A/N: Hello, hello. I'll be honest, it feels strange uploading a new chapter for this trilogy, it feels strange even writing this author's note. I've been gone for so long, and despite always having ideas about this story, part of me thought I would never write another word of it. But, my love of all you followers and reviewers was just too much, and I found myself back in front of my computer again... wanting to write this.
I hope you enjoy the first chapter, it's full of fluff just because the last fic was so angsty. I thought they deserved a bit of happiness.
Disclaimer: I obviously don't own it.
Molly Hooper was drifting in that pleasant state between dreaming and waking, her body floating in the weightlessness of fantasy while her mind began processing the sounds of early morning. Though the windows of 221B were still closed tightly the distant thrum of the city was ever present in her ears. Cars slid down the rain slick streets below as the sun emerged to wipe away the stormy night. Molly stretched, cat-like, and let her eyes open to take in the first lights of London. Her eyes focused on the dress that hung on the back of her bedroom door, a vintage cut of navy blue lace. This she had dubbed her "goal dress" to fit into after losing the baby weight and going back to work. Nude colored pumps were resting to the side of the door and though they were almost broken in, part of her still dreaded the idea of putting them on for that night.
With a smile she reached out her hand for Sherlock, her fingers falling onto cold sheets. Turning, she saw that he had gotten up some time earlier, his half of the bed covers hastily pushed to the center of the matress.
Molly heaved herself up with a groan and wrapped a robe around herself, taking a swig of water off a glass by the nightstand before opening the door to their bedroom and starting for the nursery.
She pushed the door to the baby's room open gently with her fingertips, taking in the sight of Sherlock, clad only in pajama bottoms, standing at the foot of Charlotte's crib with his fingers steepled against his lips as he watched his daughter sleep.
"Mmm, Sherlock?" Molly rubbed the sleep from her eyes, "What are you doing?"
"She has not stirred since we set her to bed," he murmured, not breaking his gaze from the child.
"Mhm, it's called sleeping through the night," Molly padded across the carpet to him and pressed herself against his broad back, wrapping her arms around his front and leaning her cheek against his shoulder, "babies tend to do this after a while,"
"Her breathing patterns have remained at a steady pace," Sherlock noted, "but there is no telling if,"
"Sherlock," she interrupted, "stop," she kissed his shoulder gently, "she's fine, sleeping, giving us a much needed rest,"
"Molly, many things can go wrong within the first months of infantile life," he pointed out, "she is too young to be left on her own just yet..."
"Are you worried about tonight?" Molly murmured.
"No," he said a little too quickly, dropping his arms to rest ontop of hers.
"Sherlock," she nudged him and shifted to stand in front of him, her back now leaning against the edge of the crib, "It won't be for long, just a few hours while we tough it out for the pleasantries. Besides, Mary said she would completely understand if we dodged out a little early,"
Sherlock's eyes drifted past Molly and back to the sleeping girl, "Two hours. Maximum."
"Unreasonable," Molly shook her head, "conventionally one sticks around for the main events of the festivities before leaving early,"
"Fine," Sherlock conceeded, "Two and a half hours,"
Molly dropped her head to Sherlock's chest with a deflated sigh, "We'll see. Now, I'm going for tea and to try and read the papers before she wakes up. Care to join me, Mr. Holmes?"
"That sounds agreeable," he nodded, "perhaps I'll check the blog as well... John has proposed we resume cases after his honeymoon."
"Good," Molly nodded, turning to look at Charlotte before heading down the stairs, "It'll be good for you to get out of this flat. Take some time doing what you do best,"
"I'm certain Lestrade will have several unsolved cases that I can start with... a good eight or nine," Sherlock rubbed his hands together excitedly and followed Molly down the steps to the main room of the flat.
Comfortable silence enveloped them as if often did, with the exception of the whir from the steaming kettle and the turning pages of the news. The flat this silent was a new experience for the both of them since Charlotte had been born, each night was full of ups and downs and each morning was a constant bustle. The familiarity of reading in each other's prescence was strangely something that they had both missed.
After a while Molly rose again to refill her mug and Sherlock's eyes lifted to watch her. Even now, as she was shaking off her sleep and resting her hands on the counter top waiting for the tea to steep, he thought her beautiful. He had grown accustomed to seeing her in their kitchen each morning, only now her body resembled what it did when they first starting seeing each other.
He let the paper fall back to the table with a crinkle and rose to cross the room to her. Wrapping his arms around her he leaned his face into her hair and inhaled the scent he so loved and could instantly identify as Molly.
"You're in good mood today," she murmured.
"And why shouldn't I be?" Sherlock kissed the hollow of her throat.
"Just an observation," she hummed.
"Well, as of now, I have no reason to be unhappy." he noted.
"Shhh!" Molly shook her head, "don't! You'll jinx it!"
Before Sherlock could answer a bubbling cry echoed down the steps. "Oh, now you've done it Holmes,"
As she turned to push past him, her tea forgotten on the counter, he pulled her back, pressing a kiss soundly to her lips. "Impossible,"
She rolled her eyes, pecking his lips once more before stifling a yawn and starting up the stairs to settle Charlotte. It was going to be an awfully busy day.
Though it had taken her five excruciating long minutes to get her pearl earrings successfully in, it was worth it. Somehow in the cramped hour she had to get ready, Molly looked presentable. She looked good even. Her hair was softly curled and pulled back in a ponytail, something the magazines called "a simple and chic up-do," but she called practical. The navy blue lace number was fitting her like a glove, which made it that much more exciting to wear. It was form fitting, with sleeves that stopped at the elbow, and a hemline that stopped a bit above the knee. Three of the covered buttons in the back were hanging undone, but she'd have Sherlock sort those momentarily.
Molly glossed her lips, double checked her makeup, and confronted the shoes. She had worn them up and down the flat stairs the past week, but they still made her nervous. Biting the bullet she huffed and climbed into them, steadying herself at her new height before grabbing her clutch and heading out to the main room.
Violet was sure to be arriving shortly, her previously strained relationship with Sherlock less so since she had come to visit mother and child in hospital after the birth. But now, Sherlock was seated in his chair with one hand on Charlotte's cradle and the other on his phone, texting away.
"So it was clear that the woman in pink had been a serial adulterer, something I deduced from her aged wedding band, and it was also clear that she had come from Wales with a small suitcase, which was also pink. It was then that John and I first contacted her murderer," his head swiveled to look down at the wide eyed child, "we texted him about Lauriston Gardens and waited for him on North Umberland Street. When you're old enough, Charlotte, I'll take you to meet Angelo, and I'm sure he will give you a free dinner,"
Molly smiled broadly at the scene before her and laid a hand on his shoulder, "Sherlock, your mum'll be here soon. Can you do me up?"
No matter how many times Sherlock had seen that dress hanging on the back of their bedroom door, nothing compared to how it looked on her now. His hand rocking the cradle stilled, his phone was quickly discarded. "Molly, you look..."
"Okay, right? I mean... I feel all right, these shoes are going to kill me, but the dress is all right, I think, I mean," Molly smoothed the lace down against her sides and looked down at him again.
"You're rambling," he noted, "but you do indeed look beautiful,"
Her features softed, "Thank you,"
The knock at the door broke them both out of their shared moment as Mrs. Hudson let in Violet Holmes downstairs and pointed her up the steps.
"Oh Sherlock, Molly dear, the missus Holmes is here," Mrs. Hudson called up.
"Thank you, Mrs. Hudson!" Sherlock bellowed back, smiling wryly at Molly.
"Oh, my dress!" she turned and pointed over her shoulder at the undone buttons, "please?"
Sherlock hummed and complied, fastning the buttons quickly and pressing a brief kiss to her neck before Violet came through the doorway with a smile and a bag tucked under her arm.
"Hello Violet," Molly walked to meet her at the door, a kiss on either cheek and an apology about Charlotte still being awake.
"It's fine dear," Violet assured her, "I did raise two boys, I think I can handle her,"
"Yes well, Molly, we should go," Sherlock shrugged on his coat and held Molly's out to her.
"Right," as she pulled on the coat she locked eyes with Charlotte, her resolve melting, "I just..."
"She'll be fine," Violet patted Molly on the shoulder, "I'll take care of everything."
"I feel funny about leaving her... we haven't left her before," Molly felt Sherlock's hand on her shoulder, sensed his worry mirroring hers.
"Once you get out the door you'll be fine," Violet ushered them towards the door, "you're going to a wedding, not to France, have a good time, stay out as long as you like. Have some time for yourselves,"
"Mother," Sherlock protested
"Don't 'mother' me Sherlock, just get yourselves out of here,"
"Come on Molly," Sherlock sighed and pulled her towards the door.
"Wait... just a mo," Molly hurried back over to the cradle, leaned down and gave her daughter a kiss on the forehead, "We will be home very, very soon," blinking back a few tears Molly turned and rushed out the door, taking a deep breath once she was out on the street.
"Your mum said it would get better once we got out of the flat," Molly noted as Sherlock came up behind her and hailed a cab.
"Clearly she was lying," Sherlock agreed, "Come on, we'll be back in two and a half hours,"
"Make it two," Molly pulled her coat tighter and got into the cab, watching 221B fade as they drove away from Baker Street.
"Two it is," Sherlock nodded and took her hand.
A/N: It's a little shorter than I wanted, I originally intended on having the whole John/Mary wedding in this chapter as well, but I think I'm going to put that off until chapter two. So, put this story on alert and you will certainly have an update by Friday. I know exactly what I want in the chapter, I just haven't typed all of it out yet.
Please drop me a review and let me know what you think. I always appreciate your feedback so much, it keeps me going.
(On a personal note, I started a legitimate blog - not just a tumblr reblog fangirl session. It's a fashion, food, and photography blog. You don't have to check it out, but if sounds like you might be interested, please check it out and follow it. I'm still trying to get it up and out there, it's far from popular yet. ;) The link is on my main page, but it's collegiate-closet (.blogspot) dot com. Fanfic just doesn't like links.