The Dead Man Walking

986 72 41

"Ready to go then?" Molly wondered, walking around into Redbeard's stall and watching as Billy struggled.
"You claim to be a lady and yet you borrow my pants." Sherlock pointed out. Molly scowled, looking down at her rather controversial outfit and struggling. She was wearing a pair of Sherlock's rather baggy pants and a cotton shirt, wearing a pair of leather boots with her hair in a braid. She looked good, in a rugged sort of way, it impressed Sherlock that someone who wore dresses every day of their life could also wear pants.
"They're a lot freer than a dress; I can jump around and not run the risk of exposing too much leg to the general public." Molly shrugged.
"Yes well, I suppose that's a good thing." Sherlock grumbled. He looked over at Billy, who had finally gotten the saddle and reins attached, and sighed heavily.
"I need to tell you about something." Sherlock muttered to Molly, quietly so that Billy wouldn't hear.
"Is it know who?" Molly wondered. Sherlock nodded with a small little smile, and Moly clapped her hands in excitement.
"He said yes?" Molly wondered.
"No, of course not, but he might. We're meeting in the throne room after dinner, where it will be nice and private." Sherlock said with a hopeful smile.
"You've got a date tonight?" Billy wondered, popping up behind Sherlock's shoulder as if expecting to hear some sort of story.
"No, go away Billy." Sherlock snapped, and Billy frowned a little bit, looking at Molly hopefully.
"Then who are you meeting at the nice private throne room?" he wondered.
"No one Billy!" Sherlock growled.
"It's alright, you'll find out eventually. Sherlock's not very quiet when he's excited." Moly insisted.
"Is this the same person you were so scared to meet las tonight, when you were brushing your hair a million times?" Billy guested.
"Stop having a mind of your own and get on the horse." Sherlock insisted, pushing Billy away rather forcefully.
"Alright, I'll see you two on the road." Molly decided, smiling encouragingly at the two of them as if wishing them luck before prancing back over to Helen's stall. Billy had just managed to get onto the horse when Sherlock swung himself up, remembering the last time he had ridden a horse, with John's arms wrapped carelessly around him. That had been a wonderful time, that is until Sherlock almost drowned and John yelled at him. Still, they had been closer than ever.
"Alright sir, here we go." Billy warned, kicking the horse and starting him off down the pasture. Molly was already a ways down, riding on Helen as fast as she could, presumably loving the freedom. Sherlock made sure not to wrap his arms around Billy or any sort of thing, so he very gently held onto his shoulders, just to be sure there was no unnecessary embraces. Then again Redbeard wasn't going very fast, and by the time they reached the edge of the forest Molly was already stopped and Helen had enough time to feast on the many grasses and flowers that grew on the edge of the field.
"About time you two showed up." Molly teased, kicking Helen and starting her way down the narrow forest paths. Sherlock now had his arms crossed, being bumped up and down gently as Redbeard took his steps.
"So where exactly are we going?" Sherlock wondered moodily, looking through the trees for any sign of life. He would be satisfied if they just shot a bird or a squirrel and went home; honestly he wasn't in the mood for trekking around in the wild with Molly and Billy.
"Just to the river, then we'll tie the horses and walk from there. "Molly decided.
"I thought you were the one hunting?" Billy wondered, and Sherlock just rolled his eyes.
"Billy you know I can't hunt." Sherlock snapped.
"Then how do you get all of those deer and pigs?" Billy asked, craning his neck so that he could see Sherlock on the back of the horse. Sherlock just laughed, shaking his head as if that were a pathetic question.
"You wonder why I take Molly on these expeditions, well that's how. She kills them for me." Sherlock admitted with a shrug.
"You're kidding!" Billy exclaimed with excitement, looking over to where Molly was sitting up a bit straighter in her saddle. Obviously she could hear their conversation from where she sat. They finally reached the river bank where they could still see footprints in the mud from their past excursions. Sherlock wondered which footprints belonged to him and which to John, but there was no way of telling without really concentrating, and Sherlock was no detective. They tied the horses to a tree, fed them a couple of carrots and grabbed their things, making their way through the very narrow footpaths that lead farther downstream. Mollyled the way with the bow, making her way easily through the underbrush like some sort of graceful deer. Sherlock was having a little bit of trouble, he ducked under branches but the quiver on his back kept getting caught, tree branches snagging an arrow and spilling the whole thing on the ground. Billy was bringing up the rear, as usual, weighed down with the game back full of Sherlock's books, even though there probably wasn't going to be much room for literature on this trip.
"Do you even know where you're going?" Sherlock called over the roaring of the river, jumping over and tree root but landing in some mud. Sherlock groaned, trying to clean off his shoes the best he could without letting Molly get too far ahead.
"Of course I do, there's a clearing just up ahead, I think you'll like it." Molly decided.
"I swear if we have to sit in a tree again I'll kill you with one of these arrows." Sherlock threatened, remembering one fateful hunting day.
"That was fun, admit it!" Molly insisted.
"You only shot like what, a groundhog? And then it started to rain." Sherlock defended.
"Well at least we had the canopy to keep us dry." Molly muttered.
"Ya, until we walked back." Sherlock growled. Molly sighed heavily, but obviously she could tell when she had been beaten.
"Alright, so maybe it wasn't the best hunting trip ever." she agreed. Sherlock smiled in agreement and forged on, his legs getting a little bit sore from all of this physical labor. Who knew walking could be so exhausting? Finally Sherlock could see sunlight poking through the trees, and before he knew it he had walked into a beautiful field of flowers. There were all sorts of wildflowers growing in this clearing, everything from white daisies to purple violets; the field glowed with life and beauty. The sun was shining down on the field with a golden light, butterflies were flying around and there was a chorus of birds chirping in the trees. Sherlock smiled widely, looking around and having the strangest sense to frolic.
"I knew you'd like it. Now let's kill stuff." Molly said with a smile, walking over to a nice spot on the edge of the woods, standing next to a tree with the bow in hand.
"So we just wait?" Billy wondered, finally catching up and taking deep breaths, like he had run.
"Have you ever been hunting before Billy? Ever in your life?" Sherlock asked with a scowl.
"Have you ever actually killed something?" Billy wondered, and Sherlock's confidence flustered.
"Yes, I have. Remember that time there was a spider in my room, but you were out getting water for my bath and I had to kill it myself?" Sherlock pointed out, looking quite proud of himself.
"How very brave." Molly mumbled. "Now everyone shut up, we won't see anything if you keep talking." Billy frowned and Sherlock pouted, but the two kept quiet and watched the woods and the fields for any signs of life. It was terribly boring to be honest, so instead of standing next to a tree Sherlock went out into the field and picked a nice arrangement of wild flowers for John. He was kind of worried that Molly would mistake him for a deer and shoot him, so every once and a while he'd perk up from where he was crouched and wave to the two. They waved back, of course, and he went back to picking the flowers. At the end of the day Molly was only able to kill a raccoon (which they were all convinced was a little bit psycho, since it had been running around in circles before she shot it), a couple of squirrels, and a nice fat rabbit. IT wasn't much, but it was enough for the queen to be proud of her son, even though all he killed were a couple of lovely flowers.
"Who are those for?" Billy wondered, noticing the bouquet clutched in Sherlock's fist. Billy was still carrying the game bag although there was no game inside of it; all of the dead animals were slung over Molly's shoulder with ropes tied around their back legs, as if she were so proud of killing them that she instead on carrying them.
"No one you need concern yourself with." Sherlock snapped, increasing his speed so that he could walk closer to Molly.
"You better get back soon Sherlock; you're expected in the throne room after dinner right?" Molly wondered. Sherlock nodded, looking up at the sun's positioning in the sky. It was getting later, he knew that, but if he had to miss dinner that would be alright. Billy had packed sandwiches for them for lunch, so it wasn't like he was going to starve.
"What do you think will become of tonight Molly, what do you think he'll say?" Sherlock wondered.
"I don't know, but I have a feeling that whatever it is, you'll like it. I think he likes you Sherlock, I really think he does." Molly assured.
"Who likes you?" Billy wondered, nosing into their conversation uninvited.
"Shut up!" Sherlock insisted, swinging the quiver at him yet missing entirely.  

Heir ApparentlyRead this story for FREE!