“Molly, I need to be in your lab now.”
“And I've told you Sherlock,” Molly sighed and folded her arms. “I can't let you into the lab right now. You'll just have to wait.”
Sherlock loomed over her, glaring down at her and his eyes seemed more piercing than usual. As hard as she tried to keep her eyes fixed on his and glare back at him, she had to yield eventually. She knew if she stared too long into those eyes she'd get lost and that would be it. Tearing herself away from staring at his, in her opinion, near perfect features, she walked away from him and took a few deep breaths. Then she spun round to face him with her hands on her hips hoping she exuded some kind of confidence.
“Come back tomorrow Sherlock,” she said in her most commanding tone. Sherlock merely rolled his eyes at her.
“I will not come back tomorrow, I need to be in your lab now. What is the problem with that? It's never been an issue before.”
“I've been instructed not to let anyone into the morgue until someone from UNIT gets here. I shouldn't have let you into here as it is, so please just go home.”
This time she wasn't looking at Sherlock, she'd turned her pleading eyes on John, almost begging him to save her from the trouble she was probably about to be in. He nodded at her with that sad smile he always got when Sherlock was being awful to her.
“Come on Sherlock, we should go. I've heard tales about UNIT while I was serving, we don't want to mess with them.”
John was all ready to leave, even starting towards the door before he realised Sherlock was still standing there with his eyes fixed on Molly.
“Sherlock,” he said again, a warning tone in his voice that Sherlock chose to ignore.
“I am not leaving until I get into that lab. I need to run those tests right now, they are time sensitive. I don't care who these people are, you know that with one phone call they can be called off. I am staying right here until Miss Hooper here decides to co-operate.”
He rarely called her Miss Hooper, that was for when he was introducing her to people or when he was very annoyed. She could almost feel the anger radiating off him. Sherlock didn't like being told no.
“I'm sorry but-”
“Do not,” he said in a low tone, pointing a finger at her. “Do not say anything unless it is you agreeing to let us in the lab.”
It was rare she wanted to cry in front of Sherlock any more, he had been getting better at not reducing her to nothing, but it was getting hard to ignore that burning in her throat. She hated these situations.
The knock on the door proved to be a timely saviour as a woman popped her head around the door.
“Not interrupting anything am I?” She looked between the three of them, eyes resting on them each for a just a few seconds before she strode into the room. Molly looked her up and down, admiring her smart black suit with the bright red shirt beneath. Her black hair was pulled back into a tight bun. As she walked towards Molly, she smiled and held out her hand. “Molly Hooper?”
All Molly could do was nod and hold out her hand so they could shake hands.
“Excellent. Doctor Martha Jones, I'm from UNIT. You were expecting me weren't you?” She asked it with a smile, her eyes darting to the right to indicate the utterly furious looking Sherlock behind her.
“Yes,” replied Molly, her voice quavering more than she would have liked. “I just received some last minute visitors who are just leaving.”
Once again, she didn't look at Sherlock and instead made sure she was looking right at John.
“Of course,” said John with a smile, nodding as Doctor Jones turned her head to look at him. “Let's go Sherlock.”
Yet again, Sherlock chose to ignore him.
“I'm going to make her phone call,” he said through gritted teeth and stormed off to one side of the room.
Molly watched him go and felt her stomach drop. She'd been given such specific instructions about what she was to do, about how there was to be no one else in the morgue, about how this was of the utmost importance and and a matter of national security.
“Sorry about him,” sighed John as he came to stand next to the two women. “I don't think he's too happy being told he can't do something.”
“Oh, one of those,” she responded with a half smile. Molly felt a little more relaxed knowing this woman knew and understood what she was trying to deal with. “Anyway, I didn't get to find out who you are.”
“John Watson,” he held his hand to shake hers, which she happily accepted. For a moment, she furrowed her brow as she thought, but then the realisation seemed to dawn on her.
“John Watson and Sherlock Holmes, of course. I should have recognised you sooner, I've read a few articles about you.”
John heard the way her voice changed when she said articles, that slightly strange articulation like she had to think about the word. Not articles, he thought to himself, reports on them more likely.
“And I've heard of UNIT,” he said. “Though it was always just rumours around the barracks.”
There was an odd tension in the air then, with the two staring each other down. Molly stood between them, looking back and forth at their little smirks. It was like there was some private joke going on she just didn't know about. Once again she found herself being saved by an interruption as Sherlock walked over to them. He still looked furious, but his mind was already off somewhere else it seemed, his eyes not focused on glaring at Molly any more.
“Come on John, we'd best be off and leave the good doctor to it. Pleasure to meet you Doctor Jones. Molly, we'll be back tomorrow and I expect no interruptions this time.”
There was no time to respond because with a swish of his coat he was off and out the door without even glancing back to them. John sighed, made his goodbyes (and apologies) before running off after Sherlock. For a moment the two women just stood in silence, Martha watching the door the two men had left through with interest and Molly wishing the ground would just swallow her up.
“I am so sorry about that,” she managed to stammer out eventually, feeling more mortified than she could ever have imagined. “I tried to get them to leave, but Sherlock-”
“Don't worry,” said Martha, quickly interrupting Molly before she started to ramble any more. “No harm done. Now, you have a body I need to see.”
With that, Molly found herself turning back to her more professional self as she guided Martha to where the body had already been laid out in preparation for her arrival. Molly took a step back as Martha began to examine the body, pulling a small device from her jacket pocket and swiping it over certain parts of the body. When she passed it over one foot, something must have happened because she stood up straight and nodded her head. Taking a phone from her pocket, she pressed a few buttons before putting it back again.
“Some other people from UNIT will be here very soon to collect the body, we'll have all the paperwork sorted out when they arrive and then we'll be out of your hair.”
Molly just nodded her head seeing no need to argue with her, if she had enough power that even Sherlock's brother couldn't override, she had no way of going over her head. Martha looked around the morgue for a moment, it seemed considering something, before she turned back to Molly.
“You shouldn't let him talk to you like that.” She said it so easily and without hesitation that it took Molly a second to process it.
“He's not a bad person, he just likes things a certain way,” she replied, finding that even as she said it, she couldn't look Martha in the eyes. She knew it was a pathetic defence, even by her standards.
“You still shouldn't let him talk to you like that,” Martha folded her arms now, looking pointedly at her. Molly knew she should be annoyed, that she shouldn't let this strange woman tell her how she should act in her own morgue of all places. Of course, it wasn't that simple and Molly felt the words already starting to spill out.
“I know, but it's just easier to let him have his way because maybe then...maybe then...”
“Maybe then he'll notice me and pay more attention to me and I can forget for just a moment he doesn't feel the same way as me at all because it finally feels like he cares.”
That was all they needed. In that single moment, the two women realised they had an ally in one another. An ally who had felt such love for a man who never showed them the same love, who insulted them without realising it and had left them feeling useless without even trying.
“You too then,” whispered Molly.
“Me too,” sighed Martha. “But I left him eventually. Got myself a new job, found a very lovely man and started a nice new life.”
“I can't really leave him, this is my job and he just happens to show up when he needs things.” Molly shifted uneasily on her feet, suddenly annoyed at herself. “I try to stand up to him but it never really works.”
“You'll figure it out, I'm sure.”
Martha reached out a hand, rubbing Molly's arm in some strange kind of reassurance. That was the moment her phone started buzzing, interrupting this nice moment they were having. Molly didn't have a lot of friends outside of work, and especially not ones who understand her problems so easily. As Martha listened to the phone though, Molly saw her expression change and the concern that took over her features. The only word she spoke was 'understood' before she hung up the phone.
“Molly, I need you to go into your lab, lock the door and hide. Do you understand me? I need you to do this now.”
Molly wanted to ask a myriad of questions, but instead she just nodded and hurried off to the lab. As she closed the door, she could see Martha through the window on the door and watched as she pulled what looked like a small gun from inside her jacket. She was sure then that her heart skipped a beat, but she found she couldn't yet turn away. She needed to know what she was up against before she hid from it.
Martha didn't look to see if Molly had got herself away and sorted, she had a feeling that she would go and do it. She took the stunner from inside her jacket, preparing herself for the arrival of her rather unwanted guests. There wasn't enough time though as a sudden noise behind her made her spin round, but she couldn't get her stunner up fast enough. A blast hit her arm and the gun clattered to the floor by her feet. She grabbed her now paralysed arm, the sudden loss of sensation disorienting her more than she expected. As she looked at the two aliens who had transported into the room, she found herself trying to figure out her next move.
“Where is the other?” asked the one who stood closer to her, gun now pointing at her chest.
“No idea what you're talking about,” replied Martha, with a sweet smile.
“Lying. Other was detected on scans. Where is the other?”
“There's just me and the dead in here,” she replied, trying very hard to not let her eyes drift towards the door of the lab.
“Body is required, must locate other first. Tell us or we fire at vital systems.”
The creature had the gun pointed at her chest, the one behind was pointing at her head. A paralyser shot to either of those would kill her in a few seconds, shooting at both was pretty much guaranteed instant death.
“What do you want the body for?” She could only hope to throw them off a little, to stop paying attention to locating Molly.
“Require data chip. Where is other?”
Martha was quite aware of the data chip in the body, that was what UNIT was after as well. The man was a UNIT agent, killed in the line of duty, and the data chip was his life's research. She was sure when they examined him they would find he had been killed when his organs had been paralysed, presumably by one of the guns now pointed at her.
“A data chip? He has a data chip?”
“Trying patience.” The creature turned his head slightly allowing one of his four eyes to lock onto his companion, while the other three could remain on her. “Search next room.”
In the lab, Molly stared as one of the creatures stopped pointing his gun at Martha and instead starting moving around. He was heading right for the lab, right for her. Molly was sure she should be more terrified, what with seven foot tall, lanky limbed, four eyed, pale blue aliens being in her morgue, but she lived in London and had done for years; aliens didn't seem that strange a prospect. Looking around the lab she realised she only had a few seconds to think up a plan. The nearest thing to her was one of the very expensive and very heavy microscopes. Picking it up, she wedged herself into the gap between the door frame and wall, which left her hidden from sight when the creature flung the door open to the right of her.
The creature entered the lab slowly, eyes darting around as it looked for any sign of her. Then it reached behind it, one long arm twisting back towards her. It took all her willpower not to scream, but thankfully it had just decided to shut the door. With the door shut it meant they were hidden from view, which meant Molly had her only chance to act.
Creeping forward slowly, making sure to stay away from any of it's peripheral vision, she waited till she was just behind the creature. Taking a deep breath as quietly as humanly possible, she raised the microscope up and brought it crashing down on the back of it's head. That seemed to disorient the creature enough for Molly to dart round and pull the weapon from it's limp hands. That made it spin round to face her, which gave her enough chance to shoot the weapon at one of it's legs. With one leg paralysed, it crumpled to the floor in front of her, it's head raised up to glare at her with all four eyes. Taking a step back, she pointed the weapon at it's head.
“Make a noise,” she said in a shaky voice. “And I will fire this at your head which I assume will probably kill you.”
The creature looked at her, but said nothing. She didn't want to take any chance though, quickly firing at it's other leg. Now it couldn't move short of dragging itself around by it's arms.
“Smarter than we gave credit,” it said to her quietly. “Leader will kill friend though. Cannot beat him.”
Molly considered it for a second, the fact that it was perfectly possible that the other creature would kill Martha before she could do anything. But Molly had the element of surprise on her side and she just had to hope that was enough. Making sure to keep the weapon trained on him, she walked backwards towards the door. Glancing through the glass, she could see that the other weapon was still pointed at Martha's chest as she held her useless arm close to her. She had one chance at this, one chance when she couldn't be afraid and had to just get on with it.
With one last deep breath, she flung the door open and gripped the weapon with both hands. It appeared her plan was working as the sudden shock of her appearing the morgue made the creature turn to look at her, it's attention no longer focused on keeping the weapon aimed so carefully at Martha. That was all Molly needed, lowing the weapon and firing a single shot at the creatures legs and watching as it crumpled to the floor just like it's companion. Martha reached out and grabbed it's weapon with her good hand, pointing it straight at it's head. The two women looked at each other, weapons in hand, and began to smile.
“Nice shot,” said Martha.
“I knew all those paintball sessions would pay off eventually. Are you okay?”
“Nothing serious, should wear off in a few hours.”
Once again, in what was turning into an afternoon of strange visitors, a group of men and women all wielding weapons similar to Martha's came bursting into the room. They moved quickly to grab the creatures, take their weapons and zip the body into a body bag. Martha was talking to some of the people, all speaking in low voices so Molly couldn't catch what they where saying. Another woman came up to her, asked if she was okay and walked away as soon as she said she was fine. It seemed that mostly they weren't so interested in Molly, so she took herself off to sit in the nearest chair, acutely aware that some kind of shock was probably about to set in.
“You sure you're all right there Molly?” Molly looked up to find Martha smiling kindly down at her and holding out a plastic cup of water. She was rather grateful for it and took a large gulp before she looked up warily at Martha.
“This isn't drugged is it? You're not planning to knock me out and take me off somewhere to wipe my memory of those aliens?”
Martha couldn't help but laugh, remembering quite well when she expected bad things to happen every time she laid eyes on some new creature. “No, that's just in films. We are going to have to take you for a debriefing if you're feeling okay.” Molly nodded and stood up, walking across to get her coat and bag from their hook near the door. “Besides, I actually wanted to talk to you about something on the way. Have you ever thought about helping out a military organisation when it comes to extraterrestrial threats?”
When Sherlock and John arrived at the morgue the next day, Molly wasn't there to greet them. Apparently she'd gone on some training course and wouldn't be back for a couple of weeks. Of course with no Molly, they were politely turned away from the lab with John having to drag Sherlock off before he killed the poor man who had no idea of Molly's arrangement with them. Two weeks later they returned to find Molly back in the morgue tidying away some files.
“Oh, hi, if you want the lab you'll have to come back later, I'm meeting someone for lunch.”
That was all she said, turning her back on them to carry on with what she was doing. Sherlock eyed her suspiciously, this wasn't their usual Molly it seemed, she was dismissing him too easily.
“What if I have important experiments to do?” Sherlock asked the question slowly, watching her reaction carefully. She turned to look at him again and smiled sweetly.
“You'll have to come back in an hour or so, I'm going out for lunch.”
It seemed Sherlock was truly being dismissed by Molly Hooper of all people. John practically wanted to hug her for just telling him straight and then ignoring him. She'd disappeared into the next room, leaving the two men alone.
“Molly seems different,” said John with a smirk, waiting to see what Sherlock did. His eyes were narrowed, staring at the closed door. When there was a knock at the door behind them, they both spun round. Martha Jones opened the door and strode in with a broad smile.
“Hello again,” she said, noting the rather confused look on John's face and the piercing gaze coming from Sherlock.
“This is something to do with you and UNIT,” muttered Sherlock, stepping forward to try and tower over her. His attempts at some kind of intimidation didn't seem to be working though as she just shook her head at him and walked straight past him. She opened the door to the next room and walked in calling a greeting to Molly.
“You think some military organisation that even your brother doesn't know about has something to do with Molly finally standing up to you?” John folded his arms and looked at Sherlock with that expression that meant he thought Sherlock had yet again lost his mind.
“Why else would that doctor be back?”
“Maybe Molly bonded with her when she was here, she's allowed to have friends besides us you know.”
Sherlock was about to argue when the two women came out of the room; both of them were laughing and continued to just ignore the two men. When Molly opened the door, she stood and stared pointedly at the two of them. John was fully prepared for the argument, ready to just drag Sherlock out to prevent him from saying something he'd regret. To his surprise though, Sherlock walked out of the room without a word. That made Molly grin at John, who just shrugged his shoulders in confusion. Once they were all out, Molly swiped a card through the new door lock mechanism. The card was attached to a little clip on her belt that neither man had seen before. They both tried to take a peek at it, but found that it just looked like an ID card with a picture of Molly's smiling face.
“New security?” asked Sherlock, glaring at Martha as he did.
“Need to make sure people stay out of the morgue and lab without my supervision,” replied Molly, practically smirking at Sherlock. “I'm sure you of all people will understand.”
That was the low blow that left Sherlock completely speechless and John trying so hard not to laugh at Sherlock's expression, he always loved his face when he was lost for words.
“I believe we have a lunch date,” said Martha with a grin, which earned her a nod from Molly. With one last little smirk at the two men, they were off down the corridor, chatting as they went.
“Well that's you told,” John managed to say at last. Sherlock's only response was to turn up his collar and stalk away down the corridor. He'd never hear the end of it when he got home and would probably be kept up all night for a week while he played the violin in frustration, but it was worth it.
Though there was still the question of what Molly Hooper was doing in the company of someone who worked for a secretive military organisation. There was also the question of why she had all this new security. He was sure he'd find out at some point, Sherlock wasn't going to let it drop that easily, but it seemed he'd have a fight on his hands with this rather more headstrong Molly. It was certainly going to be fun to watch the fireworks.