Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to BBC's Sherlock or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes or anything like that.

Molly was only nine when the strange boy moved in next door. He was a few years older than her and he was moody and obstinate, his name was Sherlock Holmes. The first time he came over Molly almost hit him.

"What a stupid notion." He had said when she explained the pretend world that her dolls, and sometimes she, lived in. She went quiet very quickly when he said that because to her mind it was far from stupid to believe that in this world people never died and everyone was happy.

"Mum says that it is a sweet notion and perfect for my dolls, a safe and happy world." Molly parroted the words that had been told to her many times.

Sherlock continued to criticize her the entire time he was over at Molly's house. At one point she actually wondered if hitting him would actually make him stop his chattering for just a few minutes, but gave up on the thought when she walked out of the room for a few minutes and found him still talking when she came back. If it hadn't been for the fact that their parents became friends those two would never have seen each other again.

Molly's tenth birthday rolled around quickly after that first meeting and her parents had arranged the perfect party for her. Her favorite color being pink the back yard was decorated in appropriately colored streamers and balloons; her parents had even rented a bouncy house. When Molly first saw it that morning after she had eaten breakfast she could not imagine anything more perfect.

All of the children in the neighborhood were invited of course and this included the already infamous Sherlock Holmes. Among the children of the neighborhood he had acquired several nick names already the most harsh among them including "the freak." Perhaps not very imaginative, but what do you expect from a group of adolescents.

Sherlock knew very well the opinion of the neighborhood when it came to him, but when the invitation to Molly's party appeared on the door his parents said either he would go or they would confiscate his text books for the next month. So it all came down to a choice, either Sherlock could sit bored at a party for a few hours or a month of boredom where his own reading material was taken from him.

So that is how it came to be that on a sunny afternoon Molly was all smiles among the pink in her favorite pink jumper smiling and laughing as she celebrated another year of her life while Sherlock sat solitary in the furthest corner of the yard surrounded by his dark coat.

The children enjoyed jumping up and down in the blow up bounce house and Molly ran around as happy as ever. The cake was even brought out, cut and served with ice cream. Sherlock somewhat understood the social convention and even sat at the table for this part, mostly so that his parents wouldn't hear about him being unsociable.

After a few hours of fun the children got bored of the bounce house and gathered around Molly starting a game of truth or dare while the parents sat across the lawn talking amongst themselves. No one had bothered to invite Sherlock into the game, and that was alright by him. He sat at the table near the group, but just far enough away that he wouldn't be subject to a game he found so elementary.

No one noticed really except for little girl from the neighborhood though who was slightly younger than Molly. Her name was Sally; she was the one who had started the nick name freak. When it was her turn to pick on someone she looked over at Sherlock for half a second and then to Molly.

"Molly, truth or dare?" Sally asked scooting to the edge of the little lawn chair that had been set out.

"Um . . . truth." Molly stammered in a quiet voice.

The children all groaned saying that wasn't any fun for a few moments before Molly gave in saying she would accept a dare. Sherlock smirked a little as he heard Molly give into the peer pressure, but he had not expected what would happen next.

"Give him a kiss." Sally said nodding her chin towards Sherlock. Molly's eyes widened considerable as she looked from Sally to Sherlock and back again. Sherlock watched her carefully to see what Molly would do. He was close to two years older than her and as a twelve-year-old boy in school he had heard plenty of the boys talk about kissing, but the idea of someone kissing him was different.

Molly blushed more than she thought possible and looked at the ground hoping that her response wouldn't offend Sherlock. "I think I'll take that truth now." She muttered quietly. The kids around her protested, but she managed to hold firm and eventually the game moved on.

Sherlock was surprised, but not offended when Molly declined the dare, he felt that she would have liked to follow through with the dare even if that sort of thing really didn't interest him. He wasn't surprised however when she never asked for another dare through the remainder of the game.

Just after lunch time all of the kids went home, but Sherlock was asked to stay for a while since his parents and Molly's alike believed that the two spending some time together might be beneficial for the children.

Sherlock had heard his parents talking one night about how they were worried he was too antisocial and he could tell that Molly's parents were worried that their daughter was too withdrawn as well.

Molly knew what was going on when her parents insisted that Sherlock stay over, but she didn't care. She may not really like him, but she had a feeling that one day Sherlock would be a great friend to her.

However she began to second guess her feelings when they were in the family room with her looking over her new toys. Sherlock was being as obnoxious as ever so she decided to tell him as much.

Sherlock immediately stopped talking when Molly snapped at him. She had never been so abrupt in anything she said to him and she had always stuttered. This time though as she told him that she thought he was being obnoxious –quite a big word for her he thought- her voice rang out high and clear.

"I'm sorry." He mumbled looking down at the beige carpet he was sitting on. He did feel bad for annoying Molly. "That wasn't my intention; I just thought it would be kind to point out that that gift is not appropriate for you."

Molly smiled, he was right of course, the small chapter book was far below her reading level, but she believed in the theory that it is the thought that counts.

"It's okay Sherlock, just from now on smile and say that is nice or something okay?" Molly's smile was back but her stutter was not. Sherlock's response was to nod and follower her advice absent mindedly for a moment while he was thinking.

"Why didn't you kiss me when Sally dared you to?" He asked quietly after about two minutes looking at Molly trying to make eye contact.

Molly made eye contact for just a split second before ducking her head back down to look at her presents from the day.

"I-I just di-didn't." She cut her self off abruptly when she noticed she was stuttering again. Would it be too much to ask just to be able to talk to him? She took a deep breath before trying again. "I figured you would rather I didn't."

Sherlock looked at Molly he had honestly been curious. Human nature was still something he was learning and with some people the only way to learn is to ask questions.

"I think I would have been okay with it." He responded quietly and watched as her head snapped up and he finally looked at him.

"Mom says I am too young to be kissing boys anyway." Molly set aside the doll she had been looking at though and moved so she was sitting next to Sherlock instead of across from him.

Shrugging Sherlock looked away for a moment but then turned back to her pressing a soft kiss to her cheek. "Happy Birthday Molly Hooper."