Post-Fall: A John and Molly RP

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kateydid3, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. He doesn't want to talk to her.

    He sees her, of course, he's not blind. And he knows that she sees him. But the last thing John Watson wants to do is have a casual chat with Molly Hooper in a cafe. Not now, not after-

    He stops himself. He's been doing that a lot lately. But he can't think about that. He just can't. He's sort of blocked it out of his head; let the part of his brain that can't help but think of it pretend that Sherlock isn't gone, that he's just off on some crime-solving trip, that he'll be back soon. And as for the greater part of his brain that knows better - well, that part can just shut up.

    It's not that Molly's not a sweet girl. She is. But she reminds him too much of Before. And anyway, it was never him that she wanted to talk to. It was Sherlock.

    He stares down at his tea with a sort of focused determination. He knew it was a mistake to leave the flat today, but Mrs. Hudson had insisted, and he couldn't stand the heartbreaking look in her eyes when she looked at him another minute. He can still see Molly in his periphery. Don't let her come over here, he silently begs the universe. Not now, please.
  2. Molly sees him sittIng there. She sees the pained look in his eyes. She desperately wants to help him, to tell him everything. But she knows she can't. Sherlock had given her detailed instructions about what she could and could not say when she saw John again. She had memorized the list he had given her, then burned it so no one else would find it.
    1. Do not mention having anything to do with the jump.
    2. Avoid topics that bring up Moriarty like the plague.
    3. Wait at least 3 months to make contact with John.
    4. Do NOT speak to the press.
    5. If Moriarty contacts you, call the emergency number using the disposable phone in your lower left desk drawer.

    And the list went on. Molly had waited 4 months before deciding to visit the cafe on Bakers Street. She went at least twice a week, trying to see if she could find John. Finally, here he is. Sadly sipping his drink in the corner of the room, head down, trying not to be noticed.
    She knew exactly what she was going to say to him, she had carefully thought it through many times. She paid for her herbal tea and walked carefully over to the table where John had seated himself, she took one last breath and opened her mouth.
    "Uh, H-hello John."
  3. John internally groans. Why does she have to talk to him? He isn't exactly a pleasant person to be around lately; he knows that. He can see it in people's eyes when they talk to him. And of all the people to talk to him today, it had to be Molly. He knows how this is going to work. She's going to ask him how he's doing, how he's coping; she'll fuss over him and worry about him while somehow managing to skirt the issue, and he'll talk back with empty words; and then she'll leave, unable to stand talking to him anymore. That's how this sort of thing goes, when people have a conversation with him nowadays.

    Or worse, she'll want to talk about Sherlock. And that he just can't do.

    He resigns himself to the notion that she is just not going to disappear and looks up, a tight smile on his face. "Oh, hello," he says politely, as if he hadn't noticed her there. Polite. He can still do that. He can still fake okay, at least. "I didn't see you there." There's an awkward pause, and he inwardly sighs, knowing what he has to do. "Why don't you take a seat?" he offers, gesturing to the one across from him.

    And so it begins.
  4. <i> Oh no, no please. Don't be upset with me, John.</i> She sits down, avoiding his gaze. She knows what he thinks she wants to say, and she wants to say it, to worry and fret, to offer her condolences, but the words seem to stick in her throat. <i> Very nice, Molly. You probably seem like an fool to him. Just say it. </i>
    "I, uh, I heard......about.... Well I-i..... I just..... I really am, and I know how much- how much he- I am sorry, John."
    <i> No, no, no! Why am I stammering? What is it about talking to these people that is so hard? Oh, no, I've probably made myself look like such a fool.</i>
    She glances up at John, her eyes really showing how much she means her words- or lack thereof- and pushes her hair behind her ear.
  5. He gives her another tight smile. A fake smile, but he tries to put some warmth into it. For her. She really deserves better than struggling through a conversation with him. "Thanks," he says, as if that means anything. As if there's really any gratitude behind it. It's just a form answer, really. Just protocol. It's empty, like the rest of his words.

    Her eyes are earnest, at least, and he supposes that if he put some thought into it, he would appreciate that. If he put some thought into it. But he doesn't, nowadays. He can't. It's too hard. It's far easier to just drift through the day, through the fog. Do what people expect him to do. He can do that. That's easy.

    That's useless, Sherlock would have said. Waste of time. But it's not, Sherlock. It's not. It makes people feel better.

    He talks to Sherlock a lot lately. In his head.

    He should probably stop.
  6. She takes some time to actually study him. He looks terrible, his eyes are red with dark circles underneath, his fingernails are bitten to the extreme, she can tell the past few months have been hard on him. She desperately wants to help him, she wants nothing more than to be able to tell him that it was all a ruse to fool Moriarty. that Sherlock really is alive. "You know," she starts, "I had a friend that was a lot like Sherlock. He was- well you see.......He...And it turns out that- Well, long story short I've lost friends before too..Sherlock was -kind of- like one of my friends......Oh no, I shouldn't have-"
    She could hear his voice in her head, Molly, don't make conversation it's really not your area. Is this really the best way to help John?
    Of course it isn't, Molly. Get a hold of yourself. Honestly, you are going to ruin any attempts to fix your friendship with John. Besides, didn't you come here to offer him a job? That's right. A job. Just open your mouth, bring the words forward. It can't be too hard.
    "Well, what I've really been meaning to ask you- er that is- what I was wondering- uh...."
    Great, just great. How hard can it be? Just say it! 'John a job has opened up at the station. Since you're a doctor, I was wondering if you would be interested in it. Just an assistant job, nothing too crazy. Post mortems, and all that.'
    "There's a job over at the Yard.... Work has been piling up and I need an assistant..that is- if you aren't too busy- I mean......"
    She doesn't finish the sentence. Instead, she puts her head in her hands, embarrassed and completely at a loss for words. Why am I so awkward around people?
  7. "You want to give me a job?" he asks. He sips his tea. Places it back on his saucer. He considers it. He doesn't really need the money. Sherlock left him a large sum when he- He left him a large sum. He doesn't want it, but there it is. And Mrs. Hudson wouldn't kick him out anyway. Not now.

    He does need to get out of the house, though. That's what everyone keeps telling him. You need to get out of the house, they say, it's not healthy to stay cooped up inside for so long. He knows that, he says, he is a doctor, he says. They just look at him sadly.

    So. Yes. He really should get a job.

    He lost the one at the surgery Sarah worked at, after- After. He didn't go in for a few weeks, which basically amounts to quitting. Basically. Maybe another job would be good for him.

    But he's skirting the real issue. Could he really go back to Bart's? After that? Could he really walk by the spot every day where- He stops himself. Again.

    He supposes he could go in through another entrance.

    "Why?" he asks, killing time. Sipping tea.
  8. He had to ask why. Molly, do you really know why? Are you just feeling sorry for him, is that the problem? No, no. that's what he thinks. Work has been stressful, you are only one woman. You need help. Just tell him. Tell him.

    "I- uh- just work has been piling up you know...... And I really could...use the help, John. I mean, I'm not pressuring you or anything, you don't have to take the job if you don't want it...."

    She fidgets with her mug, she hasn't actually drunken any, just spinning it around slowly. She lifts it up, bringing it to her lips and tasting the tea..... She puts it down again, not thirsty. Why'd you buy the tea, then? I don't know.

    "Well, you know if you need anything, I am......right...well.... you've heard it all before..."
  9. He sighs. He should take the job. He should. He knows it. It'd be good for him, people would say. They're probably right.

    Molly's hit the "I can't stand talking to you any more, no really I can't, so best make some excuses and be off" point before most people do. But then again Molly has always been more nervous about those sorts of things than most people. He's surprised by how perceptive she is, though. The bit about "you've heard it all before". Most people aren't that blunt. He appreciates that. Sometimes you get tired of people tiptoeing around you, and having to tiptoe around them.

    He should stop her. He really should.

    "Molly," he interrupts, as she's getting up, and she looks down at him, eyes wide and nervous, lipstick a bit smeared. "I'll take the job," he says. "When do I start?"

    She's really a nice girl. She really is. He wonders how long she'll last before she fires him.
  10. "Oh, well...maybe in a-" she stopped. He said he would take the job. Molly, don't mess this up. "Is tomorrow morning too soon?"

    She groaned internally, talking to people wasn't her strong point. She probably looked like she didn't want to talk to him.......Just apologize, give him your card, and leave. 1,2,3, easy.

    "Oh no, I've made things awkward again," Not what you were supposed to say, Molly..... "I'm sorry doctor, I should really be- oh," she cries out as the bottom of her bag breaks, spewing files, a small mirror, her wallet, and some hair ties all over the floor. You klutz! Look what you've done now. Best clean it up and leave before you screw anything else up.... Get back to Bart's... do what you do best. Just leave now.

    "I-i-i," Molly sputters, "I really- I'm so-" she falls silent for a moment and then mumbles, "sorry."
  11. He slides out of the booth and kneels down to help her pick up her things, wincing a little as his weight settles on his left leg. The limp is back. Of course it is. Even though he knows it's psychosomatic. It just won't seem to go away. "It's okay," he says. He tries to make his voice gentle. Is it gentle? He wants it to be. He should reassure her. He's trying. For Molly. None of this is her fault.

    "Here," he says, starting to hand her her things. But her wallet's fallen open, and he can't help noticing the picture of Sherlock she's got tucked inside. He's frozen by it.

    Absently, he wonders when she snapped it, because it's not a publicity photo. It's a personal one. He probably didn't even notice she was taking it. He's leaning over, looking into a microscope, all focus on his work, as usual. It's so very Sherlock that John can't stop staring. It's dead silent, Molly watching him looking at the picture. Move, he tells himself. MOVE. He swallows. Blinks. Hands it back.

    "When was that, then?"

    The words are out of his mouth before he can stop himself, before he can register that he's said it. He immediately regrets it. He doesn't want to talk about this. About him. It's drawing him out of the fog, and he hates that. It makes him think too much.
  12. Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, the panic-driven side of her mind blasted. I've ruined everything. This is all my fault, everything. I helped Sherlock pull off the jump, I can't leave well enough alone.....
    Oh hush,
    her reasonable side said, You aren't the reason for all this. It could be worse. Sherlock could really be dead.... And he isn't.
    Molly doesn't realize that she hasn't spoken for a few minutes.
    For goodness sake, say something, Molly! He asked you a question....Oh no. Oh no. Oh no, please, no! He didn't see it, did he? He did. He wants to know when you took it.....when, when did you? Think, Molly. You know the answer.
    She just stares at him for a moment, the takes the picture back from him, looking fondly at it. She remembers the day she brought her camera to work with her, Sherlock had been there working on a case, and he pounced on her microscope. It had been a few weeks before she had met John.
    "It was...... about two weeks before I had met you..... He was....well you know. And he never found out about it....I think he was in his mind palace..... And he still doesn- he never found out..."
  13. The corner of his mouth quirks up at the present tense. It's not a real smile, not really, but it's there, a kind of black amusement lingering on his lips. Apparently he's not the only one having trouble adjusting his verb tenses.

    He still can't quite decide which to use.

    "Probably for the best," he says, wishing he hadn't spoken, but now that he has, he can't seem to help himself. "He doesn't- he didn't-" He struggles. Everything's a struggle now. As with most things, he gives up. "He would think it was a waste of time," he finishes. He doesn't need to finish the sentence. If he were here. It's implied, Molly will understand that. He doesn't have to say it aloud. The unspoken words let him phrase it as a theoretical. Abstract; not here could mean anything, really. It could mean anything.

    Past tense or present.

    He doesn't know why he's talking to her about this. He doesn't talk to anyone about this. He doesn't talk to anyone about him. Not since- not since.
  14. She knew he meant if he were here. He didn't say it, but he meant it.

    "Don't feel too badly, John. Here, actually, you can-uh- have the picture. I probably have it saved on my computer somewhere."

    It's the least you can do, says her in-head Sherlock. You very nearly blew my cover.

    She somehow manages to stuff the rest of her things into her bag. She stands up, reaching for the table and grasping for her mug. Her hand shakes a bit and knocks it over. "Oh, no. I'm so- what a- I'm sorry, John," she splurts. She was horrified. He isn't going to want to work with her after this, she's convinced! She desperately reaches for the paper napkins on the table, trying to mop up the mess she made.

    "Really, I'm not like this in the lab, I'm usually very-" she just rambles now, speaking quickly, trying to reassure John that she is good at her job. She feels terrible. "Really, I'm so- oh- I really am better than this, I don't know what's come over me..."
  15. He's staring down at the picture in his hands- his shaking hands, the more masochistic part of his brain is quick to note, that's come back too, Since - and barely notices she spilled the tea, her hurried apologies. He tears his eyes away from the picture to look up at her. She's nervous, he notes. She's very nervous to be talking to him.

    See, Sherlock? I can be observant.

    Why is she nervous, though? This was the part he was never good at; the piecing together of the stories, the intertwining of facts and motivations and circumstances to create events. It's all fine and good to be able to see. But he was never able to observe. Sherlock made that rather obvious. But that was his department anyway, not John's. Sherlock's. John barely even noticed those sorts of things, Before. Now it's like he can't turn his brain off. Like he's noticing every detail to make up for whatever it was that he missed that caused Sherlock to-

    Molly. Focus on Molly.

    Is it him? It has to be him. People generally do find it difficult to be around him nowadays. Most people see him as having been taken in, been fooled by the great liar Sherlock Holmes. They typically don't stay long. One look at his face when they say things like that and they scamper away. And the people who believe in Sherlock either feel guilty (Mycroft, Lestrade) or worried (Mrs. Hudson). They worry about upsetting him, he thinks. Like it matters. But Molly seems to be in the latter group. Is he making her nervous? Or afraid? Or just sad?

    You would know right away. You'd already have her figured out by now, wouldn't you, Sherlock?

    He reaches over, grabs napkins. Presses them to the spill. "It's all right," he finds himself saying. "It's all right, Molly." He wonders if he's overlooked something. He's been a bit trapped in his own head, as of late. It never really occurred to him how other people were coping. He was too busy just trying to hold himself together. But it must have been hard on Molly too, right? It must have. She cared about him. She cared. "Are you?" he asks, before realizing that might not be quite clear. "All right, I mean," he clarifies. "I never asked."
  16. She stares at him for a moment, not quite understanding his question. She isn't sure how to respond either. No one's asked her that. They've just passed her by, one at a time, all talking about the tragedy of Sherlock Holmes and how he had the world fooled. She noticed people like John and Mrs Hudson, trying to hold themselves together. She had observed people like Greg, halfway between "I knew there was something fishy" and "This just can't be true." Then the people like Anderson and Donovan, that never wanted to believe Sherlock in the first place.

    Where do I stand in all of this? I'm different..... I know the truth...... his hands are shaking...... Oh, don't make him clean up your mess! Answer his question....come up with something. You were sad when Sherlock came to you with this request, you were there when he was staying at your flat, mapping out where to go next...... When he left, how did you feel....

    I...... I suppose," her voice cracks, "I'm alright... I mean, He was never....he didn't notice- I mean-"

    She doesn't finish speaking. She takes the napkins from him and busies herself with finishing mopping up the mess with one hand, wiping her eyes on her sleeve with the other. Why are you crying? Stop crying, you don't need to cry... you're being over sensitive again.

    "Please........please don't think that- that I don't- I mean, don't think that I'm not enjoying talking to you...... It isn't that I don't want to talk to you, I just, I mean- I'm so- well...."

    She looks at him, pleading him to understand. She tries to put as much feeling into her eyes. What she wants to say, but can't. It's not you. I just can't bring the words in my head out of my mouth, it just doesn't work like that...... I'm sorry that I'm so awkward, John. Please......understand.....
  17. He looks at her, stammering and on the verge of tears, and he understands. He knows. He does. He knows exactly how she feels. "Yeah," he says. "Me too." That's not coherent, is it? Doesn't make sense. But she'll get it, he thinks. She'll understand. He understands.

    He mops up the last of the spill and collapses into the seat. Damn leg, giving him trouble. "Bit like getting left behind, isn't it?" He says it more than asks it. He knows the answer. Yes, it is. It is quite a bit like getting left behind. Part of him still hasn't given up on the idea that it's exactly like getting left behind, that that's what it is. Left behind. That's all. But he knows it's not. He knows it's not.

    He doesn't know why he's telling her so much. It shouldn't make sense. But she understands. She may be the only one who does.
  18. "Very much like getting left behind...." What are you saying? He left because he needed to. There was no way he was going to stay in London, stay with you..... He needed to go. You weren't left behind, Molly, John was.

    Molly goes to sit again, deciding against leaving now. She doesn't know why she's still there with him, it's dangerous...or, that's what Sherlock said. "Remember, Molly, the more time you spend with him, the harder it will be to not tell him." She already wanted to tell him. She wanted to tell him two weeks after the fall. She shook her head slightly, clearing it so as to think better. John needs her right now, not in that romantic way, but in a friendship way. He and Sherlock had been friends for a while.... he's obviously not taking this well, that's why you gave him the job. Get him outside, get him involved, give him a new friend. Sure, she's no Sherlock, she knew that much, but she understands.

    Her phone begins to sound from in her bag, which she is holding sideways to prevent the items from falling out again. She sets the broken bag on the table and digs out the phone.

    "Oh no! Is it 11:30 already," she picks the bag up, holding it bundled in her arms, awkwardly. "I've got to get back to the hospital. If you'd like to walk with me, you can. Maybe I can show you around my lab... and you can start today instead of tomorrow...... that is, if you haven't already made plans- I mean- if you aren't....... Bye, John. Thanks for helping me with my messes...I mean..... Oh never mind!"

    She turns on her heels and heads for the door. Can't even hold a conversation with him and you want to work with him? Molly, what are you getting yourself into?
  19. John watches her go, for a moment. Just watches. Trying to suss her out. The sag of her shoulders when she thinks she's disappointed him. The awkward way she holds her bag. The flush of her face as she stammers her way out of the conversation. He notices these things. He sees them, now. He wouldn't have noticed before. And even though Molly's the one who's walking out of the cafe, suddenly he is sure she's just preempting getting left behind again.

    "Molly!" he calls, picking up that bloody cane and dumping some money on the table to pay for his tea. She pauses. He knew she would. So he starts the tedious business of limping over to her. Time was, he could just run after her. If he wanted to. He could beat her to the door. Now every step is just a reminder of something he'd rather not think about.

    He grits his teeth at the last few steps, then stops in front of her. "I don't have any plans," he says. Since when has he had plans? The last thing he could even remotely call a "plan" was the-


    "Would you mind? If I started today?" His voice sounds like he's asking a favor, but it's not. He knows it's not. He's trying to do her a favor. She won't be left behind again. Not by him.
  20. Molly smiles when he asks that question. Her eyes even brighten a bit. She looks as if she might hug him, but she can't due to the bag held in her arms.

    <i> See, he doesn't hate you. He doesn't think you're hopeless. Say yes. Maybe stop by your flat to grab a different bag.</i>

    "Of course, John. There's a lot to do, so it won't be a breeze, I mean- not like a normal doctor's job..." 

    She stumbles less when she is talking about her job. She doesn't know why, but she knows her job well. Maybe she just feels more confident in the lab, or even just talking about it. 

    "Would you mind if we stopped by my flat for a moment? I just need to get a different bag..... It's walking distance from here and on the way to the hospital, but really- oh, your leg....."

    <i> How did you not notice this before? He has the cane and he's limping! Stupid, stupid, stupid!</i>