A/N: Horribly sorry for such a long wait for chapter 2! But, no lemony-ness yet...But the rating has gone up for themes in this chapter and the next installment.

It was half an hour after Sherlock arrived home when the door to 221b was knocked. It was a few minutes before John and Sherlock realised Mrs Hudson hadn't actually opened the door as normal and the detective was awakened from his thoughtful stupor by the buzzing of his Blackberry.

Are you going to leave me out in the cold?


He shook his head and stood, ignoring the quizzical look from his flatmate as he did so, and eventually opened the door to a cold-looking Molly.

"Of course not. Didn't hear the door go." He quickly fabricated. "Here, let me take that and I'll get John to put the kettle on." He offered as way of apology, helping her coat from her shoulders to carry it upstairs. Obviously she had come straight from work and was wearing pale blue jeans and a plain green t-shirt. She had, however, banished the smell of the morgue with perfume, Sherlock noted as his brain ran its constant cycle of observe, process, deduce. He was running through the situation. Number one: he had kissed Molly. Number two: he planned to do a lot more. Number three: Molly was at their flat. Number four: his pulse was up from its normal, reptilian pace. A question flashed for a millisecond within his expansive mind – could he actually be attracted to Molly Hooper? Following her up the stairs, he immediately dreaded whatever John would have waiting for him. Fortunately, he needn't have done – the piss-taking would come after Molly had left and the doctor was merely, as he thought he would have to anyway, perusing the cupboards of the kitchen for a non-toxic mug to use for coffee.

"Thank you, John." Sherlock nodded sharply to his flatmate and companion in as many cases as he could remember (which was of course all) since they had started renting the flat. The doctor smiled, depositing the steaming mugs upon the coffee table and making some excuse that Sherlock acknowledged but decided wasn't crucial. No doubt he was being socially acceptable again, leaving Sherlock and Molly to talk alone. The detective, as always, understood the motive and took the opportunity to approach the subject of 'earlier'.

"Sorry for leaving you so suddenly earlier. I realised I'd left John here when I'd promised to be back on time."

"But you never do anything the way anybody tells you." She retorted.

"True, however, on this occasion I was trying to prove a point. He's been acquiring a habit of forgetting times and places we're meant to be recently since he's been seeing Sarah more often." Sherlock almost growled the other woman's name – damn her for stealing away his most useful ally in his crime-solving duties. Sat next to each other on the sofa, Molly cocked her head to one side, puzzled by Sherlock aversion to John actually having a life outside of Baker Street. "She's lovely enough, but does he really have to spend that much time with her?" The tall man continued, turning to Molly and fixing her with an irritated yet questioning stare.

Those eyes. There was something in those molten depths that made Molly at this moment want to throw herself at him and say in her huskiest, most sultry voice that she would show him why John spent so much time with that woman. However, the mouse that she was, Molly couldn't bring herself to even utter a squeak of agreement. Instead, she simply lost the self-discipline she had promised herself after her last meeting with Sherlock and allowed her gaze to trail down, across his lips to the open shirt-collar where the detective's collar bone lay, just peeking out from under the crisp white fabric.

Sherlock's brain was calculating again. He had managed the emotional detachment of earlier, when he had kissed Molly, but how would that fair up if things got carried away? He found Molly endearing, yes, and if the detective was utterly – almost cruelly – honest with himself, he had enjoyed kissing her earlier. However, he needed to know he could still remain the stony presence in the backdrop of the majority of London's crime and be romantically involved simultaneously. Tonight was the night to test that level of discipline. He registered the trail that Molly's eyes followed down his jaw, down his neck with a half-smirk. It had started.

"Molly?" He feigned questioning in his voice, as if she had missed something he had said. When she looked up, embarrassed and confused, Sherlock merely smiled to her wryly.

"What?" She tried to meet his gaze, but thought better of it, knowing she wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything he said if she did.

"Do shut up." He growled, a sly expression working its way across his face, before he had turned to face her on the sofa and grasped her face in his hands, softly pulling her towards him so he could, for the second time that evening, claim her lips with his. Unlike the first time Sherlock Holmes kissed Molly Hooper, she did not hesitate to allow him to hold her to him, to explore her mouth inextricably, to run a thumb across the pulse in her neck. Instead, she clung to him, yielding to every whim and motion that he made, curling his dark hair around her fingers to keep hold. He, on the other hand, was in utter control, one hand keeping her pressed against him, one softly caressing her neck. The position they ended up in was one that was never going to be comfortable on a sofa, and so, with gentle guidance, Sherlock pushed Molly back so he was above her and she was reclined against the arm, his hands either side of her holding him up. It was then that John walked back in.

Footsteps were all it took for Sherlock to immediately cease his ministrations to Molly's mouth and glare at the doorway where the doctor was stood, mouth hanging open in what could only be described a sheer shock.

"Yes?" Sherlock snarled, irritated at having been interrupted and at John's dumbfound surprise at finding his flatmate in such a situation.

"I...uh...Nothing. I'll be at," he coughed, "Sarah's." With that, Dr Watson quickly retreated from the room. Sherlock chuckled darkly into Molly's cheek.

"Now that's a face I will never forget." He murmured, laughter creeping into his voice. "Do you think it would have been any funnier to watch him, if he'd seen, for instance, this?" He crooned, one finger brushing along her collarbone, gently persuading her t-shirt from one shoulder as he laid delicate kisses down her neck and down the strap of her bra to the hem of the shirt which now lay at the top of her bust. He smiled as Molly shudder under him and slowly pushed the shirt off the other shoulder, so that he now had more access to a larger expanse of skin, which he proceeded to cover in feathery kisses. Growing more adventurous by the second, Sherlock sucked softly at the skin just above the top edge of Molly's bra, his tongue drawing lazy patterns over the flesh, smoothly until the moment her hands tangled in his hair to pull him ever closer. Then it struck him: what he was doing, what he planned to do, what he didn't know that he was going to do afterwards. Sherlock decided to be honest with poor, mousey Molly, reluctantly bringing his head up to her again, resting his forehead against hers.

"This might not work, Molly, you know. I have to see if I can still do what I do as well as I do it, I can't have you getting in the way of that." He knew it sounded callous, but Sherlock was making a valiant attempt to regain some of his asexual insensitivity, even as he watched Molly's dilated pupils flicker around his face. "My work comes first."

"I know that." Molly nodded, her voice husky. She would agree with him whatever he said.

"Once is all that I will guarantee. From there, it's touch and go. We'll see how things fare up." When she nodded, he smiled again, shedding his cold facade for the last time that night, allowing himself the freedom of emotion and feeling. It probably wasn't a wise idea for Sherlock to rid Molly of her t-shirt once and for all, and her to work down the buttons of his shirt where they were on the sofa, but as John had said – he was seeing Sarah. The detective shuddered as Molly's hands left trails upon his bare chest, as if she was committing it to memory. He wouldn't blame her – this might be the only time that this ever happened, he would probably regret it only being once if it was.

Except, with Sherlock's best line of defence down, within the deepest recesses of his mind, Sherlock knew this wouldn't be the first and last time. He would not let Molly Hooper go.