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Molly Hooper really hated her job sometimes.

She hated that she was stuck being a paralegal just because she did not test very well. She hated that her mother, a very qualified 500-pounds-an-hour barrister always seemed to look down her nose at her; honestly, just because she was a paralegal did not mean every lawyer was better than her.

Only the title of being the best paralegal in the UK made Molly hold her head high enough to get through each day - nearly twelve hours of dealing with posh brats who went and lost their daddies' wallets in some business or another, and with the associates of the firm who thought just because she was a paralegal and they were qualified lawyers, she would be in utter awe of them and spread her legs just because they decided to grace her with a smile.

(Fuck them; she did not need a love life. She was happy with her job, even if she hated it sometimes, even if sometimes she was tired of going home to an empty flat, even if sometimes all she really wanted was someone to hold her and kiss her and make her worries melt away.)

She glared through her glasses at the reason she was having these thoughts now. Sally Donovan gave her an apologetic look from where she stood just outside Molly's office.

"I thought I told Mr Holmes I would not be conducting these orientations anymore. Not after what that Anderson tried to pull."

Sally winced at Molly's cold tone. "Yeah, Molls, I know, but what are you complaining at me for? I just do what Mr Holmes tells me to do."

"If Mr Holmes told you to jump off the roof, would you?" Molly muttered as she walked by the legal secretary. She did like Sally; she was witty and fun to go to the pubs with (even if she was a bit of a follow-the-rulebook kind), but right now she had been in the middle of helping Greg with a very important case and she could not afford to waste too much time showing idiots their way around the office; poor Sally Donovan just happened to be on the receiving end of her irritation.

There was only one man in the waiting area, which was odd in itself. There were usually a lot of people around - clients and lawyers. Now the area was just empty. Even the receptionist was gone.

Molly frowned at the man standing with his back to her, looking out the window at the impressive view of corporate London.

"Right, then," she said, addressing the man's Armani suited back. Dear Lord, another one of those posh types, Molly thought, rolling her eyes internally. "Let me get this out of the way," she began, repeating the lines she said every time she had to give a posh lawyer brat an orientation. "Just because I'm a paralegal and you're a lawyer and you outrank me does not mean you get to ogle me, I-oh."


He was pretty.

(Molly's romantic sixteen-year-old self swooned and said, "Molls, look at his eyes. His hair. Cheekbones. And his suit's so well fitted. I want him. Molly, get me him. He looks like he just got off the cover of Hollywood Reporter, Molls. Yum." Thirty two year old Molly tried to stomp swoony Molly out and only somewhat succeeded.)

The man raised an eyebrow, and Molly started.

"I-um, I," shit, she had not stammered this much since uni, "I'm Molly Hooper-"

"Paralegal extraordinaire," he said in a deep baritone, a small smirk gracing his face. "Yes, my brother mentioned you. And I assure you, Miss Hooper, I will not ogle you."

His eyes raked over her. Molly was fairly certain it would have qualified as ogling had he not done it with such an air of cool detachment. It was almost like he was scanning her.

"Your brother-?"

"Sorry, forgot to introduce myself," he smiled, winningly this time, but there was something off about it. The smile did not quite reach his eyes. (And what sea-green eyes they were.) "Sherlock Holmes. And Mycroft Holmes is, unfortunately, my older brother."

Mycroft Holmes had never been really fond of his little brother. His brother had been the most spoiled child, an absolute brat when their mother had not been around. Even now, when he was a grown man of almost thirty-five, his brother remained that same spoiled child who insisted on going through every bramble in the forest.

That being said, Mycroft Holmes worried about his brother. He worried about him constantly. This constant worry had caused him a yo-yoing weight condition and-he was almost certain-a stomach ulcer. But regardless, he had to look after his infuriating brother, lest Mummy's wrath fall upon him…again.

He watched through the glass doors as his brother strode towards his office, an immensely smug smile on his face. Anthea was trailing behind him, and Mycroft frowned. Molly Hooper was supposed to be the one to bring Sherlock here, not his own PA.

"What have you done this time, brother?" Mycroft said in the tone of a man who has had this conversation before. "Did you fire my best paralegal or is she about to hand in her resignation?"

"Hello, brother dear," Sherlock said in saccharine tone, slumping into the chair in front of his desk like an uncultured little boy. "I haven't seen you since that Christmas you finished an entire cake. How's the diet?"

Really, what his brother needed was a good beating. But sadly, Sherlock was no longer five and he no longer twelve.

So beatings were out of the question. Besides, Mummy would be furious if something happened to her precious Sherlock.

"I did not fire her, nor is she resigning. In fact, I think she likes me," Sherlock looked positively gleeful at the scowl that settled on his older brother's face. "She certainly finds meattractive at any rate."

Maybe he could give Sherlock a beating. Maybe their old schoolmaster's cane was still in the attic.

"Thank you Anthea," Mycroft said curtly, aiming his scowl at his PA still standing at the door. "That will do."

"But sir," Anthea interjected, "Donna, the receptionist, just quit and the reception area is empty."

Mycroft rolled his eyes. "Did you lose every one of my clients?"

Sherlock pretended to sound hurt. "But dear brother, all I really did was tell the truth. And besides, those clients were boring."

"And what about my paralegal?"

"I only told Molly Hooper that she was fooling no one wearing those pantsuits; anyone could tell she was trying to prove herself to someone, possibly her parents—mother most likely-and that she'd get more respect if she dressed less like a little girl in her mother's suits and more like a professional."

Anthea rolled her eyes and closed the office doors behind her, her Blackberry already in her hand.

Mycroft tried to keep the annoyance from his voice. "Sherlock, could you just once please act like a grown up?"

"And could you, just once, tell me why you keep bringing me here?" his brother retorted with equal—and undisguised-annoyance.

"You need to take up your position as senior partner, Sherlock," Mycroft said, ignoring Sherlock's scathing tone. "Father left us this firm-"

"No, he left you this firm," Sherlock snapped. "I want to receive nothing from that odious man."

Mycroft smiled like a shark, and laid down his trump card. "Unless you work for me, properly, for at least a year dear little brother, Mummy has given me permission to cut you off from your trust fund and make sure you lose your license to practice."

Sherlock spewed out an entire speech composed of unprintable obscenities while his brother looked on, absolutely unperturbed by the barrage.

"I will find a way out of this, Mycroft," Sherlock said finally. "You cannot simply-"

"Oh, I can. And I will," his brother said, bringing up a file and extending it to him. "Now, go to your office, I'm sure you know where it is, and look over this case. The client will be here in an hour."

Sherlock scowled and took the file with the enthusiasm one shows when one is forced to eat worms. "I have one condition, brother."

"And what would that be?"

"I get Molly Hooper."


Molly tried very hard not to let her temper run away with her and shove the case file at Sherlock's face. She succeeded, because someone had to be the grown up in this dysfunctional relationship. "Sherlock," she said exasperatedly, "you need to take this case. Mycroft insisted-"

"Molly," Sherlock drawled, not even bothering to look up from the Sudoku Rubik's cube he was playing with. "You work for me, remember? Whatever Mycroft insisted of me is none of your concern."

"I work for the firm."

"And I happen to own it. Now go away, you're boring me, and your atrocious perfume is practically making me ill."

Molly chucked the case file at the man's high-cheek boned face and stomped out of the office as fast as her heels would let her.


"No, go away."

"Molly, open this door."

"I'm off hours, go away or I'll file a harassment complaint."

"Empty threat, Miss Hooper, and I can easily pick this lock. Now open this door."

She sighed exasperatedly, and because she was Molly Hooper and could never actually say no to the man on the other side of the door, she opened it.

He frowned down at her, Cupid's bow lips pursed into a thin line as he raked his eyes over her cheery yellow pajamas and ratty dressing gown. "You need to invest in better sleep wear."

"And for that," she snapped as she made to close the door, "you are not welcome in."

He rolled his eyes and elbowed his way in, ignoring the way Molly breathed through her nose in frustration. He cornered her against the wall and crushed his mouth to hers, Molly putting up a token protest of about two milliseconds before latching onto his curls and tugging him closer until they banged against the wall.

Sherlock Holmes was a very handsome, some would say exotic, man, but Molly Hooper would swear up and down that sleeping with him had not been the first thing on her mind when she signed on to being his exclusive paralegal. Molly prided herself on her professionalism, even if she had gotten very flustered and stammered a lot on her first week working for him.

But then, the charm of working for a brilliant man like him (and brilliant he was, the man was a veritable genius with a stellar record for closing and settling cases-as well as a having another record for the lawyer with the most complaints against) had worn out by the third week, when Sherlock had seemed to assume that her being his paralegal meant he could interfere with every part of her life, from bursting into her flat (where in the world had he found her address?) at odd hours, texting her in the middle of the night informing her that "Out of milk. Go to the shops. SH" to deducing every last bit of her childhood from the knick-knacks she left cluttered on her mantelpiece.

The first time she'd slept with him, almost exactly three months ago, had been at her flat. He had been interrupting one of her Doctor Who marathon sessions with his "That is not scientifically possible, Molly, and I will tell you why," and "dear God, how has this show been on air for this long?" lectures and looking so intense, his face thrown into sharp relief from the light from the TV that she had climbed onto his lap (she was tipsy from one glass the red wine she had consumed at dinner, that was how she later rationalized her actions) and clumsily stuck her tongue into his open mouth.

He had frozen for a second before he grabbed her hips and returned the kiss with equal fervor, tasting the wine on her tongue. Somewhere in the part of her mind that was not occupied with the fact that Sherlock Holmes was a great kisser and that his elegant, musician's hands were pushing up the hem of her shirt, Molly knew this was completely wrong and unethical and she could almost hear her grandmother saying "Don't you dare!"

Molly just couldn't give a fuck.

And so, she had embarked on this pseudo colleagues-with-benefits thing with Sherlock, with "I'm not your boyfriend, Molly, and this is not an invitation to a relationship" on his part and "Just shut up and fuck me, Sherlock" on her part as the only in-depth conversation they had had on this subject.

It was probably very unhealthy, psychologically speaking, but Molly had Sherlock's tongue on her clit at that moment, and could not bring herself to care.

"Should I be insulted by the fact that your mind is elsewhere, Molly?" Sherlock said now, and Molly realized with a jolt that she was horizontal on her bed, the buttons of her best pajamas scattered on the floor, Sherlock completely naked and his eyes, pupils dilated so that only a ring of sea-green was left, glaring down at her. She buried her hands into his curls again, pulling and running her fingernails across his scalp until he closed his eyes and more or less purred. It was a small apology, but by the kiss he gave her, all teeth and tongue, she had not been forgiven quite yet.

He shucked off her pants with impressive speed, almost tearing off her lacy knickers in the process, and without any warning, put his mouth on the sensitive bundle of nerves at her center and sucked.

Molly would have jerked off the bed had he not retained the firm grip on her thighs, spreading her open lewdly, before inserting one, two fingers into her and making a 'come-hither' gesture.

A few more flicks of that wondrous tongue and Molly reached for the stars, a low keening moan escaping her as she bit down hard on her lower lip, forbidding herself from screaming his name like she wanted to.

He slid up next to her, his face shining with juices and a smug look firmly in place. He reached out a hand and cupped her right breast, fingers playing along the lace edging of her bra. "Do I have your attention now?" He pressed up against her hip, and Molly smirked, feeling her mind clear from the exhilarating high he had sent her to.

She straddled him, pressing down her warmth against his hardness, watching him groan and lose the invulnerable mask he always seemed to have on. She moved against him, not letting him slip into her yet, relishing in the way he gripped her tightly, hard enough to bruise.

(She was still wearing her pajama top and bra, but she could not work up the patience to take them off properly. Teasing the man underneath her was taking up all her attention now.)

"Molly," Sherlock groaned, not quite pleading but not quite commanding either. His eyes seemed to glow in the dark of her room.

She leaned over and licked away what remained of her on his jaw and chin, before kissing him almost sweetly as his hips rocked against her.

"What do you need?" she said teasingly, watching his eyes flash before he rolled her over onto the bed, locked her legs behind him and without so much as a by-your-leave, thrust into her.

They both groaned simultaneously as he began to move, him mouthing over her collarbones while trying to rip her bra off of her. A few clumsy attempts that were sure to have left scratches on her back and it was off, hooks ruined but Molly could not bring herself to care, he was currently gently biting at her nipple, while his hand played with the other.

She grabbed at his curls and pulled him back up to her, kissing him like a fury as she went hurtling off the cliff again, her own hand rubbing at her clit furiously. She clenched around him and he swallowed her moans, before pounding into her, more for his own pleasure than hers.

He bit down on her throat as he pulsed inside her, before soothing the bite with his tongue and rolling off of her and resting on the other side of the bed, both of them struggling to get some oxygen to their brains.

Molly watched the man next to her, freshly showered and fully clothed in a matter of minutes. She sighed and tugged the duvet up over her still naked body-she should shower herself but sex made her pleasantly drowsy, unlike Sherlock who only took about a minute to catch his breath before jumping up to shower and dress.

Sherlock was currently sitting on top of her bedcovers, long legs spread out and preventing her from completely tugging the duvet over herself. A frown creased his forehead as he read the case-file "(Re Laura Shively)"; that he had found lying on top of her bureau.

(The romantic in her loved moments like this, it was almost domestic.)

"Pathetic, I can't believe you are even bothering to look over this case," Sherlock was saying, "While the case itself has many interesting points, Lestrade is making a mess of it, as always."

"I like Greg," Molly said thoughtfully. "He was nice to work with."

Sherlock's back stiffened. "Was he? Was Greg just so nice to work with?"

"Yeah," Molly carried on obliviously. "He asked me out for a pint yesterday, you know."

"He just recently divorced his wife and rest assured Molly, he will go back to her after he's done with you-,"

"What brought this on?" Molly said, sitting up but clutching the covers to her chest.

"I'm just telling you before you go prancing off with Greg, and need I remind you that you are my-,"

"Your what?" Molly said shrilly, flushing with indignation. "Girlfriend? Fuck buddy? What am I to you, Sherlock Holmes?"

"You are," Sherlock snapped, "my paralegal, and you work for me."

She glared at him for a moment before she deflated. "You know what, Sherlock? This is not working. I'm getting to old for this. We are too old for this."

"What are you going on about?"

Molly winced at his tone. "This. Casual sex. I'm too old for it."

Sherlock jumped off the bed, the case file falling to the floor. He immediately began rooting for his shoes."You knew when we made this...arrangement that you wouldn't get senti-,"

"Sentimental?" Molly said, outrage coloring her voice. "I'm getting sentimental. Yeah. Yes, Sherlock Holmes, I'm getting sentimental. Maybe I want something more than you running hot and cold. Maybe I want something other than just sex. Maybe I want to cuddle. Maybe I want to come home to someone making me dinner. Maybe-,"

"Maybe, you should be telling all these things to Greg." Sherlock spat out, stuffing his feet into his shoes and lacing them up in record speed.

"Maybe I will." Molly snapped back.

"Fine." He shouted, before he raged out, slamming the door shut with such force Molly felt the whole house shake.

She fell back into her bed, already dreading the morning.