There were things about this case that made no sense. Absolutely none at all. She had listened to Sherlock turn the facts over and over like puzzle pieces in his mind, looking for any way to make them fit, and he was absolutely stumped. This did not bode well, she realized. It would put him in a foul mood and any plans for having a pleasant evening away from Barts and the morgue would be dashed. And that was not what she wanted at all.
They were taking things slowly. Not at a snail’s pace, thank goodness; she’d have gone mad if it was that slow. But after the case that both he and Sally had worked on separately and solved at the same time, the case that had gotten Sally the recognition she should have had long ago and earned her the promotion to Detective Inspector she should have had long ago, they’d been moving slowly and surely towards something beyond friendship. They were definitely an item of some sort but she wasn’t quite sure they would be boyfriend and girlfriend, not quite yet. Exclusive but not yet a couple.
Something like that.
But whatever they were, at the rate they were going tonight, she would end up in her flat alone while he would be at Baker Street, staring at his wall, possibly throwing darts at copies of her autopsy report pinned up on it. Or maybe Greg’s police report; she wasn’t quite sure.
He was pacing in front of the cot in her office and she was watching him. Normally she relished any opportunity to watch him move with the fluid grace he moved with but right now it was just making her irritated and making her want to push him onto a chair and sit on him so he couldn’t get up. “Sherlock?” she asked.
“Yes?” he replied.
“Stop pacing.” He ignored her, continuing to prowl back and forth like a caged animal. Finally she had enough and got out of her seat, standing firmly in his path. He didn’t even seem to realize she was there until he collided with her, and she fell backward a bit. He reached out to steady her, holding her close for a moment, much longer than he needed to. “Why don’t you take a break?” she suggested.
“Are you suggesting I take a break with you?” he asked.
“The thought had crossed my mind,” she said, beginning to wind her arms up around his neck with only the slightest bit of hesitancy, a hesitancy that vanished when he slid his arms around her waist. She smiled up at him. “I see you aren’t ‘all work and no play’ these days.”
“I’ve thought, perhaps, a bit of down time isn’t so bad,” he said as he looked down at her.
“Is that so?” she asked.
He nodded, leaning in more. “Yes,” he replied. “At least if the down time is spent with you.”
“That’s good to know,” she murmured as she began to raise herself up. They hadn’t kissed much, but it had been quite the pleasurable experience when they had, and she had hopes that as time went on they would grow to do so more often. Their lips had just met and he had pulled her closer against him when there sounds of the morgue doors opening was heard and then the clatter of metal hitting the tile floor outside her office. “What was that?” she asked as she tore herself away from him.
“I don’t know,” he said. He pulled himself completely away with some reluctance, then used himself to shield her as they both moved towards the doors to investigate. He got to the door of her office and opened it a crack when he heard something with a rather metallic and slightly eerie voice shout “Exterminate!” before he slammed the door shut again.
“What was that?” she asked, her eyes wide with horror.
“I don’t know, but it was hostile and I don’t want to find out,” he said. He looked around. “There’s still the emergency exit out the window?”
She nodded. “Yes,” she said.
He reached for his Belstaff. “Get ready to use it,” he replied.
“Very well,” she said, going to get her coat as well when her office door opened. She found herself looking at a short metallic machine gliding into the doorway. It looked tiered almost, with many small circular objects on it, and it had two arms of a sort projecting from it. One looked like it had a whisk at the end and the other a plunger. On what looked like the headpiece it had an eyestalk.
“You are Sherlock Holmes,” it said. “You are an enemy of the Daleks. You will be exterminated.”
He backed up as the figure made its way into the office. “You wouldn’t dare,” he said.
“Sherlock…” Molly said, moving closer to him.
“It all makes sense now,” he replied. “All of it. I thought the stories were lies, the files my brother tried to keep hidden. Torchwood, the secret arm of UNIT, but it’s true. They were trying to protect the world from the likes of you and your ilk. To keep the secrets of the Doctor.”
“The Doctor is a good Dalek,” the Dalek said as the morgue doors opened again.
Sherlock frowned. “If what I read of the Daleks is true I suppose that would be a great insult,” he said.
“And I take it as one,” a man with grey hair with a black T-shirt, blue hooded zip up jumper, black suit jacket and plaid trousers said . “Think fast!” The Dalek turned and he reached up to flip the sunglasses that were on top of his head down over his eyes, fiddling with them for a moment, and then the Dalek began to smoke a bit. Finally he came over to them, shaking his head. “Oh, I despise that comparison,” he said in disgust before looking Sherlock up and down. Then he glanced back at the double doors. “It’s safe now, Clara!”
After a moment a petite woman with brown hair wearing a knee length light blue dress with a floral print, blue tights and a navy blue cardigan came in, shaking her head. “You were cutting it close, Doctor,” she said, smirking slightly.
“Well, it wasn’t my fault I didn’t realize he had a social life,” the Doctor said with a shrug. “I’d assumed he’d be somewhere other than the morgue. Bit of a morbid place. Good thing you realized his wife—”
“Girlfriend,” Clara corrected.
“Is the best pathologist in the world,” he said, not appearing to have heard her.
Her smirk grew a little wider and she moved around the Dalek to Sherlock and Molly. “Don’t mind him. He’s cranky when he has to deal with Daleks. I’m Clara. Clara Oswald. And that’s the Doctor.”
“Molly Hooper,” Molly said, recovering first and offering her hand.
“Sherlock Holmes,” Sherlock said, staring at the Doctor with a sort of awe as Molly and Clara shook hands.
“I take it you know about him, from the look on your face,” Clara said when she let go of Molly’s hand.
Sherlock nodded. “Of him, yes. Confidential files I stole from my brother to peruse. I thought it was bollocks.”
“Not bollocks, mate. I do exist,” the Doctor said.
“Why don’t you two chat?” Clara suggested. “I can keep Molly here company.”
“I can call for takeaway, if you think it will take a while,” Molly suggested.
“Thai,” Sherlock said. “My usual.”
“I’d love Thai,” Clara said with a smile of her own. She nodded towards the cot. “I get the sinking suspicion this is going to take a while, so we should make ourselves comfortable.”
“All right,” Molly said with a nod. She had no idea what had happened, but she was going to go with the flow. That was a lesson she had learned well over the years, and she was going to put it to good use now.