“Jim, Jeff,” Lestrade nodded with a large, approving smile. “That was very good! I can tell that you both have been practicing since last session. I think that you should perform that for the showcase as one of your scenes.” He turned to Molly. “My final lady! Now, do you want a monologue or a dialogue?”
“I want to work alone, if that’s okay,” she said bravely.
“Of course,” Lestrade nodded. “Let me just find something for you...”
“I have something memorized,” she said.
“You came prepared,” Lestrade grinned. “Okay, let’s see you, then.”
Molly stood, and smoothed the wrinkles from her skirt. She smiled at Sherlock, who did not even react. The smile, John noticed, faltered slightly, but soon returned. She moved upstage, and took a deep breath.
“Don't tell me to forget it, and don't you dare tell me to ‘let it go.’ God knows, I'd like to. I wish I could, but I can't! I can't forget that we had something, and you're running away. You're running away! Don't you see? You're running from what I've searched for all my life! Why, because you're scared?” Molly walked down stage. “Well, I'm scared too, but you and I - we have something worth fighting for. We could make it work, I'm not saying it would be easy, but I care about you.”
Molly was getting uncomfortably close to Sherlock. Lestrade cleared his throat. “Uh, Molly?”
“And I know deep down, under this bravado,” she signaled to Sherlock. “You care about me. And that's what it's all about, Sherlock, don't you get it?”
“Dear God,” Anderson’s mouth hung open at the name substitution.
“Did she?” Sally’s eyes were wide.
“She did,” Jeff agreed, leaning his chin on his fist.
“It's the human experience. You can pretend all you want, but you're only lying to yourself,” Molly knelt down in front of Sherlock, taking his face in her hand. “You're denying the simple and wonderful fact that you are emotional, and vulnerable, and alive!”
“And it just got better,” Jeff said dryly.
Sherlock blinked at her, and pulled away from Molly’s grasp. He scooted across the stage, stood, and moved to sit elsewhere. John’s mouth was ajar as he watched the scene play out before him. Lestrade, much like Sherlock, could only manage to blink. In a mixture of embarrassment, anger, and sadness, Molly burst into tears.
“Uh, maybe we should call it a day?” John said, glancing down at his phone. “There’s still about a half an hour left, but I think maybe we could just stay longer next time.”
“That sounds great to me,” Anderson scrambled to his feet. His hands were in midair. “Sal, what do I do with my hands?”
“Help me up,” she held out her hands for him. He grabbed them, pulling her to her feet. “Can we go, Mr. Lestrade?”
“Yes,” Lestrade nodded, eyes darting between Sherlock and Molly. “Except you two. You two have to stay.”
John followed the rest of the class out of the house, leaving a stoic Sherlock and a crying Molly with Lestrade. The rest of the class took seats around the tables that sat outside of the lobby cafe, and sat silently, waiting for their rides to arrive. Jeff, who drove himself, sent them a casual wave before nearly running out of the theatre.
“So, what was all of that about?” John asked, when he could bear the silence no longer.
“Molly has been in love with Sherlock since the day she met him,” Sally disclosed, angling her body towards John.
“No idea why,” Anderson cut in, moving closer to them. “The git has been ignoring her since the day they met. She’s not his type. She should move onto someone new.”
“Jeff likes her,” Moriarty said, running a thin blade underneath his nails to clean them. John shivered, both because he found it disgusting and because he could not figure out where he had gotten the blade. “That’s why he skipped out of here so quickly. We all know Jeff’s family doesn’t own a car. They take public transport everywhere.”
John sighed, shaking his head. A car honked, and Moriarty stood. He nodded to them before exiting the theatre. John was thrilled to see him go, and might have waved too enthusiastically. When he looked back, Anderson and Sally were collecting their things.
“We’re out of here,” Anderson said in explanation. “Let us know how Molly is? Hope Queerlock didn’t hurt her too bad.”
“Bye,” John mumbled.
Somehow, John found himself alone in the lobby. He had texted his mother to pick him up early, but she had yet to respond. He threw a glance to the house door. It was still closed, but John was curious. He carefully made his way to the door, as to not hit a creaking board, and peered through the window. Molly was still crying, and Sherlock looked bored. Lestrade was talking to them both, and kept handing Molly tissues.
John returned to his seat in the cafe, and checked his phone. It was half five; the actual end of class. He walked out to the sidewalk, but his mother had yet to arrive. John leaned up against the wall, letting his cane lean against the door. He closed his eyes, and let his head loll back against the wall.
The sound of his cane hitting the ground as the door opened was what stirred John from his snooze. Sherlock, phone pressed to ear, had stormed out of the theatre. He stopped, picked up the cane, and leaned it back against the door, as if John was not standing there.
“Well, that is just spectacular, brother dear,” Sherlock’s voice was like venom. “You promised to pick me up. I do not care that you have dinner plans. I am standing outside of Adler Theatre, after just experiencing one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, and you think that telling me that you have a ‘friend,’ is the way to make me accept your thoughtlessness?”
Sherlock was pacing around the sidewalk, stopping occasionally to a stare at a passersby or to run his fingers over the smooth glass of the empty ticketing window. He had set his violin case down, but his eyes kept darting over to it, checking to see that nobody had swiped it.
“Hm, yes, yes, well, I suppose I will be the one to undergo the wrath of Mummy Dearest,” Sherlock was calm again. “Yes, Mycroft, of course I am not angry with you. I hate you, but I am not angry with you. You will call. You will tell her to retrieve me.”
John watched him pocket the phone, and pick the violin case back up. Sherlock looked at the ground in disgust before glancing at his clothes. He wore a smart emerald green button down and a dark grey blazer and trousers. John chuckled, realizing that he was not sitting because of his expensive clothes.
“Yes, I am sure that it is all very amusing for you,” Sherlock mumbled, his voice calm and calculating. “I know that the others were quite upset, thinking that I have done something to Molly. I merely exist. It is no fault of mine that she is using me as a replacement for her father.”
John swallowed. “I’m not amused? She’s doing what?”
“Come, John,” Sherlock sighed, as if it was obvious. “Her father died last year of cancer, and she was left with all of these strong emotions. Instead of coping correctly, she has pushed her feelings towards me. It is most tiring.”
“Oh,” John’s brow furrowed. “I guess that could make sense.”
“It does make sense,” Sherlock corrected. “I am never wrong. It is one of the reasons why you forever see Anderson angry with me. He is always wrong.”
“Huh,” John ran his hands through his blond hair, unsure how to respond. “I guess that would upset him.”
“It does upset him,” Sherlock corrected again, finally turning to look at John. “How are you going to deal with the fight you had with your sister and your mum?”
“Oh, God,” John groaned, hands falling to cover his face. “I don’t know. She always takes her side. It is really unbelievable. Harry’s the one with all the notices, and I’m the one that needs help?”
“Harry?” Sherlock’s brows lower.
“My sister,” John said. “Name’s Harriet, but she goes by Harry. The whole ride over she’s tormenting me about these sessions, I respond, and I get in trouble!” John sighed loudly. He opened his mouth to keep complaining, but stopped. “How’d you know I fought with my mum and sister, mate?”
“You were obviously agitated when you came into the house today,” Sherlock began. “You sat at the back of the house, watching me, and your shoulders tense, a groove had formed between your brows, and your breathing was higher than usual. I knew that it was definitely a fight with a sibling. I know all about those. I knew it had to be a sister because you have too many feminine mannerisms to have an older brother. I knew it was your mother after we did the scene. You played the part of the mother, the concerned parent, and you were just too believable. Very impressive, by the way. And you could only be pulling from experience. You do not have a child, so I deduced that you were the child, and your mother was the one fighting with your father to take you out. Therefore, the parent you were fighting with this morning was your mother. She always takes Harry’s side, probably because you resemble your father, and it hurts her.”
“That was bloody brilliant!” John’s eyes were wide. “You’re like a genius or something. Wow!”
“Brilliant?” Sherlock looked taken back.
“Yeah, what else would you say?” John took up his cane, and closed the distance between them.
“Weird, intrusive, stalkerish,” Sherlock said, counting on his fingers. “In fact, most people just say ‘Piss off!’ and walk away.”
John laughed. “Well, I think it was brilliant. You knew all that... from what? Body language?”
“Body language, inflection, facial expressions,” Sherlock explained. “I observe.”
John opened his mouth to speak again, but a car horn stopped him. He looked up to see his mother waving at him. “Well, there’s my ride. Uh, I heard you on the phone with your brother... Do you need a ride?”
“No,” Sherlock responded.
“All right, yeah,” John smiled a bit. “See you next week.
John paused, thinking Sherlock would answer, but, instead, the dark haired boy knelt beside his violin case. He opened it, took out the violin and bow, and stuck the magnificent instrument under his chin. John heard the car horn again, and started to the car. He opened the passenger door, and started to get in it. As his mother drove away, he could see Sherlock playing, and could faintly hear Fix You by Coldplay.