Rosie Watson comes thundering into Mrs. Hudson’s flat, her thin blond plaits fluttering behind her, her little Doc Marten boots pounding on the floorboards. Her favourite stuffed toy, Penny the Penicillin Microbe, is clutched to her chest and her eyes are wide as saucers; previous experience has taught John that his daughter has either discovered something terrifying or wonderful, and the likelihood of either is entirely dependant on whether she was with Uncle Sherlock when the breakthrough occurred.
With an indulgent smile Mrs. Hudson pats her on her head as she dodges around the older woman’s legs to fling herself on her father, Penny the Penicillin smacking him soundly in the backside as she does so.
The “oomph!” noise he makes causes Martha to chuckle.
“Alright then, young lady,” John says, staring down at his daughter with what he hopes is a mixture of sternness and reassurance. “What’s brought all this on, eh?”
Rosie stares up at him, lip wobbling, and it’s only now she’s close that John sees her eyes are glassy with unshed tears. Immediately his face softens.
“What is it, sweetheart?” he asks more gently, settling himself on Mrs. Hudson’s couch and swinging the child up into his lap. He sets her on his knee. “What’s the matter?”
The little girl stares up at him and sighs, giving every impression of a Christian who’s about to be tossed to some particularly peckish lions.
“It’s- It’s about Uncle Sherlock,” she says, dropping her voice until John has to lean in to hear her. “I saw him upstairs with Aunty Molly and, and I think… I think something’s wrong with him!”