Her lunch dates and shopping trips with Mary were the highlights of her week, she’d realized. Not that her dates with Sherlock weren’t quite exhilarating, now that he had finally gotten around to admitting he fancied her and they’d decided to try their hand at having a “normal” relationship, even if it had turned out to be anything but. But she realized that it had been oh so long since she’d had a best mate, someone she could swap stories with and share secrets with and do all the things one was supposed to do with their best mate, and Mary was the absolute best one to have with her slightly off-kilter life. She didn’t mind that things in Molly’s life weren’t quite normal like the other women Molly had tried to have friendships with and had scared off after a short time. It was absolutely wonderful.
Today they’d managed to snag a table at Chotto Matte and Mary had even convinced John it would be in his best interest if he had a daddy and daughter day with Charlotte. Not that Molly minded when Mary brought her goddaughter with her; she adored the little girl so very much and it was always an utter delight to see her. But lunch dates without her were even better because that meant that the two of them could indulge in a bit of alcohol with their meal, and that always made the conversation a bit more interesting. Sometimes Molly wondered if the two of them would be locked up if people paid too much attention to their conversations, or at the very least if they’d be asked to leave the establishments they were in for making other patrons...uncomfortable.
In Molly’s opinion, those were the best conversations to have.
This restaurant was quite expensive, but Mary had waved away the cost and said it was her treat. They were celebrating the fact that Charlotte had gotten into the talented toddlers program that she had wanted her to get into and John had gotten asked to head up the surgery and it had been nearly a month since Sherlock had gotten her husband into any boneheaded adventures on a case so that deserved celebration. Molly decided to try the Nikei sharing menu I and Mary decided to try the Nikei sharing menu II so that they got a wide selection of things to try.
The cocktails list had made Molly smile. Normally she and Mary had wine with their meals but with selections like Off The Shelf, The Morning After, Prescription Only, Anti-Depressants, and Alternative Therapies for the non-alcoholic drinks, she and Mary couldn’t resist being a bit bolder today. Mary got a Flor de Manzana, which had mango vodka, sake, apple, lime, passion fruit and elderflower while Molly got a Yokatta Martini, which had El Dorado 3-year-old rum, plum sake, pineapple, raspberries and ginger bitters.
“Your husband just may murder you for spending £130 on one meal, not counting the VAT,” Molly said as their drinks arrived. She picked hers up and took a sip and closed her eyes, humming in delight. It was honestly one of the best drinks she’d ever had.
Mary shook her head. “Oh, if he tries I’ll just remind him that he and Sherlock ended up spending nearly £215 to get a witness to crack by buying them Godiva chocolate and then neither of them thought to bring me any,” she said with a smirk. “But we can always be nice and save a bit of this for our boys so they don’t pout too much.”
“I’m not sure Sherlock would like this,” she said. “I mean, he can be adventurous, but not this adventurous,” she replied.
“And just how adventurous can he be?” Mary asked, waggling her eyebrows slightly.
Mary shook her head, blushing slightly. “We haven’t gone that far yet,” she said.
“Trust me, I know. He’s hounding John for relationship advice and John’s telling me about it.”
“Oh, God,” Molly said, groaning and taking another sip of her drink, this time slightly bigger.
“It’s actually rather sweet,” Mary said, reaching over for Molly’s arm. “He really cares about you. He doesn’t want to screw things up between you. And John’s giving him good advice, I swear. I know because I’m telling him things to say.”
Molly grinned at that. “Well, that’s good to know.” She watched Mary have some of her drink. “How are things between you and John?”
“Brilliant, actually. It’s been amazing since we had that vacation last month. It was just what we needed, getting away from London. Thank you again for watching Charlotte for us, by the way.”
“Oh, I loved doing that. She’s just adorable. I’m more than happy to do it anytime you want.” She gave her friend a bit of a sly look. “You never did say how often the two of you actually left the hotel room.”
Mary smirked. “Not often,” she admitted. “I think that might have been why that was just what we needed. A week where it was just the two of us without having to worry about anyone else, either a young child or a grown man who occasionally acts like a young child.”
“Oh, that’s Sherlock, all right,” Molly said with a chuckle. “I care for him deeply, but it’s true.”
“I do think now that John’s going to head up the surgery he’ll have less time for Sherlock and cases, though,” Mary said as their food began to arrive. She eyed the two different version of the tostaditas and ended up taking some of the tuna sashimi to start with. “I don’t know how he’ll take that.”
Molly took some of the beef and smoked aji panka tostaditas. “Well, I’ve been assisting him more so I can always continue around my duties at the morgue.”
“That’s good,” Mary said with a nod. “And it isn’t as though John won’t be able to help at all. I can handle some of the things John would do. I mean, I’m a nurse, but I’m quite competent in doing various office things. There’s a lot I could handle as an office manager if he’d promote me.”
“Oh, but wouldn’t you miss being a nurse?” she asked.
“I could do both,” she said. “But there are definitely things I wouldn’t miss. I had a gentleman patient with dementia yesterday who said I had nice breasts and I was so flustered that all I could think of to say was ‘No I don't!’”
Molly chuckled a bit. “Oh dear. That reminds me of the time I got covered in some sort of strange smelling bodily fluid and someone walked into the morgue and asked if I was wearing some new perfume and I just had to go ‘No, it’s gastrointestinal juices.’”
“They actually smell sweet?” Mary asked.
“For some reason this person’s did,” Molly said, taking a sip of her drink. “They had a gastronomical illness.”
“Oh, illnesses with funny smells,” Mary said, making a face. “Or even worse, the smell of necrotic tissue. If I never have to encounter that again it will be too soon.”
“Oh yes,” Molly said in agreement. “Though nothing is worse than when you get a body that has been found in a bathtub. That’s the worst, when it’s bloated and has been in bath water. I mean, drowning victims are bad enough but people who died in bathtubs and then were left there for a few days?” She shuddered. “The fewer of those I get, the better.”
“I can imagine.” Mary picked up her drink. “I imagine you’ve had some grisly gunshot victims, though. I mean, I’ve dealt with a few gunshot wounds in my time. Patched quite a few up and not always in the easiest of circumstances. But I imagine there are some autopsies where gunshot wounds make things harder?”
“Headshots, definitely,” Molly said with a nod. “When they’ve blown their faces off, that’s always hard. Though those are usually self-inflicted. Not always, but most of the time.” She paused. “Maulings are rare, but that’s another one that can make identifications hard, depending on where the damage is. Facial maulings are the worst, but hands are bad as well. Hands and face, though, can make identification virtually impossible.”
“Easy way to fake your death, though,” Mary pointed out.
“It’s been done to me once,” she said in a slightly sullen tone.
“Really?” Mary said, her tone surprised.
“Oh yes. An associate of Sherlock’s did it. During the Christmas party he and John threw years back.”
Mary’s eyes widened. “You mean Irene Adler?”
Molly slumped in her seat a little more. “Yes.”
“Is she still alive?” Mary asked.
“Haven’t the foggiest. Sherlock might know.” She picked up her drink and took a large drink.
Mary looked at Molly’s drink and then Molly. “You know what I hate? Pap smears. If I never have to perform another pap smear again I will only be too grateful. I don’t think there’s a woman alive who wants one and personally, I don’t want to see another woman’s vagina ever again.”
Molly gave her a small smile, grateful she’d changed the subject. “I stopped really looking at the human body in any real way other than clinically a long time ago,” she said. “But I know that I’ve had to collect samples like you would from a pap smear and I’ve dealt with placentas and that’s always strange.”
“Oh, I can imagine the placentas would be hard to deal with,” Mary said sympathetically.
“That’s one of the hardest parts. That and child autopsies.” Molly had more of her drink. “Though every once in a while there’s interesting things. I’ll find unusual things in the body. Usually it's drugs that led to the death hidden inside the body, but it’s still a surprise.”
“At least you only have drugs. I wasn’t there to see it, but one of my co-workers apparently had to deal with someone who claimed to have sat on a pineapple,” Mary said.
Molly’s eyes went wide. “And it was stuck up their…?”
Mary nodded. “Oh yeah.”
“That must have been bloody painful,” Molly said, wincing.
“Oh, but there are all sorts of things we’ve had to have removed from every orifice you can think of. The pineapple was just the most memorable.” Mary had some more of her drink and then realized she was finished. “If you finish off your drink I think we can get another round and then maybe I can tell you about some of the funnier things I’ve seen at the surgery, and you can tell me some more of the funny stories at the morgue.”
“As neither of us are going to lose our appetite over these stories, I think that sounds like an excellent plan,” Molly said with a nod before finishing her drink. “And I think I can start with the story of the man who fell into such a deep sleep that three people were convinced he was dead before he ended up naked in my morgue.”
“Oh, do tell,” Mary said as she signaled for a waiter and then leaned forward. Molly grinned and then launched into the story, glad that she had come out to have lunch with her friend today. She had the feeling today was going to be a very good day.