Another fic named after another song. This chapter was named after (and slightly inspired by) a Dusty Springfield song. I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I don't own BBC Sherlock, but I do own 'Rosie Watson'.
This Never Happened Before
It was about 4:00 on a Sunday afternoon and Sherlock Holmes was standing by the window of 221B Baker Street. He breathed slowly as he gently drew the bow across the strings of his violin. John Watson was sitting on the sofa watching his 6 year old daughter, who was currently sitting on the floor with a colouring book and some crayons. Rosie Watson was a very creative young girl. She had long, light brown, curly hair and was dressed all in pink. Pink had been her favourite colour since her father had told her the story of how her 'Uncle Sherlock' had solved a mystery where everything was pink.
Sherlock reached the end of the melody and started walking towards the sofa, still holding the violin.
John looked up at the detective. "You do know we came here to talk to you…you know…catch up on things. Not to listen to you playing that bloody thing all the time". He said in an annoyed tone.
"Nothing to talk about" the detective said in a monotone voice.
"No cases I should know about? Nothing new?"
"You could always ask how my life's going".
"Anything new with your life, John?" he sounded sarcastic.
"Well….no" John looked defeated.
"Exactly" he smirked and started walking back towards the window.
John rolled his eyes. He didn't know why he bothered sometimes. Trying to have a normal conversation with Sherlock was like trying to get blood out of a stone. He asked himself why he even bothered to make the effort to visit Baker Street in the first place. But he soon remembered that it's because he misses his friend. They'd seen a lot less of each other since John moved out. Even though Sherlock annoyed him he still enjoyed being in his company. He also loved being in the flat as it held many pleasant memories for him. John looked at the table and started to reminisce about the time the flat was filled with books and how he and Sherlock had spent the whole night looking through them all, trying to crack a code. John loved his current life but he did miss living in Baker Street.
John came out of his reverie as he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Sherlock heard them too but he ignored them and continued to put his violin away.
"Molly!" a bright smile appeared on John's face.
Sherlock quickly turned around to face the doorway where Molly was standing.
"Oh, hi! I wasn't expecting to see you here" she said returning the smile. "Hello, Rosie! Wow! You've grown so much since the last time I saw you!"
Rosie smiled shyly. She didn't mention it but she actually had no idea who Molly was. Molly hadn't seen Rosie since she was a toddler so Rosie didn't have much memory of her.
"We just popped round for a…chat" John gave Sherlock an annoyed look as he remembered the brief conversation they'd just had. But Sherlock didn't notice John's gaze, his eyes were fixed on Molly. John's annoyed expression merged into a confused one as he noticed the look on Sherlock's face. He recognised that look but he couldn't work out what it was. He'd certainly never seen Sherlock look like that before.
"The door was left open so I thought I'd come straight up" Molly said innocently as she caught Sherlock's gaze.
"That would be Mary; she just popped out to the shop to get something. Actually she should be back soon if you want to stick around for a catch up. I know how you girls love to talk" John smiled at Molly.
"I'd love to but I've been called into the morgue. I'm on my way there now but I just wanted to stop by because…" she reached into her bag and pulled out a purple shirt. "I was cleaning my flat yesterday and I found this". She looked back at Sherlock who was still standing by the window. "You must have dropped it when you were moving out. I thought you might want it back". She smiled at the detective as she held the shirt out towards him. He walked over to her.
"Thank you, Molly" he smiled as he reached for the shirt. As he grabbed it their hands touched. Their faces went blank as they stared into each other's eyes. They stayed there for longer than what would have been normal. John watched them. He had a confused expression again as his eyes flickered between them. Rosie was also watching them with some interest. John felt some awkward tension and cleared his throat, which caused Sherlock and Molly to break out of their trance.
"I should get to work then" Molly said as she let go of the shirt.
Sherlock cleared his throat. "Yes, you don't want to be late".
"No, I don't. I'll see you later then" she said awkwardly.
Sherlock replied with a slight nod.
"Bye, Rosie!" She smiled at the young girl again. "Bye, John. Say hello to Mary for me" she directed the smile towards John.
"I will. Bye, Molly. Take care" he smiled back at her as she turned and started walking down the stairs.
"Who was that?" Rosie asked.
"That was Molly" Sherlock answered. He was still staring at the doorway where Molly had just been.
"Is she your girlfriend?"
Sherlock broke out of his trance. "What? No!" he gave a stern look to John who was currently laughing at the thought of his friend being in an actual relationship. "She's just a friend!" Sherlock stated as he walked back over to the window.
"Do you love her?" Rosie continued.
Sherlock sighed. "No!"
"Why would you say that, Rosie?" John asked softly.
"You look like you love her" Rosie answered her father's question but directed it towards Sherlock.
John looked like he was working out a puzzle inside his head. It was like he was starting to realise something.
Sherlock ignored Rosie and stared down to the street below.
"What are you doing?" she questioned again.
Sherlock sighed. He was getting annoyed now. He didn't understand why children had to ask such pointless questions all the time. But still this was his best friend's daughter so he just decided to put up with it and answer her. "I'm making sure she gets into her cab safely".
"Is that because you care about her?"
John looked at him shocked.
Sherlock noticed John's expression. "Well…yes but that's because she's my friend and I want to make sure she's ok" he said calmly.
Sherlock watched the cab drive off and then sat in his armchair with a newspaper. John watched him with a slight smile on his face.
Just then more footsteps could be heard coming up the stairs.
"That's all sorted. We should start making our way home because someone has school tomorrow" Mary smiled at her daughter who was still sitting in the same spot. Mary knelt down and started picking up the crayons and putting them into her bag. "Ready?" she asked Rosie.
"Yeah!" she replied as her mother stood up and took hold of her hand.
"Are you coming, John?" Mary looked at her husband who was still sitting on the sofa, smiling at his friend.
"I'll catch up with you" he replied without looking away from the detective who had his face hidden behind the newspaper.
Mary looked slightly confused. "Ok then. Bye, Sherlock"
"Bye bye, Uncle Sherlock" Rosie said as she waved at him.
"Mmm" Sherlock grunted half-heartedly without looking away from the paper.
Mary rolled her eyes and started to walk downstairs with Rosie.
John got up and sat in the other armchair opposite Sherlock.
He was still wearing a playful grin on his face. "You know what they say about young children don't you".
Sherlock didn't answer; he kept his face hidden behind the paper.
John decided to continue anyway. "They say that they can see things that adults wouldn't normally notice".
Sherlock sighed; he knew where this was going. "Yes and they also have vivid imaginations which makes it easy for them to make stuff up".
"Oh come on Sherlock. You know how she feels about you".
John sighed. "Can we not do this, please".
"Stop pretending that you don't know who we're talking about!" John was now angry. He waited for a reply from the detective but it never came. "Molly!"
"She's my friend and nothing more" Sherlock was still calm and still hiding behind the newspaper.
"That's because you won't allow her to be anything more" John managed to calm himself down. "She feels very strongly about you, Sherlock…and if you feel the same you should tell her" he paused and thought about the look he had seen on his friend's face earlier. "And I think it's pretty obvious that you feel the same way" he smiled warmly. "I never noticed it before but it's as clear as day".
"You're overlooking things, John. You listen to your daughter too much and your daughter watches too many of those awful Disney films". Sherlock sounded unimpressed as he dismissed his friend's theory.
"Sherlock, I've seen the way you look at her. It's a very specific look. It's a look of longing…of wanting…of wanting to protect that person…but not in a possessive way. It's a look that says the things you can't say out loud. It's a look that you can't disguise no matter how hard you try. It's the look of love". During this speech John had trailed off into a world of his own. Instead of looking at his friend he was now staring into an empty space. Therefore he hadn't noticed that Sherlock had lowered the newspaper slightly as he listened to the description. He now had a more serious expression as he stared at John.
"How do you know?" Sherlock asked.
John broke out of his reverie suddenly remembering where he was. He looked up at his friend and smiled warmly. "Because it's the same way I look at Mary".
Sherlock folded up the paper and chucked it on the floor. He sat back in his armchair and placed both of his thumbs under his chin with his fingers against his face. He thought about what John had just said. Mary had made John very happy and even though Sherlock would never mention it, the two of them always seemed very much in love. A worried expression came across Sherlock's face. He had all of these feeling towards Molly that he had never felt before; therefore he didn't really know what they were. He now realised that maybe his friend's daughter was right, maybe these feelings were of love. Sherlock was known for being a very intelligent man. He was famous for noticing things that other people didn't and here was a 6 year old noticing something that he hadn't. A slightly embarrassed expression appeared on Sherlock's face.
"Tell her how you feel" John interrupted Sherlock's thinking.
"Sherlock, stop denying the tru-"
"No it's not because of that" he interrupted.
"Why won't you tell her then".
Sherlock leant forward. "Look John, I know you think that love is a mystery to me but…I've read about it"
"You've read about it?"
"Just some research"
"From what I've read about relationships it seems like someone always ends up…getting hurt"
"Sherlock, that woman adores you, she'd never hurt you. You don't have to worry abo-"
"That's not what I'm worried about" Sherlock interrupted again. "I don't want to hurt her" he frowned and looked at the floor.
"That's what you're worried about? Hurting her?"
Sherlock nodded slightly.
"Well you've never seemed worried about that before" There was some anger in John's voice again.
"What do you mean?"
"Well you've certainly caused her a lot of pain over the last few years. In fact you're hurting her more by not telling her. It's not fair on her Sherlock! Especially after the way you've treated her in the past"
"I know. I want to make it up to her"
"Well this is the perfect way to do it. Just tell her how you feel"
Sherlock sighed. "This has never happened to me before. I've never had these feelings before. I've never told anyone how I feel about them" he paused as a frown appeared under his nose. "I don't know how to".
John stared at his best friend. He'd never looked so vulnerable before. "Have you seriously never felt this way at all? Not even had a crush at school?"
"Well…yes, but I soon realised how pointless these feelings are and quickly learnt to dismiss them. But with Molly I can't dismiss them. I've tried but they're just too…strong" he sounded slightly frustrated.
"So you've never been in a relationship with a girl at all? You've never…you know…with a girl?"
Sherlock gave John a confused look.
"Never mind. You poor sod".
Sherlock started to realise what his friend had meant. John saw Sherlock's expression and decided to change the subject.
"Basically all you have to do is just say what's on your mind. If you think she looks nice, tell her. If you like her hair, tell her"
"What if I can't think of anything to say?"
John smiled. "I know this is going to sound…outrageous to you but with these sorts of things it's best not to think at all"
Sherlock looked horrified. Not think? Thinking was what he did best!
John let out a small laugh at Sherlock's expression. "Sherlock, just say the first thing that comes to your mind and the right words will come. Trust me" he smiled.
Just then John's phone started buzzing. He pulled it out of his pocket and had a look. "It's Mary. I'd better go, she and Rosie are waiting for me".
He stood up and looked at Sherlock who had a worried expression again. "Just do what feels right" he smiled and started walking towards the door.
John stopped and turned to face his friend.
"Thank you" Sherlock gave him the slightest smile.
"You're welcome mate. See you later. Good luck" he turned and started walking down the stairs. He had a big grin on his face as he walked towards the front door. That was the first time he had had a real, serious conversation with his former flatmate. He had just witnessed some proof that his friend was human after all.