"All done!" Sherlock announced triumphantly, with a glance in his wife's direction.
Molly was seated comfortably on the sofa, a sleeping Victoria in her arms.
"Thanks, sweetheart," she told him, looking over at the baby bouncer he had assembled.
"Well?" he demanded. "Aren't you going to put her in it?"
"If I try moving her, she might wake up and start fussing again."
Sherlock pouted. "Then why did I buy the blasted thing if you aren't going to use it? I'd like to spend a few minutes with you without a baby between us."
"Temper, temper," she said mildly. Victoria wasn't even ten days old and he was already complaining that the baby monopolized her time. It was rather illogical of him to think it could be any other way, she thought, smiling wryly. Victoria slept for only short periods of time. When she wasn't sleeping, she was usually crying, demanding attention, needing to be either fed or changed. The new parents were both exhausted, and neither had slept much since bringing their daughter home.
"Put her in the bouncer, please?" Sherlock pleaded. "If she wakes up, I'll change the next nappy."
"Even if it's a dirty one?" Sherlock really hated changing the dirty ones. He made every excuse to leave the room whenever he noticed the slightest hint of a bad smell coming from the baby. On the rare occasion he did change her, he held his breath throughout the process and it made Molly giggle at the sight of her husband puffing out his cheeks as if he were about to inflate a balloon.
"Even if it's a dirty one," he agreed. He had to be desperate for some attention from her, Molly thought.
"Fine." She stood carefully and moved with Victoria over to the bouncer, gently placing the infant into it and fastening the straps. "Happy now?" Thankfully, Victoria had not awoken.
Sherlock took her hand and walked over to his chair. He sat in it and pulled her onto his lap. "It's so strange after all this time to feel your belly getting closer to the way it used to be," he commented, rubbing her now soft abdomen.
"I know," she agreed. "Sometimes I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever."
Sherlock pulled her head down to his and was about to kiss her when a knock sounded on the door.
"Hoo hoo," called Mrs. Hudson, entering the flat without invitation as usual.
Sherlock put a finger to his lips and pointed to the sleeping infant with his other hand.
"Oh sorry," Mrs. Hudson said in a stage whisper. "She such a sweet little angel, isn't she?"
"When she's sleeping, which isn't often," Sherlock remarked, and Molly glared at him.
"What can we do for you, Mrs. Hudson?" she asked.
"I was wondering if you'd like to come downstairs and watch the royal wedding?"
Molly hesitated. "I don't know, Mrs. Hudson. Victoria could wake up any minute."
"Why don't you go downstairs, love. I'll take care of the baby. If she gets fussy I'll bring her down to you," Sherlock urged.
"If you're sure…"Molly said, trying to show with her eyes that she would rather stay with him. She really would've preferred to spend some time kissing him. They had been rather like ships passing in the night since they had brought Victoria home from the hospital. Unfortunately, Sherlock didn't take the hint.
"Go ahead, sweetheart. You deserve a break."
Molly reluctantly got off his lap and followed Mrs. Hudson downstairs.
"Would you like some scones and a cup of tea?" asked the older woman solicitously.
"Thank you, that would be lovely." Actually it was almost lunchtime and Molly was quite hungry. It seemed she barely had time to eat lately. She had been too worn out to even cook a meal since Victoria's birth. Most nights Sherlock went out and picked up some form of takeaway for them.
The television was already on in Mrs. Hudson's sitting room. She indicated for Molly to take a seat on the sofa while she went to get the tea and scones.
Within a few minutes she re-entered with a plate of scones with jam and cream, and two cups of tea.
Ten minutes later Molly could hear the sound of Victoria crying. The sound got louder and there was a knock on the door to Mrs. Hudson's flat. The start of the wedding ceremony was only minutes away. Prince Harry and his brother had made the walk to St. George's, and the queen was already in attendance, along with the rest of the royal family.
"Impeccable timing,"remarked Mrs. Hudson, before opening the door to find an agitated Sherlock holding the crying infant.
"I tried putting my finger in her mouth but it only worked for a few seconds. As soon as she realized there was no milk she started crying again," he explained. "She needs her mother, I'm afraid."
"Well, come into the sitting room then and give her to Molly. There are extra scones if you want some, but you'll have to make your own tea. It's already brewed, just pour yourself a cup."
Sherlock walked over to Molly and handed their daughter to her. Molly automatically lifted up her blouse, unfastened her nursing bra and held the baby to her breast. Victoria immediately stopped wailing and latched on as Molly winced slightly at the initial contact. Those first few seconds were always a little uncomfortable. She watched the television as Meghan Markle emerged from the vehicle in which she had been transported to the chapel.
Sherlock headed into the kitchen and poured himself a cup of tea, then returned to the sitting room. He sat beside Molly on the sofa and glanced at the television screen. "Rather an unimpressive gown," he remarked.
It was true, Meghan's gown was very plain, Molly thought. Nothing like her own had been. But the extremely long veil was stunning.
"I have to agree the dress is rather plain," Mrs. Hudson said, but that tiara is lovely. I heard it was Queen Mary's."
Sherlock grunted. Molly noticed he was much more interested in watching her feed their baby than the television screen.
Mrs. Hudson offered him the plate of scones, and he took one absently, eating it as he watched his daughter.
"Are you going to stay to watch the wedding or just watch me?"Molly asked him.
"I suppose I'll stay if it means I get to spend time with you. I don't blame Mycroft for turning down his invitation though. All that pomp and circumstance makes my skin crawl. Thank God our wedding was a small one. Do you still wish we had been invited, Molly?"
"Not at all," she assured him. "Victoria is much more interesting than any royal wedding."
He put his arm around her and kissed her cheek. "So you'll come upstairs after feeding Victoria?"
"No. Mrs. Hudson wants me to keep her company, so I'm going to do that. If you want to go back upstairs though, that's fine. Now hush, I'm trying to watch."
Sherlock sighed. "Well, I tried." He took another scone from the table where Mrs. Hudson had placed them.
Prince Charles had just escorted Meghan during the last part of the walk down the aisle, and she was now standing with Harry who had been watching her progress. It brought to Molly's mind the way Sherlock had watched her walk towards him on their wedding day. She couldn't imagine having to walk such a long distance to get to the man she loved.
An unpleasant odour filled the room. "Honey, can you bring down a nappy and the baby wipes, please?" It seemed almost every time Victoria fed, she would end up with a dirty nappy.
Sherlock beat a hasty retreat and soon returned with the desired items, which he offered to Molly.
"You said you'd change the next nappy," Molly pointed out.
He frowned. "I meant if she woke when you put her in the bouncer."
"I don't remember you putting any conditions on it. You said if she woke you would change the next nappy even if it was a dirty one," she countered.
Sherlock sighed in defeat, and took Victoria, whose mouth had fallen away from Molly's breast. As usual, she had suckled until she fell asleep.
"Did you bring the changing mat?"
"You didn't tell me to bring that."
Molly rolled her eyes at him. "One would think you have no common sense, honey,"
He scowled. "Still learning to be a father, Molly" he said a little acidly, and Molly felt awful for scolding him.
"I'm sorry, sweetheart. I shouldn't have said that. I'm just tired."
"I'll just get a tea towel for you to lay her on," Mrs. Hudson said, looking at them with concern. "Having a new baby in the house must be an adjustment for both of you." She went into the kitchen and took a tea towel from a drawer, then laid it on the floor. "I can change her," she offered, but Sherlock shook his head.
"No, I'll do it."
Molly watched indulgently as Sherlock changed the nappy, holding his breath as usual. She knew he was doing his best to be a good father. A year earlier he had only just recovered from his drug dependency. He had changed so much, and she knew he truly loved her and their baby.
"I'll take care of throwing away the dirty nappy," Mrs. Hudson told Sherlock, so he picked the infant up and sat back on the sofa with Molly.
Molly snuggled up against him and continued to watch the spectacular coverage of the wedding on the telly.
Sherlock turned to her and kissed her cheek. "Honestly Molly, you looked a thousand times better on our wedding day. I couldn't take my eyes off of you."
"Same here," she smiled back at him. Sherlock had looked devastatingly handsome, and she remembered how her heart had thudded in her chest as she walked towards him.
"Hush, you two," reproved Mrs. Hudson. "They are doing the 'will you take?' bit."
Molly focussed her attention back in the television. She had missed the first part and just heard Harry say, "I will."
Then came, "Meghan, will you take Harry to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?"
As Meghan answered in the affirmative, Sherlock turned to Molly again and whispered, "Those are the same words that were said to us."
She looked at him fondly, Victoria was nestled in his arms and he looked completely at his ease. "Yes," she murmured. "Our church uses bits and pieces from several denominations. I like that it isn't just a traditional church with one fixed format."
"You are not making it easy for me to watch this," complained Mrs. Hudson.
On the television, after a prayer, the couple sat on elaborate chairs just off to the side while a reading was given.
Sherlock yawned and Molly nudged him. "You really don't have to stay."
"I have to. The baby is sleeping and I don't want to wake her."
A gospel choir sang and then the announcer informed the television audience that the address was to be given by the head of the Episcopal church in America.
The man seemed quite animated, but Molly fidgeted a little at its length. Pastor Briggs hadn't gone on nearly so long at their own wedding.
"Did you notice Harry pulled her veil back?" Sherlock asked her.
"Oh really?" Her mother had done that, after walking down the aisle. Nice as it would have been to have Sherlock lift it once they were pronounced husband and wife, before kissing her, she hadn't wanted the veil to remain over her face throughout the ceremony, and Sherlock had agreed. They wanted to be able to see each other clearly.
"He did that after the first hymn," Mrs. Hudson supplied. "Before all the 'are there any objections?' stuff. I was half wondering if someone would say they objected at that point during your wedding, there were so many hiccups along the way."
Sherlock chuckled. "That sort of thing only happens on television, not real life."
After a few minutes of watching the American preacher, even Mrs. Hudson was getting a little restless. "Do you think I could hold the baby now?"
"Of course," answered Sherlock graciously. Molly was a little surprised. He was usually very possessive when it came to his newborn. He stood slowly and handed the baby to Mrs. Hudson
Miraculously, Victoria remained asleep.
Molly knew why he had been willing to relinquish the baby when he settled back on the sofa and took her hand, caressing her palm with his thumb.
"You know," he said conversationally, "the royal family are quite like parasites on this nation. While their budget goes up each year, the rest of the country has to deal with cuts. Instead of spending money on extravagant weddings, perhaps thise funds would be better served in bettering the lives of the disabled or homeless and other such things. Much as I have found the services of my homeless network useful, I would prefer to see them housed and cared for."
"I understand what you are saying. I guess it is just the romance if it all that appeals to me. After all, everyone loves a wedding."
"Not everyone. The only wedding I've liked was our own. EvenJohn's was rather stressful, when I had to give that best man speech." He turned her face towards his for a brief kiss.
"Ha, now I know why you gave me the baby," Mrs. Hudson piped up. "You don't get much alone time right now, do you?"
"True enough," Sherlock agreed lazily, draping his arm over Molly.
With the message from the preacher finally finished, they returned their attention to the wedding service.
As Harry and Meghan said their vows, Molly commented, "Meghan is certainly very calm, unlike me." She remembered how the tears had flowed down her face, especially when she and Sherlock had said their personal vows to each other, after repeating the traditional ones.
Sherlock squeezed her hand. "I like my emotional Molly"
"I saw you blinking back your own tears, Sherlock," pointed out Mrs. Hudson.
"I maintain to this day there was something in my eyes I was just trying to blink away."
"Yeah, tears," Molly teased. She didn't know why men seemed to think they should always be stoic and unemotional. Sherlock had been emotional on several occasions, but usually that was when they were alone. In public, he didn't like to show that soft side.
Once more, they turned their attention to the television. When the service was over, Sherlock remarked, "They missed the best part."
"What was that?" Molly asked.
"you may kiss the bride." He leaned over to her again and pressed his lips to hers tenderly.
Molly thought back to their wedding day once again. That moment, when they had expressed their devotion to one another in front of family and friends with action instead of words, had been incredibly special, unforgettable in fact.
The royal couple did share a kiss on the steps of St. George's, but the one she and Sherlock had shared had been much better, and hotter too, Molly reflected, smiling to herself.
"What are you smiling about?" he inquired.
"Our first kiss as husband and wife."
He grinned at her. "It was unforgettable, wasn't it?" he asked rhetorically, mirroring her thoughts of a few moments earlier.
At that instant, Victoria decided to make her presence known by waking up and wailing.
I guess that's our cue to go back upstairs," Molly commented, walking over to Mrs. Hudson to take the baby. "Thanks for inviting me down to watch the wedding. It was a nice distraction."
"Yeah, nice distraction," muttered Sherlock. "Thanks for the scones, Mrs. Hudson."
"Anytime," beamed the elderly lady. "Remember, if the two of you need a break, I'm always available for babysitting duty."
"Thanks, Mrs. Hudson. We will definitely be taking you up on that," responded Molly, adding, "once Victoria manages to sleep for more than half an hour at a time."
The new parents returned to their flat. Watching the wedding had been a rather fun distraction, but it was time to go back to her real life, a life that included a rather fussy baby and a devoted husband. Exhausting though it was, Molly knew she wouldn't trade her life for anyone else's.
As the baby latched on once again for another feeding, , Sherlock sat and looped his arm around her and Molly gave a contented smile. Life was good.