Sherlock seeks out Molly to "get some space." Post-TSoT, slight spoilers/foreshadowing for HLV. Enjoy.

When Molly opened the door to her flat, she definitely wasn't expecting Sherlock to be standing on the other side.

"Oh good, you're home," he quipped, peering over her shoulder. She caught the flash of his hand as he tucked something away in one of his coat pockets and frowned.

"Were you going to pick my lock?"

"It was an option, yes, but as you're still here, I don't believe it's necessary. May I come in?" he asked her he pushed his way into the apartment.

"I was just leaving, actually-"

"That's alright, I'll just hold the fort down until you come back."

Molly watched him as he moved around her living room, peering through her drapes and looking behind her couch pillows. Her brow furrowed.

"Sherlock, are you alright? You seem a bit … odd today. Twitchy." She closed her door and dropped her bag to the floor. She slowly sank into her armchair, unwinding her scarf from around her neck as she sat. Sherlock straightened himself and peered down at her for a moment before slumping uncharacteristically onto her couch.

"I needed to get away from Baker Street," he explained. She watched as he leaned forward and steepled his long fingers under his chin. The first signs of stubble were starting to show on his jaw. Clearly he hadn't shaved since John and Mary's wedding. Highly unusual for her favorite detective; usually he was so impeccably clean-cut. "It's just an empty shell now, a place to sleep. And I have a … visitor that stays over sometimes. I need her for a case but she sleeps in my bed."

"Her?" Molly questioned, alarmed.

"Yes, Janine. From the wedding." He waved his hand impatiently, as if it didn't matter. "She has a connection that I am particularly interested in at the moment, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to be around her for extended periods of time." Sherlock rolled his eyes and leaned back into her couch. "Apparently it is unheard of for a man to be uninterested in certain sexual advances."

Molly pursed her lips, barely concealing a smile. "So you're pretending to be her boyfriend to exploit her connection."

Sherlock sighed, closing his eyes and leaning his head back. He looked almost pained.

"Yes, I suppose I am. But it's incredibly difficult. I almost never want to be around her. And as I said, she's always in my bed. It makes it quite hard for me to sleep."

"I can imagine," Molly murmured. Louder she said, "So, it sounds like you need a break then. Some space."

"I need something familiar," he clarified, leveling his gaze at her. Baker Street is no longer familiar, certainly not with that woman there all the time. It's suffocating."

"So you came here." It wasn't a question but a statement. A fact. Sherlock needed something familiar, and he came to her. For comfort. For peace.

"Yes," he said simply, watching her with those strange blue-green eyes. His gaze could be so unsettling, the way it went right through you. But in a way it was, she supposed. His eyes were reading her, deducing, looking right through her, drinking her in, every last detail laid bare before him. It made her feel naked.

I wish.

"You can stay here if you like. I have the guest bedroom just through there, with fresh sheets. I've got to run to the shops, but I won't be long." Sherlock nodded at her passively, his eyes going toward the kitchen. His long fingers scratched absently at the crook of his elbow before he turned his attention back to her.

"Thank you, Molly, that would be lovely."

Molly gave him a little smile before turning toward the door. She wound her scarf back round her neck and picked up her bag. Casting one more look over her shoulder at Sherlock–he was slumped back on the couch, gazing toward her kitchen–she pulled open her door and left.


She was gone for a bit longer than she'd anticipated, and by the time she got back Sherlock was no where in sight. Slumping her shoulders in that familiar bout of disappointment, she made her way to the kitchen to put away her groceries.

She nearly put her grocery bags on the stove before realizing it was still warm. Odd. Had Sherlock cooked something? But there were no dishes in the sink or the drain.

Molly heard a loud thud and a groan coming from her bedroom. She dropped her coat and scarf onto the couch before moving toward her bedroom, pushing the door open slowly. Sherlock was sprawled face-down on her bed. He'd managed to rid himself of his shoes and coat, apparently; his dark suit was in odd contrast with her ugly quilt. His face was pressed against her pillow, and he looked oddly like an exhausted little boy.

Molly smiled fondly and went to fetch her blanket from the back of the couch. She supposed she should be a bit miffed that he'd taken her bed rather than the guest bed-Tom would probably have something to say about all this, if he ever came round again–but seeing Sherlock so vulnerable lately, with his defenses down … she couldn't imagine being irritated with him in the slightest.

Molly unfolded the blanket and settled it over Sherlock's sleeping form. It wasn't late, but he'd seemed so exhausted. John's absence (and whatever this new case was with that woman) seemed to be taking quite a toll on him.

The last bit of evening sun was streaming through the gap in her curtains, so Molly crossed the room to pull them closed. She tiptoed her way back to the door. "Goodnight, Sherlock," she murmured, pulling the door shut behind her.

A/N: There's so much insight from both Molly and Sherlock that I want to explore and write about and I just can't cram it into one. I botched this a bit, and for that, I apologize. =[