I have always looked up to Sherlock Holmes. He's like one of those people, that you wish you could be close with, share jokes with, and grab a coke with, but you can't. Because he's a highly functioning sociopath. I wished he could step from his pedestal and take a moment to look into my eyes and understand. For a single moment, just his breath and mine, while he held my gaze and thought of nothing else but me. No crime scenes running wild in his mind, no lurking killers or brilliant terrorists. Sherlock. Looking. At. Me. That's all I fantasized about, back then.
It's not that he'd never done so before, but I'd watched over him long enough to know when someone really has his attention, and when he's spacing out. Part of me yearned to grasp his heart in my hands for a single second, so I could find the secret to turning the key to the rusted up lock of his emotions.
I thought if that were to happen, however, he wouldn't be him. That the essence of his bylaws forbade it. I was frightened, if I took a risk, on the slight chance he returned my feelings, he would grow bored with me. I feared a lot of things.
That's probably why I don't stand up for myself very often.
But, when he stepped through my door, and I got this cold, foreign, fluttery feeling under my sternum, I couldn't help it. His eyes, whether full of life or lost to the room, will always be my drug. I used to ask pointless questions, hoping he'd direct his authority at me. If I was lucky, he'd see me when he did it. Sometimes I would strike out, and he would quip at me to shut up with his back turned. It hurt. I won't lie. I'm a person, too.
But anything was better than him leaving. Just to be near him, to see his upturned collar, to smell the faded scent of smuggled cigarettes and tea on his breath. I never thought smoking was hot until I met Sherlock. I never understood what made bad boys so appealing, either.
But, he's not quite just that. He's a nerd, as well. And my nerd side appreciates his intelligence, wit, and poise. I tried understanding his methods, once. It was a disaster.
"How does he do it?" I muttered. "And why?" The opening creak of the door was followed by the whoosh of the warmer air in the hallway, and the accompanying scent of bagels and coffee. No one brings food into the morgue. It smelled like death. Stale, cool death. The hinge clicked, and I heard the lock slide into place. I knew it was him; he didn't like to be bothered when he ran tests.
"How does he do what?" Sherlock's tone of boredom danced over the empty tables. I suppressed a grin and turned to face him.
"The, um, mind castle thing," I said. His feet patted against the squeaky clean tile as he crossed the room to me. Leave it to Sherlock to go shoeless in a place like that. It's like he felt at home with the dead.
"Palace, Molly," I could hear his smirk, but it didn't quite reach his lips. He was think-speaking again. Having a conversation without really being there. "It's called a mind palace."
"I knew that," I said. I also knew it gave him shivers of delight to correct his colleagues, so I gave him opportunities when they presented themselves.
"I always thought you were dull," Sherlock said. "But, I never took you for a liar." The challenge is thumped in a vicious strike, as are all of his opinions.
"I'm not." I whispered as the warmth rushed to my ears. Sherlock's hair sheened, springy and soft as always, his shirt half-charred on one sleeve as he shrugged his coat off and tossed it into my lap.
"Put that," he paused before mumbling absentmindedly. "You know. Where ever you put it." Sherlock stepped to the microscope at my personal desk. I stood and held the wool to myself before slipping into the back room. I'd had the coat rack moved to the storage closet to decrease clutter. I pressed an index finger against the chest buttons and hugged the shoulders tight. What would it be like to wear it? Holding my ear to the door, I awaited the sound of approaching footsteps. There were none.
"I am a liar." I mouthed, gingerly poking my arms through the sleeves as I wrapped the fabric around my torso in an eager shiver. "I lie every day." My nose burrowed into the musky scarf, and I exhaled, relaxing. Heaven. I squeed silently. I've always felt safe in clothing that was much too large for me, and Sherlock's had the same affect. The added smell of him warmed me from head to toes.
I could imagine, coming home late, finding him asleep on the couch. Slipping into one of his pajama shirts, letting it dwarf me. His smile of delight as his eyes opened and he glimpsed his wife standing over him in his own—
"Molly?" The door whipped open in record time, and I backed into the coat rack, horrified. The metal clanged on the floor, and a sharp jolt twisted through my elbow as I landed on top of the steel.
My vision blurred, and the tip of my nose began to ache as I swam in his winter wear. There was no logical explanation for this, and Sherlock was all about logic.
"Why are you wearing my—" he started. Silence. Then, "I see."
I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand and clambered to my feet, hanging his coat and hastily shutting the closet.
What I didn't see was the smile flitting across his mouth as he turned away. I didn't hear about that until later. Much later.
As for the then, I was left with a, "You can keep the scarf, if you'd like." And the creak of the door. The smell of coffee and bagels. Then, a click as it closed.