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The List

Chapter Text


She laughs gaily,  her eyes glittering as she brushes her dark thick hair away from her face. I know she 's  about to tell me more. It's obvious from the way she leans forward on the table,  or the way her voice turns lower, eyes turning briefly to others in the café.

"He really is amazing – an incredibly attentive lover and his-," (her words make me blush and my pen halts entirely).

"Afraid we can't print that," I say with a barely supressed giggle.

She grins widely in return, her expression almost bordering on salacious.

"I suppose you can't," she said. "But it's very impressive, nonetheless."


"He does it seven times a night apparently."

"Don't think that's exactly a good thing Shannon."

"Oh come on - the man's clearly got stamina!"


"And he's got technique! Oh my God - the amount of detail in the interview – you wouldn't bloody believe it – you'd almost think it was some dirty little sto -," The second she walked past them they quietened down, hushing each other loudly while sneaking glances at her, but she could still discern their laughter, loud and grating.

Molly didn't linger very long in the canteen, opting to drink her coffee in her office without having to overhear another conversation about how good 'Sherlock Holmes' was in bed.

When she'd smacked the door to her office shut she'd laughed out loud for a minute, shaking her head as she took another large sip of her coffee. It had been two weeks, but people still kept opening their gob. There had been less chatter going about when Janine had exposed Sherlock's supposedly insatiable sex-crazed appetites.

Somehow she suspected it had met a broader audience this time or possibly a second opinion had been needed to make any of it authentic. This second opinion was of course 'an anonymous female' who went into really vulgar detail, only omitting that which they could not print without offending. Molly had briefly skimmed the piece, her eyebrows disappearing into her hair until she could barely contain her laughter.

Of course that was because she knew that, when it came to sex – Sherlock Holmes was not interested.

It just wasn't his area.

And this woman, whoever she was, was clearly overdoing it for some petty cash. But it certainly didn't help that the article had dug up pictures of him on his way to Buckingham Palace in just a sheet, a thing she'd only heard of though she'd never seen. The pictures just elevated everyone's interest, since most had only ever seen him in the deerstalker, and that didn't exactly make anyone properly intrigued (except the few weird ones).

When she had read some of the piece she'd briefly considered if it actually had some truth to it, except when she thought of all of the times she'd mentioned sex in his presence (overlooking the sex of a dead corpse) he looked flabbergasted, shutting up entirely, promptly ignoring her little intentional outburst like it had never taken place.

And what was he doing to fend off this publicity?He was doing everything in his power to pretend like the rag had never been published, and the female staff weren't staring at him wantonly when he strode about the corridors of St Bart's, his dark coat billowing behind him.

She'd warned him of course, but he hadn't listened assuming that he could do as he pleased (just like him), occasionally throwing a scathing retort to some hare-brained nurse or doctor who prowled after him, asking questions about his sex life or if he was available for 'private deductions'.

She and John had both found it amusing at the start, except both of them were soon in the line of fire, questioned about their 'dubious relations' with the man, as if either of them had some secret on-going relationship with the consulting detective.

She'd been clever enough not to mention his bolthole, especially when colleagues interrogated her about his sexual prowess, while John just pointed at his wedding ring (with one very specific finger) walking off muttering curses under his breath. The fact that Sherlock didn't shoot down the article or retaliate in any way - even with an irritated post on his blog - frustrated her, as he was clearly loathing all of the idiotic attention.

Molly knew he loved attention if it was deserved, which was probably why he was having trouble coping since this wasn't some 'revenge' plot or anything of the kind like Janine. Whoever had done this had no particular reason, but she knew it was clearly untrue.

She'd pointed that out to him and he'd merrily ignored her comment, briefly smiling at him not wanting to confess its lack of authenticity, perhaps there was some pride over the matter. Any sane man wouldn't refute such an article anyway, and even Sherlock seemed unable to say he was in fact a virgin (according to a handful). In some ways she found it strange that he didn't want to admit it to her, since she didn't feel he was a worse person for not being experienced, and it wouldn't affect her in any way if he were.

She liked that he wasn't.

Not that she

No, she wasn't keen on…

No, she just thought it was just like him.

It was like him to be engrossed by his work and not into bodily pursuits (if one ignored her supplies that was). However, despite all of the knowledge she'd gained from knowing him, from years of understanding him – she'd still been bewildered the second he'd stormed into her office, slammed the door behind him, leaned his palms on her desk and said with gritted teeth - "I – need – you – to – teach – me."

Two rather large glasses of red wine, and none of it helped with her nerves. He was going to be in her flat in less than two minutes and she was already cracking from the pressure.

"Why – why me?"

"You've had lots of sex, haven't you?"

"Umm but-,"

"With Timothy – no – Thomas – no – 'meat-dagger' (he said the word like she'd named Tom that herself, scoffing loudly) – didn't you?" he said his eyes flashing towards her, while she leaned back into her chair slightly unnerved by his unwavering stare.

She had almost not believed him, alternating between gaping and staring at him like he was joking, even more so when he, with a flourish, presented 'the list'.

From his coat pocket he unfurled a piece of paper, dropping it on her paperwork, and she leaned forwards curiously reading the numerated list, redness seeping into her cheeks as her eyes widened at the sight.

"I Googled it," he spat.

She didn't know what to say, her eyes reluctantly meeting his and immediately she began cracking a joke to defuse the tension. "But you could just watch-," Obviously he knew what she was thinking - cutting her short before she'd even managed to say 'porn'.

"Hardly realistic, Molly. I think you'd agree."

Her giggles bordered on hysterical, though they came swiftly to an end at the serious expression on his face - the slight crinkle between his eyebrows, the disgruntled turn of his mouth. It was then she knew he was utterly serious in his proposal (of sorts).

"You actually want me to teach you how to-," she said turning her brown eyes to her desk, her fingers drumming on her coffee cup for support.

"We don't need to (clearing his throat soundly)-," he faltered pocketing his hands, furrowed brows and eyes fixed on the polished floor.

"Is it for a case?" she asked trying to find a logical explanation, trying to find any explanation really.

He rolled his eyes. "No-,"

"No? Then why are we-,"

"It's purely scientific," he said pacing in front of her desk. She couldn't tell if it was a lie or if he was nervous or if it was both.

One minute left or so the watch on her wrist told her. She drank a large sip of her wine (half of the contents emptied) hoping he'd be late, but she knew from experience that he'd be on time like usual. It was hard to resist taking another gander at the paper resting on her coffee table, and she didn't try to resist, picking it up with a frown.

1. Kissing

2. Second base

3. 'Jobs' (handjob, blowjob)

4. Dry-humping

5. Cunilingus

6. Foreplay

7. Sex

She'd made plenty of to-do-lists; her notebooks and papers were littered with little assignments she'd made for herself, but this she'd never made. This was something her fourteen-year-old-self would have scribbled laughing a ridiculous amount with some of her schoolmates, ending their night on a high-note by watching 'Dirty Dancing' and pausing at the bits where Patrick Swayze was seen with his shirt off (okay maybe the latter was something the much older than fourteen-year-old Molly did on occasion).

Suddenly there was a knock.

Her minute was up.

"Oh God," she squeaked dropping the paper back on the table, hurriedly guzzling down the rest of her glass before she rushed to the door.

"You want to have sex?" she said. "With me?"

"No!" he said hurriedly like she was mad.

She raised her eyebrows.

"I just want realistic descriptions of every point on this particular list," he said quickly recovering.

"But John-,"

"Is a terrible teacher," said Sherlock with a sigh, running his hand through his dark curls, soon staring at her beseechingly. "Molly - you only need to explain the essentials."

"But why-,"

Pursing his lips he seemed to be steeling himself. "Because I need to be able to answer if questioned."

"You want people to think you're good in bed?" she said with her eyebrows still ridiculously high on her forehead.

A pin could drop, that was how quiet it felt.

"No," he said slowly, though he wasn't looking at her.

She blinked at him for a few seconds until she brought her coffee to her lips, which was of course cold by now. Reluctantly she said, "Okay…I'll teach you but I still think you'd get more help from a video or something."

"I tried that. Boring!" he said evidently cheered by her acceptance of his absolutely insane request.

"Do we need wine?" he asked the minute he'd stepped in her flat, as he'd obviously caught sight of the wine bottle and her empty glass, not that she'd concealed them.

"No," she said with a giggle. I need it.

For a few seconds they stood by the coat tree, her eyeing him with her hands on her hips and him looking at her immovably in return. This was of course a brilliant start at her teaching him. Frankly he should have added conversation to the top, though she knew it was her fault really for not saying anything.

She collected herself and walked off to the settee taking a seat, soon gesturing him to do the same. Sherlock of course choose the chair opposite her with the coffee table in between – still wearing his coat, scarf and gloves. Yet another terrible start really, as he looked ready to bolt.

Molly generously poured herself another glass of wine. This is going to be a long night, I can tell, she thought. Scraping together a bit of courage from the wine she cleared her throat, slightly perturbed that Sherlock had barely blinked as his blue eyes were fixed on her.

"So – kissing?" she said airily waving her hand for some reason, copying the motions of any teacher she'd had in her adolescence. By the way he continued to stare she half-expected him to bring up a notebook and start writing down transcripts of their conversation. "Have you-," she jerked her head toward him, the wine almost sloshing out of the glass.

Brilliant, she thought, I'm a bit tipsy.

He rolled his eyes briefly. "Fives times."

She was a bit surprised that it was five considering his fake relationship, though she suspected he didn't count the fake kisses.

"Okay," she said sighing. "Why is it on the list then?"

Sherlock blinked in response, his hands suddenly rubbing over his thighs like some subconscious nervous-tick. Tilting her head she tried to give him time, except the silence pushed on far too long for her taste. "Are you counting the times you've kissed me?" she said carefully.

Twice on the cheek were hardly kisses.

He knitted his brows. "Yes."

"They don't count-," she said without a hint of unease.


"No," she said with a shake of her head, pursing her lips as she pressed on. "Okay…so the others kisses – were they ones you liked?"

He looked thoughtful for a second, his eyes drifting above her head, before they flicked to her. "No."

"Okay," she said biting her lip, before putting her glass of wine down on the coffee table. "So – you've technically - not – kissed then- right?"

"Of course I've kissed!" he said almost sullenly, like she was being dense.

"Sherlock - it's not – kissing is -," she felt like groaning, but she kept her mouth shut, especially when he turned quiet with a curious gleam in his eyes, as she gestured wildly into the air as if to demonstrate, though hardly knowing where to begin.

"Then tell me," he said in a surprisingly quiet voice.

She stared at him soon bringing her flailing hands to her lap, almost thinking out loud before she began. "My first kiss was terrible," she glanced at him expecting him to roll his eyes, or say some condescending remark that would make her throw him out of her flat, but he kept his mouth shut. "Really – really – bad – but because it was someone I liked it helped. We weren't kissing because he was saying sorry or thank you (his hand resting on his thigh twitched). My second wasn't any better either and for a while I just thought I was rubbish at it."

There was no comment while she drew for a breath rubbing at her thighs, stopping when she realized she was copying him. "I sort of knew why it was bad since the blokes I'd liked were only really snogging me because they wanted one thing."

He raised a brow like he was clearly at a loss at what that thing was.

She smiled unable to help herself. "It was never really about the kissing – it was always about getting a hand under my skirt or blouse-," she paused when she saw his jaw clench, blinking confusedly before continuing, "- until I met someone called Peter. He was really – really – good, and he wasn't trying to get into my knickers – he was just kissing me and it was lovely."

Sherlock frowned. "What?" she said with knitted brows.

He looked like he had just been caught doing something wrong, swallowing slightly before he said. "Are you saying that if I like (his frown turned deeper) someone I won't care if they're terrible?"

Molly snorted. "No, that's not what I meant."

"Oh," he said looking puzzled.

"I just mean…that when you like someone your main goal shouldn't be – sex," she said with a small shrug, almost testing the waters to see if he'd act like he regularly would when she threw the word out there.

She was not disappointed to find his eyes distant and his face almost pale, but she was surprised to see him look calmly at her again. "So – I should only be focusing on that very moment with no regard to whatever might take place?" he said slowly.

"Yes," she said with a slightly more shaky voice than intended, slowly losing grip on what she'd meant herself. Molly didn't want to sound breathless. Neither did she want her cheeks to heat up, but they had. She blamed the wine, almost cursing under her breath for not having the conversation completely sober. "The other stuff…it'll sort of come to you especially the – umm – touching – but it's not really the goal."

He nodded. "Fine – what about these jobs?"

"Umm – can't really help you there," she said giggling a bit, relaxing more into the settee. If they continued like this she would live and she might not even need to have another glass of wine.

"So I'd have to experience them first hand?"

She hesitated wondering if he'd made a joke, but the fact that he looked at her expectantly made it clear he thought it was an innocent question. Nodding in return seemed easier than saying something out loud without laughing so she did.

"Noted," he said coolly, his eyes staring above her head briefly until they fixed themselves on her face again. "I am aware that I previously stated that this was going to be done orally-," She almost blanched – "- but I might need some experience surpassing the ones you say aren't actual kisses."

"Oh," she said in a whisper. "So you want us to-,"

"You don't mind?" he said.

She cleared her throat. "No, umm, I suppose that would be okay." A part of her knew it was better than okay really.


"Umm – so – should I or do you want to come over here?" she said eyeing the settee she was sat on, again rubbing at her thighs, but that felt only natural now.

His eyes widened a tiny bit and she almost wondered if he thought it could all be done with no physical contact.

"I can-," she said beginning to stand up, but he swept out of his chair soon sitting on the settee, but with a sizable gap between them.

Suddenly she felt nervous not because she wasn't good at kissing, but because it was him. He might not have any understanding about other people's boundaries and need of space, but she understood that he didn't like to feel his own trespassed on. They'd clearly have to move forward with slow steps so she directed her attention to the other elephant in the room. "Maybe you should take off your coat?" she said eyeing him trying hard not to laugh.

"Ah," he said after a few seconds, rising up and slipping off his gloves, scarf and then coat, before letting them tentatively rest on the settee's arm.

When he'd sat down again she said. "You're not nervous, are you?" Obviously she shouldn't have said that, probably making him more nervous, though it was too late to take it back.

"No," he said too quickly validating her suspicion.

"It's okay," she said with a small smile. "It's normal to be nervous."

"Can we begin then?" he said sounding irritated.

She almost snapped in return, having long since gotten over that general problem when working with him, but she kept her tongue when she saw his face. His usual calm mask wasn't at all present, instead a slightly pale man sat besides her, his hands twitching on his thighs and his back rigid.

"Right," she breathed softly out, almost lunging for her wine, swiftly deciding against it. She didn't want him to experience some sloppy attempt either, or one that tasted entirely of alcohol. Those were things she'd experienced herself and they weren't nice. "I think it's best if I sit on your lap maybe?" she said trying a business-like tone, and his head whipped towards her.

"My lap?" he parroted with furrowed brows.

She bit down her smile. "Yeah… if you don't mind that is?"

"No, it's fine," he said in a low voice, eyes briefly on her before they returned to the wall.

Molly was reluctant to move since she knew he was looking at all of this from a scientific point of view – while she – she sort of knew she wasn't (trying hard to do so though).

"I don't want to force you," she said in a small voice. "If you don't want to 'it's okay…just say so. I won't be offended."

"Molly, it's fine," he said turning to look at her, a small smile grazing his lips, as he finally swept his eyes away from the wall.

And then finally she moved slowly, almost unsurely onto her feet before she eased herself onto his lap before grabbing hold of the back to the settee. She marvelled over how small she felt on his rather taller and much broader frame. This was the closest she had ever been to him, nearer than him standing besides her in the lab, closer than them working together and it was definitely nice, but unfamiliar.

Clearing her throat she looked properly into those blue depths of his, as she'd been avoiding looking at him too intently not wanting to add any discomfort to the situation (for either of them really). His eyes were immovable on hers before slowly sliding down her face, clearly taking in the beginning of wrinkles and spots until they landed on her lips, quickly returning to her eyes.

She had never stared so directly into his eyes before, it was a bit unnerving to look at them this closely, to see the different shades of colour and to be able to count his lashes or watch the upturn of his mouth.

Molly became aware she had the right frame of mind, and for once she allowed herself to continue with it when she noticed his arms were dormant at his sides.

"You should – umm - hold me?" she said, her mouth twitching as she took control of the situation.

"Oh," he said and his hands rested on her hips awkwardly, touching the soft fabric of her grey trousers so delicately she was not certain he was before she looked down, to see his large hands actually perched there.

She licked her lips and returned her scrutiny to his face, breathing in and out trying to calm herself, trying to think of it logically. Her mind wandered again as he was warmer than she was expecting; somehow she always imagined he'd be cooler beneath her touch or - clothes, since she hadn't touched him quite yet. She only felt the heat of him underneath her thighs and her – don't go there.

She began to lean forward slightly, staring fixedly at his lips before searchingly looking up in his eyes, trying to find permission in them. And she was surprised to find in those blue-green hues that his pupils were - dilated. Instead of wavering any longer she leaned forward, resting her hands on his warm solid chest, sweeping a kiss on his lips that lingered on his soft mouth. Molly drew back quickly, annoyed that her mouth tingled a great amount at the short and brief contact, her insides churning, betraying her feelings in the simple action.

"That's – that's a chaste kiss," she said releasing a breath, quickly pursing her lips to not give away how she was feeling. It was only a simple kiss, barely a kiss, yet, that was the same thing she'd said to herself when he'd kissed her cheek years ago.

His expression was one she could not figure out, but his hands were still on her hips, the grip firmer than previously.

"Chaste," he murmured against her mouth with the tiniest of nods.

She pulled back smiling briefly, her cheeks reddening. "Should I-," she begun eyeing his lips again.

"Yes," he said.

When she leaned forward she was surprised to find him moving against her as well, gently returning the soft brush on her lips, her hands automatically sliding up from his torso to rest on his shoulders, until they were on the back of his smooth neck, feeling the dark curly tendrils there.

Drawing him nearer, she applied a bit more pressure on his lips, which he returned; tentative closed-mouthed kisses, which unfortunately made her insides jump. Quickly she drew back tasting her lips, very aware that his fingertips had somehow wound up underneath her blouse, gingerly touching her lower back, but they were still now, pressing into her skin.

"You've got that then-," she began almost rising out of his lap this time, thinking better of continuing the lesson.

"What about French kissing?" he said slowly with his eyes on her lips.

"Okay," she said with a husky voice. "Are you okay with that?"

His mouth quirked up briefly, as he lifted his eyes to hers. "Yes."

She leaned forward again, but he did not return the action, clearly waiting for her to initiate. Meeting his mouth, she swept her tongue slowly against his lower lip, her head buzzing the instant he opened his mouth and his tongue tentatively met hers with a brief stroke.

It was then her hands tangled themselves up in his hair and his grip on her became tighter, his hands almost clawing into her skin, as the kiss got deeper, longer and less slow. Molly had not intended to moan into his mouth when he drew her even closer, their teeth almost clashing. Neither seeming to care until reality hit her and she withdrew with enflamed cheeks.

"Umm-," she began looking down, but he cut her short to her amazement, lifting her face up with his nose that brushed softly against her cheek, sweeping his tongue against her lower lip mimicking her previous action, drawing her closer with his hands and mouth.

She could hardly breathe against his mouth, her body heating up as he nipped and stole more kisses from her – soft and firm and ever so distracting. Her mind reeled even more when she felt – she felt – withdrawing again she stared.

"Sherlock?" she said startled.

His pupils were fully blown and his breath came in short bursts, almost ragged, as he blinked furiously, looking rather uncomfortable.

"Maybe we should-," he said stopping short.

Carefully without looking at her he let his hands slip away from scrunching up the back of her blouse and she slid off trying not to look down at his lap, sitting back down on the other end of the settee.

"That was – that was…good," she said not meeting his eye.

"Umm – yes," he said.

"You know what you're doing - so that's… that's nice."

"I should-," he said standing up from the settee hurriedly grabbing his things, bundling them up in his arms in pure haste.

"Yeah," she said weakly as the door to her flat shut with a bang.

Chapter Text

Loud footsteps passed the lab door, her brown eyes jolted upward to the glass panel, but it was a fair-headed doctor who walked past, not dark curls and dark coat. Disgruntled she groaned to herself realizing she'd done it again – every time she'd heard anyone walk by the doors she had looked up, almost too keen for her own good. He wasn't going to show a curly hair today, finally taking her advice to heart, as she'd certainly overheard someone hoping he'd show up today when she'd paused for lunch.

Not that she was hoping that herself, quite the opposite.

She was only keeping an eye out in case he did (of course).

Molly's hands shook and she squeezed her eyes shut trying to think of something else. Maybe, just maybe she had been a bit more affected than the state she tried (poorly too) to be right after last night. When he'd left she'd sat silently on her settee for an hour, only startled out of her state when Toby jumped up where she and Sherlock had both been positioned in something that didn't feel like a learning-exercise.

In fact -quite far from it.

She blamed herself really, as she should never have agreed to any of it. Attempting to drown the memories in the shower afterwards hadn't worked; neither had brushing her teeth hoping to eradicate the pleasant taste of him from her mouth. He had tasted exactly like he shouldn't – good – and he'd been rather good as well, learning quickly like she would expect despite her aggravation. It was conflicting - the emotions that went through her - one part of her was happy she'd taught him something, another aggravated that it had somehow become her job, which it shouldn't even be.

His reaction to the kissing (it wasn't one kiss, no, it was plural) made it clear to her that he wouldn't be hastening to complete the rest of his list. And all conversation between the pair of them would be partly awkward and certainly subdued. She'd hoped she'd gotten over that difficult patch, the difficult patch obviously being her fancying him, or well, more than fancying him if she were entirely honest.

Sherlock had to understand, or else she'd still have a ring attached to her finger, possibly even permanently fixed there. Shrugging off her gloves she threw them in the bin forcefully, soon rubbing at her eyes hoping she'd stop thinking about it, especially about how he viewed the incident.

It didn't help thinking about what he thought, despite the small smug voice at the back of her head thinking he enjoyed himself – felt like it, didn't it? She had to be imagining things clearly, or perhaps Sherlock who'd most likely suppressed most of his baser instincts found himself swept away by it all, and she could have been any woman to him, which was probably why he had practically sprinted out of her flat when he realized who he was with again.

"Molly," a deep voice said, making her clutch her chest in surprise.

Somehow she wasn't so surprised that it was Sherlock before her, more that her lips tingled at the very sight of him, like some flustered teenager. The idea that he'd avoid her for a month flew out of the window by the smirk he threw her way. Obviously she was the one who'd been affected not him, which was just like her. Molly couldn't shut off her brain or body, despite wanting to, more than anything.

"Oh, umm, hello," she said recovering from her shock, despite her voice being several pitches too high for comfort.

He gave a brief nod wandering to her side, and she immediately felt like making up an excuse to leave the lab. It wasn't so much of an excuse as she had actual important work to do and didn't have time for any of his whims or wants. "What are you working on?" he said his eyes darting to the various samples before her.

Instantly she felt calmed by the fact that he was asking a neutral question, after all, they were on neutral ground. They were at Bart's. Nothing could happen at Bart's, as there were enough of people who kept a close eye on all of his actions these days (some of them accidentally dropping in when he stopped by).

"Just double-checking some skin samples for a Mr Clark – he was poisoned," Sherlock perked up at that – "- sun, I'm afraid," she said with a laugh. "A bit dull, mind you."

"Yes," he drawled, his hands folded behind his back, eyes again scanning the counter, before he looked up at her.

"Umm, do you need anything?" Carefully meeting his eye she found the trademark smile of his, the one he bore when he did need something and she felt some relief with that. It felt normal to go on like nothing had happened. Not that she felt they didn't need to talk, but she didn't need to talk about it quite yet. Disaster laid at the end of that path surely, for she was clearly more affected emotionally and physically, even if a part of her wondered that perhaps she wasn't the only one (that thought made her certain it would only end with her being distraught in some way or the other).

"Yes," said Sherlock and she smiled back.

"Right? Is it a hand or a thigh or-," she said putting a hand on her waist, leaning against the counter, as her mind went through what she had available at the moment.

"No," he said disrupting her process of thought.

"No?" she said, her lips parting a bit in surprise.

He regarded her for a few seconds, hands at his sides, and then sighed. "What is second base, exactly? Googling only gave results about the American sport Baseball," he said with a slight frown.

She lost her footing a wee bit, quickly straightening up as she looked up at him. "Oh – I thought – I thought we were finished?"

"No, need a bit more information," he said with pursed lips, his eyes flitting over the equipment before they halted on her. Molly tried breaking out a smile, though it didn't last very long, and she soon busied her hands by clearing off the counter, having something to do was helpful if they were going to have this conversation.

"Well, it's just…sort of letting your hands wander?" she looked out of the corner of her eye briefly.


"Yes," she said clearing her throat. "You know -," gesturing to her chest made his eyebrows rise briefly and she almost laughed at the sight –"- not that I've got much really."

"Not true," he mumbled.

"What?" she said her hands stilling, as her head whipped toward him in surprise. "Are you saying-,"

"Yes," he said eyes on the floor, hands at his sides clenched into fists. "They're an adequate size."

He had gotten better at compliments these days, though she never ever assumed she'd hear him complimenting her previously 'small breasts'. Now they were adequate, which was probably high praise indeed considering his Christmas deduction that had made her scrutinize parts of her anatomy for some time. Nevertheless Molly still stared at him, waiting for whatever explanation he'd come up with for that remark, but he only shifted awkwardly under her gaze.

"Oh, thanks?" she said in a small voice, unsure how to proceed with that bit of information. She began clearing off her things again, focusing intently on that and hoping the second part of his list was over and done with.

"Molly," he murmured again making her stop.

Staring at the samples before her she gradually lifted her brown eyes to meet his gaze again. "Yes?" she said rather breathlessly. She'd not wanted to say it like that, not like a breathy pathetic little voice. He inched a bit closer, his hand sliding on top of the counter and his hip pressed against it while he stood right in front of her.

Unnervingly close, like usual, like always.

She should not read anything into it, there was nothing to read, yet her lips still parted, her eyes still held his, and she waited with bated breath for what he was going to say.

"What's motorboating?" he said with knitted brows.

All the tension that had coiled within her dissolved into a ridiculous amount of giggles, her cheeks and eyes brightening up as she stared at his spectacularly frustrated face, he almost resembled a little boy. "Umm – I can't really – I'm not really helpful with that bit," she said again at ease though his eyes were fixed on her chest, even she ended up looking down. "You know, they're small?" she said. His eyes went thankfully up to her face again and she almost felt like drawing her lab coat closed, but she resisted. "It's an activity that's more for ladies with-"

"Breasts," he said slowly, a curious expression on his face.

Again she almost laughed.

"Are you saying I don't have breasts?" she said with a raised brow feigning anger.

He looked startled at that, while she tried to still her grin glad he was the one out of his comfort zone now, as he'd been frequently placing her in that position.

"No – you – of course -," he took a breath, his eyes narrowing. "Don't make jokes Molly."

"I wasn't," she said unblinkingly, beginning to unabashedly grin at him. "I've got small breasts which are fine."

"Yes, adequate," he said as if in agreement, again using that particular word.

She didn't laugh this time, keeping her eyes on him briefly until she really intended to clear up, planning to escape the confides of the conversation before he said something that would really make her cross.

But as she grabbed for the samples his hand caught her wrist. She gasped for a second trying to understand, but then he leaned down – dark curls brushing her forehead – warm breath on her face – before his soft lips landed on hers.

There was no time to react, no real time to understand as he drew her hands locking them in place between them, their hips meeting - his lips still attached to hers.

And then he drew back his mouth, his eyes questioning her, like they were seeking approval.

"Oh," slipped out of her mouth, her eyes hooded and her body warm.

It seemed to be all the approval he needed, his lips meeting her again and again, more passionately with every nip until she opened her mouth to his, moaning against him, feeling his arms wrap around her waist tucking her closer, hands sliding down her back, her body reacting underneath the layer of clothes, shivering under every caress. Her back hit the sharp edge of the counter where his body pushed her, making it almost impossible to move away from his hold, though she did not wish to.

One arm was still holding her tightly while the other wandered, drifting to the front plucking at the buttons of her blouse, dragging at them before he let them go, his fingertips teasing the gaps in-between causing goose bumps to appear.

She bit gently down on his lower lip and he moaned against her, his hips jerking against hers before his hand slid underneath her blouse, encircling her belly button and drifting slowly upwards in slow circular motions that made her claw at him harder, her fingers digging into the coarse material of his coat.

He had her surrounded - with his mouth, his body - and she trembled when his hand slid across her bra arousing an already taut nipple there, pinching it through the fabric. She felt heavy and faint and everything at the same time.

Anyone could walk in, a voice said in her head when he lifted her up with surprising strength, laying her down on the cleared spaced on the counter, her breath coming in short bursts when she felt him pull her blouse up.

His mouth barely left hers, but when it did it left traces of kisses underneath her ear, sucking in her earlobe making her writhe underneath his body that hovered over hers. Anyone.

Molly could feel him rigid above her, the prominent bulge pressing against her thigh, but his attention was drawn elsewhere to bestowing kisses on her ear and neck to her breasts, both hands clasped on top of them, the fabric forced aside and his warm mouth drew one pebbled nipple in.

She pulled on his curls and he bit into the bud, the moan she let out louder than before, but she pressed her lips together letting him twirl his clever tongue around each bud, curiosity and hesitance almost in the act, while his other hand mounded the one that was cold without his mouth.

When he met her mouth again she wanted to return the favour as he dragged her upright on the counter, but when her hand got between them and palmed his trousers tentatively - he drew back.

Sherlock's eyes were almost wild in appearance, as he almost seemed to be gasping for breath. She sat on the counter for a few seconds before she pulled down her wrinkled blouse, trying to sort herself out by breathing deeply. Holding out his hand he helped her down to her feet, but he released her quickly enough, his hand twitching by his side.

"Good…umm…good," she said, the words slipped out of her mouth before she could reign them in.

"Yes," he said in a hoarse voice, eyes on the floor for a second. "You are going to John and Mary's tonight?"

"Yeah – the baby," she said not having better control on her words to complete actual sentences.

She nodded for good measure like it would make it better.

"Good," he said and then he was gone, coat and dark curls a blur, and her knees finally began to buckle beneath her. It was on the list - remember? In all honesty she could barely register anything except the taste of him in her mouth and the feel of his hands on her skin.

Chapter Text

A relieved cry was released the instant the door to the Watson's was bared open revealing a clearly peeved Mary who drew her in with a quick peck on the cheek. "Thank God you're here," she said while she helped Molly quickly remove her coat, snatching up her bags before she could present the bottles of wine to the parents or the present to Lucy. She stood bemused for a few second staring at Mary who hung up her coat and took a brief look into the plastic bags she'd taken from her. The woman quickly looked up giving her a fond smile. "Sorry, it's a bit hectic right now I'm afraid."

"Sorry I'm late – work -," she gestured aimlessly toward the door like it would excuse her from being tardy.

Her actual reason was far more complicated and too intricate to reveal in the hallway right now. Molly wasn't sure she felt like telling anyone about it, opting for pretending like it hadn't happened again instead.

Since her recent theory she had begun to speculate if it was just some elaborate joke of his, though it was hardly funny, and what could he really gain from actually being experienced? I'll pretend to be sexually inexperienced and induce Molly to help me? Didn't seem terribly like him.

"It's fine actually – but – you see-," Mary lowered her voice –"Harry's being a bit of (a word that made Molly blink) – so – we might have to hide these for a bit until her taxi's here I'm afraid. And then there's (she groaned) – Sherlock who has been – well – he's been a bit odd all night - weirder than usual-,"

"Oh, Sherlock is here?" she said blanching, instantly smoothing out the fabric of her pale pink dress, which caused Mary to stare at her in mild surprise.

She caught herself in the act and tried to look innocent.

It was an interesting experience – SH

There was a first time for everything, and receiving a text about how their little 'moment' in the lab was interesting was one of them.

Okay good good x M

She had to ask, she had to.

I suppose we should stop now right? x M

No, I don't think so - SH

"You all right?" said Mary with raised brows.

She smiled briefly. "Yeah, I just thought parties weren't really his… thing?" He wasn't supposed to be here after all, which was why she thought he'd asked if she was going to be there in the first place.

"Neither is it Lucy's apparently…She fell asleep two hours ago and neither John or I feel like waking her. So – could you just-,"

"What do you need?"

There was no need for Mary to tell her what she was exactly asking for since it was rather obvious. Honestly she had hoped he'd skip the event like he'd regularly do, except when John forced him to show up, which was probably the case. The two grown men arguing about something so mundane seemed about right and he was most likely being strange because of her (at least she liked to think so).

"Watch over him?" said Mary with 'please' written all over her expression.

"I don't know how much-," she began to babble, knowing she'd only bring more trouble.

She'd almost not showed up, but she couldn't feign work or anything. Mary had been texting her the day before, double-checking she'd show up because she needed the extra pair of hands, of course she'd been late as she was using her hands elsewhere.

"Molly – honestly– we both know you've gotten much better at handling him, and you're frankly better at keeping him in check than John is, or well likes to pretend he does. And right now, there are too many women trying to chat him up, so we've got to pretend he's taken at least, or else those women will eat him alive."

"But – I'm – not -," despite her protests Mary grabbed her shoulders and she was soon in the sitting room gazing at some familiar faces, while others she'd seen before though didn't know the names to.

Turning around to the door she saw the blonde woman giving her an encouraging thumbs up before swiftly departing, the bags hanging on her wrists rattling loudly.

Oh God.

Greg was there chatting up some redhead, he threw a wink in her direction, while her boss Mike Stamford was speaking with John in low voices – the pair of them nodding to her, before John jerked his head towards the darkest corner of the room, of course.

She was unsurprised to see his figure standing rather stoic, but there were two women at his side, their eyes eager, their smiles large. Collecting herself she moved forward snapping up a glass, and poured white wine almost to the very top attempting to still the jolt of jealousy that pounced on her.

Molly had no right to be jealous, they might have kissed, he might have had his hand underneath her blouse some hours ago, but none of it meant anything, right? Swallowing half of her glass she joined the ladies and Sherlock, seeing Greg throwing her sympathetic looks and John smiling at her gratefully.

Focusing on the three people before her she heard their conversation, at least their apparent one-sided conversation.

"So – what do you say we get out of here?" said the taller of the women, almost the same height as Sherlock – her hand grazing his shoulder, though he drew himself out of her grip giving her a hardened stare.

"Not interested," Sherlock bit out causing the shorter of the ladies to look disgruntled. The pair of them bolted off after that giving her looks that clearly said 'good luck'.

Hovering uncertainly she wondered if she really should sweep in to rescue him, after all, he was a grown man and could handle his own battles.

"You've got a way with women," she said when she'd finally wound up by his side, knowing she'd wind up there some way despite herself.

"Yes, they do like running off when I make them angry, don't they?" he said with a small smile. "I'm partial to them running, even if they are ring-less."

Staring up at him she blinked. Why was he bringing that up now? She'd hoped they were over that bit ages ago. "I'm not going to say sorry again, Sherlock," she said, her hand clasped a bit tighter the glass of wine in her hand.

"There is no need to apologize, Molly."

A beat passed.

"Are you my minder tonight?" he said.

She shifted uncomfortably under his gaze. "Yes."

"I can take care of myself."

"You're doing a poor job of it."

"Am I?"

"You could just tell the women the truth."

"The truth about what?" he said with a raised brow.

He clearly had to be trying to make some point come across.

"It's fake, isn't it? The interview?" she'd said beneath the glaring light of the lab, pressing her lips together as to not smile too hard.

Sherlock turned briefly to look at her.

"That's a yes, then?" she added after a minute of silence and he'd only made a brief noise with his throat.

"Okay," she said with a tiny laugh walking off intending to finish her paperwork in her office, before another of his 'well-wishers' showed up.

But why on earth did he need to prove it to her? Though they were unlikely to go on, even if he texted her about it without her instigating the conversation at all.

"Never mind," she said with a sigh.

She almost gave up standing beside him, though when Mary returned to the room giving her one of her thumbs up again she felt particularly burdened with having to help. Bouncing on her heels to the music, which was some old eighties pop-song, dreadful really, though again, everyone else except the pair of them looked effortlessly pleased with themselves.

"I have another question to pose, if you don't mind?" he said breaking the silence.

"About what?"

"The list."

"Here?" she said with wide eyes. "I really don't think you need anymore of my help, Sherlock."

"Fine," he said curtly. "If you're sure."

Her glass was empty; she stared at the red drop left before she lifted up her head with a sigh. "Okay…go ahead and ask," she said.

"Vagina's," he blurted out without a hint of a blush.

She almost lost her footing, her eyes darting to everyone else that was oblivious to their private conversation and hopefully would continue to be so.

"What – what about them?" she gaped.

He moved closer to her side, his mouth near her ear as he said, "I would think you were familiar with them."

She glared up at him, a tinge of red colouring her cheeks. "I'm going to need another glass of wine," she said in one breath, startled when she felt a palm pat her lower back – his palm.


He snapped the glass from her hand, hurriedly walking off while she narrowed her eyes at the back of his head, aware that the two ladies who were chatting him up earlier were staring at her. When he returned slipping the glass into her hand, she did not expect his hand to slip back either, a firm and tentative grip that did wander to her backside.

"Why are you doing that?" she said out of the corner of her mouth, shielding her shock by sipping from her wineglass.

"Doing what?" he said without looking at her, though she spotted the brief glimpse of a grin on his face. "Anyway – vagina's."

She blushed, biting at her lip, eyes darting about in frenzy.

"What – what about vagina's?"

"I have more than a tangible understanding of the human anatomy, but for some reason they are rather puzzling," he added with a thoughtful mien.

John Watson's baby girl's first birthday party and they were discussing vaginas. She could imagine the look of shock and horror that would flit across the father's face.

"To most men they are," she said with a giggle, unable to contain her amusement on his absolutely disgruntled expression. "Umm – maybe we should talk somewhere else-," she began about to suggest the kitchen as a more remote spot for them to have a talk about the female body.

"Of course-," he said grabbing her hand to her shock, dragging her towards the hallway, passing door upon door until they found themselves in a rather dark bedroom.

Molly knew it wasn't exactly the appropriate spot really, quite the opposite for a scientifically neutral discussion about 'vaginas'.

"Here?" she said in a squeaky voice, when she heard the door to bedroom lock behind her, eyeing Sherlock who walked away from the door with a determined expression on his face.

Ignoring the heat that suddenly rose to her cheeks and other parts she wheeled about with her arms crossed. "Okay, so, what do you want to know?"

"It is my understanding that all of them are different."

"Well, they'd… have to be really," she said with a shrug, trying to convey she wasn't flustered at all by the topic.

"What about yours?" he said with a raised eyebrow.

She gaped.

"Umm…I – mine – is – umm – standard?" Saying her vagina was textbook vagina didn't sound right. Not that she'd ever heard anyone ever specifically compliment that precise area of her body, except in the most obvious references, obviously.

"Standard?" he said clearly confused.

Turning her head around she tried finding a scrap of paper or anything she could draw on, the instant she saw some on the nightstand she was surprised to find that Sherlock had taken hold of her wrist.

"Show me," he said looking her right in the eyes.

"Wha-what?" she said, aware that her wrist was probably giving away her pulse, which she was certain was throbbing soundly.

"I've seen enough illustrations, Molly," he said smirking at her. He suddenly leaned down, brushing the side of his face against hers, as he murmured into her ear. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

Pulling back he looked at her expectantly, and internally her mind struggled to think coherently – consequences, future pains all flickering through her mind's eye about how terrible an idea it all was, of how stupid, of how beyond – she kissed him. It was terrible, not the kiss, but the way she felt prickles all over her skin, tiny tingles that made her otherwise sensible head actually agree.

"Okay," she said in a small voice, as she drew back, almost leaning on him for support, her hands on his chest, which he then proceeded to cradle with his own larger ones.

It was easy really, dismissing all thought in his presence, reverting herself almost to the person she'd been when they'd met the first time.

But she wasn't nervous, no.

She wasn't nervous getting on the bed, or lifting up her dress, or pulling down her knickers past her heels, discarding them on the floor. He stood there, the light from the window shining on his face, and she could see his jaw visibly clench.

Not my area.

Molly couldn't count how many times she'd heard him say that, but there was something flickering in his eye, the fire she'd once thought she'd seen.

"How do you – touch yourself?" he asked with a croaky sort of voice.

She couldn't help smiling, impossible not to, looking up at him, seeing him almost fidget now, as if he'd expected her to say 'no' and trot off, her loose hair slapping him in the face with her exit. It would have been a good exit, but she was curious, curious to see where this would go, all of it.

"Like this," she said and she was unsurprised to find herself wet, spreading her legs further apart, her heels digging into the sheet on the bed. It was John and Mary's home, their baby's birthday party, and she was defiling it.

Her eyes shut briefly, while she stroked herself, soon slipping a finger in, and another, almost clenching around her fingers already. That wasn't like her at all, regularly having to tease herself for ages, having to imagine the filthiest things to make her body get off. But she knew why when she reopened her eyes, and she was almost thrown off by how close he was to her sex, of how his warm hands parted her legs even further.

His breath was on her sex, she could feel it, the ragged inhale and release making her shiver on the bed, and she wasn't surprised when he removed her hand and his own slid inside her slick wet heat. Biting her lip to subdue her moaning he slid in and out of her, one finger first, then another, before his other thumb pressed against her swollen bud.

It tormented her to feel him breathe so close, to hear him swallow soundly in the room, as if he wanted to taste her, but he held back.

Yet, she felt a sudden intimate kiss on her nub, and she finished with a bit down cry as his fingers bent inside of her.

He drew back while she tried to regain her breath, and she saw him lick his fingers, almost savouring the flavour on his digits.

Taking his hand, his eyes flashed toward her, but he did not flinch, sitting down on the bed slowly as she pushed him onto his back.

It felt eerily quiet, the music and the chatter in the back of her mind, as she slowly undid his trousers, opening up the buttons, dragging them down and found he wasn't wearing underwear.

She almost paused, seeing his questioning glance, as he leaned on his elbows looking at her intently. All of his attention was on her and this moment, sending a thrill through her, despite the foreboding thoughts that arose in the back of her head.

She forgot them the instant she held his hard cock in her hand, sliding her hand down from the tip to the base, spreading out the pre-cum – hearing him moan softly at her actions.

Pleasure spread through her when she took him into her mouth, sensing him fight against pushing into her mouth, while she swirled her tongue on his head, licking around it, before drawing him fully into her mouth again, cradling his balls, applying the right pressure.

Sucking his cock was much more exciting than any other man, watching the tense expression on his face, while he failed to find something to hold, his hands seeking purchase in the sheets, as she quickened her pace at his short breaths.

It did not take long, and she swallowed without hesitance, surprised to find it rather sweet.

He was boneless on the bed, his bare chest rising up and down quickly, while she scrambled for her knickers on the floor. Sliding them on she stared at him for a few seconds, and he caught her stare, something unreadable in his eyes, but she did not wish to tempt faith any longer by staying, but she still said, unable to quell down the want - "That's why… they call it a job," in a rather bright voice, before walking off.

Now that was an exit.

Chapter Text

It was always somewhat pleasant to be one of the early birds at Bart's, though the weekends were quiet with fewer people flitting in and out; only some giving her slow nods in return when she walked under the unflattering florescent lights toward the coffee machine in the hallway, as the canteen was yet to open. The coffee never tasted good here. Often she'd bring coffee to Sherlock from this particular machine if she felt he was being aggravating, it was a way to display her anger to him. He often caught up on it, grimacing slightly, but often swallowing his coffee without a word like he knew he deserved the cuppa.

Molly knew that the ache in her head had very little to do with the glasses of wine she'd had the night before and more to do with the fact that she'd barely slept a wink during the night. She'd been tossing and turning thinking too much on what she'd done or hadn't done. When she'd left the bedroom, she'd left the party, unwilling to wait to complete another 'point' on the list.

Sighing she grabbed the styrofoam cup gratefully, striding with quick steps toward her office in hope of focusing more on her work. Everything that had happened recently was taking its toll; her body unwilling to cooperate with her mind, letting her indulge in something that she knew would end unhappily. That's how it always did at least, that was what she was used to, and that was entirely what she expected. All of it seemed like some dream, some fantasy she was playing, but it was very real.

The second she switched on the light in her office, she almost shrieked at the sight of someone sitting behind her desk, his hands clasped on top of the glass surface. She nearly groaned at the sight of him, but kept quiet, pursing her lips, waiting for whatever was coming from the way his blue eyes were narrowed at her almost accusingly.

"You left," he said, no hint of amusement on his face like she would expect.

It's too early for this, she thought. Molly shut the door to her office, her eyes looking at the hallway longingly, before she dropped her bag by the door and began shrugging off her coat. "Morning Sherlock," she said keen to sound busy.


"Your list didn't include cuddling," she said in a small voice, groaning when she'd managed to drop her coat onto the floor with somewhat shaky fingers, hurriedly bending over to pick it up, and squeaking when she rose up to find him standing behind her. But she didn't turn around immediately, unwilling to see him right away, she'd had enough with recounting the look on his face the night before, the bliss that was written so easily on his features, still so vivid that her hands could draw it out on sheets of paper.

"You left the party," he said and with a brief look she saw he was smiling.

Clearly he wasn't talking about their minor interval after all, or maybe he was, but she didn't feel certain anymore. She used to be certain about so much, though right now she felt more inclined to think she'd gone batty. It felt apt that years after knowing him the instant they became something she'd not known what to do with herself, in a completely different way. Turning around she frowned up at him. "I had to be up early – and -," the words fell short, she didn't know where she was going with that sentence, she didn't know where she was going with anything really.

Sherlock ended the silence, which was a relief despite it being a terrifying thing to her nerves. "John found me," he quipped, his eyes gleaming with amusement. "Rather difficult to explain away."

"Oh my God," she said clapping her hands in front of her mouth, and of course dropping her coat once more, but he deftly caught it before handing it wordlessly to her, their hands brushing slightly, though she ignored the slight tremor she felt at the contact. "Wha – what did you tell him? You didn't…tell him what happened, did you?"

He furrowed his brows slightly. "No," he said with a snort. "I didn't stay much longer, neither did he for that matter. I'm convinced he burnt those sheets, luckily it was the guest bedroom."

She shook her head briefly, despairing at how effortless and cool he seemed to be handling what they'd done under his best friends roof, she giggled at the thought and finally hung her coat up. "Oh, well - that's good," she said with a smile walking over to her desk, beginning to clear up the clutter of papers, intending to start on her paperwork right away, except he was still in her office, and he was staring. Molly looked up and caught his stare, though he didn't look away, studying her intently, so she said with a wry smile – "Do you need something then?" – maybe he needed a body or –

"You," he said unabashed.

Grappling with that announcement, she tried sorting out her feelings before she blurted out something prematurely. He'd said that once before and she'd been convinced for a few seconds that it meant something on a bigger scale, and her brain was clearly reading into it too much this time too, working against her with full force.

Does he mean…?

No, he can't mean that.

Maybe all of this has…no…

"Oh?" she said gathering papers into a folder, none of them really belonged together, but she needed something to do instead of staring into his eyes. They had a tendency to confuse her at times, befuddling her with the occasional show of emotion, like he kept so much locked inside that it would burst out of them.

No, there was only one route this conversation would go.

"Yes, the fourth point of my list."

"Sex with clothes on," she said bluntly, hastily putting on a smile to hide the fact she didn't want to discuss it anymore.

They should really not go any further.

No, they shouldn't.

Already too many boundaries had been crossed and she knew if they continued, they'd never revert to what they once were. Or he would and she couldn't, or well, technically it felt like that already. The point was they shouldn't, but she didn't manage to voice that opinion out loud.

She brought out a piece of paper, intending to jot down her day's work, making herself a list, which caused her to grimace at the paper half-distraught that making lists would become a problem in the future.

"That's it?" he said looking bored. "Doesn't sound very interesting."

She snorted; glad to sense some normality in the moment. "I suppose without clothes wouldn't be better then?" she said. Molly couldn't help notice how her normally neat handwriting was messier than usual, conveying her irritation on a piece of paper better than she actually did in front of him.

"Of course it would," he said easily.

"Oh, right…" she said her pen stilling, as she looked up and caught the expression on his face – the pensive reflection that would start a long diatribe.

"I just don't-," he began and she knew where this was going.

This would be go where he'd regret whatever he was about to say, and she'd vow to never speak to him again, until he made swift apologies, seeming to almost forget that anything had happened a few days later, like usual. She did understand his ways, all too easily, despite not getting this. It was like he knew what she was thinking, his mouth shutting up before it had begun, but he probably caught her look.

Sherlock often said these days that she had that look on her face. She had no idea what it was, though she was grateful she had one if it made him shut up.

"If I say six o'clock at my flat, will you go away?" she said suddenly before she'd regret it, her brows knitted with her ire and nerves.

"Excellent," he said with a quick smile that pulled on her insides, before he strode out of her office like his main purpose was fulfilled.

It wasn't before she heard the door to her office click shut that she stopped staring after him, dropping her head with a loud thud on the desk. She was getting in way over her head, though she was pretty certain she was already past that. The instant her mobile phone rang she felt relieved, catching it on the first chirp, happy to be thinking about something else – anything else – but him.

Except when she lifted the phone to her ear, she heard Mary speak without even a brief hello – "Why did John find Sherlock in the guest bedroom with his cock out?" certainly jerked her out of her stupor.

Obviously she wasn't allowed to have other thoughts today.

I'll be late – S

She was rather startled to find him actually texting her, instead of letting her wait like he would if he wasn't on time. Either Sherlock was precisely on time, or he was hours late, so usually if he wasn't there already, then he would spend ages showing up. But she used her time appropriately, dressing in some plain clothes – a long sleeved top and a pair of trousers that felt like a good outfit for the occasion, since they were following the list. Molly tried very hard not to nip into her drawer for more exciting looking knickers, choosing instead a pair of large pants, huge in fact, that she'd had for years, the colour almost fading. It was a way to nip anything in the bud, a way to keep her head clear, even if that seemed impossible. Having to constantly battle against one's self was tiring, especially when she spent about fifteen minutes ranting loudly to Toby who was content licking himself.

"It's just the list and nothing else. And I'm…fine with that," she said at the end of her consulting with her cat. "I don't need anything else…really, it's fine." Toby only sprinted off to the kitchen, clearly bored with her.

She'd had the chance to have a proper talk with someone about the mad project, except instead of sharing any of it, she was hell bent on playing a fool, as Mary had kept trying to trick it out of her.

"So, explain - because testing the quality of our sheets to see if Lucy might have an allergic reaction in the future is not going to cut it," said Mary who returned to the original topic once more.

"Why do you think I had anything to do with that?"

"You practically ran from the party – and that's when John noticed Sherlock was missing, took him five minutes to find him."

"Umm, well, I wasn't-," she began. " – Oh – someone's here." She hung up with a grimace, knowing she'd get an earful on another occasion.

When she'd walked out of the confides of her bedroom she was surprised to hear the chime of her mobile phone and she plucked it up to find another text from Sherlock.

What should I wear? – S

That was unexpected; she was almost convinced he was going to excuse himself with a case or something much more exciting. Not often did she get that question really, especially from him. She couldn't fault his sense of dress, more like admire it from a safe distance, often pleased when she saw the buttons straining on his shirt, like they were about to pop off any second, and some days she rather hoped they would. After several attempts and a lot of backspacing, almost sending a cheeky 'clothes optional' text, she opted for the completely nonchalant –

What you usually wear. No need to dress up x Molly

It wasn't like she was dressing up, more dressing down, as if her clothes would signal to her brain that she needed to cut the evening short. She didn't exactly expect him to stay the night, as he'd probably do his running-bit, like he usually did. Secretly she was pleased she'd been the first to leave the night before, despite the circumstances. It had felt brilliant for a few seconds, except on the tube ride home when she'd felt more dissatisfied by her actions, all of them that was.

Why was she even going through with this?

Okay, she knew why. It was very obvious really, but still, she wasn't utterly controlled by her urges or him. What would happen when the list was done? Would he just roll out of her bed, thanking her for the experience, and then pretend the next day like nothing happened?

The fact that it seemed likely made her cringe.

Could she cope with that - could she honestly tolerate there never being anything deeper between them? And the very moment she almost messaged him to not show up, there was a knock. Rhyme and reason fell through with that single knock, punctuated by another. She opened the door half-hoping it was someone else, but there he stood, looking dishevelled and run-through.

Suddenly she couldn't think of herself anymore.

"Are you okay?" she said wide-eyed pulling him in, her eyes seeking out any cuts or bruises, expecting some physical evidence that could explain his discomposure. Sherlock showing up to be patched up by her was regular, though there were no obvious scratches this time.

"Yes," he breathed out, eyes darting across her face.

She was thrown by the look in his eye, almost taking a step back, though he caught her around the waist, pulling her flush against him, his mouth pressing a soft kiss on her lips.

It lasted only a few seconds, but it was enough to overwhelm and surprise her. He drew back with a quirk of his lips, shedding his coat and scarf without further ado.

"Shall we?" he said.

Slowly she shut the door to her flat staring after him for a few seconds. 'Just like that then?' she thought flummoxed by the casual way he'd done that. Was that going to be a new thing in their…friendship? He'd sweep her up and kiss her from time to time just to marvel in glee over her expression.

Torn, that's what she felt.

Torn between want and wanting nothing to do with him. Steeling herself she relied on the piece of her that was still feeling steady about the whole thing. "We should probably be on a bed, maybe?" she said, hoping she looked thoughtful and not red-cheeked and hopeful.


"No?" she said surprised. "Why not?"

He didn't look at her, his hands on his hips, as he seemed to be surveying the sitting room with a keener eye than usual. The fact that he begun throwing the pillows from her settee onto the floor rather surprised her, even more so when he gestured toward the makeshift second-option he'd made instead of her soft bed.

"We can't just…we should probably talk first?" she said eyeing the pillows.

Sherlock turned to look at her, his hands stuffed in his pockets, as he looked sincerely bewildered. "Why?" he said with a grimace.

"Oh, well, you might not know exactly what to do-," she began, doubting her every word.

He nodded in agreement, to her surprise. "I supposed it would be similar to wandering, but with clothes on." Did she really want a repeat of what happened in the lab? 'Don't answer that,' she thought supressing her nervous laughter, her insides squirming at the thought.

"Yeah, mostly," she said in a low voice, clearing her throat. "But I still think the bed would probably be better?" He looked almost annoyed by that, and she honestly couldn't understand why, but he still strode off to her astonishment.

"Are you coming?" he called out from her bedroom causing her to jump slightly.

"Probably will be," she whispered, biting her lip.

He was sitting on the very edge of the bed when she entered, looking wary and tense. They were alone…was that why? When he took refugee in her flat before there was never this feeling, perhaps he feared that this meant he could never visit again after they were done?

She ignored the rush of thoughts, trying to clear her mind from thinking properly, moving so she stood before him, her hands resting on his broad shoulders. He felt stiff, unyielding to her touch, but he slowly looked up at her taking a deep breath.

"Relax," she said softly, trying to sound comforting. "It's not going to be like, umm, last night."

"Good?" he said with a quirk of his eyebrow, and she shivered when his hands wrapped themselves around her, pulling her closer, his hands warm on her back.

She grinned, laughing slightly. "It's – well – it's sort of something you do when you can't have sex," she said with the calmest voice she could muster forward. "Mostly when you're young."

"You did this often then?" he said, his eyes slightly distant, but still on her. His hands were sliding tentatively down her back, her skin tingling from the contact.

"Not something you plan," she said with a sigh.

"I suppose not."

"Neither was last night," she said, and at least she had said something.

She could almost feel his hand flinch against her back at that, like he knew what she really meant. That she didn't want to go through with it, but she couldn't stop herself. Because…because it was him, and she'd never ever have another chance. Or perhaps he just thought she was like that, spontaneous and wild, like some men she'd gone out with did.

No, only with the right man…

"So…" she said with a brief smile, giving his shoulders a tiny squeeze.

Molly wondered if she should kiss him, or if he would kiss her, or if they should lay down on the bed first…or…

She was thinking too much, too worried about everything else.

Everything had felt more natural the night before, fun even, and now it just felt – he kissed her – his mouth claiming her, his arms dragging her in, until they both lay on the bed besides each other. They didn't have to rush, taking their time, indulging in every brush of their lips, his hands barely moving and hers stuck under him, half-asleep.

She laughed against his mouth.

"Oh," he said drawing back from her, seeming to notice the awkward placement of her hand, moving so she could get it free.

And then they just lay there on their sides, looking at each other.

It was her turn to break the pattern, pushing him gently so he was on his back, straddling his hips and about to place his still hands on her hips, but he did so himself before pulling her down to meet his mouth again.

He was warm and softer than he looked, despite those trim outfits of his. There was too much going on for her to notice much else the night before, her hand slowly sliding across his chest, feeling him heave for breath underneath her palm, his mouth almost smothering hers, beckoning her to open, and she did, long since addicted to the taste of him.

When she felt his hips pushing up against hers, she pressed down too, as it was difficult not to feel the prominent bulge there, sighing into his mouth when he thrust up again.

All of it was done so unnervingly slow, and she could not help teasing him, feeling his mouth drift from her lips to her collarbone, undoing her with bites and nips on her skin – she circled with her hips – he jolted up barely suppressing a groan.

His hands dug into the back of her top, until she grabbed them and let them rest on her breasts, pushing down on him again, his hands squeezing her breasts making her moan. He was certainly aware that she hadn't worn a bra, if he'd neglected to look closely earlier, his palms brushing against the nipples that seemed to almost burst out of the fabric.

Sherlock had that look on his face - that utterly lost look, and she ground down on him, relishing the feel of his straining bulge pushing up against her. They only had brief instances of friction, moving faster and harder, pushing and pressing, and she yelped when he'd turned them over, so she was pressed into the mattress, her legs encircling his, digging her heels into his back, as he shoved his hips against hers.

"Oh – oh -," she broke out, unable to keep quiet, as he moved his hips in circles, pressing more fervently against her, thrusting again and again, until she felt her body tremble, her head thrown back on the bed, and not long after he joined her.

It was all very peculiar laying there, him sinking heavily on top of her, his ragged breath on her neck, as he dropped a kiss on her pulse. Even stranger to feel him move to his back, pulling her to his side, letting her rest on his chest, his arms wrapping her close in an intimate gesture, as if they were –

"Don't think," he whispered into her hair, and she squeezed her eyes shut. "Don't," he said once more, his grip tightening around her, holding her close. 'What were they?' she wondered, as he allowed her to drift off to sleep, still holding her.

Chapter Text

She expected to find the other side of the bed crumpled and vacant, possibly a faint whiff of his scent on the sheets, but she woke up tickled by dark curly hair, her face in the crook of his neck. She couldn't scratch the itch she had wanted to because he held her tightly to his side, their legs still tangled, and her body stiff and clammy from the position. Not that it wasn't nice, though she hadn't thought she'd fall asleep with her clothes still on. She hadn't thought he'd still be there either, having probably escaped throughout the night, but then again he seemed to like proving her wrong these days.

Molly allowed herself one brief moment to revel in the rather domestic scene, resting her cheek on his chest, listening to his slow, sleeping intake of breath. He'd never been a heavy sleeper, not in her opinion at least. When he'd hide away at her flat he never seemed to sleep, and they certainly did not sleep together. They'd often argue about who got the bedroom and she'd sleep in the guest bedroom if she were too tired to have a row, constantly rolling her eyes when he'd come up with some terrible excuse to sleep in her bed.

Looking around the room she saw the sheets barely hanging on the end of the bed, otherwise the room was unchanged, if she ignored Sherlock in the bed with her. Slowly she moved out of his grip, her mouth tugging upward when she saw him looking slightly disgruntled with his eyes shut, his hands seeming to seek her out.

She almost dropped down again, wanting to relish this, whatever this was, whatever pain she'd feel when he'd finally leave, as he would in the end. But she walked toward the bathroom, intending to have a shower to clear her head, as she did not wish to drift off to thoughts where she longed for every morning to be like this.

It felt easy slipping off her clothes, taking her time to step under the spray of water, uncaring that the remnants of her makeup were making her eyelashes cling together.

There was respite in the water, even if it did not wash him away.

He was probably gone by now, leaving her bed cold and she was okay with that, hoping it would be a long time until the next point on his list.

She'd almost forgotten what that was; she snorted as water poured over her.

No, she remembered, she couldn't really forget.

Molly couldn't pretend that they hadn't gone through everything else anymore, which meant... the door to the bathroom creaked soundly, her thoughts utterly disturbed by the sound. She turned around staring as he walked in, the door thumping shut behind him.

Sherlock stood there wordlessly and looked at her, her eyes blurred from the water, and she turned it off, shivering a little in the sudden cold.

"What are you doing in here?" she said aware of her own nudity in her shower, which was unsurprising (she was in a shower), but she didn't cover herself up. It felt pointless; he'd already seen parts of her after all.

"Good morning," he said softly, his eyes still on her face.

Maybe she should be more nervous than she was, except she wasn't, she couldn't be. Her body was just that - a body, but the second his eyes drifted, she became eerily aware of how the droplets of water from her shower slithered down her breast, like intimate caresses. He hadn't even touched her, and she was already flustered by one look.

How very typical of her, and she almost backed further into the shower when he slid the glass door open, stepping inside still in his clothes, his blue eyes bearing down upon her with a faint smile on his face.

"Sherlock?" she said quieter than she intended, amazed when his dry hand brushed her shoulder, his fingertips connecting beads of water, drawing patterns on her skin.

"Molly," he said with a smirk leaning closer to her face, perhaps she wasn't thinking, perhaps she was thinking when she suddenly turned on the water, giggling when he got a spray of water in his face.

His hand dropped from her shoulder, as he wiped at his disgruntled looking face until he began to laugh. There was something relaxed about his expression, one she couldn't hesitate to return, though she was rather surprised when he pulled her toward him, making her yelp under the spray of water, until he brought his lips down on hers, craning his neck to catch her startled gasp, pressed up against his clothes that were sodden under the water.

At least for now she could pretend that they were something, feeling his hands wander, two firm ones soon placed on her bum, while she had her hands around his neck. He dipped down repeatedly to meet her lips; the pair of them swallowing water between the kisses.

Stepping away she squinted against the downpour, as he put his hands on her cheeks, a visible light in his eyes. "Maybe you should umm-," she almost burst out laughing, his clothes were soaked to the bone, his dark shirt clinging to his skin, his dark curls tamed by the torrent. "- Take off your clothes?"

She felt calm, even if her voice was shaky, and her gaze was on his clothes, her hands pressed against his front, beginning to sweep open the buttons, whether or not his answer was 'yes', but he did not protest, placing a kiss on her forehead, brushing aside the hair plastered to her cheek.

When she'd undone the buttons she began to push the fabric aside, huffing when it halted at his wrists, his brows furrowed as well. His usual steely gaze could not be held under the water, which was nice, as it made him seem less daunting.

It all felt normal, but not mundane.

Like this was an activity they did often, and she was glad to see him rid himself of the shirt, throwing it over the shower door, the shirt making a large 'flop' noise when meeting with the bathroom tiles. Laughing he wrapped himself around her, their bare torsos meeting, her breasts pushed up against the hard plane of his chest.

"You'll need to remove your trousers," she said in a business like tone, making short work of the zipper, gliding it open, before he did the rest, the fabric proving to be a difficult opponent when wet.

Again he wasn't wearing pants underneath, and this time she tried to pretend she wasn't surprised at least, her gaze already on the intimate part of his body, unable to be even a tad demure. When she met his eyes, he didn't look bothered by her staring, just amused, even to the point that she noticed his cock give a prominent twitch of approval.

"Do you ever wear pants?" she asked, only slightly flabbergasted she had asked such a question, but genuinely curious.

"Yes," he said, his arms enveloping her again, letting her rest against him again.

"Sorry… that I fell asleep," she said against his shoulder, feeling like she should apologize for him being there, but then again he could have left already.

"It's fine." Molly could hear his heart pounding through his chest, as his hands roamed gliding down her back, his cock jerking against her thighs. "I was tired as well," he whispered against her head.

Smiling against him she said. "This isn't on your list…"

"It should be," he said.

"Well, umm, I suppose we should-?" she took a step back grabbing a bottle of her soap, which he took from her and sniffed.

"Passion fruit?" he said with a raised brow. "You always smell like honey."

Molly blinked. "I do? I've never - used honey."

He looked spectacularly putout by this piece of news, letting the liquid slide into his palm, before he gave it an experimental lick.

She stared, as he frowned.

"You're not supposed to lick it," she said after a minute.

"No, I suppose not," he said with a curious expression eyeing her. "But-,"

"Shower," she said trying to be unmoved. "Shower – err - first."

"Fine," he said with a sigh. "Though I hardly think that this-," and then she had her hand around his cock.

He gasped unable to finish his sentence, his knees almost giving in, while she stroked his soon throbbing member. Sherlock didn't argue, his eyes flickering shut, but she released his cock, and began to lather soap on herself instead, his eyes bursting open.

"That's it?"

"Mm," she said grinning at him. "It's not on your list."

"Molly," he said in a much rougher voice.

She only grinned in response, soon using her scrub and ignoring his presence in the shower, though it didn't last very long, for his hands were soon upon her, his front pressed against her back, his hands claiming her breasts. Molly stifled a moan, as his fingertips pinched her nipples. "It is on the…" he began growling into her ear, before his hands dropped and he muttered – "Fine."

And briefly she could not help but wonder, watching the water pour over his fine physique and the way his eyes turned to her, if he would be acting this way after the list was complete.


The fuzzy pink material of her spare robe ended before his knees, showing off his legs as he sat on the settee, his feet crossed at the ankles and propped up on her coffee table while he watched the telly. Its volume was low, and his voice was high as he occasionally shouted abuse at the screen. She was irritated that she still found him frustratingly attractive, his hair damp and his chest bared because the robe barely closed around him.

It was upsetting how he didn't look even close to ridiculous in her robe, striding confidently out of her bedroom the minute she'd offered it up as a joke, regretting it when she realized how small it was.

The fact that she'd just seen him naked didn't help either, for now her imagination could fill the gaps where the robe teased. Molly was surprised she'd been level-headed enough to say 'no' in the shower (besides irritated that she had been sensible), prompting the pair of them to silently wash themselves like they were in a communal shower. Like she'd ever have the chance to have him in her shower again, if he didn't suddenly feel keen to add it to his routine when popping up at her flat for future bolthole uses (she ignored how spectacularly wrong 'bolthole' sounded now).

"Idiots," he snapped, rolling his eyes at some reality show, which she didn't follow herself. Everything about this morning felt like any other visit from him, minus the nudity, and the fact that his eyes often followed her around the flat.

She was still trying to ignore the fact that a promise lingered in the air, but it was difficult considering the moments he'd ask her questions. Questions that often made her stop in her stride in slight shock, before she managed to recover.

"You said natural – why natural?" he said. Molly regretted saying that it would feel natural that the pair of them did what they did when he'd asked her about their 'interactions'.

The cup she'd placed on kitchen counter wobbled, but she stopped it quickly enough. "What?" she said pretending she didn't know what he meant.

"Molly," he said loud and clear from the sitting room.

Apparently he saw through that act.

"You know…like animals?" she said not quite getting her own meaning either, and unsurprised to see his eyebrows rise when she nipped out of the kitchen to fetch some dirty cups in the sitting room.

"Instinct?" she added picking up a cuppa, before darting off.

"Oh," he said with a suddenly pensive expression. "Like me wanting to be inside you?"

The tea she'd began pouring into the cup ran over the counter instead, and she cursed under her breath, wiping at the warm liquid with a rag.

"Yes…a bit like that," she said trying not to be too flustered, knowing that she'd already failed at that properly.

"Strange," he said. "I always found the idea of coitus dull."

"Depends on…whom you're with, I suppose," she said regretting her words.

She felt like clamping a hand over her mouth, but she resisted, listening to the silence that followed with slight horror. Instead of standing idle in the kitchen she returned to the sitting room.

"I want to do all of these things, because I want you?" he said making her almost stop in her route toward the settee.

The question lingered in the air, the same question she'd been asking herself a lot lately. She took a huge scalding sip of her tea, letting herself swallow before answering with an attempt at a smile. "Well…its probably because you've never really…done all of it before, isn't it?"

His eyebrows were knitted, but he didn't answer.

She ducked her head as she said – "I could be anyone really." It stung saying that out loud. It was something she always thought he'd say, but she was making injury on her own terms, destroying her own hope, waiting with bated breath for his answer or comment, but he only stared at the television screen, clearly lost in thought.

Settling beside him on the settee she asked something she was mildly curious about, which would bring their conversation on to lighter ground again, as his clothes were in the drier, and he couldn't leave quite yet. "Umm, I just wondered, have you been eating-,"

"Pineapple?" he said knowing that she was thinking about the flavour of – "I researched and found it would leave a more pleasant taste."

"Well, it helps that you're not smoking…anymore," she said grinning; almost laughing over the fact that he researched what his semen would taste like.

It was just like him to be thorough, even at this.

"Yes, it said smoking would have a negative effect, and I gather from your face – all was well," he said with a smirk.

"Yeah," she shifted awkwardly on the settee, her cheeks irritatingly red.

"How do you taste?" he said, eyes on the telly.

She almost choked on her tea, soundly coughing before she said, "Umm, alright, I suppose?"

"You haven't tried?"

"Have you?" she said looking at him in surprise.

"Yes," he said. Of course he would try, viewing his sexual organs with a certain scientific interest unlike the common man. "When I was young and in constant need of release - very dull."

"Normal for everyone else."

"So you…touched yourself when you were young?"

"Loads-," she blurted, quickly stopping her enthusiasm. "Normal…amount that is, really."

"Well, your sex is much more interesting than mine."

"People still tend to get confused down there," she said with a wry grin.

That was certainly an understatement of her sexual history.

"You did say everyone's different," he said looking perplexed.

"Not that much…it still has the same…" what word was she looking for – "Aesthetics."

He chuckled.

"You've seen it," she said glaring at him, "It's ordinary."


"No? What do you mean-," she said gaping, hoping everything was in order. It wasn't like she constantly checked up on how she looked down there, unlike her youth when she despaired slightly, until she accepted that everyone had their bits and bobs.

"It's pleasant to look at."


"There's something appealing with the pink shade, or the way you were keenly sucking in my fingers without much difficulty. The soft wet heat was also something I'd hardly find on any street corner."

The blush that rose to her cheeks was unstoppable, her mouth drying up slightly, while she nervously giggled, opting for humour in light of the situation. "Are you complimenting my vagina?" she said.

"Yes," he drawled. "Impossible not to - considering the next point on the list."

Oh. "There's really – you don't – there's no need," she said quickly.

He faced her, eyes gleaming. "Are you nervous?"

"Umm, why would I be nervous?"

Her voice was in a higher pitch than she wanted.

"I'll be doing all the work after all – and it's rather like a kiss, isn't it?"

"It's a bit more intimate than a kiss," she said biting her lip, wondering why on earth she'd felt more comfortable naked in the shower with him, but the thought of him going down on her felt ten times more intimate.

"I would have thought we'd gone past being embarrassed."

"Umm, well, it's just-," frankly she'd never really gotten off when someone did that, choosing instead other activities with careful nudges or misdirection, as she'd be thinking too much really – "Well – it's rather tricky."

"Tricky? How?"

"You just don't go, barrelling through - there."

He scrunched up his nose. "I suppose it would be rather difficult to show me how I should go forward."

"I can't really – reach it -," she said brightening up slightly at his annoyed expression.

"Not for the lack of trying-," he said smirking.

"I haven't tried," she protested.

"Women are supposed to be more – bendy – aren't they?"

"We're not that bendy." She didn't exactly do yoga or stretching exercises on a daily basis to make that even remotely possible, though the few she'd seen who could, usually were involved with gymnastics, or children, or worked insome exotic highbrow circus. "I'm all right, I suppose, I can reach my toes," she said after a minute.

"As can I," he said and grabbed her bare foot to her immense surprise, cradling it between his large hands, his hands soon massaging her foot, sending a jolt of pleasure up her leg.

She did stand too much on her feet, and no one had ever – she began giggling – "No," she cried out his fingertips grazing the bottom of her foot, before he had her pinned underneath him on the sofa, his eyes filled with amusement.

"Can you…reach your toes?" she said in a breathy voice, her chest rising hurriedly up and down.

"If I did, you'd see straight up my robe," he smiled giving her a quick kiss on her lips. "Do you mind if I kiss you?"

He looked thoughtful, even hesitant.

"It's – it's alright-," she said with a slight frown, shrugging, as if she didn't care, but her skin tingled when he began to undo her robe, slipping it open, as he palmed a breast, his mouth soon sucking in a taut nub.

"I don't – mean – on your mouth, Molly," he breathed against her chest, his breath warm.

"I know," she said. "But-,"

"I'll only try – it's only an experiment Molly. There'll be room for trial and error after all. If I fail I'll try again – and again – will you keep your eyes fixed on me – so I know if I'm doing it wrong?"

She nodded, unable to say anything as he parted her robe even more, his mouth trailing kisses past her breast to her abdomen. He brought her legs up by her knees, throwing them over his shoulders, steeling himself almost.

Staring at her pants, he suddenly pressed his nose against her knickers, sliding it across the fabric, his nose pushing against her sex.

She drew for breath, her legs trembling slightly, watching as he gingerly peeled them off seeming to ponder the article of clothing, dragging them along her hips, until they were past her legs and he threw them aside in one swift move.

And then he stared, his blue eyes intent on her sex, flickering upward to meet her eyes. Either he was biding his time, or he was waiting for her to adjust, drawing for breath in front of her cunt.

He licked his lips staring at her, and he suddenly gave an experimental lick.

She jerked at the impact, pushing towards his mouth with more force than intended, and that tentative lick against her folds turned into a long, drawn-out one against her slit.

Molly still managed to keep her eyes on him, even if she felt tempted to close them, but his eyes were still on her, twinkling as the lower half of his face was indulging in her taste, switching between long strokes of his tongue, to quick ones, until he reached her swollen nub and sucked.

Her eyes flickered shut, unable to be kept open any longer, her legs visibly shaking, as he began to slide one finger into her, then another, his tongue flicking against her clit.

She moved against his fingers that curled inside of her, dragging out soft breathy moans from her mouth. "Oh – God – oh – Sherlock-," her eyes bared open when she heard a familiar, yet unexpected sound.

Molly saw his other hand working his cock, sliding up and down against the swollen flesh, his grip firm, as his breath grew more and more laboured against her sex, his licks turning frantic, his fingers pushing more intently.

When his eyes met her, seeming almost ashamed by his actions her walls clamoured around his fingers, and she felt that sweet wave that made her come undone, crying out his name.

It was when she spiralled down, sensing the settee underneath her, and him over her gasping for air, that she felt a warmth that spread across her stomach, warm and sticky. A quick glance down and she saw his come spread across her stomach and breasts.

Sherlock suddenly moved, sitting on the edge of the settee, facing away from her. "I…I am sorry," he said and before she could reach for him, he dashed away from the settee looking almost horrified, as he seemed to be searching for something, the robe barely hanging on him. He returned with tissues, when she had been seconds from assuming he'd be running out of her flat in just her fuzzy bathrobe.

"It's okay," she said softly the instant he began to wipe at her stomach, her body almost a bit too weary and tired to do much, but she still took a crumbled piece of tissue and wiped some of it away, since his hands seemed to be shaking. "I take it as a compliment…anyway," she said in an undertone.

He didn't say anything, so she didn't know if he heard her, but the smile that flitted across his face, as if in relief spoke volumes.

"Right, breakfast then?" she said with a tiny giggle, unable to shake off the giddy feeling that persisted within her, her body still wobbling slightly from the after effects. If they continued, presuming this test as an error, she wouldn't be able to walk in the end.

Pulling on her robe again she rose up carefully, almost losing her footing, but he took hold of her waist, steadying her, and she smiled gratefully in return. "If… I manage to get to the kitchen," she added biting her lip.

The fact that he wasn't speaking worried her, even more so that his attention was on the television, but when she was about to ask what his very serious expression meant he said – "Thank you."

She reeled back in surprise, ducking her head slightly. "You don't need to thank me…it was my pleasure."

Sherlock laughed, the double entendre clearly not lost on him for once, while she began to move in earnest toward the kitchen.

"So, foreplay?" he said.

"Maybe some eggs first?" she said flushing, shaking her head slightly at his antics. Already, she thought, so soon… Perhaps the sooner - the better? She directed her attention towards walking off to the kitchen, unwilling to think of that again, there was no point. Enjoy it as long as you have it Molly Hooper, she thought with some grimness.

"I suppose…foreplay is everything." She did not know if it was a question or not, neither his tone or expression gave that away, but most women out there did religiously hold that thought dear. "Isn't it?"

"Umm, well, yes," she said turning around briefly. "But there's still other things, which you haven't written up that sort of go – hand in hand with that."

"There's always something," he grumbled.

"It's not really, err, required though."

"Oh, what is it?"

"I suppose, well -," she walked into the kitchen; almost cringing before she'd even said it out loud. "Sexting?" she said after a minute trying to steel herself within the kitchen.

The silence that followed unsettled her, and she unwillingly popped her head out of the doorway to look if he was still there, or if he'd disappeared yet. She was surprised to find him with his mobile phone in the palm of his hand. "What do I write?" he said frowning.

She resisted the giggle that surged up. "It's not – well – it's-,"

"Tell me," he said looking up, his eyes narrowed briefly, like he supposed she was sheltering him against some information.

She stood in the doorway grimacing. "Okay, so it's just – you know – what you'd like to do with me – or maybe you'd ask what I'm wearing-,"

"I already know what you're wearing."

It was impossible not to laugh. "You're not supposed to text me in the same room…it's more for when we're apart." She'd said we, she shouldn't have said we, and she soon disappeared in the kitchen again, clasping a hand against her cheek in mild fear over her own words.

"We already text," he called out from the sitting room, clearly unhappy with the concept.

"Talking about body-parts isn't the same as me wanting to – umm – do stuff- you know...,"

"No, I don't know. Enlighten me!" he said.

Sighing she walked back out of the kitchen, ignoring the box of eggs and wisk she'd retrieved, also ignoring the look of delight on his face, as she picked her mobile phone off the coffee table, pressing her fingertips on the screen, before pushing send without much effort.

His phone went off, and as soon as he read the text, both his eyebrows shot upward. "Oh…"

Molly walked off to the kitchen again, letting the bowls and wisk bang against each other, barely registering when he appeared.

"Will that happen – when we complete the list?" he drawled.

She was trying to seem upbeat at the prospect of completing. "If you want…but we don't need to – if you don't-,"

"I do," he said smiling curiously, before he gave her a swift kiss on her lips, soon walking out again, and the volume of the television increased.

When she finally completed breakfast after too many distracted thoughts he cried out - "Case!" And she paused with the plates. "My clothes are dry. Sorry about breakfast." Walking out she was greeted by the sight of her front door slamming shut, her bathrobe slung over the settee.

"Okay," she said with a sigh, intending to eat both breakfasts, but she was surprised to hear her phone go off with a loud chime.

Fishing it out of the pocket of her robe she saw –

I would rather have your legs wrapped around me, than have this case that's barely a six - S

Seconds after –

Good? - S

No – M x

Why not? – S

Wouldn't you rather have my lips around your cock? – M x

In the end she reasoned, there were worse things to break ones heart over.

Chapter Text

"Haemorrhage in left-," she halted, her fingers on the keyboard, as she glanced at the screen of her mobile phone that had lit up. Molly had put it on silent ages ago, though the vibrations were just as annoying. Originally she'd thought the texting would end, especially considering he had a case, which seemed to be a simple murder, but had become first page news when she'd woken up that Monday.

It's the simplest cases that turn out to be the most complex – S

Of course the way her mobile kept flaring up proved her wrong, as he was intent on trying to seduce her from a distance. The worst part, it was working admirably. Her workload, which should have taken her an hour max, had stretched out to two, but that was because she hadn't had the will to ignore the texts either.

She was encouraging him, and with a grimace she picked it up, intending to give the text just a once over. Regularly her phone would be forgotten in the pocket of her lab coat, but today, it seemed impossible to keep it too close lest she walk about with constantly red cheeks. Molly did not want to break her one rule, which technically shouldn't even be a rule, since she shouldn't even consider it as an option – getting off at work that was.

Now, what are you wearing? – S

"Thank God," she breathed out, glad it was rather brief; instead of those extremely detailed ones he'd sent the night before. Those would have been difficult to live down if she'd read them at work, but when she'd begun to reply the door to her office popped open, a gentle knock hurriedly added on the doorframe.

Mike grinned at her. "You alright?"

"Oh hello," she said with slightly wide eyes, letting the phone rest on her stack of paperwork, her eyes darting to it when another text popped up on her screen. "Just finishing up some paperwork."

"Sherlock – with his usual demands, then?" he said, gesturing to her phone with a jerk of his head.

"Yes." No.

Another text appeared.

"He's not hard on you, is he?" Mike said with a worried expression. It wasn't unusual he'd pop round, the pair of them chatting about various colleagues who were either an asset or the opposite over a cuppa, making their workload less tiring. "If he is I'll have a chat with his brother, and we'll sort it out."

"No, he isn't hard…on me," she said with a wide smile, too wide in her own opinion. "We're alright, you know, he's just got a difficult case."

"I didn't know he just texted you? – I thought he'd come round for that-,"

"Oh, you know, he just describes things if he's stuck, and that's nice, you know… I'm sort of flattered and it doesn't take too much time to answer, you know…so it's alright-," she babbled, she was babbling.

"Can I-," the second he was grabbing for her phone, she leaped over her desk and captured it with the tip of her fingertips.

Mike gave her a look of surprise and she held the phone with a more tentative smile on her face, than the look of horror that wanted out.

"It's very – very secret – umm – stuff-," she said dropping the phone into her pocket, feeling it vibrate against her thigh.

Mike raised a brow, blinking slightly, before he gave a light shrug. "Well, alright then, so – you're alright here, aren't you?"

She stared at that, pursing her lips. "Umm, you make it sound like I just started – what's wrong?"

"Nothing really," he said with a sigh. "Mycroft rang me up, you know him, likes to see to everything - if everything's still alright."

Molly laughed brightly. She was used to the news of the elder Holmes brother calling, though luckily never her, as Mike got the brunt of it, coming to her with the occasional communication, but she knew it was just his way of coping with the man.

Most of the staff at Bart's barely knew of the deal they had, which meant that they all knew, and most of them eyed Molly with annoyance, thinking her rise in salary was due to the elder Holmes (instead of her being good at her job, though right now she felt they could probably knock off several pounds).

"And he wanted to know how I was?" she said with raised brows.

"Yeah, bit odd that, not that he doesn't ask, but he usually skirts around the topic for a few minutes. This time he just outright asked if you were acting funny-,"

Molly gaped. "Funny?"

"A bit strange, mind you, began to tell him off for trying to tamper with my staff, but he backed off at least. Well – for now."

"Did he say why?"

"No, not really. Just mentioned that Sherlock was acting a bit more strange than usual, and that he was concerned for his brother."

"And that I was involved with that somehow?"

"No, idea why – it's not like you're shagging him," said Mike laughing, and Molly gave a strangled attempt to join him. He briefly caught the look on her face, giving her a curious glance for a second, but instead of pursuing what she hoped was a fleeting thought of amusement he let it go, soon settling in front of her desk. "I just hope he keeps his hands to himself (she almost spluttered at that) you know and doesn't try stealing more body parts unsupervised, had a field day trying to explain to some poor grieving woman why her husband was missing a leg one day."

"Yeah, he's gotten better at – not – doing that."

"He's got to get better at sticking to the rules though, might write him a list of things he needs to work on…" said Mike shaking his head.

She tried to push down the blush that rose in her cheeks on the thought of Sherlock needing another list, her eyes furiously blinking against her computer screen.

"I'm sure you can handle him properly though, stress the rules to him. You've gotten better at that lately-," continued Mike eyeing her with a smile.

"Oh?" she said clearing her throat.

"Yeah, I think that's probably why big brother's so bothered," he said with a wide grin. "Now I better leave you to it, or else I'll never get any work done." With a wink he left her office, and she sagged with relief in her seat, gingerly retrieving her phone.

You're wearing a skirt, aren't you? - S

She eyed her skirt with annoyance.

Haven't you got a case? – M x

Almost done. Texting requires little effort. - S

Those from last night didn't really give that impression… - M x

Excerpt from an erotic novella. - S

That's cheating! - M x

Hardly cheating if it's working. - S

You're reading erotic stories?! - M x

Inspiration. - S

They're not exactly realistic though, are they? - M x

You shouldn't really be talking – you've got 'Fifty shades of Grey' on your bookshelf, and the general consensus is that the book is a travesty. - S

Sherlock! - M x

Back to my original question – are you wearing a skirt? - S

No. - M x

You're lying. - S

You have a case! - M x

I've already solved it. - S

What? Already? - M x

It was simple in the end. Our suspect was in fact the victim. Mr Hannigan was leading a complex double life, unbeknownst to his wife of course. - S

Now how short is your skirt? - S

Molly sighed, putting her mobile phone back on her desk, intent to ignore it properly this time. She frowned the second she saw her screen light up, though her frown subsided and she giggled a tiny bit, excusing herself from her office and her phone to go fetch some coffee.

Right about now she needed a quick fix to get her head back to work. Even if he seemed to be able to operate using his brain and his other functioning bits at the same time (surprising as it was), she wasn't quite there yet. How did he do it? How did he manage that? Years back he probably wouldn't have at all, and she really wondered how he was able to separate his work and this.

It was perhaps easier if there was no commitment, no proper emotional problem. No frantic female trying to coerce him into any form of obligation, and she wasn't tempted to start screaming out 'relationship', as she knew he'd walk off before the list was even complete.

But he would most likely walk off when it was complete anyway, a fact she'd finally resigned herself to, despite a tiny part of her (perhaps a larger part) wondered if that wasn't the case at all.

Amidst her walk, sipping on her coffee she passed the familiar lab doors and stopped in her stride when she heard John Watson guffaw from the inside of the lab. Molly bit her lip, pondered on walking on, but her feet wouldn't carry her forward. If John was there, that meant… a deep voice spoke, and her suspicions were confirmed.


Eavesdropping wasn't something she typically did…anymore, since back in the day when she enjoyed overhearing their conversations, especially John's disgruntled speeches. It had become a part of her everyday life for some time, and she was glad to have it back, but she wondered what the two were clearly having a spat about.

Molly had moved closer, though she didn't have her ear pressed on the door, she'd learned properly from her last mistake.

She could discern Sherlock sighing. "Don't be naïve John, I think the thought has crossed her mind." Were they talking about the victim's wife?

"I know you pretend that you don't know how she feels about you, Sherlock, but I think you need to be honest with her - before this whole thing blows up in both your faces."

And in that very instant she knew, she knew whom they were talking about, but she couldn't tear herself away, her nerves tangled just standing there in the hallway, catching glimpses of other colleagues passing her with brief smiles, unbeknownst to them that her initial fears were being confirmed.

Here was her final confirmation.

"When we've finished the list, we'll have that special 'heart to heart' – yes – fine – now – can we get back to the case? We need to prove the man's guilt."

John snorted. "Could you at least bloody pretend like you care?"

"I think I've already done enough caring-,"

"Wait – what list-,"

She hastily walked off at that not wanting to overhear more, finding herself by some luck back in her office taking deep breaths, closing her eyes, as she settled by her desk, prompting herself to finish the rest of her work.

This wasn't news to her; this wasn't some startling revelation, it was just the truth. He managed to detach himself from this, because he didn't have an attachment to her in that way. It was all an experiment, but it didn't make it hurt less.

Surprisingly enough she did not cry, frankly she thought the tears would have arrived by now, raining down on her desk, but instead she kept her eyes on her computer screen to work. Ignoring the other screen altogether, letting that bit rest for now. She'd help him complete the list, and then she'd just…she'd just move on.

She could do that, she'd done it before anyway, it wasn't like this was any different from the other times he'd asked for her help. Okay, possibly a bit different, she'd have to admit, but at least she'd have something to look back on. In some ways her imagination was a worse friend, making her wonder how things could be, but now she'd have a taste, and then she'd bounce back…. eventually.

My skirt isn't short – M x

Does it have spots? – S

This isn't a guessing game, Sherlock! – M x

I'm trying to determine which skirt, Molly. I need to know the size and the length. The one you wear quite often with spots is above the knee when you're seated, which would be adequate if I were to find myself underneath your desk.

Why would you be underneath my desk? M x

I think that's fairly obvious. – S

You'll have to be more thorough I'm afraid… M x

No, she was determined to enjoy herself; pushing away one stupid tear that had leaked its way from her eye she forced a smile, bracing herself for everything – for it all.

One bottle of wine and one long conversation on the phone had led her to be sitting in a taxi with her coat over her frumpy-looking pyjamas with stars on it. A part of her knew it was a bad idea, she knew it even after she'd imbibed an entire bottle of red on her own, but now she was heading over to his – uninvited. Her nerves were all over the place, like her head, which hadn't enjoyed her quick sprint out of her building crying 'taxi'.

Obviously she shouldn't have told Meena.

She needed a confidante, someone who wasn't familiar with Sherlock too much. She needed an observer and an outsider - someone who could view the situation with a clear head, without adding anything stupid to it. Not that it was anything but spectacularly idiotic already. Meena was the first obvious choice, but Molly didn't think Meena would say what she said.

The taxi was minutes away, she could have easily taken the tube but her mind was too rattled to consider changing lines or paying attention to anything other than her own thoughts.

"Shag his brains out, shag him and make him regret-," said Meena in her high-pitched voice, the one reserved for when she was properly pissed off.

"That's – that's your advice?" said Molly gaping slightly, as she held the phone to her ear.

"Yes, and when he's all blissed out – walk out – and tell him to piss off."

"Right, okay, right, I'll do…that."

Meena was usually good with advice, but frankly, Molly suspected Meena knew it was what she wanted to hear, minus the 'revenge' bit. At least she was heading off to Baker Street, which was a start, even if part of her felt tempted to go back home to think it through, and just have a logical conversation with him instead. They'd have the talk, clear the air, and she'd tell him that perhaps shagging him might actually permanently put her off men for good – if they had near-amazing-close-to-God-sex, which was a big if.

You're not home. Why are you not home? - S

She hadn't heard from him for a while, his texts ending somewhere in the afternoon with quite the 'ending' – No, I've decided against being under your desk. Instead, I'd have you sprawled on top of your paperwork breathing out my name, with my tongue writing yours into your heated flesh. – S

Well, if she ignored the text after, that was.

Good? - S

Like he needed the 'okay' on that text, which she sent about fifteen minutes after she'd gotten home, and got off.

And now he was at her flat, which wasn't the plan.

There hadn't been a plan after all. It was like he just thought she'd be waiting for him, 'idiot,' she thought irritated, wondering who really was the moron here. She heading to his flat or him already at hers, probably letting himself in by the use of that spare-key he'd made for himself like he rented the place as well.

Perhaps revenge was a good idea, well, they were both about to get what they wanted after all, and at least now she could have some fun at his expense. Pressing intently on her screen, she finally stroked at send, smiling to herself.

I'm out to meet my lover – M x

She had never used the word lover before, ever, and she'd never had a lover before either. Could she call him her lover? For now that was? The wine in her was agreeing.

Your lover? You have a lover? – S

Her slightly thick lover apparently, which made her snort. "Your stop, madam," said the cabbie, before adding the sum, which she paid with the pounds stuffed haphazardly into her pocket.

Molly got out of the cab and eyed Baker Street with a grimace, ringing the doorbell in some hope that someone was home. She was in luck, as the door opened and Mrs Hudson greeted her. "Oh Molly dear! What are you doing here?" the woman said with a cheery smile.

It was easy lying really, surprisingly easy, and she felt relieved the moment Mrs Hudson revealed that she was going out to meet someone with a wink, before she ushered Molly upstairs.

What was she really doing there?

She turned on the light, and stared at the unchanged interior of Sherlock's flat. Nothing of it was unfamiliar, after all she'd been there many times before, either at his request, or – well – mostly when he asked. Molly never turned up at his flat uninvited, since she didn't really have a proper reason, and she couldn't entirely decide if she had one now either. When she felt her pocket vibrate she picked up her mobile phone and saw his name on her screen.

Bringing it up to her ear, she cleared her throat, and tried to remove the slight slur to her voice, which she hadn't managed to entirely keep away when speaking to Mrs Hudson. Maybe she wasn't as sober as she liked to think, not that she felt really bothered about that anymore. What difference did it make if she was off her head anyway?

"Hello," she said in a bright voice, attempting to shrug off her coat, which somehow got caught on her wrist, before she managed to drop it onto the floor.

"Molly?" There was a pause. "…You're at Baker Street, aren't you?"

She giggled soundly, soon clapping a hand over her mouth to stifle the flurry of laughter, a mock serious expression on her flushed face. "Umm, yes? Where else was I supposhed to go?"

"Stay there," he said with a sigh, sounding a bit cross, which she of all people certainly did not deserve.

Hanging up on him, she plonked her mobile phone on the coffee table, and began to tackle the top buttons of her pyjamas, which proved to be more difficult than she thought, her fingers were terribly shaky, and after undoing one button she gave up.

She did not stand idle and walked to the kitchen wondering if he had a packet of crisps in his cupboard. Molly was keen on something salty; she could do with something salty. Standing on her toes she began to scour through them, disappointed to only find a packet of digestives, before she forgot her quest and strode off to his bedroom.

Her head throbbed, the dull painful throb that made everything else on her body sensitive – hearing, eyesight and physical movement of any kind. Molly could hear the sound of the bed sheets shifting on her, practically crackling against her eardrum. She could hear her eyelids pry open, dry and painful. "Oh God-," the instant she moaned that, she felt a warm cup being pressed into her hand, someone else's hand holding it in place lest she drop it.

Molly felt like groaning when she saw his face, Sherlock was seated on a chair placed by the bed. He raised an eyebrow at her before a small smile appeared on his face. "Drink," he said in a commanding tone. "I'm not entirely certain if this is up to your standards, but it does – resemble – coffee." When she managed to grip the cup to take a sip and grimaced at the liquid he pursed his lips. "Maybe not enough. Mrs Hudson is out – obviously meeting with her would-be lover, there's always a whiff of Chanel in the air when she's about to take that trip."

"Umm, thanks," she said glumly, her eyes cast on the sheets. "What happened?" She figured not much, since she was still wearing her pyjamas; only one button had been opened.

"I would have thought you'd remember your speech?" he said, leaning back into his chair with a smug expression.

"I made a – a speech?" she said gaping, her eyes drawn to him now in complete shame. She'd made a fool of herself, but at least she hadn't dressed up for the occasion. There was no makeup or large sparkly earrings, just her in her pyjamas.

"Yes, we were going to have the sex, apparently."

Molly felt like hiding under the covers but somehow she laughed instead, at herself or the tragedy of the situation she wasn't certain. "Sorry."

"No, it was fine," he said looking thoughtful for a second. "Of course I would have preferred it if you hadn't thrown up - but luckily bodily fluids is something I'm not unfamiliar with." He sniffed slightly, and she closed her eyes wanting to fade into the furniture, or at least be back in her own bed. "But I do not pretend that having you stretched out on my bed wasn't – fun." Molly reopened her eyes, her cheeks feeling the familiar tingle of a blush, despite there being other reasons for that as well.

"I should go-," she began gingerly placing the coffee cup into his hand, but his fingertips held hers in place. Warm and soothing against hers, she blinked slightly, unable to relinquish her hold.

"No," he said softly.

"I shouldn't have come…"

"Why not?"

When his hand finally had the cup, she drew her own back, and said – "Because we shouldn't…" It was not as articulate as she hoped, or filled with a proper explanation.

"Who said we were?" said Sherlock with a furrowed brow, setting the cup aside on the nightstand. She stared at him, at a loss of what to say, her mouth opening and closing. "You're not well, and you'd certainly have to brush your teeth first."

The business like tone of his voice made her laugh, a laugh that she regretted when the pain in her head burst forward with full force, and she ended up resting on the pillow again with a whimper.

"Okay, I'll stay," she said in a low voice, not really tempted to budge anyway. "What time is it?"

"Three in the morning," he said briefly consulting his watch.

She'd got there around nine o'clock, which was a bit early for a seduction-scene considering, or to be utterly pissed. "When did I fall asleep?"

"Sometime after eleven o'clock," he said easily. Three hours where she made an utter fool of herself probably, her head the living proof of that, and she sank deeper into the pillow. "I've already told Stamford you won't be showing up for work tomorrow."

"Thank you," she said quietly. If she were feeling anything but what she was now she'd be annoyed he was dictating her schedule, though she was rather pleased he'd taken the time to do so. The idea of going to work around eight in the morning when she felt wide-awake now was a dreadful idea really, but another thought seeped through her mind. "Wait – what – what did you tell him?"

Sherlock looked puzzled by this question. "I told him you were busy-," he began.

"With what?" she said paling.

"Me?" he said like it was obvious, and she felt like chucking the nearest thing at her disposal at his face.

"Aren't you – aren't you worried he might – umm - think it means something?" she asked tentatively, despite his high-functioning brain there were certainly several things he missed.

He only blinked at her, like she was the one being obtuse. "Why would he – oh – ah that explains-,"

"What?" she said in a squeaky voice, her eyes wide.

"Why he told me to enjoy myself-," he said, his eyes looking towards the window instead of her.

"Oh God," she said.

"Besides the fact that when I explained you'd forced yourself into my flat – he seemed rather interested in rushing the rest of our conversation."

She narrowed her eyes a bit, as his blue ones met hers lighting up in that all-too familiar way. "Oh…don't joke about that, Sherlock," she said miserably.

"Of course I told him you were ill, Molly," he said with a laugh. "I'm not an idiot."

"You still asked me who my lover was," she murmured.

"We haven't exactly become lovers, have we?" he said, and her stomach sank several inches into the duvet, her insides squirming. It was when she felt a particular lurch that she understood it wasn't an emotional reaction, and she scrambled out of the bed at top speed, her body trying to eject the rest of the poison. She thought when she'd gotten into the bathroom that she heard him mumble the word "Yet."

Instead of coffee, her cup was brimming with water, which she sipped on gratefully, listening to Sherlock detail his case with some interest. Her mouth didn't taste like bile anymore, as she'd brushed her teeth with a toothbrush he'd bought her while she was still asleep, and she'd taken a long hot shower to feel somewhat better. It was still strange being there, especially since he held her hand while he spoke, stroking his thumb over her knuckles every so often. The gesture was done carefully and slowly, like he was afraid she might get sick again, and honestly she feared the same thing. But it seemed that her body had stopped revolting against her, letting her rest easy – "His wife wasn't too happy, of course, but at least it was solved, rather easily really."

"I suppose you'd solve it quicker if you hadn't been texting so much," she said with a chuckle.

"Surprisingly enough it was the texting that helped," he said looking very pleased. "I wouldn't have done it without you reminding me that people can lead a double life."

Her hand twitched in his. "I wouldn't…call this – that…" she said.

"No, I would think not - feeling better?"

"A bit…why?" she eyed him curiously, and watched as he moved from being flat on his back to facing her, his eyes drifting over the front of her pyjamas.

"So – foreplay?"

She broke out in a laugh that faded when he brought the hand still in his to his mouth, brushing his lips across her knuckles. It annoyed her that she gasped slightly, especially when his fingertips grazed the unbuttoned part of her pyjama-top, sliding across her skin in lazy circles. "What exactly is that? You never said."

"I did," she said in a breathy voice.

"Not entirely," he said leaning closer, his breath against her lips, as he swept a loose strand of hair from her face.

"It's what you do – umm - before sex," she said pulling away from him, staring up at the ceiling of his bedroom.


She scrunched up her face slightly, grinning when she found a way to describe it. "You know when you have a case?" Turning to look at him she saw him nod, his eyes lingering on her lips, while she paused for breath. "It's like…when you're trying to find every piece of a puzzle, trying to understand everything, until it all comes together, and you have your result? Do you know…what I mean?"

He blinked. "Typically my cases don't end with an orgasm."

"There'd probably be more consulting detectives if they did," she said beaming.

Sherlock fell down on his back again looking pensive. "I don't think every one of them would have you, Molly Hooper."

She held her breath ever so slightly, keeping her eyes shut for a second, but then she felt the brush of his lips against hers, his mouth stealing the breath she was holding. Somewhere in the back of her head she heard the words – "But you don't have me," yet she knew this wasn't the case, her hands slipping around his neck, clinging to him.

Chapter Text

The doors slid open and they walked into the twenty-four hour Boots ,  where a sullen looking employee greeted them by removing an earplug from his ear. Molly almost felt like commiserating with him, though the morgue wasn't open twenty-four hours she still empathised with the prominent red in his eyes, and the slight nettled appearance he had, as he was obviously experiencing 'the hair of the dog' like her dad used to say.

She blinked against the bright lights that grated on her nerves, and felt irritated by the low cheery pop music in the background, so she could only imagine how he felt, which was probably why he was listening to something else.

Molly glanced at Sherlock who clearly looked daunted, his blue eyes roaming about, seeing the rows and rows of shelves littered with glossy packaging, probably trying to find the one row that would be dedicated to their pursuit. She had never thought she'd end up in Boots of all places; only minutes ago they'd been in bed.

He trailed soft kisses along her abdomen, making her react with small gasps until she tugged at his curls, drawing his attention away from her body, as she carefully asked a question she would rather avoid.

"Have you – umm – got condoms?"

She received a blank look in return.

That's why they were there, seeking out condoms in a place with a vast array of choices, and she wanted to be discreet, looking at the employee nervously. It was perhaps a bit obvious – a man and a woman in a shop four in the morning.

It was either condoms or a pregnancy test.

Her bed-hair and pyjama bottoms certainly didn't help the matter – "Over here!" Sherlock cried out. She froze on the spot seeing the employee waggling his eyebrows suggestively, hastily covering a snigger with his hand.

Molly walked on finding Sherlock easily, throwing him a glare while he perused the aisle with an earnest amount of contemplation.

"Just pick one," she said in a small voice, a bit amused by his concentration.

"Yes, but which one?" he said exasperated, holding one box of condoms with ridges and another that tasted of apples.

He'd obviously not researched this part properly, not that she blamed him. Condoms sort of threw most people off at the beginning, eliminating the sexy from the sex, and made it seem very clinical.


"What do you mean – ah?" she said hauling herself up on her elbows, staring at him in surprise. "Didn't you - sort of prepare for this?"

"I didn't think that far. I assumed you would still be on the pill."

"I was…but how do you-,"

"I take care to be diligently aware of my pathologist's menstruation cycle."

Molly gaped at him.

Now that's a sentence she'd never heard before, and certainly did not want to hear again.

"Umm, something ordinary?" she said thoughtful herself, eyeing the various boxes with mild confusion.

"What constitutes as ordinary?" he said frowning at the apple flavoured one that she swiftly took from him, putting it back on the shelf without much preamble.

"That one's a bit…for fun really."

"How is apples fun?" he said, his frown deepening.

"Oh you know," she said with a tiny grin, and his slowly furrowing brows dissipated when he caught on her meaning, looking rather upset by the notion that people would add flavours.

She half-expected him to burst out in a long excruciating rant about how stupid people were, but he was looking intently at the packet of condoms with ridges. "What about this?" he said with narrowed eyes.

"That's if you're experienced," she said taking it also out of his hands. "And bored," she added, as she caught the look of disappointment in his eyes. "We just need plain ones really…the ones everyone uses."

It was easier said than done, as she wasn't really the one who bought condoms if condoms were needed really, and looking at the various packages made her feel queasy. There were bright colours, dark colours, the odd masculine animal and some were even packed in pretty pink casings with flowers, apparently to entice females in what worked in the opposite vein in her opinion. "That one?" she said pointing at a sterile simple blue pack with a more discreet font (though with a clear message).

"That doesn't look standard – it's for-," and then he stopped talking, his mouth wordlessly opening and closing, before she thrust the packaging at him and his expression changed to smug.

"Come on," she said biting her lip. "I'm not going to – umm – say it out loud."

"Outside, no," he said with a smirk, before he seemed baffled by all the other products present for other uses (lubricants, silly masks), though she quickly pulled him along by the sleeve.

The male ego was truly one to behold, especially when Sherlock placed the package on the counter and the employee recognized him going from shock to absolute awe. Molly barely constrained rolling her eyes at the very laddish behaviour. She wouldn't be surprised if he'd used a measuring tape in his youth, but perhaps he'd never really been bothered about that.

His hand was on her knee occasionally squeezing it, while the taxi drove through the dark streets of the city, passing people and the rare car. She could have said her address the minute he'd hailed the taxi, but somehow going to Baker Street felt like a better idea, it felt more final than it would if it were her place.

There would be no need for her to change her sheets, nor would she have to relive the memory. It wasn't really better, but she convinced herself it was, also because the lazy circles his hand made distracted her.

It was an innocent gesture.

Had she been wearing a skirt it would have been less innocent, but she was still aware of the slow journey up her thigh, the fabric of her pyjama bottom being pulled up by the movement. Molly knew why she was extra flustered already, as seconds before the cabbie had pulled over to collect them, Sherlock said with his arm out in the air – "Why do they call it dirty talk?"

She'd stuttered, unable to say anything in case the cabbie overheard as Sherlock opened the door of the taxi for her. There was a great likelihood that the young man in shop would talk to the press if he had the chance, and a cabbie felt like another witness to their dalliance. Having to read about them in the papers wasn't something she wanted.

She didn't want to be another imaginary notch on a bedpost.

When Sherlock leaned towards her ear, his breath hot against her earlobe, she just knew he was going to press his question forward again.

"So – why?"

"Umm-," she blinked. "Not here," she added in a quick hiss.

He did not drag himself away from her ear however, his warm breath dancing on her neck, as he murmured – "Where then? In bed?"

A brief thrill past through her, as his fingertips scraped lightly against the thin fabric of her pyjama bottom, almost like he intended to rip the fabric away, and make use of the condoms that probably were burning a hole in his coat pocket. She turned her head, her lips inches away from his and whispered – "Bed."

Walking towards the flat she wondered, turning her head to look at the man who smoothly strode up the steps slowly beside her, his gloved hand gliding along the bannister – if this was it. Molly felt like asking for some wine, nausea kicking in when she walked across the threshold of 221B. It felt very silent despite the occasional sound of a passing car in the distance; it was just the pair of them.

She hung up her coat, her brown eyes seeking out Sherlock who began removing his scarf with swift movements, his blue eyes on her throughout the action, his hands nimble and alert. 'Oh she was in big trouble', she thought, her mouth obscenely dry.

Here she would have to be the instigator, since she could hardly tell him to watch porn as inspiration for what would take place. That would be a mood killer – and that's when she began to laugh, her eyes brightening up.

He only looked curious at her sudden laughter, not offended or put off by it, which caused her laughter to stop short.

This was truly it; this was the end of the line – the last point on the list.

"Bedroom?" she said in a small voice, while he shrugged off his coat, and put his gloves into one of the pockets.

Sherlock stopped short staring at her, and then she realised she might not have said 'Bedroom' and had in fact said – "Tea?" he said with a raised brow.

"I meant-," she pursed her lips. "Maybe we should have some tea…"

He didn't argue, and she wondered for a moment if he assumed this was another part of the whole seduction scene. But he soon set up a tray, elegantly placing cups and saucers, boiling the water, before he began pouring the tea into the cups attentively.

When they'd settled around the kitchen table, the table cleared from the usual mess of his experiments - the list and its demands loomed overhead.

It was impossible not to fidget, despite the fact that not long ago she had felt like confidence itself in the cab. Unfortunately, now she wasn't sure how to proceed or what to say.

"I just…" she began, her teeth digging into her lip, before she continued – "How have you felt about the rest of the – umm – list?"

"Good," he said briefly before he handed her a cup, and she stared at the amber liquid in response.

Sherlock wasn't being descriptive, not that she expected him to flesh out the details about every point with agonizing detail. Going from start to finish, making her relive what she saw very vividly in her head.

"Okay, that's good," she said carefully, sitting more upright in her chair, as she tried not to think about what they were about to do. Thinking about sex didn't help, it just made her more self-conscious, aware of how he looked compared to her – slightly dishevelled from their earlier activities – that if she hadn't asked the question, they wouldn't be sitting at the kitchen table aware of it, or at least she was aware of it. He was probably contemplating something else by now.

"Should I be feeling something else?" he said with knitted brows, looking perplexed at the question. The back of her head niggled with a trembling 'yes'. "I don't feel different, if that's what you're alluding to."

"Oh?" she said taking a sip, trying to stamp down the hurt that slashed through her.

"No, I've always assumed everything would alter once one engaged in such activities, but my feelings haven't."

'Still married to your work,' she thought. "That's nice, I suppose," she said cradling the cup for a second in silence, before she looked up to find him staring at her. "Yeah, we should – we should probably just get it over with, shall we?"

Her chair scraped against the floor, but he took hold of her wrist over the table. "I've already spent thirty-eight years as a virgin. Some minutes more won't kill me –" he released her wrist – "Or do you-,"

"No," she blurted out. "I mean… it's not really about how I feel," she said slowly sitting back into her chair, feeling more grateful than annoyed he wasn't about to rush them through it.

"I thought it was about what we both felt?" he said tilting his head, smirking slightly at her blatant confusion. "Good?"

"Oh right," she said with a small snort, disguising the fact that she'd almost believed for a second that he was referring to something else entirely.

Something more…

"I suppose there should be more finesse to this than just saying – let's begin?" he said with a thoughtful expression.

She giggled. "Umm, yeah – we don't just…have sex – I mean – that came out wrong – oh – god."

He didn't look annoyed, merrily amused, which annoyed her really.

"I suppose we did skip foreplay."

"…It's not required."

"And by the look on your face that's bad."

"Depends," she said with a shrug.

"On what?"

"On who you're with…I don't think…it's umm a secret that I find you -," she bit her lip trying to find a suitable word, her eyes dancing across his handsome face, taking in the high cheekbones, the blue sharp eyes and his mouth.

"I think it would defeat the purpose if we didn't mutually appeal to one another," he said with furrowed brows, lifting the cup to his lips, as his eyes were on her.

Molly drew a sharp breath, a bit caught of guard by that. "So you find me-,"

"Yes, obviously."

"Oh," she said taking hold of her cuppa and attempting to keep her hands from shaking the cup too much. Attraction didn't necessarily mean – anything, but it was him, that she couldn't deny.

She wished she could disconnect her brain entirely. Oh, how she longed for something stronger than sweetened Earl Grey. "Well…umm – how has this gone for you, this project – have you learned-,"

"If you're referring to your likes and dislikes, then yes – I've been educated thoroughly – but – I think there is a final problem now."

"Problem?" she quipped, grinning as his face paled.

"No – I don't – I mean -,"

"It's okay," she said very glad she wasn't the only one nervous. "We'll come through…" At least that was intentional, and thankfully he chuckled instead of paling any further, but she was pleased to see his colourless cheeks heat up ever so slightly.

"You aren't expecting more…than I can give?" he said after a minute.

She started for a second, blinking at him. "Oh – do you mean – in-," Bed?

"Yes," he said with a sigh. "I just hope I'm-," he seemed to be searching for a word this time, a crease appearing between his brows.

"You'll be fine," she said, but the second she'd said it silence hung over them once more. The only sound was their cups being emptied slowly, and she really wished he would say something, anything at all.

Anything to stop her from thinking.

"Why is this different?" he said looking confused.

"What do you mean?"

"When we were in bed earlier – it seemed less-,"

'Awkward? Terrible?' she thought with a grimace, until her mouth managed to say what she should have said ages ago. "Maybe we should go to bed?"

There it was, those very words, and he seemed to almost give a solemn nod at that, like he was about to do his duty. The second he stood up she thought she was going to be the one to say 'wait', but surprisingly enough – "Wine?" he said as if he'd read her mind.

'Oh thank God' she thought brightening up.

They were stalling, she knew that, knew it when he began rummaging through the cupboards, until he found a large bottle.

"I got this from a Polish man who was accused of having stolen someone's identity - turned out someone had taken his-," said Sherlock placing the bottle on the table with a large thud.

"Vodka?" she said gaping slightly. A glass of red would have been fine, tolerable even if her body and head were screaming that perhaps she didn't need to indulge, but - "Vodka?" she parroted again alarmed.

"We're not emptying the bottle," said Sherlock like that was obvious, as he'd begun searching for glasses. "Ah, of course," he said after a minute.


"I don't have any clean glasses."

"We could wash-," he cut her off with a dirty look and she laughed.

Cleaning wasn't his area, obviously.

"Alright," she said emptying the rest of her tea. "Vodka in tea cups, then – do you have a mixer?"

"Do I look like someone who owns a mixer?" he said flopping back into his chair.

She laughed, as the thought of a packet of cosmopolitan stashed in a cupboard of 221B seemed highly unlikely. "Okay, just vodka then," she said as he began to remove the wrapper from the cap and unscrewed it, all while he looked at her. His gaze constantly kept her aware of what hung over the pair of them, steady and unwavering.

"I can keep my drink," she said shooting him a look, hoping to distract him with something else. It probably didn't sound so convincing after the obviously terrible display earlier, but she meant it.

"Doubtful," he said, the corner of his mouth twitching upward.

"What about you and John?"


"Are you saying it was my-,"

"No," he said quickly. "John added shots, remember?"


Their cups were half-full, neither had dared to top them and both had grimaced at the first tentative sip. They'd moved from the kitchen to the sitting room, she was in his chair, while he looked highly uncomfortable in John's, constantly shifting about like it was too cosy for him to be sitting in.

It felt like a small victory to her, even if it was just a piece of furniture, but still. "I'll probably regret this in the morning," she said frowning after another sip from the harmless looking liquid.

"It's already morning," he said, cup to his lips as well.

She didn't entirely know what they were trying to do with the vodka. Get pissed? So it all just happened in a quick blur, or get so pissed it never did.

Molly looked at the windows.

It was bright outside, but she had no idea what time it was, and she wasn't keen on knowing how long they'd prevented things from moving forward. She could hear the streets were busier outside and that was clue enough. It was Sherlock who was supposed to be enthusiastic about completing. And she should be pushing him to do so, to get it over with, but instead they were both being ridiculous.

"Right – have you slept at all?" she said stifling a yawn.


"Okay-," she took a larger sip this time, feeling the vodka burn in her throat, her head fogging over a bit, which she gratefully accepted for what she was about to do. " So – we could talk about what we want to do to each other? That'll probably make it a bit easier…"

"What – we'd – do?" said Sherlock slowly, like he was trying out the words for the first time.

You'd think he'd be more confident, as he'd displayed certain forwardness in the taxi, but it was easier when it wasn't reality she suspected.

"Umm – in bed – not – you know – sort of like we did – texting?"

They should have already been shagging, they could have shagged seven times by now.

"Dirty talk, you mean?"

She shifted in her seat. "Not exactly, more like fantasies? So we can relax."

"How is that relaxing?" he scoffed.

"Right, you'll go first then," she said annoyed, taking a much larger swallow of her cup.

"Why should I go first?" She gave him a look, and he frowned in return. "Fine," he said with a sigh, his eyes becoming rather distant.

A minute past, then another, and she gingerly said. "It doesn't need to be about me – it could just be-,"

"There hasn't been anyone else," said Sherlock who snapped out of his brooding look.

She didn't dare ask, even if she wanted the question thrown out there, but then she couldn't take it back. He was probably just being very literal, she assumed, their exploits being his only basis. "Doesn't need to be in bed, you know." Another beat passed. "Anything really, but if you don't-,"

He interrupted her, his tone soft. "When you asked me out for a coffee-," she opened her mouth in surprise – "Except I'm not rude."

She pressed her lips together, trying very hard not to laugh.

"That's – your fantasy? That you're not rude?"

"Well – yes," he said with a raised brow.

"How is that a fantasy?" she said careful not to sound rude herself.

Sherlock seemed to steel himself. "And I would put your lipstick to good use of course – your mouth more or less smearing it on-," He paused. "Then there'd be the riding crop – in your hand…"

"Okay," she said in a very breathy voice, her hand a bit firmer around her cup, as she took a larger sip. "That's better…"

He nodded toward her and she took a breath, bracing herself, until she began to grin slightly, a tiny laugh slipped out of her mouth. Her eyes brightened up, as she said in a playful tone. "Your coat."

"My belstaff?" said Sherlock almost looking offended.

"No – I don't mean – I mean you'd still be wearing it – all of it," she said swallowing the rest of her cup, the burn less this time.

"All of it?"

"And I'd be naked…on top of you."

His hands clenched his cup a bit more firmly, or so she thought, she could see the white in his knuckles from his grip. "Where…" he began suddenly clearing his throat. "Where – does this take place?"


A beat passed.

"Anywhere?" he echoed.

"Umm, well, it's - I haven't really thought of the location exactly?" she said giggling slightly, while he looked mildly troubled. "Like, umm, one of the hallways of Bart's wouldn't be the right place…to do that, that is."

"Yes, people might talk."

She laughed again, a bit louder this time, plucking up the bottle of vodka on the carpet between them before pouring the liquid into her cup, much more this time.

Sherlock did the same, having apparently emptied his cup as well, and they both eyed each other silently, taking smaller sips this time.

"So…you?" she said.

"Me – again?" he said with a groan.

"Sherlock," she said squeezing her eyes shut, "Just-,"

"Fine – fine – Christmas Eve-,"

Molly knew immediately that he was referring to her again, but now it was that one silly Christmas, in this very room.

"You know maybe-," I should stop you, she thought.

"I don't apologise…verbally."

"You don't?"

"No," he said, his eyes gleaming with amusement. "Orally of course."

He said it like it was obvious, so she snorted.

"In front of everyone?" she said with a raised brow.

"No," he said annoyed. "Obviously it's only us there. This is a fantasy after all."

"Alright," she said with a nod smiling a bit too much, while he chuckled.

"I believe it's your turn."

She hesitated for a few seconds, before she began. "I'd be…on the sofa, gripping – the umm -," her eyes darted toward him uncertain if she would scare him away.

"Molly," he said after a minute. "I'm a grown man - I promise I won't blush."

"Okay," she said with one breath, grinning. "I'd be bent over the sofa - gripping the fabric while you pushed yourself inside me…hard…fast-," her voice sounded breathy, silly even – "Until I came, and you pulled out – coming all over my back."

The last bit was said almost like one word, but it had the desired effect – his cup was empty again, and he stared at her unblinkingly.

"I thought you wouldn't blush-," she said wryly.

"I'm not – I – maybe we shouldn't play this-,"

"Do you know how to put on a condom?" she said, and she knew by the look on his face that it was an abrupt question – technically his speciality - but she'd wondered ever since they'd been in the shop if he knew. If he hadn't considered condoms in the first place, then he probably didn't know that vital piece of information, which might make everything rather awkward.

He blinked.

"I –I hadn't thought about that," he said in one breath, and she nodded silently in return.

"Maybe you should, umm, practise first?"

"He – here?" he said with raised brows.

She drank more vodka. "I can help… we'll probably have to wait until everything's-," hard

He mumbled something, and she almost didn't catch it – "It is already…"

"I know," she said getting to her feet, watching the immense surprise on his face as he looked up at her. She gingerly took the cup out of his hand and put in on the coffee table along with hers, smiling briefly before she grabbed his hand and pulled him up.

He didn't protest, didn't stutter, just stared at her as she dragged him along, feeling his hand twitch against hers, his thumb stroking over hers gently, unsurely. It didn't take long to reach the bedroom, a few feet and they were there with the door closing behind them.

She stopped walking, halting in front of the bed, before she let go of his hand and turned around to face him. His face however, didn't look filled with anticipation or nervousness, but sheer annoyance.

Molly had her hands on his chest, but she let them tentatively drop.

"The condoms are in your coat pocket, aren't they?" she said trying to still her laughter.

He was so very smart; yet so very stupid it was remarkable.

Of course he'd forget them.

"Yes," he bit out with a sigh. "I'll –," he began moving toward the door, swiftly turning around. "Do we need more than one?"

"If you…like…" she said with a poor attempt at a casual shrug. "They're a bit useless after you've used them once, not really for recycling."

"Oh…I…should I?" - bring more – he didn't say it, but she knew he was thinking it. It was obvious he was thinking it, and maybe he knew the answer by the look on her face, as he proceeded to walk out at that.

She laughed gaining awareness of how ridiculously hot her cheeks felt, her hands upon them, and how perfectly flushed they probably looked.

The vodka and the man were to be blamed, but most likely just the man.

Molly sat down on the edge of the bed, drumming her hands on the mattress, trying to quiet down her growing nerves. Once again another moment had been ruined. Obviously they shouldn't, obviously it was all a sign – a sign of how bad an idea it all was. It wasn't smoothly done; she didn't just pull him into the bedroom and ravage him – the condoms on the nightstand, everything in running order.

She ruffled a hand through her hair, feeling more and more agitated by his absence. He was taking too long – why was he talking so long? Maybe he'd walked out, but then she'd have heard the snap of the door, or so she hoped.

Sherlock wouldn't just walk out, would he? Instead of staying in the bedroom any longer she walked out purposely, about to ask what had happened, but when she'd stepped out of the room and passed the kitchen - she found him staring at the screen of his laptop.

Well, that she hadn't expected.

"97% of the time," he mumbled, his eyes darting to her briefly, as she stared at him in shock.

"Are you – are you actually-," she began, anger surprisingly rising within her. She didn't know who she really was angry with right now, but she was angry.

"The information on the packet was hardly legible," he scoffed. "No wonder the pregnancy rate is high in the country."

"Oh my God," she said softly. "We're actually doing this…"

"Sorry?" said Sherlock looking up from his screen at her.

"We shouldn't have sex," she said, the words out of her mouth, and it wasn't the vodka, it wasn't anything else but her. "We shouldn't have sex." She repeated it like it would help, like it would cement the fact.

"Why?" he said with a crinkle between his brows.

"I ask you – I ask you to get the condoms and you – you're reading about-,"

"How to put it on – there's hardly place for an illustration, Molly," he said picking up the packaging and brandishing it in his hand like evidence.


"What?" he snapped.

"You – obviously don't want to have sex with me," she said walking off to the coat tree, her movements erratic. "It's – we don't-," she grabbed her coat, shrugging it on – "we've never – ever – needed to do anything-," she buttoned it closed frantically – "I think I should just go – and we'll pretend nothing – ever-," and then she felt him tugging at the sleeve of her coat, keeping her in place, "happe-" but his lips met hers, muffling her words.

Her eyes were wide, while his were squeezed shut, a desperate kiss, she could feel it in the way his hands dug into her back, clutching the back of her coat, the fabric bunching, and her eyes fluttered shut.

'Idiot' she thought opening her mouth to his, tasting him, before she began opening her coat again, almost tearing off the large buttons.

He took over her struggle, carefully helping her out of it, but not letting her mouth leave his, the taste of vodka loud in their mouths. Her coat was on the floor with a loud thump, which they both tumbled upon, and there was no point going to bed, no point.

Not in the way her hands urgently pulled at his trousers, or in the way his hands drifted toward her pyjama top dragging it off in one move, their mouths urgently tangled, hot and heavy, before she pushed him down to the floor to keep him away, and he grunted in return.

She was in the middle of unzipping his trousers, almost throwing him a glare when she remembered. "You forgot-," but was astonished to find him holding one lone packet in his hand, and she almost shook her head at him, but she grabbed it instead.

Clenching her legs tighter around him, she heard him moan underneath her, his hands trembling as he placed them on her waist. Finally she unzipped his trousers, and yet again he wasn't wearing pants, but she didn't have time to be surprised.

She quickly opened the packet with shaky hands instead, and brought out his hard cock, letting her hand glide over the thickness of him. Sliding the condom on, she revelled in the fact that he looked somewhat uncomfortable, as she began shifting on top of him until she wasn't wearing her pyjama bottoms anymore. Her soft skin in contact with his still clothed form, almost like her fantasy.

"Are you-," ready - do you want to? So many options lay before her, but she couldn't voice them, not now.

"Yes-," he said with gritted teeth, his hand grazing her cheek softly, like it was answer enough. With a gasp she brought him between her folds and into her heat in one swift move.

His yes turned into one large drawn out moan, his eyes widening slightly in shock, as she let him enter her properly with every inch. She did not move for a while, letting him stretch her out, letting him adjust, as his fingers clenched into the skin of her hips, clearly preparing himself.

Then she begun to move languidly against him and his eyes clamped shut, as he attempted to move against her. The movements were jerky and uncertain, but she didn't move faster for him, drawing down, and then up in such a relaxed speed that made him sound utterly unintelligible.

She could hear her name on his lips, as she pushed down and drew herself up, whimpers escaping her own. One of her hands was on his chest, another on the floor trying to steady them, trying to keep it unhurried, watching his eyes that were trained on her in awe and surprise.

His hands tried to move from her waist, slithering across the skin beneath her breasts, his fingertips soon toying with her taut nipples, his breath turning ever so ragged.

For a second she thought his actions were tender, his hands soft, drifting from her breasts to her stomach, while she thrust down on him, feeling her ever-growing heat wrap around his hard member. It was growing harder to keep it slow, to not move fast, to not let it be done right away, and it seemed that not even he wanted to rush it.

Slowly she began to move in earnest, faster, harder, and he began to return the favour with his hips, his hands clawing themselves into the skin of her hips again, trying to keep up with what she was doing. "Oh-," she began, unable to stop herself. "Oh – God-," the trusts are fast, inelegant, and she could see he's on the brink, his head thrown back, his eyes squeezed painfully shut.

She tried to meet him, bringing a hand between them, her fingers on the swollen bundle of nerves between her thighs, and with one shove down she feels the first wave of pleasure careening through her, crying out.

His thrusts into her are hard and quick, his mouth wide and almost silent, and its with that second wave - that final thrust, and the clear sound of his moan that she knew he finally peaked, coming utterly undone beneath her.

"Oh," she said softly, slumping forward onto his chest, her breath coming in large gasps, as his hands relaxed on her waist, trembling ever so slightly, keeping her close by moving them to her back, letting her rest against him properly.

Molly felt the sheen of sweat between them, and smelled the scent of sex in the air amidst the dust of the room. Her face felt hot, her hair plastered to her forehead as she took a deep breath, feeling him slowly pulse within her, until he grew soft, and she finally pulled away.

Sliding off him she gingerly moved away, trying to grab her knickers and things, but he stopped her by taking hold of her wrist.

She looked at him for a moment, taking in the lazy look on his face, and the tired expression, before she shook her head, removing herself out of his grip.

Sherlock rested on his elbows slowly, staring at her in furious silence, saying nothing, doing nothing, except observing while she got to her feet, picked up her things, before she pulled them on again.

It was all quiet and effortless, despite her trembling, and she had a sad smile on her face as she dragged on her coat.

"It's not on the list," she said and walked out of his flat, without him stopping her.

The list was completed.

Chapter Text

The street is busy outside her window; despite the wavering sunlight the volume of London is still loud, still alive. Molly would almost not believe she's on the phone, the silence stretching out longer than needed, and it's only when she can hear Mike rubbing at his eye that she knows he's still there. His glasses that are clearly hiked up at the other end of the line jolt up against the receiver, the scraping noise making her cringe, but she still hangs onto the phone, letting her eyes roam on the street below searching for some distraction.

Barking dogs, honking cars, vexed drivers, the occasionally sprinting jaywalker tempting the red lights. There is more life there than inside her flat, and it's not an unusual sight. Usually she'd have the telly on, except the images kept blurring into one in front of her, while she tried to avoid thinking altogether. To stop thinking, oh she'd wished for that long ago.

She already knows what Mike's going to say, it's obvious, the pause is too long, too tentative, like someone's warned him about her ringing him up, but she still lets her hands clasp at the phone desperately pressed against her ear, heating up the side of her face. "Mike?" she prompts in a small voice.

"I think it's best you stay at home today," he finally said, and her insides instantly falter, clashing against each other.

Work would have been good, she kept telling herself that. The mild headache would be nothing in the familiarity of the hallways and the work put before her. She would have a purpose at Bart's, and it would be easier to cope in a way, less time for her to think, to let things be mulled over again, and again.

"Why?" she said. Her tone is upbeat, a smile even manages to force its way onto her face, but the words tumble out faintly, the hitch in her voice visible in one single word. Her ability to put on a front today isn't there, not even on the bloody phone, and she can hear Mike breathe heavily on the other end, like he can read her emotions at the tone of her voice.

"Molly…you sound half-dead," he said, a tinge of concern evident in his voice, and it earns him a horrible attempt at a laugh, a laugh that gets bitten down when she begins to pace the carpet relentlessly.

She fidgets, her hand turning into a fist, before unclenching, and she stands her ground in the middle of her sitting room, trying to find the words to convince him she's okay, she'll be okay.

"I'm not – I'm not that sick," she said quickly, the urgency in her voice almost sounding convincing, but she can hear at the intake of breath coming from his end that he's doubting that.

"Most people would kill for a day off, you know."

This time her laugh seems real, a bit more convincing at least, and she serves a line to go with her good humour. "Well - I can't do the autopsy if I've killed someone. Favouritism would be bad." Mike groaned on the other end ("I walked right into that one, didn't I?"), while she bit her lip, almost beginning to pick on the tiny piece of loose skin on her mouth, wanting to busy her hands just for a little bit, but she puts the hand down, letting the sweaty palm slip over her grey trousers instead.

"Yeah, I think because of that joke you've just got the day properly off – you've got the weekend to look forward to after all ("That's why-," she tried to interrupt). I'll ring you if you're needed, but for now goodbye Molly. Have a lovely weekend, alright?"

He'd hung up on her before she could properly dig her heels in and quarrel her way back into Bart's. Usually when she asked for a day off she always worked anyway, but today her mobile phone had been eerily quiet.

No one was sick, except her, so she let her battery die.

She'd been staring at it too often, too frequently, her hands seeking purchase in the light weight, looking at the screen as if it would light up to tell her someone was in fact thinking of her, like she was of him.

As if someone else was going through everything that had happened, analysing every moment, blaming themselves, hating themselves, and just…She turned on the telly again, seeking something else - 'And then they win you over again, and you let them in, and you think things will change, but they don't."

Changing the channel quickly, she hastened away with a flick of the remote, not wanting to see the tearful confession of whatever female that was. None of the channels tempted her, but she stopped at Master Chef Australia, little pans simmering in the background, while beads of sweat dripped down the various contestants' faces.

Themes she wanted to avoid at the moment were unlikely to be brought up with huge swelling music in the background if only to rouse sympathy into the contestant's home life. She sprawled on top of the sofa, lounging properly, her cheek pressed into the soft surface of the settee, while the people kept chattering, contemplating each other, cooking aesthetically pleasing dishes.

It was the telly or changing the sheets of her bed once more, which she'd done with quiet determination, practically ripping off the spotty bed sheets like they'd offended her the second she'd gotten in, or showering.

They were all half-arsed attempts, like trying to sleep, which despite the feeling of cleanliness could not be properly revived within her. Again the thoughts returned with fervour, examining his entry to her office with the offending list, until she indulged in protracting the moment she'd left his flat.

It would have been fitting if it had been raining when she walked outside, the streets bare for her to walk upon, but instead there was laughter, there was talk, there were families walking about. She had no money left, no oyster card, and a barely charged phone, clinging onto the last bar. It had been a dreadful walk, not that she'd been expecting a peaceful stroll back home either, tugging at her coat desperately and avoiding the occasional curious stare, like they could read on her face what she'd done.

Nothing had happened, nobody came running after her through crowded streets, nothing. She let her phone die out, and she let herself in her flat short of breath, the tears urging out of the edge of her eyes, while she pushed them back repeatedly not wanting them to spill.

She'd known what she'd gotten herself into, really she had, and it was her fault in the end. No, the blame went from her, to him, then the both of them, until it stayed with no one.

It had happened and there was nothing to be done, nothing to alter it.

Was there something wrong with being terrified? Being scared that the instant she allowed herself to draw for breath, slipping into a comfortable position against his chest he'd tentatively remove himself, and she'd feel like all the air had been punched out of her.

With that untangle the quiet heart-to-heart would appear. "I apologize if I've given you the impression that – I -," she could almost hear his voice, deep, slow in her head. Sherlock would be careful, he'd try to be, but she'd taken it away from him. Instead she'd walked away, perhaps not with the flair that Meena had suggested, but in an effort to be kind.

He would have done an appalling job; his kindness would be a mere consolation prize, a terrible one at that, which would sting ten times more. It would be like any other time, all the times she'd imagined more lulled into a false sense of security believing that there was something intangible somewhere in the back of his mind, like she had a real place there.

Not one where she counted because she was valuable to his work, or mattered because she'd done a job anyone with her degree could pull off. Molly knew it was more to those tender moments, she was his friend, and she was saving him like usual, saving him the pains in seeing her reap her own award for neglecting the fact that she was more than mere flesh and bone.

Molly had leapt so many times before, too many times – like when she believed her dad would recover, or Tom and her would work, or all those times when Sherlock had shown his heart one moment, but then turned cold another.

It just felt like she would be stepping into that same invisible trap, locking her into the same familiar patterns. Pretending she was fine when she wasn't, allowing herself to be brushed aside, letting all of those comments he'd throw at her seep underneath her skin, until she almost believed they were the truth.

They'd come too far for her to revert back into that, she didn't want to go back there again – risking everything and gaining nothing in the end, for all of it would make her turn cold, bitter and hard. She wasn't like that, she didn't want to be that, but she didn't want to be soft either, pliable, breakable.

Pretending she saw something in everything he had done lately was idiotic and wishful of her. But he'd mentioned – she turned up the volume of the telly, the remote listlessly in her hand. What of that really? She'd believed so many silly things, that there was something more than just friendly affection when he'd told her to be happy with Tom, that his compliments had meant something more than him just wanting something from her, that him apologizing to her was huge – large - and yes, it was, but none of that had meant – and this didn't mean that he…that he…

She let her eyes slip shut, pressing them tightly together, while she squeezed the bridge of her nose, re-opening her eyes to the sight of the colourful screen, the pastries, and cakes making her insides twist.

There – a tear dropped – then another – and another - until they finally paused, taking a tender break while someone spoke about their family on the screen. Letting her eyes wander, she was startled to see a piece of paper slide across the floor.

Molly jerked her head up in surprise, her hair slipping to her side, while she stared unblinkingly at the paper. It came from the door, and she looked towards it, taking in the crack at the bottom and the dark shadow behind it. Instinctively she knew, she knew who it was, even if she barely believed he'd show up. Reluctantly she slowly gathered herself off the settee and brought the paper up, recognizing it.

It was the list.

She almost threw open the door, intending to shout abuse, intending to say something, to call him several not-nice things, except her eyes landed on the unexpected number eight. The words hitching themselves in her throat, her eyes widening at a number and a word that hadn't been on the original list he'd handed her. Instantly she reached for the door, opening it up to a man who looked utterly torn.


Some weeks ago

He drew his bow over the strings in one swift movement, letting the instrument whine loudly in something resembling a long drawn shriek. Grinding his teeth he plucked at the strings, furrowing his brows, until he growled in his seat, placing the instrument aside before he felt like hurtling it against the wall.

Annoyed, very annoyed.

That's what he felt, and why – why should he feel annoyed? There was nothing to be annoyed about. Her opinion on the article didn't count, and he didn't care of her opinion. Except a little voice in the back of his head, eerily sounding like John said – 'oh yes you do' with the usual gruff scoff, like he was the ignorant one in this situation.

From the moment Mrs Watson decided that getting his head out of his arse was a good idea, he'd been burdened by a sequence of irritating people he didn't see fit to talk with or deduce, their lives and thoughts so apparent on their ignorant shoulders that he hadn't felt a twinge of irritation about the piece of twaddle, but Molly's head wasn't supposed to be vacant.

Perhaps her understanding of him had dwindled throughout the years after his disappearance, after all, after all… "God, why do you care?!" he shouted out to the emptiness of Baker Street, his hands thrown up in the air in annoyance.

He hadn't cared about Tom, hadn't cared about the slaps, and hadn't cared when she'd told Mary about the bolthole, but now – now he chose to care.

No, he did not choose to care.

He sighed, rubbing at his forehead, his fingers tapping against his skull, while he tried to think. Truly think of why her opinion on him being sexually ignorant mattered.

"It's fake, isn't it? The interview?" she said her lips pressed together, poorly concealing the smile blossoming there. Sherlock turned his head briefly, letting his eyes shift into her direction, before he resumed twisting the knobs of the microscope, having a more intent stare at his specimen instead.

"That's a yes, then?" he could see her biting her lip, a tiny giggle slipping out despite her attempt at stilling it.

He cleared his throat slightly, hoping that would be answer enough. This line of questioning he wouldn't deign with an actual reply, especially since she should know better.

"Okay," she said and now she allowed her laugh to escape, before she walked off burdened with files in her slim hands. He soon lifted his eyes narrowing them at the shut lab door, releasing a huff.

She 'should' know better. Why didn't she know better?

It wasn't his area; she knew it wasn't his area, yet she'd still asked. Why did she ask? Was she expecting something? He frowned, the frown deepening before he almost rang up Mary to shout abuse at her. It was her fault after all, her assumptions of his 'feelings', feelings he didn't own, or – 'more like don't want to own' said the inner-John – "Shut up!" he snarled standing up from his chair, letting his hands ruffle through his hair, until he suddenly froze.

He could learn - learn the essentials - understand the concept, and then of course say – 'Not my area' as it wasn't.

He could do that.

Maybe he'd truly understand the concept better if he had some information too, and he'd – he'd ask – 'Oh you're going to ask her for help, are you? Real shocker there' Ignoring the voice in his head, he got his laptop, furiously typing quick helpful searches, and as he wrote them down, he halted when he'd unintentionally added number eight.

His eyes almost fell close at the word - a simple word, yet so complex.

The one subject he was wholly ignorant of, the one subject he had come to somewhat grasp for a while, the one subject he'd often used against others, the one thing that was more indefinable than anything else he'd come across, and he smacked his laptop shut.

Sherlock took a deep breath, closing his eyes.


His eyes turned to John briefly, his ex-flatmate, his friend, he should tell him – what was there to tell – there was nothing to tell – no no no – "Why are you here?" he bit out, his fingers drumming on the arms of his chair, eyes narrowed at John who raised his eyebrows in return.

"You rang me, remember? Said it was important."

"No, I didn't!" he said derisively, his rather restless demeanour perhaps a hint toward the activity going on in his mind.

John let out a breath. "Okay, then – right – what's this about?"

Sherlock stood up from his chair, slung off his robe, and threw his coat over his clothes, whirling around on the spot. "I need to go."

"What?" said John gaping, "I just came here!"

"Well - then you'll still be here when I return," he said smoothly, pulling on his gloves, before he left for Molly's for their scheduled meeting.

She'd explain, and then it would put an end to that.

He walked out of the door short for breath, his fingertips seeking the pulse point at his neck, feeling the thundering beat, as he shut his eyes trying to drown out the thoughts reeling through his head.

It was his suggestion and his problem.

The pulse only quickened – stress – obviously, the way her soft lips had felt against his, the way she had felt against him, her small shape sliding against him so – "Oh for God's sake!" he said softly, rolling his eyes, darting away from her door before she heard him talk loudly to himself, a thing reserved for her nosy neighbour.


He needed to end it - the exit - she was getting confident. Sherlock snorted, she'd always been confident – "We're having lots of sex," he mimicked loudly in a sweetened voice.

The sheer idea made his skin crawl, his hair stand on end, and an ache appear in his head. No – no – no – "You're not – you've never – stop it!" Mind over matter, he thought, mind over matter!

He would leave, he would end it, he would send an appropriate text, and the whole thing would fall into shambles, he would not execute another thing on the list.

And yet the number, the last number loomed over him like a dark cloud, like a reminder, a flimsy thought, a silly one – glaring at him from the distance.

One word.


"Love?" it's barely audible, her gape seeming larger than the volume of her voice, the paper shaking in her hand, unable to be kept still. "You mean – you – that – this has been – what?" Her voice is brighter than she intends it to be, bordering on hysterical, the paper quivering in her hand, shaking like a leaf.

He looks ordinary, briefly unsure, his mouth opening and closing, like he's still trying to figure out what to say. She certainly doesn't know what to say, staring up at him before her in confusion.

Was she angry?

She didn't know.

Was she happy?

She didn't know either.

Too many emotions were battling it out, her insides trying to resolve them all in his persistent silence. What if? Maybe she'd fallen asleep then, her eyes drawn towards her settee, before they returned to him slowly, her gaze almost hungrily taking in the sight of him just standing there, even if it was silently.

Sherlock finally drew for breath, his eyes fixed on her face, bordering on solemn. "No," he began, and her nails dug into the paper. "No – not – I mean – originally – I am – I am sorry it took – I – took so long to get here – I-," and she realized he wasn't talking about how late he was at her flat, how dark the streets had become.

Molly's eyes turned to the list in her hand, letting a small quavering breath. "I just got home," she said blinking at her own silliness, it's not what she meant, or what she wanted to say, or – she wasn't sure really.

She didn't know what to say, or how to say it, so many words available to her at the moment, but they were too big, or too small, too complicated or too simple for the moment taking place.

He pursed his lips, blinking. "May I-," he started gesturing carefully with a gloved hand at her flat.

He never asked when he came round, never like this anyway, and she stepped aside gingerly, the paper still in her hand. Molly was afraid to crease it, as if her crumbling it would make the moment lessen in meaning.

She kept her eyes trained on him, on his careful walk, as he slowly whirled around to face her, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes almost unable to meet hers, flickering up and down, blue hues indecipherable. "I am sorry-," he began, brows furrowing. "I didn't – I didn't think – didn't consider how you'd – when it should have been what I thought of first…"

Blinking she tried not to let any tears spill, lest she confuse him or scare him away, he'd never seen her like this, not properly anyway. Swallowing she tried to fill the silence, tried to ask the questions she wanted to pose, to talk – "But the in the lab…you said-," she began, swallowing the ever growing lump in her throat, shaking her head a bit.

When the words were barely out of her mouth she realized that she should have stayed, she should have listened, should have eavesdropped more, but she'd been used to hearing them talk about her, used to the fact that John would berate him for walking over her, like he had a tendency to do in the past.

But that was the past.

"You - heard?" he said, his voice ragged, sounding almost horrified, and she met his gaze guiltily, the scrap of paper the only thing keeping her on her feet.

"I – I-," she began perplexed, blinking furiously. "I thought-,"

Sherlock took another breath, clearly steeling himself, like she already was, her nails digging into the paper for support, as she watched him closely, trying to pick up his expressions, trying to understand.

He bowed his head a little; his dark curls inching down his forehead, as a glimmer of a smile etched itself on his mouth. "You didn't hear it all then."


"You should talk to her, you know, sort it out."

"Don't be naïve John, I think the thought has crossed her mind."

"I know you pretend that you don't know how she feels about you, Sherlock, but I think you need to be honest with her - before this whole thing blows up in both your faces."

"When we've finished the list, we'll have that special 'heart to heart' – yes – fine – now – can we get back to the case? We need to prove the man's guilt."

John snorted. "Could you at least bloody pretend like you care?"

"I think I've already done enough caring-,"

"Wait – what list-,"

There it was, he had said it out loud, and he blinked furiously, hoping John had no inkling of what he was talking about. "I didn't say anything about a list-," he mumbled, focusing on the microscope before him.

However John could not be deterred eyeing him with a great deal bemusement. "I was talking about Mary – who were you talking about?"

"Umm-," he'd hit a blank, "Wait – what about Mary?"

"I thought – oh – OH - ," said John wide-eyed with a grin – "Oh my God - that's what she bloody meant – Jesus – you're talking about Molly, aren't you?" said John who faltered a tiny bit at Sherlock's silence. "Are you?"

"And you were talking about the article…" said Sherlock squeezing his eyes shut with a grimace.

John smirked. "So…apparently that worked then."

"Shut up."

"Mary kept going on about getting your head out of your arse, and I thought she just meant in general."

Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Well – obviously – I did."

"Are you two-,"

"Not yet, John, no," said Sherlock trying to ignore that infernal badgering from the real John, as well as the one in his head.

"Well…have you told her?"

"Told her what?" he said, his eyes up again.

John gave him a look.

"I intend to," he conceded, a lightness expanding itself over his chest, making that constriction he'd been feeling lately elevate ever so slightly.

"Oh God - just don't do that thing!"

"What? What thing?" said Sherlock annoyed, turning to look at his friend.

"That thing when you ignore the fact that people actually have feelings."

"Yes, yes, fine, I know - now -,"

"What's the list then?" said John with a raised brow, grinning cheekily at the man who groaned in response.

"You don't want to know."

"Why wouldn't I want-,"

"It involves sex," he said smirking the instant his friend's eyebrows disappeared into his hairline. "Just what I thought – you do get quite English about it, don't you?"

"Says you?" said John with a slight gape.


A lone tear falls across her cheek, a confusing smile on her face, while she closes her eyes briefly, her teeth gnawing into her lower lip, fullness appearing to her quickly reddening lips. "And then I just left you-," she said the regret so achingly visible in her voice.

"Twice," he said with a chuckle, his hand twitching to touch her, but his hand urges only upwards briefly, letting it fall to his side instead. "Not that I – I was any better – when I should have told you to begin with, I just – I suppose I wanted to see first – if that makes any sense?" He identified he must have looked as confused as she seemed to be, her expression one of mild irritation, like he'd pulled a stunt of some kind.


"By - making a list?" she said laughing, and it's a relief to hear her giggle burst forward. "A sex list?"

He let his eyes narrow briefly in mild contemplation. "There was kissing too - though – no – not spectacularly clever, though I thought you understood."

She frowned at him. "No, you were sort of clear that it wasn't about-," she let out a breath, huffing, her brown eyes seeking out his face, taking it in, it seemed, in what way he didn't know. He wouldn't hide from her gaze, allowing her to see it all, but he could not tolerate the silence.

"Yes - I am terrible at romantic gestures, aren't I?" he said softly, his mouth curling upward at an attempt at humour.

Her inspection of him is cut short, as she groaned into her hand. "Oh…Sherlock – why didn't you just-,"

"You didn't ask," he said taking a tentative step toward her, his hands folded behind his back. "I was consumed with the idea that it was just friendly - that I wasn't risking anything - that I wasn't already – I – Molly - if I - loved you less… I -," no words could put it right in the way he wanted it to be, nor would he ever have the right words for every occasion, hoping she'd understand, hoping she'd see. "Just – see me - I know you can."

The tears came again, and he had no idea if they were good, but her hand dropped from her face. "Oh…"

A beat passed.

"Oh?" he repeated trying to look annoyed. "That's what I-," and he felt relieved the instant he felt her throw her arms around him, dragging him down to meet her, the paper crunched against his back.

He could feel her laughter against his coat, and her smile, or so he hoped. Resting his chin on top of her head, he took slow breaths, steadying himself, willing himself to be patient, his hands unwilling to be pulled away from her, but he knew they would have to move.

"Am I forgiven?" he whispered, a slight tremble to his voice, unable to be shielded by humour, by sarcasm, by anything. She was there in his arms and he wanted to keep her there, but she broke away, stepping back, her brown eyes on the floor, a grimace on her face.


"No?" he said and he could not hide his fear, his alarm. "Molly – I -," she met his eyes, but she did not speak. "I will do – anything…"

"Anything?" she said quietly, eyes wide.


She stared at him, the once serious expression dropping from her face, a large grin replacing it as she giggled. "I've got a list."