Drugs?! That bastard.
She was fuming. If there hadn't been other people around, she would have had a lot more to say to him.
After everything they'd been through, he had to do that.
Not only did he go against his word, but he also had to make that comment about her broken engagement. Now he decided to bring it up. Now.
He just stood there not even trying to stop the blows. He knew what he was doing was wrong and he did it anyways. That's what made her most angry. He knew it would make her furious and he still did it. It was as if he was trying to break them apart. That dazed look pissed her off. She wanted to slap it right off his face. How dare he get high. How dare he. She wanted to wake him up and make him realize what he was doing to the people that love him.
Why did he constantly fight against love? What was he so afraid of?
A Few Days Earlier…
She heard the door slam. Sherlock apparently didn't believe in knocking on doors. He preferred barging through them. Maybe it was her own fault for allowing it. Whenever Sherlock texted that he was coming over, Molly would unlock the door for him. But she still had expected him to ring the doorbell like a normal human being. He never did. The first time she had been listening for his arrival when all of a sudden he had just burst through the door scaring her half to death. One of these times she was going to keep it locked just to teach him a lesson. By now, however, she had grown used to his need for dramatic entrances. In fact, there were many things about Sherlock that she had grown used to: the way he threw his coat over the chair upon entering the room, the way he combed his hand through his hair when he was deep in thought, his deep laughter that echoed in his throat. That last one had surprised her the most. His laughter was something she would never tire of hearing. These were all the kinds of peculiarities that only couples knew about one another. Sherlock no doubt had picked up on her own unique idiosyncrasies given how much time they had spent together.
"I'm in here."
Molly had just gotten off work and was in her bedroom changing into her pajamas. It was always the first thing she did when she got home after feeding Toby, who was priority number one. Her once cute and tiny orange kitten was now a fat, spoiled housecat that demanded to be fed as soon as she walked in the door. When Toby heard Sherlock enter, he had jumped off her bed and raced to greet him. It was amusing to watch the two of them interact. Toby had taken a liking to Sherlock for reasons unknown to Molly. Sherlock mostly pretended to ignore him, but Molly would often catch him scratching Toby's head. She could tell he had a secret fondness for animals even if he might not admit it. Toby had never really liked Tom, no matter how much affection he had tried to show. Sherlock, of all people, had unearthed the secret to Toby's affection. Apparently Toby was like one of those wild horses that were tamed by brief moments of gentleness followed by walking away. He would sit next to Sherlock whenever possible, begging for him to scratch his stomach and occasionally was rewarded. Molly started to think Toby preferred Sherlock to herself, even though she was the one feeding him.
"Ungrateful cat," she muttered under her breath and smiled as he ran out of the room. She could never stay mad at him. Toby had gotten her through so much. He was the one constant male in her life. He'd been there for her at her loneliest time when Sherlock had been gone for two years. He'd been there through her last two failed relationships. A sudden memory of Jim sitting on her couch watching Glee crossed her mind. She shuddered at the thought. That night Toby had hid under her bed. He had known something was suspicious about Jim all along.
Trying to erase Moriarty from her mind, Molly pulled on her most comfortable pajama pants and an oversize t-shirt. Jim was now a distant memory and she had moved on with her life. She had Sherlock back and was determined to enjoy herself.
These nights they shared together had started to feel like a normal routine. This was the seventh (or was it eighth?) night that Janine had stayed over forcing Sherlock to take refuge at Molly's. Sherlock had evidently told Janine that he often gets urgent calls that need his immediate attention. Molly knew that Janine was not stupid. She had met her at John and Mary's wedding and while they didn't interact much, Janine seemed like an intelligent and confident woman. Surely by now she was getting suspicious about Sherlock always leaving when she happened to stay over. Most men wouldn't be avoiding sex. Sherlock seemed to think he had the situation under control and brushed off Molly's worries about the case, but she wondered if this was due to his relationship inexperience. She wasn't sure if he had ever slept with anyone, or much less dated someone. There was an innocence about him that hinted at possible virginity, but she wasn't quite sure. In any case, she knew that this was not his strength, and that, perhaps, he didn't really understand the situation as well as he thought he did. Molly could only hope that the case would be over soon, for everyone's sakes.
The doorbell rang breaking her train of thought.
"Sherlock, can you get that? It's the pizza. There's some cash on the table by the door" Molly shouted.
This was another part of their routine: food and telly. Sometimes they got pizza, sometimes Indian. Sometimes Sherlock would bring Chinese and would proceed to teach her how to judge the quality of the restaurant by their door handle. Molly in return was teaching Sherlock about the fine art of television. They'd watched nature documentaries, crime dramas (Sherlock had to point out each and every flaw so that didn't last long), food competitions, reality shows about rich housewives, and tonight she was planning on watching a football game.
Molly quickly braided her hair and hurried out of her room, suddenly fearful for what Sherlock was saying to the delivery person.
Walking into the living room, she discovered she was right to be worried. Sherlock was lecturing the poor teenager about the fastest route to get to Molly's flat.
"That's ridiculous. Where do they teach you these things? You can't go…"
"Sherlock!" Molly gave him an angry look and shoved him aside before turning to the annoyed looking boy.
"I'm so, so sorry. Here have some more tip." She grabbed some cash from the untouched money on the table.
The teenager mumbled a "thanks", gave Sherlock a dirty look, and took off as fast as possible.
"Have a great night!" Molly yelled after him, hoping to repair some of the damage. Slamming the door, she turned to face a suddenly innocent looking Sherlock. Sometimes she wondered if he had ever really grown out of his adolescence.
"Sherlock! That poor kid doesn't want to listen to you." She swat at his arm.
"What? If they want to provide the best service, than they should at least know what the best routes are. I was doing him a favor."
Molly rolled her eyes and headed to the kitchen. She needed wine.
She poured two glasses and then added a little more to hers. One thing she had discovered on his first visit was that Sherlock didn't handle alcohol well. He rarely drank. Normally he was trying to keep his mind sharp, so when he did drink, the alcohol affected him more. The first night they spent together, Sherlock had gotten tipsy after one glass of wine. Somehow they had ended up stumbling around her flat holding hands. Sherlock supposedly had been giving her dance lessons. Molly felt more like she had been holding him up while he was spinning her around in circles.
"Screw it." Molly grabbed the two glasses along with the whole bottle and wandered back to the living room. Depending on how the night went, it might come in handy.
Sherlock had already turned on the telly and was flipping through the channels. She laughed to herself at how she had corrupted him.
"Thanks for paying, by the way. You didn't have to." She nodded towards the money on the table. Sherlock had surprised her on multiple occasions by doing nice things, proving that he could be a gentleman.
"Molly, I'm crashing at your flat to hide from a woman. The least I could do is pay for dinner."
"Well, that's true." She handed Sherlock his glass of wine and sat down on the couch next to him.
"My mother did teach me a thing or two, you know."
"Yes and you just generally choose not to use them. I would love to meet your mother and tell her about some of the things you do."
"Hmm. " Sherlock looked like he was considering the possibility. "She would like you."
Molly gulped down her wine. She may have been teasing him, but she did really want to meet his parents. Who were these people who raised Sherlock and Mycroft? They must be fascinating. The stories they must have!
"Football tonight." She grabbed the remote from him, ignoring his protests, and switched channels.
They ate, drank, and talked about their work, with Molly occasionally interrupting to yell at one of the players. It was so comfortable between them. Their conversations flowed so easily. Molly could almost imagine this as real life. She felt like she was dating Sherlock Holmes. Except in reality, she was the Other Woman. Janine was the real girlfriend and Molly was the woman he was cheating with. It was almost funny, the ridiculousness of the whole charade. But it also made her heart ache. It showed her the possibility of what could be. This could be real. They could make it work. Surely Sherlock could see what they had. Why would he choose to stay in her flat if he didn't enjoy their time together? It gave her hope for the future. She was ready for the case to be over so they could move on to the next stage of their relationship.
Tom had never been mentioned during these nights. Molly knew that Sherlock could see her lack of engagement ring, but he never commented on it and she never brought it up. It was as if Tom had just vanished into thin air. Molly wanted to tell Sherlock, but it didn't feel right with their current situation. She was waiting to talk to him until the situation with Janine was over. That day at Baker Street that made it clear that she had to end her engagement was too much to bring up while Sherlock was dating someone else, real or not. Once this case was over, she would tell Sherlock about her feelings for him. No more skirting around the topic. No more unspoken words. She was ready to tell him what he meant to her. She was ready to say those three little words.
The game ended and Sherlock switched off the telly. They were both stuffed with pizza and slightly buzzed from alcohol. This was usually the time when Sherlock either left or went to her bedroom. They had agreed that he would sleep best in her room where there was more space. The couch was too cramped to accommodate his height and somehow the idea of the spare room was never brought up. This night, however, he made no motion to get up. It felt as though neither wanted to leave the comfort of the couch or each other's presence.
The room had become dark and still. Molly felt her eyelids grow heavy. In her hazy half-awake state of mind, she felt Sherlock's hand reach over and cover her own.
Molly woke up sometime during the night. Somehow she had ended up with her head on Sherlock's shoulder and he was resting his head against hers. Toby was sleeping in between their legs.
The warmth of his body embraced Molly, radiating throughout her insides. She had never had this much physical contact with him before. With his lean body and angular features, Sherlock didn't seem like someone to snuggle up with, but he was surprisingly soft and comforting. His long limbs provided ample room to wrap up in. The pulse in his neck beat against her temple, syncing with her own. Molly felt a sense of contentment wrap around her heart that she hadn't in a long time.
Slowly, she sat up, trying not to disturb him. He gave a faint, sleepy groan and repositioned his head against the back of the sofa. Molly couldn't help but watch him sleep. His chest rose and fell. His long arm was lazily draped against the top of the sofa, almost inviting her to rest against it. His crossed legs were stretched onto the coffee table. His glossy dark curls shined in the moonlight that streamed through the curtains. His mouth was slightly open and she could hear his deep breaths, lulling her back to sleep. Toby slept curled against his leg purring contentedly.
He looked like he belonged there.
Unable to resist, Molly leaned against his shoulder once more. He made another small noise and once again rested his head onto hers. She felt his arm lower against her shoulders and draw her body closer to him. She wrapped her arm across his middle hugging him tightly, not wanting to let this moment go. Not wanting to let him go.
She tried to stay awake, savoring the feeling for as long as possible. But sleep would not allow her that pleasure.
Waking up the next morning, Molly realized that was alone on the sofa. Sherlock must have placed a blanket over her when he got up. For a split second, she thought he had left like the other mornings he had stayed over, but a noise in the flat told her otherwise.
Wrapping herself in the blanket, she stumbled into the kitchen. Without the warmth of his body, the room was quite chilly.
Sherlock was sitting at the table reading the newspaper and drinking coffee.
"Morning," she mumbled shyly. What was going through his head after he woke up and found them wrapped in each other's arms? He looked serious and kept his eyes focused on her as she poured herself coffee and made toast.
"Molly, have you heard of Charles Augustus Magnussen?" He waited to speak until she had sat down opposite him at the table. It appeared they were not going to talk about last night.
Molly thought for a minute. The name sounded familiar.
"Doesn't he own a bunch of newspapers?"
Sherlock nodded. "He's the person who is blackmailing my client, Lady Smallwood. Janine is his PA."
So this wasn't some small case.
"But isn't he pretty powerful? Sherlock, this sounds more dangerous than I thought."
"I've got a plan. I'm going to be in one of the papers: Sherlock Holmes Discovered in a Drug Den." He waved his hand pretending he was writing the headline.
"It's perfect, Molly. Everyone will think I'm back on drugs and Magnussen will have no idea I'm coming for him."
"Sherlock, no. Not with your history." Molly couldn't believe this. She knew bits and pieces about his former drug use. It seemed like a dangerous way for him to throw someone off the scent.
"I'm not actually going to be using drugs. But as long as everyone thinks I am, then they'll never suspect that I've been working on a case."
"Sherlock, the temptation will be there. I've seen people who have been clean for years that start using again for reasons a lot less minor than this. I'm a doctor. There is no way I would agree with putting yourself in that sort of situation. It's not safe. There has to be another way."
"Luckily, it's not your case," he spoke through gritted teeth.
How dare he. They had been working on this case together from the start, or so she had thought before he sprung all this new information on her. Now suddenly Sherlock wanted to go off on his own.
"I think you should leave."
"What? Molly, I…"
"Go. Now. Please." It was her turn to grit her teeth.
"Sherlock, if you're going to do your own thing, than I can't stop you. But don't think for a second that I approve of what you're doing."
"Do I need your approval?" He glared at her.
"Obviously not." She glared right back.
Sherlock's eyes flickered. Molly though she saw a brief wave of sadness pass over his face. He started to open his mouth and Molly thought he was about to apologize. Instead, he spun around, grabbed his coat and marched out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
Molly felt like punching something. Everything had been going so well. What they had shared last night had been wonderful and now this. Something about Sherlock had changed this morning. Whenever their relationship seemed to be making progress, he found a way to ruin what they had built. It felt like they were always taking one step forward and two steps backward.
Molly didn't hear anything for the next few days. She waited for him to call and apologize, but he didn't. She picked up her phone on several occasions to call him, but she couldn't dial the number without feeling anger and hurt all over again.
Then one morning at work she received a call from John.
"Molly? I've got Sherlock. He's going to be needing to pee in a jar." There was a groan in the background.
She slammed the phone down. In a way, she was looking forward to this. She was finally going to have the chance to take all of her hurt and anger out on him. Everything she had been holding inside for so long was going to be let out once and for all.
Sherlock Holmes was about to meet the wrath of Molly Hooper.