Chapter 18: All The Joy You'll Find
Upon exiting her flat, Sherlock hailed a cab that took them back to Baker Street. But before going up to 221B, Molly insisted that they say hello to Mrs. Hudson, just to let her know that things were all right again. "She's been so good to me, Sherlock, and I know she's worried about the both of us," reasoned Molly as they got out of the cab.
"If you wish," said Sherlock, who kept her hand in his, as he had since leaving her flat; he was even carrying the tin of pastries Molly had made for the occasion in his free hand. He knew that Mrs. Hudson would find out sooner rather than later, but had no objections to letting her know now.
But when they knocked on her door, there was no answer. "Most likely, she is up with John and the children," Sherlock deduced. "If she had gone out, she would have locked her door more securely."
"Come on, then," said Molly, and pulled him up the stairs. She knocked on the door, and John immediately opened it, his eyes filled with eager excitement for the pair of them. He took one look at their joined hands and Molly's happy expression, and then pulled her into a tight hug. "Thank you so much, John," said Molly, the tone of her voice telling him exactly what that gratitude encompassed.
And he heard it. "My pleasure, truly, Molls," he murmured. He was going to give her cheek a friendly kiss, but then caught his best friend's stare that would certainly turn into a glare if he did that. He chuckled and let Molly go, so she could greet Benny and Loo. He chuckled again when he saw that she had to pull her hand from his in order to do so.
"Come on," said John, gently pushing Sherlock inside. "Hang up your coat, and then take those," he indicated the tin Sherlock was holding, "to Mrs. Hudson in the kitchen."
"Thank you, John," said Sherlock after he hung up his coat; his tone was the same as Molly's had been.
John smiled, and gripped Sherlock's shoulder for a moment. "You did good, mate," he said in a low voice. "Let's make sure that continues, yeah?"
Sherlock's glare wasn't nearly as strong as it could have been as he nodded curtly. He then went into the kitchen where Mrs. Hudson was pouring out tea. She had heard the arrival of Sherlock and Molly from the kitchen, so her smile was knowing when she saw Sherlock and took the tin of pastries from him. "I'm proud of you, dearie," she murmured.
He allowed her to pull him into a hug, which he returned as he whispered, "Thank you for looking after her when I couldn't."
"Always, Sherlock," she said, patting his back and letting him go. "I love the three of you like my own, and always will."
Meanwhile, Molly greeted Benny and Loo with a big bear hug as Sherlock had his moment with Mrs. Hudson.
"So, what does your uncle have planned for us this afternoon?" she asked the two of them but looking at John.
"Well, Harry's coming by around three, so that leaves us just enough time for a movie," he said, smiling playfully as he revealed the DVD he was holding behind his back: Disney's animated Peter Pan.
The children cheered and Molly laughed. "Why am I not surprised?"
John laughed, and knelt down by the television to set it up. Molly took a seat on one side of the couch, while Benny and Loo happily sat down on the floor, one with their pirate hat on and the other holding their blue blankie. The latter chose to sit by and lean against Molly's legs. Molly reached down and rubbed Loo's little head with affection.
Sherlock came out of the kitchen, spotted Molly sitting on the sofa, and smirked. In the next moment, he had come to the couch and laid down on it like he so often did, but this time with his head on Molly's lap. Of course, he waited until he'd already done it before asking, "Do you mind?"
John shook his head in a silent chuckle, while Molly giggled in spite of herself. "Well, even if I did, you look quite comfortable," she replied, and gently ran her fingers through his hair. Sherlock closed his eyes and almost purred again, while he placed her other hand on his chest, which he promptly covered with his own.
In the next moment there came a knock on the door. John went to get it, and Sherlock opened his eyes to roll them, muttering "of course" under his breath. In came Mycroft, who took one look at the two people on the couch, and smirked before seating himself comfortably in an armchair. "Just thought I would pay a visit to see how progress has been made."
"You knew from the moment progress was made, Mycroft," said Sherlock. "You just came because Molly made sweets."
"That too," said Mycroft pleasantly, nodding at Molly, who smiled.
Mrs. Hudson seemed to come in on cue, and John gave her a hand in passing out tea to the adults, juice to the children, and Molly's cakes to everyone. "Just one each, you hear me?" said Mrs. Hudson to the children and the Holmes boys. She sat down in the other arm chair, and John pulled a chair in from the kitchen so he wouldn't have to sit on the floor.
Remote control in hand, John scrolled through the previews as he spoke to those two men. "You do realize we're about to watch an animated movie for children that has very little to do with logic, right?"
"Yes, of course," replied Mycroft casually. "While I'm sure the mere idea of my brother and I as children baffles the mind, I assure you it was once true. And this J.M. Barrie story happened to be both of our favorites growing up – book, movie and play. So a stroll down Memory Lane of the best kind does not go unvalued by me."
John couldn't help but grin at the mere thought of Mycroft and Sherlock as children. He then turned his head to the latter and said: "Do I need to remind you to please not behave as you usually do when watching television?"
Before Sherlock could reply, Mycroft said, "I wouldn't worry about that, John. My little brother seems as happy as a clam where he is."
"Shut up, Mycroft," said Sherlock like a five-year-old. But Molly's hand stroked his curls a little more deeply, and he relaxed with closed eyes again.
Molly turned her head to John and said, "I'm very glad we're watching this, John. Because, I would say this Peter Pan, more than any other, is like him." Not one of the adults needed to ask who she meant by that.
And so the movie commenced, and Molly could not remember enjoying watching a movie more. The two children were quite familiar with the movie, but that didn't mean they still didn't love it with such excitement. They were so engrossed in the movie, they never minded when the adults would make quiet comments to each other.
John, who had not seen the movie since he'd been a child, found himself enjoying it very much, especially when he could see that Molly was right: in many ways, Sherlock was just like this Peter Pan. At one point, Mycroft poked fun at him when Wendy's character was introduced, as the person who told the stories of Peter Pan's adventures. "You must admit, that does sound similar."
"No! Peter loves Wendy's stories, can't say the same for that one," snapped John, waving his hand at the detective.
"John's much more like the boy John in the story," said Molly, making a good point, which John was grateful for and liked very much.
Mycroft's stony exterior melted a bit, under the magical influence of Molly's pastries and good company. At the beginning, when shown John and Michael fighting with play swords, he could have sworn he was watching him and his little brother from so long ago.
Mrs. Hudson couldn't have been happier, surrounded by the people she loved and who loved her. During the song dedicated to mothers, all of the adults raised a glass to her. But what warmed her heart the most was when, during that song Molly looked like she would cry, Sherlock kissed her hand and the girl was immediately soothed, giving him a loving look.
Sherlock did, indeed, behave himself – mostly due to his comfortable position, and Molly's small, soft hands stroking his hair and chest. Sometimes he kept his eyes closed, as if he had retreated into his Mind Palace; sometimes, he would turn his head to watch it (especially when a pirate was onscreen).
When he did make comments, they were quiet so only Molly could hear them:
"Yes, Mycroft and I did play similar duels, but I assure you, his weight ensured I was the victor nine times out of ten."
"Girls do talk too much; he's a smart lad, that one."
"Why on Earth do you compare yourself to that Tinker Bell, you're not like that at all!"
This last comment was made quite a few times, especially in the beginning. And he made perfect sense to Molly: she was, indeed, not nearly as vain, sulky or dangerously jealous as the little pixie. But near the end, Sherlock refrained from that comment as he saw the character of Tinker Bell show her heart – which held a deep love for her boy wonder.
Sherlock was the most invested watcher when Peter was about to open the bomb Hook had left for him, and Tinker Bell came just in time to push it away from him, taking the full blast of it and thereby saving his life. Then, in the rubble of his hideout, as the boy who never grew up called desperately out for his pixie, Sherlock had her hand on his chest in a vice grip.
Tinker Bell had just told him that Wendy and the boys had been kidnapped by Hook, and to go save them.
"I've got to save you first!" called Peter Pan as he crawled through the rubble towards the dying, fading Tinker Bell. "Hold on, Tink! Hold on! Don't go out! Oh, don't you understand, Tink? You mean more to me than anything in this whole world!"
It happened so quickly, it was a miracle that Molly didn't make a sound. The moment after that scene had ended, Sherlock had jumped up and pulled Molly with him out of the living room, into his own bedroom, and closed the door. One was too determined and the other was too shocked to take note of anybody else's reactions.
"Sherlock, what –?" was all Molly could say in her shock. Sherlock was looking at her wildly, almost desperately, but with a tenderness that melted her heart. He took her face in his hands and leaned forward slightly; his mouth opened and closed, but it was his eyes that asked permission.
Molly understood, smiled, and nodded.
And he kissed her, both tender and passionate at the same time, with some hesitation though, since he had never kissed anybody before. Molly responded with her heart on her lips, melting at how soft his lips were against her own. Soon, their arms wrapped around each other in rejoicing relief.
And when their lips finally parted for air, neither could determine or care who had a bigger – or sillier – grin on their face.
Sherlock and Molly joined the group only a minute after they had disappeared, when Peter Pan and a restored Tinker Bell returned to save Wendy and the boys for the final showdown with Hook and the pirates. Both ignored the looks from the adults – happy Mrs. Hudson, smirking Mycroft, satisfied John – and settled back on the couch to watch the rest of the movie as eagerly as the children sitting on the floor.
All was right with the world in Baker Street that afternoon. And it was only the beginning.
A/N: And there you have it! My goodness, this story has come such a long way since I first got the idea. It was inspired by two things: that image of Sherlock and Molly I pointed out two chapters ago, and I wanted to have Molly be a literal ball-buster. Your reviews and support have overwhelmed, humbled, and thrilled me, for I was very unconfident in taking this realm on. Glad you like me! And keep an eye out – this is just the beginning for me in this forum.
P.S. Please, if you can, watch Disney's animated Peter Pan. If you watch it with Sherlock and these characters in mind, it's amazing how many comparisons can be made.