Sherlock BBC | Molly/Lestrade | PG | 1500 | beta: sciosophia | disclaimer: the show and the characters aren't mine.
Apparently it was her destiny to be chatted up by handsome men who just wanted to get information on a corpse. Molly was having a terrible morning.
God, what a miserable morning. She’d slept through her alarm, missed her bus, been splashed by a passing taxi as she tried to hail an empty one, and now, somehow, her boss has found out about Sherlock’s last visit and his unsanctioned ‘experiments’. If ever a morning demanded coffee and some indulgence, this was it. Unfortunately she’d have to settle for the hospital canteen’s version of luxury, which really wasn’t what she needed.
One discounted purchase of mediocre coffee and what appeared to be some sort of brownie later, she was sat at an empty table wondering what she’d done to warrant such a shitty morning. Maybe it was her crush on Sherlock – wasn’t there something in the bible about coveting and lust?
She liked to think of herself as a kind person, someone people automatically liked. She freely admitted she wasn’t perfect, but she liked to think she was better than some. It wasn’t like she was hideously ugly either. She might not be winning any pageants anytime soon, but she wasn’t exactly Quasimodo. So why was it that she couldn’t find a decent boyfriend? All she wanted was a bit of romance, someone to make her feel better after a nightmare of a day like this one was turning out to be; was that really too much to ask?
She sat there wallowing. The brownie was dry and somehow both tasteless and too rich at the same time, and the coffee; the less said about the coffee the better. The kitchen staff must all be having bad days too. She wished the day would end already, and it wasn’t even lunch time yet.
The scrape of metal chair legs suddenly caught her attention.
“Sorry, is this seat taken?” A man asked; the policeman who worked with Sherlock, who was at that disastrous Christmas party – damn, what was his name? It began with an ‘L’, she was sure… Lestrade! That was it. She thought he might have given his first name at some point too, but she couldn’t remember it.
He was looking at her expectantly, his hand still resting on the back of the chair opposite. Blinking, she realised he’d asked her a question. “Um, no.” She smiled. See, kind, she thought to herself.
With a smile he sat down, placing his coffee on the narrow table in front of him. “I hope I’m not disturbing you. You looked like you could use some company.”
She could feel herself blush and felt like an idiot for doing so. “You’re Lestrade, right? The DI that works with Sherlock Holmes? You were at the Christmas party.” Why did she have to mention that stupid party? Now he’d probably remember who she was and that whole embarrassing debacle (even if she had replayed that kiss on the cheek far more than she was willing to admit to anyone). He’d remember she was the one with the infantile crush on Sherlock and he’d probably pity her or mock her or both.
“That’s me,” his warm smile didn’t falter; in fact it seemed to get wider, as if he was pleased that she remembered him at all. “I prefer Greg, though. And you’re Doctor Hooper, right?”
She nodded. “Molly.”
The conversation lulled now that introductions were out the way. It felt awkward, but she didn’t know what to say to start the conversation going again. Yes, she was kind and friendly and sweet and ‘just plain lovely’, but for all of that she had never excelled at social interaction. It was part of the reason she chose to work in the morgue rather than with living patients; you couldn’t make a fool of yourself with dead people.
It dawned on her that he was probably here for a case. Of course he was, why else would he come over and sit with her? She’d started to hope as well; after all, he seemed like a nice guy and he had this air of modesty about him that she couldn’t help but feel drawn to. Only then did she remember Sherlock had mentioned something about his wife. Apparently it was her destiny to be chatted up by handsome men who just wanted to get information on a corpse.
“I assume you want to ask about an autopsy report? I haven’t finished the latest arrival yet, but you’re welcome to wait if you want to.”
Lestrade blinked at her, his warm smile twisting into a frown of confusion. “Oh,” he exclaimed, eyes widening, “you think I’m…? No, I just...well, I mean yes, technically, but no, I’ve already got the report I need. I was just grabbing a quick coffee before heading back to the Yard. You looked a bit down so I thought I’d come and make sure everything’s okay. Is it?”
“I, uh…” She hadn’t expected that. “I just thought…” She gave a little laugh. “It’s been one of those mornings, you know?” Another smile.
Lestrade – Greg – nodded sympathetically. “Yeah, been having a few of those myself lately.” He took a sip of his coffee and grimaced. “Not sure this is going to make it better. Christ, it’s worse than the stuff back at the office!”
She couldn’t help but laugh at the horrified look on his face. “At least you didn’t try one of the brownies.”
He glanced down at the half eaten brownie on the table in front of her. “That good, huh?”
“My mum could have made better brownies than that, and she could burn a salad!”
“Yeah, the wife was a bit like that. I’ve heard she’s a bit better at it now, mind you.” It was said with a grin, but Molly wasn’t sure if it was genuine amusement or whether there was a tinge of regret.
“I remember hearing about her. Weren’t you two getting back together?” That’s what she thought he’d said before Sherlock had interrupted that time.
“Nah. You remember what Sherlock said about the P.E. Teacher at Christmas? Turns out he was right, as usual. Smug bastard.” Molly had no idea what to say. It seemed no matter what she did conversations involving her naturally turned awkward. Lestrade gave a small shake of his head, smiling. “Well, I realised it wasn’t going to work out, and as much as ‘staying together for the kids’ seemed like a good idea, this is probably better for them. Anyway, the divorce proceedings are underway.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
He smiled back at her. “Don’t be. As I said, this is better for everyone.”
And now they were back to the awkward silence again. This time she honestly had no idea how to break it. She fiddled with her coffee, swirling it around idly. She should probably get back to work soon. No need to get yelled at even more today.
“Sorry, I kind of lowered the tone a bit there, didn’t I?”
She looked up with a reassuring smile. “It’s alright.”
“Well, I came over to cheer you up, and then I start going on about my issues; it’s not very good form.” He glanced down at his watch. “Bollocks, I have to get back to the office. Listen, I understand if you’d rather not, but do you want to grab a better cup of coffee some time?”
Was that what she thought it was? Was he asking her out? As in out, out? “You mean like a date?” She had to have misheard something.
“I suppose, technically, it would be a date, yes. Of course, if you don’t want to, that’s perfectly fine, I just thought…”
“Okay.” She beamed at him. A date! And he was gorgeous and nice and okay, so officially he was still married, but not for much longer, and he’d asked her out for a date!
His answering smile was his loveliest yet. “Great!” He stood, ready to head off back to the Yard. “Since this little meeting has to be cut short, what about later this evening? I know a place that does a brilliant cup of coffee. You can tell me about your morning then?”
“Sure.” She rose out of her chair, gathering the remnants of her brownie and her half-drunk cup of coffee. She knew she was grinning, but she couldn’t bring herself to care as they exchanged numbers and sorted out the details for later that day.
After they said goodbye Molly walked back to the morgue, still grinning from ear to ear, humming happily to herself. She wondered if she’d have time later to pop home and spruce herself up a bit first. Probably not. Nevermind, she had some makeup in her bag and she could always take out her ponytail. Maybe this day wasn’t going to be as miserable as she’d thought.