A/N: A gift fic for DeathFrisbee as part of the RLt Holiday Gift Exchange. The prompt was holidays.
Merry Christmas, Molly Hooper
Her mother didn't understand what she saw in "That Man on Intranet," never mind the fact that Molly had reminded her more than once it was "internet, Mum, honestly." Although she wouldn't ever admit it, she knew her mother did, indeed, have a point. Why did she like the one Sherlock Holmes? It's not like he was any self-respecting girl's definition of nice to her – anyone's definition of nice, really.
Was it because he was the complete opposite of her normal day-to-day companions, the recently deceased who littered her examination room? Well, not exactly the complete opposite; he had the pale skin of a cadaver and matching manners to boot. Yet there was something so full of vibrancy – so full of life –behind those eyes when he was making a particularly difficult deduction or showing up a clueless skeptic.
"That's all very nice, Molly-Bear," her father had pointed out at the last family dinner after another impassioned debate among the family on their favorite subject, "What Is Molly Doing With Her Life and When Will She Get Married?" "But it doesn't seem this Sherbet chap likes you back."
Yes, Molly was all too well aware of that fact that Sherlock rarely gave her the time of day, provided that he didn't need her help on case. Nothing could make him notice her – not a new lipstick, a new hairstyle, or a new boyfriend.
If she couldn't change herself to make Sherlock appreciate her, then maybe she could give him something. That's what led her to sign up for a knitting class. It was dreadfully under enrolled, probably because it was only August, a good four months away from Christmas. Turned out nobody wanted to learn to knit in the summer.
It took her a good two months to master the art of knitting, and another two to knit Sherlock the perfect sweater. (In that time, she also went through five skeins of yard, three pairs of knitting needles, and a countless number of swear words, including a memorable moment when she'd let out a good f-bomb on the Tube after she'd dropped three stitches, startling an elderly women into a near faint.)
Finally, though, she completed the perfect scarf for the Keeper of Her Heart (a title stolen from one of her gushier day dreams, where Sherlock strode up to her in pantaloons and whisked her away on his horse. Never mind that she didn't really know what pantaloons looked like). The scarf in question was made of a navy blue wool that she knew would match his intellectual eyes and featured an intricate yellow pattern along the length. Her favorite part - and the most difficult to complete - was the bottom left corner, where she'd carefully and painstakingly stitched his initials.
As she prepared for the "small holiday get-together" at 221 B, she tried not to let her daydreams get carried away. What if when Sherlock opened the gift, he proposed right away? Okay, that wasn't likely to happen, but still. She knew the scarf would finally make him notice her as an object of desire, not as an ends to a means.
But it doesn't go like that, does it? Instead, Sherlock did one of his famous deductions on her, guessing (albeit correctly) that she's giving a gift to someone she loves that night, though he's clearly not such a genius after all when he doesn't realize that it's him.
Her heart ached when she realized that the only thing worse than "compensating for the size of her mouth and breasts" is the look on his face when he reads the gift tag.
"Merry Christmas, Molly Hooper," but she knew it was just a consolation prize.
The next time Molly saw him, she was hopeful. It was a cold, blustery day. Perfect scarf weather. When Sherlock finally strolled into her laboratory, though, there was no navy with a shock of yellow around his neck, but a plain, charcoal gray.
Oh well. Maybe he wore it yesterday. No matter. There's always next time.
The next day, it was Scarlet.
Slowly winter faded into a nippy spring, and soon sweater weather was gone. Molly realized that she'd never see the scarf on Sherlock; it'd probably never been opened. She could picture it perfectly, the red and gold wrapped package stuck in the corner underneath astronomy books and an old biscuit wrapper. That scarf would never see the light of day.
Maybe it was time of Molly to close off something of her own.