Chapter 4

"John!" Ben calls from the other side of the pub. His deep voice covering over the din, reaching John's ears before he can spot his friend.

John peers over the countless heads of the pub goers and sees his old friend hopping on the spot waving his arms. A hyper look on his angular face. Shaking his head John pushes through the crowd.

The group welcome John with cheers and hoots the very moment he steps up to them.

"John. You son of a gun. You got yourself chosen. How does it feel to be one of the lucky few?" Ben asks John punching him playfully on his right bicep.

"I bet it works wonders with the chicks!" Martin states swiging from his pint.

"Lets get you a drink! You've got catching up to do!" Mark tells John as he jumps to his feet.

"!" the group cheer in unison raising their pints up into the air as Mark goes in search of booze, on a mission to get John started on getting utterly stinking drunk.

It's like none of them have changed over the years. They're all acting like they had back then, as if the years had never flown by.

"Here. Get that down ya," Mark says pushing a pint into John's hand, appearing as if from thin air.

And that's all John remembers from his night on the town. He had a truly wonderful time with the lads. Like old times. All of his friends acting like they always had. John was swept up in their youthful ways, forgetting he's no longer eighteen and maybe a hangover wont just vanish if he willed it so.

John is suffering through the worst hangover he can remember lying flat on his back in bed. He's been willing himself to climb up off his inflatable bed for the past hour. Sudden knocking on his door thunders through John's skull. Jolting him like an electric shock. Bugger! That'll be Mike. It's moving day and Mike offered to help. Good soul as he is. Why did he have to drink so much? John somehow found the strength to climb out of bed and answer the door. Anything to stop that dreadful skull splitting pain.

Opening the door John found Mike smiling warmly clutching a portable incubator to his chest. His eyes scan John and that warmth vanishes.

"Jesus John! You look like death warmed up! What happened?"

"Don't ask," John answers stepping back to allow Mike entry.

God! He's never going to drink again!

Mike had brought an incubator with him, one he borrowed from Barts. A primary reason why John finally relented to accept Mike's help. Mike's argument was renting a portable incubator would be a waste of money, that could be used for the winged-baby, plus Mike has access to incubators. Borrowing one for a few hours would be no issue.

At times John can be a stuborn ass. Or as stuborn as an ass. John often forgets which one applies to himself.

"So. You didn't say, what clan your little-one belongs too," Mike says as he switches the incubator on and waits for it to heat up.

Scratching the back of his head John answers a tad sheepishly "The Holmes Clan."

Mike's eyes grow saucer like.

"I know mate," John says as he begins to fold up his clothes. A black bag at his feet.

"Did you do any research? I know that half of England knows of The Holmes Clan...but still."

"Yeah. I found out the little-one's mother, Violet Holmes is a mathematician, a genuis. The father Siger Holmes is a Captain in the British army. Maybe that's the reason I was chosen. They wanted someone with army experience to instill values the army approve of. The more I looked into the Holmes Clan the more I understood why I was chosen for their egg. Well over half of the clan work for the British government or for the armed forces. The remaining clan members are scientists, professors and so on."

A beat of silence until Mike breaks it with an almost whisper of "Wow."

"Tell me about it mate."

"What did I tell ya?"

"I'm special. Yeah. I know."

"Do ya think your little-one will be one smart cookie? With all that smart floating in your little-one's gene pool."

"That thought did cross my mind. It sure looks it. I know winged-folk are smarter than humans but still. A genius?"

He's not sure how he'll cope with raising one that smart. Mike must of noticed the look that fled across John's face before he could prevent it. One of uncertainty. How was he meant to help a genuis to grow?

"What's wrong John?"

John shakes his head. Fear clogging up his throat.

"Come on mate. It's me. Spill," Mike encourages, eyes full with warmth locking with John's navy blues.

"It's just. What if little-one turns out to be a genius? I mean...a winged-folk genuis is far beyond smart it's kind of overwhelming. There's human genius and then, there's winged-folk genuis. How can I know..." John trails off with a hand wave as if to knock the words from the very air they were uttered.

Mike lays a gentle hand on John's forearm holting him in folding his clothes, which he hadn't ceased until Mike's touch.

"You have nothing to worry about John. You'll be a great father. Your little-one will love you. You may not be a genius, but you're one sharp remember?"

John's heart lightens a little.

"Your right Mike. I was just being daft," John says with a gentle smile.

Mike squeeses his arm in understanding.

Everything is going to be fine, John tells himself for the hundredth time. He's not freaking out one bit. Nope.

John hadn't realised just how few things he owned, until he had packed and was standing in his new flat. Everything he owns in the world only fit into two sorry arsed boxes and a black bag for his clothes. Being in the army for the better part of his adult life meant John didn't need many of the things most people have. Looking down at his belongings makes John feel a touch hollow inside. It's as if he's lived only half a life. Well that all ends now. The little-one will bring so much joy into John's life. Fill it with so much wonder.

Mike had ferried John to 221B in his car. The second reason why Mike won the argument. Good old Mike.

The Blog of Dr John H Watson

So I've moved into a new flat. It's decent enough. The landlady is lovely and very helpful. My friend Mike helped with the move. He's been my rock. Helping out with the little-one. Even if I haven't asked for any. He kinda just knows when I need a helping hand.

I'm looking forward for the little-one to hatch and to hear the pitter-patter of little feet. Look I'm going soft. Anyway...

I had a night out with some old rugby pals. It was a smash. Nice seeing friends from years past. Catching up and that. Yeah. I did drink a few too many, but I wont be able to do that in the near future. Also it was a celebration of being chosen.

I will keep you posted on the little-one.

Mike gave me a book on baby names as I wont know the little-one's gender until the hatching. I will have to pick both boy's and girl's names I like.

I would like it to honour the little-one's clan as well as having meaning for me too.

Oh boy. This is going to be tough.


Are you going to have a house warming? Give me a buzz. I wonna have a meet. See your digs.

Harry Watson

Please answer your phone

E Thompson

You didn't say anything about keeping a blog John. You sly horse. Didn't think you were the type. Keep in mind I'm here to help, whenever. I'm just a phone call away.

Mike Stamford

Fab news John. What about William? It's a fine name.

Bill Murray

After checking his blog, John chuckled at Bill's comment. Although...William Holmes. John roled the name round his mouth. Tasting it on his tongue. It does has a good ring to it.

John makes a note of it.

Nine months later

January 5th 9am

John's egg should of hatched two weeks ago! Twelve months have passed. The end of the fourth trimester has come and gone, yet no sign of hatching. As winged-folk have an extra trimester for growth, plus time for their brains to develop beyond that of human newborns. John knew all of this and he also knows that babies come into the world on their own terms. You can't mark a date on the calendar and expect said baby to pop into the world on time. No matter if that baby is human or winged-folk.

What has John concerned most of all is his unhatched baby isn't making any signs of wanting to hatch.

Normally when winged-folk babies begin to get ready to hatch the egg will wobble from time to time as the baby begins to move vigorously. Finding the once spacious egg to be far to confining. The unhatched baby will also chirp from within their egg. Calling out to their carer/carers. The voice of their carer/carers encourages the unhatched baby to break free of their egg. These happen a few days before the first cracks of the shell appear. For John. Nothing! He's beginning to worry. Well. In fact he's moved past worrying and moved into scary town. He's taken up camping out in the little-one's room on a chair beside the bed/nest.

The warm winter sunlight is filling the bedroom with it's enticing rays acting like warm fingers brushing across John's skin, drawing him back to the land of the living. The sound of birdsong ringing in John's ears. John's sleepy eyes flutter open and instantly he's awake. Springing from his chair like a jack-in-a-box.

What John's sleep plugged mind misinterpeted as birdsong is in fact the chirps of John's unhatched winged-baby calling out to him. The egg is rocking from left to right remarkably fast. Perhaps the winged-baby became distressed when John didn't reply to it's call.

"Little-one I'm here," John says to the rocking egg.

The rocking slows to gentle movements and the chirping quietens to soft sounds. Pressing his plams into the mattress beside the egg, John inspects the shell and notes hairline cracks criss-crossing the surface. It seems his little-one has decided it's time to hatch and is wasting no time about it. This makes John wonder what kind of character his winged-baby has. If things follow on the same route as the hatching then John will be kept on his toes.

Straightening to his full height John dashes to grab his mobile from the living-room. Punching the contact he needs as he zooms back to the little-one's room. The chirping is on-going, so John makes some smoothing sounds hoping to calm his unhatched baby some. It seems to work, although the chriping doesn't stop. Still insisting to call out to John.

The moment the line picks-up John says in a single breath "Mike it's happening! The baby is on it's way!"

I'm a doctor! I'm a bloody doctor! There is no need to freak out! I know what'll happen! The hatching will take hours! John tells himself as he paces the bedroom with his mobile plastered to his ear. Mike's calming voice flittering into his mind which is freaking out no matter how much he tells it not too.

At the moment he's not Dr John H Watson but he's John Watson soon to be father. Who has the knowledge of what could go wrong.

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