I knew what Mary was before you married her.”
John looked at Molly and came to the only conclusion he could think of because she couldn’t be speaking of the other side of Mary Morstan. “You knew she was my bodyguard?”
“Oh, no. I just recently found out about that but I am glad that you are aware of it.”
Molly was very relieved that there was one less secret for John to find out about.
John stomped into the kitchen and Molly heard things being slammed around and dishes clanking. He re-entered the room with a tray and ordered Molly to sit. She quickly sat in Sherlock’s chair as it made her feel a bit safer. He had left a shirt draped over the arm and she imagined that he had just tossed it off at some point and landed there. She picked it up and held it to her nose and breathed in the scent. She wondered if it was strange that she wanted to throw the shirt in her bag and take it with her. If she was lucky maybe she could grab one of his pillows instead.
“Are you finished sniffing my roommates laundry then?” John huffed at her.
Molly blushed a darker red than she had in months. “I know it has only been a couple days but I miss him and…” she let the sentence dangle off into an embarrassing silence.
John sighed. He shouldn’t have snapped at Molly. She was here as a friend, at least he thought she was, and he had done nothing but gripe at her. The least he could do was give her the benefit of a doubt.
“I have a bottle of Mary’s perfume and sometimes I smell it.” As an afterthought he added, “I do miss her.”
“You could just go back to her John.”
“So what do you know Molly?”
“I’m assuming you haven’t read Mary’s thumb drive.”
“I have not.”
“It’s been awhile, you must love her to have waited like this instead of reading it.”
“I can’t trust her.” John let out in a hushed voice.
“Trust is a hard thing. I’m going to tell you my story but…you can’t tell anyone. I need to be able to trust you.”
“I won’t. Sherlock says I am rubbish at keeping secrets but I can actually hold my tongue.”
“I hope so because I could be in danger if the wrong people find out.”
“You and Sherlock fit each other well in the dramatics department.” John snarked at her.
Molly stared at John a moment before standing up. “This was a mistake. I shouldn’t have come. Have a nice lonely life John Hamish Watson.”
She took two strides to the door before John jumped up and called out to her. “Molly, wait. I’m sorry. That was uncalled for.”
She turned to face him, “This is not something that is easy for me to do and I need you to take it seriously.”
“Okay. I will.” John agreed with his hands up in surrender.
“Can you just let me speak before you pass judgment?”
“Yeah, all right.”
The two of them retook their seats. Molly jumped up and ran to Sherlock’s room. Propriety be hanged. She wanted one of Sherlock’s pillows to hang on to during this ordeal and she didn’t give a fig what Dr. Watson thought. She also grabbed up a blanket to keep herself warm.
Once Molly settled in she closed her eyes and started to recall her past.
“My mother and I were under protection. She had witnessed a murder and was going to testify but our guard was shot as he was transporting us. I was almost eight at the time. The car would have gone out of control but two other cars came alongside it and managed to drag the car to a stop. My mother and I were rescued but we saw the car blow up before we were taken away.” Molly sighed and shifted and held the pillow to her nose.
“We were taken to the headquarters of a government facility. My mother was a scientist working on a new technology. They wanted that technology and would do anything to get it. The group was corrupt and did things that were not...” Molly failed to find a suitable word, “right or good. They were finally able to get the technology from my mother but had no more use for her. They used me as a sort of guinea pig for the project. They kept me reliant upon them by dosing me with drugs and I would do anything for my next fix.”
Molly heard John gasp but refused to open her eyes. She did not want to see his reactions to her story.
“There were people who wanted to help me. They all promised to get me out of there. The group was too strong and each of them died trying.” Molly stopped and gasped for air as she started to cry. “There were eight people. Most of the people that were part of the group had no choice. They were brought in as teens with problems and given a choice of a new life in service to the country or no life. Everyone chose a new life.”
“How is that even possible?” asked John in indignation.
Molly shrugged without opening her eyes. “They brought in another woman to work with me. I hated her.”
“I can’t work with her when she is high out of her mind.” Annabel Grace Reina Allen angrily spoke to her superior.
“Ann, she is easier handled when she has something in her system,” Percy, the head of Division, countered.
“That may be but if you ever hope to have her functioning on the field she needs to be coherent and know how to protect herself. I cannot feasibly carry off a mission while carrying around dead weight. She needs some training!”
“Fine but it’s your responsibility now. But she is not to set foot off the base until we are ready for a run through to see if it works.”
Ann had had her work cut out for her. She made sure the then nine year old could shoot a gun and manage basic self-defense along with other skills. Eventually Division decided to allow the girl to go with Ann on the field.
The test was simple and controlled. The handlers knew who the target was but Ann was kept in the dark about what the man looked like. She had a name only but it would be up to the little girl to recognize the target.
The test was a success on both accounts. They tested the little girls abilities and the technology but they also tested Ann’s loyalty. Ann took the target down without any regard for the little girl at her side.
They ran similar tests and missions. Division’s trust grew in Ann until one day she disappeared with the ten-year old in tow.
“She pushed me hard. She never promised to rescue me as the others had but she was the one to get me out. I ended up in England to start a new life.”
“A new life that started out in rehab?” John asked.
“Did Sherlock tell you?”
“No, Lestrade may have mentioned something.” After he saw the look of confusion on her face he clarified. “He sometimes took Sherlock there and he witnessed you slapping him.”
Molly’s face paled, “He was able to recognize me?” She thought to her earlier meeting with Magnussen.
“No, Sherlock told Lestrade who you were awhile back so that he wouldn’t attempt to date you when his marriage broke apart.”
Molly sighed in relief and giggled, “That sounds like him.”
John smiled and joined her in laughing before his face turned serious. “I’m so sorry for what you went through.”
“I wasn’t the only one who was hurt.” Molly said while meeting John’s eyes.
“I don’t even know my wife’s real name,” John said with anguish.
“Sherlock knows mine but we never use it. Actually he named me Molly while we were in rehab and soon I will be Molly Holmes, so in a way he literally gave me my name. Names change. Remember Romeo and Juliet?”
“What’s in a name? They did end up dead you know.”
“Fine it’s not the best example,” Molly said in exasperation.
John smiled and then gave a small frown, “You do realize Sherlock named you after a drug right?”
“What?! I never thought of the connection.” Molly’s eyes were wide.
John laughed at her reaction, “Please let me rag on him for this. It can be my Christmas gift from you.”
“Be my guest but I want to be there to get my fair share of digs.”
After laughing they sat for a moment reflecting on the information that had passed between them. Molly dried her eyes on the blanket and hoped there was nothing hazardous on the material that would cause blindness.
“John, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you but I could see that she loves you. It wasn’t my secret to tell and she risked everything to save me. I hope you can forgive the both of us.”
With her last statement Molly stood and gathered herself up. She kissed John, who was still sitting in his chair on the cheek. When she pulled away John grabbed her hand and thanked her in a hushed tone. She smiled and headed out the door and hoped for a good Christmas day for her friends.