Another fic for my dear friend Andreia, aka Big Nerd here on . :) It's a very belated birthday gift based on the song "Sheets" by Damien Jurado. Hope that you enjoy!

Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize belongs to me. Bummer.

"Ugh, it's been such a long day, Molls. All I want to do is cuddle in bed with you til I pass out," Tom said as he walked through the door of Molly's flat, taking off his jacket and hanging it up on the nearby coat rack. Molly's head whipped up and she looked startled, before plastering a bright smile on.

"Tom, sweetheart, hi! There uh…there might be a slight problem with uh…cuddling in my bed, at the moment." Her eyes darted briefly to the coat rack and Tom immediately saw why there would be a problem.

"He's here again?" Tom hissed and Molly couldn't help but wince slightly at the anger in his tone. "Molly, this is getting ridiculous."

She put down the book she'd been reading and hopped up from the couch, coming to stand in front of him. "Tom, I know. I know. But you don't understand…he doesn't handle change well. John and Mary are off on their honeymoon and he's still adjusting to being back in London," she trailed off and sighed, pushing her glasses up on her nose. "He feels safe here. I don't know why, but he does. I can't turn him away when he's like this."

Tom sighed and ran his hands through his hair. "But why here? Why your bed of all places? Jesus, Molly, we sleep in that bed. We have sex in that bed and he's in there right now-"

"What, getting his scent on the sheets? What's next? Are you going to throw me over your shoulder and carry me off to your cave? Sherlock is my friend. I'm not going to turn him away or throw him out because you're uncomfortable with him being here sometimes. He's been in my life a lot longer than you have." Her eyes widened as she realized just exactly what she had said.

"Really? That's the card you're going to play, Molly? I'm your fucking fiancé," he practically spit the words out. "Doesn't that mean anything to you?"

She sighed and crossed her arms. "Of course it does, Tom. But you just…you don't know him. He'd kill me for saying this, but he's so vulnerable right now. I can't in good conscience just turn him away. He's my friend and I care about him and I won't leave him alone when he's hurting."

"Christ, I can't believe this, Molly!" Tom exclaimed. "He's not some kid you have to protect. He's a grown man! He doesn't have to come and crawl into your bed every time he feels sad. You can see what he's doing, can't you? You'd have to be fucking blind not to see it!"

She shook her head. "What are you on about?"

"He loves you, Molly. Fuck!" Tom ran his hands through his hair again and shook his head. He turned to the coat rack and grabbed both his and Sherlock's coats from it, swirling around again and holding them both out to her. "I can't take this anymore. You've got to choose, Molly. Me or him. Only one of us is spending the night with you in this flat tonight."

Her eyes were sad and she shook her head. "Tom, don't do this. Not now."

"If not now, then when? This can't be how it's going to be. I can't live like this, Molly. It's not fair to either of us. To any of us!" he said, looking over to the bedroom that Sherlock was occupying. He turned his attention back to her and shook the coats.

She took a deep breath and bit her lip, before reaching out and grabbing Sherlock's coat. For a moment, Tom's heart soared. But then she moved past him and hung the coat back up on the rack and looked at him. "I'm sorry, Tom. Your ultimatum isn't fair, but if you're going to insist on it….this is the result."

Mechanically, Tom put on his jacket. He chuckled humorlessly. "I should have seen this coming really. Sure he deduced it from a mile off."

Molly shook her head and bit her lip, clearly just barely holding off her tears. "Tom, please, just stop. Just leave."

"I'd say that I hope the two of you will be very happy together, but even I know that it won't ever happen. That bastard won't ever admit to his feelings for you, Molly. So I hope that you enjoy the rest of your lonely life!" Tom practically shouted at her as he wrenched open the door and then slammed it behind him.

Molly's chin fell to her chest as a few tears managed to escape her eyes. She heard her bedroom door open up behind her and she spun around, quickly wiping away her tears as best she could. "Hey," she greeted Sherlock half-heartedly. He was dressed in his usual plaid pajama bottoms and blue t-shirt that he usually wore when he spent the night at hers. His curls were messy but his eyes made it clear that he had been awake for quite some time.

"Do you want me to leave?" he asked softly. He shuffled towards her hesitantly, his eyes fixed on some point above her left shoulder.

She shook her head and half laughed, half sobbed. Sherlock looked started by the noise and stopped suddenly, a few feet from her. Molly wiped at her cheeks once more, moving forward to close the gap between them. She wrapped her arms around his waist. "No, you daft man. I don't want you to leave." She felt Sherlock's arms tentatively wrap around her, and one of his hands came up to remove the hair tie that held her hair in a haphazard bun.

She shook her hair out and leaned back, smiling up at him. "Let's go to bed, yeah?" Sherlock paused for a moment and then nodded. She grabbed his hand and led the way back into her bedroom.

They didn't talk about Tom's departure the next day as they had coffee together at Molly's kitchen table. They also didn't talk about the fact that Molly was still wearing her engagement ring when they saw each other later that day at the hospital. Things carried on as usual for a few days – until Sherlock showed up at her flat again.

Molly nearly screamed when she opened up her door and saw a figure sitting on her couch. Luckily, she quickly realized that she recognized the rather ominous figure and she sighed, flicking on the lights and dumping her bag on the table near the door. "Wasn't expecting to see you today. Mary was saying that John hadn't been out with you in a while, figured you didn't have any exciting cases on."

She came around to sit next to him on the couch and tried not to be jealous of the fact that Toby barely even spared her a glance. Her cat loved the consulting detective and she quickly discovered that it was a lost cause in attempting to win back his affection when Sherlock was around. She glanced up at Sherlock and was taken aback to find him staring at her. "Sherlock?"

His gaze darted down to her left hand. "Why are you still wearing his ring? Are you attempting to 'patch things up' with him?"

Molly shrugged and looked down at the ring as well, twisting the too-big band around her finger. "Nah, not really. The fight that you heard that night…it was one of many. It just wasn't working out." She sighed. "I guess I'm just not ready for the questions. Not yet. And he keeps on calling me to talk and I just…don't answer. I don't know. It's complicated."

Sherlock nodded and continued to scratch behind Toby's ears, the cat's purrs were the loudest noise in the flat. "I'm gonna make some tea. Want any?" Molly said, breaking the silence between them and hopping up off the couch. She headed off into the kitchen before he even replied.

She heard Toby's yowl of displeasure as Sherlock picked him up and placed him in Molly's recently vacated spot in order to follow her into the kitchen. She sighed as she filled the kettle with water and put it on the stove. Something was obviously bothering Sherlock, but he seemed loath to give her any information. He had apparently decided instead to do his best impression of a lost puppy and follow her around with those big sad eyes.

They waited in silence as the kettle heated and then boiled, the familiar shrill shriek alerting them that it was time to move the kettle from the stove. Molly silently went through the motions of preparing their tea, under Sherlock's quiet scrutiny. They sat down at the table together and sipped at their tea for a few minutes before Sherlock finally broke the silence. "Using your flat as a bolthole is not fair to you, Molly. I…apologize."

Molly's eyes narrowed and she tilted her head to the side. "What do you mean it's not fair to me? I don't mind it, Sherlock, really."

He looked down at his cup, refusing to meet her gaze. "I know that even though it may not have been the only reason you and Tom are no longer in a relationship, my presence in your flat was a contributing factor. And I know…I know you still have feelings for me." He looked up and over to where Toby had wandered into the kitchen, before slowly raising his gaze to hers. "I have feelings for you too, Molly. But I can't-"

Molly shushed him and reached across the table and grabbed his hand, squeezing it tightly. His mouth snapped shut and he looked up at her, his eyes wide. Molly smiled at him. "Sherlock, you are always welcome in my home. No matter what."

"Even if…even if I'm not the man you think I am?" Molly's eyes narrowed as Sherlock's statement suddenly transported her to her morgue, three years ago, when he came to her with tears in his eyes and asked her to help him fake his death.

"Sherlock, what's wrong?" she asked. She was completely focused on him, her eyes wide and serious. "What is it?"

He shook his head and made to leave, but she grabbed his hand and pulled him back down. "Don't you dare leave, Sherlock Holmes. Tell me what's going on, right now," she said firmly. She stood up and moved closer to him, looking down at him as he avoided her gaze.

"I can't, Molly," he whispered, shaking his head. "I can't put you in that sort of danger."

Molly's eyes narrowed and she perched near the edge of the table, still facing him. She knew exactly what he wanted to hear. What he needed to hear. "What do you need?"

Her heart clenched as he finally looked up at her. And his answer was just what she hoped, what she knew it would be. "You." His hands came up and cupped her thighs, pulling her closer to the edge of the table and thus, closer to him. "Always you, Molly Hooper." His gaze flickered down to her lips briefly and then back up to her eyes. Molly took a deep breath and bent her head slightly, meeting his pleading lips with her own.

The kiss was gentle. Molly could feel Sherlock trembling beneath her and she placed a calming hand on his cheek. She heard a soft hum from him and he tugged at her thighs, urging her to come closer. She broke their kiss, smiling at his groan of dismay. Lowering herself onto his lap, she smiled sweetly at him, both of her hands cradling his face and brushing her thumbs against his cheekbones. "I want to help you, Sherlock," she whispered.

He leaned forward, his lips seeking out the soft skin of her neck. Molly moaned and tilted her head to the side, offering him more. "Too selfish," he murmured against her.

Her fingers threaded through his hair and tugged, so that he was forced to leave her neck and look up at her. He moaned at the rough gesture and Molly couldn't help but grin wickedly as his eyes fluttered shut when she gave his hair another light tug. "I'm used to you being selfish, Sherlock. Tell me what I can do to help."

His eyes opened again and this time, they zeroed in on hers. Molly felt like the air had been sucked out of the room. "Tell me that no matter what happens, you will always care for me."

She bit her lip. Sherlock's gaze focused on the action, as he licked his own lips in an unconscious response. "Of course, I will," she whispered. She ran her fingers through his hair lovingly. "You know I will."

It was as if a switch was flipped. He tugged her close and arched up, kissing her madly. He kissed like he was dying and she was the only one who could save him. Her heart ached and she pulled him closer, praying to a God that she only sometimes believed in to keep this beautiful, ridiculous man safe. Whatever was going on had shaken him, deeply, and Molly was terrified for him. "Sherlock," she whispered against his lips, pushing against his chest slightly to give herself room to breathe. "Tell me. Please. Because my mind is coming up with worst case scenarios."

He looked up at her and pushed a part of her hair back behind her ear, studying her face carefully before he started speaking. "I've taken a case. It involves….a very bad man. The worst man I've had to face." He cupped her cheek. "If the case doesn't go the way I've planned, he could ruin me and everyone close to me."

Molly bit her lip again and nodded, parsing the information. "But you have a plan? To take him down. To keep yourself safe?"

He chuckled, though it was without humor, and looked away. "I have a plan…not sure if it's a good one, though. I'll have to do things, Molly…things you won't approve of. Things that will make you hate me."

She shook her head forcefully and cupped his cheeks, her thumbs brushing against his cheekbones. "I wouldn't. I couldn't hate you, Sherlock."

"You will. When it's all over and you know everything…" he muttered mournfully, looking down to the floor, refusing to acknowledge her.

"Ssshhhhh," she whispered, kissing the top of his head gently. "Stop, Sherlock. Just stop. Please. I won't hate you. I just promised that I'd always care for you, didn't I? Don't you trust my word?"

He looked up at her finally, his eyes wide with…well, if she was more naïve, she'd call it devotion. "Of course I do, Molly." He squeezed her waist tightly and buried his face in her neck. "I trust you completely. But you shouldn't trust me."

"Sherlock," she crooned against his ear, hooking a finger underneath his chin and urging him to meet her gaze once again. "Sherlock, stop. I do trust you. Whatever you need to do for the case…do it. I won't hate you, I promise. But Sherlock…can't you tell me? Can't you tell me what it is?"

He shook his head and before she had a chance to ask again, he surged forward, capturing her lips once more. Molly moaned against his lips as he explored her mouth eagerly with his tongue and as his hands rucked up her shirt, searching for warm skin. Molly resituated herself on his lap so that she was straddling him, her warm center pushing against his rapidly growing erection. Sherlock moaned against her lips and drew her closer to him, as her hands tangled in his hair and kept him firmly against her as they kissed.

Molly felt her shirt being lifted and she broke their kiss briefly to allow it past her head, as Sherlock tugged it up and then proceeded to throw it over his shoulder. He leaned forward, placing a sloppy kiss against her shoulder. Rather abruptly, he wrapped an arm around her back and another under her bum and hauled her up, so she sat on the table once more. He then stood and hunched over her, forcing her to lie down. He leaned in to kiss her again, but was distracted when she began giggling. He quirked his eyebrow at her in a clear question.

She grinned at him. "I'm sorry…it's just…our first time can't be on my kitchen table, Sherlock. It can't be."

It brought a bit of levity to the moment and the look on Sherlock's face suddenly lightened as he leaned forward and placed a rather chaste kiss on her lips. "Fine," he murmured, backing away and then offering a hand to help her up and off the table.

She squeezed his hand and took off towards her bedroom, glancing back at him every so often to make sure that he wasn't some figment of her imagination. Once they got to her bedroom, he looked rather uncertain, as if this wasn't quite the outcome that he had expected. Molly couldn't help but smile at him as she stepped close and started to unbutton his shirt. "I don't think that we need so many clothes on," she whispered. Sherlock hummed in agreement as his hands went to her back and cleverly undid her bra in only a few seconds.

They undressed each other quickly, with none of the romantic finesse that Molly had once dreamt of, but she found that she didn't mind so much, especially since she had Sherlock Holmes, naked and pressed against her in her bed. "Don't think just because you've got me in bed that I've forgotten about this new case of yours," she whispered against his neck, as his hands roamed over her body and hers did the same.

She looked up at him and he smiled softly, almost sadly at her. "I wouldn't expect any less of you, Molly Hooper." She tilted her head up and he took the action as the invitation that it was, meeting her lips with his.

"Remember this," he murmured against her lips as they broke apart. "Remember how I touch you tonight. Remember how I kiss you," he murmured, trailing kisses down her neck, down to her chest. "Know that this is the truth."

"Sherlock," she whispered, but whatever she was about to say was lost in a gasp as Sherlock teased one of her nipples with his tongue, before gently tugging at it with his teeth. Molly's fingers dug into his shoulders, moaning as he repeated the action on her other breast.

They continued to tease each other until Molly finally squirmed out of his embrace and managed to grab a condom from her nightstand. Sherlock fumbled with it for a moment, but eventually rolled it on and then positioned himself over her, his erection nudging at her slick folds. Molly moaned and hitched a leg over his hip. Her fingers grabbed a hold of his cock and guided him inside of her, as Sherlock's head dropped to her shoulder and he groaned. He didn't stop pushing into her until he was completely inside her.

They were still for a moment, their eyes meeting. Molly smiled at him, the same soft smile that he had grown so accustomed to, and she lifted her head slightly and placed a gentle kiss on his lips. "Remember this," she whispered, repeating his own words back to him.

He nodded and started to move.

Their movements were slow and gentle; the sounds they made were whispered and muffled against skin. Molly had already come once when Sherlock gathered her up against him, every inch of their bodies touching. "Molly," he whispered desperately against the sweat-damp skin of her shoulder. "Molly, Molly…"

"I'm here, Sherlock," she whispered, right before she arched her back with a low moan as another orgasm pulsed through her. Sherlock gritted his teeth and rocked her through it, before groaning his own release as she went limp in his hold.

He practically collapsed on top of her and they stayed like that for about a minute, before Sherlock seemed to reluctantly roll to his side. When they finally caught their breath, Molly slipped out of bed and into the bathroom, while Sherlock disposed of the condom.

When Molly came back out, Sherlock was buried under the covers and he looked up at her warmly, holding up the edge so she could slide in right next to him. They were both on their sides, facing each other, and Molly reached out a hand to rest on Sherlock's chest, right over his heart. "You still won't tell me, will you," she inquired softly, although it was more of a statement than a question.

He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "I've ruined enough moments and it's inevitable that I will ruin even more soon…I don't want to ruin this." His hand came down to rest over hers and she looked up at him. "Don't hate me, Molly. Promise me."

She wrapped her arms around him tightly. "I won't, Sherlock. I promise I won't." Her fingers stroked through his hair, soothing him as he gradually fell asleep in her arms and only after he was lightly snoring did she allow herself to sleep as well.

The next morning, she woke up alone, which she had expected. But on the pillow beside her was a note. With bleary eyes, she read over it once, twice, before setting it aside. It read: Molly, you've given me the courage to undertake this case. Thank you. I'm sorry for what I'm about to do because I know that it will hurt you, but it must be done. Please remember what I told you last night. Yours, Sherlock

She curled up around her pillow and allowed a few tears to fall. Some for herself and some for her idiot detective, who felt the need to take on the world alone.