A/N: You guys! Seriously, YOU GUYS! I'm overwhelmed by the response to the last chapter! Thank you all!
Here is the last entry for this 5 + 1 ... Sherlock returns John's favors.
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
and I. One year after "The Reichenbach Fall"
Once he began, Sherlock never bothered to pause or consider his actions. Now he stood, backed against the kitchen counter, staring in horror at the plate of toasties he just made. Feeling panic bubble up through his chest, he ran from the kitchen, into the hall, and out the door of 221B. Once he felt that he had put enough distance between himself and the kitchen, he pulled out his mobile.
Frantically, he dialed Molly's number and waited for her response.
"Hello, this is – "
"Molly you've got to come down here!"
Back at the mortuary, Molly excused herself from her colleagues.
"Come down where?" she hissed.
Sherlock paced frantically along Cumberland Street.
"Yes, of course, you dolt!"
Molly pinched the bridge of her nose. A year of close contact with Sherlock had utterly shattered her idolized vision of him.
"Why do you need me to come over to 221B?"
"Because I've done something completely, monumentally stupid! Hurry, Molly!"
Finding an empty classroom, Molly locked herself inside and took a deep breath.
"Sherlock," she asked seriously, "what did you do?"
"I made him a plate of toasties!"
"I made John a plate of toasted sandwiches!"
"Sherlock! Sherlock, this is why you can't go near Baker Street. You're in hiding!"
"Oh, well spotted, Molly!"
"Sherlock, I'm serious. Why did you do that?"
"I hacked into Mycroft's surveillance on the flat, so I can keep an eye on John and Mrs. Hudson –"
"Because you love it so much when Mycroft does it," Molly muttered.
" – and according to the footage, John hasn't left the flat in days expect to work. And the kitchen cameras haven't been activated, so he hasn't been going in there at all!"
"He probably isn't very hungry, Sherlock. It's...well, it's coming up on a year since you jumped. He's very upset."
"I know! And when I'm upset, John always makes food for me! I needed to make him a toastie! But there weren't any groceries, so I went to Tesco's – "
"You went to Tesco's?"
" – and I bought him groceries. You have to say that it was you! You have to go over there right now and say that you did it!"
Molly sighed and began heading toward the locker room.
"I can be there in twenty-five minutes. When does he get home from the surgery?"
"Sherlock! It's 5:15 now!"
"I did say to hurry!"
As it was, Molly had just enough time to let herself in with the spare key and set down her coat before she heard John heading up the stairs. He seemed to pause at the door, so she called out to let him know she was there.
"Just me!" she said as he pushed open the door.
"Hello, Molly," John mumbled, heading straight for the sofa.
"Sorry to just barge in here. I was worried."
"Thanks, Molly," he replied bitterly.
John wasn't entirely sure when his tiny circle of friends would stop treating him with kid gloves. Sherlock had died nearly a year ago, and they were still behaving as though he was going to follow him straight off St. Bart's.
Probably because the thought crosses your mind at least once a day.
Molly stood in the kitchen, regarding John carefully. He seemed exhausted – eyes grey, skin grey, hair shot with grey. His jumpers always seemed more rumpled lately. It seemed as though he'd lost some weight again. Since Sherlock's jump, John hadn't been able to keep to regular mealtimes. He was staring up at the ceiling, looking dead inside.
He had had some good days since Sherlock's disappearance. Molly remembered fondly the birthday party he'd hosted for Mrs. Hudson a few months back. That night, he had seemed to be healing, to be properly grieving. Sherlock's name had come up, of course, but that night, John seemed to want to celebrate his memory. The past few weeks, though, had been almost as bad as the early days.
"I hate to be so forward," Molly said shyly, "but, I did a bit of shopping for you."
John seemed torn between gratitude and annoyance.
"I know, I know, you'd rather be alone."
"No, Molly, it's – "
"No, I understand. We all crowd around you, trying to help you feel better, when you just want to deal with this yourself."
"Do I smell toasties?"
Molly wasn't sure how to handle this change of subject.
"I – yeah. I made you some toasties."
Molly looked frantically at the the plate.
She grabbed the plate and carried it John.
"Why don't you see!"
Sighing, John picked up a sandwich. He bit into it and smiled.
Molly released the breath she was holding.
"Mozzarella and basil? Delicious."
"I'm glad you like them. Well, I'm just going to head home, John."
"Molly," he said, sitting up. "Don't feel as though you have to go. I'm sorry, I've been in a mood all week. I do appreciate this. Really, it's so very kind of you."
Molly sat down beside him on the sofa.
"I know why you're in a mood. And, it doesn't really matter. I mean, it matters, obviously, but what I mean is – I don't care how you grieve. I just want to help."
John finished off the first sandwich and nudged the plate toward her.
"You are helping. You're helping a lot."
They ate in careful quiet; it seemed that Sherlock had made an entire loaf's worth of sandwiches.
"How did you know about the sandwiches?" he asked.
"Oh, Sherlock told me," Molly replied cautiously.
"Yeah, one time, while you were out, he told me that you made very good toasties. I asked for the recipe – always looking for new things to try, me."
"It'll be a year on Thursday," John said suddenly.
"Yeah," Molly replied. "Are you doing anything?"
John leaned back, staring blankly at the ceiling.
"I thought I'd take flowers to St. Bart's. Go to the cemetery. Maybe unpack the skull and stick him back where he belongs."
"You want company?"
"Mrs. Hudson is going to the grave with me, but – is it rude to say 'the more, the merrier'?"
"Maybe a bit."
Outside, Sherlock leaned against the door, smiling softly. John was eating again.
He was going to be okay.
A/N2: I have a companion story in the works that should be making its way on the site soon. Thanks, all!