Unofficial Mother

Disclaimer: This version of Sherlock Holmes belongs to the BBC, Stephen Moffit, and Mark Gatiss. I make no proprietary claim, save to my own plot and any OC's.

Martha Edwards had always wanted children, ever since she was a young girl. She'd take her dolls and pretend to be their mother, tucking them into the crib left over after Maisie had gotten too big to sleep in it, singing them a lullaby.

When she'd married Theo Hudson, she'd hoped that, finally, she'd get the chance to become a mother. She'd moved to Florida with Theo quite suddenly. Theo had been the kindest of men when they had been living in London. He took her out to the cinema, to restaurants and even one night to a bowling alley. Martha imagined the kind of family she could have with him. Two children, a boy and a girl, with her brown eyes and his wavy blonde hair.

It all changed once they got to Florida. Theo changed. Everything changed. Her dreams of a quiet family life died the second Theo left the United Kingdom. Martha wasn't sure why, but the kind and loving man she had married seemed to have stayed back in London. Now there were glares, angry shouts and abuse. She could of ignored the first two, but when Theo had hit her hard enough to knock her down, fracturing her hip, Martha began to look into what Theo was doing on his off time.

That was when she came across the newspaper articles. Someone had been killing prostitutes just thirty miles away. Every time the story came up on the evening news, Theo changed the channel. Martha had to pretend she was going to the library just to get out of the house and Theo's controlling grip.

The police arrested Theo a month later, but had a hard time making the charges stick. Theo, who's father came from a moderately wealthy family back in England, hired the best solicitor that money could buy. It looked like Theo was going to get free of these charges.

Then the young man arrived. He was tall and thin, too thin, with curly black hair. It was lovely to hear another English accent this far away from home. He told Martha that his name was Sherlock Holmes and he was looking into Theo's case. He asked her a lot of questions. Was there any place in the house that she had been locked out of? Was there a particular spot she was forbidden never to go?

Martha showed Sherlock the locked closet. She had never been able to get it open and the knob was scratched with the marks of the screwdriver she had tried to jimmy it open with. Sherlock pulled out a small kit and began to pick the lock, eventually pulling the door open.

The sight inside made her heart ache. There were clothes covered in blood, neatly folded and placed on the shelves. Newspaper clippings, all relating to the prostitute deaths, wallpapered the closet. Sherlock muttered something before turning to Martha. He tells her that she should have the investigators come by and look at this. He's certain that this evidence will be able to put Theo away forever, possibly even put him on death row.

Martha's worried that she likes the sound of her abuser living on death row.

She does what the too thin young man recommends, phoning the detective that had given her his card with a whispered just in case. The detectives arrive quickly, donning rubber gloves and beginning to catalog the evidence. She doesn't tell them about Sherlock, just as the young man had asked. Instead she says that she finally was able to crack the door open with a screwdriver. There's enough marks on the handle to prove it.

Theo eventually is convicted, the evidence that Sherlock uncovered sent the man straight to death row. After the trial is over, Martha seeks out the tall, black haired man who had helped. She finds him sitting in a library reading an incredibly thick tome. Martha couldn't find a way to thank him for all he had done. Instead she passes him her e-mail address, instructing the young man to let her know if there was anything she could do for him.

Sherlock smiled faintly, the barest twitch upward of his lips. He promises he'd keep her in mind, especially now that she was moving back to London. Martha doesn't bother asking how he'd figured that out, merely gives the stiff young man a hug.

Martha's been back in London for three years before she gets an e-mail from Sherlock. She had been following his website, the Science of Deduction, for a while but hadn't gotten the nerve to contact him. It turns out that Sherlock was now a consulting detective with the Met, whatever a consulting detective was, and Sherlock was asking if she knew of a flat anywhere in London for rent?

A whirlwind of conversation stemmed from that e-mail, ending in Martha renting Sherlock her upstairs flat. Sherlock continued to look for a flatmate, Baker Street was a little more expensive than he was able to afford on his own. Martha worried about Sherlock. He didn't seem to have any friends and stayed up all hours of the night, never sleeping when he was on a 'case.' She was his landlady, not his housekeeper, but she tried to help him when he needed it. She owed the young man, after all.

Then John Watson walked into Sherlock's life. He was a doctor, a proper medical doctor, straight home from serving in the Army in Afghanistan. Almost immediately he and Sherlock were joined at the hip, running off to solve cases and arguing with each other when they weren't. Martha smiled; for all their arguing and shouting, Sherlock and John seemed to be becoming friends. She could worry a little less now.

A year into Sherlock's and John's lease on 221B, Martha stopped as she was carrying tea up to the two boys. They had been out all night chasing down a man who had killed a woman right across the street and had stumbled in exhausted. Standing in the middle of the stairs she went back over everything she remembered about the two boys. Her boys.

John and Sherlock were asleep on their respective chairs. They looked like they had just come in and crashed. She carefully covered them with blankets and set cups of tea on the coffee table where John and Sherlock would see them when they woke.

Martha grinned as she walked back to her flat downstairs. She'd had children after all. Second-hand, but they were hers. She wouldn't have it any other way.