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Dying for Love

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Her body opened underneath him so easily that it was like slicing through ripe fruit. He had imagined it would be harder, that somehow taking a life would be more difficult but once the blade was in her neck sliding it sideways and severing her carotid artery had taken less than a couple of seconds.

It would be a long time though before he forgot the look on her face. She had gone from disdain to disbelief and then terror in a heart beat and for the first time in his life he felt alive, he felt like he was finally someone...finally a force to be reckoned with. Blood pumped in his veins even as hers spread across the paving slabs. He could feel his heart beat thundering in his chest as hers stilled and stopped. He hadn't finished with her yet though, not by a long chalk. He took a moment to check that they were still undisturbed…that he had time.

After a moment of silence he nodded his head. He had all the time in the world...the game...was on.

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

Sherlock had just moved back into Baker St but it all still felt wrong.

It had been three weeks since the events at Sherrinford and he had been forced to spend the time with his family as they tried to come to terms with what had happened. It had also been because Baker St was unliveable and needed repairing and redecorating….it had been tedious though. As a family none of them really had the emotional capability to support each other and living with Mycroft had been interminable…for both of them.

His parents had finally started to come to terms with the fact that the daughter they thought they’d lost nearly two decades ago was still alive. Meanwhile Sherlock had worked closely with Mycroft to ensure that the security around Eurus was more effective and appropriate than it had been previously.

She was still in the same location but there were clear rotas and instructions in place to ensure that no one person ever spent any longer with her than one hour every two weeks. At the same time one of the Holmes brothers would fly to the island fortnightly to ensure that all was being carried out as detailed and to see whether any changes needed to be made. Sherlock would also take the opportunity on his visits to try to reach his sister, to try to form a connection. At the moment it only existed through music but he felt confident that it could be developed; he was eager to have some kind of relationship with her now that he knew she existed.

He sat down in his new chair, his elbows on the armrests, and leant his chin on his fingertips as he contemplated what else he needed to do now that he was back.

John had been round that morning to help him sort the place out but he was planning on going away with Rosie, down to visit his sister on the coast. Sherlock understood why. They had come so close to death again and John needed to have some peace and stability, to spend quality time with his daughter. That's what people did wasn't it, when they had touched death, they spent time with their loved ones.

It was that thought that brought Molly Hooper to mind and he narrowed his eyes in frustration. Molly was a problem…one that he didn't yet fully know how to deal with.

He inhaled a lungful of air and exhaled it slowly as he tried, yet again, to work out what he should do.

There was a certain amount of guilt threaded through his emotions. He hadn't seen or spoken to her since that day. Instead he had sent his brother…his brother! round to handle her. Mycroft had ensured that her flat was free of cameras and any other monitoring equipment and he had also explained why Sherlock had made the call that he had. When Sherlock had quizzed him about it on his return all he had said was that she had understood. When he had tried to enquire further Mycroft had just rolled his eyes, sighed and told him that maybe he should go and see her himself if he was so concerned. But he hadn't. Instead he had ignored the problem…buried his head in the sand…hoped it would go away. But it wouldn't go away. Instead he was thinking about her more frequently and his dreams seemed to be haunted by her.

The trouble was that by avoiding the situation he was just making it worse. It was like trying to take a plaster off slowly, it just hurt more. He just needed to see her, to talk to her, to get it over with…but not today, he couldn't face it today…tomorrow maybe, or the day after. He huffed in frustration at himself, he hated being so weak and unsure but he was totally out of his depth here and he had no idea how to proceed.

Maybe what he needed was a case.

He stood up intending to switch on his laptop and trawl through his emails but he was interrupted by his phone ringing. When he saw Lestrade’s name on the display a quick smile flitted across his face…perfect timing.

‘What have you got for me?’

‘A body. Female, aged 31, throat cut, down in Whitechapel.’

‘Doesn't sound that exciting, there must be more to it than that, tell me.’

‘It's not just Whitechapel, it's Durward Street…used to be Bucks Row. And it's not just her throat that's been cut…she's been gutted. Remind you of anything?’

Sherlock's mouth opened a little and he let out a breath as his eyes glazed over in thought. ‘The first Ripper murder.’

‘Exactly.’

‘I'll be there in just over twenty minutes…don't let the body be taken before I see it.’

He could hear Lestrade agreeing even as he hung up and grabbed his coat. He was out of the house within seconds and hailing a cab, blood pumping through his veins in exhilaration. It could easily be a coincidence that a woman was killed in the same place as the first murder by Jack the Ripper but was it feasible that she would also have the same cause of death and subsequent injuries? Sherlock had studied the Ripper murders, after all what self respecting London Detective hadn't at some point. It meant he had a good, working knowledge of the different victims including where and how they had died.

He thought of the first victim as he watched the sights of London, both the good and the bad, pass him by. She had been Mary Ann Nichols and she had been found with her throat slashed, along with abdominal injuries, in August 1888 on what used to be known as Bucks Row in Whitechapel. Although there was some dispute as to whether she was the actual first victim she was the first canonical victim and Sherlock agreed with that assessment.

Had someone meant to kill this new victim there? Had they meant her to look like a Ripper victim? If so that could only mean one thing….a serial killer. He couldn't help the smile that spread across his face at the prospect. It was just what he needed to distract him from everything that had been happening recently.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly couldn't seem to stop her mind from drifting whilst she was trying to work. It had been happening a lot recently. She'd find herself lost in her memories; remembering that phone call over and over. She could remember how hard she had been holding the phone and how much she had wanted to hear him say those words. His voice had sounded so unsure the first time and so emotional the second and for a moment…for one glorious moment…she had let herself believe that he might mean it.

That had all come crashing down 24 hours later when Mycroft Holmes had called at her house along with two of his men. For a split second Molly had thought he had come to tell her that Sherlock was dead and her stomach had turned over. She swore her heart had stopped beating whilst she waited to hear his words and her emotions had been on a roller coaster as she listened to him.

She had and still did feel sick at the intrusion of the cameras, panicking about how long they had been there and what had been captured…the complete invasion of her home and her privacy was overwhelming. She had felt shock and then horror at what the two brothers and John had had to suffer and then she had felt a hollow, empty, feeling as he had explained why Sherlock had made that call to her. Of course she understood WHY he had done it but that didn't help her deal with HOW it made her feel. It was probably a good thing that it was Mycroft explaining it. He was so clinical and emotionless in his delivery that it helped her keep her response that way…at least in front of him.

The moment the door had closed behind them she had turned around, leant on it and then slid to the floor with tears already falling down her cheeks. She had stayed there for a good ten minutes before she had picked herself up. She needed to get away, to lick her wounds and figure out just how she felt.

A quick call to Mike at work and then her mum and a couple of hours later she’d been on her way back to her childhood home. It was the right decision and a week away helped her to gain clarity over the situation. Her mum fussed over her and looked after her but also gave her time to think and sort through just how she felt about everything.

She made some decisions whilst she was there. One was that she couldn't carry on living in that flat…not now that she felt so violated there. She'd put it on the market and would look for something maybe a little closer to work.

She had even thought about moving away from London, away from Sherlock, starting a new life somewhere else but the way her heart clenched, even at the thought of it, she knew that she couldn't. She was stuck with him and her unrequited love for him whether she liked it or not. She could live with that…she had been living with that. It was just the way her life was meant to be.

Her mum wasn't overly happy with that decision but she grudgingly accepted it and maybe even understood a little. Love was love whether the person returned it or not. Her mum had felt the same about Molly's dad…she had loved him, did love him even though he had been dead for over ten years; that wasn't going to change just because he wasn't there any more.

And so, a week later, she had travelled back to London feeling rejuvenated and ready to face Sherlock. The trouble was he was nowhere to be seen. She had expected him at Barts and when that didn't happen she popped round for coffee with Mrs Hudson just to find out that Sherlock wasn't living there at the moment. Apparently he was staying in Kensington with his brother, Mycroft, whilst the work was being done on his flat.

Her next port of call had been John, ostensibly to talk about Rosie and what babysitting he might need but also to get his take on what had happened on that island. His was a much more emotional rendition of what happened and his description of Sherlock after he had finished the call to herself almost broke her heart. Mycroft had not mentioned him smashing up the coffin at all…it put a whole different slant on things…the trouble was she didn't know what, if anything, that meant for her. She just felt that she wouldn't really get any true answers until she saw him herself. But it was to be another week before that happened and in the worst of circumstances…over the body of a murder victim.

Chapter Text

The body was wheeled into Molly's morgue at just after five in the evening; thankfully she had only started at three so she still felt fairly fresh and ready to do the autopsy. Greg arrived moments later along with one of his sergeants, plus a recently reinstated Anderson, and Molly almost didn't notice Sherlock following them quietly in. It was very unlike him. He seemed to hover behind them concentrating on his phone. Normally he would have strode past them and made his way to the body, barking instructions about what he wanted her to look for and tests he needed doing etc.

She could only assume that what he was doing on his phone was vitally important and so she turned her attention to the woman that had just been transferred onto her autopsy table. Even as a seasoned pathologist the sight as they uncovered the body almost turned her stomach.

She couldn't be more than early thirties. Her throat had been viciously cut and her abdomen had been cut in at least three places. The slashes were so large and deep that in places her intestines had started to fall out. Her clothing, which she would need to remove and bag up, was covered in her own blood, urine and faeces.

Greg glanced at Sherlock and she saw him frown a little (so it wasn't just her who thought his actions unusual) then he stepped forward to give Molly some of the details.

‘Hey Molly, well it's obviously a murder…can't see her doing this to herself.’ He snickered at his own joke joined by Anderson but stopped when he realised they were the only ones. ‘Anything you can give us will be useful but if you could check for any sexual activity….she doesn't look as though she's been raped but maybe she'd had consensual sex with him beforehand?’

There was a huff from behind them and they both turned to look at Sherlock who seemed to have come to life. He made his way past Anderson until he stood across the gurney from Molly looking down on the body.

‘They neither had consensual nor non-consensual sex. She’s married but was obviously either having or considering having an affair as she's removed her wedding ring. Check her pockets or her purse it's probably there for safe keeping. I suspect she had come to break it off as what she is wearing is not something a woman would wear for a date…it's too frumpy..’ he pulled back her blouse to uncover her unadorned, beige bra, ‘and her underwear is plain..so not considering sex then. Maybe when she refused him he got angry, maybe he was already contemplating killing her or someone else. He'd obviously got a knife with him and a sharp one at that. The wounds are clean, not jagged, almost the same cut as you'd get from a scalpel. He might have a medical background although the cuts to her abdomen are unskilled…that or he just intended to make her look like a Ripper victim but was less interested in the act itself.’

Molly felt confused. ‘Ripper victim?’

He glanced up briefly but when Molly caught his eye his gaze seemed to slide away to Greg and then back to the body.

‘Location of the body Molly, same as the first Ripper victim. Now I want close photographs of all the wounds and check her fingernails for any residue. I couldn't see any but there might be something there. I'll be upstairs in the lab if you find anything.’

With that he turned and walked away without making any other eye contact with Molly or giving any other acknowledgement of the fact that they hadn't seen or spoke to each other since that call.

Molly took a deep breath and turned to Greg who was looking at the doors that Sherlock had just departed through.

‘Was it me or was he worse than usual?’

Anderson rolled his eyes and walked over. ‘He’s always like that when he’s on a case. I didn't see anything different. It’s good to see him back at work though, don’t you think?’

Molly shrugged. ‘I suppose. He's been through a lot recently though. Maybe he's just been struggling to come to terms with it all.’

Greg nodded his head and looked back towards the door Sherlock had just left through. ‘Yeah, you're not wrong there. His sister is a proper psychopath, in the true sense, and what she put Sherlock, Mycroft and John through that night beggars belief. I hear John's taking Rosie away for a while. Off to the seaside with his sister?’

Molly smiled. ‘Yes, he told me he would be. It’ll do him good. I'm glad him and his sister are getting on better now.’ She looked down at the body and started pulling on a pair of latex gloves.

‘Right, I suppose I'd better get started.’

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

It was dark outside when Molly finally finished and after she'd finished sewing the body back up she stretched her back and shoulders feeling a deep ache between her shoulder blades from concentrating and bending so much. She called over one of the morgue assistants to come and put the body away and clean up the equipment before she wearily made her way upstairs; stopping off on the way to make herself a cuppa.

It was a surprise therefore to find Sherlock still working in the lab. She'd assumed he'd gone home ages ago.

‘Oh…hi. Sorry, I would have got you a drink if I'd known you were still here.’

She saw Sherlock start as though she had surprised him and he immediately started to stand, reaching for his coat.

‘I..umm..hadn't realised what time it was. I should go, leave you to it.’

Molly frowned, feeling confused. He was definitely acting odd around her and all she could think was that he was embarrassed somehow because of the things he'd said in that call.

She made her way over to him seeing him hurriedly trying to pull on his coat, his normally confident persona lost for once.

She put her hand on his arm and she felt him twitch as though he had considered pulling it away. ‘Hey, before you go, I just wanted to say thank you.’

For the first time he actually looked her directly in the eye and she saw that little crinkle of confusion between his eyebrows. She always wanted to wipe it away with her thumb when she saw it.

‘Thank me? Why?’

‘For saving my life…I mean, Mycroft explained she wasn't actually planning to kill me but you didn't know that when…well, when you did what you did.’

She took a deep breath and let her hand slip away from his arm. ‘It means a lot to me that you cared enough to…to say what you said. I…I know it wasn't real.’

He looked as though he wanted to say something. His mouth opened and she saw his throat working but in the end he just gave her a tight smile and nodded.

‘I'd better go, text me the lab results when you have them.’

‘I will.’ She turned and watched him leaving the room and then she sighed and sat down on the stool he had just vacated. It was still warm from where he'd been sat. It looked as though this had all just set their friendship back a few years. He hadn't been this awkward around her…well, ever.

What she didn't realise was that Sherlock was leaning on the wall just outside the lab staring up at the ceiling berating himself. He'd acted like a stupid schoolboy with a crush but he hadn't been able to act any other way. He needed to get a grip on his feelings before he embarrassed himself.

A small voice in his head whispered the word more…embarrass yourself more.

He huffed and pushed away from the wall pulling his gloves on. He needed to find a way to resolve his feelings…and he was starting to acknowledge that they were real feelings…for Molly Hooper.

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

It was late by the time he got back home. He had stopped off at Scotland Yard to discuss the latest developments with Lestrade. The victim's identity was known now and he’d had a copy of her file under his arm as he'd walked back to his flat, taking the time for a cigarette. He'd started again since all the events with his sister had happened and surprisingly John hadn't even berated him yet…he was probably glad it was just smoking and not drugs.

He felt bone weary by the time he got back to his flat and it wasn't helped by the fact that it was empty; Mrs Hudson was obviously out somewhere. So he trudged up the darkened staircase and flicked on the lights in his flat. Somehow it just didn't feel like home yet.

He threw the file onto the coffee table and hung up his jacket before changing into his pyjamas and a dressing gown and then he spent another hour going through everything he knew about the victim, building up an image of the murderer and pinning up the vital parts of the puzzle on his wall.

Afterwards he lay down on the settee ostensibly to carry on thinking about the case but instead his thoughts were constantly diverted by his interactions with Molly. He had never felt nervous around her before and he couldn't quite work out why he was now, but he had hidden at the back of the morgue, avoided her eye, felt her presence so much more acutely. He knew why but he didn't want to acknowledge it…wasn't ready to fully...not yet. He just wanted everything back the way it used to be…even though he knew it was impossible.

He fell into a fitful sleep and his mind was dominated by two thoughts, Molly Hooper and Jack the Ripper.

He was the Ripper. Walking through the streets of London searching for his next victim. He could feel the call of their blood, his aching desire to plunge his knife into their flesh, feeling their hot, sticky blood flowing over his hands and watching their faces as they took their last breath, knowing that they were dying. It was exhilarating. He knew how he must look as he walked through the dark, fog-filled alleyways; his clothes all black, to cover up the blood, his thick, dark cloak billowing out behind him.

Occasionally a drunk passed him or a beggar asked for money but none of them intrigued his senses. He wanted a woman, young enough to feed his arousal but old enough to satisfy it…he wasn't interested in the girls offering themselves to him as he went.

It wasn't long before he saw her. She was exiting one of the local public houses, pulling her shawl around her slender shoulders. He saw her glance behind herself as she hurried down the quiet street but she didn't see him; his outfit helping to conceal him in the shadows.

He followed her, noticing the way the gas light caught the colour of her long, brown locks changing it into a thousand golden hues. He knew from the quick glance he'd had of her face that her eyes matched her hair, dark and wide…filled with sex and innocence...a heady combination for one such as himself.

He silently drew closer to her, his expensive shoes making little to no sound on the cobbles and he rejoiced when she turned into one of the many alleyways between the fetid streets. He knew the chances were he'd be able to carry out his wishes undisturbed…fulfil his needs, his darkest desires.

It took him seconds to catch her. His gloved hand reaching around her, covering her mouth to stop her screaming. He roughly pulled her back against him and it was only then that he realised how aroused he was.

Pushing her up against the nearest wall he saw the terror in her eyes and he put one finger against his lips, gesturing for her to keep quiet before letting his hand slide down from her mouth until it was holding her throat. The black of the glove looked stark against the delicate, white of her neck and he felt his cock twitch. Even through the leather of his glove he could feel her pulse thrumming against his palm.

Already though her fear was subsiding and she looked up at him coyly as she bit her lip. ‘Ooh you gave me a shock there Mister, sneakin’ up like that. Shouldn't frighten a girl when she's just mindin’ her own business. So, what can I do for yer?’

He tightened his grip ever so slightly on her neck rejoicing in how vulnerable and breakable she felt. She was making him hard, she was making him want her.

‘What's your name?’

She placed one hand over the wrist that held her neck and he saw worry glancing through her features and he found himself feeling differently towards her…protective rather than dismissive and destructive.

‘M…Molly.’

‘You have no idea Molly just what I want to do with you.’ And he bent his head slowly, watching her as he let his mouth move towards hers. He saw her tongue slip out, briefly wetting her lips in anticipation, and the way her eyes dilated and her breast heaved against the constraints of her cheap corset. He saw it all and he realised he wanted her; not to kill her but just to have her. He wanted to feel himself sliding into her and hearing her call his name.

His own eyes shut as their lips met and he found himself savouring such a simple thing as a kiss. He felt his own heart beat accelerating, his hand loosening at her throat and instead pulling her closer, wanting more. His tongue slipped into her mouth tasting her and he felt her moan as her hands slid around his neck.

It was only his need for air that forced him to stop kissing her and as they broke apart everything was changed. Gone was the Victorian wench and in her place was his Molly standing in the morgue wearing her normal lab coat. Her hands were on his chest and her lips were red from his kisses and all he wanted was to kiss her again but instead he woke up.

Sherlock lay in the dark, breathing heavily, conscious of his whole body's physical reaction to his dream. He pushed himself upright and rubbed his hand across his face and through his hair. He was starting to realise that this was something that he couldn't ignore…something he didn't want to bury any longer. He needed to find a safe way to explore his feelings, an excuse to spend more time around her and see what developed.

It was then that he had an idea. Something that he had noticed but hadn't questioned when he had seen her earlier, a quick google search confirmed his deduction and he picked up his phone to call his brother.

Chapter Text

It was the next day when Molly was able to send all the details through to Sherlock and Lestrade. There wasn't a lot of insightful information but she knew that the smallest detail could be the one which helped Sherlock to solve the case and she had to admit she wanted whoever it was caught.

The papers had already linked the location of the murder with the Ripper killings and were outdoing each other in predictions of more deaths and lurid details, most of which were wrong and obviously made up. They were also speculating about whether Sherlock was assisting in the case as there were eye witnesses saying that they had seen him at the crime scene and she snickered a little at all the stock images of him wearing the dreaded deerstalker. She knew how much he hated that hat as well as the fact that it was now one of his trademark looks.

She read the latest on her iPad over her morning cuppa and it was then that her estate agents rang. Her flat had been on the market for just over a week and this was their first call and she had to admit to feeling a flutter of nerves as she answered.

‘Hello.’

‘Hi Dr Hooper? It's Bartlett Estate Agents here. We've received an offer on your flat and need to discuss it with you. Is now a good time?’

Molly’s mouth fell open in shock. ‘An offer? But nobody has even been to see it.’

‘Well that's often the way with overseas buyers looking for an investment property.’

‘Oh, are they foreign then? Not that that matters.’

‘They'd rather remain anonymous…again, that's fairly common. It is a verified offer though, they have given us proof that they have the funds. It's just an offer that comes with conditions.’

This time Molly felt a substantial amount of suspicion. ‘What conditions?’

‘Well, they've offered £50 000 over the asking price on the condition that you be out within ten days.’

‘Ten days...but I haven't got anywhere to go to. I haven't found another property…I'm not packed or anything.’

‘I understand that but it's a good offer. You could put your furniture into storage, stay with a friend. It would mean that you aren't in a chain when looking for another property which would put you in a really good situation. How about I give you a few hours to think about it and you can let me have your answer?’

Molly nodded in shock initially before remembering that the estate agent couldn't see her. ‘Yes…yes that would be good. I'll ring you later.’

‘Just remember Dr Hooper this is a really good offer. Anyway, we can talk soon.’

Molly put her mobile back on the table and sat back on her settee shaking her head. Toby jumped up at the side of her and she scratched his head distractedly, her mind whirling with possibilities. It all seemed so real now and even though she felt nervous she couldn't help the bubble of excitement that welled up inside her.

‘A fresh start hey Tobes…what do you think?’

Two hours later and she was in work but she knew her head wasn't in the game and most of her time had been spent researching storage firms and going through the list of her friends to see what the chances were of her staying temporarily. It was a mixed picture. The storage firms were cheaper than she had expected but so far she had had no luck finding someone to stay with. Her Her oldest London-based friend Caroline had just had a baby, so she was out. Her family lived too far away and Meena was already flat sharing and there was no extra space.

When Sherlock arrived she was googling short term rentals but in the areas she was looking at they were all prohibitively expensive.

He threw his coat over one of the lab desks and asked Molly some questions about the autopsy, distracting her and making her a bit irritable. Unsurprisingly it wasn't long before he noticed and wandered over. She tried to close down the page she was looking at but the tab below was just the same and she saw his eyes narrowing.

‘Looking for a new flat Molly? What’s wrong with the old one?’

‘Nothing. At least there wasn't until recently.’

He tilted his head, looking at her questioningly and she sighed.

‘I…I just can't get the idea of your sister spying on me out of my head. The place just doesn't feel the same any more. Anyway, I've had an offer but if I accept it I'd have to be out in a few days and it means I need to find somewhere short term as I haven't yet found another place…hence me looking up rentals. Some of the rents are just ridiculous though; look, the cheapest are nearly £2000 per month and some are over five grand…I can't afford that.’

‘So stay with a friend, surely you have some…what about that girl upstairs in oncology that you’re friends with?’

Molly rolled her eyes. ‘She's just had a baby Sherlock, surely you noticed she was pregnant?’

He shrugged. ‘Not really, not important. And there's no one else?’

Molly turned despondently back to her computer. ‘No, not that I can think of.’

He cleared his throat and she looked back at him as he wandered over to his microscope. ‘What?’

‘You never thought to ask me? I thought we were friends?’

‘I…I mean, yes we are but…’

‘But what Molly?’

‘I…just…well…I can't imagine you wanting me getting in your way.’

‘Who says you'll be in my way? And even if you were I don't see that being a problem. Anyway, John's old room is there if you want it.’

Molly leant back in her chair and chewed on the end of her pen. She honestly hadn't even thought of asking Sherlock…at all. But now he'd mentioned it his place would be ideal. It was a good location and there was a spare room. Maybe, just maybe it could work.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly began regretting accepting Sherlock's proposal almost as soon as she had said the words. It seemed to equate in his mind to adopting her as his new assistant. He spent the rest of his time at Barts barking instructions at her and as he left he said he'd text if he needed her that evening for anything to do with the murder.

‘You know I do have quite a lot to do at home Sherlock. I'm supposed to be getting ready to move out.’

He waved his hand dismissively as he carried on texting with the other. Molly was amazed he could do that one handedly, it took all her effort to text using both hands but he seemed to manage it effortlessly.

‘Surely solving a murder is more important. John always used to tell me off for not caring enough...but I always care about catching a killer. Anyway, I can always come round and help you pack nearer the time.’

Molly couldn't help the snort of derision that she let out and he finally looked up at her, raising one eyebrow. ‘Problem?’

She was still finding the whole idea amusing and she couldn't help the grin on her face. ‘You? Packing? You're full of surprises today. Are you sure you haven't hit your head or something?’

It was only when she saw a very fleeting look of hurt pass through his eyes that she wondered if she might have gone too far, he was obviously trying really hard to say the right thing, to make friendly offers.

She schooled her features and thanked him. ‘If you're serious then yes, I would appreciate the extra pair of hands. Thank you.’

He nodded and smiled. ‘Good, I'll be in touch.’ Then he was gone leaving the door swinging shut and Molly wondering just what she had agreed to and trying to work out how it made her feel.

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

Sherlock knew exactly how he was feeling though as he walked away and that was exhilarated. For the first time in weeks he felt in control and as though things were going his way and it told him much more about his feelings than all his previous procrastination did.

He decided then and there that he needed to explore his feelings for Molly and progress them. He had seen what being emotionless had done to his sister and he had tried for years to follow Mycroft example but he wasn't Eurus and he wasn't Mycroft and it was about time he followed his heart and not his head.

That didn't mean he wanted to rush headlong into anything, he needed to tread carefully for Molly’s sake as much as his own. He needed to be sure of his feelings and not hurt her, she deserved nothing less from him. That being said he was already counting down to when he would next see her again and it couldn't come soon enough. First though he was sitting in on some interviews that Greg was conducting with the victim's friends and co-workers. He'd had to promise to be on his best behaviour and not make any of them cry. He rolled his eyes even thinking about it…he hated time-wasting and sometimes shock tactics were the quickest way.

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

Four hours later and he was irritated beyond belief. Greg had refused to allow him to sit in on any more interviews after the first and all because of some trivial complaint about the way he had questioned the husband. Surely the man must have know about her serial philandering it was obvious to anyone who looked at her.

Instead he'd initially spent his time with Anderson watching the interviews through the two way glass but he’d eventually given that idea up because the other man wouldn’t stop asking him questions and talking about inane things. He’d been so tempted to tell him to shut up but he’d remembered just how eager Philip had been to believe in him when he’d faked his death and he found he just couldn’t be as cruel as he once had been to him.

He then spent a couple of hours going through some of the CCTV footage from shops and businesses near the murder site hoping that something would strike a chord. It was a long shot with the first murder but by the second or third he might start to recognise a familiar walk or body shape. There was only so much people could do to disguise themselves and Sherlock knew all of the tricks.

Eventually he glanced at his watch and saw that it was almost eight o'clock and he figured he ought to make his way back to Baker St, he just found himself really reluctant to go. It was Mrs Hudson's Bingo night, she went every Thursday with Mrs Turner from next door which meant his place would be empty again. He should be used to it by now but he wasn't. He missed John’s company; he missed just having someone to listen to him, to bounce ideas off, someone who cared about him.

Without even consciously thinking about it he found himself hailing a cab and giving the driver Mollys address.

As he sat in the back he couldn’t help the slow smile that spread across his face at the thought of seeing her…he had made the right decision.

Chapter Text

Molly was already in her nightdress with her dressing gown on for warmth and her hair loose around her shoulders when the door bell went. As no one had rung up from the main door downstairs she assumed it was one of her neighbours after a favour and didn't even think twice about answering it dressed as informally as she was.

She hadn't expected Sherlock to be leaning on the wall outside.

He moved and brushed passed her without waiting for an invite and he was already removing his coat as he spoke. ‘You know the security on your main entrance is remarkably lax. It's probably no bad thing that you're moving out, anyone can get in.’

Molly rolled her eyes as she followed him into her own front room. ‘So I see.’

Sherlock threw his coat and jacket over one of her chairs and then pushed off his shoes before reclining on the settee. ‘Any chance of a cuppa Molly? I'm parched.’

‘Any chance of you telling me why you're here?’

‘Hmm…well I assumed you'd want to hear the latest on the case.’

‘I suppose so, but I'm sorting through my clothes at the moment so you'll have to come into my bedroom.’ Even as she said the words she winced and blushed at the double-entendre hoping that Sherlock might not have noticed but his smirk and raised eyebrows told her otherwise.

‘I didn't mean…oh you know what I meant. Come on, do you need any food? I'm assuming you haven't eaten.’

‘You assume right and some food would be welcome. What have you got?’

Ten minutes later and they were ensconced in her bedroom but not in a way that Molly had ever fantasised about. Sherlock was lounging on the bed, leaning against the headboard eating cheese on toast and drinking his cuppa whilst systematically slagging off each and every item of clothing that she removed from her wardrobe.

‘Bin it….awful…charity…god Molly have you got nothing in there that actually fits you?’

She couldn't help but snap back at him. ‘You know this was going so much faster without your input. You can always leave me to it.’

He smirked. ‘I never expected you to want to kick me out of your bed Molly. Anyway, if I don't stay you're likely to keep some of those things.’

Molly narrowed her eyes, he seemed in a very odd mood. ‘I wasn't actually planning on getting rid of any of them. I was just sorting the clothes I'll need for the next few weeks from those I can safely put in storage.

Sherlock moved his foot and pushed one of her favourite cardigans. ‘That's so baggy on you it looks like it's designed for a middle aged, overweight, woman who has pledged never to attract a man ever again.’

Molly pouted and he found himself wanting to kiss her and wondered if that was something he should try out.

‘You know I need to stay warm but mobile in the morgue.’

‘Warm yes, ugly no.’

She swallowed heavily and frowned. ‘You think I'm ugly.’

He rolled his eyes. ‘I think your clothes are ugly, I don't think you are.’

He noticed the blush spreading over her cheeks and the small smile on her lips as she ducked her head and he knew that for once he'd said the right thing. He remembered that Christmas when he'd insulted her and knew he never wanted to make her feel like that again. Now he came to think about it he realised he must have been jealous. He remembered the anger he'd felt at the idea of her dressing up for another man but coming to his flat first. How could he have missed that?

He must have been in his own thoughts for a few minutes because when he came to she had nearly finished.

‘What about that black dress?’

She looked at him in confusion. ‘What black dress?’

‘You know, the one you wore a couple of christmases ago. You looked nice in that.’

She must have realised which one he meant because she almost choked with laughter. ‘Nice? That was so not what you said on the night.’

He waved his hand and made a ‘pfft’ noise. ‘Well, I was an idiot. You looked amazing. Well…apart from the earrings and the bow in your hair. They were a bit much.’

She giggled and shook her head. ‘And there was me thinking you were managing a compliment.’ She reached into the back of the wardrobe none the less and pulled out the famed black dress holding it up for him to see.

He smiled. ‘Yes, keep that one. You never know when you might need it for a hot date.’ Already in his mind he was determining that the only hot date she would be having would be with him but he didn't want to rush things. They were having a good evening and he didn't want to mess it up.

Five minutes later the clothes were bagged and cleared away and she flopped onto the bed at the side of him. ‘Ugh, I've had enough for now. Tell me about your case then. How's it going?’

She picked up the crust that he had left on his plate and started eating it as he told her about his day. She giggled when he told her about Greg being angry with him and his own frustration at not being allowed in on the interviews.

‘What was the victim like? I rarely know the actual lives of the people I autopsy. Was she a good person?’

He shrugged. ‘Define good. She was a wife, a daughter and she had friends. She managed a coffee shop not too far from Barts. You probably know it…Browns?’

Molly nodded and he went on.

‘She wasn't a faithful person. She had regular affairs and it seems her husband, idiot that he was, knew nothing about them; thought she was attending exercise classes after work. He also thought that they were trying for a baby but as your tox report said she was still on the pill. So, maybe she wasn't that nice.’

Somehow as the conversation progressed he noticed that she was leaning against him, her head on his shoulder and her eyes starting to close and he just couldn't face leaving her to go back home where he'd be alone. He glanced down again to find her fully asleep and he had to admit he was tired himself so instead he shuffled them down the bed a bit further and pulled the duvet up and over them before turning out the light. She snuggled into him a bit more and he let himself just relax and enjoy being with another person. It rarely happened, especially whilst he slept. The last time had been during his time with Janine and that hadn't been relaxing at all. He'd spent most of it coming up with reasons why he couldn't sleep with her both literally and euphemistically.

He bent his head and inhaled Molly’s scent. She smelt like he'd come home and he closed his eyes and gave into sleep.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMMHMHMHMH

When Molly started to awaken it was still early morning. Light was beginning to make its way through the curtains casting everything in shades of grey. She closed her eyes again, planning to have another hour’s sleep before getting up when she became acutely aware that not only was she not alone but she was in fact lying with her head on someone else's chest, her arm across their stomach. Equally his arm, and it was a him, was slung loosely around her shoulder and their legs were tangled together.

She took a deep breath and felt her stomach dropping away from her as she suddenly realised who her bed partner was…Sherlock. It could only be Sherlock. She remembered listening to him telling her about the case and feeling her eyes start to close. Hearing his voice rolling over her had felt almost magical and she hadn't wanted it ever to end. Somewhere along the way she must have fallen asleep.

She shifted her head slightly and looked up at his face; she could just see one side of it, tilted away from her. He was still sound asleep and she could feel the rise and fall of his chest underneath her. His eyes were closed making his face look younger and less stressed. It hadn't been a good few months and that, along with his recent fall back into drugs had made him look older, lines starting to form on his face. Molly didn't mind though; to her he still looked as handsome now as when she had first met him…more so, it was like he grew better looking with age.

His face was showing signs of overnight stubble and she had to clench her hand to stop herself from reaching up and letting her fingers trace over his jawline and down that long neck. She loved each and every part of him but his neck had her biting her lip, her mouth watering with the desire to kiss and lick her way up it.

He rolled towards her suddenly, his other arm coming around her as he pulled her closer and as she squeaked in shock it must have roused him because she felt him start a little and pull back. Nervously she looked back up at his face to find his eyes blinking open before meeting her own. She had no idea how he was going to take the news that they had spent the night together. She expected him to pull away and immediately get up but as ever he confounded her expectations by hugging her closer to him again.

‘Mmmm, morning Molly. I take it you slept well.’

She took a deep breath, conscious that she was inhaling his scent. He seemed to be all around her.

‘Y..yes but how exactly did we end up sleeping together?’

‘Oh you fell asleep and I was too tired myself to get up and trail back to Baker St so I stayed over. Do you want a shower?’

Molly swallowed heavily, her mind stuttering over the idea of sharing a shower with Sherlock. ‘Wh..what?’

‘Do you need a shower or can I grab one? I ought to be getting on, I said I'd be in touch with Lestrade first thing.’

‘Oh, right. No, of course go ahead. I'll…umm…make us both some coffee.’

Sherlock started to get up. ‘Thanks.’ He hesitated for a second and then pressed a kiss to her forehead before standing and stretching. Molly had to smile at how rumpled his normally immaculate shirt and trousers looked. He was going to have to go back home and change first.

When he left the bedroom she fell back onto the bed and sighed, staring up at the ceiling. Her fingers traced over the point where his lips had pressed against her skin and she realised that she had no idea what any of this meant. It felt neither platonic nor relationship…it was in that grey area in between. She sighed again, what was she thinking? This was Sherlock and he probably had no idea how many boundaries he had crossed by staying over.

She spent a moment listening to the shower running and imagining him naked inside it but then she shook her head and forced herself to get up. She had been doing so well at damping down her attraction to him but that phone call and now this…well, let's just say it was back in full force and thoughts of him would be dominating her day ahead.

She pushed herself to sitting and swung her legs out of the bed. She needed to get on with making that coffee and she figured it couldn't get any worse. She should have realised that she was just tempting fate with that hope.

Chapter Text

Molly was busy making them both a light breakfast when she heard Sherlock entering the kitchen. She glanced in his direction and then did a double-take.

He was drying his hair with a towel but that wasn't what distracted her it was the fact that his shirt was currently untucked and unbuttoned giving her a perfect view of his torso right down to the fuzz of dark hair which led her eye down to the fastenings of his trousers. She knew she was staring but she couldn't seem to tear her eyes away. He unwittingly seemed to be on a mission to slowly unravel her with lustful thoughts and it was completely not fair.

He wandered over and glanced at the food she was preparing before picking up a slice of the buttered toast and then leaning on the cabinet next to her whilst he ate it.

‘I'll probably pop into Barts this afternoon when you're in. I want to run some more tests on the sample you took from the nail on her right index finger. I know it's not DNA but I still think working out what it is might give me some kind of lead. Will you be available to help?’

She had taken to staring at the toast trying to concentrate on the butter and the jam rather than the chest of the guy standing less than a foot from her. ‘Umm…yes, probably. So long as there are no urgent autopsies. Are you that short of leads then?’

He huffed and she risked a glance sideways before swallowing heavily again at seeing the material of his shirt resting lightly on his nipple. Her mouth started watering and she had to turn away to pour out the coffee. She needed to get a grip on her reactions…he must be noticing them.

Sherlock certainly was noticing them and he was enjoying seeing how much he affected her physically. The strange thing was that she hadn't noticed his reactions to her…she was so caught up in being embarrassed that she hadn't seen how his gaze was lingering over her legs in that short dressing gown or the way they'd been drawn to her cleavage. She looked delightfully mussed up with her hair unbrushed and no make up on. He could feel his sexual need for her low in his gut and he was enjoying the sensation. The last time he'd felt physical attraction towards a woman had been Irene but it had never come with any feelings beyond lust and he had never actually done anything with her…no matter how many times she had asked him to dinner.

He wanted to do something with Molly though, in time. He was enjoying the anticipation and the build up…plus he really did have to get going and he didn't want to start anything yet, not whilst he was on a case...the work must still come first.

As she passed him his coffee he started to button up his shirt and he could see Molly watching him as she sipped on her drink. She had a beautiful blush on her face and her eyes looked wide and aroused as she watched him before biting down on her bottom lip. It made him smile as he tucked the shirt in.

‘Right, I'd better get going. Thanks for the toast and for letting me stay over…not that I gave you much of a choice. Until later then.’

She followed him through her front room as he retrieved his coat and shoes and as they made their way to the front door he couldn't help turning and placing a gentle kiss on her cheek. This time when he pulled away he noticed a small frown on her face and he knew she was trying to work out why he was acting so differently around her and he found he quite enjoyed confusing her…just for now. He'd have to talk to her soon enough, explain his change of heart and ask her to give him a chance but he needed to concentrate his efforts on the case first…he'd already neglected it enough.

It was perfect timing then that just as he was leaving her building he received a text from Lestrade.

Picked up an overnight report of an assault on a woman in the park near City of London College. Might be related. Meet me at Barts she's in intensive care. GL

Sherlock let out a low ‘yes’ and hurried to call a cab. A live victim could give them valuable information and another attack would leave more clues. In Sherlock's eyes it was a win win. He didn't bother going back to Baker St to change, he could do that later instead he told the cab driver to take him straight to the hospital.

He found Greg easily, he was drinking a disgusting looking vending machine coffee just outside the main Intensive care ward. He also noticed the way Greg gave his rumpled clothes the once over but the detective inspector was too distracted and unobservant to read anything into it.

‘What have we got?’

‘Her name is Tash Raiden. She's 25 and one of the regular prostitutes in that area, well known to the police. She was found about two hours ago by an early morning jogger in the Altab Ali park just near Adler St. Serious injuries, looks like whoever did this sexual assaulted her with some sort of blunt instrument. It's ruptured her peritoneum and she's developed peritonitis. They're operating to try to repair some of the damage and also to stop internal bleeding but it's not looking good.’

‘Are there any slash wounds, any sign of a knife being used?’

‘No, none. She was knocked out, probably by the same blunt instrument…the head wound itself is life threatening. Are you thinking they're unconnected?’

Sherlock sighed and narrowed his eyes as he thought. ‘I'm not sure. It could be coincidence but I don't like that solution.’ He took out his phone and spent a couple of moments tapping away on the screen before turning it towards Lestrade so he could see the google page.

‘I knew it sounded familiar. Emma Elizabeth Smith attacked in Osborn Street in 1888 same area and same injuries. She was never formally linked to the Ripper killers as it was assumed to be gang violence…but what if our killer thinks otherwise.’

He smiled and pocketed his phone before clapping his hands together. ‘Brilliant. Has she said anything?’

‘Alright Sherlock, keep it down. No need to look quite so ecstatic…but no, she's been unconscious the whole time.’

‘CCTV footage?’

‘None in the park, my team are collecting up any in the vicinity and we're talking to her friend and family to see if there's been anyone stalking her or any vengeful ex or current partner.’

‘Pfff, waste of time, they won't know anything. He was a stranger to her, just another job or so she thought. He's going to some lengths to recreate injuries and locations. But that's a good thing we'll know where he's going to strike next.’

‘And that is?’

‘Martha Tabram was killed in George Yard, Whitechapel of multiple stab wounds. It was a frenzied attack with over 30 stab wounds. The actual yard isn’t there any more but if we position officers around Aldgate East tube station we might get lucky.’

‘I haven't got enough resource for that. It could be days and anywhere in that vicinity. For God’s sake Sherlock have you not heard about austerity and police cuts?’

Sherlock just huffed in frustration and hit the wall at his side with his clenched fist. ‘Fine, I'll go down there myself then…just don't be surprised when we don't catch him. At least it won't be me having to explain that to the journalists waiting outside the hospital.’

Greg sagged in defeat. ‘Fucking Daily Mail…they'll never let it go. I'll see what I can arrange.’

Just then they were approached by a doctor still wearing scrubs. As he came close to Lestrade he just shook his head. ‘She died on the table…too much blood loss, nothing we could do. The body will be sent down to the morgue for a full autopsy.’

Sherlock was already turning and walking away, glancing at his watch as he did. Good, Molly would just be arriving so at least someone competent could carry it out. He left Lestrade to the formalities.

What did surprise him was how much he was suddenly looking forward to seeing her again. He felt his heart beat accelerate slightly, his mouth felt drier. He had heard about people physically reacting when seeing someone they had feelings for but other than a purely sexual reaction he hadn't experienced this type of sensation before. He almost felt…he had to contemplate the reaction before he could name it and when he did he surprised himself…a kind of nervous excitement, he felt nervous about seeing her. Was this why she had been so clumsy and awkward when they first knew each other? Why she had stuttered over her words?

He pulled himself together, he couldn't afford for feelings to get in the way of a case. He needed to put that front and centre.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly was just snapping on a pair of latex gloves and instructing the morgue staff on where to put her instruments when Sherlock arrived.

She thanked the new guy, a junior doctor looking to specialise in pathology, and then turned to greet Sherlock.

‘Hey you, I see you didn't get a chance to go home then.’ She smiled and then let it drop as she took in his serious expression.

‘What’s happened?’

He took a breath. ‘Another attack. She just died in surgery and is being send down. I'm off to the crime scene though I expect all the useful clues will have been eradicated by Lestrade’s clodhoppers. By all reports he left Anderson in charge!’ He raised an eyebrow and then continued. ‘I'll swing by later for any results but text me if you come across anything I should know about…you know what sort of thing I mean.’

She nodded and watched as he left the room, coat swirling out behind him. It didn't seem to matter how long she knew him or how good a friend he became she couldn't ever escape her feelings for him. Sometimes she could bury them, almost forget about them but sleeping with him last night and seeing him fresh from his shower that morning had just heightened them all over again. She ached for him in a way that she did for no one else.

‘Are you alright Dr Hooper?’

She turned to find the new guy staring at her with concern. She must have been daydreaming a bit too long.

‘Yes, Conner I'm fine. I believe we have a body coming down from surgery which will take priority but let's crack on with the autopsy on Mr Givens in the meantime. It should be fairly straight-forward and you can take over from me when the other body comes in.

It ended up being a relatively light day with only those two autopsies and Molly texted Sherlock with any details that she thought might be of interest. There were signs of sexual activity on the body but Molly suspected they had all taken place prior to her attack and given her occupation it wasn't surprising. There was no DNA on the body though…if she had had sex protection had been used.

Surprisingly she didn't see Sherlock and she assumed he must have been caught up following up other leads but just as she was due to leave work she received a text.

I want to stake out Aldgate East for a few hours…fancy joining me? There's chips in it for you later. SH

Molly couldn't help but frown a little and chuckle to herself. Looked as though she was fully standing in for John in his absence. Not that she minded, she got to spend time with the man she was in love with and it all added some excitement to her day. It was that or head back to her flat for TV and a meal for one.

She texted back with an affirmative and set off to meet him with a bit of a spring in her step.

Chapter Text

It was dark by the time Molly found Sherlock. He was waiting for her in one of the nearby coffee shops that surrounded the tube station. Rush hour was long since over and so she bought herself a hot chocolate without needing to queue up at all. Sherlock rolled his eyes at having to wait a few minutes longer for her but she had no idea how long he planned for them to be outside for and she was determined to have something warm in her belly. It might be early autumn but it was starting to get cold at night.

Once she'd collected her drink she went over and followed him out of the door. ‘So, what's the plan? Do you have somewhere you want us to hole up?’

He chuckled as he looked back at her. ‘How many detective shows have you been watching? No, this is more of a shot in the dark than that. I just know that this is the area he’ll target next. I want to get a feel for the layout, the places that might suit his needs. I doubt he'll strike again so fast but I want to give Lestrade some locations for him and some of his officers to patrol, it’s mainly volunteers like Anderson and Donovan. Anyway it just means resources are limited so we need to use them as strategically as possible. I hope you have comfy shoes on.’

Molly winced at the implications, she'd just spent most of the day on her feet and now it looked as though her evening would be spent trudging the streets of London. ‘Fine but if I get blisters you’re giving me a foot massage.’

He turned and walked backwards for a couple of steps as he threw a smile her way. ‘Deal.’

She took a sip of her drink and wondered if she'd ever be able to keep him to that promise. The idea of his hands on her body…well, that wasn't something she should think about when in public and even less when the man himself was walking right ahead of her.

He still caught her by surprise though when he hived off down one of the many alleyways. As he did he was muttering more to himself than her. ‘No, no good, too close to the main road. He'd need to be further away.’

He turned right at the end into another small street but it soon came out back on the main road. Each time they came across another passageway they explored it along with every turn and dead end until Molly was completely lost. It wasn't helping that his legs were so much longer than hers and at times she was almost jogging to keep up. He was consumed by the task at hand and Molly was under no illusions that he even remembered she was with him.

That was brought into sharp relief when she stopped briefly to dislodge a stone in her shoe and when she looked up mere seconds later there was no sign of him.

She could hear the vague sound of traffic in the distance so she couldn't be that far from the main road but the alleyway she was in was pitch black. The only light was from the stars above her and the moon which came and went as the clouds covered it up. It was covered now and she found every instinct in her body screaming at her to get into the light, into some kind of area with people in it. She'd lived in London long enough to have a healthy disrespect for dark, quiet places. As a woman it just wasn't safe, it had never been safe and she felt nervousness and fear rising up.

There was a noise behind her and she swung around whispering Sherlock's name, hoping it was him. She didn't know why she was whispering, it was just instinctive…that and she felt as though her voice wouldn't work at normal volume. She could hear every sound, she was hyper alert and she would have sworn that there was someone there with her in the alley.

She tried to get her eyes to acclimatise and as she did the shadows seemed to morph and move and she started pacing backwards away from them. Her heart was thundering in her ears and the hair's on the back of her neck were standing on end and she was just on the verge of turning and running when her back hit something solid and hands came up to grip her arms.

She finally managed to scream and she was about to swing her bag at whoever was holding her when she heard Sherlock's voice quizzically asking her what was wrong.

Her reaction was rapid and automatic as she turned and hugged him for all he was worth. It took a moment but then his arms came up around her back and he returned it. She could feel him all around her, comforting her and giving her that sense of security that she needed.

After a moment he pulled away his hands going back to her arms so he could look at her face and she remembered the creeping feeling that she hadn't been alone.

‘Are you OK Molly? You aren’t normally this jumpy.’

‘There was someone else here, I'm sure of it…over there.’

She pointed towards the shadows in the corner of the alley. It was then that she realised that Sherlock no longer had his torch that he'd been using previously to light their way. When she asked him about it he told her that the batteries had run out but just then he pressed something on his phone and light pierced through the dark. He swept it around the space that Molly had indicated but there was no sign of anyone. She felt a little foolish now that Sherlock was with her but she couldn't rid herself of that sensation that she hadn't been alone.

‘Trust your instincts Molly, I do. They're there for a reason, they're there to keep you safe. You're not given to flights of fancy so if you tell me there was somebody there then I believe you.’

The light on his phone started to dim and Sherlock swore in frustration.

‘I suppose we've done as much as we can tonight. It's late, come on I'll take you home.’

He started to walk away from her and she hurried to keep up, not wanting to be left alone in the dark. And that's when Sherlock did the oddest thing. He took her hand clasping her smaller one in his. Molly looked down at the connection as they made their way through the maze of back alleys. He seemed to have memorised them all and knew exactly how to get them out and all Molly could think was he’s holding my hand. Her heart was beating harder in her chest and this time it had nothing to do with fear and everything to do with attraction. She tried to be reasonable and argue that he was only doing it to give her the feeling of security, so he didn't lose her again, but this was Sherlock and he didn't offer comfort, not without some ulterior motive.

Still, it was a relief when they turned a corner and the bright lights of the high street became visible. Molly looked behind herself as they made their way onto the busy road and she had that uncanny feeling of being watched again, as though whoever it was had followed them.

As they came out into the street Sherlock was already hailing a cab and soon all thoughts of alley ways and shadows were forgotten.

He watched them as they climbed into the cab and he leant back against the side wall of the shop, still wreathed in the shadows, watching pedestrians passing him by without noticing him. It felt like an allegory for his life, always being passed and never being seen.

He'd been surprised to see her as he checked out the area. It was opportune and unplanned but he didn't care; as soon as he saw her he knew he had to make her part of this. He hadn’t really thought about it before but using her, killing her would be the perfect move in his game with the Consulting Detective. Yes, it would go against his plans but plans had gone out of his head the moment he'd seen her as he watched her from the shadows. He had felt his blood coursing through his body; adrenaline giving him a high. It would be perfect and he knew just when to use her.

He’d let his hand curl around the blade in his pocket, he knew now to always come prepared, feeling the cold metal against his palm. Holding it had given him that familiar surge of power, nothing else had ever made him feel like this and now he'd tasted it he knew he couldn't ever give it up. It was his own private addiction.

Her eyes had been wide and he’d known that she was aware of his presence. They were looking for him and because of that he knew better than to try to make a move on her tonight. A moment later and Sherlock Holmes had reappeared; he’d watched briefly as she fell into his arms. It looked as though the gods were with him this time and he took his chance to get away, not wanting to risk getting caught.

He hadn't been able to resist following them though. Watching them together he realised that keeping tabs on them could be intriguing. The detective’s feelings for her now had been obvious from the expression on his face as he held her; she meant something more to him and that knowledge could prove useful. It made him want to kill her even more.

He stood watching the passing traffic for a good five minutes as he contemplated his next move but the thrill had gone out of the night now. All he wanted to do was to get home, eat some food and maybe wank off to the image of her all wide eyed and scared…just how he liked them.

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

Sherlock had given Molly's address once they were in the cab but Molly had cleared her throat and raised her eyebrows. ‘Umm, I think you promised me some food.’

He rolled his eyes and huffed. ‘Seriously?’

‘Yes, seriously. I'm starving Sherlock. It's…’ she glanced at her watch and gasped. ‘God, its nearly eleven. I haven't eaten for ages…nearly eight hours. No wonder I'm so hungry.’

‘Fine….fine.’ He turned to the cabbie and asked him to make a detour to a chip shop about five minutes from Molly's flat and he duly got out and retrieved them some food before they headed back to her place.

As Sherlock followed her up the stairs, trying not to stare at her cute backside in those awful beige trousers, he knew he didn't want to leave her and go back home. He wanted to spend the night with her again, he just didn't quite know how he was going to engineer it.

She let them in and then hung up her bag and coat before kicking off her shoes and giving a loud groan which sent ripples of arousal through Sherlock's body. ‘God that's better, my feet and back are killing me. Do you mind plating up whilst I change into my pjs? I just need to get comfy.’

Sherlock just nodded and took the bag through into her familiar kitchen; the one he'd stood in only that morning. It never failed to excite a reaction though. Every time he saw it he thought of that phone call and he was always hit by that same feeling of dread that he'd had that day on that awful island. That then reminded him that it was his turn to go and visit Eurus. He needed to fly out the following week. It would be his first time going there alone. In the last few weeks Mycroft had always accompanied him, sorting out security details whilst Sherlock had visited his sister. He found he didn't want to go alone and wondered if maybe he could persuade Molly to accompany him.

‘Hey, are you OK?’

He felt her small hand on his back and he realised he had got completely lost in his thoughts. He hadn't done a thing to put the food out.

He was about to brush her off when he realised that it was about time he started being honest with her and this was as good an opportunity as any.

‘I…it's just seeing this kitchen. It brings back memories…memories I'd rather forget.’

She moved around him and slowly got down two plates before turning to face him. He was caught by how beautiful she was; he loved it when her hair was down and loose around her shoulders and he found his hand moving to touch the strands on her left shoulder wanting to know how soft it felt.

Molly frowned a little but didn't move away or ask him what he was doing.

He carried on talking as he let the silky strands slide through his fingers.

‘I honestly thought you were going to die and…and it was the worst moment of my life. I have never felt so helpless.’

She brought her hand up, wrapping it around his wrist and she looked at him fervently. ‘I'm fine, OK, you saved me. That call…well, it wasn't easy for either of us but you did what you had to do and…and I'm grateful. I know there was never any actual risk, that there were no bombs but you couldn't know that at the time. Anyway, it all ties in with why I have to move…I just don't feel secure here anymore.’

He couldn't resist moving to hug her, feeling her small body pressed against his own like it had been earlier that evening and he didn't ever want to let her go.

Her arms slid under his jacket and held him tight.

‘Sherlock.’ Her voice was muffled against his shirt and he reluctantly released her.

She looked strangely nervous and embarrassed.

‘What?’

She took a deep breath as though giving herself confidence and then she spoke quickly. ‘Would you stay the night again? I mean, I know it's an odd request but…it's just that I slept so much better last night and I think it's because I felt safer…you know, with you here.’

She was looking down at the floor now and wincing a little and he knew she expected him to reject her and she couldn't be further from the truth.

‘Fine but only if you keep your hands to yourself this time. You groped in your sleep last night.’

Her eyes quickly flicked up at him looking horrified only to see him smirking and she punched him on his arm. ‘You bastard.’

This time he laughed out loud. ‘God, you should have seen your face.’

She rolled her eyes and turned to the food starting to unwrap the paper before dumping the chips onto the two plates. ‘Bastard.’

He was still chuckling as he followed her into the front room.

Chapter Text

Molly sat eating her food in a slight daze. For starters she couldn't believe she had asked Sherlock to sleep over and she could even less believe that he had agreed. She suddenly didn't feel quite as hungry and she couldn't think of a damn thing to say to him. Luckily he was doing all of the talking as he walked through the case so far and what his thoughts on it were.

‘Two dead now and he has a taste for it. It will be harder for him to resist in future. I still think that the first killing will be our best link, the others in future will continue to be random people, probably prostitutes a) because they're easier and b) because it continues his theme. Question is which came first the obsession with Jack the Ripper or was it just opportunistic because of the location of the first murder... I need to text Lestrade the locations we scouted today and then I need to think through what the priorities are for tomorrow…I can do that as easily from your bed. Do you have any clothes I could wear? I really don't want to ruin another suit.’

‘Hmm…oh, yes. I think I have a pair of pyjamas that Tom left behind. They should be about your size.’ She blushed at offering Sherlock her exes clothes but it's not as though he was a current boyfriend. She did see the way his nostrils flared a little at the mention of Tom but it was probably just wearing someone else's clothes that bothered him.

She went and found them and left him to change as she brushed her teeth and readied herself for bed but now it came to it she was feeling more and more nervous. It was one thing accidentally falling asleep with him and quite another purposefully going to bed together.

As it was it all ended up feeling fairly natural. She crawled into bed whilst he was in the bathroom and when he came back into the room he lay on his back and was obviously planning to think about the case so she just said goodnight and turned the light out. She was conscious of his breathing and his presence but they kept to their own sides and it wasn't long before she fell asleep. Just knowing he was there helped and stopped her mind from going over and over the violation by Eurus. Even now three weeks later it had been badly affecting her sleep.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

The strange thing was that in the morning she woke up when Sherlock shifted against her and instead of being separate as they had been the night before his chest was pressed up against her back with his arm around her waist and her fingers were interlocked with his where they rested on her stomach.

For a moment she just relished the close contact. She closed her eyes and pretended to herself that it was real. She wanted to wake up like this with him every morning. It was seconds later that she felt him untangling himself from her and sliding out of his side of the bed. It was obviously unconsciously done in their sleep and she didn't embarrass him further, instead she pretended to still be asleep until he'd exited the room.

It was only when she heard her shower running that she let her hand drift over to his side of the bed feeling the warmth from his body still present on the sheets. She felt a sadness wash over her and knew she shouldn't have asked him. It was too hard being this close but never being close enough. Maybe she should have declined his offer of a room at his place, she'd be better off trying to reduce her contact with him rather than increase it.

A voice in her head which sounded extraordinarily like Mary's told her not to be a fool and to grab this opportunity with both hands. She shook her head and rolled out of bed. She must be mad to entertain the thought that they could be something more than just friends. He had always made it very clear that he wanted nothing more and she should respect that. She just needed to keep things in the friend zone and not blur the lines with him.

She pushed herself to her feet and wrapped a gown around her…looked like it was time for some coffee and lots of it.

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

Sherlock was still in shock that he had woke up with a hard on…though really, if he was truly honest with himself he shouldn't have been that surprised. He already knew he had feelings for Molly and he knew that they extended to being sexual in nature so it wasn't a huge reach that sharing a bed with her might trigger a physical response.

All he could do when he realised his situation was flee to the bathroom and hope that Molly hadn't noticed although an evil voice at the back of his mind pondered whether her noticing would have been so bad and wondered what she might have done about it. This whole sequence of thinking led to him having to turn the temperature of the water down again and by the time he got out of the shower he was shivering and having to warm himself up by wrapping a towel around his neck as well as at his waist.

As he exited the bathroom he could smell coffee brewing and he absent-mindedly made his way through to her kitchen to grab a cup before he went to get dressed. It was only when he saw Molly's shocked expression that he realised he was still in the towels. He knew it would just tease both of them but he couldn't help wandering closer to her; watching for her reactions. He found that he loved seeing how aroused she was at seeing him half naked. She was struggling to keep her eyes higher than his chest and the blush that had spread across her face just made her even more attractive.

He knew he shouldn’t be progressing things, not now when he was in the middle of such an important case but he couldn’t seem to help himself. It was as though now he had let his feelings out they wouldn’t be tamped down and put back in a box.

Molly turned away from him and he saw her take a deep breath which made him smirk. She seemed to have composed herself because when she turned back she looked him in the eye before casually asking him what his plans were.

‘I’m worried that Lestrade’s people won’t be able to adequately monitor the sites I’ve picked out so I need to engage my homeless network. I need to be careful though, I don’t want them to be at risk of becoming the victims so I want to hand pick who goes there. Wiggins can help me. You?’

He took the towel off of his shoulders and used it to towel dry his hair and he saw Molly’s eyes dilate as she watched him, her tongue coming out and swiping across her lips and he felt a pulse of blood to his manhood. He needed to be careful; this was a fine line he was treading.

‘Umm…right, me…I need to do some packing. I meant to do some the last couple of nights but well you distracted me. I’ve hired a storage place and a van and thought I could take some of it over later today.’

That reminded him and he gestured for her to wait whilst he went and foraged in the pockets of his coat finally pulling out a couple of keys on a plain keyring.

‘Here, I got these from Mrs Hudson. Keys to my flat and the front door in case you want to drop anything off. Come and go as you like.’

That blush was back on her face as she took them from him, their fingers touching for a moment. She looked up at him and their eyes caught before Sherlock’s gaze drifted down to her lips. How had he ever thought them thin? They just looked eminently kissable.

It was Molly who broke the moment as she took a step back and clutched at the keys. ‘Right thanks. Do you want to use the bedroom to get changed first?’

He was a little surprised at her brusque change of tone but just nodded and took his coffee with him as he went.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly watched him as he left the room before she let out a sigh. God he was killing her…it was a slow death by a thousand lust filled thoughts.

When he’d come into her kitchen wearing nothing but a towel it had been all she could do to keep hold of the cup that she’d been holding and not let it smash all over the floor. Every time she tried to get a grip on her emotions he would just do something to trigger them again. And at the end she had run the risk of leaning into him to steal a kiss and the sheer shock of what she had been considering had her pulling away and forcing herself to be cooler with him. Boundaries…she needed to enforce boundaries.

Thankfully he left soon after and she spent quite a productive day sorting through her belongings. Some of it was hard to do, many of the items raised memories…memories of her parents which she wanted to keep and memories of her time with Tom which she knew she needed to let go of. It was hard though; letting go of him had been like letting go of the life that she had always imagined for herself; a husband, a home…maybe kids.

She didn’t resent Sherlock for his impact on her life. After all it wasn’t his fault, not really. He hadn’t asked her to fall in love with him anymore than she had. And you couldn’t force someone to feel something that they couldn’t…she’d learnt that from her time with Tom. No, it just was what it was. She would always love Sherlock and be there for him, no matter what. Friendship was good, friends was good enough...for her, even if it did mean giving up on her dreams of a family…that’s just the way it was.

It was strange though later on that day as she let herself into Baker St. She had only ever been there by invite and with Sherlock there…never by herself.

She called out for both him and Mrs Hudson as she entered but there was no response and she closed the door behind her with a click, picking up the bags and box that she had brought with her.

She struggled to get them up the stairs cursing as a couple of the items bounced back down to the bottom of the stairs. Thankfully they were only books so they weren’t much damaged by the experience and she finally dropped them all onto the settee in Sherlock’s new front room.

She hadn’t been there since the explosion and it felt weird. The same but different. The skull picture on the wall was a new one, the chairs and the settee like for like replacements. Everything looked shiny and new, not at all like the shabby chic that he had seemed to live in before. She wondered how he was coping with it all.

Lastly, her eyes were drawn to the photographs and other items pinned up on the wall. Some she recognised from her autopsy files but others were from the crime scenes along with post its and random bits of information that Sherlock obviously found of interest.

She turned and surveyed the rest of the room and that’s when her eye was drawn to something by Sherlock’s chair, something familiar.

Chapter Text

Molly frowned and moved across the room and over to his chair; nervous about disturbing anything, knowing that he’d know, but drawn in and curious anyway.

There, between a couple of discarded books was a photograph of herself. She was turning away from the camera and smiling at something.

She couldn’t help but reach out and pluck it from it’s partial hiding place; her heart pounding in her chest as she tried to comprehend why he would want a photograph of her. There was an unusual feeling washing over her and it was only as it disappeared that she recognised it for what it had been...hope.

It was as she revealed the rest of the picture that she felt her heart drop, the explanation obvious. Yes, she was in the photograph but her head was turned towards Mary who was holding Rosie in her arms. She remembered the day now, it had been at John and Mary’s flat when she, Sherlock and Mrs Hudson had gone round; the day they had asked her to be Rosie’s godmother.

She hadn’t remembered Sherlock taking it and she was surprised he’d had it printed but maybe he’d done that after Mary’s death, needing to keep a physical reminder of her. Everyone coped with grief differently and did odd things.

She slid the photo back between the books trying to make it look the same as it had before and then she turned back to her own items. Time to get them up to the next floor.

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

The first thing Sherlock noticed when he got back to his flat was that his photo of Molly had been disturbed. He shook his head at his own naivety at leaving it out where she would see it. Maybe, subconsciously, he had wanted her to find out about his feelings.

He enjoyed having it there at his side with just her face showing. He’d been caught by her expression and the love on her face as she looked at Mary and Rosie and he hadn’t been able to resist printing it.

He heard a slight sound above him and knew that she was up there unpacking whatever she’d brought and he couldn’t help moving towards the stairs to go and see her; throwing his coat onto the settee and the files he had been carrying onto the coffee table.

Her door was open and she had her back turned to him, busy dusting the old chest of drawers that was pushed up against the wall opposite the door. Then she turned and bent to pick up the items that she’d moved to facilitate her cleaning and he found himself biting his lip at the sight of her backside encased in jeans; clothes that fitted her petite frame for once.

She turned slightly and jumped as she caught sight of him leaning against the doorframe.

‘God, Sherlock you scared me. Don’t you knock or make any sort of noise when you come up here?’

He chuckled. ‘For one the door was open, so no point knocking and secondly my footsteps must have been more than audible as I came up the stairs. It’s not my fault that you weren’t observant enough to notice them.’

She rolled her eyes but gestured at him to come in.

‘Well seeing as you’re here you can make yourself useful. I want to turn the mattress on the bed but it’s too heavy for me to manage it alone.’

‘Turn the...God, no wonder people are as stupid as they are. You fill your heads with detritus and your lives with triviality.’

But he moved towards the bed all the same unbuttoning his suit jacket as he went. He couldn’t help but notice Molly’s eyes dilating in reaction to that small gesture and he frowned...what on earth was arousing about undoing a jacket?

‘Well, we can’t all be pompous genius’s that have housekeepers looking after their every whim.’

‘Mrs Hudson is my landlady not my housekeeper.’

‘Yes, of course, that’s why she does your laundry and changes your bed isn’t it.’

He picked up on her sarcastic tone but he ignored it as he bent to help her flip the mattress over, trying not to stare as she flashed her cleavage at him whilst she bent and fussed over the bed.

‘There, that’s better. Thanks for helping, I’ll make it up when I’m ready to move in.’

She straightened up and put her hands on her hips as she surveyed the room. ‘Well, I suppose I’d better get on, you’ve probably got things you need to do.’

‘Stay.’

‘What?’

He knew he’d spoken too quickly but he hadn’t even meant to, it had just been instinctive. He hadn’t wanted her to leave...not yet.

He stuttered for a second as he tried to regroup. ‘I..I just meant it’s late, you must be hungry. I can send out to Angelo’s for an Italian.’

He fished his phone out of his inside pocket already searching out the number. ‘Carbonara, that’s your favourite isn’t it? I can get some bruschetta as well. Hi Angelo...’

He turned and walked away leaving Molly a little gobsmacked. He was already placing the order and she hadn’t even had a chance to agree to his suggestion...not that it didn’t sound good, but it was just very un-Sherlock.

She shook her head and followed him back down the steps to his flat. He was obviously missing John and needing the company and it wasn’t as though she had had anything to rush home for.

As she entered the flat he threw his phone down on his desk and smiled at her. ‘Drink?’

‘Oh, yes please...what do you have?’

Sherlock rather than going to the kitchen as she had expected went and sat in his chair. ‘We might have some wine in the fridge, not sure how long it’s been there though. Just tea for me.’ Then he steepled his hands under his chin and closed his eyes.

Molly rolled hers, she should have known better than to think he’d make her a cuppa. She huffed as she walked over. She’d make it this time but if he thought she was going to be a live in slave when she moved in he had another thing coming.

She flicked the kettle on and prepared the cups but as she waited for the kettle to boil she turned a little and leant against the counter enjoying being able to watch Sherlock as he sat there no doubt thinking through the case.

The light in the front room was muted, just coming from a lamp in the corner, and it cast shadows over his beautiful face. It just accentuated his cheekbones and that strangely attractive, Byronic look that he had. God he was gorgeous.

She sighed and his eyes flicked open meeting with her own and she knew she’d been busted. Her face flared as she turned away and busied herself pouring out the hot water.

‘So any progress today?’

Sherlock huffed. ‘No, not enough. I’m waiting for him to make another move. I hate waiting.’ He drummed his fingers on the arm of his chair.

Molly smiled to herself as she stirred the sugar into his cup. She knew very well that patience wasn’t his strongest trait. She remembered John sometimes escaping his company when he was bored telling Molly lurid tales of him finding guns and shooting walls. Well, so long as he wasn’t shooting other people or shooting up then she was content.

She carried the cuppas over and curled herself up in John’s chair enjoying the peacefulness. It was the sort of home you just found yourself relaxing in. She sipped her drink and glanced around, feeling for the first time as though she might actually enjoy living here. She just needed to remind herself that it was temporary. She ought to be looking for another flat but she had just been so caught up in packing and paperwork from her solicitor.

‘You know there’s no rush.’

She jumped a little at his words, realising that she’d got lost in her own thoughts. She looked up to find him watching her; resting his fingertips, back in a prayer position, on his lips.

‘No rush to what?’

‘Move out. After all you haven’t even moved in yet.’

She smiled at him. ‘I know...but you’ll want your own space and I don’t want to intrude.’

He took a deep breath still watching her and she started to feel a bit unnerved. It was like being prey caught in the gaze of a predator.

‘I should be honest Molly. I miss company. Since John moved out and since I moved back here after the explosion I’ve realised that being alone isn’t...isn’t good for me. So, if you want to stay longer then I don’t mind. We can consider this a trial run if you like.’

‘Oh...’ Molly had been totally unprepared for such an offer. It threw her almost as much as his original offer for her to stay at his place. ‘OK...let me think about it.’

Sherlock smiled and nodded his head, his eyes fixed on hers, and Molly felt herself heating up under his gaze again. Her emotions felt all over the place this evening...she was drawn to him in a way she never had been with any other man. Just then the doorbell below rang out making her jump again and dissipating that strange tension that seemed to be building between them.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

They chatted comfortably over the meal moving on to safer topics such as the case and Molly’s latest academic paper that she was writing. She did notice however that Sherlock only picked at his food and the only wine drunk with the meal was by her. She wasn’t surprised though, she knew he didn’t tend to eat much whilst he was working. It wasn’t particularly healthy of him but she wasn’t his mother so she wasn’t going to pester him about it.

They moved back to the fireplace and she drank the rest of her glass in silence when Sherlock withdrew into himself, his eyes closed and his hands steepled under his chin. It should have felt awkward but somehow it just didn’t.

As she took her final drink she glanced at the clock and started a little as she realised how late it was. Her eyes felt scratchy with tiredness all of a sudden and she wished her bed was closer. She yawned and stretched and then noticed that Sherlock was watching her with a small smile playing on his face.

‘You’re tired. Stay.’

‘What? Don’t be daft.’

‘I’m not being “daft” as you put it. You’ve let me stay over at yours, you’ll be moving in here soon enough so why not?’

She knew her face must show her confusion at his suggestion. He really didn’t understand social boundaries at all but she had to admit the offer was tempting.

‘I’d have to make up the bed upstairs...oh, and borrow something to wear.’

He stood up and started to make his way towards his bedroom. ‘I’m sure I can find something...maybe an old shirt.’

She followed him through excited at the thought that she’d finally get a glimpse of his bedroom. She’d never been into it before but she had imagined it a thousand times. As she stood in the doorway and glanced in it wasn’t unlike what she had expected. The furniture was dark and expensive looking and it had a very masculine feel. She bit her bottom lip as she looked at the bed, it was huge and comfy looking. She found herself imagining Sherlock lying naked on it and had to tear her eyes away as she realised he was talking again and pulling something out of the wardrobe. She could only hope that her thoughts weren’t showing on her face.

‘This should do, it’s an old one that I haven’t worn for a while...’

Her eyes widened as he handed her his purple shirt; the very one that had long been a favourite of hers. She swallowed heavily as she nervously took it from him knowing that it would be ridiculous for her to refuse it. What could she say? Sorry, I can’t wear this because you look too hot in it. He’d laugh in her face.

‘....sleep in here. There’s no point making up the bed, I don’t know where the linen is kept anyway.’

Molly’s heart was beating faster in her chest. ‘S..sorry, what?’

She saw him roll his eyes and knew he was a bit exasperated with her. He hated having to repeat himself.

‘I said I’ll be up thinking about the case so you might as well sleep in here.’

She nodded and tried to dissemble. ‘Right, of course, that sounds..umm...good.’

‘I’ll leave you to change. There should be a new toothbrush in the bathroom cabinet but if you need anything else just give me a shout.’

‘OK.’

She watched as he left the room and then sat tentatively on the side of his bed. How had she got herself into this situation? And why did this feel so much more dangerous than it had at her house?

Chapter Text

Sherlock hadn’t long settled himself into his chair when Molly exited his bedroom wearing just his shirt and after giving him a nervous smile she ducked into the bathroom.

He hadn’t expected to feel turned on by the sight of her in his clothes but he was and it was an immediate and very visceral reaction. He felt himself throb in his pants and knew he was starting to get hard just at that very brief glimpse of her.

He was more than aware that he was pushing all sorts of boundaries by asking her to stay over but he just hadn’t wanted her to leave. Now that he was acknowledging his feelings for her he couldn’t seem to rein them in, not even for the case. Even now there was a traitorous part of his mind, the part connected directly to his awakening libido, that was telling him the case be damned and that he should just act on his feelings. But he had always prided himself on his restraint and control over his abstinence of bodily requirements, especially during a case...surely he could and should control this as well.

She came back out of the bathroom and waved a shy good night to him. This time her hair was down around her shoulders in soft waves. He took in every detail. How many buttons on the shirt were done up, the hint of cleavage that he saw as she lifted her hand. The material falling to mid thigh on legs that were slim and shapely. She’d lost weight recently and he could imagine that she would be light if he were to lift her up and pin her against the wall.

‘Christ.’ He closed his eyes and felt his body responding once more. He needed to stop thinking about her.

He stood and walked over to the wall where he’d pinned up photos of the victims, details of the killings, and copies of police reports from the original Ripper murders. Studying them worked. They took his mind off Molly sleeping in his bed and back to the case as he tried to work out any patterns or new leads.

He worked well into the night and it was the early hours when he finally decided he needed some sleep. He was so tired that he barely thought about Molly as he changed and fell into the bed and his eyes were closed before his head had even hit the pillow.

His dreams were lurid though and filled with images of Molly. In them she was either wearing his shirt or nothing at all. Her hands were on him, touching him, stroking his skin...it was erotic and arousing and he knew he wanted her. He pressed himself against her feeling her leg hook over his hip and she was warm and real in his arms. His mouth sought out hers as he rocked against her, his mind plaguing him with images of just how good it would be to plunge himself into her. Even just thinking about fucking her had him pulsing and desperate and he wanted to come...he wanted to feel it, to feel her. Her hands were on his backside pulling him harder against her and her moans just turned him on even more. He knew she was close as her lips moved to his throat sucking and licking the skin on his neck.

He knew the moment she came because she stopped her assault on his neck and instead he felt her moan against his skin along with the vibrations as she said his name and then he was coming himself, feeling his mind losing coherent thought and giving into physical sensation. It felt like the most liberating moment of his life.

It was at that moment that the phone rang at the side of the bed and Sherlock jerked awake. He felt groggy and disorientated but more than that he realised that not only was Molly pressed up against him kissing his neck but that he hadn’t just come in his dreams.

As he turned to grab for the phone Molly let him go and he found himself wanting her warmth against him once more, the cold hit him as hard as the realisation that he’d been carrying out his fantasy in reality.

He flicked the bedside light on and saw that it was Lestrade calling as he answered. ‘What’s happened?’ His voice sounded rough and sleep filled even to his own ears and he glanced at his clock; it was just after five which meant he’d only been asleep for just under three hours.

He was acutely aware of Molly shifting in the bed behind him, sitting up.

‘There’s been another murder, in Spitalfields this time but same M.O. Shit, Sherlock it’s bad...really bad. Will you come?’

‘Text me the exact location. Molly and I will be there within twenty minutes.’

He heard the shock in Lestrade’s voice as he asked him if she was there. ‘Yes, she’s here.’

‘It’s five in the morning Sherlock what’s she doing...where are you?’

Sherlock was getting exasperated by now. He was itching to get to the crime site almost as much as he was itching for a shower. His bedclothes were sticky and replete with evidence of what he’d just done and he needed to get clean and gather his thoughts. ‘Is that even relevant?’ He waved his hand in the air as though to get rid of distracting thoughts. ‘Just...we’ll be there in twenty.’

He hung up looking irritated but quickly turned to Molly talking even as he stood. He tried not to notice just how gorgeous and half fucked she looked. He had no idea what to say to her about what they’d just done and he needed to concentrate so he kept himself to the case. ‘Another murder, he chose one of the later killings so he’s not going in order. This one happened in Spitalfields, not that far from the hospital. Get dressed, I need a quick shower and then we can go.’

It was a relief to get out of the bedroom and into the shower. It was only lukewarm but it suited him, needing to fully wake up and wash the sleep from his eyes as well as the drying spunk from his body.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly sat in the bed for a moment and tried to calm her mind and her body. She’d fallen asleep alone in the bed and woken up with Sherlock’s hands on her, pulling her against him. She’d been half asleep and still in some ways thought she was dreaming but the feel of his erection pressed up against her had her hooking her leg over his hip and giving into all those frustrated feelings that she’d had building over the last few days.

She swung her legs over the edge of the bed and then paused as she remembered how confused and sleepy he had sounded as he’d answered his phone. Could he have been asleep? What did that mean for what they had done? Not for the first time she wished Mary was still alive, she needed a friend that she could talk to.

She heard the shower click off and it gave her the spur she needed. She should be dressed when he came back into the bedroom and she scrabbled around for her clothes, pulling on her jeans first and then unbuttoning his shirt. She wished she could keep it...that she could bury her face in it every night and inhale his smell but she could just imagine his reaction to that.

By the time he came back into his room with a towel wrapped enticingly around his waist she was leaving it. She couldn’t even look him in the eye; the weight of what they’d done...what she’d done...starting to sit heavy on her shoulders and making her feel a little ill with nerves. They needed to talk but she knew that now wasn’t the right time. Sherlock needed to focus on the murder and finding the killer and she didn’t want her emotions distracting him from that.

It was as she was pulling her shoes on and grabbing her coat that she started to get more excited about where they were going. It wasn’t often that she went to an actual crime scene with the body still in situ and she couldn’t help the thrill of excitement that ran through her even as she felt guilt for feeling it. She could tell that Sherlock was wired as well...she’d seen him like this before and she loved it. He was just a ball of energy, a force of nature, heaven help anyone caught in his path.

He hailed a passing cab as soon as the door to Baker St was closed behind them and he held the door as Molly climbed in. The address he gave to the cab driver was one that she recognised. It was maybe ten minutes walk from Barts, past the Spitalfields Market. She often went there when she wanted to browse the vintage stalls or buy a gift for someone. She blushed a little to herself as she remembered buying Sherlock a Christmas gift from there; an antique set of microscope slides. That was the Christmas he’d insulted her.

She thought back to the other night where he’d complimented her dress and she felt confused all over again. She seemed to be confused about Sherlock a lot recently. He was acting very out of character.

Her eyes slid sideways towards him as she risked a quick look. His head was down and he was busy looking something up on his phone. She could see a faint red mark on his neck and it had her remembering kissing his neck as he rocked against her. His hands had been on her backside pulling her harder against his erection and for a moment she had been in heaven.

She swallowed heavily and looked away trying to get her errant emotions under control. All she wanted to do was reach out and touch him again...to feel his hands on her body and his lips on hers. She had absolutely no idea how this had happened or what it meant for them and she was almost to scared to ask; scared that he would confirm that it was all a big mistake, that he’d been asleep and she’d assaulted him and that they needed to go back to a professional relationship and nothing more.

All too soon she saw the flashing blue lights that indicated the crime scene and she checked her pockets to make sure that she had some latex gloves. She swore lightly when she realised she didn’t. She’d have to get some from the forensic officers...without even saying a word though Sherlock handed her a set. He smiled as she took them and then opened the door.

What she hadn’t expected however was the immediate flash of cameras as they departed the cab. Sherlock put his hand over one but she knew they’d been snapped. She didn’t even have to wonder how the press had got here so quick; it was well known that reporters and paparazzi followed the supposedly closed police channels.

‘Mr Holmes, Mr Holmes, have Scotland Yard called you in on the case? Are they struggling to track down the killer? Have you any insight as to who committed the murder?’

The woman to the right of them was holding out her phone with the record button on. ‘Mr Holmes, who is your companion? Is she your girlfriend?’

Molly couldn’t help but feel a sense of shock that someone might think that. But rather than answer Sherlock just took Molly’s hand and pulled her through the waiting throng until he reached the police tape and a stern looking police officer. They were immediately let through and it was only then that Sherlock let go of her hand. She didn’t like to tell him that that single action had probably fuelled a thousand words in a gossip column in some rag somewhere...but she internally vowed to get a copy of it.

Chapter Text

The body was located at the back of a car park and Molly looked around at how dirty and dark it was. What a place to meet your end, all concrete, rubbish and tarmac.

Lestrade met them just outside the tent, which was shielding the body from the prying eyes of the press, and Molly was unnerved at how white and peaky he looked. It must be bad if someone like Greg was affected. She schooled her featured and prepared herself for what they might see. Sherlock was asking some questions about when the body was found and how long it had been here but she wasn’t listening, she was just looking at the entrance to the tent waiting to go in.

Greg looked between them and then stood to one side to let them past. ‘It’s pretty grim in there. Poor cow, no one deserves to end up like that.’

Sherlock glanced at Molly and she gave him a tight lipped nod and then he held the plastic sheeting up so she could enter.

She blinked a couple of times letting her eyes adjust to the lights inside and then to the sight and then she wished that she hadn’t. For a split second she wished that she could just turn around and leave but she couldn’t, instead she took a couple of steps forward feeling Sherlock enter the tent behind her.

Already her sense of horror at the scene was being overtaking by her sense of professional curiosity.

The woman was lying on her back and bar her shirt, which had been torn down the middle and splayed open she was naked. Well almost naked, there was one shoe still on her right foot but the left was nowhere to be seen. Her eyes were open and her mouth fixed in a semblance of a scream but her pain must have been short-lived as her throat had been cut and judging from the amount of blood, that had been the cause of death and it had happened before any of the other mutilations.

Molly had never quite seen a crime scene like it. The victim’s abdomen had been cut open and her organs were all pulled out leaving the cavity almost empty. She quickly took stock of everything trying to see if anything was missing.

Sherlock was circling the body, bending down every so often with his telescopic magnifying glass out. She could hear him muttering to himself.

She started to speak but had to clear her throat. ‘Her uterus...I think it’s missing.’

Sherlock frowned and looked up at her and then back at the body and then he nodded his head. ‘Annie Chapman was the Ripper’s second canonical victim...she had her uterus removed...if he’s following tradition as regards the actual murder that would make sense. I need to know who this woman was and why she was here. Her footwear and hands tell me she was a nurse, possibly at Barts, but she was also working as a prostitute. Fallen on hard times or just found it too hard to live in London on a nurse’s salary...’

Molly felt a little ill at the though that it might be a work colleague, someone from the same hospital as her. It made it seem a little too close to home.

‘It seems obvious that the cause of death was the blood loss following her throat being cut but the rest of it...God, who would do such a thing?’

Sherlock glanced at her for a moment but didn’t reply and she was glad that for once he’d realised it was a rhetorical question. There wasn’t much she could do without her kit so after establishing an approximate time of death she left the tent and bumped almost straight away into Greg who was finishing up with Anderson and one of the official forensic examiners.

It was Anderson who spoke first. ‘I hope he’s being careful in there. I don’t want to have to explain why his DNA is all over the body again.’

Greg shushed him and moved over to Molly. ‘Hey, is he nearly done in there? We need to get on with the rest of our procedures. I see the press spotted him arriving...shit, that means the chief is going to be on at me later for letting him see the crime scene. They’re still twitchy about his involvement if it goes public.’

‘Yeah, I think he’s nearly done. I can be at Barts in half an hour to do the autopsy if you need me to.’

Greg grinned. ‘Like he’d let us have anyone else doing it.’ There was a pregnant pause. ‘So...go on...what were you to doing together when I rang?’

Molly couldn’t believe that Greg was fishing for gossip with a dead woman less than ten feet away but when she commented as such he just laughed. ‘Molly, we have to brighten our day somehow. So come on?’

It was at that moment that Sherlock exited the tent, stripping the blue latex gloves off his hands and stuffing them into a nearby hazard waste bag. ‘She’s moving in with me, that’s why she was at Baker St.’

Molly saw Greg nearly choke for a second as she broke in to the conversation to clarify the situation.

‘I’ve sold my flat you see...just need somewhere temporary and Sherlock kindly offered me John’s old room.’

Sherlock glanced at her confused. ‘I thought we’d agreed that it wouldn’t be temporary...that you were moving in permanently.’

‘No, you made the offer but I haven’t agreed to it yet.’

Greg’s head was swinging back and forth between them as though he was at a tennis match before he brought his hands up to stop the discussion.

‘You know what, I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to know. Sherlock, what have you found out?’

Molly half listened to Sherlock recounting all the bits of information that he’d picked up about the woman and how. She was always fascinated with how his mind worked and how he pieced together someone’s life. She was still a little unsettled though about how she had been gutted after death. She’d seen worse in her morgue, of course she had, but it somehow seemed more real out here on a London street.

As the two men finished talking Sherlock turned and took her elbow, guiding her out through the many people who seemed to be milling about the scene.

‘Come on, we might as well go to Barts. Greg is having the body sent over and I’m going to go and see security and see whether we can’t identify the victim. If we wait for Greg to do it it will be middle of next week.

The reporters again tried to barrage them with questions as they left but once again Sherlock said nothing to them but instead tried to shield Molly physically from their cameras. His hand on her lower back and his body pressed against her side was just adding fuel to the journalists fire and she was fascinated to see what they’d say. She was also surprised that he was so comfortable being physical with her after what they had done. Did this mean he wasn’t angry with her?

She wanted to talk to him but as soon as the cab set off he was on his phone and talking to someone. She assumed from his tone that it was his brother. He was asking him to talk to Barts security to get him access to their records.

She tuned him out and instead looked out of the window of the cab watching as the world turned from darkness to shades of grey, colour starting to bleed in as the sun rise on a new day. And for the first time since she had fully woken up Molly gave herself a moment to hope...to hope that maybe, just maybe her and Sherlock had a chance of something more than just friendship

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

It was late morning when she finished the autopsy. She still had to write up her findings but her direct work on the body was done so she called over to the new morgue assistant to take over sewing up the body and putting everything away. Having him working here was making all the difference to Molly’s workload and she really appreciated it.

It was only as she made her way up to the lab that she realised she hadn’t had any coffee in over three hours...or any breakfast for that matter. She decided she was going to dump her files and wend her way to the canteen. She’d been up since five and given it was now past eleven she deserved a bit of a break.

She bit her lip as she pushed open the lab door wondering whether Sherlock would be there but there was no sign of him and so she decided to follow her original plan and get some coffee.

The canteen was fairly quiet given that the lunch rush hadn’t started yet and Molly grabbed herself some coffee and a ham and cheese croissant. As she started to make her way to an empty table she heard her name being called and looked around to see her friend Meena who worked in Radiography.

Molly grinned and made her way over before sliding into the seat opposite her friend.

‘Hey, long time no see. What are you doing here at this time?’

Meena shrugged. ‘I started early and I was starving so I decided on an early lunch. You?’

‘Same.’ Molly took a bite of the croissant and had to hold back a moan at how good it tasted. She was just realising how hungry she was.

‘So what’s going on with you then? Did you find a place to stay in the end?’

Molly knew she was blushing as she nodded, keeping her eyes anywhere but on Meena. The news of just where she was staying was going to generate a lot of questions and Molly wasn’t sure she was ready for them.

‘You’re acting suspicious. Come on, what’s happening? Where are you moving to? Did you find a new flat?’

‘No, at least not one to buy. I...well I’m staying with a friend and we’re going to see how it goes...might make it more permanent.’

Molly was still surprised that Sherlock was up for that idea following what had happened this morning but if he wasn’t put off she certainly wasn’t.

‘Alright, so who’s this friend then? I’m assuming it’s someone I know...you don’t have a massive circle of friends.’

Molly knew she couldn’t dissemble any longer. If she refused to tell Meena that would just be odd and it was going to come out anyway. She delayed the moment though by taking a swig of her coffee and burning her mouth to boot.

‘It’s Sherlock’s place. You know, in Baker St. John’s old room is empty so...’

She tailed off as Meena sat back in her chair looking shell shocked. ‘Seriously...you’re moving in with the guy you’ve been crushing on for the last five years. Is that healthy Molly?’

Molly shrugged in a non committal way which just had Meena narrowing her eyes at her friend.

‘Something’s happened hasn’t it...what?’ Molly watched as a smirk slowly spread across her friend’s face. ‘Don’t tell me you two have finally got it on.’

When Molly delayed in her answer, trying to find the right words Meena’s eyes went wide. ‘Oh my God something has happened. I want all the details. This is huge.’

‘No, no it really isn’t. I mean...well...we’ve shared a bed the last couple of nights...just as friends you know...’

‘No, I really don’t know. Men and women don’t tend to sleep with each other just to sleep...at least not until they’re old and married.’

Molly shook her head but smiled all the same at her friend’s outrage. It even seemed odd to her own ears now that she’d said it out loud.

‘Anyway, this morning...stuff just kind of happened. Trouble is I’m not sure how awake he was.’

Meena chuckled. ‘Yeah, you two are just odd. I take it he knows something happened.’

Now it was Molly’s turn to be outraged. ‘Yes of course he does. He...I mean we...let’s just say we didn’t have sex but he was satisfied...we both were...oh God, this just sounds awful. What am I going to do?’

Meena laughed at her friend’s confusion. ‘Well that’s obvious Molly. Next time don’t just dry hump him, you need to actually have sex with him.’

Molly closed her eyes and shook her head whilst Meena went on. ‘OK, but seriously just talk to him. What’s the worst that can happen?’

Molly groaned. ‘This is Sherlock we’re talking about. You have no idea how bad it can get.’

Chapter Text

Sherlock had been glad of the latest murder to keep him occupied but when he finally made his way back to his home in the early evening thoughts of Molly came flooding back. He decided to give himself half an hour to think about what had happened that morning and then he would get back to the case. He was waiting for Lestrade to email him some details anyway.

He hung up his coat and jacket and kicked off his shoes before flopping down onto the settee and staring up at the ceiling. He had had no intention of progressing things with Molly until this string of murders had been put to bed but it seemed as though his traitorous body had had other ideas. The thing was his mind had felt clearer and more able to focus than it had in weeks...ever since he’d acknowledged his feelings for her. Was it possible that trying to repress them had been clouding his judgement? He wondered if he should talk to John and started to sit up ready to get his phone but then he thought better of it. Things were OK between them but Sherlock was only too aware that they still had issues and he didn’t want to disturb John on his break if he didn’t have to.

The question was what should he do next? Already the flat felt empty without her. She was due to move in in a couple of days but he wanted to see her today...now. He had never been a patient man and it seemed that he was the same in love as he was in everything else.

He glanced at his watch and saw that it was just after eight which meant that Molly would be home. Maybe he should head over there...it’s not as though there was anything keeping him at the flat. Talking through the case would probably be beneficial anyway.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly was packing up some more of her belongings when the door bell rang. She wiped her face and stood up, it was probably Joan, her next door neighbour, she said she might pop by to help.

It therefore came as a complete shock when she opened the door to find Sherlock leaning against the corridor wall looking like he’d just arrived from some men’s magazine photo shoot....all expensive suit and sexy bodied.

She frowned and opened her mouth to ask what he wanted when he pushed away from the wall with a concerned look on his face. He stepped forward and his thumb slid across the tears that must still be on her cheek, his fingers lightly resting on her jaw and her heart leapt in her chest.

‘Molly, what’s wrong? Has someone upset you?’

He looked past her into her flat as though searching for the perpetrator of her distress.

Without thinking she put her hand on his wrist and shook her head. ‘No, don’t worry nothing like that. I’m just being daft. I was packing up some old photo albums and started going through them and reminiscing.

He let his hand fall away from her face and followed her as she turned and padded her way back into the front room which had a packing box in the centre and was surrounded by photo albums and DVDs.

He took off his coat and scarf and threw them across a nearby chair and then walked closer. Molly was starting to close the albums up but she stopped when he sat down on the floor next to her. ‘Show me.’

He knew already who the photos were of that were upsetting her. He’d long known how close Molly had been to her father and how much his death had affected her but he hadn’t ever seen a photograph of him.

She leant back against the settee and opened the book back up before tilting it to show him. He scooted a bit closer so he was sat next to her on the floor and took the album as she pointed to one of the photos. It was typical of its era with hideous 80’s fashion. It showed a man of about 35 laughing at the camera and holding the hand of a young Molly. She must have been about five or six and she was looking up at him with such adoration...as though he was the only man in the world. She had his eyes and nose and from the look of it his joy of life.

For the first time Sherlock really saw how unworthy he was of her but how much he wanted someone...her... to look at him with that much love. He found himself lost for words when he looked at her and saw a lone tear making its way down her face. He hated seeing her so upset.

She glanced up at him and tried to smile, wiping the tear away and he found himself just acting on pure instinct. He put his hand on her face tilting it up towards him and then he leant forward and kissed her.

Her lips were so soft against his own and even though he hadn’t meant to kiss her he found himself deepening it, drowning in it...in her. It took a moment but her hands came up around his neck and he could feel her fingers tangling and pulling on the hair at the nape of his neck and he just wanted her closer.

He could hardly believe that he was here with her in her front room and he was kissing her. It didn’t matter what had happened between them that morning, that had been sleep filled and confused and clouded with uncertainty but this...this felt so damn real. It was the most amazing kiss that he could ever remember. Her mouth moved against his own perfectly with just the right amount of pressure.

As it ended he sat back and wiped a hand across his face before glancing at her and smiling. ‘Mmm...you have no idea how long I’ve been wanting to do that.’

Of all the things he could have said he knew, from the astonished look on her face, that had probably surprised her the most.

‘If you’ve wanted to kiss me that much then why haven’t you?’

‘Because I’m an idiot that’s why...I still shouldn’t be. I promised myself I’d wait until after the case was finished.’

He saw Molly’s frown and he wished he hadn’t said that last bit but it had been the truth.

‘You don’t like distractions when you’re working.’ Strangely she started to smile and he cocked his head to one side inquisitively.

‘So, I’m a distraction am I?’ She was outright grinning now, picking up the album from where it lay in his lap and moving it to one side.

‘Yes...yes, you are.’

‘Good, ‘coz I’ve always wanted to distract you.’

Then she straddled his lap and kissed him again.

This time she took the lead on the kiss moving his head to one side so she could take control and he was more than happy to follow her lead. Her hands were back in his hair and he was starting to realise just how sensitive his follicles were as she pulled a growl from him. His hands had naturally fallen to her hips and he pulled her against him knowing that he was getting harder. He also knew that he wasn’t ready to rush into things and so he was the one to end the kiss; the problem was that Molly just moved her lips to his neck and he groaned at the feeling of her sucking and biting in his skin. It was sending shockwaves all the way down to his cock and if they didn’t stop now he knew they never would.

‘Wait...Molly...I shouldn’t...not yet.’

She rested her forehead against his shoulder for a moment as she caught her breath and then she leant back and looked at him, heating him up further with her gaze. ‘If you just promise me that you will be ready one day I can wait as long as it takes.’

He swallowed heavily, still feeling her pressed up against his groin and his body fought with his brain to say he was ready right now but instead he just nodded his head once. ‘Soon, I promise.’

He couldn’t resist leaning into her to steal one more kiss though before she moved off his lap.....

SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

Molly tapped him lightly on the shoulder and he came too with a start feeling confused. He looked up to find her wearing her pyjamas and looking at him nervously.

‘Sorry, I know you were thinking but I thought I should let you know that I’m off to bed. You’re welcome to stay over if you want. Your pjs are in the bathroom and the spare bed is all made up...or you can...anyway...I’ll leave you to it.’

Sherlock watched as she walked away and then he sat up and rubbed his hands over his face. He must have zoned out. He knew when, it was at the point that he thought Molly looked sad...before he kissed her in his mind palace. John was endlessly frustrated at him when he did that...not that he’d ever kissed John in his mind palace.

He didn’t want to go home yet and he didn’t want to go to bed... it was then that he remembered seeing an autopsy file in Molly’s handbag. It was on the side in the kitchen and he’d noticed it when he arrived....if he was lucky it would be that of the latest victim.

He pushed himself to standing and went over letting out a low ‘yesss’ when he saw he was right. Five minutes later and he was sitting on Molly’s settee with a cup of tea and the file. It made for interesting reading.

Molly had been right, that part of the victim’s uterus was missing; she’d also had her throat slashed almost to the point of decapitation...in Sherlock’s mind that act alone showed the hatred that the murderer had had for his victim. It was unlikely that he knew her so was it because she was a prostitute or just because she was a woman?

The blade used to make the abdominal cuts was sharp and probably 4 inches in length...that matched the other victims so it looked like he was staying with the same knife. Molly also posited that whilst the cuts were made to look random there was one main cut showing some skill and knowledge...possibly of post mortums or surgery in general.

Sherlock sat back and contemplated everything he knew so far and had read. He knew plenty about the victim’s but as yet not that much about the killer. He’d been very careful especially when it came to any CCTV footage. Sherlock estimated him as being male, probably aged between 35 and 45. He was currently unmarried, probably divorced...there was a hatred there that was tied in with women and possibly sex.

He went over what he knew about the latest victim. He’d been able to identify her as Anita Birbeck aged 34. As he had deduced she worked at Barts as a nurse, not long out of training, and one of her friends had finally confirmed that she was supplementing her income with prostitution. It seemed she had a cocaine habit to support as well as high rent and Molly’s autopsy confirmed that there were drugs in her system at the time of her death. Maybe the cocaine helped her to cope with the prostitution...drugs were good like that, helped you to blank out the parts of your life you didn’t want to think about or re-live anymore.

Sherlock opened his eyes feeling that old, familiar need for a high wash over him. He fisted his hand and then stretched out his fingers before standing up. He needed a distraction and not one of the drug induced kind. Maybe a night in Molly’s bed would be a good thing.

Chapter Text

Molly woke up at dawn to find herself in bed with Sherlock once more. She was lying on her side and he was wrapped around her back hugging her to him. She could feel the warmth of him all around her and his erection was pressed against her backside sending a jolt of lust straight to her core.

She lay there slowly waking up and enjoying the feeling of being held by him and she couldn’t help thinking back to her conversation with Meena and her friend telling her to just have sex with him next time...granted she’d followed that up by telling her to talk to him but sometimes actions counted for more than words...didn’t they? Anyway, Molly was too drowsy and horny to want to think sensibly, for once she wanted the dream to come true...she just wanted Sherlock.

She rolled over in his arms and then held still wondering if he would wake up but he just shifted slightly and she felt his breathing even back out. She knew it was wrong and that she was taking advantage of him in a way but she couldn’t help reaching up and kissing his neck as her hands snaked around his back and under his t shirt.

He groaned a little in his sleep and his hips bucked towards her nudging his erection further against her.

She wasn’t going to go further with him whilst he was asleep but she gently kissed her way up his throat, pressing her body up against his. He was muscular and slim and she could feel herself responding to him.

She knew the moment he awoke because his hands initially pulled her closer too him and then pushed her away slightly. A spike of hurt washed over her at his rejection and she tried to look up into his eyes but it was too dark to fully make out his expression.

‘Molly...we shouldn’t.’

She bit her lip and let her libido do the talking....whispering to him in the unlit room, glad she couldn’t really see him. ‘Maybe, but I’m guessing you’re in my bed for a reason. If you can’t tell me why then show me.’

There was a pause and Molly knew that this was a tipping point. If he rejected her now there was no coming back...she’d need to put some distance between them because this was hurting her too much...giving her unfounded hope.

Just as her heart sank and she thought she was going to have to let him go he leant into her and captured her lips with his own and the sudden surge of emotion that ran through her threatened to overwhelm her. At first the kiss was fairly chaste but then he opened his mouth and she finally found herself truly, consciously kissing him.

She could barely believe that he was there in her bed and responding to her actions but she wasn’t going to over think it, instead she just let herself give into kissing him. And kissing him was better than she had ever imagined. His lips felt soft but as he took more and more control of the kiss she found herself just submitting to him. His hand moved to her leg and then slowly travelled the length of her thigh rucking up her nightshirt as it moved until his hand was on her backside then he was pulling her against him as he rolled them a little until she was under him. And all the time he was kissing her, taking her breath and muddling her senses. She couldn’t think straight, she couldn’t focus on anything other than how he was making her feel.

She could feel her heart beating in her chest as the weight of him settled over her and lust, arousal, desire were all pooling deep in her lower abdomen. She wanted him more than she had ever wanted anyone before. She was already moaning as his tongue entered her mouth; her hands pushing down the material of his pyjamas until she could finally reach in and take hold of him feeling just how hard he was as he pulsed in response to her hand wrapping around him. She didn’t want foreplay, she didn’t want to wait she just wanted him inside her and so she lifted her knees opening herself up for him before positioning him at her entrance.

He pulled back a little until he could look in her eyes and without words being said she nodded her consent and then groaned, her eyes rolling back in her head, as he started to push into her.
It had been so long since she’d had sex and she had forgotten just how good it felt. She could feel herself stretching to accommodate him and her internal walls were already fluttering with the beginnings of her orgasm. She forced herself to keep her eyes open, watching Sherlock as he began to move above her, because she still could hardly believe that it was him that she was having sex with.

Watching him just aroused her further; seeing him getting used to the feel of her, finding his rhythm, it had her moaning his name as her hands explored his back and his backside pulling him in deeper.

She wasn’t sure whether it was Sherlock being good at sex or her finally fulfilling a long held fantasy but she could feel her climax building. It was rare for her to orgasm the first time with a guy and rarer still in the position they were in but she could feel it getting closer and closer. Sherlock seemed to sense it and as he increased his speed he bent his head and kissed her neck before telling her, in a low voice, just how good she felt.

The sound of his voice sent her over the edge and she knew that she was digging her nails into his skin as she cried out his name over and over again. A moment later and he followed her, thrusting into her as deep as he could; she felt him pulsing inside her as he released his seed. His whole body seemed to be taut like a bow string and he let out a guttural groan that just sent aftershocks of pleasure rippling through her body.

For a few moments they stayed where they were, holding each other and kissing whatever patch of skin was in reaching distance and then Sherlock rolled off her and lay on his back catching his breath.

Molly felt the weight of his silence in every pore of her body. Without saying a word she slid out of the bed and made her way to the bathroom to clean up and it was only when she closed the door behind her that she let out a shaky breath. She couldn’t decide whether to be ecstatic or terrified. Having sex with him was one of the most amazing high points of her life but she also knew that this was completely new territory for them. She hadn’t honestly ever expected it to happen and she had no idea how he would react.

When she nervously came back out of the bathroom and into the bedroom she was surprised to find it empty but just as she started to wonder where he was she heard the kettle starting to boil in the kitchen.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before making her way through. Whatever his reaction there was no point trying to avoid it. And anyway, they’d both made this decision even if it had been in the heat of the moment and at your own instigation her traitorous voice added.

He was stood with his back to her leaning on the counter and looking out of the window and if he had been anyone else that she’d just had sex with she would have gone up to him and leant against his back with her arms wrapped around his chest...but he wasn’t and so she cleared her throat as she entered the room to alert him to her presence.

As he turned she put on a bright smile. Wasn’t the old adage “fake it til you make it”? Well Molly Hooper was going to fake confidence for as long as she needed to.

‘So, umm...’

It was at that moment that the buzzer rang alerting her to the fact that there was someone at the main door of the building. She huffed but made her way over to the phone by the front door.

‘Hello.’

The voice on the other end was familiar but unexpected.

‘Hi Molly, it’s Greg. Listen I know this is a bit odd but is Sherlock there?’

She frowned and turned watching Sherlock exiting the kitchen with his cup of coffee watching her in return.

‘Yes, yes he is...come on up.’ She pressed the buzzer and went to retrieve her dressing gown. ‘It’s Greg, he’s on his way up to see you.’

Sherlock nodded and went and sat on her settee.

A moment later there was a knock on the door. Molly finished tying the belt on her gown and then opened it wide so Greg could come in. She was surprised to see that he was accompanied by Donovan.

‘Hey, has there been another murder?’

‘No. Sherlock?’

Molly gestured towards her front room and then trailed after them. She was starting to wonder what Greg would be thinking about Sherlock sleeping over at hers...not that that was important but it went through her mind all the same.

‘Hey Sherlock. Listen, this is a bit awkward but I need you to come down to the yard for questioning.’

As Molly let out a surprised gasp she saw Sherlock narrowing his eyes and looking up at Greg. ‘What’s happened?’

There were bright spots of red on Greg’s cheekbones and she immediately knew he was nervous and it made her even more worried.

‘I’d rather not say here, just go get dressed. It doesn’t have to be anything serious.’

‘You have something new, not forensics as that wouldn’t be in yet. So what? Someone’s come forward...a witness maybe...why would you need to talk to me?’ Sherlock’s eyes widened as they always did when he had a revelation about something. ‘Oh, they’ve described me haven’t they? Well, I’d say this is novel but it’s all a bit reminiscent of Moriarty isn’t it?’

Greg pressed his lips together. ‘Will you come? It doesn’t have to be anything formal...not yet. I’m sure we can clear it up.’

Sherlock huffed but stood up, making his way towards Molly’s room. ‘Fine, give me ten minutes.’

Molly smiled nervously. ‘Tea, coffee?’

‘Yeah, tea would be great Molls. Sorry to disturb you like this but I’d tried everywhere else looking for him.’ There was a beat of silence and then he went on. ‘So...you and Sherlock, you seem to be spending a lot of time together.’

Molly sensed the shift in his tone and knew that he was fishing for gossip. She had no idea what she and Sherlock were now and she certainly had no intention of letting on about what had just occurred so as she passed him his drink she made up some excuse about working on the case til late and it making more sense for Sherlock to stay over.

Greg seemed completely won over by that argument and Molly couldn’t help but feel a bit aggrieved that he wasn’t more suspicious. It seemed so unlike Sherlock to have sexual needs though and she was having a hard enough time with it herself so his reaction just wasn’t that unsurprising.

It wasn’t long before Sherlock re-emerged fully dressed and Molly found herself biting her lip at the sight. Sherlock in a good suit was, for her, the equivalent of lingerie on a beautiful woman to a guy.

He gave her a nod and then the three of them left and Molly was left wondering just what the hell was going on.

Chapter Text

Sherlock couldn't decide whether to be irritated or impressed with this turn of events. It quickly became apparent during the formal interview that a man of a similar height and build to Sherlock had been seen chatting to the victim on the main road around the time shortly before she'd been killed.

On top of the physical description the man had been wearing a long, dark coat and a deerstalker. That last revelation had made Sherlock laugh out loud.

'And you seriously think that it might be me? When have you ever known me to walk the streets wearing that ridiculous hat? It's a prop for the press, nothing else.'

'Listen Sherlock, I know how stupid it sounds but I can't be seen to be giving you any preferential treatment. Just tell me where you were the night of the murder.'

He huffed and rolled his eyes before glancing at the two way mirror on the wall opposite to where he sat. He wondered who was behind it.

'I was in my flat at Baker St, with Molly. You already know this.'

'I know she was there but can she account for your movements the whole night? I somehow suspect not.'

'She went to bed about 11.30. I stayed up until about 3.00. You then woke us just before 5.00 to tell us of the murder.'

'I take it you could have left the flat and come back without Molly knowing though.'

'I didn't but yes I could have.'

Greg turned off the recording machine and sat back in his chair wiping a hand over his face. 'Shit Sherlock...look I'm not going to arrest you, I haven't got enough evidence for that and anyway I don't for one minute believe you're the killer. But I can't let you be involved in the case anymore.'

Sherlock shrugged. 'It might be too late for that. It looks like the killer wants me involved even if you don't.'

Greg frowned and sat forwards with his elbows on the table. 'What do you mean?'

'I mean he's purposefully dressed up like the media image version of me because he knows it's recognisable. That means he wanted me suspected of the crime...he wants me involved somehow and I need to know why.'

'I don't care why, just stay out of it Sherlock. If my boss thinks you're involved...in any way...he'll not only have my guts for garters but he'll probably want me to arrest you. So, for God's sake, go home and forget about this case.'

'Have you checked the CCTV footage from that area? If not, send it through and I can go over it myself.' He stood up either ignoring or not noticing Greg closing his eyes and groaning.

'I need to get on to my homeless network, maybe someone else saw him that night. I'll be in touch.'

He went to the door but when he tried the handle it was locked. He turned and raised an eyebrow at Greg who just looked at the two way mirror and nodded. A second later and there was a buzz and Sherlock left the room like a man on a mission which just made Greg shake his head in despair.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Meanwhile Molly had made her way into work only to be met by lots of smirks and ribbing by her small team of workmates.

'So, you and Sherlock then. When did you two finally get together?'

'Are you really seeing him?'

One of the few other women in the team laughed and nudged Molly with her elbow. 'Yeah but the main question is is he a good shag?'

For a moment she was mortified wondering if they knew about her impromptu morning sex with Sherlock, her mind boggling as to how it could have got out but then one of them pointed to a copy of the Daily Mail sitting on the table in the staff room.

It was folded to the gossip pages and she could just make out a photo of herself and Sherlock. She went over and picked it up, her eyes roaming over the picture and article trying to take it all in at once.

The photo was of her and Sherlock arriving at the crime scene the other night and there was a big red circle around their hands showing him holding hers.

Shag-a-lot Holmes strikes again!

Sherlock Holmes, recently revealed by his former fiancée as a sex addict, seemingly has a new bedfellow. We can exclusively reveal that she is one Molly Hooper (aged 35) a reclusive spinster who has worked with Sherlock in the past in her role as pathologist at St Bartholomew's hospital; the very site of the detective's infamous death jump.

Sources close to the pathologist say that she has long been enamoured with Mr Holmes. It was always thought that he didn't return those feelings but maybe all that has changed. If it has you can be sure we will let you know.

As she put down the paper she sat down heavily on one of the chairs chewing on her bottom lip and wondering who else might have seen the paper.

'So, is it true?'

She looked up to see the new intern waiting for her answer with a couple of the other team members watching on attentively.

Nervously she shook her head, hoping she wasn't blushing too much. 'No, no don't be daft. He was just helping me get through the crowd, that was all.'

Her answer seemed to disappoint them all and they soon made their way to their respective work stations leaving Molly alone with her thoughts.

She was worried about what had happened between them and wished more than anything that they had had a proper chance to talk before Greg had arrived, then that made her feel guilty because she ought really to be worried about what Sherlock was being questioned about. They couldn't honestly think Sherlock was the murderer, could they?

She texted Greg asking for an update when he had a chance and then she took herself off to the morgue hoping for a busy morning to keep her distracted.

It worked and it was lunchtime before she thought of Sherlock again. A check of her phone showed her that she had three missed calls from her Mum and a voicemail. At that she closed her eyes and groaned. She'd forgotten that her mum's paper of choice was the Mail. That was going to be an awkward and irritating call...she decided to put it off until later when she could make it with a glass of wine in her hand...a large one.

There was also a text from Greg asking her not to worry, Sherlock had been released but could she pop into the yard after work to give a statement about the night of the murder.

She wasn't surprised by this last request, having heard the accusation that morning she knew that she was the nearest thing Sherlock had to an alibi but she also knew that it would be a partial one.

She made her way to the canteen and as she waited to pay for her spaghetti bolognese she saw Meena catch her eye and raise her hand pointing to a spare seat on her table. Smiling she made her way over and sat down, trying to ignore the fact that people seemed to be looking at her and then having whispered conversations. It seemed the gossip hadn't taken long to travel around the hospital.

As she picked up her fork Meena wasted no time in questioning her. 'OK so I know what happened the night the photo was taken but did you take my advice? Have you progressed things?'

Molly couldn't look Meena in the eye so instead she glanced at the tables nearest to them to make sure they weren't being overheard. Luckily, people seemed to have gone back to their own conversations and no one appeared to be listening in.

'I might have.'

She heard Meena's intake of breath and she couldn't stop the smile that spread over her face at her friends shock.

'No...seriously. So what happened? Did you...you know...do the deed?'

Molly just nodded and then shushed her friend as she let out a high pitched squeal of joy.

'I knew it, I knew it was only a matter of time. So are you guys an item now? Is it official?'

At this Molly looked askance and finally looked her friend in the eye. 'God no, please...promise me you won't tell anyone.'

'Wait, this is more than just a one night stand isn't it? I mean, he knows how you feel about him. I know he can be a bit of a shit but he's not that much of an arsehole is he?'

'No...I mean...I don't know. I don't think so. We got interrupted...just after, not during... and I haven't had a chance to catch up with him since.'

'Molly Hooper, honestly only you could have such a complicated love life. I take it you're going to go see him after work.'

Molly shrugged and twisted her fork to pick up more of the spaghetti though her appetite seemed to leave her at the thought of having to confront Sherlock.

'Maybe not tonight. He's quite busy with this case, plus I have to pop into Scotland Yard to see Lestrade and I need to ring my mum.'

'You're just putting off the inevitable.'

'I know...but I just need some time to process it first. I will talk to him, I promise.'

Meena started to put her empty plate and cutlery back on her tray before standing. 'Just make sure that you do Molly. Remember to stay strong and don't take any shit.'

She nodded her head and smiled at her friend and then sat back in her chair and took a moment to think it all through. She knew Meena was right but she just wanted one night...one night of hope before her bubble burst because she had no doubt it would.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

It was past nine o'clock at night by the time Molly got off the phone to her mother. It had been a difficult conversation made worse by the fact that Molly felt she had to lie about her 'relationship' with Sherlock so as to not get her mum's (or her own) hopes up.

It didn't help that her Mum was still upset at her having ended her engagement to Tom or in her mums repeated words 'thrown away her one good chance at a family'. Her mum came from a generation where being married and having children was the pinnacle of a woman's life. Having a career was what you did when you couldn't achieve that and the two women would never see eye to eye on that subject.

She stretched out her shoulders and picked up her glass of wine which was now nearly empty and the silence of the flat settled over her...but not in a good way.

Now it came to it she acknowledged that she had been holding out hope that Sherlock would make the first move...that he would be the one to text her or come and see her. It looked like it was going to be up to her instead. She let out an audible sigh and then topped her glass up with some more wine.

Chapter Text

It had been a busy but ultimately frustrating couple of days for Sherlock. After he’d left Lestrade he had spent the afternoon doing the rounds of his homeless network followed by an evening visit to his brother at the Diogenes club to persuade him to obtain copies of the CCTV coverage of the area around the murder.

Mycroft sighed and rolled his eyes. ‘I take it this is because you’ve once again managed to make yourself a suspect in the case...and before you ask it yes I do still keep tabs on you and yes I could corroborate your alibi but I’m not going to...at least not until I’m forced to. It isn’t widely known that I divert government funding to the protection of my family and I’d like to keep it that way.’

He took a sip of his extortionately priced whisky and tilted his head. ‘You haven’t forgotten that it’s your turn to visit our sister next week.’

Sherlock frowned feeling testy with his brother and his jibes. ‘No of course I haven’t.’

There was a pause and he shifted uncomfortable as he wondered how to word his next request.

‘Spit it out Sherlock, it’s obvious that you have something further to ask of me. I’m assuming by your discomfort that it is more of a personal issue...Ms Hooper then?’

‘Dr Hooper to you...and yes.’ It pained Sherlock that his brother always managed to read him so well.

‘I’d like to take her with me to Sherrinford so an extra place will be required in the helicopter.’

He looked his brother square in the eye and challenged him to make something of it. There was a beat of silence and he saw Mycroft’s eyes narrow imperceptibly but then he just nodded his head in acknowledgment. ‘Very well, I’ll see that it’s done.’

They spent another half an hour discussing the visit and the areas that Sherlock should check in more detail and by the time he left it was late.

He buttoned up his coat against the chill wind and decided to walk back to Baker St indulging in a cigarette as he went. He briefly contemplated taking a taxi to Molly’s but she would be in bed by now and he knew he ought to focus on the case. He had plans for the following day and there was a lot he needed to research before he could sleep.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly spent the next day at work on tenterhooks. Every time someone entered the morgue or the lab her heart would skip a beat and she would look up only to be disappointed that it wasn’t Sherlock. She knew her reaction was ridiculous but she couldn’t seem to help it. By mid afternoon she decided that she had to resolve this one way or the other and the only solution was to go round to his flat that evening and talk it out with him.

She didn’t want to put it off any longer and so she showered in the staff changing rooms, to remove the ever invasive smell of death, and then made her way directly to Baker St trying not to let her nerves get the better of her. She wasn’t normally this anxious with guys she had slept with but it was evidence of just how strong her feelings had become for Sherlock. This wasn’t just any guy and if he rejected her now she knew she would be crushed. The trouble was she couldn’t really envisage any other outcome other than him wanting them to go back to being friends and she wasn’t sure that was possible for her now.

It was Mrs Hudson who let her in, greeting her with a kiss on her cheek and remonstrating with her for not popping in for a coffee more often.

‘I take it you’re here for Sherlock, go on up, I suspect having a visitor will do him good. He’s too wrapped up in that case at the moment and that never bodes well for my walls.’

She smiled at Mrs H and agreed to visit her soon then she took a deep breath and made her way up the stairs. She could hear Sherlock muttering to himself as she reached the top and when she walked through the doorway she saw him stood on his settee moving some of the pictures that were pinned up on his wall.

He glanced at her briefly and smiled as he turned back to what he was doing. ‘Good, I’m glad you’re here. I need to go over the autopsy details with you again, particularly the knife wounds...’

Molly felt a rush of emotions; arousal at seeing him again, a sinking feeling over what he was saying and then anger that he wasn’t even trying to address what had happened between them. For all she knew he’d probably deleted it.

‘Is that it? Is that all the greeting I get? I thought I deserved a little more Sherlock.’ She could feel the adrenaline kicking in as she fought to control her anger.

What she wasn’t expecting was his response. She saw him narrow his eyes before widening them as he always did when he’d figured out the solution to the problem. He stepped down of the settee and came over to her chatting as he did.

‘Sorry, this really isn’t my area...’

Then as he reached her he brought up his hand and cupped her face before kissing her. Whilst it wasn’t a long kiss it was devastatingly good and Molly’s mind seemed to blank out as she just gave into it. Then as quickly as it had started it stopped with him pulling away and turning back to the wall pointing at a couple of the photographs from her autopsy files.

‘Now I’m fairly certain that the knife used in two of the murders was the same one. Would you agree? The sizes of the wounds in both of your reports are the same and the depths show the length to be between 3 and 5 inches. At first I thought...’

Molly knew she had to stop him. Her mind was reeling from his kiss and she still needed answers.

‘Wait, hang on can we just talk about what happened first?’

She dropped her bag onto John’s chair and shrugged out of her jacket as she saw Sherlock turning to her looking a bit confused; his hand still pointing up at one of the photos.

‘What do you mean what’s happened? Do you mean with my being taken in for questioning?’

Now it was her turn to feel confusion and exasperation. ‘No you idiot, I mean us talking about the fact that we had sex.’

She couldn’t help it but she knew she was blushing and she saw his lips quirk up into a slight smirk as he saw it.

This time when he walked towards her he was slower but his eyes seemed to bore into her very soul.

‘I would have thought that was obvious. I mean it’s not as though I have a reputation for sleeping around.’ He tilted his head and smirked again. ‘Well, apart from in the papers that is.’

By now he was in front of her and she could feel her whole body responding as she looked up at him shyly.

‘I had sex with you Molly, because I like you and if it’s alright with you I’d like to have sex with you again.’

His hands moved to her hips and pulled her closer to him and his eyes never left hers as he moved in to kiss her again. They only closed just as his lips met hers.

At the touch of his mouth Molly felt as though all the air left her body. She felt everything acutely, the weight of his hands, the feel of his lips moving against hers; the way her breasts were brushing against his chest. All she could think about was him and how he was making her feel in that moment.

She felt lust deep in her belly and her arms moved around him, her hands sliding across the satin material of his house coat.

Somehow without her realising it he had turned them and she felt the edge of his PC table against the back of her thighs. She leant against it and felt him move in between her legs as his tongue snaked into her mouth twisting against her own. He groaned and it just seemed to set off a chain reaction in her ending deep in her belly and she ached to be touched by him more intimately.

Before they could do more though his phone started ringing and Sherlock groaned for a second time as he stopped kissing her and instead rested his forehead against her own. Then he took a deep breath and stood up, hunting under some folders on his desk until he found his mobile.

‘Yes.’

Molly remained where she was for a moment trying to catch her breath and come to terms with the fact that Sherlock seemed more than comfortable with them continuing their relationship.

The word repeated itself in her head and she pushed away from the desk as she felt a smile starting to spread across her face.

‘Don’t be ridiculous Anderson....of course I’m alone but I am most definitely not lonely.’

Molly carried on smiling at the tone of Sherlock’s voice. There was always the same level of irritation in it when he spoke to Philip Anderson and she felt sorry for the other man.

‘No, don’t come over. If I did need company I still wouldn’t want yours.’

Molly made her way into the kitchen to see if he had anything to drink and she shook her head as she went. He was being cruel and she knew she’d have to say something.

‘Well don’t try and be nice. I don’t like nice, it’s insipid.’

He hung up and threw the phone on his chair as she opened the fridge and her eyes lit up when she saw the single bottle of white wine lying on its side at the back of the fridge behind a human liver. She frowned and tutted; she hadn’t even noticed him take from Barts. It was at least a week old and starting to smell.

She screwed up her nose in disgust and made a mental note to bring a cool box next time she came round so she could dispose of it but she still reached past it to hook out the wine.

By the time she returned with two glasses of the wine he was back concentrating on his wall again and this time she happily answered his questions. Just the knowledge that he wanted to be with her was enough for now

An hour or so later Mrs Hudson came up the stairs with a plate of sandwiches, announcing her arrival with a sing song ‘oo oo’ and a tap at the door.

Molly hadn’t really thought about food but as soon as she saw them she realised she was ravenous and she ate up four in the time it took Sherlock to absentmindedly eat one.

It was only when she started to talk about going home to bed that Sherlock dragged his mind off the case.

‘What? No, don’t go. You can stay over can’t you? The shirt you borrowed is still on the chair in my bedroom.’

It didn’t sound as though he was going to join her but Molly could live with that. She knew how wrapped up he could get in a case and she didn’t want to change him...not for anything. This was the man she had fallen in love with and she knew his faults. Not that she’d be a doormat for him, she hadn’t ever been a doormat for a guy but she knew what she’d put up with and what she wouldn’t.

This time when she put on the purple shirt it was with a shiver of excited happiness. She let down her hair and scratched her scalp feeling that itchy buzz that she always got when she took out the band, then she went to brush her teeth and clean up.

When she finished she decided to go and say good night to Sherlock and she found him sitting in his chair reading some report or other.

She took a moment to just appreciate how gorgeous he looked lit up as he was by a lamp behind the chair. It cast shadows across his face, highlighting his impossible cheekbones.

As she moved forward he glanced up and away and then back up again as he seemed to notice her again for the first time in hours. The look in his eye told her that she might not be getting to sleep for a while yet.

Chapter Text

Sherlock was just browsing through a background report on the second victim when he heard Molly approaching. He glanced up at her and then had to do a double take. She was wearing his shirt again, with her hair down around her shoulders and she took his breath away. How had he never fully realised just how extraordinarily beautiful she was. Yes, he could still see what he had once thought were imperfections; her thin lips, her small breasts but he couldn’t quite understand why he had ever thought her deficient.

She seemed nervous about interrupting him but he could barely remember what it was he had been doing...it certainly hadn’t been important. Instead he tossed the file to the floor and held his arms out to embrace her and he saw the smile break over her face lighting her up.

She hesitated for a moment but then slotted onto his lap and he briefly noted that she’d lost weight recently. He made a mental note to take her out for a meal, he found he wanted to feed her up, to protect her in a way he hadn’t ever wanted to with anyone else before. Yes he’d always wanted to keep her safe from people like his sister and Moriarty but this felt like more than that; he felt protective of her....he struggled to put it into words and the best he could come up with was her well being.

Whilst he thought all this her hands had gone around his neck and she was playing with his hair, running her fingers up the back of his head in a way that sent blood straight to his groin.

‘Penny for your thoughts, you seem miles away.’ She bit her lip and he found himself caught by her teeth indenting the skin. ‘I...I don’t want to disturb you if you’re busy.’

His eyes moved back to hers and he saw a flash of that nervousness again.

‘You can disturb me anytime you like when you’re dressed like this Dr Hooper.’ He let a smile move across his face as one of his hands slid up her naked thigh to the edge of his shirt. How did she make such a plain object...material and buttons...look so damned sexy.

She returned his smile and moved slightly setting off more shockwaves in his body and he had to bite back a groan. He suddenly remembered how good it had felt to be kissing her earlier, to settle himself between her thighs and feel his cock starting to rub against her. He wanted that feeling again and so he kissed her.

She responded immediately, her mouth opening to his, her hands curling in his hair and tugging on the strands. This time he couldn’t contain the groan; he wanted her. He wanted every inch of her.

Without breaking the kiss he hooked his hand under her knees and with the other at her back he pushed himself to standing, carrying her in his arms.

She let out a slight cry of shock and pulled away from him, her hands tightening their grip of his neck but he just chuckled and started making his way to his bedroom. What he intended to do to her would take time and he wanted her to be comfortable.

Once she knew he wouldn’t drop her she let her tongue slide up his neck before sucking on the skin below his ear and his eyelids half closed at the physical sensations that it excited in him. He was beginning to wonder why he had eschewed a physical relationship with Molly for so long; having her in his arms just felt so right.

He nudged the bedroom door open with his foot and after entering he let Molly stand so that he could kiss her once more. He could already feel her hands pulling at his clothes and he wanted nothing between them, not one shred of material and so he shrugged his dressing gown off his shoulders and pulled his shirt out of his trousers so it was easier for Molly’s eager hands to undo the buttons.

They were still trying to kiss but ended up giggling instead as his hands were caught in his sleeves when she tried to remove the shirt. He would have thought that humour would have broken the mood but it didn’t and when she dropped to her knees in front of him and started to unfasten his trousers all he could do was watch with his breath caught in his throat. Seeing her glance up at him and smile whilst she was inches from his cock made his brain feel as though it was short circuiting. The images swirling in his head were nothing compared to the sight in front of him and he only came back to full consciousness when her hand wrapped around his erection and he saw her mouth opening to receive him.

Words couldn’t describe the feeling of having Molly taking him into her warm, wet mouth. Within a few short minutes he felt his cock twitching and it took him every ounce of will power not to just come there and then. He knew he couldn’t take much more of this but he was loath to stop it when it felt so good. He realised that he was moaning and begging her and he didn’t know whether he was begging for her to continue or begging for her to stop.

When he felt his balls tightening and his cock twitching again he knew he had to stop her. He didn’t want their pleasure to end before it had to and he knew waiting would be all the more pleasurable and so he gently eased himself away from her before bringing her back to her feet.

‘My God Molly, you are far too good at that.’

He saw her blush and smile briefly before he kissed her, tasting himself a little on her lips and tongue. He was the sour against her sweetness.

He quickly kicked his trousers off so that he was completely naked and then he moved her backwards towards his bed, his arms supporting her as he lowered her down before covering her body with his own. The impatient part of him wanted to plunge into her and reach his completion but he also knew he wanted to explore her first, to hear her crying out his name before he indulged himself.

He gestured for her to move further onto the bed and then he knelt up, between her legs, and looked down at the sight before him.

She was still wearing his shirt and it gave him so much more pleasure than it ever had seeing Janine wearing his clothes. Then it had just been irritating, now it was a mixture of erotic and possessiveness; a sense that she was part of him and he of her.

Her hair was fanned out on the bed around her head and she was biting her lip with what he realised was nervousness and he frowned seeing it. Did she really not understand how beautiful she looked to him?

Without realising it his hand had moved to his cock and he was slowly sliding the sheath of skin that covered his hardness up and down. He saw her eyes watching him and the arousal it caused in her and he felt a swell of pride that he could excite this within her.

Her hands reached out to him and he moved over her, aware that as he did his cock was nudging at her entrance and that her knees were either side of his hips. They kissed and it was a kind of exquisite torture as he felt himself pressing against her entrance without ever breaching it. Her tongue was in his mouth and her hands pressing against his backside but he knew it wasn’t time; not just yet....but soon.

It seemed that Molly had slightly different ideas as she took the initiative to roll them over so that she was straddling him.

She sat upright on him and gave him a shy, but very sexy smile, before bringing her hands up to the buttons of his shirt and slowly started to undo them.

Sherlock found himself transfixed as bit by bit more of her skin was revealed to him. It also wasn’t helping that she was gently rubbing herself on his cock and moaning slightly as she did so; her lips slightly parted and her eyes barely open.

When she undid the last button he couldn’t wait any longer and he reached up pushing the material from her shoulders. She held it just for a moment preventing her breasts from being revealed to him but then she gave way and shrugged it off, letting it fall onto the bed behind her and she was left sitting astride him completely naked.

His eyes were transfixed by her beautiful breasts, full and plump with dusky pink nipples already puckered and erect. He brought his hands up to ghost over her skin and she moaned once more, arching her back and pressing herself against his open palms.

His eyes flicked to her face and back to her breasts and he let out a breath that he hadn’t realised he’d been holding onto. ‘God, Molly, you’re beautiful.’

He finally let his hands move over her, covering her and feeling those hard pebbles against his palms. She was so soft and it reminded him of the feel of expensive silk.

She had started to rock against him harder and he knew from her breathing and her moans that she was close to an orgasm and as he brought his head up to replace his hand with his mouth she leant over him and it took her only a couple of seconds to lift herself a little higher so she could take hold of his erection and slowly slide herself down onto it.

She felt warm and tight and wet, forcing his aching cock deep inside her and he felt himself pulsing, getting impossibly harder.

As she started to move above him one of her hands curled around the back of his head holding him in place against her breast as he closed his eyes and lost himself in the pure enjoyment of her. She tasted divine and he loved the feel of her hardened nipple against his tongue, letting it roll over the skin again and again before biting down on it lightly assessing just how much pressure he should use.

‘Oh God...Sherlock....Sherlock....Oh...’

He moved his hands to her backside pressing her against him even more as he felt her muscles starting to convulse around him and he swore he had never experienced anything quite so amazing in his life. Being high didn’t even compare to the feeling of Molly coming on his cock and he could feel himself losing his grasp on reality, giving in to his own needs as he urged her on. She moved faster, pressing one hand against the headboard so she could press back onto him harder and he relinquished all control the moment his own climax started.

Her mouth covered his and her tongue plunged into him twisting with his own as she fucked him to completion, swallowing his groan as he came inside her and by the time they had finished they were both sweating and out of breath. Sherlock had never felt more sated or more contented and he never wanted this time with Molly to end.

Chapter Text

He had found his first victim. She was younger than the other two and shouldn’t be alone at this time of night. Maybe she’d been abandoned by her friends after a night out, maybe she was just brave...or stupid but either way her time on earth would soon be at an end. The risk with this one was low and he was sorry that he wouldn’t be able to spend more time with her but now he’d started down this path, this homage to Jack, he wanted to be as authentic as possible.

She only noticed her error when it was too late. She had started to turn towards him as he quietly ran up behind her but it took barely three seconds for him to wrap one hand over her mouth at the same time as he brought his blade up to slice across her throat.

The blood spiked out, away from him, splashing up the wall and hitting the street sign almost three feet away. He’d cut so deep that air even escaped from her wind pipe and he felt her initially strong struggle turn to barely a twitch.

Slowly he sank down letting her body be lowered to the floor and he glanced around to make sure that they were still alone.

Her face still showed her shock even as her eyes glazed over in death and he took off one glove so he could slowly trail his finger down her cheek before he left her.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly had dozed off soon after they’d finished having sex but she was vaguely aware of Sherlock getting off the bed an hour or so later and leaving the room. She assumed he was going to the bathroom but when he didn’t return she decided to go and see what he was doing. This was still all so new and she just found that she wanted to be near him.

She shuffled off the bed and grabbed a dark-coloured dressing gown, hanging on the back of the door, and she wrapped herself up in it as she first made her way into the bathroom to clean up and then went through his kitchen and towards the front room. She wasn’t really prepared for the sight she was about to see though, even after having had sex with him twice she hadn’t really got used to him naked but naked he was.

He was half sat on the right-hand window ledge with one foot on the floor. The sash window was partially open and he was smoking, blowing the smoke out into the cold, nighttime air. The only light was from the street lamp outside bathing him in its orange glow. He looked like he could have been an artists model, a da Vinci nude...the perfect specimen of manhood.

‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you. I just needed a cigarette.’

Even as he said this he took a final drag before flicking the remains down onto the street then he stood and closed the window. He took a couple of steps and then stood in front of his wall of evidence and he started to recite details of the case.

Molly knew he wasn’t really talking to her, if she hadn’t been here he would have been directing his ideas to the slightly charred skull still sitting on his mantle piece but she loved hearing him rattling through facts and deductions...hearing his smooth baritone as it washed over her. She was also enamoured with the look of his sculptured body in this light and so she did what she had wanted to do in her kitchen the other day and she moved up behind him and pressed her front to his back, wrapping her arms around his chest.

She felt him relax into her slightly and knew from that that he was happy and not irritated.

They stood like that for a couple of minutes with him talking and occasionally pointing at a picture of a part of the map that was pinned up but all Molly could focus on was a growing need for him. She knew they’d only had sex a couple of hours ago but she wanted him again...she needed him. She had an ache between her legs and she was acutely conscious of his skin under her hands and she started to move her palms over his chest and abdomen, slowly exploring him. Eventually she let her hands slide over his hips and to the top of his thighs and she heard the slight stutter in his voice...the hitch of his breath.

She brought her hands back up to his stomach, feeling the taut, flat muscles under the thin layer of skin and this time, when she slid them down, her thumbs brushed his pubic hair; the affect on his voice was more pronounced and she smiled. Her head was lying against his back, feeling the vibrations of his voice, her eyes were closed and a smile was playing on her face. Life hadn’t felt this good in a long while...if ever.

On her third pass he turned suddenly, almost catching her off balance and when she looked in his eyes arousal flooded through her.

His hands went to her waist and he started to tug slowly on the ties of the dressing gown. ‘Molly Hooper, are you distracting me from a case?’

She felt herself heating up under his gaze and all she could do was silently nod her head as the bow came undone and the gown started to slacken.

‘I think that deserves some punishment, don’t you?’

Her eyes widened at what he was saying and all of a sudden her mouth felt dry as her heart thudded in her chest. She felt a brief flashback to watching him whipping a corpse as she wondered just what he meant.

He raised one eyebrow appraisingly. ‘Hmm I think we’ve just uncovered a kink we can explore...but not yet. I do intend to fuck you though.’

He pushed the silky material off her shoulders and the gown fell to the floor leaving her as naked as he was and she loved the way his eyes raked over her body appreciatively. She had always imagined him looking at her critically but instead he looked as if he was in awe and it made her feel beautiful.

Without warning he picked her up and her legs automatically wrapped around his waist as their mouths met in a passionate kiss. She could feel him nudging at her entrance and she wanted him inside her once more but he seemed content to tease her for the moment.

Her hands had gone to his head and she threaded them through his curls. She’d always wanted to run her hands through his hair and she loved the feel of it. Even more she loved the growls she could elicit from him when she tugged on the silky strands.

A couple of moments later he turned and stood on the coffee table in front of the settee before stepping down and lying them both on the cold, soft leather.

‘I should tie your hands to the arm rest but that would entail me leaving your body.’ He took hold of her wrists and held them above her head and she knew that he wanted her to keep them there. The gesture just felt so erotic and as he kissed her breasts she moaned wanting to touch him but finding the whole experience such a turn on. Instead she held onto the edge of the arm rest as Sherlock’s hands and mouth explored her body, finding all those places that increased her arousal and sensitivity.

When his fingers finally pushed into her she arched herself up towards him feeling herself starting to build towards an orgasm and it only increased when he moved off the settee and onto his knees between her thighs. Just the thought of him using his mouth on her had her inner walls starting to convulse and tighten and she felt so wet she worried she might leak onto the leather.

The whole experience was just heightened when he withdrew his hand and she watched him suck his fingers clean; and all the time he did it he looked her directly in the eye watching her moaning and squirming and begging for more.

The sight of those familiar curls between her legs as his tongue swirled around and over her clit was too much for Molly and she forgot that she was supposed to keep her hands above her head, she forgot he was in the middle of a case...she almost forgot her own name. All she could think about was her own needs and how good he was making her body feel. She was crying out his name as his tongue slid inside her and she came for so long that she thought for a brief moment that she might actually pass out.

Even as she came back to awareness she knew that she was still sensitive and wanting more and she knew she wanted to be filled by him.

This time he didn’t tease her but instead he lay over her and positioned himself at her entrance before pushing in, both of them making their experience known vocally.

‘God Molly, you feel so damned good...so wet. Do you have any idea how much I want to fuck you right now?’

‘Do it...please, just do it.’

He started to thrust into her and she could already feel a second orgasm starting to build and all she could do was urge him on; begging him to go faster...harder. They were both desperately chasing their completions and just acting on instinct.

Molly’s mouth was at his throat and she was kissing and sucking on his skin as her nails dug into his backside feeling his muscles straining and as she came she felt him thrust harder, once...twice and then a final third time as he came with her, emptying himself into her.

When he kissed her afterwards it felt soft and sweet and filled with so much emotion that Molly thought she might cry. She didn’t believe this was love...not for him, but she could pretend to herself that it was.

JTRJTRJTRJTRJTRJTRJTRJTR

The second woman was older, not as sexy or inspiring as the first but in this location and at that time of night beggars couldn’t be choosers. She was still only late twenties at most but he could tell she’d had a hard life...working the streets to fund a heroin and crack habit. It was almost like putting her out of her misery.

He was a bit angry that he’d had to kill her a couple of streets away and move her to a quieter location to inflict the post mortum injuries that he needed to to mirror Catherine Eddowes body and that was where he got his thrill. He had never realised or understood how much power and confidence you could get from taking a life and now he had a taste for it he wouldn’t be giving it up anytime soon. His original plan had been to stop at the end of the Ripper deaths but that wouldn’t be good enough for him...not now and he had so many ideas of his own.

He’d always felt lesser as a man, looked down on, laughed at, ridiculed, but none of that mattered any more. He knew who he was now and what he could do and it was something that none of them had done, not even the great Sherlock Holmes; and look how he was fooling him now...he had no clue...none!

Chapter Text

Molly woke up groggily to her phone alarm going off. She’d forgotten about her early shift at work and now that she was lying in Sherlock’s arms she wished more than anything that she didn’t have to go in.

Thankfully the alarm snoozed itself before it woke Sherlock up and she had a couple of minutes to wake up and think through everything that had happened the night before.

They must have fallen into bed at about three o’clock and Sherlock had pulled her to him so that her head was in the crook of his shoulder and his arms were wrapped around her and she had never felt more safe or more surprised. She would never have pegged Sherlock enjoying cuddles after sex.

Her last memory before sleep had taken her was him pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

She glanced up at his sleeping profile lit only by the morning light coming in through a gap in the curtains and she smiled as she inhaled a deep, satisfied breath. She wanted this to be the start of something so much and she knew they needed to talk properly but now wouldn’t be the time. Her phone would go off again any minute and she needed to get to work.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Sherlock surfaced just as she was drinking down a burning hot cup of coffee, cursing as she scalded her tongue. He looked positively edible as he came out of the bedroom yawning and wrapped in a sheet; his hair all tousled and a red mark from their love making low on his neck. Molly blushed and smiled to herself at the sight of it wondering how he’d feel when he noticed it.

She poured him a cup of coffee and then jumped slightly as he came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her, kissing her neck.

‘Are you sure you have to go in? Ring Mike and tell him you need the day off and then come back to bed.’

He pressed himself against her and she knew he was hard and the temptation was so great. It was only her sense of professionalism that stopped her agreeing to his request.

‘God I wish I could but we’re short staffed because of holidays and I promised Mike. Anyway, didn’t you say last night that I shouldn’t be distracting you from your case.’

‘Mmmhmmm...but I want to punish you for distracting me anyway.’

Molly felt a flood of wetness at his words and bit her lip...god she wanted to stay but she knew she couldn’t.

His hand snaked down and between her legs pressing against the material of her trousers and she moaned in reaction, swallowing heavily and leaning on the counter. She tried to concentrate her thoughts and keep strong but her will power was weakening under his assault.

‘We don’t have to take too long, you’ll only be a few minutes late.’

He sucked on the skin under her ear as he loosened her trousers and pushed them down along with her pants then his hand was back on her, his fingers on her bare quim and she knew she was lost. Instead she just gave into him, pressing back against him and leaning over further until she felt his erection pressing into her.

They both seemed to exhale as he entered her and he paused for a moment when he was fully ensheathed; whether it was for her to get used to his size or for him to just enjoy the moment, she wasn’t sure which, but then he pulled out before thrusting back in as his hand pressed circles onto her clit.

She could almost picture the image of the two of them as if she was outside her own body. Her fully dressed and leaning against the kitchen counter with her trousers pushed down as Sherlock fucked her from behind and just the mental image of it had her moaning loudly and feeling herself starting to come. She’d never had sex like this before...not just the frequency but the wantonness of it.

The harder he thrust the closer her orgasm was but it was his voice in her ear telling her to come for him that tipped her over the edge and she came hard with her own hand pressed against his fingers for extra stimulation. A minute or so later and he came himself pulling her against him as he thrust into her so he could get as deep as possible.

He held her like that for a few moments and she could feel his hot breath against her ear. Then he kissed her neck. ‘Fuck, Molly, what have you done to me? I could do this all day.’

She let out a slight chuckle and twisted in his grasp, feeling him leave her body and making her want to feel him again. Instead she put one hand on his face and kissed him, tasting his toothpaste. ‘I wish I could stay all day...but I can’t. And now I really am late for work!’

He gave her one last kiss before releasing her. ‘It was worth it.’ Then he swatted her backside as she pulled up her trousers and made her way into the bathroom to freshen up before leaving.

Ten minutes later and she was stood on the street trying to hail a cab when he called her back from the door. He was stood wearing nothing but the indigo dressing gown that she’d had on the night before.

‘You forgot your watch.’ He held it up for her and she made her way back and she smiled as he put it onto her wrist, doing up the tiny buckle with his fingers before kissing the inside of her wrist. ‘Come see me after work?’

She nodded her head and let him pull her to him for one last kiss and then he effortlessly seemed to stop one of the cabs even though they seem to have been studiously ignoring her hails for the last couple of minutes.

As she sat in the back of the black cab she twisted in her seat to catch a final glimpse of him as she pulled away and she put one hand on her lips as she remembered that final kiss. It still seemed amazing to her that not only did she appear to be in a relationship with him but just how physical that relationship was...not that she was complaining. Mike would be though...given she was twenty minutes late for work but given her immaculate past record she hoped he’d let her off just this once.

Mike barely seemed to notice she was late though even though it was busy in the morgue.

‘Good you’re here. Can you get on with the paperwork in the lab, we need to catch up on the files from intensive care.’

Molly looked around the morgue feeling a little confused. ‘But surely the bodies that came in overnight take priority?’

She couldn’t help but notice that Mike looked flushed and nervous.

‘Mike, what’s going on?’

He held his hands up placatingly. ‘Listen Molly, it’s not me...OK. I know that your work is exemplary but there seems to be some questions around Sherlock and his involvement in the Ripper cases. Scotland Yard have insisted that you be removed from those cases.’

‘Me? But why? I don’t understand.’

‘Greg said he’d be in touch later this morning...but come on Molly, you’ve lied for him before. Don’t make me have to bring up when.’

Molly’s cheeks burned as she realised he was referring to her fake autopsy on his “death”. They had never discussed it on Sherlock’s return but she knew that Mike had gone in to bat for her with management...as had Mycroft no doubt because there had never been the expected consequences. It looked like those consequences had just emerged.

She couldn’t speak because her throat was tight with angry tears so instead she just nodded and then got the hell out of there to the sanctuary of her office in the lab. She tried ringing Sherlock to find out what was going on but his phone was just going through to answerphone and she ended up resorting to reading the online headlines on the BBC.

It seemed there had been two more murders overnight. One in Henrique St, Whitechapel and one in Mitre Square.

When she then went to the Daily Mail pages the headlines were far more lurid.

RIPPER’S NIGHT OF BLOOD...IS HOLMES THE NEW RIPPER?

She shook her head at the grainy photograph, no doubt taken from a distance, of Sherlock being taken into Scotland Yard by Lestrade through a back door. Even from a distance she could see that he’d been handcuffed and she banged the desk in frustration.

She picked up her phone and dialled Lestrade.

‘Molly, are you at Barts? I need to talk to you.’

‘Yes, I’m in my office. Listen, about Sherlock...’

‘Not now Molly, we need to do this officially. Can you come here... to the Yard?’

‘Yes of course, but...’

‘Just come over Molly and we can talk then.’

He hung up and Molly looked down at her phone. He’d sounded so grim and distant.

She picked up her stuff and sent Mike a quick text explaining where she’d gone. At least she didn’t feel guilty given they hadn’t wanted her help in the morgue anyway...and within five minutes she was in a taxi and on her way.

When she arrived at Scotland Yard it was Anderson who came and met her at the sign in desk and walked her upstairs to one of the interview rooms.

‘I suppose you’ve heard about Sherlock being arrested. I shouldn’t say anything but he’s trying to use you as an alibi. Just...just make sure you’re honest Molly.’

Molly frowned in confusion. ‘Of course I’ll be honest. Why wouldn’t I be?’

Anderson shrugged and looked a bit uncomfortable. ‘Well, you know...’

Molly could feel her confusion giving way to anger. ‘I’m not his puppet you know. I help him when it is right to do so...when his life is in danger. Let’s not forget who contributed to that danger last time.’

They’d reached the door of the interview room and Anderson silently opened the door and just muttered a gruff ‘Wait in here’ before slamming it shut behind her.

As she looked around the bland, square room she took in the cheap table and plastic chairs, the recording equipment and the one way window on the wall opposite to the desk and she suddenly felt a prickle of fear for Sherlock. Everyone seemed to think she would just be giving him a fake alibi. How on earth could she prove that it wasn’t? One idea occurred to her and the very thought of it had her closing her eyes in humiliation...but if it came to it she knew what she had to say.

They left her there for a good fifteen minutes and when the door finally did open to admit Lestrade and Donovan she jumped with surprise.

‘Hey Molly, it’s good to see you. Thanks for coming in.’

She smiled in response and couldn’t help but notice just how tired Greg looked. This case was taking a toll on him.

The two of them sat down and it was Donovan who set up the recording equipment, setting out the date and time, the occupants in the room and why Molly was there. When she’d finished she leant back in her chair and Greg took over.

‘Simple question for you Molly. Where were you last night and what were you doing?’

Chapter Text

Molly took a deep breath but even so when she started talking she noticed that her voice was a bit shaky. She had never been formally interviewed in this way and it was more intimidating than she’d imagined.

‘I...I went to Baker St to see Sherlock after I finished work. I must have arrived about 7.00 and I didn’t leave until just after 8.00 this morning. I got to work about 20 minutes late as Mike will be able to confirm.’

Greg nodded and made a quick note on the pad he’d brought with him.

‘And how much of that time did you actually spend in Sherlock’s company?’

Molly thought back over the night. ‘Umm...pretty much all of it.’

Greg sighed and put his elbows on the desk with his hands clasped. ‘You know what I mean Molly. Were you always in the same room together? What time did you go to sleep in John’s old room?’

Molly cleared her throat and knew she was blushing but she had to get through this for Sherlock.

‘No, I mean we were in the same room for most of the night. We...we slept together.’

She saw momentary confusion flit through Greg’s eyes before they hardened. ‘You don’t need to lie for him Molly.’

‘I’m not.’

‘Why on earth would you sleep in the same room Molly? It makes no sense. Please don’t perjure yourself.’

She took a deep breath. It looked a though she was going to have to spell this out and she just hoped that Sherlock wouldn’t mind her revealing something that was private to them. ‘We slept in the same room together because we were having sex.’

At this Donovan snorted in derision. ‘Sorry, the freak is having sex. Pull the other one Molly, every one knows he’s a virgin.’

At this Molly could feel her anger overtaking her embarrassment. ‘Well, everyone is wrong then aren’t they.’

Greg just looked upset. ‘Molly, don’t make me arrest you as an accomplice. He isn’t worth it....we have it on good authority that Sherlock was alone last night.’

‘If you mean Anderson and his phone call to Sherlock I was there when it took place. He seemed to be asking if Sherlock was lonely and needed some company. Sherlock did say he was alone but he was lying. Our...umm...relationship is in its infancy, if it even is a relationship, he just didn’t want to advertise it.’

Greg sat back in his chair and washed a hand over his face. ‘I’m sorry Molly but I just don’t believe you. I know you like him, we all do, and I also know how much you’ve lied for him in the past.’

‘I have proof.’

‘What proof?’

Molly couldn’t help but hesitate. What she was about to mention would be intensely intrusive but she couldn’t think of any other way of proving that what she was saying was true.
She cleared her throat and took a calming breath. Then she looked Greg square in the eye, refusing to be embarrassed.

‘I had sex with Sherlock about four hours ago, it was the reason I was late for work. I haven’t had a chance to shower so...so the evidence is still available.’

There was one of those silences in the room where you could have heard the proverbial pin drop.

‘Bloody hell Molly. You want us to swab you?’

‘I don’t want you to, but you need to if that’s what it will take to believe my alibi for him. I know there were more murders last night and I can categorically state that it wasn’t Sherlock. It couldn’t have been because he was with me the whole night.’

Greg took a deep breath and then nodded his head. ‘Right, we’ll call in the duty doctor.’

After he’d turned off the tape he started to leave the room with Donovan but he hesitated at the door. ‘For what it’s worth Molly I’m glad it isn’t him, I never really thought it would be. As for you and him...are you sure?’

She shrugged and smiled. ‘No, but I have to give it a chance.’

He nodded his head. ‘Yeah...yeah I suppose you do.’

Donovan just rolled her eyes and shook her head. ‘Rather you than me...good luck, coz I reckon your gonna need it.’

Then they left, leaving Molly alone with her thoughts.

It was another two hours before Molly was finally in a position to able to leave Scotland Yard and all she wanted to do was to go home and take a long, hot bath. The doctor who had examined her had been female and very kind but she still felt a level of violation at having to effectively have a smear test...she didn’t like those at the best of times.

As she made her way down the corridor towards the lifts she suddenly found herself face to face with Sherlock who was being led towards the interview rooms. His face lit up as he saw her and he started to talk excitedly. ‘Molly, I think I know who’s doing this but I’m worried...you’re not safe.’

As soon as he started talking the officer who was with him started to roughly pull him away. ‘Hey, no talking!’

‘Go to Baker St Molly, promise me. Don’t leave until I get there...it’s...’

She didn’t hear the rest though as he was more or less dragged around the corner and away from her.

She let out a big sigh and rolled her shoulders...maybe she could take that bath in his flat.

It was Mrs Hudson who let her in, telling her that Sherlock wasn’t home and offering her a cup of tea.

‘He’s mentioned that you’re taking John’s old room. I think having you there will be good for him though I have to say I’m surprised you need another bedroom after last night.’

Molly’s eyes widened as she realised that Mrs H must have heard them. ‘Oh God, I’m so sorry...I...’

The older woman just chuckled and patted Molly’s arm. ‘I’m not. It’s about time that boy found himself a partner and I’m glad it’s someone I like. Now, are you sure you won’t have that drink?’

Molly smiled. ‘Yes, I’m sure. I just want to have a bath and maybe get some sleep before Sherlock gets back.’

‘OK, well give me a shout if you need anything.’

Molly felt intensely weary as she made her way up the stairs and as she pushed open the door to the flat and made her way in she decided that maybe a cuppa and a nap were in order before the bath. She didn’t want to fall asleep in the water...she’d seen a couple of bodies pass through her morgue where that had been the cause of death.

She contemplated sleeping in Sherlock’s bed but that still felt a bit too personal and so she ended up lying on the settee with a blanket over her as she gave into her exhaustion.

She wasn’t sure what time she awoke but it was due to a phone ringing...Sherlock’s phone. She quickly determined that he mustn’t have had a chance to collect it when he’d been taken in for questioning.

She hesitated for a second but then she picked it up from the coffee table and answered it.

‘Hello.’

‘Hello, this is Bartlett’s Estate Agents I’m just ringing Mr Holmes about his purchase of Flat 3, Bitterne Gardens. Is he available to speak?’

Molly’s mouth had fallen open and her mind was in free-fall. That was her flat. Why would Sherlock be buying her flat?

‘I...err...no, he’s not here. Can I take a message?’

‘Just let him know that the contracts are ready to exchange. The current owner is ready to move out as agreed and he should be able to take possession of the keys on Friday as planned. If he has any questions he can just give us a call. We’re open until six today.’

‘OK, I’ll let him know.’

Molly put the phone down and sat back on the settee. Her mind felt as though it was about to explode. It didn’t help that she was still feeling groggy from her sleep but all she could think was that he had been lying to her...from the start. Why would he do that?

She pushed herself to standing suddenly feeling uncomfortable in his flat. She just wanted to get home, to her own things and her own space...she couldn’t think whilst she was here and she certainly didn’t want to see him right now.

She grabbed her bag and ran down the stairs. As she made her way out of the front door she heard Mrs Hudson saying something behind her but she felt too confused and angry to stop and see what she was saying. Instead she just pulled the door shut behind her and hailed a cab.

As she sat in the back watching the streets whizz by she tried to make sense of what she’d learnt. Sherlock had manipulated her...he’d bought her flat and persuaded her to move in with him. What she didn’t understand was why. A small part wanted to believe that maybe he’d always wanted her...that it was love that drove his actions but she let out a dry laugh. No, they might have had sex but that didn’t mean he had been in love with her over a week ago.

All she could think was he had some plan...some reason that she didn’t know about and the thought that he had been using her this whole time made her feel sick...what if him sleeping with her was just part of that plan...

She must have let out some sort of choked sob because the driver turned his head slightly, asking if she was OK.

‘Yes...no...God, I don’t know.’

‘Man trouble is it?’

Molly just nodded her head and then verbalised it when she realised he couldn’t see her.

‘Well, he’s a fool if you ask me. You’re a very pretty girl. You make him work for it. Right, here we are.’

Molly paid him the money plus a tip for trying to cheer her up then, as he drove away, she wearily made her way towards her block. She just wanted that hot bath and a cup of tea.

She paused for a moment at the door trying to find her keys in her bag. They always seemed to get lost in the bottom...and that’s when it happened. All of a sudden she realised that someone was running up behind her. She heard the footsteps and felt a rush of fear but before she could turn her head or scream a hand covered her mouth and pulled her tight against them.

She started to struggle, to try to turn and wriggle out of their grasp but she felt a sharp prick of a needle in her neck.

Fear turned to terror as she started to black out. She could feel her legs going away from her and her vision blurring. As she sank to the ground he finally let go of her mouth in order to support her body and all she could think about was Sherlock. He was the last thing in her mind as her mouth wordlessly said his name and then everything was black.

Chapter Text

It was late afternoon before Lestrade finally informed Sherlock that he could leave. It turned out that for once the paparazzi had helped him. They had been waiting outside his flat for gossip of him and Molly and they had not only photographed her going in but also leaving the following morning along with photos of Sherlock putting her watch on and kissing her goodbye.

‘Bloody hell Sherlock. I have to say I’m surprised about you and Molly. I didn’t know you had it in you.’

Sherlock was angrily pulling on his coat and checking his pockets to make sure all his belongings were there and he snappily answered back. ‘Had what in me exactly?’

‘Well, I don’t know...emotions...romantic feelings.’

He wanted to retort that he wasn’t romantic but instead he just took a deep breath and changed the subject.

‘I need to get back to my flat and check that Molly is OK. This killer is intent on implicating me...that means that for some reason they’re focused on me and if they’re focused on me they’re focused on Molly and I don’t want her being his fifth victim. Send me everything you’ve got on the latest victims and I’ll meet you at Barts in an hour to go over the autopsy details...though God knows how good that’ll be if they haven’t let Molly do them.’

‘Sherlock, you know I’m still not supposed to...’

Sherlock rose himself to his full height and didn’t even try to rein in his anger. ‘I don’t give a damn what you are or aren’t supposed to do. We need to catch him now...before it’s too late. I’ve already told you who it is...’ he held his hand up stopping Lestrade before he could speak again. ‘Have I ever been wrong before...you know I’m right...I just need time so I can prove it. Now where’s my phone?’

He was still checking his pockets as he pushed his way out of the main doors of Scotland Yard and he huffed as he remembered that he’d left it behind in Baker St.

It only took him seconds to flag down a cab and then he sat in the back trying to work through his plan of action but his nerves felt like they were on fire. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it but he just knew he couldn’t rest easy until he’d seen Molly. Maybe he should keep her with him...or even take her to Mycroft’s house...there were few places safer in London though he hated to involve his brother if he didn’t have to.

He was lucky with the traffic and they were soon pulling up outside Speedy’s cafe. He contemplated asking the taxi driver to wait for him but he didn’t know how long he’d be with Molly so in the end he paid him and sent him away.

A moment later he opened the door and made his way in, running up the stairs and calling Molly’s name, ignoring Mrs Hudson who he could hear coming out of her flat...he didn’t have time for her witterings today.

There was no sign of Molly in the front room and so he quickly made his way through the kitchen and checked the bathroom and his bedroom as he went but still nothing.

He was about to go up the stairs to John’s old room when Mrs Hudson came into the flat. ‘Sherlock, would you stop rushing about and listen to me. Molly isn’t here. She left about an hour ago.’

‘Left...why?’

‘I don’t know but she seemed...I don’t know...upset. She didn’t even answer me when I tried to speak to her and that’s not like Molly.’

Sherlock looked round feeling confused. Something must have upset her but what. His eyes took in every detail, mapping it back to how he’d left the flat that morning and there it was...the change.

He picked up his mobile and glanced at it, checking the messages...the call log...

‘Dammit.’

Mrs Hudson flinched a little at his outburst.

‘What? Sherlock, what is it?’

But he was already trying to ring Molly as he made his way back down the stairs. He could almost see her hearing his phone...answering it...learning that he was the one who had bought her flat. But then what? She’d left here confused...maybe upset...and he knew without question that she would have gone home.

There was no answer on her mobile, it was switched off, and no answer on her landline. He tried not to panic...emotions wouldn’t help Molly if she was in trouble. Logic told him she was probably at home and in the bath or taking a nap...but he needed to know she was alright.

He gave her address to the new cab driver and then leant forward. There’s an extra fifty in it for you if you can put a call out and see if anyone else has been to that address in the last hour.

He held out the money as proof to the driver and then listened as he gave the details over the mike. In less than a minute the reply came back.

‘Yeah, Dave, I took a young woman there...mid-thirties, pretty. You got the boyfriend with you? If so, tell him to make it up to her.’ Then they heard a crackling laugh down the line.

Sherlock had the guy reconfirm that she arrived safely but when he was asked if he’d seen her enter the building he had to deny it...he’d been driving away and picking up details of a new job.

He sat back in his seat and closed his eyes thinking through all the variables and he kept coming back to one fact...the killer would try to get to him and he’d use Molly to do that.

As they pulled up outside her flat he flung some money at the cabbie and he was out and running before they’d even fully stopped. Luckily for him as he got to the doors another resident was exiting and he just pushed past them and was already on the stairs ignoring their shouted protests. He took them three at a time until he reached Molly’s floor and when he got to the door he hammered loudly, calling out her name at the same time.

When there was no answer after a minute he reached into his inside jacket pocket and pulled out his lock picking kit. The lock was old and childishly simple and a moment or two later he was searching through her flat calling out her name...but there was nothing, no sign that she’d ever made it back.

He took out his phone and called Lestrade.

‘He’s got Molly. I need you to pull any CCTV around her flat and text me when you have anything. You know what to look for.’

Without even waiting for a response he hung up and rang his brother. He needed to get a track on Molly’s location as soon as possible...he estimated that she had less than three hours from the point of her abduction to her death.

A deep hole opened up inside him at the thought of losing her and it almost forced him to his knees. He bent over and took a deep, pained breath as he forced his feelings for her down so he could concentrate...she needed Sherlock the detective not Sherlock the man. There would be time for emotion later...he couldn’t afford to have it hamper him.

His phone connected and he heard Mycroft’s cool tone. ‘Brother...how can I help?’

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly came too slowly. The pain struck her first as one by one her senses came back to her. Her head felt woolly and dis-jointed, fading in and out. Her mouth felt dry and her throat scratchy and when she tried to move to push her hair away from her face she cried out as something cut into her wrists.

She blinked slowly, trying to let her eyes accustom themselves to their environment and she looked down seeing plastic cable ties holding her wrists to the metal arms of a chair. There was blood slicking around them where they’d cut into her skin and even the slightest movement hurt.

Her ankles were similarly bound though not quite as tightly or painfully. Terror welled up inside her at her situation but she tried to swallow it down. She needed to get her bearings, work out where she was and who was holding her.

She looked up and immediately saw that she wasn’t alone. Philip Anderson was slumped unconscious in a chair similar to her own. It was situated about four feet away. His hands looked to be tied behind his back. She could see a streak of blood down the right hand side of his face and she could only surmise that he had been knocked unconscious but she had no idea why he was there...or why she’d been taken herself.

She looked around the rest of the small room to make sure they were alone. There was a single bed pushed against one wall with a bedside cabinet at the side of it but other than that there was no other furniture just a door which was closed and she presumed locked. There was one window covered by a threadbare curtain and the only light came from a bare bulb above her head.

‘Philip...Philip...can you hear me? Wake up.’

She kept her voice low but she couldn’t keep the urgency out of it, she desperately wanted him awake...hopeful that between them they could work out what had happened and whether there was any way out.

He stirred and groaned and she tried again, glancing at the door to make sure no one was coming.

‘Philip...please...wake up.’ The words ended in a sob of frustration as she fought to hold back the tears. Terror at her situation was starting to overwhelm her and she couldn’t afford to give into it.

His head rocked from side to side and she called his name again and this time he grunted in response before lifting his head and blinking his eyes. His face was wreathed in pain and confusion and she saw him pulling on his restraints just as she had.

‘Wha...what’s happening?’

His voice was thick and groggy.

‘I don’t know but we’re in trouble. Can you get loose at all? I can’t.’

She saw his elbows jerking as he pulled at the restraints behind his back but it made no difference. His feet were free however.

He was more alert now and taking in the room and surroundings and she asked him what he remembered.

‘It’s a bit of a blur...I was on my way round to check on you...you know after everything that had happened at Scotland Yard. And when I turned the corner I saw...I saw someone attacking you and I just reacted. I remember running and yelling and then...nothing. He must have knocked me out.’

He leant forward in his seat a little, his eyes alight. ‘What about you? Surely Sherlock has some way of tracking you?’

Molly’s face lit up for a moment. ‘Yes, yes my phone. I remember him messing with it and saying something about using it to find me if he ever needed to.’

‘Anything else?’

‘No...no, I don’t think so. Why? Do you think whoever took us would figure that out?’

Anderson stood and stretched out his arms and Molly sat in stunned confusion as his face morphed into a twisted, manic grin. ‘Oh yes, I think he definitely knew to get rid of your phone. It looks like I’ve outsmarted Sherlock Holmes once again.’

Chapter Text

Sherlock was hovering between panic and determination. It was a fine line and it took all of his resolve to stay focused on solving this and finding Molly.

His first port of call on contacting Lestrade was to ask him where Anderson was.

‘Seriously Sherlock...you’re still on this?’

‘Yes I’m still on this. It all fits, the murders, the DNA, the profile...everything.’

‘And the motivation?’

‘You know as well as I do that he has been close to a breakdown before...and his obsession with me when I was “dead” is as well known as his obsession with Jack the Ripper. He’s unsuccessful with women, feels like he’s lesser in his career, in his life, in his manhood. It’s not a huge stretch to think that he found the answer in murder. And now he’s got Molly.’

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

For a brief moment Molly’s heart had risen when she saw Anderson stand up but then he spoke and it seemed to take her brain forever to make sense of his smug smile and what he’d said.

She looked up at him in bewilderment. ‘I...I don’t understand.’

He looked at her almost pityingly. ‘Well of course you don’t. How could you...you’re just a woman. He should never have put you in this situation.’

‘Who? You mean Sherlock? How is this his fault?’

Anderson’s face hardened and his lip curled in disgust. ‘He doesn’t deserve someone like you Molly. He never did. I don’t know why you couldn’t see that instead of chasing after him like a hormonal teenager. Honestly, it’s been embarrassing to watch. Do you know how many people have laughed at you behind your back?’

‘I...I..’

‘And now he’s finally taken advantage of you. A man like that always will in the end. He believes he deserves everything and he gets it...it’s sickening. He’s had it easy his whole life...never had to work for anything and yet he...’ she saw his fists forming so tightly his knuckles went white. ‘...he has the gall to look down on me. Well, he isn’t looking down anymore.’

‘Please Philip, you don’t know what you’re saying. This isn’t something you want to do...I...just let me go, please. Before it’s too late.’

‘Oh, it’s already too late but not for me...for you. If it’s any consolation Molly I am sad that it’s you. I always liked you though they should never have let you do that job. It isn’t right for a woman and don’t you see it takes away a job for a man. I could have been so much higher up in the police if they didn’t allow those women in. It’s not like they can actually do the job...they’re just given the positions because of political correctness.’

Molly swallowed heavily, her mind trying to think of a way to talk him down...to give Sherlock time to find her but what he was saying was so warped. She’d never suspected him of having such misogynistic views.

‘This isn’t you Philip, you always used to be one of the nice guys.’

He let out a bark of a laugh. ‘Yes, and where did that get me exactly. It got me divorced; laughed at by Donovan and her friends; it lost me my position and the respect of my peers. I was living in a rented one bed flat, wearing charity shop clothes...that’s where it got me. No one...no one took me seriously and it was all because of him. Even when I supported him and believed in him, I was still lied to, ridiculed by him...by everyone. Well, I’ve shown him and them just what I can do and you’re the perfect solution to my last problem.’

‘Wh...what problem?’

‘Who should be my Mary Jane Kelly? Who should play my last Ripper victim? It would have been some random off the streets and then Sherlock gave me you. Knowing that you’re fucking him...him! Of all people...well, it’s perfect. I am sorry though Molly...I’ll make it as painless as possible for you...it’s nothing personal.’

He turned away from her and Molly had to swallow back the bile that was rising in her throat. She was as aware as anyone of just who Mary Jane Kelly was and what had happened to her. She had studied the Ripper victim’s autopsies out of curiosity when she had become a pathologist for Scotland Yard and they had been as horrifying as they had been fascinating.

Mary Kelly was the last known Ripper victim. She was different from the others because she’d been killed in her rooms and not on the street. She had eventually been discovered on her squalid, single bed almost decapitated and disembowelled. Molly had to close her eyes and try to control her rising panic and her breathing but images and information just kept flooding in to her mind...Mary’s breasts had been removed, the face slashed and obliterated, gashes on her arms and legs, flaps of skin removed...

Molly couldn’t hold in her fear any longer and she screamed in terror before calling for Sherlock begging him to find her.

Anderson turned back initially surprised by her outburst but he quickly back handed her across the face and the sudden sharpness of the pain shocked her into silence.

‘For what it’s worth Molly we’re pretty isolated out here and no one will hear you. Now let’s dose you up. I’m afraid it won’t be enough to knock you out completely...I mean, where’s the fun in that, but it will make you more docile while I set the scene.’

She tried to lean away from him but she felt the inevitable prick of the needle in her neck once more and she could feel her pounding heart starting to slow and her senses dulling slightly as whatever he’d injected her with started to move through her system.

She wished she could believe that Sherlock would find her; that she would get more time with him. As Anderson sliced through her restraints she imagined a life with Sherlock, together, how it could have been. She tried to fight Philip, to wriggle out of his grasp but the drugs in her body made her slow and weak and he easily overpowered her...lifting her and placing her on the cheap, grey blanket covering the bed.

For a moment she closed her eyes and tried to picture Sherlock, to lose herself in memories of him but his face wouldn’t come to mind...she just kept seeing Anderson’s face and his manic, twisted grin.

But even the drugs laced through her system couldn’t dampen her sheer, heart-thumping terror when she heard Anderson picking up a sharp blade. It was just the length that she’d estimated from the previous autopsies and images of them sprang unwanted into her mind. He was going to kill her...this was it...

She felt tears leaking out of her eyes and sliding down the sides of her face and into her hair and she opened her mouth to try to scream again...to say Sherlock’s name one last time but nothing came out.

He was looming over her, raising the knife when all of a sudden there was a crack of wood behind him and the door burst inwards.

She saw Anderson’s face morph into shock and then anger as he turned wielding the wickedly sharp looking blade towards whoever had burst down the door.

Finally...finally she saw Sherlock. She saw his eyes flit around the room before landing on her and she saw relief wash over his face at the fact that she was alive. That relief seemed short lived however as Anderson plunged towards him with a roar.

Sherlock blocked him and then punched him using his left hand and Molly saw a spray of blood. She was initially elated until she realised that the blood came from Sherlock and not Philip. When he’d blocked him he must have been cut, and badly for there to be that much blood.

She tried to sit up, wanting to help Sherlock. She was worried about the amount of blood he was losing...it was already covering the torn sleeve of his jacket and dripping onto the floor and she saw a deep gash across his wrist and down his arm; it was bad.

He was winning the fight but she knew he’d soon be starting to feel light-headed and that could give Anderson the edge he needed.

Before she could manage to stand though the two of them barrelled into her knocking her sideways and her head connected with the edge of the bedside cabinet and she started to lose consciousness. As she did she saw Anderson swipe the blade at Sherlock once more slicing through his shirt and leaving a blooming trail of blood across the whiteness of the material. She blinked, desperately trying to stay conscious, but all she saw was blackness as she fell back onto the bed.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Molly had no idea how long she had been out but she came too gradually knowing that she was in the familiar confines of a hospital. Blearily she opened her eyes taking time to let them focus as she tried to piece together what had happened.

Her last visual memory was of Sherlock fighting Anderson and it had her scared and trying to push herself to sitting. She remembered hearing Lestrade voice as she lost consciousness. He’d obviously come into the room calling for back up on his radio as he did and she’d heard him frantically saying Sherlock’s name and there had been fear in his voice.

A strong hand pushed her back down as an unfamiliar face swam into view. ‘It’s alright dear, don’t try and sit up. You’re in a hospital.’

‘Sh...Sherlock.’ Her voice was slurred and groggy and she saw the woman, a nurse, frown. ‘You’ve hit your head and you’ve had to have some drugs flushed out of your system but you’re going to be alright. I’ve buzzed the doctor and he’ll be round in a minute to assess you. Just calm yourself down.’

‘I want to sit up.’

She was already sounding and feeling a bit clearer and the nurse helped her to raise her bed so she was sitting at about 45 degrees. It gave her a better view of the ward and she saw that she wasn’t alone. She was in a space with three other beds occupied by two women who were sleeping and another who was watching a TV above her bed.

‘Listen I haven’t got time to run around after you, I have others to attend to. Just stay calm and wait for the doctor.’

Molly tried to stop her leaving so she could ask about Sherlock but the nurse just walked away leaving Molly free to assess her situation.

She was definitely in Barts and from the darkness at the window it was obviously late. She checked herself and found that other than a cannula in the back of her hand she was free of any bandages or restraints. Her head ached in a throbbing way rather than a sharp pain and she felt thirsty and very hungry; it must have been hours since she’d eaten anything.

It was only about ten minutes before a young man entered the ward wearing a suit and an unmistakable air of exhaustion that was only ever seen on a junior doctor. Molly recognised it immediately from her own days as one.

‘Ah Ms...umm...’ the young doctor picked up the clipboard at the end of her bed. ‘Hooper. You were brought in suffering from a bang to the head and drugs...tut, tut.’

Molly frowned and then winced. ‘I didn’t take them voluntarily; I was abducted. Do you know how my friend is...his name’s Sherlock Holmes? I think he would have been brought in with me.’

‘Hmmm...oh, the detective chap? No, he’s not on this ward.’

‘Can you find out for me please?’

‘Listen, I’m sure he’s being attended to but we need to check how you are. Now let’s check your blood pressure.’

Molly held still whilst he wrapped the cuff around her arm but she was itching to get out of there and check for herself how Sherlock was. The figures the doctor reeled off were fine and she could see that the bag feeding her cannula was almost empty.

‘Good, looks like I’m fine then, can I leave?’

The doctor ignored her and tilted her head so he could flash a light in her eyes no doubt checking for concussion. ‘Patience Ms Hooper...all...in good time.’

But Molly had run out of patience. ‘It’s Dr Hooper to you and you still haven’t given me any reason not to leave so I’m going.’

And with that she took hold of the cannula and slid the needle out.

Chapter Text

Part of her felt sorry for the doctor. He was obviously a junior doctor left in charge of the less serious wards overnight...and from the looks of him he was barely out of university. He had no idea how to deal with a patient like her.

As she removed the cannula he started to panic a little. ‘Please Miss...I mean...Doctor...you shouldn’t be doing that?’

‘Why not? My blood pressure is fine, the drugs are pretty much out of my system. I can discharge myself if I want to and I DO want to.’

She swung her legs off the bed but when she tried to stand she felt weak and wobbly; she took a deep breath as she tried to concentrate and keep going.

The doctor took her shoulder and pushed her gently back to sitting. ‘Listen, I can see how much you want to leave but we both know you aren’t ready.’

Molly flattened her lips and willed herself not to cry as she looked him in the eye. ‘Please, I need to see my friend, I have to know that he’s alright...help me.’

There was a beat of silence between them as he looked at her searchingly and then he nodded his head and Molly took another deep breath as she felt an element of relief wash over her.

‘Wait here.’

She stayed where she was, sitting on the bed, trying to quell the panic that she felt every time she remembered Sherlock and how much blood she’d seen him losing. A moment or two and later the doctor returned with a wheelchair and a middle aged orderly.

‘I’ve done some checking and Mr Holmes is in intensive care down on the second floor. Kelvin here will take you down but I want you back here in an hour. OK?’

Molly smiled weakly and nodded her head and then she allowed them to help her into the chair and it wasn’t long before she was being wheeled through the ward and towards the lifts.

Normally she loved being in the hospital at night. It was one of the few places in the city that never stopped; life and death continued no matter what the time. People, both staff and patients, happy and sad, were still awake and active no matter the time; though she acknowledged it was a hideous place to come to to sleep.

They made their way through to the nurses station outside Intensive Care but when Molly got there and, after explaining who she was, enquired about Sherlock she was met with a blank face by the nurse.

She glanced down at her list. ‘No, I’m sorry Mr Holmes isn’t here.’

Molly felt her stomach drop and her mind seemed to draw away from what was being said. She didn’t want to hear that he hadn’t made it...that he was lying in the morgue. She closed her eyes and squeezed them shut but all she could see was Sherlock lying on one of her autopsy tables, partly covered by a white sheet.

Through the fog she could hear the orderly asking for more information, his hand squeezing her shoulder and offering comfort. He must have understood her distress.

Molly tried to control her breathing and regain some composure but it was only when the nurse started speaking that she truly felt hope.

‘Oh I see his records now...it’s alright Mr Holmes has been moved to a private room. He was here for a couple of hours but he wasn’t deemed to need to be here in the ICU anymore. It was touch and go at first though. He’d lost a lot of blood and we didn’t have enough of his type in stock...we had to do a call out in the hospital and in the end someone managed to contact his brother and he had to come in and donate. Anyway, he’s in room 42 on the third floor.’

The orderly thanked her and then they were off again.

Finally they reached the room where Sherlock was and Molly only realised the level of stress that she had been enduring when it left her on sight of him. He wasn’t conscious, he didn’t notice her being wheeled in, but she could see his chest rising with his breathing, she could see some colour in his cheeks and the arm that had been cut was lying bandaged at his side.

She also observed that he wasn’t the only person in the room. His brother Mycroft had been stood at the window looking out on the city, illuminated as it was by thousands of street lights and headlights.

Kelvin parked her up at Sherlock’s bedside and told her he’d come back for her in a little while and then he left the room.

Molly tentatively picked up Sherlock’s free hand and exhaled in relief at finally being able to be with him.

Mycroft stood on the other side of the bed and when he spoke it was just a whisper so as to not disturb Sherlock.

‘Dr Hooper, I had heard that you were also being treated, my apologies for not coming to check on you.’

Molly felt flattered but slightly confused. ‘That’s fine, I wouldn’t have expected you to.’

Mycroft tilted his head slightly in acknowledgement. ‘Maybe, but you are important to my brother and therefore important to me.’

Molly glanced back at Sherlock. ‘How is he?’

There was a moment of silence and when Molly looked back at Mycroft she could see he was composing himself. ‘It...it was touch and go for a moment. He’d lost far too much blood from the injury to his arm. Thank God I got here when I did. They didn’t even wait to test my blood or bag it they just linked us and conducted a direct transfusion.’

He sat down heavily and Molly saw how much this incident had taken out of the older man. He always seemed so removed and cold but in this moment she could see how much affection he had for his brother and she liked him all the more for it.

‘And how are you Dr Hooper?’

‘Please, call me Molly. And I’m fine. The drugs that Anderson injected me with are more or less out of my system and other than a headache and hunger I feel OK. I’m just glad Sherlock found me. I have no idea how he managed it but he did and it saved my life.’

Mycroft let out a sigh and raised an eyebrow. ‘Ah well that’s one thing I can answer. Apparently he’d stolen a tracking device from my office the last time he was in and he’d put it into your watch. As soon as he knew you’d been taken he rang me asking for it to be activated so he could locate you. I ought to be angry with him for the theft but I suppose the results justify the means. Maybe from now on we can keep tabs on you officially rather than in an amateur way, given you’re almost one of the family.’

Molly wanted to ask him what he meant by that last statement but he was already standing and making his way to the door.

‘I’m in need of some air and some coffee, maybe even a cigarette...plus I’m sure you want some time alone with my brother. I shall be back shortly...good evening...Molly.’

As he closed the door behind him Molly felt the weight of everything that had happened to them finally overwhelm her and she lay her cheek on the back of Sherlock’s hand and she sobbed. She tried not to make too much noise so as to not disturb him but it needed to come out. She felt both angry and sad at what had happened...not just to her but to all those women. How had Anderson become so twisted and how had they all missed it? Maybe he was right in some ways, he was always overlooked and disregarded...but still, it would never justify what he had done.

Finally her grief ebbed away and she sat up pulling a tissue from the box by Sherlock’s bed so she could wipe her face and blow her nose.

She held his hand once more but when she looked up at his face she was surprised to see that his eyes were open. He blinked them once...twice and then turned his head to face her; their eyes meeting and his mouth forming a tired smile.

‘Hey you, how are you feeling?’

She saw him swallowing and his mouth moving as he tried to reply but it took him a moment.

‘I feel like shit. You?’

She chuckled. ‘I feel alive and it’s all thanks to you. If you...if you hadn’t found me...I...’

He struggled to sit up a little. ‘Hey..shh. There’s no need to thank me...Molly, I couldn’t go on if anything had happened to you. It was all because of me...because of his damned obsession with me and with Jack the Ripper. If anything I should be apologising to you...’

She leant forward and put one finger over his lips. ‘No, it’s not your fault. It will never be your fault if I’m targeted because of you. I...I want to be with you no matter the risks.’

She stood on legs that were still shaky and then sat on the edge of his bed so she could lean over him and kiss him.

The feeling of her lips touching his was that of coming home and even as she felt his hand warm and solid on her waist she wanted to be closer to him...she felt in that moment like she didn’t ever want to leave his side again.

And so it was that when Mycroft returned he found Molly lying at Sherlock’s side with his arm holding her close as they quietly talked.

It was a strange sight, one that Mycroft had thought he would never see but now he did it felt right. He had always worried about his brother, about the drug use and the trauma in his past and how it could unravel him in the future. He had thought that keeping Sherlock’s emotions in check would be the key but in recent months he had realised that that was where he had gone wrong. His brother wasn’t like him...he was driven by his emotions and suppressing them had caused more damage than unlocking them.

Maybe Molly Hooper was the key when it came to helping him...he certainly hoped so. He felt closer to his brother now than he had ever done. Eurus had united them in a way he hadn’t expected and he just didn’t want to go back to how things had been before.

MHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMHMH

Sherlock was only kept in for another 24 hours and by then Molly had been released and she had returned home, to her flat. John had returned from his break and he accompanied her for emotional support. Together they had packed up the remains of her belongings and moved once and for all into Baker St.

To say that John had been surprised by the turn of events in his best friend’s life was an understatement. He had returned home from his break with Rosie to find Sherlock in hospital, Anderson arrested as a serial killer and Molly needing his help with moving.

‘I hope you don’t mind coming to the flat with me but after everything that happened the last time I came back I just feel a bit...well...’

John had smiled and patted her arm. ‘Molly, it’s fine. I get it. Just...I still can’t believe it was Anderson.’

Molly nodded in agreement. ‘If I hadn’t have seen him for myself I don’t think I would have believed it either but it was as though something had broken inside him...the things he said were just so awful. I really liked the guy...he seemed nice. It just goes to show that we never really know someone.’

‘Tell me about it...I remember how I felt when I first found out Mary’s history. So anyway, moving into my old room at Baker St, that’s a bit of a change. You could have knocked me down with a feather when you told me that on the phone this morning. How do you think you and Sherlock will get on? He can be an arse so start as you mean to go on or he’ll just think he’s got another slave.’

Molly felt nervous as she realised that John probably didn’t know about her and Sherlock.

‘Yes, well, about that...I’m not actually moving into your old room. I mean I was; that was the original plan...but I’m actually moving in with him...properly I mean.’

Even as she finished speaking she knew she had worded it badly and she could tell she had by the confused look on John’s face.

‘Sorry, not sure I understand what you mean Molly.’

By now they had reached the door to Molly’s flat and she avoided his eyes as she concentrated on undoing the lock.

‘I mean we’re together...romantically. It just sort of happened...well, when I say sort of happened I mean Sherlock bought my flat so that I’d have to move in with him.’

Poor John, she felt almost sorry for him because as she entered the flat she realised he was still stood in the doorway with such a look of shock on his face it was almost comical.

‘Hang on...he bought your flat?’

Molly chuckled. ‘I know. Most guys would just ask a girl out but that was far too normal for Sherlock. He wanted a way to get closer to me and so he bought my flat so I’d move in with him. He explained it all when I was with him in hospital...I think it’s sweet.’

John shook his head in disbelief and followed her through to the front room. ‘Sweet! No wonder you’re perfect for him Molly you’re as weird as he is. Now what needs moving?’

Chapter Text

By the time Mycroft’s car dropped Sherlock off Molly had unpacked most of her belongings, freed Toby from his cage and left him sulking behind the settee. She had also made a pasta bake, the smells of which filled the flat, and it was currently keeping warm in the oven.

The flat wasn’t exactly clean, she hadn’t had that much time or inclination, but it was cosy and she ran down the stairs to greet Sherlock and help him up the stairs...not that he seemed to need it.

Mrs Hudson had also come out of her flat and by the time Molly reached the bottom of the stairs the older woman was hugging Sherlock and berating him for landing himself in hospital once again.

‘Really Sherlock, I’m not getting any younger and my heart can’t take you constantly putting yourself at risk.’

‘Nonsense, you’re as strong as an ox and your heart is fine.’

‘Well that’s as maybe but look after yourself...and look after Molly, I don’t want to hear that you’ve been treating her badly...and I will hear about it if you have my lad!’

Sherlock smiled at his Molly and then turned back to Mrs Hudson. ‘I have no intention of ever treating her badly or letting anyone else hurt her for that matter.’

‘Good. Now don’t you two worry about tonight. I’m taking one of my herbal soothers and I’ll have my ear plugs in so I won’t hear a thing. Enjoy yourselves...and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.’

She gave them a cheery wave as she turned back to her flat and she didn’t appear to hear Sherlock muttering a sarcastic, ‘well that won’t leave much’.

Then he turned back to Molly and she couldn’t help the blush that spread over her cheeks or the smile that she couldn’t remove from her face even if she’d wanted to. He returned the grin and gestured for her to go back up the stairs and when she did he followed close on her heels.

Before she could enter the flat though he caught her by the waist and spun her around then he walked her a couple of paces backwards until her back gently hit the door jam.

‘Mmm...Molly, do you know how hard it was without you in my bed last night?’

She giggled and rested her hands against his chest feeling a fluttering of arousal just from the way he was looking at her.

‘It was a hospital bed Sherlock there was no way they were going to let me sleep in it with you.’

He stuck out his bottom lip petulantly. ‘I don’t see why you couldn’t.’

‘We had this conversation yesterday...anyway you’re home now and if you ask nicely I might sleep in your bed tonight.’

He pressed himself just a little closer to her and she could feel his erection hard against her hip and she had to bite her lip to suppress a groan. It wasn’t helped when his lips moved to her neck and he started to kiss his way up to her jaw.

‘Yes but tonight Molly I have no intention of sleeping...I just plan on spending the night exploring every inch of your body and listening to you screaming my name.’

This time she couldn’t have suppressed the moan even if she’d tried. Hearing Sherlock say something so erotic in such a low voice had her body physically reacting to him.

His lips met hers in a kiss that was so perfect it almost made her toes curl. She felt her body melting into his as he dominated her, tilting her head and then sliding his tongue into her mouth swallowing her moans as she simply held onto him for support.

He lifted her easily and she wrapped her legs around his waist but she still noticed, as he carried her through to the bedroom, that he was supporting her mainly with his good arm.

He dropped her onto the bed but before he could join her she put her hand against his chest noticing his slight frown as she stopped him.

‘Wait...how’s your arm? We need to make sure we don’t make it worse, or break the stitches...’

He shrugged. ‘So, we’ll be careful then but I’m not waiting a moment longer to be with you Molly. I nearly lost you, you almost died just for loving me, I...’

He broke off as his emotions overwhelmed him and Molly’s heart caught in her throat. She hadn’t ever seen Sherlock look so lost as he did right now. On some level she had still doubted his love for her, his commitment, but the way he looked in this moment told her more than his words ever could about his feelings for her.

So she pulled him to her, opening her arms and her heart to him. She relished the weight of him as he settled himself over her, the solidity of him proving he was there and he was alive. They had both cheated death and survived.

His kiss washed any morbid thoughts out of her head though and she was soon writhing under him, desperate for more and she tugged and pulled at his clothes struggling to remove them so she could feel his skin under her hands.

He chuckled as he knelt up shucking off his jacket and unbuttoning his shirt. ‘Tut, tut Molly, so impatient.’

She sat up and pulled her top over her head, throwing it down onto the floor before reaching behind her back to undo her bra. ‘You’d better believe it Mr Holmes. You’re not the only one who wants to spend some time exploring but right here, right now I want you to fuck me. I want you to show me that we’re still alive and that we beat him...that we beat death.’

She looped her hand around his neck and pulled him to her for another kiss and this time it was her that dominated it and by the time they broke apart he was on his back and she was straddling him. Her lips moved to his neck even as her hands moved to the fastenings of his trousers. She undid the buttons before sliding his zip down then she covered his still clothed erection with her hand feeling as it pulsed and he bucked his hips towards her.

She slowly made her way down his chest kissing and biting his nipples, hearing him groan in submission. His hand tangled in her loose hair as she got level with his cock and his grip tightened as she released him from his shorts and she kissed the tip before sliding her mouth down and over him.

He partly sat up and hissed out a ‘Jesus, Molly’ but she didn’t slow her assault. She could taste him on her tongue, she could feel how hard he was as she took him deeper and deeper. The whole scenario was turning her on as much as it was him and she was tempted to touch herself, to come like this, fucking him with her mouth and swallowing his seed.

Before she could though he sat up, pulling away from her, breathing heavily as she looked at him churlishly...feeling frustrated.

‘Oh Molly...I don’t want to come in your mouth...not this time.’

His hands gently pushed her back onto the bed and he quickly pulled off her jeans and knickers before standing so he could take off the rest of his clothes.

Molly leant up on her elbows, watching and smiling as he revealed himself to her; his cock still glistening with her saliva. The sight of him just made her mouth water all over again and she knew she wasn’t just wet for him she was on the edge.

As he crawled back over her he was favouring his good arm and she knew it wouldn’t be good for him to be putting too much weight on it so she gestured for him to roll over. This time when she straddled him she didn’t waste any time; instead she took hold of him and positioned him so she could slide down onto him, feeling him stretching her in a way that made her want to roll her eyes back in her head. They both seemed to take a moment and exhale at finally being reconnected. Molly had to push back the thoughts of losing him that threatened momentarily to overwhelm her and it was only when Sherlock’s hand touched her face that she opened her eyes meeting his gaze.

‘It’s OK, we survived...we will always survive or I will die trying Molly. I don’t ever want anything to separate us...not even death. Now kiss me.’

His words made her heart swell in her chest and she did as she was told, leaning over his slim body so their lips could meet in a kiss which started off sweet and gradually grew more and more passionate.

She started to move against him feeling his cock deep inside her as his good hand moved over her right breast and she moaned at all the sensations she was experiencing. Her body was building slowly and deliciously towards an orgasm which threatened to be one of the best she’d ever had. Sherlock’s hips were almost lifting of the bed with his desire to bury himself deeper and deeper inside of her and the only sounds were their grunts and groans as they chased their completions together. They seemed to move as one, to anticipate each other’s moves and when Sherlock’s mouth locked over her nipple and she felt his teeth biting her she came calling out his name, riding out her pleasure and feeling him starting to falter as she took him over the edge with her. She had never felt more alive, more loved or more satisfied.

They stayed in the flat undisturbed for almost 24 hours. Not even Mrs Hudson came up and they barely even left the bedroom.

Finally they emerged and Molly took a shower whilst Sherlock caught up with his emails. It still felt strange to Molly that this was her life now...this was her home, here with Sherlock. She’d dreamt about it for so long but never really expected it to become a reality.

She turned the shower off and dried herself before wrapping her hair up in a different towel and she couldn’t resist plucking one of Sherlock’s dressing gowns off the peg on the back of the door. It smelt of him and she smiled as she tied the belt sniffing at the material.

When she came out of the bathroom Sherlock was still wrapped up in a sheet shouting at his laptop berating whoever had written to him about how puerile their problem was and she couldn’t help but make her way over to him. She felt like they were magnets that were endlessly drawn together at the moment...it would fade, it would have to...she needed to get back to work soon but not today. So rather than leave him to it she slid her leg over his sitting between him and his laptop laughing as he initially tried to see around her.

‘Molly Hooper are you trying to distract me from my work?’ His tone might have been serious but he was smiling up at her as he said it.

She rocked her hips against his. ‘I am, do you think it will work?’

He started to undo the belt of her dressing gown and his eyes fell away from her face down to her breasts as the material started to gape. ‘Mmm, I think it might.’

She threaded her fingers through his hair as his tongue circled around her nipple. He was so familiar with her body now, he seemed to know just what turned her on, how much pressure to use, when he should employ his mouth, his hands, his voice...a mind palace was an amazing thing.

She pulled and tugged at the sheet until she had unwrapped him and they wasted no time in joining with each other. Molly had almost lost count of how often they had had sex in the last day, they didn’t seem to want to go more than a few hours without coupling again and each time they did it felt like the first time all over again.

Sherlock pulled her to him, using his hands on her backside to help her movements and she tried not to bang the inside of her knees against the edge of the chair. It was awkward and slightly unsatisfying and it wasn’t long before Sherlock huffed in frustration and pushed his laptop back on the desk so he could stand and balance Molly on the edge of the table. This new position was so much better and Molly clung to him as he took control, kissing her as he started to thrust inside her.

Within a few minutes they were enjoying their mutual high as they came together but rather than enjoying the afterglow Molly felt Sherlock tense up before pushing her away from him.

‘What is it? What’s wrong?’

Even as she said the words she heard voices from downstairs and footsteps on the stairs.

‘I’m really not sure that you should go up...why don’t you let me...’

It was Lestrade who replied. ‘Mrs Hudson I’ve been trying to get hold of Sherlock for the last day and a half. I need to take a statement from him and Molly...I’m sure it will be fine.’

Sherlock was frantically pulling Molly’s dressing gown back around her and just managed to grab at his sheet as Lestrade walked through the door before halting mid footstep and then taking a step backwards.

‘Oh....Molly...god I...I’m sorry.’

Molly knew she was blushing in the face of almost being caught by the Detective Inspector. Her modesty was intact but it was fairly obvious what he’d almost walked in on.

She stood up still holding the dressing gown and bent to pick up the towel that had come loose from her head. ‘Sorry, I’ll leave you to it. I just need to go and get dressed.’

As she walked past the stunned policeman she couldn’t help repressing a grin and she heard him apologising again to Sherlock as she made her way to the bedroom.

Chapter Text

It was seven days later when Molly took her first ever flight in a helicopter. The interviews had all taken place and Anderson had finally been formally charged with the murders of five woman, the abduction of Molly and the attempted murder of Sherlock. It had cast a bit of a pall over their small group of friends and she knew that Lestrade was feeling it more than most. He had confided in her that he felt responsible in part...that he should have seen that Philip wasn’t coping and that he’d somehow tipped over into a darkness that none of them could truly understand or comprehend.

She looked over at Sherlock who was tight lipped and serious as he gazed down at the churning, grey sea beneath them and she put her hand over his and gave it a comforting squeeze. His eyes flicked towards her and she gave her a slight smile. These visits to his sister were something she knew he felt he had to do but they weren’t easy. She couldn’t admit to feeling that good about it herself but she was curious to finally see her. She wouldn’t be meeting her though...Sherlock had put his foot down about that.

‘No, absolutely not. I don’t want you any closer to her than you have to be. Watching her via a video screen is dangerous enough, I don’t ever want you in the same room as her.’

The force of his feelings and his obvious emotion were enough to have her assuring him that she never would. In all honesty she was relieved...after everything that Eurus had put him and John and Mycroft through not to mention the threats she’d made against Molly and the emotional wringer that she had put both her and Sherlock through with that phone call she didn’t want to meet her.

The island prison was remote and bleak and as grey as the sea that surrounded it. After landing Molly silently followed Sherlock up the steep steps from the beach to the entrance to the prison. Once in they had to go across a bridge from one rock to the main body of the island and Molly felt a little sick as she made her way across seeing nothing but rocks and water tens of feet below her...nothing but a steel mesh between her and a fatal drop.

The interior was a shock though. She’d imagined in her head that it would be a dank, Victorian style prison but it was the complete opposite. It was light and modern, all steel and glass and white walls. The governor was a highly efficient looking woman in her late fifties who greeted Sherlock and Molly formally before leading them through to her office. One wall was a bank of screens with images of various cells and parts of the prison being live streamed. The only one that was switched off had the moniker E.H. written above it. Molly found her eyes glued to that blank screen as though it might suddenly come to life.

Sherlock and the governor spent a good hour going over the arrangements around Eurus’s incarceration. He was meticulous in checking who had had access to her, how regularly and for how long until he was satisfied that his and Mycroft’s instructions were being followed.

They left the governor shortly after mid-day and Molly ate a quiet lunch by herself whilst Sherlock sat in the corner of the room in his mind palace going over his over the security arrangements to make sure nothing had been missed. Molly had to admit to feeling nervous now and she wasn’t able to finish all her food. It was strange because she wasn’t really sure what she was feeling so anxious about...Sherlock visiting his sister without her...seeing Eurus for the first time...she couldn’t quite put her finger on it but she just knew how she felt.

Finally one of the guards came and informed Sherlock that it was time and he stood doing in acknowledgment. Before he left the room he came over to Molly who had stood to meet him. He gave her a gentle kiss. ‘I’ll be back soon, I promise, and then we can go home.’

Molly smiled. ‘Home...I like the sound of that. Be careful Sherlock.’

He winked as he walked away from her. ‘Always!’

As he left the room another guard came for Molly and took her into what was obviously a surveillance room and he sat her in front of a large TV screen. It showed a white cell with a wall of glass between the occupant and the door. Molly finally had her first sighting of Eurus Holmes, Sherlock’s younger sister...the last Holmes sibling.

She was surprisingly ordinary. Just a woman, maybe early thirties, dressed in white with long dark hair. It was the same colour hair that Sherlock had and she could see a wave in it that would have indicated curls in a shorter style. She had her back to the camera though so she couldn’t see if there were any other similarities.

A noise and movement by the door attracted her attention and she saw Sherlock entering the room carrying his violin casually by his side. She remembered hearing him working on the piece he was composing for Eurus and she was excited to hear it. It was a hauntingly beautiful melody that made her think of all the nights they had spent together recently finally enjoying being able to indulge in their love for each other. She was curious to see what Eurus would make of it; Sherlock had explained how insightful she was when it came to his music.

She heard Sherlock greeting her, asking her how she was and whether she was comfortable and being well treated but there was no movement or response...it was as though the inmate hadn’t even noticed him coming in. Her heart ached for him, knowing that he wanted to reach her and connect with her somehow.

She saw him pause for a moment and then he brought the violin up to his chin and started to play. It was as beautiful here as it had been in their flat. As always she was captivated both by the music and by the man. She still had to pinch herself at times to prove that she wasn’t dreaming...that they were actually together.

So caught up in the moment was she that she hadn’t noticed Eurus moving until her face appeared in front of the camera. It was so sudden that it made Molly jump and she heard Sherlock breaking off from playing and saying his sister’s name.

‘Hello Molly Hooper.’ Eurus spoke to the camera...spoke to Molly...and she tilted her head and smiled but it didn’t seem to be a friendly smile. Instead it felt as though ice water had been tipped down Molly’s spine.

She found herself staring into deep blue eyes which held a hint of Sherlock in them. There was definitely a family resemblance there...it was almost uncanny.

She turned her head away from the camera and Molly saw her slowly making her way over to Sherlock. ‘I see you’ve finally accepted emotional context brother...it’s good for you. Let’s hope nothing disrupts it...you wouldn’t want anything to happen to that sweet, ripe, little pathologist of yours would you? Would it make you cry? Would you smash up her coffin like you did last time?’

‘Eurus...you wouldn’t want me to be hurt like that now would you. I wouldn’t come here anymore if that happened, just like you lost me when you hurt Victor.’

Molly found she was barely breathing as she listened to the interaction between the two siblings. Sherlock hadn’t moved an inch...to the rest of the world he would have looked relaxed even but Molly could feel the tension radiating off him.

The silence stretched out between them but then Eurus broke it. ‘I like seeing you in love Sherlock, it’s different...I find different interesting. You were boring before when you were all closed off...I had to open you up and I don’t think you liked it when I had to open you up.’

She walked over to where her own violin was resting on the side and she let her hand slide over it almost sensuously. ‘They only let me have this when you visit. They worry that I’m going to kill them with it.’

She picked up the bow and looked at it. ‘They think I’ll skewer them with this.’

She shrugged and turned back to look at the camera...at Molly. ‘Maybe they’re right. Maybe someday I’ll push it through all that soft, ripe flesh...maybe.’

She turned back and picked up the instrument and then she turned to Sherlock as she tucked it under her chin. Then she started to play and Molly was stunned to hear her playing the tune that Sherlock had just played to her. She was note perfect and after a few moments Sherlock joined her and between them they played developing the melody as they went, matching each other perfectly and Molly found herself crying...crying at how beautiful the music was and how broken Sherlock’s sister was.

She was glad that she’d seen her, that she had a better understanding of her but she’d be quite happy to never, ever have to meet her face to face.

Twelve months later the gossip pages of the newspapers had another story.

HAT DETECTIVE CATCHES A WIFE

Eligible batchelor Sherlock Holmes is eligible no longer after he wed his fiancée Dr Molly Hooper (aged 35) in a small wedding ceremony in St Mary’s church less than ten minutes from their home on Baker Street in central London.

As you know we were the first to report the relationship when Mr Holmes was investigating the infamous Anderson Ripper murders last year. Philip Anderson was sentenced last month to life in prison and sources tell us that he may we’ll be transferred to Broadmoor, well known for housing prisoners with mental illnesses.

It isn’t known yet where the newly wed Mr and Mrs Holmes will spend their honeymoon but you can be assured that as soon as we know you’ll know.