The Silent-Hearted Prince
Because this idea just wouldn’t leave me alone…
“Tell me again, Sherlock… Tell me, and I’ll go to bed.”
And Rosie Watson crosses her pudgy little arms over her chest. Pouts up at her godfather.
With her short blond hair and large blue eyes she looks uncannily like her late mother, and she’s old enough- and cunning enough- to take advantage of the fact.
Mary Watson would expect nothing less.
The unfortunate adult she’s currently using her superpowers on- one Sherlock Holmes- glowers down at her in a vague approximation of sternness, something which has the usual effect on her. (Namely none). She’s been asking to hear the same bedtime story for the last half hour and there’s no way he’s going to give in- Best she accept that.
He will train her as he once trained John.
From the sofa he hears a small snort and throws the same glower in its direction, his eyes coming to rest on Rosie’s other godparent, one Molly Hooper, specialist registrar. “Hey,” she says with a smile, “don’t look at me: You’re the one who fed her cake all day-
I told you this might happen.”
Sherlock’s glower turns darker, though it too has no discernible effect upon its subject.
It probably says something about the sort of women whose company he frequents.
“Really, Molly,” he chides. “We’re supposed to be presenting a united front when we act in loco parentis! John will be scandalised!”
“John won’t bat an eyelid and you know it.” Molly laughs and Rosie giggles in unison, throwing her a conspiratorial smile; She’s at that age where everything the young pathologist does is absolutely delightful as far as she’s concerned, so of course she takes Molly’s side.
Little traitor, Sherlock thinks. I’m supposed to be your favourite.
As he thinks this he pouts, and this makes Rosie giggle more, throwing her arms around his legs and demanding to be picked up so he won’t be cross anymore.
“Please, Uncle Sherlock, please!” she says. “I promise I’ll be good!”
He lasts about two seconds before he caves, picking her up and holding her close. As soon as she’s in his arms he finds himself smiling at her- little fiend!- and tickling her. Bouncing her. Her tiny hands pat his face, smoothing out the frown lines between his eyebrows, and they smush their faces together. He kisses the tip of her nose and she laughs.
Still giggling, he whooshes her through the air, pretending she can fly, and as he does she claps in delight, asking for, “More! More!”- and then, “higher, Sherlock. higher!”
With a laugh, he obliges; From the corner of his eye he sees Molly smile and pretends he doesn’t.
Her face has pinked and her eyes are sparkling.
He pretends he doesn’t see that either, however much it smarts.
After all, he’s been good where Molly’s concerned. Very good. Ever since the Sherrinford Incident and its fallout, he’s made a point of being a good friend to her. Of not waylaying her with his romantic, pining nonsense. Of helping her get over him and get on with her life.