Sherlock raked his fingers through his
curls as he paced back and forth in Molly’s apartment as he waited for Mary to
pick up the phone.
“Well if it isn’t the great disappointment calling me,” Mary answered the phone having ascertained that it was Sherlock with her caller ID.
Sherlock scrunched up his face in confusion and disgust. “Excuse me?”
“Don’t take that tone with me.” Mary calmly commanded him.
Sherlock sighed in frustration; Molly had certainly covered all her bases. “I take it you know where Molly is too?”
“And you don’t all knowing great one?”
“Don’t confuse me with my brother. Where is she? I need to find her and fix this!”
“You really messed up this time Sherlock.”
“I know!” Sherlock roared into the phone. “You think I don’t know that?”
Mary was silent for a few moments and Sherlock had to check his phone to make sure she hadn’t hung up. After a few minutes she spoke.
“You need to give her some time and space. I don’t think you realize how much damage you did last night.”
“And you do?” Sherlock spat out.
“Unlike you I know how to communicate.”
“Says the woman who lied to her husband about her identity.”
“Keep it up Sherlock. Let’s see how far you can take this. Attacking someone who actually wants to help because they care about you is not going to help in the long run.”
“I need to know where she is.”
Mary had been watching Dr. Who reruns when she heard the knock on the door. She checked the peephole and was astounded to see a soaked and crying Molly on her doorstep. It wasn’t a far stretch to imagine that Sherlock was the reason for the tears. What was harder to imagine is why Molly had come to her. When she opened the door Molly expressed that she didn’t know where else to go. Mary ushered Molly into her house and straight into the bathroom where she insisted that Molly take a shower.
Mary went about grabbing clothes for Molly to wear. Even pre-pregnancy Mary was slightly bigger than Molly but that did not matter when she would just be wearing sweats and a t-shirt. Mary laid the clothes out in the bathroom for Molly and let her know they were there along with a towel. Mary then went about tidying up her and John’s modest flat. She turned off the telly and considered putting a way the ice cream she had been eating but opted to just grab an extra spoon.
Molly emerged from the bathroom freshly showered and wearing Mary’s clothes. The look on her face was much like the face she had worn when she was a child. Her face showed heartbreak and confusion. Mary beckoned Molly to join her on the couch and held out a spoon. With Mary sitting in the middle of the couch Molly had no choice but to sit close to her. Molly chose to sit cross-legged and she took the proffered spoon but made no move to get any ice cream. She played with the spoon for a while.
Mary didn’t want to push to fast with Molly but wanted to start with a safe question.
“I know it’s a bit cliché but I thought ice cream may be a good idea. I tend to go for comfort food in emotional situations. Is there anything you would like?”
Molly looked at Mary as she thought about the answer to the question. She rubbed at a spot where a tear had slid down her face. “Do you have peanut butter and jelly?” She finally replied and then started chewing on her lip.
Mary gave a gentle smile, “I’m pregnant and American by birth, so yes of course.”
Mary went about making a few sandwiches and brought them out to the living room. When she returned Molly had drawn her knees up to her chest with her arms hugging her legs to her. Her head was down and Mary could see that her shoulders were shaking. Mary sighed and put the plate of sandwiches on the coffee table before sitting down beside the crying woman. Mary started rubbing the woman’s back in circles, she felt Molly tense up for a moment before relaxing into the touch. Eventually Mary just put her arm around Molly and brought her close to her side. The shaking and silent sobs subsided and Molly peaked out from her wet hair that had created a curtain for her face.
Mary gave another gentle smile and reached for the box of tissues that was close at hand. Molly gave a watery chuckle before grabbing the extended tissues and breaking in to tears again. Amidst the tears Molly tried to apologize for coming to Mary’s house again to which Mary just hushed her and reassured her that it was quite all right.
After Molly had calmed down Mary decided to dive right in and ask. “Want to talk about it?”
Molly shrugged. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Sherlock must have been pretty bad to put you into this state. You have been together about a month right?”
Molly looked Mary in shock. Mary misinterpreted Molly’s look and attempted to explain how she knew about Sherlock and Molly’s relationship.
“John is the only one really angry with me, though I suppose you may be too. Sherlock actually came to get “courting” advice,” she said using air quotes and rolling her eyes. “Ridiculous man refuses to use dating to describe your relationship.”
“You knew we were dating?”
“He didn’t tell you that we talked?”
“He didn’t tell me that we were dating.”
It was Mary’s turn to be shocked. She shook her head in anger, “I’m going to bloody kill him!”
Molly knowing Mary was fully capable of carrying out such a threat started to cry again. Mary sucked in a breath of air, scrunched her eyes, and clenched her fists.
“I’m sorry that was a poor choice of words.” She tried to reach out to Molly but she flinched back from her. “I…didn’t want to shoot Sherlock. I promise I am not going to kill him but I may threaten to shoot him from time to time to be honest. He needs to be kept on his toes.”
Molly sized up Mary. Molly decided she was telling the truth and chose to trust her. With Molly calmed down Mary attempted to talk to her again. “You’re welcome to stay here for a couple days if you need to.”
“I have work tomorrow but thank you.”
“Take a sick day.”
“I’m not sick.”
“I’m a nurse you know and I think you have Sherlockitis.”
Molly smiled and decided to play along. “What is that exactly? Is it serious?”
“Sadly in your case it seems like a lifelong condition. You can choose to embrace this illness and have moments of happiness though at times feel overwhelming frustration. The other option is to try to cure it by going far away from the source that causes the symptoms.”
Molly looked stricken, “He broke up with me…I think. Can someone break up with you if you didn’t know you were dating?” At this point Molly started to babble as she stated making realizations. “He mentioned marriage. He has never shown the slightest interest in relationships, marriage, or otherwise. Well I guess there was that case with the woman. Aside from that I started to think Mrs. Hudson was right. But perhaps he’s asexual.” Molly continued pouring out her thoughts. While she spoke her hands continually danced on her legs as she shifted her seat several times. “Why would he think he wants something like that with me, of all people? He’s probably just bored, right?”
Mary allowed Molly to rant without interrupting. “You are going to have to ask him these questions you know.”
Molly shook her head and shed a couple more tears. She looked up to the ceiling, “But it’s crazy, right? Him and me…plus he ended it.”
Mary had Molly tell her exactly what took place and started to stroke the younger woman’s hair. When Molly had finished Mary expressed her thoughts.
“You and Sherlock need to talk but before you do you need to figure out what it is you want.”
“I thought I had. A couple of months ago I decided to put up boundaries in my life and limit my Sherlock consumption. Not blocking him out exactly but…our relationship…I don’t understand it.” Molly fidgeted with her hands.
“I do recommend taking some personal days. You do enough for that morgue by putting in extra hours with Sherlock when no one else will.”
It took some convincing on Mary’s part but finally Molly agreed to take a couple days off. Molly felt guilty since she had recently taken time off to go to see her family but Mary pointed out how often the other doctors took off compared to her and how she often filled those shifts. She also had Molly agree to stay the night. This was beneficial so that she would have peace from Sherlock while she thought. Molly was frustrated that she had left her purse behind at Sherlock’s but she was able to take care of the most important things without it. She called her neighbor and asked her to feed Toby for the next couple days and warned her that Sherlock may be there at some point. She called Mike Stamford who insisted she take the whole weekend off without her having to explain the entirety of the situation. She also called Greg on the off chance Sherlock would harass the poor man. She assured him that she was all right but needed some space from Sherlock. When everything necessary was taken care of she started to nibble on the sandwiches that Mary had previously set out for her.
“So PB&J is your go to comfort food?”
“For a while it was all I ate as a kid. Reminds me of what being safe felt like.”
Mary had been running her hands through Molly’s hair in a comforting fashion again but stopped for a second when she heard that. She continued while looking at the color of Molly’s hair. “Did you continue dying your hair all these years?”
“It mutes out the red a bit and it made me feel safer. I just never stopped.”
“How did you get the dye?”
“The first time I nicked from a store after I had left rehab and was situated into my family. My hair had started to grow out by then. I was scared the red was too noticeable but dying my hair was more noticeable. My…father thought it was one of my quirks of having Asperger’s, and perhaps it is, and they agreed to let me dye my hair as long as I didn’t steal again. I had to apologize to the manager of the shop and pay him back.”
Molly had been glad to talk about something other than Sherlock for the brief moment. Mary hated to do it but she needed to know and so she asked, “Do you know about Sherlock’s case with Magnussen?”
“Yes.” Mary could tell Molly was shutting down from that one word.
“I’m not trying to hurt you but you need to be careful. As far as I know he is unaware of you, but the company you keep…”
“I’ll be careful, but as long as I am not a danger to Sherlock I’m not going to go anywhere. Do you think I’m a danger?”
“No. I’m more afraid you will be put into danger.”
“I’m not that little girl anymore.” Molly’s hands twitched a couple of ASL letters.
The question remained unanswered. Instead Molly asked why Sherlock had gone to Mary for “courting” advice. Mary explained that he didn’t want to hurt John, as his relationship was not doing well. Molly made a face at Mary and they broke up laughing easing the tension of the previous conversations. Molly started to question Mary about how she was doing but she just patted her on the knee before heading to the kitchen to get some tea. They ended up watching a movie before going to sleep.
Molly had woken earlier in the morning than Mary had. She had a headache from crying and helped herself to things in the kitchen as Mary had instructed. She ended up grabbing some yarn that Mary had attempted to knit with but had obviously given up on. Molly proceeded to knit a baby blanket as she thought about the events that had transpired the day before.
She never thought Sherlock would see her in such a position in his life and had never allowed herself to hope for it. She was always trying to keep him from taking too much from her but at the same time wanted something from him. She never wanted to place her desires on him and decided to settle for just enough. She had long ago accepted singlehood as her fate. She knew having been diagnosed with a disorder made it harder to be in a relationship and with all the secrets added in there was no possible way for her to hope for any relationship. She had secrets from the world but if she were to enter a relationship she did not want to have secrets from that person. She also did not want to endanger another. Sherlock had been a safe person to care for because there was no hope of him returning her affections. Now he knew most of the secrets that haunted her, if he was in danger that was his own fault and he was not afraid of it, and he wanted, or at least he had, wanted some type of relationship with her. This terrified her. She thought that the whole idea was insane and yet she had hope. There was a fear that he would get himself killed and she would lose him. As she thought about it she thought losing him would devastate her. However, it was already to late to protect herself from that. If Sherlock were to get himself killed at any point it would devastate her, relationship or no. She was already ruined, she might as well give in the rest of the way…if he was willing.
Mary found Molly later that morning asleep. She saw the beginning of a baby blanket and smiled.
“If I tell you where she is you have to promise to leave her alone until she is ready to speak with you.”
Sherlock let out a dramatic huff, “Fine.”
“Don’t sound so shocked. You came here too, remember?”
“I’m coming over.”
“What did I just tell you?”
“I have her purse and phone.”
“Leave them at her flat.”
“I’m just going to bring them over and make sure she’s all right.”
“SHERLOCK HOLMES!” Mary said louder than necessary. “If you come here now I will shoot you again. I promised not to kill you but I can maim you a bit. You don’t need both ears for example.”
“NO!” Molly hollered from the couch where she had just woken up for the second time that day. “No where near his face. It’s pretty and I’d like it to stay that way if possible thank you very much.”
“Molly says not to blow holes near your head, she likes your pretty face,” Mary relayed to Sherlock. “How about his knees would you be okay if he was crippled?”
Molly made a face, “Too difficult to run away if he gets into trouble. How bout a flesh wound in his leg so it can heal?”
“Molly must be crazy or a saint. She will only allow flesh wounds and no lasting damage to you.”
“I fail to understand how her allowing you to shoot any part of my person would be saintly. May I speak with her?”
Mary put her phone on mute. “He wants to talk to you. You need more time?”
Mary could tell she was in better spirits since she was able to banter but wanted to make sure she was ready for any interactions. Just the night before she had found out she was in a relationship and didn’t know it. Communicating with Sherlock may be the best way to solve the issues at hand but not if she wasn’t prepared.
Molly held out her hand for the phone but her hands started to shake.
“You don’t have to do this right now.”
“Yes I do.” With that Molly took the phone.