As Molly started to reach a level of
consciousness she was aware of two things.
She was aware that someone was holding her on his lap very tightly and
that the same person was mumbling things against her hair in a repetitive
manner. All the while he was peppering
kisses on her head and rocking both of them back and forth. Her brain was currently working a bit more
slowly than usual but she would recognize that beloved voice anywhere.
“Sch’lock?” Molly managed to croak out of her to dry throat as she squinted through swollen eyes.
“Molly.” Sherlock’s almost reverent uttering of her name was followed by more kisses and words that shocked Molly’s fuzzy brain into a more alert state. “I love you.”
Molly looked up into his face unaware of their audience and looked at him in wonder. He continued to rain down kisses on her face that was now easier to access as she took on his countenance. It seemed that he to had been subject to a crying fit with swollen eyes that matched her own and his hair was askew. The desperation in his demeanor alarmed her as he always managed to stay collected even when she knew he did not feel that way. She reached up her hands to stroke his face, amazed that she was with him once again, but unaware of how such a thing was possible.
“Right,” a voice interrupted the couple’s reunion. “Now that Miss Hooper is awake can we be on our way to the safe house to regroup?” Mycroft delivered his question in a testy manner.
“Give them a moment Myc. Ten minutes won’t make that much of a difference.” Mary calmly chided the anxious Holmes brother.
Molly started at the voices and noticed for the first time that she was not alone with Sherlock. Her engrained sense of propriety that had been drilled into her made her seek to leave Sherlock’s lap with haste. Sherlock, of course, would not allow such a thing to happen after facing the ordeal of her supposed death.
“Well at the very least we need to send Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson, and…what was it, Wiggins, ahead in the first car.” Mycroft ordered about. He was trying to regain his sense of control that had been shattered multiple times on account of the woman that was being cradled on his brother’s lap.
Mrs. Hudson never said no to the Holmes men but insisted that she would just be a minute as she hurried to pack a bag. Everyone in the room assumed she wanted to be sure she had her “herbal soothers.” There were protests from both the men who were ordered to go, both insisting that they were needed to work but were shot down on the count that they could not work if they were dead. Billy agreed to go because he did not want to end up like Robin he supposed.
“Who is Robin?” A confused Mycroft asked.
Billy eyed Molly whose attentions were focused on Sherlock at the moment before leaning in conspiratorially and whispering to the elder Holmes, “Well she would be the one that gone and died in the ‘splosion.” He hung his head in shame, “I sent ‘er fo’ ‘er shift to check on the missus. I’s glad Molly’s okay an’ all but…Rob’n she didn’ deserve that at all.”
During the discussion, which led to three members of the group plus a cat being ushered into a waiting car, Molly managed to ask what was going on.
“Due to current events my brother finds it is in our best interests to go to a safe house for the time being.” Sherlock ended his sentence with a kiss to Molly’s cheek and watched her as she took the news.
He could only deduce so much from her as she was sleeping. He would swear that the most beautiful sound to him in the world occurred when she was screaming up at Mycroft. He could hear her from his room and knew it had to be her or he had gone crazy. Mycroft tried to be pragmatic but did step aside quickly as Sherlock practically threw himself down the stairs. He was surprised to say the least when she literally swooned into his arms. He did not think people did that anymore. He deduced her as he took her up the stairs in his hold. He took in her swollen eyes, her injured hands, and her cut hair. He had no idea why the hair was cut only that she had done it in a fit of annoyance. She was still slightly under the effect of the same drug he had administered to her but was surprised because if she had not been given more she should be finished with the effects, especially if what Mary said was true about her resiliency. He was not happy to see her wearing Billy’s clothes but figured it had helped her to slip around unnoticed. He was happy to see that she wore both the rings he had given her on her finger. He had Billy run downstairs to retrieve her bag.
He sat down in his chair and ran his eyes over her and started placing kisses and thanking a God he did not believe in. His brother wanted the group to move but had been forced to wait until Molly awoke so that John could get a look at her.
Now that Molly was awake Sherlock wanted the holes filled not by his deductions but from hearing it from Molly herself. He mentioned the events but she seemed to be uneducated in what had transpired throughout the whole of England.
“What events? Is that why you are back? How long are you back?” Questions tumbled out of Molly’s mouth but there were even more questions in her mind that she could not give voice to, not when Mycroft was in the room.
Sherlock braced himself as he delivered the news to Molly, “Moriarty may be back, at the very least someone is using his image.”
“Oh,” Molly sounded subdued and she tried once again to escape Sherlock’s lap failing once again. She huffed her annoyance at his antics, after all, he was the one who had gone off to his death not her. She was elated to see him but could not process the events surrounding the Baker Street crew and being on her…husband’s lap was not helping her brain activity.
“Did everyone here get the same email then?” Molly asked the remaining members of the tight knit group.
Mycroft was the first one to respond, “What email?”
“The one with the video Ji-Moriarty where he asked, ‘did you miss me?’ It then fried my computer.” Molly refrained from divulging that it was the second one that week.
Mycroft crossed to the telly and turned it on while explaining that it was playing throughout London. Mycroft was exceedingly unhappy that the clip was still playing due to the advanced tech that was used to commandeer the airwaves.
“That’s not exactly the video I received,” Molly responded to her first viewing of what the rest of England was being forced to endure.
“Well, what was it like then?” Mycroft snapped at his sister-in-law.
“The video was of him in his typical suit and it was natural. None of this computer stuff or fake voice. The message was the same though.”
“And then your computer blew. He wasn’t expecting you to get a chance to tell us about it.” Sherlock mused.
“Why wouldn’t I? His video is what allowed you to stay in London isn’t it?”
Molly’s question was ignored as Mycroft asked, “When and where were you when you got this email?”
“Around three at my office.”
John cursed in response to Molly’s revelation while Mycroft got on the phone quickly ordering for Molly’s computer to be seized from Bart’s.
“That’s about the time the bomb went off,” John mused aloud.
Everyone in the room turned to John. Both Mary and Sherlock were glaring but Molly looked worried.
“Bomb? What bomb?” Molly asked.
Sherlock explained what had transpired in his usual straightforward manner of reciting the facts.
“Was anyone hurt?” Molly asked after hearing the details of her flat.
“As you could see Toby survived the blast and is now on the way to the safe house as we speak. We should join him.”
Sherlock tried to avoid answering the question knowing Molly would blame herself for, what had to be, Robin’s death. He got up very gracefully as he spoke and placed Molly on her feet but insured that she would not fall over at the suddenness of his movement.
“Sherlock…I know when you are hiding something. Who was it?” Molly asked looking up into his eyes.
“We can’t be sure at the moment we are waiting for test results.”
“But you have an idea.”
He observed the woman in front of him who had somehow survived the day. She had somehow survived her life so far as well. If ever there were miracles to Sherlock, Molly was one. All he wanted was to get her somewhere safe. He should have listened to Mycroft and gotten her in the car earlier. She was not going to let this go until she knew whom it was that died in her place.
“It is probably Robin.”
Molly looked away from Sherlock’s face and closed her eyes. She hadn’t known the woman long but they had started to become friends.
Mary got up and enveloped Molly in a hug. “I know it’s hard and we will mourn her with you but for now we need to move.”
Mycroft had ended his phone a short time ago and agreed with Mary’s assessment of the situation. He led them downstairs once Sherlock had grabbed what he wanted for a few days knowing his brother would ensure that more necessities would be delivered.
The backseat had two bench seats facing each other but it was not as roomy as the passengers would have liked. Molly had been forced to keep her hood up until they got further out to avoid detection. She was seated in between Sherlock and Mycroft and they spent most of the time talking to each other over her head. Mary and John sat across from the, now, three Holmes.
Sherlock and Mycroft were arguing over the location of the safe house. Mycroft was insisting on not telling his younger brother where they were going. Sherlock took this to mean that he would not be happy with the location. They eventually steered to more practical concerns and Mary added her expertise.
Meanwhile Molly got lost in her thoughts. Her flat was gone. Robin was most probably dead. Moriarty was possibly back. Division had possibly tracked her location to England. Her family could be in danger. She gave voice to her last concern.
“Your family will be protected and informed of your death,” Mycroft informed the pathologist.
“My what?” Molly asked with a raised eyebrow.
“If we can pass this off as your death it will be far easier to protect you.”
Molly opened her mouth to object but thought about the positive aspects that situation could allow.
“Do you think that will really work again, brother?” Sherlock asked.
“If at all possible we may as well use this to our advantage we will arrange a funeral and you will go, cry, and make a good show of it. I will even have mummy and father attend for your emotional support.”
“It could work…they wouldn’t expect it twice in a row.” Mary added.
“I hate to agree with this…I know what it is like to lose someone this way…but,” John was facing a moral dilemma. He did not want to give Sherlock the upper hand on what he had done and accepting this as a logical option felt like he was condoning what Sherlock’s previous actions.
Sherlock sensing this gave answer to his thoughts, “I am sorry John for what I did to you. I let you believe much longer than was necessary. Today more than ever I understand how you felt,” he looked down at Molly who looked up at him. He looked at John when he started to speak again, “but it will be safer for Molly and her family to deceive them on this count. They are not soldiers like you. At least this time you know the truth.” He smiled and winked at his friend.
“Hopefully it will not be as long as Sherlock’s deception,” Mycroft added.
“Look at it this way,” Mary said to a glum Molly, “you have one up on Sherlock. You have two deaths on your record and he only has the one.”
It was the wrong thing to say. It made Molly all to aware of her situation. She was in a car with protective services at the wheel. She had been through this scenario before and it hadn’t turned out well last time. She stiffened as images went through her head. Her breathing started to come too quickly and she started to sweat as she remembered a shot ringing out killing her and her mother’s driver. Her first death had occurred when she and her mother were ‘rescued’ from the car. She was once again being moved and someone from her current government was in the car with her. She needed to tell Sherlock about her other email but what would happen if Mycroft found out? What would he do to her?