he is utterly baffled

- four: part one -

“I’ll let you drag me to hell if it means you’ll hold my hand.”

Confused was an understatement. I was completely and utterly baffled as to why he had asked me out on a date then kicked me out of his car and sped off, leaving me standing there like a fucking idiot without even an explanation.

I spent the next few days in a weird muted daze, still not having heard from him at all as I went about my somewhat normal and boring routine of classes and work. I wasn’t sure what to expect at the pub, part of me anxious that he was just going to show up there one night with his mates and act like nothing had happened and the other part worried that he wouldn’t show up at all. But going off the fact that almost an entire week had passed since the incident outside my flat and I still hadn’t even received a text, I was pretty sure he had forgotten all about me.

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u know i’m american bc the bit in asib when sherlock shoots the gun into the air outside and tires immediately squeal and he says “on their way!” wrt calling the police was utterly baffling to me until i found out how much more unusual that sound must be in england. like obviously gunshots aren’t a good thing but like. in america for the most part ur kinda like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ if u randomly hear them from a distance or smth

Two Weeks Notice

His blood rushed loudly past his ears and he cleared his throat several times before finally managing to speak. ‘Two weeks?’

The firm nod from his soon-to-be-former-assistant brooked no argument.

Sherlock Holmes, self-made business mogul and genius with a knack for going through PR reps like tissue paper, was, for the first time, utterly baffled. 

‘I don’t understand.’ He stood and rounded his desk, a frown on his face, until he was standing in front of her. Molly Hooper. His assistant. His conscience. His voice of reason. The one person who, despite her diminutive stature and initial fumbling demeanor, had kept him in line and in good public standing for the better part of five years with a backbone of steel and an uncanny ability to charm even the most vicious reporter. 

She wouldn’t leave him… she couldn’t.

‘Are you no longer happy here, Miss Hooper?’

She turned her head before he could read her face, but he didn’t miss her flinch at his formal address. She took a deep breath before turning her gaze back to him. ‘I believe my services would be better utilized elsewhere.’

‘That’s not what I asked. Tell me, why are you leaving me?’

She looked down at her cherry-patterned blouse, tugged it straight, and cleared her throat. ‘Mr Holmes, the terms of my employment were clear in that, should either party be so inclined to terminate said employment, a notice of two weeks must be given. No where in the wording is it required that a reason be given.’

Sherlock cursed inwardly. ‘Miss Hoop-Molly, I thought we had developed an efficient rapport, even a friendship. If I have done something to cause you distress, please inform me so that I may rectify the situation.’ He slipped his hands into his pockets and ducked his head. ‘I have very few friends in my life and I would sincerely be loathe to lose you from my life.’

‘It is nothing you can fix, believe me,’ she replied, smiling sadly. 

Sherlock stepped toward her. ‘Molly-’

‘I’ve already begun vetting potential replacements,’ she interrupted, taking a step back. ‘Three months from now, it’ll be as if there was never any change. You’ll have forgotten all about me.’

Her smile was forced and a gnawing ache settled in Sherlock’s chest. No more chipper, bubbly smiles first thing in the morning as she brought him his coffee and handed him a folder with the relevant emails that had come through overnight. No more trying to hide his laughter in public spaces whenever she mumbled a sarcastic or morbid comment under her breath. No more watching her brilliantly smooth over his social faux-paus with a smile and perfectly-worded statements. 

No more Molly. 

‘What if I don’t want to forget you.’ His voice was dark and low. 

She replied with soft resignation. ‘We both know you excel at deleting extraneous information. And when I leave, that’s what I will become. Your work and empire will continue, your new assistant will do everything I’ve been doing for you, and nothing else in your life will change.’ 

Then with the strength he’d always admired in her, she straightened her shoulders and adopted a cool professional expression. ‘With that out of the way, I shall be off. You have a meeting with the Board in a half hour and I need to prepare the conference room.’ She turned on her heel and left the room, pausing at the door to call over her shoulder, ‘Don’t forget to wear the cufflinks Mr Haversham gave you; keeps you in his favour.’

The door clicked shut behind her with alarming finality and Sherlock fell back against his desk, stunned.

Two weeks. Two weeks and she would leave him. Why? Why was she leaving? He hadn’t offended her lately, insulted her clothing recently, or God forbid, forgotten to pay her! She had given no sign of discontentment or unhappiness working with him. If anything, she had thrived in her position, going above and beyond what he had even expected of her. 

So why would she leave?

Why would she stay?

The little voice that sounded a lot like his business partner, John, came unbidden to his mind. Sherlock froze. 

Why would she stay? If she received a better offer, he would understand that. But she gave no indication that she was looking for or taking a new position and no other company would dare even consider poaching her from him.

His legs were moving before he even thought to, propelling him across the room in record speed. He threw open the door and stormed out, sending a frightened intern scuttling after a flurry of papers she’d thrown in surprise. 

Sherlock paid the employees that parted around him like the Red Sea no mind. His singular focus was on finding his assistant and demanding a full explanation before talking her out of this irrational decision to leave him in the lurch. 

The lift was too slow and he bypassed it entirely, opting to thunder down the stairs to the ground floor. The conference room was in the center of the atrium and completely encased in glass windows that rose to the top of the three story-tall room. Transparency was the core of his business success; no underhanded dealings or hiding secrets. Made for a bumpy ride at times, but paid off in the long run. 

He straight-armed his way through the doors into the atrium; the steel doors slammed into the walls and echoed loudly in the tall room. Every head turned toward the sound and many craned their necks to watch as the C.E.O., President, and Notoriously Aloof Sherlock Holmes blew into the room with the force of a hurricane and narrowed in on the petite assistant who was speaking animatedly with the few board members who had arrived early.

He interrupted them unashamedly and furiously declared, ‘No. I refuse to accept your resignation.’

Molly looked over in surprise and a fierce blush stained her cheeks. Hastily excusing herself from the conversation, she hurried across the room. 

‘Mr Holmes, please-’

‘No, no more Mr Holmes,’ Sherlock snapped, uncaring that every ear was attuned to their discussion. ‘We have been on a first name basis for two years. We are friends, Molly. And friends don’t just quit. Not without reason.’

Molly looked around at their gaping audience and lowered her voice. ‘Sherlock, it’s…’ She sighed and tucked her hair behind her ear. ‘It’s complicated. Okay? You don’t understand and I get it, I do. Just… respect my decision.’ Her eyes were suspiciously bright. ‘Please.’

It was in that moment that Sherlock saw what he’d ignored for so long. The dilation of her pupils, the longing in her eyes, the soft way she would smile at him, putting aside her own personal life to help him, canceling dates at his last minute request when he needed her… the love that was woven in every word she spoke to him and every thing she did for him. 

And how deeply that love was reciprocated.

He reached out and caught her hand. ‘You’re wrong.’ He stepped closer and lifted his other hand to slip around the back of her head. Her breathing increased and her eyes widened. ‘I believe I do understand. Finally.’ 

‘Sherlock…’ The rest of her breathless words were stolen as he dipped his head and kissed her. 

Around them, the onlookers awed and cheered. Sherlock tuned them out, focusing all his attention on the woman in his arms and kicking himself for ignoring his heart for all these years.

And when John Watson, Sherlock’s business partner, arrived with the rest of the Board members minutes later, he smirked at the sight before him. A quick check to the calendar on his phone only made his smile widen. 

Seems he’d won the betting pool. 

For romances in which the Warden would, for some reason, not be able to get pregnant under normal circumstances, use your imagination.

Alistair (WARDEN): He’s worried. He doesn’t know how the Warden is going to raise a child as a Grey Warden, or what will become of the child, or the Warden. Nevertheless, he does his best to support them, even becoming somewhat overprotective. If romanced: Forget worried, he’s panicked. He wants the best for his child, but he doesn’t know how or what they should do. For the time, he requests leave from the Wardens, and stays with his lover, doing his best. He’s also left utterly baffled by the fact that they’re pregnant at all.

Alistair (KING): He offers his congratulations and anything that the Warden’s child could need: clothes, food, education, comfort, you name it. He also gets them the best in maternity care and invites them (and the other parent) to stay in his castle for the time being. If Romanced, Warden is mistress: He’s giddy, but also worries about the child’s future– he was born in a similar situation, and he doesn’t want his child to end up like he did. In spite of detractors and scandal, he names the child his heir, and is nothing but thrilled that he’ll be a father. He spends even more time (as much time as possible) with his mistress, utterly in love, utterly excited, no matter what comes. If romanced, Warden is queen: The kingdom celebrates that he and his beloved queen will finally have a heir to the throne, but no one is happier than the king himself. When he’s not dealing with matters of the kingdom, he’s with his wife and coddling her, wanting nothing but to make her as happy and comfortable as possible. He thinks he’s the luckiest man in the world.

Leliana: She’s thrilled; she pulls the Warden in for a big hug and talks and plans with them. “I’m going to be an aunt!” she exclaims, utterly delighted. Soon thereafter, the Warden is sent a box of goodies for the child, which includes a pair of pink socks with nug ears sown on them and other baby clothes. Leliana also takes the to-be parent to buy some maternity gowns. If Romanced: Leliana never pictured herself as a mother, not with her history. She, nevertheless, responds with nothing but excitement (and a bit of apprehension) and embraces her lover. She begins looking up children’s tales and lullabies she can sing to her little one.

Zevran: He doesn’t actually know how to respond at first, and settles on offering his congratulations to the Warden, as well as a “congratulations on the sex!” He tries to teach their LI massage techniques to soothe the Warden’s aches and pains as the pregnancy progresses. If Romanced: Zevran is dumbstruck and silent, staring wide-eyed at his beloved for several moments in complete and utter shock. Him? A father? Joy and fear in equal measure bubble up in him, and he lets out a giggle as he pulls his lover into a tight embrace. He readily adjusts to the idea and is so, so excited. He tries his best to bring comfort to his lover in any way during their pregnancy.

Morrigan (IF DARK RITUAL COMPLETE): She congratulates them with a genuine smile and offers advice on handling pregnancy. She is remarkably candid about what the Warden will be experiencing– good details and less-than-fortunate details like nausea and back pain. She’s glad she has someone she can relate to, though she never says so directly. If Romanced: “Kieran will have a sibling, then? ‘Tis fortunate indeed.” Again, she’s very candid about what her lover will be experiencing. She offers her aid in reducing their discomfort, and has a long chat with Kieran about the matter. Kieran is consequently excited to be an older brother.

Morrigan (IF DARK RITUAL NOT COMPLETE): “Pregnancy is a messy, uncomfortable affair. I would not know why you would want to be in such a state, but if it pleases you, then I offer my congratulations.” She doesn’t really get why everyone’s so excited– she sees it as an overblown social affair– but she’s nice enough about it. If Romanced: She’s wary of the idea of being a mother, but she’ll try her best. She’s somewhat uncomfortable, but she takes it well out of love for her significant other, and starts reading up on what to expect.

Oghren: He grins and pats the Warden on the back. “Hey, good for you!” he says cheerfully. “It feels damn good to be a parent. And you’ll be good to yours, so here, a toast to you, Ward– wait. You can’t have any of the booze right now. Sorry.” Nevertheless, he begins peeking through stores for things like little toy ponies and other trinkets, until he finds a tiny pair of socks with griffins sown on them. He gives it them all to the Warden at the baby shower, and begins referring to himself as Uncle Oghren.

Wynne: She smiles, congratulating the Warden earnestly. If they’re a mage, she’s also worried, and she has a long chat with them. She takes to sewing clothes and a blanket for the little one, and when the child is born, she likes to visit and read them a story in a rocking chair, calm and quiet. She’s practically their grandma. If After Asunder: The Warden names the baby Wynne, either as a first or middle name.

“It is… carrying a child? Why is this noteworthy?” The Warden snorts at Shale, who sounds unimpressed. When the baby is born, she examines the child in mild surprise. “It… is so tiny and soft. How do your people survive until they can wear armor?” She takes it upon herself to watch out for the little thing as she grumbles that it’s helpless.

Sten: He doesn’t really react strongly. He does, however, assume the child was bred to be a leader like their parent, and remarks that the baby will become a fine, productive member of society.

Loghain: He cracks a rare smile and compliments the Warden, stating that parenthood is a great thing; he would know. He offers a bit of advice on parenting, but otherwise leaves them to it. He trusts they know what they’re doing.

Dog: Barks excitedly and repeatedly licks the Warden’s face (and belly). If anyone during the pregnancy tries to touch their belly without their permission, he jumps up and swats their hands away with a low growl. When the baby is born, he takes to standing guard and helps look after the little one.

Anders: He’s the one that makes the diagnosis when the Warden reports feeling out of sorts. He’s grinning and congratulating them over and over again, and offers his services throughout the pregnancy as their healer. “See? This is another reason why mages are important.” he declares. “With my help, your babe will come into the world safely. And they’ll have a charming uncle.”

Nathaniel: Awkwardly offers his congratulations and then sends a letter asking Delilah about advice for the Warden. Otherwise, he reacts little, as he’s unsure of himself and what to say. Delilah shows up for a surprise visit shortly thereafter, to greet him and the Warden, to whom she gives some advice.

She seems unimpressed and talks about the pregnancy very little, unless the Warden is an elf, especially a Dalish elf, in which case she’s a bit more enthusiastic about it. She does, however, write down a popular Dalish lullaby and gives it to the Warden to sing to their child.

Justice: He doesn’t really know how to react. “Is the baby possessing you as I possess Kristoff’s corpse?” he asks, to which the Warden can’t help but laugh.

Sigrun: She’s excited; she begins looking for all sorts of trinkets and toys for the kid. She also takes great joy and curiosity in feeling the baby kick, and it delights her to no end. She also tells the Warden to keep their baby safe; she would loathe to think about them ending up in a place like the Deep Roads.

> Psii: Obtain a crush.

»- I have been told you and Caesurae had an altercation ->
»- And I have gathered that it ended with him falling off a roof and getting soaked ->
»- Is there any chance you w001d get anything out of talking to a largely unbiased party ->
»- He didn’t say anything other than pointing out that the event had occurred and you were involved, for the record ->

Ah. Yes. Good evening, Horuss.
He is correct, it certainly did happen.

»- I w001d be utterly baffled if it had not ->
»- Are you well ->

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Man I’m in a loreslut mood today.  Here’s another chunk of analysis for you guys

Reasons why I do NOT think the Architect is one of the original Magisters that assaulted the Golden City:

  • He can’t control the Grey Wardens like Corpyheus can.  He tries to reason with the Warden when they meet, rather than simply taking control and seizing what he wants via mind control.
  • He talks about having simply “awakened” one day in the Deep Roads.  Unlike Corypheus, he has no memory of what he was before that day. 
  • He talks about mortal creatures in a very “other” way.  He uses phrases like “your kind” and seems utterly baffled by some of the things mortals do and say.  He takes notes, trying to understand, because the living are utterly alien to him.
  • The Fifth Blight was caused by the Architect experimenting on the slumbering dragon Urthemiel (mentioned in The Stolen Throne).  The actual magister likely would have considered that sacrilege.

Reasons why I DO think the Architect might have been CREATED by one of the seven Magisters that assaulted the Golden City:

  • “Architect” was the title of the High Priest of Urthemiel in ancient Tevinter, and would have been passed down from priest to priest.
  • Urthemiel, Dragon of Beauty, was also the patron of craftsmen and scientists.  His followers, especially the High Priest, would certainly have been capable of creating something like the Architect.
  • The Architect we’re familiar with awakened one day in the Deep Roads with no memory of what he’d been before, as if he had been created–or given sentience–in that moment, and there had been nothing before.
  • He wears a golden mask and golden jewelry piercing his darkspawn growths and deformities, hinting at an instinct to craft and create and embellish, also evinced by his urge to help his fellow Darkspawn “awaken”.  Perhaps a reflection of the intent of his creator?

A lot more of the Architect’s actions make sense if you frame them in the hypothetical context of him having awakened in his creator’s abandoned lab one day with no guidance but the instinctive urge to create and improve, and nothing to work with but some old notes and a name ringing in his mind: ARCHITECT.