Hello ! I did my very best not to let that little extra ALS ice bucket challenge chapter get in the way of my prompt updating. So here we have some new stuff, back to the plot! I'm so glad you seemed to like the ice bucket chapter. :) Though that's pretty much where that ends. No continuation of that little tale. I have the rest of the story pretty much planned out, so I can't make any more changes. It was crazy enough that I fit that in haha! Hope you guys aren't getting bored, but there's more fluff. Although there is an event with a certain ex fiancé that many of you may have been waiting for! So I hope you like how that turns out. I also used a couple ideas from readers. Ok, enjoy, and I'll see you at the end! ;)
"Thank you, Sherlock, that's really very sweet of you," Mary said with a smile.
"Well, baby things...not really my area. But I figured I could arrange a way for you to get home today that was a bit nicer than a cab. Cabbies can't always be trusted." Sherlock strolled over with hands locked behind him and peered down to where Elizabeth Mary Watson was lying on Mary's lap.
"Well thank Mycroft for us. That was nice of him to let us use a driver of his...and uh, thanks for the flowers too, Sherlock," John said with a look of amusement.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Yes, I know...the flowers are from my parents. They made me bring them. And now thanks to them, the reporters outside assume that I was bringing flowers to Molly!"
"Maybe you should be!" Mary sang out.
Sherlock gave her a weary grin. "Molly's not working today."
"Another time then," she said with a shrug and a wink.
Mary then hoisted Elizabeth up and onto her shoulder and patted her back, since she had begun squirming and fussing a bit.
"Want to hold her before you leave, Sherlock?" Mary questioned. "You'd better do it now, since I'll have to feed her again soon."
"I um...suppose." Sherlock looked a little nervous, but removed his coat. He sat down on the side of Mary's hospital bed.
Mary carefully placed the little wrinkly bundle into Sherlock's arms and he began to worry that he shouldn't have accepted this offer. He had no idea what to do now.
"It's all right, Sherlock, you can relax," Mary said giving his back a little pat.
The feeling of the stiff and unyielding arms cradling her made Elizabeth start to fuss a little.
"I- I don't think she wants me to hold her..." Sherlock began to protest to Mary.
"She's all right. Just use your right hand under her to pat her back. You can pat pretty firmly too. That usually calms babies."
Sherlock began the rhythmic patting and it also made him relax a bit as Elizabeth calmed down again. John walked over closer and smiled down at Sherlock who gave a still slightly nervous smile in return.
"You'll get used to it," John said with a short laugh at the image before him which was so very different from anything he'd ever seen of Sherlock Holmes.
"Either that or she'll just grow up terrified of me." He chuckled, but found himself staring at the little face without wanting to look away. Finally he looked back at Mary.
"Oh, and Molly wanted me to ask if she could drop by and visit in a few days."
"Sure, that's fine! I'd love that. Just tell her to text me," Mary replied brightly.
Sherlock sat there for another minute, then he heard his mobile alert in his pocket. "Well, I'd better get that, and I'll let the three of you get ready to head home."
Sherlock placed Elizabeth back in Mary's arms and stood up. He placed a kiss on Mary's cheek and shook John's hand.
"Congratulations, you have your real baby now." He grinned at them both before turning and walking out of the hospital room.
Mary sighed and shook her head at John. "I still like our practice baby too. Let's keep him around a while."
Sherlock took out his mobile as he walked down the hospital hallway, and he opened the text message he'd received.
HI! I FEEL JUST AWFUL I HAVEN'T BEEN IN TOUCH. I'VE BEEN SO BUSY! I'M A POPULAR MAN AGAIN. MY LIFE CERTAINLY ISN'T BORING...UNLIKE YOURS. -JM
Sherlock's eyes doubled in size and then he broke out in a run as he read the second text.
SO DOMESTIC NOW AREN'T YOU? THERE'S THE WATSON BABY, AND THERE'S MOLLY...HOW IS MOLLY? HOW IS YOUR LITTLE LIVE IN ANGEL? I BET SHE LOOKS REAL PRETTY ALL COZY AT BAKER STREET...I WONDER WHAT SHE'S DOING RIGHT NOW...BYE!- JM
With shaking hands he dialed Molly's mobile. Pick up pick up pick up, he chanted in his head. But it rang till it went to her voice mail. He began firing off texts to her as he flew down the stairs, and then out the door to hail a cab.
"Hurry up please, this is an emergency!" Sherlock yelled at the cabbie as it drove to Baker Street. As they drove along, he tried calling her again. When the cab finally stopped at Baker Street, Sherlock threw a much larger bill than necessary into the front seat and leapt out.
He flew up the stairs, going two steps at a time, till he had gotten to Molly's room. He walked in the door that had been left open, and instantly saw she wasn't there. So he flew back down to his floor and opened the door.
"Molly?" Sherlock called as he walked in and began scanning the room frantically. He knew she wasn't supposed to be working today, and she hadn't said anything about any schedule change when they'd briefly run into each other the day before.
Sherlock walked through the kitchen and into the hall and saw the bathroom door was closed. He knocked rapidly. "Molly? Are you in there?"
He immediately heard a bump, but no answer. He knocked again. "Molly! If you're in there, I need you to answer me!" Nothing.
His hand went to the door knob and he tried it, but it was locked. Then he heard another noise inside. It sounded like the shower curtain.
"Molly! I do not want to break this door down, but if you don't answer me I'm going to! Can you please say something?" He knocked firmly again for good measure. He heard another thud.
"That's it," he whispered fiercely to himself. Sherlock threw his coat off and stood back from the door. He lifted his leg up and kicked hard right below the knob. He kicked once, then twice causing the wood to crack, and then the door flew open.
He looked around the small bathroom and all he saw was a brief movement of the shower curtain. Sherlock pressed his lips tightly together, then grasped the curtain and quickly pulled it aside...
Toby stared up at him with ears pinned back against his head.
Sherlock let out a heavy breath. He placed his hands on his hips and let his head hang down for a moment as he breathed deeply, then he looked back at the fuzzy animal who was then happily batting at the edge of the shower curtain.
"What do you say we don't mention this little incident to Molly, hmm? I'd say you're just as much at fault as I am. Right then, it's a deal."
He was just about to go search in his bedroom, just in case, when his mobile began ringing. Sherlock bent down and grabbed his coat from where it then lay on the floor, and fished the phone from his pocket. He saw Molly's name on the screen.
"Hi. You called me?"
Sherlock took another quick deep breath. "Yes, um...everything all right?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Why?"
"Oh, nothing really. Just, uh, checking...Oh!" Sherlock exclaimed, excited to remember a legitimate reason for his phoning. "Mary told me you can just text her whenever you'd like to come visit with her and the baby."
"Oh good. Thanks...You texted me three times though. You asked me where I was..."
"Well, I...thought you weren't working today."
"Well, yes, but I had a dentist appointment."
"Ah." Sherlock began pacing slowly around the flat. "And you're coming back now?"
"Well, I'm at the market right now. I'm not far. But I'll probably be a little bit since I was going to walk back to Baker Street."
Sherlock began slipping his arms in his coat. "Right, well, I was just about to head in that direction actually. So I'll just meet you there."
"Oh...really? Well, all right. I'll um, wait outside for you when I'm done then."
"I'll be there in ten minutes." Sherlock descended the stairs again and went to hail another cab.
Ten minutes later, he did indeed arrive at the corner market and he stood outside waiting for Molly with his hands in his coat pockets. He began to go over the text messages from Moriarty in his mind. They were menacing, no doubt. But did he really threaten her? No. In fact, what Moriarty said was that he was a busy man. And it begged the question, did Moriarty even care about the welfare of Molly Hooper? Did he care to use time in his now "busy" schedule to take any action against her? Sherlock didn't know. And he supposed that was the problem. Because in not knowing, he felt he had to assume she was in danger.
Sherlock was pulled from the questions in his mind by the brief touch on his shoulder. Molly stood there holding her tote and a couple bags from the market.
"Hello," he greeted her with a brief smile. "Here, I'll take one."
"Thanks." But just as Molly was about to hand Sherlock one of the bags, she looked to her left and made unfortunate and unexpected eye contact with someone.
There stood Tom. He had addressed Molly, but almost immediately had then turned his focus on Sherlock.
Sherlock smiled and shook his head as he looked of into the distance and sighed. "This day just keeps getting better and better," he muttered to himself.
"Tom, hi. We were um, just leaving actually." Molly tried to turn and start on her way, but Tom continued talking.
"I suppose we were bound to run into each other sooner or later. May as well get this out eh?" Tom said with a pointed stare at Sherlock.
Sherlock chuckled. "And exactly what did you need to get out, Tom?"
"You," Tom said with heated gaze, "crossed a line."
Sherlock's brow furrowed in mock question. "You'll need to be more specific, Tom. Exactly what sort of line are you referring to? I do, in fact, cross lots of lines. Let's see, there's police lines, there's dividing lines in the street..."
"Sherlock," Molly said in a soft warning tone.
"I'm talking about the line of appropriate behavior, you idiot. But I'm sure you know that already. And I'm sure you don't care, based on what I know of you. But maybe you should care what sort of position it puts Molly in."
"Oh right! Caring about what sort of position Molly is put in..." Sherlock glared at Tom and his voice lowered considerably. "Would that prevent someone from selling to a sleazy reporter, the details of the time she secretly defied the danger of an insane criminal mastermind and aided me in faking my death?"
Tom clenched his jaw. "What does it matter?! Everyone knows you're alive now! That story just proved that you've been dangling her on a string for years."
"Everyone knows I'm alive, but not everyone knew Molly played a part in it! And in connecting her to that event, you may have made her a target for Moriarty! I know you're feeling bad about yourself because of being rejected, but is putting her life in danger really what you want?!"
Tom laughed a little, and pointed at Molly then. "In going to her for help, you put her in danger! Don't blame that on me!"
Sherlock looked ready to give a biting answer, but Molly cut in.
"Tom, stop! I'd offered to help him before he came to me. I told him I'd do anything, and he needed someone he could trust."
"Right," Tom said bitterly. "Someone he could trust. Forever loyal to him. And I saw it the minute he came back too. I thought about ending it right then, I really did. But I hoped you loved me as much as I did you. I guess I should have seen that was never going to happen."
"Indeed. Would have saved you some time," Sherlock stated matter-of-factly.
Tom looked angrily back at Sherlock. "Why can't you just let her be happy? It's sick, this- this...hold you have over her! You leave for two years, and you still think you can have her back after all that time. You left her alone, and you lost her. You...you don't deserve her. You don't even deserve her friendship."
Sherlock stared back at Tom for a moment and all he could think was, Maybe I don't deserve her, but I would bet my life that I never really lost her. He knew he shouldn't purposefully try to make things worse, but he couldn't help getting in this little dig. Well, maybe not so little.
"It seems you're still feeling rather badly, Tom. Understandable, I'd say. You probably could use a nice night out. Perhaps go to a pub for a drink with some friends. Maybe you'll even meet a nice girl. And who knows...maybe this time she won't approach you only because she wishes you were somebody else." Sherlock's lips curled in a slow smile of satisfaction.
Molly's jaw dropped as the words left Sherlock's mouth. She looked at Tom and saw the way his face got red, and she knew this was about the angriest she had ever seen him. She was about to step in and say something, or do something, to diffuse the situation...but she was too late.
Tom pulled his arm back, but with Sherlock being Sherlock it may as well have been in slow motion. The detective instantly avoided the sad attempt at a punch, and Tom instead was the one that got a fist in his face.
Tom fell back against the pavement and lay there groaning and holding his cheek. A couple people came over and began to try and help him. Sherlock walked a few steps away, shaking his now throbbing hand. Molly stepped a bit closer to Tom and made her final statement.
"Look, I never should have been with you. It wasn't fair to you. But you've behaved like a child the past few weeks, and so I fail to feel bad for you anymore. I do hope you find happiness though...and I hope you can respect the fact that I'm happy. I love my friends, and I'll never be ashamed to call them such. And that includes Sherlock." Molly paused, and almost turned, but then she looked down at him again and emphasized. "Especially Sherlock."
Molly did walk away then and began taking quick steps along with Sherlock as he walked down the street.
"What do you say we take a cab, just in case?" He stopped and began to look for one to flag down. "I'd really hate to still be here in case Lestrade shows up because someone decided to call the authorities."
Molly couldn't help but snort out a laugh at the whole situation as a cab came to a halt and they climbed in to head back to Baker Street.
Molly put the few food items away and puttered around the kitchen. They hadn't spoken much after the incident with Tom on the street. Molly couldn't stop replaying the final heated words that Sherlock had spoken to Tom. They'd shocked her. Not really because he'd say something that was so cutting. Sherlock said cutting things, he had for years, and he probably always would. Not surprising. It was more shocking because of the tone of his saying it. There was...pride. He sounded proud about the fact that Molly would never have even bothered with the man, had it not been for the fact that she wanted to believe that Sherlock was standing before her.
Sherlock is still just a man, she reminded herself. This simple explanation both doused her thoughts with ice water, and simultaneously fanned the flames. He was just a man, so of course he'd enjoy holding this over some other man's head. The idea that Tom was just second best. But then...this meant that somewhere, deep down, he was pleased at the thought of being that important to her; more important than this man who she almost married.
But really, Sherlock is just a man underneath it all. And the internal debate continued over and over.
A couple of minutes later, Sherlock came strolling into the kitchen with one sleeve rolled up. "Were you possibly planning on making any tea?" He sat down as he asked this and put down a first aid kit on the table.
Molly frowned as she saw the first aid kit, and then looked at his hand that he'd laid on top of the table.
"Oh my God! How did that happen?!" Molly asked, seeing his knuckles with a cut on them.
"It seems I made contact with some teeth," he said with a slight grimace.
"I'll make tea after I take care of this."
"It's fine, I was going to do it."
"No, it'll be easier for me to do it...I want to." She sat down next to him and began opening the first aid kit, without his giving any answer.
Sherlock watched her silently as she took out the items needed, and then took hold of his cut hand with almost imperceptible hesitance. He watched her eyes flicker up to his for a second before starting to clean the cut.
"Sorry if this stings."
Sherlock didn't even flinch. He was focused on watching her as her gaze remained fixed on his hand. It felt strange to have her tiny hand cradling his much larger one. It shouldn't work so well, shouldn't fit so well, but it absolutely did. He watched as her face got a bit pink every few moments, and he saw how she nervously chewed her lip, and how she kept almost looking back up at him but seemed to stop herself. He suddenly realized that his fingers were resting right on the pulse in her wrist. If he just applied a tiny bit more pressure...
No, he knew he didn't even need to. He didn't need science and solid evidence when it came to Molly Hooper. He knew that she loved him. He was acutely aware of it by now, and he didn't need to acquire one bit more of evidence. Case closed, he thought with an internal smirk...but he also had to fight a subsequent sinking feeling in his stomach.
"You're a brave patient," she finally said, breaking the silence and giving him a brief smile.
"I have had a bit worse. Besides, I didn't want to alarm you. You're not used to your patients complaining."
Molly chuckled as she began getting a bandage out. "So, um...I guess that went moderately well, don't you think? I mean, nobody ended up in hospital. That's something."
"Yes, well, I made sure to hit him hard enough that he'd be unlikely to try and say anything else. Because if he did, he probably would have ended up in hospital."
"He's just...bitter. He didn't have a leg to stand on, and I think even he knew it. Nothing he said was- I mean, I think it's all rubbish, and I don't agree with any of it, and- and I hope you didn't feel like..."
"Molly," he said softly, and that made her look up from her rambling and make eye contact. He made the air catch in her throat for a moment as the fingers of his hand very slightly closed around her wrist.
"I don't care what Tom thinks about me, if that's what worries you. I'd never believe you capable of being scared off by some stupid opinion. If you say you're my friend, if that's what you want...then you're my friend," he stated simply and firmly.
Molly blinked and tried to resist curling her own fingers tighter around his cool hand. If that's what you want, she thought. She wondered if Sherlock knew what she really wanted. He had to know. But he seemed to dance around it so artfully. She was both frustrated and grateful for this. Because she was always afraid that if it came pouring out in all its naked honesty, she would really lose him for good, because he wouldn't be able to handle it.
"I'd never want...anything less. You know that." She punctuated the statement with a brief smile.
He only nodded. Molly felt his fingers draw back a little then. She quickly applied the bandage on his knuckles and smoothed it.
"Ok, well, you should be all set now...How about that tea?" she suggested and jumped up quickly.
They were quiet for a while as Molly made the tea, gave some to Sherlock, and they both sat sipping the hot liquid. Suddenly Sherlock spoke up again.
"Oh, by the way...you may notice that the bathroom door is in a bit of disrepair."
"Oh really?" Molly peered down the hall and noticed the crack in the wood. "Wow! How did that happen?"
"Little...incident with Toby. One of us must have left the lock on the knob turned and probably a draft shut the door. Toby was unfortunately inside. I had to get the door open...with force." Sherlock cleared his throat and looked a little nervous.
"Well, thanks. I'm sure you could have taken the time to pick the lock though. Toby wasn't about to die or anything!" Molly said with a laugh.
"Well you...never know." Sherlock went back to sipping his tea.
Later that evening, Sherlock had gone out on a case. Molly had made herself some eggs for dinner and relaxed a bit. She decided to take a shower while he was out, especially since that bathroom door seemed a bit unreliable at the moment.
Molly took a leisurely shower and then got out, grabbing her towel. When she grabbed her towel and wrapped it around herself, she realized that the only thing she'd brought in addition to her towel...was her pajama shorts. She groaned to herself, realizing that she must have thought she grabbed all her clothes, when she had really left more than half of them on her bed upstairs.
She dried off and put her shorts on, then wrapped herself back up in the towel. She really, really didn't want to leave the bathroom in this towel...
Molly inched the door open a bit and listened. She heard absolutely nothing in the flat.
"Sherlock?" she called out.
Still nothing. So at least he wasn't home. Though she was still nervous to venture out, seeing as she had no clue when he'd be back...that's when she happen to look at the back of the door. Hanging there, probably from the last time Sherlock had taken a shower, was his dark purple dress shirt.
She stared at it, and chewed her lip in thought. It was certainly more modest than a towel. But what would be worse to be caught in? Molly sighed and slowly took the shirt off the hook. She discarded the towel and carefully, as if she thought it just might bite, pulled his shirt up her arms and over her shoulders.
Molly began doing up the buttons, and in the process, had her head down so that she caught the scent coming from the collar. She actually let out an audible groan of appreciation, and then clamped her hand over her mouth to stop the laughter. But honestly, she couldn't help it. The shirt smelled like heaven itself. And she realized that it was now familiar too. More than once in the past few weeks, she'd been close enough to Sherlock to know this smell. That made it all the more appealing. She began to think she never should have put this shirt on.
Molly slowly opened the door then and peered out. She tugged at the bottom of the shirt over and over again, even though she did have the shorts on too. Toby followed her as she made her way down the hall, and he wound around her legs while mewing.
"Shh!" Molly chided him, then shook her head at herself because she was being so ridiculous. What difference did it make if Toby mewed or not? Would that somehow alert the men's dress shirt police?!
Molly finally got to the door and was feeling like she'd basically made it. She had just about reached out to open it...when it opened on its own. Oh, but not on its own. It opened because Sherlock had just opened it...and there he stood, now staring at her.
Molly's face turned shades that almost matched the shirt she wore, as she stood there frozen under his gaze. He looked...angry? No, maybe not angry. Probably more like shocked.
Sherlock's eyes traveled up and down the woman before him like lightening and he had the urge to blurt out, Molly Hooper, are you doing this to me on purpose?! His eyes narrowed and he pressed his lips together, hesitating before he actually said anything.
"Molly..." His eyes darted away for a second before coming back to her face. "Hi."
Molly let out a shaky laugh and continued turning redder by the second. "H- Hi...I um, seemed to have forgotten the rest of my clothes upstairs when I had a shower. I happen to see this on the back of the door, so I just um...thought I'd borrow it for a moment. Just to, you know, grab my clothes upstairs."
All right, he thought. That sounds legitimate. Though that didn't make it any less torturous for him in that moment. Sherlock thought he'd seen Molly at her most beautiful before, but this seemed to be even better. Probably even preferable to the nighty he'd seen a couple days before. Yes, this was much much better.
Sherlock cleared his throat and tried to look elsewhere. "Right, that's um...fine. I don't mind. You can...borrow it any time you'd like." He then felt like a fool. Why would she need to borrow it on a regular basis?
"Um, thanks. Well I better just..." She made a gesture toward the stairs that he was still blocking her way to.
"Oh! Yes, go ahead," he said, stepping aside.
Molly slipped past him and he heard her start up the stairs. She stopped though, and called back to him.
"Oh and, Sherlock?"
He turned to see her peering back down at him around the corner of the stairs.
"You might want to wait a while in case you were going to use the shower. I only just took mine, and there probably isn't any hot water left," she said with an apologetic expression.
Sherlock nodded and smiled as Molly disappeared up the stairs.
Sherlock flung his scarf and coat off, throwing them over onto his chair as he then headed down the hallway. He muttered under his breath, "I think that will work out just fine."
Oh Sherlock, sorry I had to do that to you... Nah! I'm not sorry, cuz it was super fun! :D And now for the credits! The idea of Molly putting on Sherlock's shirt and getting him just a little overwhelmed came from Trainee Hero. Thanks so much for that! And the hysterical idea of Sherlock breaking down the bathroom door only to discover Toby inside came from 16magnolias. Thanks for that one too! I also had a LOT of requests for accidental shower run in situations. I don't think I'll be able to fit anything exactly like that in at this point. But hopefully the little shirt incident made you all happy. :) Ok, thanks again for reading and for all the follows and reviews! Love you guys like cray cray! See you around here and on Tumblr! ;)