Sherlock and Son

Mary is dead and there is nothing John can do about it. He's got to move on, he's got Charlotte, his daughter, to think about. Life was alright, calm, maybe even peaceful. Until one day something turns up that will change life as him and Sherlock know it.

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4. Chapter 4

Once John had brought everything on his list he decided it was time they headed off back home. He was exhausted after spending most of the day out with Charlotte, not that he didn’t enjoy her company but it’s just she is a lot of hard work. John stood on the edge of the curb laden down with the shopping bags and attempting to calm Charlotte down, she was due another feed and was beginning to get restless. Because he hadn’t driven since Mary died the car probably didn’t work anymore, he relied on taxis and occasionally public transport. He stuck his hand up in the air in some attempt to hail a cab without much luck. He sighed loudly, he couldn’t be dealing with this; he was going to have to take the bus. He pushed Charlotte to the closest bus stop which was only a few streets away. He looked at the time table, he had just missed the last bus and the next one was going to be fifteen minutes, but John didn’t mind he had nowhere to be. He sat down on the bench by the bus stop and out the bags on the floor between his legs. He reached into Charlotte’s nappy bag and pulled out a small Tupperware container with small pieces of chopped up strawberries in it. Charlotte chewed happily as John popped little chunks of strawberries into her awaiting mouth.
“Is that nice Charlotte?” John asked. He picked up a piece of strawberry and ate it. They continued happily eating strawberries and watching the world go by until the bus came along. John stood up and picked up his bags. He lifted the push chair onto the bus and paid their fares, they sat in the designated spaces for pushchairs and parents. A little old lady cooed at Charlotte and told John what a good job he was doing.
“And what’s your name?”
“John Watson,” John replied. The woman frowned then her face softened into a slight giggled.
“You don't look like a John," she frowned looking at Charlotte.

"Oh you mean her name, she's called Charlotte,” John said quickly feeling stupid.
“Little Charlotte, isn't she a little darling." she smiled. "Where’s Mummy, is she at work?” she asked.
“Yeah she’s out at work,” John replied without thinking. Normally when they were out together people often asked about Charlotte’s Mother. For the first couple of times John had tried to explain Mary’s death to the strangers but after the fifth time he didn’t see the point anymore. His story was too painful and sounded too ridiculous to explain every time someone asked which was quite often. Sometimes he said he was a single parent that never went down well; the British public often feel the need to share their bigoted views about single fathers. He had heard it all from asking whether he was gay to asking if his wife had left him for another man or sometimes they asked if it was, in fact, Mary who was a lesbian. Yes, the public enjoyed painting wonderful pictures about turning Mary into a sex crazed lesbian who ran off leaving John alone with Charlotte to run away with her lover. He had many stories but no one dared to suggest the truth, perhaps they didn’t know, or care. But one day someone was going to ask Charlotte where her Mother was and she’ll know she’s different, and John dreaded that day.
“Does she work often?” the lady asked. John nodded his head. “And nights as well?” she asked. John knew where this was going, more discrimination against stay at home dads, which he wasn’t, but practically was. “So you look after the little one whilst Mummy’s away,”
“Yes,” John replied.
“Did you give up working full time when little one arrived?”
“Yes,”
“What did you do before?”
“I was a Doctor in the Army and then I was a GP,”
“And what does your wife do?”
“She’s a lawyer,” John explained. Even though Mary never was a lawyer it was easier to say she was, at the imaginary firm she worked at Mary was a senior employee and earned more than John so that’s the reason she works and he doesn’t. The woman explained that her husband had been a Doctor before he died. She looked at him compassionately and informed him that the next stop was hers. As the bus pulled over into the stop she stood up from her seat and began to hobble away. As she was about to get off of the bus she turned back around.
“My condolences about your wife Doctor Watson,” she said. John wasn’t sure he had heard her correctly. How did she know about Mary?
“Wait,” he called after her. “How did you know?” he demanded.
“A Mother knows,” she said wisely. She turned around and hobbled off the bus thanking the driver as she left.
John put his head in his hands. Was he that easy to read, if this little old lady had known how many other people knew he was blatantly lying to their faces? He started to laugh for some reason, she had known all along. Oh God, he felt awful.
RING RING. A sound came. John felt his leg vibrate. He reached into his coat pocket and retrieved his phone. He saw Sherlock’s caller ID and answered it, strange, Sherlock never normally calls, he prefers to text.
“John?” Sherlock demanded.
“Yes, hello Sherlock, how are you?” John asked.
“John, where are you, wait don’t bother answering that I know where you are.”
“How could you possibly know?” John asked before he stopped himself. He was going to have to listen to Sherlock’s deductions, something which used up way too much of his credit.
“No time,” Sherlock said to John’s surprise. Usually Sherlock loved babbling on about how smart he was, he loved showing John up and making him look stupid.
“What’s wrong? Are you alright?” John asked quickly, panic was beginning to rush over his body.
“I just need you to get home quickly,” he said quickly.
“Why Sherlock listen to me! Is anything the matter?” John asked nervously.
“The matter? Obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be calling you John!”
“Sherlock what is it. Do you want me to call Lestrade?” he asked.
“Lestrade? God no, I want to know when you are coming home, you just went this morning, you left me without any lunch or anything edible at all. I’m starving, I know you’re on the bus and are about five minutes from home but are you stopping anywhere on the way back?” he asked.
“No I wasn’t planning on stopping. We’re going to get off of the bus and come straight home, what do you mean there is no food in the house, there must be.”
“There isn’t!” he insisted.
“You’re obviously not looking hard enough,”
“I have!” Sherlock protested childishly.
“There is bread in the bread bin and beans in the cupboard. Get creative,” John replied.
“What am I supposed to do? Eat cold beans and bread?”
“No, you heat the beans up on the stove and then you toast the bread in the toaster and then you eat it. It’s really not that difficult, teenagers live off of tinned foods.”
“Where are the beans?”
“In the cupboard,” there was silence for a few moments, John could hear Sherlock making his way into the kitchen; he heard him rummaging through the cupboards.
“Which cupboard?” Sherlock asked. 
“The one above the sink,”
“No it’s not,”
“What do you mean?”
“I threw everything away,”
“Why did you do that?” John exclaimed.
“I needed somewhere to keep my things,”
“When was this?”
“A few days ago, I don’t see what the problem is; there was nothing nice in there,”
“I always keep a spare tin in Charlotte’s cupboard, go and get a tin, open it and put it on the stove,”
“Right,” Sherlock said. John heard him put the phone down on the side in the kitchen he rummaged through the cupboards, John sighed as he heard Sherlock knock things over and drop things onto the floor. His kitchen was going to be wreaked when he got home.
“What do I do with the stove?” a voice asked. “Do I just put the tin on the stove or do you have to do anything else with it.”
“You have to open the tin and put the beans in a saucepan!” John exclaimed.
“The stove’s hissing at me, is this normal, do I need to light a match or something?” Sherlock asked.
“Sherlock, get out of the kitchen now!” John warned. He wanted to go home having a house, he wasn’t too keen on Sherlock burning the place down.
“But I’m hungry,” he moaned.
“I’ll be home soon,”
“Three minutes,”
“About three minutes, Sherlock, I mean it; don’t touch anything else until I get back,”
“Fine,” he said before hanging up. For someone so smart Sherlock sure was a domestic liability.

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