Sherlock

Characters: John, Sherlock and Molly.

Time Frame after season 2 episode 3.

Disclaimer: They aren't mine. I just love them.

I can't believe how many people have taken the time to read this story. Thank you, all of you. Far too many to mention. Remember Moriarty was real, and #believeinSherlock.

This is just a little epilog, as I felt there was perhaps a couple more things Sherlock needed to do….

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As they walked through the hospital, Sherlock spotted the admissions desk and turned to Molly. "Molly, I need another favor."

"I'm not stealing any more blood packs for you," she said firmly.

Sherlock shook his head, "no not this time. Can you check to see if Ted Longman was admitted at all in the last week? Probably with bronchitis or respiratory failure."

Molly nodded and went to speak to the receptionist, showing her ID badge.

John frowned, puzzled. "Who is Ted Longman?"

"A friend."

Molly soon returned and led Sherlock and John to one side of the reception hall. "Yes. A Robert Longman was admitted. He's up on one of the general wards. Do you want to see him?"

Sherlock nodded and followed Molly and John into the lift that took them up several floors to the wards. Molly made enquiries at the ward desk, and nurse pointed towards the end of a long line of beds.

Sherlock approached the bed slowly, with Molly and John hanging back.

Ted lay in the bed, looking much frailer than when Sherlock had last seen him, at the Soup Kitchen. Sensing a presence, Ted opened his eyes and tried to focus.

Sherlock decided the need for pretense was over. "Hello Ted," he said in his usual tone. "How are you feeling?"

Ted squinted at him. He could see Sherlock, but for a moment didn't connect him to the streetwise Benji. Ted tried to speak, but ending up having a coughing fit instead.

Instantly Molly stepped forward helping support Ted into a seated position and passing him a cup of water.

"Thank you young lady." Said Ted once he had his breath back. He stared at Sherlock again. "You scrub up well Ben."

Sherlock smiled, and pulled up a chair. "Actually it's Sherlock."

Ted grinned, "well blow me down. All that 'I believe', that was you?"

Sherlock indicated to Molly who was reading Ted's notes. "Yes, well that was Dr Hooper here. Molly meet Ted. Ted, this is Molly."

"You're Jacko's Angel, aint cha?" said Ted delightedly. He glanced at Sherlock. "Is she the reason you're here?"

"In more ways than you can possibly imagine," said Sherlock.

"I always thought there was something odd about you," said Ted. "You never seemed to quite fit. You had the lingo, the look, and you knew about the darker things out there, but somehow you never looked desperate enough." Ted looked him up and down. "You look the part now. A proper gent. Clean"

Sherlock recognized the double meaning in Ted's words. He touched Ted's hand. "That part was true. I never meant to deceive you. I just needed to hide. To save my friends."

Ted looked up and Molly and John, "They safe now?"

"Yes, Ted. They are safe now."

"Good." Ted sighed. "Proper worn me out you have. Go on off with ya. I'm sure you have better things to do than sit with an old man." Ted leaned back and closed his eyes. "I need my beauty sleep."

"I'd like to come back tomorrow, if that's all right?" Sherlock asked.

Ted waved wearily, "if you want. Ben, if you want."

Sherlock, John and Molly left the ward in silence. John and Molly glancing at each other. It was only in the lift that Sherlock asked, "How long?"

"Not long," said John. "Days possibly a week at best."

Molly grabbed Sherlock's hand, and squeezed. "I'm sorry Sherlock. Was he one of the homeless people that helped you?"

Sherlock nodded. "He used to watch out for some of the younger boys. Tried to teach them, to stay out of trouble. He tried to keep me out of trouble."

As they exited the lift, Sherlock absently mindedly kept hold of Molly's hand, and they made their way outside to catch a cab.

During the journey to Baker Street, Molly suddenly remembered that Mycroft had yet to be informed of his younger brothers return.

With extreme reluctance, and only after Molly's protestations, Sherlock borrowed John's phone and sent a brief message. "221B, now." Molly wasn't happy, but it was better than Mycroft seeing Sherlock's face on one of the many surveillance cameras that he controlled.

Upon their return to Baker Street, Molly and John had broken the news to Mrs Hudson of Sherlock's return by bringing her upstairs to John and Sherlock's flat and seating her down with a large glass of sherry. Her shriek of pure delight brought Sherlock running, at which point Mrs Hudson smacked him on the arm, and then gave him the biggest hug he'd ever had from her.

Immediately an impromptu tea party commenced, with Mrs Hudson providing cakes and biscuits, until they were interrupted by Mycrofts arrival. After shaking hands, Mycroft actually pulled Sherlock into a brotherly embrace. "Good show dear boy," were his only words of welcome but John thought he heard a small tremor of emotion there.

Sherlock was pleased to see that John hadn't made any significant changes to 221B. He'd removed a couple of Sherlock's rather more unpleasant experiment remnants, and had actually dusted. But everything was in place, including the skull on the mantel piece.

Mrs Hudson demanded lots more details of his exploits than either John or Lestrade had requested, and even Mycroft's seemed surprised by his brother's adventures.

Sherlock seemed to great delight in playing up Molly visit to Irene's, much to Molly's embarrassment. He also made it clear that Irene was off limits to Mycroft as well.

John and Mycroft's opinion of Molly was raised even higher when Sherlock described her various deductions and interventions during this period.

However Molly stepped in to shut down any questioning about how he had found out so much about Jim/Moriarty from her. Saying only that her and Sherlock had managed to have a very frank and open discussion about him. Sherlock had never been good at recognizing his mistakes, but he appreciated Molly's attempts at protecting him that that rather significant error in judgment.

It was Molly's stomach suddenly grumbling, that made them realize it was after 7pm and they had been talking for hours. This led everyone to complaining they were hungry.

Mycroft immediately offered dinner, at his expense, and a brief phone call brought two large black government looking cars to the door.

Mycroft escorted them all to a rather expensive restaurant, where they were shown to a private dining room the size of an Olympic swimming pool, with a table set for 7 arranged at one end. He assured them that in a private room, dress code would not be a problem.

Gold and crystal chandeliers it the room, with light reflecting off gilded and burnished surfaces at every turn. Mirrors in turn bounced the light around further, making the sumptuous decor gleam. Large tasteful oil paintings were displayed around the room, except at the far end, where a pair of large red and gold curtains concealed the end of the room.

Much to everyone's surprise Lestrade and Anthea were also there, waiting for them. "She arrived at my house about 20 minutes ago. Told me I was needed for an urgent meeting." He explained.

Mycroft smiled. "It somehow wouldn't be right without you."

Molly feeling very underdressed, looked around in awe and amazement at the surroundings. "Wow. I bet Buckingham Palace doesn't have quite this much bling."

John and Sherlock looked at each. "No, not really," said John finally.

Mycroft immediately ordered several bottles of exceptionally good wine, and conversation continued where it left off, with Anthea putting down her ever present phone, and joining in on several occasions.

Everyone had just finished their first course, when the curtains at the far end of the room opened. They had been concealing a raised staged area, where around 10 musicians were seated. The conductor stood and bowed at Mycroft, who nodded graciously.

The room was suddenly full of the most delicate music, beautiful, but not overpowering enough to make conversation difficult.

Sherlock stood and walked over to Molly. He offered her his hand, "may I", he asked.

Molly's jaw dropped. "What? Dance here?"

"Yes, here." Sherlock removed the napkin from her lap, and taking her hand, gently led her to the dance floor.

Acutely aware that everyone was watching them, Molly was blushing. "I thought you said you didn't dance."

Sherlock expertly maneuvered her into position, holding her gently, "no, I said I danced if absolutely necessary, and only with the right partner."

"But I can't dance," she whispered.

"Molly. Just look at me, and let me guide you." Slowly and gently, constantly looking into her eyes he guided Molly across the dance floor. Moving in time to the music of a beautiful waltz.

For a moment the rest of the group watched the couple on the floor. Molly moving with a grace that John had never seen before, Sherlock totally caught up in the moment.

John soon joined them with Mrs Hudson, despite her objections about her hip, and after several kicks under the table from Lestrade, Mycroft asked Anthea to dance.

Finally at the end of the piece, Sherlock drew Molly close, bent down and kissed her head. "See you can dance."

Smiling Molly shrugged. "Perhaps I just needed the right partner."

The rest of the meal was served, and the 7 friends chatted into the small hours.

Finally and reluctantly they left the restaurant. John insisted on escorting Mrs Hudson home, Sherlock escorting Molly.

Outside Molly's flat, Sherlock walked her to the door.

"Do you want to come in for coffee?" asked Molly, as she extracted her door keys from her bag.

"No Molly. It's late, and I think you need to rest. We still need to see Lestrade tomorrow for statements."

Molly turned to look at him. His face was part shadowed, and part lit by the moonlight. "Thank you Sherlock, for a lovely evening. I'm truly glad you're OK, and can go back to your old life."

"Perhaps I don't want my old life. Not exactly anyway." He paused, and took her hand. "You know me too well to expect anything other than the absolute truth."

Molly nodded.

"You talk too much and say almost the first thing that comes into your head. But you've been amazing too and I like having you around," he finally admitted. "I wouldn't like it, but I would understand if that might not be enough for you. But it's all I have for the moment."

Much to his surprise Molly leant in and gave him a gentle hug. "Sherlock, right now, that's enough."

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Well that's all folks. I was happy where I finished chapter 14, but I just felt I need to look after Ted, and give Molly one dance with Sherlock.

What do you think? All comments, good, bad or indifferent are very welcome.

All mistakes are mine.

Thanks to all who reviewed, especially Nocturnias who stuck with this from the very beginning, Eccentricpetal for very positive comments and all those who read every chapter.

#believeinSherlock