Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Steve Moffat, Mark Gatiss own Sherlock and his realm. I just own my computer,my version of Openoffice, and my sick fantasies. English is not my native language, and this story is un-betaed, so please forgive the mistakes and the typos.

Sammykatz suggested "Ain't no sunshine when she's gone" by Bill Whiters as a perfect Sherlolly song. I agree, and I put also a bit of (very) sad John and Mary in this story, because...well, the song and my muse told me to do it.

Warning: character's death. Really, really sorry.

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone,
it's not warm when she's away.

John couldn't blame the driver. He was sober. He wasn't talking on his phone. He wasn't distracted by something trivial. He simply had a stroke. While driving. And as a consequence of that, he killed his wife, who was strolling on the pavement, going back home after a day at the clinic.

His Mary. His everything. She was gone. And he had none to blame. Nothing but fate.

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone,

He didn't sleep for two days. They told him it was because of the shock. He knew it was only because he was too afraid to fall asleep, and to wake up, thinking it was only a nightmare, and then discovering-again-that his future would be trying to exist without her.

She was the best thing that could have possibly happened in his life. She knew it. He knew it. And now, she was gone, and he didn't know anything else.

and she's always gone too long
anytime she goes away.

Mrs Hudson and Harry helped him with the funeral; Mary was an orphan, and had no siblings. Sherlock...well, he had been by his side, since the moment the bloody phone rang and a stupid police officer told him the news. It was Sherlock Holmes, anyway:not well-versed for taking care of a grieving, desperate widow. So he did something he rarely did. He asked for help.

Wonder, this time where she's gone,

Molly Hooper had left London shortly after the wedding. Hers. She left everything behind. St. Bart's. John and Mary. Lestrade and Mrs Hudson. Obviously, Sherlock. She began a new life in Edinburgh, where Tom was offered a new job in a law firm. With her credentials, it wasn't difficult for her to find another employment: she was working for the forensic medicine section within the division of Pathology at the University of Edinburgh. It wasn't at all like working at St. Bart's, with Sherlock Holmes always ready to barge into the morgue...but she loved teaching. She was in love with Tom. Nothing else mattered at the time.

Until that afternoon, when after three years, she heard the baritone voice resound from the cellphone.

wonder if she's gonna stay

She had left two months after the wedding. A wedding he attended, like he had done two years before, for John and Mary. That time, he didn't read a speech. He didn't play the violin for the first dance of the happy couple. Sherlock left the church after the vows, without waiting to congratulate Mr and Mrs Wallis. Mycroft had a new, high-profile case for him, and for once, he couldn't wait to do his brother a favour. He sent a text to John, and returned home a week later. He couldn't forget the reprimand both the Watsons gave him. Mary was a bit more hesitant, though. She sensed there was something more, behind his sudden escape.

While Molly and Tom had a party, to properly say goodbye to her friends, Sherlock marched into Diogene's club.

"I need a favour".

Mycroft took his time, folding the newspaper with extreme care."Is it about your pathologist?"

His left hand closed in a fist, the consulting detective replied "I need a case. Now".

The older Holmes took his tablet from the coffee table."Istanbul. A sneaky thief. Is it enough entertaining for you, brother?"

Sherlock didn't answer. He turned, and Mycroft's voice reached him when he was on the threshold."Caring is a disadvantage. I told you before".

When he checked his texts, after the landing, he found one from Molly. It said only "Goodbye". He deleted it.

That time, back home, only John shouted at him. Mary remained on the sofa, and after her husband finished his rant, raised and hugged a stiff Sherlock. She whispered a quiet "I'm sorry", before asking John to go home.

Mary observant, and quite clever, indeed. A strong, and caring woman. A perfect match for his best friend. A real pity, she had to die so young, leaving so much pain behind her. A void he surely couldn't fill alone. He needed someone who knew how to handle death, and grief. Someone with a willing heart. Someone like Molly.

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone,
and this house just ain't no home,
anytime she goes away.

John couldn't stand to remain another day in their home. No, it wasn't a home anymore. It was too silent. Too empty. Too full of memories. Mrs Hudson prepared his old room at Baker Street, and when he climbed the steps, he found Molly Hooper on top of the staircase.

"Sherlock told me. I'm sorry, John, so sorry..." she murmured, her arms already open to embrace him. John laid his head on her shoulder, and cried again. They cried together, oblivious to the inquisitive eyes observing them from the half-closed door downstairs.

But ain't no sunshine when she's gone,
only darkness everyday.

When she went downstairs, after putting an exhausted John to bed, she found Sherlock sitting on his armchair, in the dark. The faint light from the street lamp outside caressed his body's outline.

"Thank you, Molly. Thank you for taking care of John". Thank you for coming back. To me. He couldn't tell her that he had missed her; that he had hoped for her to remain in London, to remain his pathologist forever. It wasn't fair. She deserved to be happy.

"Thank you for calling me", she answered. She remained on the threshold for a few minutes, waiting for...She didn't know what exactly she was waiting for. A gesture. A word. A plea. It didn't come. Molly returned downstairs, to Mrs Hudson. That night, she didn't sleep.

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone,
and this house just ain't no home,
anytime she goes away.

Molly left London again, three days after the funeral. John seemed to be slightly better: he observed the coffin being lowered into the ground with the stoicism of a soldier. Sherlock on his left side, Molly on the other. His guardian angels, never leaving their eyes from him. One never looking at the other.

The consulting detective ignored the pathologist: he didn't want to risk deducing her, to confirm that she was happy with her husband, in another city, with another life. Away from London. Away from him.

The pathologist ignored the consulting detective: she didn't want him to observe the telltale signs of her sadness, of her boring, unhappy life. Because Edinburgh wasn't London. Because Tom...wasn't Sherlock Holmes.

Anytime she goes away, anytime she goes away

Anytime she goes away...

This time, she didn't even try to say goodbye to him, before going back home.

Five months after Mary's death, John decided that it was finally time for him to join Sherlock again. "Mary wouldn't want for me to neglect my best friend. She really liked you, you know?" the doctor told him, one evening, a single tear running down his face.

"I liked her, too. She was your perfect counterpart. Your soul mate, as Mrs Hudson loves to say".

"Have you ever...thought about it?"

"About what?" Sherlock barked.

"Your soul mate".

He went back to the room in his mind palace devoted to Molly Hooper. It was full of long scarves, hideous cardigans, lab coats, smell of bergamot and formaldehyde, sweet smiles...and one wedding ring.

"No" he lied. He was not John Watson. He couldn't have his Mary.

Not too happy about the ending, but...anyway, here it is. Thanks for reading. Leave a review, you will receive good influence and beautiful dreams.

P.s.: Just to be clear, I didn't make Mary die because I don't like her. I really love her, as a character, and as Amanda Abbington is playing her. It was only a literary literary expedient, just to be clear. And I don't hate Tom...I simply love Sherlolly more.