Mycroft Holmes stood in the downstairs hallway
of 221 Baker Street and attempted to find out anything he could on what had
gone horribly wrong. Molly had a
protection detail and cameras watching the outside. He had gotten ahold of Tom who said she had
left earlier that day but also that he had ensured that she was returned to her
flat around noon, three hours before the explosion went off.
So far he was able to discover that a body had been found but was burned beyond recognition. A member of his investigative medical team had been given instructions to fill out the death certificate with Molly Hooper’s name no matter what the outcome and to only report the truth of identity to Mycroft. He hoped that in the off chance that Molly had survived that they could use death as protection, it had worked before.
Molly had been slated to work before Sherlock had called in for her. Called in being an understatement, he insisted in Mike Stamford not allowing her to work and sending her home if she showed up for the next two weeks. Mycroft was grasping at straws but he only had so much time to work before Sherlock woke from the sedative that had been administered to him. Mycroft knew they were playing with fire administering drugs to Sherlock but he was afraid of what Sherlock could do to himself and others in this state.
Mycroft called Molly’s boss and spoke in his authoritative tone, “Mr. Stamford, this is Mycroft Holmes speaking. Did Molly show up to work today?”
Stamford replied gravely that no she hadn’t and asked for information on the image that was being seen all throughout England.
“I assure you the government is doing everything we can and you don’t need to worry. Are you sure Molly did not come in to work?”
“Sherlock spoke very strongly-“
“He and I would actually be very pleased with the outcome should she be there. Could you please check her office Mr. Stamford?” Mycroft hated talking to people, especially if he had to repeat himself.
“Right of course,” said the naturally kind Mike.
Mycroft gritted his teeth as Mike Stamford gave a narration of his actions as he went Molly’s office.
“Ah. Her office is dark so she is not in.”
“I need you to be absolutely sure. Can you please go in and check.”
“The light is off I really don’t thin-“
“Humor me,” Mycroft said in a voice devoid of any trace of humor itself.
Mike muttered to himself as he made his way back to his own office to find a key to open Molly’s office, “Ah here I found it, it won’t be a moment more Mr. Holmes.”
Mike opened the door, turned on the light, and called out, “Molly are you here?” He waited for an answer and when none was forthcoming he spoke again to Mycroft. “I’m really sorry Mr. Holmes but she isn’t here. I can ask round the hospital for you but why haven’t you called her cell?”
Mycroft thanked the man and hung up. Of course they had called the cell. Before they had left the airstrip they tracked the location of Molly’s phone to her flat. Things were looking grim. He did not know how he was going to tell his baby brother that his wife was dead.
When Sherlock came to he was on his bed at Baker Street. It didn’t take him long to ascertain where he was and what had happened. He felt hollow inside. He could hear hushed tones outside his room. He wanted…no needed a fix, a fix that no one here could provide. He couldn’t bring himself to move but attempted to listen to the voices.
His ears were acting up due to being so close to the blast so he moved closer to the door. He cursed to himself because the door muffled the sound too much so he creaked the door open a few centimeters.
“We will need to move everyone to a safe house as soon as possible. I will send agents to your homes to grab anything you might need.” Sherlock heard Mycroft give out instructions.
“Right, of course.” That was Mary, ever the pragmatic one in crisis situations.
“How will we get him to go?” Sherlock recognized the voice of his tender hearted friend that had cut off his air supply and kept him from going to Molly’s side.
“By any means necessary,” Mycroft used with a deadly calm voice devoid of all emotion.
“I would rather avoid the use of anymore drugs,” John, ever the physician, stated his thoughts.
“As would I,” Mycroft returned.
“I don’t understand why I am here. I need to be out there doing my job,” an angry Lestrade chimed in.
“You can’t do your job if you are dead and as you were on the original hit list you will also be moved to a safe location,” Mycroft shot down the detective inspector’s argument.
Sherlock could also hear Mrs. Hudson’s mutters of ‘Oh dear,’ knowing that she was not one to put up a fight.
He heard John breathe heavy a few times as he spoke with emotion. “Listen is there anyway…” he stopped for a second, “is there any possible way at all for Molly to have…I don’t know…been at Bart’s or something?”
“Her phone was traced to her flat and there was a body found,” Mycroft gave the information but did not disclose his talk with Stamford.
Sherlock took that moment to appear. “And I drugged her,” he confessed.
There were gasps and looks of shock. Mary managed to look on with understanding since she could understand his motives even if she didn’t agree with them.
“Why the bloody hell would you do that?” Lestrade managed to say.
“I didn’t want her…I wanted to spare her pain at least for a short time,” Sherlock answered as tears started to run unchecked down his face.
“Oh Sherlock,” murmured Mrs. Hudson with a hand placed over her heart.
John had a deep frown etched in his face as he looked up toward the ceiling and tried to gain his composure and try not to punch his best friend in the face.
Mary took a step forward, “Sherlock it’s not your fault.”
Lestrade in anger and pain rebutted Mary’s statement, “Don’t tell him that it bloody well is his fault!”
Mary started to snap back but Sherlock’s word stopped her.
“Greg is right. I put a target on her. I drugged her. I loved her…” he choked on his words, “I loved her and it got her killed. I loved her and I never even told her. Not even on our last night. Not when I held her in my arms and not in my last letter.”
John swore and Mary went forward and grabbed the detective in a hug. “She knew you loved her.”
“It’s not enough. I should have told her.”
“She knew and she loved you to bits. You have to keep on living. Her life was better for you in it. It is not your fault. That bomb would have gone off with the drugs or without and she would not have known,” Mary tried her best to get some words into the detective’s head that would help. She hoped they landed somewhere in that brilliant mind he called a palace.
“The explosives were possibly put in place before today but someone waited to set them off at an opportune time.” Mycroft informed the gathering.
“Do we know who?” spat out the incensed man who was now returning Mary’s hug as if it was the only thing anchoring him to the world.
“Wouldn’t that be Moriarty?” Lestrade asked.
“He’s supposed to be dead. You saw him blow his brains out, yeah?” came from John.
Sherlock glared at Mycroft, “You wouldn’t let Molly see the autopsy report because there was no autopsy report!” Sherlock nearly roared and squeezed too tight to the pregnant Mary who despite her care for the man needed to protect her young from being squashed.
Mary managed to get released from the detective and sat down trying to take deep breaths to calm herself. It would not do any good for her to get stressed out and to go into premature labor.
“You told me that he blew out his brains and I took you at your word. We could not retrieve the body,” Mycroft closed his eyes in what was one of his more obvious tells and then continued, “but there were traces of his blood still upon the roof. We were most concerned with keeping you alive and we thought that the dead body could wait. The body was moved and the roof cleaned. He could have ordered his followers on retrieving his body and laying low to continue his work. The video was not exactly him as you can tell.”
“Perhaps but maybe the people behind it want us to believe it is not him on purpose.” Sherlock proposed.
“Are you saying that it could possibly be the real Moriarty?” John demanded to know.
Sherlock looked at the scene in his mind palace. He had flinched back when the shot went off. It was only a split second but when he looked back James Moriarty was on the ground with blood seemingly pouring from the back of his head. But he had not seen the back of the skull. He did not actually see the man fall. He didn’t study the body or touch it. He didn’t wait to see if the eyes would blink. It was possible for it to have been a blank in the gun. Sherlock took it for granted that the blood poured out. It was genius in the simplicity. A simple slight of hand was all it took, just as Sherlock had done for himself.
In the past Sherlock would have exalted at the brilliance of it. With his heart successfully burned out of him he could not bring himself to do so. He could not be excited about this murder and he probably would not be excited about a murder again after this.
“You said trace amounts of his blood Mycroft. Were there trace amounts of anybody else’s?” Sherlock inquired.
Mycroft closed his eyes and lifted his chin as he answered, “Yes, brother mine, yes there was.”
Sherlock punched the nearest wall, which happened to be near the kitchen entrance, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“We have been doing our best to keep watch-“
“That’s not good enough!” shouted Sherlock.
Somewhere in his mind palace Molly sang out, ‘That’s like the line William Turner said in Pirates when Elizabeth was captured.’ He had watched the movie with her and even enjoyed it despite the unrealistic aspects of the story and he had always liked pirate stories. Now Molly’s likeness was going to haunt him longer than six months, perhaps he could convince Mycroft to have him sent on the mission anyway. Then he could die and be rejoined with Molly whether it be in heaven, hell, or just in the ground. It didn’t matter.
He said the last statement out loud to various responses. The only one he responded to was his brother’s comment of ‘England needs you now brother.’
“England can hang. I don’t care.” Sherlock spat out vehemently.
“You certainly cannot go on a mission in your current psychological state. I told you Sherlock caring is not-“
Mycroft didn’t get to finish his statement as John punched the British government in the face.
“Not one more word Mycroft. Or I swear to God that...I don’t care that you have people downstairs watching the door just so you know. I will punch you again.” John made sure Mycroft had a clear understanding.
Mycroft wiped at his bleeding mouth with a handkerchief he had retrieved from his pocket, “Duly noted Doctor Watson,” he said with his usual air of boredom. “We need to head out to the safe house and sort ourselves there.”
Sherlock was trying to puzzle through details of what had happened he was missing something somewhere he had to be. All that his mind allowed him to truly focus on was his loss.
The ragtag group prepared themselves to leave but heard a commotion downstairs as the door opened and closed. They heard the guards tell a person entering to freeze and heard a body get shoved up against the wall. Mycroft indicated that the group should wait until the potential threat was sorted out. All were silent as they heard someone verbally fight back with a colorful vocabulary full of emotion.