and this is it. Thank you again to everyone who reviewed, alerted, favourited and read. Enjoy


17 hours later

Sherlock's voice sounded bored.

'John? You can speak you know?'

It had been twenty minutes since John had picked up the paper, only to see Sherlock's face plastered all over it. While his face was plastered all over Molly's. Molly Hooper. Molly. Hooper.

It had been four minutes since John had woken Sherlock, demanding an explanation, waving the headline in his face. 'Boffin Holmes jumps again... into love'.

Despite the evidence, John never expected Sherlock's answer.

'Molly and I are a thing now.'

So he'd sat down, absorbing it all in. Someone like Sherlock would eat Molly alive. Sherlock didn't even like people. Irene Adler had been the closest thing to affection Sherlock had ever experienced, and that had just been... weird.

'I didn't know you even liked Molly...?' asked John. Sherlock sighed, violin in hand.

'What you don't know could fill multiple libraries John.'

John frowned, staring daggers at Sherlock.

'Is this some kind of plot?'.

At this, Sherlock looked affronted. He rolled his eyes angrily.

'No. I'm not completely ruthless' he spat sardonically.

John tried a different tactic.

'Are you sure about this?'

Sherlock slowly placed the violin on the side, clasped his hands together, fingers interlacing.

'Completely.'

That was all John needed to know.

Two months

Molly was pretty sure it wasn't common to have a date in a morgue. With your... boyfriend's (?) best friend sitting yards away. But then again what was common about Sherlock? They'd been tentatively attempting to 'evolve' for the past two months, and Molly couldn't remember being happier. Unfortunately for the past week Sherlock and John had been busy on a case, the 'apparent' suicide of an Olympic class athlete, which Sherlock believed was now a political assassination. It was for this reason that Sherlock had insisted that Molly had her lunch with him, while he let John do some kind of test on skin under the victims nails. And there they were, Molly and Sherlock sharing coffee, while John looked mildly confused into a microscope.

She had to admit she felt a little self conscious, but Sherlock's hand enclosing around hers helped her to forget it. She'd been asking him about his case, and Sherlock had immediately started, barely stopping for breath as he explained his theories. She didn't attempt to interrupt, she liked hearing his voice, and he liked to talk, so it all worked out well really.

Until he got a text from Lestrade.

Sherlock immediately got up, letting go of her hand.

'John, there had been another suicide! There's not a second to lose' and he ran out the room, his steps slowly fading. Molly frowned, a sinking feeling overtaking her. He hadn't even said goodbye. Sure, it wasn't exactly a Sherlock thing to do, but still. It hurt. She noticed John looking at her, and gave him a wobbly smile. He shrugged back, as if to say 'That's Sherlock'. It made her want to cry.

'Oh and Molly come round tonight when you're finished work.' came the voice of Sherlock, his head poking through the door. Molly jumped a little.

'I..Oh right, okay' she said with smile. Sherlock smiled back.

'For God's sake John, hurry up' finished Sherlock, before leaving again. Molly beamed.

Not bored yet.

Four months

'I'm scared' she whispered, not daring to look at his face.

'Why are you scared? You've done this before. There is very little chance of pain, and considering that I haven't done this before, I have nothing for you to compare unfavourably against.' reasoned Sherlock, scientific as ever.

'You're good at everything' she argued, her voice almost sad. He raised a hand, placing his fingers under her chin, lifting her eyes to meet his.

'That's not true. Just most things.' he said with a light-hearted chuckle. She giggled in response. He continued.

'If you don't-'

'I do' she interrupted quickly. 'It was my idea. And I meant it.'

'Good' he replied before leaning in to kiss her. She responded enthusiastically, her hands clinging to his shoulders, and then slowly, to make sure he knew she was okay, she moved them, until they lingered over the top button of his shirt.

Both pulled away, eyes meeting. Molly suppressed her nervous laughter. They retained eye contact, while her shaking fingers began to undo his shirt. She could feel herself blushing, but refused to bulk, or he'd never let her attempt this again. He moved his hands to undo her own cardigan, but her fingers beat his, immediately pulling it off. He frowned a little. She just shrugged. He knew she was more self conscious than him. He allowed her to take off her own t shirt and undergarments, though her hands instantly went up to cover herself. His own hands rose to cover over hers, and slowly began to pull them away.

She looked beautiful. The epitome of attractiveness.

He kissed her. Hard. His hands gripping her closely. She gasped a little, a blush spreading on her face, and slowly across her body. Interesting. The kiss was chaotic, frenzied, and it left him a little light headed. He was still getting used to wanting it; the close proximity.

Within minutes both were nude. Molly was blushing furiously, while Sherlock was unnervingly calm. They were both in Molly's bed, Sherlock hovering over Molly. She felt acutely alert. The blood was rushing to her head, and she was still shaking. She had imagined them in this position more times than she liked to acknowledge, but this was more. It was better. It was real.

He kissed her neck slowly, over her pulse, before meeting her eyes again, a wry smile placed there.

'Molly, take a breath'.

She did as he asked and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. And it worked. Until he kissed her neck again, causing her body to instinctively curve against his, both now flushing, a little moan to escaping her lips. He gave a small, nearly inaudible grunt, that created a surge of power through Molly. His eyes were bright now, looking at her, waiting for some kind of confirmation.

He could be courteous when he wanted.

They had made the necessary precautions. The pill. Condoms.

She nodded, suddenly shy. It vaguely reminded her of the night she lost her virginity. She tried to block that out.

Her body was stiff, her eyes avoiding his, her breathing suddenly erratic again. He needed to avert her attention. He kissed her, the intense kind that made her weak at the knees. He needed this to be good for her.

What if he was bad? Oh how he hated to be the novice.

She felt him enter as he kissed her. She felt embarrassed of course, but she didn't care. His shoulders slowly rising and falling above her, his hands holding himself up, placed on either side of her head, while his head lolled against her neck, a slight sheen across it. Her hands explored the expanse of his back, while her pelvis synced with his, creating a glorious rhythm. She moaned a little, her movements becoming more feral, more desperate. And then it was over.

And it was perfect. He was perfect.

It was perfect. She was perfect.

Three years and three months...

'W..what? Are you serious, I can't tell if you're joking Sherlock, because this isn't funny...?' asked Molly, her voice barely disguising her disbelief, and, though she hated to admit it, her panic.

'Molly, don't be like that, it's an important case' replied Sherlock, not faltering from packing his luggage, his back still to her.

'But what if I go into labour and you're not here?' her hands instinctively falling to cup her swollen stomach.

'Molly you're not due for another six weeks, the likelihood of you going into labour within the next two weeks, judging from the foetus's gestation rate, is highly remote' he countered.

'But there is a chance Sherlock. Please. I feel safer when you're here.' she near begged him.

He finally turned to her, an indulgent smile on his face.

'Molly, you're are panicking. Take a breath. Now, Sarah will be staying here while John and I are gone. She has a good practical and theoretical knowledge of pregnancy, which could even potentially rival mine, after all, she has actually given birth.'

Molly instinctively smiled at the thought of baby Thomas. She quickly neutralised her face, a trick she'd learnt from Sherlock.

'Please Sherlock' she whispered, leaning her head against his chest.

'Molly, children require money. I need to earn money, as you have told me repeatedly.'

She blushed at that. She'd mentioned it twice. Okay maybe a little more than that.

'Okay' she relented, moving away from him, and turning away. She heard him sigh.

'You're mad' he stated. He knew. Her confirmation was irrelevant. But she still gave it.

'Yes.'

Three years, four months and two weeks

'Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.'

Fucking ouch.

Nothing prepares you for it. Child birth. Molly had thought she'd experienced the very meaning of pain when she'd dislocated her knee when she was eleven. She was wrong. So very wrong. The epidural was wearing off, and the pain was so intense, it was surreal. The pain was so disarming, so strong, that it was almost numb, she felt distant from it in a respect. Her body was burning, sweating. All she wanted to do was push, everything told her to push. Except Sherlock, and the midwife.

'Molly, don't push yet, prepare to crown' said Sherlock calmly, as if they were discussing the weather. Oh she wanted to punch him. She had done since he'd returned a month ago. Sherlock had abandoned her when she had specifically asked him not to. That may have been typical Sherlock behaviour before they'd decided to try this 'parenting lark' but she'd assume he'd at least understand the seriousness of this. She was both angry at him for not changing, and angry at herself for expecting him to.

'Fuck off Sherlock!'

'Push now dear' half yelled the kindly midwife. So she did.

She could feel the tears streaming down her face, but she just kept pushing until she thought she would burst a blood vessel. She internally prayed she wasn't dying, because she was sure this is what it felt like. She opened her eyes, watching Sherlock stand next to the midwife, staring intently at her vagina. A stray feeling of embarrassment came and went quickly, triumphed by all encompassing pain. She pushed again.

And then bliss.

A baby crying. She couldn't see it, but she could hear it. The baby. It was as though her heart swelled, expanding out of her chest, just to contain all the love she felt in that moment. It radiated through her. She knew she was in pain and tired, but that cry overtook it all.

'It's a girl'

The student midwives, with whom she was sure Sherlock was watching closely, took the baby to be cleaned, while the after birth was delivered. And then she was there in her arms. And she was perfect. Actual perfection. Even more perfect than Sherlock, which Molly would have once refuted. All fingers and toes. She already had her father's cupid bow lips. Molly started to cry, the happiness was so potent. Molly looked to Sherlock finally, no longer angry; he'd given her this gift, which overrode everything in existence. His face was almost grave with emotion. His eyes were fixed on their darling little girl; and while she couldn't confirm it, Molly thought that his face resembled that of a blind man, seeing for the first time.

'I thought for sure she would be a girl' finally spoke Molly, her voice taking a dream like quality. Sherlock seemed to snap back to reality. 'I thought we could name her Charles. Or I did when I thought she was a boy. Obviously not now.' oh she was so tired.

'Darwin?' he asked, his voice hoarse. He cleared his throat, though his eyes didn't leave the baby, who slept silently against Molly's bosom. Molly nodded carefully, still blushing even in the circumstances. How he had come to adore that blush. Sherlock flashed a quick grin. He knew in that moment they had accomplished their goal. They were eternally evolved now. He may not have believed in the notion of love, but in that moment, in a moment of weakness, the only moment of weakness he would ever have, he had to admit, he loved that little girl. And her mother. And everything the word suggested. Irrationally.

'What about Charlotte? For a name? It is a variant of Charles after all' suggested Molly.

Charlotte Holmes?

Charlotte Holmes. The perfect name for their flawless child.

Thirteen years.

'Mr Holmes, Ms Hooper, this kind of behaviour isn't acceptable' implored the furiously red faced male on the other side of the desk. Charlotte's maths teacher. Mr Dale. He turned to the child sitting in between the couple, her chestnut hair in a messy pony tail, her school uniform crinkled, while her legs swung freely and exuberantly around.

'Charlotte, lying is wrong, and you need to apologise.'

'She will do no such thing' said Sherlock, his voice full of that familiar authority. Molly sighed, and resisted the urge to smirk. She reached out for Charlotte's hand and gave it a squeeze. The girl looked up and gave a toothy smile to her mother. Sherlock continued.

'Charlotte was not lying. You are clearly having an affair with Mrs Pennell. You still have lipstick smear in the pores on your neck.'

'And he smells of Mrs Pennell's perfume too daddy' added Charlotte, beaming at her father, who beamed back. Sherlock sent a wink in Molly's direction, who stifled a laugh. Everytime.

Mr Dale paled.

That was the one and only time Charlotte Holmes was ever called a liar. At least to her face.

Twenty three years

'Are you bored yet?' she asked again, the same question she had asked almost everyday for twenty three years.

'Never' was his reply. And it always would be.