Title: Blue Moon
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Molly wanders off into the garden on the night of John's wedding to ponder life, love and happiness.
A/N: This was going to be a short little one-shot inspired by the new promo pics, but it's going to end up being a two-parter because apparently I'm incapable of writing one-shots. Ah well…admitting it is the first step. Also, this is the second Sherlolly fic I've titled after a doowop song. I don't know what that means, but there it is!
Molly breathed in the sweet scent of the garden as she walked, relishing in the few moments of peace. The sounds of the party hopping merrily along inside the Hall grew dimmer as she strolled further away, replaced by the song of the crickets and the soft sounds of various fauna making themselves at home in the pond ahead.
There was something heady about the way the night air smelled after a few glasses of wine. It wasn't something she could describe if anyone asked her – it was simply a change in the way her olfactory process worked, affected somehow by the alcohol. It didn't happen often, because she didn't drink very often these days, but when it did it always transported her back to her uni days. To the nights spent traipsing around Edinburgh with her mates, thinking they were escaping the stresses of their lives and failing, in their youth, to recognize the fact that they did not yet really know the meaning of stress.
Molly found herself twisting the ring on her finger as she reflected, staring up at the bright full moon that illuminated the garden, its light dancing off of the surface of the pond like fairy lights.
She was sorry that Tom couldn't make it tonight. She missed him. She thought briefly about calling him and having a quiet chat, but he'd probably be asleep by now and anyway, she'd left her bag inside. Closing her eyes, she sighed and reached up to pull the big yellow bow out of her hair.
"Mind if I join you?"
Molly opened her eyes and looked around to find Sherlock standing a few feet away from her, his hands clasped behind his back. She felt the twinge of guilt that always pricked at her now whenever she shivered at the sound of his voice.
"Sure," she said softly, rubbing one arm with her free hand and letting her bow dangle by her side with the other.
He approached hesitantly nonetheless, looking ill at ease with himself. He might not feel comfortable, Molly thought to herself, but he looked spectacular in his tux and tie. He'd gotten a haircut for the occasion, and from the coif to the shoes, he cut a handsome figure.
Blushing and feeling glad he probably couldn't tell in the moonlight, she cleared her throat and said, "Your speech was wonderful."
He glanced at her briefly before looking up at the sky, his eyes cataloguing the stars as he replied gruffly, "Thank you. It's not really my area, so…"
"It was brilliant," she affirmed warmly, "Everyone at my table said so, too."
He looked at her again, then back up. "Well. Glad I managed not to embarrass him. Them."
She noted his self-correction, but didn't mention it. Turning her gaze back up to the sky, she was content to stand in silence for a few moments, simply appreciating the beauty of the natural canopy, before he spoke again.
"The only one I could ever identify with any accuracy was Orion."
She glanced sideways at him and teased, "That's an easy one."
"I know," he teased back, "But not bad for a man who has no concept of the solar system, wouldn't you say?"
She laughed lightly and lifted the arm closest to him, pointing into the sky.
"There's Centaurus, there. It's a big one, so I always found it easily."
He didn't respond for a second. Just as she was about to feel foolish, he asked,
"There, look," she replied, stepping closer to him so that he could follow her pointing finger, "See the tiny triangle of three stars? It's his…well, I guess it would be his trapezius."
"Hmm," he hummed thoughtfully, "I do see it."
"And there," she pointed out another, "That's Virgo. See? That line of seven stars with the middle one dipping below the rest? That's her…well, actually, I have no idea. I could never really fathom how they got a virgin out of that grouping."
"No, not seeing that at all."
She laughed again and dropped her arm, which bumped his and made her suddenly aware of their extremely close proximity. She was practically pressed against him. Drawing a breath and stepping away, she was about to change the subject when suddenly, he was doing it for her.
"So, this will be you soon, Molly," he observed, eyeing the bright windows of the Hall in the distance, "The white dress, the party, the inane speeches and drunken dancing."
She felt flushed suddenly and wished she'd brought a drink out with her.
"Yeah. Well, actually, probably not. I mean, yes, I…I'm getting married, but it won't be like this. I don't like being the center of attention, and this would be too much. We'll probably just do something very small. Just us, a couple of witnesses and a quiet dinner."
He was looking at her now, his blue eyes intent on her face. She had to fight to avoid squirming under his gaze.
"We were in contact when I was gone," he said, his voice even lower than usual, "I called you. You were the only one I called."
She shrugged. She knew where this was headed, and she'd been dreading it since the day he'd come back to life.
"Just a few times. And I was the only one you could call."
"You think that's why I did?"
"No, I just…" she trailed off momentarily, sighing, and then continued, "Listen, Sherlock…"
"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked, and at his tone she finally looked up and met his eyes. The hurt in them was impossible to brush off, and she suddenly felt two inches tall.
She shook her head, deciding that the easiest way out of this conversation was to just be honest.
"I didn't want you to talk me out of it. You always did that, every time I met someone. I…I just didn't want you to start saying things. Making me doubt myself. I liked Tom too much from the start to risk it."
There was a long, heavy silence following this confession, and Molly stared resolutely ahead, unable to look him in the face. She could feel him looking at her, and it made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Finally, he turned his head away, and for one relieved moment, Molly thought that was the end of the conversation.
She couldn't have been more wrong.
"Molly, I…" he started, pausing for a second to get his bearings before continuing in a decidedly gravelly voice, "I thought about you while I was gone. Quite a bit."
She couldn't say for sure where he was going with this train of thought. All she knew was that her insides were beginning to vibrate at the tone in his voice – from anticipation or dread, she wasn't sure.
He went on, "I thought about how you helped me, how you've always helped me. And I began to think that perhaps, when I came back, things could be different."
She swallowed. "They are different."
He turned his body to fully face her then, and she looked up at him. The look in his eyes was unlike any she'd ever seen before, and her stomach swooped down to about the level of her knees as she realized with a jolt what he was trying to tell her.
Before she could reflect any further, he leaned in and pressed his lips to hers in a soft kiss. It wasn't frenzied or forceful but gentle, almost chaste. It didn't make a difference. He poured everything he was feeling into it – longing, hope, desire and a million other things, punctuated by a question mark. Molly felt all this and, although he pulled away all too quickly, she was left feeling completely overwhelmed.
Trembling, she opened her eyes and found him still inches away, staring into her eyes. She felt the almost insuppressible urge to lean in again and kiss him properly, but Tom broke into her cloudy thoughts like lightning through a storm.
"I have to go," Molly said, her voice coming out breathy in spite of herself.
He didn't respond. He didn't react at all, in fact, except to keep his eyes fixed on her as she slowly backed a few steps away from him before turning and practically running back to the reception hall, leaving him standing there, alone with his thoughts in the light of the blue moon.
And her bow, which had slipped from her fingers and onto the dewy grass the moment his lips had touched hers.