Sherlock stood outside the morgue
door. During his ride on the cab over he
focused entirely on the case at hand and buried any thoughts of Molly behind
her locked door. This turned out to be a
mistake because now here he was outside the door waiting to ask for a favor and
the memories of the morning were causing doubt.
The doubt grew when he heard a familiar voice in his mind telling him
what he was about to ask was more than a bit not good.
Sherlock was running out of time and he needed to make a decision and fast. Despite the impossibility of such a situation ever happening Sherlock Holmes was currently having a moment of doubt. He had originally thought his idea was brilliant as Molly was always willing to help him on his cases but in light of the day’s earlier events and for the favor he was about to ask he had started to wonder if maybe it was not such a good idea after all. The truth was he had never thought of a world where Molly Hooper would tell him no. But previously that same world was one in which the same Molly Hooper would never have slapped him. All these concerns, because of course it wasn’t fear, came to the surface. Perhaps he should have spent more time in that room before locking it after all. He of course had a plan B and had decided he should have used that as his plan A instead.
Finally coming to a decision he straightened his coat, popped the collar, and promptly turned the other way. He was now facing the elevator that would lead him away from the lab door that he decided was not in his best interest to go through. He checked over his shoulder a few times while he waited rather impatiently for the elevator to arrive. The rest of his time he spent typing text messages to people who owed him favors who would be ready to pay him back at a moment’s notice. So far his pathologist hadn’t caught sight of him so he was in the clear.
The elevator made a ding to announce its arrival and Sherlock shoved his phone back into his pocket. Unfortunately for Sherlock he always misses something. In this case it was the fact that the reason his favorite pathologist hadn’t caught sight of him was that she hadn’t been on that floor in the first place, but now she was.
“I wasn’t expecting to see you back here today.”
“I--,” Sherlock was forced to clear his throat before continuing, “wanted to—apologize for this morning.” He gave one of his signature ‘I’m pretending to be sincere smiles’ while congratulating himself on a nice save.
Molly maneuvered herself around Sherlock and out of the elevator, as he was not giving her room to do so.
She refused to make eye contact as she passed him and asked in a resigned voice, “Why are you really here Sherlock?”
Sherlock frowned, he knew it did not bode well for him if Molly was using such a tone and asking why he was there instead of what he needed. He had started following Molly down the hall to her office but decided it was in his best interest not to mention the request he had been about to make to Molly.
Unfortunately for Sherlock, he had already incurred the wrath of the woman he was following and she was not going to be cooperative and let the situation rest. She turned to face him, “You came here with a purpose. You wouldn’t be here otherwise. You’re working on a case. Now out with it, what do you want?”
For the second time that day Sherlock was taken aback by the woman before him. His mouth opened but no words were coming out. The case. He needed to focus on the case before taking time to straighten out his Molly problem, that is if he could. The last time she had responded so coldly to him had been years ago. He had thought he had lost her then. He grimaced as the memory of a garbage can and a note scrawled in a young girl’s hand bled through the walls of his mind palace.
Molly watched the man before her as he tried to process whatever was going on inside his head. This was not the right moment to give him a hard time. He needed to finish this case and get out of it. If he needed her help to get this over with so that they, correction he, could move on from the drug situation she would definitely do it.
This time softly Molly spoke to him, “What do you need?”
Sherlock inhaled deeply. “You’ll still help me?”
She gave him a small sad smile, “Of course I will.”
He looked to the side of his peripheral vision while he tried to figure out what her response meant for him. “So you…”
“Will help you.”
Now it was Molly’s turn to be surprised. She studied the man before her. Where he had been apologizing insincerely before she was now able to see someone who, while maybe not regretting their actions, was regretting how he had hurt the people around him. Or at the very least acknowledging that he could damage his relationships with others. She could see the vulnerability and need that he had for forgiveness. This is at least partly why he now hesitated to make his request when usually he had no problem making demands.
Molly licked her lips and nibbled on her upper lip before answering. “I will always forgive you Sherlock, but things will have to be different around here in the future. I will help you finish this case so that you have no excuse to be on drugs but after that we will need to talk. But for now, what do you need?”
Sherlock allowed himself a moment of relief while he put things in their proper place in his mind to be examined later. “I actually need to borrow your engagement ring if you still have it?”
Molly cocked an eyebrow at him and started walking the rest of the way to her office. “Unfortunately I do,” she called over her shoulder, “I tried to return it to its owner but when I came into work the next day it was on my desk.”
While she was speaking they had reached her office, which was adjoined to a lab. She unlocked the door and allowed both of them to enter the sparsely furnished room. She put the files she had been carrying down on her desk and started for the corner of the room and reached for something on the floor. Turning to Sherlock she threw the item toward him and he deftly caught it with one hand.
“The box is not looking to good for the wear. Did you have to throw it at the wall?” Outside he was looking annoyed with the presentation of the box but inside he was smug that meat dagger’s gift had taken such abuse.
“Oy. You wanted the ring and there you have it. Do I even want to know what you’ll be using it for?”
“Don’t worry you’ll get it back.”
“I thought it would be obvious for such a detective as you to deduce that I don’t want it back. Please return it to the owner when you’re finished actually, if you don’t mind. Well, still return it even if you do.” She smiled her genuine smile and Sherlock finally felt that things would probably be okay after this case was finished.
He smiled back at her choice of words knowing that she was mocking him. “I guess it’s the least I can do given the circumstances.”
Molly noticed a lack of comprehension on the detective’s part of what returning the ring meant and figured out that he still didn’t know the true story behind her engagement. “So why do you need it?”
Sherlock looked a bit uncomfortable for a moment as he faced Molly’s scrutiny. After a moment he realized how foolish he was being. He was working a case and Molly knew he would do anything to follow through. He already had John acting as a conscience he didn’t need to add another’s voice to the cacophony of voices that tried to tell him what to do.
“I need to get into an office and this is the only way to get past the security.”
“Lucky girl,” Molly’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “Have you even thought of…never mind. You will do what it takes to finish a case, right?“
“Can I still use the ring?” He had known Molly wouldn’t approve of his methods but didn’t want to antagonize her any more than he already had.
“What do you care? It’s already in your hands.”
“If you don’t want to be involved I can find another ring.”
“It’s not really my ring. You do know it was bit not good to ask me for the ring though, don’t you?”
“I came to that conclusion, yes.”
“That’s why you stood outside the door so long,” the last sentence was delivered as a statement and not a question.
The pair looked at each other not knowing what to say next. Molly finally broke the silence, “Be careful Sherlock.”
“I’m always careful.” Sherlock gave her a wink and turned to go.
Sherlock had made it into the elevator and as he turned to punch the buttons he saw Molly running down the hall. She had come to decision. She was tired of having so many secrets and was feeling like shocking the detective as a small form of payback. Additionally she wanted to be rid of the accursed ring.
The door had already started to close as Molly shouted out to Sherlock, “Make sure Mycroft keeps that bloody ring this time!” She smiled at the shocked look on his face as the doors closed, she really did enjoy doing that to him when she could.
Sherlock had missed that bit of information. ‘That little minx of a pathologist is wrecking havoc on my mind palace today,’ he thought to himself as he heard a click of a door being unlocked somewhere in his mind palace. He refused to let himself investigate and shoved the new info into a closet to be examined later.