A/N: YES! I did it! An update! I'm sorry it's so short but I am getting back into the swing of things.
Thanks so much to all my lovely readers and reviewers! I will try to update again within the next 2 weeks.
In today's chapter: the story moves forward and Sherlock gets a surprising summons from John.
"So then he said: 'Rigor mortis? I don't even know what a mortis is; let alone how to rig it!'" Molly said, giggling a little. "Poor chap. I tried not to laugh, didn't seem proper."
Sherlock looked at Molly and raised both eyebrows. "And this was amusing precisely how, Molly?"
Molly's face fell. "Well, it seemed funny at the time…" and she looked so downhearted that he couldn't help but smile.
"I'm sure it did," he said, and her smile returned as though someone had flipped a switch.
Sherlock sipped his coffee and studied Molly over the rim of the cup. They had been "dating" for roughly six months now. Moriarty had only resurfaced a few times: to give Sherlock suggestions for Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Molly's birthday and a few other random occurrences. Once when they'd had a spectacular fight and once when Sherlock was spending, in Moriarty's words, "too much time on a case." He'd threatened Sherlock that he'd set off a random bomb if Sherlock did not go see Molly right now that minute.
Sherlock went, under protest. But a random comment Molly made helped him to solve the case, and after enduring Lestrade's questions and Donovan's snippy remarks, Sherlock had returned with Molly to her flat to celebrate and apologize if he'd neglected her. Molly had told him she understood how he was when there was a case, and that she had missed him but she wasn't angry.
"I know the work is more important than anything," she'd said, and Sherlock had felt an odd twist in his stomach. His work was important. But it hadn't been more important than John, and it wasn't going to be more important than Molly. He'd kissed her and told her that she would hear from him every day, even if it was only a text at night to tell her he was still alive. That seemed more than enough for her, and they'd spent the rest of the night celebrating his success.
Since then, Moriarty had left them alone. Sherlock wasn't stupid, he'd said, and he knew what he was supposed to do. So Sherlock was continuing the game: dating Molly, spending several nights a week with her when there was no case. Going out with her and John and Mary. Eating dinner. Walking in parks. Listening to her play and sing. Having sex.
Sherlock would have been lying if he said that sex was unpleasant. Though not of his choosing, it was an enjoyable activity. Molly was… a surprising lover. Passionate, innovative and not stammering or shy when it came to sex. In truth, she had all but stopped stammering around him now. She even stood up to him when he became too much of a git, to Sherlock's surprise and relief. She was at times silly, but she was also clever and smart. At times she made him roll his eyes: other times, she made him laugh. He trusted her, enjoyed being with her.
But if he was in love, he didn't know. He had no idea how to tell. He assumed that there would be some epiphany, some revelation. Some defining moment that told him yes, he, Sherlock Holmes, was in love with Molly Hooper. He was waiting for that moment, doing nothing to stop it as per his deal with that devil Moriarty.
For the first time in his life, Sherlock Holmes was on the lookout for love. But so far it was nowhere to be seen.
He realized Molly had been speaking and shook his head. "Sorry. You were saying?"
"I won tickets to see Fiddler on the Roof tomorrow night. At a charity raffle at work. Would you like to come with me?"
He blinked. How long had he been thinking about her? "Yes," he answered. "That sounds… good."
Molly smiled again. "All right. Well, I'd better get back. I'll see you tonight at seven, then?"
"Yes," he replied. "I'll pick you up here."
She stood up, then leaned down for a kiss. He obliged, still a bit distracted by his earlier distraction. But he quickly lost himself in the warmth of her mouth. He could almost feel the dopamine start to swirl around in his brain. It was there of its own accord: he'd stopped eating the chocolates four months ago. Moriarty had told him he knew he didn't need them anymore.
Molly sighed and stood back up. "Bye, Sherlock."
"Goodbye, Molly," he said softly, watching her go.
John rang him at that moment. Sherlock was surprised. John seldom rang him during the day, and especially not if he knew he was with Molly.
"John?" Sherlock asked by way of greeting when he answered.
"Sherlock, if you're finished for now at Bart's, could you come back to Baker Street? There's something I want to show you."
Sherlock frowned. John was nervous; it was obvious. But he didn't sound in danger. Worried, though. And excited. Something was going on. Something important.
"All right, I'm on my way," Sherlock responded, then snapped the phone shut. As he made his way outside and was about to hail a taxi, he saw the long black car parked across the street and sighed. It seemed Mycroft wanted a word first.