Disclaimers:  I do not own Sherlock or any of its characters.  I am merely borrowing them for entertainment purposes.

Notes:  A little Christmas story.  Slight Sherlock/John, if you squint.



I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus




Like most children his age, Sherlock Holmes believed in Father Christmas.  At four years old, he was almost frighteningly
intelligent, asking all sorts of questions until he understood everything there was to know about a particular subject.  And yet,
he still retained the childish naiveté that allowed him to continue believing in myths such as the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy
and of course, Father Christmas.  He attacked any sort of knowledge with a vengeance and still embraced the fairy stories told
to him by well-meaning nannies and relatives who thought it was something every child should experience.  Mummy and
Daddy allowed it, seeing no harm in the belief in Father Christmas.  After all, Mycroft had believed the myth as well, until he
was six and had noticed that the words, 'From Santa' written on one of his presents had been in his father's handwriting.  A
quick investigation and interrogation of his parents revealed the truth.

Though he no longer believed, Mycroft - who was eleven now - still received gifts from Father Christmas.  All in the interest of
keeping Sherlock under the assumption that the man was real.  Mycroft had been expressly forbidden to tell his younger
brother the truth.  He had to discover on his own.  Mycroft was sure that it wouldn't be much longer.  Sherlock was already
starting to question the logistics of a man who could fly around the world on a reindeer-pulled sleigh delivering presents to
every child all in the course of a single night.  Telling him that his abilities were due to magic was not a good enough excuse
anymore.  Ever since he had dismantled the equipment of a magician hired to entertain at a children's party he had been invited
to, he was certain that magic just didn't exist.   Mr. Magnifico had not been amused when Sherlock had gleefully declared how
each and every one of his tricks was accomplished to the gathered crowd of disillusioned four-year olds and their angry
parents.  Sherlock also hadn't been invited to another party since.

Sherlock was a clever and curious child who never took anything at face value, who could be found balancing an encyclopedia
on his lap and reading things that no one his age should be able to read, let alone understand.  So, it came as a complete surprise
to Mycroft when he was awoken late on Christmas Eve by his near-hysterical younger brother.

Sherlock had climbed up onto Mycroft's bed and was shoving at his shoulder anxiously.  "Wake up," he demanded, his voice
scratchy.

It took a moment for Mycroft to wake, despite his brother's efforts.  He reached over and turned on the light and was taken
aback by the sight of his sibling.

Sherlock's eyes were red-rimmed and thick tears were dripping down his puffy cheeks.  His breathing was stilted by great
gasping breaths, broken only by hiccups.  He looked utterly miserable.

Mycroft sat up and grasped Sherlock's shoulders, feeling the way he trembled.  It was disconcerting to see his little brother like
this.  Sherlock was generally a very calm boy.  He didn't remember the last time he had seen Sherlock cry over anything.

"What is it?  Are you hurt?" he asked, letting his eyes roam over the small boy's body.  There didn't seem to be any physical
injuries.  Perhaps he'd had a bad dream.

"Mummy and Daddy are getting divorced!" Sherlock announced with a wail.  He fell against Mycroft, trembling near-violently,
barely able to breathe around the gulping sobs that wracked his tiny frame.

Not knowing what else to do, Mycroft held his brother, even as his mind whirled around the bombshell Sherlock had dropped
on him.  Divorce?  What had Sherlock believing such a thing?  He wasn't prone to nightmares, or fanciful imaginings.  He must
have some proof to back his claims.

He rubbed a hand along the distraught boy's back, patiently waiting for him to calm enough to be able to speak.  When he felt
the sobs lessen, he gripped Sherlock's shoulders and pushed him away, wincing only slightly when tiny fingers scraped against
his sides in an effort to stay close.  It wasn't like Sherlock to behave like this, to be needy.  It was distressing to say the least.

"Sherlock, why did you say that?"  He pressed a hand to one chubby cheek, brushing away some of the moisture there with his
thumb.

His breathing was stuttered by hiccups and it took him a moment before he was able to calm enough to be able to speak.  "I
couldn't sleep.  I was too excited."  He sniffed.  "So I went downstairs to see if Father Christmas had come yet.  And I saw-"  
He started crying again.

He had witnessed something.  Mycroft grabbed his shoulders and clenched his fingers briefly, worried now.  "What did you
see, Sherlock?" he coaxed, trying to sound gentle.  He didn't want his parents to divorce any more than Sherlock did.

"Mummy was kissing Father Christmas!"

The pieces fell into place.  Mycroft had to resist the urge to roll his eyes.  He knew what had happened now.  Daddy had
agreed to attend a party dressed up as Father Christmas.  Mummy must have been kissing him goodbye for the evening.  She
wasn't going with him, instead staying home to be there in case Sherlock attempted to get to his presents early, as he had done
the previous year.  They'd found him halfway through Mycroft's gifts instead of his own, as he hadn't been able to read the
names on the tags yet.

Mycroft patted his little brother on the head, smiling in relief.  Thank goodness it wasn't anything serious.  "It's okay.  Mummy
and Daddy aren't getting divorced."

Sherlock slapped his hands away from him.  His face turned red and he glared at him.  "Yes, they are!  They're going to
divorce and we'll have to move to the North Pole and it's cold there!  I don't like the cold!  And what will happen to Father
Christmas' wife?  She'll leave him, and the elves will take her side because Mummy is a home-wrecker and then we'll have to
make all the presents and we won't have enough for everyone and there won't be a Christmas anymore!"  His tears were
dripping from his chin.

"Home-wrecker?  Where did you hear that term?"

"Miss Janet took me to the park and she was talking with the other nannies there.  That's what they called the lady dog-walker
who visits Mr. Fredericks, Peter's Daddy.  I asked Miss Janet why, and she said it was because the lady dog-walker was
kissing Mr. Fredericks and that now Mr. and Mrs. Fredericks were divorcing, and that Mrs. Fredericks was going to leave so
the lady dog-walker could move in."

He cleared his throat and continued, not giving Mycroft a chance to say anything.  "Father Christmas has so much work to do,
he can't move in here.  So Mummy has to go live with him.  We'll live so far away, we won't see Daddy anymore and I'll never
hear the end of the book he was reading to me!  And school!  How will I get to school?"

Mycroft couldn't help it.  He chuckled.  This was too amusing.

He threw the blankets off and swung his legs over the edge of his bed.  "Come on," he urged, taking Sherlock's wrist in hand
and tugging him over.

Sherlock followed, his brow scrunching.  "Where are we going?"

"To see Mummy.  She'll explain."

A look of absolute horror came to Sherlock's face.  He yanked his arm away from Mycroft's grasp.  "No!" he wailed, long and
loud.  "I'm not allowed up this late!  I'll get in trouble!"

"With all the tears and everything, Mummy will be too worried to be angry with you," Mycroft replied.  "You won't get in
trouble when she finds out why you're upset."

Sherlock wiped the back of his hand across his runny nose.  "You promise?"

Mycroft offered a single brief nod.  "I promise."  He held out his hand, offering it palm up to his brother.

With reluctance, Sherlock settled his hand in Mycroft's and allowed his brother to help him down from the bed.

Mycroft led his brother downstairs to where their mother was reading a book in the sitting room.  The tree had been erected in
here this year and the presents beneath drew Mycroft's eye as they entered the room.  He shook his head and returned his
attention to their mother, who was absorbed in her reading and hadn't yet noticed her two sons creeping into the room.

"Mummy?" Mycroft called, watching the light of the flickering flames in the fireplace play across their mother's angular
features, sparkling in her light-colored eyes.  Sherlock's hand tensed around his.

Their mother looked up.  "Mycroft?  Sherlock?  What are you boys doing awake at this hour?"  She deftly slipped a bookmark
into the heavy book she was reading and set it aside to approach her sons.  She noticed Sherlock's distraught state and
gracefully knelt to meet his eyes.  "Sherlock?  Whatever is the matter, love?"

Sherlock opened his mouth, then closed it again.  The process repeated twice more.  Then Sherlock shook his head, let out a
sob and threw himself at her.

Mummy caught him in her arms and she looked to Mycroft for answers.  When she met his eyes, Mycroft patiently explained.  
"He thinks you and Daddy are getting divorced because he saw you kissing Father Christmas."

Mycroft watched the emotions flicker across her porcelain features.  He was of the opinion, as most boys were of their own
mothers, that his mother was the most singular beauty in the entire world.  To his annoyance, Sherlock looked more like her
than he did himself.  He had her eyes, and that same thick, dark shade of hair.

Understanding, was the first emotion Mycroft noted.  Followed by a touch of amusement and then concern for her crying
child.  He watched the sweep of her slender fingers over Sherlock's back, how they deftly brushed through his hair, again and
again.  Slowly, Sherlock calmed under her gentle ministrations.  He nuzzled his head under her chin, clinging to her in an
instinctive need for comfort.

Mycroft could see that his presence was no longer needed.  He could easily go back up to his room and go to bed.  But he
wanted to see this play out to the end.

Mummy hummed and brushed a thumb along one of Sherlock's flushed cheeks.  He reluctantly drew back, but kept his eyes
downcast as he sniffled and hiccupped.

"Oh, my sweet," she crooned, tucking her fingers beneath his chin and tilting it up.  "It's okay."  She was smiling, gently and
serenely and it even made Mycroft feel a sense of relief.  "I'm not divorcing your Daddy."

"But you and Father Christmas," Sherlock squeaked.  He swallowed and coughed, then rubbed at his running nose.  "You were
kissing him.  You have to go live with him now."

Mummy laughed, a lilting sound much like birdsong.  She bent to kiss Sherlock's forehead.  She turned the small boy and
pointed up to the ledge above the door.  "Do you see that?" she asked sweetly.

Sherlock nodded.  Mycroft looked as well, and understood how Mummy was going to handle this awkward explanation.

"It's a weed," Sherlock announced.

"No, my dear.  That, is mistletoe.  There's an old Christmas tradition that says any two people who meet under a hanging of
mistletoe are obliged to kiss."  She turned Sherlock to face her again.  He looked confused, but had that expression on his face
that he often wore when he was trying to piece things together in his head.  "Where were Father Christmas and I standing
when you saw us?"

A light of dawning understanding came across Sherlock's face.  "Under the mistletoe!" he exclaimed.

"That's right."  She tapped his nose, and smiled warmly.  "We happened to stand under the mistletoe at the same time and
following tradition, I gave him a kiss."

"So we don't have to move to the North Pole?" Sherlock asked.

"Of course not.  It's far too cold up there.  You know I don't like the cold."

Sherlock was smiling again.  Despite the splotchy complexion of his tear-stained face, he seemed genuinely happy again.  The
smile slipped briefly as he thought about something, but reappeared in an instant as he asked, "Can I have a cookie?"

Mummy laughed brightly and even Mycroft felt obliged to join in.  "Just one," she said. "Then I want the two of you back in
bed."

She rose and hefted Sherlock.  Perching him on her hip and holding him around with middle with one arm, she held her free
hand out to Mycroft.  He took it, not caring for once that he was too old for such things, and accompanied his mother and
brother to the kitchen for a late-night snack.



*****



Many Years Later



Sherlock buzzed about the crime scene, his words flying faster than John could comprehend.  The tall consulting detective
dropped nearly flat against the ground beside the corpse in the center of the room, then was up again in an instant, examining
this, that and everything in between.

John thought that he would much rather be at home in bed.  It was nearly one on Christmas morning.  Yet, instead of sleeping,
he was standing at the scene of a double homicide.  Death by stabbing.  Messy.  There was blood all over the floor, ceiling and
walls, and on the ornaments decorating the tree in the corner of the room.  A grisly sight on this particular night, hardly a
pleasant way to celebrate the holiday.

He rubbed his eyes wearily and tried to refrain from leaning against the doorframe.  He'd had a long day at the surgery and was
hoping for a rest.  He should have known better.

Suddenly, Sherlock swept past him.  John jerked, blinking his eyes repeatedly to clear the sleepy fog from his brain.  Before he
could turn to follow his manic flat-mate, Sherlock darted back into the room, squeezing into the doorframe beside John.  He
glanced up at something above them.

John couldn't get his head around the other man's behavior.  He raised his eyes to follow Sherlock's gaze, but an instant later
found himself freezing in shock as Sherlock's lips came into contact with his own.

It lasted barely an instant.  Then Sherlock grinned and shot away again, looking at the while like a child getting exactly what he
wanted on Christmas morning.

John looked around in abject horror at the gaping faces surrounding him.  He felt his face getting hotter with each second that
passed, his ears too.  Lestrade, Donovan, Anderson and any number of the forensics team were all staring straight at him, most
of them wide-eyed with shocked confusion.  Anderson looked somewhat green.

Stunned, John raised his hand to his mouth, fingertips lightly touching his still-tingling lips.  What had possessed Sherlock to do
that?

A tugging to his sleeve caught his attention and he turned to find Sherlock staring down at him, brow furrowed slightly.  "You
are coming, aren't you?"

"What the hell was that?" John barked, ignoring the others.

"What?"

"That," John started, then lowered his voice when he noticed that everyone was still staring at him.  "That kiss.  What the hell
was that?" he hissed.

Sherlock raised one eyebrow.  He pointed a single finger upward and John, and everyone else in the room, looked up.  
"Mistletoe, John," he said casually, indicating the plant pinned above their heads.  "I thought even you would know about it."  
Then he was off again.

John rolled his eyes and suppressed the urge to growl as he hurried after the mental idiot.  "Sherlock, we REALLY have to go
over the meaning of 'personal boundaries' again!"



The End