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Nature and Nurture (35/?)

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Title - Nature and Nurture (35/?)
Author -earlgreytea68
Rating - Adult
Characters - Sherlock, John
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. Thanks also to trillsabells for the 3-D puzzle ball suggestion.

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 - Chapter Thirty-Four

Two hours later, John had made a decent dent in his Christmas shopping list and had succeeded in buying Oliver a ridiculous number of things. Oliver had spent most of the time ignoring what John was doing—which at least preserved Christmas surprise—in favor of babbling intelligently at everyone who came near him. As usual, everyone smiled at him and then at John and John felt himself relaxing into the familiarity of this role. This was his child, who trusted and loved him, and John thought that the solo shopping trip with him had been exactly what he’d needed to settle him back into his own skin, his own life. He was still sad about Harry, but he felt he had recaptured the sense of contentment he’d had before Harry had fallen off the wagon.

So he paused and walked around to the front of the pushchair and pulled Oliver up and into his arms, wanting a bit of a cuddle. Oliver complied, saying, “Papa,” and snuggling in against his shoulder, as if sensing that John had needed it.

“You’ve been a delightful companion,” John informed him. “Shall we go home to Daddy now?” He turned his head to look at Oliver, and realized that Oliver was not paying attention to him, that he was staring with wide-eyed fascination at something over John’s shoulder.

John turned his head. A Santa’s grotto.

John shifted, and Oliver never took his eyes off the Santa’s grotto, twisting to make sure he kept it in sight. So John grabbed the pushchair with its pile of bags and carried Oliver closer to the Santa’s grotto and for a little while just enjoyed the sight of Oliver staring in wonder. He watched the children clamber up onto Father Christmas’s knee. And then he said something John did not expect.

He pointed at Father Christmas and looked at John and said, “Please?”

Which was ridiculous, because he was a year and a day old and he didn’t actually know that he wanted to go sit on Father Christmas’s knee.

Although he did know when he wanted a certain toy, and that saying “Please” would get him that toy.

So maybe he did want to go sit on Father Christmas’s knee.

John blinked at him. “You want to go see Father Christmas?”

Oliver tore his gaze away from Father Christmas long enough to send John his patented I’m so woeful look that always got John to do whatever he wished. And he added to the end of it, again, “Please?”

“Okay,” John said, looking back at Father Christmas. Sherlock didn’t want to play Father Christmas but that was different from letting Oliver have a look at him. It wasn’t like John was lying to him; there was a Father Christmas in the Santa’s grotto. And, really, John should have predicted that Oliver would be fascinated. Oliver was curious about everything, and he had never seen anything like a Santa’s grotto, so this should have been expected.

John carried Oliver for a closer look, and waited in the queue. Oliver continued to be raptly fascinated by the operation of the Santa’s grotto, watching all the other children in wonder. When they got up to the front of the line, John said, firmly, “I don’t want a photo, he just wants a closer look at Father Christmas.”

The bored teenager chewed her gum loudly and said, “We’re still going to charge you for a photo.”

“Fine,” agreed John, impatiently, because now Oliver was squirming in his eagerness to go see Father Christmas, and shoved money across. Then he carried Oliver over to Father Christmas.

“Ho ho ho,” said Father Christmas, boomingly, smiling at Oliver. He was really a good Father Christmas, twinkling eyes and everything. Oliver had gone still in John’s arms, staring at him wide-eyed. “Who have we here?”

“This is Oliver,” John said, and affably handed Oliver across.

And Oliver immediately started screaming his head off, as if John had sent him to be tortured and he hadn’t been begging to visit Father Christmas.

Father Christmas was trying to comfort him, but John snatched him back and held him close while he sobbed and said, hastily, “Sorry, sorry.”

“All the little ones are scared at first,” Father Christmas said, clearly not at all thrown by Oliver’s hysteria. “He’ll calm down.”

“Nope,” John said. “That’s okay. We’ll be okay. Thanks anyway. Bye now.” He hurried away, pushing the pushchair and trying to comfort the very unhappy Oliver. “Shh,” he said. “Shh. I’ve got you. I thought you wanted to go see him. But, I see now, you just wanted to see him, you didn’t want to be held by him. I see. I’m sorry I misunderstood. I’m sorry, okay?”

Oliver’s sobs were slowing, as he sniffled and clung to John and looked generally miserable.

John felt awful, because Oliver had been so curious and inquisitive and interested in Father Christmas, and John hadn’t meant to ruin it. He kissed the side of his head and said again, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, love. Okay now?”

“Papa,” gasped Oliver, and pressed his wet face into John’s neck.

John kissed the side of his head again and tried not to feel like a terrible failure. Except that he did. He had an alcoholic sister he couldn’t save and a baby who had trusted him and who he had pushed into a stranger’s arms and terrified. If you judged John Watson’s life by this day, he was doing an amazingly terrible job.

John took Oliver home and tried not to trudge up the stairs, because Sherlock would know how things had ended if he trudged up the stairs. Like Sherlock wasn’t always going to know, immediately, no matter how much John plastered smiles onto his face. As soon as he walked in, Sherlock demanded, “What happened? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” John told him, and handed him Oliver. Oliver had recovered and said, “Daddy,” with a smile but Sherlock took one look at him and said, “Why was he crying?”

John was carrying the bags into their bedroom. He said, “It was nothing. He’s fine.” Which was completely and utterly true. It was a tiny little blip on what had been a happy day.

So why did he feel like crawling under the duvet and sleeping for a million years?

He didn’t let himself crawl under the duvet, because that was a stupid and pointless thing to do, but he did let himself collapse backward onto the bed, just for a second, just to collect himself without Sherlock’s deducing eyes raking him.

Which just meant that Sherlock immediately walked into the bedroom and said, “I can’t deduce it and Oliver isn’t telling me so you have to tell me what happened yourself.”

John sighed and closed his eyes. “It was stupid, Sherlock. He wanted to see Father Christmas, so I took him to see Father Christmas. He just wanted to look at Father Christmas.”

“Of course,” Sherlock said. “Father Christmas is a ridiculous-looking invention, of course he would want a closer look.”

“I let Father Christmas hold him, because I misunderstood, and I made him unhappy.”

There was a moment of silence. “He’s fine. That’s very minor. You just alarmed him because it wasn’t what he expected. Also, he didn’t have his skull.”

John opened his eyes and looked at Sherlock, who was holding Oliver, who was looking down at him curiously. “He didn’t have his skull?”

“So he felt very alone. You gave him to Father Christmas all on his own. If he’d had his skull, he would have felt better.”

John regarded Sherlock and wondered if Sherlock knew that because Sherlock had spent years of his life clinging to the skull like a security blanket. Or had there been a literal security blanket? How long had Sherlock had the skull, anyway? John doubted he’d had it as a child, it seemed like exactly the sort of “abnormal” thing Sherlock’s parents would have discouraged.

“Come on,” Sherlock said, walking out of the bedroom. “We’ll go back with his skull. You’ll see.”

“Sherlock.” John sat up, feeling exhausted. “It isn’t necessary—”

“Yes, it is.” Sherlock, skull fetched and coat thrown over his free arm, walked back into the room. “If he wants to get a closer look at Father Christmas, we’ll let him get a closer look at Father Christmas.”

“You don’t even want us to do the Father Christmas thing,” John pointed out.

“That has nothing to do with this. He’s curious, and I won’t discourage his curiosity. Come on.” Sherlock nodded his head toward the door impatiently.

“You can take him,” John said. “I—”

“No. You were enjoying yourself at the shopping trip. I can tell from how long you were gone and the number of bags you had with you when you came back. It was good for you to get out of the flat, and this silly thing with Father Christmas is weighing on you more than necessary, and now you’re going to sulk around the flat determined to believe that you inevitably let down the people you love, which is such idiotic rubbish that I’m not even going to entertain it by refuting it. I’m simply going to say that I won’t leave you here to sulk. Come on.”

“I wasn’t going to sulk,” John denied, even though he had definitely been going to sulk. “I was going to make myself a cup of tea.”

“And then sulk into it.”

“You know, you’re one to talk about sulking,” John pointed out, belligerently.

“Yes, I know, I’m the only one allowed to sulk in this flat. I simply will not abide such behavior on your part.”

John stared at him. “Do you know how you sound? You’re unbelievable.”

“Yes,” Sherlock agreed, simply.

John sighed and gave in and went with Sherlock. It was going to take more energy than he felt like investing to argue him out of it. Oliver looked excited to be going on an outing with both of them this time, and he talked to them endlessly on the way to the shops, while Sherlock said, at suitable intervals, “Really?” or “Yes,” or “I know,” or “Lovely.”

“What’s he saying?” John asked, eventually, amused despite himself by Sherlock’s apparent grasp of the conversation.

“He’s telling me what a brilliant day out he had with you,” responded Sherlock, blandly.

“You’re ridiculous,” said John, but he also thought that he almost smiled and he knew Sherlock saw that.

They waited in the queue at the Santa’s grotto, Sherlock making scathing observations about everyone around them, and Oliver listened closely and made affirmative little noises, as if to say, Yes, yes, that is what I thought about all of them, too, last time I was waiting in this queue.

The Father Christmas did not remember them, which John was a little offended by, because, yeah, sure, he saw lots of children, but Oliver was surely memorable. But Sherlock simply said, “Oliver, this is Father Christmas. He is a modern-day mythical figure who has developed from a bastardization of Christian religious ideas and ancient pagan rituals. It is currently en vogue for old, fat men to dress up in a costume of red velvet trimmed with cheap imitation fur and pretend to be the man who provides presents on Christmas Day, but the presents on Christmas Day will come from Papa and me.”

John glanced over his shoulder to make sure none of the children had been close enough to hear this explanation, but they seemed safe from furious parents. Father Christmas was another matter, however, as he frowned and looked ready to say very un-Father-Christmas-like things about being called an old, fat man. Then Sherlock thrust Oliver into Father Christmas’s arms, and Father Christmas sputtered but held him.

Oliver looked alarmed for a moment, his hands tight around his skull, and then he looked cautiously at Father Christmas. And then more interestedly, his features puckered up in Sherlockian concentration. If his hands weren’t clutching his skull, John would have expected them to be lifted in a steeple against his lips.

“Hello there, little fellow,” Father Christmas boomed at him, heartily.

Oliver frowned, not as if he was about to start crying but as if he simply disapproved of Father Christmas. He glanced over at Sherlock, with an expression of, Can you believe this moron?

“Don’t speak to him like that,” Sherlock barked at Father Christmas. “Do your ho-ho-ho thing.”

Father Christmas glared at him. “My ho-ho-ho thing?”

Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Don’t be tedious, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Go on.”

“Ho ho ho,” Father Christmas spat out, obediently.

It was the least jolly ho-ho-ho John had ever heard but Oliver looked delighted at it, giggling and reaching one hand off of his skull to tug at Father Christmas’s beard experimentally.

“Real,” Sherlock confirmed. “It’s a quality Father Christmas.”

“Dead,” Oliver told Father Christmas, pleasantly.

“And what would you like for Christmas?” Father Christmas asked him.

“Nothing,” answered Sherlock, and smoothly picked Oliver back up. “We’ll be getting him anything he wants.” And then Sherlock, in a swirl of his dramatic coat, marched away.

“Thank you for your time,” John said to the bewildered-looking Father Christmas, and then hurried after him.

“There you are,” Sherlock said, when he had caught up, and handed Oliver over to him.

“I’m sorry I didn’t bring your skull with us before, love,” John told Oliver.

“Don’t blame yourself for that,” Sherlock remarked, mildly, as he kept walking. “You’re in a blame-yourself mood. You ought to delete every thought you have in your head today.”

John took hold of the lapel of Sherlock’s coat and tugged on it, hard, spinning Sherlock into a fierce kiss. Sherlock made an adorable oomph sound of surprise before kissing back.

John pulled away. “What about that thought?” he asked, huskily.

Sherlock licked his lips. “You can keep that thought.”

John grinned. “Thanks for the permission.”

“In fact, you can hold it for later,” Sherlock suggested.

John chuckled and let go of Sherlock’s coat. “Come on, Ollie. I am going to buy all of us hot chocolate in recognition of how we are the luckiest family in all of London.”

“Sentimental,” remarked Sherlock.

“Shut up,” said John, affectionately.

***

John woke up to Sherlock curled around him, nose pressed into his neck. Sherlock’s nose was still cold, so he must have just got into bed, but John wasn’t going to complain about a cold nose against his skin when the nose was Sherlock’s and when John seldom got to wake up to the combination of bright sun and Sherlock curled up against him, still and content.

John smiled and stretched a little bit, and Sherlock leaned into him more heavily.

“Happy Christmas,” Sherlock mumbled against the skin of his collarbone, and followed it up with a wet kiss.

John smiled more and turned a little into the kisses, which were now making their way up his neck. “Happy Christmas,” he responded.

Sherlock nudged to get John completely onto his back so that he could pull himself up and over him.

“What’s all this?” John asked, amused, looking up at him.

“Lazy morning sex. Don’t you love lazy morning sex? I kept Oliver up until devastatingly late, he should sleep for an absurdly long time.”

“Which means we’ve got about twenty minutes, tops, given what you characterize as an absurdly long time to sleep.”

“Then let’s get on with it, shall we?”

“Doesn’t seem especially lazy.”

“You’re just going to lie there. That’s the ‘lazy’ part.”

“Does it mean I’ve been with you too long that I actually find this kind of romantic?” John mused.

Sherlock ignored him and bent his head and got on with it, wet and a bit messy, which was actually just the way John liked it. And even though John was convinced they didn’t have much time, Sherlock really did take his time, building it up slow and leisurely, so that when the climax crashed over him, it was a bit like just very comfortably going under, and John thought that he wanted to start every morning this way.

Sherlock rolled away from him and John stretched and smiled and said, “Did you just get me sex for Christmas?”

“Not just any sex. Lazy morning sex.”

“You gave me sex for Christmas. You are the vainest git on this entire planet,” John told him.

Sherlock shrugged, looking uninterested in the accusation.

John rolled over on top of him and said, “I love you.”

Sherlock smiled, sunny and bright. “This is how one should spend Christmas.”

“Yes, with glad tidings of merry Christmas orgasms.”

Oliver cried over the baby monitor, and John glanced at it.

“I’ll get him,” he offered, and rolled off Sherlock, and then went hunting for things to make himself presentable and ducked into the bathroom before fetching Oliver, who was standing in his cot and beamed at his appearance and said, in delight, “Papa,” and lifted his arms up.

“Good morning,” John grinned at him, and gave into the impulse to smother him with kisses until he giggled. “Do you know what today is?” John asked him, conversationally, as he changed his nappy.

“Skull,” Oliver told him, wisely.

John looked at him in surprise. “Yes, I’ll be sure to bring your skull down with us. How long have you been saying that word? That’s a new one, isn’t it?”

“Skull,” said Oliver, and showed off by grabbing both of his feet.

John tucked him into his arm, leaving him in his sleepsuit, since it wasn’t dirty and John believed Christmas mornings should be spent in sleepsuits, and snatched Oliver’s skull off the room’s rocking chair before heading out of it. “Today is Christmas,” he told Oliver. “Remember Daddy told you all about Father Christmas? Well, today is Christmas Day.”

“On which,” Sherlock said, from where he was sprawled on the sofa, “we have decidedly not been visited by Father Christmas.”

Oliver babbled at Sherlock, as John dangled him over onto Sherlock’s chest. Sherlock greeted him with a brush of a kiss and said, “He’s telling us how awful Father Christmas was.”

“He says ‘skull’ now, did you know that?”

“That’s a new one,” said Sherlock.

“A Christmas word,” said John, handing Sherlock the baby book so he could record it on his way into the kitchen, where he made tea and toast for him and Sherlock and a bottle for Oliver. He brought everything back into the sitting room and said, “Let’s open presents.”

“Presents from Papa,” Sherlock announced for Oliver’s benefit, and sat on the floor with him.

John had bought Oliver a ridiculous amount of stuff, and they moved through it efficiently. Oliver seemed a bit more taken with the gift wrap than with any of the gifts but John was okay with that, and Oliver did seem to really like the anatomy puzzles, spending a lot of time after he’d opened them staring at the anatomically correct heart, at the bones of the hand, at the nerves entwined through the spinal cord.

“He’s going to be a doctor,” Sherlock remarked.

“Nah, he only cares about it for murder-solving purposes,” said John, trying not to flush pink with pleasure, because a part of him really wanted Oliver to want to be a doctor, wanted that evidence of John’s influence on him. And he knew it was selfish of him, but still. John reached for the next present and then paused in surprised. “This is for Oliver from you.”

“I did buy him Christmas presents, John. It’s just that you didn’t notice because you’d bought him so many.”

Which was true, but John had only done that because for some reason he’d assumed that Sherlock would leave all of the Christmas buying up to him.

“Go ahead,” Sherlock told him, “open it, it’s really a gift for you more than Oliver.”

John gave him a quizzical look but opened the gift, which turned out to be a box full of tiny baby jumpers.

“I thought that, every once in a while, dressing him in a terrible jumper wouldn’t do him much harm,” said Sherlock.

John laughed. “You are ridiculous.”

“I made sure the jumpers weren’t quite as hideous as you would have preferred, and yet hideous enough that I thought they would appeal to you.”

“My taste in jumpers really isn’t as bad as you like to pretend. What do you think, Ollie? Want to pick out a new jumper to wear to Uncle Mycroft’s today?” John held up a selection of them.

Oliver chewed on a puzzle piece representing a piece of ribcage and considered the jumpers John was holding up.

“When did you buy these?” John asked Sherlock.

“I have access to the Internet, John. And you don’t notice anything. Now, are you going to give me the present you bought me that you think I don’t know about?”

John scowled at him but got up and went and retrieved the present from its hiding place under the sink and carried it out to Sherlock.

“You’re actually pretty bloody difficult to buy for, you know,” he remarked, handing Sherlock the present.

“You didn’t need to buy me anything.”

“Well, if I’d known we were just giving each other—” John leaned over and put his hands briefly over Oliver’s ears—“blow jobs for Christmas, I wouldn’t have bothered.”

“Don’t act as if you didn’t love that,” said Sherlock, mildly, opening the present, “and, anyway, please be accurate, it was lazy morning sex.” Sherlock had by now opened the present and was regarding it curiously.

“It’s a 3-D puzzle ball,” said John. “They are supposed to be all the rage right now.”

“Well, I’ll solve this immediately,” said Sherlock. “Obviously.”

“You haven’t solved it yet?” asked John, mildly. “I’d already solved it by now.”

Sherlock looked up at him, narrow-eyed. “You’re lying,” he said.

John smiled and pulled out the one remaining present, which was decently heavy and unfamiliar to John. “Another one of yours?” he asked, because it had no tag on it.

“What?” Sherlock tore his attention away from the puzzle ball. “Oh. Yes. For Ollie.” He set the puzzle ball aside. “I’m going to solve that immediately just as soon as Oliver opens this.”

“Of course you are,” said John, indulgently, and pulled the wrapping paper off to reveal a microscope. And not a child’s microscope, either. A really nice one. One that had clearly cost a pretty penny. One that was meant for a professional, frankly. “Sherlock,” said John, and looked at him.

“What? He’ll need one sooner or later.”

Oliver regarded the photograph of the microscope on the box and reached out and touched it and said, very clearly, “Spear,” and then, “Mint.”

Sherlock looked delighted. “Yes, that’s it, for experiments.”

“Spearmint,” said Oliver, again, pleased with himself, and chewed a bit more on the puzzle piece.

“And now he says experiment?” said John.

“Let’s get you all set up with your new microscope.” Sherlock stood, sweeping Oliver into one arm and the microscope into the other, and disappeared into the kitchen.

“Do not think that I’m letting you two get so carried away with experimenting that we miss dinner at your brother’s!” John called.

He wasn’t surprised when he got no response, just the low murmur of Sherlock and Oliver interacting in the kitchen.

John sprawled underneath the Christmas tree and looked at the detritus of the morning all around him and thought that he had never really had a nicer Christmas.

He sipped his tea and steadfastly did not think of Harry.

Next Chapter
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On November 28th, 2013 03:41 am (UTC), corrie71 commented:
John and Ollie's experience nearly exactly matched my son's visit to Santa at that age. If only I'd thought to bring his toy skull! LOL.

Beautiful, squee worthy chapter. I love this fic. One of my all time favorites!

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On November 28th, 2013 03:43 am (UTC), rereader commented:
*hugs wonderful Chanukah present of a chapter*

I love happy shopping/people watching Oliver, and Sherlock knowing that all he needed to feel safe was his skull (there's a story back there, I know it) and insisting that they go back so John would feel better, and the happy Christmas morning with "skull" and tiny jumpers and "spearmints" and all the warm fuzzies!

(Someone has to fix Harriet. Although really only she can, and she doesn't seem to be able to. :()



Edited at 2013-11-28 03:44 am (UTC)
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On November 28th, 2013 10:22 am (UTC), rifleman_s commented:
"Sherlock rolled away from him and John stretched and smiled and said, “Did you just get me sex for Christmas?”

“Not just any sex. Lazy morning sex.”

“You gave me sex for Christmas. You are the vainest git on this entire planet,” John told him."


Oh but that was lovely. And the perfect Christmas morning - lazing around with presents and 'spearmints'.

Poor John, he does do that "guilt and worry" thing awfully well and it was great that Sherlock took his mind of things for just a while.

Ollie has a great choice of new words!
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On November 28th, 2013 01:46 pm (UTC), ladyprydian commented:
Oh Sherlock, I hope next year you realize that Christmas is for kids and that telling Ollie that Father Christmas is a myth will only single him out later when he's at school.

Those mall Santa's have a tough gig. Everyone with a young kid at wants a holiday photo to remember 1st Christmas and those Santa's go though a lot of upset kids. I was lucky, my brother and I always went together so I always had someone with me.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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On November 28th, 2013 07:31 pm (UTC), mariole commented:
You do emotions so well. Go, you. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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On November 29th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC), how_obscure commented:
Oh, that was such a cozy, warm and fuzzy chapter. Such nice Christmas feelings. I love Oliver's pronunciation of "experiment." Too cute!

I cannot wait for dinner with Mycroft. You must show us! (I'm very curious to see if a certain detective is present.)

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On November 29th, 2013 06:47 pm (UTC), wickedgillie commented:
So lovely!

Although it makes me sad that John internalizes so much. Harry is not his fault. Nor is jumping to the wrong conclusion with Father Christmas. I'm glad Sherlock gave him a do-over, complete with the skull.

I think I shall put lazy morning sex on my Christmas list.

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On November 29th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC), beatlejessie commented:
I feel like I use the words 'sweet' and 'adorable' a LOT when I am commenting on this fic, but they are just SWEET and ADORABLE!!! I love all of Oliver's new words, and how Sherlock would not let John just stay there and sulk.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

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On November 30th, 2013 12:01 pm (UTC), azriona commented:
Oh, that is a terrible Santa set-up. They shouldn't charge for just looking or sitting on Santa's knee - I've never seen a set-up like that! (And God knows I did enough Santa familiarization with Andrew that if we'd had to pay for every pass...ugh.)

(But if John had to pay for the picture - twice - where are the pictures? Perhaps, years later, they'd be funny?)

Dinner at Mycroft's! I wonder what Mycroft will get for Oliver? And Sherlock, for that matter?

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On December 1st, 2013 01:50 am (UTC), chocolamousse commented:
Oliver had spent most of the time ignoring what John was doing—which at least preserved Christmas surprise—in favor of babbling intelligently at everyone who came near him. As usual, everyone smiled at him
Even when he tells them, "Dead dead dead"? :D

John turned his head. A Santa’s grotto.
And, inside the grotto, John Watson's Twelve Days of Christmas!John. Verses collide!

He pointed at Father Christmas and looked at John and said, “Please?”
Oh my God. Aww. Who could resist that? I love the interrogative form. So young and so polite. (Or so manipulative, yes, I know. :D)

So maybe he did want to go sit on Father Christmas’s knee.
He's going to deduce him. "This is a false beard! You are the murderer, it's obvious."

It wasn’t like John was lying to him; there was a Father Christmas in the Santa’s grotto.
It's an EXPERIMENT.

The bored teenager chewed her gum loudly and said, “We’re still going to charge you for a photo.”
You little bastard. What about the spirit of Christmas?

And Oliver immediately started screaming his head off, as if John had sent him to be tortured and he hadn’t been begging to visit Father Christmas.
I hope Sherlock didn't follow them surreptitiously and only saw the end of the scene. There would be an epic fit at 221B!

John kissed the side of his head again and tried not to feel like a terrible failure. Except that he did. He had an alcoholic sister he couldn’t save and a baby who had trusted him and who he had pushed into a stranger’s arms and terrified.
Ow, poor John. Every parent makes mistakes. You didn't ruin Christmas forever for Oliver, he still trusts you and I bet he'll forgive you and forget this incident before you do. I suspect John won't forgive himself before a long time and will never forget.

John regarded Sherlock and wondered if Sherlock knew that because Sherlock had spent years of his life clinging to the skull like a security blanket. Or had there been a literal security blanket?
Anyway he has a security blanket now and it's called "John". :D

now you’re going to sulk around the flat determined to believe that you inevitably let down the people you love, which is such idiotic rubbish that I’m not even going to entertain it by refuting it.
I love that Sherlock understands John so well and wants to comfort him.

They waited in the queue at the Santa’s grotto, Sherlock making scathing observations about everyone around them, and Oliver listened closely and made affirmative little noises, as if to say, Yes, yes, that is what I thought about all of them, too, last time I was waiting in this queue.
Aww, this is adorable! Sherlock and Olie's interactions are so sweet.

*reads Sherlock's speech about Father Christmas*
Well, this time Father Christmas is bound to remember them. What with Sherlock's tirade and the skull Ollie is holding...

Oliver looked alarmed for a moment, his hands tight around his skull
Which one? :D

If his hands weren’t clutching his skull, John would have expected them to be lifted in a steeple against his lips.
He be would adorable. Although, if another baby did that, it would probably look a bit creepy. :D

“Dead,” Oliver told Father Christmas, pleasantly.
Fat, old, now dead... The poor man must be a bit miffed.

I kept Oliver up until devastatingly late, he should sleep for an absurdly long time.
Oliver was probably knackered but hey, it was for a good cause.

John thought that he wanted to start every morning this way.
Ollie might disagree. The poor baby would have horrible shadows under his eyes. :D

“You gave me sex for Christmas. You are the vainest git on this entire planet,” John told him.
Well, if you think about it... It's economical, non-polluting, it makes the one giving and the one receiving happy. You can't say the same about most gifts. :D
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On December 1st, 2013 01:50 am (UTC), chocolamousse replied:
Oliver, who was standing in his cot and beamed at his appearance and said, in delight, “Papa,” and lifted his arms up.
I know I repeat myself but that's adorable!

John believed Christmas mornings should be spent in sleepsuits
Absolutely.

“On which,” Sherlock said, from where he was sprawled on the sofa, “we have decidedly not been visited by Father Christmas.”
Father Christmas didn't have to visit them given that they're going to eat goose at his place. (Yes, I'm sure Mycroft will spoil Ollie horribly.)

John had bought Oliver a ridiculous amount of stuff
You're right not to detail, all the baby stuff is on your Tumblr! :D

John, trying not to flush pink with pleasure, because a part of him really wanted Oliver to want to be a doctor, wanted that evidence of John’s influence on him
Aww, but also ow, because he shouldn't have doubts about this influence.

John gave him a quizzical look but opened the gift, which turned out to be a box full of tiny baby jumpers.
Aww, it's ado... *coughs*

“I made sure the jumpers weren’t quite as hideous as you would have preferred, and yet hideous enough that I thought they would appeal to you.”
*giggles*

Want to pick out a new jumper to wear to Uncle Mycroft’s today?
I'm not sure Mycroft will be able to stand so many jumpers at the same time.

I have access to the Internet, John
And http://earlgreytea68.tumblr.com/tagged/nature+and+nurture is one of his favourite pages to look for presents for Ollie. :D

John scowled at him but got up and went and retrieved the present from its hiding place under the sink and carried it out to Sherlock.
That's a good hiding place. Also he already used the cupboard with the tea stuff.

So many things I love in this chapter. All the adorable moments. The fact that Sherlock doesn't make a fuss about the grotto incident and puts it into perspective. The fact that Ollie's first contact with Christmas didn't put him off. The fact that he gives his parents a present too, in a way: two new words! (I remember that John, in a previous chapter, suggested as a joke that "skull" could be Ollie's first word; he was almost right!) And of course the fact that they have a wonderful first Christmas together. I hope it will go on at Mycroft's house, in a kind of Christmas truce. *is optimistic*
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