Copper Beaches

I got my Mind set on you

“I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.” – Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane


This time it was Sherlock Holmes who had to wait for his best friend in the bitter cold. He hated waiting. Patience had never been his forte. But then again, most people were not fond of waiting. Especially if the temperature was low and a cold wind was blowing into one’s face. He refrained from checking his watch for the umpteenth time, because A: He knew exactly what time it was, and B: to do that he would have had to take his hand out of his pocket and roll the sleeve of his coat up and it was definitely too cold for that.

He walked up and down in front of Molly’s building and watched his breath become visible in the cold night air every time he exhaled. Why had he told Molly not to be late? Molly was always on time. He should have told Mary. She was always late. Now she used the baby as an excuse, but she had even been late before her daughter had been born. Sherlock was sure she would use the baby again to justify her lack of time management.

He considered going upstairs and wait for the Watsons in the warmth of Molly’s flat, but he knew it would be awkward – him and Molly alone in a room, her wearing his engagement ring. Not his engagement ring, but the one he had bought for her. Of course he had not really bought it for her, he had bought it for the case. Or so he told himself. He sighed and tilted his head back. Ever since the Not-Moriarty case (he needed to tell John to find a better name for it) thinking about Molly left him confused and frustrated. He hoped that time would make it better and get his mind back onto the right track. For a second he wondered if a blow to the head might help.

Before his thoughts could turn even more bizarre, he was saved by the sound of a cab stopping behind him. He turned around and was greeted by the sight of Mary hurrying out of the car while John took something out of the glove compartment into his coat pocket. Probably his phone or gun. Mary adjusted her coat. Her face was flushed, which told Sherlock that they had been in a rush. John climbed out of the car as well and they both came to stand next to the detective.

Mary explained a bit breathless, “Sorry, but at first the babysitter was late, and then the zipper of this bloody dress got stuck.” She sighed deeply and then touched her hair with her left hand, as if to check if everything was still in place.

Sherlock more or less ignored her excuse. “I expected you to be late.”

Instead of lessoning him, John nudged his grumpy friend playfully in the ribs and winked, “Well, curious about what Molly will wear?”

Sherlock looked and sounded bored, “She only has one long gown. It’s black with sequined straps. And it would look better without the sequins.”

Mary’s and John’s eyebrows raised in unison. “You know how many dresses she has?” John asked in disbelieve.

Sherlock shrugged, “Like I have said: one long and six knee-long ones, excluding the one she bought for your wedding.“

John could only shake his head, “And I thought she was joking when she told me about the bolt hole…“

Mary patted her husband on the shoulder and said to Sherlock, “Who knows, maybe she’ll surprise you.”

Sherlock scoffed, “Hardly.”

With that he started to enter Molly’s building. As usual, the front door was not locked. He made a mental note to have a talk with Molly’s landlord about this lack of security. The Watsons followed close on his heels. Molly’s flat was on the 3rd floor and there was no elevator. John wondered how a delicate woman like Molly was able to carry bottles of water or a package of washing powder upstairs.

Since the doctor noticed his friend’s bad mood, he tried to distract him by making conversation (although this ensured that he would definitely be breathless once they would arrive on the 3rd floor), “Greg told me you solved the case about the jealous woman.”

Sherlock did neither slow down nor turn around, but answered, “I don’t know why a guy called Greg would know about it, but yes. It was quite obvious; it was the jealous woman, after all. Why did no one pay attention to her socks?”

John gave his wife a look while she passed him, trying to catch up with Sherlock. She only shrugged, but it looked a bit weird, because she was busy holding her gown up while climbing the stairs.

To the Watson’s surprise Sherlock had to say more about the case he had solved this afternoon, “I really don’t see why she didn’t kill him sooner though. He used and manipulated her, yet still she did everything for him. Why?”

John and Mary stopped and shared a look. Sometimes it was frustrating to be best friends with a man who did not understand human nature at all.

“Maybe because of the same reason why Molly helped you fake your death?” John suggested while he and his wife started walking again.

Now Sherlock stopped dead in his tracks so that Mary almost bumped into him when she added, “Except Molly would not turn all Fatal Attraction on you.”
Sherlock ignored her statement, clearly not getting the reference and resumed climbing the stairs.


Molly Hooper’s day had gone by in a blur. It had begun like every other: getting up (too early for her liking), getting ready for work, feeding Toby and herself, missing the Tube, rushing into the morgue realizing that her “beloved” colleague had left the paperwork for her (how thoughtful...), doing an autopsy (natural cause, routine), running a blood test (clean), being interrupted by a tall, dark haired, smug detective and his best friend and then the order of her Friday morning had been disturbed.

Being asked to play Sherlock’s fiancée was not part of her daily routine. And to say that his proposal had been slightly different than from what she had always imagined would have been an understatement. Not that she had imagined Sherlock proposing... In her confusion she had called Mary.

Mary, being the good friend she was, had offered her help and support and decided that the first step (after not panicking) was to buy a new dress. Therefore the two women went to Oxford Street in the late afternoon and bought new dresses: one for Misses Watson and one for fake-soon-to-be Misses Holmes.

To Molly’s surprise the shopping tour had helped her to calm down a bit. Now that she was standing on front the mirror in her bedroom and looking at her reflection, she decided that she was content with what she saw. The dress made her feel pretty and that gave her confidence. And one needed confidence when dealing with Sherlock Holmes. She knew that the dress suited her well. Not even the git consulting detective could argue with that.

At first Molly had been unsure when she had tried the dress on. It was so... elegant. But Mary had convinced her that it was the right choice and now Molly had to admit that her friend had been right. She nodded towards her refection and went out of the bedroom. She looked at the clock and wondered where the others were.

She walked over to the couch and figured that the reason for them being late was probably Mary. She was never on time. A small smile played on her lips when she thought about how irritated Sherlock would be by it – again. He hated if people were late.

Molly was ready to go: She wore her new dress, she had done her hair (French twist) and make-up, wore her earrings and a bracelet (because of the neckline of the dress she did not wear a necklace). There was only one thing left: The ring.

It was still sitting peacefully on its velvet bed in the blue box that was staring at her mockingly from the coffee table. She had not dared to put it on, yet even take it out of the box again. She knew it was ridiculous. It was just a ring – a piece of jewellery. It was nothing more than a prop in a play. It meant nothing. Yet still she had trouble putting the ring onto her finger. She was afraid, once she would feel its weight on her hand, she could forget that it was all just for a case.

What if she did something stupid? She had the sickening feeling that this ring was doomed not to help her get over Sherlock Holmes, but draw her even closer.

But she didn’t really have a choice. She had agreed to do it, so there was no turning back now. They would be here soon and she rather get it over with now, than when they were looking at her.

Taking a deep breath, as if she was about to go under water, she grabbed the box from the coffee table, opened it, took the ring out of its cushion, put the box back down onto the table and slid it

over her fourth finger. She did it hastily in a matter of seconds and only when she felt the weight of the ring upon her finger, did she pause and look at the small sparkling diamond that graced her finger. She was not even surprised that the ring fit perfectly. Sherlock could tell by looking at one’s shoes what one had been thinking when they had left the flat in the morning. Guessing one’s ring size was probably as boring as breathing for him.

What surprised her was the fact that he knew her taste so well. She sighed deeply, bowed her head and asked herself what she had gotten herself into this time. Things with Sherlock were always, for the lack of a better word, interesting. But this was probably a whole new level.

But before she could dwell anymore on her decision, the doorbell rang. There was no turning back now. It was the point of no return, the edge of the precipice and all the other clichés.


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