THE MAGICIAN’S CIRCLE
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
(contains spoilers for “The Lying Detective”)
Sherlock briefly took his eye off of Molly as she checked his pulse.
“Keep still” Molly said, placing the cold end of the stethoscope onto to Sherlock’s bare chest, listening for any irregular beats. To her silent alarm, she found a few.
Sherlock could tell from her face that this was unsettling her.
“I don’t make it easy on you do I?” he asked.
“When you gamble with your health the way you have, no, no Sherlock it’s never easy” Molly replied.
“Do you think John is right? Do you think I use you?” Sherlock inquired.
“I like to be useful, that’s how I like to look at it” she said.
“A comfortable lie, obscuring truth…the truth is that I am not one of the better men in your life” Sherlock replied, coughing gently as Molly gave his lower regions a tight grip with her right hand.
“Most of the people in my life never respond to me, living or dead, the fact you and John still do puts you in far better company”
“What would it take for you to wash your hands of me?” Sherlock suggested.
“I think I’ve got a lot of you to wash off as it is” Molly remarked.
Sherlock’s face briefly lit up, appreciating the joke.
“No” he said calmly, “I mean this in the most sincere manner Molly Hooper, if you finally caved, if you believed I could never come back from the path I’ve travelled down, that I could not be fixed or saved, how would you convey that to me?” Sherlock asked.
“Are you asking me this because you’re not so sure you’re coming back from this?” Molly asked.
“I need you to look past the physical examination, and examine your sense of self…everyone has a breaking point…”
“I would break it to you gently” said Molly.
“Really?” Sherlock asked
“I’d…give something back too, something that was meaningful…to you, to me, to let you know that I wouldn’t want to keep even that which mattered”
“The riding crop?” Sherlock asked.
“This isn’t what you want to hear is it? What I would do…this is about what you think John would give back, if he felt he couldn’t put up with you anymore”
“I knew our brief time as investigators together would permit you to compose a most precise deduction” Sherlock said in a complimentary manner.
“I observe plenty, like you do, but I don’t exactly sit still and let it stir me” Molly replied in response, handing Sherlock his trousers. Sherlock quickly snatched them up.
“Thankyou for the thorough examination” Sherlock replied.
“His cane” Molly suddenly said aloud.
Sherlock’s eyes lit up.
“If John didn’t want to come back, if he felt there was no going back, he’d hand you his cane, back when he had that phantom pain, the pain you…the pain you took away. He’d want you to have that, as a crutch” she said.
“Excellent, be sure to tell him that when you nip over to his place for some quality time with the baby” Sherlock replied.
“Wait, you want me to tell him…all that? What someone would do to cut ties to someone they care about?” Molly asked, confused.
“In her best sentimental manner, yes” Sherlock said.
“Are you trying something funny?” Molly inquired.
“We are crossing over to a place where there is no room for error or jest…I need John to part ways with that cane at a precise moment, a moment where everyone except myself must lose sight and sense of the plan”
“What if John sees it more like a trick?” Molly asked.
“Then I shall set myself a reminder that, to John, I must distinguish strategy from magic”
As Sherlock proceeded to put back on his clothes so that he may get on with more of what he had planned, Molly reflected on John’s words to her from earlier, about being used, and what Sherlock had just said to her.
She knew this wasn’t a game, and she would be as direct about that to Sherlock’s face as he would be to John, but she could not help but feel the long term goal Sherlock obviously had in mind, to mend the fractured path he and John walked together on, could be best mended by her playing along.
And to that end, she was determined to make her role count in the magician’s circle.