Molly abandoned Sherlock once they reached
the house after Stevie had picked them up.
She went off to help those who were in the kitchen. Sherlock, however, was accosted before even
entering the house by his young fan along with a few of his younger family
members. So Sherlock with four kids in
tow went out into the yard where he started to regale them with one of the
stories of his exploits.
About fifteen minutes into his story telling saw eight-year-old Haley in tears crying to her father. When Molly’s oldest brother Henry tried to find out what had happened he got a blubbered response.
“Sherlock says the Aunt Molly cuts up dead people.” Here the child let out a wail coupled with a sob at the end.
Sherlock had followed the child knowing causing her to cry was not good. He was bewildered at why, all the kids he had encountered so far had seemed enthralled with dead bodies, granted his control group was small thus far.
The whole family was witness to the drama unfolding in front of them but Henry calmly took his daughter in another room to explain Molly’s job in gentler terms.
Sherlock asked a sheepish, “Not good?” to his girlfriend.
Molly bit her lip before answering, “Honestly, not the best, but…could have been worse.”
The rest of the family seemed to return to their previous activities. Stevie tried to comfort Sherlock by telling of his own failings with his nieces and nephews. Sherlock could not fathom why the children didn’t know what Molly did and said as much. They told him that they usually just explain that she was a doctor and leave it at that. Sherlock snapped that they should be proud of Molly and not ashamed as she was the best pathologist he knew. They were a little surprised at the outburst and explained they had the utmost respect and pride for Molly but they did not see the necessity in explaining the intricacies of her job to the children.
When dinner was finally ready they settled the children to eat in the living room as they waited for Aunt Cecilia to arrive. Josiah complained when he was told he could not eat with the adults and was denied a chance to be with Sherlock. Haley had recovered and Sherlock was relieved that Henry seemed to bear him no ill will for the false step he had taken.
Finally the whole family was gathered and settled for dinner. Molly knew that the questions would start now that everyone was there together and she could only push her food around on her plate due to her nervousness. Sherlock made a note to get her peanut butter and jelly to eat later, hopefully that would make up for making the infernal child cry earlier.
“So this is him then?” Aunt Cecilia started as soon as they finished blessing the food.
Peter commandeered the conversation masterfully from his aunt. “You caused quite a sensation at the church this morning. We don’t often have celebrity guests.”
Sherlock looked to Molly. He had no idea how to respond to such a statement.
Henry jumped in saying they had thought they would never have the chance to meet the detective and if it weren’t for the newspapers they would have thought he was imaginary.
“What my oldest son is saying is that we are glad for the chance to finally meet you.” Molly’s mother, Anne, corrected her son.
They made it through the meal with relatively few difficulties. The family made a concentrated effort to field any of Aunt Cecilia’s remarks and Sherlock managed to maneuver around the conversations without causing too much trouble. The family had flinched when he spoke derisively of Molly’s clothing choices but she just rolled her eyes and whapped him on the back of the head. Sherlock was certainly not what they would have chosen or imagined for Molly but they could see how the couple complimented each other. The family was also able to witness an easiness with Molly and Sherlock that they had never seen with Tom in their limited interactions.
At one point Rob’s wife Dana asked when they had finally fallen in love after all the years of working together.
Molly’s eyes grew wide and she blushed. She had never heard Sherlock say the words though he had extracted them from her. She didn’t doubt his affection but she also did not know how to answer her sister-in–law’s question.
“I always knew that Molly counted and mattered to me but I didn’t know how much or what that meant until recently.” Sherlock surprised Molly with his candid answer.
“And how did you figure it out?” Henry asked.
“Molly asked me what counting to me meant and I didn’t have an answer so I examined all the evidence and I realized that the most logical thing would be for us to marry and I proposed and Molly agreed.”
“What? That never happened!” Molly cried and tried to stare down her boyfriend.
“Actually it did.” Sherlock went on to explain his mind palace to the family and explained the incident and the following day’s details when he realized what had happened. “So my friends coached me on how to approach Molly but again I buggered up the whole attempt.”
“Is that when you called me looking for Molly.” A laughing Peter asked.
“Yes. I apologize for any undue distress I may have caused your family.” Sherlock responded.
“Why did you never tell me this?!” Molly exclaimed.
Sherlock looked confused for a moment and then shrugged. “I didn’t feel it was pertinent information, however I am glad you are hearing this from me and not from Dr. Watson or his wife. They seem to take undue delight in pointing out my social failings and like to embellish things.”
“Well,” Stevie inserted, “With the proposal I guess we can cross asking him his intentions toward our sister off the list of big brother questions to ask.”
There was some giggling and an idle threat from the matron of the family telling her sons to leave the poor man alone.
After dinner was finished the Anne shooed off Molly from helping wash up and the family dispersed to various after eating activities. Sherlock snuck out for a much-needed cigarette and when he returned it was to find Molly curled up on the couch with her laptop while some of the children and two of her brothers were getting a game of Cluedo started. Josiah begged Sherlock to join in the game. Sherlock’s face lit up at the prospect having been banned from playing at Baker’s Street. Without looking up from her computer screen Molly told them absolutely not and said that Sherlock was no longer allowed to play Cluedo. Sherlock tried to insist that the rule had only been made for Baker Street but Molly won the argument by saying the rule applied for anyone that she liked. Sherlock sat down beside her and pouted before commenting that the rule allowed for him to play against Cecilia. Molly’s brothers laughed at the display and then got the game going.
Sherlock observed the game for a while but would glance at Molly’s computer from time to time.
“Who is James?” Sherlock watched as Molly composed an email.
“He is a doctor from America who specializes in cancer,” Molly answered him.
“Why are you talking to a doctor in America?”
“He was interested in some of the work I do on cancer victims. I wrote a paper a couple years back and he was wondering if I would attend the big pathology conference coming up.”
“You aren’t going are you?”
“It’s in New York.” She said as an answer.
Sherlock knew she would never set foot on American soil willingly and lost interest in her writing for a time and tried to put his input into the Cluedo game again until Molly elbowed him in the ribs. This brought his attention back to her writing.
He wrinkled his nose and asked who she was writing to once more. “Who is Ducky?”
She stopped writing to look at him while she answered. “He’s the pathologist who kicked us out of the lab when we were…not supposed to be there.”
Sherlock had to think a moment to remember. “Oh when we were at rehab?”
Molly wanted to smack him but didn’t want to draw any attention to Sherlock’s statement. For a genius sometimes he was quite daft.
Occasionally things went smooth for Molly and her mother chose that moment to appear with cake and hot drinks. Molly put aside her computer to jump up and help her mother. The rest of the family had joined together in the family room to sit or stand in random places with the hummingbird cake. Sherlock hadn’t moved and was now sitting between Helen and Dana. He looked uncomfortable but was caught in a conversation with the two women.
Aunt Cecilia hating to have been ignored and to not have her say decided to ask a question. “I don’t know how she is going to get this one to stay, she obviously couldn’t with the last one.”
Despite the other conversations being held everyone managed to hear the mean-spirited comment. The woman had been grating on Sherlock’s nerves since she arrived but he had tried to be good for Molly. Now that she had declared war first he was ready to put her in her place but first she needed to be educated by the facts.
“Molly was never with Tom,” He said.
Molly’s head whipped to face Sherlock but everyone else’s eyes turned to the pathologist in confusion.
“Molly?” her mother asked for an explanation with the one word.
Molly turned to look at her mother to explain but Sherlock was much quicker with his words.
“He was her bodyguard.”
“Why did she need a bodyguard?” this was spoken by Rob.
“She saved my life by helping me fake my death. She needed to be kept safe in case someone found out and sought to take revenge.”
“Wait, you knew he was alive?” Peter felt betrayed that she would hide something of that magnitude.
More questions and answers were being exchanged quickly and the room grew into a cacophony of voices. Many were voicing concerns of Molly’s present safety but she was the only one not speaking up. She placed her cake down and ran out of the room.
Sherlock and Peter attempted to pursue but she told them to leave her alone in a voice that brooked no argument. Sherlock adhered to her wishes and instead went to confront her family to see how they had caused such a response in his Molly. Peter also knew when Molly needed time to recover so gave her space and followed Sherlock back in.
Without Molly in the room to protect all bets were off.
“What did you do to her in the past to cause her to act like that?” Sherlock snarled at the family.
Peter started to comment but his mother hushed him. “As a girl Molly would often get overwhelmed when things got heated. She would go somewhere quiet until she calmed down. She doesn’t do so much anymore but occasionally Cecelia gets the best of her.” She said the last part glaring at her sister-in-law.
“Then why do you keep subjecting her to the horrid woman?” Sherlock all but shouted.
“Young man, I am a rightful member of this family-“
“You were also adopted and should have some more compassion for someone in the same position as you. Instead you lash out jealously because your parents made sure to tell you every chance you got that you were adopted. You were reunited with your biological brother and have been leeching off his family’s generosity for years. I will not let Molly be subjected to this anymore. If you want her to come here this woman will not be present or you must come to London to see her.” Sherlock made his declaration.
The family was shocked silent by the deductions and declaration.
Aunt Cecilia was angered at what he was able to see. “How dare you speak to me like that? They will not choose that brat over me.”
“Stop, just stop it.” Molly’s gentle mother said not unlike Molly. “We should have done more about it. Sherlock is right.” Molly’s mother looked ashamed. “You have shown that you can’t hold your tongue so when Molly does come to visit you are no longer welcome to be here.”
The rest of the family looked even more shocked than they had before.
“If my brother was alive-“
“You wouldn’t have said the things you are saying or if you had he would have done more to protect her. I should have done more to protect my daughter from you. I thought that someday if we showed you enough love you would change. When Molly is not here the door will always be open to you. Nothing will ever change your family status but this must stop. I’ll get a plate of cake for you to take home but it is time for you to leave.” With the closing of her speech Anne stood up and took Cecilia’s plate to the kitchen.
Cecilia turned on the detective, “This is your fault.”
Helen spoke up on behalf of the dark haired man, “It is no one’s fault but your own. I’ll help you to your car Aunt Cecilia.”
During Anne’s speech Sherlock had made deductions about the rest of the family. They were painfully ordinary and only had small foibles that were common to most mankind. Their faith was unusual to him, as they seemed to really try to adhere to the teachings in the religious text. He couldn’t figure out what had chased off Molly in a fit of fear they were just so…so…normal.
Sherlock left the house in order to take part in another much-needed cigarette. He had been followed by all four brothers so he rolled his eyes in response as he took the first drag of his cigarette.
“Molls know you smoke?” Stevie asked.
“She’s not an idiot of course she does.” Sherlock took another drag.
“Our father died of lung cancer you know.”
Sherlock scrunched up his face and took one last drag before putting it out. “I’m trying to quit.”
“Our sister is important to us-“Henry started out.
“Yes, so special that you have let that vile woman walk across her all these years.”
“She’s our aunt,” interjected Rob.
“Be that as it may can we suspense with the discussion you have followed me out here to have? You are worried about Molly’s safety being with me. She has had a bodyguard in the past but I will see to her safety. You probably will make a comment about how if I break her heart you will rough me up a bit as a big brother’s duty. I can probably take all of you, I used to box and on occasion seek out some sport but I will gladly subject myself to your fists when I inadvertently cause her pain because it is not a matter of if but when. I confess I have done so many times in the past and fail to see how when we get married it will be any different except I will strive to do so less. I am hoping to receive your permission to marry her as it is customary, though I don’t know why, she is perfectly able to make the decision herself.”
“Everything you said is right. She can make the decision on her own but can you truly make her happy?” Peter asked.
Henry added, “Can you truly keep her safe? She lied to us to keep you safe. Will that be her life now? Keeping secrets for you? I know what you get out of this arrangement but I fail to see what Molly gets.”
With the Henry’s words the puzzle of why Molly was upset slid into place. She was not upset about the outside conflict but by the secrets she hated having. She had not been abused by the family, with the exception of Cecilia. It was their ordinariness that had gotten to her.
He needed to go find her.
“I love your sister. I know she has shared things about me over the years and I know I am not best with people. You probably will never like me, most people don’t, but we need to do this for Molly. If you have any further complaints you can find me at 221 B Baker Street in London. For now I need to find Molly and then we will be going home.”
Sherlock started to walk in the direction he saw Molly head in.
Peter’s voice stopped him. He told her that she usually wanted to be left alone longer but gave him two of her probable locations if he wanted to attempt facing her.
Sherlock found Molly curled up with her back to a tree.