Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.

Pairings: None, Mrs. Hudson

Beta: Not Beta'd this time since my beta doesn't seem to be online right now. So if you notice any grave mistakes, let me know please. Maybe I'll replace this with the beta'd version in the future.

Spoilers: None

Rating: T, just to be safe.

A/N: So, this time the One-Shot is more about envy than jealousy, but close enough, right? It features mainly Mrs. Hudson, sorry to all the fellow Sherlock/John lovers out there but the old lady screamed for a story of her own and then I got this idea and didn't get it out of my head again, so here it is. This is a bit angsty, a bit funny, but overall one of my favorites so far even if it isn't beta'd. I used a lot of british slang here, hope it doesn't irritate too much...

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What is Kind

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- Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.

- Robert Brault -

There had been a time in her life that Mrs. Hudson didn't care to remember.

She'd just turned fifty when she'd accepted - being the down-to-earth woman that she'd always been – that she would never have children on her own. Her husband hadn't wanted any kids and after years of arguing with the stubborn toff she'd simply resigned. Deep in her heart she had still hoped that, one day, the git she'd been daft enough to marry, would change his mind. Or at least that she would finally get over herself and leave him. It was sad but also true that she only stayed with him out of habit. It would have been such a chore to leave him, search for a new flat and lawyers that might actually make sure that she wouldn't be left with nothing to her name. For the longest time it had just seemed like the better deal to stay where she was, to wait and see where life would lead her.

Only now she was suddenly painfully aware that life hadn't led her anywhere. At least not anywhere she wanted to be.

Her husband spent his days and nights at the pub while she herself was just going through the motions. A small part of the day she would do the housework before sitting down in front of the telly and watching mindless talk-shows whose guests were so pathetic that the old woman didn't know whether to cry or laugh.

The only diversion she got anymore were the weekly afternoon coffee parties at Mrs. Edinson's. The five elderly girls would gossip about the unfortunate neighbours that weren't part of their little group and occasionally exchange recipes. Afterwards, Mrs. Hudson would go home and not care that her husband wasn't there or that she had another week of boredom ahead of her, because this Wednesday afternoon had been fun and carefree. There were times in her life that she thought of nothing else and eagerly awaited the next Wednesday when she could see her friends again and badmouth Mrs. Keith's new hairdo.

But as the women grew older, their conversations shifted to other topics. They talked less and less about their neighbours and recipes, but about their children and grandchildren.

It had all started with puffy Mrs. Roster. The big woman had twirled her dyed hair (a bright red that even her friends found appalling but who'd assured her that it made her look 10 years younger) between her fingers and suddenly pulled a couple of photos out of her bag. She'd made sure that everyone got a good look of an equally chubby boy around eight, sitting in front of a grand piano with a goofy grin on his face.

"My Gary had his first piano lesson yesterday." Roster had said, proud as a peacock. "He's so talented."

And suddenly it had been like a bloody epidemic. Everyone reaching into their handbags and producing pictures of their grandchildren and flaunting with their intelligence or looks.

At first it had amused Mrs. Hudson. She'd sat back and enjoyed the show, watching her friends try to subtly talk the other kids down while praising their own to God-like heights.

When the next Wednesday had come around and the old ladies talked about nothing but their grandchildren yet again, Mrs. Hudson had still not been overly worried. It was just a spell, she'd told herself. Soon they were going to grow bored of the topic and move on to something else.

But then another Wednesday had passed and another and another and they were still talking about their bloody kids and Mrs. Hudson could no longer deny the obvious truth: This wouldn't blow over like a bad case of the flu. This would be her Wednesday afternoon from now on, listening to stories about children she didn't know.

And there was nothing she could do about it.

Mrs. Hudson had soon learned that there wasn't a lot that she could say anymore either. While she'd been an active participant of their little group all the years before, she now found herself to be some kind of outsider. She would sit there and sip her coffee and listen to them, prattling on and on about their families, without having anything to say herself. She certainly couldn't tell them about her no-good husband or her estranged sister whom she hadn't seen in about 10 years. She had no children and therefore no grandchildren and for the first time since she'd turned fifty, that thought actually managed to hurt her. In fact, it felt like a sharp knife straight through the heart. She'd been convinced that she'd gotten over her dream to have some offspring on her own, but listening to the others and being reduced to a mere spectator amongst her own friends showed her just how wrong she'd been.

It was too late now. She was too old for kids. She was even too old to adopt – she had checked that in a moment of sheer loneliness and desperation. There was no chance whatsoever that Mrs. Hudson would ever have children and the day she finally and truly accepted that, a tiny part of her died forever.

She still attended the meetings. Her friends didn't seem to notice anything wrong with her. Mrs. Edinsons, their host, once remarked to the others that the dear Mrs. Hudson seemed quieter than before but they all just assumed that it was because of her crumbling marriage and soon turned to other topics again. From time to time Mrs. Hudson would force herself to inquire after the kids she really didn't want to hear about. She didn't do that often though because it just hurt too much.

And one day, on a cold Wednesday in February, when Mrs. Hudson looked at her watch and for the first time in 15 years willed it to go faster so this meeting could end and she could finally leave again, she went home and cried.

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Years later

It was Wednesday and her friends looked up with several stages of exasperation and annoyance as Mrs. Hudson arrived at their weekly meeting. She was late by several minutes and there was nothing the group detested more than tardiness.

"You're late dear." Mrs. Pettygrew chided. The old widow had always been the most stern when it came to tardiness. She always claimed that her husband would still be alive if he hadn't been late for his train. Which was sadly enough more than true, considering that the poor fellow actually fell in front of said train in his haste to be on time.

"Sorry, sorry." Mrs. Hudson panted and claimed her regular seat at the end of the table. "The boys couldn't find the remote again. I had to help."

"If they didn't have you they would be lost, wouldn't they?" Mrs. Keith asked kindly. She had joined their group a few years prior when she'd lost her husband and everyone feared she'd succumb to loneliness. Needless to say that the group never badmouthed her hairdo again.

"Oh you have no idea Susan. How someone as smart as Sherlock can be so clueless at times is beyond me. Thank God John moved in. That boy is a real help, keeping Sherlock in line."

"Say, there was this double murder last week. Were your boys involved in that? That Detective Lestrade mentioned help from outside."

Mrs. Hudson nodded and took a bite of her biscuit before she spread her arms and told them about how Lestrade had come to them and asked Sherlock and John for help. She told them how Sherlock had identified the killer by a single strand of hair and recounted as well as she could the mad chase through London before her two boys had finally caught the killer. She hadn't been there when all of that had transpired, but she'd pumped John for the details just before she'd left the house, which was the real reason why she'd been late. Things that she didn't know or John hadn't been able to tell her, Mrs. Hudson made up herself. She loved to spice up her stories with a bit of drama and danger, especially if it originally had been a pretty straightforward case.

After she'd finished her tale, her friends were all glassy eyed and staring at her in awe.

"Oh dear. This is better than the crime movies on the telly. And your boys are really okay?"

"Of course they are. This sort of thing is nothing for them."

"You sure are brave." Mrs. Keith said. "If my son and his spouse went out there chasing criminals I would die of fear."

The others wholeheartedly agreed and Mrs. Hudson hid a smile behind her cup. If John knew that even people he'd never met thought he and Sherlock were a couple it would definitely drive the good doctor crazy.

But then her smile froze. Son? Had she really just said 'son'? Why would they think that Sherlock was her son? That they'd meant Sherlock and not John was pretty obvious since she'd only started mentioning the young man a few weeks back, whereas Sherlock and his cases had been a very prominent topic of their conversations for about a year now.

But surely she must have mentioned at one point that he was only her lodger, right? She'd certainly never called him her son.

It suddenly occurred to her that she almost always refereed to him as her 'dear boy' or 'Sherlock'. No wonder they thought he was her son - the mistake wasn't that hard to make.

Mrs. Hudson watched them talk with each other about the case and a warm feeling began to spread through her chest.

"Son." she whispered to herself.

Sherlock certainly had been like a son to her after he'd ensured that her husband would rot in hell where he belonged. He was difficult and bloody stubborn but she'd always managed to calm him down and reign him in. Couple of bullet holes in the wall and the one or other drug bust notwithstanding, she was really glad that she'd met the man and kept him around.

The doctor too. She'd known John just for a few weeks, but what she'd seen had impressed her and she'd quickly warmed up to him. He was such a sweet man, always helping her with her shopping and looking in on her on his way to work to make sure that everything was alright.

She especially liked the effect he had on Sherlock. The man could deny it as much as he wanted, but his landlady ('not your housekeeper') knew that he needed a friend more than anyone else. And now he'd found one and a bloody good one, if Mrs. Hudson dared to say so.

She suddenly wanted them to think that John was her son too, since she felt like that about the both of them. But it would have been suspicious to invent a new son now, one that they already believed to be Sherlock's spouse on top of that. It was a miracle that they'd even assumed that Sherlock was her son since she'd never mentioned him in all the years before.

The thought of telling them the truth didn't even enter her mind. What was a little white lie between good friends? Not to mention the fact that she'd finally started to look forward to these meetings again, now that she too had stories to tell about her own kids.

"So," she drawled with a serene smile on her lips. "What are your grandchildren up to?"

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I'm actually not sure if you are too old to adopt when you are fifty (I personally don't think so) but let's just assume that it is.

No Sherlock/John this time. I hope you'll review regardless. If you do I promise you a yummy Sherlock/John One-Shot next. ;)