Are you coming to dinner tomorrow? -JW
Who is going to be there? -SH
Bloody Anderson. Jesus, Sherlock, who do you think? -JW
Who is going to be there? -SH
Theo, Molly, and my family. -JW
I will be there at 6:30. -SH
Molly did not know what to expect, truthfully. She didn't know how Sherlock would react, and, in that, she had no idea how she was going to react. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach as she and Theo sat idle in the rental car in front of a stop light. Theo was tapping his fingertips rapidly on his phone to one of his friends back in Miami, his lips pursed and his brows furrowed in concentration. She felt her heart skip a beat.
So like his father... she thought wistfully.
Holding back a sigh, she shook her head. Everything seemed to be leading back to Sherlock these days. After their hugging session, Theo spent the whole afternoon telling Molly of his day with his father. She didn't know whether to be surprised or relieved that Sherlock so readily spent time with his son. The relief definitely outweighed the surprise. The knowledge that Theo would not have to suffer the rejection of his father lifted a large weight off of her shoulders, and Molly could breathe a little easier. Her thoughts at the time were that at least there was no tension between father and son, no matter how tense it was between her and Sherlock.
"Mom, the light's green!" Theo's strangled voice broke Molly out of her thoughts.
"Oh, shit!" Molly pressed the gas pedal quickly, catching up to the cars in front of her. Her heart raced as she cursed herself for so easily becoming distracted.
"What planet were you on?" her son asked. His voice was cautious, as if he didn't know whether to be concerned or laugh at her.
Molly grimaced. "Planet Clueless, apparently." Her attempt at a joke made her wince.
Theo let out a laugh. "You shouldn't try and joke, Mom. It doesn't work out well."
"As I have been told more than once." She tried to camouflage the bitterness in her voice as sarcasm, but she had a feeling that her observant son caught on. She turned to glance at him with what she hoped was a sarcastic smirk on her face and opened her mouth to try and lighten the mood, but she stopped dead when she saw the piercing look in his crystalline eyes. She quickly averted her gaze, her cheeks heating.
Why am I blushing? her mind moaned. Why, why, why, why?
She waited silently, her eyes focused on the road only moving away to glance at the little piece of paper that told her the directions to the Watsons, waiting for Theo to question her. As the minutes dragged on, her shoulders relaxed and her pulse returned to normal. They were almost to John and Mary's, and Molly couldn't help but widen her eyes when she realized she was actually looking forward to the dinner. Molly could hardly wait to meet Mary, Allie, Tanner, and Eric. John had spoken of them with such love before Sherlock interrupted them.
Her mouth twisted down into a frown. Molly didn't know if Sherlock knew she was going to be there, or how he would react when he saw her. Their last meeting wasn't exactly pleasant, though it was entirely Molly's fault. She had purposely hurt his feelings, even though he had it coming, and she didn't know whether or not he wanted to talk to her.
The uncertainty of the whole situation irritated Molly to no end, and she resisted the urge to grumble about annoying emotions and bothersome head detectives.
Molly could not help but smile when she saw Allie, Eric, Tanner, and Theo talking animatedly in the living room. Well, more like Allie was talking animatedly while her twin brothers - who looked so alike that it was scary - just watching at her with boredom in their eyes. Theo, however, was staring at her, his expression a mixture of awe and confusion. Molly giggled when she saw Theo flinch at one of Allie's erratic hand gestures, causing the talkative girl and the two ten-year-old boys to pause and look at him quizzically.
"Your son doesn't seem to know what to make of Allie," a feminine voice said behind her.
Molly turned to see Mary, John's pretty, blonde wife, smirking at the pair of teenagers across the room and smiled. "Oh, I am sure that he is absolutely clueless on how to handle her. He's popular at school and used to attention from girls, but I don't think he's ever been one-upped by one before," Molly replied. From the first moment Molly met Mary, she decided she liked her. Mary was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, and Molly yearned for a friendship between them.
"'One-upped?'" Mary asked, raising a brow.
Another wide smile appeared on Molly's face. "Usually it is Theo who does the talking. He likes being the center of attention, something he certainly didn't inherit from me."
Mary's eyes widened at Molly blatant referral to Theo being like Sherlock. "Yes, Sherlock does like all eyes on him, doesn't he?"
Molly rolled her eyes and nodded. "Without a doubt." She glanced over at the front door, wondering when the man is question would show up. The food was nearly ready, and though Sherlock was many things, late was not one of them.
Catching her eyeing the door, Mary said, "Sherlock told John that he would arrive at 6:30."
Molly felt her face turn crimson. "I-I w-wasn't," she stuttered, even though she really actually was.
Mary winked at her. "Sure, dear, whatever you say." The pretty blonde turned around, heading towards the kitchen. "Will you help me prepare the food?"
"Um, s-sure," Molly mumbled.
Her face gradually returned to its normal color as she helped Mary in the kitchen. They talked idly and comfortably, broaching different subjects and exchanging opinions. They stood in the kitchen, preparing everything, and were discussing Molly's line of work - Mary, much to Molly's delight, was a nurse practitioner and no stranger to blood and guts - when there was a loud knock at the door.
Molly froze where she was, the three plates she was getting out of the cabinet in her hands, and glanced up at Mary, who was watching her closely. Panic welled up into her stomach, and her mind went blank with worry and anxiety as her gaze left the blonde woman to look at the door. It was dead silent in the house for a moment, but then the sound of Eric's and Tanner's shrill voices wracked through the house.
"Eric Thomas and Tanner Lawrence, keep your voices down! The hardwood floors carry!" Mary reprimanded loudly. Molly just stood staring at the door, unsure what to do. Mary turned to her and frowned. "Are you ready to do this?" she asked, her voice serious.
No, I am not. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. Absolutely not. "Yes."
Mary nodded. "Alright, let's go greet Sherlock."
Molly and Theo stood at the back of the crowd with John and Mary while Eric and Tanner both fought to see who could open the door. When the it finally swung open, all three Watson children simultaneously said, "Uncle Sherlock!"
"Hello." His baritone voice caused Molly to shiver involuntarily, earning her a look from Theo, whose eyes were cautious and careful. The sound of Sherlock's tread entering the doorway and the squeak of the door closing seemed incredibly loud, and Molly kept her eyes glued to the floor as Sherlock continued to speak.
"Well, Eric, you've seem to grown an inch since last I saw you, so you are one inch closer to being as tall as your father. Ah, Tanner, your hair is longer and you are still the same height, though you are taller than Eric. And, my dear Allie, your eyes are wide and bright with excitement, and your smile is bigger than usual. Still very pretty, as usual."
His voice was so teasing, so carefree, so emotional that Molly felt her mouth gape as she studied the floor. Sherlock said all that? The same Sherlock that told her to leave after she'd told him 'I love you'? THAT one?
How is this possible? she thought, her eyes wide.
Theo moved beside her, stepping forward a couple steps, causing her gaze to flicker up automatically. She didn't know what to think when she saw that his eyes were still cautious when he met his father's gaze.
"Hello, Theo," Sherlock replied, his voice lower, more serious, than it was with the Watson children.
She could feel his gaze on her, and she hazarded a glance up and saw him standing a couple feet away from her, his beautiful eyes on her. Molly felt her cheeks turn red, and she quickly looked away. Her heart was going a million miles an hour and her breathing hitched.
Damn it, Molly! Every time without fail! His effect on her was profound, and Molly hated it.
There was an awkward silence as the Watsons and Theo stared at Sherlock who was staring at Molly. She kept her gaze fixed on the floor and felt like crying in joy when John finally broke the ice.
"Well," John said, clapping his hands, "time to eat!"
Molly sat with Mary on her left and Eric on her right. Theo was seated next to Sherlock, who was across from Molly, and John, who was at the head of the table. She mostly kept to herself, listening to the conversations and keeping her eyes on her plate. She picked at the food in front of her and tried with all her might not to blush. Molly could feel Sherlock's gaze on her, and all she wanted to do was disappear.
"So, Molly," Mary said loudly, clearly intending to draw her into the conversation, "where have you been living?"
Molly looked up from her plate and glanced around at the horde of people who were looking at her curiously, save for Theo, who already knew where they had been living, and Sherlock. Sherlock's heated gaze was void of any emotion, and one glance at him was enough for Molly.
"I, er, I mean, we have been living in Miami, Florida."
"Miami?" Allie asked curiously. She was on the opposite end of the table with Eric and Tanner. "That's so far." A frown formed on her face.
"And hot," Theo added irritably. "Being in England's weather makes me wonder how Mom ever survived."
The whole table let out small laughs, while Molly chuckled nervously and blushed even more.
"Er, yes, it was an... adjustment," she agreed, pushing the broccoli around on her plate. "But I made it work. After all, I had to earn respect at my new job, and then finding out that I was pregnant with Theo..." She trailed off, her eyes widening with horror.
Oh, stupid, stupid, STUPID Molly! Why did you bring that up?
Her eyes flickered upwards, and Sherlock's gaze met her own. His eyes were not the emotionless pits that they were a second before. His eyes were tight with emotion. She saw anger, despair, resentment, and... loss. That was the most predominant: loss. She felt her heart well up, and the urge to sob a horrified 'sorry' at Sherlock pressed against her. She swallowed harshly and looked down.
"What was Theo like as a baby?" Allie asked after a moment, mischievousness in her voice. "I am sure that you have all kinds of stories."
Theo let out a little groan. "Please, please, Mom, don't start that."
Molly turned and grinned softly at her son. "Sorry, Theo, but I just have to tell everyone what a chubby baby you were."
The snickers from the Watson family and the groan from Theo made Molly giggle.
"Tell me more!" Allie demanded.
"Well, I remember when I was in the hospital right after I had Theo I was so disoriented, and when they handed me this big, chubby baby, I said, 'Well, I'm surprised I didn't pop before I gave birth.'"
There were more laughs, and Molly could see Theo blushing out of the corner of her eye. "He was really just the prettiest baby I'd ever seen though. He was born with those brown curls, and he had the cutest nose." Molly sighed, getting lost in the memory of her son's birth. "Then, when he opened his eyes..."
The urge to look at Sherlock was too great, and Molly glanced up see Sherlock staring at her with the very eyes that her son did when he was a newborn. "They were the biggest, crystalline eyes, and they just stared up at me in what I swear was awe," Molly continued, holding Sherlock's gaze.
He gave a strange huff, almost as if he was holding back emotion. "They were so intelligent and piercing that I had gasped. I couldn't tell you how many compliments I received from the staff on Theo's eyes."
Allie was in awe, and Theo groaned; Mary laughed, and John chuckled, but Molly and Sherlock did nothing but stare at one another.
A/N: May I just tell you that this chapter was a BITCH to write. I've been dealing with serious writer's block, and I just now was able to break out of it. Hallelujah! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter! Next chapter is dinner from Sherlock's PoV as a treat for your wait! I have absolutely no idea when that will be up. I'm preparing for school to start again, and that mixed with writer's block means a lot of sporadic updates for the next couple months. Leave me some love! Maybe we will be able to meet two-hundred reviews in the next couple chapters! If we do that, I promise two upload a chapter that is double the normal length! Hope your week goes well!