The next day, Molly and Felix went to the cinema. Molly became increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress; every time she brushed her hand against his, he moved it away; every time their hands met in the popcorn he apologised and pulled away. Every 'accidental' touch was apologised for and not taken advantage of.
The day after, Molly went over to Felix's to watch TV. Her first impression of Felix's flat was that he didn't live alone; there were car magazines by the side of the armchair, and a decanter of whiskey on the table on the other side. On the shelf were books Molly was sure Felix wouldn't read, and a porcelain bulldog.
"Get comfortable, I just need to grab my laptop... Not in the armchair! James doesn't like people sitting in it."
Molly frowned as she gingerly sat herself down on the sofa. Felix nipped into what she assumed was the bedroom, returning with his laptop and some cables. He began hooking them up to the TV as Molly took another look around.
"Why does James have an armchair?"
Felix shrugged. "Because. He blagged it, moved it in here, it's his spot. I'm content on the sofa or at my desk."
"Doesn't he have his own flat?"
"Yes. Though it's more storage than anything."
"Is he always here?"
"Pretty much. He... doesn't like being alone, you know? He's damaged."
"Anyway, Criminal Minds!"
Felix settled on the sofa, on the other side as Molly, Oscar instantly jumping onto his lap. Molly found it hard to concentrate on the show, busy thinking of ways she could inch closer. Things weren't playing out how she'd imagined; she'd thought they'd curl up together, maybe her head resting on his chest, their feet tangled together. She definitely hadn't anticipated James' ever constant presence; she couldn't imagine having a friend who had a 'spot' in her flat. She couldn't stop looking at the bulldog on the shelf, wondering why Felix had it.
"Are you okay?"
Molly's head snapped up, Felix looking at her with a look of concern. She nodded hastily, trying to act natural.
"Yes. Just... wondering, the bulldog?"
Felix smiled. "James'. Very sentimental, left to him in a will... he hates it."
"Why does he keep it if he hates it?"
"It's complicated... but it means a lot to him... it's a reminder... a very ugly one."
"It's... it's hard to explain, I mean, you're not even supposed to know I work for MI-6. And as for James... It genuinely is a situation where I'd have to kill you if I told you. It's called the Secret Service for a reason. James, and the bulldog... it's work. It's secret. I couldn't tell you if I wanted to. You get to see the civilian side of me. I can't include you in my work, it's too dangerous. I'd hate for someone to kidnap you and use you as leverage."
Molly nodded. "I understand."
"Please don't think I don't trust you. There's just so much I can't tell you. Things I wish I could, but... if they got out it wouldn't bode well for me..."
"How do you even deal with it?"
"Well, usually, as a rule, I don't fraternise with civilians. That's why nearly no one knows I'm Sherlock's brother... But you were nice. I wanted a friend who didn't know me as... Q... Only several people know my name at work. It's purposely impersonal..."
Molly forced a smile. "I won't push, I promise. It's just... there's a whole side to you I don't know."
Felix reached over, squeezing her hand softly. "You're not allowed to know... It'll always be a secret."
She nodded, deciding to let the subject drop and turned to the TV, attempting to catch up with everything she'd missed. Felix removed his hand and brushed it through Oscar's fur.
Several episodes in, Felix's phone went off. He frowned at it vibrating on the coffee table, reaching to see who was calling.
"Shit. Sorry Molly. I'll be right back."
He hurried to the kitchen, talking quickly and worriedly, Molly couldn't make out what he was saying. He returned a few moments later with another laptop, setting it up next to the computer on his desk; Molly wondered how many more computers he had. He tapped at the keys quickly, things flashing on the screens that Molly couldn't comprehend. Her full attention was on Felix and whatever he was doing..
His head snapped up when there was a knock on his door; he rushed over and yanked it open, two men in suits bustling in.
"I've managed to pull up his last coordinates but there's no trail. He's off the grid," Q said hurriedly, going back to his computer. One of the suited men looked at Molly like he'd never seen a woman before.
"Q? Who's this?"
Felix looked up, suddenly remembering Molly was there. "Oh, Molly, I'm sorry, you couldn't give us some privacy, could you?"
Molly nodded, pulling herself to her feet. "Sure. What-"
"You can wait in my room. I shouldn't be too long, hopefully."
She slipped through to Felix's room, taking an interested look around. James' presence had even made its way to Felix's room; suits were hung up on the wardrobe door, with shirts that would dwarf Felix. There was an ashtray on the window seat, and she was sure Felix didn't smoke. The dresser was clearly divided into Felix's side and James' side. James' side had stupidly expensive aftershaves, a pair of cufflinks with what looked like diamonds in them, and an expensive looking watch. James clearly had very expensive taste, and the money to indulge. It made Molly wonder why he was sleeping on a friend's sofa instead of investing in a two-bedroomed flat.
She continued looking around, pausing at the bookshelf when Felix burst in. He smiled sheepishly and went to the dresser, pulling a key from his pocket and unlocked the bottom drawer, pulling it open. Molly was shocked to see it had a number of guns cased in foam inside. He pulled one of the smaller guns out and a box just a little bigger, and hurried back out of the room.
It was another ten minutes before Felix let her back into the living room; it was messy and cluttered, papers left on the coffee table, wires streaming out of his laptop. The other two men had gone, but Felix looked moderately flushed.
"Sorry about that, just a little emergency, but... Are you hungry?"
The next day, Molly was to go to Felix's again. She hoped this attempt would run a lot smoother; the interruption the previous day had made everything awkward. Felix had been on edge, constantly checking his phone. She'd gone home early, giving him some time to be alone.
She was just getting ready to leave when her phone went off.
"So sorry, Molly. I have to cancel, something important's come up. Hopefully we can reschedule. Sorry. x."
Molly frowned, collapsing down on the sofa, staring at her phone. She looked over to Toby, watching him rolling around in the patch of sunlight on the carpet.
"It's fine. Is everything okay? I don't need to worry, do I?"
It was a while before she received a response.
"I'm fine, it's just James arrived home four days early and refuses to go to hospital, so I need to sort him out. I'll text you about rescheduling when he's stopped bleeding everywhere."
Molly was shocked by how uninterested Felix sounded, like wounded men turned up at his flat all the time. He probably did, she thought. She didn't know what to do with herself. She didn't want to sit in all day; she was dressed to go out.
After a lot of deliberating, she decided it'd be nice to go have some tea with Mrs Hudson. She pulled on her jacket and set off to Baker Street. Mrs Hudson was, indeed, glad to see her, ushering her through to her flat.
"How're you keeping, dear? You're looking well."
Molly smiled, sitting down in an overstuffed armchair as Mrs Hudson began brewing the tea.
"I'm very good."
"Ooh? New man?"
Molly blushed. "Sort of."
"Oh, now you've got to tell me all about him!"
They shared tea and biscuits and cake, Molly telling Mrs Hudson a romanticised version of events of how things had gone with Felix. In return, Mrs Hudson told tales of her own.
Mrs Hudson had just refreshed the cup of tea when the front door shut loudly, a dog barking in the hallway. Mrs Hudson's eyes lit up. "They got an adorable puppy, did I tell you?"
Molly grinned. "They got one?"
"Yes, come see."
Both women moved to the hallway, where John was trying to help Sherlock take his coat off whilst a small bulldog puppy bounced about their feet, tangling them with it's leash.
"He's called Gladstone. He's precious, isn't he."
Molly giggled, watching Gladstone bite John's shoelace and pull.
"Still needs some training, obviously."
"Gladstone! Heel!" John snapped, reaching down to grab the puppy's collar. It yipped happily, trying to bite at John's hand. Sherlock managed to get his coat off and hung it up on the bannister. He looked up and smiled at Mrs Hudson and Molly.
"How's the training coming?"
Sherlock smirked and reached down to pick up Gladstone, holding him to his chest. "Getting there."
Molly cooed, reaching to pet the dog, but Sherlock jerked away.
Molly's eyes widened in shock, Sherlock hurried up the stairs. John smiled meekly at Molly, gathering everything Sherlock had left behind.
"Sorry, Molly, Sherlock's very attached; he doesn't understand the concept of sharing."
"So you bought a dog, then?"
"He was an impulse buy. I saw them for sale and just bought one. Luckily, Sherlock fell in love instantly."
"Well, that's good."
"Come on up, I'll see if I can pry the poor creature away. He's very friendly."
The three of them went up to 221B; Molly didn't expect to see Sherlock lying on the floor, Gladstone lying on his chest, a chew-toy in his mouth. Molly grinned.
Sherlock's eyes narrowed. "You can't play with him."
John rolled his eyes, dropping everything in his arms onto the sofa. "Sherlock, be nice. Share your pet."
"I don't want to."
"He's not just yours!"
Sherlock glared. "You have five minutes."
Molly grinned and sat against the sofa as John scooped Gladstone up and lifted him over to her lap. Sherlock sat up and watched with narrowed eyes as Molly scrubbed a hand up and down the puppy's back, tugging on the chew-toy playfully. John tapped on his shoulder, motioning for him to go sit in his armchair instead of brooding on the floor.
"Does he answer to his name?" Molly asked.
"Only to Sherlock. He only responds to me when food's involved," John replied, sitting on the arm of Sherlock's chair. Sherlock nuzzled his face against John's side until he could push his head through the gap between his arm and side; John chuckled and ruffled his hair. Molly smiled and turned back to the dog, letting it chew on her fingers.
"Molly. Are you still attempting to woo my brother?"
Molly let out a slow breath, not letting herself get annoyed by Sherlock's tactlessness. "It's none of your business, Sherlock."
"I merely enquire."
"No you don't."
"Sherlock, don't," John warned. Sherlock huffed, drumming his fingers on his lover's leg, watching Molly intently, counting down the seconds until he could reclaim his dog. John made idle chit-chat with Mrs Hudson, Molly making the most of her allotted time with Gladstone.
Sherlock jumped up from his armchair. "Your five minutes is up. Give him back." He strode over to where Molly was sat and grabbed Gladstone, rushing back over to his armchair. John rolled his eyes, pulling himself to his feet.
"God forbid you ever have a child if this is what you're like with a dog."
Sherlock said nothing, all of his attention on his puppy. John wandered into the kitchen, filling the kettle. Molly smiled meekly at Mrs Hudson, pulling herself up onto the sofa, watching the detective and his pet. He suddenly looked up, a look of realisation spreading across his face, slowly turning to look at Molly. Molly's eyes widened apprehensively. An obviously fake smile found its way onto Sherlock's lips.
"Molly... are you busy next Tuesday?"
Molly's eyes narrowed, justly suspicious. "No..."
"Do you think you'd be able to take Gladstone to the vets for us? He has to go for a check-up and John and I are busy."
"You're... going to trust me with your dog?"
Sherlock shrugged, scratching Gladstone behind the ear. "Why wouldn't I?"
"I barely got five minutes to play with him."
"Not wanting you to play with my dog and not trusting you with him are two different concepts. Were I not busy I would take him myself, but as I already stated, I'm otherwise engaged. Will you, or will you not do me a favour and take Gladstone to the vets?"
Molly rolled her eyes, not expecting Sherlock to get suddenly hostile. "Fine, okay."
"Good. I shall text you the details and drop him off at yours before we leave. Please ensure your cat doesn't attack him."
John wandered back into the living room, holding out two cups of tea towards Molly and Mrs Hudson. "What're we talking about?"
"Molly agreed to take Gladstone to the vets on Tuesday, on account of our being busy," Sherlock said, giving John a look. Molly frowned; she knew the look meant something. John opened his mouth to say something, but stopped himself when Sherlock's eyebrows rose in challenge. He nodded, forcing a smile.
"Yeah... Thanks Molly."
"It's no problem?"
John grinned, quickly hurrying back to the kitchen, hissing Sherlock's name. Huffing, Sherlock dragged himself through to the kitchen. Listening carefully, Molly could just make out what they were whispering to each other.
"Are you seriously trying to set her up with Doctor Johnson?"
"Sherlock, no! Let her make her own decisions."
"Felix is not right for her."
"She has to figure it out by herself."
"I'm just trying to spare her the pain. You tell me to be more human and then you tell me off for doing so."
"Meddling in her personal life isn't nice!"
Sherlock huffed. "Does she not deserve happiness?"
"Of course, but-"
"Felix is going to break her heart, mark my words."
"Why do you care?"
"Because I know what it feels like!"
John sighed in defeat. "Just... let her do things on her own terms."
Sherlock marched back into the living room, taking his place in his armchair, Gladstone still in his arms. He smiled at Molly, as if trying to pretend they'd just been talking about what to put on their shopping list instead of her love life. Molly forced a smile in return and sipped at her tea.
Molly was at work two days later when Felix finally texted her; she couldn't help but grin as she snapped off her latex gloves and grabbed her phone.
"Molly, I'm sorry it's taken so long to respond but duty called. I have tomorrow off if you'd like to resume our Criminal Minds marathon?"
"I'd love to, but won't James be there?"
"He promised to vacate the flat and find a hobby that wasn't me or getting injured."
"Well, I look forward to it."
Still grinning, Molly slipped her phone back into her pocket and grabbed another pair of gloves, getting back to her work, riding the high of her good mood all the way home. Upon arriving home, she turned on some music as loud as she could without receiving complaints from her neighbours and danced around the flat, running herself a bath and pouring a large glass of wine. Pampering herself was definitely the objective.
The next morning Molly was still in a good mood. She hopped out of bed instead of reluctantly dragging herself from the comfort of her duvet like usual, strolling into the kitchen to fix herself and Toby some breakfast. She had a few hours to kill until she was to go to Felix's, deciding to do some tidying, taking advantage of her proactiveness. She had a good feeling about the day ahead, it definitely felt like it was going to be 'the day'. She'd dreamt about Felix; the two of them were in a flowery field on a sunny day having a picnic; she decided it was a good omen. James would be gone, she'd have Felix to herself, and hopefully no emergencies to mess things up.
She thought up a game plan on her walk to Felix's flat. She planned to sit in the middle of the sofa, not giving Felix the option to sit away from her. She'd pay a lot of attention to Oscar, hoping Felix would play with the cat too and they could get closer. She thought up excuses to curl up to Felix, to rest her head on his shoulder or on his lap. She wasn't going to let anything hold her back, Felix was going to be hers. It didn't matter what Sherlock thought; he didn't know Felix, and he certainly didn't know her. He didn't know how she took her coffee, there was no way he could assume to know what kind of man was right for her. She'd told herself it was his arrogance, that he didn't like her not fancying him. He just wanted it all.
Felix was nice. Felix treated her properly.
She quickly checked her hair and make-up in her pocket mirror, making sure she looked perfect, flattening down her clothes so she didn't look rumpled or frumpy and confidently rapped on the door. She took a step back, grin still on her face as the door was unlocked and pulled open. She opened her mouth to say hello but stopped in her tracks when she noticed the man at the door wasn't Felix. He was nothing like Felix; tall and muscular with a tan that suggested he'd been abroad recently. His icy blue eyes bore into her as he smirked, leaning against the door like a stripper would a pole.
"Molly, I presume? Nice to meet you, finally," he said, running a hand through his hair. Molly took a few moments to compose herself, taking in the man's appearance.
"The one and only," he grinned. He pulled the door open fully and stepped to the side, motioning back into the flat. "Do please come in, Felix is expecting you."
She nodded, shrinking in on herself as she hurried into the flat, managing to get a good blast of his aftershave, suddenly realising it was Felix's; realising again that it wasn't Felix's, it was James'. Felix wore James' aftershave.
"She's here!" James called, following behind Molly. Felix ducked out of the kitchen, grinning at her.
"Molly! You're early! I think... James was definitely supposed to be gone by the time you arrived..."
James chuckled, slipped past Molly to stand by Felix. "I think we lost track of time... I assume you want me out so you two can watch your girly TV shows?"
Felix grinned. "They're not girly."
"They are, they're blatantly aimed at women, with their obviously good looking men whose shirts are always conveniently not on their chests?"
"Whatever you say, James. Are you leaving?"
James huffed playfully, grabbing a leather jacket off the back of the sofa, quickly slipping it on, taking a step into Felix's personal space. "Fine, I'm going. Off to the pub to watch the match."
"Don't drink too much, you're still healing."
"I thought we'd decided last night I'd healed fine."
Molly watched in horror as James suddenly cupped Felix's cheek and mashed their lips together, angling their faces so Molly got the perfect view. Felix let out a happy moan, his fingers curling in the lapels of James' jacket, holding their bodies close. They finally pulled apart with one final chaste kiss before James bid them both goodbye, smirking arrogantly at Molly as he made his way out.
Molly had no idea what to do. She could see Felix in the corner of her eye, blushing and trying to straighten himself out. She could feel her heart thumping in her chest as the realisation dawned on her; why James was so clingy and obsessive, why he was at Felix's all the time. Why Felix's flat had so many of James' things there, and why Felix wasn't picking up on any of her hints.
James' display would forever be etched into her memory. That had been no goodbye kiss, it was a plain and simple display of possession. Felix was his, and he wanted Molly to back off. All of his interruptions had been his attempts to keep Felix from her.
"Sorry about that. I wish I could say he's not usually quite so... domineering, but... Are you okay?"
Molly nodded, eyes still wide but not focused on Felix. Felix frowned, moving into her field of vision.
"Molly? James didn't say anything-"
"I've got to go."
"I've got to... y'know... uh... Bye."
She rushed out of Felix's flat and out of the building, determined to not let him see her cry. She heard him call after her, but he didn't chase her. She just wanted to get out; she didn't want to go home in case Felix did decide to follow. After a while of walking and willing away her tears she found herself on Baker Street, for once not caring about how much of an arse Sherlock would be. He'd been right - of course he'd been right; he'd tried to warn her.
Sighing, Molly rang the bell, hoping someone would be in. It was a few moments before she heard anything behind the door, Sherlock appearing before her. He frowned looking her over.
Molly did her best to choke back a sob, wrapping her arms around herself as she looked down at her feet. "Felix... your brother..."
Sherlock huffed, stepping forward and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her inside. "Come on, John's better at dealing with this than I..."
She let Sherlock take her coat and hang it up on the bannister as she shuffled up the stairs. Sherlock was right behind her, ushering her into the living room, ordering John to put the kettle on.
"Please deal with her, John," Sherlock sighed, waving in Molly's direction. "I'll just make things worse."
John nodded, sitting beside Molly on the sofa. Sherlock meekly picked up Gladstone and placed him on her lap before scurrying away into the kitchen. Molly choked out a meek laugh, scrubbing her fingers through Gladstone's short fur.
"Well... Felix is gay."
John frowned, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. "Oh... yeah..."
Molly sighed, focusing her attention on the puppy. "You knew?"
"Well, yeah... You didn't?"
"No. He never said."
"I didn't think he needed to. He's quite... effeminate."
Molly shrugged. "That doesn't necessarily mean he's gay."
"Well, what happened? What got you all upset?"
"I met his boyfriend today."
She let out a long breath, blinking away her tears. "I thought he was... great boyfriend material, you know? And we got on so well, and went on a couple of dates, and then..."
"Are you sure they were dates?"
Sherlock quickly wandered back into the living room, holding out a cup of tea. "Two sugars, yes?"
Molly smiled, taking it. "You... remembered?"
He quirked a small smile and rushed off again. John gave Molly's shoulder a quick squeeze, sinking back against the pillows.
"I'm sorry to hear about... all of this," he said, his hands fiddling together on his lap. "I should have believed Sherlock when he said it'd end in disaster."
"So should I. He warned me many times. I just thought he was being cruel or something... But..."
"Sherlock shows he cares in the strangest of ways. You'll get over him, Molly, this was all very whirlwind."
Molly shrugged, blowing across the top of her tea. "I just feel so pathetic right now. I had all my hopes pinned to him. He was so nice, and we had things in common, and he's so very handsome... it should have twigged he's gay. He's so perfect, of course he had to be gay."
John chuckled, letting Gladstone crawl across to his lap. "So... I know you probably don't want to talk about it, but, what's his boyfriend like?"
Molly huffed, flopping back against the back of the sofa. "He's like a male model or something. Tanned, muscular, tall... the kind of guy you see modelling underwear on billboards, but... older."
"He's about... I don't know, forty? Ish?"
Molly shrugged. She tried to distract herself with Gladstone, pushing her sadness to the back of her mind, giggling when he got too excited and rolled off John's knee. After determining Molly had cheered up enough, Sherlock decided to join then, sitting in the middle of the floor with his pet.
A while later, there was a loud knocking on the front door. John looked to Sherlock who groaned and pulled himself to his feet, muttering about not being a butler. Molly and John tried to listen to who was at their door; all they could hear was Sherlock hissing something at whoever it was and the door slamming shut, followed by three pairs of footsteps coming up the stairs. Molly's face fell when she saw Felix and James. James looked as smug as he had when she'd seen him earlier. Felix motioned for him to go and wait in the kitchen, Sherlock ushering John with him, leaving Felix and Molly by themselves.
Sighing, Felix perched himself on the edge of the coffee table and ran a hand through his hair. Molly looked everywhere but not at Felix.
"Molly... Um... I'm sorry if you think I'd been leading you on or... something similar. I didn't know you viewed me that way... I mean, James told me you did, but I assumed he was just being an arse, like usual... And I'm sorry you found out how you did. You weren't really supposed to find out at all. James and I aren't strictly... allowed... We're breaking so many rules, but... I don't know.
"I know I didn't tell you, but I honestly thought it was obvious. I'm really not the straightest guy in the world, most people cotton on straight away... and I'm sure I gave enough hints."
Molly sighed, finally resolving to look up at Felix, not expecting him to look as sad as he did. "You probably did, but I was too blind."
"Please don't blame yourself... But I do wish you'd realised. You were in my home, Molly, how'd you not guess that James and I were more than just co-workers?"
"I don't know... I thought you were just... really close. You said he slept on your sofa."
Felix drew out a long breath. "That was aimed at him. He was reading my texts."
"I really thought we had a good thing going. I very rarely make friends, I'm not afforded the luxury, and you were such a good friend. We had so much in common, we had a good time together - even with James being crazy and possessive."
"I really wondered why you weren't... responding to my hints. I invited you up for coffee, and you said yes!"
"I thought you were asking as a friend. I didn't realise you thought there was something between us other than friendship... Do you think we could put this behind us? I really don't want to lose you."
Molly frowned, looking back down at her feet. "I don't know."
"Maybe in time... I just... need to heal right now."
Felix nodded, pulling himself to his feet. "I understand... Will you meet James? He's really not so bad once he's asserted his dominance."
Felix called the others back into the living room, going to stand beside his lover. Molly reluctantly pulled herself to her feet, John standing by her, letting her rest some of her weight against. Sherlock stood by himself, arms folded defiantly over his chest. Felix cleared his throat awkwardly, looking nervously at everyone facing him. James looked extremely confident, his arm finding it's place around Felix's waist.
"Well, seeing as Molly found out accidentally, I figured it was about time I introduced James to you too," Felix said, looking at Sherlock in particular. Sherlock nodded, eyes narrowing at James.
"Mycroft has already met him?"
"Field agent? Ex army?"
James' smirk grew. "Navy."
Sherlock waved it off dismissively, looking back to Felix. "How long?"
"Just... over a year? Maybe?"
Felix nodded, looking over to John and Molly. Molly shrugged, looking at her feet again.
"Okay, well... I suppose we'll be off then," Felix said, motioning for James to walk ahead. Molly sat back down on the sofa, John going to walk James to the front door. Sherlock quickly grabbed Felix's arm, leaning close and muttering something. Felix nodded and went to leave too, pausing at the doorway. "Please don't blame yourself, Molly. And I would like to be your friend, if we could move past this... thing."
"She'll think about it," Sherlock replied. Felix nodded, giving Molly and meek smile before slinking down the stairs. Molly and Sherlock remained silent, listening to John bid James and Felix goodbye. Sherlock reached down and scooped Gladstone into his arms, gingerly sitting himself down next to Molly. Molly managed a smile, reaching over to rub the top of Gladstone's head.
Molly was sprawled across her sofa, Toby asleep on her stomach, watching TV when there was a knock at the door. She contemplated answering, but favoured not moving from her spot pretending she didn't exist. When there was no noise for a few moments, she thought they'd gone away, until she heard scuffling just outside and her front door swung open. Sherlock marched in, Gladstone following just behind on his leash.
"Get up, Molly Hooper, it's Tuesday. You promised to take Gladstone to the vets."
Molly sighed, too apathetic to care Sherlock had just broken into her flat. "Sherlock-"
"You need a shower. And wear your blue dress. Lipstick, definitely, men prefer fuller lips, don't they?"
"Sherlock, as much as I appreciate it, I don't want you to set me up with your vet."
"Nonsense. A few days is more than enough time to get over my brother. Anyway, you'll like Doctor Johnson."
Molly rolled her eyes as Sherlock shifted Toby from her stomach and grabbed her arm, dragging her over to her bathroom. He shoved her inside, muttering things to himself. He refused to leave until Molly was dressed to his liking, and quickly rattled off everything she needed to know, leaving whatever documents she needed before dashing out, his coat swishing behind him.
Molly got to the vets for the specified time, Gladstone sat by her feet in the waiting room. She looked around at the other pet owners, realising she looked severely overdressed for a trip to the vets. One of the doors opened, a balding, overweight man stepping out. Molly's breath caught in her throat as he scanned his clipboard, terrified Sherlock had set her up.
Her breath flew from her lungs, looking across at the woman dragging a whimpering daschund into the room. She smiled down at Gladstone, giving him a quick scratch behind the ears.
Her head shot up, definitely not expecting the man looking around the room for his patient. He looked to be about Sherlock's height, with the same blue eyes, but with a happy smile on his face. His hair was mussed curls, similar to Sherlock's, but lighter and shorter. Molly didn't usually like facial hair on men, but the smattering of stubble definitely made him more attractive; more distinguished. She nervously cleared her throat and got to her feet.
Doctor Johnson eyed her suspiciously. "Mr Holmes?"
Molly laughed nervously, tugging Gladstone to walk close. "Oh no, I'm a friend, he's busy and asked if I could bring Gladstone for his check-up."
The doctor's grin was back; he tucked his clipboard under his arm and offered his hand. "Wonderful to meet you, Mrs?"
"Oh, Molly. Miss Molly Hooper."
"Well, Miss Molly Hooper, I'm Doctor Simon Johnson - do call me Simon - shall we see if Gladstone's a healthy, happy pup?"