You are viewing earlgreytea68

Possibly, · I'm · Insane


Nature and Nurture (34/?)

Recent Entries · Archive · Friends · User Info

* * *
Title - Nature and Nurture (34/?)
Author -earlgreytea68
Rating - Teen
Characters - Sherlock, John, Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft
Spoilers - Through "The Reichenbach Fall"
Disclaimer - I don't own them and I don't make money off of them, but I don't like to dwell on that, so let's move on.
Summary - The British Government accidentally clones Sherlock Holmes. Which brings a baby to 221B Baker Street.
Author's Notes - Thank you to hobbitts for permission to use the art in the icon, and to everyone on Twitter who helped name the baby, and to everyone on Tumblr was who was supportive and encouraging while I was going crazy over this, and to arctacuda, who's been reading this over for me and making sure it works and I'm not going crazy, and to flawedamythyst, who took one for the team and made sure that my British sounded, well, a bit more British.

Chapter One - Chapter Two - Chapter Three - Chapter Four - Chapter Five - Chapter Six - Chapter Seven - Chapter Eight - Chapter Nine - Chapter Ten - Chapter Eleven - Chapter Twelve - Chapter Thirteen - Chapter Fourteen - Chapter Fifteen - Chapter Sixteen - Chapter Seventeen - Chapter Eighteen - Chapter Nineteen - Chapter Twenty - Chapter Twenty-One - Chapter Twenty-Two - Chapter Twenty-Three - Chapter Twenty-Four - Chapter Twenty-Five - Chapter Twenty-Six - Chapter Twenty-Seven - Chapter Twenty-Eight - Chapter Twenty-Nine - Chapter Thirty - Chapter Thirty-One - Chapter Thirty-Two - Chapter Thirty-Three

John woke when Oliver started crying over the monitor. Sherlock was still in bed, still curled protectively around him. He hadn’t been sleeping; that much was clear from how wide awake he sounded when he said, readily, “I’ll get him.” And then he was out of the bed and out of the bedroom and John closed his eyes and turned his face into his pillow and thought that in most respects he was the luckiest person he knew. He had made this huge and utter disaster of his life, had been a broken man with nothing to look forward to, and now he had the world’s most remarkable baby calling him “Papa” and a genius who was using all of his considerable mental talent just to make him happy. He was really very, very lucky and it was stupid to feel sorry for himself just because of Harry. He refused to let Harry ruin any of it.

John pushed himself out of bed with a bodily effort and wandered out of the bedroom. He could hear Oliver talking to Sherlock. “No. No. No,” Oliver was saying, pausing before each one. Choosing clothes then, thought John, and left them to it and took a shower, hoping it would shake off his malaise.

What really shook off his malaise was the way Oliver came crawling over to him as soon as he opened the bathroom door, and John picked him up and held him close and said, “Good morning, love. Very handsome outfit you’ve picked there. You look very smart.”

Oliver giggled and preened and John wandered into the sitting room, where Sherlock had lined up on the desk basically every teacup and mug they had in the house.

John lifted his eyebrows. “Are you making tea?” He wasn’t sure why Sherlock would have needed every mug in the house to make tea, but perhaps Sherlock thought he needed to make tea on some sort of grand scale.

“No,” Sherlock replied, as if he didn’t know why John would ever have suggested such a thing.

“Okay,” said John. “Well, can I borrow some cups for me to make us tea? What exactly are you doing with all of them anyway?”

“Experiment.”

That was Sherlock’s all-purpose explanation for everything. Oliver was squirming in his arms, so John put him down and said to Sherlock, “Right, but what kind of experiment?”

“Cleanliness,” responded Sherlock, absently.

“No,” said John. “Absolutely not. You are not allowed to criticize how I clean our mugs, since I’m the only one in the flat who cleans them.”

Sherlock looked up at him, and then said, “Right. Yes,” and meekly went to sit in his armchair.

Which meant that Sherlock was still coddling him after yesterday, and John found that suddenly annoying. He wanted Sherlock to be difficult—no, impossible, the way he usually was, and insist on the experiment, or ignore John’s wishes, or something.

And that was irrational, to criticize Sherlock for being nice to him, so John took a deep breath and counted to ten and walked into the kitchen and put the kettle on.

“Yoo-hoo!” Mrs. Hudson called up the stairs. “Are you boys decent?”

Get caught snogging half-undressed on the sofa and never live it down, thought John, and called back, “Yes!”

Oliver crawled out of the sitting room and over to the top of the stairs and pulled himself up to standing on the gate at the top of it.

“Mamama,” he greeted Mrs. Hudson, pleased, as she walked up the stairs toward him.

John swept him up into his arms and moved the gate out of Mrs. Hudson’s way.

“Very sweet of you, Ollie, but I’m not actually your mum,” Mrs. Hudson told him, kissing his cheek.

“Mamamama,” Oliver said, cheerfully, undeterred.

“It was a lovely party yesterday, John,” Mrs. Hudson told him, as he replaced the gate.

“Ta, Mrs. Hudson. I was just making tea, would you like some?”

“Oh, no, dear, thank you.” Mrs. Hudson bustled into the sitting room, and John put Oliver back down so he could enthusiastically follow her. “What are you doing, Sherlock dear?”

“Playing,” answered Sherlock, and then the violin began.

John busied himself making cups of tea, listening to Sherlock’s violin. Mrs. Hudson was talking to Oliver, and when John walked into the sitting room with the tea, she was sitting on the sofa with Oliver sitting next to her, flipping through the bumblebee book she’d bought him the day before.

John put Sherlock’s tea next to his chair, not disturbing his playing, and then sat in his own armchair and looked expectantly at Mrs. Hudson, because it wasn’t like she made a habit of dropping by for no reason. She usually had a piece of gossip she was bursting to share, if it wasn’t a desire to borrow some sugar, or a new baked good she wanted them to try. Sometimes she showed up if she was worried about Sherlock, to make sure he was okay, and John had a sudden flash of panicked thought that she had heard the disagreement with Harry the night before and had come up to make sure he was okay.

Then Mrs. Hudson said, “I wanted to talk to you boys about Christmas.”

Christmas, thought John. He’d put up the tree, but he hadn’t really thought about it beyond that. He’d been focused on Oliver’s birthday party. He’d assumed that they would open gifts in the morning and then they would spend a lazy afternoon eating takeaway from the day before. He had been thinking he might invite Harry over, and now he shied away from thinking about that. But Christmas had never been a major event at Baker Street, because Sherlock only haphazardly acknowledged its existence, and even though there was now Oliver, John hadn’t given much thought to it. He’d assumed the gift-buying was his responsibility.

And he had a week left.

How the hell had he let the entire month get away from him so quickly?

“I’ll be going to my sister’s as usual,” Mrs. Hudson continued, helping Oliver to turn the page of the book. “I didn’t know what you had planned, but I wanted you to know that she said you are all welcome to join us.”

Sherlock kept playing his violin, showing no indication that he’d heard any of this.

John considered, then said to Mrs. Hudson, “That’s very kind of her and kind of you, but I think we’re just going to have a quiet holiday and stay home. His first Christmas and all that.”

“Of course,” Mrs. Hudson agreed. “Of course. I just wanted you to know you had the option.”

“Thank you.”

“I’ll leave you to your concert then,” said Mrs. Hudson, handing Oliver his book.

“Mamamama no,” Oliver announced, pointing at one of the bumblebees.

“It’s a bee, Ollie,” Sherlock said, without pausing in his playing.

Oliver frowned and considered this pronouncement carefully.

John got up to move the gate out of Mrs. Hudson’s way, then walked back into the sitting room, sat down, and said, “We haven’t discussed Christmas.”

“What is there to discuss?” asked Sherlock.

“What we’re doing. You didn’t want to go to Mrs. Hudson’s sister’s, did you?”

Sherlock gave him a look.

“Right,” said John. “Stupid question.”

“It isn’t his first Christmas, you know,” announced Sherlock, finishing his song with a flourish and lowering his violin.

“What?”

“You told Mrs. Hudson it’s his first Christmas, but it isn’t. He was born before Christmas last year.”

“He was a week old at Christmas last year, and he was in some clinic or hospital or institution or something where nobody cared about him and probably no one bothered to buy him a single present or wish him a happy Christmas. So I’m not counting last year,” John pointed out, sharply. He knew Sherlock didn’t understand one arbitrary day being different or special in any way, but John’s heart broke a little to think of Oliver alone and unloved on Christmas. Christmas existed for children, it was for children, in John’s opinion.

After a moment, Sherlock nodded and then started playing again.

“Christ, I was so focused on his birthday party, I didn’t even think about the Christmas shopping,” John sighed.

“Don’t feel compelled to get me a Christmas present, John,” said Sherlock, languidly.

John almost laughed. Trust Sherlock to assume it was always all about him. “Not you. But we should get something for Lestrade and Molly and your brother. All the people who have helped us. Mrs. Hudson, of course. Oh, bloody hell, I’ve got to go shopping.” How had he not thought of this before now?

“No no no bo,” Oliver said, and John didn’t know if it was directed at him or not.

Sherlock stopped playing again. “You’re going to get Oliver presents?”

“Of course I’m going to get Oliver presents. It’s Christmas, isn’t it?”

“Oh, God, are you going to tell him they’re from Father Christmas?”

“Well.” John glanced at Oliver, who was now jabbing angrily at the bee in his book. “I don’t think it really matters this year.”

“You’d have to lie to him, you know. Because there is no Father Christmas.”

Sherlock said it almost viciously. John looked at him in confusion. “Right,” he said. “I know there’s no Father Christmas.”

“Well, I think it’s moronic,” announced Sherlock, staunchly. “We love him, so we’ll buy him presents. Why do we have to pretend they come from some corpulent man with questionable fashion sense and a penchant for house-breaking?”

John smiled a bit. “I would have thought you’d love him for being a criminal.”

Sherlock rolled his eyes and resumed playing, and then abruptly stopped. “Unless you’ve got your heart set on it.”

“My heart set on what?”

“Playing Father Christmas.”

“Sherlock, it’s fine. I see your point about lying to him. And I don’t need an excuse to spoil him with a ton of presents he definitely doesn’t need.”

Spoil him? It isn’t ‘spoiling’ him to buy him presents. Look at him, he’s perfectly alright, not spoiled at all.”

On cue, Oliver looked up from his bumblebee book and said, “No.”

“Spoiled,” Sherlock muttered, as if in disbelief, and started playing his violin again.

Which was when someone started walking up the stairs. Assuming it was Mrs. Hudson, John stood to help her with the gate, but Mycroft had already stepped lightly over it by the time John got to the doorway.

“Oh,” he said. “Hello.”

“Hello,” Mycroft responded, pleasantly, and followed John into the sitting room.

Sherlock stopped playing on a sour note, frowning at Mycroft.

Oliver looked at Mycroft and pointed at him and said, happily, “Client!”

John tried not to laugh. Sherlock didn’t bother to try not to laugh. He dissolved into delighted hilarity.

Mycroft looked from Oliver, who joined Sherlock in giggling, to John. “Why does he think I’m a client?”

“Don’t take it personally, I’m sure he thinks the world is divided into me and Sherlock and then clients.”

“Well, I’m his uncle,” Mycroft said, a bit irritably, and sat carefully on the sofa next to Oliver.

Oliver looked at him, his eyes still gleaming with wicked Sherlockian amusement, and John was sure Oliver knew exactly how he had offended Mycroft and was very pleased with himself.

“Why are you here?” Sherlock asked, having recovered from his fit of laughter and going back to frowning. “We just saw you yesterday. Two days in a row is completely unnecessary.”

“I realized that I had failed to speak to the two of you about Christmas. Yesterday, with all of the other guests, did not seem the opportune time.”

“We have phones,” Sherlock pointed out, scathingly. “Both of us.”

“You have been ignoring my texts all morning.”

Sherlock paused, which showed that that had to have been true. “You should have texted John.”

“Indeed I did,” answered Mycroft.

“I shut my phone off,” John said, because he hadn’t wanted to confront the possibility that Harry would try to get in touch with him.

“Now that we have settled the state of your individual mobiles, on the subject of Christmas, I thought the three of you could come to dinner. There will be goose.”

Goose, John thought. Mycroft was having a Christmas goose. Of course he was. And John’s plan had been leftover takeaway.

“We’re not going anywhere on Christmas,” Sherlock sniffed. “It’s Oliver’s first Christmas. We’re staying here and spoiling him with presents.”

“Are you playing Father Christmas?” Mycroft lifted his eyebrows. “I thought you hated Father Christmas.”

There was something in his tone that made John look at Sherlock curiously. Sherlock looked momentarily uncomfortable before pushing it away, and John thought that maybe there was more there than Sherlock’s detestation of foolish fantasy fictions. Certainly Sherlock had been unexpectedly feeling about the matter, when John had expected him to be mostly snide and dismissive.

“We’re not playing Father Christmas,” Sherlock retorted, belligerently. “We can buy presents without playing Father Christmas.”

Fine,” said Mycroft, with the long-suffering air he frequently used when speaking with Sherlock (not that John blamed him). “I simply wanted to extend the invitation.” Mycroft stood and then paused and looked back at Sherlock. “I know that we have not traditionally spent Christmas together,” began Mycroft, stiffly, awkwardly.

“Because it’s an artificial contrivance,” Sherlock reminded him.

There was a moment before Mycroft replied, “Yes. Of course.” He glanced at John and said, “John,” in farewell as he walked out of the sitting room.

Oh, bugger, thought John. Because he had been looking forward to a lazy, casual Christmas.

He waited until he heard the street door close, and then he said to Sherlock, who had resumed playing, “Maybe we should go.”

“Oh, stop it. He’s manipulating your sentimentality. He really could not care less whether or not we spend Christmas together.”

“Who’s he going to spend Christmas with, if not us?”

“I’m telling you, John, he doesn’t care about Christmas. This is about exerting power over us and making us go to his house.”

“Where he’ll be sitting, all alone, with his Christmas goose.”

“Don’t make him sound pathetic. Well. He is pathetic. But no more so than usual. Just because it’s some arbitrary day.”

“I don’t know,” said John, and looked at Oliver, who was clearly getting ready to roll off the sofa in his neverending series of Experiments to Test Papa’s Reflexes. John grabbed him and put him on the floor and said, “Maybe one of us should spend Christmas with his siblings. For Oliver’s sake.”

Sherlock stopped playing his violin. He tapped the bow against his head and then looked up at John. John knew he was debating whether or not to bring up Harry.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” John said, stepping over Oliver. “I just have a funny feeling I’m not going to be on speaking terms with her in a week’s time, and Christmas is a family holiday, and maybe we shouldn’t set a precedent for Oliver of not speaking to family members on Christmas.”

“Five minutes ago you were telling Mrs. Hudson you wanted a quiet day in. Now you want to go to Mycroft’s monstrosity of a house and have a goose.”

“I don’t actually want to go. I just think we should.”

“For what possible reason that makes any actual, logical sense?” Sherlock demanded.

“Because you don’t want him to grow up lonely,” John replied, and he knew it might have been a low blow, but it was also the truth. So far they’d done a very good job, he thought, of giving Oliver a large, extended family to make him feel loved. And John thought it would be terrible of him to savor his little family while leaving Mycroft all alone on Christmas Day. Mycroft who had clearly extended the invitation at great personal effort. Mycroft who clearly, whatever Sherlock wanted to believe, loved both Sherlock and Oliver and wanted to be involved in their lives. And Mycroft who had never done anything that John had seen to really deserve to be cut out of their lives.

Sherlock was silent for a moment, which John knew was an acknowledgment of his point. And then Sherlock said, “It would be a sad life for him if he isn’t lonely because of Mycroft.”

John looked at him and wondered if he should ask what the deal was with Father Christmas, because there was clearly some deal, but Sherlock started playing his violin again, and John thought that he would leave it for the time being. He glanced at Oliver, who was tugging interestedly on the rocking horse’s tail, and thought of his phone in the bedroom, of Mycroft at Christmas, of Harry at Christmas, of Harry drunk, of what Harry was doing at the moment, of whether she was okay, and should he—

John turned abruptly to Sherlock. “I’m going to go Christmas shopping,” he announced.

Sherlock stopped playing and lowered his violin and looked at him solemnly. He didn’t ask why. It was clear he knew exactly why John felt compelled to get out of the flat. He said, “Do you want me to go with you?”

Sherlock Holmes, offering to come with him to do Christmas shopping. It was stupid, but John thought that that simple fact might be enough to make him cry, which just showed how fragile his emotional state was and why he needed the distraction of mad crowds and immensely frustrating present decisions.

“No,” he said, and leaned swiftly over Sherlock for a quick, fierce kiss.

“Oh,” Sherlock said, sounding a bit dazed, when John pulled back.

“But thank you for offering,” John said, and kissed him again.

“No,” Oliver remarked from the floor.

John pulled back again. “I think I’ll take Ollie.”

“You don’t have to, I’m perfectly capable of watching him.”

“I know that. I know. I…” He felt like he wanted the baby with him, although he wasn’t sure how to say that without sounding needy. “He’ll enjoy all the people. You know he likes that.”

“Yes, because he’s too young to have grown tired of all their tediousness.”

“Says the man who dies of boredom whenever we leave behind city crowds.”

“Take him,” said Sherlock, to change the subject. “You’re sure you don’t want me to come along?”

“Do you want to?”

Sherlock looked at him, obviously torn between lying because he felt like he ought to offer for John’s sake and telling the truth because he desperately didn’t want to go to Christmas shopping.

“No. We’ll be fine,” John assured him. “He’s going to help me pick out the best present for Molly, he’ll love it.”

Sherlock rolled his eyes and went back to his violin.

Next Chapter
* * *
[User Picture]
On November 21st, 2013 02:54 am (UTC), issen4 commented:
My guess is Sherlock outed Father Christmas when he was a child because he was outraged at being lied to.

Ollie's getting cuter the older he grows! Lovely chapter.

* * *
[User Picture]
On November 21st, 2013 03:07 am (UTC), wickedgillie commented:
We love him, so we’ll buy him presents. Why do we have to pretend they come from some corpulent man with questionable fashion sense and a penchant for house-breaking?

Bwhahahahaha! Do you have any idea how bloody much I love this?

That, plus Ollie calling Mycroft a client on purpose.

<3
* * *
[User Picture]
On November 21st, 2013 11:37 am (UTC), rifleman_s commented:
"Goose, John thought. Mycroft was having a Christmas goose. Of course he was. And John’s plan had been leftover takeaway."

I spent most of this chapter giggling wildly. It was Oliver's "client" comment that set met off and then it just got better and better.

But then it turned sort of sad-but-lovely at the end and how wonderful of John to try to talk Sherlock into going to Mycroft's - I see it's still unresolved, but I was wondering what on earth they would do if they did go there . . . I can't wait to find out whether they do!!

“No,” he said, and leaned swiftly over Sherlock for a quick, fierce kiss.
“Oh,” Sherlock said, sounding a bit dazed, when John pulled back.


That was lovely - everything John can't say put into a kiss.

* * *
[User Picture]
On November 21st, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC), ladyprydian commented:
Oh dear. I wouldn't be surprised if Sherlock's parents didn't adhear to the whole "Father Christmas" thing either, making him feel even more left out.

This is a mixed bag of emotions, this chapter. Fun and light hearted when Ollie calles Mycroft a client, but sad thinking about Harry, and Mycroft alone (with his goose) at Christmas.

* * *
[User Picture]
On November 21st, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC), azriona commented:
There is totally some story with Sherlock and Father Christmas, and I'm almost inclined to say it's less to do with his parents than with Mycroft. I'm probably wrong, but there, I said it. (Though how John missed that it was personal with Sherlock when it was first mentioned, I don't know, because I knew it immediately.)

Oh, Mycroft. Goose might be traditional, but it's really not that tasty. My parents made it once, they said it was awful and greasy and they ended up throwing out the leftovers. If the duck I deboned a few years ago is any indication, they were right. (Though perhaps it's all in how you cook it...)

* * *
[User Picture]
On November 21st, 2013 05:16 pm (UTC), rereader commented:
I don't know which is more adorable--that the Sherlockian sense of style is apparently genetic, or that Sherlock lets Oliver pick his own outfit without complaining!

***

Get caught snogging half-undressed on the sofa and never live it down, thought John

Hahahahahahaha!

***

Mrs. Hudson may not actually be Oliver's mum, but she that is only because she is actually Sherlock's mum-of-the-heart.

***

I love that Oliver is apparently either making up a story about the pictures of his bumblebee book, or he is criticizing its accuracy. :)

***

Oh, dear, that business about Father Christmas/Santa Claus sounds like there's a sad story behind it. :( Clearly he was disillusioned in a particularly unhappy way--maybe he caught Mycroft pretending to be him?

(Side note--Why do people think that telling children that a stranger will be breaking into their homes is a good idea? I'd have been TERRIFIED!)

***

I adore Oliver winding up Mycroft by calling him a client, I'm perfectly convinced that Oliver delighted in discomfitting him! But yes, they should at least have Christmas dinner with Mycroft. They only have to be there a couple of hours, after all.

***

Awww, Sherlock actually OFFERING TO GO CHRISTMAS SHOPPING--that is true sacrifice!

“He’s going to help me pick out the best present for Molly, he’ll love it.”

Yes, he will! He will love saying "No" loudly to everything not suitable. :D


(Sorry about the so-long comment!)

Edited at 2013-11-21 05:17 pm (UTC)
* * *
[User Picture]
On November 22nd, 2013 12:17 am (UTC), sunny_rainfall commented:
SOOO ADORABLE! Poor John though
* * *
[User Picture]
On November 22nd, 2013 06:13 am (UTC), valiant_queene commented:
The noise that I just made scared my dog. Poor Sherlock. I'm betting there's a story behind his aversion to Father Christmas, and I'm betting I'm not going to like it. And offering to go Christmas shopping?! Whew. He's certainly had a rough day.
* * *
[User Picture]
On November 24th, 2013 01:59 am (UTC), chocolamousse commented:
He was really very, very lucky and it was stupid to feel sorry for himself just because of Harry. He refused to let Harry ruin any of it.
Easier said than done...

“No. No. No,” Oliver was saying, pausing before each one. Choosing clothes then, thought John
I can imagine Oliver's thoughts. "No, this sleep suit isn't close-fitting enough. Are you sure we haven't any silk shirt? Anyway, I can't wear this onesie, look, it hasn't a collar I could turn up so I look cool."

“Are you making tea?”
[...]
“No,” Sherlock replied, as if he didn’t know why John would ever have suggested such a thing.

Sherlock wants to comfort John but he has limits, though. :D

“No no no bo,” Oliver said
He may want to say "bee" but vowels are not that easy, you know.

“You’d have to lie to him, you know. Because there is no Father Christmas.”
Sherlock said it almost viciously. John looked at him in confusion.

Hmm. I wonder if there isn't an old wound behind this insistence.

but Mycroft had already stepped lightly over it by the time John got to the doorway
I deduce he didn't overindulge in cake the day before at Oliver's birthday party, then. Or maybe it's love that gives a spring to his step? (Mystraaaaaaaade!) :D

John thought that maybe there was more there than Sherlock’s detestation of foolish fantasy fictions.
Ah, I knew it! That promises new sad stories about Sherlock's childhood. Maybe he believed in Father Christmas and the revelation that he doesn't exist was a really painful moment for him? I'm sure his horrible parents have something to do with that. Maybe they laughed at him or... Okay, I let you write the story. :D

“I know that we have not traditionally spent Christmas together,” began Mycroft, stiffly, awkwardly.
It seems the old wound is not only Sherlock's.

“Who’s he going to spend Christmas with, if not us?”
Oh, by the way, that has nothing to do with this quotation but has Greg any plan for Christmas? (She asks with an innocent look.)

Oliver, who was clearly getting ready to roll off the sofa in his neverending series of Experiments to Test Papa’s Reflexes
*giggles* Like father, like son.

Christmas is coming in real life and in your fic, I love that! That makes both more Christmassy. :D I feel sorry for Mycroft, Christmas is obviously a sensitive subject for both him and Sherlock but he, at least, tries to fix things. I hope Sherlock will understand how much his brother loves him and wants to mend the rift between them. It would be a Christmas miracle. I'm sure Oliver can help with that! Also, how can you say "no" to a goose? :D
* * *

Previous Entry · Leave a comment · Add to Memories · Share · Next Entry