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Histories (17/17)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (alcoholism, drug-taking, explicit femslash and slash, homophobia, swearing, vomiting)

Sequel to Birthday Surprise and Launch Off in which Molly gets together with Dr Harriet Watson, historian of eighteenth-century women and recovering alcoholic

Huge thanks to my beta Blooms84 for tackling this monster and making extremely helpful suggestions

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Parts 5 & 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9 & 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16

Summary: the weekend''s over at last, but is the coming week going to be any better?

17) Monday: Molly

As Molly got dressed for work, she knew it was going to be a really bad week. But she'd get through it, wouldn't she? Did you think I'd crumble, did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no, not I, I will survive. Maybe she should change her ringtone to that, she thought, as her mobile went off. A text...from Sherlock.

Meet me at the mortuary, 8.30 am. Need to discuss things. SH

It was as if he knew what had happened, how shitty her life was. Come to think of it, he probably did know, because Harry would have told John about the breakup. So this was Sherlock coming to say: I am so sorry, and, by the way, can you let me borrow somebody's toes? Fake sympathy, so he could exploit her. Well, she wasn't going to put up with that anymore. She texted back rapidly:

Bugger off, Sherlock. Molly

That'll show him, she thought, and smiled for the first time in days.

***

But, of course, when she got to Barts, Sherlock was waiting by the mortuary entrance, glamorous and irritating as ever.

"If you want to perform experiments on any of the bodies here," she said rapidly, "I need a written request, with a supporting recommendation from a senior member of staff. But not Mike Stamford, because I know you can forge his signature."

"I'm not here about corpses," he said, smiling, "well, not yet. Harry here's still alive, and I'd prefer to keep her that way."

It was then that she registered a tiny figure sitting on the floor beside Sherlock's feet. Harry, looking like a kitten about to be put in a sack and drowned. Sitting there mutely, as if talking and standing up were both beyond her strength.

"The coffee shop would probably be best," Sherlock said. "There's bound to be something in the mortuary that'll have Harry keeling over again. She's already a bit wobbly since she found a pigeon in our bathroom this morning."

Poor Harry, Molly thought, if she was staying at 221B, she must be desperate.

"I wasn't expecting you to be...eviscerating it," Harry said, her chin in the air, trying to look tough, and just looking like a rather cross kitten. "N-not before breakfast."

"You'd have vomited even more if you'd had breakfast," Sherlock replied. "Coffee shop?"

***

"A few days ago," Sherlock announced, once Molly returned to the table with their coffees - and blueberry muffins, because Harry liked them, and she ought to eat something - "you found six bottles of whisky in Harry's flat. But Harry didn't put them there. A man called Pat 'Wormy' Wormald did."

"Who on earth is he?"

"A petty crook who was living in the flat above Harry. The man responsible for Harry's ceiling collapsing last year. And the man who promptly hid a cache of stolen bottles in Harry's flat."

He started to lay out the story. It sounded unreal, Molly thought. But then the whole situation was unreal: Sherlock having coffee with her, with Harry beside him, hunched over the muffin she was eating, not looking at Molly.

"This really happened?" she said at last. "Have you got proof?" Could she be having some particular vivid dream?

"It's circumstantial only," said Sherlock reluctantly. "I haven't been able to find Wormald or his associates. There must have been at least one other man with him that day. Slim enough to force his way through the hole in Harry's ceiling and tall enough so that Wormald could hand the bottles down to him."

"Could someone really do that?"

"Easy enough, and there's a Yale lock, so the man could just have let himself out of Harry's flat afterwards. Not a bad hiding place at short notice. I can only presume Wormald got kicked out of his own flat before he had a chance to retrieve the bottles the same way."

"So that's why they were left there?" Molly said. She knew it was a dodgy place to live, but she'd never imagined it was like that.

"They were unlucky. Harry was away for several weeks, and when she returned, she'd sobered up and there were builders around. Wormald must have decided to cut his losses."

"It doesn't sound possible," she said.

"Whereas you consider it perfectly possible that Harry goes out and buys six bottles of an expensive brand of whisky and hides them away for later consumption? Harry's got the impulse control of a poorly-trained seven-year old. If she'd wanted alcohol that badly, she'd have got drunk immediately on something cheaper. She simply doesn't have the foresight to plan a binge like that. Besides, how else do you explain the fingerprints, and the plaster dust?"

"You didn't say the p-plaster p-proved anything last n-n-night," Harry said, suddenly looking up.

"Yes I did, you just weren't listening," said Sherlock haughtily. "There was plaster dust on the bottles. Not surprising, it gets everywhere when the plasterers are in, but it was the wrong colour plaster. The original ceiling was cream, the replacement plaster is white. The bottles have fragments of cream plaster, but not white, ergo they were put in the cupboard after the ceiling had been damaged and before it had been replaced. All fits perfectly. Satisfied, Molly?"

"My ceiling wasn't cream," Harry stated.  "It's white, it's always been white."

"As ever, you see but you do not observe," Sherlock retorted. "Most people go around with their eyes closed, but you're the worst of the lot. Of course you don't remember what colour your ceiling was, you couldn't even remember that the whisky bottles had nothing to do with you."

"I know the colours of my flat-"

"Shut up, Harry!" Sherlock snapped.

"No, you shut up, Sherlock!" a voice said. Molly’s own voice. She glared at Sherlock. "Stop bullying Harry. It's not her fault she can't always remember things. Just because you're so clever, it doesn't give you the right to sneer at other people."

Sherlock and Harry had both gone quiet, and they were looking at her, as if they'd never seen her before.

"Sherlock," she said more calmly. "I'm very grateful to you for sorting this out, because I was horribly, horribly wrong about Harry. But can you please go away now, because I need to talk to her."

Harry's hand, warm and soft, reached out across the table to hers.

"M-Molly's right," Harry said, "and anyhow, Sherlock, if you go now, you'll have time to m-meet John's train at King's Cross."

"Why on earth should I need to do that?" Sherlock replied. "He's a grown man, he's entirely capable of making his own way back to Baker Street."

"I didn't say you n-needed to do that," Harry said, gazing innocently up at Sherlock. "But you want to, don't you? I know how m-m-much you've been m-missing him. So why don't you go and find him?"

"Because I've been endeavouring to prevent you doing anything stupid this weekend. But since Molly has apparently resumed her duties as your keeper, my work is done. Au revoir." He stalked off, his coat swirling behind him.

Harry watched him go, and then started giggling slightly hysterically.

"Are you OK?" Molly asked.

"I've just encouraged him to make this big romantic gesture," Harry said, still giggling, "and I forgot about the dead p-pigeon in the bath at 221B. John...John's not going to be p-pleased."

Suddenly Molly was giggling as well, because Harry might be strange, but at least she didn't dissect pigeons in her flat. And after that it didn't seem to matter that she didn't know what to say, because Harry, with her usual impulsiveness, was lunging forward, starting to kiss Molly, and her hands were now in Molly's tidy hair, messing it up. It seemed entirely pointless to do anything more than kiss Harry back, and Harry's tongue, blueberry sweet, was teasing at her lips...

"Molly," someone said, and then added after a while, "erm, excuse me ladies." Molly detached herself from Harry just long enough to look up. Mike Stamford was standing beside their table, looking a little red-faced. Though not as red as Molly promptly went.

"I, I..," Mike said, with the air of a man trying very hard not to think about two women kissing, "I've got a class at ten down in the mortuary, and I needed to set things up."

"What time is it?" Harry said abruptly.

"Ten past nine," Mike said. "It's just-"

"Oh shit. I'm supposed to be discussing filth at ten," Harry said. "I, I'll phone you after that, M-Molly, if that's OK?"

"That's fine," said Molly, "Don't forget your bag," she added, as Harry hurried off. She turned to Mike. "There's an exhibition at the Wellcome Institute at the moment about dirt," she said, "and Harry's involved with some of the events. That's the sort of filth she's interested in..." Her voice tailed away.

"I've known Harry for a very long time," Mike replied, smiling. "And yes, I know what she's like. Did you two have a good weekend?"

"A little bit difficult," Molly replied, as they headed off to the mortuary. "But I'm sure this week's going to be a good one."

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
kalypso_v
Oct. 12th, 2011 10:20 am (UTC)
All this, and a guest appearance from Mike!

Though I hope there's going to be a follow-up on Mrs Holmes's cunning plan. I'm also quite curious about the original colour of Harry's ceiling and the whereabouts of Pat Wormald (and slim accomplice).

Edited at 2011-10-12 10:23 am (UTC)
marysutherland
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:34 am (UTC)
At the moment I have no inspiration for more Grace Holmes, though it may strike me at some point. As for Harry's ceiling, it's always been white. Sherlock was lying to help out Harry, which worked, if not quite in the way he planned.

I don't know what happened to 'Wormy' Wormald. His namesake, one of the three original inspirations for Harry, is alas, no more.
kalypso_v
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:40 am (UTC)
I'm sorry that Pat is no more. But I was amused to find myself, over the weekend, sharing a staircase with Dr M. Wormald while staying in my old college. (I didn't meet him, and am uncertain whether his room was above mine.) In fact, four out of five dons on that staircase had surnames beginning with W, so I felt like a bit of an interloper.
(no subject) - shehasathree - Oct. 12th, 2011 10:54 am (UTC) - Expand
marysutherland
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:36 am (UTC)
Glad you've enjoyed it. And that's my idea of a romantic ending in the world of Sherlock: lovers reunited and a partially-dissected pigeon in the bath.
sally_maria
Oct. 12th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed reading this, thank you. :-)

Your Harry is such a great character and it's fascinating to see her and Sherlock interacting.

I'm also really curious to know what Sherlock and his mother will say to each other the next time they talk.
marysutherland
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:45 am (UTC)
I enjoy writing Harry a lot: she is shamelessly inspired by assorted historians I have known. But I'm not sure I can write a scene of Sherlock and his mother together. I think it might blow up the computer.

BTW, I mentioned when we met that I'd done a fic once about Sherlock trying and failing to write Merlin fanfic, didn't I? It's in Part 2 of
Captain of the Ship. But be warned, Sherlock doesn't enjoy the programme.
sally_maria
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the link, that was fun. :-)

I certainly wouldn't expect Sherlock to see Merlin the way I do - I wouldn't argue for a moment that it's great television, I just fell in love with the characters and their relationship.
fengirl88
Oct. 12th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
glad to see Molly and Harry getting their happy ending (at least for now...). I hope Sherlock does something nice to make up for the pigeon.
uwsannajane
Oct. 24th, 2011 03:36 am (UTC)
Have loved this whole story, and this is such a satisfying and warm ending - thank you so much!
rabidsamfan
Nov. 11th, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
Apparently I was so besotted with this fic that I couldn't rest until I looked to see what other people had commented. And now I've discovered that I could have been reading it all along! May I friend you, in the hopes of more Harry and Molly and company?
marysutherland
Nov. 12th, 2011 10:28 am (UTC)
Please feel free to friend me: I'm always delighted to have besotted readers around. I'm not planning any long Molly/Harry fics for a while, but there are a couple of short fluffy pieces on them I've done in draft that I'll put up at some point.
rabidsamfan
Nov. 12th, 2011 12:38 pm (UTC)
I suspect I shall be enamored of your writing whatever the topic. Thank you!
vash137
Nov. 22nd, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
This was brilliant in every way! I especially loved how you characterized well...everyone! I'd never have thought about a Molly/Harry pairing but it works so well in your fic. I also loved how you made Harry so sympathetic in regards to the entire situation with Clara. Really amazing writing!
marysutherland
Nov. 22nd, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
I originally wrote a one-off Harry/Molly fic (Birthday Surprise) because I felt sorry for Molly for keeping on falling for brilliant troubled men and wanted to give her a brilliant troubled woman to fall for. And somehow I've ended up writing more and more Harry fics, including this monster, because she's so fun to write.

I've seen lots of different versions of Harry and Clara's relationship (and given how little we know, I think all kinds of possibilities are valid). But my idea of Harry was inspired partly by the one alcoholic I have known slightly: a brilliant academic whose insecurity about his own scholarship lead to him drinking himself to death. It's that gap between knowing intellectually what is sensible to do and being able to carry it out that fascinates me, that someone who doesn't set out to hurt others can still up end doing so. Though I've deliberately given Harry a more hopeful future than that real-life historian.
angharadd
Jan. 13th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
This fic series has made my day. Seeing everybody's backstories was very interesting, and the vast array of relationships, both dysfunctional & dysfunctional yet somehow beneficial to all the parties involved, is captivating. Thank you for writing it!
marysutherland
Jan. 21st, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it - I went rather over the top on back stories, and should really have cut down a bit. But the Harry and Molly fics have always allowed me to play with the question of whether people can change - whether you invariably end up making the same mistakes over and over again in relationships or whether you can change just enough to make things work. I think even when sober Harry is hard to live with (as are most historians!), but she is learning to be careful with Molly, to try and look after her. And Molly does finally stand up to Sherlock, which was good to write.
eileenlufkin
Jan. 21st, 2012 05:53 am (UTC)
Histories
I enjoyed reading this.
marysutherland
Jan. 21st, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Histories
Glad you enjoyed it. I need to update my fic list so it's got all the Harry/Molly stories listed - there are one or two others lurking.
reasdream
Mar. 4th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
Yay!
(Deleted comment)
marysutherland
Jun. 14th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
I'm touched by your comment and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply (RL is getting in the way of fic again). I certainly don't see my femslash as fundamentally any different from the other fics I write. But because some people particularly enjoy reading about women's lives and some people just aren't interested in anything that doesn't focus on the main characters, I do normally label my fics as slash or femslash.

I met Professor Wormald a few times and he was a brilliant man, if deeply troubled. So Harry is an amalgam of him and a couple of other (living and non-alcoholic) historians I know. It was fun writing someone who shares some of Sherlock's brilliance, though also with gaping gaps in their knowledge and social skills.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )