Mary was holding her daughter, now three moths old. Penelope was a dear, settling nicely into the Watson household, and Mary beamed at the thought.

But Mary was a rambunctious sort, giving way often to flights of fancy, to sudden urges that would overtake her, for her time as an operative left her restive, and her mind would whiz in a mad turmoil. She required an occupation aside from domesticity and clinic work. Her mind drifted to her husband, slack-mouthed as he read the papers, and she smiled. How very much she loved him.

She then thought of the happiness he was experiencing due to the recent developments with Sherlock…how Sherlock was now firmly rerooted in England, his brother Mycroft was certainly a dear man (Mary knew him a little); he oversaw his younger brother with a close eye and a reproachful spirit…though never overly harsh…but kept him in check as best he could.

She sighed. She thought about Janine, the poor girl who was misused by Sherlock…


"Yeah," he said, putting down the paper and taking his daughter's tiny hand in his.

"Do you think…" she paused, for the idea was preposterous when uttered aloud. "Do you think…that Sherlock liked Janine?"

John stared at this wife a moment. "What do you mean, liked her? He abused her trust…!"

"Well, she wasn't exactly trustful, now, was she?"

He shook his head. "No…but no. He didn't like her."

She shifted the baby on her lap. "Is he gay?"

A sort of dumbfounded look betook his countenance. "I…honestly…don't know."

"How can you not know that?"

"He's not one to open up about things, is he?"

"No…but…you're his best friend. Probably one of his only."

John rubbed his face. "I dunno, Mary. I'm inclined to say he's not gay…maybe asexual?"

Mary's face scrunched in disagreement. "No…he watches pornography."

"How can you know that?"

"I have ways of knowing…"

John got up and went to pour more coffee. "I - don't - want - to - know."

"No, I don't think you would…" she smiled and laughed. "He's lonely."

John returned. "Yeah. I expect he is."

"We should do something."

"We should?"

"Yes! Why not? He needs to get off…"

"Oh god," he was shaking his head.

"…just like everyone else. And he needs companionship."

John Watson never really understood why he loved those two. He imagined it was a chemical imbalance or he was hit in the head as a child, or he was masochistic, or perhaps he was as insane as they were.

But he chose not to argue the point, as he knew he'd lose. Instead, he kissed his wife and daughter goodbye and headed to Baker Street, where his best friend waited, not knowing what was in store.

"What do you mean, the case is closed, brother? The man is not in police custody," Mycroft was standing by the door, irritated at his younger brother's reluctance at being forthcoming. He was so inclined to these silly games that Mycroft really couldn't be bothered with.

"NSY is so full of complete morons, Mycroft, it'll be a feat if they approach competency within the next century."

"That's not a proper answer."

"I gave Lestrade the directions. Honestly," he continued, getting up. "Google is idiot proof. Type in the address and follow the map. Just don't give it to Anderson."

"Did you tell the DI this?"


Mycroft sighed. "Very well. I hope you're right…"

"I am," he interjected.

"Yes. Well, good morning, brother."

Sherlock grunted his goodbye, and in walked John.

"What's wrong with Mycroft?"

"His favorite bake shop has discontinued his most beloved cake," he said, not looking up. He was stationed at the kitchen table, peering through a microscope.

"Right. How are we this morning?"

Sherlock looked up. "What's going on?"

"What?" he appeared confused. "On?"

"You never ask me how I am unless you have some news concerning Mary, or you wish for time off, or you heard from Lestrade about some silly error NSY has committed, or you have indigestion from some concoction your wife made the night previous…what was it? Bad eggs?"

He shook his head. "Ah…well…no. No…Mary wants to invite you to dinner."

Sherlock sat back in his chair, and steepled his fingers. "Dinner."

"Yes…right. Dinner."

His eyes scrunched as he thought a moment. "Which of your silly friends is she attempting to match me with?"

John sighed. He shook his head in defeat. "Anne."


"Yes…the one with the glasses…"

He rolled his eyes dramatically and stood, shoved his hands in his pockets and entered the sitting room. "Anne! That tiresome librarian?"

"Book shop owner…"

He waved his hands. "Books!" He turned toward John. "I don't need…desire…seek out…companionship…especially female…"

"Oh right? Male, then?" He looked earnestly at his friend.

Sherlock ran his hand through his hair. "No, John. Not male, either," he sounded tired at this. "If I were gay, do you honestly think I would have lived with you?"


"NO! I wouldn't have done. No. I am not homosexual."

"Oh….well…" he began to run through his list of possibilities.

"I'm heterosexual."

"You are?"

"Don't sound so surprised. I only told you so that you wouldn't hurt yourself attempting to retrieve all of the possibilities for my sexuality in your mind closet…" he stopped. "No pun intended."

"You really are a git."

Sherlock smiled dramatically…and then an idea sprung to mind.

"Actually, John…why don't you head to the clinic…or home….or whatever dull place you go when you're not here…" he said, ushering him out of the flat.

"Why? No cases?"

"Nope. Solved them all."


"Tell Mary I'd be delighted to join you for dinner, but I'll bring my own date."

"You'll bring your own…?"

"For gods sake, man! Stop repeating me!" and John Watson left the flat.

Her hair was such a bother. It really seemed like it mattered little how many pins she used to adhere it, it was stubborn, and constantly slipped into her field of vision. Molly blew the irksome strand up from her face, and sighed.

She really was so much happier now that Tom was gone. He wasn't a bad man, just a bad…fiance. Luckily, their lives hadn't intertwined to the point where a long, drawn out break up took place. Painful though it was, it only took a couple of days to return belongings and such. She rather believed that she had entered the engagement to shut him up, to provide distraction, to fill her life with something, for she had come to the conclusion that her life was fairly boring.

As if on cue, Sherlock Holmes entered the lab where she was working. Though it cannot be said that the torch she held for him was nearly as bright, it still weighed heavily on her back, increasing in volume since his return, for they were, Molly believed, closer friends than they ever had been.

"Hey, Sherlock," she addressed him in familiar tone, and smiled.

"Molly. I need a favor," he took off his coat.


"Yes…I need you to accompany me to dinner at John's and Mary's," he took out his phone. "Tomorrow evening," he finished, reading the text.

"You're asking me to dinner?"

"That's right."

"As a date."

"Well…" his eyebrow cocked a bit at this. "Not exactly a date…"

"What, then?"

"A…companion. A friend."

Molly smiled. "And will John and Mary expect this to be a merely friendly date?"


"Well…are they expecting us to be…more than friends?"

Sherlock considered this a moment. He supposed that the more romantic (dull) the dinner appeared, the less likely Mary would insist on meddling in his life. When, after a sufficient amount of time passed, he'd let her know it didn't work out, and she would then see him to be the bachelor he was. "Yes. Yes…I think that that would be wise."

Molly sighed. "Why do you want me to do this?"

"Well…you're a woman."


He smiled. "Right…and Mary is attempting to match me with her tiresome friends. I merely want her to cease any further interference, and the quickest and most effective way in which I can think of is to already be in a relationship. You, Molly, are available, you are clever, you aren't unattractive, you are amusing…and any want in terms of a wardrobe is easily rectified. I'll shop for you tomorrow."

Molly stood there with her mouth agape. "How can you run off my attributes in such a way that I am simultaneously horrified and pleased?"

"It's a gift." And he winked.


"So…tomorrow. Shall we go to the shops together?"

Molly shook her head in disbelief. "Yeah. Ok. One o'clock?"

He clapped his hands. "Wonderful! See you at Baker Street at one."

And he dashed out.

Well, this ought to be good for a laugh, which was the primary reason she agreed to it. Tall, debonaire, well-spoken gits notwithstanding.