This is for @dmollyc. Love you, sweetness! Thanks go to @mizjoely and @mrsmcrieff for looking it over for me and making some great suggestions. Bless! It’s rated K+ and there is an element of truth to the case mentioned (or at least I heard that it was true!). You can also read it on AO3 and FF.net. Enjoy ~Lil~
“And then I realised that it wasn’t a random attack.” Sherlock said smugly before taking a drink of his wine.
“How!?” John’s date asked, clearly impressed. “He was attacked by wild squirrels!”
“It’s obvious,” Molly interjected causing all three heads to turn toward her.
Angela, John newest girlfriend, looked thoroughly shocked. “It is?”
Sherlock folded his arms across his chest. “Okay, Miss Hooper. Enlighten us.”
Holding up a hand, Angela said, “Wait! You already know, right?”
“No,” Molly answered. She hadn’t heard about this latest case, having just returned from a conference in Edinburgh. “I haven’t been in the lab for nearly a week.”
“But surely he told you,” the other woman said. “I assume he tells you about all of his cases, just like John tells me.”
John turned to his girlfriend. “I didn’t tell you about this one.”
“You said you wanted to give Sherlock something to talk about. How did you put it? Oh, yes. He’ll want his ego stroked,” she said, doing her best John impersonation (which was pretty good, much to John’s dismay).
“Ah, sweetheart…” the doctor started.
“It’s okay, John. I’m quite used to your pejorative description of me,” Sherlock said, looking only slightly offended. “At any rate, Molly was about to dazzle us with her deductive skill.” He winked at her as he spoke.
Molly giggled and rolled her eyes.
“All right. It was the ex girlfriend,” she proclaimed proudly.
“You’ve talked to Lestrade,” John accused.
“No. I just got in this afternoon. Barely had time to unpack before this one,” She motioned to Sherlock. “came storming into my flat, demanding that I accompany him to meet the new girl. His words.”
“Okay, okay. You’re clean. Now, how did you know it was the ex girlfriend, and furthermore, how the hell did she do it?” Angela asked.
“Elementary my dear, Angela,” Molly said cheekily. “The ex was a retired…” She paused, looking around the restaurant, then her gaze landed on Sherlock and she finished, “…lion trainer.”
John gasped, Angela squealed and Sherlock beamed.
“Go on,” the detective encouraged, leaning closer to his pathologist. “How did I figure it out?”
“Wait a minute,” Anglea protested. “Maybe John figured it out.”
Everyone laughed in unison, including John himself.
Sherlock waved his hand toward Molly. “I can’t wait to hear how you got that from the little I told about the case.”
She turned toward him, tossing her napkin onto her finished plate. “You said he was attacked by a scurry of squirrels. Was bitten… twenty-four times?”
“Squirrels aren’t pack hunters; they eat nuts, for God’s sake. And even if they can be somewhat aggressive, I’ve never heard of an organised squirrel attack.” She turned to her dinner companions. “Have you?”
John and his date both shook their heads.
“They must have been trained. Like those squirrels in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” she continued.
“What?” Sherlock asked.
“Never mind. It wouldn’t make sense to you even if I explained it,” she said to Sherlock, then turned and addressed the couple across the table. “Anyway, she must have somehow lured them into her house and trained them to attack the ex.” Tapping her index finger against her chin she said, “But how…”
Sherlock started to speak up, but was stopped when she whipped her head back to him.
“You found a standee of the boyfriend in her home!” she proudly proclaimed.
“Bloody hell,” John mumbled. “Now there’s two of them.”
Sherlock paid his blogger no mind, his eyes completely focused on Molly. “How?” he asked, in a gruff voice.
“I worked it out,” she said proudly.
“Impressive,” Sherlock said, leaning closer, putting his arm on the back of her chair looking her directly in the eyes. Molly was staring back just as intently.
“You two are absolutely adorable,” Angela said, pulling them out of their ‘moment’.
“I’m sorry, what?” Molly asked, confused.
John, on the other hand, knew exactly what she meant. And it was trouble.
Angela looked at his friends dreamily. “How’d you guys meet anyway?”
Sherlock finally pulled his eyes off of Molly and explained, “It was her third day at St. Barts. I came in with Lestrade to examine a body that we thought was the latest victim of a serial killer.” He looked off into the distance. “Not nearly enough of those anymore.”
“Sherlock…” Molly admonished.
“Right, I keep forgetting that it’s considered unacceptable to wish for more killings. Anyway, Mike Stamford introduced us. I instantly realised that I had a chance to work with a highly skilled and intelligent pathologist. I was thrilled,” he said with a smile.
Molly scoffed. “You deduced me, you great git!”
“Of course I did; it’s what I do.”
“You pointed out the cat sick on my shoes and said that I hadn’t had an intimate relationship in over seven months. Then you said that I needed to change deodorant!” Molly proclaimed.
“Yes, but I said nice things too. You’re just being negative.”
John, having seen the look on his girlfriend’s face, knew where the whole thing was heading. So he tried to change the subject. “Anyone want dessert?”
“No. I want to hear more about Molly and Sherlock,” Angela said, leaning forward. “Then what happened? Doesn’t sound like you were very fond of him at first.”
Sherlock laughed. Molly cut him a nasty glare.
“Quite the opposite,” the detective said with a grin.
“Yes,” Molly said picking up her wine glass. “I thought he had a fine arse and a bad attitude.”
“You were smitten!” Sherlock protested as he topped up his glass.
“I might have been a little naive those first few years, I’ll admit that.”
“You asked me out after watching me beat a corpse with a riding crop,” he said, turning to her fully, bracing one hand on the table and the other on the back of her chair.
“Oh my God! As if you didn’t know that you were being distractingly sexy that day!”
He leant forward. “Distractingly sexy, ah?” His voice was suddenly lower.
Angela was drinking it in like she was watching a romcom, live and in person.
Molly tossed her head back. “HA! Don’t, Sherlock! It doesn’t work anymore.”
“Why doesn’t it work anymore?” Angela asked, riveted.
Molly sat her glass down. “Well see, about a year ago, I get this phone call…”
“I had no choice, Molly, you know that,” Sherlock interrupted.
She waved him off. “I know, I know. Back to what I was saying…” Then Molly launched into the tale of Eurus, leaving out the parts about her being Sherlock’s sister and killing his childhood friend, she basically just gave the pertinent points. “He came round my flat two days later, explaining that he didn’t mean to hurt me and we’ve been fine ever since,” she said, finishing the story, a satisfied look on her face.
Angela, on the other hand, looked crushed. “That’s it?”
“Yes,” Molly answered. “What were you expecting?”
“You two aren’t a couple?”
Molly laughed, a little too loudly in John’s opinion. “Oh, good God no!”
Sherlock didn’t appear amused at all.
“But…but…” poor Angela tried to form a sentence, but seemed too heartbroken to continue.
“It’s not that ridiculous, Molly,” Sherlock said, draining his glass.
She turned to him and said, “Yes it is. Worse than that, it’s impossible.”
“And why is that?” he asked, obviously offended. “Once was a time, Molly…” Again, his voice dropped an octave and John considered dousing the man with a glass of water.
“Yes, once was a time… But that time is no more,” she said emphatically.
“Are you absolutely certain, Dr. Hooper?” Sherlock said, his voice dripping with so much sexuality, it was actually embarrassing.
Molly opened her mouth to respond, but John tried to pull everyone’s attention to him as he stood. “Go to the restroom with me, Sherlock.”
Not taking his eyes off of Molly, Sherlock replied, “No, I don’t think I will.”
The detective turned and sneered. “Because we aren’t fourteen year old girls.”
“I need to…” Damnit… He couldn’t think of an excuse. Then one hit him. “I need you to look at a mole on my back!” Oh, bugger, that’s stupid and a little gross.
“Shouldn’t you see a dermatologist for that, John?” Molly asked, looking concerned.
“No, no. He’s right. I can spot a melanoma from twenty yards,” the detective said as he stood. “Lead the way.”
John breathed a sigh of relief as they walked to the men’s lav.
Once they reached the hallway outside the restroom, John grabbed his friend’s arm. “What the hell are you doing?”
“You asked me to come…”
“No, you idiot. With Molly. Stop flirting with her, stop it with the voice trick and for the love of God, don’t try to convince her to fall in love with you again. It’s cruel!” he said in a frustrated whisper.
“I’m not…” He paused, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Okay, fine. I was. But really, what’s wrong with it? We’re on a double date, are we not?”
“NO, no we’re not! This is me introducing my girlfriend to my two best friends. My two best friends who are NOT in a relationship and never will be. Those aren’t my words, Sherlock, they’re yours.”
John Watson may not be observant, but he had a good memory and he clearly remembered a very long and painful conversation between himself and his best friend not six months ago…
“I think might have made a mistake, John,” Sherlock said as they sat in Baker Street one afternoon.
“Telling Molly that I didn’t mean it when I said I loved her,” the detective explained.
“You… do love her?”
“Maybe?” he answer, confused.
John sighed. “You know, if you were anyone else, if Molly were anyone else, I’d say go for it. See if it works. See how you feel. But this isn’t a good idea, Sherlock.”
“You don’t think…”
“I’d say, in this case, maybe isn’t good enough.”
They went back and forth for over an hour, Sherlock trying to express his feelings, John trying to figure out if his friend was really in love or just lonely.
Finally frustrated and hurting for the other man, John said, “Molly’s been through enough. She deserves to be loved completely, Sherlock. If you can’t do that, then you have to let this go.”
Sherlock was lost in thought for a solid ten minutes; eventually he stood up and said, “I won’t ever pursue Molly Hooper. You’re right, John. We won’t be in a relationship. Ever.” It sounded like he was confirming it for himself, more than for John’s benefit.
He then went to the kitchen to start an experiment. John worried about the fallout, but there was none. Even though Sherlock spoke very little for the rest of the day, he acted completely normal the next time John saw him. And the first time the pair walked into the Path lab to ask for Molly’s assistance, it was as if nothing had changed. John was incredibly relieved.
“You’re right, of course,” Sherlock said, the same defeated tone in his voice that John remembered from six months before. Then he seemed to shake it off. “I just got carried away. You and Angela seem so happy and…” He cleared his throat and fiddled with his cufflinks. “I’ll apologise later, when I drop her home. She’ll understand; she always does.” He started to walk back toward the dining room. “Though I blame your new girl, John. She clearly ships us.”
“Ships?” John said, as he jogged to catch up with the man. “How do you know about shipping?”
“I know a lot of things.”
“Yeah, but ships?”
“I’m a man of the world, John. And I’ve been on Tumblr.”
John was happy to see that Sherlock seemed to be right back to his old self again.
But as soon as they reached the dining room once again, everything went straight to hell.
Molly was standing next to the table talking to a man who looked to be in his late thirties. Why does he look familiar? John wondered. He was average height, had light brown hair and brown eyes. He was also, unfortunately for him, pretty good looking. When he and Sherlock were about five feet from the table the man grabbed Molly around the waist, hugging her tightly and kissing her on the cheek.
John had no time to react. Sherlock took the man by his shoulder, spinning him around to face him. Molly tried to speak, but before anyone could do, well, anything, Sherlock had punched the man square in the mouth.
“What the hell, Sherlock!?” Molly exclaimed.
The detective turned to her and said, “I don’t know why I ever listened to John. He’s always wrong!”
Molly looked horrified. “What?!”
“It’s not maybe, Molly. I do love you! And I won’t have some random man groping you during our date.” He finished it off, dramatically of course, by pulling her close and kissing her passionately. The whole scene looked like it had been scripted by some first year film student.
John groaned and Angela cheered as the restaurant staff tried to help the 'groper’ up off the floor. Thankfully he looked fine (except for the bloody lip).
The kiss ended, finally, and Molly stepped away, she seemed a bit bewildered. She walked over to the man and asked if he was okay. Sherlock looked crestfallen. The man nodded as Molly whispered to him while she examined his lip. Seemingly satisfied, she turned her attention back to Sherlock.
“Can you explain what that was about?” she asked, her hands on her hips.
“Ah, well… you see…” he trailed off, never really finishing the sentence.
“Great. Suddenly you can’t speak.” She turned to look at John. “Any idea?”
“He’s an idiot?” John said.
“Yeah, I get that. But why did he just punch my cousin Bernard?”
Angela simply couldn’t contain herself anymore. “Oh God! He’s so stupidly in love with you he didn’t even recognise the family resemblance! It’s so freaking adorable!” she practically squealed and John wondered if he could break up with her on the ride home, or would he have to wait until the next day.
Molly looked at Sherlock. “Is that true?”
A hushed silence fell as the entire restaurant seemed to be waiting for the answer.
“Yes,” he returned in a small voice.
“And when did you realise this? Was it the squirrels, because that was mostly just dumb luck.”
“It was not and you know it,” he said. “And I’ve been thinking about it for…” The last words were mumbled, completely unintelligible.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”
He sighed. “First of all, I need to make it clear that this is entirely John Watson’s fault. He said I shouldn’t pursue a relationship with you when I talked to him about it six months ago.”
Molly glared at John for a moment, then turned back to the detective. “Because you always listen to John.”
“About things of which I have no experience? Yes.”
“Continue, and make it good or I won’t try to talk Bernard out of pressing charges.”
He studied her for a long moment before moving toward her, taking her hands in his. “I’m sorry I punched your cousin in a… fit of jealous rage.” Molly nodded. “And I’m sorry that I asked an imbecile for dating advice.” She nodded again. “But mostly, I’m sorry I didn’t do all of this years ago. Forgive me, Molly.” He kissed her cheek then moved back to wait for her reply.
After several tense moments she said, “Okay. I suppose you’re forgiven. And you know very well how I feel about you, Sherlock. Don’t expect me to proclaim it in the middle of a restaurant with my injured cousin looking on.”
“I can accept that.”
“You’ll have to.” She turned and addressed Bernard. “You want us to run you to the hospital?”
“No! God no! And please don’t invite me to the wedding,” he said, slowly backing away.
“I’m going to go speak with the owner and try to intercept the police,” Sherlock said.
“Well, that was the best date I’ve ever had,” Angel said as she picked up her handbag.
“A day in the life…” John said, as he helped her with her jacket.
Molly walked up to him. “You told Sherlock Holmes not to ask me out?”
“Ah, yeah. I was worried that he would hurt you, Molls. You’re not mad, are you?” He laughed uncomfortably.
She grabbed her bag and wrap then said, “Let’s just say you have a long way to go if you want to be invited to the wedding, John Hamish Watson.” Then she stormed away.
“Oh, she’s pissed off,” Angela said, taking his arm. “Maybe avoid parks and hiking trails for a while. She seemed pretty keen about that squirrel trick.”
Synopsis: Molly’s ex-fiancé Tom Abbot is tying the knot to the beautiful woman Polly Pedretti. She doesn’t have a problem with this, but everyone assumes she’s not over Tom. To prove she is, she tells about her boyfriend Ian, who unfortunately doesn’t exist, but wanting to keep up the deception she hires an ‘escort’ to accompany her to the wedding in Rome. Only it doesn’t go as planned.
Over the next hour Charlie told Spencer everything he could, answering all of the profiler’s questions to the best of his knowledge.
The team listened in, taking note of everything the man said and adding it the list of information they already had.
The camps numbers were a lot smaller now, they already knew that from the conversation that had taken place at breakfast. The “elders” now consisted of Lewis and his family, as well as Oliver, Molly and Nicholas; an ex lawyer who hadn’t been there when Alice had. Charlie couldn’t give the exact number of weapons that the camp had left and he didn’t think he could get them all into the armoury undetected, but he knew they’d had to sell over half of what they owned on the black market.
Since the incident with Katie’s blood five years ago, they’d lost their blood buyers. Giving blood was no longer a necessity, the residents had been told; they now had enough supplies. The real reason was that the buyers could no longer trust Lewis to provide them with clean blood, and they weren’t willing to pay to take the chance anymore. The poppies had still provided an income for a few years until the illnesses had broken out and the camp had struggled to maintain and farm the crop. With no one able to properly look after it, the quality had become poor, and again their buyers weren’t interested in poor quality stock. With the income from these avenues dwindling and the number of residents severely reduced, the elders had made the decision to sell some of the guns and a few of the vehicles the camp owned, to generate income in order to buy food and other supplies they needed to survive. All in all, the camp had suffered a number of blows over the years which had put them in an extremely bad position. Although they tried to be as self sufficient as possible, it had only worked when they had the people there to maintain it. The herb garden was a mess and the vegetable crops had been all but ruined, so they were having to start from scratch again, and pay for food in the mean time whilst they worked themselves back up.
This wasn’t good from the elders perspective but from the FBI’s perspective, it was very good news indeed.
“What’s your plan then, what happens now?” Charlie asked when Spencer had ran out of questions that he could answer.
“I need to communicate with my team, later on today. And then come up with a plan to separate Lewis and possibly Rebecca from the others. My team can then approach and take them into custody.”
Charlie nodded thoughtfully. “I could help with that. One of the perimeter gates, it’s been unstable for a while now. Some bad winds over the winter caused it to take quite a bashing and I’ve been telling Lewis that it’s going to come down any night. If I tell him it’s down, he, Nicholas and…. ” he hesitated slightly before continuing, “…. Eric, they’re the best builders that we have here now. They’ll rush to it if it actually collapses. Could your team make that happen if I tell you which gate it is? It’s far enough away from the main area of the compound and it’s a fairly big area with enough places for people to hide undetected.”
Spencer was nodding along with Charlie as he was speaking. That could work. In fact it could work extremely well. But he needed to communicate with the team.
“Can you show me where it is?” Spencer asked him.
“I can later if that’s okay. I have no reason to be seen over that end of the compound now but later I will have. You can come with me then. I do have a question though. What happens…. What happens afterwards? To people like myself and Alice. We’ve done things, but only because we’ve been forced to.”
Spencer understood the younger man’s question, it was one plenty of people in his position would have. He’d essentially assisted in the murder of innocent people and not done anything to stop it, but only because he felt that he had to.
“It’s going to take the FBI a while to wrap this whole case up due to the amount of people involved. Our main concern is Lewis…..”
“….it should be Rebecca as well. She’s a lot more manipulative and dangerous than she’d have you believe. Trust me, she’s had a major hand in some of the decisions made here over the last five years.”
“Alright well our main concern is Lewis and any of the other dangerous elders. The elders were the ones making the decisions to kill people and end their lives, and they were the ones doing it. I know that you and Alice were dragged into that, but the FBI help people who help them. You won’t go to jail Charlie, I can tell you that much.”
“Okay. It’s just going to be so strange not being here. Getting to lead a normal life.”
“I’ll help you Charlie, we’ll help each other,” Alice piped up from where she was stood.
“Alright, we have all the information we need for now. Are we done here because we need to go and choose somewhere else for us to sleep for tonight and possibly tomorrow. I’m hoping that by the night after, this will all be over and I can sleep in my own bed. It’s been a while.”
During the afternoon Spencer and Alice chose another hut to spend the next few days in, making a big show of cleaning it up and moving their few belongings into it. It was closer to the main hall that it was the main house, Alice purposely choosing somewhere as far away from Lewis as she could get.
Before dinner, Charlie came and collected Spencer as Alice was still cleaning, taking him to the gate he’d been talking about earlier and when the two returned, they ventured to the main hall for the evening meal.
The meal was strained somewhat. Alice acted as normal as she could, casually making conversation with Lewis and Rebecca, watching Abby eating out of the corner of her eyes and trying to push away the unexplainable feelings she felt towards the girl. There’d been a lot of tension, caused by Spencer oddly enough. Asking the wrong questions at the wrong times.
“So why the name ‘Wonderland’, Lewis?”
Alice had looked up at her partner sharply, wondering what the hell he was playing at. This wasn’t on the list of questions that they’d needed the answers to, this was a question that Spencer specifically wanted the answers to.
“I just thought it was fitting. A retreat in the middle of the woods, for people who were lost,” Lewis gave his answer as he continued to eat.
“And the use of the rabbit as the symbol?” his voice was conversational and curious, but Alice could see that Dr Reid was carefully watching Lewis’ reactions.
“Rabbits symbolise a lot of different things. Rebirth, growth, abundance, harmony, family. All of the things this camp is about. We will have all of these things when the world falls because we are the only ones who are prepared for it.”
Spencer swallowed the piece of food he was eating. “Alice told me that you couldn’t remember your name when you were first found. Why choose Lewis?”
“It seemed right.” The older man had now placed his knife and fork onto the table and was looking over at him.
“It seemed right? And then when you met Alice, you automatically knew that she was the person who was going to save you all?”
Lewis smiled at Ally and she cringed internally. Rebecca had now also placed her cutlery down and had a sneer on her face when she saw the look Lewis was giving Alice.
“Alice will be the one who saves us all. She’s special, Spencer. As her husband I imagine you know that more than any of us. In the future, she’ll be a major asset to this group. She’ll lead when I no longer can. I always knew she’d return.”
“Have you ever heard of an author called Lewis Carroll?”
Both Alice and Charlie now dropped their cutlery to the table in shock that he’d asked that question. Alice nudged the Agent’s leg hard with her own, not even seeing him register her knock.
“I don’t believe I have, no. My darling Marnie used to read to me when I was first found and placed in the hospital but I rarely read myself. It was my son and Alice who were the bookworms here. Why do you ask, Spencer?”
“No reason, no reason at all.”
Across town Park Ranger Julian Demarco was having dinner with his wife and her brother, along with his family.
Julian despised his brother in law Jonathan. He worked for Rylon County PD and always walked around like he had a stick up his ass, thinking he was better than him because Julian was only a Park Ranger.
Tonight’s family get together was proving to be a lot more interesting than most though. Jonathan was known amongst his family for being a motor mouth, if you wanted gossip spreading, he was the person to tell; he was worse than the women. This evening he was telling them all how the FBI were in town, investigating and working to bring down a cult that were allegedly living in the Blue Dove National Park.
The same cult who made it possible for Julian to take his family on so many vacations a year. He’d known about the group of people living there for years, since he’d started out as a Ranger.
“They’ve sent two people in undercover?” he asked his brother in law, knowing full well Jonathan should not be revealing this information to them.
“Yep,” he mumbled through a mouthfull of food. “One of the Agents and a girl who used to live there. Don’t you patrol that area?”
“Not that specific area of the park no.” Lies, but Julian had become accustomed to lying about the compound.
“It just seems mad that it’s been there for years and no one knew about it.”
Julian nodded in agreement, thinking that after dinner, he’d be making an excuse to go out for a drive.
These girls arrived with very little feathers, they are growing back nicely in this picture. To think they spent a year in tiny cages, never knowing what the outside world even was and their fate was to be killed. These girls are lucky, they got rescued, billions of their sisters did not.
My big Sherlock Series 5 prediction (it’s really not that big).
Okay, so this is a
thought I’ve been having for a while now, and I’m just putting it out
there because I’m at the point where I probably won’t use it in fic
anyway: the whole Sherlock/ Molly thing is only ever
going to be addressed by like one passing mention of Molly’s
ex-husband and a cut to Sherlock, either in that scene or as a
transition to another scene. And their relationship is going to be
super nuanced, like chilly and tired and antagonistic and with such
deep affection showing through that it breaks your heart.
Molly loves American television (ex: Glee). She recently began to binge Pretty Little Liars on Netflix and Sherlock scoffed at the first episode until the last scene when it was possible that Ali was alive. They have been competing to see who can solve each mystery first.