Stranger: Once Molly got down to the ground, she leant against the ladder and sighed. "What an arsehole". She then shook her head and wiped her hands on her coat, before pinching the bridge of her nose as she felt tears prick in the corners. The pathologist then hugged herself and bit her lip, impatiently waiting for him to deal with Morris.
You: "Dr Hooper." A deep voice reverberated across the tunnel walls, causing Molly to jump in shock. "Who's there?" She asked irritably, "are you with Sherlock?" "Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective? I could only dream of having such illustrious associates," the voice replied, footsteps echoing down the tunnel, growing closer and closer towards her. "I believe leaving such a pretty young lady in the presence of a delinquent like myself would be a grave mistake on Mr Holmes' part," the footsteps' pace increased ominously, "but I suppose ignorance of human intention has always been a weakness of his." A tall shadow suddenly stretched across the heavily graffitied wall, the flickering light source changing the height of the caster every second. "Tell me," the voice asked, "do you feel frightened?"
Stranger: Molly gulped, but she was determined not to let whoever it was win, by coming across as frightened. "No. No I'm not" she said firmly, as she remembered how Sherlock just abandoned her, and crossed her arms over her chest. "Anyways, what's that got to do with you? Who are you?”
You: "They call me Tibbs," the sudden tone of the intimidating presence the voice had been building up until then was shattered as the speaker revealed himself to be a stunted, portly man in a pork-pie hat carrying an oil lamp in his pudgy fingers. "Mr Tibbs to you Dr Hooper," he spat towards the tracks, causing sparks of electricity to fly out and burn Molly on the shins.
Stranger: She flinched and then winced. Molly then dropped her arms, almost feeling tempted to laugh, but managed to stop herself. "I see. So what are we going to do down here whilst I wait for Sherlock?" she asked, almost spitting his name out.
You: "What would you like to do?" Mr Tibbs cocked a suggestive eyebrow at her, a wide sinister smile playing across his face. "We're alone, in a dark tunnel that stretches on for miles in either direction," he stopped dead, causing Molly to bump into the revoltingly damp back of his dusty conductor's jacket, "anything could happen."
Stranger: Molly then cleared her throat and cringed, looking down at her feet. She mentally cursed to herself, 'I can't believe this is happening' she thought as she kept her eyes on the ground.
You: The strange man waddled off, making little grunting noises of strain as he failed to continue monologuing, for the sheer effort to move his disproportioned body was far too overwhelming. "Sherlock tells me you're with the police," Mr Tibbs leaned on the side of the wall, breathing heavily as he started speaking again, "funny that. He never hangs around police folk for pleasantries. Come to think of it, he never hangs around anyone for pleasantries, even that shorter grey-haired bloke who got married. What's so special about you?"
Stranger: She shrugged and slowly followed him, biting her lip as she felt tearful. "Nothing I guess. I'm just someone that he can show off to, and…occasionally be dragged around on cases and stuff" she said quietly, biting her lip a little harder as a small tear escaped from the corner of her eye.
You: "Oh come now," Mr Tibbs frowned in concern and pulled out a greyed handkerchief from his jacket, "don't ruin that pretty little face of yours with tears of failed romance." He watched as Molly dried her eyes, who couldn't tell the state of cleanliness of the hanky due to the insufficient light from the oil lamp. "He means well... most of the time," he tucked the cloth back into his pocket, "depends who you are really. Sounds like you're just a replacement for that other married bloke. Good gig though isn't it? Wish I were you."
Stranger: Molly scoffed. "Failed romance? There is no romance whatsoever! He doesn't feel the same way, why the Hell would he?" she said as she handed him the handkerchief. She then sniffled and shook her head, curling her toes up in her shoes. "Plus I doubt that he's /ever/ going to feel the same, as I'm nowhere near good enough for him"
You: "Sweetheart, no one's ever going to be good enough for him," Mr Tibbs took the oil lamp up in his hand, "there's absolutely nobody like him, thus nobody to like him. Anyone who's tried what you have are almost always bound to fail." He paused, hesitating as he wondered if he had said too much. "I wouldn't expect the expected with him, is all I'm saying," he shrugged, setting down the tunnel again swinging the oil lamp merrily.
Stranger: She gulped, feeling tears freely fall down her face. Great, now there was definitely no point in trying. Molly then gritted her teeth and followed him, shaking. "H-how do we get out of here?"
You: "The thing about tunnels is that they tend to be one-way only," Mr Tibbs replied humorously, "we walk the long walk.”
Stranger: Molly cursed and stopped walking. "I'm going to head back to where I got in here from then" she told him as she swiftly turned around and started walking back.
You: "How are you going to get out with the blocked exit?" Mr Tibbs called after her.
Stranger: "I'll wait for him to come back" she called in return. Once she finally got the ladder, Molly sat down at the base of it and hugged her knees to her chest.
You: Sherlock dropped the shopping crate onto the tunnel entrance and sighed inwardly, hoping Tibbs wouldn't be as perverse with Molly as he usually was with any female in his vicinity. 'Molly could hold her own though,' Sherlock thought, tossing some change towards the homeless man who had been sat in the shadow of a dumpster as he'd trapped Molly in the tunnels, drawing a finger over his mouth to show he wanted his silence, to which the man nodded determinedly and continued his vacant stare at the opposing wall of the alleyway. The criminal he wanted was not quite as easy to find as he had hoped, but thanks to intelligence (and the term was used loosely to refer to the crack-addicted junkies who were nonetheless skilled in house-breaking relaying information to him) he'd managed to deduce a few key points in London at which Morris may reside for brief non-business interludes. One place he'd hoped would be the home of the felon was a luxurious penthouse in Hammersmith, the spot on the seventh floor being of adequate height to ensure a deadly impact if one were to be tossed from the balcony by accident. Sherlock smiled grimly, he'd have a rather tedious job ahead of him to make it look like an accident, especially if one of the more competent analysts like his brother were to be present at the crime scene. The building was quickly pointed out to him by various members of the homeless network, and his entrance granted by the unobservant nature of the teenage doormen. Sherlock silently made his way up the staircase, exiting at highest floor it would go to of the sixth and leaning against the wall, just out of sight of the security cameras. ‘Fire escape up, incapacitate Morris, call Lestrade for Scotland Yard’s least annoying detective and hopefully by then, Tibbs would have gotten Molly out of the tunnels,’ Sherlock ran through the mental list, taking a deep breath and swinging himself out of the window, hanging precariously onto the ledge as he shuffled towards the wall-mounted ladder leading to the penthouse’s balcony. “Mr Holmes!” A copious amount of liquid was splashed onto Sherlock’s head, causing his right hand to lose its grip and him to grunt with effort as his entire weight was suddenly forced upon his left arm. “So glad you could make it to my house warming party,” William Morris leaned casually over the railings, fingering an empty champagne glass, “I was warned that you were still alive, but I never thought you’d persist with revenge.” Sherlock gasped and clung on to the ledge with all the appendages he could afford to use, feeling his grip on the ledge weaken ever so slightly. “Ah ah ah,” the glass was dropped on Sherlock’s foot, shattering upon impact and throwing bits of glass to the pavement below. “Now you’ve dropped from great heights before, haven’t you Sherlock?” Morris approached the dangling detective and rested his hand on his, “let’s see how you survive this one.”
Several hours ago, while Molly was still in shock and being cared for by the paramedics that had called along with the bomb disposal team, Sherlock was imparting information about his latest playmate to Detective Inspector Lestrade. “His name is William Morris,” Sherlock said, “or at least he says it is. I’m planning to use his assumption of my death to prevent further harm to those on his hit list.” “And who would those be?” Lestrade had replied, “it would be a lot safer for them to be under the protection of the police.” Sherlock shook his head. “He’d just kill anyone in his way, his resources are quite unprecedented,” he replied, “I’m going to arrest him myself, then let the law decides his fate.” “And how are you going to do that without getting killed?” scoffed Lestrade.
“Well this is hardly fair, I haven’t got my giant inflatable beanbag to break my fall,” Sherlock said. Morris barely had time to react before the detective suddenly lunged upwards, pulling at his wrist and jerking his chin to meet the railing with the loud clang as bone met steel. Morris’ jaw dislocated, the man stumbled towards Sherlock with flailing fists, nearly falling onto the fire escape if his jacket had not snagged on the bars. “Oh the temptation to puncture your stomach,” Sherlock growled, pulling the man to his knees and slapping a pair of handcuffs onto him. The pending arrest team was dispatched and Morris was brought away for questioning, the hunt for his associates initiated by Scotland Yard. Sherlock immediately rushed to the meeting point with Tibbs, only to double back through the tunnels as he was informed of Molly’s caprice. “Molly?” Sherlock called into the tunnel as he neared the spot where he had last left Molly to Tibbs’ company.
Stranger: Molly heard him and stood up. She then sighed in relief, completely forgetting for a brief moment that he had left her behind for so long. The pathologist then broke out into a sprint and followed the sound of his voice. Once she found him, she walked over and gave him a big hug, squeezing him tight. Before she pulled away and frowned, realising that she was supposed to be angry with him. She then gave him a firm slap across his face. "The hug was for coming back...and the slap was for leaving me down here for ages"
You: Sherlock massaged the spot where Molly had slapped him. "Ages for you, an eternity to me," he rubbed his arm uneasily, "why didn't you go with Tibbs?"
Stranger: She shrugged. "I didn't want to". Molly then moved his hand off of his cheek and stood up on her tiptoes, kissing it. "Sorry"
You: "I'm not sure if I can cope with your newfound passive-aggressiveness," Sherlock automatically reached for the pocket square in his jacket and wiped off whatever residue she had left on his skin, "you'll be pleased to hear that William Morris is now in custody of the law. Surprisingly fashionable for an explosives expert, you wouldn't believe how well-furnished his penthouse apartment was."
Stranger: Molly giggled and smiled. She then nodded and twiddled with her fingers. "Also, I erm...I'm sorry for earlier. I didn't mean to be so horrible to you, I just felt so angry and frustrated. Can you forgive me for my awful behaviour?"
You: "If you promise not to raise your arms for the next twenty-three seconds," Sherlock glanced towards the vibrating tracks as Molly looked at him in confusion, suddenly feeling a strong gust of wind force her into the detective as a whistling train thundered past for what felt like a lot more than twenty-three seconds. "Sometimes I forget these set of tracks aren't the abandoned ones," Sherlock winced as Molly's face pressed into his recently-stitched up chest wound, "are you alright Molly? I hope that wasn't too alarming."
Stranger: She nodded. "I-I'm fine". Molly then stepped back a little and squeezed his arm. "Sorry, I heard you wince. Did I stand on your foot or something?" she asked as she tilted her head back to look up into his eyes.
You: "It's nothing," he disguised his pain by wrapping his arm around Molly's shoulder and using her as a light support, "I should think it would safe to go back to our homes now. Morris' associates don't have access to our information without him, and it's being destroyed along with his own after this many hours with confirmation of his continued presence in the penthouse." He caught Molly's bemused expression and chuckled, "I've been an enthusiast of the criminal mind for long enough to psychologically profile Morris in a blink of an eye. He seems like the type to have these automated security measures with his wealth and his preference for the more reliable artificial intelligence than entrusting fickle human nature."
Stranger: Molly smiled and giggled. She then briefly glanced at his lips, and bit down on her bottom one. Before she mentally shook the thought away and then moved away from him. "R-right, yeah...we should". She then gave him a small nod and started walking, being carefully not to touch the track.
You: The pair walked down the tunnel in silence, uninterrupted by further passing trains. It seemed that the tracks, though not abandoned, were less frequented than most. The sun had already set when they exited the dimly-lit environment of the Underground, so they hardly had to adjust their vision in the scattering of street lamps that shone from either side of the little valley that caved in towards the outdoor rails. "Which way?" asked Molly. "Well it depends where you want to go," Sherlock answered, looking around and estimating their location according to their surroundings.
Stranger: She blushed and looked around. Molly then turned to face him. "Are we going our separate ways? Or do you want to come to mine...or would you like me to come over to yours?" she questioned, feeling her cheeks go a faint shade of red.
You: "We never did have that lunch," Sherlock remarked. ”Just why do you like that Angelo's restaurant?"
Stranger: Molly smiled. "Erm...I just...do. He does nice food. I suppose we could go there" she replied.
You: "Then we shall. Main road for the taxis is this way," Sherlock strode up the left side of the valley, leaving the less vertically-gifted Molly to roll her eyes as he blatantly forgot the physical limitations of others once more.
Stranger: She bit her lip and jogged a little keep up with him. Once she caught up, Molly linked her arm with his and gave it a gently squeeze. "So, are we alright now?"
You: "Considering upon our reunion of sorts you first hugged me, then slapped me, then kissed the spot where you slapped me, I hardly think we're just alright," Sherlock looked down at their linked arms and shrugged. He didn't mind. "I do believe this is an abusive relationship Molly," he grinned, "I should report you."
Stranger: Molly giggled and grinned, briefly leaning her head on his shoulder. "Well I apologise profusely for abusing you, Sherlock. It wouldn't happen again. I just had a lot of bottled up anger at that point"
You: "How long did you wait for me exactly?" Sherlock asked, "I had timed the intended journey to coincide with Tibbs' slower gait, but he was barely out of the tunnel when I arrived. Did you talk to him at all? Other than his obligatory perverse introductions of course."
Stranger: She blushed. "I didn't really keep track of time. I talked to him a little bit...probably about stuff that I shouldn't have" Molly admitted, trailing off.
You: The pair arrived outside the restaurant, Molly feeling a tad conspicuous in her sullied dress and Sherlock being quite happy in his tunnel-soot stained suit. "Table for two please," Sherlock requested politely. They were seated almost immediately and Sherlock tilted his menu back to whisper, "I don't think they recognise me from this afternoon, do you? If they do I must say, they're an extremely forgiving service. I can see why you like them now."
Stranger: Molly chuckled and smirked. "I don't think they recognise you, no" she agreed. She then smiled sweetly at him, and picked up the other menu, starting to read through it. "So erm...there's something that I've been meaning to tell you. Even though this is kind of a...more...friendship...more serious friendship..."
You: "And what would that be?" Sherlock said absentmindedly, his eyes lazily scrolling through the menu.
Stranger: She frowned and then took his menu off him, and put it to one side with her own. "I'm still in love with you" Molly whispered.
You: "Love is quite a serious commitment," Sherlock stared at her with a penetrating gaze, "are you sure this isn't just more pent up emotion from the extended period of time you spent waiting for me in that tunnel?"
Stranger: Molly rolled her eyes. "No, I'm being serious" she said honestly. "I've been in love with you for several years now, just after the year that we met"
You: "It took you an entire year?" Sherlock blinked, "So much for love at first sight."
Stranger: She shrugged and blushed. "Well..I thought you thought that it would be weird if I had said that it was love at first sight. Because it was actually during that first year"
You: "Was it before or after I whipped that corpse to a second death in the afterlife?" Sherlock asked.
Stranger: Molly giggled and blushed, looking at him through her eyelashes. "After"
You: "And you still viewed me as relationship material? I'm touched at your confidence in me," he smiled.
Stranger: She nodded, smiling sweetly. "Yep. Even after you abused a dead body".
You: "Which is a lot better than abusing a live one," Sherlock raised an eyebrow at her cheekily.
Stranger: Molly blushed and bit her lip, shaking her head at him. "Watch it" she teased.
You: Sherlock started to reply, but shut his mouth as the waiter approached and swiftly took their order, bringing out their first course almost as quickly as they had asked for it. "Excellent service indeed," Sherlock praised through a mouthful of boiled potatoes, "even faster than the fast food chains. I'm still waiting for that cheeseburger I ordered in back in 1994."
Stranger: She giggled and shook her head. Molly then waited until the waiter had left, before she turned her attention back to Sherlock and leant her chin on her hand. "So, what were you saying before we were interrupted?"
You: "What? Oh yes," he wiped his mouth and turned his attention to her. "I was wondering how you were feeling about us keeping our relationship private, now that you've seen the risks of us not doing so," he looked seriously at her, "Morris is just one of many who will take advantage of any connections I have with anyone to abuse my influence in the police, even to control my brother and utilise his power over the British government. I cannot risk another death of a loved one on my hands." He took a sharp intake of breath as Molly frowned at his speech. "I... I meant that Molly. I lo... I love you," he stammered, hastily dropping his gaze towards his potatoes as his heart raced against his mind, processing the weight of the words he had just uttered.
Stranger: Molly almost choked on her food. She then put her cutlery down and cleared her throat. "Wait...did you..just say what I think you said?" the woman asked, before she shook her head. Before she grinned and giggled. "Do you really mean that Sherlock? Or are you just saying that because you feel like you have to?"
You: "I meant it," he looked back up at her, "I love you Molly Hooper." The words felt strange on his tongue. He hadn't said he loved anyone since his mother held both him and Mycroft by the ears and forced them to spit the phrase to each other in poorly disguised animosity and agony from being suspended from their earlobes. "I hope that will cure you of your reservations for me," Sherlock picked at his potatoes, drawing a smiley face in dots on a chip with his fork, "I know you've had doubts about my feelings for you."
Stranger: She grinned as she watched him. Molly then sat up a little taller, and took his hand in hers, squeezing it gently. "Thank you for telling me. I feel a bit lighter now, but in a good way of course". The woman then shuffled her chair closer to the table. "So, does this mean that we're going to try a relationship?"
You: "Perhaps a more low-key one than most," Sherlock smiled, "we've still got some people who might find our relationship tempting to tamper with."
Stranger: Molly nodded. "I don't really do big brash relationships anyways". She then smiled and kissed his cheek once more, before moving her hand away so that she could eat.
You: The newly-established couple ate the rest of their unusually late lunch in content silence, splitting the bill and calling for a taxi through the waiter. "You called for a single taxi," Sherlock noted, "are we going to the same destination?"
Stranger: She smiled. "Yep. I thought we'd go to mine for a change" Molly explained. "And I know you said that it’s not very safe at the moment, but I'm sure that we'll be okay. Unless you'd rather that we go to yours instead?"
You: "We've just had to dispatch a bomb disposal fleet from my flat a few hours ago," Sherlock waved for the taxi as it pulled up to the restaurant, "I think yours would be much safer."
Stranger: Molly nodded and told the cabbie her address. She then got into the cab and sat down, getting comfortable.
You: “Is your stuffed bear collection still going to be on display?” Sherlock teased lightly.
Stranger: She blushed scarlet. "No. I erm..my u-" Molly started, before kicking herself, as she remembered how bad she was at jokes. "No. I've put them in my spare room. Anyways, who says that your going in my room?"
You: "Your sofa looked awfully worn," Sherlock stared out of the window, not bothering to observe their journey as he usually did, "I'm afraid I might cause it more damage tussling atop it for any longer than a night."
Stranger: Molly nodded. "Well...you can sleep in my bed instead. And I'll sleep on the sofa. Would that be better?" she offered.
You: "Hardly gentlemanly to ask a lady to do such a thing," Sherlock turned to her in mock horror, "of course not. I shall take the sofa and improvise with your tablecloths. Just two would suffice for a slip cover of sturdy construction."
Stranger: She frowned. "Sherlock, I honestly don't mind. You're my friend and my guest...so I'd feel bad about making you sleep on the sofa. Especially as its not too big, so your legs will probably hang off the end"
You: "I've hung off most beds ever since I hit my growth spurt," he nodded towards his lanky knees that were jammed against the back of the passenger seat, "your sofa will not be the first of them I will find to be of inadequate length."
Stranger: Molly giggled and smiled, shaking her head. "Or we could always..." she started and then looked down at her feet, suddenly feeling very embarrassed about the idea that she was about to suggest.
You: Sherlock averted his gaze uncomfortably, knowing full well what Molly was suggesting. He certainly remembered the last time they spent the night together to have ended on less than desirable terms, so a second night may prove even more disastrous. It was too complicated, this relationship business. Unexplainable to the point of being on par with the combination of all his unsolved crimes. He gave an involuntary twitch; the stress was absolutely unbearable. "I wouldn't expect too much of an improvement from the last time we tried that Molly," Sherlock stole a glance towards the squirming pathologist, "the stuffed bears wouldn't like a second night deprived of their usual luxurious sleeping arrangements anyway."
Stranger: She cringed and hugged herself, feeling stupid as her face went scarlet. Molly then cleared her throat. "I was actually planning on getting rid of my stuffed bears. Like you say, their only value is sentimental" she commented. Before biting her lip. "I'm sorry for suggesting that we share my bed. Its a stupid idea..."
You: "It's only a stupid idea if stupid results come from it," he shrugged, watching as Molly's building came into view around the corner, "considering we're still together and I haven't drowned to death in the sewers, I'd say we're managing quite well."
Stranger: Molly hummed absent-mindedly. She then got out of the cab and paid the driver, feeling her palms become sweaty with nerves. The pathologist then sighed and walked up the stairs to her flat and opened the door. "I'm er...going to take a shower. Just...make yourself comfortable" she said with a small smile as she hung up her coat and took her shoes off. Once Molly had came out of the shower, she turned the water off and sighed happily. She felt much more relaxed now, and not at all shaky. After a moment, she dried her hair as well as her body, before going through into her room to get dressed. Then once she was ready, she made her way back into the lounge, giving Sherlock a small smile as she tied her hair up. Molly then flicked her eyes away and cleared her throat, absent-mindedly picking at a stray thread on the sleeve of her jumper. Then once she could no longer bear the silence between them, she turned her focus to Sherlock. "So erm...would you like some tea?" she offered. The detective looked up at her question and smiled faintly. "Some tea would be good, thank you Molly" he replied, giving her a small nod, but he seemed to be feeling just as uncomfortable as she was at that moment. Molly then nodded and went into the kitchen, taking two mugs out of the cupboard, and boiling the kettle. Then once the water was ready, she made their tea and carried it through, sitting down beside the detective and handing him his mug. Sherlock thanked her and blew on his drink, waiting until Molly had sat down beside him, before he took a small sip. As he sipped his drink, Molly watched him out of the corner of her eye, chewing on her lip for several moments as she thought about something. Then when another awkward silence came over them, she put her mug down on the coffee table, and took Sherlock's from him, ignoring his protests as she placed his mug next to hers. The pathologist then took a deep breath in, and took ahold of his shirt collar, before she pulled him close to her, kissing him.