While you were sleeping - thepurplewombat - Sherlock (TV) [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
Six months after the last time they stood together in 221B, John brings Sherlock home. It’s not at all as he had imagined it. He had thought that he’d help Sherlock up the stairs, Sherlock bitching all the way. He thought Sherlock would lie on the couch and whinge for John to bring him tea and his phone and his laptop, and he would have to stop Sherlock from trying to do too much too soon, and he thought that maybe, finally, someday, they’d have the opportunity to say all the things they’ve never had the guts to say before.
Basically, he thought Sherlock would wake up.
But Sherlock hasn’t woken up, and every day he doesn’t wake up the odds of him ever doing so go down. Sherlock would have been able to tell John by exactly how much those odds fall every day, but Sherlock’s not here so John will just…carry on.
221B looks a bit different now. Mycroft’s people have been through, converting Sherlock’s bedroom into something suitable for the long-term care of coma patients. The bed is new; high enough that John won’t kill his back doing all the million and one things Sherlock will need done, and adjustable. With the alterations comes Miss Natasha, a stunning redhead with the faintest trace of a Russian accent, who will be acting as Sherlock’s carer when – if - John eventually goes back to the clinic. She moves into 221C and immediately charms Mrs Hudson, tells her to call her Nat, and chatters to her in Russian when they think John can’t hear them. Mycroft said she was ‘on loan’ but didn’t say where from, and John doesn’t ask. She moves like Mary did when she thought he wasn’t looking, so he thinks assassin, but she came from Mycroft, so…bodyguard?
Nat teaches John how to do Sherlock’s exercises. He has to be turned every few hours, and his muscles and joints have to be worked. Nat won’t let John do the more personal tasks for Sherlock, and when he argues she asks him if he really thinks Sherlock would want him to see him like this? John gives up, and lets her deal with the intimate details.
Mycroft comes by once a week and John leaves the two of them alone. John doesn’t know what Mycroft talks about to Sherlock, and doesn’t ask, but once as he leaves John can swear he sees the remains of tears on Mycroft’s face. Mummy and Father visit less often, Molly almost every day. Lestrade mainly comes around to bitch at Sherlock to wake up, because the Met’s solve rate is going down the cacky without him. Some nights John comes down and Mrs Hudson is asleep in the chair by Sherlock’s bed, her knitting limp in her hands.
John shaves Sherlock’s face every morning and his head once a week. He doesn’t like the way Sherlock looks naked without his curls, but John can’t keep the curls as clean as Sherlock did, and Sherlock absolutely despised having his hair dirty. He sets a reminder on his phone to have someone come by to do Sherlock’s nails, and phones Sherlock’s favourite place himself. The owner comes herself – owed him a favour, naturally. She doesn’t mention money and neither does John, and she cries as she files and clips and scours and massages and anoints Sherlock’s hands and feet. She leaves behind a bottle of hand lotion that smells like Sherlock, and John uses it when he massages Sherlock’s limbs to keep the blood flowing. She comes back two weeks later without John having phoned, and just like that it’s a routine.
John spends his days by Sherlock’s bedside, reading to him from technical manuals and women’s mags and – occasionally, and maybe in the hope that it will make him wake up if only to tell John to shut up – novels. He reads Austen to Sherlock with a sense of malicious glee, and secretly thinks that Darcy reminds him a bit of someone he knows. He tells Sherlock that, just to be annoying.
Three months later, Mycroft shows up at the door with a baby. John’s baby.
“My people tracked Mary down in Mexico,” he says as John stares in awe at the tiny person in his arms. “She’s yours. Had you thought about baby names?”
John blinks at him for a long time before the question really sinks in.
“Is Sherlock really a girl’s name?” he blurts, and Mycroft snorts in laughter. John’s never really seen Mycroft laugh like that before, and it piles another layer of surreality on top of…well, everything. The neatness of the flat, the faint beeping of the heart monitor from the open door to Sherlock’s room. Mycroft, undone enough to laugh.
“No, but Sherlock did once say that if he were a girl, he would want to be called Violet.”
And that’s how Violet Wilhelmina Watson gets her name.
Mycroft’s people arrive with nappies and bottles and clothes and a cot and all the million and one other things that John never thought to need, after Mary disappeared between Baker Street and Bart’s six months ago. Violet is six months old when she comes to Baker Street, with her mother’s big eyes and the Watson nose. Poor tyke.
John sits in his armchair next to Sherlock’s bed to feed her her first bottle, and tells Sherlock what she looks like.
“She’s so beautiful, Sherlock, you can’t even imagine how beautiful she is,” and John’s heart is so full that it spills over from his eyes, tears dripping on Violet’s sleeping face.