Molly Hooper was half asleep when she heard a knock at her door.
She lifted her head and peered at the clock. It was almost midnight. Who the hell could it be at this hour? It was probably her drunk neighbor again thinking this was his flat. Maybe if she ignored him, he would go away. She lowered her head and sunk back into the blankets and waited. It was quiet. Good.
He knocked again and Molly groaned.
She threw back the covers and snatched her robe off the floor.
"This isn't your flat Robert!" she called out, her stocking feet padding across the floor. "You have to go up one more flight!"
More knocking, this time more insistent.
Molly unlocked her door but left the chain on as she opened it.
"Robert, it's really late ..."
It wasn't Robert.
It was ...
"I need somewhere to stay," Sherlock said, staring back at her through the narrow opening. He was covered in snow and his breath was white. He tapped a gloved finger on the chain separating them. "These are completely useless."
Molly's mouth fell open in shock. It was bad enough he showed up at her work unannounced but now her flat? She glanced down at her flannels and terry robe and remembered she hadn't even bothered to take a bath before climbing into bed. It had been a long day, which was about to get even longer.
"You look lovely," he said, giving her that smile. That smile that meant he wanted something and right now, he wanted into her flat.
Molly stared back at him, her sleepy brain still trying to fathom why Sherlock Holmes was wanting to spend the night here. She decided it had to involve work. It was all he cared about, wasn't it? Work. Work. Work. It couldn't possibly be for anything else, could it?
"Are you in some kind of trouble?" Molly asked, her brow furrowing. She didn't feel like having her building blown up or being kidnapped or any of the other horrid things that his flatmate had to endure.
"No," he said, his smile fading fast. Now, he just looked at her with those eyes. "It's very cold out here so could you just let me in?"
"Okay," she said, finally giving in. She shut the door, unfastened the chain and let him inside.
"Thank you," he said, stepping into her dark flat. He looked around and Molly cringed at what he would deduce from her humble abode. Toby appeared out of nowhere and proceeded to rub himself against Sherlock's leg. He made a dour face as he looked down at the offending creature. "I hate cats."
"His name is Toby," Molly said, scooping him up her arms protectively. Sherlock proceeded to wander into her kitchen, his eyes darting everywhere. Molly remembered her manners despite the fact Sherlock didn't seem to have any. "Would you like a cup of tea?"
"Yes and some biscuits," he said, grinning at her if she were some sort of waitress. Molly made herself smile back and put Toby down.
"Okay," she said, heading toward the stove.
It was definitely going to be a long night.