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30 January 2012 @ 06:53 pm
Fic After the Fall  

Title: What comes after, part 2/6
Summary: A look at what happens after the fall – spoiler for all of series 1 and 2
Betas: Thank so much to the wonderful justbeaqueen10 for her help and comments
Rating: PG-13 for the angst
Pairing/Characters: John/Sherlock
Wordcount: Just under 12,000 in total
Warnings: None
Disclaimer: I make no profit from this and the characters and settings belong to BBC/ACD
Notes: Now we move onto Molly (tomorrow it'll Sherlock). This story is complete, but I’m going to post a chapter each day or so, so as not to spam you all.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Sometimes she pretended not to know who he meant. “How’s who?”

A short pause on the other end of the phone. “John,” he said the name softly. She probably imagined the inflection, but she was sure he wouldn’t say her name like that.

“The same,” she said. There was a nagging in her stomach. Not awkward embarrassment for once. Guilt, probably. “No one’s really spoken to him since the funeral.”

There was silence on the other end of the phone.

She filled it like she always did. “I’m sure he’ll be okay. Mrs Hudson will look after him.”

“He’s back at the flat?” Sherlock sounded tinny and far away. He never told her where he was or if he was okay. She’d asked once how he was getting money for food and somewhere to stay. He’d brushed away the question like it was stupid.

“Not yet,” she answered. “He’s staying with his sister.”

“That won’t last,” Sherlock said.

“No,” Molly agreed, not sure what he meant, but she’d given up asking for explanations. “Do you need anything?” She finished the call as she always did, knowing the answer.

“No.” Another pause. “Keep an eye on... everyone.”

“He’ll be alright,” she said. The line went dead and she put down the receiver. She stood still watching it for a moment, wondering where he was and when he’d call again.

She hadn’t seen him since the day he’d ‘died’. He’d thanked her. He used his sincere voice. The one he hardly ever used when talking to her. She’d blushed and hugged him quickly before he had the chance to leave without letting her. He’d frozen and then put an arm awkwardly around her.

The full reality hadn’t hit her until after he’d left. She’d been so focused on helping Sherlock that she hadn’t thought about the people he was leaving behind.

It made her insides squirm and tears sting her eyes, seeing Mrs Hudson sobbing at the funeral, Detective Lestrade standing at the back, like he wasn’t sure if he was allowed to be there, and John. Poor John. He’d sat, back perfectly straight, staring ahead. He’d insisted on giving the eulogy. His words hitched and broke as he spoke. Molly wiped hot tears from her cheeks. She’d left quickly. She couldn’t bear to talk to any of them.

They’d all been so kind to her and she had betrayed them. It didn’t matter that it had been the right thing to do. She’d still broken their hearts.

Sherlock asked her to watch them. He’d pretended that it was because there was a possibility that Moriarty hadn’t called off his hitmen, but she knew that wasn’t true. Sherlock knew there was nothing she could do if confronted by a hardened killer. All three of the targets would be able to handle themselves better without her there. She was to watch to see that John didn’t relapse completely.

She saw him withdrawing from everyone. When no one was talking to him he tended to drift off and stare blankly ahead. He seemed lost.

She knew how he felt.

***

The phone rang again a few days later.

“The rent’s been paid on the flat.”

Molly sighed and closed her eyes. It was funny how life worked out. A few months ago the idea that Sherlock would even want her home number, let alone use it, would have seemed like a wild fantasy. Funny how you could get something you wanted so badly but in a way that made you want to curl up and cry.

“Has it?” she asked, her voice had lost some of the breathy excitement it used to have when she spoke to him. That was something at least. “By who?”

“Mycroft, I assume.” Sherlock’s voice held a tone she couldn’t work out.

“That’s nice of him.”

“Hmmm.” There was a long pause. “John should start working again. Talk to him, would you?”

Funny how things worked out.

****

She screwed up all her courage and called Mycroft Holmes.

There was a very long pause while someone found out if he wanted to speak to her. She had almost given up when: “Miss Hooper, to what do I owe this special delight?”

Molly’s heart was racing. She knew Sherlock would be so angry if he found out. But, she’d seen him at funeral. He’d spoken to everyone very politely and then he’d left. Molly was good at watching people. She saw the moments that people didn’t want anyone to see. She’d seen Mycroft looking at Sherlock’s grave and for a moment – it was such a short moment that it had hardly existed at all – his face was consumed with grief. And no one had noticed.

“I just,” she stammered and took a deep breath. “I just wanted to say that... that I’m very sorry for your loss.”

There was a long silence. She'd known that it would be a mistake, but no one had said it and she doubted that anyone ever would.

“Thank you, Miss Hooper.” The phone went dead.

The next day Molly received a substantial pay rise at work. It was almost certainly a coincidence.

****

She wouldn’t go to the flat. She hated seeing Sherlock’s dead life, perfectly persevered like he’d just gone to the shops. She hated imagining John living in a museum to someone who wasn’t coming back. They met at a cafe near St Barts. John hadn’t wanted to meet at the cafe inside the hospital.

They sat opposite each other and she bought them both lunch. She didn’t know what to say now he was here. She was just following orders. Sometimes she wished she could learn to say no.

John smiled softly at her. He looked tired. “How are you, Molly?”

With a start, she realised that they had both come there for the same reason: to comfort a broken heart. It made her eyes sting with tears to think that John would come here for that.

She couldn’t speak so she just nodded and smiled weakly at him.

John smiled back. “He,” he started and sighed heavily, his voice seemed strained. “He cared about you a great deal, you know.”

She just nodded. She couldn’t bear it.

“I know he wasn’t very good at showing it.” John played with the salt and pepper in the front of him. “He was bloody crap at it, in fact, but he did.”

A tear splashed down her cheek and she wiped it away. She gave up trying to speak and let John’s words of comfort wash over her. It was nice, even if he didn’t really understand.

No wonder Sherlock loved him.

As she left she leaned in close to the hug. John smelt of soap and his arms were warm around her. It felt nice.

****

Detective Lestrade was worse. Sherlock hadn’t asked her to go, but she had anyway. There was always something sad about Lestrade, but at the funeral he’d looked so completely alone. John hadn’t looked at him.

Molly went to his flat. She’d never have dared a few months ago, but she’d changed. She’d felt it the moment Sherlock had hugged her and left. She couldn’t go back to being like she had before.

“Molly,” Lestrade’s eyes widened in surprise. He was wearing a suit, but he’d removed his tie.

She smiled sadly at him. “I,” she started, not really sure what to say. “I wanted to see if you were alright.”

A strange expression passed over Lestrade’s face. “Come in,” he said after a moment.

She followed him into the tiny flat. She supposed his wife must have got the house in the divorce. There was a microwave meal on the table and the TV was on. He picked up the remote and turned it off.

“Would you like a drink?” he asked after they’d looked at each other over the sofa for a moment.

“No,” she shook her head, “I can’t stay. I just... I wanted to see if you were okay.”

He fidgeted. “Of course, I’m always alright.”

“Of course,” she said.

“They cleared his name.” He picked at a frayed thread on one of the buttons of his suit.

Molly nodded. “That’s good.”

He nodded. “Do you think he wouldn’t have-”

“I’ve got to go,” Molly said suddenly. This had been a terrible mistake. She wasn’t strong enough for this. She didn’t know why she’d come. She’d half imagined being able to wipe away the pain with a few carefully chosen words.

Lestrade blinked, surprised at being interrupted. He stared at her for a moment and then nodded. “Yeah, well, thanks for coming by.”

“He didn’t blame you,” she blurted out as she was heading to the door.

Lestrade looked at her and smiled thinly. “Well, that makes one person.”

Molly paused, unsure what to do or say. “No one blames you.”

She could tell by looking at him that that was a lie. It was the best she could do.

“I’ll come by next week,” she said opening the front door. “I can have that tea.”

Lestrade smiled at her, but he looked sad. She felt sick all the way home.

***
“Did he look tired to you?”

Molly looked at the clock. “Sherlock, I have to go to work. I’m late.”

“You can be late. Did he?”

Molly sighed. “He’s heartbroken, Sherlock. He misses you. He barely leaves the house. His whole life was destroyed and he lost his best friend. So, no, I doubt he’s sleeping much. I’ve got to go. Goodbye.”

Her hand trembled as she hung up the phone. She’d hung up on Sherlock Holmes. She’d basically told him off. She smiled as she pulled on her coat and went to work.

TBC

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
 
alocin: Sherlock Moriarty Edgealocin42 on January 30th, 2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
Oh Molly... *pangs of an emphathic nature*

This continues to be absolutely wonderful.
Bethbuttercupgaud on January 31st, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm really pleased you're enjoying. I adore Molly and really do think she must find the aftermath really difficult. Thanks again!
justjuly4justjuly4 on January 31st, 2012 06:54 am (UTC)
Poor John, poor Lestrade. I guess, Mycroft knows nothing as well? It's so hard for Molly to watch them breaking into pieces and keep her mouth shut.
Bethbuttercupgaud on January 31st, 2012 02:43 pm (UTC)
I know. Such awful circumstances for them all. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
swissmargswissmarg on January 31st, 2012 07:56 am (UTC)
Wooht, you go Molly! I love this portrayal of her, so strong and really bearing more of a burden than anyone, grieving for three and having to keep everyone's secrets as well. And who is watching out for her? No one. Maybe she and Lestrade can get together. ;)
Bethbuttercupgaud on January 31st, 2012 02:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I love Molly. She's very brave really and wouldn't hurt a fly, so it must be horrid having to lie when her friends are in such pain. Thanks for reading and commenting.
missilemusemissilemuse on January 31st, 2012 01:02 pm (UTC)
I'm really loving the way this is going. Especially the last part, where Molly tells off Sherlock... Thanks for sharing!
Bethbuttercupgaud on January 31st, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
And thank you for commenting! It's great to know you enjoyed.
talimenios79talimenios79 on January 31st, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
You go girl. I am loving this.
Bethbuttercupgaud on January 31st, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks! So pleased you enjoyed!
H: S/J Fanfictionruinedfryou on February 1st, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)
That second to last paragraph...wow. Way for Molly to put Sherlock in his place :D I'm enjoying this read very much.

take care xx
Starr: Ohno nerdeverystarrfall on February 1st, 2012 09:28 am (UTC)
I've always loved Molly as a character and I think you've done wonderfully with her here. I teared up a bit reading this because she's stuck in such a difficult place. I hope that when the third series finally rolls around they give adequate attention to Molly's situation, as she's been put in such a difficult place.
Franzifranzeska on February 2nd, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
I love her slow growth from embarrassing crush to irritation.