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The Case of the Imperfect Beauty

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Chapter One: The Creature's Vow

São Paulo, Brazil, 1979…

"You asked me why I came here, old man. I was given no name at my birth and was abandoned by my master. Few have ever shown me kindness and no one has ever shown me love. For the first few years of my life I had to steal what I needed. I even stole my name from God Himself.

"I was born Frankenstein's Creature, but now I am Adam, Son of Man. In my days as a young, wild soul, so full of emotions I could hardly contain, I begged my master to make me a friend—a wife of my own species as hideous as I to share my lonely and never-ending existence. When he broke his promise to me I was thrown into such grief and despair that I exacted my revenge against both guilty and innocent. For those crimes I shall never be redeemed.

"Nearly two centuries have passed and I have grown wiser. I would not wish such a foul existence on another even if it means I will never feel friendship or love. My master may be long dead, but men like him proliferate and test the boundaries of life and death every day in this terrible new world. I swear upon my unholy life that I will never permit another like me to be born no matter what evil I must perpetrate to prevent it."

"Pretty speech," said the old man, unmoved. "I had no idea you would be so eloquent."

"Where is my master's journal?" Adam demanded.

The old man hobbled to his bookshelf and opened a false door. He retrieved the journal and handed it to Adam. "Take it," he said with a careless wave. "I am too old to try again. I fear I will die soon anyway."

He had no idea just how soon his death would come, thought Adam. "Had you never been born the world would be a finer place for it. It will be my pleasure to avenge the many lives you have taken in pursuit of your science." Adam spat the last word like a curse.

The old man who now called himself Wolfgang Gerhard in order to escape justice laughed. "I am no better or worse than the one who created you. And I am not the only one who has tried to replicate his work. Foolish Creature, you do not think that this is the only copy of Frankenstein's journal do you?"

With an inhuman cry of rage, Adam grabbed the feeble man by the throat and squeezed the life out of him in an instant. Then Adam threw the late Dr. Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death of Auschwitz into the ocean.

London, 2014…

It was a quiet Sunday night at St. Bart's so Molly Hooper only had two bodies on her list. Normally she would be grateful for a slow night, but it gave her too much time to think. It had been several weeks since she had called off her engagement to Tom, but the whole debacle still stung. It started on the ride home from John and Mary's wedding. At first Tom just sulked in silence while Molly let out the occasional irritated sigh, but as they neared her Brixton flat Tom decided it was time for a row.

"I can't believe you stabbed me with a fork!" Tom said, rubbing his hand dramatically.

Molly snorted in annoyance at Tom's whinging. "I didn't even break the skin! Sherlock was deducing," she snapped. "You were being rude."

"Sherlock." Tom glared at her. "Don't think I don't notice the way you look at him."

"So I used to have a bit of a crush," she replied defensively. "There was never anything between us." Never could be, never would be… she thought sadly.

Luckily she found a parking spot nearby and got out of the car. As Tom emerged from the passenger seat, Molly gazed at him as if seeing him for the first time. His height, his build, his hair, his suit, the weirdly endearing shape of his head…Oh dear god, he was a Sherlock Ken doll! How did she not see it before? No wonder Sherlock said nothing when he met him. She put her face in her hands. Sherlock must think I'm completely mental!

"I'm going to take the Tube home," Tom said as Molly barely listened. "I'll ring you tomorrow."

Without a word, Molly removed her engagement ring and handed it back to him. "I can't marry you, Tom. In fact I don't think we should see each other anymore. I'm sorry," she added, then turned and ran inside her flat.

She had cried for a few hours afterward, but she was mainly relieved it was over. Though Tom was nice and sweet, Molly realized he bored her half to death. Perhaps sociopaths were her type after all.

With that depressing thought, Molly checked her list. First up was Mrs. Hortence Pratt, a 99-year-old woman with a diagnosis list as long as her arm. She died of presumptive pneumonia, but the family insisted on a postmortem, no doubt sniffing for a negligence suit. She hated these cases—they were unnecessary and time consuming because you couldn't just do the standard tests lest the family accuse you of trying to cover something up.

After that complete waste of time, she went to her next 'patient'. True they weren't alive, but they were still people and Molly always tried to treat them with respect—except, of course, for the ones she let Sherlock test his pet theories on, though she would always apologize to them before she let the detective have them.

This next man was a Joe Bloggs. She always found these cases particularly sad. Though some of them were runaway teenagers or unidentified murder victims, the vast majority of them were unwanted, unloved homeless people who had no one to mourn them.

This particular Joe Bloggs was a big one. She pulled back the sheet and let out a little gasp. The large man lying on the table looked like he'd been taken apart and put back together again. There were dreadful uneven scars all over his body, including one that bisected his head and face. It seemed as if someone had used him for surgery practice, but it wasn't what killed him; all the scars were well healed. At first she thought the scars were intricate prosthetics like the kind they used in zombie movies, but upon closer examination she was horrified to find they were quite real.

She looked at his face, which she imagined had once been handsome. Curly, ginger hair had grown in patches around his scars at the base of his mutilated skull. She touched the scar on his left cheek and grew angry at the sloppy incisions that had disfigured him. "Who in the world did this to you?" she asked gently. She took several vials of blood for drugs and DNA testing. Perhaps she could find someone who cared enough about him to claim him.

She turned on the recorder and started speaking, "Joe Bloggs number 14-3017, well-developed, adult male, approximately 35 to 45 years of age, height 180 cm, weight 60 kg. Has multiple, irregular healed scars all over body. Most notably is a V-shaped scar on chest 50 cm in length and a scar on skull and face, running from occipital ridge, over the parietal and frontal bones to the right mandible. No signs of recent trauma."

The man died of something, but Molly had difficulty getting over the fact that he had survived these horrible injuries. The chest seemed like the most obvious place to start, given the huge incision, then she'd crack open the skull and take a look inside. She picked up a scalpel from the tray and started to cut into the man's chest. Suddenly, she felt a hand around her wrist.

"I'm afraid I cannot allow you to continue," said the dead man. Molly staggered backwards and dropped the scalpel.

She put a gloved hand to her mouth. "Oh, my god! I-I—"

Joe Bloggs rose from the table and wrapped the sheet around his waist. "I will not harm you, Molly Hooper," he said.

She was so stunned she didn't bother to ask how he knew her name. "Harm me?! I almost killed you! Obviously I thought you were dead," she stammered. "I swear to god I thought you were dead!"

"It was expedient for me to be so temporarily."

She gawked at him opened-mouthed. "You sound like a friend of mine."

The disfigured man smiled, it was terrifying. "Your friend, would his name be Sherlock Holmes?"

Her shock turned to anger. "So that's why you pulled this little stunt, to get to Sherlock?"

"In part. I have need of Mr. Holmes, but I want you to run the DNA test as well, if you please." He retrieved his belongings from the bag stored underneath the exam table and dressed. His movements were slightly dystonic and his speech was deliberate and formal with a not unpleasing German lilt. She would have thought him a character from some antiquated play if it were not for the earnestness of his words and expression.

His clothes were as unusual as the wearer, reminiscent of 19th century men's fashion: a billowy white shirt, a dark blue waistcoat, and a high collared frock coat. On top of that he donned a full-skirted black greatcoat with a hood, pulling it over his head before turning around. Only a relatively unscathed portion of his face showed. He looked like something from a Gothic horror film. He was breathtaking in the most literal way.

"Who are you?" she breathed.

"My name is Adam."

"I'm Molly," she replied stupidly, unable to tear her eyes away from the strange sight before her.

He turned away from her scrutiny in obvious discomfort. "Miss Hooper, do you mind ringing Mr. Holmes?"

"Oh, yeah. Sorry." She looked down then dug her mobile out of her lab coat pocket. After only two rings he answered, a good indication he was bored and looking for a distraction. "Hey, Sherlock, it's Molly."

"Don't tell me it's time for me to pee in a cup again?"

"I was actually calling on behalf of a potential client, but perhaps I should check to see if you've been behaving yourself."

"You said you have a client for me?" he said, quickly changing the subject.

Molly frowned but decided to let it pass for tonight. She'd surprise him with a drugs test in the morning. "Oh yes, and he is so not boring."

"I'll be the judge of that. I'm a bit busy at the moment, but perhaps sometime next week-"

"Hold on." Molly looked up at Adam and motioned for him to remove his hood. When he did so reluctantly, she snapped a picture of him and texted it to Sherlock. "Ten minutes ago I was just about to do an autopsy on him."

"When can you be here?"

Molly gave Adam a thumbs-up. "We're on our way."

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Sherlock sat in his chair and studied the strange man sitting on his sofa, his fingers steepled under his chin. "Mrs. Hudson, tea if you please!"

"I'll get it," Molly said, but with a look Sherlock indicated she should remain seated.

The detective easily ignored his landlady's grousing and continued watch his client with silent interest. The disfigured man pulled his hood over his face so that only one blue eye was visible and attempted into shrink into the sofa as Mrs. Hudson put the tea tray on the table. The older woman eyed the new client with interest then turned her attention to Molly.

"Good to see you again, Molly. How's your young man? Tom, is it?"

"We broke up," Molly replied with little emotion.

"Oh, I am sorry," said Mrs. Hudson, patting her arm. "You'll find the right one dear-"

"That will be all, Mrs. Hudson," Sherlock said, dismissing her.

His long-suffering landlady mumbled something about putting Sherlock over her knee as she returned to her downstairs flat.

"Remove your hood, Mr…Adam." It was not a request.

Adam shook his head. "I would rather leave it on if it is all the same to you."

Sherlock clucked his tongue. "It isn't all the same to me, actually. Remove your hood or find yourself another consulting detective. By the way, there aren't any."

Adam removed his hood and met Sherlock's eyes. The detective did not flinch at the man's appearance, but he was no closer to understanding him. He was a solitary man, with no family or friends. His clothes were only a few years old, but the style was from 150 years ago, though it was not a costume. His injuries were actually surgical incisions performed by someone who was definitely not a surgeon. His dystonia indicated minor neurological damage or disease, but he seemed hale and hearty. His speech patterns were truly antiquated and not an affectation as if he had learned to speak in the same era his clothes came from.

Sherlock just noticed that someone had put a mug of tea on the table next to him—oh yes, Molly was here. He'd almost forgotten. Adam gallantly inclined his head when Molly handed him his tea.

"So, why are you here?" Sherlock asked in an almost accusatory tone.

Adam carefully put the mug on the table before he began speaking. "I need your help to prevent an abomination," he began. "Your British government is attempting to replicate an experiment that should have never happened in the first place. Are you familiar with the name Victor Frankenstein?"

"The Swiss galvanist? I was intrigued by his use of direct-current electricity to stimulate nerves and muscles when I was five," Sherlock replied smugly. "I used a car battery to run a current through the thigh muscles of dead frog; scared my brother half to death." He smiled slightly at the memory. "Most of his work is considered elementary and outdated."

"Not all of his work was published." Adam pulled a weathered journal from his voluminous coat and handed it to Sherlock. "That is Frankenstein's private journal. It chronicles his greatest and most terrible discovery."

Sherlock raised an eyebrow. "Which is?"

"The reanimation of dead tissue," Adam replied.

Sherlock threw the journal on the table. "And you think the British government is trying to reanimate dead tissue?"

"I know for fact that they are." A look of pain crossed his mutilated features. "I am living proof that it is possible. Victor Frankenstein created me from body parts and organs stolen from fresh corpses."

Sherlock laughed. "Molly, did John put you up to this? I know he's still angry with me for not telling him I faked my death."

Molly shook her head. "No, Sherlock—"

"I must admit you are good." Sherlock rose from his chair and approached Adam. "Those prosthetics are some of the best I've seen." Sherlock touched the top of Adam's head and realized it was not a prosthetic.

Adam grabbed Sherlock's wrist with inhuman strength and held it. "Mr. Holmes, be so kind as to retake your seat so that I might finish my narrative."

Adam released Sherlock, who did as he was told for once in his life. "Please continue."

"My master was not proud of his creation and lived to regret his folly. He eventually found peace in death, but I was not so fortunate. Decades passed and still I did not die, I did not even age," Adam said despairingly. "My hideous countenance forced me into exile."

Molly listened intently to Adam's words, but now that she had gotten past the initial shock of his appearance she thought there was something very familiar about him—the noble nose, the high cheekbones, his mouth. "You're not hideous," she said.

Adam turned to her in surprise.

"Why do people think it's kind to lie to someone's face, hideous or otherwise?" Sherlock asked Molly. "Perhaps if I had pointed out your ex-fiancé's obvious resemblance to me—likely unconscious on your part—I could have saved you a great deal of pain and embarrassment."

"Shut it, Sherlock!" Molly snapped. "Please, Adam, go on."

"I spent my time increasing my knowledge of all subjects, especially literature by inclination and science by necessity. In the 1930's I learned of the new 'science' of eugenics and the Nazi's attempts to create the perfect Aryan race. I thought that their efforts would fail but little did I know that the worst of them, Dr. Josef Mengele, had somehow obtained my master's journal. He and his associates attempted to replicate Frankenstein's work, but thankfully they failed. It took me many years to recover the journal and put Menegle's evil to an end. Unfortunately I discovered that copies had been made."

"You killed Josef Mengele?" Sherlock asked dubiously.

"I did," Adam said proudly. "I do my best to avoid violence, but it was my great pleasure to end that butcher's life."

Sherlock obviously doubted him, but Molly took him at his word, on this point at least. There was something so heartfelt about every word Adam uttered. "To think what that man did to those poor children in Auschwitz," Molly told him. "All I can say is, well done."

Sherlock turned to Molly and gave her a withering look. "So to make a very long story somewhat shorter, you have reason to believe that a government scientist is trying to make a man and you want me to find out who this scientist is and stop him."

"Yes," Adam replied.

Sherlock smiled in that condescending way that made Molly want to slap him hard. "Thank you. I'll be in touch."

Adam rose and put his hood over his head. "Very well, Mr. Holmes."

"Don't forget your journal," Sherlock added.

"Keep it," Adam said. "You might find it an interesting diversion, albeit an elementary and outdated one."

Adam left the flat. With an annoyed glance at Sherlock Molly followed him out onto the street. "I'm so sorry, Sherlock can be a bit—"

"Insufferable?" Adam said.

Molly grinned wryly. "Well, I wasn't going to that polite."

"Thank you, Miss Hooper," Adam said with a bow. "My apologies for any inconvenience I have caused you."

"I wouldn't have missed it for the world. This is the most interesting evening I've ever spent and that's saying something." Molly said sincerely. "If it means anything I really want I believe you—I think I almost do, it's just that it's a lot to take in."

Molly thought she saw a hint of a smile under his hood. "I will not forget your kindness. Please, allow me to escort you to your motorcar."

Molly hesitated, not out of distrust but out of concern for her strange new acquaintance. "Where are you going to go—in case we need to contact you?"

"Back into the shadows," he replied cryptically. "I will have to find my own way in this."

"What do you mean?"

"Please do not concern yourself on my account."

Suddenly, several Land Rover Defenders descended upon Baker Street. Out poured a dozen Special Ops troops with guns pointed at Adam.

Adam rose to his full height, then widened his stance as if preparing for battle. He gently pushed a shocked Molly behind him. A second later a black car drove up and out stepped Mycroft Holmes.

Molly peeked out from behind Adam to make her presence known. "Mycroft, what in the world is going on?"

Mycroft regarded her coldly. "Miss Hooper, run along upstairs and tell my brother I'll be there momentarily."

Molly turned towards the door, then turned back with a determined look on her face and stood in front of Adam. Since Molly had helped Sherlock fake his own death she had gotten bolder, particularly when it came to dealing with the Holmes boys. "I demand to know what's going on!" Adam attempted to move her out of harm's way but she would not budge an inch.

"You demand?" Mycroft started to laugh, then his expression turned deadly serious. "This—man—is extremely dangerous and highly deranged. I am taking him into custody to protect the public."

"When have you ever cared about the public, Mycroft?"

Molly whipped her head around at the sound of Sherlock's voice. The detective used the distraction to stuff a folded piece of paper into Adam's pocket before pulling Molly out of the way.

The moment Molly was safe Adam removed his hood and let out a preternatural roar before charging the Special Ops troops at full speed. He leaped on top of one of the Land Rovers as the soldiers fired on him. Adam was not even slowed by the bullets and disappeared into the London night. Mycroft barked orders to have Adam pursued then approached his younger sibling.

"Rubber bullets, Brother?" Sherlock said. "I'm relieved. For a moment I'd thought you'd gone all civic minded."

"Interfere in this, Sherlock," Mycroft said with a rumble, "and I will not protect you, no matter what the consequences." The British Government incarnate turned on his heel and disappeared into his big black car, then drove away.

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth," Sherlock mumbled to himself.

"Holy crap," Molly replied. "How are we going to find him?"

"Not to worry. He's on his way to a very special safe house. The game is on, Molly!" A wide smile broke out on Sherlock's handsome face. "How about dinner? I'm famished."

"But you never eat while you're working," she pointed out, regarding him with suspicion.

Sherlock ignored her question and threw a friendly arm around her shoulder. "I hope you like Italian."

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Chapter Three: Safe House

Molly let herself inside her flat laden with enough Italian take-a-way to last a week. Of course, Sherlock didn't eat so much as a breadstick, which made her very suspicious. Toby met her at the door with a string of excited meows, no doubt hoping for a bite a chicken carbonara.

"Not to worry, silly boy, I won't forget—" Molly froze when she heard a rustling noise coming from the kitchen. She carefully put the take-a-way on her coffee table and grabbed the cricket bat she kept under the futon sofa. Creeping silently into her kitchen, she raised the bat over her head before turning on the light. She let out a little squeak when she saw Adam sitting on the floor of her kitchen eating her favorite chocolate-covered biscuits.

"He's on his way to a very safe house…"

Dammit Sherlock!

Adam looked up at her with a guilty expression so childlike her irritation dissipated almost immediately.

"My apologies." He wiped his chocolate-covered mouth with the back of his hand and got to his feet. "Miss Hooper, believe me I had no idea this was your flat. I will go immediately."

"No you won't. It isn't safe." Molly leaned the cricket bat against the wall, then picked up a tea towel and wet a corner of it. When she went to wipe the residual chocolate from Adam's lips he flinched, then allowed her to do it. "It's all right," she said, gently dabbing the corner of his mouth. "You just have a little chocolate right there." Molly couldn't help but wonder about the sort of treatment he'd no doubt received over the centuries from 'normal' humans. "I'll pick up more biscuits tomorrow." She smiled. "I can eat an entire package of those when I'm feeling depressed."

Adam cocked his head to one side and gazed at her quizzically. "What could a beautiful and gracious lady like you ever be depressed about?"

Molly blushed. Suddenly her own problems seemed trivial. "Nothing important. I brought home loads of food-chicken carbonara, spaghetti bolognaise. I hope you're hungry after those biscuits."

"Very hungry, Miss Hooper. I have not eaten in two days."

She regarded him sympathetically then sat him at her small dining table and placed white containers of food and silverware in front of him. "While you're eating I'll make up the futon in the front room. Hope that's okay. And please call me Molly."

"You are most kind, Molly." In fact Adam was taken aback by her extraordinary compassion. Perhaps it was because she earned her living doing postmortems that allowed her to look upon him without disgust; at least she hid it well. He hoped Sherlock would be able track down this foolish scientist soon before Molly tired of his hideous visage.

"You're not hideous."

Why would she say such a thing? Was she just being kind or did she actually mean it? Adam thought it was safer to assume the former lest dangerous feelings he had long since buried came bubbling to the surface.

Molly paused while she made up the guest bed. She had a 200-year-old man in her flat! It was still almost too much to accept despite the fact that Mycroft Holmes had been very keen to take Adam away to do what, she wondered? Would they hurt him or take him apart to see how Frankenstein did it so they could replicate his results? Already Molly felt protective of the odd man who seemed so familiar. Adam was strong, agile, and intelligent, but there was also something so innocent about him that tugged at her heartstrings.

After he finished eating he washed up at the sink and came into the front room.

"The bed's a bit small for you, but it's comfy," she told him.

He bowed his head and thanked her again.

Molly sat on the corner of the bed and invited Adam to sit. "I have to work tomorrow, so please make yourself at home. Be sure to stay away from the windows though, Mycroft can track you just about anywhere."

"Mycroft Holmes, so very clever and cold that one," Adam said with a puzzling hint of disappointment in his voice.

"How long has he been looking for you?"

"Many years," he said without elaboration. "When will the DNA test results be ready?"

"A couple of days. I meant to ask you why you need them."

"Since the moment I drew breath I have wondered what I am," Adam told her. "I thought DNA might give me the answers that I seek."

"Oh. I hope it helps you," she said sincerely. "Speaking of answers, I'm hoping Sherlock will show up at St. Bart's tomorrow with whatever information he's been able to find. I don't dare contact him in case they're monitoring his mobile."

"You care for him," Adam said matter-of-factly.

Molly paled. "Who, Sherlock?" she said with a nervous laugh, trying to make light of it. "We're just friends."

"Then why were you engaged to a man who looked exactly like him?"

"Tom did not look exactly like him," Molly replied defensively. "Look, Adam, no offense, but I don't really want to talk about it right now."

Adam looked away shyly. "Perhaps we can talk about it while we breakfast tomorrow morning."

She shook her head. "I don't really want to talk about it at all. My love life is pathetic."

His ruined brow furrowed with concern. "I have made you angry. I have so little contact with people. I only wish to understand the human heart."

Molly smiled wryly. "Good luck with that. Between you and me I suppose you could say I'm a bit in love with him—but I don't want to be."

"Why?"

"Because he doesn't feel the same way about me."

"Then why fall in love with him in the first place?"

That's an excellent question, Molly thought. "I don't know, it just sort of happens. There's something about him that sucked me right in."

Adam nodded as if he understood. "He is quite handsome."

Molly thought she heard a note of envy in his voice. "Oh yes," she replied, "but the bad part is that is knows it. He uses his looks to get what he wants." Those cheekbones, those lovely lips, the way his nose crinkled when he laughed, and those amazing eyes-blue, green and gold like the water off some Caribbean island…then it suddenly hit Molly like a cricket bat to the skull. The reason Adam looked so familiar was because he looked just like Sherlock—the shape of his skull, his features, even his eyes! She closed her own eyes and shook her head to clear it, but when she opened them again she still saw the striking resemblance between them.

"Are you all right, Molly?" Adam asked, alarmed at her dazed expression.

"I'm fine. It's late," she said, forcing a smile. "I should get to bed. There are extra blankets in the closet if you need them. Help yourself to anything in the kitchen."

Molly let Toby in before she closed her bedroom door, then locked it as an afterthought. There was no connection between Sherlock and Adam, how could there be? Perhaps she was going mad-she was seeing Sherlock everywhere! When all this was over Molly had to find herself a therapist. If she didn't get Sherlock out of her system soon she'd never be able to build a life of her own.

Suddenly choked sobs escaped her throat; she tried to hold back the tears but they came of their own accord as they always did. Molly buried her face in her pillow so Adam wouldn't hear. How many tears had she shed because of Sherlock Holmes?

Adam's own eyes moistened at the sound of Molly's pain. "Stupid, stupid!" Adam said aloud as he hit himself on the side of his head with his fist. Just when he thought Molly might become his friend he made her cry with all his questions.

Adam rested his head on the pillow and willed himself not to go to sleep, but fatigue won out. Instead of the bad dream he feared, he dreamt of him and Molly out in society with normal men and women sharing a plate of chicken carbonara, and just for a moment she looked at him the same way she looked at Sherlock.

The next morning Molly awoke to a quiet flat, so she assumed Adam was still asleep. She resolved to ask Adam if there was any connection between him and Sherlock to put her mind at rest before she headed off to work, but when she entered the front room, Adam's bed was empty. Rushing into the kitchen she found a covered plate filled with scrambled eggs and buttered toast, still warm, next to a hot cup tea. Beside that was a note:

I am sorely grieved that I made you cry. I hope you can find it in your large heart to forgive me. I will never forget your kindness or your hospitality.

Your obedient servant,

Adam

"Oh no!" Molly ran to the front room and looked out the window hoping to spot him. She would have run outside to search for him if she thought she could do so unnoticed, but it was broad daylight. Defeated, she went into the kitchen and ate the breakfast he had so thoughtfully made for her, then got ready for work.

Sherlock strolled into the pathology lab that afternoon with a cup of tea in his hand. Molly turned and smiled at him, but she seemed subdued. Before he spoke he placed a black box on the table, then turned it on.

"Just in case anyone's eavesdropping. It jams listening devices, " Sherlock told her. "How's your flatmate?"

Molly gave him a dejected look. "He left sometime this morning."

"Left? Where?"

"I don't know," she replied, visibly upset. "I'm really worried."

Sherlock raised an eyebrow. "You're worried about a very large, inhumanly strong immortal man?"

She shrugged. "I know, stupid, forget it. I'm sure he'll turn up. Did you learn anything?"

Sherlock placed Frankenstein's journal on the table. "I learned how to make a man. It's an instruction manual on how to reanimate a corpse, but according to Adam no one else has been able to do it. I suspect Frankenstein left out a few important parts of the process."

"Why would anyone want to try?"

"Imagine the possibilities," Sherlock said. "Forget cloning, bring your actual dead loved ones back to life. This has Baskerville written all over it." At Molly's questioning look, Sherlock explained, "Baskerville is where they do all the unethical experiments the government doesn't want us to know about. Unfortunately, I doubt I could get near the place again, what with Mycroft on the warpath, but I do have leverage over one of their scientists." Sherlock glanced over at Molly. "So why he did he leave? You're obvious upset about it—red-rimmed eyes and several wadded up tissues strewn all over your work station."

"Just leave it, Sherlock," she said quietly.

"O-kay. I'll see what I can find out through the Homeless Network," he said, tossing his cup in the trash. "Like you said, he'll turn up. It would be hard to miss anything that big and ugly."

Sherlock's callous comment sent any guilty feelings Molly had for what she was about to do right out the window. Picking up his discarded paper cup she hoped there was enough DNA on the rim to settle her questions about Adam and Sherlock once and for all.

When Molly Hooper arrived home, she did not immediately go into her flat. Instead she walked down empty streets and dark alleys looking for something—or more accurately, someone. Mycroft was perplexed by the look of caring on her face, but there it was. It was unfortunate the Creature had evaded capture when it left her flat this morning, but surely if he kept a weather eye on Miss Hooper it would show its disagreeable face again soon enough.

To be continued...

Chapter Text

Chapter Four: A Monster’s Tale

A few days later Sherlock drove to a modest home not far from the super-secret Baskerville research facility and knocked on the door. Conveniently Dr. Stapleton answered the door. Sherlock smiled. “Dr. Stapleton, how lovely to see you again.”

“What do you want?” the Baskerville scientist asked testily. “On second thought, I don’t care. Goodbye.”

She tried to close the door, but Sherlock stuck his foot inside to stop her. “I just have a few questions, unless you’d rather console your daughter when she finds out you murdered her pet rabbit because you made it glow in the dark.”

“That was two years ago,” she replied.

“And yet you still haven’t told Kirsty, have you?”

Stapleton sighed and reluctantly let him inside.

A young girl about ten came into the room. “Mr. Holmes,” said Kirsty. “Did you find Bluebell?”

“No, not yet, but I’m on the case,” he said with a grin.

Kirsty looked up at her mother. “Mum, dinner’s almost ready.”

“I’ll be right there.” She turned back to Sherlock. “Get on with it, then.”

Sherlock got right to the point. “There’s a rumor that one of yours is trying to reanimate the dead using Victor Frankenstein’s notes. Ring a bell?”

She nodded, then closed the door to dining room so her daughter wouldn’t overhear. “I’ve heard the rumors and even I think it’s over the line. He’s not at Baskerville, though. There is government interest, but it’s privately funded research. I don’t know where.”

“A name would be helpful.”

“May I count on your discretion?” Stapleton suddenly seemed afraid.

“The name,” Sherlock pressed her.

“Edmund Wilde,” she whispered.

Sherlock chuckled. “The Face of the British Science Association?” Edmund Wilde, a handsome and charismatic man did television PSA’s putting a pretty face on science to encourage British youngsters to study math and science. “I had no idea he was an actual scientist.”

“He’s brilliant, actually. He’s from a very wealthy family, but he’s extremely wealthy in his own right. Unlike Baskerville he has virtually unlimited resources. He’s—“ She hesitated. “Unstable, though you wouldn’t know it unless you crossed him.”

Sherlock raised an eyebrow. “Did you cross him?”

“Mum! Dinner’s getting cold,” call Kirsty.

“You have to go,” Dr. Stapleton said, ushering Sherlock to the door. “And don’t come back. I’d rather tell Kirsty about Bluebell then have to explain to Wilde why I was talking to you.”

“Fascinating.” Sherlock smiled as he walked to his rental car. A 200-year-old reanimated man, an ancient journal with forbidden secrets, and a mad scientist. This was shaping up to be his most delightfully weird case yet. Too bad John and Mary were on holiday in Italy. He took out his mobile and texted John:

‘You’re missing all the fun.’

A moment later came a reply:

‘John says to tell us all about it when we get back. In the meantime bugger off.

Love Mary.’

When he returned to London that night, Sherlock texted Molly to meet him at Baker Street.

“What did you find out?” she asked as soon as Mrs. Hudson let her in.

“How much do you know about Edmund Wilde?” Sherlock turned his laptop so Molly could see the PSA he was playing.

“Here at the British Science Association we make science fun!” Assured the handsome scientist. “Join today and become part of the future of British innovation.” Wilde gave the camera a smoldering look before the video ended.

“I know if I didn’t already have a job in science I’d get one.” Molly giggled at her own joke, but stopped when Sherlock gave her a derisive look. “What about him?”

“Edmund Wilde is from one of the wealthiest and most philanthropic families in England. Apparently he was spurred into what he calls public service after a series of losses. His father and older brother were killed in a car accident when he was five. His mother died of ovarian cancer when he was thirteen. It was then that he devoted his life to scientific inquiry. He has a medical degree as well as a doctorate in engineering.”

Molly’s eyes widened in understanding. “Is he the one trying to replicate Frankenstein’s work?”

“It appears so. Even more telling is that his super-model fiancé died about a month ago in a freak diving accident.” Sherlock let that piece of information sink in a moment.

“He’s trying to bring her back to life,” she breathed.

Sherlock nodded. “I doubt Miss Joanna Burke ever made it to her final resting place. Wilde is meeting with underprivileged primary school students as well as the press in a few days. I want us to be there, but I’m reluctant to tell Adam about it.”

“Why?” Molly asked. “Wilde has to be stopped.”

“Remember what Adam did to Mengele? Do you want to be responsible for him killing Britain’s prettiest scientist?”

“Well, we have to find Adam anyway. Look at this.” Molly handed a piece of paper to Sherlock.

He glanced at the familial DNA analysis. It showed that a Joe Bloggs’ DNA was distantly related to one Baby Bloggs. “Why are you showing me this?"

Molly looked more sheepish than usual before answering. "Joe Bloggs is Adam. Baby Bloggs is you."

"Where did you get my DNA?" Sherlock demanded indignantly. He mentally retraced his steps for the last few days and answered his own question. "The paper tea cup."

"Don't worry it can't be traced back to you," Molly assured him.

Secretly Sherlock was impressed by Molly's diabolical initiative, but did not want to openly encourage her. His head was reeling. "What possessed you to do the test?”

“When Adam was at my flat I noticed the resemblance between you,” Molly told him, putting the lab result back into her bag. “You wouldn't have take me seriously if I mentioned it to you, so I…you know.”

Sherlock entered his mind palace and examined Adam and himself side by side, then dismissed the disturbing image in disgust. “All right, let’s see what the Homeless Network has come up with.” They took a taxi to a questionable side of town and got out. It didn’t take long before Sherlock found a familiar face—an ex-crack addict named Mags. He gave her a tenner. “I’m looking for a man—very big, wearing a black cloak with a hood.”

Mags gave him a toothless grin. “You mean my Avenging Angel?” She grinned. “He may not be easy on the eyes, but he saved my arse the other night. You’re not after him are you?”

“He’s a client. What happened?”

“Two guys in suits tried to kidnap me.”

“Government types?” asked Sherlock.

“Don’t think so. The suits were Italian and expensive—I used to work in a tailor’s shop,” Mags explained to Molly.

“Sounds like private security,” Sherlock mused.

“That’s what I reckon. Used to be I only had to worry about the skinheads and tweekers. I asked around and it seems I’m not the only one who’s had a close call.” Mags shook her head. “They would’ve got me if it weren’t for Adam.”

Sherlock immediately deduced that the would-be kidnappers were working for Wilde. The homeless would be an excellent source of fresh organs that would not be missed.

“Where is he?” Molly asked impatiently. “He could be in danger.”

Mags pointed to the left. “Last time I saw him he was a few blocks that way, but who knows where he is now.”

Without a word to Sherlock, Molly headed down the way Mags had indicated. With an annoyed sigh, Sherlock followed after her.

Molly had been looking for Adam for days with no luck, but her heart started racing when she realized he was so close. She was worried about him, of course, but she was anxious to learn about the connection between him and Sherlock. There were other reasons for her agitation, but she chose not delve into those too deeply.

“Adam,” she called. “It’s Molly. Molly Hooper. Where are you?”

A figure seemed to appear out of nowhere in front of her, but it wasn’t Adam.

“Miss Hooper,” said Mycroft Holmes. “You should have kept your nose out of this, but now you’ve forced my hand.”

“You knew he was your ancestor all along,” Molly said. “Why don’t you just leave him alone?”

“I cannot allow that, that—thing to ruin all that I’ve built.” He took a step closer to Molly. “And you will not say a word to anyone or I’ll—“

“You will not lay a finger on her or your beloved brother dies.”

Molly and Mycroft turned to see Adam holding Sherlock in a tight headlock. Sherlock tried to escape Adam’s unnaturally strong grip with no success. The resemblance between them was brought into starker focus. “Adam,” Molly said, approaching them. “Let him go. I know you won’t harm your own flesh and blood.”

Adam let Sherlock go, who gingerly rubbed his neck. “Despite what you may think I am not anxious to claim either of them as my kin.”

“Then why are you here?” demanded Mycroft.

Molly regarded him with surprise. Mycroft Holmes didn’t know? She thought he knew everything.

Sherlock smiled mirthlessly. “You went to all that trouble to capture him just to prevent him from revealing he’s our great-great-great granddad?” He laughed and turned to Adam. “I think it’s quite appropriate that we are descended from a monster. I for one am dying to hear your story.”

“I am too,” Molly added, then cuffed Sherlock on the arm. “But you’re not a monster.”

Mycroft rolled his eyes and sighed. “Please, don’t leave us in suspense.”

Adam gazed shyly at Molly before speaking. "I never stayed in one place for long before stories of a monster in the mountains or the woods spread among villagers and townspeople. After a century of self-imposed exile I was desperate for human contact. I travelled to East Yorkshire, not far from the town of Beverley. I watched the townspeople from a hill, but it was not enough to ease my loneliness. One summer day, two young women climbed up onto my hill for a picnic. The older of the two was the maidservant of the younger. The younger woman, fair of face with long chestnut hair, walked with a cane—she was blind as my first friend and teacher De Lacey had been.”

Mycroft raised an eyebrow. “You had a friend?”

Molly shushed him and motioned for Adam to continue.

“The maidservant had a paramour she would meet in the nearby forest I had made my home. Clara, the blind girl, was left alone while her maidservant dallied with her beau. I could tell that Clara enjoyed the fresh air and the sun upon her face; she seemed even to enjoy her solitude. I wanted so to speak with her, but I was afraid she would hate me. But one day it began to rain and Clara was helpless without her maidservant. Forgetting my fear, I approached her and offered her shelter. She gratefully agreed.” Adam smiled.

“Is that when you raped her?” Mycroft asked.

“I did no such thing!” Adam protested. “We became friends. She wanted a paramour of her own. How could I refuse such a lovely creature? But one day she and her maidservant stopped coming to the hill. She was soon married to another man.”

“Our great-great-great grandfather Barrington Holmes,” Mycroft told Sherlock.

“No doubt Clara told her family she was raped to hide her indiscretion.” Sherlock said.

“I do not know,” Adam replied. “What I do know is that she gave birth to a perfect baby boy six months later.” Adam’s eyes welled with tears. “My son.”

“I’m so sorry, Adam.” Molly wiped her eyes. “That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

Sherlock snorted. “Oh please. I’ve never heard a more maudlin treacle-fest in my life.”

“Agreed,” said Mycroft. “May it never be repeated. I certainly hope we can count on your discretion, Miss Hooper.”

"You of all people know I can keep a secret. Both of you should be ashamed, but I don’t think that’s possible.” Molly held out her hand. "Come on, Adam. We'll figure this out ourselves."

Adam gazed at her hand as if it were some strange and wonderful thing he had never seen before. He reached for her tentatively then gently clasped her small hand. Mycroft sneered at them both in revulsion. "You will regret your misplaced compassion," he told her.

They walked away hand in hand until they were out of sight of the Holmes brothers. Adam stopped and reluctantly let her hand go.

"I did not do what he accuses me of, but in my youth I did terrible things,” Adam confessed. “Perhaps Mycroft is right. Perhaps you will regret being my friend."

"Those two live by their own rules, their own morality. If they refuse to be judged by normal standards how can you be? I don't care what happened centuries ago; I don't want to know what you did. I know that you're kind and sweet and I like you. Can I trust you not to hurt me?"

"You can,” Adam said sincerely. “By my life I swear that you can."

Molly smiled and took his hand again. "Then let's go home."

To be continued...

Chapter Text

After their confrontation with Sherlock and Mycroft, Molly and Adam returned to her flat in companionable silence. Adam wore his hood over his face, but risked shy glances at Molly during their cab ride, which made her feel a little uneasy.

It was true she was beginning to look past the horrible scars to the handsome man underneath who so resembled Sherlock, but she couldn't bring herself to imagine him as a romantic partner. She immediately felt guilty and wished she wasn't quite so shallow.

After their confrontation with Sherlock and Mycroft, Molly and Adam returned to her flat in companionable silence. Adam wore his hood over his face, but risked shy glances at Molly during their cab ride, which made her feel a little uneasy.

It was true she was beginning to look past the horrible scars to the handsome man underneath who so resembled Sherlock, but she couldn't bring herself to imagine him as a romantic partner. She immediately felt guilty and wished she wasn't quite so shallow.

It was true that from the moment Molly laid eyes on Adam at St. Bart's morgue she had been fascinated by the strange and remarkable man. As she had gotten to know him she had become more and more captivated by his intelligence, his wisdom, and his innocence. She just wished that was enough.

"I wish to have a bath, if I may," Adam asked once they arrived at her flat.

"I don't have a bathtub, but you're welcome to use the shower." Molly smiled. "Come on, I'll show you."

She led Adam into the bathroom and showed him how to use the shower. "While you're bathing I can wash your clothes. You can wear my robe, though it might be a little short."

"Perhaps a blanket to wrap myself in as well," Adam suggested bashfully.

"Of course," she replied.

After Adam showered, he came into the front room looking very much like a little boy wrapped in a blanket, albeit a very tall one. Molly felt a little twinge in her heart, followed by a fleeting feeling of longing for Adam she dare not dwell on.

She could feel her cheeks burn as she grabbed the DNA results from the coffee table. Adam sat down on the futon while Molly took a few deep breaths before going over the DNA test results with him. "Your DNA is human, Adam," Molly informed him. "It must have been something in the process Dr. Frankenstein used to reanimate you that has allowed you to live so long."

"I am human," Adam said, his voice wavering slightly as tears sprang to his eyes. "I am not so different after all."

Molly smiled and put her hand lightly on his shoulder; Adam closed his eyes and sighed contently at the contact. It would be so easy to kiss him, to love him, but Molly was still afraid. She touched his hand briefly and rose. "I'm so glad I was able to give you some answers. Sleep well. And you had better be here when I wake up or else."

"Or else what?" he asked with a grin.

"Let's just say you don't want to make me cross, just ask Sherlock."

Molly had the next two days off so she ordered lots of Chinese takeaway then spent the day with Adam watching old romantic comedies. More then once Molly caught Adam looking at her with longing in his eyes; more than once their eyes met, stirring forbidden feelings in Molly's equally lonely heart. She could kiss him, but then what? They could never have a normal life together. Better not to start anything she would regret later.

Molly told Adam she had to go to work the next day, but she was actually meeting Sherlock at Edmund Wilde's meet and greet at the Rotherfield Primary School. By the time she arrived, the press was there in full force. Edmund Wilde managed to play for the cameras while looking sincere when speaking to the youngsters. Wilde was more gorgeous in person than Molly could have imagined: tall, lean with black hair and perfectly chiseled features, but he was cold—when he smiled it didn't reach his eyes. She found herself missing the imperfect Adam.

Molly turned her attention from Wilde to locating Sherlock. As soon as she spotted the consulting detective in the corner with a giant security guard standing in front of him, he sent her a text:

'Wilde's suspicious. He won't even talk to me-or you if he thinks we're together. I need you to question him when this is over…"

Molly read Sherlock's questions, which were quite direct and to the point, then took a deep breath to calm her nerves. The television cameras captured Wilde interacting with the students using the new computers and lab equipment he had donated to the school. As soon as the show was over, he sat down behind a table to sign autographs with private security guards on either side of him.

Molly approached Wilde who gave her a blinding grin. "I'm a big fan," she said sincerely as she handed him her parking voucher to sign. "How's your current experiment going?"

Wilde signed his name with a flourish then handing it back to her with a look that clearly said she was so out of his league it was comical. "Which experiment is that?"

"You know, the one to reanimate your dead girlfriend." She then went off-script and whispered. "Please Dr. Wilde, you have to end it. Adam is looking for you. He will stop you if you don't."

Wilde's smile faded and the deadly look in his eye made Molly take a step back.

Wilde then motioned for his security guard to take care of her. The same man who had been guarding Sherlock grabbed her by the arm and practically dragged her out the main door of the school. The big brute looked to and fro before stealing her mobile for good measure.

"You can't do that!" Molly cried out indignantly. "My whole life's on that phone!"

Sherlock met her outside a few minutes later.

Molly turned on him angrily. "You're buying me a new mobile!"

"Here." Sherlock handed her Mycroft's credit card.

Molly snatched it from him. "And I just might buy myself a new jumper as well!"

"Anything would be an improvement over the one you're wearing," Sherlock replied. "Did you learn anything?"

Molly ignored his insult and was careful not to tell Sherlock she had warned Wilde that Adam was looking for him. She could have kicked herself for doing so. "I hit a nerve. I'm almost certain he's our man. What's our next move?"

"You're next move is to make certain Adam stays in your flat," Sherlock said firmly. "I will take care of Wilde."

"You haven't the faintest notion how to stop him, do you?" Molly countered.

"No," Sherlock admitted, "but I certainly don't need Adam murdering Wilde before we're actually sure he's trying to bring his dead fiancé back to life. I'd suggest we dig her up, but she was interred—or not—in the Wilde family crypt. Her grave is sealed."

"At least grave robbing is off the table." Molly's eyes flashed with anger and frustration. "Well, you had better come up with something soon, because I don't know how long Adam and I can go on before-."

"Before what, Molly?" Sherlock closed the short distance between them and stared down his friend. "Are you attracted him because he looks like me?"

'That's a small part of it," Molly admitted, "but it's more than that. His intelligence, his kindness and innocence. He even makes me breakfast every morning. He's nothing like you. Well, I'm off to get a new mobile. Text me if you come up with something."

Edmund Wilde examined Molly Hooper's mobile himself and found all manner of interesting things. She's a loyal friend to Sherlock Holmes and did his dirty work at the press conference this afternoon. More interesting still was that she knew Adam. She had even taken photographs of the Creature from various points of view.

Wilde had longed to be in possession of the Creature, so he could dissect him and learn more about Dr. Frankenstein's methods. His lover, the beautiful Elizabeth Morland, had been dead for a month and was kept from decomposing with the use of a cryogenic chamber. He killed and practiced on the homeless but none of the them proved successful. Perhaps he needed a healthier subject." An evil smile crossed his handsome features. His plans may save Elizabeth and draw the Creature out of hiding. He called for his henchmen.

Two huge men of questionable character entered. "What do you need boss?"

"I want Molly Hooper here." Wilde ordered. "She works at St. Bart's in the morgue. Don't hurt her."

Molly put the last body away and a stack of completed repots on her boss's desk. She took out her new mobile (they were doing a 2 for 1 sale) and rang Adam. It rang a few times before Adam could figure out how to answer. "Hello, Molly can you hear me?" He shouted into the phone.

"Just use your normal voice," Molly said with a light laugh. "Don't worry you'll get used to it. I rang because I'm picking up some food on the way home, what are you I the mood for—Italian, Chinese. Thai?"

'I have never had Thai food, so I'd like to try it."

"Thai it is."

"I wish I could come and get you myself" There was great worry in his voice. "The night is not safe.

"I'll be fine. See you soon."

As she was getting her handbag out of her locker and hanging up her white coat, She heard the sound of two people coming in her direction. "Hello," she called out. "Can I help you?"

Suddenly, two large men burst into the locker room. She recognized one as the man who took her mobile phone. The other man grabbed her from behind, while his partner put several pieces of duct tape over her mouth. She struggled mightily, kicking one in the groin. He promptly slapped her hard across the face, then bound her hands feet with the duct tape.

"Listen bitch, if you want to live be a good little girl and maybe I won't hit you again."

A terrified Molly nodded and stop struggling as Mr. Mobile Stealer, threw her over his shoulder, then took her to a black town car and threw her roughly into the boot. It took several moments for Molly to get her wits about her again. Think Molly…she didn't have her handback, so she didn't have her mobile-Oh yes I do!' She had put it in her pant's pocket after she spoke with Adam. First she had to get the duct tape off her mouth. Between using her tongue and her bound hands, she manage to get it off. Then she went for her mobile, It took some wrangling, but she finally retrieved it. She knew she should call Sherlock, because Adam didn't have a clue about Edmund Wilde, but she called Adam instead because his number was handier..

"Hello Molly, you should be home by now."

"Adam just listen to me," she whispered. "You must get to Sherlock. I've been kidnapped and I think I'm on my way to the Wilde estate."

"Is he the man trying to replicate Frankenstein's work ."

"Yes, but you mustn't go by yourself, promise me you'll go to Sherlock first. Promise!"

"I promise," he said reluctantly. The car stopped. "I have to go," Molly said abruptly, then the phone went dead.

To Be Continued…

Chapter Text

"Wearing his cloak and hood, Adam managed to hail a cab to Baker Street. As soon as he found 221B he began banging on the door loud enough to wake the dead. Mrs. Hudson answered the door.

"Forgive me for waking you so late,' Adam said with a bow, "but I must see Sherlock Holmes. Molly Hooper is in grave danger." At that she motioned for him to come inside. "You go on up, and I'll make some tea."

Adam was met at the door by a sleepy Sherlock wrapped in a sheet. He rubbed his eyes and yawned. "What makes you think Molly's in danger?"

"She rang me from the boot of a car that two of Wilde's men were driving." The panic in Adam's voice was unmistakable

Sherlock's mind was moving a little faster after a cup of Mrs. Hudson tea. "We need a car but at this late hour, that will be difficult."

"Molly has a car and I assume it's still at St. Bart's," Adam reminded him.

Sherlock dressed quickly and with Adam's hood covering most of his face the two men hailed a cab to St. Bart's. They first went into the laboratory for any clues and found definite signs of a struggle, then spotted her handbag tossed in the corner which had her car keys in it. It wasn't too difficult to find Molly's blue subcompact. The two tall men squeezed themselves in. Sherlock was reminded of clown car from the circus and recalled how much he hated clowns."

"Do you have a plan?" Adam asked.

Sherlock shook his head. "Not in the slightest, but I know we're going through the front door."

"What about the element of surprise?"

"Too late for that, they surely found her mobile on her – he knows we're coming," Sherlock said, "He's probably dying to meet you."

"But what is he going to do with Molly?" Adam asked

"Probably use her for parts," Sherlock said insensitively.

Adam roared with rage. "If he so much as touches her I will tear him apart!"

"Well, we had better hurry." Sherlock had slammed the pedal to the floor, but it was still going only 70. "I think we might have some time. The process will take hours and there's no lightening until the early morning."

When they arrived at the Wilde estate, Molly had been in the boot of the car for over an hour. She was grateful to be let out, but Mr. Mobile Stealer noticed she didn't have duct tape on her mouth anymore and she was holding a mobile phone."

She was afraid he'd hit her again, but he only said, "Naughty girl." He then cut the bonds on her hands and ankles. They kept her in front of them, once pushing her forward. When they reached the huge mahogany doors. They knocked loudly.

A butler open the door. "Good evening Miss Hooper, please come in. My name is James, in case you need anything during for your stay." When she looked up at the grand staircase, she saw Edmund Wilde standing at the at the top of stairs, looking cruelly handsome. "Well, well, it's the troublesome Miss Molly Hooper. James, she is to have nothing to eat or drink."

"Why not, I haven't had anything since breakfast," Molly said whinging just a little.

Edmund started down the stairs. "That is excellent. Please follow me to the sitting room, he said taking her arm. "I have a secret to tell you, one that you've already guessed." He told Molly to sit on the sofa while he took the leather chair next to her. The huge and ornate fireplace made the room comfortably warm. One of his henchmen brought him the cell phone. "Oh, you purchased another one. Let's see who you've been talking to. One text to Sherlock and five calls to Adam, the last had to have occurred on the way here. "Are your friends on the way I wonder?"

"God I hope so." She wiped her tearful eyes on her sleeve. "What are you going to do to me?"

Edmund stared at her until he was almost looking through her. "Surgery, we're going to do a heart transplant into my beloved Elizabeth. You see, she didn't die from a diving accident, she had a heart defect neither of us knew about. In order to reanimate her I need a gently used heart. Yours. I've tried taking the hearts of homeless women but they were all crack addicts and prostitutes, completely unsuitable for my purpose."

Molly looked around for some mode of escape, but the henchmen were guarding all the doors. She started crying. "But why me. I'm nothing, I don't matter."

Edmund regarded her with no emotion. "Well then no one will miss you. Nothing personal but you're healthy and not a drug addict," he said matter-of-factly. "James," have her shower with the surgical scrub and then take her to the attic." James bowed and acted like his master just ordered a cup of bloody tea.

James held out his hand, Molly didn't take it.

Edmund called the henchman. "Help James take Miss Hooper to the shower." She struggled with the man, so he hit her hard on her cheek. All that was in Molly's head was a painful buzzing.

"Watch her, scrub her yourselves if you must," Wilde ordered.

James managed to keep the gorilla outside, and did his best to give her enough privacy to cleanse her skin with the surgical scrub. It wasn't the first time she'd done it, usually after a particularly gross autopsy, but she never had an audience. She took her time hoping Sherlock and Adam would come in time to save her. She dried herself off with a sterile towel, and then James gave her a gown, booties, and a head covering for her hair, and lastly James provided her with a warmed sterile blanket against the chill. James led her to the operating room and had her lay down on a gurney. Molly was shaking uncontrollably but she tried to notice her surroundings, while James put restraints on her hands and feet. There wasn't anyone in the bed next hers, but she saw some kind of tube in which a woman lay, presumably Elizabeth Morland.

No offense but I'm still using my heart, thank you." She looked around at the medical equipment and realized that you couldn't find finer facilities anywhere. She just hoped that there was enough time for the boys to find her. There were three nurses in the room, setting up the instruments. One of the nurses started an IV on her. "I'm Deidre, I'll be the nurse anesthetist." Then she injected something into the IV.

"What was that?" Molly demanded

"Just some lorazepam to relax you," the nurse explained

"Deidre, you are a nurse. How can you do this?" Molly shouted, trying to stay awake. "He's going to kill me!"

"I have a family to feed," the nurse responded honestly. "My husband can't work and spends all his time in the pub." Deidre patted her arm. "I promise you won't feel a thing."

Dr. Edmund Wilde strutted into the operating theater in surgeon's garb. "Go ahead and put her under, Deidre."

"Right away Mr. Wilde"

The nurse anesthetist pushed three syringes at the same time into her IV, Molly immediately felt very sleepy, She knew she was going to pass out any second. "Deidre, tell Adam that I love him." Then everything went black.

When Sherlock and Adam were almost to the Wilde estate, Sherlock changed his mind on tactics. "I think we're better off finding our own way in."

"The lab will be on the top floor," said Adam. "That's where Molly will be."

"You've gotten rather attached to her." Sherlock wasn't surprised, the two of them fit together in the weirdest way possible.

"She is beautiful and kind, how could I not love her." Adam smiled wistfully. "I know we can never be together."

They parked Molly's car just down the road from the estate. When they reached the estate, Sherlock assumed they were being videotaped the entire time. Sherlock had a box that scrambled video. They went to the back of the house and found an old unused door. Sherlock tried to open it, but the old lock wouldn't budge. He looked to Adam. "Your turn."

Adam twisted the ancient metal till the lock gave out. Adam gave Sherlock a smug smile. Sherlock just rolled his eyes. The room was a storage space and there was a servant's staircase. Both men ran up the stairs unto the second floor, which was grand, but how to get to the top floor? Sherlock looked up for any sign of a secret staircase. The found one and pulled it down. It took them up to the attic but there was no operating room.

'Look," Sherlock said. "It's just around the corner," he got as close as he dared, then went back to Adam. There are two rather large guards, I think we can take them." Sherlock put his hand on Adam's arm. "There will be no killing. I have no idea what Mycroft will do if you kill, but he'll make certain you never see Molly again."

Adam was extremely disappointed, but Sherlock spoke wisdom. "Very well no killing, but I can hurt him a little, can't I?"

"That's the spirit," he replied patting Adam on his arm.

The nurses had set up the instruments just the way he like them. He exposed Molly's chest and picked up a scalpel. It hovered over her intact skin for a few seconds and then he started to cut from the top of her sternum to her xiphoid process. He was just about to cracked the sternum and the spread her ribs apart, when he heard some disturbance outside. Bodies being bashed into walls. "You, Anna see what's going on outside and don't let anyone in."

Sherlock and Adam were fighting with the two guards in front of the operating room door. Sherlock was getting the worst of it, when Adam took the heads of the two men and smashed them together. They fell to the floor unconscious. Just as Sherlock reached for the door, a nurse came out and screamed at what she saw. Adam had removed his hood by then. Sherlock and Adam pushed past her. Wilde was standing over Molly.

Adam went right to Wilde and put his hand around his neck. "I am Adam and this will not continue. No more abominations, EVER! With a snort, Adam dropped him on the floor. Sherlock checked to see if he was still alive when Wilde started regaining consciousness. It was just then that he noticed poor Molly, her chest cut open.

Sherlock yelled at one of the nurses to do something about the large open wound on Molly's chest. Deidre packed the wound with sterile gauze moistened with sterile saline covering it with sterile drape. "That will do until she gets to a proper hospital."

"Everyone here is under arrest," Sherlock announced. "I assume you can figure out why. Scotland Yard will be here momentarily, as well as an ambulance." Sherlock had texted LeStrade to bring the Calvary when they first got here.

"Adam, I'm going downstairs to direct the police and paramedics," Sherlock told him. "Are you okay here? I know Molly's safe with you."

"But she won't wake up." Adam had tears in his eyes. "And she has bruises on her face, some one hit her more than once."

She's fine, she's made of sterner stuff." Sherlock said. "They'll wake her up at hospital after they sew her up."

Adam sat at Molly's bedside, holding her limp hand, and gently stroking her face while he kept his eye on Wilde; he was defeated and looked it. The nurse who tended Molly's wound came up to Adam timidly.

"I just wanted to tell you what Molly said before she went under anesthesia, thinking they were her last words." Deidre smiled. "She told me to tell you that she loves you."

Adam smiled widely. "She said that about me? Thank you for telling me. This day has improved immensely!"

Deidre took a seat next to Adam, "I don't mean to be rude, but what happened to you?"

"I was the first man made out of spare parts by Dr. Frankenstein." He told her, grateful for her ability to look him in the eye. "And God willing there will be no more. It's is terrible thing for Man to play God."

To be concluded...

Chapter Text

Because Molly was under surgical sedation the paramedics (and Lestrade) allowed Nurse Deidre to ride with Molly to the nearest hospital. Deidre had agreed to spill the whole wicked plan with hope for some consideration down the line. Sherlock and Adam followed in Molly's clown car.

Soon they stopped at Saint John's Hospital in Essex. Molly was rushed to the ER, then taken directly to surgery, the doctor was more concerned about the anesthesia than the chest incision.

"That's the easy part," explained Dr. Patel, "I can sew her up in less than a half hour. That so-called nurse gave her too much anesthetic." He put his hand on Sherlock's shoulder. "she'll be all right and as soon as she's in recovery I'll let you know."

"Did you hear that Adam?" Sherlock asked. Adam was sitting in a corner with his hood covering all but one blue eye. The other people in the waiting room regarded him with suspicion, but kept their opinions to themselves.

Adam nodded. "When do we get see her?

"Just as soon as she's brought to her room." Sherlock rubbed his temple. "I would kill for a cigarette right now."

"Sherlock, she told me that she loves me," Adam said sadly. "The nurse said those were her final words."

"Well she'll be talking your ear off as soon as she's well," said Sherlock. "Enjoy the calm before the storm."

"But I like talking to her." He shook his head in despair. "We can never have a normal life and she must know it as well as I."

A smiling Dr. Patel appeared ninety minutes later. "Miss Hooper is doing very well, she came out of the anesthesia perfectly. She should be in her room in the next half hour. Room 310. You can wait in there if you would like."

Adam and Sherlock went to Molly's room and waited. Sherlock was sucked into the most uncomfortable plastic chair on the planet. "I'm afraid I am exactly the wrong person to ask about love and romance. Molly hasn't had much luck with men, but she does have a good head on her shoulders—don't tell her I said that. She'll work it out."

Just then they wheeled her in. She smiled at the two men weakly and waved. Sherlock and Adam stepped outside so the staff could get Molly situated.

As soon as all of the staff left, her two friends came back into the room. Sherlock kissed her on the forehead while Adam hung back.

"When they woke me up in recovery, I thought I was dead." She said with a smile. "I needed a little convincing that I wasn't."

"How do you feel?" Adam asked.

"Like someone cut open my chest," she laughed weakly. "It's sore, but not too bad. At least I still have my heart firmly in my chest."

With some difficulty Sherlock managed to work his way out of that chair. "Don't sit there, you'll never get out of it. I'm going downstairs to bum a cigarette off of someone."

Molly frowned. "Don't start smoking again, please. You know it leads to other things."

"Just one," he promised. "We had a hard day saving a lady in distress."

"I'm too tired to argue," Molly said. "I'll just do a drugs test as soon as I'm up to it."

Sherlock waved and left the room.

"Adam," she said gently. "Come sit over here next to me."

Adam hesitated, but did as she asked. "The nurse, Deidre, told me what you said."

Molly smiled, bringing the bloom back in her cheeks. "So, how do you feel about me?"

"I thought you knew," Adam said in surprise. "Your beauty, your kindness, your strength. I have loved no other."

With tears in her eyes, Molly put her hand on his arm. "I just needed to hear it." She then began stroking his cheek and pulled him down for small kiss.

Adam smiled blissfully. "This is what heaven is like."

"Oh please," said Mycroft Holmes. "I just ate. Have a little consideration for the rest of us."

"What do you want Mycroft?" Adam asked standing to his full height. "We were having a private conversation."

Sherlock came in; it looked like he had been running. "It's not bad. Apparently, the Queen is very happy that you're in Britain and that you stopped Wilde without killing anyone; Her Majesty would like to meet you, Adam." Sherlock looked impishly at Molly. "You were so not invited, but then neither was I. Sniff."

Adam was confused. "She wants to meet me as I am?"

"Go figure," said Mycroft leaning on his umbrella. "You will have a new set of clothes made for you and you will need a new cloak with a hood."

"I'll only go if Molly can accompany me, with a new gown." Molly tried to hush him but it was already out.

"Fine," said Mycroft sounding bored. "I assume you can behave yourself, Mrs. Hooper. Don't expect an invite little brother."

Molly was practically jumping out of bed. "I'll behave, I promise!"

"Tell Liz I love her!" Sherlock shouted.

"Shut up Sherlock," Mycroft replied. "I will tell you both what to do all the way. Lucky me. As soon as you're back home, Miss Hooper, we'll start the process."

Molly was thrilled to have something else to think about after what she had been through. And her joy made Adam excited too, though he was apprehensive about the effect his appearance might have on the Queen and her other courtiers.

Molly followed every doctor's order so she could get home as soon as possible. After three days, Sherlock picked up Molly and Adam in 'the clown car' which was what Sherlock called Molly's car forever after. She had to laugh at how crammed in they both were.

When Sherlock dropped them off, they were grateful to be alone. "I need a shower," a tired Molly said. She took Adam's hand. "You want to join me?"

"Yes." They undressed each other then got under the hot water. Adam looked sadly at the long scar on her chest. The sutures were still there. "I'll take them out myself in about ten days. I know how. We have something in common now. I'm imperfect too."

"The imperfect beauty," Adam replied. There was more kissing than washing, but somehow they managed to get clean. "Molly please take it slow. I don't want you to get hurt."

"You won't hurt me," she said breathlessly. "They dried off quickly and fell into Molly's bed, which was much more inviting than the futon in the next room.

She motioned for Adam to lay on top of her. "I'm too tired to do all the work."

Adam wasn't clear on what that meant, but he hoped someday he would find out.

Molly guided him inside her and let out a gasp. Adam froze. "Did I hurt you?"

Molly grinned. "You're a big boy! Bigger than I'm used to, but it's okay." She wrapped her legs around his waist and encouraged him on. She caressed him all over, her hands never far from one of his disfiguring scars.

Adam kissed Molly as he thrust inside her. He had dreamed of this moment so many times that it wasn't long before he climaxed. He turned on his back and apologized.

"You haven't had sex in a century, it's okay." Molly rested her head on his chest.

"We can never have a life together," Adam said softly.

Molly shrugged. "Maybe we can make something work. Where do you live?"

"In a little house, deep in the German forest. I hunt, I fish, I read everything I can get my hands on. Sometimes I steal, books mostly. I can't ask you to give up your life for that."

"I could visit you."

"Perhaps once or twice a year," he shook his head. "That's not enough. Let this audience with your queen be enough for us, and then I can return home."

"I have another idea. I have this friend who goes to developing countries to perform surgeries on children with cleft lips and other defects." Molly got up and went to the other room to get her laptop. She showed Adam some before and after pictures on the charity's website. "He's in town for a while, maybe if we told him your story, he would help you."

Adam shook his head. "The damage is too old, too severe."

"You could at least ask, then maybe you could have a normal life too." She retrieved her friend's business card from her bedside table and gave it to Adam. "It's up to you."

He smiled slightly, almost afraid it was too good to be true. "Can we see him tomorrow?"

Molly hugged him. "Right after we see the seamstress."

The next morning a rather plump, good-natured woman came over with a measuring tape and a pad of paper. Adam was dressed but his head was uncovered. The woman was a bit startled at his appearance, but quickly took in stride. Molly liked her immediately and invited her to sit down.

"I'm Beryl, I'm mainly here to show you some ideas and take measurements. There will be a couple of fittings before the audience." She showed Adam the concept for his suit.

He shook his head. "Do you see the garments I wear? I am a man from another time. I will only wear clothes from that time. The queen wishes to meet me as I am. This is how I am."

Instead of getting annoyed Beryl breathed, "Interesting. Very Jane Austen. Oh this will be so much more fun. I used to be head costumer for the National Theatre. It'll be like old times." She drew a quick picture of what she had in mind. "You'll look just like Colonel Brandon in "Sense and Sensibility."

"Oh that's my favorite!" Moly interjected.

She spun around and faced Molly. "And you my dear will be his Marianne Dashwood in a silk Regency gown to compliment his attire." Molly looked a little dubious, but Beryl calmed her fears. "The Regency gowns are the single most flattering piece of clothing ever created, even I look good in them. You'll look beautiful and elegant."

Beryl took their measurements, then practically skipped out of Molly's house to begin her creations.

Molly then rang her friend, Dr. Mike Harper. She explained Adam's injuries.

"Another charity case," Dr. Harper said. "Bring him over and we'll see what we can do."

Adam was very uncomfortable in Dr. Harper's waiting room, but thankfully he had his hood to hide behind.

The nurse came out to get them. Molly hung onto Adam's hand the entire time.

Mike met them in the examination room. "Please remove your hood." Adam did so but couldn't look the man in the eye.

Mike whistled. "Holy Hell, who's the SOB who did this to you?"

"Long dead," Adam told him, "Do you think you can help me? I want a normal life. I want to be able to live without this hood."

Mike rubbed the tears out of his eyes before he could continue. "I will take your case pro bono, don't worry about that." He began to examine Adam's head. "I can't make you perfect, but I can take all the metal out and smooth the skin, maybe some skin grafts. Are there other areas?" Adam showed him his chest and legs.

"But the most important thing is my face," said Adam.

"We'll get to it all, but we will start with your face. How soon can we get you in?"

Molly was wiping her tears of joy off her face. "We have an audience with the queen in two weeks."

"I have time tomorrow," Dr. Harper said, "you'll be healed before you meet the queen. But I need you to understand that this will be just the first of several operations. My nurse will give you the pre-surgery instructions."

Molly jumped up and hugged Mike. Adam thanked him for his compassion and generosity. The next day Adam had the first of a series of life-changing surgeries. Molly was able to take him home the same day. She found him to be a terrible patient, always tugging at the dressings on his head and face. Beryl came over a week later with almost completed garments for them to try on. When Beryl asked about the bandages, Molly explained Adam just had plastic surgery last week.

Adam really did look like a hero in an Austean tale, albeit a bandaged one, in his new clothes. Molly looked stunning in green silk; Adam couldn't take his eyes off her."Oh I wish I could be there for the unveiling," said an excited Beryl.

There was a knock on the door. It was Mycroft. "Hello Mycroft," Molly said without enthusiasm. "Why are you here?"

"To teach you how to bow, curtsy and general comportment," Mycroft replied. "What in the world are you two wearing? And why is Adam's head covered in bandages? I specifically told you to dress him in a nice suit."

"It's a beautiful suit of clothing," said Beryl. "He's a man out of time and this is how he dresses. And Molly looks beautiful."

Mycroft shook his head in disbelief. "And two hundred years out of style. It's unacceptable."

"To you," Beryl quipped. "Don't worry I'll give the old lady a head's up. It'll be fine."

While they were still in their new clothes, Mycroft told Adam to bow; he did it perfectly the first time. Molly, on the other hand, caught on to the curtsey after about ten tries. Then Mycroft lectured them on what to do and what not to do in front of the queen. After the lecture, they gave the clothes back to Beryl to finish, and she and Mycroft left together.

They day before the royal audience, they went back to Dr. Harper to have the bandages removed. Molly had the mirror in her hand in anticipation, but Adam wanted Molly to see him first in case the results were disappointing. When the last bandage was removed Adam looked at Molly.

Molly smiled and started to cry. All those terrible metal sutures were gone. Dr. Harper trimmed the sloppy incisions and the damaged tissue, then sutured him up again, this time with care. "The sutures can come out too."

Molly squeezed his hand. "Oh, Adam wait until the sutures are removed before you look in the mirror."

When the last suture was out Molly gave Adam the mirror. He couldn't believe the difference. He still wasn't handsome, but the incision lines were much finer. The skin was smoother and more evenly toned. The effect was not frightening any longer.

"Must I wear my cloak and hood still?" Adam asked wanting to hear the truth.

Molly shook her head. "No, you look fine."

Dr. Harper agreed. "Adam, you're no more out of place than someone coming back injured from Afghanistan."

Molly took pictures and sent them to Sherlock.

He replied. "I'm still better looking. Say hi to the queen for me tomorrow."

The next morning, Beryl and another woman named Laila brought the finished garments. Laila would do Molly's makeup and hair. Just before Mycroft arrived, Laila and Beryl were putting on the finishing touches.

Mycroft looked annoyed at the scene before him, but had to admit they looked a smashing pair (if they were going to A-Come-As-Your-Favorite-Jane-Austen-Character party.) There was something different about Adam—he looked almost normal.

"No cloak and hood for me, Mycroft, "Adam said almost as a challenge. "Unlike you there are generous and kind people all over this city that I plan to make my new home. I'll tell your queen the same."

Mycroft just looked uncomfortable, then decided to have Molly practice that curtsey one more time.

A black limousine was parked in front of Molly's flat. Adam, Molly and Mycroft stepped inside.

"Have I told you how beautiful you look?" Adam asked Molly.

"Once or twice," Molly replied, blushing. "You look amazing, so handsome." Molly paused. "Oh, we've got to stop before Mycroft gets car sick."

Mycroft frowned. "I always thought you were much more demure, Miss Hooper."

"It's Sherlock's influence," she told him.

They arrived at Buckingham Palace just in time. Mycroft was in the lead. Adam offered his arm to Molly which she took graciously. They couldn't help but notice the Palace staff staring and making whispered comments. Molly and Adam did their best to ignore them and walked proudly with their heads held high.

There were two guards outside the room where the queen was waiting. They stood aside at the sight of Mycroft. He knocked then opened the doors when given leave to do so by Her Majesty. Molly and Adam followed him in, then the doors were closed behind them. Mycroft made the proper introductions, then Adam bowed and Molly curtsied perfectly. After that Mycroft felt it safe to take his leave. The queen rose from her chair and clapped her hands together. "How delightfully dressed you both are! Please sit down and have some tea." A servant went immediately to fetch it. The rest of the visit was Adam telling his tale (with certain details omitted), ending with the dramatic rescue of Molly Hooper. He was also sure to mention Beryl, Dr. Harper, even Sherlock and how kind they've been. "All of my life I've been reviled, feared, and persecuted. To find such wonderful friends after all this time is almost too much joy to bear." Tears were streaming down Molly's cheeks just from recalling how they met and fell in love. Even the queen was reaching for a tissue. "Well Adam let me extend my personal welcome to England. It is your home for as long as you desire. And Miss Hooper I wish you both every happiness."

"Thank you, Your Majesty," both Molly and Adam replied.

On the way home the couple realized that life would get routine, and that Adam would have to dress a little less flamboyantly and find some kind of occupation for his active mind. Surely Mycroft would have a few suggestions. I'd better start being nice to him from now on, Molly thought sheepishly.

A normal life was what they wanted, and because of their friends, that's the life they got.

The End