A/N: Originally on tumblr and originally shorter. Again no beta.
"-umm can you just-,"
"It's freezing out," Meena said, huffing against the cold, her brown fingers visibly shaking, "I don't mind if you're not dressed-,"
"No, it's not that-," said Molly over the speaker, clearing her throat soundly, as Meena frowned in disbelief, crossing her arms over her chest.
There could only be one reason Molly wasn't letting her in, "Wait, is someone else there?" she asked.
A 'visitor' on a Saturday morning could only mean one thing, especially when she wasn't letting her in. The idea that her friend the pristine Molly Hooper finally had a one-night stand, after she'd been claiming for years that she'd have to have an emotional connection, 'emotional connection my arse' thought Meena gleefully. Mere seconds went by before she was buzzed in, since this wasn't a discussion Molly wanted the rest of the area to hear obviously, despite her reluctance in admitting her.
Walking up the two flights of stairs, she found the door to her friend's flat cracked open, a pair of wide brown eyes peering at her, "It's not what you think," Molly hissed, still keeping her out.
She grinned, unable to miss the properly flushed face of her best mate, "So you're not keeping me out of your flat because you have someone over?"
Molly sighed, soon squeezing her eyes shut, "He's just…slept over."
"Okay," she said, "You about to let me in, or am I going to stand out here all day?"
She knew a glare when she saw one, even if Molly tried to conceal it with a slight shake of her head, the door of her flat opening slowly, before she finally got the chance to step into the well-heated room. To her surprise there was no one there, no trace of any activities either, if one excluded her cat Toby who leapt on the sofa, licking at himself contentedly.
"Molly - how come-," she said with pursed lips, before she immediately stopped talking the instant a man walked in with just a towel wrapped around his waist, water dripping all over the floor. Not any man of course, but the man Molly had been talking about, a lot, Sherlock Holmes - "Oh - it's you!"
He raised an eyebrow, "Yes, delighted to see you again-," he narrowed his blue eyes slightly, a crease appearing between his brows, as he obviously didn't remember her name, not that she was surprised.
"Meena?" she said slowly, her name wasn't very common after all.
"Yes, good morning Meena-," he said, soon passing her to head toward the kitchen, while she looked at Molly who's cheeks were flushed, her eyes on the floor - "Molly, do you have milk?" Sherlock said loudly from the kitchen.
Molly lifted her eyes from the floor, "Umm - yes?"
"Good, John was pestering me to buy some," he said walking out, carrying a plate with some toast, "Well - I'll be in the bedroom." With one curt nod he walked away, the bedroom door slamming shut in the distance, while Meena turned to Molly gaping.
Her friend averted her eyes, soon trying to busy herself by folding a blanket on her sofa, like that would stop her talking about the elephant in the room, or well the elephant now residing in the bedroom.
"Sorry - what was that?" whispered Meena.
Molly shrugged, "He's - umm - well - he comes from time to time-," she said, starting to walk to the kitchen, as Meena strode after her.
"To do what exactly?" said Meena giggling, "I knew you had to be shagging him!"
Molly quickly shook her head, "No, he just - he - sort of - just stays the night."
"And you don't-,"
"Really?" said Meena in disbelief, watching Molly's cheeks turn even redder.
"No, he just sleeps in my bedroom."
She stared before she carefully said, "And where are you under all of this?"
"In my bedroom," said Molly in a small voice, clearing her throat.
They were supposed to be shopping, but Meena found she couldn't exactly let the topic drop. For months they'd been talking about 'him', the great tosser who went from hot to cold around Molly constantly, who confused her with complimenting her, then left the building without a word. Molly knew she was being used, one thing she claimed to be very frustrated about, since she got instantly that he knew she was attracted to him. But this in Meena's eyes was a strange form of progress, instead of a coffee or several dates Sherlock Holmes went straight for the bed. Of course Molly explained why, but it still didn't sit right to her, "Your flat is his bolt hole? Your flat? How is that a secret hiding place? People must know you're working with him-,"
"No, not really-," said Molly, looking much more intently on a pink blouse, "Anyway he doesn't come round much, but - umm - last time…he didn't-," her friends face paled slightly, as she bit her lip, "- use a towel."
Both of them laughed for a minute, Molly's face dropping slightly, before they went on browsing.
"I don't know what kind of kinky relationship the two of you are playing at, but you know you could just tell me, right?" said Meena rather seriously.
It was the first time in a long time Molly was head over heels about someone, even if that someone was an utter git. At least it proved that Molly wasn't a complete machine, constantly working instead of being at all interested in anyone.
"We're not-," said Molly with a huff, "Anyway, I'm meeting Jim for a coffee-,"
"Yeah, you know Jim from IT?"
"No, I don't know Jim from IT!" she said with a frown.
Her friend's face lit up slightly, a certain sparkle in her eyes, "He's the one who's been commentating on my blog, remember?"
"Oh, right," said Meena with a vague nod, "That's - that's nice, let's hope he's not a complete psychopath - I've never had any luck online myself."
"He's a sweetheart," said Molly brightly, "He even likes Glee."
Meena didn't really see how that was a positive thing.
"My mum always said that men who admitted out loud that they liked musicals were either gay or psychopaths. Not often you come across a person who's both," said Meena laughing, her laughter dying short when she heard Molly on the other end of the line taking a long breath.
A joke best saved for another day probably.
"He didn't accept my apology-,"
Meena frowned, "Molly, how were you supposed to have known he was some mental person anyway, especially when Sherlock hadn't figured it out either?"
"Still…I should have known… I could have stopped all of this from happening."
"But they're alright, aren't they? Safe and sound and everything."
There was a slight pause.
"Some old woman died because of Jim," said Molly with a large sniff.
"That's his fault, not yours - don't put this on you."
"I just don't understand why Sherlock didn't want me to say sorry-," said Molly with a sigh, clearly trying to disguise that she was crying, but Meena knew her too well not to know she was.
"Because he knows you don't have to - that's why. So don't you feel bloody sorry for yourself," said Meena, frustrated that her friend was feeling low.
"You're right - I - just - I only used-," and Meena already knows what she's about to say - "- Jim to - I - I never expected it to turn out like this."
"Hey - it didn't turn out so bad, after all."
"What - what do you mean?"
"Well - nobody just tells someone upfront their boyfriend is gay, do they?"
Molly laughed, "Sherlock does."
"Right, okay then - well - no one spoons platonically."
"When he comes round, you two share a bed, right? Don't tell me he doesn't cup a feel once in a while."
"He doesn't," said Molly with a small voice.
"Oh," said Meena, even more frustrated for her friend, yet glad she had managed to distract her with some silly conversation.
"It's only happened accidentally."
The casual way it was said made Meena narrow her eyes, "What? What do you mean accidentally?"
"He moves a bit when he sleeps, and he just sort of rolls over-,"
"Rolls over your tits?" guffawed Meena.
"No!" said Molly sounding flabbergasted, "No, he just sort of cups them or well - one - but in his sleep."
"That doesn't sound like someone asleep to me."
"He never mentions it."
"Well, he can't, can he?"
"Oh," she heard her friend's slightly startled voice, "He's here again - that's three nights in a -," before Meena knows it she hears the dial tone, and ends up staring at her mobile phone bemused.
She hated saying "hello" on telephones, and she didn't feel like reminding Molly that they weren't celebrating Christmas together either with a cheery 'Merry Christmas'. The thought of her friend indoors alone on Christmas Eve, probably hugging a bottle of wine was not her favourite image.
Molly luckily picked up the phone, still up apparently, probably watching some silly film on the telly about Father Christmas being real.
"If you needed to plan a murder? How would you do it? You're the only one I know I can ask about this really," said Meena pulling on her coat, as she walked a good enough distance from Simons' family home, a complete shit brick more or less, "Since I'd love to murder Simon's mum – that absolute hag – nicked her cigarettes, I at least got some bloody revenge-," the other end was eerily quiet, "Molly?"
"Oh – sorry – I just-," slurred her friend, and Meena automatically sucked in her breath.
"Shit, what happened at that Christmas party then?"
"I have small breasts," said Molly in an all-too bright voice, "And lips. Then there was the naked lady…"
"A naked lady?"
Apparently partying at 221B was far from normal.
"Yep," said Molly, popping her 'p' soundly, adding, "Sooo I thought I might as well finish off some of the drinkies, you know, have a bit of a party on my own."
"Oh God. Do you need me? I'll come right round-,"
"No – no – no – I'm okayyy – he kissed me – aphologized even – I sthood up to him!" said Molly in a much brighter voice, "I'm fine actually, just drunked."
"Drunked? Hmm, sounds good," said Meena with a laugh.
"I just don't know how he knew her from notherface-,"
"You're going to have to explain that one better."
"Twas a naked woman on the slahb,"
"Okay," said Meena, "Right. That's how you spend your Christmas - I won't judge – okay – maybe a bit."
Molly went quiet again, "Molly, naked woman on a slab?" she said, hoping her friend would answer.
There was no reply; just gentle snoring going in the background, but Meena was surprised to hear someone's footsteps, "Merry Christmas," said a familiar baritone voice on the other end, before she finally heard the dial tone.
She asked Molly if she had any company that night, but her friend honestly meant she'd been alone.
"Does he still come round?" she asked, watching Molly's lips still at the wine glass, before she took a large sip.
"Sometimes, but I sent him home the last time."
"You did?" she said shocked. She'd always seen her friend as very strong, but when it came to Sherlock Holmes everything became less than easy.
"I think it's time."
"Time for what?"
"To move on," said Molly who gave a tiny nod, which Meena knew wasn't for her benefit, since she could see her friend was steeling herself, "There's not much point fancying him, it hasn't made anything easier."
She knew Molly would hate her for what she said next, but it was the obvious truth, the thing she'd recently understood, "Who ever said being in love was easy?"
Molly sighed, her brown eyes peering into her glass, "I'd rather have another go at my exams," she said softly.
She'd crawled onto the bed besides her, wrapping her arms around her, as she dropped a kiss on the top of her head, "You alright?" It had taken her fifteen rings on Molly's doorbell before she finally let her in wordlessly. Trying to coax her out of her bedroom with tea, wine or some romantic comedy she favoured had been a rather pointless exercise.
Meena knew what she needed, she wasn't really great in giving comfort in that way, but she did try, dropping her scheduled meetings that very day at a drop of a hat. When she got whiff of what had happened she couldn't believe it, her abuse for her colleagues who believed in the papers large and her pain for her friend almost unbelievable.
"Molly," she said, when she didn't receive an answer.
There were no tears pouring down her friends cheek, just silence, a sort of anguish in her eyes, like something was tearing at her insides, "They keep saying he's a fake," she said in a hollow voice.
"He's not," she said, not managing to say 'he wasn't'.
"I know," Molly said with a brief smile.
"What's her type?" Simon asked sat in front of the telly, while she rolled her eyes zipping up her dress.
"Just ask your mates to bring their mates, is it that hard?"
"You know what her job is."
"So do you," she said striding across the flat, taking out some bowls of dip from the fridge, "You don't have a problem with her job do you?"
He looked a bit pale in return, "Just a bit," he said with a slight grimace, "Only when she starts going into detail really."
Meena grinned poking a slice of carrot into the dip, "Well, find out if someone's into CSI or something, since she should bloody well be allowed to talk about her job, every other bloke does."
"Right," said Simon with a thoughtful expression, before he suddenly grinned, "Alex's got a mate – he's rather weird."
"Her type is not weird, Simon. She likes clever."
"Well - Tom fancies himself clever?"
Meena gave a slight nod, chewing on her carrot, "Sounds about right."
Smacking her boyfriend on the arm she hissed, "You couldn't have mentioned how he looked, could you?" Their flat was filled with friends and colleagues, though her eyes were fixed on Molly and Tom.
"What?" said Simon with a shrug.
"Look at him," she said; jerking her head towards Tom with his curly dark hair, lanky features and cheekbones, "He looks just like him."
"She seems to like him though, isn't that good?" said Simon taking a sip from the pint in his hand, while Meena groaned slightly.
Molly had been speaking with Tom for most of the night; having even talked to him unprompted by either of them and Meena had no idea if it was a good thing or a bad thing. But when Molly spoke to her later that evening, a bit unsteady on her feet flashing her a toothy smile she supposed it was a good thing, despite her want to point out the obvious.
"He asked me."
"Asked you?" she said sipping on her coffee.
"Tom asked me to marry him."
She spilled most of her coffee on the table, "Oh my God, he did?"
"Yeah," said Molly, her grin widening, "And I said-," she brought out her hand, the ring sparkling on her finger resembling her eyes, "Yes!"
Despite what anyone thought, Tom was good for Molly and he was good to her, something even Molly managed to adjust to. She was happy for her, except when she said, "I've really moved on now."
She kept saying it out loud, as if it would make more sense that way.
"That's good-," said Meena in reply, not knowing what else to say.
The bloody bastard was alive, "And you knew?"
Molly only nodded in reply, averting her gaze.
"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked, irritated that her friend had kept such a huge secret from her.
"Because I couldn't tell anyone."
"I suppose not, but – still – I would have liked knowing."
"Why?" said Molly, "What difference does it make?"
Meena stared at the ring on her friend's finger, "Umm, you're right, my mistake."
It seemed that Molly understood however, her shoulders slumping an inch, "I'm not in love with him anymore," she said.
"But you're meeting him today?"
"He asked me over, it doesn't mean-," she cleared her throat, "-anything." She was terrible at disguising her smile however.
"Does Tom know?"
"Yeah, told him last night," said Molly.
"He thought I was really brave."
"It's not that I'm saying it's weird-,"
"You are-," said Molly with a sigh.
"Well - it is weird, isn't it? Having him spend a night in your flat, while you and Tom both are there."
"I couldn't give him my room."
Meena frowned, "Molly, seriously in some ways he's kind of your ex-,"
"What? No, he's not!"
"Yes, he is - with that whole - happiness speech even."
"He was just saying thank you."
"And you're one of the few people he thanks, aren't you?"
"So?" said Molly slowly.
Meena groaned, "Okay, fine, it's perfectly normal for you to have Sherlock sleeping over while you're fiancé's in the flat."
"It would be stranger without Tom."
Molly laughed properly, "He's not over much anyway."
"Tom or Sherlock?"
Molly threw her a look, "Sherlock, obviously."
After Molly broke it up with Tom - Meena didn't really find it peculiar to find Sherlock instead of her friend sitting in Molly's flat some months later. "Meena," he said with a curt nod, not glancing in her direction, his eyes glued to the television. He'd managed to remember her name when she came across him lately, which was nice for once.
"Where's Molly?" she asked after a minute of silence.
His eyes darted to her briefly, "She's out shopping."
"Right, and you're here because—?"
He pursed his lips slightly, "I needed a bigger television."
She blinked, "You're a terrible liar."
Finally his eyes were glued on her, as he grimaced, "How did-,"
"Got you," she said grinning, "So-," she sat down besides him on the sofa, "- are you really here for the great British bake-off, or is it to cup a feel?"
He raised his brows, "Cup - a - feel?" he said slowly, looking terribly confused.
She rolled her eyes, before fixing him with a stare, "You love her, don't you?" And here came perhaps the greatest silence she'd ever experienced, his eyes wide as he stared at her, the silence only disturbed by the voices on the telly.
"I-," he started, his eyes flickering downwards, before they retreated to the television and the door to Molly's flat opened.
"I got the - oh - Meena - what are you doing here?" Molly appeared smiling broadly, a bag from Tesco's in her hand.
The second Meena inched off the sofa to help she was surprised to find Sherlock walking ahead of her, striding to take Molly's purchases from her hands.
"You brought the right brand too, good," he said eyeing the insides of the bag, his eyes turning to her briefly like she'd question his behaviour, as being more than for his own benefit.
"Thought I'd pop round to see how you were doing, you know. I've been worried, ever since you and Tom broke it off-," said Meena with a smile.
"It's alright," said Molly, "Sherlock's been really helpful."
"I bet he has," she said, seeing him throw her a dark look, before he walked into the kitchen.
"We're sharing the bed again."
Meena pursed her lip silently, while Molly continued without looking at her, "We agreed he needs the space."
"Right," she said after a minute.
Brown eyes sought hers out, "What - aren't you going to say something?"
"Don't see much point of it really, it's not like you'd listen to me anyway."
"Meena - he's not at my flat because he - likes me or anything-,"
"You don't have to explain anything to me Molly. I won't say a word, I'll just ask this one tiny question -,"
"Do you spoon?"
Molly flushed, her eyes on her cup, "Umm - yes."
"Yeah, that's what I thought."
Molly blinked slightly, "And he sort of - well, he sort of -,"
"Did he now?" said Meena grinning, as she saw her friend's face turn red.
"Shut up," said Molly with a laugh.
When she'd read the papers that day she'd almost felt like her eyes would pop out any second, but she hardly thought she'd receive a phone call from him, "Hello – Mr shag-a-lot," she said when she recognized his voice on the other end.
"Meena," he bit out with a growl.
"To what do I owe the pleasure, then?"
"I think you know."
"Do I?" she said in a bright voice, "I don't think I do."
He sighed, "Molly won't speak to me."
"You're surprised about that - I know you've just gotten shot and all, and I'm supposed to feel sorry for you, but if you don't get your head out of your arse soon she's not going to wait any longer you know-,"
"I – don't-," he blurted out, "Obviously I-," he continued on hopelessly, "There isn't – we've - fine," he said with a gruff voice.
When the day finally came she was happy to be her maid of honour, soon clutching victoriously in her hand Molly's bouquet, even if she didn't have a boyfriend to speak of anymore. It almost came naturally to her to wink at Sherlock's older brother who paled slightly at the sight. Her laughter and smile large, perhaps not as large as her friend's that very day, or the man unable to let her go.