The flat at 221 Baker Street had quite a few tenants over the years, some better than others, some that she developed a soft spot for, and some that she kicked out as soon as she could.
But she didn't quite love any of them as much as she did Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
And despite all that they did (mostly just the one), shooting her walls and setting things on fire, she really did adore them.
There was just one thing that bothered her.
Sherlock and John were obviously in love, and both were utterly oblivious to the other's feelings.
Maybe they knew how they felt, maybe they didn't, but they sure as hell weren't acting on it.
Passive aggressive tea making and quips about John's love life were about as far as it went.
She was sick and tired of those two boys being too emotionally stunted to do anything about their feelings for each other. They'd been living together for months, and still nothing.
In fact 219 kept harassing her, just because she had married ones. Well. Like marriage made a difference. (Some days she could hear the fighting, and was at least thankful that her boys never yelled like that, sure they fought over the eyes in the microwave and the chemicals in the sink, but it was with a tone of love that neither of them recognized. The idiots.) Like Sherlock would say, marriage was nothing but a piece of paper and the tedium of a wedding.
Still, after months of them dancing around each other, sometimes quite literally, she was sick of it.
So she decided that she would do something about it.
First she conveniently broke the heating. Just for the upper flats, mind, she wasn't going to subject Mrs Hudson to that. She was hoping it would prompt them to sleep together in one bed, and whatever happened... well.
Sadly, John only moved in front of the fireplace with his blanket and pillow, and Sherlock cocooned himself in his room, muttering something about the cold not bothering him.
So that was a bust.
She managed to convince Sherlock that John had a habit of leaving the telly on romantic movies. Which he didn't, of course, but Sherlock did love to blame John.
In fact, she left on a movie where the main characters (also two males, conveniently) were clearly in love. Yet neither of them seemed to realize it or act on it. (She'd seen it before, and knew it didn't quite end with them together, but there was a fairly heart wrenching scene involving one lying in the other's arms.) She hoped they would pick up on it.
They boys weren't going to watch it, but she'd hidden the remote, and it was simpler for them to leave it on. Besides, after half an hour, John wanted to see the rest, and Sherlock was too annoyed to not continue.
Sherlock watched it critically, and when it was over, detailed every single one of the historical, technical, and writing flaws.
John sighed, and she winced.
Perhaps movies weren't the way to go.
She tried the same thing with the radio. Another bust, as Sherlock only played his violin louder, and often shriller.
It was less painful for everyone if she just didn't try.
She was beginning to lose hope. Were there any two men in the world who were more oblivious than these?
Not to mention 219 kept rubbing it in.
There's been talk of adoption lately, 219 whispered to her. She ignored it. Sherlock and John could barely take care of themselves. They hardly needed to throw someone else in the mix. Besides, she was fairly certain Sherlock wasn't the family sort. John, maybe, but with Sherlock around... perhaps not.
She slammed her doors a bit harder than was necessary, and ignored the annoying flat next door.
She could always talk to Speedy's, who was much more polite, and always had interesting stories to tell.
One night after a particularly violent case had ended, wherein John received broken ribs, and Sherlock had to be stitched up in the kitchen, they both fell asleep on the couch. John's head rested on Sherlock's shoulder, and Sherlock's perched on top.
She sighed, and urged a blanket from the bedroom out to the living room where they slept. She tucked the edges in under their chin and left them alone until morning.
Sherlock could assume the blanket was John's doing, and John was perhaps a little too out of it to even realize what had happened, but surely once they woke up and saw they were sleeping on top of each other, something would happen.
(And not something in the way that they'd suspect their flat was trying to hook them up. Honestly, for such intelligent observant men, they really were quite think. She had no concerns about them stumbling across the truth. Besides, it could always be explained away as Mrs Hudson's doing.)
But in the morning, Sherlock went on his way and left John on the couch, bleary eyed and wondering what was going on, with no recollection of how he spent the night.
A bit disappointing.
It went on for months, her trying to get them together, to talk about things, to fall on each other while navigating in the narrow hallway. (Hell, once she even locked them in Sherlock's bedroom while John was reclaiming his stuff. (And wasn't that a giveaway. Who else had their flatmate's stuff stowed away in their room? They were both clots.) Sherlock just picked the lock, which she should have predicted, but she was getting desperate.) Nothing worked.
She'd almost given up when Sherlock announced a new chemistry experiment that he'd need John's help with.
That was when she got the idea. The Idea. The one that would finally work.
It had to.
She knew chemistry. All those books stacked in the living room, tucked away on shelves, in Sherlock's closet, she knew everything from all of them. Knowledge that sort of seeped into her after a while just sitting there. She knew what she was doing.
So she might have tipped some other chemicals in, mixed them, changed some concentrations, but it was entirely safe. She knew what she was doing.
(And by safe she meant that there would be a controlled explosion. Entirely safe.)
She watched anxiously as Sherlock donned his apron and gloves.
"Goggles, Sherlock," John reminded him. Sherlock sighed, but took them from John's hand and plopped them on his face.
"Now hold still," Sherlock ordered John, picking up the beaker with the clear unlabelled liquid number one.
John sighed, but obeyed, and Sherlock carefully poured the contents of his beaker into John's. (Oh, and if that wasn't a metaphor...)
For a second she wasn't sure it would happen.
But then the solution fizzed, poofed, and splattered on both of their fronts.
(Or something like that. She didn't know the exact scientific words, she was busy matchmaking.)
They both froze.
John spoke first, anger evident in his voice. "Sherlock, what the hell was in that?"
Sherlock froze for a second. "Oh dear."
"Sherlock?" John growled.
"Acid. We should probably... shower. Now."
He darted down the hallway shedding his goggles and gown as he went.
John stood there for a moment longer. "Well shit," he muttered.
John hurried along behind his flatmate, who was already in the bathroom.
"John, you do have to take your clothes off," Sherlock said impatiently, already stripped down to his pants, with the water running.
"Yes, I know," he huffed. He shrugged off his shirt, which was damp in some spots, mostly near the sleeves. His trousers had been largely spared, as they were beneath the table level, but his socks also had damp spots where some must have spilled onto the floor.
Sherlock shed his final article of clothing before slipping under the spray.
She made sure it was warm enough. It was the least she could do, considering the circumstances.
John groaned, but pulled his jumper over his head, shedding it onto the ground.
His trousers followed, along with his shirt and his socks.
Finally, he shed his pants and stepped into the shower behind Sherlock.
"Face the other way," John ordered.
Sherlock huffed. "John this is ridiculous. This is about safety. Do you really want your skin to burn?"
"Shut up Sherlock," he growled. "Just... stop looking."
Sherlock smirked. "Alright."
John ignored his smug flatmate, and tried to rinse of all the parts he could remember had touched the acid. The only problem was, Sherlock was directly under the shower head, and John was on the other side of the bath.
"My skin's still burning," John complained. "You must be hogging all the water. Move over."
He brushed by Sherlock, trying hard not to make eye contact. Or look at anything.
Sherlock slid past him, towards the other end of the bath.
Oh for god's sake, she wanted to exclaim. Just kiss already.
In a fit of frustration, she turned the hot water down.
John yelped and nearly jumped into Sherlock.
"It's cold," John said defensively, finding himself practically in Sherlock's arms.
He glanced up at Sherlock's face, and hesitated.
Do it, she urged.
Perhaps John heard her, or perhaps the all the planets had finally aligned, but either way, John kissed Sherlock before turning away and blushing, hiding under the water that was warm again.
"Oh," Sherlock said breathlessly.
"Sorry," John muttered.
"No, it was... fine. Good even."
John pretended to scrub at a patch that was still a bit acidic.
"In fact," Sherlock added, "I think we need to do it again. Call that one a dry run."
John stared at Sherlock.
"You want me to... kiss you again?"
"I believe that's what I said," Sherlock replied impatiently.
John blushed. "Okay."
He moved closer to Sherlock before stopping.
"Did you design this whole event just to get me naked?"
Sherlock looked affronted. "John, I can honestly say, I had no idea this would happen. I liked that shirt," he added mournfully, gesturing outside the shower curtain where their clothes were deposited on the floor.
John shook his head.
"You're an idiot."
"I don't know what went wrong!" he protested.
"That's a first," John muttered. "Any lasting effects?"
"Shouldn't be. We are going to have to stay in here for half an hour though," Sherlock added.
John sighed. "The things you get me into... Well, I suppose we can find something to occupy our time."
He smiled mischievously.
Sherlock seemed a bit startled. "Oh. Oh..."
She left the bathroom area. Her work there was done. The boys needed some privacy, and she would clean up some of the mess in the kitchen. It was the least she could do.
She couldn't wait to tell 219. All her boys needed was a little push, that was all.
Right into the shower.