Three days after John told her that the dreadful business with that Adler woman was finally done for good, Mrs. Hudson came home from the shops to find a small, wrapped box on her kitchen table.
A psychotic criminal bomber had once gotten into the locked flat of 221C and planted a pair of shoes there for Sherlock to find. 221B’s windows had been blown out by the force of a so-called gas explosion by that very same criminal. American CIA agents had dragged her out of her flat, put a gun to her head, and used her to threaten Sherlock for information. She may not have been as clever as Sherlock or as young as some of the Scotland Yard boys that came running in and out of the flat at all hours, but Mrs. Hudson was no fool. She was immediately cautious, approaching the gift carefully, and searching for anything out of the ordinary.
And then she noticed the card, distress easing into a soft smile.
She’d recognize Sherlock’s handwriting anywhere - that messy, yet precise scrawl; a graphical mirror of his continuously racing mind and scientist’s focus and control.
Should anyone ever be stupid enough to threaten you again, this phone is your protection.
Connie Prince was wrong. Cerise does suit you.
Despite her confusion, Mrs. Hudson put the card down reverently and opened the carefully wrapped box. Inside was a brand new iPhone, with a cerise-colored case.
The sudden tears of gratitude and love for that lunatic of a man washed away the fact, for just a few minutes, that she had no bloody idea how to work the damn thing.
Two hours later, John knocked on her door, still dressed from his shift at the surgery. She ushered him in, sat him down, and set out tea and biscuits for the both of them. Once settled, John’s eyes drifted to the phone.
Mrs. Hudson followed his gaze, mirroring John’s expression - he really is a sentimental git in his own way, sometimes, isn’t he? - but neither of them said it out loud.
It was enough just to know.
“He did a lovely job with the wrapping, didn’t he?” she gestured at the phone.
John’s lips quirked, eyes softening with private memory.
Mrs. Hudson drew in a quiet, knowing breath. The wrapping did have a certain military crispness to it, now that she thought about it. And it was hard to imagine Sherlock having the patience for something as mundane as gift wrapping.
John gave one of those self-effacing little shrugs of his – the ones that, rather than diminish his importance as he intended, only made Mrs. Hudson value him more.
She chuckled softly. “It’s very sweet of him….of you both,” she corrected, knowing that it must had been a mutual discussion, “The thing of it is, I don’t know how to work the bloody thing!”
John laughed, warm, open, and understanding. “Actually, that’s why I’m here.”
“In the middle of one of his experiments again, is he?”
John gave her a look – a “can you really imagine Sherlock Holmes trying to come down from warp speed long enough to patiently teach anyone how to do anything?!” look.
“Right, dear. Of course,” she nodded, immediately understanding and acknowledging his silent point.
John grinned, running a tired hand through his hair.
“But there’s no need to show me tonight. You’re exhausted. You’ve just gotten off work and who knows how late Sherlock kept you out last…..”
John shook his head. “No, it’s fine. Really. I can’t fall asleep right after a shift anyway and this….” He cleared his throat. “This is important. We’d…..both feel better.”
Mrs. Hudson’s heart swelled with love for these two men. Her boys. She reached across the table and squeezed John’s hand warmly.
He returned the pressure with a soft smile, allowing Mrs. Hudson to keep his hand in a motherly grasp as she reached for the phone and handed it over for her first lesson.
Two hours later, Mrs. Hudson was proficient in managing calls and texts, and had begun exploring how to use the photo and video options for recording data. Just as she finished hugging John goodnight, his phone beeped. He rolled his eyes, chuckling low in his throat as he read and succinctly responded to the text before slipping the phone back into his pocket. As she shooed John upstairs toward an obviously impatient Sherlock, making him promise to get some sleep, Mrs. Hudson made a mental note to ask him how to set a background image on her phone at their next lesson. She knew exactly which photo she wanted to use: one of her, Sherlock, and John on Christmas, standing so close that not even a fraction of the holiday lights came through between them. That was the image she wanted others to see: her little family.
Two boys she’d protect as vehemently as they protected her.
Because her new phone had come with four pre-programmed numbers on speed dial. Sherlock’s doing, judging by John’s raised eyebrows and little, pleased smile when he had found them.
Sherlock, John, Detective Inspector Lestrade, and emergency services.
In that order.
999 was programmed last.
That didn’t just say she was protected.
That said everything.