Molly widens her eyes in surprise when he shows up at the lab bringing her a cup of coffee.

"Okay, what do you want me to do this time?" she asks resignedly, and he supposes he deserves that. However, he's too busy following his train of thought to give her a direct answer.

"We're not a couple, are we?" he blurts out, and she spills the coffee all over herself.

"Of course we aren't. Why are you even asking?"

He hands her a box of tissues so that she can clean up the mess. "My dearest brother has not so subtly implied that you're not good enough for me, which is clearly absurd. I don't know where he got the idea anyway – I would be aware if I were involved with a woman, wouldn't I?"

She sighs as she throws the tissues into the bin. "Normal people are usually aware when they're in love, yes. I don't know about you."

"How do they know?"

A nervous chuckle comes from her throat. "It's about liking another person. You're happy when you see them, that kind of stuff."

He huffs impatiently. "I do like John, and Mrs Hudson. I don't think I'm in love with either of them though."

"What about that woman?" she murmurs hesitantly, averting her gaze.

"Which woman?"

"The one you knew – not from her face. I suppose you were involved with her."

His eyes narrow slightly at the mention of Irene. "I wasn't attracted to her. Not in any way you would understand."

"Did you kiss her?"

"What? No."

Molly offers him a somewhat apologetic shrug. "That would have been a good way to know."

He pauses momentarily, considering her suggestion; then, on the spur of the moment, he leans forward and presses his lips against her own.

He's not entirely sure why people seem so fond of the act, it just feels awkward and unpractical to him; however, things take an interesting turn when she eventually takes charge and starts kissing him for real.

"We can't do this here," she says breathlessly, a lilt of panic apparent in her voice.

"Where then?" he inquires; and for a moment there he's afraid she's going to faint.

xxx

Neither of them notices the man that is standing at the corner of Baker Street, patiently waiting under the pouring rain. As soon as they step inside 221B he closes his umbrella and slides into a black car, dialling a number on his phone.

"Mission accomplished, John," that's all he says before he hangs up.