She had rather hoped that, by now, he would have decided she might be suitable for at least a coffee date out in public. Maybe even a walk in a public garden? But it appeared as though, if this was something resembling a relationship, which she wasn’t entirely sure it was, it was to be conducted in secret.
Which irritated her more and more each day, really.
It would be one thing if he was open about what they were. If they were anything. She was a friend, possibly. When Sherlock had gone off to face Moriarty’s tangled web of sycophants Mycroft had needed a tether, and she supposed that was her. She was the person to remind him he hadn’t sent his brother off to his death, that the two of them had worked this out together and he was supplying Sherlock with intelligence and help behind the scenes when he could and while it didn’t seem like much it was a lot. And at first, she wasn’t even sure Mycroft had appreciated it until one night he had come to her home, haggard and looking as though he had aged ten years in a day and said Sherlock had a near death experience and could she please distract him?
That night they sat on her sofa, her curling against him, and watched the entire first season of Glee with Mycroft offering pointed commentary and wondering why Moriarty hadn’t strangled her on the spot at first and ending with him downloading the soundtrack on iTunes.
There had probably never been a stranger bonding moment in the history of the world, but soon he was a regular visitor to her flat, to the point she started keeping his particular favourites on hand when it came to tea and biscuits and many other little things.
And then when Sherlock was brought back from Serbia by him, she had expected it to stop but it...didn’t. He’d worked their times together around Tom, he said, he’d work it around his meddling baby brother as well.
She could tell he disliked Tom. He never voiced it, not specifically, but it was there in the inflection of his voice when he spoke about him, in the fact he always made sure to give better versions of Tom’s gifts, of the fact when Tom displeased her he made his life just a tad bit harder until Tom apologized. And really, he shouldn’t have, but that was how he was. Sherlock was more upfront about it, camping out in her bedroom in his boxers. Mycroft was more...subtle. Either way, eventually Tom was gone. She wasn’t entirely sure if that was a bad thing or not.
And yet there was still questions of what, exactly, her relationship with Mycroft was. What his feelings towards her were. She knew he was a man of few words, but dear God, she wished he would turn them towards this situation and use a few. More than a few.
And maybe stop keeping her a well-kept secret while he was at it.
She knew tonight was usually a night he would turn up at her home with food for them both, usually from some personal chef or hard to get into restaurant, but today was also the day Sherlock was flying away to Russia. He had been locked into solitary confinement for what he had done to Charles Augustus Magnussen, and Molly knew it had pained Mycroft. He had put himself on a more or less solitary confinement as well; she hadn’t seen him in some time, only having phone and text conversations. And as irritated as she was with their “relationship,” whatever it was, being a secret, she missed him.
Which probably meant her feelings went deeper than his, but that was a problem for another time, another day. Not today.
It was with horror, then, that she saw the video of Moriarty on the screen, and she nearly dropped what was in her hands in horror. The man was dead; she had insisted on doing the autopsy herself. There was no way he could be alive to make this video. But yet here it was. She shut her eyes, composing herself, and then set everything down and turned the telly off. Her hands were shaking so hard she nearly dropped the remote, and she sat down in her chair and then just as quickly bounced up, went to the door and closed it quickly, locking it as soon as it shut, and then put her back to it.
And then her phone rang, and she shrieked, the sudden sound piercing the silence.
No, she wasn’t going to answer. It could be him. He would know she helped. There was...he would know.
She went to the metal storage cabinet that held the extra lab coats, opened it up, and crept inside, sitting on the bottom. Her handbag was there, and both Greg and Mycroft had given her many illegal self-defense items to protect herself when Moriarty was alive. She’d had promises they’d get her off Scot-free should she ever have to use them. She was prepared.
And now she’d wait.
She opened the storage unit’s door and scrambled to her feet, not saying a word but going over to him and putting her arms around his waist. “Is he back? Did I autopsy the wrong man?”
“No,” Mycroft said, his voice firm. “His agents have put the video up to stop my brother from being sent away. You are safe.” He slowly embraced her back, running a hand up and down her back in a motion that seemed foreign to him but soothing to her. “Why didn’t you answer my call?”
“I didn’t know it was you,” she said.
“Ah,” he replied. “You could have saved yourself hours in a cramped cabinet if you had answered.”
“Better safe than sorry,” she replied.
“Which is why I think you should...stay with me for a time,” he said slowly. She pulled away and looked up at him, surprised. “Just because it was not Moriarty himself that ran that video across the nation does not mean there are not problems. Even though you are not in immediate danger, I would feel better if you were to stay with me for a time.”
“Why?” she asked.
“I care for you. A great deal.” He paused as though this next part was hard to acknowledge. “As, perhaps, more than you can imagine.”
“Then why don’t you tell me?” she asked.
He gave her a pained look. “I’m trying.”
“Would showing be easier?”
“How do you mean?” he asked, confused. She paused for a second, then leaned in and kissed him softly. She could tell he was surprised, but after a moment he kissed her back, in a way that showed he had thought a great deal about doing so, and she took that as an invitation to move a bit closer. After a few moments, he pulled away and gave her a small smile. “I appreciate the clarification. I think that is precisely what I meant.”
“Good thing I feel the same way,” she said, giving him a smile of her own. “You know, since we’re not in any danger...maybe we could stop for food on the way back to your home? I don’t think either of us really need to cook tonight.”
He nodded, his smile getting a little bigger. “I think perhaps that can be arranged,” he said, letting her go before offering her his hand. She took it and then picked up her phone before heading to the storage closet to get her handbag. This was not how she had expected her evening to end, but it could have been much much worse, so she was quite thankful it had gone otherwise.