Author: Morgan Stuart
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.
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.
Vital Stats: Originally written in January 2012.
The titles come from the lyrics of "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits.