Title: Kittens and Umbrellas
Author: Smartkitty314
Summary: Whenever Sherlock Holmes becomes close with someone, Mycroft Holmes steps in and…speaks with them. Sometimes it's bribery to become a "friend," sometimes it's damage control, and sometimes it's for informational purposes. Then Mycroft meets Molly.
Rating: K+
Disclaimer: I intend to make no monetary profit off of this work, but rather I take my dues from constructive reviews.
a/n: Does it ever annoy you that all the stories seem to focus on Sherlock and John? I mean, I love the pair of them, I really do, but one of the amazing things about BBC's Sherlock is all of the other characters are absolutely fascinating, too. Moriarty, Lestrade, Mycroft, even Molly. You know what I hate more than anything? Writing a story that's already been written, several times. So this is a new take, a new story, a new pairing, a new explanation. Read, review, enjoy!

Kittens and Umbrellas

The first time that Dr. Molly Hooper saw Sherlock Holmes, she was completely and utterly terrified. And, just a tiny bit taken with him. It wasn't her fault that he perfectly resembled her childhood vision of a mysterious prince, tall, dark, and handsome.

Gah. She was starting to sound like one of those brainless idiots who fell head over heels for anything male and some things female. She had worked hard to earn her credentials, to gain her job, to be where she was right now.

The only problem was, she had worked in a quiet sort of way. She had been a quiet child, had barely opened her mouth through school, written up her thesis silently in college, slipped unnoticed into the ranks of Bart's staff. She had a sweet personality, but a weak one.

Sherlock Holmes had waltzed right over it, and crushed it. Crushed her. Crushed her hopes and thoughts and words and opinions like she was nothing, and promptly ignored her for a corpse that he apparently found more interesting.

It didn't help that he was so attractive, because she found that she couldn't make herself mind at all.

The first time Dr. Molly Hooper met Mycroft Holmes, she was terrified out of her mind. Quite literally. She was whimpering, these pathetic little tiny sobs, and the only thing going through her smallish head was Oh my God, please don't hurt me, please don't hurt me. Mycroft could see it in her widened pupils; her sharp, gasping breaths; the scent of her sweat and salty tears in the little room.

"Hello, dear," he said drearily, with a smile that didn't reach his eyes. He didn't sound particularly reassuring. On the other hand, he wasn't trying very hard; the nastier part of him liked watching her squirm, liked feeling so powerful. After all, she ought to be afraid. He could have her killed in an instant, or even worse, make her disappear, make her…

No. He had a country to run, and terrorizing his citizens was juvenile and accomplished nothing, if not an illogical reaction. Besides, that would be giving Sherlock blackmail material, and he did hate allowing his brother any sort of leverage over him.

"Sherlock Holmes. How do you know him?"

The girl didn't say anything. Was she dumb, or deaf? "Sherlock Holmes," Mycroft repeated. "I advise you to begin talking now."

Molly Hooper though she was brave. She thought she would be loyal, and honest, and would stand by her principals, and not betray the man renting the lab next to hers. In all honesty, she didn't reply because she was horror struck that she could barely breathe, let alone open her mouth.

Mycroft narrowed his eyes.

The term 'scared witless' took on an entirely new meaning for her.

Molly was just about at the point when she was ready to die of a heart attack when Sherlock Holmes burst into the room. Saved by her knight in shining armor.

"Mycroft, you can go now."

"Really? What is she to you?" Mycroft smiled, looking uncannily like a shark.

"I just started here, and I'm not going to find a whole new hospital. She let me look at the cadavers, and experiment on the extra ones. You're not going to scare her away. It's no fair! You ruin everything!" Sherlock was breathing heavily by the time he reach the end of his little rant, and a hint of emotion had made its way into his voice. Mycroft always brought out the worst in him, the child in him. The stupid, emotional, whiney child.

Mycroft smiled. "I see."

Of course, that was the worst possible thing he could have said, and he got the tone just right, too: three parts understanding and one part condescending. Sherlock just wanted to throw something at him.

"You…you know him?" Molly stuttered.

"Yes, I know him, but the real question is what is he doing here right now when he promised that he would leave me alone?"

"I promised, you say?"

"If you don't leave right now, I'm telling Mu—" He broke off, glancing at Molly. The less she knew, the better. "I'm telling her."

"Really, because I think you promised Mummy" (And Sherlock knew that he especially emphasized the word, just to annoy him) "that you would stay away from dangerous cases and dead people."

"I did not. I said I would try to avoid them. Not that I would drop them altogether. Besides, you're not honest with Mummy at all."

"Yes, but I was always better at lying than you."

"Go find someone else to bother, Mycroft," Sherlock scoffed. "You, Molly, coffee, plenty of milk, sugar, and cream."

Molly, still somewhat trembling, went to fetch it for him. By the time she came back, this Mycroft was gone. "Ah, coffee. Good. Drink it."

She blinked. "You…you don't—"

"I only ever have mine black. No, you're looking pale, you need a warm drink, plenty of…sweet, fatty stuff in it. Go ahead. Milk is full of tryptophan, which will help produce serotonin in your brain."

She blinked again, then took a sip. The warmth spread to the tips of her toes, and she began to feel a bit less shaky. "You…you saved me," she said, awed.

"Well, hardly. Although stay away from my brother in the future, he's the most dangerous man you'll ever meet."

"More dangerous than you?" She bit her lip afterwards, amazed that she had the audacity to…was she flirting with him?

Obviously it was the wrong thing to say. "He likes power. All I want is to not be bored. It's his addiction that's more likely to get you killed." He put on his coat and scarf. "I'm going out. Text me if you get any new bodies."

She could only nod. Sherlock Holmes had definitely stolen her heart.

The second time she met Mycroft Holmes was definitely not as bad as the first. She didn't even know it was Mycroft. There was a beautiful little card sitting on her desk, giving her an address and a time in flowery writing. She thought she caught the scent of lavender on the card.

She showed up at the appropriate time and place, and was whisked into a limousine. She was alone except for a woman texting, and the woman ignored her, so she didn't speak.

By now, her dreams of a romantic invitation sent by, well, Sherlock, had pretty much been flushed down the drain. Still, she didn't think she was going to be kidnapped and murdered, because who ever picked up their murder victims in a limousine?

Whoever was doing this would have a lot of money, power, and influence. They would also, for some strange reason, be interested enough in her to invite her to this tea party. She couldn't think of anyone who would fit the contradicting description.

The limousine stopped, and she carefully got out, trying not to tremble.

Her mouth fell open at the sight that met her eyes.

Flowers trailing from the roof, all sorts of flowers and vines and glorious leafy green things. It was midwinter and she had to be in some greenhouse of sorts, but it felt like an enchanted forest. In the center sat a beautiful little white table covered in a lacy tablecloth, pyramids of succulent pastries, and a full tea set. Probably real antique china, considering the expense of the rest of the set-up.

One chair was open, waiting for her. The other was occupied by the one and only Mycroft Holmes. He smiled, far more welcomingly this time, and said, "Come along, dear. I'm on a tight schedule, but I really did wish to get to know you better. I thought we'd gotten off on the wrong foot."

He's the most dangerous man you'll ever meet. Sherlock's voice ran through her head. Another voice, though, said that no one had ever even noticed her, yet alone devoted any sort of attention, time, or money to her. He had set up this whole tea party, just for her. She couldn't help but feel a little bit…special. She didn't want to throw it away for…sibling rivalry or something.

She sat down, and an attendant poured her tea. Mycroft eyed her carefully, as if unsure how to continue. She was like a startled animal, who would let him pet her now, but one false move, one wrong word, and she would bolt.

Money for information would frighten her. Casual conversation, however, could easily give him what he needed. "So how is my dear brother?" he asked. "I worry about him, constantly." There was just enough truth in the statement for it to sound reasonable.

"I…I don't really know." Molly blushed. "Some days he spends cooped up in his lab, and he's there the next morning, and I don't think he's left at all, and sometimes I don't see him for days. He seems to be in fine health, I suppose. I've only known him for a week."

Mycroft smiled. "Well, you've probably seen his fascination with cadavers, then. Mother always worried that he was more interested in the dead than the living."

"Oh, but—" and she launched into a whole description of his careful scientific methods, and his chemical experiments, and how he really just oozed life and energy.

It wasn't that hard to get Molly Hooper talking about Sherlock Holmes.

Somehow, the conversation shifted from Sherlock to herself, and how she couldn't be that weird because she spent more time with the dead than the living, and the new cat she got and how much she loved him, except her intrinsic fear of becoming a cat lady. Mycroft found her mildly amusing, this weak, stupid little woman with her pointless little life. She was really quite adorable, the way her eyes lit up at the fact that someone was actually letting her talk for a change. Mycroft found it quite amusing, amusing enough to let their little tea party go on twelve minutes longer than planned.

(It didn't help that his assistant had picked all the desserts that he loved, and he carefully nibbled on one, then a second. It was her fault, and besides, he could be more careful tomorrow. He only Sherlock would notice, and comment on his diet, but he wasn't planning on seeing Sherlock tomorrow, so he should be fine.)

Molly was still smiling when he bade her farewell. Her grin widened at his parting comment of, "We really ought to do this again, dear. I'll send you a note."

a/n: and I'm not really sure what this is turning into. Friendship? Romance? Who knows. Sometimes, characters take lives of their own, and the author loses full control over the story. Well, leave a review!

If Sherlock seems a bit out of character here, it's because he's younger, I'd say about five or six years younger, than when John meets him and the show begins. Obviously, by then he's more adept at dealing with his brother meddling in his life.