Doctor Molly Hooper had the humility to admit she wasn't a genius. Especially with the number of absolutely brilliant people who seemed to be walking into her life lately. She was, however, fairly bright. Thus it caught her by surprise when she got two important facts wrong in the most spectacular fashion possible in rapid succession. Unfortunately, these erroneous facts were interconnected.
The first was that helping Sherlock Holmes fake his own death would be the hardest thing in the world for her to pull off.
The second was that the most wonderful thing in the world would be to live with Sherlock Holmes.
She had her part in Sherlock's plan. She knew it by heart. She knew not to get a second of it wrong or else the entire ruse might fail. That he had so much trust in her warmed her heart, even though it would mean she would most likely never see him again.
She had gotten that wrong too. Sherlock had been very vague on the details of his plan once Molly's part in it was complete. He had said the less she knew, the safer she would be. He didn't want her to know where he was going after everything was said and done. He had just assured her he would be safe and far away.
So she was surprised when- after helping Sherlock escape Barts and faking his autopsy results- she found him sitting on her sofa, idly stroking Toby.
"You should have a better lock on your door," Sherlock commented impassively, not even bothering to turn his head to look at her. "You are a young, single woman of moderate attractiveness. That makes you a prime target for home invasion and potential sexual assault."
Molly darted her gaze around her tiny flat. "Um." She bit her lower lip. Despite her shock, she felt the flutter in her chest at the notion Sherlock found her to be 'moderately attractive'. "I'm sorry. What are you doing here?"
Sherlock finally raised her head, piercing blue gaze seeming to stare right through Molly. It made her stomach do that odd flip-flop it always did when he was looking at her. "Hm? I have had to revise the scenario of my demise. Even with Moriarty and myself dead, his syndicate may still be targeting my associates. I must keep an eye on them before I leave the country. As you are the only person who knows I am still alive, I will need to remain in your domicile until I can ensure the safety of those around me."
Molly furrowed her brow, several things about Sherlock's statement confusing her. She chose to focus on what in her mind was the most important. "Are you asking if you can live with me?"
Sherlock tilted his head, pondering the situation. "I do not actually recall making it a request. However, I suppose it one of those social niceties I am often told I gloss over." He pulled himself to his feet and moved with a feline-like grace to Molly, leaning in towards her. "Molly Hooper, may I remain in your domicile until I can ensure the safety of those around me?"
Molly's breath caught in her throat and she let out an odd sort of squeak. Why was she unable to get words out around him?
Sherlock's smile was absolutely dazzling. "Good then." He threw himself back down onto the couch, causing Toby to let out a yowl and dash off before long legs squished him. "Make a pot of tea."
"Wait..." Molly put a hand up, shaking her head. "Sherlock, I only have the one bedroom."
Sherlock turned his head towards her as he lay sprawled out on the sofa. "Of course. You have dirty clothes strewn all over your bedroom floor, indicating you have not had a visitor in quite some time, especially not of the male gender. You overfeed your cat to compensate for the love and affection you cannot lavish upon a human- I assure you, it is overrated. There is a bottle of wine on the counter that you take a single glass from every night when you get home- stop feeling so guilty about it, it is your only vice and a pitiful one at that. You have several messages from your best friend on your answering machine informing you of her upcoming nuptials and her desire for you to be her Maid of Honour. You should reply, despite the fact you are sick of being a bridesmaid after the five times you have done it previously, judging from the taffeta nightmares you have hanging in your wardrobe." Finally, he took a breath. Molly wondered how in the world he was able to get all of that out without fainting. "A second bedroom would be a waste of money that would only remind you that you have no one to fill it. You are a remarkably stereotypical portrait of a woman who has resigned herself to spinsterhood. I would rethink getting that second cat."
Molly's cheeks burned in a mix of utter humiliation and just the tiniest touch of fury. "You went through my things and listened to my answering machine?"
Sherlock looked away and placed his head against the armrest of the sofa. "I was bored. Do not concern yourself with the social implications of sharing a flat with me with only the one bedroom. Even in my own home I prefer sleeping on the sofa. When I sleep at all. How did the post-mortem go?"
Molly was feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the situation and had only just realized she had yet to remove her coat. She finally did, hung it on the peg on the door- next to Sherlock's own coat- and sank down into one of the hard wooden chairs in her kitchenette. She glanced the bottle of wine on the counter.
"Do not let my presence interrupt your routine," Sherlock crossed his arms over his chest. "But while you are indulging in that plonk... Tea?"
Molly got back to her feet and went to the kitchenette, filling her electric kettle with water before taking out a glass and filling it with the inexpensive wine she favoured. "Your autopsy went fine. I said you had broken your neck and-"
"Not my post-mortem!" Sherlock said irritably, sitting up. "Moriarty's! You must have been the one who performed it. Despite your previous dalliance, no one would have believed it serious enough to force you to recuse yourself."
"Moriarty's?" Molly shook her head. "I don't understand..."
"Oh, do stop being tiresome!" Sherlock snapped. "Moriarty's post-mortem would have been conducted right after mine when his body was discovered..." Molly had never seen surprise on Sherlock Holmes's face, but it was unmistakable. It was also a little terrifying. "You have no idea what I am talking about. Because there was no post-mortem on Moriarty. Because his body was never found. As inept as the police force is, they would have examined where I had fallen from in order to discern the entire situation. Which means Moriarty's body was no longer there. Which means he is still alive." He shook his head. "But that is impossible. I was inches away from him when he shot himself."
He raked a hand through his dark, curly hair. "But no. I am him. And he is me. The only person who could have fooled me like that is me. Ergo, he would be capable of it." He raced towards the door, grabbing his coat. "Forget about the tea! I have to go!"
"Sherlock!" Molly called after him. "What do you think you're doing?"
Sherlock had paused in the middle of putting on his scarf. "I am going to investigate. It is what I do."
"It's what you did, Sherlock," Molly pointed out. "You killed yourself this afternoon, remember?"
Sherlock nodded slowly. "Right. I suppose that would make things slightly more difficult, wouldn't it?"
"Just a bit," Molly sighed.
Sherlock beamed at her. "It was getting a bit dull. Good to have a change."
Before Molly could say another word, Sherlock was rushing out the door.
(Art by Lexie)