A/N: This just came to me after some lovely anon fairy gifts on tumblr. I know I should be working on Perfect Clarity but this wouldn't let me be until I wrote it!
Molly didn't know why she had allowed Mary to convince her to go to the St. Barts annual charity ball. The balls were always the same, she would talk to a few of her colleagues, have a glass of champagne and spend the rest of the night sitting at a table by herself while everyone else danced. She sighed, taking a sip of champagne, so far despite the fact that the theme was a masquerade this ball wasn't any different. She should have brought a book with her, but then Mary would scold her for being anti-social.
Mary was off dancing with John, he may have been wearing a mask but she could tell it was him from the way her friend's face lit up. She didn't begrudge her friend's happiness by any means, she was just feeling sorry for herself.
Mary had not only insisted she go but had roped her into buying a new dress for it too. Admittedly it was a beautiful dress, certainly one she wouldn't have bought on her own. She smoothed the fabric down self-consciously, it was navy blue, the top half fitting her like a glove, then a fluttery skirt with an opening in the middle showing her legs when she walked.
She sighed and moved to remove her mask, there wasn't any point in keeping it on if all she was going to do was sit all evening. She stopped when she felt a hand on her wrist and turned.
"I believe the point of a masquerade is to keep one's identity a secret," the man holding her wrist said.
She smiled at him, "I didn't see much of a point in continuing to wear it while I sat here for the rest of the evening."
His hand moved to hold her's, pulling her gently from her seat, "Then allow me. May I have this dance?"
She grinned, feeling her heart flutter, "Yes you may."
He led her out to the floor, smiling as he took her in his arms. Molly wrapped her arms around his neck, thankful she had worn heels, as he place his hands on her waist.
She caught Mary's giving her the thumbs up sign and grinning as she noticed that Molly was dancing.
She giggled softly, rolling her eyes at her friend. She looked up at the mysterious man who had asked her to dance, there was something about him that she couldn't quite put her finger on.
"Oh, sorry it was my friend. She always drags me to these things and was excited to see me dancing at least once," she bit her lip in embarrassment.
He chuckled, "Well then I imagine she'll be thrilled to see that you're engaged for the rest of the night."
She blushed as he pulled her closer, her head resting against his chest.
"John, honey shush please."
John shrugged, if Molly was dancing it meant Mary was happy which made life much easier for him.
They continued to dance through the night, smiling and laughing, for once Molly was truly enjoying herself.
"Ladies and gentlemen, that was the last song of the night," Mike Stamford announced. "So thank you all for making this night such a success! And now you may unmask!"
Molly moved to remove her mask, but once again he stopped her. She frowned, unsure of why he didn't want to know who she was.
As if reading her thoughts he said, "I would know you anywhere Molly Hooper," and softly kissed her lips.
She felt a jolt as his lips touched her's, her stomach fluttered and she sighed happily.
He broke the kiss, and smiled as her eyes met his. He took her hand in his, placing a kiss on it. "Goodnight Molly," he turned and headed out of the ballroom, leaving a speechless Molly behind.
"That was..." she started, quickly pulling off her shoes before breaking into a run after him.
She caught him outside just as he was about to enter a taxi.
"Wait!" she called.
He stopped but didn't turn around.
"Sherlock, will you please look at me?" she said placing her hand on his arm.
He turned and looked at her. Her face was flushed from running, her shoes in her hand and her hair was falling from its clip. He had never seen anything more lovely.
She smiled and reached up to pull of his mask, and then removed her own.
"No more hiding," she said. "Now we're ourselves again."
She stood on her toes and brushed her lips against his, praying that this wasn't a dream. She felt his arms wrap around her and pull her closer.
They were interrupted by the cabbie, "Are you going somewhere or what?"
She blushed as he raised his eyebrows at her and waved the cabbie away.
"Allow me to escort you home," he said, taking her arm in his.
She smiled and let their masks flutter to the ground, they didn't need them anymore.