Characters: Molly, Sherlock
Pairings: Molly/Sherlock (a mixture of one-sided and friendship)
Word count: Approx. 1100
Summary: Sherlock is confused and Molly is helpful. And they are both very, very wet.
Author's notes: A very quick bit of fluff inspired by this lovely artwork by Lexieken, which was then coloured by the lovely AliceXZ. Alice also offered a challenge to write a story about the scene and I decided to give it a go. One-sided Molly/Sherlock pairing with a heavy dose of friendship, but if two-sided Molly/Sherlock is your thing, you could probably make a case for it.
Molly was hurrying along at rather a clip and it took her a few moments once she'd exited Barts to register the rain.
'Rain' was a bit of an understatement. It was more like a monsoon. It teemed down almost painfully, soaking through her new red jumper in seconds. The one she was wearing in hopes of Sherlock noticing. He hadn't. Well, he probably had. He was Sherlock. Two months from now he would probably comment on it and say how it complimented her complexion and how it was so much better than what she was wearing now and what happened to it? And she would blush and sputter and squeak and wonder why he couldn't tell her that when she was wearing it.
Maybe it would make an impression now that it was soaked through and clinging to her body. Not that her body was anything to boast about.
She looked around, trying to find him. He'd only left five minutes earlier. She didn't know whether he was leaving for good or just taking a break. He'd simply stormed out of the lab without a word. It was probably too late to find him now. He'd probably taken a cab. Only a madman would walk in this –
Up the street his distinctive silhouette stepped into the light of a street lamp. He seemed unaffected by the rain. The way his hands moved told her he was talking to himself. She shouted his name, but he didn't hear her.
She started to run after him, cursing her shoes. They were designed for attracting consulting detectives, not chasing them down slippery streets.
When she got closer, she called his name again. He still didn't hear. She had to get right up behind him and shout his name before he turned around and the look of surprise on his face told her he hadn't heard then, either. She thought he was probably pacing. He did that when he was thinking.
He frowned at her. “Molly?” He had to yell to be heard over the rain. “What are you doing here? Go back.”
“I need to tell you something,” she said.
“I can't hear you,” he yelled.
“The test was wrong!” she shouted back, a bit louder.
He touched his ear and shook his head. “Speak up.”
“My voice doesn't go any louder than this!” she bellowed, at the top of her lungs.
He gave her an annoyed look and opened his coat, taking her wrist and pulling her close. He lifted one flap of the coat over her head and wrapped the other to the side, blocking the rain. It ran off in sheets, making a shelter for them. Apparently the coat was waterproof. She sometimes thought it was made of magic.
He leaned in close to her, his forehead hovering by hers. His hair was flattened by the rain, but curling into ringlets at the end. She wondered if his hair was naturally curly and he had to tame it. Maybe it was made of magic too.
“Well?” he demanded.
She was having trouble remembering why she'd come out here. He was very close to her and he smelled nice and his neck was right there and she wanted to touch his hair.
“The test was wrong,” she said. He smelled like very clean soap. She could feel his breath on her face. She tried to concentrate. “The calibration was off. It threw off the results. That compound you found. It's ethylene glycol.”
For a moment she thought he still couldn't hear her, because his expression was completely blank, just staring at her like she wasn't even there. She opened her mouth to repeat herself, but he cut her off.
“Are you sure?” he asked, leaning even closer to her in his eagerness. She leaned back instinctively and started to topple, but he put a hand on her back to steady her in a sort of matter-of-fact way, like he was righting a tea cup.
“I ran the test again after you left,” she said.
His face broke out into a glorious smile. “I knew something was wrong,” he said. “It didn't make sense. But the compounds are so similar – no wonder they looked practically identical under the microscope. Do you realize what this means? No, of course you don't. But it changes everything. Ha! I thought I was going mad. I couldn't make the facts collate. This changes everything.” He was grinning ear to ear and she was beaming back like an idiot. “What made you retest?”
“Oh, well you thought something was wrong,” she said. “And, um, you're usually right. So I tried to see if maybe it was on the–the machine's end and not on ours – yours. And then I noticed that the calibration was off. Just a little off. .001%. I had to look really hard to see it. The students were in earlier. M– maybe someone messed with it?”
He gave her a curious look. “We ran that test six times,” he said. “You trusted me over a computer?”
“Of course,” she said. “I–I mean, computers can be wrong sometimes. They're not perfect.”
“Neither am I,” he pointed out. One corner of his mouth twitched up. “Sometimes.”
She was blushing and spluttering and squeaking. “I know,” she managed to get out. “But...you were upset and I wanted to help.”
He frowned, looking like he was trying to puzzle out a complicated equation. “You should go back inside,” he said, eventually. “It's raining.”
She giggled. “Good observation, detective,” she joked.
He didn't seem to hear her. His gaze had moved past her. He lowered the flap of his jacket and the little magical nook was gone. The rain fell on them again, though it had lightened up considerably. “I know what happened now,” he said, not really to her. “I know how he did it.”
He turned away from her and stepped out on the street, looking for a cab to wave down. She huddled into her self, suddenly very cold without his body heat.
“Go back inside,” he ordered, again. “I don't need your help any more.”
That stung a little, though she knew it wasn't meant maliciously. “O–okay,” she said. She turned to go.
“Molly?” he said. She turned back. A cab slowed down, splashing her legs. He was giving her that confused look again. “You could have just texted.”
She shrugged and giggled stupidly. “I know,” she said.
He opened the door to the cab and got in. “Well done,” he said. From where his gaze was, she might have thought he was speaking to the street lamp.
“You're welcome, Sherlock,” she said.
Because she knew it was meant for her.