There hadn’t been anyway for Molly to get
any sleep that night so she had chosen to stay in her morgue. No one else was working that night so she had
the place to herself. Fortunately for
her there was an autopsy to perform. It
was just a run of the mill autopsy, nothing that would warrant Sherlock’s
attention, but it kept her busy for period of time.
She, like her birth father, liked working with her hands. She may carve into bodies but her father had carved into wood. It was one of the things she vividly remembered from her childhood before things had turned sideways. She may have been exhausted and the work was not the most cheerful but it helped her calm down and clear her mind. She was opposite of Sherlock in that respect, he could sit for hours in his mind palace but she needed something in her hands to think clearly.
She went over the information in her mind. Sherlock had gotten involved with a case that had to do with Magnussen. The man, if he could be called as such, was vile and both Mary and Molly had an awareness of how much of a danger he could be if anyone aroused his ire. Molly reviewed the fact that Sherlock’s client was Lady Smallwood. Her name held little personal information to Molly but there was some small data tucked away in Molly’s mind of this woman’s importance to British politics. This made Molly question why Sherlock was involved in this case at all and why it was not Mycroft handling it instead. Goodness knew that man was capable and she also knew that despite Mycroft’s faults he did care deeply for his brother. So why hadn’t Mycroft tried to protect his brother from that monster? In Mycroft’s defense even if he had tried to shield his younger brother from the loathsome creature, Sherlock was bull-headed enough to press further into the case if he had already accepted the challenge. The most troubling bit of information about the whole business was that Sherlock’s first word upon waking was Mary’s name. This made Mary’s existence pertinent to what was happening.
Molly continued to work on the body of the 64 year-old lung cancer victim in front of her as her thoughts chased each other around in her head. She was tired and she was not Sherlock Holmes so she could not think as clearly. But one question repeated itself over and over in her mind, ‘Was Mary Watson the one to shoot Sherlock Holmes?’ Part of her wanted to say that she was being silly and paranoid, that was the same part wanted to be friends with Mary. The other part, the more dominant part, didn’t trust anyone completely ever since she had been a child and told her that no one was to be trusted, least of all ‘Mary.’ However, if Mary had wanted Sherlock dead he would be so.
Molly finished the autopsy and sewed up a tidy Y incision. She hadn’t come to any solid conclusions. The only thing she knew with certainty was that she needed to speak to Sherlock. Just as there hadn’t been a chance of her getting sleep that night, there was absolutely no chance in her leaving the hospital until she had spoken to Sherlock.
Over the next few days Sherlock made his way out of ICU and into a recovery ward. Molly had extra resources at her fingertips since she both worked at the hospital Sherlock was being held at and she was his emergency contact. He had only woken occasionally and hadn’t said much at all, let alone held a conversation, but Molly kept close tabs on his progress. When he was finally able to talk she wanted to be close at hand. She hadn’t gotten a proper night sleep in her bed since Sherlock was caught doing drugs and just catnapped here and there in her office. The only time she left the hospital was to feed her cat Toby and she was always gone less than an hour at a time.
When he finally did become conscious enough to have a conversation the hospital staff alerted her. Molly had just arrived when Janine was leaving Sherlock’s room but by the time she entered the room Sherlock was in his mind palace. To be honest Molly was jealous that Mary’s maid-of-honor was the first one to speak with Sherlock. Molly cursed herself for being so foolish and flopped down in the only available visitor’s chair in the room. After thinking clearly about why Janine could possibly be there Molly came to the conclusion that Janine must have been the one Sherlock proposed to. This theory also gave a tidy tie between the night Sherlock got shot and Mary’s involvement. She was too tired to leave so she stayed and watched the man she had come to love.
Despite what people had thought Molly hadn’t always loved Sherlock. When she had met Sherlock she had been little more than a child who had been forced to grow up a lot faster. He had recognized that she needed to disappear and decided to help her. She had been drowning and he had thrown her a line and taught her how to survive and stay in England.
Being young himself and lacking certain social skills he had inadvertently taught Molly some of his bad habits. One of these being the lesson that being alone was better. Molly had come into rehab with a negative view of people in general so it didn’t take much to convince her to keep her social circle small. The few people Molly had cared for at that stage in life had been torn from her and she did not wish to experience such loss again. Unfortunately she later experienced the loss of yet another parent when her adoptive father passed away from cancer. This caused her to pull back from people even further.
Sherlock and Molly met again years later. Neither mentioned their stay in rehab for different reasons. Molly had come to the conclusion that the information had been dumped from his mind palace as unimportant. The new relationship was based upon Sherlock’s need to use the lab. Molly had been more than willing to help him due to her gratefulness and a sense of indebtedness. With each season Molly’s feelings changed for the detective, eventually reaching the state of love she now had for the man lying in the hospital bed.
She had started to nod off when a deep baritone voice echoed through her skull.
“You haven’t slept since the morning John had you test me.”
Molly breathed in deeply as she straightened up in her seat. Giving him a level glare with one eyebrow higher than the other she replied, “Sleep is over-rated. The body is only transport after all.”
The two glared at each other for a moment before they both broke into grins and started laughing. Once they had settled down again Sherlock was the one who broke the silence.
“I am sorry to have worried you again in such a short amount of time. It was not my intention to get shot.”
“I didn’t think that was your aim.” Molly paused before continuing. Her mouth disappeared as she pinched her lips inward between her teeth and she looked upward as she gathered her courage. What she was about to ask could change so many things about all their lives. “Was it Mary?”
Sherlock had once again underestimated the woman before him. He observed her and wondered how she had gotten to that conclusion so quickly. In a matter of moments he had come to the most logical, no matter how improbable, conclusion. There were many details that led him to this discovery but one small detail unknown to most that stuck out to him.
“Ah…your accent. You knew Mary from before.”
Sherlock was organizing what he had chosen to call his mind palace when he heard his hospital door creak open and then shut. He looked up to see ‘Molly’ standing by the door. She shuffled her feet and was wringing her hands together. She reminded him of a mouse that was trying to decide whether or not to bolt.
“Well, you risked coming here at night for some reason.” Sherlock said to the girl with cinnamon colored hair.
She squeaked adding to his personification of her being a mouse. “My name isn’t really Molly you know.”
“Oh so you are an American?” Sherlock asked with a smile that he had figured out something everyone else had overlooked. Everyone had taken for granted that she was from England but for her to use ASL as she did there was a high probability that her origins had laid elsewhere. Now that she had finally spoken he was able to confirm his suspicions.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Molly looked fearful.
“Your accent is appalling.”
“Is it that obvious?” She had the start of tears in her eyes. “Please don’t tell anyone. I can’t go back.”
Sherlock did not want to deal with a crying child. Perhaps she wasn’t as interesting as he has thought. But he may as well turn this into a game to see if he could use her to trick others into seeing her as something else. He decided to try to get her mind on something else. “How did you sneak in here anyway?”
She opened and shut her mouth a couple times.
“I already know your accent is atrocious, there is no hiding it now. The only way you can get better is by practicing out loud anyhow.”
Molly must have decided there was logic in what he said because she answered his question. “Tammy is on the desk tonight and she is always to talking on the phone so she doesn’t pay attention.”
Sherlock knew exactly to whom Molly was referring as he had also taken advantage of the young intern’s carelessness himself. She probably wouldn’t make it in the medical field in the long run, at least he hoped not. “Is that where you nicked your copy of Gray’s Anatomy?”
Molly got defensive again, “It’s not like she was reading it or anything. Plus I was so bored.” Sherlock could understand the feeling. “Please don’t tell anyone.”
Sherlock gave a long-suffering sigh. This was the second time tonight she had made that request. Something would need to be done about her speech patterns. Repeat after me, “Please don’t tell anyone.”
She looked confused but followed his instructions, “Please don’t tel-“
“No it’s pronounced this way…”
After about ten minutes Molly had managed to say the sentence in a much-improved accent. She had relaxed enough to move closer to the bed. She was starved for any sort of real contact with people, and based on the appearance of help the teen was giving, she chose to trust him for the moment. She was curious about something though.
“Why did you agree to it?”
“I asked you first.”
Sherlock had almost forgotten he was dealing with a child until that sentence. “It’s close enough to your real name so you won’t forget it but removed enough that whoever is looking for you won’t make the connection. I would go by a name such as Elizabeth Margaret to remove it even further if you are given the choice.”
“But where would Molly come from?”
“It’s Molly.” Sherlock fixed the pronunciation of her name before answering. “It can be a nickname for Margaret.”
“Why would I go by my middle name?”
“What’s wrong with using a middle name?” Sherlock asked affronted at the question.
“Why do you keep answering me with questions it’s rather annoying.”
“It’s pronounced ‘rather annoying.’”
“No, rather annoying.”
They continued in this strain for a while. Sherlock finally resorted to sounding out every syllable until she got the phrase correct.
“By George she’s got it!”
Molly smiled. It was the first time she had done so in Sherlock’s presence and, though he would deny it, it brought him pleasure to having been the reason for it. “That’s the first time you’ve smiled since being here, why?”
Molly blushed, “My mom and I used to watch musicals all the time. You remind me of Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady. He says the same thing when Eliza gets her English right. You even have the same attitude as him!” She added the last sentence with a lopsided grin.
Sherlock blushed in embarrassment as that was where he had taken the line from. If Mycroft ever found out he would never hear the end of it. His mother also watched musicals and he was forced to do so as well. He thought to himself that he really needed to delete what he knew about musicals from his mind palace because they were absolute rubbish. Perhaps he would hold on to this one for now, at least until it was no longer of any use.
“It’s mum. I may as well help you. I need an experiment to work on to keep my mind sharp anyway.”
The smile disappeared from Molly’s face quicker than it had appeared. The look left on her face was best described as stormy and she hissed at him, “I’m not an experiment.” Then turned abruptly and left.
Sherlock was shocked by the display but was given more pieces of a puzzle as well as a new challenge. How would he to get Molly to talk again?
“You remember rehab?”
“Of course why wouldn’t I?” snapped Sherlock.
“You never gave any indication that you remembered and you delete what’s unimportant.”
“Molly how many times do I have to tell you that you count for you to believe it?”
Molly and Sherlock entered another staring contest. Sherlock was finding these spars tedious as they had work to do.
“Tell me what you know about Mary.”