Authors: AnnLarimer and Rosencrantz
Disclaimer: Sherlock belongs to the BBC and ACD and not we, see?
Spoilers: "The Great Game" (technically) and (inexplicably) Torchwood: Children of Earth
Summary and/or Warnings: Jesus Christ, it's a babyfic - GET IN THE CAR. Also wrong-headedness, slurs against the Irish, general creepiness, and a roofie joke.
Rating: PG-13 for the odd swear
John and Sherlock Make a Baby (From Stuff they Find Around the Flat)
London has days like this: blue-lit, chilly, leafy, and lonesome. On days like this, a young consulting detective's fancy turns to -- please pardon my French -- reproduction. Usually, on days like this, he is content to disassemble a library photocopier and look at the bits, or feed interesting things into a shop's self-service photo printer to see what (if anything) comes out, or attempt to catch and clone a pigeon. Then he forgets the whole business the next morning. Because, bored.
Consulting detectives are like that.
But sometimes, his flatmate has noticed, on days like this, a young consulting detective's fancy turns to really, really stupid ideas.
This stupidity often announces itself with a shout from below, and the pounding of feet up the stairs. "John. John. John!" (I should mention here that the flatmate's name, in common with that of many other people, was John. In this case, John Watson. There are many Johns, and many Watsons, but not quite so many John Watsons.) The door bursts open. "JOHN! Come look at this. I've just had the BEST IDEA!"
John looks up from his book. "Did you? Oh God."
"Pardon?" This is Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective. He has ideas.
"I said, 'Oh, good.'"
"Get your coat!" Sherlock has already pulled a coat from its hook and tossed it over John's head. Well, someone's coat. John is rarely fussed about coats, so long as they don't smell of Semtex. "The cab's waiting!"
"Fine." He shrugs into his (and it is actually his) coat, checking the pockets. Phone. Keys. Mycroft's card, in case they needed bail. "Is this a dead thing we're going to? Should I bring a stick for poking it?"
But Sherlock is already thumping back down to the street. "Come on!"
Life often liked to remind John Watson that it had worse things on offer than the poke-able dead. Life thought it was being funny, John supposed. Life was, frankly, a bit of a wanker.
Sherlock had dragged him to a spot across the road from the grammar school in St Alban's Grove. "Look. Look. They're just wandering free at the play structure. It'll take five seconds," said Sherlock.
"No," said John Watson flatly. "And we're leaving."
"They've already got little uniforms on. They're obviously trained."
"No. We're leaving now. I know you're incapable understanding exactly how incredibly creepy this is, and that's okay, it's why you keep me around. But this is not a good idea." He took Sherlock's arm and led him back to the cab. It took a bit of force to get him inside. "I'm not getting another ASBO."
"It's not a pet shop, you loon! They have parents. Probably."
Sherlock pressed his face against the taxi window as they were driven away. "Look at their little hats!"
Sherlock paced the sitting room that evening, pondering. John had learned long ago to turn this into background noise, as one does with a hyperactive cat that chases phantom mice from room to room, or a large aquarium with a wonky filter. Granted, it was a large aquarium with a wonky filter which occasionally vaulted over the sofa for no obvious reason, but it did so without knocking the book from his hands. So that was all right.
John only noticed when Sherlock stopped moving, and was staring at him.
"We're approaching this problem incorrectly."
We? Where do you get we? "Are we?"
"Instead of obtaining an infant or child made from the DNA of persons unknown, which has already been partially socialized, and which will therefore forever be intellectually and possibly physically inferior, we must construct our own."
"Construct? How? Does the Science Museum make a kit now? Ooo, can we get a potato clock, too?"
There was a touch of pity in Sherlock's expression. "John. John. Nothing so outré. The combination of our genetic material should do the job nicely."
John let this sink in. "Ah. Small problem there. I hope I don't have to go into too much detail, since there's a bit of a chance my head might explode, but there ought to be some simple diagrams online..."
"Don't be silly! Mummy bought me a book." Sherlock crouched in front of him, blue eyes lit up as though they might start vaporising small airborn insects. "John, as I'm sure you'll recall, you have a sister. For our purposes, her genetic material is similar enough to yours that--"
John laughed. "What, Harry?"
Sherlock nodded. "That is her name, yes."
John sat up. "First, no. Second, no. Third, assuming she is sober enough to understand your proposition, she will very rightly kick you in your little genius goolies for even suggesting such a thing."
"They're not little."
"Fourth, and this is the most important, please listen very carefully: HELL no."
Sherlock was prowling the flat again, rummaging in drawers for...equipment. "It's flawless! Combine my brains with your...whatever it is you have, I'm still trying to quantify that..."
"And Harry's amazingly high risk for fetal alcohol syndrome?"
"Do it for science, John!"
"Sherlock. I have a gun. Somewhere. Put down the turkey baster and step away from the phone."
Sherlock only grinned at him.
John sighed. He might be more trigger-happy than the average medical man, but he would never be menacing. That tone of voice hadn't worked on The Golem, either. Of course, he wasn't entirely certain that The Golem spoke English.
Harry, as it happened, had been perfectly sober when she answered the phone. She replied to Sherlock's proposition with earnest, even heated, fervor -- and immediately paid a visit to Baker Street in order that they might share a frank exchange of views.
In short: she kicked him in the goolies.
"I did warn you," said John.
Sherlock spent much of the next day in a fetal curl on the sofa, periodically shouting for more ice.
John Watson has days like this. He has always been...not easily led, by any means, but always determined to see things through to the end. Perhaps it's the storyteller in him, the bit of his brain that spends hours working up catchy titles for his blog entries, and thinks that abandoned Tube tunnels and sinister midnight circuses are just super. Perhaps, like Sherlock Holmes, he hates boredom. Perhaps Sherlock's current obsesson is so utterly, wrong-headedly insane that there is a chance it will actually work, and John will find himself living in the Addams Family, just like he wanted to do when he was five. Two men, a baby (possibly an Ickean man-lizard baby), add a couple of robots and maybe, just maybe, a talking dog. A bit crowded, perhaps, but they could always expand downwards into 221A. The robots could look after Harry, if she decided she wanted a W1 postcode. She'd been more of a Danger Mousefan, but still. They'd both been keen on robots, back in the day.
It is also not impossible that Sherlock has been drugging John's tea.
John knows perfectly well that this cannot possibly work, but...bored. So a few days later, Sherlock has him in a cab once again, and they are on their way to an interview with a woman at a Gothic Revival pile called St Perpetua the Martyr's Home for Foundling Orphans.
"Now remember..." John says as they approach the entrance.
"I know, I know, just be myself," Sherlock replies.
"No," John replied. "No. For God's sake, do not be yourself. Ever."
John felt almost optimistic going in to the initial interview. Mrs. Proctor's office was pleasant and woody, in a headmistressy sort of way. She did not burst into laughter at the very sight of them -- a more common occurence than you might think -- and gave them tea.
"Well," she said, smiling. "First things. How did you two meet?"
Sherlock gave her his brightest I'm-not-a-sociopath smile. "Well, it's kind of a funny story..."
Annnnnnnnnnd we're completely buggered, thought John.
"...so I thought Sherlock was actually going to take the poison--"
"I was NOT going to take the poison!"
"I'm telling this. So I shot the cabbie in the back." Oh, damn. Oh, damn. I was not going to say that out loud. Damn, damn, damn!
Mrs Proctor's lips tightened into a hard line. "Get out of my office."
Another cab. John wasn't sure of many things in this world, but he did know this: there would always be another cab.
Sherlock did his best to be reassuring. This, of course, did not help. "I'm sure she thought you were joking."
"I can't believe I said that. I can't believe I said that with my outside of my head voice. Have you been slipping me flunitrazepam?"
Sherlock somehow completely failed to answer this question. "John. I was watching her. We lost her long before the conversation turned to your homicidal tendencies."
"And when did we lose her exactly?"
"I believe it was when I was describing my extensive study of alkalids."
"Ah. Yes. By the way, when someone asks you what an alkalid is? Best not use phrases like 'you bloody ignorant harpy.'"
Sherlock, to his credit, looked thoughtful. "I can see where that might have been in error, yes."
John felt a bit better when they arrived home. Surely, now, this silliness was over, and they could return to their normal lives.
Well, normal for them.
But it was not to be. They entered the flat to find Mycroft Holmes sitting in one of the armchairs, smiling that smile that always made John think of a sinister Sainsbury's pear-shaped ham. Mycroft held what, on closer examination, proved to be a fresh infant. "Morning, gents."
"Oh, Lord," said John.
"Hullo, Mycroft," said Sherlock.
"I've brought you a present," Mycroft said brightly. "Heard you were in the market for one of these, and we always keep a few spares on hand."
Sherlock Holmes, the world's greatest detective, consultant to the great and good, and the enemy of evildoers everywhere, at least of the interesting ones, made a noise that sounded very much like a girlish squeal. He snatched the bundle from Mycroft's arms. "Wait. It's got a blanket. Is it in shock?"
"She," Mycroft corrected. "And no. It's just generally a good idea to keep them wrapped up."
"Ohhhhhh. I didn't realize."
"I'll have a manual sent over. And I'm sure Dr Watson had a course or two on babies back in school. My understanding is, the primary thing to bear in mind is not to drop them."
Sherlock's expression was practically beatific as he gazed down at the baby. "We have a daughter, John!"
"Where did you get this?" John asked Mycroft.
"Place near Bletchely Park," Mycroft said blandly. "We bring them up to do wetwork. Good kids, really."
Mycroft winked at him. Which was very possibly the most disturbing thing John had ever seen.
"What shall we name her?" Sherlock asked. "Sherlockina is a lovely name..."
"And of course we trade the defective ones to the aliens," Mycroft added. "They like the flavor."
"The...flavor." Has the world always been made of non sequiturs? John thought. Am I brain damaged? He had no memory of a recent header down the stairs, but then, if sufficiently concussed, he wouldn't have, would he? "Aliens?" He turned to Sherlock. "And you can't call the poor thing Sherlockina!"
"It's good enough for Mummy," Mycroft muttered.
Sherlock nodded. "Aliens. You may remember that bit of bother last year..."
John looked at him blankly. It was becoming a bit hard to hear anything over the sparky plastic raygun noises inside his brain.
"Oh, of course, you were still in the Army! Well. Remember when they suddenly had you round up all those Afghani children for 'vaccinations'..."
"Another time, Sherlock," Mycroft suggested. He turned to John. "Don't worry. We get them from poor people. And the Irish."
"Do we want a used Irish baby? I did not just say that out loud." I am going out to the shop and buying an insulated travel mug with a secure, anti-drugging lid, he decided.
"They're quite good," Mycroft assured him. "Little Jimmy Moriarty? One of ours, once. Escaped when he was eight. Bit of a handful. We chip them now, of course." He tapped his finger against a spot behind his ear.
"We'll take her!" said Sherlock. He looked down at Sherlockina adoringly. "Who's daddy's little assassin?"
"Goo," the infant offered.
"That's right! That's right! You are!"
An hour went by.
"For fuck's sake, stop yelling." John jiggled the baby in what he hoped was a comforting way, and clucked at her. Sherlockina glared up at him. Apparently she found her new dads insufficiently mellow.
Sherlock gave John a poisonous look, then flopped onto the couch, his back to the room.
John shook his head. "Don't worry," he told the baby. "Another twenty, thirty years, you can describe all this to a therapist and she'll sort you out."
Sherlockina looked skeptical at this, but closed her eyes.
John had to smile. A sleeping baby is a lovely thing to hold, like a cat, or a fresh loaf of bread.
Sherlock growled something into the upholstery. John ignored him.
"Hi, hi," he told Sherlockina. "Hi there." He sang softly, "Hi-dee-hi-dee-hi-dee hi..." Then he grinned. "Here's the story 'bout Minnie the Moocher..." He and Sherlockina did a little spin. "She was a red hot hoo-oo-chie coocher..."
There was a quiet tap on the door. John danced her over to open it. "She was the roughest, toughest frail... Hello, Mycroft, good timing, shh..."
Mycroft nodded, understanding. "But Minnie had a heart a big as a whale. Has it been long enough?" He held out his arms to take the baby. ("Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi," he and John told Sherlockina.)
"Oh yes," John said, handing her over. ("Ho-de-ho-de-ho-de-ho," they both sang.) "Sherlock got bored and tried to put her in the fridge."
Mycroft looked appalled but unsurprised. ("Hee-de-hee-de-hee-de-hee...")
"He made sure I was looking and would swoop in, of course..."
"Of course." ("Ha-de-ha-de-ha-de-ha," they assured the baby.)
"She does have actual parents, right?" John asked.
"Oh, of course. Technically, Anthea is babysitting her. And no, raising assassins from infancy isn't anywhere near as cost effective as they make it seem in films. Poor Min..."
"And the alien thing?"
Mycroft's face was utterly blank. "What alien thing? Poor Min..."
"Poor Minnnnn... Bye sweetheart," John said, and shut the door.
"All right," he told Sherlock. "She's gone. You can pretend this never happened now."
Sherlock sprang to his feet. "Thank Christ for that! Chinese?"
"Perfect." John said. "But for God's sake go find a shirt that doesn't have baby spew on it."
Sherlock swanned off to his bedroom to change.
John looked round the sitting room. It was now insistently quiet, and oddly empty, and a little sad. He sighed. "She messed around with a bloke named Smokey...She loved him, though he was coke-y -- oh that's not good at all."
There's a school in St Alban's Grove, W8, but it's actually for American college students. You will not find children in hats and uniforms. You may spot a (possibly inebriated) student in one of the upper story windows on the east side of the structure, because you can, like, totally see the building from that Pink Floyd album cover if you stand on the ledge, and it's seriously far out, man. The point is, don't try to abduct one. It will either beat the hell out of you, or sick up all over the interior of your car.
The lowdown on "Minnie the Moocher" can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnie_The_Moocher. You can find any number of versions on iTunes, Amazon, et al. We're both partial to the one on the Jeeves and Wooster soundtrack, sung (if that is the word) by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi, Sir.