Author: Katya Starling
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Characters/Pairing: Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock, Watson
Challenge: 12 Months Challenge: Maystery
Word Count: 1,146
Date Written: 11 May 2019
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Doyle, not the author, and are used without permission.
“Why, don’t you just look ever so sly!” Missus Hudson clucked her tongue at her favorite tenant.
Sherlock raised a brow at her from above his pipe. He lowered the pipe and let out a puff of smoke that circled up above his head that still wore his infamous deerstalker cap, the one article of clothing, besides his favorite jacket, that always seemed capable of helping him decipher his most difficult cases.
“Oh, don’t look at me like that, Sherlock Holmes!” the old woman continued. “You’re not the only one who can solve me a mystery, you know, and not much of a mystery at that, is this one!”
“Why, Missus Hudson, I assure you -- “
“Come now, Sherlock! You and Doctor Watson were the only two in the room besides myself when I left to remove the next batch of cookies from the stove. Now he may have stepped out for a moment, but -- “
“ -- the cookies were delicious.” Sherlock inclined his head in a nod. “Thank you.” The corners of his lips turned up into a truly sly smile as his landlady proceeded to stammer.
“I -- I -- That is -- Well, of course they were! You wouldn’t have gobbled them up so quickly if they weren’t!”
“And we truly appreciate everything you do for us.” Holmes waved his free hand as he cast an imploring glance at something beyond the puzzled Missus Hudson. “Don’t we, Doctor Watson?”
“Oh, most certainly!” Watson bustled forward, his mustache twitching happily, as Missus Hudson slowly turned round. She gasped in surprise at the prettily wrapped box the good doctor held.
Holmes nodded again. “Perhaps you’ll find that of assistance in your delightful baking, Missus Hudson, but alas, I do believe we may have overstayed our welcome tonight.”
“I -- I -- That -- I mean -- Don’t leave!” The old lady finally burst out. She grabbed the offered present. “At least not until I see what you boys have contrived between yourselves this time! Something new for my kitchen, eh? I have to admit that dishwasher does come in handy! Well, don’t just stand there, Doctor Watson! Let me see what you two are giving me this time other than a headache!”
Sherlock laughed. “Perhaps,” he said, his eyes twinkling with mirth, “we should leave you with the headache and come again at another date.” He took another puff on his pipe.
“Nonsense and poppycock!” Missus Hudson exclaimed. “Now give me that box!” She grabbed the present in both hands and was surprised to find that it wasn’t as heavy as she’d thought it was. She excitedly wondered what possible new invention could fit so tidily in such a small, light box as she tore off the big, red ribbon.
The paper fell away easily, but she was even more confused when she was able to see the contents. A big, glass jar was filled with something thick and white that did not resemble anything she’d seen before. There were also three small glasses with a dark liquid churning within them. “What is this?” she demanded, picking up one of the smaller bottles and turning questioningly toward Sherlock.
“New ingredients,” he answered with a smile, lowering his pipe once again.
“What am I supposed to do with them?”
“Try them,” he urged, taking another puff. “I highly recommend the dark ones while Doctor Watson prefers the white. The latter is some form of egg mixture, but both, I am quite certain, can be used in recipes.”
Missus Hudson skeptically eyed the smaller bottle before placing it, with the care of one who thought it might explode, back into the box. “With all due respect, Mister Holmes, if that is the one you prefer, I believe I will first try the one that the good doctor chose.”
“A quite wise decision, if I do say so myself, Missus Hudson.” Watson’s mustache twitched. “You see, they say that the liquid there contains a horribly strong ingredient called cocaine -- “
“I don’t know what that is,” the landlady admitted, her nose wrinkling, “but I don’t believe I like the sound of it.”
“You and half the world.” Sherlock tisked. “Come off it, the both of you! It is completely natural and completely safe.”
“If you say so, Sherlock, it must be true.”
Missus Hudson giggled at the look on Watson’s obviously disbelieving face. “So,” Missus Hudson asked, picking up the bigger jar and looking imploringly at the doctor, “you say this one is an egg mixture?”
“Yes, ma’am.” He nodded. “It’s called mayonnaise, and Holmes is right. I do quite like it.”
“So it contains nothing . . . odd, does it?”
“From my understanding,” Watson answered, “it is made from nothing more than vinegar and egg yolks.”
“Hmph. That’s an odd combination.”
“Indeed, but it has an excellent taste.”
Sherlock harrumphed behind them. “You do realize, of course,” he asked them, “that if we had never tried anything new, nothing would have ever been created? You’d have nothing at all to cook with, Missus Hudson, nothing!”
She looked doubtfully at the smaller bottles again. “I will try this Coca Cola business one day,” she said, emphasizing her words with a weary sigh, “but for now, I believe I will start with this one.” She unscrewed the lid, dipped a finger into the white mixture, and licked the dab she pulled out. “Yes! Yes, indeed, I shall start with this . . . Mayonnaise, did you say?”
“Well, very well, Watson,” Holmes said, having tired of the affair and Missus Hudson’s distrust of his own preferences. “We have given her the present. Let us away for now.”
Hudson had bustled on into the kitchen, gabbing excitedly about the mayonnaise and the creations for which she could use it. The cakes and cookies she mentioned sounded delicious, but he was still quite irked at her reaction to his new favorite drink, which he was certain could also be turned into quite a nice basting sauce as well as being capable of number of other things.
“Go if you want, Holmes!” Watson exclaimed, his mustache jumping with his boyish excitement. “I’m going to see what she makes!” He bustled into the kitchen behind the cook, leaving Holmes alone with his pipe . . . and three glass bottles of the new Coca Cola staring up at him from inside Missus Hudson’s gift box.
He sighed, pondering the matter for a moment before finally rising, walking over, and selecting just one bottle. She wouldn’t miss just one, he reasoned as he unscrewed the lid and tossed the first swig down his suddenly parched throat. She wouldn’t miss just one at all, especially since she was probably going to hide them away anyway when he wasn’t looking and only act as if she’d tried them. He sighed. Human beings could be such simple-minded creatures, but at least that meant they’d be more for him when she finally decided to admit the truth.