She'd never met a front entrance she found quite as intimidating. She thought, for a moment, that she might have peed herself. But it was a false alarm.
And, of course, Mycroft looked so handsome. His arm was so steadying, his glance so delicately and properly concerned. "How are you, my dear?" he asked. Yes, he said things like dear. But it never felt strange when he did it.
She leaned against him a bit. "I've thought about meeting her before," she said, and then regretted it. "No, what I mean is—"
"I'm sure you have," he said kindly. "Sherlock has meant an awful lot to you. That doesn't make this mean any less, don't you agree?"
The tension rushed out of her with an actual whoosh of her breath. She gripped his arm a bit more tightly. "Yes, I agree," she said. Sherlock had been very important, and Mycroft was very important. Maybe she really was destined to be a Holmes someday. Maybe even someday soon.
"She's going to adore you," Mycroft said, giving her hand a gentle squeeze. He opened the door, helping her cross into a home she'd dreamt of walking inside, even if she hadn't known what it would look like or what to expect.
Well, she still didn't know what to expect.
She felt a little wobbly on her heels. The front hall was empty. Seeing an opportunity, Mycroft closed the door with his foot, then leaned in to kiss her. It did the trick, relaxing her, coaxing one of her sweet smiles out of her. She looked a bit breathless, but much less worried.
"Right," she said.
He smiled. She was so very, very brave.
Sherlock came out to greet them. "Mycroft," he said. "Molly. Mummy's waiting, of course."
"Well, of course," Molly joked.
Sherlock gave her his "don't tell jokes Molly" face, but Mycroft smirked in amusement. They moved into the dining room.
Mummy stood and crossed the room, stepping closer. "Oh, she's a sweet one," she said fondly. "Molly, yes?"
"Yes," Molly said, letting go of Mycroft to hold out her hand in greeting.
Mrs. Holmes's hand was warm, the handshake a bit stiff, and then she gestured that Molly should sit down. "Next to me, dear," she said, and Mycroft pulled out Molly's chair for her.
"You were the girl who saw something in Sherlock most don't try to see," Mrs. Holmes said bluntly.
Molly nodded carefully. "I was rather fond of him," she admitted. "I still am. Just not," she gestured vaguely, "romantically." Yes, it was about time to be shutting up.
Mrs. Holmes smiled brightly. She liked the answer very much, it seemed. Strange. But nice. Molly had thought she'd meet Mrs. Holmes under different circumstances. She'd thought meeting her would have meant she was meeting her as a date of Sherlock's. It was strange to think she was here and that wasn't the case.
"Oh!" she said quickly, looking at Mycroft. "I'm fond of Mycroft too," she said.
Mycroft and Mrs. Holmes smiled the same way at her outburst. Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Are we hungry?" Mrs. Holmes asked.
"Yes, a bit," Molly finally answered, when it was clear no one else was going to say anything.
"Good," she said with a knowing expression. Molly had no idea what the expression meant, but she knew Mycroft would keep her safe through the evening. Maybe she and Mrs. Holmes would actually get on.
"Mycroft has told me lovely things. And you work with the bodies, don't you?"
Sherlock looked about, as if there would be someone around who would say that was strange, but it was just three Holmeses and a Hooper, so there was no one to offend.
"I do. I'm...is that appropriate for...?"
"I'm at the head of the table," Mrs. Holmes joked, "so I'll decide what's appropriate tonight. Go on and tell me. What do you do all day? What does Sherlock do when he pokes around?"
Molly quickly looked at Mycroft, who grinned. She grinned back. "Alright," she said, flushing a bit with excitement as she quickly began to run through her job description.