Last chapter (I think-I've run out of ideas) and my first real attempt at writing Mary Watson, who I adore (still and inspite of), but have been reluctant to write for fear of getting her personality wrong. Also, this ignores the time frame for Mary's pregnancy, primarily since I couldn't figure it out from the episodes. It's set post-HLV, post-whatever-Moffat/Gatiss-have-planned-for-series-4, but during Mary's pregnancy.
"Don't be silly. You get on really well with Toby."
Sherlock Holmes frowned suspiciously. He didn't recall having ever met Molly Hooper's cat, let alone getting on "really well" with it. He gave his recently acquired romantic partner a long, assessing look. The cat- a miniature breed called appropriately enough, a Napoleon- was perched on a shoulder, under the drape of her long hair. Apparently, the small cat sat in the crook of Molly's neck like this anytime she was home. It was his favorite spot.
Unfortunately, it was also one of Sherlock's favorite spots.
Finding himself with a nose full of tiny cat hairs when he had impulsively bent over to kiss his significant other's neck was not a pleasant experience. He had growled and refused to apologize. He was trying to show affection, after all, unlike the dastardly cat who thought the world revolved around it. At Molly's declaration, the cat opened its eyes a fraction and tilted its head. Apparently it didn't remember 'getting on really well' either.
"Here," Molly said scooping the cat off of her shoulder. Any small thrill of victory Sherlock might have vaporized as Molly held the feline interloper out. Obviously, she expecting him to take the creature. When Sherlock pulled back, Molly frowned. Which was completely unfair as she knew perfectly well how appealing she looked when she scrunched her nose.
"Oh, come on," Molly insisted. To the cat's credit, he didn't start yowling as one might have expected. Toby simply hung suspended from Molly's hands, looking at Sherlock with an utterly bored expression. After a few long minutes, Sherlock gingerly took the cat, holding the tiny thing at arm's length. Sherlock could swear it rolled its eyes. Molly giggled. "Go on. You two get reacquainted while I make coffee."
When Molly came in twenty minutes later, she found Sherlock stretched out on her sofa and Toby stretched out along the back of the sofa. Ignoring each other, was it?. Well, that went better than she had hoped, considering the two men in her life had identical personalities- both lovable attention hogs who liked to have their heads scratched and curl up in Molly's lap. And both would be horribly insulted if she ever said that out loud.
After that evening, Sherlock and Toby did get on, but only in that vaguely tolerant way that occurs between two highly intelligent beings sharing a common interest. Their Molly had to be shared, there was no getting around that, so they worked on a sort of compromise. Sherlock didn't interfere with the daily feeding, petting, shoulder ritual and Toby didn't interfere with whatever it was the humans were doing behind that door they closed in his face. Other than that, Sherlock Holmes and Toby Hooper kept a respectable distance from each other.
Mary Watson levered herself up the last step to 221B Baker Street and huffed a breath. There were a lot of things she had enjoyed about being pregnant, but at one week to due date, she felt like an overburdened cruise ship trying to climb the stairs to Sherlock's flat. She ran a hand over her huge belly and sighed. She still wasn't convinced there weren't twins in there, at least.
Mary wouldn't be out at all if she hadn't been barmy from staying in during maternity leave. She decided that morning to check on Sherlock. As excuses went, it was a bit weedy, Mary had to admit. Molly had only left for the IAP conference in Thailand the day before, but Mary knew she need only plead hormones for her excuse to be accepted without question. Most women in the advanced stages became a touch homicidal, but Mary actually had the skill set to follow through, so John didn't question.
Mary stepped to the doorway, about to call out for Sherlock, when she caught sight of him sitting at the desk hunched over his laptop. Mary bit her lip to stop the squeal that threatened to erupt as she clambered for her phone. It flew out of her hand in her haste. Mary had to use her finely honed reflexes to catch it and take a quick photo before Sherlock even registered her presence.
"Mary," Sherlock said by way of greeting, "Should you be out? You're due soon. You can't possibly be comfortable."
"Oh, I'm fine," Mary said, her voice a little high from the strain of not laughing. She was currentlysending the photo she just took to everyone she could think of. "I needed to get out before I ended up off my trolley."
"Hm, well, have a seat." Sherlock said, not looking up, "Perhaps you could check the papers for anything interesting? I'm typing up my research findings, but I haven't had a case since yesterday. It's starting to become annoying."
"Sherlock, dear," Mary said with all the calm a highly trained former operative could muster (considering the fact she was about to swallow her tongue), "what is that on your head?"
Sherlock half turned, then stiffened, obviously remembering (finally) that he had Molly's cat draped over his head. Instead of answering, Sherlock carefully blanked his expression and asked, with a beautiful show of utter disregard for his situation, "Is John with you?"
Mary did snort at the note of panic in his too-casual question,"No," she started, then waited for him to let out a breath of relief before adding, "I sent him a pic, though."
That earned her a scowl, the effect of which was greatly diminished by the sight of Toby Hooper on his perch. The small cat had all four limbs hanging straight down off the side of the man's head, his face obscured by Sherlock's mop of curls and his tail coiled above the man's forehead. "So, did you kill him and turn him into a hat or is he asleep?"
"Asleep," Sherlock said carelessly. He didn't elaborate.
Mary took the opportunity to carefully maneuver herself into John's Chair (always referenced in capital letters) and squirmed until she found a comfortable spot. She allowed Sherlock a few more moments of silence, deciding whether to take the mickey out of him or just take more pictures.
"You're going to tell me eventually," she said, snapping another photo. This one showed Sherlock giving her a narrow eyed scowl. His head was tilted down just enough for Toby's little bum to be in the exact center of the picture. That one went straight to Molly. "Now, humour a poor preggie and tell Mary why you've got a cat on your head."
Sherlock sighed annoyed. "Fine. Toby has a schedule, which naturally, has been disrupted with Molly's departure. He was howling incessantly, so I tried to mimic some of Molly's routines with him."
"She lets Toby sit on her head?" Mary didn't know Molly that well yet, she had been more John's friend until recently, but she must admit to liking her more and more. How could you not like someone who let a cat ride on their head?
"Not exactly. She let's him ride on her shoulder," Sherlock gestured the the juncture of his neck and shoulder, "under her hair. I tried that, but it was too distracting." Mary nodded. Sherlock had tactile issues the likes of which she'd never seen before.
Sherlock continued. "The only thing I like attached to my neck is-
"Exactly. We tried different things and this," he flapped his hand towards the sleeping cat, "was the only thing that worked. Although, I'm not convinced the cat isn't just playing me."
"They why did you let him do it?"
Sherlock shrugged, "It got him out from underfoot."
Mary smiled. "It's okay to like Toby, you know."
"Like? Don't be an idiot."
Toby's tail came down and swished against Sherlock's face. He rolled his eyes. "For pity's sake, Mary, don't feed it's ego."
"Said the man with a cat on his head."
"Oh go help yourself to some tea."
Mary just raised her eyebrows and looked pointedly at her stomach.
"Oh. Right. Equilibrium issues at the moment. Shifted center of gravity. You're never getting yourself out of that chair, you know," Sherlock nodded and stood, removing Toby in the process. He did so with more care than Mary was used to seeing from him and it made her smile. He handed the cat to her and she snuggled it while Sherlock put the kettle on.
"How did Molly manage to convince you to take him while she was gone, anyway? I thought she was going to put him in a kennel until she got back."
"Seemed silly to do so. I'm perfectly capable of tending to one cat for a week," he said reasonably as he puttered in the kitchen pulling out cups.
"Yeah, I know you are," Toby had spread out over Mary's bulging tummy and was purring quite contentedly. Mary smiled and scratched behind its ears. Maybe, once the baby was home and settled, they could get a cat too. "Molly seemed so insistent that she didn't want to bother you with her cat, though."
"I know. Actually," he paused, "I had to convince her to let me take care of Toby."
Mary tilted her head in his direction, but didn't have enough range of motion to actually see him. "Why would you do that? She gave you the perfect out."
"That's why," he said with emphasis, "Molly has done so much for me, stupid, sometimes dangerous, things. She says it's all right, but I just can't fathom what I could possibly give her in return. I just wanted to make some sort of gesture." He paused and laughed a bit, "I suppose, as gestures go, this one is a little odd."
"We all do silly things sometimes."
"Yes, we do"
Mary heard his voice above her head and looked up in time to hear the click from his camera phone. She scowled and he grinned, walking around her chair as he sent the image into the ether.
"Molly said that to me once," Sherlock said, pocketing his phone. "I didn't understand why until she agreed to be my...mine. Now I find myself..."
"...yeah, me too," Mary said, rubbing her belly.
Did Mary send you a copy of this? ~John
Yes! I looked at it in the middle of a hematology lecture and I had to excuse myself ~Molly
Did you get this one from Sherlock? ~Molly
OH. MY. GOD. I'm framing this and putting it on the mantle. ~John
Didn't we agree that the two of them shouldn't be unsupervised? If the world blows up, I'm blaming you. ~Molly
No, blame Mycroft. It's always a safe bet to blame Mycroft ~John
Yes. I see your point. ~Molly
But John. TOBY IS THERE. ~Molly
Three criminal masterminds in 221b at the same time. HIDE THE CHILDREN ~John
They'll have initiated a coup by the time I get home ~Molly
We can roast marshmallows over the riot fires ~John