Molly and Sherlock had to grow accustomed
to the change in the relationship now that they were both aware of it. Sherlock didn’t quite understand why Molly
was so tense and had to remind her time and time again just to be herself. He tried to get her to his way of thinking
that they had been dating for some time.
The interruption of her brother’s visit had been unwelcome at first but
with the cat out of the bag, so to say, they had one thing less to worry about.
Sherlock mused that Molly’s brother had been too calm about the meeting. Molly assured him that Peter was just waiting for back up and wanted to ensure Sherlock’s attendance at a family dinner. Molly then went on to tell him that he didn’t have to go if he didn’t want to. Sherlock brushed off her statement. He had survived one part of her family so how hard could the rest be?
After about a couple of weeks of normalcy Molly started to calm down and realize that not so much had changed from the previous month. On occasion she did wake up with an additional bedmate, which still shocked her since she never knew when it would happen. Apparently Sherlock still needed data for his experiment since he cuddled with her whenever she woke up on those occasions. The cuddling was indeed a surprise but a very welcome one.
Sherlock had added a new activity to their repertoire. They would now play music together and unbeknownst to Molly, Sherlock was writing a duet for them. Playing music with Sherlock was a challenge for Molly. She began to compare him to a character from the anime called Nodame Cantabile. Sherlock was annoyed when she called him Chiaki-sempai but mostly because he didn’t understand the reference. After doing research and finding the character to be an over-bearing and vain character he decided that they had nothing in common aside from playing the violin.
Mike had welcomed him back into the morgue after Molly had insisted that everything had been straightened out. He had noticed an overall change in Sherlock’s behavior toward Molly and was delighted with it. He was shocked, but pleasantly so, when he witnessed Sherlock kiss Molly on the cheek one day.
Sherlock’s kisses to Molly’s face continued but he was losing patience as his girlfriend was failing to reciprocate the action. They had been dating quite awhile in his mind now and they had done nothing past his kisses. He decided he would put a stop on such displays of affection until he started to be a recipient of such demonstrations. After all, they could not go forward with any other displays of affection if she refused to even kiss him on the cheek.
“I’m leaving,” Sherlock announced his departure.
Molly looked up from the corpse she was working on. Sherlock hadn’t kissed her for four days straight and she thought it could only be one of two things.
“Are you bored or angry with me?” Molly asked the back of the retreating detective.
“Neither. Why would you think that?” Sherlock attempted to brush her off.
“Well…” She blushed and looked down as she held her blood soaked hands in front of her. “You just suddenly stopped kissing me goodbye so…”
“I thought that my attentions were unwanted.”
“And why did you think that?” Molly placed her hands on her hips. Belatedly she realized she had smeared blood over her white lab coat. She sighed in disgust and started to cover the corpse for the moment before removing her gloves and coat.
“You never reciprocate.”
“So you’re punishing me for not kissing you?”
When he heard Molly say it that way it sounded bad. “No, of course not.”
Molly looked at him straight on. “You want me to kiss you?”
Sherlock perked up but didn’t want Molly to know how much it would mean to him. He needed to hold on to his dignity after all. He had been making many concessions for her, such as cuddling, and he refused to give her the upper hand.
“That would be tolerable.”
“Tolerable?” Molly asked incredulously. “You just told me that you stopped kissing me because I wasn’t kissing you. Now you are telling me that me kissing you would be tolerable?”
“We should be equally giving in this relationship.”
“Then you tell me when you have a problem. If you haven’t figured it out yet I cannot read your bloody mind!”
“I will endeavor to speak more clearly, so you can endeavor to reciprocate my acts of affection.”
“It’s not that easy,” Molly replied biting her lower lip.
“I fail to see how that is possible, after all you made a big show of kissing meat dagger at the wedding did you not?”
“That was different!”
“It wasn’t real. I was acting.”
“You make a terrible actress as you made everyone uncomfortable with the awkwardness you displayed in bestowing your kisses on that…”
Molly had come close enough to Sherlock while he was speaking that she could reach him on her tiptoes. She reached her arm around him and unfortunately for him what he received from her was not what he had been seeking out. She smacked him on the back of the head.
“Out,” Molly said in her sternest voice.
“Oh are you going to punish me now?”
“No, I need to work and cool off. We can discuss this later.”
“You are the one who brought it up.”
Molly’s only answer was to stamp her foot and silently point to the door.
Sherlock decided to seek out Mary this time, as John’s extent of knowledge of apologizing seemed limited to flowers. He relayed the incident to Mary who proceeded to point out that Sherlock really needed to communicate no matter how uncomfortable it was.
“I was communicating. I was just using non-verbal cues.”
“Which Molly misread.”
“How is that my fault?” Sherlock asked with a wave of his hand from where he was laying on Mary’s couch.
“You know if you aim for her lips next time that would probably be better non-verbal communication for what you want. Plus she would probably reciprocate a lot faster. I wouldn’t recommend doing until you sort yourselves out.”
“And how do I do that?”
Mary was starting to get exhausted of the whole thing. Being due in January she was only a few short months away from giving birth and she still hadn’t heard a word from her husband. Instead she was busy helping raise his man-child of a best friend.
“Words, Sherlock. You need to learn to use your words. You have been in a mess since the beginning of this relationship because communicating is beneath you.”
Sherlock sat up abruptly, “Will it forever be held over my head that my girlfriend didn’t know we were dating?”
“Of course,” Mary brightened and said cheekily, “It’s going to be part of my wedding speech.”
“We don’t need a wedding.”
“Have you discussed that with Molly then?”
Sherlock groaned and fell back into the couch cushions.
Later Sherlock sent Molly a text asking if she would be willing to meet Sherlock at Baker Street. He was relieved when she replied quickly in the affirmative. He had spent the rest of the day in his mind palace going over possible scenarios and outcomes in his mind. He hated dealing with possibilities that seemed to have no logic to follow. Outwardly he looked calm but in his inner sanctum he had built up his current situation so that it now looked hopeless. Every scenario ended with Molly leaving him.
When he came out of his mind palace the first thing he saw was Molly curled up in John’s chair with a book. He watched her as she read. He watched her nibble her lip and observed how her facial expressions changed as she read. She always let her guard down when she was reading, it was her way to escape and the rest of the world disappeared. He also noted how her hand that wasn’t holding the book played out the soundless tune of Pachelbel’s Canon in D that they had been playing together recently. Eventually she looked up to check on the detective whose eyes were on her.
They looked at each other for a moment before Molly looked down biting her lip. Neither wanted to be the first to speak.
“I’m sorry,” they both said at once.
“Wait, why are you sorry?” Sherlock asked in confusion.
“I don’t know how to do this.”
“Are you breaking up with me?” Sherlock managed to close off his emotions from the statement. What used to be such an easy task had been getting harder to do for the detective. A voice that had been quieter of late said, ‘I warned you about sentiment,’ but he brushed it off.
“No, no of course not. It’s just I have never been in a real relationship and I don’t know what to do.”
Sherlock let out the breath he didn’t realize he was holding before chuckling in relief. Molly cocked her head in confusion to his response.
“I am supposed to be the one lacking in the relationship department not you.”
“I never thought I would be in a relationship. I never really talked about relationships with anyone.” Molly started fidgeting more with her fingers and looked everywhere except at her boyfriend. “I didn’t know you wanted to be kissed or…this has to be the most awkward conversation ever!” Molly exclaimed as she threw her head down into her hands and bunched herself in half.
Sherlock made his way over to Molly and knelt in front of her chair looking up at her. She could feel him near her and peaked at him through her fingers. Sherlock gently took her arms away from her face before replacing them with one of his own hands on her face.
“You have nothing to apologize for. I’m the one…” he paused, he hated the feeling he was experiencing. He could not pinpoint what it was but decided he would examine it further later. Molly was more important to him than whatever it was.
“I’m the one who should apologize.” He tried several times to say something to explain but failed.
“Do you know why you are apologizing?”
He looked at her as if she had turned into Moriarty all of sudden. He knew it was not good, wasn’t that enough? He realized he had said this out loud when he saw Molly make a face at him. He had removed his hand at this point and both his hands were on the arms of the chair pinning Molly in.
Molly hesitantly reached out her hand to touch Sherlock’s face. Her fingertips danced over his cheek before she settled her thumb into a stroking motion over his cheekbone. He closed his eyes before sighing contentedly and leaning into the touch. He heard her take a shaky breath.
He opened his eyes and deduced her. “That was hard for you. Why?”
“I’m terrified.” Sherlock waited for her to answer further. “I’m afraid to initiate anything with you. I’m afraid you will push me away or disappear. I was afraid this morning that we were over. That you had enough…”
“That I was bored.”
“Yes. It felt like you withdrew everything from me and we were back to pathologist and brilliant detective and there nothing more. I’m still scared that once you start taking cases that will be the end of this.”
She tried to remove her hand from Sherlock’s face but he grabbed it and held it there.
“I start taking cases outside the flat next week.”
She gave a sad half smile, “I know.”
“And then you will know I’m not going to change my mind.”