A/N: THANK YOU so much for all the followers, favorites and a special thank you to magicstrikes, Elfanine Drashna, xvxvLiu, CreamCrop, Doctor WTF, lilil, SammyKatz and susieqsis for taking the time to leave a review. :)
Tehe, some people seem to not have read to my A/N cause there asking if there was a second chapter, which I already mentioned. It says Christmas on the box, so there has to be some Christmas! :)
In Germany, we exchange gifts on 24th December and if I recall correctly, Britain and USA do it on 25th. But I follow our tradition and give you this very long Christmas-chappi tonight. :) Hope you enjoy it! It's a little cheesy, but heck, it's Christmas! Have a blissfull one, dear Sherlollyians! :)

~oOOo~

Christmas had finally arrived at 221b Baker Street and the flat was filled with people. John had taken the liberty to invite everyone he knew Sherlock could tolerate, meaning Mrs. Hudson of course, Greg and Mike. John had thought about inviting his new girlfriend Mary, but he didn't want to ruin her Christmas by putting up with Sherlock, so they agreed on spending the following two days together. So tonight, it was just the usual suspects.

While everyone was cheerful, happily chatting away, drinking and laughing together, Sherlock sat in his chair and looked at the group of people. It was indeed a blissful evening. Although he never showed, he was glad that the people he cared about, his family, was save and happy. Every time they came together like this, Sherlock felt confirmed that he had done the right thing by faking his death, even if it had caused them some pain. It had been for the greater good and it had been worth it.

They were save.

They were happy.

Sherlock should be happy.

But he wasn't.

He rose from his chair and strolled over to the window. Snow had started to fall an hour ago and the rooftops were already white. Sherlock watched how the flakes danced in the wind, slowly falling down to earth.

'I'm not happy. I have been miserable for the past seven years, ever since I first laid eyes on you.'

Molly...

Like so many times before, when there was no case and his mind wasn't focused, Sherlock relived the last time he had seen Molly. Needless to say that he was annoyed to no end. He hated that he still thought about it. About her.

She left him. So what? It wasn't like she was someone special to him. Yes, he had considered her a friend, someone worth his trust, but as it had turned out, she wasn't. She had left two months ago and had never called once nor sent a text. So much for that friendship.

'I knew that you are way out of my league, that you weren't interested at all. And why would you?'

Exactly. Why would he be interested in her? She had known that he didn't do sentiment. That he thought it a weakness. How on earth could she have thought that she could change that? How? By her stammering? By her blushing cheeks or her big, sparkling eyes? By her smile that lights up her whole face and makes her look so much younger? By her weird jokes that no one gets except him? Or by her silent, overly-caring character?

Sherlock snorted.

'Finally, my heart closed the gap on my mind and realised that I mean nothing to you.'

He clenched his fists. There's laughter in the background, but he didn't hear it. He's distracted by the sound of his stuttering heartbeat.

'But I want more than civilness, Sherlock. I always will. And this is why I have to go.'

Molly had been right. She had had to leave. He couldn't give her what she wanted. Certainly, no one would call him 'boyfriend-material'. Sherlock was complicated, excentric, petulant and straight-forward. He had hurt her so many times without even noticing. Yes, sometimes he had mocked her, but most of his comments about her attire were mere observations he had spoken out loud. This was what he did. He didn't care if it hurt the counterpart. Why on earth would someone want more of that? Especially her. She always took it so personally. Or did she asume that he would stop mocking her when he was in love with her? Did she really think he would change?

„Here, mate."

A glass of eggnog was held out to him and Sherlock looked at John who had stepped next to him. He waved dismissingly, but John still held it out to him.

„Just drink it."

With an unnerved sigh, Sherlock grabbed the glass and emptied it with one big gulp.

„You know I distaste eggnog."

„Yes. But Mrs. Hudson made it and you know how much it means to her."

They looked over to Mrs. Hudson, who was beaming at them, so Sherlock smiled at her and raised his glass to her. He could see how happy that made the elderly woman who had been more like a mother to him than his own.

„See? It's so easy to make people happy. You're really good at it, you know?"

John said in a low voice as they turned back to the window.

„I'm only good at it if you point it out to me. I don't care."

„Yes, you do. You care a lot, but you're afraid to show it. Especially to one woman."

Sherlock sighed.

„Here we go again" he said and rolled his eyes.

„You miss her."

Sherlock ignored the pang in his heart and rolled his eyes once more.

„Molly Hooper means nothing to me anymore, John. She chose to leave. She ended our friendship...Screw her."

John chuckled.

„Very mature."

Sherlock remained silent. John shook his head.

„Don't you think it's time to stop pouting?"

„I'm not..." Sherlock started shouting but then stopped himself. He lowered his voice to a hiss.

„I'm not pouting!"

„Yes, you are!"

„Screw you!"

John chuckled again and patted his friend's shoulder.

„All right, I give up then. So you don't care if Molly is all right. Don't care if she still feels for you or if she has moved on, found herself a much nicer guy than you. Wouldn't be that difficult, would it?"

John grinned up at Sherlock and the consulting detective felt an urge to punch that grin out of his face.

Pictures of Molly flooded his mind, thanks to John, in which she was in another man's arms.

There was that pang again.

„Oh, by the way: I didn't give you your present yet."

„I thought I wasn't allowed to open them before tomorrow" Sherlock shot back as he took the square box out of John's hand.

„Just this one. To cheer you up."

John re-joined the little group and left Sherlock alone. He untied the green bow and opened the lid of the red box. A photoalbum?

Oh.

Sherlock remembered. It was Molly's fanalbum. He wanted to throw a death glare at John, but him and the others had gone into the kitchen to get an eggnog-refill from what he could see and hear.

Sherlock looked down on the album. His first thought was to throw the ridiculous thing away, but then he found himself walking over to the couch and sitting down. He took the album out of the box and started flipping through it like he had done two months ago, looking at the cuttings Molly had collected of him. Sometimes she had drawn little hearts around his picture, sometimes she had underlined her favorite lines of an article. Like a fourteen year-old teenager, he thought dissapprovingly.

On the last few pages were the cuttings from his fall, including the article written by Kitty Riley. Sherlock couldn't help but smile as he saw so many sentences crossed out with a red pen. She even had drawn horns and a mustache on Kitty's picture, next to it the word 'bitch' written in big letters. Sherlock chuckled before he let his fingers run across her handwrtiting. The smile on his face vanished.

She had always believed in me. She had never doubted me. Not for one second. My Molly...

His heart tightened as he heard it in his head.

My Molly...

He suddenly realised that he had always thought of her as his. But in fact, she hadn't been. Not because she hadn't wanted to be his. She had offered herself every time they had been in the same room. No, she hadn't been his because he had never claimed her. One word would have been enough, one look, one touch, and she would have been his. What a scary thought, even now that she was gone.

Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock heard the voice of his brother echoing in his head. Both of them were raised with countless sentences like this one. And he still believed it was true. Love was dangerous. He had to feel it himself when Moriarty threatened him with killing the few friends he had in his life. Moriarty was dead now, but that didn't mean that no one else would threaten them again. So it would be best to let it rest. Molly had her own life now. She would finally get over him. Forget him and find a man who was really worthy of that pure, devoted soul of a woman...

Sherlock stared down at the album, turning another page to find a poem, written in her hand:

Forever I will love you
No matter what
Forever I will love you
And I won't give up
For my love to you I can never stop

You will always stay in my heart
No matter how long we will be apart
No matter how much people will blame
Forever I will love you
Forever I will be the same

Your eyes are my guide
I'll stay always by your side
I won't let go of the love I find

Your hair.. your ears.. your lips
All your face
I love you all
This love will never be replaced

Your heart.. your words.. your voice
I love you all
I was born to love you, I have no choice

We're born to be together
I'll love you forever
No matter how much I'm gonna suffer

You are my fate
Forever I will love you
I'll never hesitate

Sherlock read these lines again and again. Time past without him noticing. All his concentration was focused on the poem in his hands. Every word, neatly written, ripped down the walls around his heart, brick by brick, until they were torn down completely and Sherlock could finally understand why he still thought about Molly. Finally he understood that he was in fact in love with Molly Hooper.

He threw the album on the coffee table like it had burnt his hands. A little peace of paper fell out of it onto the floor and Sherlock bent down to pick it up because he had recognized that it was John's handwriting.

An address was written on it.

No, not an address...Her address.

Sherlock's head jerked up to see John and Mike smiling and raising their glasses to him. He hadn't even noticed how they had returned into the living room.

His mind was racing. He had fought every urge to find out her address. But now, here it was, right in front of him. He looked at it, instantly memorizing it.

Molly...

He really shouldn't go. Molly had probably moved on. She was happy without him.

More pictures of Molly with another man popped up in his head and the words of the poem echoed through his heart. The severe pain in his chest made the decision for him. Sherlock shot up from his seat and hurried into the hallway.

„Mrs. Hudson, I need to borrow your car."

Sherlock threw on his jacket and his coat and was wrapping his scarf around his neck when he noticed that they were all staring at him, big fat smiles plastered on their faces. They all knew.

Mrs. Hudson walked over to him and handed him her keys. She lifted a hand to his cheek and smiled lovingly, tears swimming in her eyes.

„Bring her home, my dear."

Her face was full of affection and Sherlock couldn't help but smile and give her a sound peck on the cheek. Then he nodded his goodbye to the three men and stormed out of the flat, butterflies dancing in his stomach.

„You were right. He really does love her", Mike said, standing next to John.

„Yes. Thanks for finding out the address, by the way."

„Wasn't that hard. Let's hope he doesn't screw it up."

John smiled.

„Oh, he will. But Molly has a big heart. She will forgive him and teach him how it's done."

The small group of people exchanged happy smiles and Greg handed Mrs. Hudson a handkerchief.

„I'm so proud of my boy."

The D.I. patted the elderly ladies shoulder while John switched on the stereo to play some music. No need to say that he was very pleased with himself. For once, John had been smarter as the consulting detective. How, what fun it would be to rub it in his face once they would be back!

~oOOo~

The snow under his feet made a crunchy noise as Sherlock shifted in the shadows. Three hours. Three hours and no sign of her. Impatiently and damned cold he looked the curvy street up and down again. Small brickstone-houses were neatly aligned in a row on either side of the street. The white blanket of snow covered the street as well as the sidewalk and the rooftops and the tops of the street lights.

Sherlock exhaled and watched how the little cloud of his breath whirled through the air and up to the sky. One could actually see the stars here. There weren't many places in London where you could see them.

Molly did plan on staying here, he realized. Here, in this suburb, away from the big city, with a whole house to herself, in a peaceful neighborhood.

How dull.

How could she stand it? He was sure nothing interesting happened here. Ever. He would go crazy.

Maybe he should go back, he thought for the hundredth time tonight. They were so different. Didn't have anything in common except for their interest in death, maybe.

She was sweet and gentle, everything he was not. He wouldn't make her happy. He didn't know how. And she deserved to be happy...

He tried to convince his legs to move, but they wouldn't obey. They were frozen in place. Just like the rest of him.

He was friggin' freezing by now. And he had no idea if Molly had any intention of coming home tonight. What if she indeed had a boyfriend and spent Christmas with him?

At that thought Sherlock felt sick. It was unbearable. There was that voice in his head that hissed that she was his and his alone.

Sherlock couldn't just leave. He had to know if she had moved on. Had to know if there was a slight chance that she still wanted him. His mind would never give him peace if he didn't find out.

Come home, Molly! I'm freezing to death!

The door belonging to the seventh house from Molly's opened and music filled the quiet street. Sherlock heard her laugh before she stepped out. His heartbeat accelerated. When she came into view, turning around and waving goodbye to a tall young man with dark curls, the cold was forgotten. All of Sherlock's attention was fixed on that small woman hopping down the stairs and wrapping her long brown coat tightly around her body.

She lost weight, he noticed even from this distance. Her head was bent down, the white woolen hat covering most of her brown hair.

The crunching sounds of Molly's footsteps echoed through the narrow street and seemed to accelerate Sherlock's heartbeat even more. He found it very unpleasent.

I'm nervous, he deduced, almost shocked. But come to think of it, it shouldn't be surprised about that, for he was about to do something he had no experience in. He was about to try to win back Molly Hooper's heart. And he had not the slightest idea how to manage that. It just wasn't his area.

When Molly was only one house away, Sherlock decided to step out of the shadows into the light of the street lamp. It took Molly three more steps to notice the presence and to look up. She gasped and froze in place.

Their eyes locked. Sherlock had forgotten how beautiful those big brown eyes were. No, not forgotten, he corrected himself. I never took the time to really notice them.

For one second, Sherlock thought she would run. He saw the thought wash over her face and she actually half-turned. Sherlock's heart tightened.

„Molly" he called out to her, his bariton voice booming through the street. Molly winced and turned back to him and Sherlock saw how her fingers dug into her coat. She closed her eyes for a second before she straightened and took a deep breath. Then she walked up to him until she was standing right in front of him.

They looked at each other, her eyes wet. Sherlock wanted to reach out and cup her pink cheek with his hand. She looked lovely with her red nose and cheeks.

„What are you doing here?" she asked breathlessly.

Sherlock frowned. There was anger in her voice. He had expected everything but anger.

„It's Christmas."

Sherlock wanted to kick himself. What kind of reason was that? He forbid his mouth to talk without approval of his mind.

„So?"

„We're having a Christmas party and you're not there."

So much for waiting for approval to speak...

„I haven't been there for the last two months, Sherlock. A little late for you to notice, don't you think?"

Molly averted her eyes and walked past him to climb the stairs to her door.

For a second, they were close and Sherlock could smell her. He had to fight the urge to close his eyes and breathe in her scent soundly. It felt so good to finally smell her again. His hand reached out to touch her just a moment too late. She had already passed him by.

With her back turned to him, she fumbled for her keys. Sherlock's heart tightened again.

I'm too late.

„Molly" he blurted out, not knowing if to call her or just to say her name again after all this time.

„What?!" she asked angrily and whirled around. Tears were swimming in her eyes.

Maybe I'm not too late.

While he desperately fought the urge to say stupid things again, Molly grew impatient.

„What do you want, Sherlock? Why do you come here, now?"

Molly angrily moved her arms about and her keys slipped from her graps and fell on the stairs. She bent down to pick them up. Her head snapped up as she saw that Sherlock did the same. They were close again. Sherlock could feel her hot breath escaping her parted lips on his cold cheek. Her eyes were huge. Her body heat hit him and made him shiver.

Sherlock averted his eyes first and picked up the keys to hand them to her. She snatched it out of his gloved hand and quickly turned her back to him. Sherlock heard how she inserted the key into the lock and turned it around.

„Go home, Sherlock. Merry Christmas" she said tonelessly and opened the door.

As she was about to step in, Sherlock panicked. He still felt dizzy from they closeness. He was so confused by the feelings rushing through his body that his heart decided to speak for him again:

„It's no Christmas without you."

Molly froze again. Sherlock could hear his blood rushing through his veins.

Please don't go inside, Molly. Turn around. Look at me.

But she didn't. After a few heartbeats the consulting detective understood that she needed more.

„We've spent the last seven Christmases together. I..."

...missed you. Gosh, why couldn't he just say the words?

„...I'm accustomed to your presence on this holiday."

Sherlock was very happy that John didn't hear that. He would never hear the end of it.

Molly's bitter laugh shrieked him out of his thoughts.

„You've always been a man of habit."

She half-turned to him, the smile on her face just as bitter as her laugh.

„I'm sorry I turned your Christmas into an inconvenience. It will be better next year, I'm sure. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's cold outside and I'm tired."

This wasn't the Molly Hooper he knew. Her voice so angry, her eyes denying to make contact with his, her posture so stiff and defiant. It just wasn't right, he thought. He wanted her old self back. Damn it, he would even put up with her unnerving stammering as long as she would feel affection for him again.

"Molly" he called out to her once more. "I've waited in the cold over three hours for you. At least offer me tea before you sent me away unheard."

Molly was halfway through the door, obviously debating with herself.

"After all, it's Christmas" Sherlock added softly.

He heard her sigh.

"Fine" she said, her voice sounding tired. "One cup to warm you up."

She stepped in and left the door open. Hastily, he climbed up the stairs, happy that she let him in.

She's not as cold as she pretends to be.

Molly hung her coat and strolled briskly into the kitchen while Sherlock took in her house. He was standing in a narrow, yellow painted hallway. One door on the right, one on the left. A white painted staircase was leading to the second floor. Next to it was a door, probably a guest bathroom. As Sherlock shrug off his coat an scarf and hung it next to hers, he heard the repetitive meow of a cat coming from the kitchen. Molly was whispering to it and apparently opening a can of food. The meowing stopped and Sherlock could hear how it happily smacked.

Slowly, Sherlock walked to the door to Molly's surprisingly large kitchen. The floor was tiled with black and white tiles and her cupboards had the color of eggshells. It was stuffed with cooking supplies which were currently used from what he could tell by the state of the metal, her large silver fridge and the big bowl of cookies on the counter.

Like on command, his belly grumbled. He ignored it as usual. He was too mesmerized with the woman in front of him.

She was wearing a ruby red dress which snug around her body, revealing some of her back and complimenting her waist and her bum. It reached her knees and had a slit in the back. She wore dark tights and the fitting red shoes she had worn seconds ago stood abandoned in front of her kitchen table. She still wore the hat, though, and Sherlock smiled.

Again, he felt the urge to reach out for her. He wanted to feel her warmth, her body against his and her lovely hair tickle his neck.

He was physically attracted to her. And he always had been, he realized. Memories flooded his mind in which he had taken in her appearance, walked over to her and leaned in. He had always found ways to be close to her, had found ways to touch her. Back then he had thought he had done it to mellow her down to do stuff for him. But even if he hadn't wanted something from her, he had found ways to be close. How he missed to be close to her, breathing in her scent…

The boiling kettle shrieked him out of his musings and Sherlock watched how Molly poured the hot water into the mugs. She slowly turned around with the mugs in hands, walked over and held one out to him. Her eyes were fixed on his chest. He hated it.

Still, he took the mug and gave way so that Molly could lead the way into the living room, which looked like a Christmas-bomb had exploded in there. On her fireplace hung two socks – one for herself and one for Toby, her cat – and a big swag, the white couch was covered with a red plaid, an impressive advent wreath was placed on the low coffee table and to finalize the Christmas decoration she had a small Christmas tree placed by the window facing the street and some porcelain figures allotted throughout the room, little Santa Clauses, reindeers and elves.

Without ceremony Molly sat down on her couch, half sitting on her legs which she had pulled up. Her long brown hair fell over her shoulder and her low-cut neckline.

Sherlock's eyes roamed over legs, her small waist, her small but firm breasts and her face until Molly couldn't bear it anymore.

"Just get out with it" she said impatiently and finally looked up. "What is it now? Are my tights torn? Is the dress to small for me? Or is it my breasts again, which you love to mock? Go ahead, tell me. I insist."

Again, that angry look on her face. Sherlock furrowed his brow again. Why was she angry? In fact, she got angrier with every second of silence and Sherlock knew he had to say something to calm her.

"You're still wearing your hat."

Well, maybe not that…

Her eyes darted upwards and one second later she almost ripped the hat from her head and threw it at him. He effortlessly caught it, the warmth of her scalp lingering in the wool. Their eyes locked for another second before Molly hastily averted her eyes. Her cheeks flushed and suddenly she shot up from her seat.

"I can't stand this" she muttered under her breath and wanted to flee the room. Sherlock quickly put the mug and the hat down on the table just in time to be able to grab her bare arm as she rushed past him. Unconsciously, he drew her close until he could feel her body heat.

Molly winced at the body contact and Sherlock could have sworn that she gasped.

"Let go of me!" she demanded in a shaky voice, refusing to look at him again.

"Why are you so angry with me, Molly?"

After a heartbeat, she looked up. Tears were swimming in her angry eyes.

"Why do you always have to do this? Why?"

"What do you mean?"

Molly ripped her arm free from his grasp and took a step back.

"Every time I meet someone whom I think I could actually like, you have to shit all over it! Every time!"

So she had met someone. Sherlock felt sick again.

"Do you have a built-in radar that tells you: 'Molly Hooper is about to be happy. Time to crush her again'? Why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this? Why don't you let me be happy?!"

Molly realized she was shouting. Her cheeks were red and the tears lingering in the corners of her eyes were about to fall.

"Why can't I have at least someone who loves me, Sherlock?"

Her voice broke into a whisper and she sobbed, hugging herself.

Sherlock averted his eyes, thinking.

It was true, wasn't it? There had been male acquaintances in the past, not just 'Jim from IT'. Sherlock had always found things to point out to prove that they weren't suitable. It hadn't been such strong arguments as 'gay', mostly nasty habits which he thought Molly didn't approve of. He had thought he had done it in her best interest. He did think it was a waste of time to fall for someone and then find out that it wasn't the right person. But, thinking of it now, he realized that he could never stand the thought of her being with someone else. Now he understood that he had felt that sickness back then, too. It had been jealousy that had made him ruining men for her. Even with Moriarty. He still recalled how her face lit up when he had entered the room, how her cheeks had blushed and how she eagerly had waved him over. How he had put his hand on her back, like she was his…

Sherlock's fists clenched and his jaw tightened. The mere thought of that day made him angry.

"Those men were fools and you know it. You didn't belong to any of them" he said through gritted teeth.

"You can't know that! Maybe we could have made it work. When you really love someone, you accept his flaws. No one is perfect, Sherlock!"

"You're wrong."

Molly bitterly laughed.

"Oh right. How could I forget. Of course, you are perfect! With your brilliant mind, your amazing eyes, your ridiculously high cheekbones and that seductive cupid's bow, begging to be kissed. But you know what? You have flaws, too. Many of them! You're rude, insensitive, totally oblivious of other people's feelings. You don't care if your words hurt. And they do, Sherlock. Every time. You would probably call it a talent to stab one's heart with every single word."

"So this is how you think of me now?" he asked tonelessly.

"I always thought of you this way. But I didn't care. I loved you anyway. I was a fool!"

Loved…She said 'loved', not 'love'.

Sherlock looked down at her. Molly glared right back at him. He found nothing but anger in her eyes. He was too late.

"I should go."

Without another word he turned and rushed into the hallway, grabbing his scarf and coat.

"Yes, leave. Leave me alone! I don't want you in my life anymore! I've had enough of your cruelty for a lifetime!"

Sherlock slung his scarf around his long neck and threw his coat on, ignoring the irritating pain in his heart. He slammed the door into the wall and with one last look over his shoulder, he stepped into the cold.

A voice inside his head – which sounded a lot like John – told him not to leave like this, to try a little harder, but when it finally got through his anger, Molly had already slammed the door shut.

Sherlock rushed down the stairs, fighting the urge to scream. He ran his fingers through his hair furiously, pacing back and forth through the snow.

His mind was a blur. He couldn't focus. He didn't know what to do, confused by John's voice in his head. He had trouble to process all the things Molly had said to him.

When he finally did, he was damned angry. How dare she talk to him like this? He drove three friggin' hours and stood the same length of time in the friggin' cold to see her and this is how she thanked him?

Furious, he rushed up the stairs again to bang against her door when his eyes caught her red dress through the window. He froze, his fist already lifted to bang, and exhaled. His heart tightened.

Molly was sitting on the couch, her legs pulled up, her arms on her knees, her face buried in her arms. Her shoulders rose and fell rapidly. She was crying.

Helplessly, he stood there and watched how she slowly rocked back and forth. What should he do? There was the woman he…wanted, crying her eyes out. He had hurt her again. He had no idea how, but he was sure it had been him. It had always been him who had made her cry. One more of his 'talents', like she had put it.

His mind told him to retreat, to leave her alone for good. Logic told him that she would be better off without him, that she would be happier with that man she had met. But John's voice told him to stay.

Damn you, John!

John!

Sherlock pulled out his phone and hastily dialed his number.

"Sherlock? How late is it?"

John's voice was hoarse from sleeping and Sherlock heard him fumble for the alarm clock.

"Damn it, Sherlock, it's past two. Are you all right?"

"Molly's crying."

"What?"

Sherlock rolled his eyes.

"Molly's crying, John. You made her cry!"

"Me?"

"Yes, you! You were the one who sent me here to talk to her. You should have known that I'd screw it up! It's not my area, John!"

"Oh, boy."

From what Sherlock could hear, John was sitting up in his bed.

"Okay. What did you say to her?"

"Not much. But she insulted me a lot."

"You're sure you got the right girl?"

"This is not the time to make jokes, John", Sherlock snapped. His eyes lingered on the tiny woman who hugged herself.

John sighed.

"Then tell me what you said, you sod."

Sherlock gave him a quick report.

"I think you should go back in, man", John finally said.

"I made her cry!"

"Well, that's nothing new, is it?"

Sherlock felt another pang in his heart. No, it wasn't something new.

"She will be better off without me."

"She loves you, Sherlock."

"She said she doesn't anymore."

"I sincerely regret to not have bought you that book about men and women", John sighed.

Sherlock wanted to throttle him.

"Molly wouldn't cry if she didn't love you, Sherlock. She's just afraid that you will hurt her again."

"Which I will. I'm not a boyfriend, John. I'm a detective. That's the only thing I now."

John sighed.

"Maybe it's time to become more than a detective, Sherlock. We both know you have a heart. And you use it more often than you want to admit. You faked your death to protect the people you love. You gave up everything to save us. You know what love is, Sherlock."

"This is different."
"Yes, it is."

"It's dangerous. It's weak."

"You really think Molly's weak?"

Sherlock looked at the brown-haired woman who still shed tears about him. All those years she had been unhappy. She had been able to hide it from him. He had hurt her so many times. Never did he apologize. Never did she hold it against him. She had always forgiven him. She had helped him when he had needed her the most without hesitation, even though everyone thought he was fake.

"No, she's not", Sherlock finally breathed into the phone.

"Exactly. Love makes your vulnerable, yes. But it's worth the risk, I promise."

Sherlock's jaw clenched again.

"Now get your arse back in there and snog her into bliss."

Sherlock snorted.

"That's certainly not the way to go."

"You bet your ass it is. Women love stuff like that."

Sherlock remembered the romantic movies he had been forced to watch by Mrs. Hudson and John by occasion, when he had arranged a 'romantic evening' with one of his female acquaintances.

"I think I should talk to her first."

Sherlock really disliked John's suggestion.

"Because that has worked brilliantly before, you're right."

"Oh, shut up!"

Sherlock hung up, put the phone back into his pocket and stormed back into Molly's flat and into the living room.

Molly shrieked and her head snapped up. Her cheeks were flushed and wet, her eyes red from crying.

"What are you doing back here?" she asked in a broken voice, quickly wiping the stream of tears from her face.

"You're crying", Sherlock simply said.

Way to go, man. Really good!Shut up!

"Impressive deduction", Molly sobbed.

She was obviously embarrassed, trying to hide her face from him. She rose from her couch and hugged herself again, looking at a spot in front of his shoes.

Sherlock's mind was racing, trying to find something clever or romantic to say. It didn't come up with anything. His logical mind was utterly useless in this situation.

He heard John's voice again, telling him to just snog her. Sherlock wasn't sure that this would convince Molly. He hadn't snogged anyone since uni. When the kiss wasn't good, that would be the end of it. At least according to those damned movies.

Yet, he couldn't think of a better way to go. He just couldn't stand seeing her like that, all defensive and cool.

Decision made, Sherlock rushed over to Molly who looked up as he stood right in front of her, grabbing her bare arms and pulling her close. Her eyes got huge. Her frightened look prevented him to just press his lips on hers.

"I want to kiss you now, Molly", he explained to calm her down.

"What?!" she exclaimed breathlessly.

"I'm out of practice but I'll try my best to make this kiss a satisfying experience for you."

"WHAT?!" she almost squeaked.

But her eyes were fully dilated and he could see her pulse racing under the skin of her throat. He took that as a sign of her approval.

"Don't talk now, Molly", Sherlock said in a low voice as he bent down, lowering his eyes to her lips.

His mind retrieved all the data he had saved about kissing like lip pressure and tongue technique. It wasn't much but he tried to do his best. His hand snaked around her neck and pulled her even closer until her upper body brushed against his. His heartbeat accelerated as he felt her body heat and breathed in her scent. When her breath brushed his lips, he wetted them with his tongue. Just as Molly's hands clutched his coat, he gently pressed his lips on hers.

Fireworks.

Has it always been this amazing to kiss someone, he mused while he increased the pressure on her perfect, soft lips – he had been a fool to think they were too small.

No, it has never been like this, he thought as his arms automatically wound around her and pulled her whole body firmly against his. He thought he had been too rough when she gasped, but then she buried her fingers in his dark curls and lightly scratched his scalp with her nails and Sherlock pulled her even closer.

When Molly parted her lips and her tongue sneaked into his mouth to brush over his, Sherlock was shocked to hear himself moan. Shivers ran up and down his spine as she explored his mouth and seduced his tongue to follow hers into her mouth.

Molly Hooper was a hell of a kisser.

Sherlock didn't complain.

Even though he had a hard time to think, to notice anything but her, he was very aware of her hands slipping under his coat and his jacket – he didn't notice that she had opened his buttons – to roam over his back, gently stroking up and down.

This kiss, which was intended to show his affection, quickly turned into something desperate and erotic. They clung to each other and the way Molly's body rubbed against his was very, very arousing. Honestly, Sherlock had always thought Molly would be shy and passive, but gosh, she was a temptress, knowing exactly how to drive him mad with want. With the last bit of sanity he had left, he pulled back to breathe.

"Molly", he growled, his voice hoarse.

He looked down on her flushed face and her sparkling eyes. She beamed up at him, her lips reddened from his kiss. He couldn't help but feeling a little proud of that.

He wound his hands out of her silky hair to cup her face. Gently, he brushed over her cheeks with his thumbs.

"I'm sorry", he whispered.

"I'm not", she replied happily and made him smile.

"I don't mean the kiss, Molly. I mean everything else."

"Oh…" The sparkle in her eyes lessened for a second and once again Sherlock had to accept that he was not good at talking to her. At all. Just as he started to feel really bad about destroying that wonderful moment, Molly beamed up at him again.

"But you liked the kiss?" she asked hopefully and he couldn't help but chuckle.

"Can't you tell?" he asked, suddenly just as playful as her, being utterly glad that she was smiling at him again.

She blushed a little more at his question, her lower body still pressed against his, and nodded. Sherlock thought she never looked more beautiful than when her cheeks were flushed.

When she wanted to pull him in for another of her devilish kisses, he strained his neck.

"No, let me say this. I know I'm not good at this, but I want to tell you how truly sorry I am. I…I didn't understand, Molly. I didn't know my own heart. I was raised to think of love as a weakness, so I shut it out. At least I tried. But apparently I'm not as good at this as my brother."

"And you're sorry about that?"

"Yes. I mean, no", he quickly added as he saw how her face fell.

"I…I want you…to be with me. With you being away…it felt wrong. Very, very wrong."

He looked down at her and saw how the smile returned. The fingers in his hair moved and he shivered again.

"I know what you mean. I missed you, too."

He smiled as relief washed over him.

"So…you're sure you want to do this? For real? If you're not, Sherlock, then…"

"I am sure", he interrupted her, unaware that he was pulling her closer. The thought of losing her again was inacceptable.

"I want you to be mine. But it won't be easy, Molly. I will make mistakes. I will hurt you without meaning to."

"I know. And I will always forgive you as long as you really try."

Sherlock nodded, swallowing hard. He didn't deserve this wonderful woman in his arms. Still, he couldn't help but wanting her all to himself.

Molly suddenly giggled and hugged him tightly.

"Is this really happening?" she asked into his shirt, her ear pressed against his chest to listen to his rapid heartbeat. He laid his arms around her and buried his nose in her hair. It felt so good to smell her again.

"Yes", he whispered and let his fingertips brush over the bare skin on her upper back. He smiled when he felt goose bumps spread over her skin.

"Although I don't really know where to go from here", he whispered honestly and she looked up at him again.

"Hmm…let's continue this, then", she grinned and pulled him down to her. With a smile, he took possession of her lips again, his tongue entering her mouth immediately to play with hers. Her body melted into his and a sigh escaped her parted lips. Sherlock was amazed by this enchanting fairy in his arms, how her lips and tongue turned his blood into fire, how the little movements of her body made his body tremble with desire.

Suddenly and very out of the blue a thought popped into his head and he broke the kiss.

"It's Christmas Eve. I didn't bring a present."

Molly giggled.

"This is what you thought about while we kissed?"

Sherlock shrugged and Molly grinned.

"Well, you brought yourself. I'm fine with that. In fact, I'm enjoying you very much right now."

She captured his lips again and Sherlock moaned as she gently tugged at his hair. He felt how she smiled against his lips. A temptress she was, indeed. His hands roamed over her back, while Molly nibbled playfully at his lower lip, gently biting it and smoothing the bite with the tip of her tongue.

"Molly…" he whispered urgently against her lips and it took Molly a second to realize he was talking to her. She leaned back a little to look him in the eyes.

"Hm?"

"Do I get something from you?"

"What do you mean?" she asked, confused.

"A present, Molly", he replied and faked impatience.

"Oh…um…I didn't get you anything…um…"

"Maybe you could…improvise…"

To show her what he meant, he pulled her lower half agains his.

"Oh…", Molly breathed as she understood and Sherlock grinned boyishly.

"Are you sure?" she carefully asked.

"God, yes!" Sherlock exclaimed, crushed her body against his and started snogging her again.

Molly giggled against his lips and wrapped her arms around him tightly. For several more minutes, only occasional moans were heard in the living room. The silence was broken with Molly whispering that they probably should continue this in her bedroom. Sherlock agreed and Molly took him by the hand. Never stopping smiling, she let him up the flight of stairs, never letting go of his hand. Sherlock didn't mind trotting behind her. Actually, he thought Molly was very attractive in the leading role. In fact, he couldn't wait to get his Christmas present named Molly Hooper.
He was well aware that he didn't deserve her, but from now on, he would try his best to do so...

~oOOo~

A/N2: I suck at poetry, so I went to and found this wonderful piece called "Forever I will love you" by Anonymous, which I think fits perfectly. What do you think? Happy holidays and a happy year 2013!