The Sagas of Saskia

For the Sherlock Fan Fiction competition: my first attempt at writing fanfiction!! Greg Lestrade is alone in the world- no friends, no family, no life. But one fateful case may bring an end to that. One that is almost surgically attached to a certain teddy- called Fred. Rated Mature for violence....

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2. 2. Winnie the Pooh and Saskia too

Life was never going to be easy for Saskia in the first few months after the attack, and Greg had known that from the moment he set eyes on her. She’d watched her father take her mother’s life in cold blood, then her brother had given his life to save her- not an easy burden to bear when you’re only four and a half.
The first time that Saskia had had a nightmare, Greg had been woken by small footsteps outside his door. He’d held her close as she sobbed, then tucked her up in his bed, to keep her from the lonely darkness that shrouded her room. The fear in those bloodshot eyes was enough to break Greg’s heart three times over, and the tight grip she kept on Fred added to the brokenness of this little child.
The same thing happened the next night, and the next, and soon Greg knew to be there before Saskia even woke up, smoothing her hair, and whispering comforts in the vain hope that she would wake before it got too bad. Being with the police, Greg was used to being up at all hours, but the sleepless nights began to take their toll on Saskia. Dark circles formed under her eyes, and she began to lose her bounce. Greg tried everything- leaving the lights on, audiobooks, chamomile tea (Saskia did not approve)- but nothing seemed to work.
It took a nasty turn of events to break the fog that held Saskia down. As per usual, Greg was awoken by Saskia’s screams, and was halfway down the hall when he heard a crash, and then a cry. Saskia had thrown herself from her bed, and in doing so, caught her head on the bedside table. A big purple bruise was already swelling on her head, and Greg instinctively gathered her up in his arms.
“Saskia? Saskia, can you hear me? Saskia?”
“Daddy??” She asked, eyes searching the dark room.
“I’m right here, sweetheart. I’ve got you.”
“It hurts, Da…. Make it stop!!”
Her little face was crunched up in pain, and Greg knew that he wasn’t going to be taking chances. Sweeping Saskia through to the kitchen, he sat her on the table, and scrambled for an ice pack. “Right then Saskia- hold that where it hurts whilst I throw something on, and we’ll take you to the hospital to get that checked out…. Hang on.”
The wound was already swollen and angry, and Saskia was baffled at the sudden turn of events- confusion, Greg had been told, was one of the first signs of concussion. The next half hour was all a bit of a blur to Greg: the drive to the hospital, bumbling hospital staff, and spell in the waiting room not helping in the slightest to ease his troubled, still sleepy brain. The doctor quizzed him on Saskia’s sleeping patterns, as she lay across a couple of chairs in the doctor’s office, completely and utterly dazed.
“Are these nightmares common?”
“Consistent, as of last week. Every single night, except she normally manages not to fall out of bed. It’s hardly surprising though doctor- it’s been a rough few months, eh Sass?” He looked down at the still form, ruffling her hair fondly.
“Well, the fact that she’s sleep deprived is making her nightmares worse. I’ll prescribe a course of sleeping pills for her to take, one a night; an hour before bedtime at least, else it could make the nightmares worse. As for now, I’ve given her painkillers, and she just needs to take it easy for today. I’d say bed rest, but that wouldn’t help. You know your daughter best, so I’ll leave it up to you. The swelling should go down soon- by the weekend, I should say. I’d advise seeing your GP if you have any more concerns. Any questions, Mr Lestrade?”
“No, thank you doctor.”
“Okay then, off you go. Take care, Saskia.”
The painkillers made Saskia drowsy, and when they arrived home as the edges of dawn were making their debut, she was all but asleep. A few hours later though, she was awake again, but very subdued. Greg made pancakes for breakfast, and tucked Saskia up on the sofa, swathed in blankets.
“D’you want me to put the TV on, Sass?” He asked, kneeling next to the sofa, trying to make eye contact, but instead being met with a mess of blonde hair.
“If you’ll watch with me.” Came the small reply, so faint that Greg all but missed it.
“Alright then, sweetheart, let’s see what I’ve got.” Sifting through his collection, Greg discovered some of his old favourites- Ivor the Engine, the Clangers and then, “I know what you need!” Greg exclaimed, slipping an old video into the player and grabbing the remote.
And so it came to pass that Greg Lestrade spent a day on the sofa, curled up with his daughter, and watching his entire collection of Winnie the Pooh. The hand drawn characters hadn’t lost their charm, nor the storyteller his lulling voice. More than once, Greg caught himself falling asleep, and then, suddenly he awoke in near darkness. The video had ended, and Saskia was fast asleep on his shoulder. Greg knew there was a reason that he had put the sofa so close to the wall, and now he could reach both the lamp behind him, and his book. Saskia’s peaceful breathing began to put his mind at rest. No horrors were haunting her now, and the bruise on her forehead was looking better by the hour.
It took a lot of willpower to wake the sleeping form, but when he did, Greg could see that the rest had done Saskia a world of good. The light in her eyes was back, and so was her appetite. Well-fed and well rested, Saskia snuggled back up in her bed for her bedtime story, which just had to be Winnie the Pooh. Her love for these stories was more than reciprocated by Greg, and through it, he discovered the perfect way to put Saskia to sleep. Whenever she awoke in the night, and came to him, it took but a few verses of The Hundred Acre Wood to send her to sleep.
 
  Deep in the hundred acre wood
 Where Christopher Robin plays
 You will find the enchanted neighbourhood
 Of Christopher's childhood days
 A donkey named Eeyore is his friend
 And Kanga and little Roo
 There's Rabbit and Piglet
 And there's Owl
 But most of all Winnie the Pooh

 Winnie the Pooh
 Winnie the Pooh
 Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff
 He's Winnie the Pooh
 Winnie the Pooh
 Willy nilly silly old bear

 Winnie the Pooh
 Winnie the Pooh
 Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff
 He's Winnie the Pooh
 Winnie the Pooh
 Willy nilly silly old bear

And so the seeds of Saskia’s love of Disney, and of music were sown, and Greg’s love of the same rekindled. Sometimes, he thought, these things really can happen for the best.

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