Home is a Sheet of Ice part 4

Sherlock BBC Fanfic

Molly had always known that there was very little she wouldn't do for Sherlock Holmes. She'd known it even when he'd informed her of Jim being gay, and she'd known it at that horrible Christmas party months later. It wasn't just her hopeless crush on him. It was loyalty.

John Watson had made conscious effort to bring those few people involved in Sherlock's life together. Molly was, to her own surprise, glad of John's friendship. Truth be told, she had been quite jealous of him at first – still was in some ways. She'd been there for Sherlock for years without any appreciation, but John waltzed into his life without any preamble and immediately became his friend. Molly had been more than a little envious of the seemingly instantaneous bond he'd formed with the Consulting Detective.

But John had been perfectly gentlemanly about the whole thing. The Christmas party, however atrocious Sherlock's behavior had been, had served almost as an induction into a group that spent their lives around Sherlock. Mrs. Hudson was such a sweet old lady, endlessly patient with Molly's bumbling attempts at conversation. Detective Inspector Lestrade – who insisted she call him Greg – was very quickly becoming a good friend. He was quick to supply sarcastic comebacks for Sherlock's typical bluntness, and was surprisingly quick at welcoming Molly into the small family of officers at Scotland Yard.

She had a feeling John'd had something to do with that, but she didn't mind. For the first time in a long time, she had friends beyond Sherlock. Anderson of course was rather condescending on a girl with a crush on Sherlock, and Sally was almost annoying in her attempts to warn her away from Sherlock, but the rest of them were at least tolerant of Molly, if not outright friendly. Lestrade, Dimmock, Gregson, and young Stanley Hopkins were particularly close friends to Molly in the months after that Christmas party. As coroner for most of the Yard's cases, Molly was able to win their respect professionally and on a personal level, and for the first time since grade school, she found herself feeling comfortable in a group of friends.

And then there was Sherlock. For all that Molly's life had changed, some things stayed the same. Sherlock was still insufferable, rude, and blunt, and Molly still felt herself stammering like an idiot around him. But something had changed between them. Molly had, with John's help, began to actually get to know the detective. She learned who he was past his emotionless mask. Maybe he didn't appreciate her any more than before, but Molly was there for him anyway. If she couldn't be his girlfriend, then at least she would be his friend, even if he never knew. Loyalty was all she could give him.

Which is why, when he came to her, a fugitive accused of murder, she didn't hesitate.

Greg kept telling her not to let Sherlock walk all over her. He seemed to think that she did what she did for Sherlock out of hopeless romantic devotion. That wasn't entirely true. If there had been any doubt in her that Sherlock wasn't innocent, she would have turned him away, crush or no crush. But she knew him better than that. She knew he was innocent, he was scared, and he needed help. It didn't matter that he was rude and obnoxious. He was, underneath it all, a good person. So Molly would help in any way she could.

After all, that's what friends were for. Laura, Sammy, and Missy had taught her that.

She gave him what he needed for his faked suicide, and afterward she helped him get set up in a small flat near her own place. Molly wasn't sure how long he was planning on staying there or what his plans were for his unusual afterlife. All she knew was that she'd keep on helping him as long as he needed it.

That job didn't come without its consequences. Sherlock had affected more lives than he realized. Mrs. Hudson put up a brave face whenever Molly happened by, chatting away about things that had nothing to do with Sherlock, as if that would make things better. Lestrade, for all his gruffness, seemed very subdued after his consultant jumped. His smiles didn't quite reach his eyes anymore. The rest of the Yard was of a mixed mind about the whole thing. The general consensus seemed to be yes, he was a pain in the rear, but things almost seemed too quiet with him gone. Even Sally didn't take any pleasure in being "right" about Sherlock's lies. The first time Molly saw her after the fall, Sally had looked at her with a quiet expression, pity replacing scorn in her eyes. "I'm sorry," was all she said. As she looked at the sergeant in surprise, Molly realized that through all those times Sally had warned her to stay away from Sherlock, the officer really had been just trying to help her from being hurt.

It was the start of an unusual friendship, but one Molly was glad for, as Sally was one of the few friends Molly didn't feel bad about lying to.

Then there was John. Molly couldn't even look at the man anymore. The doctor was trying to pass off as being fine, but his eyes had taken on a permanent look of utter, soul-crushing grief. It was almost chilling how broken he was. The man who had first insisted on Sherlock's friends becoming acquainted now avoided them as much as possible. Molly was almost grateful for it – every time she saw him, saw how hurting he was, she very nearly gave into the urge to tell him everything. But she couldn't. It was too dangerous.

Molly was alone in her flat a few weeks after the fall. She was enjoying the sound of the rain pouring heavily outside when her front door opened without a warning. She nearly jumped a foot in the air at the unexpected creak it made. In waltzed a lean figure in a rain-soaked coat and scarf that Molly almost couldn't imagine him without.

The coroner relaxed now that she knew she wasn't about to be murdered by one of Moriarty's men. "Oh, Sherlock. Um, hi. What are you...?" She let the question trail off as she got a proper look at the detective. His face was gaunter than usual, his high cheekbones casting almost frightful shadows on his too-pale face. The coat seemed to hug his frame more tightly than before. Molly had to physically stop herself from gaping. The Consulting Detective's health had depleted alarmingly fast. "Are... are you alright? Er, do you need anything?"

Sherlock impatiently brushed his wet locks out of his face. "The question grows tiresome, Molly," he snapped in an uncharacteristically sharp tone. Sherlock was always blunt, but never sharp. He flung his sopping wet coat on the ground near the closet, stormed over to the chair opposite the couch where Molly sat, and flung himself down into it with an almost childish slouch. "I need to talk to you about the fake grave. You're sure no one will realize I'm not in it?"

Again? It wasn't like Sherlock to harp on details he was already sure about. "Oh. Um, well I've been keeping an eye on the hospital's records, and no one seems to have..." She trailed off as Sherlock's expression grew increasingly irritable. Molly leaned forward hesitantly. "Um, Sherlock? We went over this already." She let her tone ask the question she didn't dare to ask. Why are you really here?

Sherlock glared at her for a few moments before slumping back in his chair. "'M bored," came his muffled response.

Molly almost wanted to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Bored? What'd he want her to do, juggle? Taking care of him in his destructive boredom had been John's job. She definitely hadn't signed on for this.

The coroner sighed. "What about all those books I brought you?"

"Dull." Sherlock groaned. "I finished them all. Next time, I'd appreciate if you left out those useless romance novels."

"There has to be something on the telly or online or... something." Molly had absolutely no idea what Sherlock was expecting from her. She'd never had to play Entertain The Detective before – most times he came to her was when he was being entertained by a case. Her admiration for John for putting up with this on a daily basis was growing steadily.

Sherlock lifted his head and glared at her with the sullenness of a child in a tantrum. "Please use the head on your shoulders before you speak. I cannot use the internet since both my phone and my laptop were confiscated by Moriarty's people, nor would it be advisable seeing as any activity online would immediately be noticed."

Most people would be fighting back by now, but Sherlock's swift speech always left Molly kind of dazed. "Oh. Er, right." She looked around her flat as if that would give her the inspiration she needed. "I don't know, what do you and John normally do?"

Sherlock flinched at the name of his flatmate, and Molly finally understood. Ohh... "Is this... are you here because you miss John?" she asked gently.

The Consulting Detective let out a contemptuous snort that didn't really have any feeling behind it. "I don't miss anyone," he articulated, his expression

Molly noticed the weariness in Sherlock's face and knew she was right. Quietly she asked, "Have you seen him recently?"

Sherlock turned away, not meeting Molly's eyes. "This morning," he admitted in a flat tone. "He... didn't look good."

The coroner remembered how John had looked when she'd last seen him and couldn't argue with his assessment. "Have you considered telling him you're alive?" When Sherlock turned to look at her she quickly tried to backtrack. "Not, you know, directly, I know how dangerous that is, but maybe just give him a hint? I don't know, maybe leave him a secret note or something?"

Pain flashed in the detective's eyes. "I can't. If Moriarty's men get any hint I'm alive, or see any change in John's behavior, they'll kill him. I... can't let that happen." Sherlock seemed scared of his own declaration, but there was no mistaking the steely look in his eyes when he'd mentioned John being killed.

Molly had never been entirely sure of what the bond was between Sherlock and John. Now she realized that Sherlock wasn't sure either. All she knew was that it was killing Sherlock as much to simply be apart from John as it was killing John to think Sherlock dead. There was nothing she could say or do to ease the detective's grief over losing his friend.

Molly got to her feet. "I'll, uh, go make some tea then, shall I?" Nothing she could do would really do anything, but maybe some warm tea after coming in from the rain would at least make things feel a little brighter.

It took exactly two minutes for Molly to realize her mistake. Footsteps sounded from the living room, leading into her bedroom. Oh shit. Leaving Sherlock alone in a room was practically invitation to let him wander wherever he wanted. The coroner rushed hurriedly to her room. "Wait, Sherlock, don't..."

It was too late. Sherlock was standing by her dresser, where she put her skates during the week. One white leather skate was sitting out innocently on the wood surface. The other was in Sherlock's hand, undergoing the detective's scrutiny. Oh god, why didn't I put them back in the bag? Molly berated herself.

Sherlock turned to face her, his expression a mix of frustration, surprise, and perhaps even a hint of anger. "You're an ice skater." It was a statement, not a question, yet it seemed to be asking one all the same. iHow did I not know?/i

Molly shifted uneasily. Her skate was being balanced precariously on its back on the palm of Sherlock's hand. All too easily she could imagine it tumbling to the ground, it or whoever its blade hit getting hurt in the process. "Sherlock, could you-" The skate wobbled and her temper flared. "Just put that down!"

Surprise flared in the detective's eyes at her unusual show of anger, but he set the skate down without protest. He opened his mouth to say something, but Molly cut him off. "No, just... just listen, okay?" Something in her tone made Sherlock listen for once. "Don't you dare say anything. I know how you feel about sports and things, but just don't. Alright?"

Her burst of anger and self-righteousness was faltering. Defensive now, she crossed her arms over her chest. "I started skating when I was nine. I was pretty shy, but I found my first friends at my local rink. Skating's important to me. It's the reason I know how to be a friend, and most of my favorite memories are of being on the ice. I was really alone before I found skating." She took a deep breath, the truth of her own words steeling her for what came next. "I know you don't really care about sentimental things like that, but if you make fun of my sport, I will throw you back out in the rain." She meant it. There was a lot she could take, but if he was willing to make fun of something that important to her, she wasn't going to stand for it.

Sherlock looked almost dumbfounded. His gaze flitted over her in his customary, information-gathering scan. The slightest hint of a grin twitched on his lips. "Wouldn't think of it." He turned back to the skates, picking one up with far more care. "Leather worn, at least one year old, with more creasing around the ankle on this foot, so clearly it bears more weight than the other, so presumably it's the foot you land on for jumps. Scuff marks around the toe suggest..."

The detective continued with his deductions, but Molly hardly heard him. All she felt was relief. Sherlock had found out about her skating, and he hadn't made a single derogatory comment, despite his usual contempt for sports and dancing. In fact, he seemed almost fascinated with what he was learning from Molly's skates. Something to distract him from not being with John.

Molly leaned against the door frame, allowing herself a relieved smile. Her two worlds had crossed over and n catastrophe had taken place. Sherlock had accepted it, so why not her other friends? She could invite Greg to skate with her sometime. It's be worth it to see the normally competent leader slipping and stumbling while she glided past. Or maybe John'd find some of her old figure skating injury stories funny. Heck, maybe Sally would like coming to the rink sometime. The point was she didn't have to live two lives anymore. She had one whole, worthwhile life. Friends, family, and a sport she loved. All of them together.

Maybe I could call up Sammy, Laura, and Missy,/i she thought to herself. Maybe we won't ever be as close as we used to be, but that doesn't mean I never have to see them again.

As she listened to Sherlock's deductions, Molly resolved to do just that.

This chapter turned out way, way longer than I meant it to, but whatever. So another story finished. I promised it would be a short one.

So, as you could probably guess from the story, I am both a Johnlock and a Hoopstrade shipper. I tried to hint at both relationships without actually going into them. Mostly because I want this story to correspond with canon. That's why I made the mentions of how Sherlock faked the Fall and what he did after it as vague as possible.

I find the idea of Molly being kind of adopted by Scotland Yard adorable. And somehow I could see her and Sally being friends. Odd friends to be sure, especially whenever Sherlock's in the room, but still friends.

And does anyone else find the idea of Molly skating rings around a wall-clinging Lestrade utterly adorable?

Also, writing dialogue for Sherlock is way harder than it really should be.