Disclaimer: Sherlock Holmes belong to Sir ACD and in this reincarnation Moffat, Gatiss and the BBC. We own nothing and are only writing this for fun.

Warning: Vamp!Lock, supernatural themes, some violence, supernatural themes and love between two men. This chapter; a fluffy chapter with Greg and Mycroft meeting their niece. Sherlock and John gain yet another family member.

Love isn't brains children, it's blood.

Part Twenty-Four.

Sherlock was lying stretched out on the floor next to the couch, string stretching between his hands and around his fingers as he played Cat's Cradle with Victoria, who was laying belly down on the couch wearing a set of clothes Anthea had sent over along with the blood.

John hummed as he puttered around in the kitchen, making some eggs and toast for breakfast. He couldn't put off eating any longer, not if he wanted to be able to keep up with his mate and Victoria. While the pan heated on the stove he leaned against the doorway and watched the two of them playing in the living room. Victoria still seemed more comfortable around Sherlock, maybe that was because they were the same, both in species and in spirit.

Victoria's head came up from where she was studying the string figure and she saw John and gave him a shy smile.

John smiled back, his smile warm and loving. He already loved her smile, loved the way her whole face lit up from the inside out. "Everything okay in here?" He looked at both Victoria and Sherlock.

Sherlock lifted his head up off the floor so he could see John, "Yes, I'd say it's nearly perfect wouldn't you Victoria?"

She nodded and made her move, shifting the strings and taking them from Sherlock.

"It just needs one thing yes?"

She nodded again, "Uh-huh. John."

"Precisely, so hurry up and make your breakfast John then come join us."

"Bossy." John grinned at them happily. "Either of you want some breakfast as well?" It was only polite to ask and even though Sherlock and Victoria didn't need food they could still enjoy it.

Victoria shook her head, "No thank you."

Sherlock made his move in the game, "None for me thanks."

"Kay, the lowly human will feed all on his lonesome then." John turned around to fry his eggs and make his toast. Of course there would be tea as well; there was no proper breakfast without tea.

"You are not lowly, ever." Sherlock's voice carried well into the kitchen, "And I may very well have to spend hours convincing you of that every time you say such a thing."

It got a giggle from Victoria and a very quiet, "He's silly."

"Yes indeed, very silly."

"I'll show you silly...Just as soon as I've eaten. Nothing wrong with my hearing." John walked back to the doorway, waving the spatula around like a sword before finishing making his food. He loaded it up on a plate and took his favorite mug and filled it with tea before carrying them into the living room, joining his family as he ate.

"What are you going to do? Smother us in your jumpers?" Sherlock's voice was heavy with amusement, "Just leave the Christmas jumper out of the pile if you please, it could probably dissolve paint with its hideousness."

"Oh ha ha, very funny." John blew his mate a raspberry. "You love my jumpers and you know it, especially the Christmas one." He took a sip of tea. "I have my ways...For example I know that Sherlock is extremely ticklish over his ribs on his left side." John winked at Victoria. "And that he purrs if you pet his hair. Purrs like a great big kitty cat."

"John..." Sherlock trailed off when a tiny, hesitant hand reached out toward his hair and instead of continuing his banter with his mate; he sat up so that Victoria could see if what John said was true. He narrowed his eyes at John before the 'petting' got to him and made his eyes half close. Damn his sensitive follicles.

Victoria's face lit up when Sherlock did, indeed purr.

"See, just like a kitty." John smiled and gave Victoria a conspiratorial wink. 'Thank you for indulging me love, look at her smile.' John sent a wave of utter love and adoration across their bond.

'Can't look. Being pet. Useless for anything else.' The laughter that brought out had him smiling as well.

'I love you Sherlock.' John would never tire of saying, or thinking, those words to his mate. Sherlock should be told how much he was loved every day for the rest of eternity.

'Love you too John.' Sherlock's smile softened in deep affection before his phone's text alert went off. "Ugh, if it's Gregson or anyone from the Yard tell them I'm busy, very busy, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future."

Victoria giggled again. When he complained Sherlock was so funny.

John rolled his eyes but did put his plate and mug down on the sofa table to go get Sherlock's phone. "Since it was your phone that chimed you could in all actuality tell whomever it is yourself you know." He found Sherlock's phone and looked at the screen.

'Greg and I intend to visit you this evening after supper. - M'

"Ah, it's a message from the queen. Apparently he and his consort will grace us with their presence tonight." John tossed the phone to Sherlock so he could read the message for himself.

Sherlock caught it easily, quirking a brow at the screen, "Now why would my brother be coming by tonight?"

Victoria's eyes were wide and she was chewing on her lip in nervousness at the thought of unknown people coming into her new little haven.

Sherlock lifted a hand to run it over her hair in gentle comfort, "Just my brother and his mate. Mycroft is a pointy nosed stick in the mud but other than that he's nice enough. His mate, Lestrade, is exceptionally nice."

John nodded at the nervous little girl. "Greg is one of the kindest people in the world and Mycroft is a cream puff beneath the hot air he likes to put on." 'Perhaps he has that video you wanted, of his dealings in Vienna. More likely he and Greg want to meet their niece.' John downed the rest of his tea. "I actually look forward to seeing them. Should we get them something? Like a congratulation on their bonding?"

"Such as?" Sherlock moved to sit up on the sofa, letting Victoria burrow against him, "I cannot think of anything they might need or want that they don't already have."

Victoria trusted what her new guardians were saying, could feel the truth they felt in their own words. She was just nervous because she'd not met these two people before and, until she could get a feel for them, new people were frightening. So she'd stay close to Sherlock or John for the rest of the day, just to be safe.

"I don't know, it's your brother. It just...Well it feels like it's an occasion worth celebrating...and I sound like Hettie now, don't I?" John laughed at himself. "Greg has officially become my brother in law though, a congratulations is definitely in order." He watched Victoria burrow against Sherlock, it was silly and stupid but he couldn't help but feel a tiny little bit estranged from them where he sat in his own chair.

'John get over here.' Sherlock crooked a finger at him a bit demandingly, "Then we'll just say congratulations when they arrive won't we?"

"Yeah, I suppose that is the way to go." John got up from his chair and walked the few steps to the couch, hovering next to it a bit awkwardly.

Sherlock reached out and pulled him down onto the sofa so that Victoria was settled between them and he could cup the back of John's neck possessively.

Victoria relaxed further, not clinging to Sherlock anymore and sitting up straight, feeling protected from both sides now. She began playing with the string again, making one figure then holding it out to John, obviously expecting him to make the next.

John leaned back against Sherlock's hand on his neck as he smiled at Victoria and took the string and made another finger. This he was good at; at least his surgeon hands were still good for something. He handed the string back to her and tucked a bright copper colored lock behind her small ear.

She smiled, leaning into the gentle hand trustingly. She didn't like the sadness she sometimes felt trickling from John but it wasn't threatening and everything else about the man was comforting, a safe feeling.

Sherlock smiled and picked up a book on the coffee table as Victoria continued playing the string game with John.

John slowly relaxed as he showed Victoria different shapes and figures she could create with the string. It was comfortable and homey. John was aware that it had only been a day so far but that didn't change the way he felt, like they were already a family, Victoria belonged here with them, she really did.


Greg's lips were twitching like mad as he watched his mate school his features away from the pout that kept trying to return. He'd kept everything firmly in hand while they were picking up a few toys and a couple of outfits for Victoria and hadn't let Mycroft go overboard. He'd have let him go wild if she'd met them before but she didn't know them and a huge mound of presents would probably scare her. "Just think about the look on Sherlock's face when he sees the kitten."

Said kitten was resting in a pretty sky blue soft carrier with pink paw-prints all over it.

Mycroft sniffed, he did look forward to seeing his brother's expression when he saw the kitten but still, what was so wrong with wanting to give gifts? "I do not find your mirth very amusing. You could at least have allowed me to buy the dollhouse."

"Too big for now baby," he reached out and cupped Mycroft's cheek, "We don't want to overwhelm her. Just the few toys, clothes and the kitten for now. I promise that once she's settled in more and used to you and me then you can go wild."

He knew Greg was right, logically he knew that. It was just that Mycroft was...emotionally challenged, he was happy for John and Sherlock and he really wanted to meet Victoria, wanted his niece to like him. He had no idea how to act around children, he did not want to buy her affection, it wasn't like that at all. He just wanted to give her all the things she deserved but had never had. "I will hold you to that promise."

He pulled Mycroft in for a gentle kiss and looked up when the car stopped. "We're here. You carry the cat; I'll bring the box with everything else inside. I'd suggest leaving the carrier outside the flat door until after introductions are made and the toys and stuff we'll let her inspect at her own pace."

Mycroft nodded and grabbed the carrier as he stepped out of the car. How did Greg expect him to be able to keep pouting when he kissed him like that? Mycroft looked up at the facade of 221B and waited for Greg to exit the car with the box containing the gift. He had to admit that he was nervous, this was much more nerve wracking than facing down corrupt councilmembers.

They stepped inside and walked up the seventeen steps leading to Sherlock and John's flat. There Mycroft placed the carrier with the kitten outside the door and to the side before knocking.

Sherlock was the one who answered the door, Victoria having immediately scooted behind John, who was cooking. He lifted a brow at the box Lestrade held before stepping back to let them in, "I trust the issues in Vienna were handled efficiently."

Greg came in and set the box with Victoria's name on it down out of the way, "Three corrupt politicians off the council. I'd say so."

"It was worth both the ruined suit and shoes actually." Mycroft nodded. "If you wish it, the surveillance file can be sent to your laptop at any time." He stretched his neck in an attempt to catch sight of his niece.

John ran a comforting hand over Victoria's curls and turned toward Greg and Mycroft. "Congratulations on your bonding. How are you feeling Greg?" John gave them a warm smile.

Greg smiled, "Never better John." He noticed the bright copper hair of the little girl barely poking out from behind John. "Is that a little robin I see behind you?"

John turned and held out his arms to Victoria, asking silently if it was okay for him to pick her up. At her nod he swept her up in his arms and turned back to their guests. "This is Victoria. Victoria, meet your uncles, Mycroft and Greg. Mycroft is Sherlock's brother and Greg is his mate. Greg is a newborn vampire so you might have to show him the ropes, since you know how it's done." John rested his cheek against the top of her head.

Greg just smiled as he was studied closely by wide green eyes, "Hi there little Miss Victoria, nice to meet you." She was absolutely too adorable for words. Though the evidence of neglect was clear in the thinness of her face and arms. It made a flash of protectiveness surge through him.

"It really is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Mycroft nodded, swallowing around the nervous lump in his throat. The girl was beautiful; she would be a heartbreaker once she grew up. He noticed the signs of abuse as well and again he promised himself that if the council did not eliminate DuLac, he would make sure that it was done.

Her clinging to John lessened a bit. There were complicated feelings between Sherlock and his brother but nothing bad, nothing that scared her, and nothing violent. A sudden wave of something she'd felt from both John and Sherlock came from the one John had called Greg and was echoed by Sherlock's brother and it had her relaxing further, enough to greet them quietly. "Hello."

Sherlock walked over to turn the stove off before dinner burned, "I do believe that my brother and Lestrade brought you some things from their trip abroad," he reached out and ran a hand over her hair, "In the box over there."

Greg smiled, "We did yes. You can look through it whenever you want sweetheart."

"It's just some small gifts but they are giving with affection." Mycroft managed a true, honest smile at the girl, not his usual twitch of lips.

John nuzzled her hair. "Do you want me to put you down so you can have a look?"

She ducked her head and nibbled on the collar of her shirt, not certain she wanted down as of yet.

Greg looked over at Mycroft and gently nudged him with a look at the open door.

Mycroft caught the hint and walked back out in the hallway and picked up the carrier. "Greg and I did get you something not from Vienna as well." He smiled at Victoria as he opened the carrier and picked up the snow white ball of fur so she could see the kitten.

The cat opened sleepy blue eyes and mewed at its sleep having been disturbed and Victoria made a soft sound of delight, holding her arms out for the kitten.

Sherlock saw how fluffy and blazingly white the cat was and gave his brother a look of long suffering irritation. He knew, he just knew, the breed had been chosen to make a mess of his suits.

Mycroft sent Sherlock a tiny smirk as he rose and placed the sleepy kitten in Victoria's outstretched arms. "She's all yours princess Victoria, you have to give her a name of course, one we can engrave on her collar." He had chosen sapphires for the collar in the end and it looked rather dashing if he could say so.

John rolled his eyes at the bright white fur but he couldn't even pretend to be upset, not when he saw the delight on Victoria's features.

She brought the kitten in close and giggled when a tiny, rough tongue swiped at her nose, little white paws batting gently at her cheeks.

Greg smiled and slipped his arm around Mycroft's waist as they watched Victoria get acquainted with the kitten, which was already starting to purr.

"Oh! Like Sherlock!"

Sherlock would have turned red had he been capable of it especially when John laughed, loudly.

"Mmhmm, exactly like Sherlock sweetheart." John was still laughing but he sent his mate a look full of love and adoration. He then turned to Greg and Mycroft. "You are more than welcome to stay for dinner if you feel like nibbling on something solid."

"Sounds good to me," Greg's voice was absolutely ripe with amusement, "Any help needed with setting the table or-"

"No. Go, living room," Sherlock pointed and made a shooing motion, "All of you. It's stew, I'll bring out the bowls and spoons."

'Everything alright love? You know that I was not making fun of you right?' John sent his mate a concerned look even as he walked toward the living room, girl and kitten still in his arms.

Mycroft followed behind the good doctor, Greg's arm around his waist and he did not mind it being there. Everything always felt better when his mate was within touching distance.

'Yes John I know. It's fine.' Sherlock took out five bowls and began dishing up servings.

Greg settled with Mycroft on the sofa, John with Victoria and the kitten sitting on the other end, "So how have things been with the couple of Met cases?"

"It's been fine, not very exciting cases, Sherlock solved them both in an instant but Gregson is a good cop, he listens to Sherlock and is not too proud to accept his help." John smiled. "Once Sherlock has finished drilling him, Gregson will be an excellent DI."

Greg laughed when he heard Sherlock mutter something about having his work cut out for him from the kitchen, "Yeah we know you arrogant sod, you're the brains behind the DI."

Victoria looked from Greg to the kitchen, still petting the silky fur of her kitten. The words weren't the nicest but the feeling of pride and affection was thick in the air and she scooted off John's lap, still pressed into his side but growing more comfortable around Greg and Sherlock's brother.

"Language Gregory." Mycroft admonished softly, sounding more amused than anything else. He was rather amazed of how the kitten still purred, seeming completely content being held and petted by a little girl, amazed and happy. Girl and cat seemed to have taken to each other and that was what he and Greg had hoped for after all.

"Heard worse." Victoria nuzzled the kitten and giggled as it decided to climb over her shoulders as Sherlock exited the kitchen, stew bowls on a tray.

Yes, Mycroft could believe she had heard worse, most likely been called worse. His anger at those responsible returned but he fought to push the rage back down. Since Victoria was an empath she didn't need to feel anger from him. "Still, one should mind one's language."

"Thank you love for bringing the food out." John's voice was warm with affection. His stomach grumbled and John's ears turned red with embarrassment. It was a strange feeling, being the only human in the room, the only one who actually needed food. "It smells amazing."

"You made it." Sherlock passed a bowl each to Greg, Mycroft, and handed one with a small serving to Victoria. She was cautious about food, never really having eaten food before. He sat on the floor at John's feet. 'Don't be embarrassed. Though perhaps now you'll cease skipping meals.'

Victoria poked at a carrot in the stew with her spoon before bringing it along with some of the juice up to sniff cautiously.

'This is a strange turn of events, you telling me off for skipping meals instead of the other way around. I'll do better, promise.' John raked his fingers through Sherlock's hair once in a loving gesture before tucking into the stew.

Mycroft was highly amused, watching Victoria's reaction to food. It was so cute.

Greg spooned up a chunk of beef and cheerfully popped it into his mouth. He might not get any nutrition or calories from it but he always had been a bit of a sensualist and taste was one of the most fun senses. "Hmm, excellent. Maybe not quite Hettie grade but not much is Hettie grade so no offence John."

"None taken, I'm not a chef and I've never claimed to be one. As long as I can keep myself from starving then I'm content." John grinned at Greg and continued to eat his stew.

Mycroft sucked on his spoon as he ate, it was a good stew. Normally he liked a bit of gourmet food if he was to eat anything but this was nice...cozy.

Victoria grew bold enough to nibble, making a sound of surprise as she discovered the flavor.

Sherlock had to smile, remembering the first time he'd eaten food. It had been a pastry and he'd thought nothing on earth could taste better. Of course he'd been wrong but it had taken him until John to find that out.

'She's adorable is she not? I look forward to us getting to introduce her to all sorts of wonderful things, like ice cream and going to the movies. Roller coasters and cotton candy.' Victoria had already crawled inside his heart and now she rested there alongside of Sherlock.

'I'd suggest getting her used to crowds first.' Sherlock's free hand lifted and curled around John's knee affectionately, meeting his eyes as he 'spoke' to him.

Greg noticed the silent exchange and made an intuitive leap, "The two of you are talking to each other in your heads aren't you. That's why you cracked up like a couple of loons in Mycroft's office before."

John grinned wickedly, absolutely amused at Mycroft's gobsmacked expression. "Looks like you figured it out, you might be smarter than you look."

Mycroft looked between them, feeling a little bit envious, oh the things you could do with a private language like that. What an edge to have.

"How in the," he glanced at a rapt Victoria, "living end can you two do that now?"

Sherlock stirred his stew, "My hypothesis is that when John repaired the exacerbated damage Moran did to me we exchanged parts of our spirits, opening a mental channel of communication."

"Sherlock owns my soul and a part of it rests with him and part of his rests with me." John put his empty bowl on the table and ran his fingers through Sherlock's hair again, suddenly needing to touch his mate.

Sherlock leaned into the touch, "As good as it is I would not advise anyone else do it." Though it was more than worth the pain he'd experienced to have such a close connection to John, the risk of something going wrong should someone try to duplicate it was far too high.

"No definitely not." John shook his head. "Absolutely without a doubt the most terrifying moment of my life." He still remembered the terror and the claws tearing at his heart if fear that he would lose his Sherlock. No one should go through that.

Victoria reached up and pat John's cheek, all concern for the shadow feelings that appeared and then puffed out like ghosts.

John smiled at her and leaned down to kiss her brow lightly. "It's okay sweetheart, luckily it turned out well. I have my Sherlock; the feelings are only memories now"

Sherlock made an assenting noise that was quickly interrupted by a sharp, "Guh!" as he had to catch a curious kitten from falling into his stew. He held it up to his face, eyes narrow, and completely assured it would be trouble. He got a mew and big innocent blue eyes looking at him cutely for his effort before snorting and handing the kitten back to Victoria.

Greg chuckled, "I guess the kitten might be a little hungry."

"Oh, in the carrier there's food made for kittens." Mycroft got up from the couch to go and get the food. "We have bowls too of course and a litterbox." Greg and he had made sure to get everything a cat needed when they bought the kitten.

Victoria looked at the kitten, chewed on her lip a bit, then scooted off the sofa to follow Mycroft. Having been starved herself she wasn't about to let her kitten be hungry. She'd take care of her no matter what, even if it meant stepping out of her comfort zone.

Mycroft was aware of the little girl following him and he sent her what he hoped was a reassuring smile as he got the bowls and the food. "Let's set it up in the kitchen for her shall we?" He walked into the kitchen and sat the bowls down on the floor, filling one with water and the other with the kitten food. "I'm placing the rest of the food here on this shelf in the fridge; you can reach it there so you can feed your kitty when she gets hungry." Mycroft knew that John and Sherlock would be happy to help her but he also knew that it felt good to be able to do something by yourself. "Have you figured out a name for her?"

She set the kitten down and watched as it went to the food and began to take delicate little bites. She tilted her head this way and that before making a decision, "Lily."

"Lily, what a fitting name. I am sure she will wear that name with pride. Beautiful name for a beautiful kitten belonging to an even more beautiful girl." Mycroft's smile came easier now, he didn't feel as self conscious when it was just him and Victoria. Even though Sherlock and John were family, Mycroft found it hard to let go of all his shields in front of them.

She hunkered down to watch the kitten eat, occasionally looking up at Mycroft as if trying to figure him out. She wasn't exactly sure what to make of him. Most of the people she'd met before who acted like they didn't feel or acted opposite to what they felt had been bad. They'd felt bad things and liked to hurt people. Sherlock's brother was the first person she'd met who concealed his feelings when they weren't bad feelings.

To be continued…