Hello! This is the second story that I did a looong time ago but was never made into a proper fic that was worth publishing. But I went to edit it, and hmm, I hope to add in a second chapter to this. You'll find out why. I just don't know when I'd do so, and given my track record so far, whether I'd even do it. But I'll try my best for now.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you like it! :DDD

"Mummy, please leave me alone."

"I would do that, but only after you can prove to me that you will find someone to live your life with."

Sherlock grimaced in the most childish of ways upon hearing his mother's reply, and watching her son do that brought Mrs Holmes back to the times where Sherlock was just a boy, growing up and experiencing Life with enthusiasm and curiosity. She sighed once realising that said boy was now 38 years old, and that childish grimace merely looked odd on his angular and sharp face. "William Sherlock Scott Holmes, you stop making that face – no wonder no women would want you, what with all that pouting you do!"

"I do not pout!" Sherlock retaliated, a horrified look framing his handsome face.

"Oh, yes you do - I've seen it at work for far too many times over the years, and even now I still see it in action. Oh Sherlock, at this rate, you're not going to have children, and I won't experience the joys of being a grandmother."

"Go and ask Mycroft for grandchildren, then."

"He's doing his best - or I hope he is - to find that one woman he can be with; sometimes it's just not the time, you know."

"Yes I know, so that means it's not the time for me to give you grandchildren as well. Or maybe forever."

Mummy Holmes glared at the wide toothy grin on her youngest son's face, wishing she could smack some sense into him that living and growing old alone was something no one should ever experience. She had a friend who once declared that she would stay single forever, and she stayed by that claim until she realised at a very old age that she wanted to have someone to share her things and thoughts and love with. But it was already too late for her, and it was sad. All Mrs Holmes wanted was for Sherlock to not live with that regret, despite the façade he continually kept up that he wanted to be alone forever.

Dropping the subject of grandchildren for the moment, she quickly picked up another. "So when are you going to properly introduce us to that sweet girl from the hospital?"

Sherlock was munching on a cracker, already very bored and had taken to staring at the opposite wall of the kitchen, when his mother posed the question to him; 'surprised' was an understatement, and he immediately choked on the cracker bit that was lodged in his throat. He hacked out the piece and dropped the rest of the cracker on the plate in front of him before he spluttered out his surprise. "What?!"

"You okay?"

"No I'm not okay – why do you want to know about Molly?!"

"Oh, Molly – such an adorable a name for an adorable woman, don't you think so?"

"Mummy, leave her alone!"

"I've seen her interact with you, and I think she's better than that other one you had, the one you quickly went to bed with. Oh, what's her name…Janine! That bridesmaid from John and Mary's wedding, right?"

Sherlock glared at his mother, who was in turn unaffected by her son's decidedly foul mood as she moved around the kitchen dusting and cleaning. "How did you come to know this?" he demanded from his mother, then quickly added, "And no, I did not bed her, I can assure you – I have no interest in doing so, since she was just a means to an-"

"So you're saving for Molly?"

"Mummy!" That horrified expression came back, and Mummy Holmes merely chuckled. Oh, how she missed teasing her sons.

"Did Mycroft grant you access to the CCTVs again?" Sherlock continued, this time with a dark look on his face. "If he did, I swear I will-"

"You will not do anything to your brother, Sherlock," the elder woman scolded her son as she put the kettle on to make tea. "The CCTVs were last month or two; I merely had a nice little chat with Mrs Hudson just last week. That nice lady sure has a lot to talk about in regards to you and your best friend, I say."

"That's worse than the CCTVs," Sherlock said, reluctantly giving up. To show his disappointment, he slouched in his seat, bringing his arms to cross his chest, and gave a large pout.

"Sherlock!" Mrs Holmes swatted him with a hand towel once noticing him pouting once more. "Good God, after your 'resurrection' you've become more like your old childish self, and though I like this more than who you were years back, pouting does not suit your face now than it did when you were 10."

He retaliated by shoving his head up towards her and showing her his pout, which he made more prominent.

Sighing, she rolled her eyes and went back to her task. "Anyway, do not change the subject – you know Molly for quite a long time already, but you never talk much about her to us. What have the two of you been doing?"

Sherlock harrumphed in reply. "She gets me coffee, she lets me use her body parts, she takes care of my cultures, she stays silent when we do things together."

"Are those innuendos?"

The youngest Holmes snapped his head to his right and widened his eyes in disbelief; his mother, though, had her back towards him, with her washing the dishes in the sink. "Oh yes, Mummy – we've been doing it for years now," he sarcastically replied, though it was true – it had been many years that Sherlock had worked with Molly.

Which only made Mummy Holmes stop what she was doing and clap her hands in glee, bubbles flying everywhere as she expressed her excitement. "My boy's been getting some action, and he doesn't share it with us? Bring her over for dinner tomorrow! Why have you been keeping this from us?"

"I won't invite Molly over for dinner! I don't eat anyway, so it will be useless," Sherlock finalised, tired of his mother insinuating things that were not real. Speaking of insinuation… "And I think we're on different pages, Mummy – I don't get 'action'!"

"Oh, pish posh, honey. You will get her here to have dinner with us if it's the last thing I'll ever do. And of course you won't get any action at this rate, what with you being this childish. Women like men, not irritating whiny boys."

"I don't whine," Sherlock whined.

"Of course you don't," she assured sarcastically.

Wiping her hands on a hand cloth, Mrs Holmes made her way over to her son, who was seated with an agitated expression. She tapped his right shoulder continuously until she got Sherlock's attention, and she waited until he was looking at her before she took the seat beside him at the dining table. "Sherlock, look – I know how it is, to let people in after everything you've been through."

Sherlock scoffed and was about to get up and exit the kitchen – he was in no mood to receive some sentimental lecture from his own mother – when she continued, "But you've come so far, Sherlock. I now hear John telling everyone in such a proud tone of voice that you're his best friend, and Mrs Hudson telling me how, despite all your troublesome antics, you've become more aware of how your actions affect other people. That inspector who consults you? He says that you're one of the greatest men he has ever had the pleasure of knowing – bar the insensitivity you still bring with you – and recently, you're turning to be a good one."

Knowing that whatever she was saying was slowly being digested by the man before her, the man she took care of for the past 36 years, she went on, her voice soft and gentle, "Mike has changed too, after your faked suicide – did you know, while you were out there, dismantling whatever evil there was, he texted me and your father, to keep us up-to-date with your and his condition? He always ends it with 'Don't worry', and that means a lot.

Sherlock, you cannot go back to the way you were – you've grown so much, learned a lot. I know you did, so don't try to deny that. You've become a better boy now, and that past you had, it's behind you. It's behind all of us. You've experienced the love people have given you over the years, and now you're slowly reciprocating. I'm proud of you. It took you a bit longer, but you're getting there, and it's all that matters. You deserve to be loved, but not only by us, not only by family and friends – you need to experience intimate love too."

Mrs Holmes continued to talk to her son, whose head was bowed down as he took in his mother's words. "Ms Adler, I thought she was a little on the dangerous side – okay, more than dangerous, if reading John's blog was anything to go by-"

"You've been reading John's blog too?"

"Didn't you know? Your father's favourite is about the Hounds of Baskerville.

Anyway. She sounds exciting, enticing, but as a mother, I didn't feel that she's good to settle down with – I still don't. She's much too dangerous, much too risk-taking – I don't want your heart to ever be at the receiving end of said risk.

And then there's Janine – I thought you finally found someone to be with, but no, she's someone you needed and used for a case. That was not nice of you! Though, I have to admit, I don't believe that your 'relationship' with her will last, given the circumstances which led to both of you being together – I mean, just two months in and she stayed the nights with you? Highly suspicious, but I didn't say anything when I came to know about it, because I honestly thought that if you were happy, then so be it. But again, Sherlock – using women is not good.

I know how you are, and though you hide it so well, it slips through the cracks of your walls; you need someone to ground you down to reality. Your mind is one wonderful thing, but you're living in the real world and you cannot always escape to that beautiful mind forever. The things you see there, they're something you cannot touch; they're something that are considered to be not real. Intangible, Sherlock. It'll be devastating for me and your father to see you eventually conjure something in your mind, like love, but never truly experienced how it felt like; it would all be in your mind, as that saying goes.

But Molly. Mike told me things about you and her, how the 'girl from the hospital' would cling to every word you say, about how smitten she was by you and your mind, yet you ignored her advances. You know Mike had a talk with her? Before you officially went to become a consulting detective."

"More like Mycroft kidnapped her in the same way he had with John the first time he became my flatmate, yes."

"Mike asked her what made her want to continue her acquaintanceship with you, and she replied that it was your mind that captivated her. The way that you, at one glance, could uncover the secrets of the bodies and determine their killers. She commented that, because of your refined deductive abilities and haughty air around you, she expected you to eventually go to the 'dark side', but instead there you were, working side-by-side with the police and helping them out, bringing the guilty to justice."

"Molly never told me any of this after she was interrogated by him," Sherlock frowned, recalling that period of time.

"Because you never asked. You were not interested in her then. But now, Sherlock, you can. She's helped you a lot, stayed by your side during your fall, in the literal and figurative sense. You trust her, I know you do. If not, why would you, for example, demand to work with her every time, if the stories I've heard from Mike were true, and also trust her with your life?"

Mrs Holmes patted her dear son on his shoulder as she rose from her seat. "Well, I hope that's going to be enough for you to think about, Sherlock – you may think that you're above such 'trivial' emotions now, but 20 years down the road, when you're old and withered? Will you have anyone there next to you to make you tea every morning and constantly tell you that they love you and you mind?"

Leaving her son, who wore a wistful expression on his handsome face, in the kitchen, Mrs Holmes walked to the living room, where her husband was sat reading the day's newspaper. She settled herself beside him and patted his knee. "Sherlock might just finally find the true value of love, dear," she said with a fond smile on her face.

You are invited to dinner with me and my parents this Saturday. Wear something casual and light. Car to pick you up at 1530. - SH