Molly sometimes wondered if she would wake up for real in a psychiatric institution. What other reason could there be to explain her nascent relationship with Sherlock Holmes, noted consulting detective, loner and self-proclaimed sociopath? Sure, she'd helped fake his death, patched up his injuries and sheltered him after the Moriarty Incident but this, she liked to think, was the sort of thing she would do for any close friend. It had nothing to do with romantic feelings. Not At All.
Ok, so she was lying to herself a little bit there. But it didn't explain how Sherlock had gone from indifferent to cataloguing her different types of laugh and what they meant.
He said it was gradual but for Molly the change was instantaneous. One day, not long after he'd resurrected, he had appeared in her apartment, almost like he had beamed there. Of course, he'd just used the key he'd failed to give back. Molly came out of the kitchen holding a plate of dinner and a glass of wine. Luckily, she didn't see him until she'd put it down and he said quietly: "Ah there you are, Molly."
"Sherlock! What are you doing here? How did you get in?"
He held up a key in explanation.
"Well, clearly, but couldn't you do that at Baker St, or, you know, if I had invited you over?"
"It didn't seem likely that you would invite me over, so I invited myself."
Enforced proximity to the detective had made Molly less afraid of him. Horrendous laboratory experiments in her kitchen had made her learn to shout at him.
"I wanted to see you."
Molly raised an eyebrow suspiciously. This sort of behaviour was normally only forthcoming at the morgue, normally followed by a request for body parts. As it turned out, it was a request for body parts, of sorts.
"I should perhaps be clearer."
"Yes, do be clear," said Molly, taking up his tone.
"Well, all that time we spent together after my fall, I used got used to having you around. And when I went back to Baker St, you weren't there."
"Oh right, good deduction there, Sherlock!"
"Shut up! I'm trying to say something here."
"Yes, well, spit it out."
"I would be amenable to an arrangement where I saw you more often and more of you. What do you think?"
Keeping her eyes on his, Molly reached for her glass of red wine and drank a large gulp. She slowly put it back on the table before speaking.
"So, just to be clear, you want us to be better friends."
"No. I want us to be more than friends," his voice was lower now, as if he were ashamed to admit it.
Molly gave a nervous laugh and grabbed her glass for another sip.
"You want to be my boyfriend?"
"Do you understand what that means?"
She was treated to a classic Sherlock scowl in response.
"Well, we'll have to take it slowly."
"Why bother? We already know each other very well."
"Because that's what I want, and you'll need a lot of time to get used to the sort of activities that I heard you slagging John about only last week."
"You mean we would have to go out in public together."
"Yes, that's what happens when you're seeing someone. Also, you phone them regularly just hear their voice and see how they are."
"But you would just tell me if something was wrong…and when I see you, I know how you are from looking at you."
"You have a lot to learn."
"Can we start now then?"
"Yes, you can get me more wine from the kitchen while I eat my dinner."
"That wasn't what I meant."
Miraculously, from the man who made other people get his phone from his own pocket, he complied.
In truth, Molly felt she needed the second glass to absorb this information fully. After finishing her tea, she was ready to resume the conversation. She moved over to the couch and sat beside Sherlock, facing him.
"So. Before we proceed with this, I want information."
"Naturally. What do you want to know?"
"None at all?"
"No. I've been fully committed to my work for many years now."
"But what about when you were in college?" Molly struggled to wrap her head around his total inexperience.
"I had better things to do."
"Right. Er. Ok. Daunting."
"What is? I assure you I'm a fast learner."
Molly scooted over closer to him.
"Do you want some wine?"
"Why? Oh, you think I need to relax? I'm fine. I already smoked half packet of cigarettes while making the decision to come over here." Seeing the look on her face, he added "It was yesterday. I've given up again now."
"It took you a day to work up the guts to come over here?! You idiot."
Sherlock was not used to being called an idiot. He folded his arms in a huff.
"You'll have to learn to take teasing if you're to have a girlfriend," rebuked Molly gently. "But there's good stuff too."
Molly reached for his face and turning him towards her, leaned in for a kiss. What started as a gentle peck on the lips broke Molly's outer calm. Snogging Sherlock Holmes! Not for a case. Or science. Because they both wanted it. He really is an idiot if he thought I wouldn't reciprocate!
Quite quickly, Sherlock had pulled Molly onto his knee and pulling away from the kiss, a little breathless, began to inspect her as if through a microscope.
"You've gone red in the face. A sign of arousal."
"So have you."
Sherlock looked torn between continuing his catalogue and getting up to look in the mirror but he stayed put. He ran his fingers through her long ponytail. It was deliciously soft to the touch and smelled of lavender. Molly happily cuddled into him, her face nuzzling his neck, counting freckles up close. As he felt her warm breath on his neck, Sherlock knew he'd made the right decision.