He was a fool.
He realized it afterwards: when he was tied up to her bed and she was cutting his skin with a whip like she was cutting into steak.
He'd dismissed her, abused her feelings and treated her with disregard. And she'd still stood by him.
And he'd never really understood why, until now.
She'd been smart all along. As smart as him. And apparently as insane as Moriarty. And in love with him.
That wasn't just a dangerous combination.
It was a dangerous combination of epic proportions. And lethal ones, if he couldn't figure out how to get out of it.
Or maybe she would just keep him as her pet. Either way, he was in serious, stupid trouble.
All because he'd let his eyes and ears make all his decisions. Perhaps, if he'd used his heart, he'd have seen through her carefully constructed façade sooner.
But he hadn't. And she'd known he wouldn't. She'd used all of his skills against him. He'd gambled when he hadn't even known he was in a game, and now he'd lost.
Now he had to play a new game, a game where Molly still had all the advantages. She was smirking behind stacks of money and he was desperately trying to find a few coins to place a bet.
She was more than anyone had ever thought she could be. He knew that now, as she threw down the whip and grabbed his face, pushing her mouth hard against his, forcing his lips open to accept her kiss.
He didn't try to fight her. It wouldn't do him any good yet. He had to watch her and listen to her in ways he'd never dreamed he'd need to do.
But he did. Because she wasn't just a step ahead of him, Molly Hooper wasn't.
Sherlock was two steps too late.