Sorry your engagement is over.

It loops through her mind and she can't shut it up, even with her ear buds jammed in and the volume up. It's Fiona Apple, "Sleep to Dream," and she's listened to it through twice already. The carriage is full and she's jammed between two City boys. Both are in dire need of a bath or getting their suit coats cleaned, and it's not helping that she's basically at armpit level with them as they hold onto the bars.

Sorry your engagement is over.

She turns up the volume further. Futile, obviously, but she does it anyway.

He always smells clean, which astounds her.

Well, almost. He certainly didn't today. But she really didn't know who that was today, in the lab. She's seen the specter of him, in stories Greg has told her and in the desperate way he would sometimes ask her for something, anything to work on, to toy with, to occupy him.

Sorry your engagement is over.

She looks down at her hand, the bare finger. The slightly puffy spot on her thenar eminence (the Mount of Venus in the language of fortune tellers) where the capillaries burst against the plane of his face. She's going to need to put some ice on it.

She's not sorry it's over.

It absolutely wasn't fair. She'd behaved appallingly, still in love with one man while planning to marry another. She really really did think that she was over Sherlock when she'd said yes to sweet, unassuming Tom Dickinson, junior partner at Wesley, Howard and Lowe. She thought she would be happy with the house in the suburbs and a vacation home by the sea and maybe a baby, eventually.

Then Sherlock Holmes had appeared in her locker mirror and her heart had leapt in a way it hadn't in ages (a way it hadn't even when Tom proposed.) Her first thought was "Thank god!" Her second thought was "Oh, fuck."

She knew he'd noticed the ring right away and she waited with a stomach full of lead for him to mention it, to lay bare everything that was obvious about Tom from the cut of the stones and the style of the ring.

Instead he'd let her tend to the cut on his face and his swollen nose and pour out all of his bitter confusion over John's reaction to his return. She'd tried to get him to see things from John's point of view but he'd shrugged it off and told her he had to dash.

"Need to go say hello to George Lestrade."

"Sherlock, you know his name."

He'd graced her with that crooked smile. "Perhaps. Good night, Molly Hooper."

And dammit she'd tried. She'd even considered turning down his request to come to Baker Street. Then she had told herself she couldn't avoid him forever; they would have to work together eventually. Perhaps being exposed to him again, to the more irritating aspects of his nature as well as the utterly charming and brilliant, would bring her back to reality. To her soft, safe future with Tom.

Then the bastard had been on his best behavior and made the day perfectly lovely. They'd always had a good working relationship in the lab, and it translated well to the field, but now there was a certain level of consideration for her, a more open regard, and she'd gotten just the barest glimpse of what it could be like, being his true friend, or more.

Of course he'd choose the moment he did to mention her ring, raising the drawbridge immediately after letting it down. And he'd said she deserved to be happy and tried to tell her goodbye but it was too late. She was already fucked. She had been since she'd first heard him speak.

And she was such a coward that it took her six months to let loose her safety net.

The worst part is that, if she's honest, it wasn't even out of fairness to Tom that she broke up with him. For about thirty seconds after she'd let Sherlock walk out of John and Mary's wedding reception alone, she had felt good about her decision. She couldn't go after Sherlock. She had Tom. Tom would always be there.

And then the horror had hit. Tom would always be there. She had agreed to marry him. Despite divorce statistics there was still a really good chance that meant forever. She'd stopped dancing and looked at him as a hot wave of nausea hit her.

"Molly dear, are you alright?" Mrs. Hudson asked.

"Yes. I mean, no. I don't feel well." And all she'd wanted to do was get outside in the cool air and perhaps find that Sherlock had just gone outside for air, too. But then everyone was crowding around her, helping her to a chair, getting a wet cloth for the back of her neck, asking how much she'd had to drink.

They left soon after and she'd broken up with Tom in the cab on the way home. She didn't give him much of an explanation other than "I can't do this."

"It's him, isn't it?" Tom had said. She looked out the window. They rode in silence. He didn't take the ring with him when he got out at his flat. It lay on the seat, sparkling a bit every time they passed under a street light.

"Bit of bad luck, then?" the cabbie said.

"I never even got it sized," she replied.

Molly extracts herself from between the two other passengers as her stop approaches. She's not sorry when her bag hits one of them a bit too hard in the gut.

She's already thinking about her pajamas and the leftover Thai food and her new book when she emerges from the station onto her street. She'd ended up staying late, again, and it was well after seven when she'd finally left.

Her phone beeps as it picks up reception again, indicating a new voicemail. She ignores it until she gets home, and nearly drops it in Toby's water bowl when she sees the eight missed calls from John Watson.

She's deciding whether she really wants to know what's on that voicemail when the phone rings again. She lets it ring three times before swiping the screen.


"Molly?" John says in a voice she's dreaded ever hearing from John Watson again.

"Molly, it's Sherlock. He's-he's been shot."