The morning after Sherlock had proposed
Molly had woken with a ring on her finger.
The ring’s diamond was set in the band so it would not catch on things
as she worked. It was simple but elegant
with most of the decoration being intricate designs on the band. Sherlock was rewarded with a wide smile as
Molly had launched herself into his arms and initiated a heated kiss. This reassured him that he had indeed
proposed out loud this time. The
facsimile of Mycroft in his mind gloating about the differences in how a woman
behaved when she actually knew she was engaged.
Sherlock harbored hopes that his bride could be convinced to lie to the
Watson’s about how the proposal had transpired otherwise he was sure he would
never hear the end of another Sherlock Social Story.
The whole of December leading up to Christmas was a busy time for Molly and Sherlock even though they had postponed any wedding planning until after Christmas at Sherlock’s request. The month ended up being a very social one for Molly.
Molly and Sherlock brunched with his parents as promised. Molly was more at ease this time around with his parents since she knew of the affair beforehand. It also helped that Sherlock accompanied her. Sherlock’s mother spoke non-stop and gushed about how one of her sons was finally getting married. She had lost all hope of such an event ever transpiring. Molly was thoroughly entertained by both parents sharing anecdotes of Sherlock’s youth including stories about his pirate phase.
Sherlock was getting busier with cases and would be gone for days at a time. Molly became more familiar with Sherlock’s homeless network as they would follow her at these times. She had gotten fed up with it earlier and ended up making friends with Robin by suggesting they go out to eat instead of just following her around. Wiggins had shown up the next day asking for the same deal.
Sherlock was less than enthusiastic when he returned to Molly’s flat after a case to find both Robin and Wiggins were there watching a movie and eating Chinese with his fiancée. The event had ended in a slight row between the couple and both members of the Holmeless network were impressed with Molly’s handling of Sherlock. Sherlock ended up having to shell out extra money to keep them quiet about the subject.
Molly made an attempt to visit Mary. Mary seemed exhausted by the pregnancy that she was still carrying on alone. Molly offered to be more help but Mary rejected her offer saying that they needed to keep space between them until the Magnussen issue was settled. Molly was confused as Mary’s prior claim was that she could come whenever she wanted. Mary corrected her saying that she was there when Molly needed her to be but for now she should lay low. Molly tried to insist on helping Mary and reminded her how Magnussen had no idea who Molly was. Mary lashed back by saying but Mycroft knew about Molly.
This came as a shock to Molly but some puzzle pieces slid into place as she thought about it.
“What and how does Mycroft Holmes know about me?” Molly questioned the former assassin.
“I couldn’t get you out by myself. I’m good but not that good. His position was more minor than it is now. He just assumes I rescued you because of sentiment. Most people do not take it well when a child is abused. But he is a smart man and he will connect the dots.”
“He knew who you were when you dated John…” The pin dropped for Molly on how connected everyone was.
Mary explained the situation to Molly of how she became connected to John. Despite Molly’s reservations about all the secrets she knew Mary loved John and needed him to at least talk to her. They were having a baby in less than a month!
Molly left Mary’s home with a resolve to speak to two men. First she would face the elder Holmes to discover just how much he had been controlling her life since she had left America. Later she would need to address John as well.
Molly felt slightly guilty at having Tom help her get in contact with Mycroft. She wanted this discussion to be on her terms not his. She refused to be whisked off in a black car at his bidding. Tom was slightly uneasy about taking Molly to Mycroft but she insisted that it was important. Tom knew that Molly was loath to be in Mycroft’s presence and so reluctantly escorted her to his office.
Mycroft was surprised to hear that Molly was making her way to see him but was able to tamp down his curiosity into a façade of boredom once she was sitting in front of him. He had already had tea and sweets drawn up for them. Mycroft’s actions grated on her nerves. His goal appeared to be to unnerve her but he only proved to raise her hackles as he offered her a cup of tea exactly how she liked it.
“Sorry I could not be in attendance at brunch. Congratulations are in order I hear.” Mycroft spoke down to Molly.
“I’ve been talking to Mary,” Molly cut straight to the chase.
“How is she handling the pregnancy?”
“She would be doing better if her husband was talking to her.”
“I told her not to get involved.” He swallowed a sip of tea with a look of disgust on his face. “Caring is not an advantage. She was brilliant at her job and now she is being resorted to living a normal mundane civilian life,” he said with a curl of his lip.
“For some of us, we like it.”
“Then you must be so disappointed in Sherlock.”
“On the contrary. You are a perfect fit for him. Now that John can no longer be with him once he goes back to his wife you are the perfect replacement. Actually you were the original choice for the job but you have proved harder to manipulate than I had thought.”
Molly silently fumed and bit her lip before speaking, “How much of my life have you been controlling?”
Mycroft tutted at her choice of words, “I have been keeping an eye on you since you left rehab and may have nudged your career path in certain directions but I hardly count that as controlling. You have been spending to much time listening to Sherlock’s stories about me I should think.”
Molly pinched her nose between her fingers as she leaned her arms on her knees to keep her head up. “I got the job at Bart’s because of you.”
“Sherlock was on the sauce again and he needed a reminder of why he should refrain from such impulses.” Mycroft caught the look on her face. “Oh don’t worry Miss Hooper you are perfectly adequate at your job, one of the best if the stories are true, I merely opened the doors to allow you to be hired sooner.”
“Did my scholarships come from you too then?” Molly had refused to use any of her family’s money to use on her education. She had overheard Aunt Cecilia complaining about the money situation to her parents and knew that putting four children, let alone five through school, was a financial stretch. She had been unable to receive aid in the psychology realm but had easily received money when she switched to her second major of choice in pathology.
“You have paid it back many times over already. It was a sound sound investment if I do say so.”
“I want to pay it back. All of it.” Molly ground out.
“That is highly unnecessary and utterly ridiculous. Think of it as a wedding present if it makes it more palatable to your tastes. Once your relationship with Sherlock is cemented money will not be an issue I should think.”
“I am not after Sherlock for his wealth!” Molly was incensed.
“I never said you were and I did not mean to imply it. I am merely suggesting that you stop thinking so much about the money and accept it as a part of your life.”
“How much of your involvement in my life does Sherlock know?”
“He knows enough I should think. What is the point of gathering this knowledge? Will you be choosing to leave him over this.”
“Of course not. I love your brother but I also want to know the truth. I don’t like to be manipulated and controlled!”
“You seem to enjoy it when Sherlock does it.” Mycroft sneered at her with a raised eyebrow.
Molly blinked owlishly at Mycroft before standing up and bending toward Mycroft over his mahogany desk. She smiled sweetly before lifting one hand and reaching behind Mycroft to smack him on the back of his head. She continued to smile sweetly as she sat down primly and picked up her tea to take a sip. It was Mycroft’s turn to blink at her. He had not been expecting that from the mousy woman in front of him. He eventually started laughing, which surprised Molly.
“You are a singular woman Molly Hooper.”
Molly looked at him with surprise at what could be taken as a compliment and the fact that he had used her given name.
Mycroft asked her, “What did you hope to get out of this meeting Doctor Hooper.”
“I wanted to know what you knew of my past and how much you were controlling my present.”
“I know you came from the states.” He leaned on his desk with his elbows and brought his hands into a pyramid in front of his face. “Is there more I should know?”
Molly resisted the urge to squirm under Mycroft’s stare and shook her head. Mycroft took in the minute twitching of her fingers but made no comment.
“My past is just that past. My present?”
“Sherlock has made it abundantly clear that I am not to interfere with his wife except to have protection detail on you when he is unable to be near.”
Molly left out a puff of air. “That is highly unnecessary.”
“Let us not belabor this point. You are important to my brother and therefore important to me. If something should happen to you it would break my brother’s heart and we both know that despite his claims to the otherwise it does exist. I cannot watch him lose something precious to him once again. The protection detail will remain but I can assure you that it will not interfere in your day-to-day life unless there is due cause.”
“You are doing all this because you care about Sherlock.”
Mycroft looked nonplussed as he lifted his chin up, “Yes, of course.”
Molly slouched back in her seat. The conversation did not go as she had envisioned but she was actually quite fine with that. “You kept an eye on me because of that?”
“In part but you are quite interesting.”
Molly rolled her eyes at that but Mycroft continued to speak, “No matter what is thrown at you nothing causes you to break and I find that fascinating.”
“How can something break if it’s already broken?”
Mycroft rolled the words around in his head. He of course knew about the drugs and the abuse but what could have Molly survived that was worse? He attempted to deduce her but came up with nothing. Sherlock and Mary had taught her well. He would have to discuss with his baby brother what else he knew about his wife.
Molly made to get up. “I should let you get back to work. Maybe we should have dinner sometime together. We should learn how to have civil relationship since we will be in-laws.”
“Sherlock won’t like that.”
Molly shrugged in response. “I can make it worth his while.” She stuck her tongue out the side of her mouth and gave a cheeky smile before flouncing out the door.