Well, here I am with my new story. I don't anticipate it being particularly long. I'm aiming to have it all written and posted by mid-December so I have time to work on a Sherlollly Christmas story, so if you have any Christmassy things you'd like included let me know.

This story came about thanks to a prompt from Rocking the Redhead. I hope this meets your expectations. It will be rated T for now but will move to M rating later.

Disclaimer, I own nothing but my own hopes and dreams, everything else is ACDs, Moffatt's and Gattis's, So without further ado, on with the story.

Chapter 1

Sherlock had approached Molly one wet, early summer morning enquiring about how many bedrooms she had.

She had looked at him in shock before swallowing and replying 'two, why...err...why do you ask?'

'I need somewhere private to do my work. I'm not going to be able to use Baker St for a while and I need somewhere I can order my thoughts and keep my file notes. Would it be possible to use your spare bedroom?' He smiled at her in that slightly insincere, 'I'm trying to persuade Molly' way that he had, but at least he had stopped using trite compliments on her.

'Oh, I suppose so. I'll get you a key cut, shall I?'

'That would be good Molly, thank you.'

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

The first time she'd noticed his presence was when she had come home from work a week later. There was no one in the flat but when she'd walked in she had noticed the faint smell of his cologne in the air.

She made her way through to the spare bedroom, knocking lightly and calling his name in case he were still there. When there was no answer she pushed open the door and stepped inside.

The smell of him was slightly stronger inside and she closed her eyes breathing him in. Then she shook her head at her behaviour God how sad am I?

There were a few photo's and documents blue tacked to her wall, a couple of scrawled notes in his handwriting tacked up as well. Other than that there was no sign that he had ever been there.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

The following day when she came home it was to a similar situation, again the same faint smell of cologne, a few more pictures and details tacked up on her wall. This time there was also a thin, light blue dressing gown folded up on the bed.

She was tempted to pick it up and try it on or hold it to her face to inhale his scent but she resisted temptation. He would no doubt know what she had done on his return and she didn't need any further humiliation when it came to Sherlock Holmes.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

The next time was almost a week later. She came home and went to make herself a cup of tea only to find her teabags had disappeared. In their place was an expensive packet of tea made by Whittards.

She made herself a cup and when she went to throw out the tea leaves she found her bags of Tetley in the bin. She scowled as she retrieved them but had to admit that the new tea was much better.

She put her old bags in the cupboard and resolved to use the new tea as long as Sherlock was willing to provide it. Maybe there were some perks to this new arrangement.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

She got so used to having a ghost lodger that it was a shock when she actually saw him.

She'd come in as normal, smelling the scent as normal. She set the kettle going for a cup of tea and wandered into the spare bedroom to see what additions Sherlock had made in her absence.

It was a shock therefore to find him lying on his back on the bed hands steepled under his chin. He was wearing dress trousers and shirt with his dressing gown over the top but no shoes and socks, they were tucked underneath the side of the bed.

He opened one eye as she entered and said, 'tea for me too please Molly.'

'Oh...sorry, I didn't know you were still here.' She almost fell backwards out of the room pulling the door too behind her.

She had her hand over her heart as she walked back to the kitchen, trying to get her breathing back under control. The image of him lying in her bed, albeit her spare bed, was burnt into her memory and she was worried she might start to develop a foot fetish now she'd seen his naked feet.

Contrary to public opinion she might have helped Sherlock to fake his own death but he hadn't come back to her flat after and she hadn't seen him looking anything less than immaculately dressed. Seeing him so casual, at least casual for him, was surprising as well as slightly arousing.

As she poured out the tea, using her best mugs, she heard him padding his way into the front room.

OhGodOhGodOhGod keep it together Hooper.

She made her way back out of the kitchen, hoping she wouldn't spill the drinks everywhere. She managed to put the tea down in front of him, where he was sat on the settee, and then curled up in her normal chair holding her cup, 'so how's the case coming along?'

'It's not,' he said irritably as he leant forwards, elbows on his knees as he used his hands to ruffle his hair in frustration.

Molly's mouth was suddenly dry, God he was sexy and she didn't think he had any clue that he was.

'I'm up against a monster, Molly, this man uses blackmail to manipulate people. He has data on some of the most influential people in the country and I need to know where he's holding it. I've gained as much information as I can about his businesses and narrowed it down to his central London office and his home both of which are impenetrable.'

He paused for breath and Molly marvelled at how fast he could speak. 'Well, there must be some way in? Is there anyone he works with who could help you gain access? A security guard you could bribe?'

He sighed, shaking his head, 'he picks his closest staff very well, pays for loyalty. I haven't yet found a way in.'

'What about your brother, can he help?'

Sherlock scrunched up his nose in disgust, 'No'.

Molly knew that reaction well enough to leave it alone.

'There must be some avenue you haven't explored...'

Sherlock shifted awkwardly in his seat, 'well there is one but I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable pursuing it.'

Molly leant forward, 'well, what is it?'

'Magnusson's PA...she was the bridesmaid at John and Mary's wedding. She made it obvious she was attracted to me at the wedding, I thought about asking her out.'

Molly's stomach seemed to plummet. 'Oh', was all she could manage at first.

She rallied a bit before continuing, 'well, if you like her maybe you should.'

Sherlock looked at her as though she had gone mad. 'Of course, I don't LIKE her. Don't be ridiculous Molly. I meant ask her out so I could use her to gain access to the office.'

'Sherlock, that's awful, you can't do that. I mean do you even know how to date a woman, I always thought you were gay.'

As she said the last line she threw her hand over her mouth. Yes, she'd always wondered but she had never meant to ask.

'No Molly, for your information I am not gay but neither am I attracted to Janine. As for knowing what to do I'm sure I know enough about relationships to fake it, I've unfortunately had to observe John going through enough of them.'

Molly wasn't sure how to respond. She wanted Sherlock to successfully solve his case, she knew how frustrated he could get when he was stymied. On the other hand the thought of him being with someone else, even if he was faking it, made her feel sick. It also seemed very morally wrong.

'How far would you need to go with her?'

'I'm not going to have sex with her, if that's what you mean Molly. I'm sure it can all be successfully resolved without having to go to those lengths,' he smirked at her discomfort.

'Well then, maybe you should ask her out...if there's no other way.'

Sherlock nodded, put his cup down and made his way back to the bedroom. He emerged fully dressed a few minutes later, 'thank you again for your hospitality. Good night Molly.'

She smiled at him, 'good night Sherlock and good luck.'

'Luck rarely has anything to do with it Molly but thank you.'

As he closed the door she let her head fall back onto the chair so she was staring at the ceiling, 'oh God, what have I just advised him to do...' She closed her eyes and tried not to think about how she would feel if this fake relationship were to turn into a real one.

As ever let me know what you think of this new scenario. We always make our Molly suffer before she gets her man, don't we, but it should be worth it in the end.