment.

"Yes, well, I think I will leave you to it, this case can wait" Mycroft said hurriedly as he stood and nodded toward his brother. "Keep these two out of trouble ma'am" Mycroft joked as he bent over to look intently at the little girl.

John smiled wider as he started to unfold the play pen. Sherlock smirked at his brother before looking sharply down at the child as the Government swept hastily away.

"Something wrong?" John asked as he caught sight of Sherlock's expression.

"My hand" Sherlock muttered as he watched the young girl grasp it with two tiny, well formed fists.

John smiled as he watched the little girl inspect the hand of the genius. "Would you like to feed her?" he asked.

"No, John. I want you to take it away. I need to put away my experiments." Sherlock said sharply, the young girl looking up abruptly to frown at the noise.

"Her name is Astrix" John said walking over and kneeling between the consultant detective's legs to tickle the child.

Sherlock watched on in mild interest as the strong and brave Army doctor was reduced to playing peek-a-boo with a ten month old child and making her giggle successfully.

"Go on, here, I'll get the bottle, and you can feed her whilst I do the rest, please?" John asked, looking up at Sherlock with those damn wide and pleading eyes.

"Fine. But then I'm going to give you her whilst I get on with more important things" Sherlock said sulkily.

"Oh, Sherlock has important things to do, Astrix, we mustn't get in the way of uncle Sherlock and his important things!" John teased, prodding the child with a gentle finger.

"John, don't call me that" Sherlock snapped, folding his arms above Astrixs' head.

"Relax, she wont remember what you are called, or me" John said as he walked toward the baby backpack and looked for the bottle and formula.

Astrix then began to move, getting to her knees on Sherlock's thigh, she turned toward the brunette man and used her little arms to pull herself shakily to her feet, her eyes reaching level with the detective's chin.

Sherlock watched interestedly as the little girl reached out and took hold of his nose.

Much to the doctor's surprise and the detectives' himself, Sherlock began to laugh. Astrix let out a few excited breaths before wobbling slightly and falling on her bottom on Sherlock's left thigh.

"Oof" the detective huffed at the sudden weight change.

"Looks like someone can melt that cold shell after all" John mused playfully as he shook the milk bottle.

Leaning on the back of the armchair above Sherlock, John passed him the bottle and helped the detective to position Astrix comfortably.

Sherlock was fascinated by the process of feeding the new addition to 221B, his hawk like eyes catalogued every movement the young one performed, alert for any signs of distress.

John moved around the room quickly, placing the cot in the corner, the play pen next to the couch and tidying the experiments and paperwork safely away. He stood in the corner once he had finished; his hands on his hips as he proudly surveyed the baby-safe area. The flat actually looked more tidy than it ever had.

Sherlock continued to hold Astrix through John's endeavours, the two watched John interestedly as the soldier moved quickly and efficiently. However, as soon as Sherlock's sharp senses picked up a fowl smell coming from the baby, he stood quickly and held the child out for John to take.

So it was for the next few days; Sherlock would do the feeding and shushing, whilst John did the nappy changing, bathing, playtime and bedtimes.

Mrs Hudson would coo over the little one and spoil her with toys from the shops almost on a daily basis.

Scotland Yard's Greg Lestrade had indeed been round for mainly his own entertainment, but Sherlock made sure to keep his distance from John and Astrix on those occasions, focussing solely on the case Greg had brought.

Sherlock stood in the centre of the living room on the fourth night of babysitting. He was looking intently at the photographs lining their wallpapered wall and had lost track of time as per usual. They had been given a relatively small case, but a case was a case after all. He studied each photograph quietly, trying to piece the puzzle back together until there was a frustrated cry from far away.

The detective snapped his head in the direction of the cot, but much to his surprise, the cry was not from sleeping Astrix.

Sherlock had noted with amusement that John had looked a little worse for wear that morning. Getting up at 2am for a nightly feed and getting up again at 5am for playtime was obviously not doing the soldier any good as sleep deprivation had started to take its toll.

Sherlock listened for a second cry but did not hear one immediately, going back to his work, Sherlock only had to wait ten minutes before the soldier was shouting out at his nightmares.

Instantaneously, Astrix woke and started to cry. A little lost as to how to proceed; Sherlock picked up Astrix – soothing her instantly - before continuing up the set of stairs to John's bedroom.

"John" Sherlock whispered, sitting on the edge of his bed and putting Astrix on his shoulder as she returned to her sleeping state. "John, wake up" Sherlock said gently, shaking the soldier out of his slumber.

John awoke with a jolt, breathing harshly as sweat dripped from his brow.

"Shh, it's ok" Sherlock whispered, returning his hand to the back of Astrixs' sleeping head.

John smiled immediately at the sight before him and instantly calmed from his nightmare.

Watching Sherlock settle a baby was by far the most attractive thing he had ever seen. The doctor paused, and by the sounds of it, his heart did too. 'Attractive'? Did he really just think that?

Sherlock looked at the doctor with mild concern. "Are you ok?" He asked gently as to not wake the baby again.

John nodded a little numbly before moving the duvet aside and getting out of bed.

Sherlock looked toward him questioningly and removed a hand from Astrixs' head to place it gently on John's arm.

"I'll feed her, you sleep" Sherlock said quietly.

John stared up at his flatmate in surprise for a minute before lying back down without a word.

Sherlock smiled slightly at the obedience of the soldier before getting up from the bed and walking back toward the living room to feed Astrix and get back to his photographs.

It was 9am when John awoke the next day, he wrapped his dressing gown around him and tip-toed down the steps into the living area. What the soldier saw made his heart melt and his chest swell. There on their old and tattered brown leather couch, lay a sleeping Sherlock and on his stomach, a sleeping Astrix.

John leaned against the doorway and watched the two breathe gently.

The soldier noted the devastation of the rest of the room as the furniture had been moved and the small toy selection they had was widely distributed across the floorboards, the TV was on, playing some children's' programme quietly as the two slept.

John smiled widely at the entire scene before walking through to the bathroom to get ready for the day.

Sherlock was just coming to, when he realised there was a heavy weight upon his stomach. Looking down he smiled lightly at the sleeping baby. He had finally gotten her to sleep, sleeping himself in the process. He would never admit it, but he had actually enjoyed himself immensely. Crawling about the floorboards and discovering new things with Astrix was such a…normal thing to do, and he had enjoyed it, every second of it.

By the time John had washed and dressed, Sherlock was sitting at his microscope, baby Astrix in his lap playing with an empty plastic test tube and sucking on it.

"I hope there's nothing in that test tube" John said tiredly as he smiled at the two.

"You flatter me with your trust" Sherlock stated sarcastically, not taking his eyes away from the microscope.

"Here, I'll take her, you obviously have work to do" John said with a smile.

"No, no….she's…fine" Sherlock said hurriedly as he looked up at John with wide eyes.

"Sherlock" John said warningly "No getting attached to the baby, she has to go back tomorrow" the doctor said firmly.

Astrix looked up at John with a confused expression, much like Sherlock's.

"I'm not getting attached to anything" Sherlock stated defiantly.

"Give me the baby, then" John said, proving his point successfully as Sherlock wrapped a protective arm around her.

"Sherlock" John warned before sighing heavily "Are you going to change her nappy, then?" he asked with raised eyebrows.

"Already have" Sherlock replied hastily.

"You have not" John said in disbelief.

"Check the bin yourself" Sherlock said proudly.

John decided to do just that, walking toward the yellow bin in the corner and flicking the lid, there, at the top was a folded nappy.

~oOo~

It was lunchtime before Sherlock finally let John play with Astrix. He sighed heavily when John got to play on the floor and behave abominably; however, he decided to head out to Scotland Yard when John had taken it on board himself to teach the youngling to speak.

"Christ, Sherlock, you stink" Lestrade said as the detective swooped into his office.

"Of what?" Sherlock asked defensively.

Lestrade started to laugh. "You smell like a new father" he said honestly.

Sherlock bristled. "Are you insinuating that Astrix smells?" he asked harshly.

"Only like a baby should" Greg said with a smile. "She goes home tomorrow doesn't she?" he asked lightly.

Sherlock nodded glumly, trying to focus on the new paperwork on Lestrade's desk.

"That's the trouble with kids" Greg started "they know how to melt us adults to the core" he said with a smile.

"Tell me about the case" Sherlock barked. Making Greg snap his mouth shut and reach for the new evidence on the end of his desk.

~oOo~

Sherlock stomped his way home that evening, furious that Lestrade had arrested the butcher instead of the gardener.

He turned in to 221B and closed the door lightly, unable to slam it as he would like to. Taking each step as quietly as he could, the detective went straight to his bedroom for a well deserved sleep.

However, as Sherlock drifted into a deep sleep, a loud and insistent cry met his ears and he jumped awake to see John standing at his bedside, a very upset infant in his arms.

"I'm sorry, Sherlock, but I can't get her to settle, she's inconsolable" John said, his hair on end and his voice rather panic stricken. Sherlock raised a sharp eye over John's dishevelled appearance; noting the lack of pyjamas but eyeing the dark boxers and t-shirt never-the-less.

"Is it medical?" Sherlock asked, his hair flattened on one side as he sat up, trying in vain to blink his eyes clear.

"Not that I can see, unless she's teething" John said as he sat down on the edge of the detective's mattress.

Sherlock didn't hesitate in reaching out for the little girl, receiving her in the safety of his arms; the air very suddenly went silent.

"What was that fuss about?" Sherlock cooed sleepily as he let the little girl lay face down on his chest.

John's eyes closed in relief as he watched the little girl snuggle into the detective's bare skin.

John started at the look Sherlock gave him.

"You can lye down too, John, you look tired" Sherlock said gently. The detective laughed lightly as John put his head on Sherlock's chest beside Astrix and closed his eyes.

"Get in the bed, John, you might be more comfortable" Sherlock murmured as he shifted slightly, careful not to dislodge the baby from her new sleeping location.

John's breathing hitched a little at the invite, but too tired to fully think about it, the soldier stood up to clamber into the bed beside his flatmate.

"I'll be glad of giving her back tomorrow" John mumbled as he turned on his side to better view his adopted niece.

"I don't want her to go" Sherlock whispered, lifting a hand to gently stroke the girl's blonde hair and wondering where on earth that admission had come from.

"I see that" John said affectionately.

"Can't she stay just a little longer?" Sherlock asked quietly.

"She has to meet her new sister and brother, Sherlock" John said tiredly. "She needs her mother, not a consultant detective and a tired old doctor"

Sherlock smiled. "You are tired, John. But you are not old" he said gently, laying an arm out and gently patting John's hair.

The soldier laughed lightly before shifting closer to the detective, laying his head on Sherlock's shoulder on the pretence of checking Astrixs' breathing.

The detective thought this was a little odd but was happy to have the sudden comfort of the doctor so close by. Deciding that John was not going to move away after all, the consulting detective leaned his head down on top of the Doctors'. Smiling, Sherlock closed his eyes and allowed sleep to wash over him once more.

~oOo~

Waking with a family surrounding him was a rather odd experience for the consulting detective as he looked down at the doctor wrapped tightly around his middle and the ten month old child wrapped around his neck.

Sherlock chuckled lightly as he tried and failed miserably to disentangle himself. John woke slowly, a little disorientated at first but managing to catch up with himself in record time. He felt Sherlock's heart beat under his ear and gently brushed fingertips across soft skin before opening his eyes.

There was a happy gurgle somewhere in between the flatmates and John opened his eyes to be faced with a wide eyed youngster crawling across to him from her position on Sherlock's upper chest.

"Good morning, beautiful" John said as he blinked blearily.

"Good morning to you too, John" Sherlock replied with a laugh.

"Not you, dafty, I was talking to our little one" John said, not bothering to move from his position.

"You're the one cuddling me" Sherlock said, watching Astrix suck her hand and look between the two men.

"Sorry" John muttered as he made to remove himself.

"No, no, it's…fine. Don't move" Sherlock said lightly, trying and failing to make it sound casual.

John lay down once more and tickled Astrix under her arm, to which she laughed happily and smiled at Sherlock.

"What is Uncle John doing to you" Sherlock said with a soft laugh.

"Shersher" Astrix said inarticulately.

John snapped his head up toward Sherlock to look at him in disbelief.

"Was that-?" John asked, but was interrupted by Astrix little voice again.

"Dada, Shersher" Sherlock laughed heartily as he looked at Astrix in awe.

"Da Dohn" she continued to noise out, her lips in a defiant pout making John smile from ear to ear.

There was a sound from downstairs and a frown overtook the smile on John's face as he heard the familiar voice of Sarah in the stairway talking to Mrs Hudson.

Sherlock seemed in no hurry to move, however, as John struggled to his feet, pulling on the nearest pair of Pyjama bottoms – which happened to be Sherlock's. The soldier then picked up Astrix, placing her on his hip as he walked out into the kitchen.

Sherlock stayed put, unwilling to say goodbye to Astrix, or see the woman that was here to take her away from him.

"Sherlock" John called through the door "Coming to say hi?" he asked with a sympathetic smile.

Sherlock reluctantly got out of bed and pulled a t-shirt over his head and a pair of lounge trousers for his other half before joining the merry crowd in the living room.

"Hi Sherlock" Sarah greeted him from her position on his armchair, Sherlock smiled briefly before spotting the two new born babies she held. "Thank you so much for looking after Astrix, I hear she's taken quite a shine to you" the female doctor said with a smile as Sherlock looked down at the child on John's knee.

"This is Toby and Martha" Sarah introduced the new additions to her family.

John handed Sherlock Astrix in order to greet the new babies.

Sherlock kept his distance, holding Astrix close and letting her tuck her head in to his neck.

"Wow, she really has taken to you" Sarah said in mild surprise as she watched her first child clutch at the rather odd consultant detective.

"It's the same visa versa I believe" John said with a smile as he turned to see his flatmate walk toward the kitchen to prepare her bottle.

"So you wouldn't mind baby-sitting a little longer?" Sarah asked tentatively.

Sherlock spun on the spot and looked at Sarah with interest.

"If you need us to, I'm sure we can" John said with a handsome smile.

"Oh good, it's just proving a little difficult at the minute, these two take up a lot of time. I'm not sure I could cope with three, now that Jake is leaving" Sarah said looking down at her newborn twins.

"Jake is leaving?" John asked in disbelief.

"Yes, we are going through a divorce" Sarah said quietly.

"Now? When you have three children?" John said with a raised voice. "I'm going to rip him to shreds!" the soldier growled as he got to his feet and visibly bristled.

Sherlock was behind him in a second, laying a reassuring hand on his shoulder. John calmed a little and looked behind him at the man holding Astrix, her bottle firmly lodged between her small hands.

"It wasn't his fault, it was mine. These two, well, they weren't his" Sarah said ashamedly. "I couldn't give them up, I just couldn't." She explained sadly.

"What will you do?" John asked calmly.

"I don't know, find someone else?" Sarah laughed, a tear falling from her eye.

The thought travelled through Sherlock's brain in a nano-second, tearing at his heart and eyes. John would almost definitely marry her. It was the only thing that this situation could possibly end with.

"But if you two are ok to keep Astrix until the divorce is settled I would be so grateful" She continued, watching Astrix finish her bottle in contentment.

"We will look after her, don't worry" John assured as Sherlock watched, an iron fist clenching around his heart without explanation as he witnessed the smile that transferred between them.

~oOo~

"Sherlock, there's a baby on your back" Lestrade said with a smile as the detective walked into the DI's office.

John laughed lightly and turned to look at the red baby carrier on the taller man's back, leaning up on tip toe, John pulled up Astrix's pink hood and tweaked her little nose to receive a shy giggle.

"There surely is a law about letting a psychopath have a baby" Donavon said in shock from the doorway to Greg's office.

"John, close that door" Lestrade said tiredly, not engaging Sally in conversation.

Sherlock smiled as Astrix grasped one of his black curls for inspection before putting it in her mouth.

"You two would make quite a dashing couple, you know" Greg said with his hands in his pockets as he surveyed them.

"Thank you Lestrade, now, the case" Sherlock said briskly as John visibly blushed by his side.

"Basically, there's been a robbery" Lestrade continued, trying not to smile at the baby's expression of disgust as she spat out the consulting detective's lock of hair.

"There was no obvious entry or exit, the jewellery was taken though, that much is obvious" Lestrade continued.

"Is the scene preserved?" Sherlock asked, feeling Astrix continuing to play with his hair.

"Yes, Anderson is there now with his team." Greg answered.

Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Is there any way you can remove him before we get there?" he asked flatly.

"No" Greg answered awkwardly. "He's the only forensic in charge, the others are off sick".

Sherlock huffed but turned on the spot never the less. "Lets go" he mumbled as he walked out of the office.

John noticed the attention Sherlock received normally, how could he not, the man was intelligent, handsome, smooth and elegant. However, currently, walking in Sherlock's wake was a different kettle of fish. The attention from female on-lookers was overwhelming with the addition of an infant carrier and adorable infant thrown into the mix.

John bristled and scowled as women pointed and approached, asking him what his babies name was and how old she was. Sherlock was curt and painfully brisk with the admirers, either saying;

"She's not mine" or "I'm in a hurry".

Greg looked between John and Sherlock, noting the one sided tension with a smirk.

"Maybe you should carry the baby, John" Greg said quietly.

"What, why?" John asked, taken aback.

"If you don't mind me saying so, it looks like you want the female attention more than he does" Greg said honestly, his hands tucked into his pockets.

John laughed lightly but kept the real reason he was jealous secret. He had fast come to realise since waking up beside Sherlock two days ago; that he had fallen for his flatmate. It had been foreseeable for quite some time beforehand, but nothing could have prepared him for how much it really hurt to know that he was never really in with a chance.

"John, are you ok?" Sherlock suddenly asked, John looked around himself, they had reached the entrance to the jewellery shop, the DI, his flatmate and baby Astrix were all looking at him inquisitively.

"Sorry, lost in thought" John muttered distractedly as he looked up at Astrix peering around Sherlock's curls.

The curly haired detective looked at him dubiously before taking off the baby carrier. "Can you take her?" he asked John.

The doctor smiled, taking the carrier and pulling the straps up his arms, fixing her to his chest so that they were nose to nose.

Anderson looked up from his position at the counter to see the three men enter.

"Why is there a baby?" he asked.

"A baby? Surely you're seeing things, Anderson" Sherlock said abrasively, looking around him eagerly.

John and Astrix walked around the store, John pointing out shiny rings and necklaces to keep her quiet.

"Lestrade! You need to use your eyes before calling me in, seriously this is far too easy!" Sherlock shouted within 5 minutes, his expression appalled.

John turned to look on the scene anxiously, Astrix turning her head too and bringing her hand up to suck it comfortingly.

"Obviously the owner is responsible. It's an insurance claim job. Look, I've just broken into his safe, the items are in there. Two necklaces and a ring am I right?"

Sherlock barked, looking at Lestrade in frustration.

Greg looked to the floor and nodded, embarrassed.

"Thanks, Sherlock" Greg said quietly, looking toward John apologetically.

"Daddy Sherlock is going to be grumpy" John said quietly to Astrix, who gurgled and smiled in return.

Sherlock snapped his head in John's direction but couldn't keep the scowl for long.

"Off you go, you two…three" Greg said eventually as he rounded on the safe.

Sherlock smiled a little and approached his friend and ward.

"Not an interesting case to start you on, Astrix" Sherlock murmured as he lightly combed a clump of hair from her forehead with his fingers. "Don't worry, we'll get another one soon" he said reassuringly, placing a light kiss to the infant's temple.

John smiled widely as Astrix leaned into the touch, lifting a hand to grasp the taller man's chin.

The two men laughed lightly before Sherlock looked to John;

"Angelo's?" He asked.

"Deal" John answered before turning toward the door of the shop.

The doctor and detective left, leaving a gaping Anderson and a laughing Lestrade in their wake.

~oOo~

"Ahhh, Sherlock, John!" Angelo called lovingly as he approached the two men. "Come, sit, I reserved a table here, at the window" he said proudly, waving his phone in their direction "as requested".

Sherlock smiled; "Thank you, Angelo, this, by the way, is Astrix" he introduced, waving toward John's chest.

"Ahhh, Astrix, pleased to meet you." Angelo smiled as he bent down to see Astrix clearly. "Would you like some nice warm milk?" he cooed.

"Actually, we are going to try solid food today" John said with a wide smile. "She's got a tooth or two appearing, it'll help if she has something to chew"

Sherlock smiled at John and looked down the menu.

"So, when is the wedding? I hope I'm invited" Angelo said turning his attention to Sherlock.

"The wedding-?" John asked in puzzlement.

"You two! You have a family now, you need to get married!" Angelo implored.

"We aren't –" Sherlock started but stopped sharply at the look he received from John. "-planning anything big" Sherlock finished, always a quick thinker.

John smiled, Sherlock must have done something right.

"I will cater, no questions asked" Angelo said before walking away into the back of his restaurant.

"So, we're getting married?" John asked awkwardly, unpacking Astrix and sitting her in the high chair beside their table.

Sherlock watched Astrix look around her new seat with curiosity.

"It would only seem appropriate in Angelo's mind" Sherlock said, not removing his eyes from the child.

"You didn't think to explain that she isn't actually ours?" John asked curiously.

"If you marry Sarah, she will be yours" Sherlock said off-handily.

John stopped still and stared at Sherlock with an open mouth.

"Who? What? Why would I marry Sarah?" the doctor asked in a fluster.

"That's what you were thinking. When you asked Sarah what she is going to do now" Sherlock said flatly.

"Oh was it?" John asked sarcastically. "What else should I have been thinking about?" he whispered frantically.

"Were you not thinking about marrying her?" Sherlock asked abruptly, fixing John with a narrow eyed stare.

"No, actually, that thought hadn't even crossed my mind" John said harshly. "I've been too busy thinking about…other things" John teetered on the edge of saying something he would regret and quickly pulled himself back.

"What were you thinking about today? On the way to the jewellery shop?" Sherlock asked, putting his hand on the table, trapping the menus.

"I…I don't want to tell you" John muttered as he moved Sherlock's hand and grabbed a menu. "What do you fancy then, Astrix, a little bit of spaghetti?" John asked, holding the menu out to the little girl who had reached for it as well.

"Well, by the looks of things, she wants to eat the menu itself" Sherlock said with a laugh as he reached for the little girls' hand.

John laughed and called Angelo across to order some food.

After an hour and a half of trying, Sherlock successfully managed to feed Astrix some blended macaroni. The staff cheered lightly and started to clear away the little bowls of every dish that lined their table.

John smiled at Sherlock in success and the taller man replied with a wide smile of his own.

~oOo~

A few days later, Sherlock swooped into the living room to almost be kicked in the face by a child being wielded around by his flatmate.

"Neeeerrrrraaaaaaaaoooooooooo www" John was shouting, imitating either an aeroplane or a race car.

"What, are you doing?" Sherlock asked with a straight face as he watched John run around in circles.

"Isn't it obvious?" John panted as he came to a stop with Astrix lying up-side-down in his hands. "Uncle Sherlock doesn't recognise a dog fight when he sees one" John teased.

"I would have thought you of all people would not want to teach our daughter about war" Sherlock said abruptly, slamming his mouth shut when he realised what he had just said.

"Our daughter?" John asked immediately, stopping in his tracks and receiving a whine from the baby for it.

"War, John, the activity that got you shot" Sherlock said hastily, changing the subject as he walked briskly into the kitchen.

"You said, 'our daughter', Sherlock, she isn't -" John attempted before getting cut off.

"I know, I know." Sherlock said dismissively, flumping down in his chair at the kitchen table.

John brought Astrix up to his chest and approached the consulting detective.

"I'm sorry, Sherlock, I should never have brought her here" John said glumly, looking down at the baby.

"No, you shouldn't have. I can't even think about my work or my experiments because all I can think about is her safety and her in general" Sherlock said frustratedly, tearing at his hair.

John sat down opposite the detective. "This is serious, isn't it?" The doctor asked sullenly. "Astrix needs her family, Sherlock. We can't afford to get attached, she needs her mother" John said gently. "I got a text from Sarah this morning" he added quietly.

Sherlock's head snapped up in his direction, his eyes narrowed.

"Jake isn't going to leave her" John continued.

Sherlock took a deep breath and looked down at Astrix, who was currently trying to chew John's thumb.

"She asked if she could take her back tomorrow" John finished, watching Sherlock closely.

Sherlock didn't speak; he only reached out his arms for the little girl. John sighed heavily but lifted her none-the-less to hand her to his flatmate, continuing to watch as Sherlock pulled her close.

Suddenly, his phone began to ring; Astrix turned her head to look at the offending object on the table's surface and reached out for it.

Sherlock smiled before taking the phone up and answering it swiftly, looking to John as the words of a DI indicated a gruesome murder awaited.

~oOo~

"Woah, woah, you can't take her in there, Sherlock" Lestrade said gravely as he watched Sherlock approach, baby carrier on his back.

"Lestrade, death is natural, the earlier she sees it the stronger she will be" Sherlock said dismissively, batting away the DI as he made his way through to the crime scene.

The smell was awful, the sight was worse still. John looked on in horror as Sherlock led Astrix into the most distressing environment possible.

"Sherlock, give me Astrix" John ordered, swallowing thickly.

Sherlock sighed.

"John, medical opinion" He said flatly, noting that Astrix was tugging at his hair again. Lifting his left hand to his head, Astrix took hold of his index finger for comfort and the two quietly made their way around the scene.

John watched on in a mix of horror and awe as Astrix peered around Sherlock's head to better see the two corpses.

"What do you think, Astrix?" Sherlock murmured as he looked toward the fireplace.

The bodies were clothed; they lay together beside the fireplace. There were thick red marks around their throats and looks of surprise on their faces.

"Most definitely strangled, both of them, asphyxiation was the cause of death" John voiced out as he stood up from his examination of the bodies.

"Shersher" Astrix gurgled around Sherlock's finger.

"Yes?" Sherlock asked as his other hand lined the mantelpiece looking for additional evidence.

The next sound from Astrix was a strange one; John frowned as he looked up at the detective and the baby. Sherlock froze in position; the sound was familiar to him. Extremely familiar. It was the shout that John had expressed in his sleep a few nights prior. It was the sound that woke Astrix, it was what distracted him from the photographs, the photographs of the Melman case.

"Of course!" Sherlock suddenly burst, turning on a heel toward Lestrade. "The Melman Case!"

"What, you think they're linked?" Greg asked incredulously.

"Of course they're linked, the whole thing wreaks of the same evidence" Sherlock said abruptly, taking his finger back from Astrix, he placed his hands together at his mouth and walked swiftly back and forth.

"Lestrade, I need an evidence bag" Sherlock said, stopping dead to face the other men in the room.

John grinned as he saw Astrix's happy smile from behind the detective's curls.

~oOo~

Molly sat on the floor of St. Bart's medical training lab with Astrix on her lap. The pair were making very strange noises at each other but generally having fun.

John smiled warmly down at the pair as he leant against the nearest bunker, his arms crossed, his eyes bright.

Sherlock on the other hand was glued to the microscope and computer screens, searching for anything possible to link the cases.

When the computer beeped in indication of matching success, a horrible sinking feeling occurred inside the detectives' chest.

"John" Sherlock murmured.

John turned on the spot and walked toward the detective, leaning across the bunker without words.

"I have a small problem" Sherlock continued, staring at the monitor as if wishing it would change it's result.

"What do you need?" John asked.

"I need you to get Astrix and yourself to an oxygen base in the hospital, for Astrix, you know the dilution of oxygen required, make sure you both breathe into the masks for at least twenty minutes, do you understand?" Sherlock breathed calmly as to not cause panic.

"But Sherlock, what-?" John started.

"Just do as I say, John" Sherlock bit sharply, glaring John down until the soldier followed his orders strictly.

As soon as the doctor and baby were gone, Molly approached the bench.

"Disulfur decafluoride?" She asked with a panic. "But Sherlock, you can die days after inhaling that" she said in a fluster.

"Hence the oxygen for twenty minutes, the chemical will remove itself from their lungs after 15, the extra 5 is…for good luck" Sherlock murmured.

"But, what about you-?" Molly began to ask, again being cut off by Sherlock.

"Telephone Lestrade, Anderson, make sure that everyone in that crime scene receives oxygen, now Molly" Sherlock urged, his heart rate increasing with every passing minute.

Sherlock watched Molly go, before swiftly picking up a syringe from the box beside the sink, he ripped open a new needle with his teeth and hastily took a blood sample from himself.

Half an hour later, the results were confirmed. Sherlock had inhaled the pulmonary agent, and if he had, John and Astrix had too.

Running through the hallways, Sherlock made his way to the oxygen base, bursting through the door like a man possessed. John and Astrix looked up from where they were playing on the bench, their plastic masks still firmly in place.

Sherlock ran over to Astrix and lifted her eyelids to see if there was any discolouration in the eye, after seeing none, Sherlock grasped John's face, doing the same thing.

Sherlock sighed heavily at finding none and flumped onto the bench beside them both.

"Sherlock" John said, the voice muffled by his mask.

The detective looked up; "Mask" John said standing to his feet and retrieving another mask, he connected it to the same canister he was already breathing and then stood between Sherlock's knees to fix it onto his face, carefully lifting his eyelids to check for the typical signs of asphyxiation as he had done moments before, catching on to what the danger had been.

Sherlock smiled and allowed the doctor to check him over before the three of them turned to each other.

Before long, Anderson, his team and Greg were in the room with them, Sherlock refusing to remove Astrix's mask until he was certain she was ok.

"You see now why Astrix can't stay with us?" John cooed gently to his colleague. "Our job is too dangerous, no place for a baby." He continued with a soft expression.

Sherlock looked down glumly, knowing the doctor was right but not wanting to believe it.

~oOo~

As John put Astrix down in the cot and swayed it gently, Sherlock played a lullaby on his violin and together, the two men managed to settle their little charge into a deep slumber.

Sherlock gently put the violin down and stood behind John to look over his shoulder at the sleeping baby girl for possibly the last time.

"Did you ever want a family, John?" Sherlock whispered, noting the distinct shiver his voice had caused the doctor.

"I used to. I'm not so sure now" John said as he continued to rock the cot.

"What changed?" Sherlock asked.

"Honestly?" John replied, turning his head slightly to look at Sherlock.

"Honestly" Sherlock confirmed.

There was a moments silence before John stopped rocking the cot and turned fully to the detective.

"You" John said quietly and calmly, looking up at the detective's face in the dimly lit living room.

"Me?" Sherlock asked in confusion.

"Yes, I couldn't have a normal life now, not after the war, not after what we do now…imagine how boring it would be to get married and have children, have struggles that every day couples have…when our life is so much more exciting" John continued, a smile gracing his face. "Besides, we've got Astrix here, its not like Sarah is going to leave London. We can visit her any time we are feeling….broody" John finished with a light laugh.

"So, if I were, to disappear…" Sherlock started, looking toward John. "…what would you do?"

"Find you" John said quietly, his eyebrows knitting together as though the answer was obvious.

"But, what, if I died?" Sherlock asked, eyebrow raised.

Unsure of how to answer his flatmate, John did what he had wanted to do since Astrix had melted the cold detectives' outer shell, he leaned up on his tip toes and placed a gentle kiss to the taller man's lips.

Sherlock closed his eyes and allowed the sensation to wash over him before John moved away.

"Sherlock, I would die with -" John started, only to have Sherlock place an index finger promptly to the doctors' lips.

"Don't" he whispered gently, moving back in toward his friend and flatmate, his doctor, his protector, his soldier and his colleague to press another chaste kiss to his lips.

John's eyes closed in bliss as his hands came up to the detectives' neck, Sherlock pulled away at last minute to look down at Astrix.

"We'd better not…not with Astrix in the flat" John said breathlessly, his hand gripping Sherlock's neck with soldier strength.

"The age of reason is 7" Sherlock countered; looking back at John's dilated eyes and swollen lips.

"Sherlock, it's not appropriate" John half-heartedly protested in a whisper, staring longingly at Sherlock's – now flushed – lips.

"Children are very perceptive, they learn quicker in a family environment" Sherlock murmured as his hands wound their way into John's jumper.

The soldier took a step back and knocked into the cot, Astrix woke.

Both men looked down at their guest simultaneously as she started to cry. Sherlock swooped down without thought and picked her up; silencing her instantaneously.

Sherlock walked her toward his violin playing window, swaying gently and combing the back of her fine hair with his fingertips.

John simply allowed his gaze to wander over the image in front of him, his dark eyes roaming over Sherlock's rear and tight-shirted back shamelessly.

Sherlock turned toward the doctor, sensing his hungry stare.

"John, you may need to have a cold shower" Sherlock teased in a patronising whisper.

John growled, his fists clenched at his sides. "You started this" he whispered back.

"No, you started this" Sherlock corrected lightly.

John stared at the detective in fury before realising that he was yet again, right. The doctor swiftly turned heel and headed toward the bathroom, leaving a smirking Sherlock and a sleeping Astrix in his wake.

John let the cold water fall from the shower head onto his heated skin. He placed his hands, palm down on the cold white tiles lining the wall in front of him and willed his heart beat to slow down.

Fetching up the soap, John began to wash his face and hair, facing the cold wall still, enjoying the distraction. Suddenly, the temperature of the water changed from cold to warm, John moved backward in fear that the water would scald him if it continued to heat up; it was then that he bumped into warm skin. The startled soldier jumped a little but froze still as the consulting detective instantly soothed him with elegant hands placed on either hip.

"Shh, don't wake the baby" Sherlock whispered into John's ear, making the doctor shiver. "I had no idea my voice could have such an impact on you" he continued, placing his lips against John's wet skin.

The soldier braced himself against the tiles once more, feeling weak from the overwhelming skin on skin contact, the taller mans' chest pressed fully against his back.

888

Sherlock watched the doctor as his eye lids began to close tiredly. John's face was so full of expression and Sherlock often didn't need his deductive prowess to know immediately what the soldier was thinking or feeling. Lifting a warm hand to the shorter man's forehead, Sherlock swept his fingers gently across short grey hairs, receiving a hum of pleasure for his efforts.

"I love you, Sherlock" John whispered lightly, his eyes remaining closed.

"I know" The younger man replied before untangling himself from the bed and returning to the living room to give Astrix her nightly feed.

Waking up the following morning was a traumatic experience for John. He woke in Sherlock's bed, the detective himself curled protectively at his back, but that wasn't what made John stir into wakefulness. Instead it was the woman that was currently shaking his arm.

"S-Sarah" John stuttered in surprise, trying and failing to get away from the possessive detective and ensure he was completely covered with the bed sheets.

"Shh, John, it's ok, I'm just here to take Astrix. Thank you for looking after her – I owe you big time" Sarah said gently as she looked over the two men with fondness.

"Give us a minute, I'll get him up and we'll come through, can you stay for a cup of tea?" John faltered, feeling his cheeks burn as Sherlock's arm tightened around his middle.

"Yes, I'll just go and see her, you did a good job of tiring her out, she's still fast asleep" Sarah said gently before leaving Sherlock's bedroom.

"Sherlock" John said gently, turning over in the younger mans' arms.

"What?" Came Sherlocks' sleepy reply.

"Come on, get up, Sarah's here to take Astrix" Sherlock's eyes flew open, wide and dangerous looking. "Hey, now, be nice, or you might not see her again" John warned.

Sherlock calmed slightly before getting to his feet and getting dressed, earning a light kiss from the soldier when they were ready to go through to the living room.

Entering the room; Sherlock clocked the female doctor leaning on the side of the crib with distaste. He opted to make the tea as John handled the social interaction.

Saying goodbye to such a young and innocent child was probably the most difficult thing John had had to do of late, but his discomfort paled into insignificance compared to Sherlock's.

John waved the cab away sadly before ascending the stairs to their, now colourless and empty living room. He saw Sherlock at the window, his back to the room, his elegant hand covering his handsome face.

John went to him and wrapped his arms around the detective, laying his head against strong shoulder blades.

"We can take big cases again now, chase dangerous people up alleyways, have our regular 'facing death' situations" John said gently "not to mention several…after the watershed activities" he teased, lowering his hands.

"Then why is it, that all I want to do is hold her?" Sherlock asked, his voice small and weak, stopping the doctor in his tracks.

Turning Sherlock round, John saw his usually white washed skin slightly blotchy and puffy around his eyes. John masked his surprise well and reached up to kiss the detective.

"Shh, Sherlock, she'll be back before you know it; you heard Sarah, she said she'll bring her round next weekend" John said brightly, enveloping the taller man in his arms.

"No, there's something deeper" Sherlock murmured, placing his chin atop John's head.

"What do you mean?" John asked quietly.

"Something doesn't feel right" Sherlock said with defiance.

John snaked his arms tighter round the younger man, wanting desperately to free him of the grief he must be feeling, but just then, the detective moved swiftly away.

"This Jake; tell me everything you know about him" he said, pacing the living room.

"Well, I don't know much really, when I dated Sarah, well, dated, it was more like a friendship really. She met Jake just after that. He's a plumber, he's a little older than her, but not as old as me-" It was a sudden and abrupt movement but John found himself pinned to the wall by the taller man. His eyes threateningly narrow.

"You are not old" Sherlock growled before kissing the doctor viciously.

A thrill of fear ran through the shorter man as his hands found their way to Sherlock's chest.

"Is that understood?" Sherlock demanded against John's lips.

Unable to respond, John nodded numbly before pushing into the detective, earning a harsh thrust against the wall, the taller man's body now flush with his.

"You are mine" Sherlock growled as he descended on the poor doctor's lips once again. John closed his eyes at the statement, enjoying the dominating hands on him more than he ever thought he would.

It was with a sudden force that Sherlock pushed himself from John; taking three steps back, his eyes wide with realisation.

"She knew" He said quietly, bringing his hands up to his chin as his eyes watered slightly.

"Sherlock?" John asked, puzzled and breathless from their earlier display.

"She knew, John. She knew" Sherlock repeated, looking at the doctor with an encouraging stare.

"Who? Who knew what?" John asked, his familiar frown gracing his face.

"Astrix, she knew her father was the killer" Sherlock whispered. "She tried to tell us, John, she did tell us. She indicated that the cases were linked. Jake is our poisoner. He killed them with the Disulfur decafluoride, then rope – burned their necks to throw us off the scent. All four victims. The man is a psychopath." Sherlock finished looking at John's dropped jaw.

"Now, Sherlock, we need evidence before you do anything about this – you have a personal interest in this case" John said firmly "I do too".

"I already have the proof" Sherlock snarled as he whisked into his large town coat and grabbed his scarf. "If we don't hurry, he will do the same to Sarah and the two children that are not his own" Sherlock continued, fighting with his scarf.

He then turned swiftly to face the soldier; "Coming to get Astrix back?" he asked with a smile.

John couldn't help but chuckle as he followed his lover down the stairs and out into the streets of London.

"Lestrade. I need a warrant to search Jake Lee's house." Sherlock barked as he walked into the DI's office.

"What for?" Greg asked under a furrowed brow.

"The Disulfur decafluoride is in his house. He killed all four victims. The victims were unrelated to each other and to him. He killed them because of frustration; frustration that his wife cheated on him and that his newest children are not his own. He will do the same to the children if we do not act quickly" Sherlock revealed in a fast paced commentary.

"What evidence do you have to prove this?" Lestrade asked patiently.

Sherlock straightened up and placed his hands in his pockets. "A witness" he concluded, enjoying the looks of confusion he received.

~oOo~

"This is unbelievable" Donovan voiced from the back of the room, watching Sarah who was holding her eldest child close to her chest.

Sherlock stood in the middle of the witness window, watching the mother's interaction with the child; a hand raised to his mouth in thought.

"What are you possibly expecting from this, Sherlock?" John whispered by his side.

"Astrix will identify the killer" Sherlock murmured. "But this is getting us no where" he continued with an expression of utmost boredom.

"What are we going to do?" Lestrade asked, standing the other side of the consulting detective.

"I am going in to talk to her" Sherlock snapped, his coat whirling out behind him as he swept elegantly from the small, dark room. John and Greg stood side by side as they watched the detective walk in through the interview room door and head straight for the little girl, asking Sarah if he could be alone with her.

Sarah looked dubious for a minute or two until Astrix buried her face in Sherlock's neck as a tired welcome. Sharing a smile, Sherlock walked toward the mirror as Sarah left the room.

"Hello" Sherlock murmured softly in the little girl's ear.

"Shersher" Astrix sang out, leaning back in his hold with no thought of danger.

Sherlock smiled, flashing light grey eyes over the mirror, looking at his own reflection but knowing John could see them.

"Now, Astrix, I need your help, will you help me?" Sherlock asked softly, his eyebrows rose as he gave the little one all of his attention.

In way of reply, Astrix let out a few excited breaths and a wide smile before lifting her arms in the air toward Sherlock's face.

The detective smiled before taking a seat on the black plastic chair beside the table provided.

"Lestrade, can you bring in the file?" Sherlock asked gently, watching Astrix as he placed her on the table in front of him and adjusted her clothes from their scrunched up positions.

Greg popped into the room and placed the file on the table beside the young girl.

"Thanks" Sherlock replied uncharacteristically. Lestrade halted and looked down at Sherlock as though the man had lost his mind. John laughed at this, before Lestrade returned to his side watching interestedly.

Sherlock sat with Astrix for just over 5 minutes, talking and receiving small noises in reply. He then opened the file on the table and retrieved the picture of the corpse that Sherlock had been studying the night of John's nightmare.

"Remember?" Sherlock asked, looking down at the photograph.

Astrix made the startled cry that John had emitted, Sherlock smiled encouragingly, impressed with the little ones' impersonation.

"Yes, that's right, now, remember this one?" Sherlock asked, turning the photograph over to reveal the two corpses that they had seen in the flesh. Astrix looked at the photograph with curiosity and her mouth pouted as she brought her hands toward her face.

"Yes, you had to wear a mask because of the poison." Sherlock murmured. He then turned to the file once more and retrieved three separate photographs. He placed them on the table with the corpses above them. "Now, Astrix" Sherlock said, gaining the small girls' full attention. "Who did this?" he asked.

Astrix turned onto her knees to crawl over the photographs and look at each one. Eventually, she picked one up and gave it to Sherlock with a nod.

Sherlock sighed heavily as he realised the little girl had given him the photograph of the model from Sainsbury's clothing. But before the detective could move, Astrix handed him the other model photograph. Leaving the corpses photo and the picture of her father on the table.

Sherlock turned his head swiftly toward the mirror, reaching for the photograph she had left beside the crime scene; he lifted it to show the men behind the screen.

Greg burst through the door to the interview room.

"Sherlock, she's only picking out her own father. She doesn't even understand what is going on" Lestrade said in a tone of 'this is unfair'.

"No Lestrade, you are wrong. She has picked out the man that is responsible for the dead bodies, don't you see?" Sherlock said gently, lifting Astrix from the table and popping her over his shoulder.

"Sherlock, it is a little weak for evidence" John said sadly as he followed the DI into the smaller room.

"Well, the fact that there is Disulfur decafluoride taped to her back should help too" Sherlock stated dully, lifting the little girls' cotton top to display the small bag of powder to the other men. Instantaneously, Lestrade and John rushed forward to remove the package.

"Careful" Sherlock said abruptly, waving Lestrade aside as John approached; using a steady hand to un-tape the packet from young skin. Astrix started to cry.

"Shh" Sherlock hushed as he stooped a little for John to finish the task.

John held the packet toward the light to look at the powder closely.

"Get it tested, Lestrade. There is your evidence right there, the man is dangerous and more than willing to kill" Sherlock said distractedly as he cupped the back of Astrix's head to sooth her.

"Aren't you going to test it? You always test these things" Lestrade said aghast as John handed him the packet.

Sherlock didn't reply but made his way toward the door never-the-less.

"Sherlock" John called. He too, received no reply from the detective and followed him curiously out of the door and down the hallway.

"Sherlock, wait" John called again, waving an arm to Lestrade he ran after the detective and caught him by the arm. "Sherlock, the father is guilty, but, Sarah is still her mother" the soldier explained gently, watching the detective with a breaking heart as Sherlock held the girl tighter.

"Astrix was always special" Sarah called down the corridor behind them. The doctor and the detective turned to face her as they stood side by side and watched her approach. As she neared; they spotted the tear tracks on her face. "She's always been faster than the others of her age, mentally and physically. She should have the opportunity to progress far beyond my levels of intelligence" The female doctor explained sadly, her hands buried in her pockets as she stopped less than a meter from the three. She turned to John.

"I can't cope with three on my own." She explained flatly, her eyebrows knitting together above the bridge of her nose. "But, this way, I won't have to…just promise me she will be looked after?" Sarah asked, her voice cracking on her last words.

John's jaw was slack and he couldn't formulate a reply.

"She will always be my first priority. I will teach her everything I know" Sherlock said gently, his hands holding the small girl as though she were a precious vase.

"This is ridiculous" John eventually piped up. "Have you heard yourselves?" He continued, looking between the two. "Sherlock, Sarah's first born child is the only thing she will have left of Jake. We can't just take a baby on, with the danger our job involves!" John said, his fists forming by his sides.

"But you two appear to love each other and will be excellent role models. I could never be what you two are. You have Mrs Hudson for babysitting when the cases are that dangerous. Look at him, John. That's more than just affection. They were made to know each other." Sarah explained, nudging her shoulder toward the two of them.

"Sherlock, surely you can see the problems with this?" John said, his eyebrows higher than high.

Sherlock turned to him then, gazing straight into his eyes. There were no words exchanged, for John could see the entirety of the situation with just one of Sherlock's powerful glances.

Sarah smiled sadly. "I'll fix up the adoption papers and drop by" She said, approaching the baby girl that was close to sleep on Sherlock's shoulder.

The doctor didn't say anything but placed a gentle kiss to the girl's forehead, before she turned heel and walked back down the corridor, her head bowed.

~oOo~

Sherlock and John arrived back at 221B when Astrix was fully asleep. Placing her in the crib, Sherlock rocked it gently back and forth, ensuring she had entered REM.

"I'm sorry…" Sherlock murmured, his back still to John; who had just then released a heavy sigh as he sat heftily in his own armchair. "I couldn't let her go" he continued, not breaking his gaze over the child.

"I saw that" John replied tiredly. "Just as long as you know, she isn't something that you can use to distract you from boredom and she is definitely not something you can get bored from. It's a human life, Sherlock. She is now dependant on you." John said, his temper frayed.

"Us" Sherlock said quietly, finally turning from the sleeping baby.

"What?" John asked, looking up at Sherlock.

"She is our child now, John" Sherlock said gently, sitting down on his own armchair. "She needs a strong, reliable, loving, and brave father as well as a strange but intelligent one" he said with a smile.

John couldn't help but smile weakly in return. "Sherlock, I really hope you know what you're doing" he said tiredly.

"Of course I don't" Sherlock said with a light laugh. "What young family does?" he continued.

John went to counteract this argument when he realised that Sherlock was indeed speaking the truth.

"We'll figure it out then?" John suggested.

"We always do" Sherlock replied, placing his hands together at his mouth to survey John.

After a moments silence, John looked up at Sherlock with a questioning expression.

"Is that it? We are now a family?" he asked tentatively, placing his hands either side of the armchair's old material.

"If you'll have me" Sherlock replied quietly.

John smiled once more, looking toward the child.

"Do you…love me?" John asked meekly, not meeting Sherlock's eyes.

"Love would be an apt description" Sherlock said with a raised eyebrow and slight nod. "But…I would say that I am more 'in love' with you than just love you" the detective explained slowly, looking away with both eyebrows raised.

John looked up now, his mouth slightly agape as he processed the words.

When the taller man's gaze returned to face the doctor he watched with curiosity as a small mischievous smile played about the soldier's lips.

"Show me" John whispered, licking his lips in anticipation.

In one move, Sherlock was on his feet; he strode the two paces toward his flatmate and pulled him to his feet by a fist in his jumper.

Standing close, John felt the flitter of panic run through his veins as Sherlock's usual cold stare penetrated his own. After a moment, Sherlock brought his lips to John's and the two kissed with bruising force.

"I love you, Sherlock" John murmured against the bow shaped lips of his flatmate, falling completely into his frame, leaning into him and letting the taller of the two caress his back.

Sherlock pulled away ever so slightly to view the truth he knew emanated from the doctor in droves. He then allowed his eyes to wander down John's chest.

"I feel…rather tired" Sherlock started, glancing over to the silent crib.

"I know what you mean" John said falsely, picking up from Sherlock's lead. "Perhaps we should have a lye down?"

Sherlock looked at John with wide eyes. "John, she's young but subtlety is still something to be exercised at all times" he whispered.

John smirked before turning heel and discarding his coat, throwing it on the floorboards behind him carelessly, making a b-line for Sherlock's bedroom.

The consulting detective stared after the doctor, watching with a tilted head as John deliberately swung his hips as he walked and threw back a seductive glance before turning the corner behind the bedroom door.

Glancing over the crib's white wall, Sherlock was satisfied that their daughter was suitably asleep before he walked after his flatmate, unbuttoning his shirt as he went.

~oOo~

Mycroft stared, his face expressionless as his younger brother burst into the office, the consulting detectives' ever sharp appearance was far from sloppy; his hair curled delicately and his expensive long town coat trailing in the air behind him. The sight would have been undeniably impressive had there not been red straps on each arm and a baby girls' face bouncing along behind the detectives' head.

Sherlock unceremoniously threw himself into a leather armchair in front of his brother's desk.

The room was quiet until Mycroft closed the file in front of him and placed his hands elegantly together on top of it, looking expectantly at his younger brother.

"I want a Civil Wedding" Sherlock said, not meeting his brother's eyes.

Astrix continued to look around the room with silent interest, her right hand clutching at a lock of Sherlock's dark hair whilst she sucked her left in content.

"Does John know?" Mycroft asked smoothly.

"Unnecessary" Sherlock said dismissively.

Mycroft sighed. "I know that you know, without a doubt, that the doctor wants to spend the rest of his days by your side, Sherlock. But asking him is courtesy." He tried to explain.

Sherlock looked at his brother with dangerously narrowed eyes. His appearance would have been formidable if it were not for the smiling child sitting in the baby carrier high upon his back.

Mycroft smiled. "But I can see we aren't trying to do this for his sake, are we?" he asked, his voice covered with maple syrup.

"Let me see…You have been with the Doctor exactly how long?" Mycroft asked encouragingly.

Sherlock fixed him with a stare. "39 months and three days" He replied within a beat.

"And how long have you been with him…in a romantic sense?" Mycroft asked gently.

"172 hours" Sherlock replied, looking briefly at his brother's desk "With 23 hours of copulation"

"23 hours?" Mycroft asked in surprise. "My, my, Sherlock you surprise me."

"It is…rather addictive" Sherlock replied, an irrational smirk attaching itself to his features.

"Yes, yes, I've heard it can be" Mycroft said, looking down at his hands in an awkward silence.

"You should try it, Mycroft" Sherlock said quietly. "It is strange how the activity can change perspective.

"Yes, well, it's not for lack of trying" Mycroft said without eye contact.

"Lestrade is a free man" Sherlock said loftily.

"And a straight one, Sherlock" Mycroft warned, looking toward his desk drawer for something or other.

"He thinks he is" Sherlock muttered, looking toward the ceiling.

"Yes, well, whilst some of us go round and terrorise the nation, others are more prone to laying low and recovering the damage" Mycroft said tiredly, placing a blank notepad on the desk in front of him. "Now, tell me what you have in mind" He continued, laying his chin in the palm of his left hand, taking a fountain pen up with the other.

~oOo~

"Sherlock" John called through the house to receive no reply. "Sherlock? Are you home? Astrix?" He continued, reaching the quiet living room and removing his coat.

Upon seeing no one home, John continued up the stairs to his old bedroom – now the nursery. The room was a lovely light pink colour, lined with Astrixs' furniture, all bright and clean. John smiled as he walked toward the empty crib; he remembered the day Sherlock had helped him paint the room as he played with the animal mobile above the cot.

John was lost in thought by the time the consulting detective himself had run up the staircase and into the living room. John chose to stay quiet and listen to Astrix and Sherlock talking to each other. His heart melted warmly when hearing Sherlock singing softly to her as he fed her the warm milk.

"You finished?" Sherlock asked a while later, taking the bottle from her small hands. "Bedtime then?" The so called Sociopath asked. "You have to see Papa before you go to sleep, but its ok, because he's in your room already" he hummed quietly, taking the stairs gently until he reached the warm room.

"How did you know?" John asked as he greeted his partner with a kiss.

"Childs play" Sherlock said with a smile, receiving his kiss gratefully. "Your coat was on the door" He explained with a smirk.

John smiled and held out his arms for Astrix.

The small girl looked up at John and held her arms open, signalling that she wanted a cuddle.

"Did you have a productive day?" John asked as he cuddled the child close and bounced on his heels.

"Yes, yes, it was rather" Sherlock replied with a small smile. "And you?" He asked, remembering his relationship manners.

"Not really. The surgery is just…so…" John struggled for the right word and scrunched his face up.

"Dull?" Sherlock finished for him.

"Yes, yes, dull is the right word" John agreed, placing a small kiss to Astrix's tired head.

"Doesn't matter. You will be leaving there soon anyway" Sherlock mused as he walked toward the bookcase in the corner of the small carpeted room.

"I'm sorry?" John asked with a look of confusion lining his face.

"You will be leaving the surgery soon, so I wouldn't worry about it too much" Sherlock repeated, glancing toward the doctor whilst he chose an appropriate bed time story from the shelves.

"Why will I be leaving? Where are you taking me?" John asked, a small smile playing around his lips.

"No where" Sherlock said calmly, choosing the book with a slender hand.

John's brow furrowed. "Clue me in, anytime, Sherlock" He said a little tiredly.

Sherlock walked toward him now with the book in hand.

"As of Friday, you will be my responsibility and I will earn enough for this family" He stated, raising his nose slightly in an air of dominance. John snorted.

"Oh right, you think I'm the female in this relationship?" John questioned.

"No" Sherlock replied with a furrowed brow. "You are quite obviously a male, John"

"Hang on, what do you mean Friday? What's happening on Friday?" John asked. At the sharp avoidance of eye contact, John turned his head downward with his dark eyes focussed solely on his partner. "Sherlock" The soldier warned.

"Put her down, John, she's practically sleeping on you" Sherlock whispered indicating Astrix.

John let the conversation lye for now as he gently placed the infant in her cot and started to rock it gently to mimic his own bouncing a moment prior.

Sherlock sat in the chair beside the cot and started to read.

It was a moment before John realised what Sherlock was reading and started to laugh lightly.

"What is it, John?" Sherlock asked tightly as he stopped reading to scrutinise his bedmate.

"Sherlock, I don't think she really wants to dream about the different types of cigarette ash" The doctor whispered, looking down at Astrix warmly.

"It's working isn't it?" Sherlock asked deftly, his right eyebrow raised high.

"Yes but…Sherlock, its adult stuff" John said with an expression of 'come on'.

Sherlock closed the book he held and got up from the chair.

"I think she prefers the tone of voice rather than the subject" Sherlock murmured.

"I can understand that" John said with a smirk as he turned toward the detective.

"Are you saying that you prefer my voice rather than my 'excellent' deductions?" Sherlock asked, the air of being hurt.

"Oh no, the deductions have their own category. But when you talk about cigarette ash, I only listen to the voice, not the words" John said teasingly.

"Does anyone appreciate the true nature of my work?" Sherlock asked rhetorically.

"When it matters" John replied quietly, reaching up to cup the detectives' face gently.

The touch was so soft that Sherlock allowed his eyes to close and his body to lean toward the shorter man. After a beat of silence, Sherlock whispered into the air;

"Marry me"

John smiled "I thought that's what you were talking about" he said gently as he leaned up to place a gentle kiss to the detectives' lips. "I can't believe I turned from a straight man into a gay family man almost overnight" The doctor chuckled as he looked from Sherlock down to the crib at his side. Astrix was still sleeping soundly, probably enjoying the sound of her fathers's' voices.

"Do you regret it?" Sherlock asked softly, his eyes opening to scan John's familiar features.

John leaned up again and kissed Sherlock passionately. "Not for one second" He whispered against the bow shaped lips.

"So you will be there on Friday?" The detective asked with a smile, already confident that he knew the answer.

"It depends" John said suddenly as he pulled back from his partner to eye him suspiciously. "It's not going to be in St. Barts Morgue is it?"

Sherlock laughed lightly "No, no, it's not in the morgue" he said reassuringly.

"Or a crime scene?" John asked tentatively.

Sherlock shook his head negatively. "Nor a crime scene" he said quietly.

"I'm intrigued" John answered quietly, raising his arms to wrap around the detective's shoulders snugly.

"Good" Sherlock replied, nuzzling the doctor's cheek lightly with his nose. John laughed as Sherlock started to sway them from side to side, dancing to the sound of Astrix's light breathing.

"Bed time?" The doctor asked in a whisper as he pulled away from the younger man. Sherlock glanced into the cot and smiled.

"Yes" He replied quietly, following John out of the door and down the stairs, but not before turning on the baby monitor.

Just as the consulting detective's foot hit the wooden flooring of the living room, his mobile began to ring.

"Sherlock Holmes" he answered, looking across at his doctor. John watched on fondly as the excitement of an unsolvable case washed through his partner's face. "We'll be there in 20 minutes" He finished, pressing the hang-up button.

"Murder?" John asked from the bedroom doorway.

"Triple Murder" Sherlock replied, still looking down at his phone.

"Go on, then. I'll stay with Astrix" John said tiredly, turning his back on the detective.

"Come with me, John? We have Mrs Hudson for babysitting" Sherlock pleaded, looking up at the doctor with high eyebrows.

"We don't, she's away, remember?" John sighed heavily, leaving the bedroom and entering the kitchen to busy himself making tea and a snack.

After a quiet moment, Sherlock's voice filled the room once more;

"Lestrade, hold it until tomorrow, I will come at 9. Yes, can't leave tonight" The Consulting Detective said gently, eyeing John's suddenly frozen stature.

Hanging up the phone once more, Sherlock was amused to see John turn round with a piece of toast ripped by his teeth and hanging out of each side of his mouth. Those dark blue eyes were wide and staring and his body remained still.

"You" John started, making an effort now to rid his mouth of food. "Gave up a case…for me?" The doctor asked, bringing a hand to his chest.

"Family Considerations" Sherlock said sharply. "And I didn't give up, I just…lowered its' priority" the detective said with a dismissive wave of his arm.

John crossed the room in less than his usual strides, stopping just short of his flat mate, he smiled; "Thank you, Sherlock" he whispered, leaning up to kiss the detective's soft and warm lips.

The kiss turned very quickly from gentle and loving to something more passionate and fierce. Sherlock took a step forward, moving them back ward as his right hand took hold of John's neck, his long fingers reaching to the base of the doctor's skull. John groaned aloud as he brought his hands to the detective's hips.

At an alarming rate, the two were rutting against each other, deft hands in private places and hot lips everywhere.

It all ended on the living room floor, Sherlock laying sprawled beneath a panting soldier, his shirt and trousers still in place, only undone as was his mental state of mind.

~oOo~

Friday afternoon was warm and bright. The sun was beating down on the rooftops and pavements of the concrete jungle. Sherlock and John arrived together, dressed in their sharpest attire and holding hands as they exited the taxi and entered the large and ancient building.

Lestrade and Mrs Hudson smiled from their positions in the waiting area, Astrix gurgled approvingly from within their housekeeper's warm grasp. Each man shook hands and hugged their guests, Mycroft appeared a moment later to receive an understanding and thankful nod from Sherlock and a hearty handshake from John.

A woman in her early 40s exited a room nearby and the large marble staircase echoed the sound of the door slamming behind her oddly.

"We are ready for you now" She said with a practised smile.

John and Sherlock shared a straight-faced glance before entering the room behind the registrar, their guests in tow.

Inside the very large 'D' shaped room, were rows of wooden chairs, two vases full of generic pink flowers and a large dark and polished wooden desk at the front.

John smiled at Sherlock approvingly before seating himself on the left hand side of the table, Sherlock fastened his suit jacket closed before sitting beside John and clasping his hands together on the surface of the table.

Mrs Hudson and Lestrade sat beside each other at the front of the seating whilst Astrix had a good look around, her hand finding her mouth in the familiar comforting way as she began to suck it.

"Are you both ready to join in civil union?" The registrar asked firmly, looking down at the two men seriously.

John nodded and Sherlock replied with a resounding "Yes".

"Ok, well I am going to open the ceremony with a reading, then I will ask you both to repeat after me, or do you want to speak your own vows?" She asked, tilting her head questioningly.

John turned to Sherlock with a shrug of his shoulders.

"We'll just repeat after you" Sherlock decided.

"Ok then, and, lastly, what are your full names?" She asked, pen poised above the scripts in her hand.

"John Hamish Watson" John said boldly, sitting straight backed in the seat and smiling toward Mrs Hudson and Astrix.

"Sherlock Holmes" Sherlock said just as boldly. "And we will be signing as Sherlock and John Watson-Holmes." Sherlock said abruptly, ensuring the female wrote it down.

John turned his look of surprise to Sherlock, but the detective wouldn't meet his eye.

"Ok, good, right, bear with us." She said with a smile before turning toward the back of the room, she signalled with a wave of her arm and a woman at the back of the room promptly disappeared.

"What's happening?" John asked interestedly as he watched the door close behind the woman.

"I don't know" Sherlock said quietly before shooting a glance toward his brother who at this time seemed to find his expensive cufflinks rather curious.

Before too long of a wait; the door opened once more and in walked Harry Watson, Sally Donovan, Judge Wilson, Angelo, Mrs Turner, Mike Stamford, Molly Hooper, Dimmock and the last of the crowd was not recognised by John, however, the doctor felt Sherlock's hand very suddenly grasp his in a tight hold.

"Sherlock, Sherlock, are you ok?" John whispered, turning toward the detective – who had gone very suddenly green looking.

"It's…It's my mother, John" Sherlock stammered, looking down at John's hand.

"Your –?" John started incredulously, looking up once more to run an eye over the very elegant and well-dressed female that had entered the room with a smile.

"Doctor Watson" She greeted with a voice that could melt butter. "So nice to meet you in person" She continued with a warm smile, avoiding all contact with her youngest son.

"Vera Holmes" She introduced as John stood to greet her properly, only just managing to shake off the detectives' hold.

"It's an honour to meet you, Ma'am" John said genuinely.

"Hush now, carry on, we will talk later" She said with another prize winning smile before walking in the direction of an empty seat.

By the time John had resumed his seat, Sherlock was death glaring at his brother.

"Sherlock, it's our wedding day, stop it" John said gently, taking up the detectives' hand once more.

Once the crowd had gotten seated, John and Sherlock took to their feet as the ceremony began.

"Marriage is a legally binding force in the midst of the chaos that is love." The registrar started, addressing the room with a stern voice.

"Marriage between two men, two women or between man and woman is the same. The same rules apply. It is not an occupation to be taken lightly. It is a promise of the highest kind, a promise that through everything life throws at us, the other will be there to encourage, nurture and care for us until the end of time. These two men have decided to make their vows known, let the world know that they will stop time for each other if the opportunity arose and that they are taken in every sense of the word."

John's hand tightened around Sherlock's and the two shared a smile as a respecting silence filled the room.

"If any person in this room, knows of any legal reason why these two should not be joined in civil union, let them speak now or forever hold their peace."

The room, again, remained silent until a small gurgle emanated from their daughter in the front row. A light laugh rippled through the room at the child's' obvious innocence.

"I think that was a 'no, get on with it'" The registrar joked with a smile. "Who has the rings?" She asked as she addressed the audience.

To John's surprise, Mycroft got to his feet and handed the registrar a dark blue elongated box.

The woman opened the box and put the two rings on the table in front of the detective and the doctor.

"Repeat after me" She guided, pointing toward John.

"I, John Hamish Watson take you, Sherlock Holmes, to be my lawful partner" She started.

John followed suit, looking almost unblinkingly up at the younger man with such raw and genuine love that it made Sherlock's chest ache.

"I promise to care for you when you are ill, love you when the world turns its back and forever be at your side, till death takes its' natural turn" She said gently, waiting for John to repeat.

Mrs Hudson sniffled from the front row and Mrs Turner gave her a handkerchief.

"I, Sherlock Holmes, take you, John Hamish Watson, to be my lawful partner. I promise to care for you when you are ill, love you when the world turns its back and forever be at your side, even when death takes its' natural turn" Sherlock rounded off without prompt. Donovan and Lestrade shared a tiresome glance at the consulting detectives' well known smart arsed behaviour.

John just smiled.

"The rings are very important. We make them from soft metals; hard and wearing, but still beautiful and ancient. The ring is a symbol of everlasting love, safety and beauty as the circle is a shape that never comes to an end. We wear them on the finger that is closest to the heart line as a casing for our protection. It is an item to be cherished, to be looked after and never broken or lost." The registrar explained.

"Please exchange your rings now" She said, stepping aside as John and Sherlock both reached for the appropriate rings. They were silver in colour, large banded and un-missable; John caught a glimpse of an engraving inside the metal, but did not get chance to examine it before Sherlock took hold of his left hand and placed the ring neatly up to the knuckle. John did the same with Sherlock's elegant hand before the two smiled and turned to face the crowd once more.

"I now pronounce you; Sherlock and John Watson-Holmes" She finished with a wide smile as there was some cheering and clapping from the assembled group.

After the signing of the registry; John and Sherlock led the way back out into the quiet hallway.

"Where are we going to hold a reception?" John asked in a slight panic.

"The place in which you met of course" Mycroft drawled, looking distractedly down at his phone. "There are cars outside" He said before trotting down the stairs.

Sherlock looked down at his feet in embarrassment.

"The labs?" John asked in confusion.

"It was Mycroft's' idea" Sherlock mumbled, his left hand finding his suit trouser pocket, his right still entangled with John's.

"It's a great idea" John said encouragingly, shaking their con-joined hands.

Sherlock lifted his head to sceptically scan John's facial features before deciding the doctor was indeed telling the truth.

"Come on, crowd is getting restless" John said with a smile before leading the detective down the staircase and out into the afternoon sun.

There was indeed a string of black Mercedes lining the pavement neatly and John headed straight for the one at the front, pulling Sherlock in roughly after him. As soon as the car door banged shut and the car was in movement; John had leapt at his new husband, kissing him passionately and rather inappropriately.

"Don't regret it yet then?" Sherlock said with a breathy chuckle when the two had broken for air.

"Never will" John said firmly before planting his lips once more on Sherlock's.

"We have exactly 23 streets until we reach Barts." Sherlock said hurriedly as his hands found the zip on the front of the doctors' trousers. Reluctantly, John broke away.

"We shouldn't Sherlock. We should wait." The soldier said unconvincingly as he stared at Sherlock's lips distractedly.

"19 streets" Sherlock updated, looking desperately at John's flushed face.

"Just kissing, nothing else, not until tonight" John said, firmer this time as he raised his lust filled eyes to Sherlock's enchanting ones.

"The hotel? What's so special about the hotel?" Sherlock queried, momentarily side tracked.

"We're staying in a hotel?" John asked excitedly.

"Yes, The Dorchester" Sherlock replied, his eyes flickering back to John's mouth as the doctor smiled.

"Your brother booked us into the most expensive hotel in London?" John asked incredulously.

"Money is not everything, John. I've heard that their eggs Benedict are awful" Sherlock stated blandly. "6 Streets" he added.

"Kissing, nothing more" John warned once more before kissing the detective passionately for another 4 minutes straight.

"We're-we're here" Sherlock puffed as he pulled back from their kiss, his skin wonderfully flushed and his lips slightly swollen.

The car halted moments after the detective had said it, and by the time the driver had opened their car door, the two men were composed, confident and as good looking as always.

The two passed through a swarm of photographers and reporters on their way into St. Bartholomew's Hospital with surprising ease, making their way up the stairs to the fourth floor lab.

"Oh, Sherlock" John exclaimed as he saw the room. His dark eyes roved the experiment and computer free benches that had been table-clothed and adorned with delicious looking platters of buffet food. He swooned when he spotted the photographs that had been lined neatly up against the walls, some from when the two were on cases, some from when the two were working and arguing and the others from award ceremonies, in each one they stood side by side, companions for life.

"Do you think I over-did it?" Sherlock questioned lightly, his hands behind his back as he directed a sheepish smile toward his new husband.

John turned away from the photographs to survey Sherlock closely. He raised a hand to point at his feet, using it to punctuate his words;

"You…did this?" The doctor asked disbelievingly.

"Yes" Sherlock replied with a furrowed brow.

"You…made this food?" John asked, looking toward the table.

"Well, no. That was the canteen" Sherlock replied in a tone of 'obviously'.

"You, put these photo's together?" John asked, pointing his thumb over his shoulder.

"They were Molly's. I simply suggested we use them" Sherlock mused, walking toward the wall and sighing at the many images of himself and John.

"The table cloths?" John asked, a smile decorating his gentle features.

"I purchased them" Sherlock answered curtly.

"And you put all the experiment equipment away" John finished with realisation. When the detective was quiet, John lifted a hand to cup his jaw adoringly. "I am so happy that I mean that much to you, Sherlock. Thank you" John said quietly.

Sherlock didn't answer conventionally, but placed his lips against the doctor's in a gentle and loving kiss. The moment was broken as the crowd entered the room noisily.

"Oooh, this is lovely!" Mrs Hudson exclaimed, walking toward her 'boys' and giving each a congratulating peck on their cheeks before handing over Astrix and returning to Mrs Turner.

John kissed Astrix's temple as the little girl turned in his arms to better see what was going on.

The crowd mingled and music was put on. The food was eaten and the photographs admired, everyone was there to celebrate and it made John's heart ache with pride. No one was there to laugh at them or hurt them; just this once it was good to be away from the criminal and the sick.

Lady Vera Holmes soon made herself available to talk to her sons and her new son-in-law. Molly took Astrix for a bit whilst John listened intently to anything the very important woman had to say. It was soon evident what the family dynamics were caused by.

"Sherlock, dear, it is so good to see you. You know I worry about you. Mycroft does too, although with his job it is exceedingly settling that he can keep an eye on you." Vera said with a wink toward John.

"At least I have a job that didn't require bought" Sherlock ground through clenched teeth.

"Your inheritance, Sherlock. Is still sitting-" Vera started before getting interrupted by her youngest.

"I have told you before, mother, I make my own way in this world, I do not need money" Sherlock spat quietly.

"Really, Sherlock. I thought we had passed this childish behaviour? Do you really want to fall out all over again?" Mycroft drawled lazily.

"This, this is what made you two fall out?" John voiced incredulously.

"It is a lot of money, dear" Vera said gently.

"H-how much are we talking here, Sherlock?" John asked tentatively, his eyebrows raised innocently.

"Oh, with the interest, somewhere in the region of 250 billion, wouldn't you say?" Mycroft said questioningly.

John's jaw dropped and his eyes bulged. "250 billion?" he asked weakly.

"Father was a very wealthy man" Sherlock said, the only information he offered as an explanation.

"I think I need to sit down. Excuse me" John breathed before walking over to a nearby lab stool and downing a glass of Champaign that was beside him.

As John reached for another glass from the tray, he was confused as to why another hand had removed it just as quickly. He didn't have to wait too long to find out who it was as another arm wrapped itself around his middle and a hot breath met the back of his neck.

"Now, now, Doctor, I still need you to perform later" Sherlock whispered in John's ear enjoying the feeling of the soldier shivering against him. "Considering that teaser you gave me on the way here" The detective continued to murmur.

John pushed back against the detective eagerly and Sherlock chuckled. "As much as I would like to do naughty things to you here, I do believe it is not correct social etiquette for our guests to be so nearby when I ravish you" the younger breathed over the doctors' ear.

John had to bite his lip to stop a moan from escaping his throat as the detective gave his middle a tight squeeze.

"Uhh, Sherlock, can I, erm, have a word?" John said rather breathily as he got to his feet, he smiled around the mingling crowd as he buttoned his suit jacket and rolled his shoulders back in Military format.

"Of course, John" Sherlock said with a not-so-subtle smirk. "I know a good place" he added as they walked simultaneously toward the door.

"I thought we were going to wait until tonight" Sherlock said lightly once he had been thrown into a cleaning closet and pushed sharply up against the closed door.

John didn't answer as such but growled as he covered the detective with his own body forcefully.

88888888

Returning to the party was more than a little awkward, John dabbing the sweat from his brow with his suit jackets' sleeve and Sherlock attempting to tame his wild curls with his fingertips.

"You know that it is very obvious what we have been doing?" Sherlock whispered behind John.

"Yes, thank you Sherlock. Not everyone is into deduction though" John said in a harsh whisper before heading toward the sausage roll platter before approaching his sister.

"Oh Sherlock, you have turned into a member of the lower levels of society" Mycroft drawled from his side.

"Shut up, Mycroft" Sherlock said without glancing at him.

"I would, but I didn't think mother would want to see the spot of semen on your jaw" Mycroft said flatly.

Sherlock hastily wiped at his jaw line with his sleeve before glancing toward his brother, they shared a very small smirk of amusement that turned into a shared laugh soon after.

Some members of the party turned to see the two brothers' laughing helplessly with a smile, the first one being John.

After they had calmed a little, Mycroft turned to face Sherlock properly and smiled at him.

"Sherlock. Take your inheritance. You don't have to use it; but I am sure you want the best for Astrix and John, your family's future now depends on you. And…to set the record straight; I did not buy my job." Mycroft said genuinely.

"I know" Sherlock murmured flatly.

Mycroft tilted his head in surprise at his younger brother.

"Then why have you insisted on being so obnoxious to me?" Mycroft exclaimed.

Sherlock glanced toward John chatting with his sister, baby Astrix in arms, before he turned to his brother once more.

"I knew I could never out run you" Sherlock replied dully. "When you took that job, I knew there was no escaping you. It angered me that you would follow me through my entire life, with your contacts, your workers, your cars. But, I understood all along that you only cared for my protection. Bigger brother and all, it's your duty isn't it." Sherlock continued in a low tone, examining his brothers' indifferent expression.

"Caring is definitely not an advantage, Sherlock…I tried to train you differently, make you stronger than I am…because I have always cared. When father died, I knew my duties all too well, I worried far too much – it gets in the way of brainwork. I wanted you to be stronger than me. But now I see…" Mycroft cracked a wry smile as he glanced between the partners "…that I was worried for the wrong reasons, and have consequently missed my chance at the real world. A chance that you have taken, and chosen well" Mycroft finished truthfully.

Sherlock smiled. "Ooh, I wouldn't say you've missed your chance" he said wisely.

Mycroft frowned "Do tell" he said, his voice once more layered with syrup as he looked toward his Italian leather clad feet.

"A certain Detective Inspector, that yes – is in fact in this room, has had a strange infatuation with you since he met you four years ago. I have consequently kept my distance from him knowing that one day he would weave his way into your life as John did with mine. I understand that you and Lestrade now handle cases together." Sherlock started, now tilting his head to the left to better see Greg over his brothers' shoulder. "Did you really not notice?" Sherlock finished incredulously.

"Greg Lestrade?" Mycroft asked incredulously.

"Oh yes, Mycroft, I have known the man less than four full hours and even I can tell he adores you" Vera Holmes interrupted as she appeared at her sons' side.

"Really?" Mycroft asked, badly hiding the tone of curious interest in his voice.

"Yes, but having said that, mother, you and I are not the bluntest knives in the kitchen drawer" Sherlock countered. "I very much doubt that it is obvious to the commonwealth."

"Really, Sherlock. Just because I work for the Royal Family, doesn't mean I am-" Vera started in a low voice.

"You are the Royal Family" Sherlock interjected with a smirk.

"Not at all, I simply help out with the decisions." Vera said innocently.

"Like whether to allow a marriage or two" Sherlock murmured flatly, sharing a smirk with his brother.

"Stop glorifying my occupation" Vera scalded lightly, smiling as John and Astrix approached.

"How is my new family?" John asked happily as he looked up at the three taller and elegant Holmes' family members.

"Oh we are just dandy, John." Vera chirped in a motherly fashion, bustling forward to investigate her grandchild. "Is this Astrix?" She asked with a warm smile.

"It is indeed, would you like to cuddle her?" John asked with a smile, his face glowing with happiness as his eyes lit up.

"Could I?" Vera asked hopefully.

"By all means, Grandma" John said with a light laugh.

Sherlock and Mycroft shared a wide eyed glance in fear before hearing their mother laugh at the new name. Sherlock wrapped an arm around John's back as the two watched Vera Holmes talk and cuddle with their daughter.

"Where is Mycroft going?" John asked Sherlock, watching after the older brother.

Sherlock looked up and over the crowd at his brothers' back as the elder walked toward Lestrade.

"To take a chance" Sherlock murmured, smiling down at his husband warmly.

~oOo~

After the goodbyes, thank yous and Mrs Hudson's guarantee's that Astrix will be well looked after; the two men walked from the lab room, down the steps and toward the street exit. Fighting through the crowd of assembled paparazzi once more, the Watson-Holmes partners got into the waiting car and were whisked toward The Dorchester.

A delicious four course meal was actually eaten by both and followed with a generous portion of wine before the two retired to their honeymoon suite.

"So, is there anything I can say that will convince you to take that money?" John said lightly, his wine glass almost disappearing into the heavily bubbled corner bath as he leaned back in the hot water.

"No" Sherlock stated dully, stopping his foot in its meticulous massage of John's leg as he leaned against the other corner of the ridiculously large bath.

"Why not? It's a university, house and holiday fund in itself! We wouldn't have to work so hard anymore" John said with a pout.

"I was unaware that nagging started so soon after matrimony" Sherlock drawled teasingly as he took a sip of his own wine.

"If anyone still cares, I'm not the female in this relationship" John said flatly.

Sherlock smiled warmly, now knowing this to be a generic statement rather than a retold fact. "There is nothing you can say to convince me, because I have already taken it" the consulting detective said calmly. "I will still work and I do not want to move house" Sherlock continued. "I do not want you to work at the surgery; I want you to work with me full time." He finished expectantly.

"R-right" John stammered in shock.

"Problem?" Sherlock asked with a furrowed brow.

"I-I've never had so much money before" John said hesitantly.

"And you will act like nothing has changed" Sherlock instructed forcefully.

"Sherlock" John started meekly after a moment or two of silence.

"Yes, John" Sherlock replied, fixing his husband with a calculating stare, his hair flattened and wet, his skin flushed from the hot water.

"Can I have a new phone?" John asked weakly, not looking up from his wine glass.

There was a loud snort from the other end of the bath and John looked up in surprise at the heartily laughing consulting detective.

"What?" The doctor asked with a look of confusion.

"250 billion pounds sterling" Sherlock stated with another chuckle. "And all you want is a new phone" he finished, once more laughing heartily.

John could see the funny side and he laughed a little before defensively piping up "But you said we couldn't spend it".

"Of course you can have a new phone, about time you had something with a personal engraving on it anyway. I will see to it when we get back" Sherlock said genuinely as the laughter died away.

Getting to his knees, John travelled the 5 foot distance between them in the high level hot water and sat down with his back against the detective's chest, he lay his head on Sherlock's shoulder and looked up at him peacefully.

"What?" Sherlock asked after a short silence.

"Nothing" John teased, still staring at Sherlock's sharp cheekbones.

"It is not 'nothing'. I can tell it is something by your tone" Sherlock said sharply.

"I guess, I just can't get my head round that this is really happening. I mean, when I first met you, you told me that it was all 'not your area' and that your body was for transport only. I've always fantasized that there was more to you than that, and all it took was for a very clever young girl to take a shine to you" John said numbly.

"Wrong" Sherlock chimed as he looked toward their feet.

"What's wrong?" John queried, affronted.

"All it took was an Army Doctor to weave his way into my life. He became indispensable from the second day of the acquaintance. I, prescribed sociopath from the age of 9, looked after a ten month old child – alone – because the Army Doctor asked me to. I cared for the child because the Army Doctor wanted me to. I ate and slept because the Army Doctor told me to. From the second day of the acquaintance, I was in love." Sherlock rattled off. "It took a very young and clever child to help me show it". He finished, now picking up the soap and lathering the doctor in question.

"Do I know this strong and brave Army Doctor?" John asked teasingly after a moment of shocked silence.

"No, currently you do not" Sherlock replied dully. Smirking when John turned his head further to receive a kiss.

~oOo~

The End