A/N: This is the very first BBC Sherlock fanfiction I wrote and it was in response to the following prompt on the kinkmeme on livejournal:
After John moves out to go live with Mary (his future canon wife, FYI) Sherlock begins to randomly turn up in Molly's apartment. At first he passes it off as merely needing to steal her food/tea, but eventually his stuff starts migrating over and then he's all "My flat? 221b is my laboratory, now. See, Toby's on top of the Union Jack pillow and everything. I totally live here now." Molly's reaction is entirely up to you.
I wrote this nearly two years ago and exists in its original version somewhere on livejournal. I've made small edits here but otherwise left it as is. Since this was before Series 2 aired, it entirely ignores any events after Series 1.
I have great affection for this piece, perhaps because it's my first, perhaps because it is Sherlolly, perhaps because I fell in love with Molly Hooper all over again through this.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me. I'm merely borrowing them for playtime and promise to put them back in the box when I'm done.
He just showed up at her flat one day, asking if he could have a cup of coffee.
Molly didn't think much about it. Well, that was a lie. She did think about it. Too much, in fact.
Why was he here?
Sherlock had been over before – and she was very sure one time he'd been over without her being here. But that had been business – "Jim" business – so she hadn't felt too violated by that.
Embarrassed, yes. It'd been the day her underwear drawer had decided to disintegrate – knickers and bras in all shapes and sizes lying on the floor – and she had to leave quickly because she was running late for work.
She didhave a fantastic coffee maker - a gift for her thirty-fifth – but there were loads of coffee shops between his flat and hers. And she couldn't really believe that Sherlock was too cheap to buy one, considering he probably took a taxi to get to hers.
She discounted the need for company, too. With her rather silly crush being replaced over the years by an exasperated affection for the man, she'd accepted that Sherlock wasn't going to wake up one morning and realize that he burned for her. A girl could dream, of course, but Molly was hardly a girl anymore.
It could be a case but he had John for that. If he required her involvement, he came to St. Bart's.
Then again, John was a married man nowadays so he probably didn't have as much time for Sherlock as he used to.
Still pondering why Sherlock was visiting her, she was feeling rather unsettled as she returned to her sitting room with two mugs of coffee.
He was petting Toby – her cat had settled on Sherlock's lap, looking quite smug – and Molly had the stray thought that he would make a rather fascinating Bond villain.
She handed him a mug. His lips quirked up with what he presumably considered a smile but Molly associated with a request for a body part or lab equipment. Whatever it was that he wanted from her, it had to be something huge and probably would get her into trouble. Again. This was the conclusion she came to.
He took a sip of the beverage and genuinely smiled. Molly took a sip herself and thought, not for the first time, 'God this is bloody good coffee'.
Deciding to tackle the bull by the horns, Molly asked "Why are you here?"
It had been a long shift and all she wanted to do was take a long, soothing bath and then go to bed. She wasn't in the mood for fake-flirty Sherlock. She almost always ended up doing what he asked anyway and his act was becoming more annoying than amusing, really.
Her directness clearly startled him and she liked that. He didn't respond for a good minute or so. She took another sip from her coffee, to keep herself from blurting out something incredibly awkward.
When he finally responded, that 'I want something from you' smile was plastered on his face again.
"Just thought to stop by and say hello."
He could have said "Molly, I need to saw off your arm to see how long it takes for a 35-year old woman of your size and built to pass out from the blood loss" and she'd been more comfortable with that reply.
All she managed was a "Really?" laced with so much scepticism that even Sherlock noticed, judging by the flustered look. At least she thought that was how flustered looked on him.
"Isn't that what friends do?"
The way he said it sparked a rather fantastical idea in Molly's head. 'It couldn't be, could it?' she thought, looking at him like a rather unusual stomach content at an autopsy.
When he started on what was possibly the most awkward small talk Molly's ever had in her life – and she was the duchess of awkward small talk – she gradually started to believe that her suspicions were real. How Sherlock managed to make the topic of weather – the staple of non-talk – so horribly stilted amused Molly. She wasn't the one out of depth here.
As bizarre as it seemed, Sherlock was here for company.
She decided to take them both out of their collective misery and asked, "Took any new cases lately? Saw one on the website about a possible poisoning."
She spent the next three hours listening to Sherlock talk – about the case and then other topics – with her interjecting with a question, observations or a yawn.
He ended his stream of words quite abruptly with "I need to have a think now" and lied down on the couch. By then, Molly was too tired to object or say anything and just staggered off to bed.
The last little thought she had before drifting off to sleep was 'Never thought I'd have Sherlock spending the night.'
He was gone when she woke up, the only trace of him ever being there the coffee mug and the faint smell of him on the pillows.
The next time she saw him was two days later, at St. Bart's.
He told her how he solved the poisoning case and asked for a liver from a forty to forty-five year old male.
He also complimented her on the couch as being quite comfortable. Molly only stammered a bemused "Thank you", so certain she'd been that he'd never mention the incident again and that it would be the closest thing she'd ever get to having a one night stand with Sherlock.
His visits to her flat became more frequent after that, though she could not determine any pattern as he popped up at random days and unusual hours.
Sometimes they discussed a case, sometimes he just laid there on her couch.
The first time she caught him in her flat – either he picked her lock or he'd duplicated her key – she was honestly more surprised to see him in her kitchen eating the left-over Chinese, than by the invasion of her home.
Instead of being angry at the intrusion – she suspected that he'd been sneaking into her flat for weeks now – she was really just amused by seeing him stuff his face with fried rice and chicken.
She laughed – a real belly laugh – and Sherlock's rather perplexed and annoyed face made her laugh even more. Later, when she'd calmed down, lying in her bed, with Sherlock on the couch – Toby had made it the habit of curling up at his feet and he seemed to tolerate it – it occurred to Molly that the laughter had probably been more hysteria than mirth.
Sherlock Holmes was slowly invading her personal space.
On the one hand, she resented it. This was her home and it was up to her to control who she let in and who not.
On the other hand, the strange friendship they were building was quite nice. Not because he was Sherlock and she still did like him in that way – a tiny part of her brain did tell her that proximity fostered opportunity – but because she actually enjoyed listening to him talk about cases. She was finally comfortable enough to interact with him as a competent scientist and he'd listened to her input and had followed her suggestions a few times.
Her home felt less empty with Sherlock around and she couldn't not like that.
But he still did not have the right to just come and go as he pleased.
However, she did not say anything the next day. Or a few days later, when something arrived in the post for Sherlock. Or when a union jack pillow appeared on her couch. Or when she noticed she kept running out of coffee and tea and her left-overs kept being eaten. Or when Mycroft started sending her texts. Or when John started calling her to ask where Sherlock was.
It was when she found a spare set of clothes in her wardrobe –the underwear was the final straw -that she decided to confront him.
Unfortunately, she was not sure if he was going to make an appearance that night – she sent a text with no reply - but she waited for him in the sitting room anyway.
He'd given up the courtesy of ringing the doorbell when he knew she was in. He simply opened the door with his key – he hadduplicated one – and went straight for the couch.
His surprised look was comical – she'd have laughed if she hadn't been so angry. He clearly had not expected her to be sitting in the middle of the couch, his clothes lying neatly next to her.
"Why are you still up?" he asked and Molly never felt like slapping someone as hard as right at the moment.
"What is this, Sherlock?" she asked, pointing at the clothes.
He frowned, "Clothes."
"Clothes," she repeated, hearing a shrill in her voice.
"My clothes, to be precise," he added.
"Your clothes," she repeated again, definitely with a note of hysteria.
"It occurred to me that I should bring some of my personal things over, considering," he elaborated.
Molly did not know how to react to that. She was very sure that if she did not take a minute to calm down, she'd have her very first screaming argument in her life.
She tried, she really did, but the first thing that came out of her mouth was, "Considering? Considering what, Sherlock? Considering what?"
The octave higher that her voice went was really alien to her, but Sherlock's non-reaction was even worse.
"That I sleep here," he answered, matter-of-factly.
"You don't sleep here!"
"Yes, I do."
"No, you don't."
"I sleep on your couch."
"Not every day!"
"I don't sleep every day."
Molly did not know what to say to that. She tried again.
"This is my flat, Sherlock."
"Yes. I know."
"You don't live here."
"Not officially, no."
"I do spend all my free time here."
"All you do is come here, drink my coffee, eat my food, play with my cat, talk for hours if you're in the mood and then sleep on the couch with Toby!"
"I've also taken a few showers."
It just occurred to Molly that Sherlock had been naked in her flat – of course behind closed doors – but still naked. And she'd been naked in the same space.
"You don't live here!"
"You say that as if you don't enjoy the company."
"That is not the point."
"So you do enjoy my company."
She glared at him, "Don't distract me, Sherlock."
"Look Molly, I thought that living together was beneficial to both of us."
"We are not living together."
Of course Sherlock simply ignored her. "You get the benefit of my company. I get a place to sleep where it's nice and quiet."
Benefit of his company? What did he think she was? A desperate old spinster? "We don't live together!" she really shouted this time.
Sherlock merely shrugged his shoulders, "Not officially, no. But isn't that what friends do?"
"What?" It suddenly dawned on Molly that Sherlock wasn't being deliberately obtuse.
"You know, stay at each other's places?"
"No. That's what people who are in a relationship do. And we are not staying at each other's places. You are staying at mine."
"Friendship isn't a relationship?"
He couldn't be serious, could he? "Well, yes but…no…you have your own place."
"Yes, but that's for work."
It was then that Molly realized that Sherlock was covered in dust. And there was a dark shadow on his cheek that looked like a bruise.