Hello! This is the third story that I have found in my laptop that was half written, but did not get published. As you read this, please don't get mad that I, well, managed to bring in someone rather recognisable in here. That person is never mentioned by name, however, but the fictional role he played is quite well-known, and let's just say that I quite like a certain crossover ship of Molly with someone who looks so much like Sherlock, bar the curls ;)
Again, if you're reading this, thank you. It's been difficult for me to write these past few months, but after reading my old ideas and making the decision to publish them nonetheless makes me feel a bit happier. I hope you enjoy reading this! :DDD
Gone were the curls and in their place, short black hair with a spiky fringe at the front.
Sherlock Holmes blinked at his reflection, not for the first time (and certainly would not be the last, he admitted reluctantly), as he ran a large hand through the hair he had to accustom himself to as part of his disguise for a case given by Mycroft that ended just the day before, and watched as his fringe flopped back against his right eye; even during the one-week period of solving the case, he still was not used to the new hairstyle. He frowned and, tugging at the ends of his short hair, briefly dug around the confines of his Mind Palace to find some obscure method to speed up the process of his hair growth.
"You done hogging the bathroom for the 8th time today?" John Watson called out from the other side of the bathroom door, banging oagainst it with a fist to emphasise his impatience. "I know you look fabulous with that hairstyle, but really - do you have to check it out every 5 minutes? And it's barely 10 in the morning."
"Go away, John!" Sherlock shouted, instinctively ruffling his short hair and grimacing at how different it felt under his hands.
He was pushing his fringe back and then had to resort to using hair gel to keep it in place when the voice from the other side of the door shouted, "You're not the only one who has to use the bathroom, mind you! I have needs as well!"
"Go and use Mrs Hudson's!"
"You- no, Sherlock - if you haven't decided to hang some fungal experiment on the showerhead in my bathroom, I wouldn't-"
"-I wouldn't need to come down here and share the bathroom with you, so stop staring at your cheekbones and get out there!"
Sherlock ignored his ex-flatmate and was about to experiment with a thought that he had – maybe if he wound one small section of his hair around his finger and let it set for a minute, it could turn into a curl – when the door sounded again. "Sherlock! Out, now!"
Huffing in defeat, the man stomped his way to the door and yanked it open, glaring daggers at the shorter man in the other side. "Oh how I missed going on cases with you," he said sarcastically.
"Well, I just remembered why I don't share the same sentiment as you," John said in reply, shoving past the tall figure and walking into the comforts of the bathroom.
"And your hair is fabulous," he added in mock reverence, turning to look at Sherlock with wide eyes. "It brings out the contours of your sharp cheekbones – and apparently your childish attitude as well." He hardened his eyes then, and slammed the door in his face.
"It's my hair!" Sherlock argued in return.
"Shut up, Sherlock. I'm sure Molly will like it."
Upon hearing that, the man-child stilled and blinked. Consciously bringing his hand up to run it through his short black hair, he asked through the door, "You think so?"
"Honestly, I don't know. But if you won't let me bathe in peace for the next 10 minutes, I can confidently say that I don't like your new hairstyle, and will gladly shave it off without a moment's thought."
Sherlock rolled his eyes at the reply before stomping his way to his favourite chair; he flopped onto it, bringing his legs up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them, and then just glared into empty space. Once in a while, his fingers would involuntarily reach up to his hair and scratch at his head, and he would in turn grimace at the still unfamiliar sensation. He would never admit to anyone, but he missed his prized black curls oh so terribly.
"Missing your curls?" John observed from the kitchen when he came out of the bathroom as he watched Sherlock ruffle his hair yet again.
"Shut it," the other man snapped, before realising he had just given the game away.
"Oh, Sherlock," John chuckled as he began to make tea for himself, "hair grows. You'll get your curls back, and women will fawn over them again. It takes time, though."
"Tea, milk on mine," Sherlock muttered, expertly ignoring whatever the other had said, with the gloomy air still around him.
Rolling his eyes, the blond doctor pulled open the door of the refrigerator, only to slam it back shut. Oh God - a mouldy pair of eyes just next to the carton of milk. "Unless you want milk that stinks of mouldy eyes in your tea, I suggest you go to the store to buy yourself a new carton of milk," he shouted to the younger man.
"Good idea - we need more sugar as well."
"Correction - you need more sugar as well."
"Well, where's the difference in that?"
"Sherlock, get dressed," John finally declared, making his way to Sherlock and pulling him up by the arm. "Both of us will go to the store; I'll text Mary and see if she's coming along, if she has anything to buy for the house."
Sherlock was about to protest - no way was he about to engage in such a menial and trivial activity like shopping - when John continued, "And I'll ask Molly if she wants to tag along."
At that, the taller man stopped his attempts at wiggling his way out of his former flatmate's grasp; he changed tactics and gave the blond a petulant pout. "Must I?" he whined slightly.
"You missed her, so yes you must get dressed," John said, pushing the man towards his bedroom door.
"That is utter nonsense," Sherlock bit out, turning to face his friend while holding on to the door knob.
"It's not utter nonsense when you and I can recall you calling me 'Molly' for a grand total of twelve times during the case-solving."
"Yes, I counted."
John Watson gave a smirk when he saw his friend and his woman together near the chiller section. Noticing at the corner of his eye that the short-haired Sherlock had parted from him to wander through the sugar aisle that was near where the two of them were standing, John made his way to Molly and Mary, the former with pink spots on her cheeks while the latter roving her eyes up and down with a smirk he would call dirty.
"Yes. It is I, John," he announced with a bright smile on his face. When he did not receive even the tiniest reply of 'hello', he scrunched up his face and glared at the two women.
Only to find out that their eyes were not on his person. Instead, both of them seemed to be ogling Mr Sherlock Holmes at the sugar aisle over there.
"Mary. You're married to this John over here," he said sulkily, waving a hand at her face to get her attention back on him and pointing at himself. "Was I gone for far too long for you to not remember how I look like?"
Mary brought her eyes back to her husband and gave him a welcoming smile. "Oh, John - no, how could I confuse you and Sherlock?" she chuckled as she hugged him and gave him a peck on the cheek. "You're not the one with the cheekbones, I know."
"With such observational powers, you could rival even Sherlock's," John grumbled.
"Oh, we're talking about a different John anyway, one that Sherlock reminds me - and Molly - very much of."
Upon hearing Molly's name, John glanced at the woman, only to see her looking resolutely down at a packet of frozen peas in the chiller. It went without saying, however, that the pink spots on her cheeks were still there; she was even giving a sort of dreamy smile that John knew all too well from his early days as a flirtatious teen. The sort of dreamy smile he also knew that she would give every time a certain somebody appeared on TV or in the movies.
"Oh, great - is it about that guy again?" he sighed, rolling his eyes.
"It's always about that guy," Mary winked at her husband, looking at the back of her friend's head with a smirk. "In fact, we just recently watched a movie starring him as the villain, and he certainly reminded us of Sherlock now, didn't he, Molly?" she said, poking at Molly with an elbow to her back; the pathologist squeaked out a gasp and waved her elbow away before going back to the peas.
"Thus, the John reference?" John said, pointing a discreet finger at Sherlock.
Before Mary could nod her head as answer, Sherlock materialised beside John Watson and shoved a heavy packet of sugar into his arms. "Here. Now all we need is milk," he concluded, ignoring John's exasperated huff at being forced to carry the sugar. Sensing Mary's and Molly's eyes on him, he nodded at them in greeting; Mary gave him a warm smile while Molly blinked and quickly went back to the same frozen peas that she was perusing.
"So what brings you here to Earth, Commander John Harrison?"
That question from Mary silenced the group for a few seconds.
"Pardon?" Sherlock finally said, frowning at her as if she had grown two heads.
"It's a reference, Sherlock," John said after he rolled his eyes at his wife's smirk when he realised what kind of reference she was making.
"No, I apologise that I don't get what this reference is about or where it comes from." Sherlock glared at his best friend before turning that glare to his best friend's wife. "I don't recall ever using the persona of a 'Commander John Harrison' for any one of my missions or cases before."
"You don't use that persona, but that guy plays him," Mary said with a tiny smirk on her lips.
Sherlock took a millisecond to process the new information in his head before he groaned out in despair. "Him again?" he sighed out a bit too loudly. "What is it that's so great about that man with the ridiculous name?"
"The fact that he has as much a ridiculous name as you do?"
"Not helping, John," he gritted out John's name. Mary laughed as Molly giggled, with her having heard the conversation that was going on so far.
"Besides, I am infinitely better," Sherlock declared, raising his chin up a little bit higher in derision.
John scoffed at the tone he was using. "Oh yeah? At what?" he challenged, knowing that his best mate was just as flawed as any other human being.
Mary laughed out loud again as Molly made a choking sound. Both women seemed to be chuckling at the expense of the two men, and it was frustrating them to no end. John put an end to the women's antics by saying, "Alright, let's just get the things we need and go home already - I cannot stand to be near Sherlock for another hour and I'm sure Molly needs to feed Toby sooner or later, so let's just get a move on."
"Thank you, John. For helping me carry my shopping," Molly said when she and Sherlock arrived at the front door of her apartment.
"It's Sherlock, not John..." he answered, narrowing his eyes at her mistake.
Widening her eyes, she apologised. "Sorry! I- I didn't mean- umm..." Finally at a loss for words, she ducked her head and dug into her pockets for her keys.
Sherlock watched her fumble with her keys and her attempt at unlocking her door on the first try, which was of course near impossible to do, what with her hands shaking too much in the process. He adjusted his grip on Molly's items (did her cat really needed that much cat food?) while trying to deduce what had gotten his pathologist in such a nervous state; it was common for him to come visit her at her home, and he thought they had a sense of camaraderie at this point in time.
It also seemed like she still had not moved on from him, however, he thought (a bit too smugly, but he ignored that). Tom was a decent man, but too decent for a pathologist whose friends consisted of a consulting detective (still the only one in the world), a man who held a 'minor' position in the British government, an ex-Army soldier, a former assassin, a DI, and a landlady whose ex-husband was a drugs lord. It was highly inappropriate behaviour for Sherlock to be gleeful over Molly's and Tom's failed engagement when it was brought to his attention, but he was notorious for being inappropriate anyway, so what was the harm in a little gleefulness, eh?
Once Molly managed to get her door open, she stood to the side to allow Sherlock entry into her abode before she closed the door behind them; Sherlock, in the meantime, wandered into the kitchen, setting her grocery items down on the dining table, where Toby was also taking a rest. He made to scratch the cat on the head, but one glance at the new look the man was sporting and Toby jumped off the table with a loud surprised mewl.
"It's just me, for God's sake, Toby!" Sherlock half-shouted at the retreating figure of the cat; Toby always let him stroke him whenever he came to visit Molly. "Do I look that different?!"
"That hairstyle does wonders," Molly commented, coming in to the kitchen, and started to dig through her groceries; she systematically began to keep everything in their place as Sherlock watched her move with quiet efficiency and fluidity.
"It's just hair," he complained, once again consciously running a hand through said hair.
"It's nice..." she murmured bashfully, turning her head to the side to look at him with a small smile.
"Only because I look like that reference you three were talking about, wasn't I?"
"Speaking of references, here."
After putting away everything and stuffing the plastic bags into one of her drawers, Molly motioned for Sherlock to follow her as she padded into the living room. She bent down a bit in front of the TV set to retrieve something at knee-level, unknowingly giving the other man standing next to her couch a tantalising view of her bottom. Straightening herself up, she crossed over to him and held out a DVD case. "This is where the reference is at."
Perusing the case for a few seconds, Sherlock rolled his eyes as he waved the case in front of her face. "Another one of those action movies again, Molly? Must be very good, then, if you've been watching this for four times already," he said sardonically.
"Mary bought it for me when you went for that top secret mission with John in tow," Molly explained as she walked back to the TV set to get the DVD player working; Sherlock, once knowing what her intentions were, sighed and forced himself to disrobe himself of his large coat and scarf, mumbling to himself all the while about the things he was willing to do just to continue being in the company of his pathologist.
Molly continued, oblivious to the soft mutterings of Sherlock behind her. "She was really bored, so once she saw this DVD for sale, she told me she immediately thought of me, and how it would make me terribly happy."
"And it actually made you terribly happy?" he mumbled when she came over to sit beside him on the sofa.
"Terribly so," she smirked back and pressed the 'play' button on the remote control.
Sherlock sometimes wished he was one of those ordinary human beings who could fall asleep while watching a movie they had no interest in knowing about in the first place. God, was his brain rotting at all these things he forced himself to sit through. And those lens flares - was there such a thing as too much lens flares? Because if there was, this movie would be a perfect example for it.
"That thing he calls a 'disguise' is as close to useless as it can get - we already know who he is at first glance; 'mysterious' doesn't even cover it," Sherlock complained when the figure clad in black holding on to the big guns appeared on the TV screen
"But the crew didn't," Molly replied absentmindedly, eyes fixed ahead on the screen.
"Oh, yeah - all the more reason to just flip the hood off and for them to gasp dramatically at the reveal, isn't it?"
"You're not happy watching this, aren't you?"
Sherlock stared with unblinking eyes as the villain made his speech about his past; he heard Molly shifting beside him on the sofa as she wrapped her arms around herself awkwardly.
"The things we'd do for our family," she murmured, and Sherlock picked it up; he glanced sideways at her, to see her with a small smile. The broken voice of the villain broke through the silence between them, and the detective took in the words said resolutely by the character.
My crew is my family. Is there anything you will not do for your family?
Three years ago, Sherlock Holmes jumped off a building to fake his death when the threats against the lives of the people he were close to were real, and went on a hiatus to take down a criminal network to ensure that it would no longer be in operation; he did all that - suffered through all the physical and emotional and psychological pain - to ensure the safety of the people he could confidently call 'friends', and who he now saw as part of his dysfunctional family. It was true - was there anything one would not do for his family?
"And that's the end!" Molly announced, pulling Sherlock out of his Mind Palace.
"Yes, end. Finally."
"Oh, come on, Sherlock - it wasn't that bad," she said, pushing him lightly on the shoulder as she got up to keep the DVD back in its case.
"Not bad - it's very bad," he said as he too got up.
"I know you don't mean that," she continued talking cheerfully. "I could have sworn there were unshed tears in your eyes during that time the captain was in the-"
She abruptly stopped talking when she felt two large hands on each of her shoulders, pulling her back and turning her around; she came face to face with the sight of Sherlock with his eyes darkened considerably.
"Speaking of bad," he whispered as he manoeuvred them both to the empty space next to the TV set, "I see you have taken a liking to bad boys."
"What?" Blinking up at him, Molly flushed red. "I don't like evil guys who-"
"I don't mean evil; there's a difference between evil and bad," Sherlock muttered. He moved Molly until her back hit the wall behind her, and he swiftly invaded her personal space; breathing in the scent of her with his nose buried in the side of her neck, he whispered, "Moriarty is the epitome of evil. I am, however, the definition of 'bad'."
"You- you are, are you...?" she whispered back, one hand already instinctively raised up to go to his hair.
"Yes - if you could see into my mind what I was thinking about when you bent down to get the DVD player working-"
Sherlock was stopped by a soft giggle that originated from the warm body he was eagerly pressing himself into. "What?" he said petulantly, all traces of his seductive voice gone for the moment.
"Sorry," Molly tried to say, but the giggle never stopped. He huffed and took a tiny step back, one that would give him just enough space for him to cross his arms across his chest.
"Aww, don't be like that," she said with a smile, but her lips were giving away indications that a laugh was going to erupt from her sometime soon.
"I won't be like this until you tell me what has gotten you into a fit," he glared. Then he began to blush. "Have I made a wrong deduction, about being bad, because if I had, you didn't need to-"
"Oh no, Sherlock, no - not that!" Molly cooed soothingly, knowing his ego was bruised at the moment. "It's just your hair," she continued, rising up on her tiptoes to stroke at his short black hair. "You don't have your curls at the moment, and I'm so used to the feel of them when I run through your hair that I was expecting that same feeling just now, but all I got was air for awhile until I decided to press into your head; that's when I remembered the new hairstyle you got going on, so I laughed."
"Well, that was very kind of you - to laugh at me."
"Oh, Sherlock - I'm sorry." Molly pressed an apologetic kiss to the corner of Sherlock's lips and pulled back; she nibbled at her bottom lip as she looked up at him under her lashes. "As for bad boys, umm...you're not wrong in that regard."
His ego finally soothed by the kiss Molly gave him, it swelled even bigger when she admitted he had been right in his deduction; the corner of Sherlock's lips curled up in a smug smirk as he stepped forward, invading her space once more. "I am hardly ever wrong," he said in a hushed and deep voice as he brushed his lips against hers.
"That, I agree," she whispered against his mouth. "You were saying something about what you were thinking about as I got the DVD player working?"
Sherlock picked Molly up by her waist and pressed her gently against the wall as she, in turn, adjusted her legs and brought them up to wrap them around his waist. Once she was secure in his arms and hold, he pulled away from the wall and carried her light weight through the well-known route that would get them to her bedroom. "You would blush scarlet, Dr Hooper, if you ever know what goes through my mind when you are concerned."
"I would?" she teased him, hugging herself tight against his firm taut body as her lips nibbled lightly at the skin underneath his ear.
He chuckled deeply in response, enjoying her ministrations. Pushing the door open, he stopped upon entering the bedroom to whisper darkly into her ear. "You would. I am, after all, a bad boy with a very naughty imagination."