It was now mid-August and Sherlock and
Molly’s relationship had taken on a tone that Molly did not recognize. Sherlock came in more often to do experiments
since he could not run around after the baddies. After Molly’s workday would finish if
Sherlock was there that day he would follow her home. They often took meals together and did
various activities such as watch telly.
The times Sherlock didn’t show up at work he would ask for a body part
delivery and would often talk Molly into staying to assist in an experiment. He still assisted on cases from his couch but
was not allowed to help Molly with bodies for fear he would run off to solve a
murder. On those days he turned into the
sulky detective everyone knew, loved, and wanted to throttle. He even fetched Molly coffee from time to
time. When he messed up she didn’t
hesitate to smack the back of his head.
They never parted until Sherlock had given her the perfunctory kiss on
the side of her head or cheek.
When Molly had gone to see her family after Sherlock had been shot, she had taken time to look at her life. One of her goals was to set up boundaries with Sherlock. She decided to wait until after he was back in consulting condition because he seemed to really need her at this time. She promised herself that it was just a phase and there was really no harm in delaying it. Part of her knew that her argument was a weak one but she wanted to enjoy this time why it lasted. She started to wonder if she had become a masochist somewhere down the line. Despite all this there were moments of sweetness she wouldn’t have given up for the world.
The first time Sherlock and Molly had actually gone out for coffee was the day after Molly had received the new phone. Sherlock showed up ten minutes before the end of her shift and asked specifically if she would like to go get coffee with him at a café. Molly was surprised but readily agreed. He had Molly grab a table and went to retrieve their refreshments.
When he placed Molly’s drink before her he noticed the minute twitch in her face.
“I know you usually take it black but I think you would prefer it this way.”
“I know I would prefer the taste but it’s something I can do to remember my dad.”
“But what’s the point of that sentiment,” he sneered, “when you don’t like the taste?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side blah, blah, blah. Who is the loser if I choose to drink my coffee black?”
“You. You don’t like it.”
“For a moment I get to remember my dad.”
“Doesn’t that hurt?” He genuinely looked interested.
“It’s…bittersweet. I think it would hurt more to erase that part of me. I’ve had to bury so much.”
Molly quietly sipped her drink as her counterpart observed her. Her hands were gripping her mug so that she wouldn’t move them about.
“You know,” started Molly, “sentiment doesn’t have to be a weakness. It really depends on how you use it. If you let it rule you and let it lead you into destructive patterns, yes, it could be a weakness.”
Sherlock looked down as he contemplated her words. Mycroft hadn’t actually start spouting off that sentiment was a defect until Sherlock had been led down the road of drugs after losing his beloved Irish setter, Redbeard. Mycroft did, however, continue to use his mantra whenever he thought it applied.
Molly continued, “You can use sentiment to help you survive and use it as a strength. Remembering those who care about me helps me survive in dark times.”
Sherlock’s head shot up at that. Hadn’t he done the same thing? When he had worked on dismantling Moriarty’s network there had been times he had wanted to give up but he pictured John, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, and of course Molly. When he did so he tried his hardest to survive so he could get back to them. All this time what he had seen as a weakness was the very thing that had kept him alive and kept him fighting. It had taken his sweet unassuming Molly to show him something right in front of his face.
He looked at Molly in amazement. “I think…I understand that.”
The next day he started to bring her black coffee instead of the other way around.
“What do you mean you’re going to have lunch with meat dagger?!” An indignant Sherlock burst out at his pathologist.
“It’s simple English Sherlock,” Molly calmly stated.
“Why? I am perfectly able to take you to lunch.”
“I know this and I enjoy all the time we spend together. I don’t see Tom very often and I am trying to have some friends outside your circle.”
“What’s wrong with sharing the same social circle?”
“I don’t want to be living vicariously through you!”
“You wouldn’t even have met him if I hadn’t had to jump off a roof.” He knew he had hit a sore point with her.
“I know that’s why I rejected his overtures at friendship initially, but he’s actually a really nice guy.”
“Exactly! He’s a guy. Can’t you get some girl friends? What about that one girl you used to hang out with…Minnie?”
“Meena is nice but I don’t really get along with women very well.”
“It’s because of your relationship with your mother,” he cruelly deduced. “You blame her for your ordeal-“
SMACK. Molly had tears in her eyes. “Too far Sherlock. DON’T follow me!”
It had been the first time in weeks that they parted without Sherlock bestowing a kiss upon her face. It left them both unsettled.
Sherlock regretted his outburst. ‘Jealousy is a defect found on the losing side,’ he thought to himself. He thought of having Wiggins spy on them but didn’t want to incur his, ‘missus’ (as Wiggins called her) wrath any further. So he went back to his flat and began to abuse his violin to the chagrin of his flat mate who had been trying to enjoy a day off.
“Sherlock, for goodness sake can you please just not!” John exclaimed.
“Molly,” Sherlock said with gritted teeth, “went out with meat dagger.” He had punctuated each word with a strike against the poor instrument.
“No,” he dragged out the word. “He was her bodyguard.”
“What?! When did that happen?”
“When I jumped off a roof. Did you miss that event?” Sherlock’s voice dripped with sarcasm.
“I meant why did no one tell me?”
“No one told me either. I found out after Molly told me to return the ring to Mycroft.”
John gave Sherlock his look that conveyed that Sherlock needed to tell him everything that moment or some of Sherlock’s things were going to go missing.
Sherlock updated John on the major details of Tim’s existence in the life of his Molly.
“Mate,” John shook his head, “You can’t control whom Molly sees.”
“But she’s courting me!”
“And when the bloody hell did that happen?”
“John, do keep up.” Sherlock saw that John was not amused so he sighed and threw himself into his chair, this time he did not relinquish his hold on the violin as a precaution.
“Fine, answer this, when were you going to tell me hmm? And since when do you ‘court’ someone? What year is it? This better not be like it was with Janine.”
“Please John, Molly would give me anything I need without deceiving her in such a manner.”
“You didn’t answer when you were going to tell me.”
Sherlock wondered what would happen to his friend if his eyes got any wider. “Sometime before you and Mrs. Watson were on speaking terms again.”
“What does Mary have to do with it?”
“I had to get courting advice somewhere.”
John’s anger was mounting. He was breathing heavier and had to look down. He reined in his emotions but his voice went lower. “You couldn’t ask your best friend?”
Now that John was properly incensed Sherlock had calmed down and felt comfortable enough to relinquish his hold on his violin. After he set it down he folded his hands together and leaned his elbows on the chairs arms.
“I was trying to be sensitive to your feelings. You are struggling in your marriage and I was setting out on a new relationship. I didn’t want you to feel pain while I was in a state of bliss.” Sherlock smiled his cocky ‘I’m so pleased with myself’ smile.
“Yes, you seemed quite blissful making your violin screech like a cat being run over.”
Sherlock’s face fell and he glared at his friend.
“You didn’t say anything ‘not good’ to Molly when she said she was having lunch with Tom did you?”
Sherlock’s lips twitched and he looked away from John.
John cursed, “What did you do?”
“It was more than not good.”
Sherlock decided to follow John’s advise no matter how cliché it sounded. Molly was surprised with the gerbera daisies he gave her. She accepted his wordless apology and didn’t pull away when he leaned forward to kiss her cheek. He politely asked how lunch went she shrugged her shoulders and admitted she had left shortly after arriving because their fight had caused her to feel ill. They curled up on the couch to watch a movie while Molly ate some ice cream. Sherlock stole a bite here and there but refused his own bowl. Once the ice cream was finished Sherlock claimed Molly’s lap before Toby had the chance. Molly wondered when it had become so natural for them to do this and started to get scared of how it would affect her when it was over.