Well, I hadn't planned on writing a sequel to Boxing day, but this just popped into my head and flowed out from my fingertips. I wrote it kinda fast(an hour) so I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes. Feel free to point them out to me.
A/N: I don't think it's really imperative that you read "Boxing day" to get this fic, but it's better if you do. And I would be much obliged:)
Please let me know what you think.
"Thank you," Molly told the cabbie as she passed him the fair. "Keep the change. Happy New year!"
"Thank ya, miss!" the cabbie brightly replied. "Happy New year to you, too!"
Molly gave the man a smile and stepped out of the cab. She looked up at the building 221 bakers street and closed her eyes taking a deep breath.
I must be completely mad, she thought, to be attending another party here after what happened at Christmas. She cringed at the memory, still so fresh only just over a week old. Sherlock's harsh words about her appearance.
Her stomach twisted, she thought she might be ill.
I can't do this.
She whirled around and raised her hand to hail a new taxi to take her away from what was sure to be another god awful humiliation.
As she waved her hand the charm on her bracelet jangled, catching her eye. She froze looking at the pink cubic-zirconia heart dangling from the sterling silver chain; the bracelet Sherlock had given her a few days before. She smiled tracing the heart..
She remembered how he had apologised and how sincere it had been; he hadn't honestly meant to hurt her feelings, she didn't think.
Molly had used more sense when choosing an outfit tonight. She looked down at her navy blue dress, smoothing down the skirt. It was a sixitish style frock; very Audrey Hepburn, Molly thought. Modest; not a hint of cleavage to speak of. The skirt was a bit flouncy, slightly belling out and cut just at knee length. Her shoes were simple black ballet flats – as apposed to the hazardous stilettos she wore at Christmas. And her hair was pulled back in an elegant ponytail with a little curly swish at the end – and thankfully, bow-less.
She had on hardly any make-up to speak of - just a touch of blusher and a coral tinted lip-gloss.
All in all, the outfit was very Molly; she felt like herself in this. Instead of like a little girl playing dress-up in her mummy's clothes the way she had at Christmas. That had been a costume. It was no wonder Sherlock had seen through it. Thinking back, Molly realised she should have known better than to try and pretend to be something she wasn't in front of him; she'd seen the man deduce perfect strangers after no more than a glance.
She sighed and shook her head. It was time to forget about that dreadful night. Sherlock had already apologised and she'd accepted. It was about to be a new year; time for a fresh start. Molly had vowed to give up her silly (hopeless) infatuation with the consulting detective. She knew he would never be interested in her in a romantic capacity. But after the time they spent together on Boxing day, she thought there was a possibility that they might be able to have a real friendship.
She wasn't going to bungle that chance by mooning over him any longer.
Molly took in a deep breath and let it out. Now with her resolve firmly in place she continued on and entered 221 baker's street and ascended the stairs to flat B.
Sherlock winced at the familiar shrill. He hadn't seen Molly Hooper since he had gone to her flat on Boxing day to give her a gift – after some very insistent prodding from John and Mrs. Hudson – as a token of apology for the way he had ridiculed her. Honestly he hadn't understood why his having actually said he was sorry wasn't good enough.
But as such things weren't really his area, he took the advice of his flatmate and his landlady – mostly because he didn't think they'd stop badgering him about it until he did.
To his surprise, his excursion to Molly's flat had been much less painless than he had anticipated it being. The only really awkward moment being when Molly had accosted him with that hug – and really that hadn't been as awful as Sherlock would like to believe. He would never admit it, but the feeling of Molly's arms around him, her body pressed close to his wasn't entirely unpleasant. In fact, it had been quite the opposite.
He discovered that Molly Hooper was a very different creature outside of the morgue at St. Bart's. The dichotomy was intriguing. Almost to the point of distraction.
He had set out to her place in order to repair the damage he had caused at the Christmas gathering. So that he could have things go back to the way they had always been. His current situation had worked well for him for years now. He had no desire to change them.
He didn't want to see Molly differently, he decided. It could prove to be detrimental to his work.
Which is why he didn't want to make a habit of seeing her outside of the comfortable environment of the hospital.
He had hoped she would have more sense then to actually show up tonight.
Apparently he had overestimated her.
Sherlock listened to the obligatory exchange of pleasantries between the party guest; it was like nails on a chalkboard, simply unbearable. But, as long as they were all engaged with each other they would leave him alone to his own thoughts. And perhaps he wouldn't have to endure too much painful social interaction at all.
"Hello, Sherlock," Molly's voice– tentative, anxious – addressed him.
Well, so much for being left alone.
Sherlock heaved a sigh as he unfolded himself from his chair. He closed his eyes and schooled himself to refrain from making whatever comments came naturally about whatever, no doubt abhorrent, outfit Molly had decided to wear this time. He didn't after all want to undo the goodwill he had culled by giving her that gift. Nor had he a desire to have to go out and get another one.
Nice, John's voice echoed in his mind. No matter what you might be thinking, just say, you look nice.
"Hello, Molly," he replied with practiced pleasantry. He set down his violin that he had been silently fingering and turned round. "My, don't you look..." His voice trailed off. He had been struck dumb by the sight before him, forgetting everything his flatmate had drilled into him to say.
He had prepared himself, so he thought, for every possibility for how Molly might look tonight and trained his mind to ignore it all.
He certainly hadn't been expecting this.
"Greetings all!" Molly carolled as she entered the flat. She was wearing her usual bright smile.
"Hiya, Molly," John replied with an equally cheerful smile. "Glad you could make it."
"Thanks for inviting me," she replied. She exchanged hellos with Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson then asked John, "So where's Janette? Isn't she coming?"
"Er, no," he replied. "We're not seeing each other anymore."
"Oh? That's too bad," Molly remarked. "What happened?"
John didn't say anything, just slid his eyes pointedly to the man sitting in the chair facing out the window.
"Ah," Molly said, understanding. Not everyone responded to Sherlock with as high regards as she did. After a moment, Molly cleared her throat and – trying desperately to not sound nervous – addressed the sullen detective. "Hello, Sherlock."
Molly's heart was beating in her throat and she held her breath as Sherlock rose. "Hello, Molly." His voice had that same false congeniality he used with her whenever he needed a favour. His lips were pressed in a forced smile as he turned to her saying. "My, don't you look..."
Molly squeezed her eyes shut, steeling herself against the barrage of insults he no doubt had in store for her.
God, she was such a fool. Why had she come her? Had she really thought Sherlock was going to treat her any differently because he had given her a gift – that no doubt Mrs. Hudson and John had bullied him into purchasing.
Oh, she should just do herself a favour and turn round and leave.
"Beautiful." The word came out hushed, barely a whisper and was full of bewilderment.
Molly slowly opened her eyes to look at the man who had said it. Sherlock's face held a stunned expression, like he couldn't believe what he was seeing or what he had just said.
Molly felt her face fill with heat. She had to look down. "Th-thank you, Sherlock."
Hearing Molly's familiar nervous stammer, shook Sherlock from his daze. He cleared his throat and regained his composure. "Yes," he began, his voice holding its usual stoic inflection. "Very nice." He looked away from Molly and was met with an approving look from John.
He rolled his eyes. Then he noticed that he apparently wasn't the only one that thought Molly looked attractive tonight; DI Lestrade's eyes were practically glued to the pathologist backside as she turned to chat with Mrs. Hudson.
Sherlock's eyes narrowed at the man. "So, Lestrade," he intoned, "how's the reconciliation going with your wife, hm?" There was more than a hint of smugness in his voice, for he knew damn well how it was going.
The detective practically got whiplash looking up from his craned-neck position. He ducked his head down sheepishly. "Yeah, well, er it's been postponed for a bit," Greg began. "As it turns out you were right about her shagging a gym teacher."
Sherlock's lips twitched. "Really?" he wryly drawled. "What a surprise."
"Oh, Greg, I'm so sorry," Molly gushed coming to stand by the DI and rub his arm sympathetically. "That's just awful. You poor thing."
Sherlock's jaw clenched as Molly wrapped her arms around the man's neck and gave him a hug. That is not the outcome he had been aiming for. With a huff he turned on his heels and went back to his seat at the window. He picked up his violin and began playing furiously.
"Come on everybody, get ready!" John exhorted, handing everyone a flute of champagne. "The countdown's about to begin. Here you are Sherlock." He held out a glass to Sherlock, who was still sulking in his chair.
Sherlock's eyes flicked to the glass, then John's face, then back to the window; he didn't touch it.
"Oh come on," John cajoled kicking the side of the chair, "Don't be such a wanker. Try and have some fun, would you?"
Sherlock folded his arms over his chest and stubbornly refused to accept the drink.
John, giving up, sighed and not wanting the good champagne to go to waste, downed the contents of the glass before setting down on the coffee table.
To everyone who saw him, Sherlock would appear to be gazing out into the snow covered street below Baker's street. But in reality the man's eyes were fixed on the reflection of Molly Hooper who was currently engaged in a rather humourous(judging by the amount of giggling she was doing) conversation with DI Lestrade.
"Oh, excuse me, Greg," Molly announced suddenly. "I need to pop to the loo quickly before the countdown." She sat down her glass and dashed down the hall.
I'm surprised she can pry herself away from such a scintillating conversation long enough to use the facilities, Sherlock thought bitterly. He had been grinding his teeth so much they were in danger of being worn down to nubs. The detective inspector had monopolized the doctor's company practically all night.
Molly hadn't spoken a word to Sherlock since she came in. Not that he was all that approachable at the moment. But, that never stopped her before. She always tried to engage him in conversation, no matter how much he insisted it wasn't her area.
"Oi, Molly, you better hurry or you'll miss it!" John called out at the mouth of the hallway.
"Coming!" Molly's voice returned. A moment later she came back out into the living room.
"Just in time," John told her with a smile.
And the countdown began.
"Ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three...two...one...Happy New year!" the room shouted – well everyone except Sherlock. He rolled his eyes at the lot of them with disinterest. That is until he saw John turn to Molly and snog her right on the mouth.
He bolted up from his chair and stalked across the room.
"Happy, New year, Moll!" Dr. Watson exulted.
"Happy, New year, John," Molly said back with a slight blush.
"John!" Sherlock barked over the much shorter man's shoulder.
John turned around and Sherlock saw the glossy look in his eyes and the rosy hue on his nose; he was drunk.
"Come here you!" John said taking hold of his flatmate's shoulders and pulling him down to kiss him noisily on the lips as well. "Happy New Year, ya big git!"
Sherlock blinked, having been taken off guard by his friends actions.
"Mrs. Hudson! You're next!" John cried, pushing passed Sherlock.
"Oh, you, behave yourself," Mrs. Hudson chided, waving her hand at her tenant.
Once Sherlock recovered himself, he focused on Molly, now standing alone by the window – she had walked off when John had attacked Sherlock. He straightened and took a step to join her. He paused when he caught sight of Lestrade, heading him off with two glasses in his hand. Sherlock clenched his fists at his sides and increased his stride.
"Here you are, Molly." Greg offered one of the glasses to Dr. Hooper.
"Oh, thank you," she replied with smile.
"Well," Greg drawled. "Here we are then." He rocked back on his heels nervously.
"Yes, her we are," she returned.
"Right," Greg said, taking a breath, then started leaning down towards Molly. Then he saw Sherlock standing over her shoulder; the consulting detective gave him a glare so deadly, he froze. He cleared his throat and straightened up. Then stuck out his hand to Molly. "Happy New Year, Dr. Hooper," he said formally.
Molly's brow furrowed, but she took the DI's hand and shook it. "Happy New Year, Greg."
He gave her a tight smile, then nodded to someone behind her. "Sherlock," he said, then turned and walked off.
Molly whipped around and gasped to find Sherlock standing so close behind her. "Oh, hello there," she said with a nervous giggle. Sherlock just locked onto her with that unsettling gaze of his. Molly felt her throat go dry. She gulped. "Erm...Sherlock, are you– "
Her words cut off when Sherlock's mouth came crashing down on hers. He snogged her within an inch of her life.
"Ooh," Molly breathed when the kiss broke, she had to grip on tight to Sherlock's arms to keep from swooning over.
Sherlock's lips curved up seeing her reaction. She definitely hadn't looked like that after John's kiss. He wrapped his arms around her waist and leaned in close to her face and said, his voice low, almost a purr, "Happy New Year, Molly Hooper."
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