Mary rocked her daughter-their daughter, really. She listened to Greg and Sherlock argue, waiting for Sherlock to storm into the room in a huff and take their daughter for a lecture on how everyone except her was a bunch of idiots in the house. Mary was sometimes amused that the only person who would put up with Sherlock being...well, Sherlock, had the vocabulary of four words and just about as many teeth to say them with.
She was so glad Irene had sent her to John. She didn't know \where John would have been if she hadn't found him. He was in a dreadful place, despite apparently going through psychologists like they were jelly babies.
That reminded her that he was hungry and none of them had felt like cooking all day. She hadn't because it bloody well wasn't her day to cook, and Sherlock hadn't because, well, he couldn't cook. Sherlock because, well, he couldn't cook. And John had been busy arguing all day with Sherlock, ever .txte Mycroft dropped by with an assignment for their newly returned detective, the unpaid one. The paid one was getting a text to bring home food when he was off shift. It could be his turn to cook. Or Sherlock's, depending on if Greg had borrowed Sherlock's card for the day, as a reminder. She never knew who had what wallet, although all of her boys had learned to not go pilfering through her purse. A tampon out in the open kept everyone but Sherlock out and after a few careful explanations, Sherlock had learned to stay out as well.
“He is improbably irritating today,” Sherlock huffed and held out his arms expectantly.
“What is he doing?” Mary asked calmly as she handed Maggie over to Sherlock who carefully cupped the one year old in his arms, stroking her little curly hair.
Mary watched him carefully. It had taken a while for her to trust him, especially .txte he was supposed to be dead. But eventually she'd come to understand why John and Greg loved him so much. And slowly, she was falling for him too. When she saw him with her little girl, it was harder to not.
“He does not understand why Sherrinford is in America using my name,” Sherlock huffed, and threw himself, gently, .txte he had the baby, onto his couch, laying there, and making faces at Maggie.
“To be fair, I do not understand it either,” Mary admitted. She'd first gotten wind of it when her cousin Ty had laughed at the fact that they both dated a Watson. She didn't like her cousin. He was kind of a jerk. She'd liked Joan though. But she thought Joan was better off without Ty. Maybe she'd find her happiness with Sherrinford. If he stopped lying about who he was anyway. It would be ironic that both Holmes had found themselves a Watson. If Harry wasn't gay, she'd look into hooking her up with Mycroft. Then maybe Mycroft would stop trying to drive Sherlock to move in with Sherrinford across the pond.
“It helps me, to keep me an urban legend,” Sherlock explained superciliously. “If I can be in multiple places , obviously I cannot be real.”
“That never works long for Batman,” Mary told him. She twisted her hair in her fingers. “It's nice to help your brother out, Sherlock. I know he hit a rough patch while you were gone.” Drug addiction was a bit more than a rough patch , but she wasn't going to judge.
“Batman is not real,” Sherlock huffed, carrying Maggie up to their room to change her. She didn't want to know if he was collecting her poop for some sort of nefarious purpose , but if it got free diaper changes, she'd let him change their daughter as many times as he wanted.
“He's crazy,” John told her. She smiled at him fondly as he sat in his chair.
“You knew that before he came back,” Mary said calmly, watching John sink into his chair. Everyone in the family had their own preferred place to sit, although no one was as possessive as Sherlock.
“And yet he comes and I jump,” John groaned.
“You do.” She had no sympathy for that. It wasn't like he didn't know what he was getting into. Getting all of them into. “And you love it.”
“I do,” John whinged. He reached out to hold her hand, and she admired the way his pale white soft hands contrasted with her own darker caramel ones.
“So what got you two going this time?” She wondered what it was from her perspective. It was interesting to listen to them argue about separate subjects.
“Sherrinford pissed someone off,” John explained.
“Runs in the family,” Mary muttered.
“What?” John asked leaning forward.
“Nothing dear.” She leaned over and kissed him. “So is the person who he pissed off coming for Sherlock?”
“Yes,” John growled. “And if he dies for real...”
“Then we'll deal,” Mary said. “Greg is bringing us food. Thai.”
“Good,” John sighed. “I'm not going to talk him out of his idea of the more Sherlocks the less people bothering him with insipid cases.”
“No you're not,” Mary said gently. “He wants to help Sherrinford but he doesn't want to say he is. You know how the Holmes family works.”
“Intimately,” John sighed. “And Mycroft is still pissed that Sherrinford turned to Sherlock, not Mycroft.”
“Politics, stay out,” Mary advised. She leaned forward to kiss him, only to have Sherlock appear and deposit Maggie on Mary's lap.
“She is boring now,” Sherlock informed her. He leaned down and kissed John. “Are you through being wrong today and willing to admit I'm right?”
“You're not right,” John told him. Mary sighed and sat back to watch them argue again when Greg came in. He kissed each of them. She left Maggie to watch them as she and Greg went to get food.
“How long have they been arguing?” Greg asked. “Do we need to intervene?”
“No, it's family crap,” Mary said. “Maggie will keep an eye on them while we get the food ready.”
“Somehow it should concern me that we leave a one year old to monitor John and Sherlock,” Greg said, bemused.
“I left her to watch Mycroft and Sherlock earlier,” Mary confessed. “She's more mature than either of them.”
“Better people skills anyway.” Greg chuckled. “How else was your day?”
“Going to be glad when school starts again,” Mary admitted. “I think Maggie will be too.”
“I like the holidays better,” Greg said softly.
“You work all day,” Mary said.
“And not coming home to weird experiments or John using the bathroom for patching Sherlock up is wonderful,” Greg laughed.
“Point,” Mary laughed. She got the plates out. While her back was turned John and Sherlock came in, John carrying Maggie.
“Sorry,” John apologized to them all, knowing Sherlock wouldn't. He helped get the food onto the kitchen table. Sherlock stopped him and kissed him.
“You're not as dull as most people,” Sherlock said awkwardly to John.
That was worth more than an “I love you” and it made John brighten more than if Sherlock had mouthed the other words that all of them knew he didn't mean the way he ought to. Greg wrapped his arms around both their waists. She completed the circle with herself and Maggie. Sherlock continued, “You all make life a little less boring.”
“Don't die again,” John said, choked up.
“If it will protect you all,” Sherlock said. “I have to protect you to prove my feelings. I learned that from you. From both of you.”
“Just keep us in the loop next time.” Greg kissed John and then Sherlock.
“Dah!” Maggie intoned solemnly.