Title: The Pool
Summary: When Molly moves into 221B, the rumour mill gets going and Lestrade becomes the unwilling referee of a pool speculating on the circumstances of her relocation.
Disclaimer: Arthur Conan Doyle, The Grand Moff and Godtiss have a tight hold on these things. I think it should be clear why I'm not allowed to have it.
Author's Notes: Thanks to Lexie for the beta.
It was strange how the smallest things could spark such wild and outlandish controversy in two of London's busiest institutions.
The thing in question was a change of address card, informing Molly Hooper's supervisor that her residence had changed to 221B Baker Street.
Letting the information out was grossly unprofessional, but it was unsurprising. The idea that Molly Hooper had somehow become such a fixture at 221B that she was now living there was a shock to all who heard the news.
It spread through Barts within a day. Within three, it had spread to Scotland Yard. No one could understand exactly what was going on with Molly Hooper. It fuelled endless gossip for the rumour mill. Everyone tried to keep the chatter away from the three people it concerned. It became clear when Sherlock and John came to a crime scene and the consulting detective rolled his eyes at several chatting officers he knew exactly what was going on.
It was too much fun speculating as to exactly what was going on to directly confront the trio. Greg, honestly, didn't give a toss what was going on between the trio, so long as Molly Hooper was happy.
Greg's disinterest in the topic made him the perfect referee, a neutral party. He glared suspiciously at Dimmock when he was handed the manila envelope full of money. "And what's this then?"
"Money for the pool," Dimmock explained. "No one knows what's going on between Holmes, Watson and Hooper. But we've got theories. So we've put money down on it."
Greg shook his head and wondered why there wasn't enough work around Scotland Yard and Barts to keep their minds out of the bedrooms of 221B.
But Greg had to admit he was curious in the theories. He opened up the envelope, which held a flurry of bank notes and several sheets of paper, detailing exactly what everyone thought the domestic situation at 221B was.
Dimmock had asserted that Molly Hooper was in a relationship with John Watson. Dimmock couldn't see how Sherlock Holmes could manage to maintain a relationship long enough for it to progress to cohabitation.
Mike Stamford from Barts would split the money with Dimmock, should that answer be right. Mike was certain John Watson had used his long reputed charm to win the Pathologist's heart.
Doctor Jenkins, Molly's employer, put his money down on Sherlock and Molly being involved. Molly Hooper's infatuation with Sherlock was well known. Besides, it was doubtful Sherlock would allow John to bring a woman into the flat. This opinion was shared with Gregson. Greg could see the logic in it. It didn't like Molly Hooper had interest in anyone but Sherlock.
Donovan had hypothesized that there was nothing romantic going on with Molly Hooper's change of address. Sherlock was simply manipulating the infatuated girl into acting as the housekeeper that his landlady refused to be.
Anderson's guess was probably the most ridiculous. He posited that Molly was being used as a beard to stave off the rumours of homosexuality running rampant. It would have been a useless gesture on the part of Sherlock and John. The rumours were already firmly established. Sherlock didn't care one jot. Greg also doubted John Watson would so coldly use a friend of his.
There were a couple of other outlandish theories from others at both Barts and Scotland Yard. Some were similar to others. Some suggested a case. Others an experiment. There was even a proposal of blackmail Greg wasn't sure he understood entirely.
After going through the bets, Greg didn't think about the pool again. He wasn't going to probe into the personal lives of his friends just because some sort of ridiculous bet was going on. If he naturally came across the answer, he would of course pay the winner. He just wasn't going to press the issue.
As it turned out, he didn't have to. A week after he was giving the envelope with the money, he got the answer.
They were in Greg's office, wrapping up a case that had been brought to them by Mycroft Holmes. It had gotten a bit dicey near the end- Sherlock had nearly been shot- but everyone had gotten through unscathed.
That didn't stop Dimmock from escorting in a pale looking Molly Hooper, accompanied by Mrs Hudson.
"What's she doing here?" Greg asked, frowning at the shaking Pathologist.
"Thought she'd like to know what was going on," Dimmock said.
Mycroft examined his umbrella. "He'd also like an answer to the asinine bet that has been going around."
It seemed they got their answer as Molly raced to Sherlock and kissed him frantically on the mouth. "Sherlock, Sherlock, Sherlock..."
"I'm fine, Molly," Sherlock assured her, stroking his hand over her back. Greg's eyes were wide, unable to look away from the consulting detective kissing the mousey pathologist.
"Dammit, I lost?" Dimmock snarled. Not waiting for the pair to separate, he stalked out of the office.
Molly pulled away from Sherlock, panting slightly. She then turned to John. "And you..."
"I'm fine, Molls," John assured her.
Greg's eyes widened even further when Molly attached herself to John with just as much ferocity.
"Wha-" Greg started.
Mycroft chuckled. "My brother never was one to do things the traditional route."
Molly pulled both Sherlock and John close, pressed between them. "You two aren't supposed to scare me like that."
John wrapped an arm around Molly. "I didn't do anything! It was that idiot that nearly got himself killed."
Sherlock leaned in towards John. "You were as scared as Molly is." He then dropped a kiss on John's lips.
Greg needed to do something. Yes, he needed to do anything other than look at the threesome- oh, for lack of a better phrasing.
He decided to dig through his desk to find the manila envelope with the money from the pool. He seemed to recall someone making a prediction like this. Greg hadn't thought for a moment it might be fact.
He frowned once he pulled out the paper and scanned it. Indeed, someone had made this very prediction. "MH? Who's MH?"
Realization dawned on him and he looked to the well-dressed man by the door. "Mycroft? You bet that your own brother was doing... That?"
Mycroft scoffed. "Hardly. Such wagers are quite vulgar, Lestrade. I should be off. " He smiled tightly before striding from the office.
Lestrade shook his head. "Then who-"
"Martha Hudson," the matronly landlady piped up. She reached out and took the envelope. "I believe that is mine."
Lestrade stood in stunned silence as Mrs Hudson strode out of the office, at least a hundred pounds richer. Molly held onto John and Sherlock's hands, leading them towards the door. "She's collected under dodgy circumstances."
John shrugged. "Can't begrudge her a win."
Sherlock shook his head. "I agree with Molly. The walls are terribly thin."
Lestrade covered his face with his hands. He knew he hadn't wanted to get involved.