A/N: Hey! Well, we're certainly not new to the Sherlock fandom, but we are new to the fanfiction realm dedicated to Sherlock! So, contrary to popular opinions, we are not Johnlock shippers, no sirree. We LOVE their friendship. They have such a unique, amazing bond, but strictly as friends. We both prefer Sherlock with Molly. Really, how adorkable is she? I was thinking it over one day and musing over how possessive Sherlock is, and I could easily see him getting jealous over Molly going on a date when she's supposed to be at the lab with him, because you know, territorial issues and whatnot. Like "she's supposed to be helping me, what on earth does she think she's doing?" xD When I mentioned the idea to Irony'sFriend (my best friend IRL; we both got into Sherlock thanks to my sister), she was like "Oh, that could be a story! I'll help you write it!" She's so sweet. So, we roleplayed out the idea (I played Molly because I'm awkward, Jessie played Sherlock because she's one of great intellect), then put it into story format. (That's how all our collabs go, really.) And wa-la! Also, credits to Jessie for the awesome title - since Sherlock episodes are named after the original story titles, she went looking through her Sherlock novel to find an appropriate title that would fit this story. Thanks, Jess! Anyway, sorry for the rambling! All in all, we hope you enjoy! This was mostly for fun, but we'd appreciate honest feedback anyway!

Hiya, this is Jessie (Irony'sFriend)! May I just say that Taylor and I have the best roleplays/stories ever! Of course, this was all Taylor's idea, but I had so much fun getting to play Sherlock. I adore the show, and the books, and Sherlock... Hm, I better stop now because I could go on forever. Anyway! This is a fantastic story, and it was an honor to help write it with Tay. Enjoy!

Sherlock peered into the microscope, concentrating on nothing but the slide before him. John had gone to visit his sister or something equally trivial, so Sherlock took the opportunity to spend all his waking hours in the lab or the morgue. Currently, he was examining a chemical that had been found on a murder victim's skin, something Anderson had unsurprisingly missed.

Meanwhile, the constant resident of St. Bartholomew's hospital had made it her business to know when Sherlock preferred assistance or independence. Deducing that today he'd rather work alone, she hadn't tried to intervene today. Which was for the best, really, taking her plans into consideration. Shrugging off her lab coat and hanging it on the coat peg, Molly announced, "I've somewhere to be. You can stay here as long as you like, just lock up when you're done, would you?"

Sherlock looked up from his work, suddenly reminded that there was another living being in the room. "Where are you going on a Friday night? You don't have the social life of a normal female of your age," Sherlock pointed out, sounding more accusatory than was warranted in the situation. He took a moment to scan Molly from head to toe, taking in the little details that anyone else would miss. He saw her nervous stance, the freshly painted fingernails, the too-plucked eyebrows. He noticed the time she was leaving, calculated how long it would take Molly to get ready, and realized she was preparing for prime date time. "Ah, a date then. Now Molly, didn't we learn from your last serial killer that this isn't a good idea?"

Molly's lips pursed, and she dug around in her pocket before withdrawing a key which she promptly shoved at him. "Lock up, won't you?" she repeated, turning to grab her duffel coat.

Sherlock caught the key easily, but he still wasn't pleased with the idea of Molly leaving. "Come now, Molly. Is he a thief? An international drug smuggler? Please consider that I am quite busy, and I don't have the time to chase after another one of your dates," he drawled.

Molly tried to slip her coat on, but struggled with getting her arms in the sleeves. "I don't.. I don't need you monitoring me," she responded with a surprising curtness to her voice. "Have a good Friday night, Sherlock." She tried to button her coat with fumbling fingers, then gave up and hurried out of the room, the door shutting behind her.

Shocked by the blunt exit, Sherlock stared at his microscope blankly for a while, thinking things over. It was bad enough that John had to leave him for something so ridiculous as family. How could Molly think she could do the same? She was supposed to be a constant, the girl always willing to help him in the lab, the companion forever sneaking him body parts from the morgue. How could she leave him to go on a date?

Finally, he shut everything in the lab down and locked up. He caught a cab and went to his empty flat where he started to get ready. He had a certain date to go to.

About an hour later, Sherlock was waiting in a cab outside Molly's house, making certain it was parked inconspicuously across the street. He wore a certain purple shirt, and he was rather dressed to kill.

Molly soon emerged, and her spruced-up appearance reminded him of when she'd attended the Christmas party at their flat. Her auburn hair was down from its usual ponytail and curled, wearing light makeup that she'd obviously spent ages debating over, red lipstick to match her nails, a black and white-striped maxi dress. She was definitely dressed to impress, and Sherlock felt a pinprick of irritation at the fact that she'd gone to the same lengths for this date as she had for him.

She took a cab, and Sherlock instructed his cab driver to discreetly follow them at a safe distance. Approximately fifteen minutes passed before Molly's cab pulled over at a quaint diner. His promptly parked across the street, and Sherlock waited after the right amount of time to exit, after Molly had entered the diner.

Sherlock was quick to deduce that the best time to slip in unnoticed was when Molly and her date were conducting the initial greetings. He sat alone at a table for two behind Molly, far away enough to not be easily noticed, but close enough to hear and observe.

Her date had stood up from the table for two to greet her, complimenting on how lovely she looked, and kissed her cheek before pulling her chair out for her. Molly, meanwhile, was expectedly flustered, bumbling around and stammering like the awkward sort Sherlock knew her to be. A fresh wave of annoyance anew swept over him as Sherlock knew that the man could never know Molly as well as Sherlock did, no matter how hard he tried.

He instantly set to evaluate the man critically: trying too hard, hasn't been laid in a while; chose an inexpensive diner and wearing clothes from two years ago and studying the menu carefully - low-paying job; and in addition, his pupils had grown with desire at Molly's outfit. Sherlock disliked him as he was obviously an idiot only interested in a night of 'fun,' which he clearly knew wasn't Molly's criteria.

Sherlock's instantaneous disdain of the man only accumulated as the date drew on. Molly's date grew less and less responsive the more time passed, obviously in a hurry to finish the dinner and get to the other 'steps'. He knew Molly had noticed, as she'd gone from doing her best to engaging him in conversation, to her words growing more and more stilted with awkwardness. But, knowing Molly, Sherlock knew that she didn't suspect the worst of her date. No, she had no doubt mistakenly assumed that she'd bored or disappointed the man. Sherlock could tell that just from her body language.

"Ah.. what are you getting? To, to eat?" he heard Molly inquire.

At this point, a waitress came up to ask Sherlock for his order. "Tea, just tea," he snapped. The poor waitress hurried away without even asking for which kind or how many sugars, obviously wanting to put as much distance between them as possible. Sherlock wasn't bothered by this at all.

Meanwhile, Molly's ears perked with attention at the raised voice, so familiar to her, and she started to turn, but then her date answered her inquiry and she quickly fixated her attention back to him, snapping back into place like a puppet jerked by its strings.

Sherlock realized his mistake, but he was impressed that Molly had even caught his voice. Still, he resolved to be more careful from now on.

Molly shrugged it off, soon forgetting the ordeal soon after she'd dismissed it, too focused on how to dispel the awkwardness of the date. If you asked her, Molly wouldn't remember what exactly it was that she'd brought up, but apparently it was the right thing to say, for her date seemed more engrossed in the conversation and they slipped into small talk with ease. She felt herself relax.

Sherlock sipped angrily at his tea, ignoring how it burned his mouth. Of course it would be the topic of cherry pie that would arouse interest in a perverse man, even though Molly was in fact talking about the actual dessert on the menu. This date was obviously just a scam, one so obvious to him but not to an innocent, unsuspecting lady, and Molly needed to leave now.

After they'd eaten, the man, whom Molly addressed as Will, spoke up with a smarmy smile. "I know a good place to get dessert, may I treat you?" His voice was completely civil, but his tone took on a suggestive lilt at the word 'dessert'. No doubt unintentional - his real intention had just managed to surface.

Judging by the fashion in which Molly's shoulders almost imperceptibly stiffened, Sherlock could tell that even she was beginning to see the red flags. "Ah, that's very kind, but I'm a bit..I'm afraid that I'm quite knackered from work, perhaps we could take a rain check..."

"Please," Will interrupted too quickly, then his expression eased back into a smile. "I insist."

Sherlock felt his eyes narrow. The man's pupils completely covered the iris now, and over the course of the date, his hands kept 'accidentally' drifting over Molly's protruded hand. All the while, he'd instinctively run his hands through his hair and adjusted his jacket. These were all obvious signs of desire, but Sherlock did not consider this a good thing, and apparently neither did Molly at the moment, taking into consideration her hesitant behaviorisms.

Sherlock knew well that Molly wouldn't deny the man at this point, because in addition to the fact that she was too awkward to politely decline further, he knew she also didn't want to look rude or seem like a boring date. Women.

Quickly making a decision, Sherlock left money on the table and left the diner, waiting outside in the shadows. He didn't have to wait long for Will and Molly to pass by. He was escorting her with an arm around her waist, a possessive gesture.

In a matter of moments, Sherlock had his long graceful fingers wrapped around her thin wrist. She jerked to a stop with a startled gasp, her big brown eyes going wide as she spun around to face him. "Maybe not a serial killer, but hardly a good date," he relayed to her in a low voice.

"Sherlock..?!" Molly hissed, taken aback.

Will took it all in with narrowed eyes. "What's the big idea?! Let go of her!" he practically roared.

"Ah, yes, the date," Sherlock expressed with disgust. He made a point to not relinquish her wrist. "I assure you I mean less harm to Ms. Hooper than you do. Tell me, is this dessert shop at your place or just in a dark alley? Of course, I'm willing to bet the rectangle of plastic in your back pocket is a hotel key and not a credit card."

Molly's eyes turned even wider, and she gazed at Sherlock with stunned appall, though she was now no longer trying to jerk her wrist away. Slack-jawed, she stared at her date and then back to Sherlock.

Will scowled and sneered as he leaned closer. "What the hell are you talking about? Let go of her before I call the cops," he threatened.

"Yes! Let's call the cops!" Sherlock exclaimed with mock excitement. "I'm sure they would be very interested in the puncture marks in your arms and what exactly you've been injecting yourself with. Don't you think so, Molly?" he asked, tugging her a little closer. He'd noticed the telltale signs when Will had shed his jacket earlier.

Molly was gauging it all with furiously blinking eyes, answering in a startled and dazed voice. "I.. I didn't..." she swallowed hard. "..Notice."

Will gave him a hard stare and addressed Molly without so much as looking her way. "Molly, do you know this man?"

Molly took a moment to answer, apparently having trouble registering it all. "Yes.." she cleared her throat. "Ah, yes... this is Sherlock Holmes.." Will's expression completely changed and he snapped his gaze towards her to stare at her incredulously.

Sherlock grinned snarkily in response. "Pleasure to meet you, but not really. I believe I'll take Ms. Hooper home, and you can go to your hotel room alone and shoot up again. Good night!" he declared pleasantly. With those final words, Sherlock pulled Molly along, quickly putting distance between them and Will.

Stunned into silence, Will could only stare in bewilderment as Molly struggled to keep up with Sherlock's quick pace. He felt anger bubble up inside him, but in the end, there was no point. Will turned dejectedly to do exactly what Sherlock had suggested.

Molly quickened her gait to stride alongside him, feeling the utmost embarrassment. "...I'm sorry that you had to.." she swallowed thickly. "...abandon your case for something like this. I'm sorry."

Sherlock walked briskly in the way that was essentially his. "I felt it was in the best interest of the entire country to monitor your dating candidates, considering past occurences," he responded stiffly.

"...Perhaps you're right, maybe I should just.. just stop trying." Molly sighed quietly, her gaze fixated to the ground. "The most action I get with a man is inspecting his corpse."

Sherlock cleared his throat, changing the subject. "Well, ah, love is a weakness anyway. It's best to not give others a way to blackmail you," he reminded her, or possibly himself.

"Is that truly what you think of love? You're a jaded man." Something inside Molly yearned to show him that love could be much more than that.. if he would let her. She was silent for a long time before adding, much quieter, "I was fine before you came along, you know. Just.. just fine."

Sherlock, the man who always knew exactly what to say, found himself speechless. "Perhaps.. Perhaps I was wrong to follow you on your date," he admitted. How did this always happen? Molly seemed to be the only person who could make him feel remorse.

"I didn't mean tonight on the date. I meant... I meant in general." Molly had never really taken an interest in romance until Sherlock came along and showed her what she was missing. Falling head over heels for him was simultaneously the best and worst thing to ever happen to her. Sometimes she wondered if she would've been better off never meeting him at all.

"I suppose I do call you away from your life often for my experiments and cases. I'm afraid I don't consider your feelings in this, Molly, and I apologize," Sherlock mourned. Somehow, he always had found it hard to take others' emotions and lives into consideration, for he, himself, had always been so grand and great. Other humans seemed small in comparison. But Molly, sweet and innocent and ordinary Molly, was anything but small in his eyes. If anything, she was one of the only people to actually follow his train of thought without constantly annoying him with ignorant questions.

Molly was surprised, at everything - how he had abandoned his case to pursue her, because didn't he disregard it when people died? And his uncharacteristic apology and overall consideration was also unexpected. Frankly, all in all, she was surprised that he wasn't demeaning her and saying "I told you so". "I don't have a life like normal women my age, remember? Anyway, I don't mind that. I really don't. That's not what I meant, either."

Sherlock shot her an inquisitive look before calling a cab. It stopped, and he gestured for Molly to get in first. Once she was inside, Sherlock slipped in after her and gave the address to the cabbie. He didn't make an effort to respond to her last words, preferring to mull them over to himself. He could read people down to a science, and rarely was he ever stumped, but when it came down to some things Molly said and did, she proved herself unreadable sometimes. Even though it did frustrate him, Sherlock had to admire that in some way. It wasn't easy to confuse him.

Molly spoke after a long time, gazing down at her hands folded in her lap. "..Thank you."

"For what?" Sherlock asked. He had ruined her date, insulted her, and basically just been himself. Most people were cursing him out quite strongly at this point.

She hesitated as if sheepish to respond. "Well... for coming when you did. If you hadn't.. you know, I probably wouldn't have found out he was bad news until it was too late."

Sherlock recognized the truth in this, and it made him angry. He had seen all kinds of horrible things in his life as a detective, but harming innocent Molly seemed like a sin deserving of a fate worse than death. "Naturally," he said and then cleared his throat. This was getting much too unnecessarily emotional. "What would I do without access to the morgue?"

Molly felt her heart sink. Of course it'd been foolish to hope he had done this of his own accord without such motive. "Ah, yes. That's why..." she trailed off, gazing out her window and wringing her hands.

Molly's despair was obvious to Sherlock, and it bothered him that he was the cause. "Of course.. I-" Suddenly, the cab jerked to a stop outside Molly's house, and Sherlock was almost pleased with the convenient interruption.

Molly fumbled to unbuckle her seatbelt before turning to look at him. "Thank you... again. I suppose I'll see you..?" her voice ended on a questioning note, then she added, "...soon." She pivoted to open the car door, then stopped, lingering in place for a long moment before about-facing and leaning over to kiss his cheek. He blinked. "Ah, sorry," the brunette stuttered, practically leaping out of the cab and hitting her head in her haste. "G-goodnight!" she called over her shoulder, raising a hand instinctively as if to rub her head, then she jerked it back down halfway.

Sherlock smoothly exited the cab, telling the driver to wait a moment, and walked around to face Molly. This was the least he could do. "Molly.. I didn't follow you for the sake of the morgue," he admitted.

She slowly turned with bated breath, her astonished features exhilirated by the glow of a nearby street lamp. "...What?" she breathed.

"Molly.. I'm just glad you're safe," Sherlock whispered. He then kissed her briefly on the cheek and quickly returned to the cab. He had shown too much.

Molly stared after the cab long after it'd driven out of sight, frozen in place, her doe eyes wide and enamored, her heart in her throat. She slowly reached up to touch her cheek.

As impossible as Sherlock proved himself to be, he was certainly easy to love. What an anomaly that man was.

Sherlock stared out the window as the cab took him home. His mind was even busier than usual as thoughts flurried around frantically. He did his best to organize and delete the pieces of information as they presented themselves, but things were always difficult when it came to Molly. The thoughts and ideas were emotional, so they should have been trashed, but Sherlock somehow couldn't bring himself to do it. Instead, he filed away the image of her surprise as he had kissed her along with everything else from the night that was important.

By the end of it, he had completely forgotten the name of her date, but an entire room of his mind palace seemed to be too devoted to Molly Hooper. He justified this because there was still something he didn't understand, and this bothered Sherlock greatly.

Sherlock hadn't followed Molly because he was worried her date was another serial killer, even if that had been a genuine reason to worry. He had followed her because...

Well, the great detective was still thinking that over.