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Led About On A (Not So) Merry Chase

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“Oi! Molly! Got time to talk?”

Molly whipped around, shifting hold of the umbrella over her head as she heard John Watson’s voice over the sound of the falling rain in the student commons. She couldn’t quite tell where he was at first, not with the students trying to rush for cover as the freezing cold rain pelted against them, but after a moment she saw a black umbrella bob it’s way towards her and recognized one of John’s red jumpers underneath his heavy coat. All the medical students at Camford seemed to favour red jumpers, or at least the male medical students did. She herself wore any colour but red, to be quite honest, because most of the men in the department were prats. Thankfully, John was not. If he was, she was sure her roommate wouldn’t have given him the time of day...or access to her knickers. She flashed him a smile and nodded. “Of course. I was just heading to Jameson’s to grab a bite.”

“Oh, sounds perfect. Anything to get out of this grey and gloomy weather,” he said, giving her a grin as well. His grin did not seem as warm. Well, perhaps it wasn’t that. It was warm, but he just seemed...tired. Worn out. Perhaps his studies were wearing on him? He was a year ahead of her, after all; his studies were much more rigorous than hers. They began to walk together, staying in step and balancing their umbrellas at a nearly identical level to keep more rain off each other. “Have you seen Sherlock lately?”

She felt the apples of her cheeks warm just slightly at the mention of his name and cursed herself for that. Oh, it was foolish to fancy him. He saw her as a friend, that was all. And really, he was a good friend, he was, even if he was a bit preoccupied with his biochemistry studies at times. They had the most fascinating conversations about a variety of topics, even some not suited to their studies, and he had the most beautiful brain.

Not to mention beautiful face, beautiful eyes, beautiful hair, beautiful body...oh, what she wouldn’t give to snog him at least once. But that wasn’t here or there.

She shook her head. “No. He said something about a professor having it out for him, last we spoke. Having to suck it up and play nice?”

John winced. “The professor’s been making his class do group projects all term. Goes against the way most professors work here at Camford University, I know, but Sherlock muddled through until two projects ago when he blew up at his teammates and but that intellect of his to use deducing the bloody hell out of them. Now no one in the class will work with him, and the professor is penalizing him for it, saying he has no tact and he needs it in ‘the real world.’” John scoffed. “Point is, his grades are suffering and he needs to pass this class, and he managed to get another professor to intervene and say that if he could complete an ambitious project on his own he could pass the class with no more group work, barring whatever his grade on his final exam is. And he’s stuck.”

“Oh dear,” Molly said.

“Yeah. So I think he needs a distraction. And you’re good at getting him out of his rut. His eyes light up when you’re around and he gets interested in things that aren’t his studies. He actually gives a damn about more than molecules and organisms and all the minutiae he has to cram into his head for class. He even smiles sometimes when you aren’t looking.”

Molly stopped in her tracks and looked at John. “What?” she asked, shocked.

“You make him human, Molly,” John said after he backed up the few steps he’d taken without her. “Sherlock...he has a habit of going into what Mary calls ‘machine mode’ sometimes. It’s not a bad thing, it can be useful, but it can be bad when he stays in it too long. But his parents and his brother, they really screwed him up. He goes in that mode too long sometimes because they put such high expectations on him. So when you come around, you bring this...I don’t know. This light, this breath of fresh air into his life that I don’t think he’s ever had. You allow him to relax and not have to be perfect. He can just be Sherlock, not the Great Sherlock Holmes.”

She hadn’t really thought of things that way. She had simply thought she was being a good friend; she hadn’t realized she was quite so important to him. “Let me think on it a day or two, all right? I mean, we can brainstorm a bit while we eat, but we should come up with something truly special to let that wonderful brain of his work on something that’s fun but isn’t uni related at all. I think that’d be the best way to bring him out of his funk.”

John nodded. “That sounds like a good idea.” They started to walk again, easily moving in step again. He looked over at her again, his grin more teasing this time. “Wonderful brain, eh?”

“Oh, shut it,” she said, her blush coming back and being more pronounced. Oh, when would she learn not to stick her foot in it? But really, she had been paid quite a high compliment, to learn she was so important to Sherlock. Now she just hoped she could lift him out of this funk and do what a proper friend would do, and be there for him when he needed her.