It's impossible to get rid of an idea, Sherlock told her once, and it's true. From the moment Sherlock held that piece of paper in front of her face with Jim's phone number and she'd fled from the lab, she knew. No matter how hard she tries to shove the idea aside, she now looks at Jim and wonders.
If he wasn't interested, why did he ask her out in the first place?
But if he wasn't interested in Sherlock, why does Jim ask about him? Why was he so eager to meet Sherlock? Why did he so conveniently drop by that night at the lab?
Every time Jim kisses her or hugs her, she thinks Sherlock has to be wrong. He even buys her a gift: a silver chain with a pendent attached in the shape of a lock. Molly has never received jewelry from anyone outside her family before, and this piece looks pricy even in its simplicity. She makes a joke about there being a key to the lock, and Jim smiles, brushes the hair from her face and says, "There is no key."
She feels terribly guilty for doubting him.
Need morgue access ASAP. –SH
Molly turns off her phone, pretends not to have seen it, because it's date night with Jim and they had plans for a good supper and some telly and she lets Sherlock upset enough of her daily routines without giving up this. This one thing, this one person, that belongs to her.
But—"We could go," Jim presses. "I don’t mind. Really."
Molly doesn't lose her temper often, but it's too much and too soon and it upsets her, that niggling idea in the back of her head that perhaps Sherlock was right. She fishes her keys from her coat pocket and chucks them to the table, mouth drawn tight.
"You can go, then, if you're so eager to see him."
Jim has the audacity to look startled, which only upsets her more, because she feels she's been a pretty good sport about of all this up until now. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Was he right?" she asks tersely. "You left him your number. I saw it. Are you—because if you are, there's nothing wrong with that, just..."
Molly has never seen Jim unhappy, or angry, or anything other than easy-going and friendly. His brows twitch tightly together, mouth downturned, eyes hard. "Unbelievable," is all he says to make Molly feel a whirlwind of embarrassed, worried, and humiliated.
"No, it's fine. Whatever. I get it." He grabs his coat and swings it on in one easy motion.
"I'm sorry," she says, over and over, as she follows him to the door, but he'll have none of it, and the slamming of the door leaves Molly in smothering silence.
Jim stops commenting on her blog. Stops coming to work. His manager is furious.
And Molly can't find the necklace anywhere.
Months later, she wakes with the feel of something metallic and heavy around her neck, and she dreads going to the mirror because she knows what it is. A silver chain with—
Not a lock-shaped pendent, but a key instead. She should take it off. Rip it off, in fact. Throw the ruddy things into the nearest trash bin.
She tucks the necklace into her shirt where the metal rests warm and smooth against her skin. When she feeds Toby, she finds he's wearing a brand new collar and that almost gets her more than the necklace around her throat. Almost.
There isn't time to dwell on what she's feeling because today, she is going to be a key herself. A key to helping Sherlock fake his own death.
Because every lock has a key and Molly feels she should have known that all along.