A/N: (Please read) Sometimes fluff is very good for the soul. I just watched Love, Actually for the first time. I think you can guess which plotline this is based off of, if you have seen the movie! I was supposed to be writing up a story for LaserGirl77 but damn plot bunny wouldn't cooperate.
The speech in italics are in French, i.e, "blah blah blah," I could have used real French, but for reasons, I decided to make it the way it is. The foremost reason being I'm not very good at French, and I did not want to insult anyone's language by messing it up.
See you at the end!
"I hope this is to your liking, Miss," the kind old lady said in heavily accented English, smiling at her. Molly nodded, beaming back at her.
"Thank you, Mrs. Hudson, this will do nicely."
Indeed it would. For a recently single young woman, the sprawling, rustic cottage in the rural beauty of France, it would do very nicely indeed. She tried not to think how lonely it might get. She was alone again…naturally. She needed to chin up, and finish the book. That's what mattered, not Jim, not Jim and his lovely laugh, and charming humor and the way he would hold her-
"Ma chère, I really hope you don't mind, but you might have to share the cottage for a while."
The statement broke her out of her reverie and she stared at the old woman, who had her hand already on the door knob. "Excuse me?"
"You are only staying till Christmas?"
"Well, yes, I-,"
"Right after you…uh…made arrangements, someone I owe a debt to, called me up, and said he wanted a place to stay. I couldn't refuse him, ma chère, not after everything he has done for me," Mrs. Hudson sighed, "I do hope you don't mind," she repeated anxiously.
Molly did mind. A lot, but she couldn't bring herself to say that to the kind lady's face. At least, she thought exasperatedly, it's only for two months. I can handle two months.
"He's a perfect gentleman," Mrs. Hudson supplied helpfully.
"I have no doubt," Molly said somewhat testily. "When will he be arriving?"
No sooner had the words been spoken, that a black Jaguar rolled up the drive. Molly remained speechless as the car purred to a stop next to them, and when the door opened, her mouth ran dry at the sight of the gorgeous (there was no other word to describe him) man who stepped out of the drivers' seat.
The first thing that registered in her head was that he was tall, and he had a dark mop of thick, curly hair. Then she noticed his eyes, and immediately regretted not noticing them earlier. They were enchanting, cat-like and seemed to change color every passing second. She could not determine their true color, but to her they seemed to be a mysterious sea-green color.
"Sherlock, darling, come, give me a hug," Mrs. Hudson cried happily, running up the drive to give the man a hug. He gave her a little smile, Molly noticed the sides of his eyes crinkle, and put an arm around her.
"Bonjour, Mrs. Hudson," he said in a voice that made Molly's insides flip pleasurably. She blushed scarlet when she finally realized he was gazing at her.
"Oh, I, er… bonjour, I'm Molly, ve-very nice to meet you," she said quickly, wishing she hadn't stuttered. The man's eyes flashed. He turned towards her landlady and burst off in French too quickly for her to understand. Not that it mattered; she was terrible at French anyway. Mrs. Hudson looked at him reproachfully.
"Sherlock, behave," she said. Then she turned back to Molly, who was starting to wish they could go inside. The bag on her arm was getting heavier by the minute. "Molly, ma chère, this is Sherlock Holmes. I was his nanny…a lifetime ago."
She beamed at Sherlock, and then thankfully moved forward to open the door. Molly tried not to feel offended when Sherlock Holmes brushed past her into the house, and then, as she would later find out, proceeded to occupy the best bedroom.
"Not to worry, dear," Martha Hudson had assured her while she prepared to leave. "I expect he's a bit touchy, his previous flat-mate just got married, you see. They were best friends, and I suspect he sees John's marriage and moving in with his wife as a betrayal. He'll come around."
"So what would you like for dinner?" Molly asked cheerfully as she bustled around the kitchen, checking the supplies Mrs. Hudson had been good enough to stock. "Mind you, I won't be doing the cooking every day, but I wouldn't mind doing it-Uh…Mr. Holmes?"
She looked at the man sitting at the table, immersed in something on his phone. "Mr. Holmes, I was talking to you."
"Yes, you were. And I was simply ignoring you." He replied and Molly frowned.
"I'm not very good at French, Mr. Holmes."
"I don't really care."
Molly did not completely catch what he said, but the eye-roll and general tone was pretty much universal.
She sighed and began to put together a simple salad. Just for herself, she thought vehemently. If he was hungry, he could make something for himself. She had had it when men taking advantage of her kind nature, not anymore, not ever-
She released a breath and added more ingredients to her bowl. Just in case he got hungry seeing her eat.
Ugh, she was too nice for her own good.
Right, Molly thought determinedly, time to make some real progress.
She cracked her knuckles, and then ran her fingers through the polished keys of her grandfather's typewriter. Most people used computers these days, but for Molly, she could not, for the life of her, write on single coherent line if she did not write it on the typewriter. The clickety-clack of the typewriter really got her creative juices flowing.
She had worked herself past two whole pages, and she had entered into the little world she created all on her own. She walked among her creations, her eyes would almost look glazed if anyone in the real world saw her now.
This was why the loud 'bang' from the master bedroom made her fall out of her chair. Scrambling to her feet, she rushed towards the noise, already dreading what she was going to find.
It would look so awkward if she had to tell the police that her flat-mate had committed suicide or gotten shot the first day they moved in together.
"Mr. Holmes! Are you alright? I heard a loud-," She shouted as she ran into the room, the smell of gunpowder reaching her nostrils. "…noise. What are you doing?"
She stared at the man, lying on his four-poster (a bloody four-poster? SHE didn't have a four-poster!) spread-eagled. He raised his head to look at her with glazed eyes, before he fell back again.
"Je m'ennuie," he drawled, and Molly caught sight of the smiley face now endorsing the wall. She raced through her limited French vocabulary before she, thankfully, found the translation.
"You're bored?" she stared at him flabbergasted, "You are bored, so you bloody shoot the wall?!"
He shrugged in a manner she found highly irritating. Huffing in exasperation, she turned and banged the door shut on her way out.
She had half a mind to leave right away. Any person who shot at a wall just because they were bored was obviously not right in the head. And Sherlock Holmes, in the hours they had been here, had not said a single word of welcome, nor had he made any inclination to be at least on amiable terms with her. He had not even bothered to speak to her in English, and she knew, she just knew, he was doing that on purpose. He did not look the type to be completely ignorant of the language.
If his style of clothing was anything to go by, and the car he was driving, he would be one of those men her dad would call 'snobby, posh, public school brats.'
An image of Jim flashed in her mind's eye, and she could hear him say all those dreadful things again.
Her resolve strengthened, she put her chin up and went back to work. All she had to do was pour herself into the work. She could ignore Holmes, she would just acknowledge his presence and by the end of two months, she knew she would have her book finished. Once it got sold, she would be able to get a flat back in London, and everything will be normal again.
Maybe she could get a cat. Cats are always better company than men anyway.
Despite herself, Molly found herself been drawn in by the enigma that was Sherlock Holmes as the days passed. She could see him, from the window in her study, running up the path that led to the woods, grey shirt sweat-slicked and soft curls bouncing. She tried not to look at his arse, but damn it, she was a woman and those short shorts of his left little to imagination.
Hell, she found it difficult to look away even when he was in casual clothing. He seemed to insist on wearing expensive, tight shirts and dress pants at home, and for God's sake, why was everything he wore so damn snug fitted? It was like he was trying to drive her mad. She really did not need distractions right now. The deadline was fast approaching, and she was barely halfway through the book.
What attracted her even more to Sherlock Holmes was the fact that he seemed to ooze mystery. She had no doubt that he was a genius; she heard him play the violin at night, sometimes screechy and nearly driving her to insanity, but sometimes, the symphonies were so beautiful, they made her sob into her pillow.
And then there were the experiments, the chemicals that were starting to fill up the fridge and the neatly labeled specimens he collected from the woods. On more than one occasion she had walked in on him dissecting up dead animals. Her resulting shriek had gotten her an eye-roll and a nonchalant "Experiment." in return.
And there was his brother. First week in, when Molly was beginning to think she was flat-sharing with a budding psychopath, his brother had dropped in when Holmes had been out for his daily excursions, and insisted on speaking with her on a matter of utmost importance.
"My little brother," he had said in flawless, non-accented English, "might seem a bit odd at first, but I assure you, Miss Hooper, that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. He wants to be a consulting detective, you see," he said the word like it was something dirty, "so his experiments are just a way of him gaining in knowledge."
"Can't he join the police force, for that?"
Mycroft Holmes had snorted in an odd mixture of derision and amusement. "Miss Hooper, surely you have learned by now, Sherlock does not work well with people."
Molly had nodded thoughtfully. "He has barely spoken more than two sentences to me since we first moved in, and even then he talks in French, meaning I don't understand half the things he says."
Mycroft did not even look remotely surprised. "Well, I must say I admire you, Miss Hooper. You are shaping up to be quite resilient. Just like John Watson had been."
The younger Holmes had picked that exact moment to walk in, and the consequent conversation that followed-in rapid French meaning everything just went over Molly's head and she had a feeling she would not understand a word even if she knew the language- meant that Molly had not been able to drill the official looking man any further.
A month and a half later, Molly was enjoying the winter sunshine, so much so that she decided to carry her clunky typewriter outdoors to the picnic table near the pond.
The weather was fine, her dysfunctional flat-mate had gone off somewhere for the past three days, she had the house to herself, and her book was nearly done. Nothing could possibly go wrong now.
A mug being put down next to her made her jump. She looked up and squinted in the sunshine as the familiar dark mop of hair came into her line of vision.
"Hello," she said cheerfully, as he leaned against the table, turned away from her. She became keenly aware that this was the first time he had willingly sought out her company. "When did you get back?"
He sipped from his mug thoughtfully, but as always, did not bother giving her an answer, instead preferring to look up at the house. But if she did not know any better, she would have said there was a hint of a smile on his bow lips.
Molly began typing again, but it was starting to get awkward. She had never had anyone hanging over her while she was typing, and while he wasn't looking at her work per se, it still made her uncomfortable.
"Lovely weather we are having, even if it's a bit banal," he said, a tad bit too fast for her to catch. She had noticed that he spoke French faster than it was necessary, almost as if his mouth was struggling to keep up with his thought processes.
She had no idea what to say, and therefore opted for small talk. "Lovely weather, right? I prefer rain, though, makes it a bit more…exciting."
His lips quirked up slightly around the edges, and when he glanced at her, she could see his eyes twinkling. It made her stomach do back flips, and she blushed, hoping he would not see the effect he had on her. It was rather embarrassing.
The wind picked up suddenly, and Molly, in her distraction, could not grab at the loose manuscript fast enough. They scattered to the winds, and Molly shrieked as the pages containing the climax (she had specifically marked them) went hurtling towards the pond.
Holmes swore loudly, before lurching up the path to the pond before she could react. She ran after him, stifling a groan when she saw the pages hit the water.
"Who in their right mind does not make copies!" he shouted as he came to a stop at the edge of the wooden deck. She caught up with him.
"I didn't make copies!" she said urgently, before tugging off her sweater, shivering in the suddenly cold wind. She didn't care, as she shrugged off her top as well, she had to get those pages, even if they were sopping wet, maybe she could salvage something.
She managed to get out of her trousers, not even noticing the man staring at her. She dived smoothly into the pond, biting back a shriek as the cold water bit at every inch of her skin. She kept swimming, moving determinedly to the nearest page, and she had it in her fingers when she heard another splash. Looking back at the deck, she noticed Holmes' silk shirt and suit lying there and the man himself gathering up the pages nearest to him, cursing all the while.
She bit her lip and felt all the blood in her body rush to her face when she noticed the water clinging to his deliciously muscled back.
"Merci, Mr. Holmes," Molly said, pulling the woolen blanket closer to her. Her flat-mate was now currently poking at the fireplace in the study, thankfully dressed in a new shirt and dressing gown.
He nodded in acceptance of her thanks. "Je vous en prie."
"You did not have to," she said gloomily, plucking at her shirt. "The book was not worth you catching a cold over."
"Wallowing in self-pity is such an ugly habit, Miss Hooper. And it does not suit you."
Molly looked at him. "You must think I'm pathetic, wallowing in self-pity like that. That's what you just said, didn't you?"
"Very good. Have you been brushing up on your French?"
"Don't think that I'm brushing up on my French, by the way," she said in reply. "You have tells, the way you say things, I've learned to read them."
He quirked his lips again, the way Molly had come to realize he only did when he was genuinely amused by something.
"You know," she said leaning back against her chair as he stood to tower over her, "I absolutely know you can talk in English. You certainly understand it. So why do you insist on talking to me in French when I don't understand half of what you are saying?"
His eyes twinkled mischievously again, and Molly felt a challenge blooming.
"Oh I see. This is sort of fun, you know. You being like a mystery and all. Plus," she looked away coyly, "Your voice in French is faintly attractive."
He stared at her, and Molly had a vague notion that she had stunned him into silence. The thought instantly cheered her up, forgetting about the fact that she had to re-write her climax scene all over again.
"Ah, well, then," she stood up and yawned. "I think I'll have an early night tonight." She suddenly became aware that there were mere millimeters between them, and it was getting difficult to ignore the faint spark that erupted between them every time they were near each other.
It was not often they were in such close proximity to each other; in fact, Molly felt that Holmes went out of his way to avoid her, but now, there was a faint buzzing in her ear, and he was gazing at her as if transfixed.
The fire seemed to make his eyes glow.
"Well, goodnight," Molly whispered, but made no attempt to move. Goosebumps rose as she felt his slender fingers curl around her wrist, and he leaned closer, raising a hand to cup her face. His thumb traced the shape of her lips, and her eyes fluttered closed.
"Molly," he breathed softly, and she felt his words ghost over her skin.
"Sherlock," she whispered back, his name foreign on her tongue. His grip on her wrist tightened, and oh so slowly, Molly felt his full Cupid-bow lips pressing against hers softly.
It was wonderful, he was everywhere, fingers curling in her hair, his hand gripping her waist, pulling her flush against him. Her hands traveled upwards and buried themselves in his hair, and he groaned in her mouth, kissing her more forcefully. She moaned in response, opening her mouth under his, and he took full advantage, tongue tentatively probing her mouth, tasting her and oh god, this was heaven, she was on fire and she had never been kissed like this, so thoroughly and tenderly at the same time, she had to get more, she needed more-
The landline going off made them both jump. She jerked away from him and he growled in protest. Desire pooled in her core as he pulled her back against him, both hands gripping her waist so tightly she was worried it would bruise.
"B-but, the phone-," she stammered out, feeling her whole body flash hot.
"It's only Mycroft," he muttered, and claimed her lips once more before she could reply.
"Molly," her mother's voice flowed across the room, and she wrenched away from him again, eyes fixed on the phone. "Molly, dear, it's mom. You have been hiding away in France long enough, love. Come home, please. It's Christmas in a week, and your dad hasn't been well. Please, love, the thing with Jim is a thing of the past. Christmas is a time for the family. Come home, for your dad's sake."
She could feel his eyes on her, watching her as she rushed about the room, throwing clothes and miscellaneous belongings into her overstuffed suitcases.
She glanced at him, and fiddled with her hair, feeling uncomfortable. "I…uh…I know I was supposed to stay here till Christmas. But dad's ill, and I…er…"
He inclined his head in understanding. He would not hold anything against her. Sudden warmth blossomed within her, a completely unknown feeling. Not even Jim had made her feel this way. And now this man, who could not even bother talking to her properly, a man she had only known for two months, whose eccentricities had a certain charm and whose…kisses made her feel as if she was flying…
"Mrs. Hudson will be around to make sure you eat," Molly continued, albeit a bit distractedly, "and do make sure to keep the fridge stocked, lock the door when you leave and at night, and-,"
She stared as he walked to her and leaned in close.
"Molly," he breathed against her lips before pressing a soft, innocent kiss that made her toes curl nonetheless.
And then he was gone, making her blink and wonder at the sudden loss of warmth.
He did not even say goodbye to her in the morning.
"Molly, love, you haven't even drank you hot chocolate; don't you like it anymore?"
Her father's mellow voice made her jolt out of her reverie. She blinked twice, brushing away the memories of animal parts in the fridge, acid in the kitchen sink, and warm full lips that tasted like smoke and something so masculine she could not name.
"Oh, no, I'm…just not hungry."
"France has ruined her," a cousin jokingly laughed from the corner. "She's used to eating French foods now."
She managed to smile painfully as the room erupted into laughter. Her mother noticed though, and that was why, right before dinner, she found herself alone in the kitchen with the ever intelligent eyes of Margaret Hooper staring her down.
"Tell me what's wrong, dear," her mother said insistently, and Molly found that she couldn't quite look her in the eye.
"Nothing," she mumbled out, playing with the horrid jumper she had been forced to wear.
"Is it a man?"
She stared at her mother, eyes wide and heart starting to thud.
"You know, I think Jim is very sorry for what he did," her mother said thoughtfully, and Molly felt as if someone had thrown her back into the frigid pond.
"No, mom," she said forcefully, wanting to leave as soon as possible.
"Dear, he calls me every day, asking about you. He really is-,"
"He slept with my best friend, mother!" Molly shouted, staring at her mother in disbelief. "How could you possibly suggest that?"
"I should have stayed in France. I could have finished my book, and I wouldn't have to leave Sherlock alo-,"
"Sherlock?" Her mother asked, "Who are you talking about, Molly?"
"No one. No one at all. I'm sorry," Molly said, feeling as if she was dawning on something important, "I'm sorry, mother, but I have to go."
And she ran, ignoring her mother's, her father's calls, wrenched open the front door and ran right into what seemed like an iron pillar.
Looking up, her breath was gone when sea-green, ever shifting, familiar eyes met her brown ones.
"I…Sherlock? Wha-?" He tipped her chin up, and cupping her face, kissed her the way she knew would make her toes curl.
"It took me a while to find you," he said in impeccable English. "Mycroft refused to help me; he deliberately likes making life difficult for me. But then again, it wasn't that hard to find you, Molly Hooper is a somewhat famous writer-,"
"I knew you could talk in English," Molly said drunkenly, her head still spinning for the kiss he had given her. She poked him in the chest. "You liked making me sound like an idiot back home, you right old dick you."
"English happens to be my first language, actually," Sherlock said smoothly. "I was just hoping to get rid of you before." He looked at her, eyes intense. "Yet you stayed. You are a very singular puzzle, Molly Hooper."
She kissed his cheek, beaming. "Do you want to get rid of me now, Sherlock Holmes?"
His eyes twinkled. "No, no I don't think so. I think I require some more time to solve your puzzle."
"Take me home," she whispered, kissing him softly again.
"You are home, this is your house, isn't it?"
She shook her head. "No. Take me home."
He pulled her even closer, eliminating space between their bodies completely. He nodded dumbly, "Home."
"You said you needed more time to solve my puzzle," she said later, when they were entangled together in his hotel room. "How long do you need?"
"Truthfully?" he asked.
"One mustn't lie on Christmas."
He pretended to think for a while. "Hmmm…I think…forever."
A/N: Happy New Year, everyone! To think, I'm still relatively new to this fanfiction writing thing. You lovely people of the Sherlolly ship have made me feel so welcome; I've gained so much from you all, I'm forever in your debt. I've gained new friends, and lots of love to Tiffany, Novera and Aditi. Having you guys on my friends' list makes facebook tolerable. (Yes, I'm the Queen of understatements)
Also another heaping helping of love to all my followers and reviewers on Tumblr and fanfiction. I love you all, and if my hands weren't burning, I would write each and every one of you a personal thank you note. So I guess this cheesy story will have to do.
Happy New Year, live long and prosper!