|Pairing:||Sherlock Holmes / Molly Hooper|
|Alternative name(s):||Sherlock/Molly, Molly/Sherlock, Sherlolly, Mollock, Sherolly, Holmes/Hooper, Hooper/Holmes|
|Prevalence:||Rare early in fandom, but growing|
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Sherlock/Molly is the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Molly Hooper from the BBC TV series Sherlock. The most prevalent portmanteau of this couple is Sherlolly, but Mollock and Sherolly are also used. Since the end of the second series of Sherlock, Sherlock/Molly shipping has grown greatly. While it still pales in comparison to Sherlock/John, it has become arguably the most popular het ship.
Molly's crush on Sherlock was established in the unaired pilot, a scene which remained relatively unchanged in the finished "A Study in Pink". Molly asks Sherlock out for coffee and Sherlock misreads her intentions, believing she is offering to fetch him a cup.
In "The Blind Banker", Sherlock uses flattery in order to gain access to bodies within Molly's morgue. Of note, Sherlock tells Molly her hair looks better parted to the side. After that, whenever Molly is seen with her hair in a ponytail, it is parted to the side.
"The Great Game" has Molly involved in a relationship with Jim Moriarty, not knowing he is a criminal mastermind. Sherlock dismisses the relationship, telling Molly he is gay. When John pointed out the callousness of Sherlock's action, Sherlock says he thought he was being kinder telling her the truth.
Molly's crush on Sherlock is revisited in "A Scandal in Belgravia", when Molly comes to a Christmas party at Baker Street in a tight black dress and made up for Sherlock's benefit. She brings him a special Christmas present. Sherlock-- believing she is going to see a boyfriend after the party at Baker Street-- gives a very devastating deduction which is often interpreted as Sherlock attempting teasing. When he sees the tag on the gift, he realizes the present is for him and it is heavily implied he realizes Molly is in love with him for the first time. To the shock of his friends, he apologizes and gives Molly a kiss and wishes her a merry Christmas.
In "The Reichenbach Fall", Sherlock enlists in Molly's help to locate two kidnapped children, waylaying her from a lunch date. She talks to him about his worries, being the only person to recognize that he was disturbed by his battle of wits with Moriarty. Sherlock is taken aback by her ability to see through him and her assertion that she does not count to him. Later, he comes to find her and tells her that she had always counted and he trusts her. He tells her he believes he is going to die and he requires her help to avoid it.
In "The Empty Hearse", Sherlock returns after two years abroad taking down Moriarty's network. It is revealed that Molly did in fact help him fake his death. This is theorized by Philip Anderson, who imagines a James Bond-esque sequence in which Sherlock kisses Molly.
To thank Molly for helping him, Sherlock asks Molly to solve crimes with him, which she initially mistakes for a date offer. The two spend the day together on cases, with Sherlock assuring her he wants her to be herself and not John. The pair share several meaningful looks at each other.
When Molly questions Sherlock as to the meaning of the day, he says it is to thank her. He says that Moriarty slipped up by discounting her, as the one person he thought didn't matter is the one person who mattered the most. Sherlock then reveals he knows Molly is engaged to be married. She half-heartedly tells him about her fiancee. Sherlock is very melancholy as he congratulates her, kissing her on the cheek. He says "Not all the men you fall for can be sociopaths.". After he has left, she says, "Maybe it's just my type."
At the end of the episode, everyone gathers at 221B to toast and Molly brings her fiancé, Tom. Sherlock is shocked to discover Tom dresses and looks quite similar to himself. Lestrade questions Molly on her fiancé and she insists she's "moved on".
In "The Sign of Three" Molly worries about Sherlock having to deliver the Best Man's speech at John's wedding, speaking to both Lestrade and Mrs Hudson about her fears, which they ignore.
In flashback, it's shown that Molly assists Sherlock with calculating his and John's ideal alcohol intake at John's stag night. Sherlock and Molly awkwardly talk about Tom and Molly tells Sherlock they are having "quite a lot of sex", to which Sherlock does not know how to respond.
Molly attends the wedding with Tom, but looks jealous as Sherlock talks with Mary's Maid of Honour, Janine. She becomes irritated with Tom when he gives a ridiculous theory about a dagger made of meat, hoping to solve one of Sherlock's unsolved cases. When Tom suggests Sherlock is drunk while trying to deduce who is under threat at the wedding, she stabs him with a fork.
When Sherlock plays violin for John and Mary's first dance, Molly is riveted to him and looks quite disappointed when he tosses his boutineer to Janine. Later, when Sherlock sadly leaves the wedding ceremony alone, Molly is the only one to notice, but continues to dance with Tom.
In "His Last Vow", John bring Sherlock to Barts in order to drug test him after finding him in a smack house. Molly confirms Sherlock is indeed high and slaps him three times, berating him for ruining himself with drugs and demanding an apology to his friends. He tells her he's sorry her engagement has ended. Molly does not back down from her anger, insisting he stop it.
When Sherlock is shot by Mary, Molly serves as the primary voice in his Mind Palace, telling him how to survive the gunshot. She tells him to focus, slapping him, and going him through all of the stages of the injury that will kill him.
After the injured Sherlock escapes from the hospital, Molly is questioned as to Sherlock's bolt holes and she admits that her flat is one. Not only does Sherlock stay in her flat, but her bedroom as he "needs the space". She looks embarrassed and looks away.
TPTB on Sherlock/Molly
Louise Brealey, the actress who plays Molly, has said several times she is in favour of the pairing. In a web chat with Radio Times she said she "actively encourages" Sherlock/Molly fan fiction. She also said if she could write one scene for Sherlock and Molly in series three it would be "a rather shocking kiss". She also stated her belief that Molly was unhappy while dating Jim as she was pining for Sherlock. 
Louise has also said, when asked if Sherlock will ever return Molly's affections: "I think it's unlikely, don't you? I don't think she's really his type. What his type is, I don't know." 
At the 2012 Cheltenham Literature Festival, Brealey interviewed Benedict Cumberbatch and asked him if he thought there was hope for Molly. He replied, "There's always hope for Molly. That's the cruel thing."
In a web chat for the Guardian, co-creator Steven Moffat called Molly "one of the few people in the world (Sherlock) rates."
On the audio commentary for "A Scandal in Belgravia", producer Sue Vertue said "(the audience) want them together, don’t they?"
However, at the Sherlock San Diego Comic Con panel in 2013, Steven Moffat said "I don't think they're going to end up dating, but it's a proper friendship." Sue Vertue was quick to cut in with "It's not going to go the way Tumblr thinks it's going to go." 
In the special Sherlock Uncovered: The Woman, Amanda Abbington (Mary Morstan) said of Molly and Sherlock, "Over the course of the three series, he becomes incredibly fond of her and can't really do without her… Molly is just this rock for Sherlock even though he doesn't know it. But she's there for him and he turns to her in his darkest hour."
In the same special, Mark Gatiss said, "He acknowledges how important she is to him. Because she, um, well… She’s very key."
In an interview with Vulture, Steven Moffat spoke at length about the relationship between Sherlock and Molly. He said that while Sherlock's emotions on the rooftop to John were faked, his vulnerability with Molly was genuine. He continued on, "…She’s become one of a very small select band of people he absolutely trusts. And he adores Molly, of course he does. He loves her.". However, in the same interview he said Molly does not have the same sort of crush on him anymore. "She’s fascinated by him, but she knows that’s not who she actually wants to end up with. She properly cares about him — and gets angry at him, and tells him off." 
Common Fiction Tropes
While Molly's crush on Sherlock meant that the pair were shipped together from the first episode, series two saw a sharp increase in the number of shippers, due primarily to the Christmas scene in "A Scandal in Belgravia" and Sherlock telling Molly that she "always counted" in "The Reichenbach Fall".
The most prevalent trope in Sherlock/Molly fan fiction involves Molly's involvement in Sherlock's faked suicide in "The Reichenbach Fall". While not stated outright, it is strongly implied Molly is aware that Sherlock is still alive, making her the only character who is. It is common to have Sherlock hide at Molly's flat or for Molly to accompany Sherlock while he takes down Moriarty's network. During this period of close proximity, the pair form a romantic relationship. The third series confirms Molly did indeed help Sherlock with his faked death. It also confirmed Sherlock has stayed at Molly's flat on occasion.
Following the revelation Moriarty is still alive, "flat share fics" have shifted to Molly moving into 221B, in order for Sherlock to protect her.
Pregnancy is common in Sherlock/Molly fan fiction. A prevalent premise is Molly wishing to have a baby and Sherlock offering to be the father. The pair always choose to have sex rather than seek out in-vitro fertilizations. A romantic relationship may or may not come from these encounters. It is also common to have Molly and Sherlock have a one-night-stand following his jump from the roof of Barts. When Sherlock returns (usually after three years, as established in the Arthur Conan Doyle stories), Molly has a young child by him.
In fanfic written during series one, it was common to have John Watson and Sarah Sawyer-- his love interest from "The Blind Banker" and "The Great Game"-- as a secondary ship. In post-series two fics, Mary Morstan-- Watson's wife from Doyle's stories-- is often introduced to pair with John. Having John marry either woman and Sherlock turn to Molly for company is a frequent story premise.
After the third series, it has become popular to deal with Molly's engagement (despite it ending before the third episode). This has led to a great number of infidelity fics. Another popular trope is having Sherlock regain Molly's trust following his delving into drugs once again.
Due to Molly's employment as a pathologist and Sherlock's interest in science, medical fetish turns up often. This includes having sex on autopsy tables and Sherlock having a fetish for Molly using medical jargon or wearing her lab coat. In some darker fics, necrophilia (either real or as roleplay) is explored.
BDSM is also a popular element, most likely due to Sherlock utilizing a crop on a corpse in the scene that introduces both characters. There is no consensus on which position the characters would take in the dom/sub dynamic. Some prefer Sherlock in the dominant position, due to his wielding of the crop in "A Study in Pink" and the enforcing previously established roles of characters. Others enjoy having Molly as the dominant, preferring to have her confident within the bedroom and switching up the power dynamic.
"Swaplock" is an AU genre born within Sherlock/Molly fandom. These fan depictions feature Sherlock and Molly in each other's roles, with Sherlock a shy pathologist and Molly a genius consulting detective. These depiction vary greatly with the roles of the other characters. Sometimes John remains Molly's blogger, while in others Sally Donovan takes the role. Irene Adler often takes the Moriarty role, while some introduce a femmeslash element having her remain in her original role. Molly and Sherlock do not always pair up in these fanworks, but the concept has its roots in the Sherlock/Molly fandom.
PurpleYin on Livejournal maintains a Sherlock and Molly prompt meme. Emcee Frodis maintains a Masterlist of Sherlolly Prompts and Fills from all of the Kink and Prompt Memes, including those from PurpleYin's meme.
A subset of Sherlock/Molly shippers also ship Sherlock and Molly in a polyamorous relationship with John Watson, known to many as "Jollock". It experienced a brief surge in popularity in 2012 before tapering off.
- The Sherlolly tag on Tumblr
- hooperholmes on Livejournal
- The Molly/Sherlock tag on SherlockBBC
- Sustain (or Concerto for the Famished in D Minor) by Maybe Amanda and OneMillionAndNine; An early and popular fic in the ship, it paved the way for many Sherlock/Molly pregnancy fic tropes.
- The Full House by Emcee Frodis; The most famous of the Sherlock/Molly fics featuring their developing relationship after The Reichenbach Fall, with Sherlock hiding out at Molly's place.
- The Pirate and the Doctor by Petra Todd; Considered by many fans the benchmark in AU Elseworld fics, featuring the Sherlock characters as pirate in a romantic fantasy setting.
- Longer Than The Road That Stretches Out Ahead by Sunken Standard; An example of Molly and Sherlock on the road together following The Reichenbach Fall and the relationship that could grow between them.
- The Five Stages of Illogical Death by AndInTimeThisTooShallPass; A popular angstfic, it is one of the few that deals with the death of one of the main characters in the ship.
- Send Me the Thorns by Petra Todd; Popular for its depiction of Sherlock and Molly in a consensual and accurate D/s relationship.
The fanart community of Sherlolly--centered around Tumblr and DeviantArt-- is not nearly as large as the fic community. However, there are several prolific artists within the community.
- Rain by Lexieken and the coloured version You've Always Mattered by alicexz
- No way this is real by bassfanimation
- Underneath the Mistletoe by hihiyas
- Long Distance Relationship by Lexieken, a Victorian AU
- Zombielock by Sempaiko
- Are You Okay by scaragh
- Um… Sherlolly by Sempaiko
- Dawn by hihiyas
- The Woman That Counted by Nyah86Production
- You Can See Me by EllenRebecca3
- Feel My Love by BornAgainDemon
- Gravity by EmAndAwesomesauce
- Echo by HookedOnaFeeling89
- Black Two Sugars Trailer by Nyah86Production
- Everything by Emcee1138
- Say Something by *Tv*Movie*Sparks