He's spattered with blood. It's not his blood - not even human blood (pig, she'll find out later) - but he's there. In front of her. Spattered.
She's tried her best to put aside just how much she aches for him, how very Omega she is to his Alpha, how her ovaries long to drop their eggs for him and him alone to fertilize; she's tried very hard to accept that he's Just Not That Into Her as anything more than a colleague and (perhaps) casual friend. She really has.
But now...he's spattered with blood. Dripping with it, from curly-haired head to narrow waist to lean hips and her carefully cultivated control just -
She sucks in a breath and it's gone, all of. Sense. Sensibility.
The quiet, friendly, eager to please Omega has been torpedoed into a raging inferno of Heat just at the sight and scent of the Alpha she covets covered in pig's blood, and Molly Hooper knows with a feeling of both despair and delight that she'll never be that girl again.
Even if he reacts with ice to her fire; even if he turns cold, turns her away - please God no- turns her down, nothing can go back to the way it used to be.
Not for her.
She barely registers her own movements, too consumed by the growing heat that liquifies her loins and boils her stomach and burns in her chest and immolates her ability to think. Melts her thoughts away like marshmallows held over an open flame.
"Sherlock." She growls his name as she stops in front of him, raking his form with hungry, possessive, fiery eyes. Every breath sears her lungs and her fingers are itching - no, burning - to reach out. To touch, to hold, to take.
But some small part of her - very small, rapidly fading - forces her to wait. Even though all she wants to do is pounce on him, tear the clothes from his body, force him to the floor and demand that he take her, she waits.
He's the Alpha. He has to make the first move.
Otherwise she'll never know for sure if he's just tolerating her for the duration of her Heat.
"Molly, are you all right?"
The irritating voice isn't his, it belongs to someone else. The Beta in the room. (John, that kernel of sense reminds her; she dismisses the information as irrelevant.) She'd utterly forgotten his presence until this moment, his scent barely noticeable under the rich smell of the blood and the heady musk of the Alpha standing still before her as if frozen (please, Gods above, not frozen, do not let him be made of ice, not in this pivotal moment). The hand holding the harpoon twitches, as does his nose. His nostrils flare, his lips part as he takes in deep, gulping, tasting breaths. His eyes meet hers.
"John," he says, his voice hoarse, desperate, beseeching. But before her heart can fully plummet to her stomach, he adds in a commanding Alpha growl, "Get out. Now." And he thrusts the harpoon at the other man, who fumbles for it, takes it in his hands and with no other words backs out of the door, what she catches of his scent matching the concern and bewilderment in his eyes (he's a doctor for fuck's sake, how can he be bewildered by what's happening before his eyes, under his nose?).
He's gone. They're alone. Just Molly and Sherlock, both breathing heavily, bodies quivering with tightly leashed energy. With longing - at least on her part. She can't speak for him, much as she'd like to believe he feels the same way. That he didn't just send John away so that he could let her down, thank her with false smiles and cold eyes for the cooler full of toes she'd come by to drop off for him to experiment on.
The cooler sits forgotten on the scarred, crowded kitchen table. There is nothing else in the flat to command her attention as she waits for him to do something. Anything. Even if he only throws her out as he just did John, sends her stumbling into a cab and fleeing to her flat in shame and sorrow and burning, ever burning, need.
Humiliated. Scorned. Or worse - pitied.
She opens her mouth to speak, the anticipation of rejection temporarily overpowering even her body's most primal urges, but he silences her with a gesture. One hand, raised up imperiously, palm in front of her face. Her lips close, so swiftly that her teeth jar together, and again she finds herself waiting.
"This changes nothing," he warns her, lowering his hand, clenching it into a fist by his side as he holds her gaze with his own.
She nods; of course it doesn't. She knows he has no desire for a mate, for offspring; no interest in being tied down, becoming just another Alpha who can't control himself around a ripe Omega. She also knows she'll be heartbroken when her Heat runs its course and he sends her back home with no permanent Bonding mark on her throat, with aching body and empty womb (because she knows he's on suppressants and male birth control, he's not stupid enough to ignore the most basic precautions available in modern society even if he scorns the ways of the flesh or has done so until now).
She herself is on birth control but it's tied to her own (obviously failed) suppressants so they'll have to rely on his and she would never tie him down, she would never-
"Molly," he growls, using his most commanding Alpha voice to snap her attention fully back on him and away from the downward spiral of her growing despair. "You misunderstand me."
He steps closer, reaches up and takes her face in his hands, forcing her to look up at him even as her cheeks burn hotter beneath his grasp.
She shivers. Violently. He's rarely touched her before, aside from the odd hand at the small of her back and that Christmas kiss - brief, cool, yet utterly unforgettable - against her cheek.
"When I say nothing will change," he tells her, holding his gaze with his own, "it's because this moment was inevitable, no matter how much I tried to deny it. We're too damned compatible, you and I, and not just when it comes to biology." One long finger slides up to tap her temple. "We're like minded, you and I, even if I've never told you that. Do you believe me?"
She nods, tries to still the shaking in her limbs as she feels the heat rolling off his body. His scent fills her nostrils and she breathes it greedily into her lungs and opens her mouth to taste it on the air, watching his mouth as he admits the one thing she never expected to hear from. "I've known it for years, Molly Hooper, that you were always going to be the one to bring me tumbling down from the pedestal I hid myself on."
He leans closer, nips her ear; her hands curl into the front of his aubergine button-up, desperately holding her upright when her knees feel as if they've turned to butter. He strokes just the tips of his fingers along her cheeks. Her ears. Down the column of her throat. His breath is hot on her ear as he breathes, "And I am so very glad to take this particular fall."
She lunges up at those words, all patience, all hesitation and doubt and fear gone. She takes his mouth in a ferocious, consuming kiss. She rises onto her toes and presses her body against his, feeling the hard lump of his desire against her hip, and knows herself to be beyond the ability to wait even a single second longer.
She barely notices that her hands have clawed their way to his open collar, that she's tearing his shirt from his body, leaving scratches against the pale smoothness of his chest. She barely notices him doing the same to her own sensible blouse and cardigan. She does, however, notice when they're both fully naked, hot flesh to hot flesh, his cock nestled aggressively against her mound. She's dripping, her thighs slick, her cunt pulsing with the need to be filled by him, for his Knot to rise and expand and force them together; her nipples are tight, aching buds pressing into his chest and she's becoming nothing but a volcano on the verge of eruption and he hasn't even entered her yet.
As if reading her thoughts he takes her into his arms. Carries her into his bedroom. Kicks the door shut behind them with enough force to splinter it (Mrs. Hudson will tsk over the damage later but say nothing more). Lays her on his bed. Drops to his knees on the floor before she can protest their separation.
Drags her by the knees so that her cunt is directly in front of his blood-spattered face. (She's a doctor by training, she knows she should insist he wash up, clean the foreign fluids from his body before letting him touch her but she's already kissed him, already tasted the blood on his lips and will just have to deal with any future consequences when and if they arise.)
His mouth lands on her with such eagerness that she cries out, her body going rigid as his tongue thrusts deeply between her swollen folds. Her Heat flushes over her body, sheeting her with delicious fire, burning between her legs where he laves her, tastes her, sucks her and licks her and brings her to the nearly there point within the merest of seconds.
When he stops, pulls back, releases her from his greedy grasp she cries out again, this time a veritable howl of frustration. But the whine of withdrawal dies in her throat as he presses himself atop her. His mouth is at her throat, his teeth worrying the tender flesh as she opens her legs, gathers him in her arms, gasps out his name.
He pushes into her, slowly, steadily even though her entire being is crying out for him to thrust, to shove, to fill her now. She digs her nails into his shoulders, draws fresh, living human blood from his skin; she surges up to meet his mouth as he descends to kiss her and finally, finally he's fully, deeply inside her.
They both sigh at the same time, but sighs quickly turn to grunts and moans and gasps as they rut together with the urgency of wild animals. The so-called taint in the blood, the mutation or what have you that split humanity into three distinct groups - Alpha, Omega, and the majority Beta - is not the burden so many believe it to be. Not in moments like this. Not when the blood boils and sings in ecstasy. Not when two bodies are joined in the most intimate of dances, when the pulse is pounding with the fierce intensity of martial drumming.
She clings to him; she scratches and claws and bites until blood is drawn - and he, Sherlock Holmes, the man who holds cold logic above all base needs of the body - he does the same. He bites her throat above her pounding pulse, her blood filling his mouth as she screams out her first orgasm of the day-night-week they'll spend willingly, joyfully tethered to one another in their first shared Heat.
They kiss, urgently, sloppily, trading the taste of one another's blood and soon the Bond is singing, singing, singing through their veins. His Knot rises; she comes for a second time and clenches around him and with a roar of challenge and triumph he forces the swollen glands at the base of his cock deep inside her. His cum fills her in a series of hot, gushing pulses, scalding her with the most delicious fire and she knows they'll be parents in nine months.
After the first madness fades, she shyly mentions this to him, her certainty that she'll be pregnant before their shared time is up, but before self-doubt and the urge to apologize, to take responsibility and shoulder guilt can do more than bubble up in her mind, he silences her with a firm kiss.
"We've always been inevitable, Molly Hooper," he says when the kiss ends. Almost - tenderly? His scent roils with lust and need and want and she can't pick out the finer tendrils coiling around her. "I've ignored you, I've pushed you away and been cruel to you. And now," he adds musingly, even as his fingers continue their dance along her skin, "now we've Bonded I won't be able to hide my feelings from you, won't be able to pretend I'm just manipulating you to get you to do what I want."
They both groan and cling to one another as a secondary orgasm washes through them, mellower and shorter than the first one they shared but just as beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the way he's looking at her, as the way she can feel his sincerity and - dare she call it that? - love through their newly formed Bond.
"You are now and always have been mine," he murmurs as he cradles her in his arms. "Just as I am now and always have been - and will forever be - yours."
And so it proves to be.