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Old Habits Die Hard

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If there was one thing it appeared Sherlock was incapable of giving up on it was his ability to insult people. Every conversation was peppered with his barbs and condescension. Eventually Molly just gave up trying to call him on it because every time he had the same response.

“Well, this is how I’ve always talked to you.”

It seemed even after that conversation after they first kissed, he hadn’t quite figured out that he was hurting her still. Everything was fair game to him, her clothes, her hair, the films she watched, and even how she cooked. She kept telling herself he was just like this, that it would be easier to learn to live with it than try to change him. Sherlock never reacted well to change and he certainly wouldn’t appreciate her trying to change him.

Even Molly had her limits though. It had been a long day stuck in the house together, the weather was awful as it often was in the autumn, and Sherlock was getting bored. Soon he started making little comments whenever she said or did anything. By early evening, she could feel that anger bubbling away inside her quite nicely. She was trying to read a book, but her eyes kept flicking up to look at him over the top of the pages. He just lounged there, not paying the slightest bit of attention. At first she debated throwing the book at him, but then he’d probably do something to the book and she had actually been enjoying it. Then she thought about just walking out of the living room to go and sit somewhere else, but he’d just follow her. She just wanted to scream at him until he stopped being such an insensitive git.

Taking a deep breath, she resolved that perhaps she should go and make some dinner. At least cooking could take her mind off things for a while. Putting the book down on the coffee table, she wandered into the kitchen to see what she could make. As usual, there were plates all over the bench from previous meals and snacks. They were getting worse about keeping things clean and tidy, so she began to move them over to the half full sink with every intention of washing them later.

“So what interesting concoction are you planning to make for dinner this evening? Or will I have to try and autopsy it once you’ve slopped it on my plate?” Sherlock was behind her, she could tell that much. Her grip tightened on the plate she was holding and then she spun round to face him. Once again, Sherlock Holmes had pushed her over the edge.

“You know what, fuck you,” she screamed at him, throwing the plate to the floor. It shattered at her feet, the pieces scattering across the laminate tiles. “Why can’t you be nice for more than five minutes? What the hell did I ever do to you?”

There were tears forming in her eyes and a painful lump was developing in her throat. Sherlock was just looking back at her with that same indifference he always seemed to wear. It was all just too much; she needed to get away from him. Without another word, she headed for the door that led to the back garden and slammed it behind her.

There was still drizzle falling outside, but she didn’t care. It was cold and the wind was biting, but it was refreshing just to be able to breathe some fresh air. In one corner of the garden, there was a little paved area and she resolved to just go and sit there for a while. Her bare feet slid in the wet grass as she walked, coating the bottom of them with mud. When she reached the tiny patio, she sat down, pulled up her knees to her chest and just glared at the house. She was crying too, the warm tears mixing with the cold drizzle on her face. She wrapped her arms around her legs, curled herself up and just allowed herself to sob. It was anger and sadness all mixed together and it was good to just release it all. In the distance, there was a roll of thunder which seemed so fitting for her mood. The rain was falling more heavily too, but she just ignored it. She was not going to just walk back into the house yet.

After a while though, the heavy rain and strong wind was making her feel miserable for a different reason. She was cold and tired and hungry, but she still refused to give Sherlock the satisfaction of her crawling back into the house. The thunder was getting louder, the storm getting closer, but still she refused to give up. She rested her chin on her knees and narrowed her eyes at the house. It was starting to hurt though, her skin where the rain was hitting felt like it was burning.

When the back door opened, Molly deliberately turned her head to one side, resting her temple on her knees instead. She did not want to look at him at all. There was no way to hear his footsteps over the sound of the storm, so she didn’t realise he was standing next to her until he spoke.

“Molly, please come back inside,” he spoke softly and she could imagine he had those puppy dog eyes.

“I’m fine out here,” she responded, suddenly aware that her voice sounded very unsteady. Her teeth were chattering, but she couldn’t remember when that had started.

“No you are not, you are cold and wet. You need to come inside.”

“No,” she tried to sound forceful, but that was hard.

“Stop being so stubborn,” he grumbled.

“Stop being so awful to me,” she responded angrily, turning to look at him. He towered above her and it hurt to tilt her head to actually look up at him. The rain was quickly soaking him, his blue shirt getting darker by the second. His hair was sticking to the sides of his face, the curls heavy with the cold water. There was a look on his face that she couldn’t quite recognise, was it perhaps that he actually felt bad about how he spoke to her.

Sherlock didn’t respond with any words though, instead he crouched down next to her and looked her right in the eyes. Then he slid one arm under her knees and wrapped the other around her side. He managed to lift her, but Molly’s body screamed out in protest at being moved. The cold had seeped in deep and it was so painful to stretch out. Instinctively she reached out to wrap her arms around Sherlock’s neck, burying her head into his shoulder.

“Let’s get you inside,” he said softly, leaning down to kiss her head. She was so cold she could barely feel it, but she appreciated the gesture.

It was a slow journey back to the house as Sherlock tried as hard as possible not to slip over on the muddy ground. Thankfully he had left the back door slightly ajar, making it easy to push open with one foot before stepping in with Molly in his arms. The warmth of the house hit him, and Molly made a happy little moan at being out of the cold. Somehow he managed to push the door shut and slip off his filthy shoes without disturbing the shivering figure. How he managed to get up the stairs and into the bathroom, he wasn’t sure, but eventually he managed to put Molly down leaning up against the bathroom wall. She really looked quite a mess, her bedraggled hair dripping over her soaking wet clothes. What of her chest he could see exposed from the undone shirt buttons was bright red, along with her cheeks. He needed to warm her up.

Leaning over the bath, he turned the taps on before reaching for the bottle of bubble bath Molly had been using. As he took the lid off, he noted that in one sniff he could probably identify any number of things about the strange green liquid, but he decided to refrain this time. As the tub filled with warm, foaming water, he set to trying to get Molly’s clothes off. The shirt was easy enough, slipping off her arms and falling behind her. When he pulled her forwards to unfasten her bra, she mumbled into his shoulder.

“I don’t think this is the best time for sex.”

“Molly, don’t tell jokes,” he responded, but with a smile that she actually reciprocated as well as she could with her chattering teeth.

The trousers were a little harder to pull off, though he was quite thankful she hadn’t decided to wear tight fitting jeans or they’d be there all night. Even her underwear was soaked through, he mused as he pulled it down before reaching back across to turn off the taps. It took a little help to get Molly up onto shaky feet and get her to step over the side and into the bath. She gasped loudly when her feet touched the warm water, but Sherlock had tried to make sure it wasn’t too hot knowing how her cold skin would react to that.

Slowly and carefully, she lowered herself into the bath, the water stinging her skin before starting to soothe all the aches. At last, she was sat quite happily in the bath, her head resting against the rim at the back. She closed her eyes and let herself relax at last.

“I’m sorry.”

Molly opened her eyes and turned her head towards where Sherlock was sat next to the bath. He had one arm dangling over the edge, fingers gently brushing along the part of her arm that was above the water. He looked up at her and she could see the sincerity there in his face.

“I know I can be terrible sometimes. I’m still trying to adapt to my new life and it’s hard, but I should take it out on you. I am trying.”

“You are very trying,” said Molly with a smile, which made him smile too. “I do understand. It just upsets me when you say the very hurtful things.”

“I see that now. I will do everything I can to stop saying those things,” he nodded his head as he spoke, like he needed to confirm what he was saying just a little more.

“You can say those things to people you don’t like,” she smiled. “Just try to say them less to people you do like.”

“What you mean,” he replied with a devious smirk. “Is that Anderson is still far game.”

They both started laughing then, and that comfortable feeling they had around each other had returned. Molly like that feeling, she liked being able to just be around him and it to feel so nice.

It took a little effort to get Molly back up and out of the bath; she’d gotten quite settled in the warm water. Sherlock, to his credit, continued to be very attentive. He wrapped one of the large towels around her before taking another one and gently drying her hair. It felt a little strange having someone else dry her hair, but his hands worked carefully and slowly to wring most of the water out of hair before patting it down. Then he moved back round to stand in front of her, the towel over his shoulder. Molly could see that his clothes had started to dry after his adventure in the rain, but she couldn’t imagine that the damp clothes were that comfortable.

“Do you want some dinner? I think there’s a tub of soup in the fridge,” he said, still eager to make things up to her.

“Soup sounds nice,” she replied, her hand darting up to her face as she found herself suddenly yawning. Sherlock smiled at her before turning away to go and make dinner. “At least put some dry clothes on first.” Molly had no idea if he’d actually go and do that though, he was forgetful at the best of times. After a while, she finally had to accept she couldn’t just stand in the warm mist in the bathroom, she was going to have to go and find some warm clothes. Once the bathroom door was opened, she dashed down the corridor to the bedroom and slammed the door shut behind her. Hopefully she could keep the warmth in the room while she got dressed again. As she wandered across to the wardrobe, she nearly stepped in a pile of damp clothes piled on the floor at the bottom of the bed. It seemed Sherlock had actually listened to her.

Soon she’d managed to get herself dried off and had pulled on a slightly too large jumper over baggy jeans. She’d also dug out the pair of thermal socks she’d had bought as a Christmas present one year and was suddenly very glad for them. She made her way to the bedroom door, but as she pulled it open she found Sherlock heading down the corridor carrying a tray.

“I brought you dinner,” he said with a cheery smile. Molly was actually touched by this little gesture of his; he’d never even gone so far as to make her breakfast before, so dinner in bed was something. Once again, they’d managed to do things in a sort of backwards order, but she didn’t mind. Settling on the bed, Sherlock put the tray down on her legs and managed to settle down next to her without bumping the tray. There was a bowl of mushroom soup (her favourite, it seemed he had noticed), some buttered bread and a mug of tea. Carefully, she managed to turn herself enough to kiss him on the cheek.

Molly had intended to eat slowly and savour every mouthful of the dinner made by Sherlock. Unfortunately, she was so hungry that she practically inhaled the soup and tea. She never got any of the bread as when she reached out to pick up a piece she found Sherlock had already gotten to it and was sat nibbling away next to her. There was something oddly adorable about it, but he just rolled his eyes at her when he found her watching him. Eventually, though, all the food was gone and Molly was now quite warm and happy. She was still feeling very tired though and yawned loudly, which seemed to be a cue to Sherlock to move the tray off her lap and put it on the floor by his side of the bed.

“You should get some sleep,” he said softly, leaning in to kiss her on the temple. She wanted to protest, to point out that it was still far too early to be her bedtime, but she was so tired that she didn’t care. She put up no resistance as he manoeuvred her around so he could pull the covers down and then pull them back up over the both of them. Molly found herself snuggling down under the covers, glad for that familiar pressure at her back as Sherlock wrapped his arms around her. It certainly didn’t take long before she fell asleep to the sound of the rain on the window.

A few hours later, Molly found herself stirring from sleep. The room was dark now and the rain no longer fell against the window. Acutely aware that she was still fully clothed, she found herself stretching a little and trying to wiggle the socks off her too warm feet.

“Go back to sleep,” muttered Sherlock into her hair, before moving his head a little so it rested on her shoulder. It didn’t take her long to finally push the socks off and settle again, but she didn’t fall asleep right away. For a while she just lay there staring at the still cloudy sky out of the window.

“Sherlock?” she said quietly and only earned a grunt in reply. “Thank you.”

“What for?” he replied, suddenly yawning and she could feel his warm breath on her neck.

“For being a very good person for once,” she replied, her hand reaching down to find his and lacing their fingers together. They just lay there for a while in a comfortable silence before Molly felt herself starting to drift off again.

“You deserve a good person,” whispered Sherlock in a sleepy voice and she knew she was blushing. Thankfully he wouldn’t see that in dark she thought to herself as she fell into a comfortable sleep with the sound of breathing at her back.