It’s a rare sunny afternoon and Sherlock had picked up 8 year old Rosie from her school. John still was at work, but due to return any moment. Sherlock searches through the cupboards for the biscuits he knows that John keeps squirreled away from Sherlock and Rosie. Rosie is sitting at the table, not looking at Sherlock as she carefully colours in the sky on a drawing she’s been working on.
Three years ago, Mary had suddenly disappeared without a note saying where she had gone. No matter how hard Mycroft and Sherlock looked, there was no trace of her anywhere. But after a little while, it didn’t matter as much when Sherlock had impulsively declared his feelings for John and they had started a romantic relationship. Only after a year, Sherlock officially adopted Rosie as his own daughter, even though John and Sherlock haven’t officially tied the knot though if Sherlock’s deductions are correct, John’s hiding something and waiting for a special occasion.
Even though Sherlock always had a nagging sense of guilt, any time he looks over at John and Rosie, he can quiet that harsh voice in the back of his head and enjoy his little family.
“Rosamund?” Sherlock asks as he completes his search for the biscuits with no avail. “Did you take the last biscuit?”
She shakes her head and rubs her nose. “No, I didn’t. I think Daddy did. I also saw Chloe at school had the same kind of biscuit, I think they’re the best kind of biscuit and of course Daddy thinks so too.”
Sherlock raises his eyebrow. “Rosamund.”
Ducking her head, she says quietly, “Yes, Père?”
“You’re telling a lie,” he says, picking up his cup of tea and settling across the kitchen table from her.
“Sorry, Père,” Rosie says, lifting her gaze from the table. “I was hungry and you were taking a long time with Granny Hudson, so I ate the last biscuit.”
Sherlock chuckles and picks up a crayon to draw on a piece of paper for himself. Rosie’s brow furrows as he draws the cross section of a plant cell. “So... you’re not mad?” Rosie asks.
“No, rather... disappointed in your inability to tell a lie,” Sherlock muses, taking a sip of his tea.
“How did you know? That I was telling a lie?” Rosie asks, curious.
Sherlock raises his eyebrow, “Now, if I tell you, will you be going around and telling lies constantly?”
“I want to know! Please!”
His lips twitch slightly. “Only lies have details. Ordinary people don’t have perfect memory so the more details you have, the more obvious the lie. Altering memories makes for better lies. For instant, instead of saying you had spaghetti for supper, you say that you had last night’s dinner, Chinese takeout. Also, you have a tell.”
“Something you always do when you tell a lie. Everyone does.”
“Do you? Does Daddy?”
“Of course your father does. He’s appalling at lying,” Sherlock says, waving his hand in dismissal. “Next time he tells a lie, pay attention. You’ll be able to see it.”
“What’s your tell?” Rosie demands.
“That I’ll never tell,” Sherlock says into his cup as he takes another sip of tea.
“You rub your nose when you tell a lie,” he says lightly. “Quite obvious.”
She wrinkles her nose. “I’m like Pinocchio!” she says, wiggling in her seat. “Okay. Next time I lie, I’ll do it better.”
“I’m sure you will,” Sherlock praises, standing up and dropping a kiss on her head as he passes.
“Hello, my loves,” John sings as he comes into the kitchen.
“Daddy!” Rosie leaps up from the table and hugs him tightly around the waist.
“Good evening, John,” Sherlock says, pressing a kiss against John’s temple as he sweeps forward to Rosie and lifts her up. “Just watch your daddy, I’ll make him tell a lie,” he whispers in her ear. “John,” he says with false innocence. “Did you mess with my sock index?”
“No. Must have been Mrs. Hudson.” John crosses his arms across his chest. “Why?”
Rosie’s eyes light up and turns to whisper in Sherlock’s ear, “He crosses his arms when he lies!”
“What were you two talking about?” John asks.
“Nothing!” Rosie says immediately, rubbing her nose. After a pause, she sighs and looks at Sherlock. “I did it again!”
Sherlock smiles and nods. “Just work on it, Rosamund,” he says. “You will improve.”
Life continues for 221B Baker Street for the next couple of years. Sherlock solves crimes. John blogs about it. Rosie makes life better. Mrs. Hudson insists that she isn’t their house keeper. Lestrade comes with crime and beer. Molly has grown into her own. Mycroft keeps an eye on life by surveillance cameras and minions. In other words, life is perfect.
It’s just after Rosie’s eleventh birthday when their world is tossed upside down.
“Happy anniversary, my dear,” John says as he comes home in the evening.
Sherlock smiles and preens happily as John gives him a kiss. “Happy anniversary, John.”
Rosie comes running down the stairs from her bedroom when she hears John’s voice. “Daddy!”
“Hello, my love!” John says as she gives him a hug. “How was your day?”
“Fun!” Rosie explains about her day as Sherlock starts dinner. A little while later, they are sitting at the table for supper, Rosie chattering about random things.
Suddenly there are footsteps on the stair. Sherlock frowns and stands up. “That’s not Mrs. Hudson or a client.”
John stands up too, but they can’t say anything else as a figure appears at the top of the stairs. The small family freezes as they recognize their visitor.
“Mummy?” Rosie stands up and runs around the table.
It is indeed Mary Watson who’s standing there, wearing a blue jacket and a baseball cap. Rosie runs to give her a hug while John and Sherlock stare in shock.
“Hello, love,” Mary says, kissing the top of her head. “You’ve grown so much. You’re going to be taller than me in no time.”
While Mary and Rosie talk, John’s hand shoots out and grips Sherlock’s wrist as if trying to make sure that at least Sherlock is there. After Rosie fills her with a brief summary of the past six years, Mary finally turns to John and Sherlock.
“Hello there, dear.”
Mary moves forward as if to give John a hug, but John takes half a step back that stops Mary in her tracks. She gives him a small smile and looks towards Sherlock. “Hello Sherlock.”
“Mary,” Sherlock says slowly. “What are you doing here?”
“I’ve come home. I know it’s been years, but I’m back now. Thank you for taking care of my family, Sherlock, but I can take care of them now.”
John slams his hand on the table which stops Mary.
“Love?” she asks, but John shakes his head, breathing hard.
“You... you... No. You can’t disappear for six years and waltz back in to expect that I’ll take you back.”
She raises her eyebrow. “Isn’t that what you did with Sherlock?”
Sherlock stiffens, but John growls, “That’s different. He died. You just up and left!”
Sherlock and John freeze and immediately try to rectify their mistake.
“No! It was merely a lie.”
“Sort of, it’s complicated.”
Rosie frowns. “Why?”
His heart is breaking in his chest as Sherlock kneels down in front of Rosie. His voice is soft when he explains, “I loved your daddy so much that I died for him. I would do everything I could possibly do to protect you and your daddy.”
“You lied before, how do I know I’m not lying now?”
Sherlock takes her hands. “Look at John, Rosamund. He’s not lying.”
Still, Rosie is frowning and looks up at John. “Do you love Père?”
“Of course I do sweetheart,” John says.
“Do you love Mummy?”
John’s eyes didn’t leave Sherlock who isn’t looking at him. “I did. Which is why Sherlock and I have you, but I don’t love her any more.”
Mary frowns. “John, dear, you’re upset. Why don’t you come home with me so you can calm down.”
“I am home!” John yells, jerking his arm away from Mary as she tries to rest her hand on his bicep. “Sherlock is my home. Rosie is my home. Not you. Not anymore.”
John whips around to face Sherlock. “What?”
Sherlock avoids his gaze. “She’s right. You forgave me when I came back. You need to give her the same chance.’
His face crumples and he reaches out to Sherlock who takes a step away. “Sherlock... we’ve discussed this. Please, I love you. Only you.”
Still Sherlock shakes his head. “As long as Mary is alive, she is your wife—“
“This lady was declared dead two years ago!” John yells. “She is no longer my wife!”
“Please John,” Sherlock says quietly. “She makes you happy.”
With that, he turns and flees from the flat without even his phone or coat.
The air is charged as the Watsons are left alone. John staring after Sherlock, Mary glaring at John, Rosie quietly shaking.
Suddenly, John whips around and points a shaking finger. “You... you... you!” he shouts. “The worst thing that I have ever done is let you into my life!”
He grabs his jacket and phone. “I’m going to go find my partner,” he snarls. “When I come back, you better be gone or else you’re going to be more than declared dead in absentia.”
Molly is very tired as she walks into her office, a coffee in her hand as she tries to wake herself up. Just as she was about to turn in fro an early night, there was a quiet knock on the door. It was Sherlock on the front step, his eyes blood shot as he quietly says, “Mary returned.”
For a hour after, Sherlock and Molly are sitting on her couch as Sherlock tells Molly what happened. He’s shaking as he voiced doubts that John would leave him for Mary. Even though Molly tried her best to reassure Sherlock that John loves him now and wouldn’t leave him for Mary, he still shook his head.
“I won’t lose John again. I have died and killed for him. I can do it again,” Sherlock said, his voice dark and before she could say anything, he spun around and left again. Molly tried to stay up for him but fell asleep somewhere before one in the morning. At around three in the morning, she was startled out of her sleep by the slam of a door announcing Sherlock’s return. Stumbling out of bed, she saw Sherlock disappear into the guest room without even a glance towards her. She sighed and tried to get back to sleep but failed miserably.
Hence the coffee.
Molly looks up in surprise as Dimmock comes into the morgue. “Hello, Detective Inspector, what brings you to the morgue today?”
“There was a murder and the body was sent here, I was hoping that you could put a rush on the autopsy.”
“Of course, I just got in, was the body brought in last night?”
“Yes, early this morning, found at Regent’s Park.”
Molly shuffles through the papers that have appeared since she left the last evening. “Ummm... Jane Doe, brought in at 3 a.m.?” Walking over to the correct table, she draws back the sheet and recoils with a gasp.
“Miss. Hooper? What’s wrong?”
“Thi... sh... she... I know her,” Molly gasps.
“You do?” Dimmock hurries to take out his notebook to take notes. “I’m sorry for you loss. What’s the name of your friend?”
“Mary,” Molly gasps out. “Mary Watson.”
Sally is stunned at the news.
“Mary Watson? She’s alive?”
“Dead in the mortuary, but estimated time of death is only 2a.m. this morning, so yeah, I guess she was alive.”
Molly Hooper is there, sitting in a chair and clutching her third coffee since she had arrived at the station with Dimmock less than a hour ago. Her hands are shaking so badly that Sally isn’t sure if it’s because of the shock or the caffeine.
“Are you sure it’s Mary?” Sally really can’t help but asking.
“I’m sure,” she says. “The only thing different is this.”
She pulls out a picture and shows a tattoo that is on Mary’s ankle. Sally leans over and frowns. It’s a strange symbol that Sally has never seen before.
“What is it?”
“I’m not sure. It’s quite recent though,” Molly says. “Within the last year or two.”
“Dr. Hooper, How did you know that Mary was alive?” Dimmock asks.
“Sherlock showed up to my place around 9 in the evening and told me that Mary had shown up at Baker Street.”
“How did he react to that?”
Molly blinks confused. “I mean... he was upset because he thought that John would go back to Mary. He even said—“
She cuts herself off but Dimmock jumps at the unfinished sentence. “What did Holmes say?”
Sally feels sorry for her as Molly cowers under Dimmock’s harsh gaze. “He said... he said something about he would get John back no matter what,” she mumbles, unable to look anywhere except for the bottom of her coffee.
“He returned to your place? What time?”
“Around three in the morning.”
Dimmock nods as if he was expecting that answer. “Watson was found in Regent’s Park, not far from Baker Street. It was apparent from the crime scene that she had been moved there. Maybe Watson and Holmes had an altercation at 221B Baker Street and Holmes killed Watson. It wouldn’t take much for Holmes to take the body to Regent’s Park to be dumped there.”
Molly shakes her head vigorously. “That isn’t possible,” she says firmly. “It can’t. It can’t!”
“You said yourself that Holmes left your flat and didn’t come back for hours,” Dimmock presses. “You heard him return at three in the morning after the murder.”
“And that he threatened to kill Mary before he left your house?”
Molly’s eyes are filling and her voice is barely loud enough to be heard as she whispers, “Yes.”
“No, please, Sherlock isn’t like that,” Molly begs, but Dimmock is set turning to Sally to issue orders.
“Bring him in on suspicion of murder,” he says, “Get ready in 10. “
Molly turns to Sally, her eyes full of tears. “Please. Sally, do something! You know that Sherlock would not kill anybody, let alone Mary!”
She nods slowly, but there isn’t anything she could do. “I’m sorry,” she says. “I’m a police officer, there’s nothing I can do.”
She can’t look at the utter heartbreak on Molly’s face as she turns to follow Dimmock out of the office.
A short car ride later, they pull up on Baker Street on the opposite side as 221. The door opens and they spot Sherlock coming out of the flat with a duffle bag. Sherlock looks up as Dimmock and Sally getting out of their car. When Sally catches his eye, Sherlock turns heel and runs away down an alley.
“After him, Donovan!” Dimmock orders as he turns down a different alley, “I’ll cut him off.”
Sally obeys and charges after Sherlock, but she wonders how they will catch up with Sherlock who knows the streets of London with amazing accuracy. She shakes her head to clear it and hurries determinedly on after Sherlock.
As she turns the corner, she skids to a stop as she sees the scene in front of her.
Greg is standing at the far end, a gun visible in his hand, but down by the side. Sherlock is halfway down the alley and was just about to run back the way he came when Sally came to the scene blocking his exit and Dimmock catches up, panting slightly.
“Sherlock, come quietly with us and it’ll be alright.”
Sherlock spins around in a circle, looking for a way out, but finds nothing. He looks towards Greg. “Please...”
“Sherlock, don’t make me do this...” Greg says, his voice full of pain.
“I’ll leave and never come back,” Sherlock says. “Let me go.”
The pain is drifting off of Lestrade in waves as he lifts the gun to level with Sherlock. “On your knees.” His voice is quiet, but louder than any gunshot.
Sherlock doesn’t move for a very long time and when he finally does, he sinks down to his knees, his hands raised up above his head.
Hours later, Sally is watching the interrogation through the one way window. Sherlock is sitting up straight in the chair, his hands folded in front of him on the table and not saying a word as Lestrade lays out the case in front of him. They had found a bloodied shirt and a gun in the duffle bag that Sherlock had on him at the time of the arrest. The fragile case they had before they had left the police station first has grown up into a nearly solid case if only Sherlock would say something. Anything. For hours, this goes on without even a peep from Sherlock.
“This murder is so sloppy,” Lestrade says, gesturing to the files on the table. “Come on, Sherlock. Both of us know that if you murdered someone, no one would be able to find the body or the murder weapon. This is clearly someone else. Just tell me you didn’t do this. Please... Sherlock...”
Finally at long last, Sherlock speaks. “I applaud you for your excellent police work, take your case to court, Lestrade, but I will not say anything.”
“Sherlock,” Greg says with a sigh. “You didn’t do this murder! Save your own skin!”
Shaking his head, Sherlock says, “I will say nothing further.”
Greg sighs and stands up. As many times as Sally had said that Sherlock Holmes would one day murder someone, but she can’t believe the words are leaving Greg’s mouth. “Sherlock Holmes, you are under arrest for the murder of Mary Watson.”
Sherlock doesn’t move as Lestrade motions to an officer to bring Sherlock to the holding cell. Sherlock doesn’t protest or say anything as he’s cuffed and lead to a solitary holding cell. Lestrade watches sadly as Sherlock doesn’t react as he is released from the handcuffs, standing stock still, facing the back of the cell.
As Greg closes the door, he nearly thinks that he hears Sherlock say, “Thank you, Greg,” and he hopes it isn’t actually a farewell.