Five days later, Molly rang Mycroft's phone and found the number had been disconnected.

This in and of itself was of no great concern- phones returned not-available messages for all kinds of reasons. She sat listening to the disconnected tone for a few seconds longer than necessary, trying to register the concept of Mycroft being unavailable. Then she rang the house number: disconnected. She rang Sherlock's phone. Disconnected.

Something terrible had happened.

It was a Sunday afternoon; a beautiful day, all sunshine and light breezes. John had gone out to Baker Street to see Mrs Hudson. Generally, he would take Molly with him; when he didn't ask her to come along, she knew better than to volunteer herself. Some visits were too difficult for that. They were probably going to the cemetery. There was something different about John's visits to the cemetery with Mrs. Hudson, and the ones he took with Molly on the odd occasion. She'd never asked herself why, just given him the space he needed.

At least, Molly reflected as she went to find her shoes, this meant she didn't have to lie to John about where she was going. She knew he would never ask her. He generally came home from the cemetery very quiet and distracted. She wasn't yet privy to everything that went on inside John Watson's head.


Silently, the timid woman searched every room of the Club that she was permitted into. She ignored the stares- many disapproving- of the Club's denizens; she'd invaded the world of powerful men, and the reception was hard ice.

Ice she could handle.

That the man she had once loved so much and had risked so much for could have disappeared entirely... she wasn't sure she could handle that. Unlike John, she had never before known a world where Sherlock Holmes had suddenly been viciously ripped out of it.

It was a slow dawn of realisation that afternoon: she could choose to handle this, or she could choose not to. Either way, her search was all for nothing; Mycroft was not at the Diogenes Club, and she couldn't ask anyone where he was. She had no idea where he worked, or of any other place he might frequent. Except, obviously, his home.

She went out to Linwood, the Holmes estate. The Jacobean mansion stood silently glowering in the last vestiges of daylight, like a grim old soldier on sentry duty, watchful and still. The gates were padlocked, so that she could not get any closer than the front drive; but even there it was clear that the house was shut up, the lights were off and the curtains were drawn.

Mycroft and his brother had vanished.

The sequel to After the Fall is Come Forth, Lazarus. It can be accessed from my profile. I really hope you enjoyed this! I love feedback of any kind, so please feel free to drop me a review or a PM. It would make my day :D