Some hours later, Mary arrived at Baker Street after being sent a text from Sherlock requiring her assistance. Once she’d left the baby with Mrs. Hudson, she made her way to Sherlock’s flat. What she found was something she hadn’t expected to see; her husband and his best friend standing before a Chinese man tied up in a chair with a rather menacing Mycroft Holmes right behind him. “Oh God, what’ve you done now?!” Mary groaned wearily.
“Ah, just the woman I needed to see! Thank you for coming at such short notice!” Sherlock beamed, flashing his ‘Cheshire cat’ grin as he came over to her.
Mary looked more exasperated than concerned that her daughter’s godfather was holding a man hostage in his flat. “I hope Mrs. Hudson doesn’t mind you having a man tied up in here...” she sighed.
“Oh, that can wait. I’m sure she’s experienced a similar situation; considering her somewhat selective taste in suitors. Besides, John’s ‘good cop, bad cop’ style of interrogation he tried to involve me with was getting us nowhere. That’s why you and my beloved brother are here instead.” Sherlock replied casually.
John came over to see what Sherlock and Mary were talking about. “Sherlock, when you said you needed some backup, I was hoping you weren’t going to drag my wife into this!” he muttered.
Sherlock turned to his friend. “You forget that while she may appear as docile as any average human female, she has been able to keep a lot of her personal life in the dark. Need I remind you that she was a trained assassin in her former life?” he asked quietly, reminding him about the Magnussen incident.
John’s expression became withdrawn. It was an incident he’d rather not need reminding of; especially about the secrets involving her shady past Mary had kept from him. Even though he’d decided not to find out more, John often wondered what his wife had used to be like before she’d met him. “Fine; we’ll do it your way.” he sighed.
“It’s ok, John. I want to help you two, even if it’s the smallest thing.” Mary soothed, holding her husband’s hand with a comforting smile. With his mind at ease, John left the room to go and check on Mrs. Hudson and his daughter. Once he was gone, Mary looked to Sherlock. “What do you need me to do?” she asked with a serious expression now on her face.
“Our friend here is being stubbornly tight lipped about his activities. John, in his failed attempt to interrogate him, had tried a calm and gentle approach, while I may have shouted at him... a lot...” Sherlock replied.
“Ah, I wondered why Mrs. Hudson asked me to tell you to keep it down.” Mary mused.
“So, without any choice, and much to John’s amusement, I had to call for Mycroft’s assistance. While he may be a total sod, he is good at getting what he wants; as he did many times with Mummy when we were children...” he muttered.
Mary snorted in amusement, quickly covering her mouth when Mycroft cast a glance in their direction. “You call your mother Mummy?!” she grinned, trying desperately to contain her laughter and lowering her voice.
Sherlock looked a bit irritated, and seemed to be blushing a little; something that Mary would later inform her husband about to their amusement. “As I was about to say before you interrupted me, Mycroft is good at getting what he wants. Must explain how he managed to become the British Government.” Sherlock continued, now regretting he’d even mentioned the name Mrs. Holmes went by with her sons privately to his best friend’s wife.
“I’m guessing you need me to use some of my old skills against your new friend?” Mary asked, once she’d managed to compose herself.
“Unless you have a better suggestion, then yes. I imagine you’ve had to be very intimidating quite a few times in the past.” Sherlock nodded.
Mary patted her friend’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, Sherlock. I’ll have what you need as soon as possible. I learnt Mandarin Chinese when I was younger, but I may be a little rusty with some of the words.” she reassured him. “Though, I think it’d be best that you not tell John about my language skills; I’d rather that he’d not know how I did interrogations.” she hastily added.
“As I’ve heard John utter quite a few times on some cases; “My lips are sealed”.” Sherlock promised. Mary gave him a grateful smile and then turned to the man tied in the chair. Satisfied that she would get the job done, Sherlock grabbed his coat. “Text me when you find out anything important.” he called to Mary. Her answer was a single thumbs up, as she was keeping her eyes fixed on Sherlock’s ‘guest’. “And Mycroft, do try not to start a war with China. We certainly don’t want World War III on our doorsteps, do we?” he added with a sly smile.
“Of course not, brother of mine...” Mycroft replied with a similar look.
Sherlock and John made their way to St. Bart’s. Molly was in the morgue doing paperwork when the two men arrived. “Oh, I-I wasn’t expecting to see you two until tomorrow.” she blinked as they walked inside.
“Something came up, should be resolved by the end of the day.” Sherlock replied coolly as he went to test some samples from a case he’d been working on.
John came over with a bag of shopping. “I brought lunch. Well, Sherlock chose it and I had to pay.” he sighed. He handed Molly some sandwiches and went to make himself comfortable, having a feeling that they were going to be there for quite a while.
“Thanks.” she smiled, putting the sandwiches on a nearby plate.
“You’re welcome. How’ve you been?” he asked, trying to make conversation.
“I’m okay, better than the guys on the slabs are.” she joked. John gave an awkward smile at her joke.
Sherlock raised an eyebrow as he sat down before an optical microscope. “Molly, what have I said about you making jokes?” he asked.
“Oh, right. Sorry...” she mumbled in embarrassment before taking a bite of her sandwich.
“Don’t feel bad, not your fault that Mr. Sourpuss got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning.” John smiled as he held her shoulder. He knew Molly meant no harm when she attempted to make others laugh. Sherlock briefly glanced over to them, looking unamused at John’s comment before returning his attention to the samples.
Molly went to put some of the paperwork away. “So, what are you testing for this time?” she asked Sherlock with a curious expression.
“Just looking over something from a current case, I don’t really trust the judgement of some of Lestrade’s officers.” Sherlock replied as he turned the focus knobs to get a clearer look on the sample he was currently looking at.
“Oh, I see. Do you need me to help?” she asked with a hopeful look.
Sherlock looked up from the microscope. “Yes, you can start by sorting the samples in alphabetical order.” he smiled and went back to his investigations. Molly looked a bit disappointed that it was only a small job, but nodded as she started to do what the detective had asked her to.
“Alright, if you’re going to start getting Molly to do some menial tasks like cleaning up after you, I’ll go and see Lestrade for any updates about the Annie Bridges and Arnold Peterson cases.” John sighed as he made his way to the door they’d come in through.
“Text me if you find anything.” Sherlock replied in a matter-of-fact tone.
Molly waited for John to leave and then took a deep breath in order to prepare herself for what she was about to say. “Listen, Sherlock, I was wondering if you wanted to... go out for dinner sometime?” she began nervously.
“Molly, you should know by now that I consider myself married to my work and don’t have time to pursue a romantic attachment.” Sherlock replied, not bothering to turn to her.
“I know, but hear me out. I was thinking of maybe considering it as an experiment of sorts.” Molly suggested.
This caused Sherlock to immediately sit up in his chair and turn to her. “What kind of experiment?” he asked, raising his eyebrow. If there was anything he liked other than working on interesting cases, it was an interesting experiment.
“It’s a sort of social exercise than an experiment.” Molly admitted, knowing the reaction that statement would get from Sherlock.
“Ah, who has time for social exercises anyway?” he replied flatly, turning back to the microscope.
Molly looked frustrated. He’s definitely not making this easy for me... she thought. “Well, how about this? One dinner; you’ll be able to observe how people react, the standard procedures for social interactions and see if they’re positive or negative. And at the end, we’ll compare notes and see if the dinner was a success or a failure.” she suggested.
Sherlock thought for a moment. He had to admit that social interactions wasn’t one of his strong suits, and Molly was actually prepared to do things his way; then again, she always was. And he did owe her a lot for everything she’d done for him when he’d faked his death. “You do make a good case for that... Alright, though it goes against my better judgement, I’ll accept your experiment.” he replied.
Molly had to restrain herself from hugging him, but smiled. “Good. We can discuss more tomorrow if you want. Unless you’re still working on your case, then we can do it whenever at your convenience.” she nodded, making sure she stayed professional.
As if right on cue, Sherlock’s phone pinged with a text from Mary. Sherlock picked it up and had a look at what she’d sent him.
Took me a while, but the little birdie finally sang. I’ll explain more when you get back to 221B. – MW
Good work, on my way. – SH
“I look forward to hearing more about the ideas for your experiment. Good day, Dr. Hooper.” Sherlock smiled. He put on his coat and scarf and headed out of the Pathology unit.
Once he was gone, Molly sank into her seat with a giddy smile on her face. I can’t believe he agreed! she thought to herself. She was definitely not going to sleep tonight.
Once he got back to 221B, Sherlock saw that Mary was sitting on the sofa while Mycroft was in a chair, calmly sipping his tea. “So, how has our ‘guest’ been behaving?” he smirked.
“Well, at first he refused to talk, but I may have threatened to castrate him and have him awake the whole time.” Mary grinned. “Once your brother demonstrated how serious I was being, he sang like a canary.” she added, nodding towards a bowl of fruit which had been sliced up in many creative ways.
“That’s my girl.” Sherlock chuckled, giving her a hug.
“Yes, but my time would perhaps be of better use dealing with political matters instead of cleaning up my little brother’s own mess.” Mycroft replied nonchalantly.
Sherlock shot his brother a look and turned to Mary. “What did you find out?” he asked.
Mary became very serious. “Turns out this Black Lotus lot have been preparing for this for the last few years. When they’d discovered that you’d faked your suicide, it only drove them to ensure you suffered more than what Moriarty did to your reputation.” she began. “Their boss has a real grudge against you and won’t stop until she’s made your life a misery.” she added.
“Oh, that’s nothing new. From the many death threats in the past few years, I’ve lost count of who wants me dead and who doesn’t. What does she intend to do?” Sherlock asked, being very calm despite the fact that there was a woman out there who was trying to kill him.
“She plans to kill you on the day of the Chinese New Year event.” Mary sighed.
“She’s very welcome to try. Now, I suggest you head back home. My brother and I have some...business to attend to.” Sherlock replied. Sensing that he wasn’t kidding around, Mary got her coat and went downstairs to Mrs. Hudson’s.
“Now then, what shall we do to our friend here?” Mycroft asked, getting up from his seat and placing his hand on his umbrella.
“I have a very good idea what we can do...” Sherlock smirked, casting his glance towards a nearby window.
Later, after having been called after someone had made a 999 call regarding an incident, John and Lestrade watched as an ambulance left Baker Street carrying a very bruised and sore Chinese man inside while some officers were trying to find out how he’d fallen in the first place. “I’m getting a feeling of déjà vu here. You wouldn’t happen to know how he fell, would you?” Lestrade asked, turning his gaze to Sherlock.
“Oh, it all happened so fast, Inspector. I wouldn’t be able to know where to start.” Sherlock slyly replied with a smirk.
John shot a warning look to the detective. Once Lestrade had gone to speak with the other officers, he pinched between his eyes. “I thought you weren’t going to throw a man out of a window again? It was “so 2012”, remember?” he asked, his voice lowered to a whisper.
“I did, but who says that it was me who threw him?” Sherlock smirked as he headed back inside. John let out a weary sigh and went to hail a cab home.