A/N: Well, this is probably my one foray into the Sherlock fandom. I was sitting here, drawing, while reading Eddy (Edhla's) stuff and I thought, well, why not? She had an OC, she had a pairing, and I was already finishing the picture. So this happened. If you haven't read Edhla's fics, look up After the Fall and go from there. They're really great and really entertaining. Enjoy! Mild spoilers for her fic The Somerton Man, which inspired the cover.

-gift!fic for Edhla. In which pre-teen Charlotte Watson is a wonderful terror, but a terror never the less. What will they do with her?

Because I Can

"Where's Charlie?"

That was a question frequently raised in the Watson household, mostly by the patriarch after a long day at the job. By "job", we of course mean taking care of Baker Street's resident childish adult, Sherlock Holmes. There weren't many other things that cause John to feel the day is long, especially since he has to come home to his own creations.

Well, his and Molly's, of course.


"Hoy there," the man greeted, kneeling down to greet a five-year-old with a pirate hat. "What have you been doing Ray?"

Bastardizing the name "Raynard" was something John had found was one of his greatest accomplishments. Of course, Mycroft might not think so himself, but that was his loss.

The little boy smiled, chubby cheeks and all. "Ahoy Daddy!" The boy hugged him around the neck as best as he could, only to end up a squealing, dangling mass of child as his father rose. John knew he wasn't burly by any means, but it was always fun to do that to your children.

John put him down a moment later. He could hear the sound of Glee in the background, which meant Molly was home and trying to unwind from... something. He'd never known her to be too uncomfortable with her job, she seemed to like it more than he liked his, really.

That meant Charlie.

Oh, dear.

"Lad, where's your first mate?"

Ray shrugged. "Upstairs with a book, I think. She bounced up the stairs. Mum just sat in the kitchen. She barely remembered to get me a banana pudding!" The ensuing pout from this last statement made him chuckle. Banana pudding was more important than anything. He could understand that when faced with a good shepherd's pie.

"Thank you lad. Go pillage some treasure."

"Arr~!" His son assured him, tottering off in that magical way little ones do. John chuckled again. Tykes. What would you do without them?

Probably have slightly lower blood pressure.

There was that.

"What did she do?" he asked as he entered the kitchen. Molly looked up from a report and shook her head. A rueful smile blossomed on her face.

"Nothing," she replied softly with a shake of the head. "That's what her teachers said was the problem. No fists, no tears, not even any insults. The parents are saying she made them cry, which she did."

John sat down. "So she did do something."

"She scolded them, really, for bullying her and another girl. Well," Molly hedged. "Tried to bully her anyway. They also want her to stop bringing those books to class."

"Her animal books?" John raised an eyebrow. "What, she isn't allowed to read now?" Molly fidgeted. When she did that, it made his anger rise. "Idiots, aren't they?"

"They just want her to fit in with the other children..."

"And I don't want to, Mum."

Charlie marched in the room, head held high and panda sweater hood flapping as she walked. She headed purposefully towards the graham crackers, snatching one with a flourish. "They're so boorish, always arguing about who stole their trading cards and who got the swing yesterday. Honestly, it's like they forget."

"That would be because they do, Charlie. Not everyone observes things like you do."

"Shirley does," Charlie said without missing a beat. Eleven-year-old cheek, the nerve of it.

"Charlie, remember, we also are aware that Sherlock has little better to do."John was sure if Sherlock ever heard his daughter calling him "Shirley", he would throw a hissy fit equal to one of Ray's copyrighted tantrums. He would have to make sure that happened as soon as possible.

"Besides solving cases?"

"He thinks everything else is boring."

Charlie frowned. They had had this discussion before, but Charlie liked reprocessing things. Like that Harry was a fan of anything with enough snark and that her mother enjoyed a good debate about Coronation Street, even now that it was off the air. "That's boring," she decided.

"What isn't then?" Molly interrupted, causing John to grin. Oh, she had done it now.

"I'm not," Charlie replied smartly. "I do things. I explore things. I annoy people."

"You take pride in this, of course. I knew letting you stalk Sherlock across London was a bad idea."

"Da, I loved that birthday present," she said, an affronted "O" on her face. "I got to stalk someone because I could. He didn't even see me!"

"Greg couldn't even see you. And he was looking."

She smirked. "I know how to hide."

I'm putting a GPS on this one as soon as I can.

Charlie continued her haphazard rummaging through the cupboards. "Damn, we're out of pastry."

Molly sighed. "Charlie."

"Sorry, mum." She kissed her on the cheek, pulling her hood over her head. "I'm gonna go, someone wants a dramatic reading of The Hobbit." She spun out the kitchen door with a giggle. "I'm going on an adventure~!"

"That wasn't me," John called after her, even as his wife giggled. "Oh, not you too."

"S-Sorry John," she murmured. "You have to admit; you do look a bit like him."

"I'm taller."

"I would like to think so."


They stared at each other across the table before laughing, John, shaking his head. There was a sudden clang from the front door and Ray's delighted squeal made them both turn to see Harry wheeling the boy by his ankles. "Don't you dare bonk his head," John warned, only to see his sister grin.

"Bonk? Way to go with that medical professional vocabulary there, mate." She put him down and dropped a bag of oranges on the table. "Mrs. Hudson passed them to me, was almost pelting your partner-in-crime with them."

"He's not feeling "up to eating" again," John replied with a snort. "The case isn't even exciting him either."

"As long as he doesn't make Charlie start that, I think we'll be all right," Molly mused, looking back down at her report as Ray tugged at her coat. She mussed his hair. How was the boy the well-behaved one?

Harry rolled her eyes. "She darn near worships him. Speaking of which, where is the bear?"

"You just missed her. And her spat."

John watched his sister's face fall from confusion to dismay and back up to chipper. "'S still better than when we were going to school."

"Not that that is saying much," John pointed out, yanking Ray by the collar and pulling him to sit on his lap. "Kids are still some of the cruelest people." Ray made a pirate growl at him, but then settled for doodling on the table with his finger. "And she's too darn observant for her own good. Makes the teachers nervous."

Molly chuckled at her son making faces, then frowned again. "She does try hard, but... nobody likes difference."

"Specially not kids," Harry agreed. Then she waved her hand. "Eh, she'll be fine. Hardy girl, still loves pandas, loves learning, knows how to make a fella laugh. She'll be fine at high school."

John groaned. "We haven't hit middle school yet, Harry. Don't."

Harry grinned. "Aw... too soon."