Author: Emcee Frodis PM
When Sherlock Holmes asked John Watson to move in with him, there was something he neglected to tell his new flatmate. Unfortunately, John Watson sees but does not observe.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Sherlock H. & Molly Hooper - Chapters: 7 - Words: 37,819 - Reviews: 268 - Favs: 231 - Follows: 255 - Updated: 03-24-13 - Published: 11-10-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8691243
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Thanks to Doctor WTF, , magicstrikes, kaytianna, Nerdlee, throughthetiredeyesofme, aye2skeye, Narnian Pirate, Way Worse Than Scottish, saoirse09, Empress of Verace, broadwayb, KrisAnthemum221, spinner12, coloradoandcolorado1, varjaksnhaquyen, SCHDW, Elli, Lono, starshortcake, pinkphoenix1985, Amelia, Calicar, Mione W.G, AdamPascalRocks12, KendraPendragon, hotflower901, Hannah and a sitting duck for their feedback.
As always, love to Lexie, Pablo and Petra for beta and handholding.
THE NEWLYWED GAME
Since John Watson had moved into 221B, Sherlock and Molly hadn't rowed. The army doctor had reinvigorated Sherlock's investigations. Molly was no longer dragged out on cases. Sherlock suspected Molly was feeling a bit insecure in her place in Sherlock's life now and wanted greatly to keep him happy.
When they did have arguments, it was usually because Sherlock had hurt Molly's feelings with thoughtless words. It was a rare situation that Sherlock's ire got up. Of course, he became tetchy with boredom, but his bad moods were never specifically focused on his wife.
Even as he yelled at his bride, Sherlock thought about how strange the situation was. He stood in the doorway of their bedroom while he watched her get dressed. Thankfully, John was out with Sarah and the couple could truly express their displeasure with one another.
"Can you please just explain to me in why in the world you thought I would be all right with this?" Sherlock asked, his teeth gritted together.
Molly rolled her eyes before glancing up at him. "I didn't think you would be all right with it. I thought you would see it as a necessity."
"A necessity?" Sherlock repeated, snorting derisively. He shook his head slowly, still glaring at Molly. "While it is well documented that I am not the most informed of healthy marital practices, I am fairly certain my wife dating another man can in no way be construed as a necessity."
"I am not dating Jim," Molly insisted as she rose from the bed. She went into the closet, pushing aside Sherlock's clothes to get at her own. Lack of space meant her dresser was shoved into the back of the closet behind his suits. "We're just going out to dinner."
Sherlock scowled. "Again, I am not an expert, but that sounds like a date."
Molly came out of the closet, clutching a jumper in her hands. "It is dinner. While Jim may see it as a date, I most definitely do not. Because I am faithful to my husband."
Sherlock grunted, ruffling his hair. "So would you mind explaining to me just why you are socializing with him if he believes you two are dating?"
Molly paused for a moment. Sherlock could see her visibly calm down. "Because. I am investigating him."
Sherlock couldn't stop himself. The laughter escaped him unbidden. "You're what?"
"I'm investigating him," Molly insisted, straightening up and puffing out her chest. "Why is that so hard to believe?" She looked like a kitten trying to prove itself a tiger.
Sherlock sighed, looking down at Molly, still chuckling. "And what nefarious deed do you think Jim from IT is up to?"
Molly worried her lower lip. "I think he's after you."
Sherlock immediately stopped laughing. His furrowed his brow as he stared at Molly. "What makes you think that?"
"I met him right after you closed the case with the Chinese smugglers," Molly explained. "He fixed my computer. He asked me out for coffee, but you and I were going to have dinner. Then he came by the next day to visit me in the office."
Sherlock narrowed his gaze on Molly once again. "I am still failing to see how this implies he's up to anything but trying to pursue you."
"Well, that's what I thought at first too," Molly said. "And I was trying to think of a way to let him down gently without letting him know we're married..."
"And what would be wrong with him knowing you're married?" Sherlock questioned.
Molly cocked her head. "It's not me being married that's the problem. You're the one with the problem with it. Your family is hellbent on keeping anyone from knowing about it. For Christ's sake, Mycroft has actually hidden the marriage records."
Sherlock's brow lifted in surprise. "He has?" Perhaps he wasn't entirely surprised. Mycroft had always loathed his choice in partner. He just didn't think Mycroft would go to such extreme lengths. It hadn't mattered to Sherlock. All that mattered was that he knew he was married to Molly. "Why would he do that?"
"So that if we divorce- as he is sure we will- it will be like it never happened," Molly sighed.
Sherlock was going to have words with his brother about that. He could tell by the look on Molly's face as she explained the situation how much it hurt her that Mycroft had hidden their marriage so well. He wondered if he should come forward and admit to John about his marital status. He winced inwardly at the thought. He knew John would be angry about being kept in the dark for so long.
Sherlock decided to push the unpleasant- and irrelevant- thoughts aside to focus on Molly's current endeavour. "You still haven't explained why you think Jim is 'after me'."
"He's been asking a lot of questions about you," Molly explained. She wrung the jumper she held her hands. "He's very focused on my interactions with you. Laser-focused. It just... Rung a bell."
"A bell," Sherlock repeated slowly, nodding.
Molly sighed. "Call it women's intuition. Call it I'm married to the world's only consulting detective and I've picked up a few things. I just thought it merited investigation."
"Fine," Sherlock said quickly. "I'll investigate him. I'll cancel my trip to Belarus."
"No!" Molly cried. She finally pulled on her jumper, her voice muffing. "I can handle this on my own. Do you remember before your boyfriend moved in, when I helped you on cases? I can handle a simple investigation."
Sherlock felt a new wave of irritation rising in him. "An investigation that involves you dating a potentially dangerous suspect."
Molly crossed her arms over her chest, arching her brow in clear challenge. "Do I need to remind you of the Countess?"
Sherlock sighed. "You're a pathologist, Molly. I'm the consulting detective. It's my job."
"You made up your job, Sherlock," Molly pointed out. "If I want to be the Detective Pathologist, then you know what? I am." She reached up and cupped his face. "Go to Belarus. Give me a few more days to investigate Jim. By the time you're back, I should have a better idea as to why he's so interested in you." She got up on tiptoes, pressing a kiss to his mouth.
Sherlock sighed against Molly's mouth. "You're not wearing that jumper."
Molly pulled back. "And why not?"
Sherlock scowled. "I bought you that jumper for your birthday. If you're going out with someone else, you're not going to be wearing something I bought you."
Molly crinkled her nose. "I've married a child."
The first thing Sherlock did when he returned from Belarus was go to Barts. The details of the argument that had eventually led to the murder of the wife left him wanting to see his own bride, make sure she was all right. Especially with her 'investigation' still in progress.
He found her just about to step out of her office. He nudged her back into it, dropping his overnight bag on the floor and shutting the door behind him. He backed her up until she was against her desk, kissing her soundly. "I am back."
"I see that," Molly murmured against his mouth between kisses. "How was the case?"
"Not worth my time," Sherlock replied. "Domestic gone wrong. Nothing to investigate. Your door locks, doesn't it?"
Small hands pressed against Sherlock's chest, pushing him back. "Sherlock, I have a post-mortem. I can't just drop it because you've gotten home."
Sherlock sighed and relented. Molly was of course the most qualified pathologist at Barts. He couldn't keep her from her work. "But I missed you and I'm bored."
Molly reached up and ruffled Sherlock's hair. He hated and loved the gesture in equal measure. "Go into storage. There's a fresh head for that experiment you mentioned before you left."
Sherlock smiled down at Molly. "You got me a head."
Molly beamed up at him. "Of course I did. You wanted one."
Sherlock kissed Molly's forehead fondly before giving her a peck on the lips. "I'm sure it will keep me occupied until you get home. You're getting off at six, yes?"
Molly withdrew quickly, looking away. Definitely ashamed, Sherlock noted. "Um, well... I'm going out for a drink after work. With Jim."
Sherlock felt as if he was doused with cold water at the mention of the name. "Why do you need to go out with him again?"
"I didn't expect you back so soon!" Molly cried. She started towards the door. Sherlock grabbed his bag and trailed after her.
"Really not the issue, Molly," Sherlock grumbled.
Molly whirled around to him. "I told him I'd go out with him for a drink. I'm not going to be rude."
Sherlock shook his head. "You don't want to be rude to the man you think wants to cause me harm."
"I know he wants you," Molly replied. "I just don't know what he wants you for. Maybe he's one of Mycroft's plants. Can you please just let me figure this out?"
"But-" Sherlock started.
"I have to do my post-mortem, Sherlock," Molly insisted. "Just go home. Grab the head and do your experiment. I'll be home later."
Sherlock glared at Molly for a long moment. He then turned and strode down the corridor.
"Sherlock?" Molly called after him. "Please don't leave like that."
Sherlock didn't break his stride, completely ignoring Molly's request.
Sherlock's experiment on the severed head Molly had acquired for him did nothing to occupy his time. He had made some notes before sticking it in the refrigerator. After that, he was just left to think. John was still at the surgery. And Molly was with Jim.
He'd changed into his pyjamas and dressing gown. There was no one to dress up for at home. First he'd read through John's blog. He'd updated it with a grossly exaggerated retelling of the cab driver case. Sherlock had put his computer aside in disgust. He was left to stew on his thoughts of Molly. Molly, who was out with Jim. Having drinks with Jim. Ignoring his homecoming to spend time with some wanker from IT.
While Molly was not a terrible investigator, Sherlock had severe doubts as to her suspicions in this case. While there were a great number of people that would like to cause him harm, he doubted any of them would choose to go through Molly. One of the reasons he stayed so intensely private about his marriage was to keep Molly safe from reprisal by those he crossed. To almost everyone, Molly presented as work colleague and little more.
If this Jim was really, truly attempting to get to him through Molly, that meant he had left himself open. Of course, Molly believed he didn't know the extent of their relationship. Jim was attempting to play with Molly's affections.
But was he? Or was he perhaps just a randy IT worker who found a pretty pathologist.
But Molly believed him to be something worth investigating. Perhaps she enjoyed his company and was deluding herself into believing it was something nefarious simply so she could be around him. Maybe she knew full well what she was doing and was just telling Sherlock she was investigating.
Either way, it was bothering him. Jim. Idiotic, handsome Jim. He would be handsome, wouldn't he? If he weren't, there was no way Molly would go about her investigation in this manner.
Sherlock pulled himself out of his chair and grabbed up a can of yellow spray paint, a relic from the Van Coon case. He aimed it at the wall, painting a large smiling face. He imagined the smug computer expert.
"Oh Jim," Sherlock spoke in a sarcastic falsetto as he tossed the spray can aside. "You're evil and have absolutely horrid things planned for my husband, don't you? Well, I'm going to stop you by dating you to death."
Sherlock threw himself back down into his chair. He picked up his mobile, typing out a quick message:
Are you done yet?
After about five minutes- four minutes longer than a reply should have taken- he got an answer:
Will you please just relax?
Sherlock sneered at the reply and threw his phone aside. He then noticed the gun on the table beside him. Both John and Molly chided him for leaving it out, citing gun safety regulations.
Barely even glancing at the wall, Sherlock raised the gun. He fired at the face he'd painted.
"What the hell are you doing?" John demanded as he stormed into the flat.
Sherlock lowered the gun as he looked at his flatmate. "Bored."
Sherlock's ears were still ringing from the explosion. There was a dull ache in his neck from where his head had snapped back as he was jerked forward with the force of the explosion.
He had refused treatment from the emergency workers who had come to Baker Street. He was however standing nearby as Mrs Hudson was looked over.
"Miss, you can't come through," Sherlock could hear one of the police officers speaking insistently. "This is a crime scene."
"But my-" He recognized the voice, even laced with panic. "SHERLOCK!"
Sherlock turned to the emergency worker caring for Mrs Hudson. "Will she be all right?"
The emergency worker nodded. "She's just shaken up, Sir."
Sherlock gave Mrs Hudson a brief nod. "I'll be back, Mrs Hudson."
Sherlock strode away from the ambulance and down the street, ducking under the police tape that surrounded the perimeter. He saw Molly squaring off against the police officer who was nearly a foot taller than her, trying to keep her from the scene. He was almost tempted to hang back and watch it unfold. He suspected Molly would win.
"Molly," Sherlock called out as he walked towards her.
"Sherlock!" Molly raced to him, throwing her arms around his neck with no regard to the fact they were in public. "Are you all right?"
Sherlock wanted to tell her that it was indecorous to be so close in public. He wanted to tell her that he'd hurt his neck, but instead he just closed his eyes and enjoyed feeling her arms around him. "I'm fine," he breathed.
"There was a news report and... Oh, Sherlock." Molly's eyes filled with tears.
Sherlock pulled back and touched a hand to Molly's cheek. "You're crying."
"Of course I am!" Molly sniffled, grabbing a hold of Sherlock's jacket. "The last thing we did was fight and then I heard... I heard... Oh Sherlock..."
Sherlock tilted Molly's chin up. He ignored the presence of the emergency workers. They were too busy cleaning up the mess of the explosion anyway. He needed to reassure his wife. He leaned in and pressed his mouth to hers. Molly's fingers slipped up into his hair, threading in the curls.
"I'm sorry," Molly gasped against his mouth. "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."
"It's all right," Sherlock murmured, stroking a hand up and down her back. He withdrew finally, looking down at her tearstained face. "I'm fine, Molly."
"I should have been with you," Molly replied. She buried her face in his chest. She was speaking quickly, still panicked despite his reassurances. "You could have died. While I was out-"
Sherlock cradled Molly's face, shushing her. "Molly, I'm going to help the police investigate this explosion. Can you please take Mrs Hudson to your flat for the night and take care of her?"
Molly sighed resignedly and Sherlock knew the exact meaning of the drawn out breath. Molly hated to be reminded that Sherlock was still paying for her former flat- well, technically, their former flat, as they had both resided there early in their marriage.
"You still have your furniture there," Sherlock pointed out. "And it's cheaper than storage."
"I don't need my furniture," Molly murmured.
"Ah, but where would you go when things finally dissolve, Miss Hooper?" Sherlock winced at the smug voice a few feet away. Of course.
"Mycroft," Sherlock gripped Molly's shoulder so tight, the girl let out a small squeal. "It is bad form make disparaging comments about someone else's marriage."
Mycroft tilted his head slightly. "Oh? Have we gotten out of the habit of saying things that are true, Sherlock?"
"What do you want, Mycroft?" Sherlock hissed at his brother. If he wasn't careful, he was going to bruise Molly with how tightly he held her shoulder.
"As always," Mycroft smirked, his eyes flashing with the simmering malevolence that their family seemed to be genetically disposed to. "I am concerned with your wellbeing. There was an explosion here tonight."
Sherlock narrowed his gaze upon Mycroft. Ah, he had come to him with a case. It was something big too. The only thing Mycroft disapproved of more than his marriage was his decision to be a consulting detective.
Sherlock leaned in towards Molly. He wasn't close enough to touch her, but he could see her shiver slightly from the feel of breath against her skin. "Let me introduce you to Mrs Hudson so you can take her home."
Molly looked up at Sherlock. Her eyes were wide and shining with unshed tears. "Sherlock, I-"
Sherlock nodded briefly. He knew what she wanted to say. What she was afraid to say in public. "I know, Molly. I always know."
Sherlock and Mycroft were highly adept at staring contests. Sherlock sat in his favourite chair, his fingers idly plucking lightly at the strings of his violin.
"She's not going anywhere, Mycroft," Sherlock challenged. "I suggest if you want to maintain any sort of familial relationship that you come to terms with this."
Mycroft arched a brow. "Those are strong words, Sherlock. Surprising words. You know full well the impermanence of the supposed 'to death do us part'. What makes you think you are so different?"
Sherlock narrowed his gaze on his brother. "Because I would never engage in such an endeavour if I was uncertain of its chances of success."
Mycroft smirked back toothily. "You had only been involved romantically with Miss Hooper for a week when you made your decision to wed."
"I had already known her for three years before that," Sherlock countered.
Mycroft continued unabated. "...You were still suffering the symptoms of withdrawal. Is love the real reason you joined in your union... Or misplaced gratitude?"
The ping of Sherlock's finger pulling at his violin strings was sharp and harsh. He very nearly broke the string. He took a deep breath. "I have told you... You are not to question my wife."
For a long time, Mycroft just stared at Sherlock. He could see the thinly veiled disgust. He truly loathed Molly, incorrectly assuming she was after the Holmes family coffers. The hypothesis was without any credible substance, coming solely from their mother, hence why Mycroft believed it so wholeheartedly. Mother was less astute at deduction than Mycroft or Sherlock. But Mycroft's slavish devotion blinded him to the truth behind Molly's motives.
It was why Sherlock had not been home since Molly. It was why he would not go home until his wife was welcome as well.
Mycroft was always so quick to point out how Sherlock had broken "Mummy's" heart by refusing to come home. The truth was that Father had broken her heart, destroying her belief in a marriage for love. It was why Mycroft refused to marry.
It was also why Mycroft had to rely on spies to find out anything substantial about Sherlock's life. At one time, Sherlock had believed the notion. Mycroft was determined to make him believe it once again.
"How about you just get to the point, Mycroft? Why are you really here?" Sherlock demanded.
Mycroft stared at Sherlock from the seat that so often these days seemed to hold John. "Happily married men do not acquire roommates, Sherlock. Especially not ones who are unaware there is a marriage to speak of."
"I am not hiding Molly out of shame," Sherlock insisted. "I am not hiding her at all. It's an experiment in the awareness of others."
"Of course," Mycroft chuckled. "How long do you think you can keep using that excuse, Sherlock?"
Without saying another word, Sherlock continued to glare at his brother. Eventually, Mycroft would get around to telling Sherlock exactly what case he'd brought to him. But it seemed, for now, staring contest was going to continue.
Mrs Hudson was back at Baker Street by the time Sherlock had gone to examine 221C. Of course. Aside from the blasted out windows 221 Baker Street was fit for habitation.
When he yelled for Mrs Hudson, the matronly landlady bustled out of her flat. "Oh Sherlock!" She looked at the Detective Inspector warily. "Is everything all right? I thought things had been sorted."
"Not yet, Mrs Hudson," Sherlock replied, still staring at the door to the basement flat. "I need to get into the basement."
"Whyever would you need to do that, Sherlock?" Mrs Hudson asked. She then gave John a smile. "Oh, John... Your lady-friend got herself off to work a few hours ago. She's absolutely lovely."
Sherlock finally took his attention away from the door to look at John, whose hairline seemed to have raised in his confusion. "What are you talking about, Mrs Hudson?"
"Molly Hooper is not John's lady-friend," Sherlock interrupted quickly. He kept his eyes on John. It was the perfect time for him to reveal his relationship with Molly. If it had just been John, he might have done it. However, he didn't want to open his relationship to the Detective Inspector as well. "She heard about the explosion on the news. Wanted to make sure we were all right. She will be pleased to hear you approve of her."
Sherlock could feel Mrs Hudson scrutinizing him. "I was sure I had seen Molly coming and going from your flat..."
Turning his attention back to the door, Sherlock narrowed his gaze, as if he could will the door open by pure thought alone. "Please do be quick about the key, Mrs Hudson. There is a bomber on the loose."
"Oh dear!" Mrs Hudson said, bustling off once again.
Sherlock could feel both John and Lestrade watching him. He resolutely kept his gaze on the door. "Don't be so shocked, Lestrade. You know Molly used to assist me on cases. It's unfeasible for her to continue at crime scenes with me with her promotion, but that does not mean she does not still assist me with my experiments at home." That was a quick, clean answer.
But Sherlock knew John was still staring. Was surprised he had any sort of interest in a woman, romantic or not. "Molly Hooper used to come out with you on cases? That girl from the morgue who gets you coffee?"
Sherlock briefly glanced at John. "What? She also makes good coffee." He turned back to the door. "Mrs Hudson! Quite quickly!"
Sherlock had convinced John to say hello to Mike Stamford while he got permission to use the laboratory at Barts.
He had credentials to make this unnecessary, but he needed a moment with Molly. He strode up to her as she stared down at the paperwork on her desk. Stretching, Sherlock leaned over her desk and dropped a kiss on the back of her neck.
Molly looked up and smiled brightly. "Oh! Hello! I didn't expect to see you in today. I'd heard the explosion at Baker Street was a gas leak."
Sherlock shook his head. "Deliberate. And our bomber has giving me a game." He held up the pink mobile.
Molly frowned. "That looks like the phone from A Study in Pink."
Sherlock huffed and rolled his eyes. "You're reading John's blog too." He shoved the phone back into his pocket.
Molly got out of her chair and cupped Sherlock's face. "Sherlock, there is nothing John Watson can tell me about you that I don't already know and have accepted as one of your many, many quirks."
Sherlock crinkled his nose and pulled away from Molly. She frowned at him at his coldness, but he continued, looking down at her. "The bomber was able to get into 221C. Until this is settled, I want you to stay at your flat."
Molly worried her lower lip. He could almost see the proverbial gears turning in her head. "All right," she replied reluctantly. "But once this is over, can we please discuss giving up the flat? They say once you've had your first wedding anniversary, it's a good time to officially move in with a bloke."
"I only have twelve hours until the woman he's kidnapped gets blown up, Molly," Sherlock tugged down his jacket as he stood up straight. The woes of domestic life would have to wait until he wasn't delightfully entertained by a clever mystery. "I'll be down in the lab running trace samples."
He turned and strode towards the door. He could hear Molly's resigned sigh. "I'll be down to help you in a mo."
"Any luck?" Molly called out, her voice far too chipper as she entered the laboratory.
"Oh yes," Sherlock replied, feeling incredibly pleased with himself while Molly peeked at the computer screen beside Sherlock. John was milling in the background. Sherlock was almost amused at how the pair refused to interact even whilst in the same room.
The door to the laboratory opened once again. He was a slight, small man in a grey v-neck so tight, he looked to be half-dressed. "Oh, sorry, I-" His voice was mild and hesitant, almost like Molly's when she became nervous.
"Oh! Jim!" Molly squeaked, her voice far more excited than Sherlock's liking. "Hi! I- Come in! Come in!"
Sherlock's gaze flicked to Jim, appraising him quickly, before sweeping back to his wife, gauging her interest in the man. He didn't seem like much, but she did seem to be displaying far more interest than a case would warrant. Had she really picked up so many skills of deception from him?
Sherlock turned his attention back to his microscope. He had other things to concentrate on. Things that made senseto him. Molly's moods were mercurial and deducing them were always troublesome. The puzzle presented to him, on the other hand, would have one clear explanation. He just needed to find it.
"Jim," Molly said cheerfully. "This is Sherlock Holmes. And uhhh... Sorry..."
Oh, she really was acting, wasn't she? Pretending she didn't know John's name. Of course, it was only the second time they'd been in the same room together. John only knew her name because Mrs Hudson had mentioned her before. What was Molly playing at? A subtle jab at him for keeping her and John apart. It had not been intentional. Her slavish devotion to work had caused her and John not to cross paths. Yet he was still receiving the blame. Interesting.
"John Watson," John provided. "Hi." Sherlock could hear the discomfort in his voice. Was John wondering about his relationship with Molly? How the chipper, pixie of a Pathologist had formerly come out on cases with him?
"Hi," Jim said eagerly to Sherlock. "So you're Sherlock Holmes," there was breathless eagerness in Jim's voice as he spoke. "Molly's told me all about you. Are you on one of your cases?"
Sherlock didn't look away from his microscope. Of all of the times for him to be bothered by Molly's obsession with Jim.
"Jim works in IT upstairs. That's how we met," Molly explained unnecessarily. She really was putting on a show. She was incredibly pleased with herself. With her investigation. But Sherlock had more interesting things to focus on than Jim from IT.
Then Molly said the words that made Sherlock want to end the investigation cold. "Office romance," she was far too happy, laughing along with Jim.
Office romance indeed. This was going to stop. Now.
Sherlock turned back to Jim, giving him a quick once over. Oh, that was rich. He knew Molly had been overreacting. He turned back to his microscope. "Gay."
Molly stopped grinning. He knew it without even looking at her. It was clear in her voice her upset at his quick dismissal of her theory. "Sorry. What?"
"Nothing. Um- Hey." Sherlock smiled tightly at Jim and the man smiled back eagerly. A part of Sherlock was tempted to laugh at Molly missing the obvious motivation. The other part of him wanted to slug Jim for toying with Molly simply to meet him.
"Hey," Jim replied, foolishly knocking over a dish.
Sherlock looked down on him in every sense of the word as he picked up the dish, not-so-subtly sliding his phone number beneath it. This was the man that had caused him to shoot holes in the wall. Thiswas the man who had made him row with Molly.
Well, that had all been pointless, hadn't it?
"Well, I better be off," Jim said. Sherlock took a breath, trying to control himself as Jim approached Molly, putting a hand on her back. "I'll see you at the Fox. Around six-ish?"
"Yeah!" Molly agreed enthusiastically.
"It was nice to meet you," Jim said, sounding like some lovesick puppy.
Sherlock did not reply. John answered for him, some sort of half-baked sentiment.
If Sherlock opened his mouth to say anything more in Jim's presence, he was going to have to have a rather long conversation with John. If he spoke, he'd rip into Jim, telling him- gay or not- to take his hands off Sherlock's wife. That Molly's Mata Hari routine was tiresome, pointless... and she was his!
But no, Sherlock chose instead to focus once again on his microscope. There was only a few hours left. He wasn't going to get distracted from his puzzle just because Molly was being foolish.
"What do you mean gay?" Molly questioned, her voice filled with irritation. "We're together!"
Sherlock finally took his eyes off the microscope to look over Molly. "And domestic bliss must suit you, Molly. You've put on three pound since I last saw you."
His dig didn't even make sense. He had seen Molly that morning- even John knew that. He was blinded by the feelings bubbling up inside him at Molly's declaration of her 'togetherness' with Jim. But she had in fact put on weight during the time she'd been seeing Jim. Since he'd really gotten the chance to see her. She'd been so distracted with him. Probably from all that horrible pub food they'd been eating.
"Two and a half," Molly said, her voice flat.
He'd touched a nerve. He knew he would as soon as he said it. Molly was always sensitive when he pointed out fluctuations in her weight.
At the moment, he didn't care. "Three."
"He's not gay!" Molly protested. "Why do you have to spoil- he's not!"
"With that level of personal grooming?" Sherlock laughed.
He went through his deductions when John scoffed at him and Molly continued to stare in disbelief.
"You better break it off now and save yourself the pain," Sherlock finished. Molly continued to stare at him like he was something she'd never seen before.
She turned and fled from the room. Sherlock didn't understand what he problem was. Maybe he had gone too far with his jab about her weight. But what had happened? She had wanted him to deduce Jim.
"Charming. Well done," John replied sarcastically.
"I'm just saving her time. Isn't that kinder?" Sherlock asked. Molly had believed Jim was after Sherlock for nefarious purposes. Wasn't it betterthat all he was interested in was pursuing Sherlock romantically?
Or had Molly truly enjoyed his attentions?
Sherlock couldn't focus on Molly. Time was running out and he was determined to solve the puzzle left by the bomber. He couldn't bother with domestic trifles at the moment.
As John continued to berate Sherlock for his callous treatment of Molly, Sherlock examined the shoe he had been left. It was time to get back to work.
Seven hours. That was how long Sherlock had left to complete the first challenge. But before he went any further, there was something he had to do.
The fact that the shoes had belonged to Carl Powers had rattled him in a way he had never felt on a case. He had known the bomber was clever, but this was beyond comparison. It was the first case Sherlock had ever investigated. He was utterly focused on Sherlock.
Whomever he was up against, Sherlock had finally found a worthy opponent.
As much faith as he had in himself, he wasn't going to go up against someone as clever as he with Molly still angry with him.
"You haven't been eating enough with your hectic work schedule." Sherlock shut the door behind him once he was inside Molly's office. She was scribbling furiously on a report. "The weight you have put on really does suit you."
Molly slammed her pen down on the desk and glared up at Sherlock. "You are really not one to talk about not eating enough."
Sherlock nodded. It was a fair point. He took a step towards Molly's desk. "I am about to match wits with the man who blew the windows out of our flat. You have previously mentioned your distress at leaving angry when I am in danger. Perhaps we should settle things."
Molly stood up. He could see the unshed tears in her eyes. "I'm not angry at you, Sherlock. I'm angry at myself."
Sherlock's brow furrowed. He walked around the desk to cup Molly's face. "Molly?"
"Of courseJim is gay," Molly exclaimed. "It makes perfect sense. I wanted him to be something more because..." She looked down.
Sherlock frowned, stroking his thumb over her cheek.
Molly shook her head, frustrated with herself. "I just wanted you to be proud of me. I wanted to do an investigation all on my own. Be of use to you for more than just letting you into the morgue or giving you body parts. You don't need me now that you've got John."
Sherlock couldn't believe what he was hearing. Not needing Molly? Was she utterly mad? "Molly, you were the one who didn't want to go on investigations with me any longer."
Molly peered up at him once again, biting her lower lip. "But does that mean..."
"You're my wife, Molly," Sherlock brushed a lock of her hair out of her face. "That's all you need to be." He drew her close to him. "Jim being romantically interested in me is the best possible scenario. You don't understand what I was feeling. The idea that someone was trying to harm me- by going through you."
He pressed his cheek to the top of her head. "The reason I'm so quiet about us is so that the people I go up against can't use you. Can't hurt you to get to me." He curled his arms around her, feeling her small, warm form against him. "And you were tempting it. Investigating someone you thought wanted to hurt me. Pretended you had feelings for him."
"Well, I won't do that anymore," Molly's fingers gripped at his jacket.
Sherlock tilted Molly's chin up and smoothed his mouth over hers. He eased himself into a deep, lingering kiss. He allowed himself to fall into the affection, Molly's hands slipping around him and running up his back.
But all too soon, he had to pull away from the comforting embrace of his wife. "Bomber," Sherlock murmured. "I have to go."
"If you get yourself blown up, I'm going to be cross," Molly murmured. "Be careful."
Sherlock nodded. "I will keep that in mind. I'll see you when this is over." He strode back towards the door.
He hesitated for a moment before leaving. He then turned around. "Oh and Molly?"
"Yes Sherlock?" Molly brightened.
Sherlock scowled. "Break your date with Jim."
Jim from IT.
Jim Moriarty, the Consulting Criminal.
He had been the one who set everything up. He had been following Sherlock for months, possible years. He had abducted John. Strapped Semtex to him and threatened to blow him up if Sherlock didn't do exactly as commanded.
He had been alone with Molly a dozen times over. If anyone was clever enough to know how much of a chink- no, the gaping hole- Molly was in his armour, it was Jim Moriarty.
I will burn the heart out of you.
Sherlock had played it cool. He hadn't betrayed his feelings. He wouldn't dare give away how he felt about Molly. Not when Moriarty was clearly unaware.
He had used Molly for her apparent crush. A fact-finding mission. Moriarty had thought her useless other than for information.
If he had known the truth, it would not have been John with a bomb strapped to his chest.
He could see her in his mind's eye. Shaking, tears in her eyes. Stammering as she repeated the words Moriarty forced her to speak.
He had told John he needed to be alone in a cab on the way back to 221B. Instead, he told the driver to go to his old flat. The one he had shared with Molly in the nascent stage of their marriage.
She looked at him at as soon as he stepped through the door. Her hair was back in a messy ponytail and she wore her glasses. She had been working on files. "Sherlock?" She questioned.
Sherlock strode to her without a word. He yanked her to her feet and pulled her glasses off. His fingers buried in her hair and met her in a forceful, ravenous kiss.
"Sher-" Molly tried to speak between kisses. Sherlock hummed against her mouth, shaking his head. His hand slipped around her, crushing her against him. He wanted to feel every inch of her against him.
"Sherlock!" Molly finally managed to jerk herself away from him. They were both taking deep, ragged breaths. "What on Earth has gotten into you?" She pressed her hands to his chest. "Not that I don't like you showing affection, I would appreciate if you didn't try to eat my fa-"
"Jim was the bomber," Sherlock gasped. He brought his hands up to cradle Molly's face. "You were right."
"-ace," Molly finished weakly. Her brow knit and her nose crinkled. "What?"
"You were right. I was wrong." Sherlock pressed his forehead against hers. "Jim is Moriarty. My fan. The one who sponsored Jeff Hope. Killed Carl Powers. Strapped all of those people to bombs, including John."
"Doctor Watson?" Molly gasped. "Is he-?"
"He's fine," Sherlock assured her. "Moriarty, he's..." Sherlock shook his head. He breathed in her scent, relieved to find her in one piece. He knew rationally she would be, but rational seemed to often go out the window when Molly was involved.
"So I was right," Molly whispered, a small smile on her face.
Sherlock pulled back, looking down at her. "Molly, if you ever do something so unbelievably and utterly stupid I'll-I'll-" He didn't know how to continue, trying to come up with a credible threat, but he was just so relieved she was all right he was coming up short. "He could have killed you."
"But I'm here," Molly assured Sherlock. "I'm fine."
"If he had known," Sherlock insisted. "If he had ever found out about us, he would have... He just thinks you have a crush on me. And he still used you. If he had known how I felt about you..."
"Then we'll make sure he doesn't," Molly replied. She got up on her tip-toes to kiss Sherlock tenderly. "If anyone can keep his feelings a secret, it's you."
Sherlock remained quiet for a moment, considering the options. He then nodded his head.
"Now." Molly gripped Sherlock's coat. "Can we talk about this me being right and you being wrong thing? And this you nearly got blown up thing?"
Sherlock pulled Molly back to him roughly, kissing her soundly once again. He began to walk her back towards the bedroom. "Molly, I am going to have to insist you shut up."