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Polite Secrets

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When the Holmes couple first came to live at 221B Baker Street, Hudson didn't know quite what to think of them.

Oh, it wasn't that they were unfamiliar to Hudson - why, hadn't Mr. Sherlock Holmes been the one to unravel all that nasty business with a former companion some years back? And the way Holmes talked of it, the minor talent Hudson had with languages had been absolutely vital in the solving of a case on more than one occasion. Yes, Hudson considered Mr. Holmes a fine gentleman, and as good a friend as one could be so lucky to have.

Mrs. Holmes, on the other hand, Hudson had known nothing about.

She was not quite what Hudson had expected from a wife for Holmes. A battlefield nurse, or so the rumors said, and how fantastical was that thought, given her Eastern origins? And if it were true, then how had she come to meet Holmes, and why had he decided to court her? A mystery all around, the boys who ran errands for the Holmeses decided, and Hudson was of a mind to agree.

It was a shame, really, that Mr. Holmes was so deeply embroiled in the mystery, for Hudson thought that otherwise it was a manner of case that would quite appeal to the detective.

As time went on, and Hudson become more familiar with the couple, a fondness began to form between Hudson and the lady of 221B. As it turned out, she was quick-witted and terribly clever, observant and opinionated in a way that was, upon reflection, ideally suited to Mr. Holmes's demeanor. She was also courteous where he was rough, considerate at times when he perhaps missed some quirk of human behavior, unafraid to argue with her husband, and regularly made demands of him that altogether raised the household to a higher level of decorum and class.

In short, she was an excellent woman; in personality, presentation, and poise, more than befitting a man of Holmes's stature.

Of course, others would never see past her origins and upbringing, so the Holmes couple was not a terribly sociable one. They went, on occasion, to the opera, though husband declared the violin only palatable da solo. They would also venture out into public when certain medical professionals announced orations on interesting topics, but they were a pair who primarily remained at home.

Few saw them, and so few noticed them, and so fewer commented on them, for good or ill. It was a sensible enough modus operandi, and one that Hudson engaged in as well, for reasons altogether different from those of the Holmeses.

Being in such close quarters provided Hudson with a startling depth of perception towards the couple, particularly in regards to their habits. While 221B would often be bustling with movements and noises at all hours of the day, once the evening meal was cleared away and the lamps dimmed, there was nothing to be heard. Oh, there were a few conversations, and occasionally Mr. Holmes would forget himself and begin to play the violin at an ungodly hour of the evening, but no significant sounds.

Knowing this, Hudson did not quite understand why they had come to marry. Certainly they had their reasons, but it was concerning. Mr. Holmes was becoming so well known for his detecting that it seemed inevitable someone would be coming by in search of a secret to hold over him, and what better secret than this?

Hudson was surely the only one who knew, though, and would never tell a soul, not so long as they allowed Hudson's lacy secrets to go unremarked on.