A/N: This is a oneshot which accompanies a piece of fanart which I have posted on Tumblr.
A small boy leaned against the railing of a stone balcony as he gazed down at the celebration below. His brother, seven years his elder, brushed colourful confetti from the boy's curly black hair.
"The queen has returned, we have resolved our differences with the Gungans, and the Trade Federation driven from our planet. The people have earned this celebration," the older brother said quietly, a pleased look on his normally stoic features. The pair listened to the festive music for a long moment. The boy could feel the calls of the Gungan horns resonate in his collarbones and he was struck by the thought that it would be many years before he would set eyes on these streets and these people again. It saddened him more than he cared to admit. "Now that the occupation has ended, you and I can leave Naboo." The elder brother took a few steps toward the door to the inside and looked back when he noticed the other wasn't following. "Come, Sherlock. We've a transport to catch." Wordlessly, Sherlock moved away from the balcony and let his brother wrap an arm around his shoulders to pull him inside.
It took Sherlock Holmes longer than the other Younglings at the Jedi Temple his age to be assigned to a master. He was incredibly talented, but his discipline was severely lacking. Master Yoda requested that he be held back until a suitable teacher could be found for him. This left him in a frustrating limbo where he had nothing to do but study and meditate. The meditation helped a little, but not enough. He needed new challenges and excitement to thrive. His frustration grew when one afternoon, he found his usually quiet and isolated meditation spot occupied by another child.
"Excuse me." He announced his presence much more sharply than would have been considered correct for a Jedi. The girl whom he had addressed immediately opened her eyes and looked at him.
"You're Sherlock Holmes, aren't you? The other one who's been held back." She had a small voice to match her slight figure, but her large brown eyes seemed to detect all. At that moment, Sherlock knew she was different.
"Yes. And why are they holding you?" His tone was perhaps more impertinent than he intended to be due to his irritated mood.
"I have difficulty letting go of personal attachments. My father is ill and so I fear for him. Master Yoda thought it best that I spend more time learning to let go before I start traveling with a tutor," the girl admitted shyly.
"And he is right. You must not cling to your connections with others. It will only cause harm in the end."
"I know." She seemed embarrassed and he couldn't blame her. He'd be utterly ashamed if he still allowed himself to think longingly of Naboo and his family. The girl seemed to sense his annoyance with her and got up. "Forgive me. I must be disrupting your routine. I'll go." She moved towards the exit, but he gave a dismissive gesture.
"There's no need for that. Stay if you wish. All I ask is that you not disturb my meditation." She beamed at this and returned to the place where she had once sat. He immediately regretted this choice once he learnt her name and got the inkling that he had initiated a long standing rivalry most unbecoming of a Jedi. Time showed it to be much more of a friendship which contained a rivalry than anything else. Sherlock liked Molly. She was clever and kind and strangely quite forgiving of his transgressions in politeness. He spent time with her whenever he could. Being with her made him feel that he hadn't failed himself or the Order in being held back like this and he grew more fond of her than he ever had of anyone. Even after they were both assigned tutors, they saw each other often, and Sherlock began to wonder in the back of his vast mind if his relationship with Molly was changing into something frowned upon by the Jedi teachings.
Sherlock was admittedly displeased when, at the age of sixteen, Molly Hooper became a full Jedi Knight. His teacher, Master Lestrade, saw this and forced him to sit through a long lecture about the dangers of jealousy. He tried to listen, but something about Molly Hooper made keeping a lid on his emotions difficult. He resolved to stay away from her for the next few years after he realized that the problem was that he had become too attached to her. Master Lestrade praised him for this decision after he confessed to the silver haired man his thoughts.
Gregory Lestrade had become rather like a father to Sherlock and he had learnt that he could trust his teacher with personal matters if he felt inclined to share them (which was not often). He suspected that it was one of the reasons Master Lestrade had been chosen for him.
"You feel too little for others and too much for Master Hooper. It'll be good for you to spend some time finding balance. You'll know peace when you discover the unconditional love that all Jedi are encouraged to feel," he told Sherlock. This time, the young man found it much easier to listen.
When next Sherlock and Molly met, he was still a Padawan, but he no longer let it bother him. He had matured as a Jedi and now felt perfectly comfortable and in control in Molly's presence. They spent a pleasant afternoon together between missions and he even told her about life on Naboo without feeling as if he'd become deeply invested. Oddly enough, the Jedi Council saw this more than anything as a sign of his readiness to face the Trials. Soon thereafter, he cut off his braid and became a Jedi Master.
The Council thought he and Molly would work well together, so the two were sent with a regiment of clones to fight in the war. The Council had been correct and the success that followed earned the pair a leave of absence after they were both wounded in battle. Sherlock took Molly with him to Naboo to stay with his parents, who were absolutely delighted to see their younger son again. Being home for the first time since he was a child affected him more than he had expected it to. It became difficult to remain the stoic Jedi he had built himself into.
One night, they stood in the field in front of his parent's house, gazing up at the stars. There was something soothing about it, feeling the wind on his face and talking to Molly under the night sky.
"You are privileged to have come from such a beautiful place," she commented.
"Coruscant is no less beautiful. Its aesthetic strengths only lie in different areas," Sherlock replied, holding his hands behind his back. His side was still sore from where he'd been shot, but they'd be leaving soon since Molly had fully recovered from her injuries.
"Yes, but I think I like Naboo better." This brought a smirk to Sherlock's features.
"If you'd said that to me when I was small, I would have thought you were mad," he told Molly with false seriousness. She laughed and when he looked at her and saw the shine of starlight in her eyes and the smile that graced her lips, his body unconsciously inched towards hers. His hands moved up to hold her face and he came so close to her that he could feel her breath on his skin. Before he could comprehend what he was doing, he leaned in and pressed his mouth flush against hers. When his brain caught up with his body and he remembered himself, he abruptly stepped away from Molly. Embarrassed and ashamed by his lapse of control, Sherlock stalked back inside immediately and without explanation, trying not to think about the fact that she'd kissed him back. The next morning, they both pretended that nothing had happened.
There was no denying that a tight bond had formed between them over the course of the war, but they never talked about it or even acknowledged it long enough to do anything to stop it. It was the path of least resistance that they could follow as Jedi. Sherlock justified to himself that the care he held for his colleague was the unconditional love his former teacher had described. In a way, he was right, but it was a denial of the full picture, one which he had to maintain. It finally saw its unveiling when the world seemed to be crashing down all around them.
The night they were meant to take a ship back to Coruscant, they stood together at the back entrance to the house, gazing at the garden one last time. The two clone guards who'd come with them to Naboo moved for their guns. Sensing this, the Jedi drew their lightsabers and felled the would-be assassins on reflex.
"It is as I feared," Sherlock said as he retracted the humming blue beam he held and gazed down at the seared clone parts on the ground. His mother came out to see what the noise was about and gasped at the sight of the bodies. "The Jedi have been betrayed. No world loyal to the Republic will be safe for us any longer. We must leave now or be run down," the man explained and his mother nodded in solemn understanding. Without another word, he went inside and accessed the secure channel that would put him in contact with his brother. He learnt that the Jedi Order and the Republic had been compromised and that Mycroft had already begun making arrangements for them to be taken safely into exile. Within twenty four hours, Sherlock and Molly had said their last goodbyes to his parents and boarded a ship that would take them to the Outer Rim. Their pilot was a man named John Watson who had served in the queen's royal guard and been honorably discharged after being wounded. It seemed that he was looking to escape the Republic as well and had thus happily agreed to help them. He took them to the planet Heptooine, which was a place of little concern to what was now the Galactic Empire. No one would bother looking for them there. They built a home for themselves outside the small town where John Watson had decided to settle. They would always have a friend in him and it was safer to have someone nearby whom they knew they could trust.
They were incredibly lucky. Mycroft had told them of how the Jedi Temple had been decimated and Jedi everywhere slain. Apparently there had been a call for Jedi to return to the Temple which the pair had fortunately missed. Molly could barely stand the thought of all the Younglings who had been slaughtered. She half wished she had heard the call and gone to the Temple, just so that she could have done something to protect them, even if that meant her death. Sherlock could see those thoughts in her eyes when he watched her. It was done now and there was no use getting so upset over it. This was a different life far from the old one and it would do them no good to look back.
"If we're not Jedi anymore, what are we?" Molly asked one night as they stood together outside their hut, gazing at the sky as they often did in moments of peace. Sherlock understood the anxiety in the question. They'd been Jedi for most of their lives. They knew little else and now their identities had been snatched from them.
"I don't know," Sherlock answered honestly. It wasn't something he often said, which spoke to the weight of the situation.
"Do you know why I was granted knighthood before you?" The query seemed quite out of the blue, but Sherlock ran with it.
"No. I was heavily discouraged from examining the topic in detail."
"It was because I stopped fighting my feelings and accepted them, but did not allow them to corrupt me. Master Yoda saw that this was my strength and I have never given him a reason to regret his decision. You took longer because you needed something different. You needed to shut your feelings away and I know how that can be an uphill battle."
"I'm done fighting. The stoic Jedi died on Naboo and I can't be him; I don't need to be him. Not anymore." There was a forcefulness to Sherlock's tone which concerned Molly. Suddenly, he felt lost. The woman's question echoed in his mind and she reached out to take his hand firmly in her own.
"What do you need?" He stared at her for a long time, trying to come up with a response. He was in completely uncharted emotional territory. Fortunately, his body seemed to know the answer. He pulled Molly close and kissed her just as he had on Naboo, only this time he didn't stop himself. She wrapped her arms around him and enthusiastically reciprocated. He was nearly out of breath by the time their mouths separated.
"This is what we are now," Sherlock murmured to Molly, resting his forehead against hers. "No more teachings of unconditional love holding us back."
"What do you mean? I've loved you unconditionally and with a growing intensity since the day I met you." At that statement, Sherlock laughed like a man who had just experienced a moment of clarity and kissed Molly once more.