THE APPROPRIATE WORLD
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
(Contains spoilers for 4×01, “The Six Thatchers”)
Molly had tended to the baby’s needs all day, so much so that she had neglected to tend to her own.
Her hair was a mess, she hadn’t popped over to the stores for a supply of fresh make-up, she hadn’t been eating all that much, the money being spent more on giving little Rosie her baby food and milk when John would occasionally forget to make the ’rounds as he dealt with late hours at his practice.
Throughout it all, the lingering stench of dread hung over her, dread for what was to come next.
Death was always a horrific business. Working for the police had taught her nothing else. There was an unkindly pattern to it all, the very worst emotions slip out when dealing with it, and the people affected by whatever lingers in its wake.
Ghosts of the past, and there had been so very many, had rarely been laid to rest within her circle, and this was perhaps the unkindest ghost of all.
Ironic perhaps, because of how inviting, warm and strong Rosie’s mother, the late Mary Watson, had proven to be in life.
Molly could still remember the day she and John Watson wed, a day also filled with mayhem. A best man in high spirits, a speech that turned into a murder inquiry, the humiliation she felt when her then fiance Tom had tried to offer ‘input’ into the impromptu case. The wedding photographer stood exposed as the culprit.
And the sight of the best man walking out into the cold, the dark, alone. As was his normal sort of manner.
Into the concealment of night, bleeding into the black like a vampire.
How unfair she thought at the time, that he would prefer to bleed into the black than sustain his energies in the light of good company with good graces.
He had made a vow that day to safeguard the couple to protect them from harm, to cast out the forces of darkness like some naive nobleman, still believing the world’s cruelty could be held at bay, that there was hope.
Molly looked into Rosie’s innocent and engaging eyes, and from it drew the kind of strength that the last few days had sapped from her. Sapped from everyone.
Mary was lost to them now, taken in a manner that made no sort of sense, but has reckless self sacrifice ever made any?
That uncontrollable human urge to put your needs before others is what had given humanity it’s bravery, it’s very character, no matter how despairing their view of the world had become, all of us, from soldiers to police, clung to hope that what they do in their field would lead to a more prosperous and affirming future for all the love they left behind.
There was a difference though. These people all knew what they were getting into. They had learned to keep their ego in check, left it firmly standing at the door awaiting instructions. They knew not to engage it when dealing with a crisis.
And here was Sherlock, the naive nobleman, putting his foot in it at the last crucial moment. A case solved, the perpetrator jail bound, but he could not resist trying to tear off whatever vestiges of armour were left on the composed and modest culprit. Ego compelled him to. And it was that smug need to satisfy himself that forced Mary into the line of fire and take that bullet for him.
Molly knew as she looked into the baby’s eyes, peering into that welcome window to what remained of John’s own world that she had to be more of a rock than ever. She and Sherlock had been appointed god parents by the Watsons, and she was more than able and ready to honour her commitments to the child.
But she would have to do it alone.
The note from John had made it clear that Sherlock was to have nothing to do with the family from this point forward, and she was to turn him away if he were to drop by offering condolence or help of any kind.
John had come through so much, but losing Mary to Sherlock’s vain indulgences had seemingly put to bed any illusions there could be a solid foundation between the two men. Now he was going to make sure the existing circle he had built was sound enough to keep Sherlock from intruding further into Rosie’s young life, to ensure his last vow no longer entails a permanent solution to life’s cruel perspective on the John Watson problem.
That’s what Molly truly thought, that John was deeply focused on his place in the universe, and that it had been continuously dealing him a very deliberate and cruel hand through his pursuit of adventure, his pursuit of the game.
For Christ’s sake, was that all this world of hers had been reduced to?
Or had the world always been like this?
The doorbell rung.
Molly knew instinctively who it was.
She held Rosie tight and walked over to the door, and answered it.
There he stood. The naive nobleman. Offering exactly what John’s note had cautioned her about.
Molly wanted to say so much, she wanted to reach out to him, let him hold the baby in his arms, let him gaze into her eyes and understand the magnitude of the world that he had destroyed, and to strengthen his vow there and then, and to then face, with her, the challenges in dealing with Rosie’s development in years to come.
She didn’t have the confidence to do any of that. That wasn’t how the world had taught itself to work.
No, as much as it pained her to realize, to remain self-satisfied, today’s society moves along more efficiently by embracing awkwardness and turning shyly away from the hurt, not towards it.
It wasn’t her place to tell him it was alright, it was Johns’. He was the one best qualified to make judgement on the vitality of their strengths and weaknesses, whether Sherlock’s vow could prove as viable as her own.
John was Sherlock’s strength; all she could do was offer him his best friend’s present judgement on his weakness.
That may not be the noble thing, but it was, in her mind, the only just resolve to the present situation.
Whatever feelings she had, whatever love she wished to offer, that naive nobleman world in itself would have to wait a little longer, for she had to deal with an appropriate one.