@illtakethering‘s prompt: John hears Rosie crying in the night but when he gets up to comfort her Sherlock is already there
Sharp cries pierced through the speakers of the baby monitor, the sound waves stabbing John’s temples and making him groan with fatigue and frustration. Damn it, he cursed mentally. It felt like he had only fallen asleep two minutes ago. John rubbed his eye with the heel of his palm, sitting up and swinging his legs off the side of the sofa.
He was sleeping on the sofa now. His old room became Rosie’s, and he didn’t want to sleep in the same room with her. He knew she had to get used to sleeping by herself. The sofa killed his neck and back–he was too old for this shit–but he couldn’t ask to sleep with Sherlock. Not when they were still…whatever it was they were. Not involved. John wanted to be with him, so much it ached, but he’d only been back at Baker Street for two weeks, and hadn’t found the right moment yet.
“Coming,” he mumbled, forcing his eyes to open. He reluctantly pushed the blanket off himself. He was about to stand, but then he heard a deep voice come from the baby monitor.
John’s ears perked up. Sherlock?
“Come on, none of that,” Sherlock said over Rosie’s cries.
John must have been asleep when Sherlock walked through the sitting room and went up to her room. How long had she been crying? John grabbed his phone from the coffee table and pressed the homescreen, checking the time. It was 4:07 in the morning. He frowned, chest twisting with guilt. It wasn’t fair. Sherlock deserved sleep, too, and it wasn’t his child.
John got up and walked quietly to the bottom of the stairs. Rosie’s door was ajar and Sherlock’s deep voice floated down the stairs. He held the railing and ascended as slowly and quietly as possible, his ears straining to hear what Sherlock was saying over Rosie’s cries.
“It’s really all right, Rosie. There’s no need to cry…Shhh…You’ll wake your daddy.” He chuckled. “You don’t care, do you? Of course you don’t. You can’t, not yet.”
By now, Rosie’s cries were dying down to little whines and whimpers. John was at the top of the stairs now, peeking into the room. Rosie’s night light cast a warm, yellow glow on her and Sherlock.
Sherlock was standing next to the crib, holding Rosie close, hips swaying from side to side, slowly rocking her. One of his large hands was cradled around her head as she whimpered into his shoulder. He softly shushed her again, looking down at Rosie with enough tenderness to make John weak in the knees. Sherlock’s curls were ruffled and fluffy. He’d clearly been sleeping. John thought that, if someone had told him five years ago that Sherlock Holmes would get up in the middle of the night to comfort and rock a baby, he would have laughed right in their face.
John swallowed thickly.
Rosie was quiet now, save for a little whine here and there, and Sherlock sighed peaceflly, closing his eyes, still rocking her slowly. John shifted on the top stair, but the wood creaked beneath his feet, and Sherlock’s head shot up. His cheeks turned as red as the dressing gown he was wearing.
“John,” he said, clearly surprised, but trying to stay quiet for Rosie’s sake. He looked like a deer caught in headlights.
He was embarrassed, John realized. Embarrassed, for what? For being caught loving? For letting his guard down and his softer side through? John hated this, hated that Sherlock went through a lifetime of hiding his emotions. He didn’t want Sherlock to feel ashamed. Feeling fond and brave, John walked up to Sherlock, placed a hand on his shoulder, and planted a kiss on his cheek.
John grinned at Sherlock’s shocked expression. “Thank you for taking care of her,” he said.
Sherlock looked down at her. “Not an issue. I wanted to let you rest.”
“Thanks,” he said again. He yawned, looking at Rosie’s drooping eyelids, and at the dark circles under Sherlock’s eyes. “Put her to bed,” he said. “I think she’s fine now.”
Sherlock nodded and lowered her into her crib, and to John’s relief, she went right to sleep.
Sherlock looked nervous, and his hand came up to the spot where John kissed him on the cheek. “John–?”
“Sherlock,” he sighed, keeping his voice hushed, “it’s past four in the morning. We need to talk, but.” He stifled a yawn. He wanted to be fully awake to talk, and for their first kiss. He wanted to let Sherlock know that this wasn’t over, though, and that he did want him. He took a risk. “Can we sleep first?” Sherlock deflated, so John quickly clarified, “Together?”
Sherlock’s eyes brightened. “Oh. You mean, in my bed?”
He licked his lips. “Do you mind?”
Sherlock’s lips quirked into a smile. “Not at all.”
By the time they climbed under the sheets, they were too exhausted to feel awkward about sharing a bed, or even really think about it. To their sleepy, fuzzy minds, this felt natural. John felt Sherlock’s face nuzzle into his neck, and he could only bury his face in the soft, ruffled curls. Tomorrow, they would talk properly.
The last thing John thought of before drifting off as the image of Sherlock, peaceful and happy as he held Rosie. For the first time in years, he went to sleep happy.
My own fluff makes me vomit