Nothing Sherlock Holmes ever did was quite normal- marriage was no different.
As Molly heard the familiar sound of her husband’s long strides, she smiled to herself, waiting for him to do as he usually did after solving a case and crawl into bed with her. His clothes rustled and his belt jangled a bit as he readied for bed.
Molly mused on how they had even gotten to this point. It had all begun two years ago when she had helped him fake his death. That night she came home from falsifying documents that verified his death to find him waiting in her flat. Once Sherlock had ascertained that everything had gone according to plan he grabbed her by the shoulders and awkwardly planted as kiss on her cheek, clearly going through the motions of what he thought was expected of him. In the weeks that followed, the two of them settled into a routine where Molly spent her days at work and Sherlock spent his in her flat trying to figure out how to take down Moriarty’s network once and for all.
Three weeks into this arrangement, Molly had arrived home to find Sherlock stretched out on her sofa, staring despondently at the ceiling. She was still a bit awkward around him, but he was clearly in distress, so she gathered up her courage and scooted in next to him on the sofa, placing his head in her lap in an attempt to comfort him.
“It’ll be alright, you know. You’re the great Sherlock Holmes. You’ll figure this out.”
Sherlock remained silent in response, so Molly spent a few more minutes stroking his hair before getting up with a sigh to fix some tea and dinner for the two of them. He didn’t say a word to her the rest of the evening.
That night, hours after Molly had turned in for the night, he climbed into her bed. He didn’t say anything and Molly didn’t want to ruin the moment by opening her mouth and saying something stupid, so she kept quiet and let him fall asleep there. She supposed she had a calming influence on him. The next night he crawled into bed with her, and the night after that, and all the other nights. Molly never said anything about it, accepting it as a matter of course.
Two weeks after Sherlock first climbed into her bed, he kissed her. And since Sherlock Homes never did anything by halves, it was also the same night he first made love to her.
“Molly Hooper, “ Sherlock had said (breaking the “no talking while Molly is watching telly” rule- a rule which had been instituted very shortly after their arrangement began when Sherlock felt the need to point out the inaccuracies and improbabilities of an episode of Doctor Who that Molly was watching), “you are a most extraordinary woman.”
Too taken aback to scold Sherlock for speaking, Molly merely squeaked out a stunned, “What?”
“I observe people. I study their movements and behaviors to learn more about them. Most people are selfish, vain, and weak. You, however, are kind, selfless, caring and strong.” Sherlock barreled on before Molly could interrupt him. “I’ve watched you leave for work. There is a homeless man that waits for you at the street corner, every Monday and Thursday morning because he knows you’re a soft-touch and will spare him a few pounds of change. You come home late from work on Wednesday evenings, smelling of coffee and carrying a takeaway cup, because you meet John Watson every week at Caffe Nero to chat and to make sure that he’s holding up after the death of his roommate and friend whom you know to be alive and well.” Sherlock paused for a moment, carefully considering his words before he continued. “If a man who had never been very nice to you asked you for your help, you wouldn’t hesitate to do it. You might even help him fake his death and let him live with you. And yes, Molly, you are strong. You can stand up to that same man who had never been very nice to you and tell him that he said the most horrible things even if-“ here Sherlock uncharacteristically faltered, “even if- you had feelings for that man. That’s a kind of strength not many people have.”
Molly sat there on the opposite corner of the sofa, too shocked to move or say anything. The physical distance between them suddenly seemed a vast wasteland. Before Molly could collect her thoughts, Sherlock stood slightly and leaned over her, planting a soft kiss on her lips.
“I don’t make friends with just anyone, Molly Hooper. So believe me when I say that you are, in fact, extraordinary.”
She couldn’t help herself. The tears just started to flow. No one had ever called her extraordinary before. She’d always been the sweet, but mousey girl that no one took particular notice of, except to borrow a pen or ask what the day’s assignment was. She was the very definition of ordinary, but Sherlock noticed everyone and everything. He’d noticed HER.
That night, he made sure that she knew it. Molly had imagined Sherlock Holmes in her bed many times, but she’d never pictured him to be a particularly generous lover. How wrong she was. That night Sherlock fairly worshiped her.
Molly briefly wondered if Sherlock had ever been with a person in that way before, but the thought left her, as it became clear that whether it was through experience or (more likely, knowing Sherlock) extensive reading, that Sherlock knew all the right places to touch her. He seemed a bit unsure of himself, something Molly had thought was impossible for Sherlock Holmes, but he was eager to please. Over the next few months, they learned each other’s bodies as well as their own.
Sherlock, being Sherlock, had had a most unusual way of proposing. It happened several months after Sherlock had managed to defeat Moriarty’s criminal network once and for all and was able to clear his name- revealing to the world that he was alive and well. Sherlock had moved back into 221B Baker Street, although when he wasn’t working on a case, he spent most nights with Molly or she spent her nights at his flat. He never said he loved her, and Molly never expected him to. But it was ok. She knew anyway. She was happy and confident in Sherlock’s affection. One day, he interrupted her morning routine of tea and beans on toast while reading the newspaper.
He said the last words that Molly Hooper had ever expected to come out of Sherlock Holmes mouth. “I think we should get married.”
“It’s only logical. I am in a dangerous line of work. If anything should happen to me, I think you should have all the rights of a spouse- be able to make medical decisions for me and inherit any money if it came to it. My brother-“ here Sherlock pulled a face that expressed his distaste, “is currently my next of kin, and I’d much rather it were you.”
It wasn’t a fancy affair. Just some signed papers at a government building and John and Lestrade as witnesses, followed by drinks at a local pub, but Molly didn’t need a real wedding. She didn’t have any family to celebrate with. and she’d never been the kind of girl to spend hours imagining the details of a perfect wedding. She knew that this was Sherlock’s way of proving to her (and to himself) that he cared for her- binding her to him and making sure that she’d be taken care of if the worst should happen.
She kept her own name, and they didn’t wear rings. But still, they were married. Even though she essentially moved in to 221B Baker Street Molly maintained her own flat so that when Sherlock was on the case, she could give him space, staying at her place until, like clockwork, he’d solve the case and come home to her.
So tonight, as her husband pulled back the duvet, Molly asked the same question she always asks, “Difficult case?”
“Not too bad. Serial arsonist who turned out to be trying to cover up an embezzlement scheme. No deaths.”
She noted the smell of burnt cloth and hoped that Sherlock thought to remove all his burned clothing before climbing into bed, but was too tired to give it more thought. So she leaned over and kissed him softly before settling her head on his chest, her arm draped across his bare torso, and fell asleep once more.