Title: Cats and Dogs
Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE EMPTY HEARSE
Summary: Molly has a dog. Dogs are loyal, sweet and nice. But Molly always loved rude, selfish and standoffish cats.
Disclaimer: If I owed it DAT KISS would've been real.
Toby runs away the day she moves in with Tom.
One of Tom's friends opens up the carrier and he runs out the open front door. Molly puts up flyers, but she never gets word on her beloved cat's fate. She just hopes he has found a nice, new home rather than the awful alternative.
After a week, Tom suggests it might help if they get a new pet to love. Toby wouldn't have wanted Molly to be lonely. They get a dog. Tom thinks it might be good for Molly to not jump back in with another cat. She agrees to it. Different is good. Different is... Different.
The dog is named Becks. They get him the day David Beckham announces his retirement and Tom is a big fan. Molly could care less about footie. Toby's full name was Tobias Ragg, as her cats in uni had been Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett. She doesn't fight Tom on the name though. She doesn't have any suggestions.
He's a black Patterdale Terrier. Molly doesn't know anything about dog breeds, but Tom tries to teach her. She tries to be enthusiastic about it.
Becks is excitable. He destroys the sitting room when Molly is out at work. Tom suggests Molly come home on her lunch break to take him for a walk.
When Becks shits on the carpet Molly yells that Tom's dog is testing her last nerve.
Tom reminds her that Becks is their dog.
She does start to walk Becks more. She tries not to remember when she stopped being so reluctant about it. She knows it was the day she saw his reflection in the mirror at Bart's.
She always finds herself walking the same path. It's a winding route. Becks needs a lot of exercise. It starts to become a routine.
Halfway through the walk, Molly ends up on Baker Street. She stops in front of 221B, before abruptly turning around and walking home.
More and more, Molly finds herself missing cats. Dogs are affection and loyal, but there's something appealing about the standoffishness of a cat. It feels like you have to earn their affections. And when you finally have them, they are the most wonderful, loving animals.
But Molly has a dog. Molly can't have a dog and a cat. She's promised herself to having a dog, so a dog she will have.
Molly's search for her engagement ring doesn't take her long to suss out. She always leaves it on her nightstand rather than wear it to work. It's impractical to wear while elbow deep in corpses.
With everything knocked off the nightstand, it is clear Becks got into the bedroom. Not only that, he has swallowed the only thing he could fit into his mouth.
She collects his droppings for a day. None of them have her ring inside. She decides to give it one last chance. Becks is whining and barking, bounding around the door.
About two blocks in, it starts pissing rain. Molly isn't prepared for it. She curses and huffs, but she keeps going.
After another few blocks, Becks voids himself and she collects the droppings. She can see the glittering inside the waste.
She knows she should go back home, but it's only another block.
He's waiting in the open doorway when she reaches 221B. He's not wearing his scarf, but his coat collar is turned up. "Didn't know if you would come tonight. With the weather and all."
"You've... You've..." Molly's mouth is dry.
"Of course I knew," Sherlock responds. He eyes the bag in her hand. He gestures to a rubbish bin. "You can get rid of that."
Molly smiles weakly. Her hair is soaking and she's miserably cold. "I can't. My ring is in it."
"You never cared for it much anyway," Sherlock responds. "You tried to talk him out of buying it. You've never cared much about jewellery. And you can't wear it to work. But he was traditional. He wanted everyone to know you were his."
"Couldn't just let it go though," Molly's voice is shaky.
Sherlock nods slowly. "No. I suppose not."
Molly's glad it's raining because it masks her tears. She's sure Sherlock probably knows, but at least she can pretend to save face. "I love cats," she blurts out.
Sherlock blinks. "Hm?"
"Cats. I love them. They're rude and selfish and standoffish, but I love them." She's sure she looks absolutely ridiculous. Like a drowned rat. "Dogs are loyal and sweet and nice and you can try to convince yourself you're happy with them..."
Sherlock's smile grows. "But if you're not happy, you're not happy."
"Why can't I be happy?" Molly pleads. "Why can't I be happy with a dog?"
Sherlock crosses the distance between them, cupping Molly's face. "Because you're a cat person."
And then his mouth is on hers. It's a desperate, hungry kiss, tongue delving deep into her mouth. She lets out a cry and relaxes her hands, dropping both leash and bag of droppings.
Sherlock pulls back quickly, snatching up Becks' leash before he can run off. "It wouldn't do for Tom to lose both of you in the same day."
Sherlock helps her clean up the ring. He walks with Molly back to Tom's place, but hangs back.
Molly gives Tom back the ring. She apologizes profusely, crying the whole time.
Tom asks her what they're going to do with Becks. She tells him to keep the dog. To find someone who loves dogs as much as he does.
When she walks out, she feels the weight off of her shoulders. But Sherlock is nowhere to be seen. Her heart sinks.
"Do you know your neighbour is a bit mad? Her husband died ten years ago and her children never visit. Instead, she keeps so many cats, it's surely a health code violation. She doesn't even know where they all come from."
Molly's breath catches as she turns to face Sherlock. He's holding Toby in his arms, using his Belstaff to protect the cat from the rain.
"Sherlock..." Molly whispers.
"I know somewhere he can stay," Sherlock says with a smile. "Both of you."
Holding Toby in one arm, Sherlock slings the other over Molly's shoulders. "I've always been fond of cats."