Category Archives: The Key (Sherlolly)

Fan Fiction (Sherlolly): The Key Ch 4

The Key

Rated M for sex (soon, I promise, it’s gonna happen soon), graphic description of drug use and who knows what else as the plot develops.

Disclaimer: Nope, still don’t own BBC’s Sherlock.

Author note: continued from Ch3. Molly is in the lab analyzing mysterious samples sent to her, but she is thinking (in italics) about an incident after the Fall when Sherlock is living with her and has relapsed into drug use. The next few chapters will continue to be a flashback so they will also be in italics. I hope this doesn’t bother anyone too much, and rest assured we will be back to a normal font very soon.


The next few days were hell for Sherlock and not much better for Molly. By morning he was in the full throes of detox and while the methadone helped the worse of the symptoms, she didn’t want to give him too much. After all, he’d have to be weaned off that as well. She kept him hydrated, cleaned up his vomit, put cool cloths on his head when he had the sweats and wrapped him in blankets when his tired body shook with chills.

When the demons of withdrawal painted terrible images on the surface of his brain and had him screaming into his pillow, she would wring her hands and wait for his thrashing limbs to become still. Eventually the hallucinations would subside and he would curl into a tight shivering ball in the middle of the bed. This is when Molly would gather him up in her arms and wrap as much of herself around him as she could, trying to keep him from splitting apart with the strength of her small body.

Night after night, they had fallen asleep this way, her arms around his shoulders, fingers of one hand threading through his hair, legs wrapped around his middle. Sherlock’s head rested between her breasts, his arms around her waist and his knees bent and fitted tightly against her bottom. His mouth hung open as he hungrily breathed in the few moments of peace before the ordeal started again.

Slowly the symptoms began to ease and they were finally able to rest during the night. She would wake in the mornings to find herself curled around him and his strong arms pressing her even closer. She would hold as still as possible, delaying the moment he would wake and roll away from her groggily, her body suddenly cold without his, her fingers itching to wrap his smooth curls around them again.

After 2 weeks she had weaned him off both the heroin and methadone. Sherlock was still thin but stronger, his colour pale but not chalky. He was holding down food and she was sure he would be back to a lean but healthy weight soon enough.

The night terrors had subsided as well and Molly had decided, reluctantly, to start sleeping in her own small guest room again. After all she didn’t want to crowd Sherlock and knew he must have hated to appear so sick and weak in front of her. He was likely to drive her out of his room with a sarcastic rebuke if she lingered longer than necessary.

As days passed and his recovery progressed they had more and more free time which Molly spent reading and Sherlock spent figuratively climbing the walls. Increasingly frustrated he’d pace, the dressing gown she had bought for him flaring with each turn, while muttering about how ‘they’ were disappearing into the woodwork.

He would pause occasionally to pick up various trinkets and deduce their origin, value and relationship to her before setting them down again, rather roughly in his agitation. This particular time, he was examining a basket of sea shells.

“You’re alone.”

“What?” she looked up from her book, a history of Nazi scientists given asylum in America during WWII. Sherlock was across room in front of her book shelf, turning a small white and black stripped shell over in his hands.

“Well it’s obvious isn’t it?” he took in her blank expression, and continued, “Sea shells, from Dorset. Studland Bay probably. The concentric dark bands are caused by slow winter growth while buried in deep sediments. The sulphur leached by anaerobic bacteria stained the new shell growth black. Only Studland bay has sediment deep enough to cultivate this kind of pattern. There are numerous bays in England have this type of shell, but there are several other memento’s from that area, including the hideous Dorset Seaside Cafe t-shirt you are currently wearing, so the balance of probability says the shells came from a beach in Dorset. More importantly they do not match the style of the flat, if a mismatched collection of hand-me-downs and cheap assemble-it-yourself furniture left over from Uni can be considered ‘style’.”

“Hey!” her exclamation startled Toby, who was sitting on the window sill, safely out from underfoot. He gave her a small meow before turning his attention back to the agitated man, eyes narrowing and tail twitching with annoyance.

“You are not cultivating a sea-side theme, Molly,” he continued, ignoring her protest, “so the shells must be sentimental in nature. In your bedroom there is a picture of you, taken 20 years ago going by your clothing and approximate age. You are standing with an older man who shares your eye shape and colour – an uncle possibly, but father more likely – and in the background there is a stretch of beach, as well as signage for the same Dorset Seaside Cafe. There are 16 shells total and based on the range of discolouration and brittleness each was procured during a different annual trip to the seaside you took with your father.”

Molly could feel the blood draining from her face, as she stiffened on the couch. She had thought she’d been ready for the inevitable intimacy that living with someone would create, but she hadn’t quite prepared herself for sharing her tiny flat with the worlds only Consulting Detective. Hearing how he dispassionately dissected her fractured family history left her feeling exposed and wishing she could unfreeze her limbs and leave the room. Energized and oblivious to her discomfort he continued gaining momentum.

“Your only family pictures are of you and your father so you are likely an only child and your mother ran off when you were young. If your mother had died you would have kept a picture of her somewhere, again, out of sentiment. The distinct lack of photographic evidence suggests the photos were deliberately removed or destroyed, therefore she left you and your father.

“The newest shell is 8 years old coinciding with your father’s death which is when annual trips ended. You placed the shells in a basket much too large for their current number so you planned on keeping up the tradition, however you never went back to Dorset. Why? Too busy? You have 3 weeks vacation and the beach is close enough for a weekend excursion if you didn’t want to use your holidays. No, you didn’t go back because doing so would remind you that you have no biological family left.”

He paused for a moment, examining the last very shell she’d collected with her father, running his thumb over the ridged surface, before continuing.

“Few people call. You rarely date, though given your last romantic affiliation was with a sociopathic consulting criminal, this is probably a good thing. You don’t make plans or even cancel them when I’m here so you have a small network of friends, most of which you’ve met through work, which means…” he had finally turned to look at her and trailed off as he took in her expression. She must have looked as horrified as she felt.

He swallowed hard before dropping his eyes to his own feet. He turned back to the sea shells and rather than toss the them aside like he had with her other possessions he placed each one carefully back in the basket, taking care to arrange it precisely on the shelf where he had found it.

“Well?” her voice was barely a whisper, but he still flinched. “What does it mean then? Finish your…your… deduction.

“It means…” he watched her eyes narrow as he paused, “it means that you’re alone too.”

He stared at the basket a few moments before he turned, walked steadily towards her and squatted on his haunches, eyes on level with hers. Reflected back at her was the familiar hollow look of loneliness she’d catch in the mirror on occasion and she felt the heat of her anger begin to cool. Still holding her gaze, he covered her hand with his larger one.

“Forgive me,” and for a moment she thought he would lean in and kiss her cheek like he did on Christmas but he just squeezed her hand. “I remember the year your father died. You had only been at Bart’s a few months when you took a leave of absence, which was unusual for a new employee. I was annoyed because you were the first competent pathologist they’d hired.”

“You mean I was the only one willing to work with you,” her mouth lifting slightly at the corners and he smiled in turn, before becoming serious again.

“Today is the anniversary of your last trip to the beach with your father.”

“What gave it away?” she said, caught up in the communion of the moment and forgetting completely that she was upset with him. He reached forward and tapped the book cover.

“You prefer medical journals and the odd romance novel, though the latter embarrasses you which is why you hide them in the linen closet when I’m here.”

Molly could feel her cheeks flush.

“Your father enjoyed history books about the CIA and MI5, judging by the collection of his you kept. This one, Operation Paperclip, was a present you gave him. You’re not particularly interested in the subject matter, but you’re reading it today out of…”

“Sentiment?” she supplied.

He nodded.

“You’re right, I can never bring myself to go back to the beach but when I read these books, I remember him and I’m not as sad or as…”

“Lonely,” he supplied in turn. “It’s also the anniversary of your father’s death isn’t it?”

Molly averted her eyes and wracked her brain for a response. I was not the anniversary of her father’s death. That was 6 months away.

“You think I’m foolish,” she finally responded.

“No,” voice soft and low as he cupped her hand in both of his now, waiting until she looked back up at him.

“I’m a selfish man, Molly Hooper. That’s why it’s a…comfort” he tried the unfamiliar word on for size. “Yes, a comfort to know that I’m not the only one who’s alone.”

She sighed and squeezed his fingers back, “Neither of us is alone right now though, are we?”

“No,” he replied softly then with with more emphasis, “No, we aren’t.”

She looked down at the book cover as Sherlock stood up and resumed his pacing, his agitation steadily returning with each circuit of the room.

“But we will be soon,” she thought to herself. For a man that saw so much, he could be incredibly obtuse.

The truth was this man reminded her of her father. It wasn’t his looks or his clever mind; her father had been plain and wise, not handsome and brilliant. Rather it was the deep well of emotion that each held within themselves. Her fathers overflowing regularly to shower her in love and affection, Sherlock’s tightly capped and hidden but trickling out when he was under extreme pressure.

Yes, he reminded her of her father. And like her father, he was about to leave her all alone. Again.

Molly sighed and reluctantly eyed the her striped shoulder bag. He was well enough, he clearly needed the distraction, and it was best to get the inevitable over with, she told herself, though the thought left a cold knot in her chest.

She walked over to old shapeless bag and retrieved the thick envelope Mycroft Holmes had given her. Sherlock tracked her movements across the living room and back to stand in front of him. Wordlessly she handed him the heavy stack of papers.

“Autopsy reports?” he said, eagerly opening the envelope. “Anything interesting?”

He examined the first set of papers, a map with red dots over France, Germany and most of the continent. His brow furrowed as he trained all his deductive powers onto the papers, then onto her.

“Mycroft.”

She nodded, though he wasn’t actually asking her a question. Molly kept her eyes on her own socks even though she could feel his boring into her. Seconds passed that felt like hours.

“I’m glad you didn’t rob the dispensary, Molly. It wouldn’t do to have Bart’s only competent pathologist sacked for stealing methadone,” he whirled away from her, dressing gown dramatically swirling behind him.

“My brother was always a bit of a mother hen. He could have given this to me weeks ago and saved us both the trouble, but no, Mycroft trying not to interfere is like Anderson trying not to be annoying. Not possible,” he said as he swept over the couch, sitting down and spreading the photo’s, maps and newspaper clippings over her coffee table.

Sherlock sorted and organized each piece of paper, slowly being absorbed by the intricate web that Moriarty must have spent years spinning. She watched, transfixed, as he settled back into himself. The erratic detective didn’t become calm all of a sudden, thanks to her timely distraction. Rather the fervour that vibrated in every cell of his body became centred and focused on the mystery unfolding before him. He truly did need this work, didn’t he?

Molly couldn’t help but feel a stab of fear as she watched him draw further and further away from her. Would he be leaving soon? She knew it was unlikely he’d be able to tease apart each strand of Moriarty’s web from the safety of her flat, but he was newly weaned off the drugs. Surely he would wait a few weeks, or months before running headfirst into danger.

“Sherlock?”

“Hmmm,” he grunted, not taking his eyes off the papers.

” Do you think you’ll be—”

“Wanting tea? Yes, good idea.”

Molly blinked several times before shuffling off to the kitchen. It’s not as though knowing the answer would make her feel any better. And it wasn’t as though she could stop him or even delay him from rushing headfirst into danger.

She made the tea and brought him a steaming mug, deciding her nerves were already too rattled for caffeine. She stood in front of him, waiting for him to reach out for his tea. When he didn’t stir or comment, she set the mug down on the small portion of the tables surface still visible. He was definitely back to his old self, forgetting (or ignoring) her completely.

Molly should be annoyed but the roller coaster of emotions and the full time care of one consulting detective had left her knackered. She would definitely be sleeping in her own room tonight.

“I’m off to bed,” she said not bothering to wait for a response before heading to the small guest bedroom.

Realizing she’d forgotten to bring Toby with her, she turned to go back to the living room to fetch him when she saw a shape looming behind her. She realized Sherlock was right on her heels, but not before she jumped, letting out an undignified squeak.

“Oh! Are you going to bed too?” wincing inwardly at how inane she must sound.

“Yes,” he drew out the word as though questioning her need to state the obvious, before pushing past her towards the larger room they’d been sharing. He opened the door but didn’t walk through, instead he turned to her and waited.

“Well come on, Molly. I thought you were tired,” he gestured, with some impatience, for her to walk ahead of him into the bedroom.


Author note: Thank you to Jessica’s Nature Blog, which was my resource for details on the Studland Bay seashells http://natureinfocus.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/striped-seashells-from-studland/


Fan Fiction (Sherlolly): The Key, Chapter 2

Rated M for sex (bow chica wow wow), graphic description of drug use and who knows what else as the plot develops.

Disclaimer: Oh how I wish I owned BBC’s Sherlock – the games we could play – but I don’t, sigh.

Author note: continued from Ch1. Molly is in the lab analyzing mysterious samples sent to her, but she is thinking (in italics) about an incident after the Fall when Sherlock is staying with her. The next few chapters will continue to be a flashback so they will also be in italics. I hope this doesn’t bother anyone too much, and rest assured we will be back to a normal font very soon.


Molly and Sherlock stared at each other; the silence hung heavy between them. Sherlock took in her expression and the way she had scrambled away from him, pressing herself against the wall, his shrewd blue eyes missing nothing. He ducked his head, focusing on the syringe instead of her, features strained.  His shoulders curled inward slightly, as if trying to make himself smaller in that already small space, and his once pristine clothes hung limp against a painfully thin frame.

Freed from the tense eye contact, Molly was able to think again and took in the scene: on the floor next to him was a blackened and bent spoon from her kitchen, a cigarette lighter, a glass of water and a dark brown bottle, probably rubbing alcohol by the smell. He had used a hanky as a tourniquet, and it was looped tight around his bicep, veins blue and straining. There were at least 10 injection sites on his forearm, each one a faint bruise against the pale skin, though none appeared to be infected. Clearly he put the rubbing alcohol to good use.

The syringe pierced his vein; she could see a drop of blood blooming in the milky fluid. His thumb was on the plunger, about to depress it and shoot the concoction into his bloodstream. He must have just started pulling back the plunger to test for a vein when she knocked.

While she had heard the rumours about his drug use she assumed it was in his past, remote and even mysterious. She had seen the aftermath of addiction in her morgue, but this was the first time she’d witnessed it’s ugliness in action. Molly thought she’d be repulsed by the sight of someone injecting drugs. Sorry for them, but still repulsed. But seeing this monument of a man reduced to such frailty, all she could feel was a deep sadness and fear. Sadness at this waste of a life. Fear that she would not be able to stop him and bring him back. 

She may be small and quiet, but she was no coward. She clutched that fear to her, and used it to unfreeze her limbs and move her forward. Kneeling beside him, she moved carefully so as not to startle him, and tried to capture his eyes with her own. 

“Sherlock?” a steadiness in her voice that she did not feel. 

He turned away from her slightly, careful not to jostle the needle, never taking his eyes off the syringe and tried unsuccessfully to hide his arm from her view. He had deep grooves between his eyes, and a fierce look of…concentration? No… She’d seen the look of concentration on his face before, but never accompanied by beads of sweat, twitching facial muscles, and a clenched and grinding jaw. This was terror. 

It’s not until she gently placed a hand over his clenched fist, barely touching him, but letting him feel her warmth, that he raised his head to look at her. He was crazed and struggling with some spectre she couldn’t see.

“Sherlock… “ she began. 

“Nobody.”

“What do …” 

“I’m nobody, Molly,” he cut her off again, voice even lower than usual, breath hitching as he said her name.

“You’re…you’re Sherlock Holmes,” she just placed her other hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently.

“No. He’s gone. They all believe he’s a fraud,” he swallowed hard. “I let them believe I am a fraud. I had to,” his gaze breaking away form hers and rolling around the room.

 “I have nothing now,” his chest heaving, “The work — my work — is gone. Every thing that I thought I was is gone.”

Molly couldn’t think of what to say that would bring him back to himself. Her heart was breaking for him. Instead of replying, Molly took a wad of tissue, soaked it in alcohol, and placed it over the puncture point. The cool cotton brought his attention back to her. She breathed slowly and deeply, looking calmly into his eyes, willing him to anchor his erratic breath to hers. 

Minutes passed, feeling like hours, and his breathing slowly evened out. When each exhale and inhale was perfectly in sync with hers, Molly placed her free hand on the barrel of the needle, her ring finger resting lightly on his thumb that still hovered over the plunger. 

“You are still Sherlock Holmes, he hasn’t gone anywhere,” she looked back up at him and waited, raising both brows in a silent question. After a heart beat he gave her an infinitesimal nod and released the syringe. 

She gently drew the needle out, pressing the tissue to his arm, removing the tourniquet and folding his forearm up to help stop any bleeding. Then she turned and reached for the black balloon, traces of white powder on its neck, but his hand gripped hers so tightly she could feel her bones grind together. Her heart beat faster, and she was sure he could see the fear in her eyes as she met his.

“I can’t solve crimes anymore. What’s left of Moriarty’s network have scurried away into some sewer. Even my Homeless Network can’t find a trace of them,” his eyes were boring into hers, willing her to understand. “Mycroft says he has no information, none that he’s sharing with me anyway. Nothing. There’s nothing left. Nothing.” He threw her hand away from him now, wrapping his arms around his waist, trying to hold himself together. 

“Couldn’t even save myself, could I?” he laughed bitterly. “Useless, I’m useless!”

 Molly hesitated only a moment before she snatched up the balloon and quickly flushed the remaining powder down the toilet, rinsing the balloon in alcohol for good measure. When she turned back to Sherlock he was leaning towards the trash bin she had tossed the balloon into, eyes hard and fixated, but his arms were still wrapped tightly around his torso, holding himself back. 

“When I’m working, I don’t need the drugs I’m… I’m safe,” he nodded fervently, still staring at the trash bin. “If I have a case my mind is occupied and it isn’t eating me alive from the inside, thinking thinking thinking, making me insane,” words coming out in a rush now.

“But I can’t work, I can’t do anything. And John, and Mrs. Hudson, and Lestrade, they all think I’m a fake. That I’m dead. I’m not a consulting detective any more. I’m a fraud. A dead fraud. A nobody.”

While the man raved, Molly had been hurriedly removing all traces of the drugs, and potential triggers for Sherlock, from her bathroom. She gave up trying to straighten the spoon and simply tossed it in the trash along with the rest of it, before she turned her attention back to the manic detective. He was staring at her now, eyes wide with the whites showing all around. 

“You still believe in me, Molly. You don’t think I’m a fraud,” he gripped her wrist tightly.

“I know you’re not a fraud, Sherlock. I’ve seen first hand what you can do,” he nodded, earnest and waiting for her to continue. Desperate and not knowing what to say next, she tried to lighten the mood. 

“After all, I thought only the scale knew when I gained 2 and a half pounds,” Molly tried to laugh at her pathetic joke but it sounded all wrong, echoing against the white tiles. 

Sherlock’s face fell. 

“I’m sorry!  I’m sorry Sherlock! I’m just trying to you know…” 

Damn it, Molly! She dropped her gaze, furious with herself for saying such a stupid thing to this fragile man. Seconds passed as she waited for his reaction, not sure if he would lash out at her or leave her flat, seeking out another powder filled balloon. 

A few moments later he reached his free hand out to her and hooked a finger under her chin, urging her to meet his eyes. They were surprisingly tender for a man who had been so keyed up a moment ago. “No matter what I do or say,” he said brows low over his eyes, as he tried to puzzle her out. “You still help me. You help me no matter what.”

“Is that why you came back here? To my flat?” she whispered, “You’ve been shooting up for at least a week by the look of your arm, but you only came back now.”

He nodded, and he looked so raw that her heart broke for him. The Fall may not have taken his life, but it was taking his mind. The mind that was his livelihood, his armour, everything he thought he was. And he was losing it.  

“I’ll always be here for you, Sherlock. No matter what,” and still lost in the blue green sea of his eyes she acted on pure instinct and drew him to her, wrapping an arm around him, and using the other hand to guide his head onto her shoulder. “You’re not alone.” 

He was silent and stiff in her arms and as the seconds passed she feared that she had gone to far. When she began to pull away, he let out what could only be described as a small whimper. His hands quickly stole around her and pulled her into his lap, arms tight around her middle. It was her turn to stiffen but as he burrowed his head into the hollow of her neck she automatically ran her fingers through the curls, relaxing into the embrace. She blew softly on the back of his neck, still slick with the sweat. 

Sherlock trembled occasionally but made no sound, so she just held him tighter and murmured nonsense into his ear, hoping her tone was soothing. Gradually his tremors faded, and the tension in his shoulders eased. His breathing became deep and regular, the gentle puffs tickling her under her ear as he loosened his grip on her waist though he still kept his arms around her.

They stayed curled together on the bathroom floor for sometime.  Molly’s legs were starting to cramp and she was cold but she didn’t move, not wanting to break the moment of welcomed peace. She continued to hold him, now and then rubbing his back in small soft circles.  It wasn’t until she began to shiver that he finally raised his head, though he didn’t look at her. 

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me, Molly.”

“It’s alright. We all need a hug now and then,” she smiled at him, trying to make light of the unusual closeness.

“No, not for this,” he tightened his grip around her slightly, indicating the embrace. “I mean for the drugs. I’m sorry I brought them into your home, and…” he trailed off, and she could see him clench his lips together.

She had known that this might happen, of course. Mycroft Holmes, who regularly checked in on his brother, warned her of his ‘danger nights’ and even gave her a list of his favourite places to hide his stash.

Oh God, Mycroft Holmes! 

He had given her explicit instructions to watch Sherlock closely for signs of renewed drug use. She wouldn’t want to fail either of the Homes brothers but Mycroft in particular made her uneasy. Would he add her to Britain’s suspected terrorist list as punishment for failing to keep his brother safe?

No use in worrying about that now, she decided. Time to deal with what lay in front of them. He came to her for help and, like always, she would give it to him. 

She began to pull away and after a moment’s hesitation he loosened his hold, allowing her enough room for her to see his face. She noticed that he kept a firm hold of her waist, thumb on her lower rib. She reached for his bruised arm, lightly running her fingers over the injection sites. 

“I’m glad you kept the wounds clean,” he nodded and she continued, “I’ll take a vial of blood before I go to work tonight for analysis.  See what you’ve been on and make sure you haven’t contracted anything. I’ll also need a urine sample, if you can manage it. You look pretty dehydrated. No, Sherlock, it’s not negotiable,” and she held up her hand as he opened his mouth, eyes looking like he was about to argue with her. “You may have thought you were being careful, but you were not in a state of mind to know for sure. Then I’ll take the rest of the evening and the week off. You’ll be deep into detox by then,” and then she had waited, resolute as she met his eyes. He nodded once and released her. 

As he made a move to shift her off his lap, she stopped him cold by laying a gentle hand to his cheek. “You can’t do this again. I don’t just mean bringing drugs into my flat. You can’t do this to yourself anymore. I can’t…I just….” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before looking at him again, “ I won’t watch you destroy yourself, Sherlock. Too many people depend on you.” 

When he didn’t respond, his gaze fixed firmly on the floor, she rose and fished around in the drawer for a small glass jar that had once held face cream. She left it near the toilet, and told him to take a shower before going to the hall closet where she kept her medical kit. 

He bathed quickly and walked into her room with a towel wrapped around on his lean hips. She had laid out clean pyjamas on the bed, and turned her back, readying her supplies while he changed. Wordlessly she handed him a glass of water and paracetamol tablets, and watched him swallow both.

When she had finished extracting a vial of blood, she pointed to the bed. He looked exhausted, though with-drawl was starting to toy with the nerves in his hands. He obediently curled up on the mattress and she pulled the covers up to his chin. 

“I’ll be back soon.”

She saw him nod, and then he burrowed further under her quilt. 

She didn’t have much time to get to Bart’s and back. She wanted to be with him when the worst of the symptoms hit. Though if he decided he wanted to shoot more poison into his arm, it wasn’t as though she had the strength or the skill to stop him. She could call his brother, but quickly dismissed the thought as collected the urine sample he left in the bathroom and headed to the hospital.


Fan Fiction (Sherlolly): The Key, Chapter 1

BEST KISS EVER!

BEST KISS EVER!

The Key

Rated M for sex (bow chica wow wow), graphic description of drug use and who knows what else as the plot develops.

Disclaimer: Oh how I wish I owned BBC’s Sherlock – the games we could play – but I don’t, sigh.

Teaser: Sherlock is not the man he was before plummeting off of St. Bart’s roof, and neither is Molly. The flicker of darkness she had glimpsed in detective, now threatens to consume him as together they face his most dangerous mystery yet. Can they overcome the pain of the past, the disparity of their natures and return Sherlock Holmes to the side of his angel?


Slap!

Molly cringed at the memory and the sound reverberating through her skull. She shook her head to clear it as she adjusted her microscope, trying to the get the slide and her mind to focus.

Slap!

She could feel the sharp sting and after-burn in her hand, as if she had just struck him a moment ago and not months ago. She’d heard of phantom limbs before, but was there such a thing as a phantom ache?

Slap!

The third slap had been the worse. The first two had stunned him, mouth agape, eyes pointed at the floor but clearly not seeing it. That last one however, had woken the old Sherlock and he retreated behind his haughty sarcasm and scorn. Molly hadn’t been on the cold side of those walls since well before the Fall. Over and over she replayed the moment, watching his head snap to the side with each blow, guilt gripping at her.

Once the anger at his renewed drug use had burned out, all she could feel was the disappointment; a burning black hole in her chest. Disappointment in him for throwing away his beautiful gifts. Disappointment in herself for keeping him at a distance. If she had been paying attention, and not been so focused on her tenuous relationship, she might have prevented Sherlock’s relapse.

And shame, of course. She felt plenty of shame. Even now she could feel it, red and hot, creeping into her face.

“I should never have slapped him,” she muttered to herself in the empty lab, the slide forgotten even though she continued to stare through the microscope.“And you thought Sherlock had poor impulse control.”

At least his was restricted, for the most part, to his mouth. God knows she had been on the receiving end of many scathing deductions. She never would have described herself as impulsive but her behaviour of late told another story. She stabbed her ex-fiancé’s hand with a fork, in public, during Sherlock’s best man speech; she physically assaulted the detective, while he was high, overlooking the fact that she was half his size; not to mention her decision to help that same man fake his death, and hiding him in her flat afterwards.

Molly shook her head and gritted her teeth. She’d offered her assistance before he even asked and a few short hours later located and dumped a corpse – one that looked eerily similar to Sherlock – out of a window, falsified the autopsy report and cheerfully lied to his friends about his ‘death’. Impulsive indeed, but apparently only where he was involved. She may wear her heart on her sleeve, but this was going a too far.

Not one to take a hit without retaliating, he struck back at her. Deducing the chink in her armour and aiming a sharp retort at it.

“Sorry your engagements over. Though I am fairly grateful for the lack of a ring,” his voice, just as bitter in her memory as it was on that day, made her wince.

She almost wished he had physically slapped her back instead. Almost. It would have hurt less than his reminder that she’d failed at yet another relationship. Failed because of her unhealthy attraction to one Sherlock Holmes.

Stunned, Mary and John watched the scene unfold. They had probably assumed the shock of learning her ‘crush’ was a relapsed drug addict, was what made her lash out.

The truth was that this wasn’t the first time she’d confronted him, grubby and thin, the ugly weight of his addiction hanging between them. And it wasn’t that she was shocked by his relapse so much as she knew she didn’t have it in her to pull him back from that darkness, yet again.


3 years ago

Soaked from the rain, Molly’s numb fingers fumbled with the key to her flat. She was tired and chilled to the bone, both from the weather and her earlier visit with Mrs. Hudson. This afternoon she had spent an hour patting the older woman’s back as she wept. The poor lady had bustled about making tea, talking in her lilting voice about this and that, but as always a casual reference to Sherlock and she fell to pieces. This time it was over her plan to donate his second best dressing gown to charity. His best dressing gown, she didn’t have the heart to part with. 

Thankfully John Watson had arrived and took over consoling his land lady as Molly gratefully seized the chance to escape 221B Baker St. She was pulling on her jacket as she headed to the front door when she was caught in a desperate hug from Sherlock’s loyal blogger and best friend. 

“You don’t believe what he…what they’re saying about him, do you Molly?” he’d grabbed her shoulders and taken a step back, holding her at arm’s length. His earnest blue gaze searching hers, rims red from tears he’d shed earlier. “It was real. He was real…”  

“I know he is…” she quickly hung her head, afraid he would notice her slip and finally see through her lies. She took a deep breath, steadying herself before raising her head to look at his honest face.

“I know he was, John. I know he was the real thing. I saw what he could do, and no one will convince me otherwise.” 

He did not look reassured by her little speech, but had nodded and dropped his hands. His eyes lost focus, shifting to the door. He looked like a man lost in a strange city, not knowing which way to turn or where to go, just waiting. Molly wondered if John relied on Sherlock for a purpose as much as Sherlock relied on John for reassurance as they navigated case after case together.

God, she had to give it a week or two before she saw Mrs. Hudson or John again. The guilt of knowing that Sherlock was alive while they grieved was grinding her down, and she could hardly bear to look either of them in the eye. 

She paused a moment and held her breath before pushing inside her flat. Her eyes darted to a row of hooks by the front door, hoping for evidence that he’d returned safe and sound. She let it out again at the sight of his Belstaf, no longer worried that the remnants of Moriarty’s network had harmed him. She hung her soaked things next to his, the great black overcoat looking imposing next to her frilly cardigan and cheerful stripped scarf.

She ran her hand over the black wool with a frown. The fabric was dirty, oily even, and smelt of chemicals and neglect. A closer look revealed frayed cuffs and stains not readily apparent on such dark fabric. Odd, no matter how untidy he left her flat his clothes were always immaculate. 

Leaving the entryway, she made braced herself for the mess that always accompanied Sherlock when he was in residence. As soon as he had moved in after the Fall, everything but the small guest bedroom had become his domain. Experiments littered the kitchen counters, usually consisting of various body parts being singed or treated with acid. On one particularly bizarre day she came home to a bowl full of thumbs doused in what smelled like sweet and sour sauce. Molly smiled a little at the memory.

“Toby?” she called to her cat. Usually he greeted her at the door, demanding cuddles and a dish of food.

 “Sherlock?” she said a little louder. Usually he greeted her in the kitchen, demanding body parts and Chinese take-away. But there was no sign of the detective or the small brown and white cat.

 Unease settled in her stomach like a stone. The tiny flat was just as tidy as when she’d left it this morning. A glance to her right showed that the kitchen table was completely clear of microscopes and beakers. There wasn’t even his usual half drunk mug of tea. 

And it was quiet. Very quiet. Did she imagine his coat on the hook? 

 She padded softly down the hallway towards the bedrooms, stopping at the compact guest room when she spied a pair of glowing eyes under the bed. 

“Toby,” she sighed in relief, “there you are.” She knelt down and tried to coax the feline out. 

Wide eyed, he refused and retreated further into the darkness with a small meow. He only hid under this bed if something frightened him, like a thunder-storm or the prospect of a bath, neither of which was happening right now. She let him be, wondering what could have scared him so badly…or who.

 Straightening she crossed the hall to his bedroom. Actually it was her bedroom, but Sherlock had taken it over saying he needed the space. She had agreed, just grateful that they’d managed to save his life and not thinking about the small lumpy pull out she would have to sleep on.  The door was closed where this morning it had been open. She pressed an ear to the smooth wood, straining to hear something, anything.  

In the long stretch of silence the only thing she heard was the beating of her heart. The filthy coat, the clean flat, and the closed bedroom door rattled her nerves. Gathering her courage she knocked softly, ear still pressed to the door. 

No sound. At the very least he would give her a ‘harrumph’ when she tried to get his attention, even if he was deep in thought, fingers steepled under his chin. 

Unsure of what to do next, she toyed with the idea of entering without permission. She reasoned that if in fact he was asleep she’d be unlikely to wake him. He was always exhausted when he returned from his ‘reconnaissance missions’ and would throw himself onto the bed fully clothed, falling into a deep sleep that could last a whole day. She turned the doorknob, straining to muffle the clicks as the mechanism released; the sound of metal against metal abnormally loud in the silence as she opened the door. 

The bed was still made with the clean sheets she’d put on weeks ago – clearly there had been no sleeping today. His suit jacket was tossed carelessly on a chair in the corner. She picked it up and saw it was in the same rough shape as his overcoat. She shook out the creases, hung the expensive garment over the back of the chair and smoothed the collar down, all the while scanning the room for additional signs of his presence. Her hand froze when she spied a sliver of light shining underneath the bathroom door. 

She listened carefully, the shower wasn’t running, nor the sink. There was no thick flapping of towels, sounds of puttering about, or anything for that matter. Of all places the places she could imagine Sherlock not wanting her to intrude, the bathroom was right at the top of the list. Worry overrode her embarrassment and she swiftly crossed the room, giving the closed door a soft but firm knock. 

“Sherlock? Are you in there?” Silly Molly, she chided herself, who else would be in there? She rephrased her questions quickly, imagining his eyes rolling. 

“I mean…are you ok? You’ve been gone awhile.” 

Nothing. 

“Are you hurt?” 

Nothing. 

Pressing her ear to the door, she swore she heard laboured breathing.That decided it. 

“Sherlock, I’m coming in. OK?” she said before trying to open the door. 

Locked. 

She opened her mouth, about to ask him to let her in, but changed her mind. Instead she slipped a bobby pin from her thick hair and pushed it into the small hole on the knob, releasing the lock. She paused, hoping he was perfectly fine and was just lost in some remote corner of his brain puzzling out a mystery. Surely in that case he would hear the distinct click and stop her from entering. She waited for a single beat of her heart. Then another. 

Nothing. 

She edged the door open until she met resistance. Peering down she saw white tile, a long unmoving leg and stained trousers. Her breath froze in her chest, the chill creeping up her spine. He must be injured. Her brain switched to autopilot, recalling her medical training, and reviewing her stash of supplies. She had a basic medical kit, but wasn’t equipped to handle anything more serious than a superficial cut. She needed to assess his injuries, and quickly.

“Sherlock, let me in.”

When he didn’t answer she gently nudged the door against his leg, again and again, until finally he moved them aside giving her just enough room to enter. She squeezed through the small opening, sucking in her stomach and grabbing the counter top for support as she carefully stepped over his legs. It was an awkward maneuver that required her full attention. When she was fully in the room, she looked up, searching his face for signs that he was hurt.

Her brown gaze met his icy blue one. Wild and deranged those eyes bored into her, brow furrowed and puckered in painful lines, muscles twitching as beads of cold sweat ran down his neck. Shocked by his expression, she took a step away from him, then another, pressing her back against the wall when she could move no further.

On the cold floor, propped up against the tub, sat a ragged Sherlock Holmes. And the worlds only consulting detective had a syringe embedded deep in his vein. 


Author Note: Thank you so much for reading the FIRST instalment of my FIRST fan fic ever. Please feel free to comment 🙂