And so it happens:
They stand on the platform.
"So," she says, shifting her striped bag to her left shoulder, "I guess this is it."
"Yes." responds the tall bespectacled ginger standing beside her.
A train stops in front of them. Many people get off, few people get on and it shuffles past in a rush of air.
"Thank you." Sherlock says, "For everything."
Molly swallows around the lump in her throat.
"Molly, are you sure you're alright?"
She looks up at him, his face full of concern, "I'm sad. That you have to leave. Which, I mean, I guess I shouldn't be sad. I mean, I'm lucky. I get to know you're alive."
"You're still allowed to be sad. And frustrated. You have to keep your knowledge hidden. But that will change once I leave. Because then I'll be gone. And you'll be sad for the same reason as everyone else."
"I don't want you to go."
"It's only for a little while."
"Three years is not a little while, Sherlock."
"It could very well be less than that."
Another train flies past, not stopping this time, and a gust of air follows it, trying to catch up.
"I'm just trying to keep you, and everyone, safe. Staying with you for four months was risky enough."
Molly looks up at him as the waiting time for his train counts down from ten. Her eyes swim with tears. One slips down her cheek, but Sherlock stops it with his finger.
"Don't cry, Molly."
She cries all the same.
Molly buries her face in Sherlock's chest and he hesitantly puts his arms around her.
He holds her for a moment, making sure he's not holding too tightly.
He gently pushes her away to half an arm's length.
"We wouldn't want you looking like I just died, now would we?" he says as he brushes the tears from her face. She laughs quietly. Their eyes lock fully for the first time that day, stormy grey and deep brown.
She kisses him.
He blinks once or twice, then closes his eyes.
Molly slides her arms around his neck and pulls herself closer on her tiptoes. All she can feel is his lips against hers, and it's like everything she imagined kissing Sherlock would be. Only it's real, which makes it all the better.
Sherlock tilts his head and the kiss is deepened. Their mouths press together in an almost frantic dance. Molly breaks the short and explosive kiss, closing her mouth once more around his, until it's lips against lips and then no contact.
Molly pulls back.
It's time for Sherlock to leave.
"Goodbye, Molly Hooper." he says, enveloping her in one last short embrace.
"Goodbye, Sherlock Holmes." she whispers, returning the embrace then stepping away.
The tube doors open and Sherlock steps on, keeping his eyes on Molly's until the train turns the corner, out of sight.
It would be a long time until Molly saw her friend again.
But she would wait.
And she would watch.
And she would welcome him back, a hero.
A/N – The end. Thank you for going through this story with me, it was an adventure. I hope you enjoyed reading it more than I did writing it (which shouldn't be too hard, it was a pain at times). I'll miss you all! Until the next time!