Pairings/Characters: Mrs. Hudson, Gladstone, Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Summary: Mrs. Hudson knows what’s best for her boarders.
Date Of Completion: January 7, 2012
Date Of Posting: February 6, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 925
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Mrs. Hudson was a woman of sharp perception. She had always been aware of her boarders’ predilections over the years, but none more so than Sherlock Holmes.
She had no delusions about her most famous boarder. He was brilliant, eccentric, and exasperating. If he wasn’t violin playing at three o’clock in the morning or performing his noxious experiments at any time of day or night, it was his coming and going at all hours, sometimes in disguise.
Mrs. Hudson laid the heavy frying pan on the cast-iron stove. She checked to make sure she had enough wood and cracked a few eggs into the pan. They started to crackle and sizzle as she took out some paprika and sprinkled it on the eggs. No bland English cook was she!
She picked out some of the freshest fruit she had gotten at the market yesterday and arranged them in a blue willow bowl. She set to work squeezing oranges for juice and thought about the man upstairs.
And there was the doctor. Dr. Watson was out on a brisk morning walk. He might no longer live here at 221B Baker Street in preparation for his marriage to Miss Morstan, but a man’s habits did not change just because he changed his address. John Watson was a man of meticulous habits like a true English gentleman, unlike his closest friend.
She checked on the eggs, satisfied that they were doing well. The boy she had sent with her message should be meeting the good doctor at the entrance to his lodgings right about now.
Mrs. Hudson took the pan off the stove and placed it on the counter on a cooling rack. She set about placing the eggs on her plate, sat down, and calmly ate the eggs and a piece of fruit, savoring the fresh apple. The paprika had worked quite well, too.
Really, she knew what was best. After years of observing the doctor and the detective, she knew that was best for both of them. If it was only good for Mr. Holmes, she would have let things proceed on its way, but it was good for Dr. Watson, too.
When she finished her breakfast, she cleaned up her dishes and took out two clean ones, ignoring the bumps and thuds from upstairs. Even the crack of a pistol shot barely registered a flinch.
I am as much a veteran of the wars as the good doctor.
Gladstone padded into the kitchen. Good. The poor thing was not as dead as a doornail as a result of Mr. Holmes’ noxious experiments, at least not today.
“Honestly, that man!” Mrs. Hudson clucked, giving Gladstone a piece of beef, which he devoured happily. She patted his head and added more fruit to the bowl on the table. The front doorknocker pounded and she went to answer in a swirl of skirts.
“Oh, Dr. Watson! How nice to see you.”
“You summoned me, Mrs. Hudson.” The doctor’s blue eyes were clouded with concern. “Is Mr. Holmes all right?”
“Not quite.” At the doctor’s worried look she said, “I believe his reliability on his noxious chemicals is driving him toward, well…”
Watson smiled slightly and put a hand on her arm. “I understand.” He removed his hand and squared his shoulders. “All right, then, onward and upward.”
With a confident smile, the doctor marched up the stairs.
Mrs. Hudson dusted the foyer and front parlor. A murmur of voices drifted down from the second floor, then shouting. She calmly finished her dusting and washed the windows flanking the door. There were more bumps and thuds.
“You are impossible!”
“Really, Mother Hen, I am quite in command of my faculties!”
“If you were, you would not be running about in an outfit cut from the settee!”
“It is urban camouflage, thank you very much.”
“And your chemical habit is quite out of control!”
“Should I ask for your purse so that it won’t empty at the gaming establishments?”
Humming to herself, Mrs. Hudson went into the kitchen. She cracked some eggs into the skillet and sprinkled the paprika over them. She checked to see if there was enough orange juice in the pitcher and was satisfied.
The shouts grew muffled and she made up a tray of two plates and the bowl of fruit. Gladstone lifted his head but lowered it again when he saw that no food was coming his way.
When the eggs were nearly ready, Dr. Watson appeared in the doorway of the kitchen.
“Breakfast will be ready in a few minutes, Doctor.”
He smiled, a little startled. “Thank you, Mrs. Hudson.” His tie was slightly askew and he was in his shirtsleeves. “I, uh, I must inform you that I will be, ahem, returning to these premises as soon as I take care of some, um, business.”
“Of course.” Mrs. Hudson took glasses out of the cupboard. “The same rate as before.”
He seemed relieved. “Thank you.” He crossed the kitchen and bent down to pat Gladstone’s head. “Good to see you again, boy.” Gladstone chuffed and the doctor was pleased. Straightening, he spotted the eggs frying in the pan on the stove. “Paprika?”
Mrs. Hudson smiled. “Of course.”
His smile brightened. “Excellent. Carry on, Mrs. Hudson.”
Mrs. Hudson nodded briskly. As John Watson exited her kitchen, she ruminated that a proper English gentleman was a blessing to have, though a little spice never hurt.
Mrs. Hudson prepared her tray and brought it upstairs to her boarders as Gladstone trailed behind her.