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The Time Was Wrong (Sherlock)

Title: The Time Was Wrong
Author: Morgan Stuart
Fandom: Sherlock
Disclaimer: This universe does not belong to me; I'm just an appreciative visitor. I make no profit from this fan work.
Description: Sherlock had asked more of Molly than either of them realised.
Historian's Note: This takes place after events depicted in the second-series Sherlock episode "The Reichenbach Fall."
Author's Note: This may be read as a standalone work or as a sequel to the 221b ficlet "Volunteers." This is comprised of two parts, each a 221b ficlet (221 words, the last beginning with "b").
Chinese Translation: available here and here by freya_fsc



Part 1: When Are You Gonna Realise

It was enough that Sherlock acknowledged and trusted her. To Molly's surprise, she craved nothing else from him now but this.

There was another – warmer, gentler, more patient – from whom she might want more.

He'd always been kind to her, even when swaying with exhaustion or taut with frustration. Countless times he'd proved with actions and words that he valued her as an expert, a professional.

Recently, when she felt his appreciation dare to venture further, she'd accepted it as an unexpected but welcome compliment, knowing the foundation of respect on which it rested.

She'd promised herself that when his mourning period for his marriage ended, she'd gather her courage and show Greg Lestrade how very desirable he was.

A fall, however, had intervened.

Her first concern was for John. But John had proved tougher than anyone suspected – which was saying quite a bit, because his friends generally considered him the strongest thing since Superman. He'd lost the very centre of his universe, and he was reeling, to be sure, but he held steadfastly to Mrs Hudson, the clinic, and the fire Sherlock had rekindled inside him.

Lestrade had no such consolations.

He'd lost a friend, but he'd also lost his consultant, team, reputation, and life's work – and, quite possibly, future career. Perhaps even his freedom, if the inquiry went badly.


Part 2: It Was Just That The Time Was Wrong

Molly ached, observing from a distance as Moriarty's machinations yielded mayhem at the Yard. Groundless accusations. Circular investigations. Lestrade's suspension.

Lestrade redoubled his efforts to clear Sherlock's name and his own. Fighting an uphill battle against former colleagues behind closed doors, he reached out to no one – unsure of his welcome, perhaps, or unwilling to bring others down with him.

Until the day Molly found him at the coffee shop, poring over fresh memos, looking haggard and at his wits' end. He needed a friend. Molly yearned to be there for him.

She met his sheepish-shy offer of tea with a stammered protest that she couldn't, that she had "a thing" – she never could lie worth a damn – and then fled back to St Bart's, shattered. The expression on his face

Which was precisely why she couldn't have tea with him. Or anything else.

One unguarded look from those brown eyes and she'd tell him everything.

She mustn't. Her secret protected not only Sherlock's life, but also John's and Mrs Hudson's.

And his.

Her mobile wailed.

I'm keeping abreast of his situation. He's not abandoned.

Most tellingly, Thank you, Molly.

Sniffing, then nodding, she squared determined shoulders.

No, John wasn't the only one who could soldier on.

She erased Unknown Sender's text with a tender touch of a virtual button.


THE END

Vital Stats: Originally written in January 2012.

The titles come from the lyrics of "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits.

Comments

( 50 comments — Leave a comment )
impishtubist
Jan. 20th, 2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
Lovely!
morganstuart
Jan. 21st, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad you think so! Thank you very much, my friend.
thesmallhobbit
Jan. 20th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, poor Lestrade, so desperate for someone to be there for him and poor Molly, longing to help but aware of the certain danger if she does. Sigh.
morganstuart
Jan. 21st, 2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
I feel for both of them so much! I can't help but wonder how the secrets that follow the fall will impact these dear people and their relationships, just when they need each other most.

Thank you so much for commenting. *hugs*
(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Jan. 21st, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
I feel for her so, so much!

Thank you so much for this, my friend. I'm so glad you liked this take on her. She is strong, and the fact she doesn't recognize it makes her all the more remarkable, I think.

Thank you so much for commenting!
bulleteyes
Jan. 20th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
Such a sweet sorrow you have written! Dear Molly, who I want to see comfort Lestrade knowing that kind man would cover and comfort her in return.

They are so isolated from everyone now.
morganstuart
Jan. 21st, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this. "Sweet sorrow" was exactly what I was feeling. I agree with you: I'd love to see her comfort him, and I know he'd do the same for her.

The isolation they'll face in the wake of the fall is one of many things that worries/fascinates/enthralls me about this story arc. I'm already ready for that next series!

As always, I'm grateful for your insights. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
cookiefleck
Jan. 20th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
I do worry a bit about the fallout for Lestrade after RF! And Molly, too... having to maintain her secrets. So difficult for everyone involved, not just John and Sherlock. Good job.. food for thought!
morganstuart
Jan. 21st, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
I worry, too! If Sherlock's discredited, then so is Lestrade - which I'd assume in the eyes of the Met would mean that Lestrade's either dangerously incompetent for failing to see Sherlock was a fraud, or he's criminally responsible for the perversion of justice for working with/defending Sherlock.

I feel for Molly, too. Can you imagine looking a grieving John or Mrs Hudson or Lestrade or anyone in the eye, knowing that Sherlock's really alive? Incredibly difficult, I'd think.

Thanks so much for your lovely comments, my friend! I'm really glad that this worked for you, and that you think this touches on legitimate issues/questions.

I can't wait (but I will!) for the next series. :)
archea2
Jan. 21st, 2012 01:09 am (UTC)
Bless you for Sherlock's final text! I love a touch of wind in the desert.

(And bless TRF for giving us such lovely angst and h/c material. I could see you and Imp licking the end of your metaphorical pencil after watching the show!)
morganstuart
Jan. 21st, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
I have to believe that if Sherlock is watching over John and Mrs Hudson, he's also watching over Lestrade, that third friend for whose life he "fell." I'm so, so glad this worked for you!

And bless TRF for giving us such lovely angst and h/c material. I could see you and Imp licking the end of your metaphorical pencil after watching the show!)

What a brilliant, brilliant episode it was. *flails a bit* And I'm honoured to be thought of in Imp's company. ;)

Thank you so much for this.
belleferret
Jan. 21st, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
I can't imagine how hard it would be for Molly, knowing the secret, knowing the pain that her friends are in, knowing how she could set their minds at ease, knowing the dangers that would pose.

Her only consolation: a text.
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
You've done in two sentences what it took me two 221b's to do! That's it exactly. It's heartbreaking in a way, but oh, how I admire her holding fast to her course for everyone's sake. I loved the idea that this Sherlock, another step farther on his path toward becoming a good man, would appreciate it and try in his own way to encourage her.

Thank you so much for reading, and for your wonderfully insightful comments, my friend! Both are much appreciated.
maggie_conagher
Jan. 21st, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
I am inarticulate with sadness. Grief piled on grief with all of fandom facing the same questions. whew

But as Molly is doing, we must be good friends and helpers and soldier on and wait patiently. At least we have each other.

Secrets can be toxic. I hope Sherlock continues to support her somehow and when he returns, maybe he can help Molly find someone who wants her back.

You do a lot with 442 words. thank you.
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 03:12 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this! It is quite an experience, going through this grief and questioning with the rest of fandom, isn't it? I have new empathy for those original Conan Doyle readers who went about wearing black armbands in mourning immediately after "The Final Problem" was published.

I do hope Sherlock continues to support her. One way or another, somehow I suspect he'll never take her for granted again!

At least we have each other, indeed! *hugs* And I am grateful for you, my friend. Thank you for your lovely comments. I appreciate them so much.
linguini17
Jan. 21st, 2012 03:18 am (UTC)
So much from so little as always. Pitch perfect. :)

unsure of his welcome, perhaps, or unwilling to bring others down with him.

This is an idea that's worth exploring. The latter is more noble, but the former is infinitely sadder.
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm thrilled you think so! Thank you very much. That means a lot to me.

I agree with you. While I see him as someone who would try to shoulder responsibility and protect others, I suspect at this point he is unsure of his welcome. I wish he had the solace of knowing he's one of the three friends for whom Sherlock was willing to sacrifice anything (including his reputation), but all he knows is that, despite his efforts to help, the last time he saw Sherlock was not a pleasant occasion. I hope that he will feel able to lean on John and Mrs Hudson as the "hiatus" unfolds...

I'm most grateful for your kind and thought-provoking comments. They're most appreciated!
(no subject) - linguini17 - Jan. 22nd, 2012 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
bk7brokemybrain
Jan. 21st, 2012 04:30 am (UTC)
Oh, YAY for Molly. She was so good in this series, and I love your treatment of her predicament here. Her life is on hold, too. So sad!
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 03:18 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad you liked this! She is amazing, isn't she? I absolutely love the way you've characterized her dilemma: much like Sherlock, her life really is on hold as long as she lives with this secret. Well put indeed. And rather heartbreaking.

Thank you for your lovely comments, my friend!
(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this! I'm so glad this worked for you, especially the final text. I really appreciate your kind words.
r34dinglight
Jan. 21st, 2012 02:39 pm (UTC)
love this take on molly where her substance gets another chance to shine; that this is revealed against a backdrop of lestrade's similar struggles and gives a nod to a hope of a molly/lestrade possible future makes it all the more touching. this also causes me to realise i really need a new molly icon. like now! :)
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 02:50 pm (UTC)
love this take on molly where her substance gets another chance to shine; that this is revealed against a backdrop of lestrade's similar struggles and gives a nod to a hope of a molly/lestrade possible future makes it all the more touching.

Oh, this makes me so happy! I do love Molly and her strength (and I feel for her, because as long as she carries Sherlock's secret, her own life is somewhat on hold), and I'm so glad that Lestrade's similarly lone-and-unsung struggles seemed a proper parallel. It's also good to hear that you found the nod to a possible Molly/Lestrade future moving. I appreciate your kind and thoughtful feedback very much! Happy Molly icon-ing! :D
rusty_armour
Jan. 21st, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Ooooh! I have to confess that I've become even more of a Lestrade/Molly shipper since "A Scandal in Belgravia," so this fic totally hit the spot! I love the way Molly watches Lestrade and bides her time. She could have chosen to throw herself at Lestrade after his marriage break up, but she was smart enough to know that he needed some space. Then, she realizes that she must keep her distance for another reason when Sherlock fakes his death. It's heartbreaking that she wants to comfort Lestrade in the aftermath of the fall, but knows she doesn't dare in case she reveals Sherlock's secret. However, there is then hope again when Sherlock sends that text informing Molly that Lestrade hasn't been abandoned. I found that so touching.
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
"A Scandal in Belgravia" really set up the Lestrade/Molly dynamic, didn't it? What a lovely couple they'd make.

I'm so happy that this worked for you -- especially Molly's wisdom in knowing Lestrade needed time after his divorce, and Sherlock's text comforting her and telling her Lestrade hadn't been abandoned. It means a lot to know you found this to be touching.

I appreciate your lovely comments so much, my friend! Thank you.
dimity_blue
Jan. 21st, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, poor Molly. I can easily see her wanting so much to tell them, let them know, and not being able to. :o( It's a small comfort to her that Sherlock is alive because she'll be able to see the pain the others are in.

I love the text though. So sweet.

Thanks for sharing. This was really well written. &hearts
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
I agree with you: poor Molly! Can you imagine looking John or Mrs Hudson or Lestrade in the eye, knowing Sherlock lived? So difficult.

I'm so glad you liked this, especially Sherlock's text to Molly. Thank you for the lovely comments about the writing, as well! I really appreciate your kind feedback.

You've put a big smile on my face!
coldlikedeath
Jan. 21st, 2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
Not read, just commenting to say, is the title a Dire Straits Romeo and Juliet reference?
morganstuart
Jan. 21st, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed! I have a credit note at the bottom; both 221bs take their titles from that song. :) Good catch!
beledibabe
Jan. 21st, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
Meep!!

(Is it next year yet?)
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
I know! I'm ready for the next series right now. :)

Thanks for reading, my friend!
bwblack
Jan. 21st, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love the struggle for Molly knowing what she knows and it making it harder for her to reach out. I like that a lot! Well done. And now going to see what Dire Straits is in my itunes playlist. If I get caught playing air guitar in my car, again, I blame you. :)
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
LOL! Play that air guitar like a boss! ;)

I'm so glad this worked for you. I can't imagine how difficult it would be for Molly, wanting to comfort her friends, but feeling the burden of the secret she carries. I'm so glad her struggle comes across here and seems fitting.

As always, many thanks for reading and commenting! I appreciate it so much.
zauzat
Jan. 21st, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
Aww, I love the final text message. Poor Molly, poor Lestrade.
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so pleased the final text worked for you! Thank you so much for this. I appreciate your kind words.

Poor Molly, poor Lestrade, indeed.
lady_with_cats
Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:15 am (UTC)
Molly. Lestrade. :( FEELINGS.
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
**Hugs!** Thank you so much for reading and commenting. <3
belphegor1982
Jan. 22nd, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
Whenever I read a 221b drabble I always do a double-take to look at the last word (because honestly most times I can't be arsed to count every single word :D) and go, "Ooh, nice!" and smile. I never remember to do that in the process of reading a drabble from you, however, because I'm usually too engrossed in the narrative to even notice the form. So that's two double-takes for these two - should it be a 221b²? Anyway, I love the way you write Molly, the fact that she's instantly recognisable - the "stammered protest that she couldn't, that she had "a thing" – she never could lie worth a damn – and then fled back to St Bart's, shattered" part in particular, but also the quiet, determined strength that shines on even as she doubts herself and her ability to "soldier on"... Perfect wording there, by the way :o)

I truly hope Lestrade is indeed "not abandoned". And I'd love to read something that expands on it. Heh. Hint hint nudge nudge, as the Python boys would say...

Loved this :o]
morganstuart
Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
You've put a huge grin on my face. Thank you for your wonderful and encouraging comments.

I never remember to do that in the process of reading a drabble from you, however, because I'm usually too engrossed in the narrative to even notice the form.

Oh wow! What a lovely thing to say! Thank you for this.

I'm really delighted that you like how I write Molly. It's wonderful to hear that she's recognisable as the canon character. I'm particularly pleased that the lines about her poor lying skills, and about her needing to "soldier on," seemed fitting to you.

And thanks for the "nudge" - always appreciated! :D Again, many thanks to you!
cuddles_and_jam
Jan. 22nd, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
;_; Maybe someday. It's nice to see Sherlock looking after both of them, in his own way.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! It occurred to me that Molly's life will be somewhat on hold as long as she's keeping Sherlock's secret, which is rather poignant - a ongoing sacrifice, as it were. I'm really pleased that the idea of Sherlock looking out for them from a distance (and in his own Sherlockian way) worked for you. Thanks so much for your lovely comments! I really appreciate them.
(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, you're so kind! Thank you for your lovely words. I'm so tickled that you liked this, and my take on Molly, in particular. You've put a big smile on my face.

I want the next season now, too! This very minute!!!

Is Virginia going to be Sherlock on Halloween this year? *grins*

LOL! I don't know, but she has - through me - put in a request for a "John Watson-style cuddly oatmeal jumper" to my mother (who made her Gryffindor and Slytherin sweaters). So we'll see how things go... ;)

Thanks again, my friend!
methylviolet10b
Feb. 1st, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, Molly. I love what you're doing with her character. And the Dire Straits song - you genius you. :-)
morganstuart
Feb. 6th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
Oh, yay! Thank you! You've put a huge smile on my face. :D
phiso_kun
Jun. 15th, 2012 08:27 am (UTC)
OOooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh~!

I love how John here is strong, so strong, stronger than anyone imagined. I love that, because so often in stories he falls apart completely, and I'd prefer to think of him as a solider who knows how to keep going, even when bleeding.

I love how Molly thinks of Lestrade, of his lack of support system, of his loyalty to his comrades even when they turn on him, and of his own kind of strength. I wish she could have had tea with him, I could practically feel their hearts squeezing when she had to say no, and I cannot wait for the day when they all learn that the only reason Sherlock was able to live and fight for them was because of her. I hope they look at her differently. I hope Greg does the most. And I hope that he's strong enough to reach that day - though I believe he is.

OH MY BBS <3
morganstuart
Jun. 19th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
I'd prefer to think of him as a solider who knows how to keep going, even when bleeding.

YES! I'm with you there, and I'm really pleased this worked for you.

Thank you for your kind words. It really makes my day that you liked Molly's appreciation for Lestrade here, and her recognition of what he's going through without anyone to support him. I imagine that, between his divorce and Sherlock's death and the fallout at the Yard, it must seem like his whole world is crumbling down around him.

I cannot wait for the day when they all learn that the only reason Sherlock was able to live and fight for them was because of her.

Absolutely! That will be brilliant. What a clever thread the writers wove through these first two series, setting her up to save Sherlock in the eleventh hour. I just love it, and I can't wait to see the light dawn on the other characters.

I'm so grateful to you for commenting. You're the best. <3
trishkafibble
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:51 am (UTC)
'She met his sheepish-shy offer of tea with a stammered protest that she couldn't, that she had "a thing" – she never could lie worth a damn – and then fled back to St Bart's, shattered.'

Ach, I can so see this exact thing happening!! Molly unable to trust herself in the face of this sweet, brave man's pain, and making an utter mess of the situation--that's so much in character for her, painful as it is to say so! =( I thank you for giving her Sherlock's support and appreciation after this awful moment, and I love that she compares herself to John, and realizes that she has the strength to get through this terrible trial. Lovely!
morganstuart
Aug. 19th, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
I'm sooo glad this feels believable and in character! I ache for what Molly must go through, but I like to think Sherlock's learned enough to be there for her (and the others) in some way - and that she's learned enough about her own strength to "soldier on," as it were. Thank you for this, truly.
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