Mrs Hudson, Archie - Baker Street
"Archie dear, you're a year older now, and so am I - I cannot keep up with you and punish you for misbehaving, so you have to cooperate with me and tone down your behaviour."
Stopping to a halt around the dining table, Archie shot a mischievous grin at the elder woman, but his grin waned at her expression.
"Mrs Hudson? What's happened?" he asked worriedly, slowly walking around the table to reach her, his eyes not leaving her face.
She looked like she was in pain, eyes shut tightly with a hand gripping the back of a dining chair - had he over-exerted her with the chase?
Cautiously standing beside her, he placed the ashtray on the table; he was about to tiptoe to ask his aunt another question when her eyes snapped open and the hand that gripped the chair shot out to grab at his arm.
Screaming in shock, Archie would have fallen backwards if it were not for the strong grip of the older lady on his arm; Mrs Hudson chuckled at her nephew's reaction and pulled him closer to her.
She felt the young boy cease his movements, and she let out a resigned sigh. "What I've said is true, Archie - I cannot run after you anymore; my hip is constantly acting up, and I no longer have the strength to run."
Archie looked up at her, lips pursed. He then mumbled out an apology, eyes cast downwards. He looked up at her again. "Thank you for trying to run after me, even when you're tired," he said quietly. "I like playing with you; it gets lonely here without...anyone else."
Mrs Hudson gave him a small smile and ruffled his black mop of hair. "You'll always have me, dear Archie. We're family now, and sometimes that's all the company we need."
He nodded, and gave her a smile in return. The loud sounds of explosions broke the moment and the both of them turned their heads to the windows, to see bright lights and fireworks in the sky.
Archie watched the fireworks for a moment, then turned his head to Mrs Hudson. "Happy new year, Mrs Hudson."
Lestrade, Donovan, Mycroft - New Scotland Yard
"Look at that - fireworks outside, and we can't enjoy it one bit."
Lestrade grumbled through a large bite of doughnut as he watched through his office windows the bright spectacle of fireworks exploding. Sally, leaning her hip against his desk, let out a laugh.
"Too bad we're stuck with night duty on New Year's Eve. At least the fireworks can be seen from here."
He let out another grumble and took another large bite. A brisk knock on the door had both the inspector and sergeant frowning at each other. Not expecting any visitors at this time of night - almost half the Force was off-duty, and typically they would barge in the room anyway - they were immediately on high alert.
Abandoning his doughnut for the moment, Lestrade nodded his head towards the door; Sally caught his drift and quietly made her way there, a hand already on her back where her backup pistol was kept. Lestrade's eyes never left the door, his own hand pulling open a drawer to retrieve his own handgun.
The door opened before Sally could reach it, and instinctively she pulled out her gun; behind her, Lestrade had brought out his gun as well and was aiming at the general direction of the intruder's head.
"Stand down. It is a relief to see that the Force is always on the alert, however."
"Mycroft," Lestrade mumbled, rolling his eyes while he pocketed his handgun; Sally followed suit, and raised an eyebrow at the elder Holmes.
"And what has brought the Great Holmes over to our second home?" she then narrowed her eyes. "Has there been a crime? Some sort of New Year's eve puzzle?"
"Nothing of the sort, Sergeant Donovan," Mycroft replied dismissively. "Rather, I merely wanted to see who was on duty on this last day of the year."
"Inspector Lestrade and Sergeant Donovan at your service," Lestrade mumbled, settling back into his seat. "We took the shorter end of the sticks and are stuck here on this last day of the year, as you so eloquently said."
"Odd that you would want to swing by to see who's on duty," Sally commented as she walked back to her previous position of leaning against the desk.
Mycroft made to brush an invisible lint off his suit jacket. "A lot of things have been odd as of late - does anything really surprises you anymore?"
Sally blinked and glanced at her superior; he was taking another bite out of his still-not-finished doughnut, and, catching her gaze, shrugged. "At this point," he mumbled through his doughnut, "what with the Moriarty and Magnussen cases and the faux return of Moriarty, not to mention the 'death' and 'resurrection' of Sherlock, I'm inclined to say nothing should surprise us anymore when it comes to you Holmes brothers."
Mycroft nodded. A loud burst of sound from outside the window caught their attention, and they watched as the fireworks exploded into colours against the dark sky.
Sally pushed off the desk and walked to the mini fridge in Lestrade's office; she pulled it open and brought out three small packets of chocolate milk, and handed one over to Mycroft and Lestrade each.
"Since when did I have chocolate milk stocked up in the fridge?" Lestrade asked, looking down at the offending item before deciding to open it anyway. Mycroft had accepted his with a nod, and was now opening his packet of milk.
"You never did," Sally said, once again leaning against the desk as she opened her packet of milk. "I brought them up here earlier just now since we both are on night duty tonight, and because I like chocolate milk as my choice of beverage at night."
She looked over at her seated superior with the doughnut in one hand and the now-opened milk in another, and at the man she had once thought was intimidating, but now less so, and raised her packet of milk in a toast. "To a new year without having to deal with any more psychopaths because we're all getting one year older for that kind of shit."
John, Mary, Abigail - Watson residence
"And that's what the little red hen said."
Abigail Watson giggled, then hiccupped. John laughed as she looked confused for a moment at the noise she had made before she too let out her own little laugh.
Watching from across the doorway stood Mary Watson, taking in the sight before her, of her husband murmuring to her daughter and the latter making grabby hands at him in return. She finally made her presence known, walking into the nursery as John stood up then bent his body to heave little Abigail up into his arms.
Aware of his wife approaching, he gave her a smile and a kiss on the forehead as greeting. Abigail watched the interaction with rapt interest before making to grab at her mother's head. Mary raised her eyebrows at her daughter before leaning towards her, effectively bringing her head at arm's length of Abigail.
The little girl pinched both her mother's cheeks with her two tiny hands and pulled at them towards her direction; Mary acquiesced, and soon she felt a wet smack of small lips on her own forehead, near where her husband had placed his kiss moments before.
Reeling her head back, Mary gave a huge smile and planted a kiss of her own on her daughter's forehead; Abigail laughed for a while before she let out a mighty yawn.
"Looks like someone's ready for bedtime," John announced, looking at the decidedly sleepy face of his daughter.
A loud sound coming from outside startled Abigail, and she blinked rapidly in shock. Mary and John, however, looked out the window to see smattering of various colours against the night backdrop of the sky.
"Look at that, Abigail - fireworks."
At her father's calm tone, Abigail ceased her want to whimper, and instead her eyes went wide open as the colours continued to show. John walked to the window of the nursery, and with his wife standing next to him, the trio watched the fireworks display outside.
After a minute, John looked down at his daughter in his arms, only to find that her eyes were still wide open. "And just when I thought Abigail's ready for bedtime," he sighed upon seeing how awake she was instead.
"It won't hurt to let her stay up for another five minutes or more, would it?" Mary teased as she gave him a light nudge to the side, while he mumbled something about having to spend even more time getting her to even feel sleepy.
Nonetheless, the Watsons continued to stand by the window. Leaning her head on her husband's shoulder, she let out a contented sigh and a mumbled, "Happy new year, John."
Sherlock, Molly - town park
"Fancy seeing you here, Molly Hooper."
Molly looked up with wide, surprised eyes, having recognised that baritone of a voice.
She had decided to not spend the last night of the year cooped up at home, and had instead chosen to wander around her neighbourhood. Taking in the festive atmosphere, she watched as kids ran around with confetti in their hands, teenagers wishing random passers-by a happy new year, and adults talking among themselves with a smile on their faces.
It seemed that they were all excited for the arrival of the new year, something she was not eager to do the same. It would be the same old, same old, wouldn't it?
She found herself in the town park a few minutes later. She was about to make her way back to her apartment when loud bursts of sounds erupted from somewhere near behind her; swivelling her head around, she caught one of the fireworks explode mid-air, creating colours and patterns in the night sky. She had decided to sit at a bench and watch the display before she went home.
What were the odds of meeting Sherlock Holmes here, anyway, she thought as the man himself settled down in the seat next to her; instinctively, she scooted to her right to make space for him seated at the left.
Sherlock leaned back, legs crossed over one another but his hands rested next to his sides. Molly's eyes looked him over, eagerly devouring his choice of attire for the night.
He was not in his usual garb of signature Belstaff coat, tight dress shirt, black suit jacket and form-fitting trouser pants; instead he was looking more casual dressed in a plain grey shirt and a pair of black jeans. As much as Molly liked to secretly stare at his purple shirt which always looked strained around his chest, she had to admit that casual shirts really did fit him, if not much better.
Despite the noises of the firework explosions and chit-chattering of the people around them watching said firework explosions, it felt deathly silent between her and Sherlock, so she broke the silence soon after to try to strike up a conversation with him. "On a case, are you?"
Sherlock glanced her way from the corner of his eyes before he looked away. "No."
Molly blinked. She tried again. "Oh?"
He sighed, bringing his right hand up to ruffle his hair. "I've not been on a case since two days ago, since that Bart's visit where I had to see the body of Jamerson Andrews."
Glancing again at the woman beside him, he saw her eyebrow raised. Suddenly feeling the need to explain himself, he continued, "I'm not on a case, I just had the urge to go outside, and I wandered around London cataloguing any changes in route and alleyway as I walked. Thus the choice of attire you see here, so that I could blend in. My journey led me here, and I saw you, so I thought to say 'hi' because that's what friends do when they spot each other."
He looked at her again. She nodded her head and looked away. "Hmm, okay."
He frowned at her short reply. "'Okay'? I sputtered out a lot and that's what you reply with? 'Okay'?"
Molly let out a laugh at the tone of indignation in his voice. "Well, essentially what I got out of your rambling is that you're out and about like me and we managed to meet each other here in the park."
Sherlock huffed at her short summary of what happened.
They both sat in silence once more, watching the display of fireworks before them. Molly felt something on her right arm and looked down to what it was. Before she launched herself to the side in fear and bumped into Sherlock.
His right hand immediately shot out to grab at her right shoulder to stabilise her as his other hand grabbed at her left arm. "Molly? What is it?" he asked, panic lacing his words.
Instead of answering, she buried her head into the crook of his neck, and he could feel slight tremors throughout her whole body. He looked over to where she had previously seated, but one look at her right arm and he knew what her source of fright was.
Plucking it by the body, he brought it over to inspect it. Molly turned her head from his neck to find tiny legs in her line of sight and pushed her body away from him. "Sherlock! Get that thing off me!"
"It's not on you anymore, Molly," he chuckled. "You've encountered maggots and beetles and even cockroaches in your line of duty as pathologist - how are you afraid of grasshoppers?"
"I'm terrified because that particular one looks horrendously large for its species!"
Sherlock continued to examine the grasshopper while Molly looked at it in disgust. Shifting her gaze to his face instead, she could not help but appreciate the intense look he had in his eyes, the one he would have whenever something of interest caught his attention for the moment.
He mumbled something out, and Molly could barely make out what he said, which confused her. "Wonder how John would react to it this time round."
Then he leaned over his side of the bench to deposit the insect on the ground. But not before waving it again in Molly's face, who screamed in surprise and fright. As he laughed out loud while watching the grasshopper hop away, she landed a slap to his chest. "Not funny, Sherlock!"
"Not so, true. Rather, it was hilarious."
Rolling her eyes, she sat back and crossed her arms in indignation. The man beside her let out a last chuckle before silence reigned once more. They were sitting comfortably now, and Molly realised the close proximity between them, how they were now seated side by side compared to earlier on when they sat and kept to their side of the bench.
She felt light brushing against her right shoulder and immediately tensed up, still too strung over the grasshopper incident and now thinking another insect had landed on her shoulder instead. The brushing became a few strokes, and she looked over cautiously to her right shoulder. Pale, long fingers almost encompassed the whole ball of her shoulder, and she could see the thumb moving in slow circular strokes.
She hazarded a guess as to whose fingers they belonged to, and looked over to Sherlock seated on her left side; he was looking resolutely forward, eyes fixed on the fireworks, but she could see where his right arm had disappeared over her shoulder. Deciding not to say anything, she instead made the choice to be bold and leaned her head against his broad shoulder. She could feel his body moving in time to his breath intake and exhalation, causing her to feel calm.
She felt the fingers tightened against her shoulder, and felt herself being pulled closer. A slight weight on her head, and a whispered "Happy new year, Molly Hooper," against her hair made the transition of the end of the year to a brand new year a sweet one.
The grasshopper is a nod to my first fic I've written on , All to do with caring, in which one of the chapters had something to do with grasshoppers and John Watson AHAHAHA XD That was a long time ago, that little fiction, and about 40 stories later it has brought me here. Ushering in the new year, I'm surprised at how far I've come in terms of staying in this fandom and me writing in general. I've not written much as of late, but it's always great when I do.
Definitely the best pairing I've ever invested my heart in, I'm looking forward for more Sherlolly in Series 4! Also, I need to see Molly in The Abominable Bride that's going to air in mere hours' time! Anyway, cheers to a great 2016 to all my readers and Sherlollians out there around the world! :DDD
PS. I think it's snowing where the characters are, right? Cos I never mentioned any cold weather whatsoever. I totally forgot that weather where they are is different from Singapore's, whoops. I sincerely hope it's not a huge mistake to leave out the weather ._.