NOTE: I'm sad! Really sad that this is the end. But I do hope you've all enjoyed it and I am so so grateful for every single review you've given me. Without them, I'm not sure I would have made it to the end. So Thanks! I hope you might consider joining me for my next Sherlock/Molly story I've started. It won't be a follow on, but just another way I imagine they could get together. Finally, happy Sherlolly Week! It's only made me love this pairing all the more!

Chapter Three: Everything settles down.

I own nothing

Two Weeks Later…

For her own safety, Molly had been instructed by the people around her to stay at Baker Street, until she had fully recovered, until she felt protected enough to go home. Mrs Hudson had kindly visited her a handful of times, bringing her various items of clothing, biscuits and some flowers, telling her she was a brave soul for getting through such an ordeal. Lestrade had been to see her once, telling her that if she needed anything, she could always call him for a chat. He'd told her Terry Dean was behind bars for good and he wouldn't be going anywhere any time soon. John had tended to Molly's wounds daily, the bang on her head, the raw skin on her wrists and ankles. He'd informed her that she was doing well and could be back to work whenever she wished, just as long as she took it easy and didn't let Sherlock boss her around too much.

Sherlock however, over the past two weeks, had done nothing but keep his distance from her, letting her have his room whilst he slept on the sofa. He did bring her tea and make sure Toby was fed at regular times each day, even one night when she tossed and turned in sleepless slumber, he crept into the room, kissed her on the forehead and stroked her hair until she drifted off, saying it would help calm her thoughts. Though apart from that, not much communication had passed between them. Of course Molly presumed the worst. That Irene Adler had struck a chord in him and Sherlock had decided that after all that had happened, love and sentiment really wasn't his cup of coffee. She wouldn't blame him if it were the case, nor would she would she feel used as an experiment. Feelings such as love and passion were something new to him, something even sometimes overwhelming to those had been used to it all their adult lives.

The experience with Irene, Ivan and Terry Dean had in itself been rather unnerving for Molly, at one point wondering if those dark rooms and cold floors would be where she spent her final moments. This was obviously not the case she knew now and all had ended well, thankfully. John had filled in the details for her, told her of the plan they had formed before finding her. He said they'd found a note at the hospital and Sherlock had immediately said he needed to go alone. He'd said that John would need to hide until he gave the signal and fortunately, Sherlock had been successful in breaking down Irene's barriers to find the good she still had hidden inside.

Molly couldn't help but feel sympathy for Irene, despite her careless actions. Although the woman had been on the brink of murdering her, Molly had witnessed severe distress within her eyes after Sherlock had taunted her with his words. Irene was genuinely heartbroken over him, genuinely scared for her life and not quite used to the existence she now had. What she was doing were actions of fear, fear of her own safety, a fear of the future and what it might hold for her.

John had informed Molly of what Irene's fate was. Mycroft had been notified by Sherlock immediately about the scene and he had visited to "clean up" what they had left behind. Mycroft had then taken the woman and dealt with her "appropriately". John had said he didn't know whether this meant death or exile to a far away land. All he knew was the likelihood of her return was almost none.

The Pathologist led there now, alone, surrounded by Sherlock's bed sheets, head resting on his soft pillow that faintly smelt of him. A small tear fell from her eyes, almost in acceptance that this might be her final close moments to the man she loved.

"How is she, John?" Sherlock said one morning from the sofa, not looking away from his newspaper as his friend entered the living room.

"She's fine." The doctor said, seating himself down in his usual chair with a heavy sigh, "But you do know you can ask her yourself? She's in your room."

"I know."

"If you know, then why don't you go and ask her?"

"I make her tea. What more can I do?" The detective dropped the newspaper slightly to look at John, "Anyway, she's just had a traumatic experience-"

The doctor interrupted, "Which is exactly why you should be in there." There was a silence then, so Sherlock continued his pretence of reading the daily news. Five minutes passed until another word was uttered.

"This won't be the end of it all will it?" John had been to the kitchen and back to make a cup of tea and was now clutching it thoughtfully in his palms, "I mean, Irene. Someone will replace her and then this whole commotion will reappear again, won't it?"

Sherlock folded his newspaper then and placed it by his side, reclining somewhat into the sofa, "Most likely. The Woman was a mere figment. Moriarty's real replacement will come along soon enough. They'll want me dead again, no matter who does it."

"So what do we do?"

"Sit tight and see what happens. We shouldn't dwell on it in the meantime." He smiled, though it was more false than anything genuine, "Excuse me."

Sherlock stood from the seat, pacing straight past John to his room. Stopping outside the door, he glanced back to his friend, making sure he wasn't watching as he took a deep breath to calm himself. He knocked on the door lightly, pushing it open slowly without waiting for permission. Molly was under his thin covers, one knee poking out at the side of the sheet, her body curled up with her hands under her chin. Her hair flowed behind her back, as though she'd brushed it away from her delicate face. Sherlock could see her wounds were healing nicely, wrists almost mended completely and head wound not far behind. She would soon be back to her normal self, he was glad of that.

His heart suddenly began to thump hard in his chest as she stirred and he quickly span to close the door, not wanting prying ears to listen in on their conversation. The morning sun streamed through the window and caught on Molly's face, causing her eyes and nose to crinkle.

"Sherlock?" She spoke softly, opening her eyes to look at him, one of his white shirts clinging loosely to her body. He couldn't help but clear his throat at the sight of her, the sight of her smooth skin deftly stroked by a stream of light peeping through the blinds.

"Molly." He didn't really know why he'd come to his room and he honestly felt quite out of place. But Sherlock knew he had wanted to see how she was doing, make sure she was okay and he was sure she wouldn't mind his presence. He'd been avoiding her these past weeks, not because he no longer wanted to continue what they had started, but mainly because he'd felt awkward. The Woman had put Molly in danger, almost killed her, all because of her own mad jealousy. She'd also made him realise something that he himself had not and the concept of the whole thing had startled him. Sherlock had needed to think through it all before continuing any further with Molly. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her, he'd done that enough over the years.

"Are you okay?" She asked, voice slightly gravelly from sleep, moving to sit up a little as the shirt slipped and exposed her shoulder. All he could think was how perfect she looked.

The detective smiled at her selflessness, "It should be me asking you that question, Molly." They laughed with each other for a second and Sherlock's eyes purposefully drifted once again to the shirt she was wearing. Her eyes followed his and in a state of embarrassment, she sat up, pulled the shirt back onto her shoulder and tugged the covers over her exposed legs.

She smiled nervously, "Um, s-sorry. It was hung on your chair and I have no clean pyjamas."

Sherlock stepped forward, knees now touching the side of the bed, "It's fine. It suits you better." There was an awkward silence then and the detective immediately felt there had been too many silences for one day. So he removed his suit jacket, rolled up his sleeves before sitting next to Molly on his bed. She shifted her weight so that he could fit on the mattress with her and he swung his legs up to rest comfortably.

"Molly…" He began, head resting on the headboard, hands on his stomach, eyes averted away from the form next to him, "I apologise for my absence since…" He cleared his constricted throat, "I've been thinking." Sherlock couldn't remember a conversation halting his brain so much before. He saw Molly pull his shirt further over her chest self-consciously, bracing herself for bad news. He frowned at this and turned to look at her.

"What makes you think I have something bad to say?"

"What? I don't."

He scoffed, "Molly, please don't insult me."

She shoved some of her hair behind her ear, "Is…Is it good news?"

"It depends on how you look at it." Sherlock shifted his body to face her more now, eyes tracing along her features, her eyes fixed intently on him, "I've often said I'm married to my work and that would imply that I have no time for relations of any kind with anyone. I've quite honestly never wanted to before." The detective lifted his hand to stroke her cheek, her breath catching in her throat at his touch, "You Molly, you've done so much for me, more than most would be willing to do. And I sometimes wonder why you ever bothered after how I've treated you."

"Because…" She faltered and dropped her eyes, pausing before continuing, "It's what you do when you love someone."

"Molly." He whispered softly, wanting to kiss her for that. He wanted to kiss her and show her how much her words meant to him. But Sherlock needed to finish what he had to say before anything else commenced. So instead he rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes briefly, continuing to hold the side of her face delicately, "I need to make a few things clear. I want to keep on with what we have started and I want to explore these new emotions I'm feeling. I want to be with you and only you." She smiled, "But, I'm not going to be the boyfriend you want me to be. I'm not going to want to go strolling around the park holding hands or go to the cinema, or bring you flowers when I feel like it. I'll be different when I'm with you, but when I'm working, I'll be much the same as before."

Molly moved her head back to look at him and he caught a gleam in her eye, "Except with less insults?"

Sherlock laughed a genuine laugh, "I suppose I could agree to that."

"Good." Molly ran a hand through his curly hair, "That's all I need." She moved to kiss him then, the warmth of her lips making him realise how much he'd missed this intimacy with her. He parted his mouth, seeking out the heat of her own, arms sneaking around her tiny waist to pull her close to his chest. A familiar tingle ran around his body as her hands slid around his neck, the same tingle he'd gotten every time they'd kissed before. It urged him on, no need for John's advice, just basic impulse taking over. Sherlock pulled her by the waist to lie her down, his own body instinctively lying atop hers, all else forgotten. Molly warmed his skin wherever she touched him. Her hands roamed confidently across his clothed back, down his sides, gripping his arse pleasantly, making him shiver and groan when she wriggled beneath him.

Sherlock pressed his hips into Molly's, a delightfully agreeable sensation shooting through his limbs. He smirked greedily at her, her name breathlessly falling from his lips as his heart hammered against his lungs. He had never felt so overcome with emotions before, but in the current situation, he didn't seem mind. He liked the way Molly's eyes fluttered closed at his kisses. He liked how she arched her back to bring them ever closer and he thoroughly enjoyed how she let her hands explore freely at the intimate parts of his body that usually went untouched. Shy mousy Molly was nowhere to be found in this room.

The more she discovered his body, the more Sherlock's actions became desperate, frantic. He somewhat hesitantly explored her body at first, having never done this before, but the faster the moment heated up, the more certain he grew, removing the shirt covering her modesty whilst she removed his.

Eventually nothing separated them and Sherlock finally understood what all the fuss was about. He understood why people giggled about sex and bragged about their recent adventures. The touching, the frenzied movements, the breathy sighs and heated cries. It was sometimes clumsy, sometimes awkward, but the majority of it all was thrilling, exciting and quite frankly, addictive. In a way, he wondered why he had never done this before, why he'd never given in to his desires to be with another, not that he had ever really had those feelings before Molly. However, at the same time, although sentiment usually wasn't his area, he was glad he'd rejected it for so long and experienced it with someone who meant something to him. Someone who was smarter than most, competent and utterly trustworthy. Someone he loved, as much as he despised the word. His Molly, his pathologist.

That evening, John shouted through to Sherlock and Molly, telling them they'd been in that room long enough and dinner was on the table going cold. It wasn't usual for Sherlock to waste his time doing nothing in his room. Well, John had thought they were doing nothing, presumed they may have been talking, or sleeping even. No, it wasn't the case. As he had been casually reading the newspaper late that morning, noises emitted themselves from the direction of his friend's room. John's eyes had widened to an abnormal amount, silently dropping the paper and picking up his coat, hurriedly walking out of the flat, not returning until it had gone dark, feeling it was only fair that they had time alone. Plus, he wasn't really comfortable hearing his usually asexual friend moaning and groaning.

As he finished making coffee, Sherlock emerged from his room, clad in his usual sleeping attire and a flush about his cheeks. John gave him a knowing smile, in return receiving a dismissive scowl.

"So, how does it feel to finally be a real man?" He teased, carrying a tray of filled mugs over to where they were dining. Sherlock rolled his eyes, picking up a knife and fork, not bothering to wait for anyone else to sit.

"You presumed all those months ago that I'd had relations with the Woman, what makes you think I've not been a real man for a while?"

"Oh please." John laughed, "It's obvious."

Sherlock frowned, forgetting about the fork full of food he was about to consume, evidently not comfortable with being so transparent to others, "How is it?"

"You're not the only one who can deduce things, Sherlock." He watched as his friend's mouth opened and closed as if to comeback with something witty. Though, before the detective had chance to respond, his attention diverted to the door opening across the room. Molly shyly padded over, properly dressed unlike Sherlock and hair tied back in it's usually style.

"Good evening, Molly." John uttered politely, making sure she didn't see the smirk he gave to Sherlock. His friend scowled childishly once again, Molly taken it upon herself to sit down. John smiled happily, taking a seat himself, silently observing the two other people in the room.

Their meal commenced silently, Molly the first to break the still air in the room. She questioned John about his current lack of work and his blog, enthusiastically listening and answering any questions he gave in return. The doctor glanced now and then to Sherlock, noticing him subtly observing Molly whenever he thought no one was watching. It was nice to see Sherlock finally conforming to sentimentality. John knew full well that the detective wouldn't let it get in the way on his work, though he also knew that Molly wouldn't come between it, understanding him and how much his crime solving was a part of his life.

When they'd eaten, Sherlock left the room to change into a suit, returning with the intent of playing his violin until god knows what hour in the morning. John grimaced and hoped that Molly would somehow manage to distract him, by any means, he didn't really care. In fact, he was counting on it because John really did need to catch up on some much needed sleep. As he was picking up the empty plates from tea, footsteps could be heard ascending up the stairs. All three turned to see Lestrade, a smile on his face as he greeted all in the room.

"You're gonna like this one, Sherlock." His hands rested on his hips, eagerly smiling at the reinstated consulting detective, "Triple murder, all victims died after visiting the cinema, same time on separate evenings." Lestrade pulled his phone from his pocket, scrolling to find a picture on his phone, "Here."

Sherlock took the phone, "A code, numbers."

"Yeah." The detective inspector took his phone back, "All have a similar code carved into their skin. We need you to solve this one."

"Clearly a murderer who likes a chase." Sherlock laughed gleefully, "Brilliant!"

"Sherlock." John said warningly.

"Right, yes." He span on his heel, wrapping his scarf around his neck and then his flinging on his coat. John realised they were heading out and so grabbed his coat from the back of the chair, saying his goodbyes to Molly. Sherlock smiled again, undoubtedly happy to be back to work after months of being away. Lestrade left the room first, John soon following. But the doctor had for some reason, the urge to turn around. He saw his friend following not far behind, and he could just see Molly physically deflating in the background, having been completely ignored by the love of her life. But just as John was about to say something to him about her, Sherlock suddenly turned, headed back into the room and kissed Molly on the lips. John couldn't help but grin as he watched Sherlock holding her face tenderly in his gloved hands, whispering something to her that made her smile and blush. It was strange to see him so affectionate with another human being, yet it was nice to finally see. Sherlock bolted passed him then, galloping down the stairs at a rapid speed.

"Come on, John." Sherlock shouted, "We've got work to do!" John just smiled, content and happy that everything had worked out, flying down the stairs after his dear friend.