Characters: John, Sarah, Sherlock, Abby
Warnings/Triggers: non-descriptive birth scene, a brief mention of a case (double homicide/suicide)
Summary: Abigael Watson makes her way into the world and her first visitor is the last person anyone would have expected.
Author's notes: Set in the Abby 'Verse (other stories: Christmas Future, Otitis Media, The Voice in Counterpoint, all uploaded here)
"You know what? I've changed my mind," Sarah announced. "Let's just go home."
"Er, I think it's a bit too late for that," John said.
They were currently twenty-one hours into labour, and Sarah had been pushing for the last two of them. It had been very smooth so far, in terms of complications and progress. She'd had an epidural about ten hours in, and both he and she had managed to get a bit of sleep on and off during the night. It was long and exhausting, however. John himself felt like he'd run a marathon, and he hadn't done anything except walk around with her, hold her during contractions, and rub her back if she wanted it. He couldn't imagine what it must be like for her.
Sarah's head lolled to his shoulder now, and he gave her a kiss on her sweaty forehead. She smiled, and laughed in her exhaustion.
"You're brilliant," John told her. "And you can absolutely do this. Okay?"
"Okay," she said. "But just for the record, I'd rather go home."
"Noted," John said. He saw her face contort up as another contraction hit. "C'mon. Just a bit longer."
She nodded and braced herself again. She pushed and yelled and then the baby's head was out and then the baby was out and then there was a baby and it was John's baby and it was a girl and he was crying and Sarah was crying and the baby was crying and it was the most amazing thing he'd ever experienced.
"I told you it was a girl," Sarah said, through her tears. They'd decided not to find out the sex, and John had wondered whether he would feel disappointed with one or the other when the baby was born, but he absolutely wasn't.
"I didn't argue," John said.
"Smart man," one of the nurses commented.
He followed the baby over to the scales, where she was weighed and cleaned off and wrapped up. She was 42.1 cms long and weighed 3.4 kgs. She was beautiful.
"Any names?" the nurse asked.
"We were waiting to see," John said.
"My name's Julie, just so you know," the nurse said, with a wink.
John grinned. "I'll keep that in mind," he said.
It was quite a long time before John and Sarah were alone with the baby, but eventually the medical staff deemed both mother and child healthy and safe. She'd passed her Apgar tests with flying colours. John took enough pictures on his mobile to take up half the memory, and sent a text to announce the birth. He was slightly overexcited and ended up sending the announcement to his dentist and all four of Mycroft's various phones. Congratulations poured in over the next few hours, with one very important one noticeably missing. John hadn't really expected any thrilled response from Sherlock, but he was a bit annoyed he couldn't be arsed to even text 'congrats'.
The baby remained unnamed, because Sarah wanted to wait until she was lucid before they made a big decision. She was weary and a bit silly with exhaustion. Thankfully, they were both in agreement on the names they liked. It was just a matter of deciding which ones they liked best.
In the afternoon, John ran home to shower and grab a few things they needed. Both his girls were napping when he returned, so he rolled the baby's bassinet over to the rocking chair and settled in to admire her for a while. When she woke up, he let her hold his finger and made faces at her and tickled her tummy and checked all her reflexes.
His mobile beeped and he managed to tear himself away long enough to look at the message.
John looked up and saw a familiar head of black hair pass by the tiny window in the door. He smiled to himself in a sudden burst of excitement.
"Do you want to meet your Uncle Sherlock?" John asked the baby.
She had no objections, so he picked her up carefully and brought her out into the hallway. Sherlock was peering into the room next door, with his usual nosiness. He turned to John and the baby when they stepped out, an uncertain sort of smile on his face.
"I was at Barts for a case and I'm awaiting test results, so I thought I'd come over while I was idle," he explained. "Congratulations."
"Thanks," John said. It was perhaps the first thing he'd said in several hours that hadn't ended in an exclamation mark. He'd had to fight for it, though. A chance to show his child off to his best friend was very exciting.
"I haven't been working with any chemicals that would be harmful to a newborn," Sherlock added, before he stepped closer to get a better look. "Is she healthy?"
"She's perfect!" John said, the exclamation mark sneaking up on him. "Er, I mean. Yes. She and Sarah are both doing great."
Sherlock's eyes took on their deduction look and John wondered if it was possible to deduce a baby; if Sherlock could tell what she was going to be like. He didn't think he'd want to know. He was looking forward to getting know her as she grew up.
"She'll have your nose," Sherlock said.
"God help her," John muttered.
"Have you decided on a name?" Sherlock asked.
"Not yet. Sarah wants to wait until she can think straight," John said. "It's probably going to be Abigael or Charlotte. Or both."
"Those are sensible names," Sherlock said, approvingly.
"And of course, Sherlock for the middle name," John added.
For a moment, he had him. Sherlock looked up with alarm, but immediately realized he was being teased and rolled his eyes. "Ha," he said. "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, John."
John just grinned. "Do you want to—"
"—hold her, okay." Sherlock had taken a giant step back at the mere thought of it. "God, okay Sherlock. She's just a baby. I've seen you disable bombs, I think you have enough dexterity to keep hold of her."
Sherlock seemed to have some sort of approach-avoidance conflict going on.
"You don't have to," John added, with just enough implication that he couldn't that Sherlock immediately had to show that he could.
"Fine," he said, curtly.
He arranged his arms appropriately and John transferred the baby over. Sherlock stood ramrod straight. The baby didn't seem to mind. She lay there content, blinking and moving her fists around. Sherlock looked at her like she was a particularly baffling clue.
"So, what's the case?" John asked.
They encountered problems immediately here, as Sherlock was unable to speak without gesturing. He twitched in place and gave John a desperate look. John took the baby back before Sherlock tried to gesture with her.
"Double homicide, possible double suicide," Sherlock explained, once his arms were free again. "It's clear they shot each other, but it's not obvious whether it was a murder or some sort of pact between them. The physics are very interesting."
"You didn't call me," John said.
"Your wife was having a baby," Sherlock said. "Even I know that you'd most likely want to be there for that. I'm managing fine. Although, you're welcome to join me at any time, if you'd like."
"I'm probably out for a few days at least," John said. "But keep me updated. It'll get me through the nappy changing and late night feedings."
Sherlock frowned suddenly, and looked a bit hesitant. John waited to see what was up, recognizing when he was about to try to be tactful. It never really worked, but John always appreciated the effort.
"John," Sherlock said. "You're not thinking of making me godfather, are you?"
"Oh, Christ no!" John blurted out.
Sherlock looked relieved. They both then realized what they said could be construed as insulting, and tried to backtrack.
"I mean, no offence, but—" John said.
"Not that I wouldn't be flattered—" Sherlock began, at the same time.
"—You'd be rubbish," John finished.
"I mean, just completely rubbish."
They both started to laugh, making the baby startle and whimper. John winced, afraid of the impending wails. He bounced her a little, making some soft noises. She settled back down again.
"No, honestly you weren't even a consideration," John said. "You aren't exactly going to lead her on the path of God, not that that's really very important to us. And you're sure as hell not going to be moral role model. And if anything happens to me, there are about twenty people ahead of you on my list of who I want taking care of her."
Sherlock nodded. "I just thought, I know that friends are supposed to be... active, or something," he said. "In her life, I mean."
"I had more of a cool uncle role in mind for you," John said. "Though, if anything does happen to me, I fully expect you to teach her all the important things. Like how to determine time of death and what happens when you microwave eyeballs and how to pickpocket police officers without them noticing."
Sherlock grinned. "You have my word," he said.
"John?" Sarah's panicked voice came from the hospital room.
"Whoops," John said. He gestured with his head toward the door, indicating that Sherlock should follow, and hurried in with the baby. "It's okay, I have her. She's here. Sherlock came to say hello."
Sarah held out her arms and John gave the baby to her. She made no effort to hide the fact she was examining her for damage. She seemed satisfied, and settled in against her pillows.
"Er..." she said.
John turned to find that Sherlock was still out in the hallway. John made a 'c'mon' gesture.
"Your wife's hormones are very unsettled, and I'm not particularly soothing on my best of days," Sherlock said.
"Sherlock, get your arse in here," Sarah called. "My hormones are fine."
Sherlock shuffled reluctantly in. He stood at the end of the bed, with one foot pointed toward the door, as though he were about to flee at any moment. "Congratulations."
"Thank you," Sarah said, with a big smile. "What do you think?"
Sherlock made his 'tactful' face again. "She looks very healthy, and you seem very happy," he decided on. Then he added, "it doesn't particularly matter what I think."
"Does to me," John said.
Sherlock shrugged. "I really have very little interest in the whole thing," he said.
John and Sarah exchanged amused looks. Sarah had known Sherlock too long now to get too offended at anything he said. Her ability to stand her ground had been one of the things he found most attractive about her, on that disastrous first date. She was confident enough not to let him get to her. That was sexy.
"All right, I think she's been nameless long enough," Sarah said. "Let's give her an identity. Sherlock doesn't care, so I'm sure he won't mind us ignoring him for a minute or two." She winked at Sherlock, who rolled his eyes. "Which names did we narrow it down to?"
"Abigael or Charlotte," John said.
Sarah looked down at the baby for a while, frowning. John did the same, trying to see if he could picture calling her one name or the other growing up. He knew which one he liked, but didn't want to influence Sarah. She looked at him and he looked at and her neither of them seemed to be inclined to give their opinion.
"Oh, for the love of Christ!" Sherlock burst out. "You both prefer Abigael, name her that. The meaning is more appropriate. Give her Charlotte for the second name. If you decide you prefer it later on, you can always call her by her middle name."
John and Sarah both turned their gaze to him, gaping.
"Not good?" he said.
"Not bad," John said. He looked to Sarah, raising an eyebrow.
"I like Abigael better," she said.
"Me too," John admitted.
Sarah grinned. "All right, Abigael Charlotte Watson," she said, looking down at the baby. "Agreed?"
"Agreed," John said.
Abigael chose this time to start wailing. John hoped it wasn't a comment on their choice of name.
"She's probably hungry," Sarah said. "Are you hungry? Yes, I bet you are."
Sherlock made a point of looking down at his watch. "My tests results will be in now," he said, quickly. "I should—" he pointed to the door.
Sarah bit her lip to keep from laughing, and nodded. "Thanks for coming," she said.
"Congratulations," Sherlock replied. "Molly and Mrs Hudson both asked repeatedly for me to convey that."
John went with him to the hallway.
"Let me know if you want in on the case at some point," Sherlock said.
"I will," John said. "Though I might be a zombie for awhile."
"I've taken that into account," Sherlock said.
John tried to see where they stood. He thought Sherlock had got his head around the idea of the baby, but it would be different now that she was here. In an ideal world, Sherlock would be pleased, but John would settle for accepting.
"I can talk on the phone, if you need someone to bounce ideas off of," John said.
"All right," Sherlock said. "I should go. Congratulations."
"Thanks," John said.
Sherlock left, and John returned to his family. Whatever his concerns about Sherlock, he felt the giddiness return at the sight of them. It would all work out. It always did.
He pulled a chair over, and sat down next to the bed, putting his hand on the baby's head. Abigael's head.
"Everything okay?" Sarah asked.
John grinned. "Everything's perfect."