Requested on Wattpad: I'd love to see how Sherlock copes alone when one of his children are sick.
A large overnight bag sat on the dining table. Margaux stood in front of it, piling up folders and slotting them inside. She was wearing a long coat, her hair loose and tucked behind her ears as she leaned forward.
Sherlock stepped into the doorway, standing quietly for a moment and watching her pack. He walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders, squeezing them gently as he towered over her.
"That's a big bag for two nights," he said.
"I said possibly two nights," she replied. "It could be longer. This one bag has all my case work in it, as well as my clothes, shoes, toiletries. I actually think I've done well to fit it all in the one place."
"I'm still rather annoyed they didn't ask me to go."
She turned around to face him, leaning back against the edge of the table. "No, no, no. See, you catch the killers, I make them confess. In the words of Greg Lestrade: this is my division." She patted him on the arm. "Besides, I need you here to watch over our brood."
"Mm." He glanced around, suddenly noticing how quiet the house was. "Where are they anyway?"
"Vee's in Rosie's," she replied. "Flora, Sadie and Arden went to your parents' for dinner."
"What about Milo? Was one extra child too much for them?"
She laughed. "He's been fussy today, didn't want to leave my side."
"Hm. Where is he now?"
He raised an eyebrow, looking up at the clock on the wall. "Sleeping? It's almost 5 o'clock."
She sighed. "I know, I know. He didn't nap this afternoon and then he drifted off in his playpen about half an hour ago. I just had so much to do, so I left him in there to sleep."
"Well," he huffed. "I'm in for a long night."
"I'm sorry. Why don't you go in and see if you can wake him?"
"Now, if I've learned anything since becoming a father, it's that you never wake a two-year-old unless you want your head bitten off."
She laughed. "He's been in a funny mood all day. I doubt he'll sleep much longer."
She turned her back on him to zip up her bag before checking her watch. "Right, I better go. I'm meeting Dave Small at the train station."
He grimaced. David Small. A laddish, overly confident detective with too-white teeth and muscles so big he couldn't put his arms flat to his sides. They had got off on the wrong foot immediately when Dave spoke over him as he tried to deduce a crime scene. Things only getting worse when Sherlock forgot his name and referred to him as 'the meat head' in front of the entire homicide division. But the real reason Sherlock didn't like him, was because of Dave's clear attraction to his wife.
"Small," he said. "A rather fitting name - small brain, small feet, I wonder what else is small..."
"Stop it, you." She batted his arm.
"No. I don't like him."
"Why!? Because he's infatuated with a married woman. Sometimes he even flirts with her right in front of her husband," he gestured to himself. "It's like he forgets I know how to hide a body and it never be found."
She shook her head and tutted softly.
"I notice these things, Margaux. And I don't like the idea of you going on a little trip with a man who spends more time mentally undressing you than he does actually doing his job."
"It's not a 'little trip'. It's work."
"How can you not see that he fancies you?"
"Sherlock, I analyse behaviour for a living, I'm more than aware that he fancies me."
He glared at her.
"But just because he fancies me doesn't mean I fancy him." She laughed. "What would I want with Dave Small when I have this at home?" She took fistfuls of his shirt and pulled him closer to her.
He rolled his eyes as she kissed him on the cheek.
"If he tries anything I will kill him," he said in a low, serious voice.
She smirked, secretly loving Sherlock's jealous streak.
"Right," she said as she walked out into the hall and down to the living room.
Milo was still asleep in his pen. She kissed her fingertips and touched them against his head before making her way to the front door. Sherlock followed behind, stopping as she turned to face him.
"Be good," she said. "Look after my babies. Try not to spend all your time thinking about Dave and I sleeping together in a Holiday Inn."
He took her face in his hands and kissed her deeply, holding onto her as she reached back for the doorhandle.
"Sherlock." She giggled against his lips. "You have to let me go."
He kissed her again, reluctantly stepping back to let her open the door.
"See you soon," she said with a smile.
He stood on the doorstep and watched as she threw her bag into the boot of the car. She slammed it shut and walked around to the driver's side before changing her mind and hurrying back towards the house.
He furrowed his brow as she approached, about to ask her what she had forgotten when she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him again.
"I love you," she whispered.
"I love you too."
He waited until she had driven off before closing the door, leaning back against it and huffing. He missed her already - he had never missed anyone until he met Margaux, blaming her thoroughly for turning him soft.
He sat at the desk in the study looking over a letter from a potential client when a small, sad voice called out through the double doors.
He stood up and walked through to the living room, laying eyes on his son as he stood holding the bars of his playpen. He was wobbly on his feet, his mop of curly, dark hair skewed from sleep.
"Mummy's not here," he said, walking over and lifting him into his arms. "You're stuck with me, I'm afraid."
Milo lay his head on his father's chest, cuddling into him like he was ready to fall asleep again. Sherlock stroked his hair, looking down at him as he nuzzled against his shirt.
"What's the matter, my boy?"
He mumbled quietly.
Sherlock was usually good at understanding his son when he spoke; where other people heard gibberish, he heard a question, where others heard a shout or a babble, he heard a full, coherent sentence. But he couldn't make this out.
He glanced at the clock. Margaux had only been gone for thirty minutes.
"Shall we get you something to eat?"
"Nooo." The boy shook his head and began to whinge.
"Hey," he said softly, wandering slowly around the room with him. "We'll have less of that, thank you sir."
He walked through to the kitchen and sat him on the counter, leaning forward and staring into his round, amber-hued eyes. He was the only child to not have inherited the glacial blue of his father, though in every other way, there was no denying he was a Holmes.
"How about... some strawberries?" asked Sherlock, making his voice light and excited.
"How about... some toast?"
"No! No din."
"What do you mean no dinner? I can't not feed you."
The boy continued to shout 'no', working himself up until he began to cry. Sherlock shushed him gently, pulling him into a hug and lifting him off the counter.
"What's got into you? You're usually the happy one."
"I wan mummy."
"So do I, darling." He patted and rubbed his back, cheering his voice up as he spoke again. "But we're okay, aren't we? We'll be fine."
Suddenly, he felt a warm sensation over his shoulder and down his back, the familiar sound of retching. He grimaced. Milo began to scream, tears streaming down his flustered, red face, sick gathered in the corner of his mouth.
Sherlock took a deep breath and looked around, unsure of what to do first. Whenever his children had been sick in the past, he had always been lucky enough to have his wife there to help. This time he was alone, standing in the kitchen covered in vomit, a screaming toddler in his arms.
"It's okay," he said, as kindly as he could.
He undressed his son, throwing his dirty clothes on the floor before unbuttoning his own shirt with one hand and peeling it off. He took a clean corner of the shirt and wiped the boy's mouth, cooing and shushing to try and calm him down.
Milo's cheeks were bright red, worryingly hot as Sherlock threw his shirt on the floor and placed the back of his hand on his forehead. He walked them to the back door and slid it open, stepping out into the cool evening air and rocking him back and forth as if he were a newborn baby.
"It's alright, son," he said quietly. "You're alright."
He had faced ticking bombs and loaded guns, cold-blooded killers and psychopathic criminals. But none of it compared to the fear he felt being completely alone with a sick child.
He lay Milo on the couch, surrounding him with cushions to stop him from falling. He stood back with his hands on his hips, taking a second to admire his work before pulling his phone out and walking into the kitchen.
He held the phone to his ear as he collected the pile of dirty clothes from the floor and threw them into the washing machine, his mouth pressing into a straight line when he noticed the freshly-washed laundry already inside.
"Oh well," he muttered, closing the washing machine door with his foot.
"Hello?" her voice chimed through the phone.
"Hi," he said. "Where's the pink stuff we give to the kids when they're not well?"
"Pink st- Do you mean Calpol?"
"Why? What's wrong?" He could hear the panic in her voice.
"Milo may have a slight fever," he said.
"He... Oh god, is he okay?"
"He's fine. I'm handling it."
"Forgive me, but that does not ease my concern."
"Margaux, the pink stuff?"
"Oh, god, yes it's in the top cupboard above the kettle. Right at the back."
He reached up and pulled it out. "Got it."
"Sherlock, are you sure he's okay?"
"Darling, I swear to you, I would die before I let anything happen to him."
She gave a relieved sigh. "I know that, I do."
"It's just a high temperature. Please don't worry."
He was telling her not to worry, yet he was worrying himself. He ended their call and took the medicine into the living room.
Milo hadn't moved, his eyes heavy as he lay curled up on his side. It wasn't like him to stay in one place for this long; he was an explorer, a mischief maker. Seeing him so tired, his little body so weak and slumped, was enough to break Sherlock's self-proclaimed cold heart.
He sat down beside him, reading over the dosage on the bottle several times. He leaned over with the syringe full of medicine.
"Open your mouth."
Milo furrowed his brow, clamping his lips together tightly and shaking his head.
"It's the nice medicine! You like this one."
"Come on, son, it'll make you feel better."
Sherlock took a deep breath, overcome with the sudden urge to prise his mouth open and force the medicine in. But a voice in the back of his mind told him not to, reminding him that this wasn't how you dealt with children.
"See," he said, tipping his head back and squeezing the dose into his own mouth. "Mm that is yummy. Now your turn..."
He refilled the syringe and leaned in slowly, finding himself in a silent standoff with his two-year-old. His children were too clever; something he always saw as a good thing, a point of pride. But right now it was a curse.
"Look, I'm going to level with you," he said, as if he were speaking to someone his own age. "If you don't take this medicine then mummy will shout at me. You don't want that, do you?"
He babbled back at his father argumentatively.
"Fine. Take the medicine and I'll give you something. Anything you want. Within reason."
He pointed at the TV. "Peppa."
"Oh no, anything but that god awful pig."
"Peppa," he repeated sternly.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Fine. But medicine first."
He gave him the syringe and flicked on the cartoon before leaving the room and running upstairs.
He stood in the bedroom and sighed, taking a clean shirt from the wardrobe and slipping it on. He hadn't even buttoned it all the way before he heard Milo crying for him in the living room. He ran back downstairs, shirt half-undone to see a stream of bright pink vomit down the side of the couch, his son leaning over and screaming hysterically.
"Again? Really?" he said as he rushed towards him and scooped him up into his arms.
"No, the medicine-" He sighed, realising he was trying to argue with a baby. "Never mind."
He felt his forehead and hummed in the back of his throat. Still hot. He wondered what he should do, what Margaux would do.
"Come on," he said as he walked them through to the kitchen.
He sat Milo on his hip, holding him securely with one arm while he rummaged through the cupboards and pulled out a baby bottle. He used one hand to fill the bottle with cold water, struggling as he screwed on the lid and lifted it to the boy's mouth.
"No!" Milo shouted.
"Please, son. Just a little bit."
He wondered what his enemies would think of him if they could see him now. The mysterious, calculated, ruthless Sherlock Holmes speaking softly and rocking side-to-side as he begged a two-year-old to drink some water. It was ridiculous. A tougher task than even the most difficult mysteries.
He gave up and put the bottle down, taking his phone from his back pocket and wedging it between his ear and shoulder.
"John," he said, stroking the back of Milo's head. "I have a question."
"Oh good, I have a question for you too. Vaughan said you told him he could spend the night here. Did you?"
"No. But John, I-"
"See, Vee! I knew you were lying."
He could hear his eldest son arguing in the background, rolling his eyes and shushing gently as the toddler continued to cry against his chest.
"Focus. Put your Doctor hat on and tell me, if Milo threw up a dose of medicine, can I give him more?"
"You've really come to me about drug advice?"
"Mm well my expertise tends to lie in much stronger substances..."
"No," he sighed. "Don't give him more."
There was silence. He assumed John could hear the baby crying and his desperate attempts to shush him.
"Do you want me to let Vaughan stay here?" John finally said.
"That would be rather helpful, yes."
"What about the other kids?"
"They're at my parents. I should probably call them too, see if they can keep them overnight."
"Right well, if you need anything..."
"I know," he replied. "Thanks..." he added reluctantly.
He woke in the living room to the sound of his phone ringing, bewildered and disorientated, unable to remember falling asleep.
Milo was sleeping on his chest, face down, nuzzled against his half-buttoned shirt. He reached down and grabbed the phone which had fallen on the floor, answering it with a whisper.
"I just got into my hotel," said Margaux. "Wanted to call and see how he is."
He reached down and touched the boy's head. He was cooler, his breathing steady and slow after managing to keep down the second lot of medicine. The four hours between doses had been hell, and Sherlock had never felt so helpless. He understood now what people meant when they said they wished they could take someone else's pain away.
"I think he's okay," he replied.
"No," he grumbled sleepily. "He's right here with me, he's fine. What time is it?"
"It's after midnight. Did you fall asleep?"
"Mm, must have."
She laughed softly down the phone. "I knew something wasn't right with him today. I'm sorry for leaving you-"
"Don't apologise. You couldn't have known."
"I know, I just worry about you. It's not that I don't think you can handle it, it's just... well..."
"It's just that you don't think I can handle it."
"No I do. Honestly, I do. Do you really think I'd have kept having babies with you if I didn't think you were a good dad?"
"Well, a fair few of them were accidental..."
"Sherlock," she hissed.
He chuckled quietly, stroking the back of Milo's head.
"You know you're their favourite, don't you?" she said. "Every single one of them adores you."
"That's because I'm the fun parent."
"How many times do I have to tell you? Taking them on cases and letting them play with your chemistry equipment does not make you the 'fun one'. It makes you a pain in my arse."
"I bet Dave Small wishes he was a pain in your arse."
The sound of her laughter made him smile. "God what have you done to me?" he said.
"What do you mean?"
"I actually... miss you."
She giggled. "I miss you too, you big softie."
Milo began to stir, wriggling around and sleep talking beneath his dummy.
"I have to go," Sherlock whispered. "One of the non-accidents is awake."
"Sherlock you better stop calling Vaughan and the twins accidents."
"Alright, alright," he said with a smirk. "I love you."
"I love you."
He hung up the phone and sat up, wrapping his arms around his son so he didn't fall.
"Feeling better?" he asked.
He mumbled, rubbing his tired eyes with his fists.
Sherlock pulled the dummy from his mouth. "Say that again?"
"Daddy we seep i-yo ba."
"Yes, of course we can sleep in my bed," he replied, understanding him perfectly. "Come on."
He stood up and bent down to pick him up, but Milo held up his palm, as if he were an old man refusing a helping hand to cross the street.
Sherlock laughed softly. "Okay."
He never thought he possessed the capability of patience; losing his temper easily and always looking for the quickest solution to a problem. But when it came to his children, he found he had all the time in the world. Even in the early hours of the morning, after an evening of sickness and screaming, he waited calmly as his son climbed the stairs, holding his hand and encouraging him with every step he took.
When they got into the bedroom, he changed his nappy and dressed him in a pair of clean pyjamas before pulling back the duvet and letting him crawl beneath it. He got in beside him, checking his temperature one last time just to be sure, before pretending to magically pull the dummy from behind his ear.
Milo giggled and popped it in his mouth, curling up beside him and clinging to his arm that draped around his middle.
"Love you too, son."
So this will be my last ever update here on FFN! I love writing fanfiction but I just don't enjoy posting to this site anymore. The upload system is a pain, the tagging is too limited and I'm getting little-to-no engagement compared to other sites.
I'm still frequently uploading on AO3 and Wattpad under the same username 'daydreamtofiction' and I really do hope to see you there! But otherwise, thanks so much for all the reviews, favourites etc. My stories will stay up on my page for anyone who wants to reread, and thank you to everyone who's taken the time to read my stories over the years.