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She should be used to it by now, but it’s always a bit weird looking at a gravestone with your own name on it. Rosamund Mary Watson.  Staring down at it, she has a moment of lightheadedness, a rollercoaster swoop in her belly, as if she is witnessing her own future. In a way, she is—inevitably enough, one day her own grave will most likely be marked by an identical slab.

She’s been here many times before, but it feels different this time.  Usually her fathers come out with her, but for the first time, she’s asked them to sit in the car.  After all, she wasn’t their mother.

Rosie reaches out and touches the marker, a memorial to a woman she knows both intimately and not at all.  Her fathers have told her things, of course, shown her photographs of an impishly grinning woman with eyes like her own. They’ve told her about how her mother enjoyed baking, loved dogs, was always quick with a joke. 

There’s something else, though—something they’re not saying.  Something to do with the scar on Sherlock’s chest. She heard them rowing about it last night.  Sherlock was saying it was time for the truth, while daddy insisted that they wait a little longer. 

“What if it makes her hate Mary?  I don’t want that.”  

“She won’t,” Sherlock told him.  “She’ll understand.”

Daddy won the row, and they agreed to wait until next year.  But not for nothing is Rosie a detective’s daughter.  If they won’t tell her, she’ll just have to solve the mystery herself.  

Chapter Text

Eurus phones Ella to ask for John’s medical records, her gentle German accent at once sensible, sympathetic, and disarming. They get to chatting, then chuckling over the little frustrations and indignities well-known to those who manage small but thriving psychotherapy practices.

Chatting leads to a spur-of-the-moment suggestion of a drink at a local cafe, which turns into two bottles of red wine on an empty stomach, which turns into Ella waking up with a pounding headache and soft german consonants whispering promises of breakfast in her ear.

This has to be an ethics violation, thinks Ella. But even therapists are entitled to a little fun sometimes.

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“So the woman I met as Faith—you’re saying that was my long lost sister?”

“That’s what she said, yes.”

“And she was pretending to be your therapist, as well?  Fascinating.”

“Yeah.  Plus she was also…”  John trailed off.  


“Do you want some tea?  I could murder a cuppa right now.”

Sherlock frowned.  "You were going to say something.  Something about this person…  Eurus.  She was also…  what?“

"Nothing.  It’s nothing.  In fact, I’ve forgotten.”

“Or should I say ‘whom’?  Did she have yet another disguise?”

John shook his head. “Couldn’t have. Impersonating three separate people, just to get close to us?  That’d just be silly.”  John rocked back and forth on his heels, his hands shoved innocently into his pockets. Sherlock narrowed his eyes.

“You’re hiding something. Why?”

“Just forget it.”

“Who else could Eurus possibly have disguised herself as?  Neither of us associate with many people, and the ones we do, we’ve known for a long time. She can’t have been impersonating Molly or Mary or Mrs Hudson.”

“No, certainly not.”

“And we don’t know any other women.”


Sherlock stared long and hard at John, clearly deducing every single thread, button, or smudge on his body. John squirmed.  

Suddenly Sherlock let out a gasp.

“Oh, here it is,” said John, covering his face with one hand.

“The woman on the bus!  Your affair.”  Sherlock stared into the distance, the full horror of the situation seeming to dawn on him by degrees.  "John.  You cheated on Mary…  with my sister.

John sighed and sank into his chair. "It was only texting!  I swear.”

Sherlock slumped into his own chair, looking dazed.

“My sister.”  He quirked an eyebrow at John. “So…  ”


“Is she a lot like me?  In any specific ways?”

“Oh, Christ.  No one’s ever going to believe I’m not in love with you, are they?”

Chapter Text

After Mary died, there was no real reason to keep her identity a secret anymore, so Sherlock and John checked Ajay’s flash drive to find out about her previous life.  They got in contact with her parents and siblings and told them what happened, and brought Rosie to visit them.  Mary’s parents were  very excited to have even a bit of their daughter back, and to get to know their young granddaughter.  They gave Rosie a special gift of a few of Mary’s favorite toys from when she was a little girl: a dollhouse, a rocking horse, and a toy gun. 

Rosie plays with them every day, and often asks her fathers to tell her everything they remember about her mother.

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mary always hearing about sherlock from john and feeling sympathetic over his tragic loss but also really wishing she could have met him because he sounds fascinating. and then he is there in the flesh, and not only is he fascinating, he is funny and charming and omg CUTE, which John never mentioned. and she wonders how wrong it is to have a crush on your husband’s formerly dead flatmate.

sherlock always hating all of john’s girlfriends because they are boring and ordinary and unworthy of him, not giving mary the time of day until she’s the one giggling at his jokes and decoding skip codes and pulling a gun on him and wow! she is *definitely* not boring. and he wonders how wrong it is to have a crush on your best friend’s ex-assassin wife.

but both of them are pretty good at being bad…

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Post S3, Mary has the baby, then some time after has to disappear again to avoid baddies, so John is left to raise baby Watson alone.  Naturally enough, Sherlock steps up to help, and over time they develop a new closeness and build a relationship together as parents and perhaps more.

But as time passes and baby Watson grows into a toddler and then a lovely little girl, John starts to notice something: his beautiful daughter has a full head of dark, glossy curls.  Beneath her baby chub is a pair of dangerously sharp cheekbones.  And then there’s her perfect cupid’s bow mouth.  

Sherlock, he says one night over dinner, his voice a bit unsteady, is there something you haven’t told me?

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There were no cases anywhere above a four, and Mycroft had paid off all his usual suppliers to stay away from him, so there was nothing for it but either face down an interminable evening of boredom or invite the landlady up to share some of her "herbal soothers".

Hudder's stash wasn't quite as powerful as he was used to, but it was taking the edge off the supposedly hilarious story she had been recounting for what seemed like an eternity and a half... something about a hat? or a bird? A bird hat?

"Weren't there biscuits?" he asked, interrupting with not a little pleasure at a crucial juncture.

Hudders attempted a glare. "You finished them half an hour ago, dear. I told you this was good stuff. Now keep quiet," she said, waving her hand carelessly so some ash tumbled off the end of the cigarette. "I was just getting to the good part..."

"Watch out," said Sherlock, twisting away to the other end of the couch. "I'll never forgive you if you burn a hole in my second-best dressing gown."

"Your second-best wot?" Mrs Hudson cackled like a tortured owl. "Sherlock Holmes, have you ranked all your dressing gowns?"

"Should I not have?"

Mrs Hudson wiped her eyes.

"Oh, you dear old thing," she said, carefully balancing the roach on the lip of a saucer and pouring them both some tea. "What standard are you using? Comfort or looks?"

Sherlock scoffed. "I made a chart of the various tensile properties, of course. It's a complex calculation involving the relative measures and importance of tenacity, elasticity, inflammability--"

"Yes, that's enough, dear," she said, lifting her cup. "I'm already sorry I asked. Which one came in first?"

"The navy blue. It's got the ideal combination of--"

"Oh, no no no no." She replaced the cup with a jarring clink. "That's definitely not the best."


"No, it's... or rather... " She tapped her fingers against her temple as if to urge the synapses on. "Oh, drat, I can't remember them all. How many do you have?"

Sherlock ticked off on his fingers. "There's the burgundy, the mouse colored one, the purple... " He trailed off and stared over her shoulder, his eyes taking on a glazed look. "Do I have a purple dressing gown?"

Mrs Hudson frowned. "I don't think so. That'd be a bit much, even for you, dear."

"Hmm," agreed Sherlock. "Must have dreamed it. Anyway, the royal blue silk--"

"That's the one!" Mrs Hudson exclaimed. "Brings out your eyes."

Sherlock nodded thoughtfully. "Yes, I suppose I forgot to include that variable in my analysis."

"Go put it on, you'll see."

"Put it on? Now?"

"Why not? Go on, give us a little fashion show," she said with a mischievous grin.

Sherlock looked horrified, but Mrs Hudson only chuckled and took another drag. "You know you want to."

"I want no such thing," Sherlock replied primly, but he got up and went into the bedroom. When he came back, he was wearing the tartan gown.

"What happened to the blue silk?"

"I'm wearing it," said Sherlock. "I'm wearing them all. Seemed like the most efficient way to transport them."

Mrs Hudson clapped her hands and cooed with pleasure. "So it's to be a striptease, then? I'll get some music on the wireless." She fiddled with the dial and found something with a slow, suggestive beat. "But remember, dear, I'm a professional. Be prepared for a thorough critique."

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...While at university, Sherlock had an entirely different style – band t-shirts and oversized hoodies, maybe?  Or leftovers from his school uniforms – in my experience, boarding school kids often find it hard to dress themselves after spending years in uniform.

Sometime just before or after he finished school, Mycroft got sick of all this, and took Sherlock into London to get some proper clothes.  Sherlock of course objected to all this meddling, and spent the whole afternoon in a strop, until some astute salesperson handed him a coat to try.

This wasn’t The Coat, of course.  It was just a good-quality overcoat, but it had long, elegant lines that suited Sherlock’s frame in a way that the oversized hoodies had not, and for the first time it occurred to Sherlock that there might be something to be said for spending a great deal of money on clothes.

Eventually he burned a series of holes in that coat in the course of various misadventures of dubious legality, and he began looking for another.  Over the years, he refined his search until at last he encountered the Belstaff, which was warm and practical, but with a touch of the dramatic he had not realized until that moment he was seeking. 

He bought it immediately, and wore it straight to the Diogenes club to show Mycroft.  His purpose was to annoy Mycroft – he fully expected him to tut or roll his eyes at his younger brother’s flamboyance.  But to Sherlock’s surprise, Mycroft approved, said it suited him, and even looked a little proud that Sherlock had done so well.

Then on Mycroft’s advice (though Sherlock would never admit it), he went back a week later and bought a half dozen more.  Given his lifestyle, he was sure to need another at some point, and Mycroft had learned from experience the devastation of discovering that a favorite item has gone out of production, or been “updated” in ways that render it totally unsuitable.

The new coat was perfect.  Well, almost perfect. 

Because one day Sherlock saw a man on the street – a broad-shouldered, model-looking type with a vapid expression – wearing his exact coat. It was terrible on him – the fit was all wrong, it had no movement… It looked positively common. How could Sherlock have just spent what amounted to many months’ rent on a coat he had to share with such a dullard?

Sherlock was seized with remorse and fell into a deep depression, and Mycroft realized something had to be done. He took the coats away and brought them to his tailor, who made a few suggestions. But it quickly became apparent to Mycroft that his own tailor wouldn’t do, and much as it pained him to do so, he asked around for recommendations of someone with a bolder style. He settled on a man of good repute, imaginative but not ostentatious, and they began their consultations. Brass buttons? Too vulgar. A purple lining? Too… vampiric.

Nine days later, the coats were returned to Sherlock, this time with bright scarlet thread around the buttonholes. It was just the right touch – distinctive but not gaudy – and Sherlock fell in love once more.

“Now perhaps you’ll appreciate the services of a good tailor,” sniffed Mycroft. And indeed, Sherlock would return to this man later, to discuss the suits and shirts appropriate to a consulting detective… but that’s another story.

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They work very closely together, and Vivian obviously has it in for Smallwood, since she used Smallwood’s code name to frame her for Vivian’s crimes. Why the animosity?

I’m guessing they had a brief fling at some point, when they were both starting out in the service, though they were both married to other people. But you know how it is: Long nights at the office, riding high on emotion and adrenaline… You get a bit of good news on a project, share a drink to celebrate, and one thing leads to another.

That’s all it was to Smallwood, and she made Vivian feel like a fool for expecting more. It was just a bit of fun, Elizabeth told her. Plus, it would never work, she added with a dismissive laugh – they were from different worlds.

Vivian knew just what she meant. Smallwood grew up on country estates, went to all the best schools, hobnobbed with heads of state. Vivian was a mousy secretary, raised in a shabby suburb, who skipped university to get married. And Lady Smallwood was on track for the highest echelons of power. Vivian would always be a secretary.

That’s how it all started. At first the plan was rather hopeful – just set aside a bit of money to dress better, buy a really top quality hand bag, and maybe Elizabeth would see her in a different light. But as Smallwood remained cold and indifferent to her, hope turned to an obsession with proving herself Smallwood’s equal, and then to a thirst for revenge against the woman who had scorned her.

And after all that? Vivian is marched off to jail for murdering another woman – one she didn’t know and against whom she bore no ill will. Meanwhile, Lady Smallwood continues on in her thoughtless, effortless presumption of position and power, not even aware that *she* was the one who brought this death about by curdling Vivian Norbury’s love into hate.

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After the events of S4, Sherlock and John have a major falling out, and John cuts Sherlock out of his life forever. Time passes, and some twenty years later, John dies. Rosie seeks out Sherlock hoping to learn more about her mother, her father, and their relationship.

Sherlock is retired in Sussex now, still taking the occasional case, and when a young woman shows up at his doorstep, he first assumes it’s a client. But when he opens the door, he has the most uncanny feeling – it’s as though Mary is standing before him, only instead of having grown 20 years older, she’s somehow become 20 years younger. Sherlock is momentarily baffled, until he puts it together and realizes this must be little Rosie, all grown up.

They’re both all alone in the world, with all these ghosts swirling around them… He’s a very famous, intermittently charming character who still cuts a dashing figure. She’s a lovely, perceptive young woman, marked by tragedy, who reminds him painfully of someone he loved without hope and then lost. They take a natural liking to each other, and Rosie offers to move in to help him sort his papers.

Time passes: they go for long walks together by the sea, stay up late talking by the fire… And in the manner of these things, they fall in love.

It is perhaps not the healthiest or most conventional of relationships (and they get plenty of judgmental looks from the locals), but they have neither of them ever had much interest in convention, and for now at least, it makes them happy.

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Mycroft, when out of the office, is the subbiest of subs. Working around Anthea, especially as her superior, drives him mad with desire for her to truss him up, slap him around, and utterly humiliate him. Of course he could never ask for such a thing – it would be totally inappropriate given their work relationship. So instead he hires Irene to give him what he wants. He’s very discreet and never uses names or anything, but of course Irene figures him out almost immediately. (His request that she torture him while boredly scrolling through a Blackberry was a dead giveaway.)

The next time Irene and Anthea run into each other due to some Sherlockian hijinx, Irene gets a terrible case of the giggles. Professional discretion demands that she keep her knowledge to herself, but Anthea puts two and two together and figures it out. From then on, neither of them can keep a straight face when they’re in a room together, which is horribly embarrassing (but also deeply arousing) for Mycroft.