Falling Asleep

I think perhaps, one of my favourite photographs of Sherlock and my husband, was not one I had planned on taking.

It was getting later than usual by the time he arrived home. 1 am. I was used to falling asleep while I waited for him, but I always knew when he was home. I woke up, in a chair, and went out to the hallway to meet him. I was standing by the door of the living room – I had fallen asleep somewhere else – and watched him hang his coat. I waited for him to speak.

Helen Holmes. Hello. I’m sorry. Both Jack and I fell asleep…well, he fell into a drunken stupor. Friday nights are always difficult for him. I shouldn’t be talking about him, though. Tell me about you, about the boys. You look beautiful.

Firstly, I should…elaborate. He was always so exhausted after working with Jack. It was always clear when he had chosen Project Lazarus as his overtime. I’ve had to take him up the stairs myself, numerous times. Arthur’s focus is incredible, but it drains him more than I think he would ever readily admit. I used to get very…resentful of Jack very often. When I was younger, of course. I was very protective of Arthur. Just when I thought I’d have enough in me to…hate something in Jack, he’d prove me wrong. He’d send Arthur home. To me, to the boys.

Jack was Arthur’s only true friend in Torchwood. Arthur had a beautiful ability to look past the faults in people and see only the good. He had a very strong sense of humanity, of justice and what it meant to love someone unconditionally. But, at the same time I knew Jack was a selfish person, like myself. The kind of selfishness that comes from good intentions. So, Jack protected Arthur from the stern stare of Torchwood, allowed him access to things he normally wouldn’t have access to {Jack was always breaking the rules}, and Jack borrowed Arthur’s notes. His focus, his brilliance, which Arthur had in spades. I don’t think either of them expected to get along so well, though.

I wait for Arthur to speak, and he approaches me, but tilts his head towards the living room and puts a finger to his lips. It was nice to see him smile naturally as he did this. Sherlock had fallen asleep on the couch, he had snuck out of bed, he was barely five at that time, and was waiting for Arthur to come home. Arthur picked him up, so carefully, so gently, for he knew that Sherlock slept badly. The night terrors weren’t around then, of course, but Sherlock could never quite grasp the idea of an uninterrupted sleep cycle.

Sherlock probably won’t remember much of this, but when he was little, he was more keen on his father than Mycroft. Mycroft, like me, occasionally went through phases of resentment against Arthur and his missing dinners, birthday parties, rainy days and Friday afternoons. But Sherlock was too little to understand the idea of resentment, and was always pleased to see his father home when he was little. This was one of those times. This was one of those times, Sherlock’s face tilted into his father’s neck, and Arthur so patient, and so loving – that I remembered why I had married him, without a doubt.

Arthur moved through the house quietly, and Sherlock – who was so naughty and who usually had the strength of a firecracker, looked so little, and so soft. On the kitchen counter lay a disposable camera. The boys and I had been to the beach. It hadn’t been a very good day – the beach was wet but Sherlock enjoyed himself. Aspiring pirate, of course. I’m rambling.
I took a photo of Sherlock and Arthur, as they walked passed me, with this camera full of pictures from the beach. The photo meant so much because, it proved to me that everything would be all right in the end. It’s a dark picture, but a beautiful one. Arthur put Sherlock to bed himself. I love that picture because, it was the time Arthur really came home. The sight of his sleeping son allowed him to turn his brain away from work and be the best father, the best man, the best husband…

I’ll..have to end it there. I’ve said too much. I’m sorry.

 

(This is something I wrote for the wife, and while it’s all mine, it wouldn’t necessarily be here were it not for her so I think that’s worth something. It’s just an awfully long piece with references to our headcanon/AU and the universe we’ve created. Hope you enjoy it. I always like writing in it.)

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