Notes: Based off of a prompt from the Sherlock prompt meme: Mrs. Hudson plays matchmaker for Sherlock and Molly. This also happens to be a birthday gift for the lovely Nocturnias - one of the friendliest Sherlolly shippers around! Happy birthday!
Disclaimer: Nothing you see here belongs to me. I just like playing in the sandbox. The title is from the song "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Mrs. Hudson was bustling around the flat, cleaning as she did every Wednesday, despite her vehement protests that she was not their housekeeper. Sherlock was out and about in the city, probably not getting the milk that John had asked him to buy. John sat at the table, typing up their latest case for the blog. "Oh, John dear," she said while picking up the plate beside him with the remains of his breakfast, "I was wondering if you could give me Molly Hooper's mobile number? I keep on telling Sherlock that he can't just throw his experiments in the trash, but he refuses to listen. I was hoping that Molly could come over and help me dispose of them properly."
John chuckled and shook his head, grabbing his mobile out of his pocket and scrolling through his contacts. "Honestly, I'm surprised he even throws them in the trash. Half the time I think his experiments are just the times that he forgets about his food and runs out of the flat and then just leaves it there to rot." Mrs. Hudson chuckled slightly and shook her head. "Found it. Want me to put it in for you, Mrs. H?"
She nodded and handed over her phone. "Oh that'd be lovely, John. Here you are. Be back in a mo' for it, I've got some baking downstairs that I can't let burn!" she said, already halfway out the door. John smiled as he entered in Molly's contact information and set Mrs. Hudson's phone aside, thinking nothing more of it.
About a week later, he and Sherlock had been out on a case. Sherlock had gone down to the NSY to observe one of the men that Lestrade had brought in to question and John had gone back to the flat to catch a quick nap. He was surprised to hear laughter coming from Mrs. Hudson's flat, very familiar laughter. He knocked and then poked his head inside, confirming his suspicions that Molly Hooper was indeed sitting in Mrs. Hudson's living room, giggling and drinking tea with his landlady.
"Oh, John, come in, come in! I called up Molly while you boys were gone away so she could clear out your refrigerator a bit. Sherlock isn't with you, is he?" Mrs. Hudson said, smiling and waving John in.
John shook his head and came into the room, sitting on the chair across from the two women. "No, he went down to the Yard with Lestrade. Always good to see you, Molly," he said, leaning over to kiss her cheek.
Molly smiled at him. "Mrs. Hudson was just showing me pictures of Sherlock as a boy. Have you seen these?" She held up some of the pictures that were lying on the table and John snatched them up like Sherlock was going to walk in at any minute and steal them away.
"How did you get these?" he breathed in amazement, drinking in every single detail of the pictures as possible.
"Hasn't Sherlock ever told you, dear? I used to be his nanny. Long time ago. He helped me out with my rotten husband later, but this was how we first met. He used to be such a sweet boy," she said wistfully.
Molly giggled and picked up another picture to examine. "Does he know that you have these?" She leaned over to Mrs. Hudson and pointed to the picture. "Is that a pirate hat?"
The older woman chuckled and nodded, taking the picture from Molly's hands. "I think he must know; he is Sherlock after all. And yes, when he was small he was a bit mad for pirates. I'd absolutely have a fit any time we were near water because I was convinced he was going to wade out to sea!" John reached for the picture and she gladly handed it over, tilting her head to look at the picture that Molly now held in her hands. "Such an adorable little boy," she said and something in her tone made John look up at her curiously. She was watching Molly closely as she said it and smiled slightly when Molly nodded. Molly looked up and immediately, Mrs. Hudson looked over to John. "Why did you come back if Sherlock's down at the Yard, John?"
John chuckled. "Well, I was going to catch some sleep while I could. He's been running me ragged. But this is a much better use of my time. How often do you get to see Sherlock Holmes in footie pajamas?" Molly giggled and nodded, handing over the picture she had been looking at.
Mrs. Hudson's hands fluttered slightly as she tugged on the collar of her dress and she sighed. "Oh, you can't tease him about these. He'd know exactly where they came from and heaven knows what he'd do to the flat to get back at me."
John reluctantly handed the pictures in his possession back over to Mrs. Hudson as Molly glanced through them one more time. "Damn. And I was hoping to put them up on the blog."
"I'd hate to have to do your post-mortem, John," Molly teased, looking up at him with a grin. Both Mrs. Hudson and John laughed and Molly seemed surprised for a moment. She wasn't used to people actually finding her mortuary-humor funny. Mrs. Hudson reached over and patted her hands and she smiled at the older woman. Molly looked up to the wall, catching a glimpse of the clock. "Oh! Mrs. Hudson, I should go. I didn't mean to bother you for this long. I should go and…throw out Sherlock's experiments." She spared a glance to the hazardous containers sitting near the door, which John had just noticed. He wrinkled his nose. Sometimes he really wondered why he put up with the git.
"Oh, nonsense, Molly. You're no bother at all. It's nice to have another woman here. John doesn't bring Mary around nearly as much as he should," she said, with a hard look in John's direction. John made a mental note to bring Mary around for dinner within the week.
Molly got up from the couch and John and Mrs. Hudson followed suit, following her to the door. "Better take a cab," she muttered, a container in each hand, "people don't like it when you sit next to them on the Tube with hazardous materials." She waved to her friends and stepped outside.
"She's a good one, isn't she?" Mrs. Hudson said from slightly behind John. He turned towards her and nodded.
"Yeah. Molly's great. I don't know how she puts up with Sherlock with the way he treats her though. Like a boy on the playground, constantly pulling her pigtails." John said, not missing the sudden gleam in Mrs. Hudson's eyes at his comment. "Mrs. Hudson…why did you really have Molly over today?"
Her eyes widened innocently and she shrugged. "I don't know what you're talking about, John! I asked Molly to get rid of Sherlock's mess. And I couldn't just let her go off without some sort of thanks, could I? Besides, I quite like her company. I like her better than Miss Adler anyway. When she was around last month, she ate the last of my biscuits!"
John's brow furrowed as he ran Mrs. Hudson's words through his mind again. "Wait…what?" But Mrs. Hudson didn't seem to hear him, as she shooed him towards the stairs.
"You better go and catch your nap, John, while you still can. You know that Sherlock will be blowing through here soon enough. I'll make sure to have something warmed up for you when you get home tonight." John opened his mouth to protest, but figured it was useless. Maybe this would all make more sense once he had some sleep.
Molly started to come around to Baker Street more and more. Sometimes, John and Sherlock would get home and they would smell some sort of baked good wafting through the air and hear the quiet tittering of the two women. Occasionally they'd stop in and say hello. In John's case anyway, he would say hello and chat for a bit. Sherlock usually nodded courteously to both of them and then head upstairs. John couldn't help but notice a little glimmer of disappointment in Mrs. Hudson's eye every time that Sherlock departed.
She was definitely up to something. And he had a feeling he knew exactly what it was.
His suspicions were confirmed one afternoon when he heard Molly's voice at their door. "John? Sherlock? Can I come in? Mrs. Hudson sent me up with some lunch for you two."
Despite the fact that Sherlock was much closer to the door (he was spread out along the couch, flipping idly through the newspaper), John got out of his chair to open the door. "She's been having a lot of trouble with her hip and I was over to help her with some reorganizing anyway, so she asked me to bring it up," Molly told John as he ushered her over to the table and she set down the tray. "Where's Sherlock? Mrs. Hudson said he was home?" Molly asked curiously, running a hand briefly through her hair and smiling up at John.
He chuckled slightly and nodded over towards the couch. Molly turned to glance back and John had to hold back his laughter as Molly's eyes widened. "Is he sick? I never would have thought that Sherlock Holmes owned a dressing gown!" she whispered, still drinking in the sight.
"Nah, he does this all the time. Whenever there's not a case on he just lounges about the flat in his pajamas and dressing gown." Molly's eyes were still wide and she gulped slightly at John's confession.
"Well," she stammered, suddenly dropping her gaze to the floor and rubbing her hands over her thighs. "Better get back downstairs. Still lots of things to be sorted through."
Suddenly Sherlock spoke up. "You might as well stay, Molly. It's what Mrs. Hudson intended for you to do. You'll find that there's more than enough food for three on that tray." He got up from the couch and stepped on top of the coffee table on his way to what they used as a dining table. Molly's nose wrinkled at the action.
She then looked down to the tray and saw that there was indeed enough food for the three of them. She looked up at Sherlock and shook her head in amazement. "But you didn't even look at the tray!" Sherlock's only response was a smirk and snatching up a sandwich before taking a seat at the table.
John went up to his room to call Mary quickly, since she had just texted him that she was on her lunch break. When he came back down to the living room, he found Sherlock and Molly discussing one of Sherlock's latest experiments. The relationship between the two had definitely changed in the time that Sherlock had returned from the dead, but John hadn't had much of a chance to observe the two of them without anyone else around. They seemed more comfortable with each other and Sherlock seemed almost….normal, in the pathologist's presence. It was obvious that he respected her and even more than that, it seemed fairly clear that he actually enjoyed her company. John would have been content to observe them for a little bit longer, but his stomach made it known that it was not pleased.
When he walked up, he almost could have sworn that Sherlock's face held a slight sneer for a moment before returning to its normal placid state. John bit his lip to hide his smile.
It was only a few days after that incident that John noticed that Mrs. Hudson would bring up Molly in conversation around Sherlock whenever possible. He often found himself ducking his head behind his computer screen to hide his grin.
It was Wednesday, so Mrs. Hudson was cleaning the flat while Sherlock stood in front of his "case wall," examining the evidence from their latest case. John was attempting some research but Sherlock had only given him "general surgeon who drives a four door sedan" so…it wasn't going so well. Mrs. Hudson was dusting near Sherlock and chattering away. "Molly gave me the recipe for those scones you liked so much the other night, Sherlock. She's quite the baker! And so sweet too."
She looked at him expectantly and he gave a slight hum, which seemed to please her well enough and she smiled at him.
John smiled at her antics. He had to give Mrs. Hudson credit – she was persistent. He supposed that one had to be when dealing with Sherlock Holmes.
John came home from the shops one day and popped into Mrs. Hudson's flat to drop off the items she'd requested. Before he could call out for her, she was standing in front of him, frantically shushing him and grinning like a slightly mad woman. "What's going on?" he whispered, torn between worry and amusement.
"I've locked Sherlock and Molly in a cupboard. They think I've gone to get a locksmith's number!" she whispered back.
John was proud that he managed to suppress his laughter. "You did what?"
"I told Sherlock that Molly and I needed help getting something off the top shelf and asked Molly to show him where it was. And then I accidentally bumped into the door that just happened to automatically lock. And I just lost the key!" she said mischievously, holding up the key in question with a gleam in her eye. "Sherlock was ranting for a bit, but it's been quiet for a few minutes, which I think is good news."
Just as she said that though, they heard a loud crash come from inside the closet. Their eyes widened and waited for any sign of distress from either party inside the cupboard, but none was forthcoming. Mrs. Hudson tiptoed towards the door, with John close behind and they both pressed a careful ear to the door.
John was positive that Sherlock Holmes and Molly Hooper were making out furiously on the other side of the door.
He and Mrs. Hudson pulled away and she gave a silent victorious gesture, her eyes gleaming madly and her smile wide. John couldn't help but smile back at her. Just then, they heard Sherlock's voice filter through the wood of the door, sounding slightly breathless and dazed. "We know that you're still out there, Mrs. Hudson. I would greatly appreciate it if you'd let us out, as I don't particularly want to shag Molly senseless here in this cupboard."
They heard Molly's mortified whisper scolding him. "Sherlock, you can't just announce to your landlady that we're about to shag!"
"Why not? It's the truth! And she'll be so pleased that she accomplished her goal of setting the two of us up that she should comply with our request," Sherlock responded logically. There was a thud and then Sherlock moaned softly, but the noise was still more than loud enough for their audience outside the cupboard to hear. "Mrs. Hudson, please let us out. Now." It sounded like an attempt at a demand, but it came out more a desperate plea…mostly because Sherlock completely sounded like a man just barely held together.
Mrs. Hudson, of course, was already fiddling with the key and the lock, smiling triumphantly as the door swung open. There was absolutely no hiding what had transpired in the cupboard. Sherlock's shirt was unbuttoned a few buttons more than it usually was. Molly's hair was loose around her shoulders and looked thoroughly mussed, as did Sherlock's. The skirt that she was wearing was at a strange angle and she pulled at it self-consciously. A pink blush covered Molly's entire face as Sherlock barely murmured a "thanks" to his landlady before pulling Molly out of the cupboard and towards the door of the flat. He didn't even acknowledge John, but Molly managed a quick, embarrassed wave before being dragged out the door.
They heard Molly's giggling as their footfalls moved up the stairs and the door to 221b opened quickly and then shut. Mrs. Hudson turned to John, a triumphant smile on her face. "I think you might want to head out again, dear. I think they'll be needing their privacy."