Irene didn’t regret having to tell the world about her relationship with Molly, to be honest. There was something that was refreshing about not keeping another secret. She was rather annoyed by the thin line that Molly’s lips took when her friends asked incredibly pointed and personal questions about her sex life, and the ones who were outright crass about it and left Molly near tears were the ones Irene wanted to ruin as much as she possibly could. But Molly bore it all well, saying with pride to any and all that asked that yes, Irene Adler was her girlfriend and yes, it was a legitimate relationship and yes, she loved her and was loved in return.
The more she thought about it, the more she thought that there should be something special done for Molly. Not by her friends, though she was sure those that knew of their relationship or at least suspected before the public reveal might have some ideas. No, she wanted to do something special herself. Molly was standing proud against everything being said in the light of that trash article, and she deserved something as precious as she was.
The solution came when Irene was looking at various antique shops for something new to suit her study. One such shop had jewelry in a display case, and there was a pendant that caught her eye. It was a locket on one side and a watch on the other, and the locket cover had a white rose made with diamonds and emeralds on it, against a backdrop of sapphires. While the shop owner explained that the watch hadn’t worked in nearly sixty years she doubted Molly would mind because it was still incredibly beautiful.
She knew Molly wouldn’t be able to wear it at work since jewelry wasn’t allowed to be worn by doctors at NHS facilities, but it would be nice to see it around her neck at other times, like on her days off or when they went t events together. The very idea of going to events together had excited her, to be honest. She had a reputation and had social standing but had become something of a social hermit with her return to London. Now, with Molly by her side, she could enjoy the niceties of society regardless of the opinions of others, and whenever she saw that diamond rose she’d know Molly would stand tall by her side.
Irene decided to make it even bigger of a gift, placing the necklace in the middle of a beautiful jewelry box. She left the box on her vanity, where she had cleared off part of it for Molly to use some time ago, and place a bow and ribbon on it. This gift was only a small part of what she wanted to give to Molly. When she led Molly up to the bedroom, she had her hands over Molly’s eye and was pressed close behind her, being careful to keep her from stumbling. “Irene, what is all this for?” Molly asked.
“For being an absolute saint, among other things,” Irene said, stopping in front of the vanity. She removed her hands from Molly’s eyes and watched in the mirror as Molly’s gaze settled on the box.
“It’s beautiful,” Molly said, a wide smile on her face as she ran her fingers over the ornate carvings.
“There’s something more inside,” Irene said.
Molly opened the box and gasped. “Irene, you shouldn’t have!” she said, taking the necklace out and holding it in reverence. “This is...this is exquisite.”
“And it comes with an offer,” Irene said, taking the necklace out of her hands and sweeping her hair aside before putting the necklace around her neck. “I want to share this space on the vanity with you, and this bedroom, and my home. I...” Now that it was time to ask, she was faltering. Irene Adler, who was so full of confidence, couldn’t ask her girlfriend to move in with her when the time came.
“I would love to live with you, if that’s what you’re asking,” Molly asked, turning to look at Irene when she finished clasping the necklace around her neck. “I mean, I don’t want to give up all my things, but I would love to share a space with you.”
“We don’t have to stay here,” Irene said, embracing her from the side and resting her chin on her shoulder, relaxing. “This place has just been where I rest my head. It’s never been home. We could find a home together, consolidate our things, make it ours.”
Molly tilted her head so it was resting against Irene’s. “I actually quite like your home,” she said. “But we can always redecorate. I mean, that could be interesting.”
Irene laughed, feeling a warmth she hadn’t really felt before bubble up inside her. This must be what it felt like to be truly happy, she realized. To know there was a real future with someone she loved, to know there was a chance to have a real home. She pressed a kiss to Molly’s neck, just above the pendant’s chain, and then nodded against her neck. “Yes, I think it could,” she said.