Post-Reichenbach Fall. The Molly-Sherlock relationship fascinates me. So here goes.


Thirty four days after she helps him die, he comes to her door.

It's half past one in the morning, and she's sitting on her couch, a cup of cold tea clutched in one hand and a tattered copy of And Then There Were None. She hadn't liked suspenseful novels before, not like she did now. But now she finds that she loves the feeling of trying to predict what will happen next, to sniff out clues and be ever-vigilant, ever-aware in her reading. She loves the shiver of excitement that creeps up her spine when things come to a head, her body unconsciously coiling with the rising tension, nervously awaiting the final big reveal.

That's the kind of moment she's in when the doorbell sounds, causing her to throw the book up in the air with fright as she squeaks out in surprise at the unexpected sound.

She gets up, flustered and confused. Who would be at her door in the middle of the night? She had no family around here, no friends. Maybe it was the on-again, off-again boyfriend of the girl upstairs, who had the annoying habit of forgetting exactly where his paramour's flat was located in the building. She'd been woken up several times by the sound of him calling through the door for Allison, murmuring his love for her through the wooden framework.

"Who is it?" she calls out, pressing her ear to the door. She really needed a peephole for the door, especially living alone, or at least that was what her sister always told her when she came down to visit, constantly paranoid about the "dangers of London" and the "terrors of living in the city".

"It's me," answers a voice on the other side, and her heart skips two beats when she recognizes the deep, rumbling tones.

She opens the door without another word, knowing how dangerous it must be for him to be out there. She says the same to him as he steps through the door.

"What are you doing here?" she whispers incredulously as he strides into the room, sweeping past her as she moves to lock the door. She tries to ignore the feeling of her pulse speeding up, the increased pace of her heart reflecting itself in the feeling of it thumping in the side of her neck.

He doesn't look at her, just takes everything in. Books, telly, chairs, blanket, plate, cup, old newspaper, sappy romance film (shit), lab coat, etc. She watches him studying her through her possessions, through the decor on the walls and the items in the room, which must just all scream to him lonely desperate single thirty-something, and she can feel the embarrassment flood to her face, lighting up her cheeks.

He turns to her after a long moment, his eyes fixing onto her. "Why are you embarrassed?" he asks, cocking his head to the side ever so slightly.

She laughs nervously and looks down to the floor. "It-uh, it's just- you can tell so much by people's things and – and, well..." she shrugs, gesturing limply to the room around her.

"Well what?" he answers immediately, still staring at her, still not blinking, still just so... himself.

"Well," she starts, still looking down, unwilling to meet his unflinching gaze. "It's... it's uncomfortable, having someone pick you apart like that, to read you like an open book."

"Don't be uncomfortable," he replies.

She shakes her head as if to rid herself of those thoughts, and looks up to him once more. "Anyways," she says, starting over, "Wha-what do you need help with?"

He takes a single step forward. "I don't need help with anything."

"Y-you don't?"

Another step. "No."

Her unreliable heart skips another beat. "Then... then what?"

He's still at least two feet away from her, but she swears she can feel his every breath on her cheeks, the soft exhale and the slow inhale, tickling her senses. "You're in love with me," he states, his eyes boring down into hers.

She gasps audibly. "W-what?" she stammers, her eyes wild, looking anywhere but at him.

"You've been in love with me for the past nineteen months and eight days," he continues, still staring.

She can't even string words together, her tongue tied and immobile. She's frozen, caught somewhere between mortification and delight, total embarrassment and heart-wrenching hope.

"We both know it. We've both always known it."

Her voice comes back her, barely. "Sh-Sherlock, I-"

Another step, and they are so close now, so very close. "You help me no matter what. You believe me no matter what. That's... remarkable."

"Oh?" she squeaks out, looking straight up into those mesmerizing eyes. Eyes that she'd always wanted to be this close to, eyes that haunted her in that space between wakefulness and sleep. Eyes that she'd always known, somewhere deep and dark inside of her, that would never be hers.

"Thank you for saving my life, Molly Hooper," he murmurs, his voice barely above a growl.

"Oh, well, you know," she babbles, completely flustered and completely unbound. "It was noth-"

Her words are cut off by his lips, as he moves forward in one fluid movement and catches her around the waist, pressing his mouth against hers. She stiffens with utter and complete confusions, confounded by this sudden turn of events. Is this happening? Is this happening? Is this really happening? is all she can think, unable to truly process the feel of his soft skin against hers, the pressure of his hand on the small of her back, the heat of his body parallel to hers.

They pull apart, and neither of them say anything, simply looking at each other. She doesn't want to ruin this moment by speaking, she doesn't want to break whatever spell might have been cast over him to bring him to her like this. She wants to treasure this moment forever, the one moment where she felt his lips against hers, felt his body flush to hers, felt herself held in his arms.

And then he kisses her again, and she forgets what it is like to think at all.


Thirty four days after she helps him die, he comes to her door.

He studies her as he comes into her flat. No makeup, hair tied up, old shirt and well-worn pair of tracksuit bottoms, with an old, faded sports team insignia on the right thigh. There's a book on the ground (Agatha Christie), a dirty dish (fish & chips), a cold cup of tea, and a well-used lab coat thrown haphazardly onto the back of a chair. The room speaks to him almost as a person incarnate, of a single life lived in solitude, without the company of others and without the intrusion of a romantic life. He'd known that all along, of course, but it was still strange to see it so very clearly, so completely and utterly evident.

He's come here on a mission. He's come here to test a theory, to confirm a hypothesis, and he's absolutely certain that he's going to empirically find that he is right.

He turns to her after a long moment, his eyes fixing onto her. "Why are you embarrassed?" he asks, taking in the redness of her cheeks, the nervous tapping her fingers on her arm, the way she shifts her weight ever so slightly from foot to foot, clearly uneasy.

She laughs timidly and looks away from him, dropping her eyes down to the floor. "It-uh, it's just- you can tell so much by people's things and – and, well..." she replies, shrugging, gesturing to the items around the room, at the dirty dishes and the crumbs on the floor and the half-hidden collection of formulaic Hollywood romance films.

"Well what?" he replies, still studying her, still taking it all in. Her features were objectively quite attractive, by conventional standards. Well constructed cheekbones, bright and clear eyes, slender neck.

"Well," she starts, still avoiding his gaze. "It's... it's uncomfortable, having someone pick you apart like that, to read you like an open book."

"Don't be uncomfortable," he tells her, and he can see some of that tension leave her, fading away.

She shakes her head as if to rid herself of those thoughts, and looks up to him once more. "Anyways," she says, starting over, "Wha-what do you need help with?"

Whenever she does look him in the eyes, he always notices this twinge of – something. Something that he can't quite name, something that he doesn't quite recognize – some emotion that he doesn't quite understand. He takes a step forward, towards her. "I don't need help with anything."

"Y-you don't?" she stutters, her eyes growing large.

Her pupils have fully dilated, he notes to himself. He moves again. "No."

"Then... then what?"

"You're in love with me," he states, looking down at her, watching her look up at him, watching her struggle to respond.

She gasps audibly. "W-what?"

Part of him wants to reciprocate what she so clearly feels for him. Part of him would like nothing more than to feel the things she does, to want the thing she wants the way she wants them, just like the star-crossed lovers in those absurdly boring love story films. And that's why he's here, isn't it? To test his theory, once and for all. "You've been in love with me for the past nineteen months and eight days," he tells her, an undeniable truth.

She doesn't answer, a silent statue before him, frozen soild.

"We both know it. We've both always known it," he tells her, and it's true. He's known since the fourth time he walked into her lab at the hospital, when she'd looked up at the sound of his voice and smiled in a way he'd never seen before, a smile that conveyed so much more than anything he'd ever felt in his life.

"Sh-Sherlock, I-"

He moves even closer. "You help me no matter what. You believe me no matter what. That's... remarkable." This is true. So very true. And it's the reason that he is here tonight, the reason that he's come back from the north and the south and the east to see her, to be with her. He's been preoccupied with this theory since he left London the last time, caught up in thoughts of love and lust and want. So he's here to see if maybe he's missed something along the way, maybe he's ignored something he shouldn't have.

Maybe he can love Molly Hooper after all.

"Oh?" she squeaks out, looking straight up at him, with all the hope in the world contained in one single gaze.

Time to test his theory. "Thank you for saving my life, Molly Hooper," he murmurs, his voice barely above a growl.

"Oh, well, you know," she babbles, completely flustered and completely unbound. "It was noth-"

He makes his first move, his first trial. Moriarty, as always, had been spot on with the assignation of nicknames to both himself and his brother – Mycroft was a man of ice and steel, a cold knife in a world of daggers and guns. And Sherlock – Sherlock was a man without romantic inclination, without time for desire and without need for physical release. But he is, above else, observant, and when he moves his head down to kiss her, he kisses her with confidence, knowing that observation has provided him with all the tools he needs. He feels her stiffen with his touch, but he presses her tighter against him, deepening his kiss, and he can start to feel her melt into his arms.

When she looks up at him, when they break apart, he can see that same look in her eyes as on that night when he'd inadvertently exposed her love of him to the entire gathered group at their Christmas affair, the look she'd given him when he'd pulled his lips away from her cheek. It was a look of finality, a longing gaze that would commit the moment to memory, to be filed away and cherished, first-hand knowledge of something that would never happen again.

So when he leans forward and kisses her again, he can feel her gasp into his mouth, taken aback, completely off guard.

And when he moves over her naked form, sprawled on top of the duvet in her modest bedroom, he can see that look again, that look of total shock, that look of ecstatic surprise so evident in her eyes. The raw emotion on her face, the euphoria and the shock and the pure happiness that seems to radiate from her is fascinating, even as he touches her skin and kisses her jaw and glides his hands across her body. And even though he can feel the pleasure that this physical contact elicits within him, the enjoyment of the union between their bodies, he can't help the nagging feeling of doubt that starts to pervade him.

Because he's wrong and he knows it. His theory is false and it's eating away at him, even she kisses his shoulder and wraps her legs around him.

You can't prove love, after all.