I got this idea a while ago, but I thank damselunderstress and her love of museums for inspiring me to actually write it!
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“Mum, I am five years old today,” announced Sherlock, “so you don’t have to carry me anymore.”
“Well, it’s really busy at the stations today, so I’m afraid you’ll have to tolerate it for a bit.” Her elder son at her side, she carried her leggy Sherlock to the doors as the tube slowed down. “And keep your eyes closed! I’ll eat my hat if you guess your birthday surprise again.”
The kid’s chemistry kit from last year - while much appreciated - would have been easy enough to guess, even had Sherlock not gone spelunking in his mother’s closet.
Sherlock’s eyes stayed dutifully shut. “I don’t see why can’t look – It’s o’vious where we are. We took the London Overground to Kings Cross, switched to the Victoria Line south until Green Park, and took the Piccadilly line to the museum district at South Kensington.”
She looked at her boy’s curly-topped head, astonished again. “However did you figure that?”
Sherlock pointed at the ceiling, from which speakers announced, “Now arriving at South Kensington Station – exit for the museum district.”
They stepped off the tube and walked through the busy station. “Oh, he isn’t so perceptive,” teased Mycroft. “If he were, he would have known ages ago where we’re going.” He poked his little brother’s dangling feet. “Even I knew the place existed, and I’m not a freaky little nerd like you.”
Sherlock’s kick just missed Mycroft’s arm. “Shut up, Rubenesque!”
“Boys! Enough!” She positioned Mycroft away from her Sherlocked arm.
“What did he mean, saying I don’t about the place?” said Sherlock. “We’ve already been to all the museums here – the Natural History museum, the Musical Instrument museum-”
“Well, you did sleep through the Victoria and Albert,” she said.
“Mum!” laughed Sherlock.
“I’ll only say - are you sure you’ve been to all of the museums?” Her eyes twinkled.
Sherlock’s eyes opened wide in wonder.
“Hey!” scolded Mycroft.
He snapped them shut again.
They made their way out into the street. Now holding his mum’s hand, he veritably dragged her along the pavement in spite of his blindness, interrogating her and Mycroft persistently. When they proved to be loyal to the surprise, he settled for listening through the din of the street in hopes of catching voices that would betray their destination. But soon enough, the street sounds died down.
“We’re inside,” Sherlock announced, eyes shut tight and bouncing a bit. “I heard the automatic doors open, and the floor is inside floor now. We couldn’t have gone too far so we must be in the central museum area, and-”
“Ok Sherlock, we’re here!” his mum sang.
His eyes popped open. He was standing in the large, bright entrance area of a modernly-designed museum. To his left was a massive room bathed in electric blue light, featuring tall mechanic signs directing people to different areas: the psychology rooms, the genetics and DNA area, the spaceship and airplane displays. To his right, a gift shop advertized new inventions, science notebooks, and Newton’s cradles. Before him, a few museum attendants sat at a pristine white desk before a long, promising escalator, and below a bright sign whose angular, futuristic letters read “The Science Museum.”
“What,” Sherlock said, his eyes wide and his lanky body shock still. “what is this?”
“Sharp as usual,” Mycroft rolled his eyes, though he was getting infected with secondhand excitement.
“Surprise!” she laughed. “All right, make sure you pace yourself because there are five floors. And I want you to take a look at the space exhibit! We’ll make sure to spend plenty of time in the interactive physics experiment area. Oh, and let me know if you’d like to ride a flight simulator so I can get you a ticket, and-”
She stopped mid-breath when she found Sherlock wrapped around her waist giving her a long, reverent hug. She bent down and squeezed him back. He stepped away from his mother to give his brother a long, reverent hug. Mycroft just looked confused. He eventually ruffled his little brother’s curls. Sherlock, now able to comprehend his surroundings, exploded with energy and shot off like a rocket, leaving his family in his dust. He flew towards whatever was the closest or most fancy-catching, cheering with excitement and glee.
She and Mycroft started walking, not bothering to try to keep up. “Happy Birthday!” she called after her little son.
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