I do not own Sherlock.

Molly needed some love...


A month after she declared Sherlock dead, Molly Hooper was sitting at a restaurant, waiting for her date to arrive. She twiddled with the fork on the table. Charlie had a winning smile and a background in engineering. They had met while waiting for the tube. He didn't know that she knew Sherlock Holmes and Jim from IT - she was just Molly Hooper. She sipped some water from her glass watching other dates occur around her. He's a really good guy, she said to herself. Her phone dinged. She glanced at it, hoping it was Charlie, explaining he was a few minutes late and not too worry and that he would be on his way. It was not.

Meet me at 123 Stirrent St. –SH

Molly knew how Sherlock could get, so she tried to sound as apologetic as possible.

I can't. She added, not wanting to disappoint him. Does it have to be now?

He won't show. –SH.

She tried to disregard the message. He couldn't be right about this, he'd never met Charlie. Charlie's a good guy. Just to prove Sherlock wrong, Molly called Charlie's number.

It rang. It rang. Someone picked up.

"Hey Charlie, it's Mol-"

"Welcome to the O2 messaging service for 07453-"

Oh, right, she thought to herself ending the call, it went straight to voicemail. He probably couldn't answer. Bad service. He will be here soon."

She waited another twenty minutes. There was no return phone call. There was no apology. There was only an empty seat.

Well, she picked up her keys and apologized to the host for holding up the table, he seemed like a really good guy.

x-x-x

A couple of weeks later Molly was home on her couch, eating a pint of ice cream. It tasted good and eased her frustration - or maybe, she thought as she glanced at her wineglass on the table next to her, it was the bottle of wine she had had before.

Molly's relationship status had become frustratingly simple. She had laughed one day when Mike had asked her how she was. She took that to mean her relationship status.

"Oh y-you know me Mike, me and these cells." She said while holding up a microscope slide.

Mike's eyebrows furrowed. "This whole Sherlock and Moriarty thing, you okay with that too?"

Molly frowned. She had to be careful with what she said. She was about to speak when Mike cleared his throat nervously.

"You should – uh – come out and get a drink with me and the wife. You work long hours." He scratched his head watching her eyes blink back in confusion. "It's just a suggestion."

"Thanks Mike." She nodded. Unfortunately, she took it just as that, a suggestion.

She liked her office. She only had tissue samples and cells to deal along the dead bodies that they belonged to. Anyway, dead bodies had a little bit more to be going on with than what they didn't like about Molly Hooper.

One more scoop won't hurt. Molly dug her spoon into the ice cream and then reached for the telly remote. It was one of those days. She hated to admit it, but work so far was her longest relationship.

x-x-x

No one mentioned it at work, the whole Jim from IT thing. Well someone did once, but Molly had told Tessa from accounting that she went on three dates with him and that she was the one who ended it.

When Sherlock "died", a couple of people asked if Molly needed time off and she had politely refused.

"He wasn't my boyfriend." She told her co-workers at lunch one day.

Craig looked up from his sandwich, "Yeah, but you did fancy him." He was jabbed in the rib by his girlfriend Mara. "Easy, Craig. Molly, we know that you and he were friends."

Molly looked them in the eyes. "He told me I didn't count." She took a deep breath. "I'm glad he's dead."

She was not sure if they believed her, but in the end, no one asked her about Sherlock again and that was what she wanted.

x-x-x

Sitting in her office, away from her co-workers she took out her mobile and texted with shaky fingers.

I know you told me not text you unless it was urgent, but I just wanted to know I'm glad you aren't dead.

Afterward Molly placed the mobile back in her pocket and back to work. She didn't expect an answer straight away. He was somewhere in Eastern Europe. Her fingers were still shaking as she went through a stack of papers. She couldn't believe she told them he didn't matter. Lying was protection for both of them and it hurt her all the more. She was creating barriers to protect her heart.

x-x-x

With her key in the lock, about to open her door, her phone buzzed. She fumbled with the lock and hurriedly went inside. Toby meowed but she ignored him. She dug around in her purse for the phone.

ONE NEW MESSAGE

She opened it and sighed with relief.

What happened? –SH

Nothing.

Are you sure? –SH

He was still alive, that's what mattered.

Yep.

Sherlock didn't respond which was fine. She understood he was a busy man. She had to make dinner anyway.

x-x-x

A year later, her phone rang to the tune "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". She had no idea why she hadn't changed her ring tone. It was June. December had long since passed. It kept ringing. Molly placed her finger in her romance novel to keep her spot and reached for the phone.

I need a ride. I need to pick something up. –SH

Why? Can't it wait until morning? Can't you steal a car?

As she typed, she realized he probably had thought of that and for whatever reason he couldn't do that. She didn't condone stealing a car, but her book was getting to a really good part.

No. –SH

Why not? She glanced at her watch. It was already morning, 2:30 to be exact.

Mycroft told me I couldn't drive this close to home. I know you have a car. -SH

Fine.

She hated that Sherlock Holmes was still dead to the world. She felt bad that she felt that way because she, Molly Hooper was all he had except for his brother. 'It's just a book, you can come back to it later, Sherlock needs assistance.

Where should I pick you up?

Open your front door. –SH

He's unbelievable! She jumped off the couch, narrowly avoiding Toby on the end. She opened the door, grasping her romance novel still in her other hand.

Sherlock Holmes was standing with his unruly curly hair and long coat, like it wasn't June and, more importantly, like he wasn't some dead celebrity who had had his face splattered over the front pages. She hadn't seen him three months.

"I do hope you are ready to go. I need to be in Chelmsford in an hou-"

Sherlock was interrupted as he was dragged inside. With the door closed behind them, Sherlock shot Molly a bothered look, but she gave him a swift hug. He stood still and allowed her this. "Good to see you too." Sherlock said after a moment. "We really do need to be going." Molly released him from the hug.

"I need to get my shoes on. I didn't know I would be going out so soon." She was flustered as she saw Sherlock look her up and down with that all knowing stare.

"Molly…" He began to say, but she saw his eyes glance her over her messy bun, oversized sweatshirt and jeans.

She didn't need to hear it from him in a blunt manner that she looked pathetic or lazy or that she hadn't been out on a date in a year, not since the Charlie fiasco. She ignored his stare, dog-eared the book she was holding and placed it on the table by her couch.

"I'll be right back." She called as she dashed into her bedroom, leaving Sherlock standing in the middle of the room.

She slipped on her trainers and took a quick look in the mirror. She looked - fine. She undid her hair and put it in a ponytail, just to show Sherlock she cared a little bit. When she returned, she found Sherlock sharing the couch with the cat. He was flipping through her book.

Sherlock looked up, hearing her approach and glanced down at her shoes. "Trainers, I see." He plopped the book on the couch. The cat meowed. "Well let's be off." She agreed. Sherlock went out first and Molly shut the door behind them.

x-x-x

The car ride was silent as Molly drove. She had tried playing the radio, but she changed it constantly. That damn Adele song kept playing and she really couldn't stand it.

"Where are we going anyway?" She asked.

Sherlock responded after a few seconds. "Joshua and Emily marry after his divorce is finalized-"

"What are you-you've got to be kidding me." She said, her voice getting higher as she realized what he was talking about.

"Watch the road." Sherlock remarked.

"I am!" She shrieked, but then voiced quietly, "Honestly the one thing I was looking forward to."

Sherlock huffed, hearing her last sentence. "If that was the one thing you were looking forward to, you honestly lead a very dull life."

Molly didn't answer for a few minutes. She watched the road as she thought about Joshua and Emily and how Sherlock was a gigantic prat and why in the world was she helping this man and why did she ever fancy him?

"Well, we all can't be consultant detectives. There is only one in the world." Molly muttered. Everyone couldn't live a life of guns and car chases, some people had to pay bills and have their hearts broken. Dull to Sherlock was simple and ordinary to Molly.

Sherlock's mouth twitched, but Molly was fairly certain that he didn't detect the tone of sarcasm in her voice.

x-x-x

"Stop here." Sherlock pointed to an abandoned building. Molly drove onto the gravel in front of it. They sit in silence for a few seconds. Sherlock rolled down his window, (she had an older car, but it still go the job done) and looked out. Molly questioned his behavior.

"Are you getting out? I did drive you an hour out here."

"No."

Molly was flummoxed. "Sherlock, what am I doing here?"

"Waiting." He said, still staring out his window.

"Waiting for what?"

A car's tires were heard on the gravel. Molly tensed, but Sherlock nodded in approval as the car came to position itself next to Sherlock's open window. However, the car did keep a little distance. "That."

The other driver opened their window. To get a better look, Molly had to lean a little closer on Sherlock.

"Is that? S-She's supposed to be dead!" She was practically elbowing Sherlock in the head because wasn't one dead person enough?

Irene Adler politely smiled at Molly's gawking face and Sherlock's indifference from her driver's window. "So is he." Irene answered. "Sherlock, I have what you want. Do you have what I want?"

Sherlock grumbled as he nudged Molly out of the way. He unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the door. Molly climbed out of the driver's seat and into the passenger seat to watch this exchange. Okay, she thought to herself, this was a lot better than her book.

Even from her seat, Molly could see Irene had her hair piled high, but not like Molly's messy bun. Molly couldn't see Irene's face, but she could be quite sure that Irene was definitely not wearing scruffy trainers either. I bet she's driving in high heels, Molly mused, I bet she doesn't even own trainers. Molly watched Sherlock approach Irene's car.

"Do you want me to get out as well?" Irene drawled. "I would hate to be a bother."

"Hmm… that's an understatement since you did make me drive an hour out here." Sherlock said stopping in front of her window.

"I don't believe you drove."

"Let's get this over with." He reached into his coat and waved a slim manila envelope in her face.

"Oh, I get it." She winked at him as she reached her one hand onto her passenger seat and retrieved her own envelope. "You'll show me yours, I'll show you mine."

Sherlock ignored Irene's play on words and switched the packages. He gave her a curt nod and walked back to the car as Molly tried to climb back to her spot. As she was about to turn around, she heard Irene call out again.

"One more thing Mr. Holmes, I want to see Ms. Hooper."

Molly tensed on the seat. What could she possibly want from her?

Sherlock whirled around, still holding the door open, about to get back in the car.

"She's not a new plaything for you."

"I didn't say she was, Sherlock. Ms. Hooper, please come here."

For some odd reason, Molly complied. She turned around and walked out the open door Sherlock was holding. Irene tutted as Molly began walking. "Not you." Molly turned around to see that Sherlock was following her. Sherlock raised an eyebrow at the woman and Irene raised her eyebrow right back. "Fine." He growled and walked back to the car. Molly watched him get in the car, close the door and stare out of the window, watching every move the two women made.

Molly gulped as she approached the open window and allowed Irene Adler to look her up and down like a cocker spaniel at a dog show. Irene's eyes paused on her hair and her frumpy St. Bart's sweatshirt. Irene pursed her lips. Molly spoke to break the silence.

"I'm g-glad you aren't dead." Molly wasn't sure what one was supposed to say to a woman who was no longer six feet below the ground.

Irene laughed. "Well aren't you sweet? Come here!" She beckoned with her manicured nails. Sherlock coughed from the car. They both ignored the detective.

Molly leaned forward as Irene whispered into her ear. "Sherlock doesn't need to hear this." A pause. "You are quite brave and smart. Quite the temptress."

She had no idea what this mad woman was saying. "I-uh…" She couldn't find the right words. Irene continued.

"You don't lead a dull life."

"D-did he say something?"

"He didn't have to." She gestured at Molly's attire.

"I-I like to be comfy." Molly said in her defense.

"Hmm…" Irene said not too convinced. "Now listen, after Sherlock has had his fun finishing Moriarty's men and is back with his doctor, you'll think it's dull then, but Ms. Hooper, don't change.

"Uh-what?"

Irene put a finger to Molly's lips to make her stop trying to bring words to her lips. "Molly Hooper, don't change. You are compassionate, kind and smart. Look at you, you put up with that man," She gestured to Molly's car. "He might thank you with an awkward hug, but someone, some day will come along for you. Listen to me," Her gaze intensified, "Someone will one day. One day, someone will."

"Thanks?"

Irene smiled as she pulled away. "Remember."

Molly nodded and got back into her car. Molly watched the woman disappear behind the window. Sherlock had been about to roll up his window, but Molly reached out to stop him. She listened to the sound of Irene's car starting and after a second, the tires squealed against the gravel and she watched Irene Adler disappear into the early morning. Sherlock tapped his impatient fingers against his package. "Are we ready to go now?"

She nodded, putting her key in the ignition and Sherlock went to roll up the window. She checked her watch. It was now 4:30 in the morning. She had work at 8. She turned to him as the sound of her car awakened.

"So did you actually read my book or just the last page?

Sherlock blinked and gave her an odd look. "I-What did Irene say to you?"

Molly just smiled as she straightened herself behind the wheel of her car. As she put the car into drive, she peeked a quick look of Sherlock still looking at her quizzically, a deduction unsolved. She put her foot on the gas and she and Sherlock headed out the gravel drive back to London that was waking up.

x-x-x

A long year and a half later, after Sherlock had disappeared to Asia and Molly had gone on another failed date in Autumn and in the Spring and had given up on love, Irene had been right, in a way. When Sherlock emerged from the dead and back at 221 B, he returned to his doctor and Molly's phone wasn't buzzing with texts from Sherlock at odd hours. Molly's life seemed dull, ordinary and empty. I'm not Sherlock's person anymore. She laughed at herself. What's wrong you? You were never anyone's person. Focus Molly. Focus. She went back to looking through her reports on Mr. Julis body when the door opened abruptly.

The reports were forgotten as she saw three familiar men walk into her place of work. Sherlock was leading confidently, but he still looked a little thinner. Molly wasn't worried, Sherlock would get fed now that he was back at home, one way or another. He had been only home for a couple weeks. Then there was John who gave a bemused expression directed at Sherlock and a smile and a nod to Molly. Two days later after his return, she had been invited to dinner at Baker Street where Mrs. Hudson and John made her dinner which she took as an awkward appreciation of not-letting-Sherlock-kill himself-while-he-was-still-dead-to-the-rest-of-the-world kind of dinner.

The third person who was trailing behind was Detective Inspector Lestrade. He nodded to Molly as well. She heard that he finally divorced his wife last year. She hadn't seen him much during the time Sherlock was missing. Sally Donovan had done most of the morgue checks for him. She thought that might have had to do with Lestrade's last visit to check to see if Sherlock was really dead. He looks better...

"I need to borrow some equipment!" Sherlock called, not even waiting for her answer. It was a warning to everyone in the room on what he planned to do. He began ripping open her cabinets and placing different things into John's hands. Lestrade shook his head, casually leaning on the table Molly was using, but there was a smile on his face.

"It's good to see you, Detective Inspector," Molly said. His title had been reinstated a week after Sherlock had returned.

He gave her a look and Molly's cheeks flushed. "I-mean with Sherlock and John. It's nice that you are-er-doing cases again together."

"Yes it is, Molly," Molly realized that he said her name with a softness that she usually never heard from this man. "You can call me Greg. We do in fact share the same mad man. How did you not kill him?"

Molly didn't answer as she watched Sherlock drop equipment onto the table. John was yelling at him for dropping the scientific and thus expensive equipment down so forcefully. She remembered berating him for ruining her book.

"Sometimes it was hard not to." Greg suppressed a grin, so she continued, "But Sherlock, he needed help and I could give him that."

"Yes, you did. Thank you."

Molly looked up at him, startled. "W-What?"

Greg gestured at the detective and the doctor. "Molly, you helped us all. Him, John and - me. We owe you. I owe you." A pause. "Let me take you out for a coffee some time."

"Sure. That would be nice: me, Sherlock John, you -"

"Molly?"

"Yes?"

"I mean, let me take you out for a coffee."

"Oh!" Molly said feeling her cheeks grow warm. "T-that would be nice, Greg. Thank you, really."

Greg nodded back, glad the message had got through. "Let me go and save your place of work from that man." He jerked his head toward Sherlock and John bickering and Molly agreed. "Don't let him break anything!"

"I can't make any promises."

The two of them laughed.


Review! Let me know what you think. Also: Sorry Molly and Sherlock shippers. I'm not against them being together, but my plot bunny went this way instead.