Characters: Molly, Alec, Sherlock, John,
Warnings/Triggers: innuendo and much reference to sexytimes, references to dead monks and skeletons (no descriptions), fragrantly phonetic, but hopefully accurate Italian
Word Count 5,851
Summary: Molly and Alec go on their honeymoon.
Author's notes: Set in the Abby 'verse. Probably concurrent to "Domestic Science".
Well, my word fairy decided she could handle some fluff, and so this is what we have. Fluff. So much fluff. I seem to have given Molly the life of a heroine in a romantic comedy. I regret nothing!
I have done my best to portray Sicily and Palermo accurately, but I suspect I may have shrunk it down a little for faster walking times.
“Pour fa-vori pwoh darmy alcoon indici-ah-zony?” Alec asked.
At least, that's how it sounded to Molly, who didn't speak Italian. Well, nothing beyond 'hello' and 'thank you for coming to our wedding'. Alec spoke Italian like a native, or at least close enough that the natives understood him. Molly's meagre attempts had so far only resulted in them switching to English. Poor English, which was why he was getting the directions, translating them for her, and then having her try to navigate.
The woman he had approached smiled and murmured something positive-sounding, Alec gave her his most dazzling smile in response and turned so he could show her where they were trying to get to on his phone. Both his and Molly's SatNav apps had had nervous breakdowns upon arriving in Sicily, and trying to find their hotel in Palermo had resulted in it sending them on a wild goose chase.
“Non tro-vee-amo eel nostrol bair-go,” Alec said. “Hotel Ametista?”
“Si, si,” the woman said, with a nod. She made the same motion every other person they had asked had done, holding her arm out straight and making a gesture like shaking someone's hand. “Va-da sempray doritto.” Much to Molly's relief, she added several more sentences, instead of leaving it at that. 'Go straight ahead' wasn't terribly useful.
“Straight ahead, until you get to the chemist,” Alec translated, quickly. “Turn right, go up the hill, follow the road until it breaks into two, take the left path, it goes...erm...” he made a very Italian gesture of not being able to find the words. “Basically, it'll take us there.”
“Brilliant!” Molly said. “Molto grazie.”
“You're welcome,” the woman said, politely.
Alec bit his lip to keep from laughing and thanked the woman, who went on her way. “You're doing great,” he assured Molly.
“Stuff it,” she said, with a laugh. “And don't even think about protesting that you don't 'actually' speak Italian ever again.”
“I don't!” he said. “Not proper Italian. I don't know the grammar. I don't read or write it. If I could, I could read the signs or the map...”
“No, you couldn't,” she said.
“No, I couldn't,” he admitted. “But I could translate them and you could figure them out. I just speak sort of...kitchen Italian. Just what I've picked up from living with the Venturis. It's survival Italian.”
“All right, Bear Grylls, let's see if we can find our hotel,” Molly said. “I should have let us get a cab, I'm sorry.”
“No worries, we should have a bit of adventure on our honeymoon, and we've had a nice walking tour of Palermo,” Alec said. “Gigi said not to take cabs, anyway. They overcharge like mad.”
She took his hand and they did some more walking, and lo and behold, a hotel suddenly appeared.
“Oh. Wow,” Molly said.
“Yes, wow is the right word,” Alec agreed.
It was beautiful. Even more beautiful than the photos on the website made it look. It sort of half-climbed a cliff and was old and elegant and lovely, with beautiful gardens and palm trees around it. Molly was pleased when the blast of AC hit her face as they entered the lobby. Sicily was hot in August. Especially when you were lost.
“Hello, welcome,” the concierge said, brightly.
“Grazie,” Alec said. “We have reservations for Thornton? Alexander Thornton.”
The concierge, whose name tag read 'Angelo' typed it into the computer.
“Yes, here we are,” he said. “Luxury suite, yes?”
“Erm, no,” Alec said. “I'm sorry, I thought I booked a regular suite...”
“We have you down for the luxury one,” Angelo said. “I have a little note here, it says you have been upgraded, at no cost.”
Alec and Molly exchanged looks to see if the other had something to do with it, but neither had. They shrugged at each other.
“Does it say why?” Molly asked.
“Yes, it say a present for newlyweds—congratulations—someone called and say to upgrade and they would pay the difference,” Angelo said. “It's a surprise.” He spread his hands out. “Surprise!”
“Can someone do that?” Molly said.
“Yes,” Angelo said, simply. “I can downgrade you again, if you prefer, of course, but it has all been paid for, I promise.” He put his hand over his heart.
“Well, we won't look a gift horse in the mouth,” Alec said.
They finished checking in and were directed on how to get to their rooms. Molly took charge of the little map provided and guided Alec to the lifts.
“Who do you suppose did it?” she asked, as they rode up to the top floor.
“My mum, maybe?” Alec said. “It's the sort of thing she does. She's always sent big presents and stuff for my birthday and Christmas—especially if she couldn't get there.”
“She came to our wedding, though,” Molly said. “She flew in specially and everything. And she got us a present. I didn't have time to open them, but I saw her name.”
Alec shrugged. “My mum doesn't make a lot of sense, most of the time,” he said.
Molly had only met Alec's mum twice, and she did agree with that a bit. She didn't make sense as Alec's mum, really. She was very flighty, and breezy, and she obviously loved Alec but was not the right type of person to be a mum. Molly thought it was good that she knew that about herself and had withdrawn from the job because it had meant that Alec's dad could meet Gigi and she made so much more sense as his mum, even though she wasn't. Alec seemed to have resolved his issues about it all a long time before Molly had met him, and the whole family operated very well together, but Molly thought that it must still be a bit of a sting for him sometimes.
Alec swiped their key card and opened the door to their room. Rooms, as it turned out.
“Holy crap,” Molly said.
The rooms were amazing. They looked out over the town and the water for miles, with a huge balcony. There were chaise lounges with a sort of fabric gazebo over them . There was a living room, with a big telly and a DVD player, and a little kitchenette area with all the amenities.
“There's a piano in the living room,” Molly said, pointing.
“I think our bedroom is in a tower...” Alec replied, pointing to a separate room up a few stairs.
Molly ran past him to look. It was. The room was a polygonal shape, and there was another little balcony there, with the tiniest, most adorable little table and chairs. There were rose petals all over the bed.
“Your mum must love you a lot,” she said.
“She does,” Alec said, with a warm smile. She knew he was pleased by it all.
“I may never leave this room,” Molly added.
Alec threw down his bag and grabbed Molly around the waist, scooping her up into his arms with a wicked grin. “That sounds like an excellent plan.”
There were rose petals all over the floor when Molly woke up in the morning. Alec had his face pressed down between her shoulder blades and his curls tickled her neck. She lay contented for some time, looking at the view out of the balcony. The sun was rising and it was gorgeous. She hadn't been sure about Sicily. Gianna had suggested it, but Alec had travelled so often to Italy, Molly had thought he might like to choose somewhere he hadn't been before. He'd never been to Sicily, though, and Molly was glad they had chosen it.
Her mother was less glad. She was worried about the volcanoes. Molly assured her that they would leave at any sign of an eruption.
Molly drifted back to sleep again, and when she awoke, she was alone in bed. Alec was sat in an armchair, dressed and looking at his tablet. He was wearing his reading glasses, and Molly found him adorable in his reading glasses.
“Good morning,” he said. He was always cheerful in the morning, which could, on occasion, be annoying. “I've got the Wi-Fi working; I asked Angelo for the password. I connected your tablet up as well.”
“'Kay,” Molly said, blinking at him. She put her head back on her pillow. “What time is it?”
“It is...” he looked down at his watch. “10:17.”
Molly sat straight up. “What?! Oh no! You should have woken me up.”
“Why? We're on holiday, you can sleep as late as you like,” Alec said.
“But, I've missed breakfast and—”
“I brought you breakfast, it's in the living room,” Alec said. “I went down and ate, and brought you something—I didn't get lost once, by the way—and I thought we could maybe get some groceries today. Since we have a kitchen, I can make us some meals so we don't have to go out all the time. I brought some of the brochures from the lobby up, too, so you can take a look and decide if there's anything you want to see.”
Molly collapsed against the headboard. “Why are you so perfect?”
“Molly, I'm not perfect,” Alec scolded.
“You are,” she insisted.
“You are the only person who has ever called me that,” Alec said.
“Well then, I'm the only person who sees you properly,” Molly replied, with a grin.
He grinned back. “Do you want your breakfast in bed?”
“Ooh, yes please!” Molly said.
He left the room and returned with a plate of rolls, croissants ('cornetti', Alec corrected) and brioche. There were little pots of jam and butter, and a very, very strong cup of coffee with lots of milk and sugar. It was heavenly. He also brought her tablet, and he climbed into bed to look at his while she ate and looked at the online newspapers.
“Anything exciting happen while we were asleep?” Molly asked him.
Alec flashed his tablet at her to show her his e-mails. “I got my class list for this year,” he said. “22 students.”
“How many Emilys?” Molly asked.
He went down the list, counting. “Five, new record,” he said. “Presuming that A-E-M-I-L-E-E is pronounced 'Emily'.”
“Oh, dear,” Molly said.
“If we have children, I don't care what we name them, but we are spelling their names properly,” Alec said.
“Yes, sir,” Molly said.
“No, that's a lie, I do care what we name them,” Alec said, scanning further down the list. “Because we are not naming our child J'adore.”
“Well, I think that's very unreasonable,” Molly said, with a giggle. “You haven't even met her yet, she might be lovely.”
“I'm sure she is,” Alec said. “But let's keep her name unique.” He peered over her shoulder. “How many e-mails from Sherlock so far?”
“I don't know,” Molly said. “I made a special folder for his e-mail address, and they'll all go there and I won't look at them until I get home.”
“That's my girl,” Alec said, kissing her forehead. “But we both know you will.”
“Yes, but I have intentions, and that's really the important thing,” Molly said.
She caught herself up on the news in London, and then started to peruse the brochures Alec had brought up.
“Ooh, catacombs!” she said.
“How did I know you'd zero in on that one?” Alec muttered.
“All the dead capuchin monks are there,” Molly said. “That sounds interesting.”
“No, it sounds like the beginning of a horror film,” Alec said. “Zombie monks.”
Molly put that brochure aside to convince him later and looked over the rest. There were a lot of old palaces and churches, and food tours, and a few museums and art galleries. Alec was a bit of a history buff, especially about the Ancient World. Sicily had a lot of Greco-Roman ruins on it.
“I don't think we should make plans, I think we should just start walking every day and see where we end up,” Molly said. “And if we miss anything we really want to do, we can aim for it on the last day before we leave.”
“Sounds good to me,” Alec said. “As long as you're leading the way.”
After breakfast, Molly showered and dressed, and they headed out to see what Palermo had to offer. They wandered into a few churches, which were not Molly's thing, but she liked seeing Alec get excited over the architecture or the history behind them. They stopped and had lunch at a little café, and ducked into a few shops to browse around. The streets were winding and very easy to get lost in—even Molly had a bit of trouble—but the locals were happy to tell them to 'go straight ahead' and they found their way around.
In the late afternoon, Molly found the catacombs. She may or may not have purposefully been heading in that direction. Alec was apprehensive about them, which was adorable, and she let him off the hook if he wanted.
“There was a nice market just up that way,” she said. “Why don't you do your shopping and I'll take the tour, and meet you there when I'm done?”
Alec still looked apprehensive.
“I won't be attacked by zombies,” Molly assured him.
She thought he might actually be worried about that as a possibility.
“Yes, all right,” he said, finally. “I suppose it's best for me to be unmanly now, rather than halfway through, when I'll be stuck down there. I'm sorry—it's just, you know how I feel about skeletons in clothing.”
Molly tried not to laugh. “I do,” she said. “And it's not a fear I know how to treat. Can you desensitize someone for that? Start with people in clothing and then corpses in clothing?”
Alec shivered. “No,” he said. “If not being able to walk through Italian catacombs to look at dead monks is the only way my phobia affects me, I think I can live with it. It's not exactly interfering with my life.”
“That's fair,” Molly said. She kissed him. “I'll see you soon.”
“I love you,” he said, rather desperately.
“There are no zombies,” Molly said. “I promise.”
She was the only person who reported for the next scheduled tour, which meant she and the tour guide had a lot of fun together. It was interesting for her and she wished she were allowed to take photos because Sherlock would like to see them. She would buy him a postcard as his souvenir, she decided. The tour guide was enthusiastic about his subject and appreciative of her knowledge, and Molly had a blast. No zombies in sight, either.
She found the heat awful when she emerged from the cool crypts, and she was happy to reach the shade of the market. Alec had his arms full of groceries and was sat at the café where they had agreed to meet. He was full of excitement about the food, and she was full of excitement about the catacombs, and they spent the walk back to their hotel chattering to each other.
She lay down for a bit while Alec made dinner. She was overheated, but he didn't seem to mind the heat as much as her. She half-dozed and woke to delicious smells and off-key piano playing coming from the living room.
“I finally found something you're not good at,” she teased, as she slipped onto the piano bench next to him.
“Have you seen me do maths? There's a reason I only teach eight-year-olds,” Alec said. He hit a few keys, randomly. “I took piano lessons for about five minutes when I was a kid. I remember nothing.”
“I took lessons, too,” Molly said. “I remember a little...” She played a bit of a song. “I think it's called Malaguena. I didn't last very long. My hands are too small. I hope we aren't disturbing anyone in the rooms next door.”
“I don't think they'd give us a piano if the rooms weren't sound-proofed,” Alec pointed out. “Besides, if no one complained about the noise we made last night...” He laughed and kissed her flushed cheek. “Dinner is ready, c'mon.”
Molly wanted to go swimming after supper, but she encountered a dilemma. She'd brought two costumes with her—one Rita had insisted she buy when they went shopping for her wedding 'trousseau', and her old, comfortable, modest one. She had great ideas about wearing the new one, which was a bikini that magically made her look as though she had curves. Once she had it on, though, she felt self-conscious about it. She was going to switch to her other costume when Alec came in.
“Wow,” he said. “That's...wow.”
“Is it a good wow?” Molly asked.
“Is there another kind of wow?” he asked.
“There's the 'wow, I can't believe you're wearing that' wow,” Molly said.
“I will never use wow in that context,” Alec said. “I will only use it for 'wow, you look hot'. You look hot.”
Molly folded her arms over her chest. “I don't know...”
He took her hands and placed them at her sides. His eyes looked her up and down, and in a way that made her feel beautiful. He had a way of looking at her that was lustful, but loving, too. Sort of like he'd like to ravish her, but only after reading her poetry and respectfully asking permission. No one had ever looked at her like that before.
“You look hot,” he repeated. “No one knows you here, so the only people whose opinion matter is yours and mine, but mostly yours. And I personally think you look hot. And anyone who sees you and doesn't think you look hot we should feel sorry for, because they have some sort of eye problem. And I think you know you look hot, but you're afraid to admit it.”
Molly laughed. “Yes, all right,” she said. “I look a little hot.”
“You do,” he said. “Only very.” He pulled at his board shorts. “I feel a little overdressed, now.”
“We'll remedy that later,” she promised. “After we swim.”
They found their way down to the pool with some help from a maid who told them to 'go straight ahead'. The pool was on a patio that looked over the cliff, and the sun was just starting to set. They were the only people there. It was lovely.
“Why do we live in England?” Molly wondered. “When there are places that look like this?”
Alec opened his mouth to be impassioned, but then didn't seem to have an argument. “Tea?” he suggested.
“Touché,” Molly said.
She took her cover-up off and went to the edge of the pool, doing a shallow dive in. The water was lovely, like bathwater, and she made it all the way to the shallow end before she had to surface. Alec was only toes deep on the first step and waded in the rest of the way to meet her. She danced away from him and did a handstand.
“Show off,” he said.
“I love to swim,” Molly said. “It's the only time I'm ever graceful.”
“You're always graceful,” Alec said. She raised an eyebrow. “All right, you're not, but it's endearing.”
Molly grinned. “We're swimming inside the sunset,” she said. She splashed some orange-coloured water his way.
“That's unusually poetic for your scientist brain, Molly Hooper,” Alec said.
“Hooper-Thornton,” she corrected. “I'm feeling poetic. Come on, I'll race you.”
She dove forward and swam to the deep end. Alec arrived several seconds behind her and grabbed for the edge of the pool, sputtering.
“You're a rubbish swimmer,” she said. She'd only ever seen him swim at the beach, which wasn't really swimming, just wading and splashing.
“I'm the opposite of you, I'm very ungraceful in the water,” Alec replied. “I have a lot of limbs to coordinate. It's another item to add to your list of things I'm not good at. Not been my finest day, huh? Can't swim, can't play the piano, can't look at dead people. Is the bloom off the rose yet?”
Molly swam over and wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. “Never,” she said. “It just makes me love you more.”
He pressed his grin to hers, one of his hands wrapping around her hip while they treaded water. “Good,” he said. “Because you haven't seen me ski, yet.”
Molly had never had such a nice holiday in her life. She and Alec went out adventuring each afternoon, taking cooking classes and looking into tiny little shops full of exquisite treasures. Molly learned how to make her own pasta (Alec took the class, too, but he already knew how to make pasta), and they learned how to make pottery (Alec's was identifiable as a pot, Molly's was not). On Wednesday, they took a trip to Taormina for the day and saw Mount Etna (”My mother is never to know this happened,” Molly warned Alec) and a beautiful old Greek amphitheatre.
On the Friday, they were attacked by Sherlock.
Molly had so far not checked her e-mails from him, and no one had phoned them. The only contact they had from home was Reed's e-mails to Alec to tell him about how Toby and the X-crabs were doing. They were paying him to come in and take care of their pets while they were away. Reed, transcribed by Rupert or Josh, gave very detailed reports on the state of all animals and finished each e-mail by expressing that he hoped Alec would be back soon so that they could have waffles. Oh, and say hi to Molly, too.
Molly awoke on the Thursday to eight separate e-mails. Four from John and four from Pauline, who was covering her shifts at the lab while she was away. The ones from John were actually from Sherlock, who declared he had predicted she would screen his e-mails and was using this as a workaround. The e-mails alternated between Sherlock and Pauline and, read in order, indicated an escalating frustration with the other person. While Molly read, another e-mail from John came in—actually from John—who apologized for Sherlock bothering her.
Oh, and, if she had a minute, he would appreciate her 'checking in'.
“I think I'm going to have to do something,” Molly said.
“That's all right, I could use a day of rest,” Alec said, into his pillow. “Let's stay in today.”
He really was perfect.
Molly took her mobile, braced herself, and rang Sherlock. Her call was answered on the first ring.
“Hello! How is...Spain?” he said.
“Italy,” Molly said.
“That's right,” Sherlock said. “...Venice?”
“Sicily,” Molly said. “Palermo.”
“Whatever,” Sherlock said. “I do realize that you're on your honeymoon, and that you're probably having copious amounts of sex with your new husband, but if you could abstain from it for...two hours, I need your help. Well, actually, I don't care if you abstain from it, if you're capable of forming any sort of thought during, you'll be of better use to me than your replacement.”
“I am standing right here!” Pauline yelled in the background.
“Not good,” John said, at the same time.
Molly was both blushing and laughing. “All right, Sherlock,” she said. “What do you need?”
She ended up Skyping the lab on her tablet, so Sherlock could use John as cameraman and fully explain the situation. Basically, he thought he knew the answer, but it wasn't the answer, and he couldn't find another answer. He wanted her to double-check the results. He e-mailed her what reports he could, and then showed her the rest via his phone.
“I brought you coffee,” Alec said, in a whisper.
“I'm bringing up the autopsy photos,” Molly said to Sherlock.
“...And I'm leaving it here and going away,” Alec added, setting it on the bedside table and moving over to where he couldn't see the screen.
“Your husband is squeamish,” Sherlock said, disapproving.
“No, he's normal,” Molly said. “Normal people don't like looking at dead people.”
“Oh,” Sherlock said. “Yes, I suppose that's true.”
“So,” Molly said, glancing over the photos. “They have kissing fractures, but they aren't the cause of death, but they both died, and there's no other reason for them to have died?”
“Precisely,” Sherlock said. “I assumed some sort of poison or contaminate, perhaps affecting them at the same time, so they were disorientated and hit their heads together, but there's no trace of any unknown substances in the bloodwork. The way they were found suggests they were facing each other, fell and knocked their heads together, landed, and died very quickly.”
“Hmmm,” Molly said.
“Yes, precisely,” Sherlock said. “John and Molly have been of no help.”
“My name is Pauline,” Pauline said.
“I don't care,” Sherlock said. “You're only temporarily here, I'm not going to bother to learn your name. Molly will be back next week. I call everyone one who isn't her 'Molly'.”
“He does,” John said. “Even the men.”
“Sherlock, that's not nice,” Molly said.
“I very rarely aim to be nice,” Sherlock replied. “Stop giving me lessons in manners and think.”
“Sherlock, asking people politely for help gets you better results than being rude,” Alec called, in his Teacher Voice.
Sherlock frowned on the screen. “But it takes longer,” he said. “So, it all balances out.”
“Well, as long as you've done the maths,” Alec said, amused.
“I'm thinking now,” Molly assured Sherlock.
She glanced over the bloodwork and all the various test results. Then she took a more thorough look at them. She and Sherlock discussed options and dismissed theories. She was a bit stumped.
“The only thing I've noticed is that one of the victim's liver enzymes are raised,” she said. “Just a little. Not even something a doctor would consider abnormal, but generally higher than I'm used to seeing for the victim's age and fitness level. It could be a sign of something working at him long term. Maybe something given in small doses that over time created a problem, but doesn't last in the bloodstream? It could just be a sign of drinking a bit too much, though, or plain fatty liver disease. I'd suggest taking a sample from the livers and testing that. If the substance was cleared through the liver, you might find traces of it there, which wouldn't be elsewhere.”
Sherlock turned and yelled over his shoulder. “Molly, do what Molly just said.” He turned back to the camera. “Thank you for having a modicum of sense. When are you coming home?”
“Sunday,” Molly said. “I'll be back at work on Wednesday.”
“But...that's ten days since you left,” Sherlock said. “Surely you'll have run out of energy for sex before then.”
“Yeah, so, we're going to go,” John said, turning the camera on himself. “Enjoy yourself, Molls. Sorry to bother you two. Say goodbye, Sherlock.”
“Goodbye,” Sherlock said, glumly.
John waved and the link went dead. Molly turned her tablet off.
“Sorry about that,” she said.
“No worries,” Alec said. “It's raining, so we'd be staying in anyway.”
“Sherlock thinks we're having sex non-stop,” Molly said.
Alec threw his book away and climbed up onto the bed. “Challenge accepted.”
“It's our one year anniversary today,” Molly said, on Saturday morning. The rain had cleared out, and they were taking their morning coffee on the balcony. “Well, of the day we met. Not our first date.”
“Do you count the day we met as the day we first saw each other or the day you finally smiled back at me?” Alec asked.
“The day you bought me coffee,” Molly said.
“Ah,” Alec said. “The day when Coffee Shop Girl got a name. Josh had started calling you CSG for short.”
“You told him about me?” Molly said. “Even before that day?”
“Oh God, yes,” Alec said. “Why, did you think I was desperately trying to get your attention because I didn't fancy you?”
“You were not trying to get my attention!” Molly said. “You were just being nice and polite because you're nice and polite.”
“Not that nice and polite,” Alec said. “I was working up the nerve to try and coerce you into a proper conversation. If that arsehole hadn't made you spill your coffee, I guarantee our anniversary would be another couple of weeks from now.”
Molly was a bit floored by that idea. Alec, who was calm and collected and able to talk to anyone with ease, who always knew the right thing to say, who took the initiative and was the first one to volunteer. “I would have said yes if you'd asked me on that very first day I saw you,” she said. “You were very handsome. And still are.”
“You had cherries in your hair,” Alec said. “That's what I remember. You had cherries around your ponytail.”
“That's what attracted you to me?” Molly asked. “My hair-tie?”
“No, that's what made me notice you,” Alec said. “And when you turned and looked at me, it was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud. You just made me feel happy. And I wanted to make you feel happy, so I smiled, but you didn't smile back, and then it was a sort of challenge.”
“I didn't think you were smiling at me,” Molly explained.
“I was,” Alec said. “And one day you smiled back. And it was sort of like God whispering in my ear 'that's it, that's her, she's the one'. And it terrified me. Which is why it took so long for me to talk to you. I was terrified of you.”
Molly laughed, with her eyes a little wet. He didn't often talk like that. He was quick to say 'I love you' and mean it, and happy to talk about her feelings, and able to communicate what he was feeling, but he rarely went deeper than 'that makes me angry' or 'I feel sad about this', to the meaning or thoughts behind his feelings. She'd never heard him speak that frankly about it before.
“I'm not scary,” she said.
“No, but the idea of meeting the love of my life was a bit daunting,” Alec said.
“Because it all went wrong before,” Molly said, understanding.
“Yes,” Alec said.
“But not this time,” Molly said.
“Not this time,” Alec agreed. “Happy anniversary. I didn't get you a present.”
“Happy anniversary,” Molly said. “I don't need a thing.”
“Goodbye nice hotel room,” Molly said, on Sunday morning. “I'll miss you.”
Alec laughed at her and pulled her by the hand away from the door. It closed behind her, and she felt a bit sad. Life had been very good. She hoped it would continue to be. Angelo checked them out and wished them great joy in their marriage. They walked through the streets to the airport, and it felt a little like saying goodbye to the city.
Toby was positively furious with them when they came in. He turned his nose up and marched away and would not be pet or snuggled. They were in very deep trouble for having left him for this long. He warmed up once Alec gave him dinner.
Molly had given herself a couple of extra days to get things organized again once she got home. There were presents to be opened, and the flat was a mess, and all the wedding planning stuff had to be put away.
“Is it just me, or is the flat cleaner than when we left?” she asked.
“Rupert was here,” Alec said. “He probably cleaned it. He can't help himself.”
Everything was spotless. All the mess had been put away and the presents were neatly piled on the coffee table from largest to smallest. It was the nicest present Molly could conceived of, though there were some lovely ones in the pile.
Most people had stuck to their registry (including Mycroft Holmes, who had purchased the entire set of china on their list by himself), or donated to the charities Molly and Alec had listed. A few people went off-registry. Alec's mum had given them a set of vases that must have cost a fortune in addition to her honeymoon treat. If it had been her; there was no mention of it in her card. Mrs Hudson had made them a beautiful quilt, and Sherlock had given them a gorgeous pinic-for-two set. It came with a card explaining he'd waited too long to get a present and there was nothing 'interesting' left on the registry, so he'd told a shopgirl to pick something out. 'It is not my fault if you like it or dislike it,' he wrote. 'Happy Wedding Day.'
Molly saw the man himself on Wednesday when she came into work, leaving Alec and Reed having a waffle date.
“Ah, you're back,” Sherlock said, a bit coldly. He reminded her of Toby when she first came in. She half expected him to a flick his tail at her. “Still married?”
Molly held up her left hand. “Eleven days and holding.”
“Congratulations,” he said. “Statistically speaking, a surprising number of honeymoons end up with one or both spouses dead. Usually, one killed by the other.”
“Sorry,” Molly said. “No murders to solve here. You'll have to look elsewhere for your fun.”
“Solving your murder would not be fun,” Sherlock said, matter-of-factly. “I would do it, but it wouldn't be enjoyable.”
“This conversation went very macabre very quickly,” Molly said. “Oh, that reminds me, I brought you some postcards of dead monks.”
Sherlock's cold demeanour melted with a big smile. “Welcome back.”
“Thank you,” she said. “And thank you for your present. It's lovely.”
“The shopgirl kept asking me what you were like as a couple—I don't know how I'm supposed to know that, surely that's your purview—and the only thing I knew for certain was that you seemed to eat a lot,” Sherlock said. “She suggested the basket, and I thought it seemed trite enough for your personality, if not his.”
Molly kissed his cheek. “It's perfect,” she said.
He swatted her away. “I'm working,” he said. “I haven't accomplished anything while you've been away. I hope you had a good time.”
It was said with the implication that she should feel bad about it, but she chose to pretend that he'd been sincere.
“It was the best ten days of my whole life,” she said.
Sherlock looked her over. “You look happy.”
“I feel happy,” she said.
He smiled slightly. “Get me the acetone,” he said. She went for it. “And stop glowing! It's insipid.”
“I could bring Pauline back in,” Molly said.
There was a stony silence. “I suppose I'd prefer your glowing,” he said.
“Good,” Molly said. “Because I don't think I'm going to stop.”