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This Bud of Love

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Prompt: "Free For All" - 150 words

It wasn’t long before Molly realized there was something very strange going on… something very wrong. Her ‘bad day’ was cast into the shade as she tried first to reach John, then Mycroft, to no avail. Third time’s the charm, she thought as Lestrand picked up, but the information he gave -- 221B blown up and some covert operation in progress -- almost left her speechless.


She told Greg about the phone call.

After that it was sirens, screeching tires, pounding feet, kind eyes, sharp orders; hidden cameras, at least, and who-knew-what at most. She was hustled away as they began to take apart her house, just like that phone call had taken apart her heart -- and she could not help but wonder about Sherlock’s heart, the desperation in his voice, and if he would forgive her the disastrous moment of stubborn pique that had forced those words from his lips.


Prompt: "Touch" - 300 words

The ‘safe house’ that Mycroft’s P.A. arranged was not at all what Molly had expected, so elegant that, when she was finally left alone, she could only hug herself and stare about her at the luxurious appointments, beautiful antiques, and the fire in the grate, her eyes beginning to sting nonsensically. However, when a tear escaped to slip wetly down her cheek, she came out of her stupor, exclaimed, “Stupid!”, swiped it away, gathered her little courage, and began to look about her.

She’d been told to get some sleep, that she’d be kept abreast of developments, but alone, frightened, and worried was not a formula designed to produce such an outcome. She did what she could. She found a soft sleep tee, a fluffy dressing gown, and a bathroom both incredibly posh and fully stocked with the finest toiletries. She would have enjoyed herself very much indeed in the time that followed, if she had not been so thoroughly heartsick.

There was a television but, though she clicked through the channels for hours, it told her nothing to the point.

It was nearly 2AM and she was finally sinking into a troubled slumber when there was a knock at the door. She silently scrambled up, out, over the thick Aubusson carpet, and peered through the peephole.

Sherlock. Looking as ravaged as she felt.

She unchained and unbolted the door, threw it open, and they gaped at each other for a long moment: fraught, electric; paralyzing.  

Then Sherlock breathed, “Molly… Molly, I--”

But she threw herself at him, almost yelping, “I’m sorry!”

Wonder of wonders, he caught her and hugged her close, solid and safe under the rough wool of that coat. “You’re sorry!” he said, almost laughing. “Oh my God. Molly… I love you!

She began to sob.


Prompt: "Scent" - 700 words

The delicious scent of fresh coffee woke them.

Molly’s eyes blinked open to find that she was still nose to nose with Sherlock, both of them sharing the same pillow, and his arms were loose about her. He was awake too, his brow stormy as he listened intently.

“Anthea, I think, but you stay here while I go see.”

He slipped silently out of bed and moved out, toward the tiny kitchen. However, Molly refused to be left out and followed, after a moment, straightening her sleep tee and running her fingers swiftly through her disheveled hair. There had been a great deal of extremely satisfactory cuddling in the wee hours of the night, and she could not help but smile to remember it, even with an unknown stranger having invaded their nest.

But it was indeed Anthea, Mycroft’s insouciant P.A.

“What the devil are you doing, sneaking in here?” Sherlock demanded.

Anthea was unperturbed by his threatening tone. “Can I help it if the pair of you were dead asleep? I’ve brought you breakfast and a message from your brother.” She glanced over at Sherlock and saw that Molly was there, too, just behind and to the side. Anthea smiled. “Good morning, Dr. Hooper. I hope you rested well?”

Sherlock turned to scold, but Molly ignored him and slipped past, into the kitchen. “Yes, thank you. After Sherlock’s arrival, at least. Is his brother all right? And John?”

“John is home with his daughter and seems none the worse for his experience -- physically, at least. And Mycroft came into the office this morning as usual.” She shook her head in disapproval.

“What’s his message?” asked Sherlock. “And, more importantly, what have you brought us for breakfast? I haven’t eaten since before the flat was blown up.”

“I thought you hadn’t. Catering straight from Christopher’s in Covent Garden, probably more than you can eat -- they seem to have sent a little of everything. Your coffee’s black with two sugars, correct? And would you like coffee, too, Dr. Hooper, or do you prefer tea?”

“Coffee, please!” Molly said, sitting down at the little café table in the corner of the kitchen. “Is there cream?”

“Certainly,” said Anthea. “Sit down, Sherlock, and I’ll serve you both. Then I have to get back to the office. Mycroft is exhausted, but is full of plans for the next few days.”

“My parents,” Sherlock said, morosely, sitting down beside Molly and taking her hand under the table. He gave it a squeeze, and they exchanged a look that made Molly light up inside. And outside, too, apparently. Sherlock lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it.

Then Anthea was there with a tray and a knowing smile for them both. Molly felt herself blushing a little, but Anthea said only, “A car’s being sent for your parents. Mycroft believes it would be best if they were told as soon as possible.” As she laid out their breakfast, she added, “He says there is no need for you to attend the initial meeting, Sherlock. That the responsibility is his and his alone.”

Sherlock rolled his eyes. “He would, of course. Idiot.”

“You’ll come back with me then?” Anthea asked, hopefully, with an apologetic glance at Molly.

Molly’s heart gave a twinge, but she forced a smile when Sherlock said, “Yes, I’ll have to. Mycroft’s made mistakes, but much of it was initiated by our uncle. But knowing Mycroft, he’ll try to take the full blame, which will ultimately only confuse matters.

Anthea sighed. “That’s what I think, too.” She set the tray aside. “I’ll leave you to enjoy breakfast and wait for you in the car. Dr. Hooper, your home has been cleared and our people have done their best to put things back in order. We can drop you there before going on to the office.”

“Yes. Alright,” said Molly, the twinge increasing. She watched Anthea leave, heard the door close behind her, then turned slowly to Sherlock…

Who looked as unsure as she felt.

He said, “I… my flat’s not habitable at the moment…” His voice trailed off.

“Would you… like to stay at mine?”

His uncertainty vanished, and he smiled again.


Prompt: "Sound" - 100 Words

It was hours before the sound of the front door opening brought Molly rushing  into the foyer. Then she hesitated. Old habits.

Sherlock closed the door behind him, looked as though he wanted to rush to her, but hesitated, too. Then held out his hand.

She came to him and took the hand (big and warm, yet elegant, with the calluses of an accomplished violinist) and after a brief, still moment, he pulled her into his arms. An imperative finger was presently set beneath her chin, raising it. She took the hint, and stood on tiptoe, melting into his kiss.


Prompt: "Taste" - 200 words

He was not entirely untutored, what with He-Made-Me-Wear-The-Hat Janine, John’s hackable computer password and eclectic taste in porn, and Molly’s own predilection for the steamy romance novels that Sherlock had occasionally picked up as light reading, usually in the wake of particularly intense criminal cases. Yet there was a wonder and innocence in the way they proceeded that afternoon and well into the evening.

Never had Molly wanted to give herself so completely. Never had a man been so attuned to her needs, and ready to give of himself.

She lay there, boneless, the echo of her cries fading as he moved up to cover her, one hand urging her thighs to part once more, the other tangling in her hair. His face blurred before her as she murmured his name, and then she arched, gasping as hypersensitive flesh was gently grazed. He kissed her, open mouthed, messy, and delicious with the taste of them both, and, amazingly, desire rekindled deep within her.

He moved his lips, trailing kisses in a path to her ear: “Now, my Molly?”

She could only reply, “Yes, please,” and, reaching down to guide him, turned her head and caught his lips in another kiss.


Prompt: "Sight" - 300 words

“I never thought I’d live to see it,” John said with a grin as Molly and Sherlock approached the table in their favorite “cake place”, Marceline's. Rosie was eighteen months old that day. It had to be celebrated.

The toddler gave a happy cry, and Molly swept her up, letting Sherlock take the brunt of John’s observation for the moment. A glance showed that he bore some heightened color, but there was a happy glow about him, a kind of pride that could not be hidden. Certainly John had observed it.

“A lot has changed,” Sherlock said, simply. “It’s good to see you. No ill effects?”

“None to speak of,” John said, shrugging slightly. “More thankful than ever to be alive, to tell you the truth. How’s Mycroft doing? What’s he think of… er… all this? You and Molly?”

Sherlock gave Molly a crooked grin. “He’s the one who goaded me to it. After you left that night, he showed up and told me how… how concerned Molly had been. What else could I do but go to her, and see that she was well.”

John chuckled, but shook his head, too. He looked over and caught Molly’s eye. “Was it worth the wait? For him to grow some bollocks, I mean.”

Molly frowned at the use of such language around her innocent little goddaughter, but she laughed, too. “Sherlock’s bollocks have always been just fine, John. And of course it was worth the wait.”

She would have said more, but at this point, Rosie pushed a little away and said to her father and godfather, quite clearly, “Bollocks!”

Molly gave a cry of dismay and laughter, Sherlock groaned, and John said, “Oh, my God. Okay, maybe we’d do better to just shut up for now and eat some cake, yeah?”


Prompt: "Feelings" - 250 words

Mycroft stood watching his little brother and sister playing their violins. Sherlock was good, but Eurus was brilliant, incandescent, as was her nature. Such brilliance, yet her powers had been used to do so much ill.

He glanced at his mother and father, who sat entranced. So many years wasted, his mother had said, tears in her eyes.

But he had done the best he could. There was nothing else he could have done but acquiesce to Uncle Rudy’s arrangements.

And protect his vulnerable little brother. Or at least that’s how it had seemed. Sherlock had been brilliant, too, but where Euros was cold, their brother had burned and burned. The boy might have gone up in flames -- had been close to it a number of times in fact -- if Mycroft had not taken control of the situation.

And yet… speaking of wasted years.

But it was all water under the bridge now. Sherlock and Molly might be older, but the happiness they were currently experiencing and would, no doubt, continue to experience had its seeds in Musgrave, and had come to fruition at Sherrinford.

Nothing was ever wasted, it seemed.

Mycroft roused himself from his musings to find the eyes of his little sister upon him. The laughter in them was quite visible through the protective glass.

We are all fools in love.

He wondered vaguely where he’d heard that. A quote from some novel?.

He’d have to look it up.

Or ask his soon-to-be sister-in-law. She would know.