“You weren’t supposed to laugh! I’m so embarrassed!”
Molly’s laughter tapered down into a soft chuckle. She had never really expected to like Irene this much, to be quite honest. It had all been rather confusing, the time after Sherlock, John and Mycroft had been kidnapped to what John had described as a “not-so-fun funhouse of horrors.” The only thing she had known, at least for a few days afterward, was that the panicked phone call from Sherlock had been part of that whole mess but he did well and truly mean what he had said, he just needed to sort things out.
She hadn’t realized it had meant sorting out the fact he loved two different women in two very different ways.
She had been curious when he didn’t come by to explain things further so she went to him and eventually over tea and ginger nuts got the whole story. He was in...something...with Irene Adler. Not quite a relationship, not exactly, though text messages were sent and, when possible, face-to-face visits arranged. She had felt a bit embarrassed asking the question of if they were intimate, and it didn’t help her jealousy to hear that yes, they were, but she’d wanted to know. But he said what he felt for her was different. He and Irene would never be in a normal relationship, by society’s standards. He could with her, though.
But he did, in his way, love Irene. Just as much as he loved her. And there was no way he could settle this problem in his head without hurting one of them and he refused to do that. It wasn’t the type of conversation she had walked away from with a lighter heart, but it did help to know where she stood. And it also helped to know he didn’t want to hurt her.
And then she got the text message. We should talk, it read, and there was a phone number and the initials IA. It came from an unlisted number, and she was surprised, but dialed the number anyway. And thus was her first conversation with the other woman who had Sherlock’s heart.
But certainly not her last.
It really didn’t take any time for her to see why he liked her so much as a person, and it wasn’t that much later that they were able to talk about her together, and that seemed to take a weight off his shoulders. The secret he had been keeping, that she was well and truly dead, had been a burden, and with her and John knowing the truth it made it easier. And she liked sharing the conversations she had with Irene with him; it made her feel a part of something...cozy. Nice.
She wasn’t too surprised the first time the three of them were on a conference call together and it just seemed perfect. Nothing was awkward, not even the obvious teasing of past encounters between Irene and Sherlock. And it was during that conversation the idea was broached that the three of them enter into a relationship together, in their own unique way. And Molly found herself agreeing without hesitation, something that might have shocked the old her who had talked to Sherlock in his brother’s kitchen months ago but now knew the love of two very dear people instead of just one.
And all of that led up to today, a rare visit between them in a cottage in Sussex. Irene had found it and bought it under a fake name so that when they wanted to spend time together they had a place that was safe. There were bees in the backyard and books all around and it was nice and cozy and Molly had hopes one day, perhaps, the three of them could live there together, maybe with children and grandchildren if they were lucky, the house full of love and contentment between them all.
The women were at a table in the back, watching Sherlock enjoying the hives. He had practically ignored them the entire time they’d been there for the bees, but that was alright with them. That was, after all, the man they loved. But it had given them the chance to get a bit closer, and after all, even bees had to sleep at some point, and so did consulting detectives-slash-beekeepers, all nestled in a bed big enough for three.
“I didn’t think you could get embarrassed, Irene,” Molly said, picking up her tea. This had to have been her nine-hundredth cup today but really, Irene had exquisite taste in tea and with fresh honey from the hives, it couldn’t be beat. “But you look rather cute when you blush.”
“You look rather cute all the time, so I suppose that’s fair,” Irene said, leaning over to kiss Molly gently before she took a sip of her tea. It was only a gentle peck, but it was still something that made her all warm inside. “We should probably wrangle us a beekeeper for supper soon.”
“Mmm, let him play around the hives a little longer,” Molly said, tilting her head. “We have to leave in a few days. Go back to London.”
“Says who, exactly?” Irene said, picking up her tea, and Molly’s grin got a bit bigger. Perhaps her dreams weren’t as far off as she had imagined, she thought to herself.