Normally, I spread out chapter postings a bit more, but I got such a good responce to the first part, I couldn't help but post the next one (I also felt the first part was a bit short). Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback so far! I was a bit worried, as this is my first foray into Sherlock fanfic and he is SUCH a difficult character to write well.


Molly fretted about Sherlock for the next three days. Of course, she knew he was all right. Someone who so easily faked his own death would have no problem maneuvering around after said death. She had been reading the papers cover to cover to find out if Sherlock had been discovered alive. It was silly of her to do so. Sherlock Holmes still being alive would be front-page news. The papers were still filled with SUCIDE OF FRAUD DETECTIVE.

Molly still had things to do besides worry about Sherlock. She had to complete her part in the ruse of his demise. She had to take care of the unclaimed body that they had used to fill in for Sherlock's still animate one. She made sure the body was boxed up and sent off to the crematorium before anyone got a good look at it. She had stopped by 221B Baker Street to check on John Watson. He hadn't answered. Mrs. Hudson had found her outside on the stoop, ringing the buzzer. She gave Molly a cuppa and explained that John had not taken any visitors since Sherlock's death. She then asked how Molly was holding up. Molly could not think of a time she had felt worse. Mrs. Hudson reminded Molly far too much of her grandmother and lying to her- even with the best intentions- made her feel dirty. Still, she did her duty and feigned shock and sadness and all of the other things you're supposed to feel when you've lost someone you love.

"He really liked you, dear," Mrs. Hudson had said as she poured Molly another cup of tea. "I could tell. I know he had funny ways of showing it, but he did."

Molly averted her gaze. "He liked that I let him into the lab."

"Don't be silly," Mrs. Hudson replied. "Brilliant man he was, but he was like a seven year old. The only thing he knew to do with a girl was pull her pigtails."

Molly couldn't help but blush and thought that Sherlock had enjoyed pulling everyone's pigtails. Still, he had said she that she counted and he trusted her. She supposed that was the Sherlock equivalent of liking someone.

She hadn't known what else to say to Mrs. Hudson and had taken her leave of her. She returned to her home, a bag of takeaway curry in her hand. She let out a small start when she saw Sherlock sitting on her sofa, fingers steepled. His normally full curls had been severely slicked back and she saw a hat and sunglasses on her kitchen table, no doubt part of a disguise.

"We know Moriarty is alive, but I haven't been able to find any sign of him. He has gone underground. Very underground. He has spent years cultivating the ability to disappear without a trace. It is likely he will not resurface until he wants to. But what does he want? What is he waiting for?"

"Are you talking to me?" Molly asked, confused as she set her bag of takeaway down onto the table."

"No, I am not speaking to you," Sherlock replied, correctly her not so subtly. "I am speaking to Toby."

Molly arched a brow. "You're speaking to my cat?"

"Hm. Yes." Sherlock nodded. "He is rather more responsive than my skull, but less argumentative than John. I believe I have found the perfect balance at last." He got to his feet and began to pace, walking over Molly's coffee table without breaking stride. "However, I have reached the apex of assistance a feline can give me. What does Moriarty want now?" He reached into his pocket and drew out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. He lit one of the cigarettes and inhaled deeply. "He has already discredited me and he believes I am now dead. What will be his next move?"

"You can't smoke!" Molly exclaimed.

Sherlock cocked his head towards Molly curiously. "I am dead, Molly. I am hardly in any danger."

"That's not how it works, Sherlock," Molly replied. "Besides, my landlord will..."

"Your landlord allows you to keep Toby, meaning he is very lax on the air and cleanliness policy within the complex. He is also growing cannabis in the boiler room."

Molly waved her hands ineffectually before she finally settled on placed them on her hips. "Well... Maybe I don't want my things to smell like smoke."

Sherlock blinked at Molly. "Are you standing up to me?"

Molly let out a small squeak. "I... Well..." She then straightened herself up. This was her home. She wasn't going to allow Sherlock to ruin her things just because he felt like it. "Yes." She crossed her arms over her chest, though the movement was highly unnatural and awkward for her. "I am. I don't want you smoking in my flat."

Sherlock blinked once again. "Interesting." He threw himself down onto the sofa. "You will need to go to the chemist's and get me patches then. I can't walk into shops anymore. I will require ten boxes. For now."

Molly sat down at the kitchen table. "How did you get cigarettes if you're not able to walk into a shop?"

"One of your neighbors is hiding from his wife that he has begun smoking again. He is stashing them on the front stoop." He sighed. "Moriarty has no need to hide. I was the only one who was aware of his apparent suicide and he was able to clear his name by posing as Richard Brook. What possible reason could he have for continuing to hide?"

Molly wasn't sure if Sherlock was really speaking to her or Toby or if he were just speaking out loud. "Well, you said Moriarty is like you..."

Sherlock sat bolt upright. "Of course! It was right in front of me!" He put a hand up in front of his face. "It was so close to me, I wasn't able to actually see it! Oh, that almost never happens. Rather exhilarating. Molly Hooper, you are brilliant!"

Molly frowned slightly. "What did I say?"

"Moriarty is like me. I was able to figure out he faked his death, he figured out I faked my own. Now Moriarty is trying to figure out a way to prove I'm still alive by luring me out using the mystery of how he was able to fake his death."

Molly rested against her hand and looked at Sherlock askance. "How do you not get a headache being you, Sherlock?"

"That was what the morphine was for," Sherlock muttered absent-mindedly.

Molly frowned. "Pardon?"

Sherlock waved a hand dismissively. "Never mind."

Molly bit her lower lip as she looked over Sherlock. "So... What are you going to do? If Moriarty is trying to lure you out using the mystery of what happened to him, you shouldn't go after him."

One of Sherlock's eyebrows rose slightly. "Or I should find him first."

"But Sherlock-" Molly started to protest.

Sherlock shook his head. "If I don't find him first, if I don't try to lure him out using my own continued existence, then he'll up the game. He'll go after John, Mrs. Hudson... He knows what will bring me out."

Molly frowned deeply. "So you're going to save him the trouble."

"Moriarty and I are playing a constant game of chess. We are both looking at the same board. It is just a matter of finding an opening before the other."

Molly nodded and smiled sadly at Sherlock. "Does that make me a pawn?"

Sherlock seemed to consider this question. He then turned back to the couch. "I believe I am tired. I suppose five days is a long time to be awake. You should get some rest yourself. You are one of the few in the Pathology department with any idea what they are doing. With me unable to solve crimes your job will be much more difficult."

Without another word, Sherlock threw himself down onto the couch, back facing away from Molly. She sighed deeply, walking towards her bedroom. "Just don't get yourself killed for real. I'm having enough problems with you being fake dead."