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Molly groaned and tried to bat Toby away from her neck. He had this habit of sneaking into bed with her and…wait. Molly’s brain suddenly kicked into high gear, remembering rapidly that she was not at home so it couldn't possibly be Toby who was nuzzling against her neck and remembering that in fact, the warm body pressed up against hers belonged to Sherlock bloody Holmes. She squeezed her eyes tightly together briefly before cautiously opening them.

Sherlock had lifted himself up slightly so that he was hovering over her, much like he had been after their first night together in the flat. “Good afternoon, Molly.”

Her brow wrinkled at his words. “Afternoon? What time is it?”

“Nearly one. I wouldn't feel bad about sleeping in so late. We were up rather late this morning,” Sherlock said, smirking.

Molly rolled her eyes. The tone of his voice wasn't just normal Sherlock-superiority. That was the voice of a man who knew that he was a pretty fantastic shag. He was really such a git. “I do remember, Sherlock, I was there.” He bent slightly and gave her a gentle kiss. Molly noticed that his breath, unlike her own, was fresh and clean and she quickly pushed him away in embarrassment. “How long have you been up then?”

He shrugged. “I woke up about two hours ago. I called Mycroft and packed my things in preparation for leaving today. But I returned to bed before you woke because I figured that you would not appreciate waking alone.”

She brought her hands up to wrap around the back of his neck and she smiled at him. “Very nice deduction, Mr. Holmes. You know you didn't kick as much in your sleep last night as you usually do.”

Sherlock rolled his eyes. “My energy was also a bit more depleted last night than it usually is, Molly. You, on the other hand, clicked just as much as you have the past 8 nights I have spent by your side.”

Molly giggled and gently pushed on his chest, urging him to move. “Get up, Sherlock. I need to go brush my teeth so that I can snog you properly.” Her mouth dropped open in shock at her boldness and her face immediately flooded with embarrassment.

But her rambling and awkward apology was cut off by a swift kiss from Sherlock. “Do not second guess yourself now, Ms. Hooper. I do not regret our actions last night at all; I was the one to initiate intercourse and I enjoyed myself greatly, as did you. There is no reason to regret that. I would rather like to repeat the actions in the near future, actually, before we are forced to separate.”

She couldn't help the squeak that emanated from her. “What? Really?”

Instead of rolling his eyes at her again, he leaned down to brush a kiss against her lips. “Really. Everything that I said last night was the truth. I need you, Molly Hooper. And although I am certain that many think I am completely oblivious to the rules of social interaction, I am well aware that sexual intercourse is often viewed as the gateway to both a physically and emotionally intimate relationship. And I do not have any objections to such an action if you don’t.”

Staring at him with something akin to wonder, she managed to stutter, “You…you want a relationship? With me?”

His smirk was incredibly smug. “Well, as far as I know, we were the only two in the room, so yes, it would be safe to deduce that you are the one that I am willing to enter into a relationship with.” His expression turned serious. “I will understand if you want to reject this, Molly. It’s honestly idiotic for me to even propose it, considering what I am heading out to do. But you are…at the risk of sounding melodramatic, you are my lifeline, Molly. It certainly isn't Mycroft.”

She let out a little giggle at that and Sherlock’s eyes sparked in affection at her action. “Of course I’m not going to reject you, you git.” She tilted her head to the side slightly; her eyes warm with love and her smile soft. “I love you, Sherlock Holmes.” Her hand came up to cup his cheek, her thumb caressing his cheekbone.

Sherlock gave her a soft smile in return, far more affectionate and human, than she’d ever seen from him before. She was certain that he was about to kiss her again, but much to her surprise, he rolled off her and made a slight shooing motion with his hands. “Hurry up and go brush your teeth. I want to kiss you properly and your refusal to do so is ridiculous. I’ll be in the kitchen.” With that he hopped out of bed and grabbed his dressing gown from behind the door, before making his way out into the rest of the flat.

For a moment, Molly stayed right where she was and giggled. Sherlock Holmes had just ordered her to brush her teeth so that he could snog her. Her life was seriously mental right now.

She then hopped out of bed and grabbed a pair of knickers and one of Sherlock’s t-shirts from the drawer, noticing briefly that most of the clothes that Mycroft had provided for Sherlock were gone. He must have packed them away already, Molly reasoned. She then quickly exited the bedroom and made a beeline for the spare bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face.

Reemerging from the bathroom, she quickly made her way to the kitchen and smiled as she saw Sherlock sitting at the table, one steaming mug of coffee in front of him and another sitting in front of the chair next to him. She practically beamed at him and bent slightly to kiss him properly, yelping with surprise as he promptly tugged her down onto his lap and deepened the kiss.

“Much better,” he declared after breaking their kiss a few moments later. Molly smiled dreamily at him and reached across the table for her coffee, unwilling and unable to move from her spot on his lap, since Sherlock didn't seem interested in letting her out of his arms.

They spent the next few moments in a companionable silence, but Molly knew that it couldn't last forever. “What time are we leaving?”

Sherlock nuzzled his face against her neck (and she never would have guessed him for a cuddler, but was pleasantly surprised at his unguarded affection) before he answered. “I told Mycroft to fetch us around 4. He’ll take us to a train station where you can catch a train back to London and we’ll…catch one going elsewhere.” He cupped her cheek this time, leaning his forehead against hers. “I want to tell you, Molly, but it’s for the best that I don’t. The less you know, the safer you’ll be.”

She nodded, biting her lip and willing the tears gathering in her eyes to stay put. She never in a million years dreamed that Sherlock would be so absolutely lovely to her and she wanted to remember every single minute of it for the rest of her life, just in case… She shook her head at the morbid train of thought, refusing to indulge in it. She put on a smile and brought her hands up to curl in his hair, his blissful smile her reward for the action. “That’s plenty of time to…engage in certain activities.”

“Hmm, yes,” he murmured, as her fingers stroked through his hair. “Yes, I need something to help me relax.”

“Relax?” she questioned, pulling back slightly. She’d never heard mind-blowing sex referred to as relaxing before. But before her self-doubt could get the best of her, Sherlock allayed her fears.

“My mind requires constant stimulation, Molly, or else it tears itself apart. Last night…my mind was focused wholly on you. You and your body and all those fascinating little noises you made held my attention entirely. And when I reached orgasm, for just a moment, everything went away. My mind was blank. It was incredible. Not even drugs gave me that sort of satisfaction.”

Throughout Sherlock’s speech, Molly began to blush. Hearing Sherlock Holmes speak frankly about sex, about sex that they had, was going to take some time to get used to, apparently. “I’m glad that I can provide a distraction, then,” she replied, smiling and gently brushing her lips against his.

Sherlock smiled wickedly at her and leaned in, kissing her so passionately it made her head spin. Before she realized what was going on, he had lifted her up onto the table and was standing over her, peeling off her knickers and throwing them to the side. “Sherlock!” she squeaked, doing her best to admonish him as he pulled off her t-shirt and untied his dressing gown, leaving him just as naked as she was. “On the kitchen table?”

He chuckled as he slid a finger into her, testing her readiness. She groaned and arched her back, pressing her head against the hard surface of the table. “I intend to desecrate as much furniture in this flat as possible with you, Molly,” he murmured, leaning over her to kiss her again. She chuckled against his lips, wrapping her arms around his neck and dragging him closer.

Last night had been gentle and affectionate, but this time was nothing but need and passion. It was desperate and hard and fast. Part of her couldn't believe that she was here, having sex with Sherlock Holmes on the kitchen table of a safe house – she was Molly Hooper, ordinary and plain, nothing exciting ever happened to her. But he had changed all of that.

Maybe she hadn't ever been ordinary at all.

Sherlock moaned and thrust into her hard and Molly’s back arched, exposing her neck. He leaned forward immediately and captured her lips, muffling her scream as she came. He continued to thrust into her, his pace increasing as he got closer to his own release. Grunting, his hands gripped her hips like a vice, holding her close. “Yes, Molly!” he groaned, his body collapsing forward and his head burrowing into the hollow between her neck and shoulder as his body stiffened in release.

Sherlock panted against her neck as they both recovered, before he pulled her up off the table and he collapsed back against the chair, with Molly on his lap. Her face was pressed against his neck and she inhaled deeply, never wanting to forget this moment in his arms. She squirmed against his lap slightly and he gasped, involuntarily bucking up into her and she smiled at his reaction. “We need to shower,” she murmured, her lips brushing against the skin of his neck.

He replied with a noncommittal sort of grunt and tightened his grip around her waist. “Don’t want to let you out of my sight,” he muttered against the damp skin of her shoulder and she grinned.

“Well, we could always shower together, Sherlock. It’d be efficient, right?”

His head darted up and his eyes were alight with the idea. “Oh yes. And then we could have sex in the shower!”

Molly threw her head back and laughed at that. “You have quite the idea of your refractory period, Mr. Holmes.” He shrugged and before Molly knew what was happening, he had scooped her up and was carrying her towards the bathroom. She squealed and instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist, giggling as they made their way through the flat.

He let her down once they reached the bathroom and she immediately turned on the water. She turned to him as they waited for the water to heat up, kissing him playfully like she was a teenager again. Finally the bathroom had warmed up considerably and she dragged Sherlock inside the shower with her.

She turned to him once they were inside and gasped slightly at the look in his eyes. His gaze absolutely burned into her and for once, Molly didn't feel self conscious at all. It was amazing, how the man who had the habit of callously tearing her down could also be the one to make her feel like she was the sexiest woman in the world. His entire attention, that massive Sherlock Holmes brain, was completely focused on her.

Smiling at him, she tugged him close for a kiss and when they broke apart, she gently pushed him backwards into the spray. Soon, his hair was entirely wet and she reached for the ridiculously expensive shampoo that Mycroft had provided them. She squirted some in her palms before carefully regarding him and pursing her lips. “Go and sit down,” she said, nodding over to the little bench in the corner of the shower. “I’m too short to reach your hair without you bending over.”

Sherlock obediently did as she asked (she would need to pencil that in on her calendar – ‘the day Sherlock did as I asked and didn't say anything’) and seated himself comfortably in the corner of the shower, spreading his legs obscenely so Molly could stand between them.

She began lathering up his hair, which took a little longer than necessary, since the second her fingers sunk into his locks, his fingers found her breasts. His digits traced circles around the soft flesh, slowly getting closer and closer to her nipples before gently pinching them. Molly bit back a moan and dug her fingers into his sudsy hair with a bit of force, making Sherlock gasp at the sensation. “Rinse,” she commanded softly and stepped back to let him up.

He quickly rinsed the shampoo out of his hair and Molly started to reach for the soap until he made a little noise of protest. “Conditioner,” he said simply and she looked at him, giggling.

Of course Sherlock Holmes would use conditioner, she thought to herself. “You just want my fingers in your hair again,” she countered, letting him sit back down on the bench before reaching for the conditioner and squirting a dollop into her palm.

“I have a weakness,” he said absently, his eyes tracing over her body carefully. His hands settled at her hips this time, rubbing small circles into the skin as she worked the conditioner into his hair, giving him a bit of a scalp massage while she was at it. His head tilted back slightly and Molly was more than a little amused to see his hips buck a little when she tugged on his hair just so. “Molly,” he rumbled, his eyes opening and immediately focusing on her, tugging her forward and nearly pulling her into his lap.

“Wait!” she cried out, just as she was about to lose her balance. “ You've got to rinse. And then I think it’s only fair if you return the favor.”

Sherlock chuckled and stood, once again moving to stand underneath the stream. After a few moments, he must have decided that his hair was clean because he suddenly stepped out of the spray and gestured for Molly to move into it. It took her a bit longer to wet her hair thoroughly, for obvious reasons. Sherlock seemed intent on simply watching her wet her hair rather than help her.

Finally she stepped out from the shower’s spray and waited patiently as Sherlock squirted a few pumps of shampoo into his hands. Molly sighed as his fingers began massaging her scalp. His hands were so big; he could nearly cover her entire head with them.

Molly had her eyes shut tightly, so Sherlock had to guide her back into the water and he gently ran his fingers through her hair until the water ran clean.

“Only put conditioner from about here,” she gestured to a little above her ear, “down. None for the top of my head, it’ll just weight it down.” Sherlock scoffed slightly at the order but obeyed, carefully combing the conditioner through her hair and even paying special attention to her ends without her even having to tell him to. She allowed him to rinse it out and smiled when, at the end of it all, he bent slightly to steal a kiss.

They broke apart and Molly reached for the soap, turning to Sherlock and fixing him with what she hoped was a serious look. “Now Sherlock, we’re actually going to just wash ourselves. I know shower sex always sounds fun but it ends up being slippery and I am ridiculously accident-prone and do not need to explain to people how I ended up with something ridiculous, like a broken arm or something. Alright? Will you be able to behave?”

Sherlock rolled his eyes and reached impatiently for the soap in Molly’s hands. “I have ignored my baser urges for years, Molly. I think I can resist the temptation of fondling your naked body in the shower.”

For the most part, he did.

Molly giggled at her prune-like fingers as they stepped out of the shower and grabbed the towels on the nearby towel rack. It had been a mostly business shower, but there were definitely a few spots on both her and Sherlock’s bodies that had required a little more attention than the rest. Sherlock grinned at her as he toweled off and then wrapped it around his waist. Without warning, he grabbed her just as she finished tucking the towel into itself around the top of her chest, and he hauled her up against him, kissing her wildly.

“I need you again, Molly,” he murmured against her lips and she grinned. She hadn't been unaware of Sherlock’s growing state of arousal in the shower, but she had to admit that she took a bit of fun in teasing him longer than she should have.

They stumbled out into the hallway, kissing and groping each other, trying to find the nearest sturdy surface. “Bed, Sherlock,” Molly managed to gasp against his lips. Sherlock scooped Molly up into his arms again and her legs wrapped around his waist and her hand flew to her towel, keeping it up.

He made a beeline for the spare bedroom, which was closer to the bathroom than the room that they had shared for the majority of their stay in the flat. He all but tossed her onto the bed and Molly giggled briefly before Sherlock covered her body with his, quickly undoing both their towels and sliding into her.

It wasn’t quick and frenzied like earlier that morning, but it wasn't the slow and sweet lovemaking like their first time. Sherlock’s touch was desperate, he seemed to be determined to touch every inch of her skin and Molly shared the same frantic need. Molly began to feel reality set in as Sherlock suddenly rolled to the side and pulled her up on top of him, his hands flying to her waist.

These were the last moments they would spend together for the foreseeable future. Sherlock was going to be gone in less than an hour and neither of them was sure when they would meet again. Molly’s hips slammed down against Sherlock’s as she rode him, leaning over him to catch his lips in a desperate kiss. “Sherlock, I love you. I love you,” she whispered to him, over and over again as his hand reached down and stroked her gently, sending her over the edge.

He found his release soon afterwards, growling out her name as she collapsed on his chest. She had her full weight against him, but he didn't seem to mind as he gently stroked her back. She felt like she couldn't get close enough to him – she wanted to burrow inside him so that she could be with him wherever he went to dismantle Moriarty’s network. She didn't want him to forget her…she didn't want him to be alone.

She didn't even realize that she was crying until Sherlock’s fingertips gently stroked her cheeks, catching her tears. “Molly?” He questioned, shifting her slightly until she was curled up against his side and he could see her face more clearly.

“You’re leaving,” she whispered frantically, unable to stop the tears that were leaking slowly from her eyes. “You’re leaving and I won’t be able to know that you’re safe every night and I’m going to have to go to your funeral, Sherlock! I’m going to have to face all our friends and lie to them and I’m going to have to stay up on my own every night and wonder where you are…” Her words cut off as she choked out a desperate sob, burrowing further into his side and hiding her face against his chest.

He was silent as he wrapped his arms around her, stroking her hair softly as her tears slowed. “I’m sorry I put you in this situation, Molly,” he whispered. “Do you regret it? Do you regret involving yourself in this?”

Her head shot up immediately and she fixed her eyes on Sherlock. “Never. Not for one minute would I ever regret helping you. I can’t imagine the world – my world, without Sherlock Holmes. No,” she whispered, reaching a slightly trembling hand up to touch his face. “I’d never regret it, Sherlock. It’s just…it’s all just getting to me now. It’s all so…real.”

He nodded and pressed a gentle kiss to her fingertips as she passed them over his lips. “You could come with me,” he whispered against her digits, the words escaping before he had a chance to re-think them.

She smiled softly up at him, her fingers trailing down to his neck, resting against the slightly dampened skin there. “You know I couldn't You said it isn't safe for me to even know where you’re going – how would it be safe for me to go with you?”

He looked down, almost seeming ashamed that he had let her see him so weak. Molly’s heart broke into a thousand little pieces at the look. She’d never seen him look so vulnerable ever, even that night in the morgue when he’d come to ask for her help. She would have thought that was the most vulnerable Sherlock Holmes could ever look, but it didn't hold a candle to this moment, with Sherlock wrapped around her body, naked and scared of the future. To see him stripped of everything, of John and his coat and his suits and 221b…but to still have him, it frightened her in a way that she couldn't describe. No matter how broken she was feeling right now, she had to remain strong for him. “But you know where I am, Sherlock. I’ll just be a reminder of what you’re fighting for out there. But any time you need me, any time at all, you know where to find me. I’d never turn you away, you know that right?”

Nodding slightly, he craned his neck and lowered his lips to hers for a soft kiss. Her fingers sunk into his hair and he moaned gratefully into her mouth. He leaned back slightly, his thumb brushing across her cheek. “I don’t deserve you, Molly Hooper,” he breathed against her lips.

“Yeah, you do,” she replied softly, burrowing in closer to him, hiding her face in his neck. They stayed like this for a few minutes, before Molly suddenly sat up, squinting to look at the clock on the nightstand. “We have to get ready. Mycroft will be here soon.” She hopped up from the bed and held her hand out to Sherlock.

They got dressed slowly, exchanging kisses as they helped the other dress. Sherlock’s phone rang and Molly rested her head against his chest as he exchanged terse words with his brother. He hung up and slipped the phone into the pocket of his jeans before he took her hand silently and lead her into the other bedroom to pick up their things.

Molly picked up the small duffel bag she had packed the night before in anticipation of leaving today and waited as Sherlock grabbed two slightly larger bags. As they walked out into the main living area of the flat, Molly was surprised when Sherlock reached for her hand. She threaded her fingers with his and smiled up at him.

They exited the safe house and got into the secure lift, the same that they had taken up more than a week ago. True to his word, one of Mycroft’s signature cars was waiting for them. Molly was surprised as she slipped into the backseat to find that she and Sherlock would be riding alone to the train station. Sherlock seemed a bit surprised as well, but quickly gave her a small smile and kissed her gently. “It’s just as well. Mycroft would just make you uncomfortable,” he whispered before kissing her again. Molly couldn't help but smile at the fact that Sherlock was apparently concerned about her comfort.

The ride to the train station was quiet. Molly felt like she had said all she could say to Sherlock. She knew she wasn't good with words, especially around him, and she didn't want to ruin these last few moments by sticking her foot in her mouth. So they simply sat next to each other, Molly leaning into him and Sherlock absently brushing kisses across the top of her head as the city passed them by.

They were at the train station soon and Molly slowly gathered her things and slid out of the car behind Sherlock. Mycroft was waiting for them and raised a curious eyebrow when Sherlock, without hesitation, grabbed Molly’s hand again as they made their way towards his brother. Molly couldn't help the flush that colored her cheeks.

“Nice to see you again, Ms. Hooper,” he drawled in that overly pleasant tone that he used around most people.

“It’s Dr. Hooper, Mycroft; she went to medical school,” Sherlock muttered venomously. Mycroft didn't have time to reply, because Sherlock turned suddenly to Molly, wrapping her up in a quick embrace. Molly’s flush deepened as she saw Mycroft’s eyes widen out of the corner of her eye. But she quickly shut her eyes to block him out and leaned into Sherlock’s embrace, breathing him in. He released her only enough to drop his head to capture her lips in a gentle kiss. It was soft and loving and perfect, Molly melted into him.

He then drew away further, briefly licking his lips. “I’ll see you later.”

Her breath caught and she nodded. “See you later. Remember what I said – any time you need me, you know where I am.” She couldn't help herself and she stepped into his space one more time, flinging her arms around his neck before kissing him. She felt his hands at the small of her back, pressing her against him. Breaking apart, she smiled up at him sadly and whispered against his lips, “Stay safe, Sherlock.”

He released her and she stepped back. “You too, Molly.” His gaze shifted to Mycroft, who suddenly appeared next to her elbow, holding out a slim envelope.

“Here’s your ticket back to London, Dr. Hooper,” he said, putting a subtle emphasis on her proper title. “Thank you for your assistance. I am sure that we’ll be in touch.” Molly nodded and shot one last look to Sherlock, who nodded slightly and offered her a soft smile.

She took a deep breath and quickly turned on her heel, briefly looking to her ticket and then starting off towards the proper platform. It was like she was moving through a dream, nothing seemed quite real as she swiped her ticket through the turnstile and stood on the platform waiting for the train.

Mycroft had kindly booked her in a first class car and much to her relief, she was completely alone. She wasn't quite sure how he had managed it, but she was thankful. She had barely sat down in her seat before she felt her emotional dam bursting. The strain of the last ten days suddenly became ten times heavier and paired with the realization that she would now have to keep Sherlock’s secret – it was just too much. All of the pain and the fear that she’d tried to keep from Sherlock was suddenly overwhelming and there was nothing to do but cry. She wondered briefly if she was truly alone in the car or if someone would walk in, but decided it didn't matter one way or another. She couldn't stop the tears now that they had started.

She would go back to her lonely little flat, to the cold morgue, to her plain and ordinary life. She would watch her friends mourn Sherlock Holmes and would not be able to tell them anything, would not be able to relieve their pain at all. It would nearly kill her, she was sure of it.

But she had to. Sherlock…Sherlock trusted her. Sherlock had placed this burden on her, but God help her, she would bear it. She would bear the burden ten thousand times over if it meant it kept him safe and eventually returned him to the land of the living. She didn't believe that her life would end without Sherlock Holmes, but it was so much better with him in it.

She took a few deep shuddering breaths and willed the tears to slow, even if they didn't stop. The train began to pull out of the station. She could do this; she had no choice. Closing her eyes, she leaned her head against the window as she made her way back to London, back to her real life. Back to waiting for Sherlock Holmes.

At the same time, on the opposite side of the train station, the Holmes brothers were in their own empty train car, discussing their plans for the immediate future. They were on their way to Manchester and from there Sherlock would probably head to the continent. Their train was pulling out of the station and for a brief moment, Sherlock looked sad as he looked out the window.

Mycroft knew immediately why. “I assume that you will want updates of how Dr. Hooper is doing as well now?”

“Brilliant deduction,” Sherlock muttered sarcastically, keeping his gaze focused out the window instead of at his brother.

“You told her you loved her then?” Mycroft asked, feigning disinterest.

Sherlock allowed himself a small, sad smile, remembering whispering the words against her sweat slicked skin in the early hours of the morning. “None of your business, Mycroft.”