Mycroft was right about the Watson wedding
being a good place for a murder. The
murder that had occurred, however, did not warrant his sense of alarm. Molly could only suppose that what had
happened was not the possibility that had gotten him in a dither over his
brother’s safety. She had started to suspect
that she shouldn’t have trusted Mary after all. Mary had not shown any untoward
behavior in regards to either John or Sherlock to date but Molly was not one to
trust easily. Mary seemed to really care
for John and he deserved to be loved and be happy, she didn’t want to be the
one to ruin it especially if there was no reason to do so. Molly also had a sense of obligation toward
the smiling blond woman who was attempting to teach her newly minted husband
how to dance.
Currently Molly was dancing with Tom and Mrs. Hudson to keep up appearances but a lone figure scanning the crowd caught her attention. She watched as Sherlock made his way out the door. Her heart ached for him, as she knew this was a huge change for him. She looked back to one of her partners and gave him a small smile. Despite wanting to chase after the man leaving she decided to finish out the song before attempting to follow.
Tom could sense Molly’s desire to leave and saw her eyes follow the best man out the door. He may not have been as smart as Sherlock but it didn’t take a genius to figure out her thoughts. He leaned towards Molly and spoke in her ear, “No hurry but it seems like you want to leave.”
Molly grinned, “Must be obvious for you to have caught on correctly. I think that’s the first time today.”
“Dr. Hooper, I may just have to break off our engagement over such a statement.”
Tom held out his arm to Molly and together they made their way towards the hallway. Once there they parted as Tom told her to wait while he grabbed the car.
“You’re leaving early too?” A familiar voice sounded behind Molly.
“Yeah,” Molly replied, “I’m not so much for big parties.” She gave her little half smile before pursing her lips. “Umm…the wedding ceremony was lovely and the reception was…” here Molly paused and brought her eyebrows together as she searched for the correct adjective.
“Entertaining? Interesting? Unexpected?” Mary tried to supply some appropriate words.
“Well not so unexpected for John and Sherlock.” She grinned a bit wider. “Actually it seemed fairly low key.”
Mary laughed loudly. Despite Molly’s misgivings about Mary she did like how she laughed openly and genuinely enjoyed Mary’s quirkiness. She just hoped that what she observed in their limited interactions was real.
After Mary settled down she looked at Molly with seriousness in her eyes, “Thank you for coming.”
“Of course,” was the polite response Molly gave as she looked down at her brightly colored shoes.
Mary observed the young woman in front of her. She didn’t know what kind of life she imagined for the little girl she had saved. In all honesty she hadn’t thought past too much past rescuing her from her prison and delivery her to a place where she could get some help. No one thought to look overseas for a ten-year-old girl on her own. Likewise, the British rehab center certainly didn’t look for any ties to the girl outside of the surrounding area. Mary hated the loneliness she could sense coming off Molly in waves and couldn’t help but feel a sense of responsibility and longed to reach out to the woman before her.
Mary licked her lips lightly before speaking. “Perhaps you could come by and have a cup of tea sometime.”
A myriad of emotions passed over the pathologists face. Shock, incredulity, and confusion were a few of the emotions that flitted across her face. “I came to your wedding but that doesn’t mean we are friends that get tea together.”
“It was just an idea and now that we will be in each other’s lives I thought-“
“In each other’s lives? And how do you figure that exactly? I work with Sherlock and John on occasion that hardly qualifies as in each other’s lives.” There was an awkward pause and then Molly felt bad about her outburst. “I’m sorry. Please go enjoy your reception. Someone will be looking for you soon and I’m sure my ride is waiting by now.”
“I’m sure your right, Molly. If you ever change your mind…” Mary let the offer trail off.
“Congratulations Mary, please take care of him.” With the last comment Molly made her way toward the door.
Most of the ride back to Molly’s flat was in silence with Molly spending the time thinking back over the events of the day. Finally she couldn’t hold it in anymore.
“Well, what was I supposed to say? I thought it was a bit clev-“ the word died on Tom’s lips as he looked away from the road toward Molly. “Okay not so clever but it was creative.” He gave her a lopsided smile.
“So creative, I think I’ll use it in a kids book.” Molly said shaking her head.
“Hmm…that little Archie fellow might like that kind of thing.”
Molly looked out the window and smiled, she hadn’t missed the hug the little boy had bestowed upon the consulting detective. She was afraid to ask what Sherlock had done to get such a response but she was almost certain that it could not possibly have been something any mother would approve of.
“By the way Molly. You owe me an apology.”
“How do you figure?”
“I may have to get a tetanus shot after you stabbed me.”
Molly rolled her eyes and looked at Tom, “It was plastic and I should hope with your job that you would be up to date on your shots. Besides you were there to protect Sherlock and you couldn’t even pick up on his cues that something was amiss. How would you have protected him if it had been something bigger?”
“While I had been made aware of the younger Holmes personality there is nothing like seeing him work first hand. I thought my assumption was valid. Don’t tell me you didn’t think there was something off the first time you saw him do something like that?”
Molly went back to looking out the window. “It was a long time ago. I’m not quite sure what I thought.”
Her statement wasn’t quite true. The details may have been a bit hazy but she remembered the broody young man who had nothing better to do with his life than throw it away on drugs. Neither of them were at good places when they met but they had helped each other survive. She shook off those thoughts and was glad they were at very different places in their lives now.
“So that apology?”
“I’m sorry you came off like an idiot and that people think that I was engaged to you. By the way I am breaking off the engagement with you, not the other way around.”
“Oh Miss Molly you wound me again with your words.” Tom pulled up to the curb near her house and put the car into park. “Surely it wasn’t all bad was it?”
“Actually until Sherlock came back you weren’t half bad.”
“Trading me for his raven curls and his charming wit.”
“I would hardly call it charming. Plus you can’t trade something you don’t have for something you can’t get. Please give Mycroft back his ring.” Molly held her hand out with the ring held between her forefinger and thumb.
Tom looked at her and shook his head, “I was told not to take it back. Think of it as a gift of gratitude.”
“It makes me feel like a cheap call girl that has been used. Despite Mycroft and my differences we both care about Sherlock and I need no compensation.”
“Aw come on Molls. You don’t want me to get in trouble,” Tom whined.
Molly kept looking at him with her hand held out until he took it.
“Thank you Tom for everything,” Molly said as she started to get out of the car.
“Hey, Molly wait a sec.” Tom waited to speak until she turned around and ducked her head back into the car. “Maybe we could hang out sometime as friends?”
Molly looked at him and considered for a moment. “Tom, I was a job, nothing more. And while I appreciated your willingness to listen to musicals or my playing of the piano without much complaint you were paid to do so.”
Tom looked at her sadly he had seen the lonely way she lived her life. She could fit in well with the Holmes brothers. Despite her lonely life style she was likeable and spunky though she chose to hide from the world. “You should give yourself more credit than that. I just think you could use a friend, and I am more than willing do so, free of charge.”
“With everything that’s happened and with your connection to Mycroft…I just can’t. I appreciate your offer of friendship but I can’t take you up on that.” Molly said sadly.
“You should get out more. Or at least call back one of your brothers once in awhile.”
With the last statement Molly shut the door and walked towards the front door to her complex. Before entering she turned around, “Goodbye Tom.”
“Goodbye Molly,” Tom echoed back to her through his open window.
Molly had not expected Tom’s offer of friendship. She wondered what she must look like to people. First a former assassin offers to have teatime and now one of Mycroft’s men is trying to extend the time of their acquaintance. Earlier she had felt bad for Sherlock and the changes he faced without realizing that she herself had some adjustments to make. She didn’t want to admit Mary was right but there was some truth in what she said. Unless Molly put in for a transfer she would indeed come across Mary in their little social circle. She wondered how long it would be until Sherlock picked up on the tension between Molly and Mary. She wondered what his whole take on Mary was. He had been slipping of late, however, with the whole Tom thing so who knows.
She was relieved that she could finally move on from the shadow that was Mycroft and hoped things would be able to sort themselves out. John and Mary would be on their honeymoon so she was sure she would get to see Sherlock soon.
Unfortunately it would be months until Molly saw Sherlock as he had found himself a case. The next time they saw each other the event did not end favorably for either party.