Mary ended up giving Sherlock a basic crash
course on dating from her doorway. She
insisted that Sherlock get assistance from her husband in his future endeavors. This was met with Sherlock’s whining and
arguing that Mary was more observant in addition to being a woman and would be
more help than her husband.
What Sherlock did walk away from their dialogue was going to be invaluable in his attempt to woo Molly. He was happy to hear that dating (or courting, as he preferred)didn’t always consist of mediocre activities such as dinner and a movie. They could do whatever activities suited their fancy. However, she did say it was a good idea to do something one’s partner enjoyed even if the other didn’t, if only once in a while. She gave him tips on spending time together, little acts of kindness, and showing physical affection. When Sherlock looked at her in confusion and alarm she set a few simple tasks. Spend time with her, feed her, compliment her, get her coffee once in a while, and maybe give her a present here or there. Sherlock felt that he had done quite well feeding her in the past and congratulated himself on his success. He was afraid to compliment her because of what it meant for the couple in the past. It had always been Molly’s job to get the coffee but he supposed he could try getting some for her. He hadn’t tried presents as they definitely weren’t his area but he had an idea of a useful item he could get for her. Mary also said he needed to communicate with her verbally. He was told, that despite how brilliant Molly was he couldn’t expect her to read his mind and that he needed to explain his desire for a relationship. When Sherlock tried to turn the conversation to sex Mary cocked an eyebrow told him to start with smaller physical displays of affection, such as hugs, kisses, and the occasional hand holding. She then told him she was done giving dating counsel and succinctly shut the door in his face. It was not that she was uncomfortable with the conversation but she thought it would be much more entertaining for John to have the honors, if by some miracle she could witness the exchange so much the better.
Sherlock planned to implement the lessons he learned that night. With Molly already headed over to his flat all he had to do was try to get her to stay there with him. Hopefully she wouldn’t be to put out with him for the way he had left her the other day. On the way back to Baker Street he swung by an Indian restaurant to grab Molly’s favorite curry.
Molly hadn’t seen Sherlock since the chippy incident. She was utterly befuddled, more so than usual, with the consulting detective. She had been so concerned that she secretly accessed his brain scans to make sure there had been no neurological damage from his near-death experience. The scans were clear so Molly was left with the mystery of what was going on in Sherlock’s mind.
She was surprised when John contacted her asking for her to bring body parts for Sherlock rather than remove them. She was use to texts and calls from both Mrs. Hudson and John asking her to make a retrieval but Sherlock must have reached a new low for the new request. Of course she could not refuse, but she did have her reservations. She did not know how her presence would be received as it was not Sherlock who had requested her to come. John had also implored her to make a food delivery. So it was with a cooler full of body bits and a couple bags of Sherlock’s favorite Chinese takeaway that she made her way to 221B.
Upon her arrival she was greeted by Mrs. Hudson who explained that Sherlock had stepped out some time ago and she was unaware of his current whereabouts. Molly breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing this thinking that she could slip in and out and put off facing Sherlock for another day. Her emotions kept going back and forth on the subject of Sherlock and his strange behavior. On one hand she had enjoyed the affection he had bestowed upon her. Before John they had spent time together outside of the morgue and office hours. Granted they used that time to work on his experiments. So when he had spent time with her after the revealing of her connection with Magnussen instead of dashing off it felt reminiscent of time gone by. After she hadn’t heard from Sherlock for two days she chalked it up to pity for poor mousy Molly the Pygmalion girl, she couldn’t fathom that his reasons could be any deeper than that. She did wonder what she had agreed to that had put Sherlock in such a dither but she had decided to do what she often did with him and just let it go. If it was important he would bring it up, if not it wouldn’t be the first time she was left with the mystery that was Sherlock.
She worked quickly and efficiently. She placed the body parts in their new home. She hated that he kept the materials he worked with in the kitchen but as there was no other alternative short of leaving the organs to rot in the summer air so into the fridge they went. She placed the food where Sherlock was sure to see it and would ask his kindly landlady if she would be willing to put the food away if Sherlock did not reach home within the hour. Mrs. Hudson was amenable to her request and invited Molly in for a cuppa. Molly made her excuses and Martha bade her goodnight, but as soon as Molly reached the entrance of the apartment Mr. Sharp Cheek Bones chose to make his appearance by swanning in with his coat billowing behind him.
Molly inwardly groaned but was determined to make a swift exit.
“Ahh…Dr. Hooper…I mean Molly. What a pleasant surprise.” Sherlock had his charm on full-blast.
To Molly this meant he wanted something and she decided that she did not want to play his games. “Not much of a surprise since John told you I was coming.” She folded her arms and cocked an eyebrow.
Sherlock looked down and actually looked slightly abashed. He needed to get Molly upstairs to talk since he really did not relish the idea of having the conversation in front of his landlady’s door. He held up his bags of curry. “I need someone to watch me eat so I can get my violin back from John. Care to join me.”
“Well, I’m hungry myself so I should go home to get my own dinner.” She wasn’t going to go eat the Chinese she had bought while she watched him eat one of her favorite dishes.
“Actually I brought enough for both of us and with the Chinese you brought over that should be more than enough food.”
Molly was taken aback. “I need to go home and take care of Toby.”
“He got out again this morning. I can tell by-“
“You deduced it. I got it.”
He was not only deducing her but also observing that she was indeed not too thrilled with his previous behavior.
He tried to cajole her, “It’s your favorite.”
“Last time we ate together you ran off without so much as a by your leave.”
“Well, seeming as I live here I won’t be running off so soon. Plus I’m not supposed to run, doctor’s order.”
Molly snorted, “Since when has something like that stopped you?”
Finally Sherlock snapped, “Molly! Just stop being so difficult and come eat food with me.”
“Okay,” she answered in a level voice.
“What?” Sherlock said with knitted eyebrows.
“I said, ‘Okay.’”
“Why didn’t you say that when I was being nice?”
“You weren’t being nice you were being fake and I don’t like it.”
“I was trying to be nice.”
“Someone advised me to.”
“I prefer you to be yourself. You don’t have to try so hard to be nice it means much more when you’re sincere.”
Sherlock pinched the bridge of his nose to keep from exploding at the woman in front of him. She was decidedly more difficult lately. If this were how she behaved when she was comfortable with him how would she behave when they went further in their relationship?
Molly knew that Sherlock’s stance wasn’t his usual mind palace stance but he wasn’t speaking or moving and she was tired. She made to move past him but he grabbed her arm.
“Would you be willing to eat dinner with me? I would like to talk.”
He was finally being sincere. “I want to eat and enjoy the food before you make any demands.”
“Deal. I plan on enjoying the Chinese you brought for me.”
Molly smiled and rolled her eyes before slapping the back of his head.
“Tsk tsk doctor. Didn’t you take an oath that said first to do no harm?”
“I was trying to help knock some sense into your head. Besides it’s so hard it wouldn’t have hurt you anyway.”
“It’s more like your hand is too weak to hurt me.” They continued their banter up the stairs.
“If I wanted to hurt you I could.”
“Hmm…maybe later you could prove it.”
Molly blushed at what could be an innuendo. “Wha…Wha...What are you talking about?”
“I want to make sure you have self-defense skills. People who spend time with me tend to need it.”
“Oh.” She giggled nervously as they went about setting up their meal. “Mary taught me some moves…a long time ago but still, I know a thing or two.”
“Mycroft told me you attacked one of his agents in an alley with your scalpel.” Sherlock gave a wide smile.
“Self-defense,” she claimed.
“You shouldn’t be walking down alleys, apparently that one was out of range of the CCTV’s.”
“I know. That’s why I took it. I started to play a game while you were gone called, ‘Find the CCTV blind spots.’”
“And then Mycroft assigned Tom to you?”
Molly shrugged and turned to dish out the food that was now laid before them on the coffee table.
“So how many blind spots did you find?”
“Honestly not many, but I was able to go undetected sometimes if I changed my clothes.”
Sherlock smiled even wider, “Mycroft must have loved that.” He laughed at the thought.
Molly smiled in response, “He started giving me some more freedom after I agreed to stop. I was getting bored of it anyway.” Mocking the use of one of Sherlock’s favorite words. “Eat up Sherlock that’s why I’m here isn’t it? I need to get home and sleep, I have the early shift tomorrow.”
Inwardly Sherlock cursed. He had wanted Molly to stay awhile, perhaps he could convince her to stay anyway. Maybe he could teach her to forego sleep as he did. Sherlock ate as he contemplated these thoughts. The couple continued to eat the rest of their meal in silence. Molly retrieved her flip phone and texted John about returning Sherlock’s violin before turning to the consulting detective.
“There is food left for tomorrow, you need to eat and get some sleep. You are still healing so your transport needs it.”
Molly started clearing up the dishes knowing that Mrs. Hudson would be the one who would have to deal with them if she didn’t. Sherlock remained on the couch suddenly nervous about what he was going to do. He berated himself for being foolish, it was just Molly. She wouldn’t say no to him, would she? He made a concentrated effort not to slip into his mind palace for fear she would leave and he would miss his opportunity prolonging this uncomfortable situation.
“Food is in the fridge as are some body parts for you. The body parts aren’t for eating they’re for experimenting. Of course you know that.”
“Right, well if you need anything you can text.” Molly groaned at herself, she was trying to put space between her and the detective and her she was offering to get him anything he needed.
Sherlock was tempted to say that he needed her but felt that would be too much sentiment so he settled for, “I would very much like a relationship outside of Bart’s.”
Molly was dumbfounded. Sherlock observed her as her face and neck turned beet red. He smiled from his seat on the couch. Molly looked down at her feet and tried to speak a couple times but her throat went dry and tears pricked her eyes. Sherlock wanted to count her as a friend. She had always counted herself as Sherlock’s friend but now that the man himself wanted to count her as such she was overwhelmed by emotion.
Molly wiped at her eyes, “Sorry, I’m being such a silly cow.”
Sherlock was alarmed at the tears and was frozen and didn’t know what to do. He would have to ask Mary what to do with tears. “What did I do wrong?”
“Nothing.” Molly gave a watery chuckle, “Nothing at all.”
“Yes or no.”
“Of course yes.” Molly giggled a little at the man before her who thought one needed to ask for friendship as one would propose.
Sherlock sighed in relief and smiled. “I don’t suppose in light of that decision you wouldn’t want to stay later and work on some kidneys?”
“I have to work on some other poor soul’s kidneys tomorrow.”
Sherlock sighed dramatically and stood up to show Molly out the door. He managed to help Molly get her outerwear on and dropped a kiss on her forehead. Molly again turned red and hurried down the stairs.