Final chapter guys! It's been a wonderful 4 day journey with you :) An absolute pleasure to be associated with you all!
Let the show commence!
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock.
Winter had already melted into spring the next time Sherlock saw Molly again. London was in a haze of sweet and intoxicating air, with the usual bustle of cars now accompanied with the melody of the songbirds.
It was safe to say that Sherlock preferred winter over spring. The cold chill the air brought made his nose red and his cheeks rosy, and the white snow made his already pale skin almost seem translucent. But Sherlock liked being bundled up in his coat and scarf, and most crimes are usually committed in winter after the Christmas season. Even criminals like to enjoy their Christmas.
It was March, and although the air was still slightly nippy, the sun finally broke through the mass of dark clouds.
After Molly had insisted to be left alone the day after her break up with Justin, it was with a heavy heart the Sherlock parted.
He had texted her, asking her when he could be back in the lab for some experiments (just so he could have an excuse to see her again), and whenever he would get no reply he wondered when he had gotten so cowardly. He knew he was straightforward and brash, but it seems when he comprehended the revelation of his feelings, he began to retreat and hide away, afraid to face the woman he had manipulated for so long and afraid of messing up and not being the man he knew she deserved.
"When are you going to see her again?" John asks as he sits down opposite Sherlock at the kitchen table.
Sherlock looks up from his entwined hands. "I don't know."
"Come on, you finally know what you're feeling, and last I heard she was single. Hell, Sherlock, a guy broke up her because he thought she belonged to you. I can't believe I'm saying this but – man up!"
"Do you remember that case with Irene Adler?" Sherlock asked John after a couple beats of silence.
"She lost because she fell in love. I don't want to lose, too."
John put down his fork and stared at Sherlock in the eye. "Yeah but what you're going to lose is so much greater if you don't try and grab the opportunity life has given you."
Sherlock peered at John through his eyelashes. "What will I lose?"
Sherlock remembered telling himself that he was never going to let her go, that he was not going to let her slip past his fingers once again.
He had felt brave. He had felt strong.
But then she had ordered him to leave her alone, and didn't reply to any of his messages, and that strength dwindled until almost none was left.
The distance she initiated between the two of them created a thread that was about to be cut.
Sherlock felt like he was about to lose her, but he didn't know what to do to get her to fall in love with him again. There were only a handful of times in Sherlock's life when he could remember being confused.
And most of all…scared.
He was scared to show up on her front doorstep and say something that would result in a door slammed in his face, because sometimes he can't control what comes out of his mouth.
He was scared of messing things up.
He had done a lot of things wrong in his life. Things he can't apologize for. But he had wronged Molly Hooper most of all.
She was always there – from the beginning of his consulting detective days to the confrontation with Moriarty. She was like air, always there when needed, and she let him breathe.
And he had done nothing but push her down until she couldn't get back up.
It made his heart hurt.
As he watched John clear up the dishes (his plate being left untouched), he pondered for a moment as to let destiny decide whether or not he and Molly should end up together, or take life into his own hands.
"John," Sherlock watched his friend turn around.
"How do I get her back?"
He was never one for destiny.
Molly turned a page in her book, sighing wistfully at the happy ending that her beloved characters received.
She wished she could have a happy ending.
Molly had honestly thought that Justin was a genuinely nice guy. He was funny, sweet, kind and caring. He was the kind of guy that Molly read in her romance novels. He didn't seem to be one to hurt a girl.
And yet, he did, all because he thought that she belonged to someone else.
And she had a slight inkling as to who he meant.
Sherlock was an amazing man. He was gifted with an outstanding set of looks and an even more outstanding set of intellect. He was direct and honest and open, though not in the conventional way.
But Sherlock wasn't kind.
He was anything but. Sure, he had his moments of cynical and sardonic humour, and he did give her a shoulder to lean on after Justin broke up with her. He cared for his friends and those he held dear.
He everything Justin was except kind, and Molly had suffered through enough ridicule in her life to settle with someone who didn't know the difference between constructive criticism and rudeness. He'd never settle for her anyway.
She remembered when she first laid her eyes on him. Young, fresh out of rehab and a new consultant with New Scotland Yard. His hair was still curly, although it was shorter, and his face was much less developed with his cheekbones less prominent as they are now.
She can still remember the vacant look in his eyes. He was young and inexperienced, although he had already tasted hardship amongst his privileged childhood. The look of a recovering drug addict.
But despite all that, despite the sneer and the scowl set firmly in his face and his very rude comments about her life as the very first things he said to her – he was still the most beautiful man that Molly had ever met.
It was haunting her now. Like a ghost in the shadows of her mind.
Sherlock wasn't passionate, he didn't like the typical romantic gestures that one would usually expect from a boyfriend, hell, he used body parts for experiments for god's sake.
They would have made quite a pair, him and her.
Molly often used to think that they were made for one another, given their professions and mutual interests in human anatomy, but that fantasy was quickly squashed down when she realized that he wasn't the type to get into a relationship.
Love is juvenile, after all.
But lately, after the Fall, sometimes she thinks she can see him glancing towards her out of the corner of his eye while he worked. And when the silence fell before them in the emptiness of the lab, he didn't leave her like he used to when John beckoned him to come home and have dinner because "for god's sake Sherlock, you need to eat!"
Sherlock was a skinny thing, but Molly knew he ate sufficiently enough under John's care. Whenever Sherlock wasn't on a case, he'd actually snack on a piece of plain bread even though food wasn't allowed in the lab. But Molly never complained.
She didn't have much of a backbone back then.
But she began to grow one when Sherlock began to live with her. He was insufferable at first, lounging around whining and ranting about how Mycroft wasn't letting him deal with Moriarty's network himself, and sometimes not speaking for days on end – like a ghost with no voice. But he grew on her as she began to learn his habits.
He became nicer to her, after that.
Maybe that's part of the reason she feels bad about not answering Sherlock's text messages.
Why does he care, anyway? She wondered, because he never used to.
She didn't intentionally ignore them, but she wanted to be left alone with her thoughts after Justin had informed her that she was already imprinted on someone else's heart.
"There's a man for you out there, and it isn't me. I don't want to take someone who already belongs to someone else. Someone out there, he's maybe even closer than you think, has your name imprinted on his heart. So grab onto him and never let go."
It didn't take Molly that long to figure out that he was talking about Sherlock.
She needed to think, because everything was nothing but a pile of jumbled up knots in her mind that needed sorting out.
Her heart and her mind were just worn out.
Toby was just starting to curl up next to her and nuzzle his furry head in her side when there was a knock at the door.
Molly stroked her cat before standing up, placing her now finished book on the coffee table and smoothed out the work clothes that she hadn't yet changed out of.
She didn't bother looking through the peephole.
So imagine her surprise when she saw Sherlock Holmes standing outside her apartment.
He hadn't been there since he 'came back to life.'
"Molly," he breathed, and she noticed that his voice sounded raspy.
"Look, Sherlock, if this is about me not answering your texts then I –"
"No, it's not about that," he stepped in and closed the door behind him, "It's about what I wanted to say to you that night at the restaurant."
"Oh," she said, "alright then. What were you going to tell me?"
Sherlock bit his bottom lip and ruffled his curls. "Molly, before I tell you, can you promise me that you'll keep calm?"
Molly arched a brow, "Okay."
Sherlock nodded, "Good, good. Well – oh here goes."
"I love you."
The silence that followed was almost deafening.
"Wha-what?" Molly stuttered, backing into the wall behind her. Sherlock began approaching.
"Molly you promised to stay calm," Sherlock reminded her with wide, vulnerable blue eyes.
"That's because I didn't think you'd tell me you loved me!" she exclaimed.
Sherlock's face dropped as he grabbed ahold of her wrists and brought it up towards his chest. "Molly, please, believe me."
She pushed him away and ignored the dejected look that crossed his features. "Believe you?! Sherlock, all these years I was the one pining after you! And now you're telling me that you love me?! You can't just do that!"
She started to walk away, but found Sherlock racing after her and grabbing hold of her arm. She spun into his chest.
She was confused. Oh, she was just so, so, confused.
"Let me go!"
"No!" Sherlock argued back.
"Why not?" she asked, tears now clouding her vision.
"Because I can't."
She collapsed into his chest and felt his arms envelope her in a hug as they sunk to the floor. He held her close enough that she could feel his increased heartbeat.
"After all this time," she whispered into his chest, "why now?"
She let her head rest against his body, feeling the rise and descent of his labored breathing.
"What happened?" she repeated.
Sherlock let his cheek rest against the top of her head, "You crept up on me."
He felt her shake his head, "I don't believe you."
His heart sank and his stomach dropped, and Sherlock swears that tears were now brimming in his eyes. He can't lose her, not again. He won't let anything or anyone take her away from him again.
"Look at me, Molly," he said, and she peered up, eyes red-rimmed and tired. He grabbed her hand in his and placed it against his chest. "What do you feel?"
Molly felt her mouth gape open, unsure of how to proceed. "I…I feel a rapid heartbeat."
He raised their intertwined hands and placed it against his cheek. "What do you see?"
Her breath hitched in her throat. "I see…dilated pupils."
"And what does that mean?"
She began to shake her head, "No, no," she murmured and pulled away from Sherlock's grasp. He felt cold. "You can't just do that! You can't just walk in here and tell me you love me and expect everything to be okay!"
She watched as his face began to fall leaving his lips slightly parted and his eyes darken in sorrow.
"I've spent so long hoping that maybe you'd love me back, and now that I've finally began to move on you come back and tell me that?! I'm not a blank canvas, Sherlock! You can't paint whatever you want on me!"
Sherlock frowned and watched as Molly began to scurry away from him. "Do you think you'll ever love me again?"
He felt like his world was shattered when she answered, "I don't know."
And then, in a sudden burst of bravery, he followed her and cupped her cheeks in his hands. "Answer me again after I do this."
Then his lips were on hers.
Molly often thought about what his lips would feel like and taste like. She imagined it would be soft and sweet, like the Cupid's bow that his lips were sculpted after.
But she was wrong.
His lips were soft, but the kiss wasn't sweet. It was urgent and fervent, surprisingly passionate and heart-stopping. She could tell that Sherlock wasn't an experienced kisser, but even Molly can't deny that she felt her heart melt.
He tasted of wood and new books, with a slight sweetness from his natural scent. It was intoxicating.
Molly on the other hand, well, Sherlock didn't expect what he did.
He imagined her lips to taste of disinfectant, of cleanliness from the hospital she worked at, but no, she tasted of cherries and strawberries with a slight hint of lemon. He liked it.
As their lips collided against one another's, Molly felt the flame burning stronger than ever.
When they pulled away, Sherlock rested his head against hers. "What about now?"
Molly smirked, "I'll tell you after you kiss me again."
This time, the kiss was sweet.
"I love you, too."
Sherlock loved as fiercely as he cared, and things changed that night at her flat. The spark was growing into an inferno, one that would take even the most treacherous of villains' days to burn out.
But it will never burn out.
It was something new, something magical. This thing they had between them, stolen kisses in the lab and shared beds in the evening, it was something better than a fairytale.
But despite all that, things stayed as they were. Molly still gave Sherlock access to the lab, and they worked side by side until Molly's shift was over. Just like they always used to from the beginning.
Melinda nearly had a heart attack when she walked in on them kissing in the lab.
But it was alright, they were alright.
That's all that mattered.
He found that with her, his mind was sharper and he could think more clearly. In her presence, his heart beat faster and his palms began to sweat. She was the woman that always counted.
He became…happy, truly happy, for the first time in his life.
As he reflected on meeting Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, Molly and John, Sherlock can finally say that he has a family he protects, and in turn, protects him.
Love was definitely not a disadvantage.
This is the end of the story! The final chapter, here on this page.
I've loved this short journey that I got to share with all of you, and I hope to see you in the future if I come back with new Sherlolly fics!
I hope that it was to your satisfaction (in my opinion, it could have been better, but to each their own)!
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, it means so much that people actually like my work :)
So thank you to all of you amazing people! And don't forget to be extraordinary!