Disclaimer: I own nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Summary: They all say it's because he wants, craves, needs, heroin. When in fact, the truth is much worse, he wants, craves, needs, Molly and it makes him feel pathetic because the only time he's had her, the only time he's tasted her, is in his dreams. AU…kind of.

A/N: This one is for two very special ladies; Conchepcion and MizJoely who have (and had) birthdays in December. Lovelies, hope you enjoy and thank you so much for just being completely and totally awesome. I wanted to do this big epic thing for you, but I ended up with this as kind of like…a way Molly/Sherlock could have met and well…I hope it isn't a waste of time and space and again, I sincerely hope that you accept my gift to you both.

Warnings: AU…kind of, rehab, mentions of heroin, morphine, smut, kind of PWP, vaginal sex, oral sex, fingering, cursing, it does have mature subject matter. I've tried handling this as delicately as possible and I apologize in advance if this offends anyone, because that is the last thing I would ever want to do. So, please, be warned if any of these cause a trigger.

Title is actually taken from a deleted song from Alice in Wonderland, but the song I was listening to is the one below. So, I take no credit for either one of those. Reviews, as always are greatly appreciated and any mistakes are mine and mine alone. ENJOY!


Beyond the laughing sky

One-shot

You can feel the light start to tremble,

Washing what you know out to sea.

You can see your life out of the window tonight.

If I lose myself tonight,

It'll be by your side.

If I Lose Myself Tonight – OneRepublic


He should push her off, he should stop thrusting his hips into her hot and wet core, he should stop placing open-mouthed kisses on her neck, branding her with his marks, a possessiveness afflicting him as she writhes, moans and digs her fingernails into the globes of his arse, pushing him in further, deeper, harder, Sherlock, please.

He should tell her that he's not in his right mind (withdrawal has never been a friend of his) and she's not either (that's a lie, out of everyone here, she's the only sane one, here only by chance.)

He should stop this. And he will.

Tomorrow.

(There's always tomorrow.)


He's staring at the stone building with revulsion in his eyes and a sneer on his face. He hears the other door open and knows that Mycroft stands opposite him, staring at his back. "This is your last chance, Sherlock."

"How nice of you to give me an illusion of choice." Sherlock sneers as he tightens his grip on his bag. He knows the building like the inside of his mind (he should know it, and even though he'll never tell anyone, this building has a room in his mind palace. It's a dark and dank place, where his nightmares and dreams go to die and hide away.) He walks away from Mycroft, vaguely hearing him say that he'll pick him up in three months time and makes his way to through the front doors, where the staff see him and inwardly groan. (They hate him here. It's not his fault he sees everything and thinks they're all pathetic fools, who can barely keep a secret to save their lives.)

The walls are white, as he remembers them. Sterile. It reminds him of another hospital. One that he would spend his days, afternoons and nights, getting lost in, pieces of puzzles left for him to solve (Bart's is home away from home.)

(Sometimes, in the dead of the night, when he's lying in his bed, wide-eyed and listening to the screams of withdrawal from other patients, clients, residents, they're all the same, all addicts and all stuck here under some pretense, some false belief that they can be better, they can do better…he's long since stopped believing that, his mind tricks him into believing that he's back in Bart's doing his work. His mind tricks him into believing that he's brilliant again.)

(This is his third time in rehab. He knows the statistics, he knows what the doctors say behind his back; Sherlock Holmes is going to die here, and maybe, just maybe, they're right.)

There is a young woman with brown hair and brown eyes, signing in and rendering her belongings with shaky hands to the receptionist. There's nothing spectacular about her, Sherlock notes, as he stands next to her and follows the process he's already memorized. (It's all routine to him now.) But there is something about the way she stands, wringing her hands together when she's bared of all possessions, fingers tracing her left wrist where an oversized watch used to sit.

"Good morning, Mr. Holmes," the receptionist says, as she leans forward and bats her eyes.

He gives her a blank stare as he deposits his possessions on the counter in a plastic bag, as if daring them to doubt him. He doesn't say anything to her, she's boring, not interesting and pathetic in her attempts to try and flirt. (She did it during his first visit, and then his second and now. She's resilient, he'll giver her that and predictable.)

"Roger," a voice, soft and hesitant reaches his ears and from his peripheral vision, he sees the brown haired, brown eyed woman calling out softly as a man comes to stand next to her. "I can't…it was just…"

"Molls," he says, just as soft, though not hesitant, his voice strong, even if it's sad (sentiment, it reeks on the both of them), "you need to do this because I can't lose you. Me, Katie and Sammy, we'll visit, okay? We won't…we won't leave you."

She blinks and nods rapidly, hands coming up to her face and wiping away tears.

There is something twisting and churning in the pit of his stomach as he watches them interact. (He doesn't know why he breathes easier when he sees the blatant resemblance between the two of them, same nose, same chin, same eyes, brother and sister, the only ones in their family left.) He kisses her head and leaves, chest heaving, one more glance at the building and his sister left alone (though not quite alone) in the midst of reception.

"Miss?" The woman at reception calls out, "you're in room fifteen."

She nods and reaches back to grab the keys before meeting Sherlock's eyes. Her brown eyes grow wide and he finds some humor in how bright her cheeks burn as her eyes flit across his form. She bites her lip and turns away, allowing him to see the flush that makes its way down her neck (he's surprised to find his mind wandering, conjuring up images on how far that flush goes, at how far he can make that flush go.) He straightens up, sends a cold stare to the receptionist as she hands him the key and walks away from her (the girl with the brown hair and the brown eyes, the girl with the shaky hands, not from addiction, but from something else, the girl named Molly.)

He doesn't see her look of disappointment.

(Then again, he never does.)


He knows their stories before they even tell them. Addicts of all kinds, drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, but in the end, they're all the same. Addicts. Succumbing to a basic instinct of want and gluttony.

Everyone has their sob story and Sherlock rolls his eyes and huffs when murmurs of encouragement go through the group. It's self-gratification, having people encourage your deepest and often, most shameful moments, while repeating the same thing you tell yourself, it's not your fault, you couldn't help it, when in reality, you could, you just chose not to. It's psychological; all of it and Sherlock doesn't fool himself in playing the victim. He knew exactly what he was doing every time he stuck the needle in his arm and allowed the heroin to flow through his veins and for euphoria and emptiness to greet his otherwise, chaotic mind.

The doctor skips him, knowing that his remarks will only bring down the group's morale (it happened once, during his last visit, he was so severe in his deductions about one man that his words drove the man nearly asphyxiated from his sadness and despair.)

"Molly." The doctor says, "Would you like to share something?"

He fully expects to hear how distraught she is about her loss, about how lonely and desperate she feels. He fully expects to hear anger towards her friends and family. He fully expects a lot of things from Molly Hooper.

"No, thank you." She says, her voice soft yet leaving no room for argument or coercion. She stays seated, hands folded on her lap, fingers interlaced with each other tightly and legs crossed at the ankles.

(He just never expected that.)


He sees her in the library, pouring over books (mostly about medicine…always about medicine, papers and pens at her side, hand scribbling notes as she reads and his mind conjures up images of another life, where they would be young and she would be pressed against bookshelves with his hands roaming underneath her plaid skirt, pressing a hand to her mouth, stifling her gasps-he shakes his head with a jolt and counts to ten) but taking the time to talk to other people. She listens with a half smile as other patient's rant and rave and sometimes she stutters out replies. (He's heard people call her endearing and cute, despite those awful jumpers she chooses to wear.)

He's gone through the vices in his mind, cocaine, heroin, LSD, alcohol, gambling, sex…nothing makes sense. Nothing fits in with he's come to know of her. She's a puzzle (not unlike what waits for him when he goes back home.)

(It vexes him that he cannot, for the life and mind of him, figure out Molly Hooper.)


Sometimes (most of the times), he comes here when he feels as if his mind is going to concave on itself. When the world continues to turn and turn, unbeknownst to the man silently, wordlessly, begging it to stop, so he can just think. So, he can pause and compartmentalize. (It's one of the reasons why he started taking heroin in the first place, because it could offer him the solace, he wanted and needed. The reason he tells everyone, was that he was bored.)

The breeze is stronger on the roof and when he peers over the ledge, he can see the ground and he wonders what goes through people's minds, when they stand on the ledge, one foot teetering off the edge, toying with their own mortality. He's pretty sure he knows, all people are the same. Rarely anyone is special enough to deviate. (Sherlock wonders what would go through his mind if he ever decides to jump. The horror of knowing the only person who could possibly and even remotely care is Mycroft, and maybe, Lestrade, most definitely Mrs. Hudson, is enough for him to back away and lock it away in his mind.)

He frowns as he makes his way up to the roof, the door already propped open and the cool breeze meeting him halfway up the stairs. He opens the door slowly; face peering out and stops, hand falling to his side and door jarring him from his spot, when he sees Molly Hooper's back.

She turns around at the noise and clambers to her feet, dusting her hands on her jeans. "Sorry." She says, "I didn't…I didn't know anyone else came up here." She gives him a small smile (and there is the flush again, starting from her cheeks and going to her neck and not for the first time, does Sherlock wonder how far down her flush goes, how far down he can make it go.) "I'll just…I was just…I'll go."

He takes a step towards her. He should tell her to go. He should tell her that she has no right coming up here. That this is his space. His sanctuary. He should tear her apart bit-by-bit, because it's who he is; it's what he does.

He should tell her a lot of things.

"Stay." (None of which should have been that.)

(Except, unbeknownst to the man silently, wordlessly, begging the world to stop turning and turning and unbeknownst to the woman with the brown hair and brown eyes that somehow constantly manages to surprise him, that one little word, those four little letters, is the beginning of everything.)


"I'm not an addict." She tells him, nearly after an hour of silence. The sun is starting to go down and the night is becoming cooler. He can see goosebumps rise on her skin and he sees through the thin fabric of her t-shirt, her nipples hardening with the cold (his mind races, conjuring up images of her hands getting lost in his curls, gripping his hair tightly, as his mouth encloses on one nipple, nipping it with his teeth and soothing it with his tongue, his cheeks swallowing as he sucks it hard and he imagines the moans and little gasps she'll make when his hand reaches out to the abandoned breast and pinches her nipple, caressing it with his thumb and forefinger-he shakes his head, jolting out of his mind, his cock is hardening and he wraps his Belstaff around his lower body and recites the periodic table), her face is turned away from him, staring towards the trees that surround them (oblivious to his perverted mind and imaginings.) "Isn't it funny?" She asks, "me, trying to convince you that I'm not an addict, despite being in rehab."

It should be funny. It should be ironic. He should tell her that she's in denial (and that's okay, because so was he, the first time he was here) but it does make sense. That's she's not an addict, because nothing he comes up supported the idea that she is.

"I was-am-if anyone will accept me when I'm done here, studying to be a pathologist. I was interning at the best hospital. My dad," she takes a deep breath and places her hands on her knees, "he was…he was sick. Cancer. My brother was in Cardiff and I was…I was taking care of my dad…and…and working…and studying and I was…I was so…tired. Exhausted. I was getting through it and then dad died and everyone was just…everyone around me was falling apart and I couldn't."

(Her story isn't a riveting one. But the way she tells it, the way he watches her fingers dance across her knees and the way she doesn't look at him, but rather to the trees, entrances him.)

"I didn't…I didn't even think about it. Just grabbed the morphine." She takes a shaky breath and turns her head slightly, looking at him, "the first and only time I took it, my brother found it the next morning. Confronted me. Told me I had to get help. I could have told him everything…it was only once and I hated the loss of being in control of my body…I…vowed never to touch it again. But I didn't. Tell him any of that, I mean. And now…now I'm here. In a place for addicts when I'm not even an addict."

He's silent, eyes falling to her hands and he takes in every knick from her scalpel, every curve of her bones (she broke her pinky when she was fifteen) and wonders why he didn't see it before. "Why didn't you?" he asks, eyes still glued to her hands, "tell him. Why come here?" (He knows the answer before he even finishes his question.)

She shrugs, eyes staring openly at his face, "loneliness, I suppose."

(He understands loneliness quite well.)


She leaves soon after that. Giving him a small smile. There is a pause where she bites her lip and looks around, cheeks flaming as she leans in and kisses him, softly, hesitantly on his cheek. He stills and she pulls back, blushing and stammering out an apology. She turns around when she's by the door and calls out his name, "thank-you. For listening, I mean." And then she leaves him, with his cheek burning and the feel of her lips engraved in his mind.

(It's only later when he realizes he didn't ask her what hospital she was studying at.)


That night, lying in his bed, he thinks of Molly with her brown hair and brown eyes. With her flush that starts from her cheeks to her neck, with her fingers, tracing unknown patterns on her knees, with her hardened nipples and the way her lips felt against his cheek.

His cock hardens against his pajama trousers and despite not having succumbed to masturbation since he was fifteen, he doesn't hesitate in putting his hand down his pants, gripping his cock and stroking it.

(He closes his eyes and pictures Molly, on her knees and sucking his cock into her mouth, hands caressing his balls, hands gripping his arse as she takes him in her mouth deeper, tongue encircling him, cheeks hallowing as she works him harder. He feels the way her moans echo across his cock and he grabs her hair, thrusting against her mouth, urging her to work him faster and with a stroke of her tongue, he thrusts and orgasms, his come dripping from her mouth as she continues to suck and swallow what he offers.)

He hisses as he tugs at his sensitive cock, his semen sticky on his stomach and thighs.

He's trembling as he takes a cold shower, mind still flashing with imagined pictures of Molly.

(He's never wanted heroin to numb his mind so badly as he does now.)


He ignores her after that, believing that the less he sees of her, the better.

(The nights are the worst, his mind continuing to haunt him with images of her and him and sometimes he wakes up, almost sure that it was a reality, only to come to the sickening realization that he always imagines it.)

He gets cranky and irritable. He makes people cry. He makes one orderly quit. (They all say it's because he wants, craves, needs, heroin. When in fact, the truth is much worse, he wants, craves, needs, Molly and it makes him feel pathetic because the only time he's had her, the only time he's tasted her, is in his dreams.)

A week after their meeting on the roof, he goes back up and sits there in undisturbed silence.

(It's how it's always been, but now he can't help but feel something missing.)

("Loneliness, I suppose.")


He knows she's in his room, waiting for him, as soon as he comes to a halt in front of his door. The sun has long since gone down and the other patients and doctors are sleeping. He should call for help. He should report it at once. He should do a lot of things.

Except, what he does is open the door, walks into his darkened room, closes and locks the door, turning on the lights, illuminating her in all of her glory.

He doesn't say anything, finds himself incapable of saying anything.

She fidgets, fingers tracing unknown patterns on her knees. "You've been avoiding me."

"I have." He admits, shedding off his jacket.

She stands up and walks towards him, heading towards the door. "I shouldn't…I should…not be here. I'll go."

(He should let her go.)

He catches her wrist and holds her in place. "Stay."

"Okay."


She's biting the back of her hand to quiet her moans as he feasts on her. Her legs are wrapped around his shoulder, hips canting off the bed as he licks and sucks. He can feel the change in her breathing as it hitches and she lets out a muffled shriek as she tumbles over the edge.

She pulls him up before he even has the opportunity to wipe the remnants of her off his mouth and she kisses him, tongue thrusting into his mouth, tasting herself on him and she thrusts her hips against his and moans into his mouth.

His cock swells and hardens even more than he thought possible, as he grabs her hips and grounds against her. Ripping himself away from her lips, he trails down and sucks at her neck and jolts when he feels her hand in his pants, gripping him and stroking him. She pushes at him and pulls him to the edge of the bed as she slides down between his knees.

(It's his every fantasy of her come true when she strokes him and envelopes her warm mouth around him.)

He thrusts into her mouth without restraint (he'll feel shameful tomorrow, there's always tomorrow.) He explodes into her mouth and she swallows him, wiping at her mouth with the back of her hand and sitting back on her haunches. She stands up, her legs trembling with exertion and stands between his shaking legs. Fingers nimbly, unbutton her blouse, letting it fall to the floor and unclasping her bra, shrugging it from her shoulders and down her arms. She keeps her eyes on him as she unbuttons her trousers and steps out of them and pulls her knickers down her legs.

She is glorious as she stands before him. He pulls her down atop him and they both work on taking his shirt off and she rises, allowing him to shuck off his trousers and pants, from where they pool at his ankles.

He looks up at the sound of crinkling paper and she blushes (her flush, he notices, goes from her cheeks, to her neck, to her breasts, all the way down.) He cocks an eyebrow at her and she giggles and then smiles when he moans as she rolls the condom on him. She grabs him and places his tip between her and she pushes down, enveloping him in her hot and wet core.

She doesn't bother to try and hide her moans, as she rides him. Her hips rolling back and forth, breasts swaying with her movement. "Sherlock." She means loudly, "Sherlock. Oh God. Yes. Yes."

He buries his head into her neck, the change in angle burying him in deeper. He inhales her scent, lapping her sweat (she tastes like lemon and vanilla and he groans when she tightens her hold on his shoulders.) "Sherlock, I can't…just…please…oh…oh…" She arches her back and lets out a sob as she explodes around him.

Two more thrusts and he follows her, biting her neck, marking her, to drown out his shout.

He keeps her in place, feeling himself going soft inside of her and thinks that he can feel himself become addicted to her.


The doctors worry that he's not getting better. That in fact, he'll only get worse.

(His medication is Molly.)


She looks completely wrecked as he glances at her from behind her. Her reflection from the mirror outlining every gasp, every moan, every whimper, every single movement, she makes. He grabs her hips and thrusts into her harder and she struggles for breath. Her arms wrapped around his neck and tugging his head down to kiss her as one of his hands pinches and pulls at her left nipple and his other hand cupping her dripping sex.

He pulls away from her, thrusts becoming uneasy. "Which hospital did you study at?" He says through clenched teeth.

Her eyes pop open and she stares at him through the mirror, her eyes wild, "what?"

"Which. Hospital?" He says, thrusting with each word.

"Oh…oh…God…" She rises up and lets out a keening sound that makes him tumble along after her (he would glad follow her to hell). After she collects her breath and he pulls out of her, dragging her down with him, her leg tucked between his and her wet core pressed erotically against his thigh (his cocks hardens again), she says in a breathless voice. "Bart's. Why?"

He doesn't say anything, just grabs another condom and rolls it on, rolling her underneath him and sliding into her sensitive core. She whimpers, wrapping her legs around his waist and he bites, sucks and kisses her neck, his hands gripping hers and pinning them at her sides, fingers interlacing, until he's not certain where he ends and she begins.

(He imagines fucking her on a slab in the morgue, in the lab, in the supply in the closet, in her office, taking her on every surface of his second home that will always remind him of her.)

It doesn't matter, he thinks wildly as he loses composure, reveling in her cries for, Sherlock, God, yes, more, fuck, Sherlock, please, he would have met her somehow. She would still be his entirely, somehow.


He should push her off, he should stop thrusting his hips into her hot and wet core, he should stop placing open-mouthed kisses on her neck, branding her with his marks, a possessiveness afflicting him as she writhes, moans and digs her fingernails into the globes of his arse, pushing him in further, deeper, harder, Sherlock, please.

He should tell her that he's not in his right mind (withdrawal has never been a friend of his) and she's not either (that's a lie, out of everyone here, she's the only sane one, here only by chance.)

He should stop this. And he will.

Tomorrow.

(There's always tomorrow.)


"It's peaceful here." She tells him, her body leaning into his for warmth.

He nods and opens his Belstaff as the sun starts to set and the breeze becomes cooler.

"There's something," he grapples for the right word, "untouched about viewing the world from the top."

She burrows his head in his arm and his fingers make indents in her shoulder from the tight grip he has on her. "Sherlock?" She says, after a few moments of silence. "Why did you…I mean…what made you take heroin?"

He gives her the same answer he gives everyone, "I was bored."

She lifts her head and he's taken back by the hurt in her eyes. "That's a lie." She takes a breath and shakes her head. "It's fine. I shouldn't have asked. It's…it's your secret to keep."

He's aware of how his chest tightens and how his breath hitches and he wonders what else she sees in him. For the first time in his life, he flounders and grabs her hand, holding it tight, interlacing their fingers until he doesn't know where he ends and she begins. He blinks and clears his throat. "It was the loneliness, I suppose."

And on that rooftop, he confesses to her his deepest secrets and she promises to take them to her grave.

(Decades later, she does.)


That night, watching the moon, illuminate her naked figure between his sheets (she's above him, sighing his name, moaning her pleasure as she moves back and forth, wrapping her legs behind his back and her arms around his neck, mouth nibbling on his earlobe, "I love you." She breathes as she breaks and falls apart in his arms. "I love you."), he realizes he should let her go.

He should stop this. And he will. (He ignores the hammering in his chest and he ignores the bile rising in his throat.)

Tomorrow.

(There's always tomorrow.)


The decision is permanently cemented in his mind when it comes time for family visitation.

Mycroft comes and they sit side by side, watching other families weep over their loved ones. Hands cradling faces and sentimental drivel leaving their lips in a flurry.

Sherlock's eyes find Molly, who is embraced tightly in her brother's side. Her nephew and sister-in-law look on and he watches as she talks rapidly and animatedly. He watches as she laughs and holds her nephew on her lap, caressing his hair and kissing his cheek. (His mind conjures up an image of Molly holding another child like that, except instead of brown hair, he has black curly hair, his eyes a startling shade of blue-green, but he'll have her nose and her chin and her personality and-he wrenches himself from his imagination, locking and boarding it in his mind palace, frantic with thoughts of wanting something he should never want.)

She shouldn't be here. She doesn't need to be here. She's the strongest person he's ever met. She doesn't need this. She doesn't need him (but she does, his mind argues, she loves you. You.)

Mycroft leans forward and looks between Molly and Sherlock and then leans back. "Ah." He says, "Miss Hooper." As if he knows everything that's been happening (he does, Sherlock knows he does.) There is a silence between the two brothers, before Mycroft sighs, "Sherlock…caring, it's not an advantage. You know that."

He knows.

(It still doesn't stop his chest from clenching whenever he looks at Molly.)


She's wearing his favorite blue dressing gown (he'll continue to wear it, always inhaling her unique smell of lemon and vanilla and years later, he'll burn it, when another women dares to put it on, polluting it with her smell instead of Molly's and years after that, he'll buy another one and make Molly wear it, to replace the one that was torn from his grasp), watching him shave.

She smiles at him and despite himself, he gives her a tiny one back. He rinses his face and turns around, backing her against the wall and kissing her until her knees grow weak.

He tells her to keep the dressing gown on as he lowers her onto the bed and slips inside of her like he belongs there (he does.)

He ends up tearing the dressing gown off of her when the desperate need to touch her skin (all of her skin) becomes overwhelmingly. He grips her hands, interlacing their fingers, until he doesn't know where he ends and she begins and loses himself within her. (She is his drug. She is his addiction and God help him, he wants to drown in her.)

"Sherlock." She moans into his ear, "Sherlock. Sherlock." He hears what she doesn't say. I love you. I love you. I love you.

"Molly." He croaks out, his voice desperate, deep and rough. "God, Molly."

After ecstasy claims them both, he stays inside of her, like he did that first night, this time, placing his weight upon her body, head making a pillow of her chest, ear pressed against her heart that beats wildly underneath him.

(He takes her twice more, both just as desperate and just as savagely. Molly meets his every thrust, unyielding in her pleasure and he knows, he just knows, she knows what's coming. It's evident in the way she tells him, begs him, pleads with him, "don't let me go. Sherlock, please, don't let me go.")

He kisses her deeply, sucking out all breath and energy from her and hopes to convey his message, you are my one and only salvation.


She leaves the next day.

She stutters, her eyes seeking out his in their group session and he makes it a point to not look at her.

Because if he does, he'll ask her to stay.

(And he knows she will.)


That night she leaves, her brother comes to pick her up.

He's standing on the roof, eyes drawn to her petite figure as she puts bags in the car.

She looks up and sees him, standing on the ledge and from his spot; he sees her lift a hand and waves gently, hand falling down to her side, fingers curling into the palm of her hand.

He lifts his hand and waves back. Silently, wordlessly telling her everything he was never able to say.


"Mycroft," he says through the phone. "Ensure that Molly Hooper becomes a pathologist."

There is a pause and a sigh, "where would you have me put her?"

"Where she'll be happy."

He hangs up before his brother can say anything.

This isn't sentiment.

It's just his truth. His absolution.


He becomes bitter and cranky and irritable and everyone thinks it's another side affect from the lack of heroin.

It's not, but he lets them believe it.

(It's withdrawal from Molly.)


When he leaves rehab, he doesn't bother looking back.

(There's no one for him to wave to, but he does spare one glance at the roof.)

He slides into his seat in the back of Mycroft's car and sinks into the leather.

His brother looks at him, "welcome back, Sherlock."

He nods and looks out the window, biting his tongue and lip to keep from asking about Molly.


221b Baker Street is exactly as he leaves it, especially with Mrs. Hudson, barreling from her own flat and hugging him tightly, welcoming him home.

"It's good to be back, Mrs. Hudson."


Lestrade calls him for a case within two days of his arrival and Sherlock ushers them both to Bart's, Anderson and Donovan trailing behind them, as Sherlock continues to sprout deductions about the murders gleefully.

"Sherlock." Mike Stamford greets him with a smile. "Good to have you back."

"Good to be back, Stamford. I trust Dr. Saunier, is still as incompetent as ever."

Mike shakes his head. "He heard you were back and retired early. Our new pathologist is brilliant. Brightest in her year." There is a twinkle in his eyes, "in fact, I think you'll grow quite fond of her." He gives him a pat on the shoulder and leaves.

"Fond of her?" Lestrade mutters, "has he met you?"

Mycroft wouldn't…oh, he thinks, but he would. "Stay here." He snaps to the three of them.

"What?" Lestrade blurts out. "Sherlock, time is of the essence!"

"Stay. Here." He repeats, looking at the morgue doors (and every fantasy, every imagined picture, every real memory, comes flooding back to the forefront of his mind.) He reaches out and pushes the door open, to find the morgue empty. He feels strange, he feels empty at the prospect at being wrong.

There is clatter to his left and a soft, familiar voice lets out an undignified curse. He closes his eyes as he hears her footsteps come closer. "Excuse me? Do you have-oh."

He opens his eyes and his breath hitches. She looks the same. (Unchanged and he wonders what she can see in him.) "Hello, Molly."

"Hello, Sherlock." She gestures to morgue and the three detective inspectors waiting outside, "you're here for the Mildred murder, yeah? I'll show you the body and I can grab-"

"Stay." He says, his voice deeper than normal. "Stay."

She smiles and nods, "okay."

(One word, three little letters, and its the beginning of everything for them.)


Conchepcion and MizJoely, two fantastic, wonderful and very very talented ladies, who deserve the best that life has to offer. I hope your birthdays (and every day following that) are filled with joy and love. I hope you both enjoyed my little gift to you! Because it is the least I can offer to you both, after everything you guys have given us.

To all of you and your unwavering support in my writing, I don't know what I've done to deserve you, but thank you a thousand times thank you. You all mean so much to me and words cannot express my thanks.

MAD LOVE AND RESPECT,

BB