How lucky you are to have friends who love you for who you are inside. Behind every great person, there are the people who help prop them up when they are weak, sick, or drunk. Brilliant Sherlock Holmes is as only as infallible as the people who believe in him. But before John grounded his feet more securely to Mother Earth, Molly had been instrumental into smoothing things down. She was there from the beginning. Taking the slack and hauling the great git to front lines of decency.

A/N: This story is...well a fluke. An aberration. Something I NEVER intended to write. It's mostly done, but I keep tweeking things around. Also, you all know Molly about as well as I do- the correct answer is, not very well. She is hopelessly enamored with our Sherlock, but that's all we ever see. As of right now. But she has 'always counted' and he has 'always trusted her'. That sounds like history to me. So let's see what led to this foundation of trust from one individual who doesn't give away his trust so easily.

There are mistakes and they are obviously not mine, but I will allow them to be left for you to steam over! Think of them as little hugs of affection.

******Italics mean past events.

How Lucky You Are

By: Berouge

Molly shifted a huge stack of cadaver files on her desk, searching half-heartedly for the one on St. Bart's most recent occupant in the morgue. Gang violence had ripped a hole into an unassuming family's life, and Molly could barely pull the lead out to find the appropriate case file to present to the grieving next of kin to show that London's finest were doing their part, in a clear demonstration of competency, at catching the victim's murderer.

It was difficult to even care beyond the basic empathy a kind person felt for a total group of mourning strangers.

These last few months had been…so hard. So unfamiliar and lacking the usual vibrancy that she was accustomed to experiencing. To think, a staple in her life that was so believably infallible, so stubborn in its staying power that she had foolishly assumed it would always just…be, was suddenly gone.

She was trained at this point in her career here at the honorable St. Bartholomew's Hospital and Research Center, that the unexpected came with the territory of pathologist, not that the job itself brought oddities through her door outside the occasion messy murder or drowning, but rather a certain individual who had holed up and put down stakes in her lab like he helped pay the rent. Molly was young, naïve to a certain admitted degree, and idealistic to a rather unfortunate fault in that she always had a default set to look for the best in people.

Something that was easily exploited, or so she had been cruelly informed not to terribly long ago. She kind of missed the bi-weekly reminders, brutal or not.

So when one normal, boring Tuesday yawned open, several months into her new job at the recently minted winner of the London City Morgue contest no hospital in their right mind really wanted to win- where every suspicious dead person was gift wrapped and delivered with insistent demands for immediate answers- brought the likes of Sherlock Holmes barreling through her double gray doors with equally matching large red signs that had a strict CERTIFIED PERSONNEL ONLY splayed across them, trailing a puce faced Detective Inspector, and two uniformed lackeys from New Scotland Yard, green-as-grass Molly Hooper had easily acquiesced to his demand to see the poor individual who had been discovered in a dumpster not far from one of the River Walk's high tourist areas almost two weeks ago. Somehow, the discoloration of the hair follicles combined with location of the dumpster and minus that time from the victim's last moments, the tall stranger in the Belstaff Millford managed to blast open what was a rapidly cooling, dead-end case that Scotland Yard was swiftly losing a foothold in, and solve it in under forty-three seconds of being shown key pieces of evidence. Or so the DI had reluctantly informed, or re-confirmed, to her as Sherlock had so pompously corrected for the room at large.

Her shy astonishment for his keen eye had been her undoing, for he seemed to have sensed a certain, willingness to please, and immediately asked for a few spare bits for an experiment he was doing on a quite possibly illegal amounts of highly concentrated acids.

It was a bizarre request, and one she couldn't meet.

"I can't send fingers home with you, Mr. Holmes. That is against health code regulations as well as a level five bio-hazard." She had wearily explained, feelingly rather terrible about saying 'no' to such a simple, to her at least, request. She did prepare human specimens for the Medical schools in London and sometimes Oxford, after all. Requests for body parts where just part of the job.

A melodramatic sigh, followed by a litany of reasons why he had higher hopes for their partnership met her denial of potentially, freshly severed fingers. "It appears that I was mistaken." He said in an 'oh-well' kind of voice. A disappointed kind of voice.

Which was a whole different type of weakness she had troubles suppressing- Molly hated letting people down.

"I can't let you take them home…but, you could work on that here if you wanted." She offered in a breathless rush. "There's more than enough room in my lab, because I'm the only one down here. It's my lab, you see. I'm the head pathologist for this section of Bart's morgue." She had rambled on in effort to not only explain herself, but also sell the idea.

It got lonely in the bowels of the morgue a lot. Bernard, the senior pathologist of Bart's who, other than herself, had any remote desire to actually want to work solving the horrific last minutes of life for one too many individuals lying on one of the cold slabs in the morgue, was in the twilight years of his career and thusly was focusing more on instructing newbies in the classroom rather than gathering the secrets of the dead. So she was on her own near constantly for easily twelve hours a day, seven days a week. It was becoming depressing taking a lunch with no one but corpses for company, and here she had someone who A- was highly intelligent, B- worked with the cops to solve cases, and C- wasn't squeamish about halfway decayed bodies.

He was perfect, and she was desperate for some interaction from something alive that could also talk back! Aloysius, the morgue's pet goldfish just wasn't cutting it anymore.

His reluctance was obvious. Standoffish even. "I don't work well with others." He had slowly informed her.

"Oh, but we'd just be working near each other! There's plenty of room to not be under foot."

He not only didn't seem convinced, he had actually turned without comment to walk out the doors.

"We also just got a new electron microscope capable of fluorescence interference contrast microscopy." She added offhand, and like a dog with a Beggin' Strip, he was snuggled up to the counter, spinning dials and making slides of some mold she had cultivating for pathology reasons.

Later, she would look back and quietly ask herself what she had been thinking. Sherlock was like a vampire in his regard for coming and going as he pleased once invited over the threshold, ignoring clearly posted signs and even sometimes waking her up in the middle of the night to come open the lab up- which she was embarrassed to say, she did often enough that she should have gotten a damn plaque. Or been committed for being a sucker.

Why?

Because she was a fool of girl at heart.

He was so unlike anyone she'd ever met. He was…well, brilliant. Cleverer than anyone she had even heard of outside Einstein or Stephen Hawking, he was able to deduce, as he put it, her life story down to her rather pathetic track record of relationships in the last three years since graduating medical school. He was like a steamroller in his methodic ironing out every one of her facets.

It was incredible…and incredibly mortifying. He had implied she overtaxed herself for mere crumbs of affection, and it had taken her almost a week to respond to that blatant misimpression.

"I don't come across as desperate!" She had muttered sullenly, so far down in denial, she could almost see the pyramids as she hid behind one of the blood centrifuges.

"Yeah, you do." He rejoined lazily as he slipped a slide under the high-resolution microscope. "It's rather unbecoming of you."

She could still remember that heated wash of embarrassment. "It's just called showing interest." She mumbled as she turned and tried to evaporate amongst the glass beakers full of colored solutions she should have been utilizing to confirm Mr. Kennewick Dunderfik had indeed died of a heart attack, and not asphyxiation brought on by an overdose of his heart medication.

"Showing interest is a smile, or an exchange of phone numbers. Setting up your entire date schedule for the foreseeable future at the coffee shop counter is overkill." He intoned in a distracted voice as he fiddled with the focus.

"I did that once!" She said, mortified that he somehow knew about that incident.

It was also the last time she took the tips from her Cosmopolitan magazine seriously ever again.

He swiftly became a fixture in her working life. He kept a random schedule, but that didn't stop her from seeing him several times a week. He'd fairly explode through her doors in whirl of energy, Belstaff, and talent, leaving her shell shocked and highly impressed with his work on lord knew what. She had quickly realized he rarely worked exclusively on police matters while entombed in her lab. She really didn't know what he did aside from 'experiment'….kind of like Dr. Frankenstein, what with his body part fixations and all.

A consulting detective is what he called himself- he invented the job, apparently- and would rile up the hard working folks down at the MET enough that she started getting a few desperate calls every now and then several months into their little arrangement to help draw Sherlock's intensity elsewhere.

Apparently Sherlock, much like proper nine year old boys everywhere, could be easily seduced into compliance if the opportunity to receive a mason jar of eyeballs were likely to be had. Molly quickly figured, as did the long suffering folks at Scotland Yard (granted they only knew she could, her methods were dubious at best and they were grateful enough to carefully not ask questions or squint too hard in St. Bart's direction), that she could sway a boisterous and highly annoying Sherlock with doggie bags full of level five bio-hazards.

Again. It was like signing a high risk contract with the Devil in that any, and all future attempts, at with-holding the goods were immediately cried foul on or completely circumvented. Taking inventory on a consistent basis became a must for her, if she planned on returning all remains to waiting families. She refused to admit how many times she had to check out a body that was, ahem, missing an organ here or there.

-"There had better be all of Mrs. Shelliton's toes present and accounted for, Sherlock. Her family is coming to claim the body for the service."

"Does her family really need all ten to properly mourn her?"

-"Please tell me you didn't take the livers for the medical school students."

"I merely rendered them useful beyond whatever capacity being shipped off to a classroom full of mooncalf simpletons high on dreams of mediocre medicine could hope to procure."

-"You can't take a head home, Sherlock! What on Earth would you do with it?"

"Among other things? Place it harmlessly in the refrigerator to freak out one incompetent Detective Inspector."

He was frustrating, cantankerous, unquestionably rude, and completely ignored all social graces, protocols, as well as clearly posted, readable signs that asked for people to not do or go somewhere. He liked to be the clear, and unmistaken, shining star on the IQ tree in a crowded room, and to Molly's comprehension…that was practically every time he deigned to willingly be around people, which was usually to flat out blast them into awareness of his brilliance. It was a spiraling circle of "Sherlockian douchbaggery", to quote one Detective Inspector Lestrade. Sherlock Holmes took being a narcissist to a professional level of art and infuriation for anyone who had to suffer through his own personal brand of strip search and seizure, or had front row seats to one of his, now infamous, tantrums.

Molly herself had been on the receiving end of multiple tirades from him since letting him into her lab. He would fly into a tizzy, a frenzy of frothy indignation at her mere presence, accusing her of upsetting his concentration, or some such nonsense. It was HER lab, she wanted to remind him, but she wasn't exactly the most self-assured, especially when it came to him. She usually chose to allow other's to have things their way, just to avoid confrontations.

Molly could be a 'chicken shit', as her sister had been known to say.

Sherlock, in particular, had no trouble stampeding all over anything- everything- she had to say. Or he just flat out ignored her…like he did to her superiors when they had first caught wind that he was loitering around down in the morgue because he was, firstly, non-essential personnel- cough, didn't work there- and secondly, he had access via Molly to their precious body part supply. A big no, no, that had led to one hell of a 'to do' that nearly cost Molly her job if not for a kindly act of heroism from NSY, explaining emphatically and articulately how 'very important Molly's work was to Queen and country'. That apparently was code for babysitting a twenty-something brain child. She should be offended. She really should.

Not that she minded. Sherlock wasn't really all that bad normally. She let him have it his way, because honestly, what was the point in fighting? He might cure cancer accidently while trying to splice some freaky disease just because he wanted to see what it did if exposed to babies hearts or something equally batty- and she would totally include her name under his as aiding in the cure, hissy fit or no. He would probably be pissed that he mistakenly cured cancer instead of whatever it was he originally surmised to happen.

He was extremely useful in helping her determining cause of death if she asked. He could be quite funny too, when he wanted too. Which was usually at the expense of others, but Molly never claimed to be a saint. She tolerated his choppy mood swings and eccentric fits- something she had achingly diagnosed early on in their relationship as the familiar symptoms of possible drug abuse. The first time he had disappeared, Molly became concerned as she had not seen him in nearly a month. He had been known to bugger off for a couple weeks, but never so long as a whole month. He wasn't predictable, nor routine, but working in a morgue had made Molly understandably paranoid. Fearing he might soon turn up as a stiff on her examination table, Molly had put in a call to DI Lestrade going into the fourth week of the Sherlock-draught, only to be met with the stomach clenching news that he had been admitted to a rehab facility because of an accidental overdose.

That was first time she had cried for him. She was no fool to drug abuse after all as she had a brother die suddenly from a Heroin overdose when she was eighteen.

When he had eventually sprung up, after a four month sabbatical (apparently) against his will, he was well put together, smartly dress, and furious. She had been overjoyed to see him, which had caught him off guard as she shoved him bodily down in front of the last experiment that he had been working on before his leave of absence had silenced the morgue into its pre-Sherlock state. She had left it as he had, and he seemed pleased that she had taken care to not disrupt what apparently was a successfully intense colony of some rare bio-luminescent fungus he had cultivated from…who really knew where. Probably gum scrapping out from under Lestrade's desk. They had quickly fallen back into their easy norm of him largely ignoring her, and she being happy that she wasn't alone in her city of the dead.

He could still be cruel, though, with that sharp tongue of his, and she would have banned him-security intervention, landmines and all, if he had not shown immediate awareness that he had gone too far.

He had intentionally made her cry.

Molly was not stupid, since she did graduate with flying colors from one of the top medical schools in the country, after all. She was a little lost on how to properly date successfully, but hey, no one's perfect. However, a keen understanding that she could be a mudroom door mat- UNWILLINGLY- if she wasn't on her toes, and several instances of being used, had left her rather raw to the implications of others that she was only good for getting things from, that she didn't matter really beyond a quick homework guru that always had the answers, or a test prep magician with her near notorious study sheets that could guarantee at least a B + if the individual applied themselves beyond a pulse. He had insinuated several things on her competency- that was okay, it happened regularly on the job as it came with the medical field as whole- and that she was being a pest while he was trying to deduce something so beyond her reach- typical with him- she should just be lucky the world continued to spin on- …okay?- and that he had better things to focus on then her near constant humming and since she wasn't contributing she should, in a sense, get the hell out- that had hurt.

Being told she wasn't worth having around, even though it sounds ridiculous, really was a direct hit to her internal castle's keep. He knew that she had issues with abandonment- he had identified her with it, which had curiously made her go and have it confirmed by a real Ph.D. that had taken her two weeks and three personality tests instead of a five minute body scan by Sherlock Bloody Holmes. So why he decided to zero in on the kill had left her upset beyond measure.

She had done nothing but smile in his general vicinity, and that is what had set him off.

He had been in a mood all week over some case that even he, shockingly, was having little luck with. One of his rare failures, it would turn out. But she had been in high spirits because her sister was flying home for a visit and this happiness that was incorporeal, odorless, and intangible to touch to all but the likes of her, had offended him, positively lit a flame under his poor attitude and blew it sky high like an artillery shell during New Years. He turned, cool eyes flashing in anger she had seen glimpses of, but never directed at her, and sank his legendary teeth into a rant so awful, she crumbled rapidly before him. To her credit, she lasted longer than Mark Dillions, in Haematology, Tara Smoot in reception, and several PC's and DS's on the Yard before she shed her first tear.

"-And furthermore you're continual and near instant aspiration to- what are you doing?" His voice dropped at once as the maddening intensity of his eyes cooled.

"What does it look like, stupid?" She sniffled rhetorically, rubbing violently at her eyes as she quickly moved to put doors and walls between them. Just because he made her cry, didn't mean she was going to stand there and let him watch her dissolve into a mess of tears and wounded feelings.

He followed her desperate flight into the morgue, never letting her achieve the solitary solace to regain her composure. Probably because he wasn't used to actually sticking around to observe what happened to the people he verbally decimated habitually. "Why?" Is all he asked as he skirted around one of the examination tables to get a better look at her countenance, almost crouching with the most fascinated expression on his face.

"Because you're being intentionally terrible." Her voice wobbled, as his face blurred, and she turned again. "Go away."

He didn't really give the impression that he was troubled by her aversion to being watched, her wish for him to take a hike, but he did seem to consider…something. "I didn't mean-" He started before his sentence paused mid delivery. Looking a tad confused, he opened his mouth but nothing came immediately out. The third time was the charm though. "I didn't mean too?" He questioned as he cut off her escape again with his stupid six foot body, in his stupid fashionable suit, with his stupid constipated look of confusion.

Molly blinked, and two fat tears rolled down splotchy red cheeks. "Don't hurt yourself now." She glowered at him as she prepared to make a break for the exit. Maybe some time in the ladies? Where theoretically he shouldn't go- signs seem to prove useless against him- when his hand had shot out and wrapped around her bicep in a surprisingly secure grip.

"Molly." Was all he said, a lost look shadowing his face.

She sucked a sob down. Why was she reacting like this? It confused her…which was okay because he looked like he roaming the forest without a guide. The git. His slip-up was, apparently not rebooting his system like in people who normally used this time to apologize. She had a feeling he really did need a guide.

She was too damn nice.

Taking a shuddering breath, she looked up into closed-off steel blue eyes. "You aren't supposed to intentionally hurt friends, Sherlock. Even if they are being a 'nuisance' to you."

She watched him mouth the word 'friend' as the hand wrapped around her arm tightened ever so slightly. As if he was a foreigner to her land of social interaction and companionship and was just learning a new word. Molly stifled a snort. What a rather astute observation in this case.

He seemed in pain as he took a breath. "My apologies." He was stiff in his delivery, like it wasn't a word he used…ever.

She could believe that. But he was…trying. And she was too much of a soft touch to ignore his struggle for long. "You need to check your slides. Data is escaping your observation as we speak."

He jumped, whipping his head around to narrow his gaze on his microscope through the morgue's windows into the lab. He seemed to apprate to his experiment, a flurry of dramatics taking place silently past swinging doors.

It wasn't the last time he'd lose his temper around her, but never again did he focus the spear of his considerable fury at her. This was rather impressive of him, considering he flew into a tizzy of righteous indignation like it was his job.

No, he saved that anger that seemed to have an endless supply mostly for incompetent Detective Inspectors, big-nosed brother's, and moronic homo sapiens that were lucky not to be taken out by granny barely visible behind the wheel as she putted off to afternoon tea.

Weeks slipped into months with their working situation. Lestrade, who she had come to know rather well as he martyred himself frequently for the Yard's reputation by bringing Sherlock onto the more sinister, difficult, and confusing cases that needed answers. Sherlock was, well…not flighty, but purposefully forgetful. As in he would sometimes turn a blind eye to taking bits home with him. Ignore Bernard's huffy DON'T TOUCH SHIT signs, and unfortunately for London's exhausted Scotland Yard workers, not tell them when he solved something. At first, it had confused her. Sherlock would swan into the lab, all secrets, Belstaff, and smolder smugly in his self-assurance that he was a brilliant git that knew things others did not. Which was relatively commonplace at this juncture in Molly knowing him, the only difference being that he would mutter out loud to himself as he was putting that giant brain of his to task solving mysteries, and then when he did finally solve the puzzle, he would positively preen over his microscope and slides full of effluvia of a drown victim. Molly would usually aid his ridiculous sense of entitled glorification by letting him take a doggie bag of whatever he wanted as a reward to himself. Probably not a good idea in the long run for her career, but he seemed to take particular delight when he'd select the squishy spleens heading to Oxford, or the brain of person who died from contracting rabies. Plus, how would anyone know if these things even existed unless she took pains to document them? She just used other bits instead.

Like a moderately reliable egg timer, however, Lestrade would eventually turn up, looking for Sherlock.

"He's a sniffer dog you guys can't seem to get the hang of." Molly chirped by way of greeting as Lestrade pushed his way through her double gray doors.

Sherlock huffed impatiently from his stool by the acid cabinet, while he absentmindedly tapped away on his phone.

"Yeah, well, I'm about ready to affix a shock collar around his neck." Lestrade seemed enthused as the idea took hold. "A sixty volt seems like a nice, round number for silencing him for good."

"It's not the volts that do the killing, nitwit." Sherlock grumped.

Molly snickered. "He's been waiting for almost two hours for you to finally show up."

"Shut it." The stool by the acid snapped.

Lestrade grinned at her. "My apologies. How rude. Did he say?"

She pursed her lips as tilted her head toward the sullen six foot child currently glowering back at her. "Well…I'm a little shaky on the details, but…" A dark brow arched challenging at her, and Molly bit her lip. "I'm gonna say it was the neighbors female something…like a cousin? You know the one with the hedgehog collection?"

Lestrade blinked before turning to see what Sherlock had to say.

"Closer than the all-inclusive idiotic body of MET could gather. It was the neighbor's daughter who was raising the hedgehogs. Apparently the victim was highly allergic to the little beasts…" and off he went, following his impressive logic at a speed no average person could actively think at. He rode his deduction flat out, spinning a tale of classic revenge for, not money, but retribution on a slight having to do with a default loan on the hedgehog breeding business that lost several prized rodents and thousands of pounds.

Molly blinked. "It sounds like a ridiculous reason to kill someone in such a messy, nasty manner. A hedgehog?"

"People are ridiculous." Sherlock shrugged, as if that answered all questions having to do with why people did what they did.

The secret with figuring Sherlock out was to listen to what he was saying even when he wasn't deliberately trying to say anything. He talked out loud to himself, or Aloysius, and if one paid any medium of attention to him, he wasn't too outlandish to actually follow his erratic train of thinking. This didn't work all the time, but she was getting rather good at pegging when to put in a call to their favorite DI when twirling overcoats and flashing self-satisfaction threatened to suffocate the lab.

Sherlock was picky about who he showed off for, and could give a rats arse when someone outside of Lestrade was sent to collect whatever information he had cultivated for himself, while simultaneously belittling the hell out the poor sod that dared to walk through her doors seeking answers. He just didn't care about public opinion or graded group work.

He just wanted to know why things happened and that was basically it.

This excuse, one that only she had ever tried to give on his behalf, rarely soothed any ruffled feathers. Her efforts to try and make any and all transactions that took place in presences between him and…anyone else, usually helped. A good few times they resulted in security being called or more regularly slamming doors.

Sherlock really couldn't seem to be bothered to care who cussed him out. They didn't really appear on his blip screen even when shouting across the room. He was known to wander off bored mid rant when anyone outside of Lestrade actually attempted to dress him down.

Which, if she thought about it, really blatantly demonstrated who Sherlock liked. If he withstood a good yell, it meant he liked you enough that he let you have your say. Even if it didn't change anything in his eyes.

He never bothered to entertain those he didn't see worth time or space.

This normally resulted in anger being directed at her, which she didn't think was fair, but then again, nothing with Sherlock ever really was. She would apologize for him, and they would slam her doors in a fit of rage.

Only once had it gone too far.

A case that involved a serial…rapist murderer or something- they all kind of tended to blur after a while- had sprung up, which positively delighted Sherlock in a way that brutal mystery slayings only could. He was fidgety and wordy and dramatic. Two weeks, one shootout and then…nothing. The murders stopped and London was looking hopefully toward an ashen faced Scotland Yard for answers- of which they really couldn't give because they didn't know either. Sherlock had been overly pleased with himself.

"Please tell me you didn't kill anyone." Molly sighed as she reached for her phone to put a call into Lestrade, already reading the signs that this open case was shut, but had, once again, been carelessly not given over to the proper authorities.

He was watching something in a petri dish with focused intensity. "I didn't kill anyone." He parroted back at her, which brought a sigh up from her long suffering soul. He really was something else entirely…

He didn't seem the sort that could easily kill, despite what some wagging tongues insisted. He wanted answers, not lives for secrets. Dead bodies could only tell so much, and dealing with live people meant that he had to deal with sentiment, something she had come to understand he despised with the full passion of a purist of whatever school of thought he spent his days immersed in. Killing people involved too much interaction and not enough thought, of which, he had little interest. However, he did have an almost blasé sort of bearing for pushing the limit where endangered lives were concerned, but she did not believe him capable of actually, willingly taking one without the provocation of a serious threat to his person or others.

"Well, anyway, I have to give them a call to report what I found on the Westbourne Green case." She said by word of warning.

He didn't even grunt, so engrossed in what he was doing. She shrugged, placing the call.

Unfortunately for her- and everyone soon to be involved- Lestrade was detained elsewhere in the city dealing with media issues. They were sending over a new guy- or at least new to her- to handle the Sherlockian shenanigans.

She had tried to warn them. They should have known better.

So when a new face pressed through the double gray doors later that afternoon, Molly had tried smoothing any and all potential problems ahead of time. She was polite, and offered to get Bill Anderson, who happened to be the Forensics guy in the Serious Crimes Unit, some coffee, but that was as far as she ever really got.

Sherlock seemed annoyed at this point. His snails were being too predictable and Anderson's presence seemed to agitate him even more than people normally managed while trying.

Anderson, who Molly at first thought was cute, quickly soured any good points he had going for him with his entitled attitude to where exactly he thought Sherlock should be put with his 'freaky abnormalities'.

"That crack pot have the answers? Some of us have real work to do." It was the first thing out his mouth, and Molly blinked in surprise, and irritation.

Sherlock had his moments, but that was uncalled for. "Normally, people extend more tact when asking for something." She tried not to snip. But with her voice, it sounded like a kitten was trying to be reprimanding.

Anderson sneered down at her. "There's nothing normal about that weirdo."

She tightened her hands, which had wadded into white knuckled fists in her lap. "Mr. Anderson, that is highly uncalled for." Her voice shook as she stared hard into his mean dark eyes. "If you continue to be flagrantly disrespectful in here I will have security-" That was as far as she got before he stepped forward and positively loomed over her and her desk.

"You'll what? Have me shown out." His flashed his teeth and she braced herself. "I'll have you know, that because of him, we lost several key pieces of evidence, but managed to locate several, highly illegal parts to what could lead to a criminal conviction for you that would effectively end your career forever here at St. Bartholomew's, or any medical institution, ever. So I would think twice about trying to defend him." Molly felt her face drain as she stared wide eyed up at him, practically cowed in his nonexistent shadow.

At this point, Sherlock lost his patience and what followed was one of the most explosive fights she had ever witnessed with him. He was detached, cold like she had never seen, and ruthless with that bladed tongue of his as he stared down his nose at the much shorter man, who only bristled like an angry cat.

"I can end this for you. Both of you so easily your heads would spin! All it would take is a few words into the Chief Superintendent's ear and poof! Your career as a pathologist-"he jabbed a finger at her, "And your plaguing existence in general will vanish behind a wall with bars on the windows."

Sherlock's eyes narrowed into mere slits as he watched the shorter man with clear dislike. "I wouldn't imagine an imbecile with an IQ devoid of substantial numeric weight could grasp a concept so perspicuous that primary school children understand, so let me spell it out plainly- you are not the threat you laughably believe you are." He breathed as he stepped in closer. "So stop trying to be." The way he was watching Anderson reminded Molly strongly of a predator watching its next meal struggle.

It was actually frightening, because Sherlock was an unknown variable with practically no empathy. Anderson wouldn't stand a snowballs chance in the furnace of Hell!

Anderson was desperately trying to maintain a strong front, but if Molly could see the fractures, it was nothing but confirmed blood in the water for the six foot shark in front of him.

Having enough of the scary encounter, Molly pushed her way in between them. Anderson backed off at her touch, but Sherlock wouldn't budge an inch. "Okay, enough. Mr. Anderson, get out of my morgue before I call security and tell them you're sexually harassing me." She barked at him, while pressing a hand into Sherlock's chest to keep him back. If anything, he leaned a little farther forward as Anderson made to say something. "You have less than ten seconds." She waved her mobile at him, scalping whatever it was he had been about to say, as she flipped it open and pressed a number for the switchboard.

Anderson turned and stalked furiously from the lab, all but banging the double doors off the walls as he stormed down the hallway.

Molly had been shaking as she put the phone up to her ear, Sherlock hadn't yet moved and she felt a little easier with him at her back as she made her call. When Lestrade answered, she told him that Anderson was absolutely not allowed to return to her lab or morgue ever again without Lestrade present. That if he was smart he would send someone, anyone else, in the future. Sherlock seemed back to his version of prosaic operation by the time she concluded her call and waited semi-patiently as she haltingly uncurled her stiff-fisted grip in his dress shirt so he could flounce back over to his snails.

The next time she happened to see Anderson, she had been hoping that last time she saw him in the morgue, would have literally been the last time she saw him. He was such a…goon. He hated Sherlock- called him all sorts of terrible things that did not really faze the big genius beyond being ticked that Anderson was wasting his precious time and sucking air out of the room.

Molly didn't like him. When Lestrade had finally gotten around to asking her about what happened that day in the lab, she told him as much. She didn't want to have to deal with Anderson again, and that Sherlock had been more hostile than she had ever witnessed.

She didn't like seeing people threaten her friends.

Molly was wrapping up for the night, storing her autopsy logs away and shutting down and locking up the morgue before mooching back into the lab to make sure there was nothing particularly volatile left in containers that could only take so much abuse. Shutting down several microscopes that she had been using to test bone residue samples for Orthopaedics, and logging out of her computer, she turned to gather her bag and phone up from behind her desk when she spotted it.

Sherlock's phone was sitting on Aloysius's fish tank hood.

Molly frowned as she slung her bag over her shoulder; Sherlock was rather weird about that phone of his. He never went anywhere without it that she had seen. Even the bathroom.

Not that she could point fingers at that quirk.

Walking over to it, she hefted the blackberry into her hands and immediately felt like she was intruding, that she would get in trouble for touching his phone. Pursing her lips, she tried to shove that feeling away, considering how many times he had used her phone to send texts to who knew where.

Debating whether to leave it where she found it, Molly silently remembered that he would just hassle her in the middle of the night to come open up so he could retrieve it…and then use the excuse to start one of his experiments.

Yeah, she wasn't interested in hiking down here at one a.m. anytime soon. Sighing, she decided to return it to him, seeing that it would be the choice that led to the fewest amount of interrupted sleep hours.

She pocketed his phone and trudged out the double doors, passing a few members of the night cleaning crew, who she gave a cheery wave too, Molly pressed out into the evening, relishing the moving air. Pulling her own phone from her bag, she rapidly navigated through the prompts in order to pull up the number her favorite DI.

"Lestrade, I'm sorry to bother you." She chirped pleasantly when he answered as she looked both ways before darting across the street.

"Please don't tell me he solved something else that I wasn't aware of; I'm just packing up for the night." He sighed into her ear and Molly shook her head before remembering he couldn't see her.

"No, nothing like that. But it does have to do with Sherlock. He left his phone, and I wanted to return it so he won't come beat down my door asking to get into the lab…where he can linger and keep me from sleeping." She rambled as she stepped out of the way of moving foot traffic. "Anyway, sorry, do you happen to have an address so I can make the drop before he comes tearing after me later?"

Montagu wasn't really all that far away…maybe two miles- not even- as the crow flies, but it was getting dark, and Molly didn't relish stomping around London after the street lights bathed the city in an orange glow. Trotting down the road a bit, she checked the bus route on Giltspur to see if it headed up anywhere near Montagu. There was a Montagu Street behind St. Bart's, but there were no residences back there, just more buildings to the hospital and a museum or two. Squinting up at the sign, she managed to see that the Giltspur route would eventually connect her to the A40…and Montagu was up there somewhere…near Gloucester. Sighing, Molly waited patiently for one of the lumbering double-deckers to come chugging up the small rise. Sherlock better not…be his prickly self when she showed up at his door brandishing his mobile, or she would most certainly hit him.

It was late; she was exhausted and quite frankly, she didn't like taking the city buses. The tube was more bearable, and a taxi even better, but she spent all her spare cash on crappy cappuccinos in the subpar coffee machine out in reception throughout the day. She had a handful of quarters that would get her out to his place, but that was it. Her commuter Tube pass would be her ticket home anyway, and she would definitely nag him into walking with her down to the nearest Tube entrance, because it was dark and he would owe her.

As the large bus came to a bumbling stop in front of her, Molly hopped on and settled into a vacant bank of seats, wishing she was on her way home instead. Supernatural was supposed to be on, and she had recorded it just in case she had to work late.

The city spread out around her as the bus hit the A40 and picked up more speed and more patrons as it slithered through the light traffic. Molly let her head thunk against the glass, watching the buildings as she sped past, thinking of nothing in particular. Gloucester was something like the fifth or sixth stop, and Molly hesitated briefly as she stepped into unfamiliar territory. This neighborhood was actually pretty nice.

Which was good because she had to walk a couple of blocks up the road still to find Montagu…and Sherlock's flat.

When she did finally locate the ever elusive Montagu Street, it was off the beaten path and in a rather charming section where the residents prided themselves on tidy little window boxes bursting with flowers. Smiling at the thought of these people having a Sherlock in their midst, she wondered briefly if he seemed to enjoy living here. There was a lot of happy on this street. That was like a talisman to keeping him at bay…like garlic to a bloodsucker. She should try hanging a strand around her huge walk in freezer to keep him from nicking bits.

Checking her phone where she had entered the address, Molly quickly found the right door and rang the appropriate bell before settling back to wait, excited to see him despite all the effort it took to get out there- which really wasn't much, but it was getting late and she was tired. She waited for a good two minutes before pressing the button again and listened for the telltale buzz to let her know that it did ring. Maybe he wasn't home? He hadn't been fluttering about a case yesterday, but she couldn't be certain on that. He was like the weather…could change on a dime.

Molly checked her watch, lifting her phone she debated calling Lestrade again. Except he wasn't Sherlock's keeper…officially. Deciding against it, Molly pressed the doorbell one more time, holding her finger on it.

There was a slam inside and Molly snatched her hand back, nervous all of a sudden. When the heavy door before her swung open, she was faced with a person that was decidedly not Sherlock; shorter, grumpier, and with a beady eye trained right on her. Molly edged back before catching herself.

"Whot do ya wan'?" His voice was thick with cockney; Molly shifted her feet, unsure for the first time. Maybe he didn't live here?

"Sorry to bother you, I was looking for Sherlock Holmes. Is he in?" She asked politely, watching his face darken like a rain cloud at the mention of 'Sherlock'.

"'Olmes?" He snapped at her. "Yeah 'e's 'ere. Upstairs stompin' 'round and makin' a righ' pest of 'imself. Th' bloody loon."

Molly waited for a beat before figuring maybe she needed to be more specific with this snarky old man. "I have something he left at work- his phone. I was just here to return it." She said slowly.

"Whot's it got t' do wif' me?"

"Er," she blinked. "Not anything. May I go up and see him?"

He just growled before stepping aside and yanking the door wide enough so she could barely squeeze through. "Upstairs." He glowered as he jerked a thumb behind him, pointing to a narrow staircase.

Offering a shy thank you, Molly wasted no time in ascending the small case to the door at the top labeled with Sherlock's flat number. Raising a hand, she rapped smartly on his door. "Sherlock?"

There was no answer and a haughty huff behind her alerted her to the fact that she had an audience.

Grasping the door handle, Molly knocked again as she turned the knob. Surprisingly, it wasn't locked, but thinking about it, such a stunt seemed very much like him to leave an invitation for more drama, after all, who would willingly rob a humanoid version of a blood hound? He would just track them down the second he found out. He'd probably be ecstatic about it too.

Slipping inside, Molly shut Sherlock's troll of a landlord out as she softly called his name. "Sherlock? Are you here?" Well this wasn't completely and totally awkward at all…

God, she hoped he wasn't naked somewhere. She had a cousin that liked the feeling of being in the buff, which roughly translated to him roaming his home stark naked all the time. Surprise visit's not recommended.

Maybe he really wasn't home. He had a Vulcan-like sense of perception so not hearing her wasn't really a good enough excuse. "Sherlock? Are you in?" She pitched her voice, staring around the messy flat, as if hoping he'd unearth himself from one of his newspaper piles, or randomly combust into being right before her and lecture her on the proper methods of breaking and entering unlocked residences.

The nucleus state of Sherlock's existence in this apartment was…well not that surprising. The faint scent of tobacco gave the flat a soul. Clutter was everywhere, on everything, showing a sense of life, of activity. There seemed to be an order to the madness, but she was having trouble determining what that was exactly. A large knife was buried tip deep into the mantel, pinning several pieces of mail down, and another tacking a few pictures to the wall of various plants. He had dozens of books stacked in random areas that also pulled double duty as side tables. His furniture had a well lived in look, which she could appreciate, and his walls were plastered in newspaper clippings, maps of London, and random taxidermy bugs…mostly bees, in shadow boxes. She didn't know what she had been expecting, but this apartment had 'Sherlock' scrawled all over it.

Speaking of the devil, where was that man? "Sherlock." She said loudly, and when he didn't stick his head out of one the nooks or crannies like a ghost to heckle her for trespassing- as if! He did it all the time in her lab- she decided to just leave his phone on the coffee table, which also happened to be one of the only clutter free pieces of real-estate. Stepping forward as she dug around in her purse, Molly briefly considered leaving a note, but swiftly cast that thought aside. Let him deduce who brought him his phone. Maybe that will also teach him to lock his doors. Smiling, she turned, to leave, catching the expanse of the kitchen in one pass and promptly froze on the spot.

It took her a second for her brain to catch up to what her eye's had already long-established. Too long. Sherlock was conked out on the floor by the sink, shards of glass all around him. "Oh my God, Sherlock!"

She jumped a stack of Guardian newspapers and ducked quickly around the kitchen table, trying to not kneel on the jagged glass strewn about like glitter. "Sherlock!" She repeated, reaching for him. There was something seriously wrong. Her trained eye noticed the patches of vomit, right before her nose did.

"Shit, Sherlock!?" She hissed, pressing a shaking hand into the flesh of his too cool neck, searching, praying for a pulse. It took too long, and she had trouble keeping her ragged breathing from distracting her, but when she found the flutter of life in the veins beneath trembling fingers, she about sobbed in shear, all-consuming relief.

"Mmm…" She heard a faint noise from him, and she leaned over to check his face. His eyelids were cracked open, primarily shielding unseeing, bloodshot eyes that looked off into a distance she couldn't perceive. His deathly pale skin was positively translucent, unmistakably displaying the bluish gray stitch work of arteries and capillaries that she shouldn't have been able to see.

"I'm here, Sherlock, I've got you." She told him, hands already dialing the number for an ambulance on her phone. "I'm calling for help. Don't you dare die on me." She snapped at him as she held her breath and put a hand on his forehead, until her call connected.

He had overdosed. He had overdosed AGAIN. Molly snapped her phone shut after having relayed as much information as possible. Secure in the knowledge that help on its way, she shifted closer to him, gently lifting his head to so as to scoot under, uncaring of the pool of sick and glass that made up his bed, pillowing him in the folds of her skirt between her knees. "What have you done to yourself?" She asked in a thick voice, eyes blurring as she took in the sight of his proud frame all but crumpled in a tiny flat's kitchen.

This was so wrong. He shouldn't be like this. Stroking gently at his forehead, cheeks and chin, feeling the clamminess of his skin, she tried to think of him better. Of him solving crimes and being his normal domineering self. She willed the ambulance to go faster, and begged for seconds from a deity she didn't talk to all that often.

Rubbing her thumb over his white bottom lip, Molly swallowed a sob as she blinked, birthing two fat, round tears. "You tosser. What were you thinking?" She asked him again as she curled over him, dropping tears all over his cheeks. Hoping he could understand her, knowing that he couldn't. "You deserve better."

When help did arrive, she was struggling to keep from breaking down further as she watched them strap him in to a gas mask and down onto a gurney. In a haze, she followed the EMTs out- she did remember to lock his door- and down the narrow stairs to the large ambulance parked outside. Its jewel bright lights flashing off the houses lining the street, as well as the faces grouped up to see the action. The ride to the hospital, she couldn't actually recall…she just remembered starring at his prone form, terrified that if she didn't keep watching him, that if she looked elsewhere, he might die.

Every so often, the medics working frantically around him would turn to ask her a question.

And she, in the overly bright lights of the ambulance that was thundering down the highway toward the nearest hospital, realized she didn't know much about the man she considered a good friend.

-"Is he on any kind of medication?"

"I don't know."

-"Any allergies?"

"I don't know."

-"Any next of kin? Mother, father? Siblings?"

"A brother, I think."

-"Do you have contact information for this brother?"

"No."

- "Does he have a previous drug record?"

"Yes. He's been in rehab for it."

-"When? How long ago? Do you know where?"

"About eight months ago he got out. Was in for four months. I don't know where."

-"What does he use?"

"…I don't know." She choked up.

-"When's his birthday?"

"I don't know."

It had been one of the longest nights of her life. She remembered that helpless feeling that consumed her as an anxious medical team leapt to work the second they wheeled him through the hospital doors, sweeping him away from her to a fate she had no control over.

Grief stricken, she had dropped down into one of the waiting room's soft chairs and buried her face into her hands. She recalled sending a short text to Lestrade, believing that he would want to know if something bad happened to Sherlock.

Found Sherlock OD'd on the floor. He's at St. Mary's.

The call had been worse.

"What happened?!" her phone barked at her the second she answered.

"He was unconscious on his kitchen floor in a pool of his own vomit." She cried, sucking on her sobs so she at least sounded coherent. "I don't know how long he had been like that."

"I'm on my way."

There were days, even so many years later, when she would think back to that night, and struggle to not cry. He had been so important to her by that point, and it had baffled her. Frightened her even.

She didn't know if she was his friend, but he was definitely hers. He spent so much time cooped up with her in the lab and the morgue- even though Bernard had resorted to taping a large sign that clearly stated STAY OUT SHERLOCK to the doors. He came down several times a week to do whatever it was he did. He had so many experiments, knew so many things, that Molly had trouble accepting his drug addiction. She knew him to be intelligent enough to understand the risks of such behavior. Children knew about how bad drugs where, that people were hurt and killed by playing with or using them. They dealt with dead druggies all the time in the morgue. Hell, he even had requested- stole- the heart of one to see what the effects of methamphetamine did to the muscle tissue.

So why? Why did he do them? Why? She never asked. She should have asked. And no answer that he could possibly give her would have sufficed. She would have probably nut punched him…seeing as that was kind of what he was doing to himself in a roundabout, messed up way.

She didn't want him to be like this. She didn't want him to be broken, and she didn't give two shits what he said in return, he was broken.

But why? Why?

That was just it though…she didn't know. She didn't know him!

Yet he knew all about her. He knew she liked her tea and coffee prepared the same exact way. He knew she was a dog person. He knew her favorite ice cream flavor. He knew her last three boyfriends- of exactly three weeks a piece- and that he felt they were 'dull, idiotic sacks of flesh'. He knew she enjoyed watching Supernatural because she thought the Winchester brothers were gorgeous. That she liked ramen noodles and hated beets. He knew of her family, where she came from, and that her sister lived in America and worked as a translator for the U.S government. That she liked to knit, crochet, and that she could draw relatively well. Hell, he even knew when she didn't get enough sleep the night before.

He knew her.

Whereas she didn't even know his birthday…or exactly how old he even was- couldn't have been older than thirty physically. Mentally she'd stick him at a bratty eight years. She thought he might play an instrument, a viola or violin, because he had callouses on his left hand and sometimes a bruise under his chin on the left side. Her sister could play the violin, so she recognized the signs. He liked pizza, preferred Chinese, and hated Indian food. In fact, she knew what he hated more than what he liked. He despised lazy people and stupid people. That he didn't care for sentiment, as he put it. He despised the Tube with a passion, and thought James Bond to be incredibly dull- because she had been watching Skyfall on the small television in the lab while sharing a pizza with him and he wouldn't shut up about how fake and absurd Daniel Craigs antics were. Apparently, 'oddly compelling' was an insufficient excuse for watching a movie for two hours.

She knew he had a brother and that they had a rough time getting along.

But she didn't really know what made him tick, what made him happy- outside of serial killers. It couldn't just be the mystery, the chase. He loved knowledge, enjoyed tinkering with things…but was that enough? Did he love anyone?

Did he have friends? People he truly looked to for companionship?

She knew of only herself and Lestrade that actively sought him out. He because Sherlock liked to solve his cases and not tell, and she because…well she liked having him around.

Did Sherlock feel the same way?

True to his word, Lestrade flew through the emergency doors not too long after their brief phone call. Unfortunately, he had Anderson and another person with him.

"Molly!"

Lifting her heavy head from her hands, Molly quickly stood to greet the DI, wiping half-heartedly at her wet cheeks. "I haven't heard anything." She said in greeting. Anderson and the second person, a dark skinned woman, hung back, which she decided she preferred. She had not forgotten the way Anderson had threatened her.

"Tell me what happened." Lestrade, face drawn in stress, listened as she retold what had transpired, and cursed when she mentioned finding him bunked out on the floor.

"God, why does he do this?" Viciously rubbing at his face in agitation, Molly could see how upset he was about Sherlock. "I mean, he could have…if you had not gone over…" Lestrade was at a loss. They should get together and form a help group to handle the emotions that stupid man in the ER managed to evoke.

Trying to surreptitiously wipe her leaking eyes, Molly tried for a calming breath. "But I did. And he is getting help."

Anderson snorted rudely, finally deciding to join the two in discussing their wayward friend. "Shame really. We can only hope this brain fry will bring the Freak to a tolerable-" His sentence was interrupted.

Because Molly had rudely socked him in the mouth.

The days following that terrible night were…difficult. She never caught up on the sleep missed and spent several nights after work trudging to the next hospital to see how he was doing. Stomach pumped, blood in the process of being cleaned, cocaine- thanks in large part to a pissed Lestrade- gone, and one cranky invalid started to come back down to Earth.

Sherlock, in the twilight of the buzz, was absolutely unbearable. He was more vicious and cold than she was used too, prone to fly into spectacular fits that managed to offend everyone in the ICU at once. If it weren't so ridiculously embarrassing sitting next to his bed as he launched verbal assaults so full of piss and vinegar and intrusive knowledge about every poor soul within visible range, Molly would have been pleased to see that he hadn't lost something vital in his personality due to his overdose. Sometimes people irrevocably destroyed their mental faculties when they overzealously indulged in nose candy. The doctors assured her it came with the crash, Lestrade mentioned it made getting over the weird reaction to his almost dying easier- poor Lestrade was just itching to punt Sherlock Bloody Holmes into the Thames for the scare- and Molly had never dealt with so much bull shit for one person outside her own family.

It was a major question as to why she was doing this. Why she withstood a full-bore, category five Holmes Hurricane, willingly.

She understood that, even though Sherlock operated outside the realm of normal, that he 'didn't do sentiment', there was something akin to relief when either she or Lestrade stopped in to check on him- or so she had been told offhand by a nurse.

"He's unbearable." She mentioned, unconsciously repeating what Molly thought too. "But if there is someone here, he's just shy of awful." The nurse had snipped as she huffed passed a haggard looking Molly, fresh off a twelve hour shift. "Do see that he eats his jell-o."

Sherlock apparently hated jell-o.

Molly had to make personal, self-deprecating, sacrifices to get him to eat. Period. Like the six foot toddler he sometimes- all the time- chose to be that fourth day, Sherlock did not want to eat his pureed cuisine. He never listened to her, so she had no idea why the nurses kept asking her to make sure 'he ate his mashed carrots'.

"Well those look revolting." He had said mildly, crossing his arms when she had lifted the lid to his tray. He had looked worn and pale, his body overtaxed to the point of not giving a shit about anything beyond making sure he breathed and blinked.

"Truly uninspired." She couldn't help but agree. Scooping up a complimentary plastic spork with a heavily bandaged hand, she held it up to him with an unsympathetic smile. "Bon appetite, Sherlock."

He looked mutinous. "Not happening."

"You're an adult. Now shut it and eat your baby gruel like a man." She pried one of his large hands loose enough with her good hand, and all but jabbed the spork between his fisted fingers.

"I don't want too." He refused in petulance.

She sighed, trying to figure out how her life had veered so badly that she ended up spoon feeding a cranky, six foot child his brightly colored mash, before tucking him into bed. "Eat it."

"No."

"Why are you being such a baby?" She burst out tiredly, wishing she had brought some Advil to sooth her aching hand. "If you eat more, you'll get better faster, and can leave sooner."

He scowled down at his plate. Unmoved.

"Please." She caved and resorted to shamelessly begging. "Please just eat something. Anything."

He sighed in such a dramatic fashion that she thought he might spit a lung out onto the food tray. "I am not interested." He said with feeling.

That's it. She'd had it. Snatching the spork from the limp grip his tightly balled fingers managed to produce, Molly shoveled a huge portion onto it and placed it up to his mouth. "Come on, boy. You can do it! Come on!" She encouraged him in such a high pitched voice, wickedly wielding the baby talk which attracted the whole floor's attention. Sherlock's scandalized look of attrition would keep her warm at night for weeks to come. "Come on, now. Open the hatch for the plane." She finished of her little show with obnoxious plane noises and all as she swooped the goopy carrot laden spork all around Sherlock's person. People probably thought she was bonkers. They deserved each other, she and he.

"This is incredibly deeming, Hooper." He hissed, grabbing the flimsy eating utensil from her hands so roughly, mashed carrots splattered against the wall beside his bed.

"Eat your food, and I will stop. I have all night Sherlock, and a dozen and a half more such stunts stocked up from years of waiting for my sister to give me a niece or nephew." Molly said straight-faced, looking him dead in the eye. "Some even involve brightly lifting songs and puppets."

He was disintegrating in the face of her threat, but she had one last ball to blast into his waning resistance. "Greg promised me he would help with those that need two singers and puppeteers."

"You're bluffing." He called her on it.

"You wanna bet?" She said simply, unconcerned at his pitiful defense.

Horrified, he loaded his spork and stuffed it quickly in his mouth with a grimace of pain. She made a mental note to tell Greg so as to keep this charade up. He'd do it too. He would so sing and embarrass the snot out their resident pain in the butt. Lestrade was fearless.

Her victory, while sweet in all possible ways, was marred by the deep resounding throb of her hand. Anderson had a hard head and she suspected she had a nasty sprain. She furtively rubbed at it as she grinned like and arse at him while he made faces eating his slivered pieces of ham.

Cleaning his plate was like watching a live drama. He made sure to broadcast how much he hated 'eating food.' That this had to be a form of malpractice and that he could sue.

"No one in their right mind would listen to a law suite of that nature, and you know it." She said, unconcerned as she turned the small TV in the corner on to Jersey Shore, just to torture him since he was one of those people that couldn't let something pass over him that was so 'mind-numbingly repugnant' as reality TV.

"Now that's just plain mean." He sulked into his potato bake like a champion.

"I know."

She was starting to flag under the weight of the day, and as Sherlock finished the last dredges of his disappointing and nutritious meal, Molly was aborting yawns left and right as she propped her head up with elbow his bed using her bandaged hand to brace up against her temple. She was mindlessly watching as one of the many trampy girls threw her drink in the face of a roided orange monster when she felt a pointed bit of pressure glide gently over her thickly bound knuckles.

Leaning over a little to look up at him, Sherlock had a blank expression on his face as he quietly observed her.

"What?" She asked, desperately trying to stifle a gaping yawn.

"Who did you hit?" He titled his head, much like a dog.

Blinking away the haze that her brain seemed to be soaking in, Molly roused herself to answer him. "What makes you think I hit anything?"

His eye's narrowed at her, and she felt like breaking a sweat. "There's no use diverting from the intended question."

She let her hand drop and moved to sit up so she could gather her things to go. "It's late Sherlock-"

Long fingers attached to a large hand slipped around her wrist, barely brushing the edges of the frayed gauzy wrapping. "Molly."

Why was she stalling anyway? Why was she trying to keep this from him? Could she have done a poorer job to begin with? It was like dangling a bone before him with all that pathetic mystery, and since he couldn't go find something to really put that race engine of a brain to use, she would have to do.

"It's stupid." She mumbled, watching his fingers shift around her swollen hand.

"No, whoever you hit must have been stupid. You're too nice to lash out so…enthusiastically."

She felt a laugh tickle the back of her throat. When he looked at her though, his cool eyes were flashing something, and the mirth quickly died on the back of her tongue. "Molly?"

She mouthed a second before clearing her voice. "An- Anderson. I hit Anderson."

That got his attention. "Anderson?"

Nodding her head, she felt shy all of a sudden. "He was being…"

"Idiotic." He bobbed his head in agreement. "It's his standard operation preset."

"He said terrible things when…after they took you…" She licked her lips nervously. "He- he was being intentionally horrible. A-and I was so upset…"

"Well I don't know why-" He started to say something and she rushed him.

"Because people should never say the things he said. In situations like that." She snapped watching steel blue eyes widen fractionally.

In the silence that followed, Molly stooped to grab her bag to go before turning to him. "Friends look out for each other. I don't tolerate those who say otherwise about them." She then dipped her good hand into her purse and produced his blackberry, which she tossed to him. "By the way, you left this behind again."

He seemed oddly slow at that moment as he caught his phone, a look of bafflement written all over his face. "Where did I leave it?"

"First the lab. Then your flat." She yawned. "Have a good night, Sherlock."

Something had changed that night. Whether he started acknowledging her as more than someone to mooch off of or if he continued to view her as soft-hearted enabler, Molly was positive she never wanted to know. He didn't look at things the same way others did. He didn't see things in the same colors or recognized the same lines as the rest of humanity. He made them up as he went along, moved them around, or just plain ignored them. Molly wanted to believe with everything she had that he looked at her as a friend, she didn't want to just be an associate or a 'soft-hearted enabler'.

He knew for a fact that she thought he was her friend.

That she would do whatever she could for him…she just hoped that he wouldn't pull a Sherlock and hurt her with that information. He could be unintentionally a huge wanker if he wasn't reminded that people had feelings that were easily hurt when people stomped on them.

She maybe should seriously reconsider that self-help group with Lestrade.

Sherlock had to spend almost a full blown week- seven days- in the ICU before he was able to be moved. That older brother of his, Mycroft, who Molly had met once briefly when she was coming up to visit him on his last day at St. Mary's, was having him committed to a fancy rehab facility somewhere.

Molly pushed into the ICU where Sherlock was still housed, greeting Regan in passing, one of the many suffering nurses who were set to task caring for the great git while he was recovering. She was making her way over to his bed when she noticed that he already had a visitor. Well dressed, tall, and Sherlock looked absolutely livid.

There could be dozens of reasons for this.

But this interaction seemed a little different, the way Sherlock looked so mad, and the stranger even looked miffed. Then he tapped his umbrella impatiently off the floor to enunciate every word to Sherlock, who responded with a mini meltdown.

"WHAT?!"

"Calm yourself, brother." Came the frigid reply.

Ah, family. Made sense.

She waited politely as the near silent fight continued, but she could tell from a long way out that poor Sherlock didn't have a chance. A look of thunder hardened his face as he flumped back in his bed, his- she was betting older brother, as opposed to younger- made a final comment before gathering his possessions and walking down the ward toward where she was waiting. He met her eyes briefly and she gave him an unsure smile for his notice.

"My apologies on his sour mood. It was rather unavoidable I'm afraid." He tipped an imaginary hat, and continued through the door before she could even manage a comment.

Well that wasn't completely weird or anything. Molly watched him disappear around the corner to the bank of elevators, before turning back around to see the destruction left in his wake. Did she really want to fight this battle just to check on how he was doing? A peeved Sherlock was best left to his own devices unless one relished a beheading. She squinted down at him, trying to gage if he would chew on her when the choice was stripped from her hands. One minute she was watching his dark head of curls, and the next, flashing steel blue eyes were pinning her to the spot. She blinked and he arched an aristocratic brow as if to ask 'what the hell are you looking.'

Well….crap.

Steeling herself for the inevitable, Molly cemented a small smile on her face before making her way down to his bed. He watched her like a hawk the entire time.

"Well, you look cheerful." She mentioned as she set her stuff down beside the recently vacated chair.

He looked exhausted still. Dark bags under his eyes only sharpened the pale clarity to them, giving the effect that he could look right through someone. His skin, while always on the light side, set his inky dark brown hair off in such relief that he was a rather arresting individual when he was allowed up to move around. Then he usually opened his mouth and the view had other issues to immediately contend with.

"Fancy yourself clever, do you?" He rumbled at her, his baritone somehow deeper in his anger.

Little warning bells were bleating inside her head, and she knew she only had seconds before he said something mean and douchy. "Not particularly. Who was that?" She tipped her had toward the door.

"No one of importance." He grouched.

"You're brother?" His grumbling and twitching was enough of a conformation for her. "Right, okay."

He jutted his chin as he glared at her. "Not, 'right, okay.' He's sticking his nose into my affairs again. Can't leave well enough alone." Intangible mumbling met her ears before he huffed. "Mycroft."

Molly could see the danger she was in, she really could. "What did he do?" She asked quietly, almost worried about setting him off. He was like a tightly wound bomb, ready to explode and take as many people as he could with him.

Sherlock was generous like that.

He clenched his teeth, the muscles in his jaw bulging with the strain as his thoughts bounced behind his cool eyes. Settling on something, he grunted between his teeth. "Rehab."

Oh, damn. "Where?" She breathed.

"Kent." His teeth clicked as he snapped the word.

If Molly didn't know better, she'd thought he was close to crying the way he was held so rigidly. And she knew why.

"Sherlock," She said urgently. "Pick one: Heads, shoulders, knees, or toes."

His lip lifted. "What are you on about?" He was confused and trying to hide it.

"Pick one." She repeated as she dug something out of her pocket. "Quickly."

He looked like he wanted to ask questions, or just plain wanted to her piss off somewhere. Well too bad. "Pick one." She cut him off on whatever he was going to say.

"Heads. Now what are you-" She was already striding away from him. "What-hey, Molly?" He called.

"I'll be right back." She said over her shoulder as she broke out into a run the second she hit the main hallway. St. Mary's was smaller, and much younger than Bart's- by almost eight hundred years- and she couldn't dawdle if she wanted to catch him.

She hit the door for the stairwell and flew down them as fast as possible, not stopping even when she hit the lower lobby. Bounding across the entrance and out the doors, Molly saw the older Holmes sliding into the backseat of a nondescript black Mercedes.

"Mr. Holmes!" She called, all but sprinting for the vehicle. "Mr. Holmes, wait! SHERLOCK!" She yelled in desperation. When he popped his head back up, obviously looking for the oddball screaming his brother's name, Molly sagged in relief. If she had missed him, her plan would have been a bust.

She rapidly crossed the gap to his car as he stepped back out of it to meet her. "My, apologies, sir." She wheezed, winded from her run down several flights of stairs. "I needed to speak with you really quick."

He cocked his head, so much like his brother did when something piqued his interest. "What can I do for you, Ms. Hooper."

Gulping down whatever reservations she had, Molly looked the older Holmes in the eye and started by asking. "Sherlock's going to Kent? Bexley Park?"

He seemed genuinely surprised. "Yes, they have a rather acclaimed center there that focus on cases like the one my brother currently finds himself neck deep in." He was watching her now with something akin to wonder. "I'm astounded he informed you."

"He just said two words, but I know of Bexley Park." She ducked her head. "I know that it's total isolation- removal from normal stimuli that can lead to rapid relapse of the committed."

"Desperate times have called for desperate measures." He said slowly, waiting to see where she was going with this. "As I said, it was rather unavoidable."

She knew that. Bexley Park was a last resort, at least for the affluent who could afford the care.

"Bexley doesn't allow for electronics- no phones, computers, or television." She said as if he wasn't already aware. "Sherlock is…" She didn't know how to finish without being offensive. So she improvised. "He's kind of techie." She finished lamely.

"It will be rough for him, but I'm not feeling too terribly about it seeing as the scare he put everyone through was so selfishly induced by his own hand." He shifted his weight, silently signaling that her time was running out.

She mauled her lip for a second before sighing. "Look, I get why you're insisting on this. I do, and I'm not arguing against it, but only for one thing. Sherlock needs…something. To talk too. It can be anything really, but he seems to focus better if it's alive-ish." She winced at her word choice in front of this very polished individual that just whispered 'power' and 'money'. "If I'm busy, I've caught him chatting with Aloysius, the goldfish." My God, could she butcher this anymore? She sounded absolutely ridiculous and made Sherlock look insane to boot. "It's not a big deal or anything but, it seems to help him center his thoughts if he can express them out loud." Shut up, why couldn't she ever just shut the hell up?!

His focus intensified, his eye's x-raying her much like his brother's did. Molly highly suspected that he had 'the gift' too, but couldn't be sure without asking. She wished she had thought to ask his goofball brother five stories up. "Make your point, Ms. Hooper."

"I wanted to give him something. I was going to do it today, but if he's leaving, they won't let him take it to Bexley if it's associated with life here, as in he owned it before treatment." She rambled. "It's…legal." She rushed to finish as his face darkened in what she assumed was anger. "It's not drugs! It's nothing like that, but it's highly unusual and I won't be able to ensure it reaches him. They won't accept anything that isn't strictly from those on their list. In this case, you."

The older Holmes, Mycroft, her brain finally made it to the party and helpfully supplied, just stared at her. "You are the girl in St. Bartholomew's? The lab and morgue pathologist whom my brother continuously uses to supply his body part experiments with." It wasn't a question. It was a statement.

Molly felt herself shrink. "Y-Yes, sir." Was he going to punish her? She didn't know how much leverage he had, but obviously enough to put his difficult brother into an elite, expensive program. People with money in the U.K., were people with power. "To be fair, I normally don't supply so much as he nicks them when my back is turned." If she burned, Sherlock was going with her.

She was so screwed.

"I wouldn't put it past him." He sighed, and she breathed easier.

Swallowing, Molly forged on. "What I want to give him, it's been cleared. There are no attachments, no family, no anything to keep this from getting messy. But if I'm going to get it to Sherlock at Bexley Park, I will need your blessing."

Mycroft considered her for a long moment, before stepping up onto the curb. "What did you have in mind, Ms. Hooper?"


What do you think? I am having fun.