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Beta: lady_t_220

Disclaimer: all characters you recognize belong to the BBC and Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss. My profit is the joy I had in writing. Yours, I hope, the joy in reading

 

She gazes at the clock. Another hour and a half before the car arrives. She tips some more amaretto into her glass. Not too much. Just a wee bit to steady the nerves. She doesn’t want to show up totally sloshed in front of the Holmes brothers, god forbid.

She’s been agitated all day because she knows tonight she’s going to say goodbye to Sherlock and she won’t see him – well, possibly ever again.

“Stop it,” she tells herself, “silly girl, stop it now.”

The tears start welling in her eyes once again and she fights them back for what must be the twentieth time today. She’s honestly got no idea how she’s ever going to make it through the evening. She’d contemplated calling Anthea earlier, to say she was sick or something, but that would mean foregoing the last chance to have a look at him. She couldn't help but imagine that if the unthinkable should actually happen, then she would have to live with the knowledge she had thrown away her last opportunity to see Sherlock as he would want to be remembered; alive and well and whole.

Toby jumps onto the sofa and starts pawing her arm. She knows he wants to be fed but she'll have to be stern with him for once. She hasn’t paid enough attention to his diet these last few weeks and he has accumulated weight rapidly. She doesn’t want him to turn into an overfed pampered house pet that spends its days snoring on her sofa. She’d been so proud every time she took him to the vet for his shots and got showered with praise for the good care she was taking of him. Little chance of that now. She gathers him in her arms and buries her face in his fur. He starts wriggling and mewing, unhappy with being held so close. He apparently just wants her to feed him and then to leave him alone. She lets go of him and shoves him off the sofa.

“Away with you then,” she tells him.

***

Molly is thirty-three years old. She graduated at the top of her class and, through hard work, quickly landed herself with a highly prestigious job in one of the best hospitals in the country. Compared to some of her colleagues she is still impossibly young. It’s a promising start to a glowing career and she’s already earning more money than her father ever did. She bought a very nice flat in a not-too-bad part of London a little over a year ago, and it is furnished exactly to her liking. She has a pension plan. She’s got two single friends her own age and when they go out together they have fun. She knows what’s going on at the theatres and every month they visit a gallery or a museum, to have a go at absorbing some culture. She can even buy lots of clothes if she wants to, except she hates shopping and she isn’t interested in clothes. She’s got the vote. She’s living the thoroughly satisfying life of an independent woman in the early twenty-first century.

And she’s terribly in love with Sherlock Holmes. She’s head over heels, madly, deeply, truly, wholly infatuated with a self-centred git who doesn’t give a shit about her. Confronted with him, her brain – that finely honed instrument that helped her get the position she’d craved – dissolves into sludge, like the brain of a sixteen year old with a crush on her teacher. Except, any sixteen year old would approach this infatuation with more sense than she does.

***

The thought of the first time she clapped her eyes on him still sends a shiver down her spine. She had only been in the job for just over a week, still enjoying every single minute of it. She had been standing in her lab, a queen appraising her domain; surveying the workbenches, the cupboards and the rows and rows of bottles and instruments all there at her disposal. She had turned at the sound of the swing doors being thrown open with some force.

And then her jaw had dropped, literally.

The memory of it makes her start shivering all over again.

***

Walking into her lab, with an arrogant stride of impossibly long legs, is the man of her dreams. Except, in her humble Molly Hooper dreams she wouldn’t have dreamt of dreaming up this perfect every-dream-exceeding specimen of the male human form. Or, for that matter, the male human face. He scans the room quickly, like he’s looking for something or someone, and marches towards her.

“Hello,” he says and her insides turn to jelly. She’s sure she’s wetting her panties, can actually feel it, because that stupid, simple word has been delivered by the most perfect male human voice she’s ever heard. She didn’t even know it existed but she’s obviously just been given a dose of auditory porn. Oh god. If only he hadn’t had that fucking gorgeous voice but an embarrassing squeaky one. Then she still would have had a chance.

“I’m looking for Doctor Hooper. Can you direct me to him? I was told he would be-“ His eyes focus on her breast, noticing the name plate clipped onto her top pocket. His tone doesn’t change at all, he merely draws the glove off his right hand and extends it before continuing. “And it seems I have found you. Pleased to meet you, I’m Sherlock Holmes.”

He stands looking down at her, still proffering his hand, brows faintly knitted into a look that doesn’t quite exude annoyance. At least not yet. No, he’s completely at ease, as if he isn’t the one that has just trespassed against the basic laws of a civil society in the twenty first century in assuming she’s just some lowly assistant, flitting around to offer some distraction to all the hardworking important males around here. Assuming she could never actually be Doctor Hooper, distinguished pathologist, department head of the mortuary facilities at Bart’s.

Well, she can’t put the blame on him entirely as the blush has already started to appear on her cheeks and she can feel it travelling over the bridge of her nose, onto her forehead and down her neck. Any second now it will start creeping lower, down, down into the cleavage she doesn’t actually have, leaving her looking like the complete idiot she is.

She puts her hand into his; the limp, wet rag that until a minute ago was her extremely dexterous, sure hand. A faint look of distaste fleets over his features and he lets go of her palm quite suddenly. “I want some blood, type A+. Would you get some for me, please? Or I can get it myself if you’re busy. I know where to find it.” He turns around and starts unbuttoning his coat. She’s left looking at his backside, horribly aware she might be panting.

She’s not a virgin. She’s been in two relationships and has enjoyed a fair number of one night stands like any modern woman should, but … Just looking at those curls, bobbing merrily on top of his head, glossy and black, she wants to bury her hands into them; feel their texture against her skin, certain it will prove to be softer than the finest cashmere. He takes his scarf off and drops the coat from his shoulders, revealing a nape under the curls that she has to touch. It’s so long, and exquisitely white and tender. She wills herself not to extend her hand. She lets her eyes drop further down to his back instead.

Molly may not be interested in clothes for herself but she certainly appreciates a smart-dressed man. And here’s the smartest-dressed of them all. The collar of his shirt proves it to be made of the finest Egyptian cotton, a glossy stripe woven into it. About the material of his suit she’s less certain. It has a velvety glow, inviting her to touch the deep black of it, exuding a softness that belies the hardness off the form it’s sheathing.
The cut of the jacket is exquisite. She can see he’s quite skinny, his shoulder blades stick out sharply, but also well-toned. The jacket has been cut so narrow she can see the muscles ripple over his form as he takes off his coat and drapes it over the workbench in front of him. The jacket shifts slightly with the upward movement to reveal his... – her breath sticks in her throat.

His arse is clad perfectly, the material gripping the sides and the curve of his buttocks like the hands of a lover.

Who would ever have thought a man’s backside, a man’s arse – no, he’s got a bum; it’s so rounded and neat, almost feminine, that bum is the only proper word for it – would hold such appeal for her. It’s hovering there, on top of the legs that rise and rise like trees in an enchanted forest, and it screams at her in a mocking tone: “why don’t you just come and fondle me? I dare you. I promise you it will be the best thing you’ve ever done. Know what? I’ll just lie down and you may stroke me, lick me, bite me, ride your wet cleft on top of me …“

Sherlock Holmes turns, raising his eyebrows slightly in a questioning look. She gulps.

“I’ll just fetch it myself then?”

She nods. He strides off into the direction of the freezer where they stock the blood. He really knows his way around here. Who is he? What is he doing here ambling around her lab like he owns the place? Why wasn’t she warned beforehand? She sinks down on her chair, then starts. He will be back any minute to throw her into further confusion. She must go and steady her nerves, she can’t see him in the state she’s in now. She flees the premises that were hers until this warrior god of love armed with nothing but a greatcoat and a superior attitude strolled in and casually asked her to hand over the keys to her empire. She’s never going to be safe again.

***

It's outside in the corridor that she bumps into Mike Stamford. It’s the first of an ever-growing number of awkward stumbles and near-tumbles that will eventually mark her career at Bart’s. Mike is a good sort, actually. He has taken care of all the introductions, shown her around and done his best to make her feel welcome. Now he laughs and puts his hands on her shoulder to steady her.

“What’s up with you?” he asks, kindly. He glances over her shoulder at the door that’s still swinging on its hinges.

“Ah.” Understanding floods his amiable features. "You’ve just met Sherlock Holmes. I saw him stomp in just now." (“Stomp?” she wants to correct him, “he doesn’t stomp. You may do so but he strides, he glides like a king, like a god. Men the likes of you aren’t even worthy of being touched by his shadow.”) Mike continues, oblivious. "Everybody flees the room when he walks in. He’s always hanging around here, trying to order everyone about. But don’t worry, he might turn your lab into a horrid mess while he’s working but he always makes sure the place is just as neat as he found it once he leaves. Just ignore him. He’s not one for making small talk anyway.”

“I'd gathered that much already,” she admits. "Thanks though. I was just going down to the canteen for a coffee if you want one?”

"Chance would be a fine thing," Mike smiles. "Got a pile this high of research paper outlines to give feedback on, and a lecture to write. Not that anyone will pay any attention to either."

She manages a small laugh. “I could bring you something up, later, if you want?" she offers.

"That'd be great. I'm probably going to need it," Mike replies.

Molly finds her way down to the canteen eventually, but she never does remember to bring Mike his coffee.

***

When she gets back up in the lab Molly finds Sherlock bent over the sink, scrubbing his hands. He doesn’t pay any heed to her and she might as well not even be there for all the attention he pays when she greets him. Stung, she walks over to her computer and sits down in front of it, pretending instead to be terribly interested in the rows of statistics that show up on the screen.

Sherlock throws the scarf around his neck, dons the coat and pulls on his gloves. “That'll be all for now,” he says. “I believe the current working arrangement seems to be a reasonably profitable means of cooperation. Unless you have any objections?" He barely gives her a second to respond before continuing. "Good. Well, Lestrade will be very pleased with the results. I'll be back in a couple of days to pick up my samples from the incubator. Goodbye for now.” He throws her a small smile – just a quick tug at the right side of his lips – and strides out, coat swirling around him. Molly lets her gaze drift over the lab. Mike hadn't exaggerated, the place looks exactly like it did an hour ago. Before this prince of darkness waltzed in to throw her carefully built up life into disarray.

She passes the rest of her day in a daze. Somehow she survives the tube and finds herself with the front door pressed against her back at last, panting in her own hall. She struggles out of her coat and her skirt and stumbles to her bedroom, tugging at the waist of her tights and her underwear. In the bedroom she yanks them down and falls back onto her bed, sliding her hand between her legs to seek relief for the throbbing need that’s been haunting her ever since she first set eyes on him.

***

In her head, at least, he is the most wonderful lover to have ever walked this earth. He makes true those magical words of the marriage vow – with my body I thee worship – and she worships his body in return. In her mind's eye, he has maneuvered her up against the workbench – she's not sitting on it but it helps support her somehow – and he’s sliding the head of his cock, his perfect cock, in and out of her, just the way she likes it. He doesn’t go too deep, taking care to drag his glans almost out of her entrance, the place where her flesh is at its most sensitive, and then in again. He keeps up a steady rhythm, not too fast and not too slow, and with each thrust her clitoris is stimulated by the rock-hard strength of his engorged penis. Of course, she hasn't had to give him even one softly murmured word of advice, he just knows this is the perfect position for her to reach her climax. Again.

This is not how they’ve started, of course. God, no. He started with kissing her on her brow, a mere flutter of those sensuous lips, their shape and their texture like the petals of a rose, all warm from the sun of a glorious day in June. From there he descended to her eyes, remarking on their colour in that wonderful voice before tenderly kissing the lids. All the while his hands had been busy teasing her hair from the bun and he holds a strand up to his nose next, that fabulous, slightly retrousse nose, and he smells it deeply, nuzzling it. His lips land on her neck to do some nuzzling of their own, planting open-mouthed kisses, slowly working their way up to her jaw. The long tapering fingers of his left hand stroke the right side of her face with infinite care, while his other hand roams across her shoulders, her back, her ass. He presses against her ever so slightly so she bends in closer to him and she can feel the hardness of him through their clothing, against her belly.

Oh …

Her own hands have been busy in his hair – and it is as soft as she supposed – on his cheekbones – carved out of Carrara marble but now faintly pinked with excitement – and over those lips. She stares in wonder as he takes her hand and starts kissing her fingers one by one, dragging them over the cupid bow of his upper lip, down to the soft plush cushion that’s his lower. And then...

His kiss is like a river, towing her along. At first it’s just a light touch, gently licking, but she opens up to him, she can’t help herself, and he descends on her mercilessly.
She tries to give him as good as she gets but it’s clear from the start that compared to him she’s nothing but an amateur. He expertly works his lips over her mouth, nibbles at her lower lip, then enters her mouth with his tongue and sets to reducing her to a shivering, moaning mess. He tastes like all the sweets in Isfahan and in between all the teasing and probing and fucking – that’s what his tongue is doing, it’s fucking her mouth – he tells her he fell in love with her the moment he set eyes on her.

Christ, she’s the luckiest woman alive, isn’t she?

She strokes the fabric of his shirt, feeling the muscles shifting beneath her hands as she starts undoing the buttons, flicking them open one by one. She pushes the shirt to the side, nudging the jacket off his shoulders, and her eyes trail the endless expanse of his chest and abdomen. She’s a wanderer that has found the land of milk and honey. His chest is completely hairless, rather narrow but with taut pectorals, the muscles of his abdomen forming a landscape she wants to travel endlessly. She aches to explore him, with her eyes and her hands and her mouth, all the way over his body.

Sherlock takes hold of her anxiously hovering fingers, pressing their joined hands back to splay over the swell of her breast.

"May I?" he asks.

Molly nods and he smoothly flicks open the buttons of her blouse, his broad palm warm and slightly rough against her skin as he cups her revealed breast through the fabric of her bra. She sighs and shivers as he presses his lips against her neck, nibbling softly as his thumb circles gently over the crest of her nipple. Her sigh turns to a moan as he reaches around to release the clasp at her back.

At the sound of her cry he looks up, gazing at her heatedly. His eyes are like twin lakes beneath the cliffs of his eyebrows. Only this morning she had thought they were cold, glacier lakes, but now she finds they beckon her to dive into them. Arousal has turned them to languid waters, lapping the shore where the forest of his lashes stands, awaiting her exploration.

“Cold?” he asks.

She shakes her head.

“Good.”

He pushes her blouse and bra from her shoulders and then starts his journey downwards, nipping at her with his lips, but not straight towards her breasts like any other man, any ordinary man, would. He kisses along her shoulders first and then her upper arm down to her elbow. On the inside of her wrist he discovers a spot that makes her flinch and gasp, a pressure-point apparently wired straight to the heat between her thighs.

The sight of him, the expanse of the back of his neck as it rises from his shoulders torments her. He has only been partly laid bare by his opened jacket and shirt and she needs to see more. She yanks at the material, urging him to shrug out of the clothes and she gasps as his shirt finally flutters to the floor, discarded carelessly as she takes in the sight before her.

The view alone surpasses her wildest expectations but added to that is the scent of him. He’s every bit as aroused as she is and her nose is assaulted by a heady mélange of the salty sea; of rosemary, thyme and lavender, heated by a burning Provencal sun. And underneath it all, stressing every separate smell, there is a heavy male dose of musk.

Sherlock kisses her again, feasting hungrily on her lips before descending once more to finally lavish his attention on her breasts. They are not her best feature in her opinion, she considers them far too small, but she is loathe to stop him as he begins stroking her nipples with that quick, soft pink tongue. Having a man handle her breasts has never been that exciting to her – it usually just brings out her insecurities – but with Sherlock it seems different and she finds she quite likes the feeling. It’s not the most arousing thing they’ve done so far – she’s got to be realistic – but she can't deny she's enjoying the attention he’s bestowing upon them. She even arches a bit into the touch.

She says nothing but, regardless, Sherlock seems to understand. He drops lower, skimming the underside of her ribcage and then her upper abdomen before rising back up again for another one of those kisses. The skin on his cheeks and chin is so soft it's unbelievable, not a trace of stubble there, all smooth planes and surfaces. His hands grab Molly's arse and he presses her against him; against the swollen arousal that is straining the material of those impossibly tight trousers. She pushes back against the strong, lean thigh he slides between her legs, riding it in anticipation of the ride they’re going to undertake together.

He unfastens the zip of her skirt and lets it fall around her feet, dropping to his knees as his hands pull at the rim of her tights. He strips them down with the palms of his hands dragging firmly over her hips, pulling her underwear along with it in one supple movement. He strokes down her legs, following the path of his hands with yet more open-mouthed kisses. Down and then ever so slowly back up again, taking his time to mark his trail with the lingering strokes of his lips.

Despite being naked, Molly feels strangely unselfconscious and she sighs in pleasure as Sherlock presses his face against her lower abdomen, embracing her with his whole body. He just breathes down there, inhaling her scent, transforming each breath into a caress. She rakes her hands through his astonishing curls – she can’t get enough of handling them – and all the while she just can’t believe he’s resting that fabulous face so close to where she wants him so much. She knows he must be able to tell that she's wet and inviting and ready for him.

He pulls back, smiling up at her, teasing. He rises, sliding his body in one supple movement along hers as he licks his way over her abdomen, pausing only to lap at her breast and neck on his way back to her mouth. Her hands fall to her sides, rendered useless by his kiss and it is a long moment before she remembers that she needs them if she wants to feel his hips, or touch that marvelous ass. She needs her hands to tug at the buttons of his trousers, undo the zip, wriggle them inside and there … Christ almighty! She groans, faltering as she feels his length. The thickness, the heat of it is easily tangible through the fine cotton of his boxer briefs. It only takes a moment to work her hand past that final barrier and then she’s holding onto him at last, his skin a soft sheath over the hardness and he’s just – she gulps then gasps with desire – he’s HUGE. She doesn’t even know if he's going to fit, but one thing she does know: she desperately wants it. She can feel her slit, her cleft, dripping and swollen in a way prim little Molly Hooper would never have expected. He hasn't even touched her and already she is soaking, trembling with a mix of anticipation and want.

Somehow Sherlock's coat materialises on the workbench behind her and he drapes her on top of it, pushing her down with firm hands on her shoulders when she reaches out for him. He drags his mouth down her torso and drops to his knees again, draping her legs across his shoulders, fondling them, his hands steadying her hips. He showers the insides of her thighs with kisses, slowly working his way up and now … There …

Those lips, those plush fucking-gorgeous lips are kissing her lips, and those lips are now every bit as engorged and plush as his are. His tongue shoots out to start an exploration of the rim of her entrance. The tip of his nose nudges softly against her clitoris, slipping against it in steady stimulation. It won't take much, she knows. She's already swaying on the cusp of her orgasm. Her body seems to clench, tightening on his tongue, her hips bucking up against his face. Sherlock purrs and the sound topples her, her whole body shuddering as she climaxes against that fabulous mouth.

God! Christ! She can feel it down to the tips of her toes.

He works her through it, a gentle lapping delicately tracing the lips of her sex as he allows her time to recover. She can do nothing but fondle his curls again, fingers tangling in the dark strands lazily.

“Thank you,” she sighs. "Thank you.”

Sherlock rises to his feet, lips drawn into a huge smile. His hand clasps her mound, tenderly like it’s a precious jewel he’s cradling.

“Thank you,” he replies and he kisses her brow tenderly before once more taking possession of her mouth. She can taste herself on him when they kiss, and his chin and cheeks are still wet from her release.

The urge to reciprocate is intense. The thought of the spectacle and fragrance of his cock in front of her face stirs up a fresh sensation of excitement. She pushes him off her, ignoring his frown, and slithers from the bench. Then it’s her turn to drop down to her knees and admire the heavenly sight of him.

His engorged cock rises up out of black curls, coarser than those on top of his head but still delightfully silky to the touch; and god, she knows the gender is all wrong but his swollen penis floating in her vision reminds her of the painting by Botticelli she saw on the city trip to Florence last year. ‘The Birth of Venus’ it was called and it showed the goddess of love. She had just been created out of the sea foam that cradles the waves and now she was gliding ashore in a scalloped shell with the aid of Zephyr, modestly shielding her lovely form with her bare arms.

All the paint brushes and genius of Botticelli combined wouldn’t be able to depict the vision of this idol of the god of love as he glides in front of her eyes on his scalloped bed of downy curls.

She gives in to the visual and olfactory onslaught he’s treating her to and she starts to nuzzle him, stroking him, rolling his length over her face. She marvels at the soft skin, sinking into the overwhelming smell. She licks at the base, skimming him with her teeth before licking again. All the way up, up, up along that amazing length until she ends at the sheath that’s slid down over his swollen glans. She teases it with her tongue. He’s been standing still as a rock, his legs two immovable pillars, his whole body taut as a bow with only his hands moving, stroking her head and her shoulders. He starts rocking into her a moment later, pushing against her lips, and she opens her mouth to let him in. His moan shudders through his cock, into her body.

He tastes so good, and yes he’s big, almost too big for her mouth, but she wants to give this to him and she starts to lick him, sucking eagerly. She tries to send her tongue in a swirl around him, but her mouth is really too small for that so she resorts to a nibble, taking care not to hurt him and he responds with another deep, groaning moan.

He doesn’t thrust too deep into her mouth so that gives her hands free rein to do what they like and she clasps that tight arse to try and work the fabric of his pants and his briefs from it. The material is cut incredibly tight and both the feel of his cock dragging over her lips and his bum against her hands is too distracting to be able to concentrate on her task effectively.

Sherlock doesn't seem to mind. “No,” he breathes, “Not yet. I want to come in you." He pops himself out of her mouth, gathering her up from the floor to hoist her up against the workbench, her breath heaving in anticipation of the most glorious ride of her life.

This is how she finds herself, hands clamped tight onto his shoulders, his hands supporting her ass, about to savour an even more spectacular climax than the one he gave her only ten minutes before.

It builds up in her incredibly fast. It’s the sight of him, his length moving between her spread thighs, barely even entering her, that sets her of. It's like a rocket launch straight into heaven, into the blinding white light, before a long, agonisingly slow tumble back to earth.

She knows she's shivering, helpless, and still he hasn’t come. He’s still ready for another round, just biding his time, rocking slowly. This time she desperately clings to him because barely a moment later he drives his length all the way in. He thrusts deep, past the swollen red defence of her lips and clit, and into the slithering wet heat he’s reduced her to.

He arches his spine, head thrown back, baring that long white throat to her view. His lips are drawn over his teeth in a snarl, eyes are half-closed, the lashes guarding the forest where he chases his pleasure. His head snaps forward again and he opens his eyes, inviting her in, and he groans: “Please come Molly, come for me, come with me.”

He drives himself up into her one last time and they go down together, down into the deep grey sea of his eyes and she lets herself be pulled along by the undertow, riding her orgasm as it crashes over her, wave after wave as she screams his name.

***

When she comes back to herself dusk has descended. She glances at the clock beside her bed. It's half past nine already and she has no idea where the time has gone. Well, no, that's a lie; she's spent nearly two hours fantasising about Sherlock and in quick succession she has just enjoyed the three most satisfying orgasms of her life so far. And he has given them to her. Not literally of course, but if he hadn’t been there as the main attraction in the film she’s just played on the inside of her eyelids it would have been a much less enthralling experience. His performance certainly exceeded every expectation.

They should award him a BAFTA.

***

The next morning finds her on top of the duvet, her thighs sticky and her hands musky with the scent of sex. She sighs tiredly before dragging herself to the shower. The hot spray does nothing to diminish Molly's growing worry that Sherlock is going to barge in again today. And he will know exactly what’s she's been getting up to.

She stands in front of her drawers, fingering the dark blue hipster knickers her friend Cora had talked her into buying. No, it’s going to be the flesh-coloured briefs again. Less appealing but a lot more comfy. And he’s never going to have to look at them anyway.

She’s just pulling the front door closed behind her when her nosy next door neighbour, Mrs. Laurie, passes her.

“Good morning,” Molly says pleasantly. Mrs. Laurie just nods, her lips drawn together in a straight line as she tries to peek over Molly's shoulder into her hallway. She feels the blush of mortification start its slow spread over her face.

She hadn't been that loud, has she?

***

Molly stands in front of her cupboards, taking inventory of the supplies that need to be replenished. Mr. Garrick, from the stockroom, has just called to remind her she should order everything she needs today as he will be making his delivery round tomorrow. He’s a nice man, Mr. Garrick, and she’s grateful to him for reminding her because she had genuinely forgotten all about it.

Behind her the door squeaks on its hinge and in he strides. She hears the clipped, audacious slap of the soles of his shoes against her lino as he walks straight into her personal space. Far too close. He stands behind her, exuding impatience and arrogance, and she can’t stay with her back to him any longer. That would be impolite. So she gathers all her strength and turns, raising her eyes up to him.

He looks down on her with careless impudence. “And a very pleasant morning to you, Doctor Hooper,” he says, that glorious voice at its most haughty, dripping with sarcasm.

He takes a step back, drops his left hand into the pocket of his coat and extracts a carefully folded Harrods shopper bag from it. He shakes it to free it of its folds.

“I’m in need of a foot. And some freshly prepared slices of liver.” He holds out the bag to her.

She doesn't really want to look like an idiot, but she can’t do anything but stare. Her mouth has fallen open and she must look ridiculous but she’s literally speechless. An annoyed frown of impatience starts to knit Sherlock's brow together. It's as if he has just placed his order at the butcher’s counter in perfectly clear tones and is now wondering what’s taking the stupid shop girl so long to go and fetch it for him.

Molly shuts her mouth, opens it again and stands there gawping like a salmon that has been swept out of the stream onto dry land by the mighty swipe of a bear’s paw.

“… Uh,” she manages at last, “What?”

His annoyance increases. “A foot," he repeats tersely. "A left one preferably, but a right one would do as well. And some prepared slices of liver. I will prepare them myself if you haven’t got any.” He shakes the bag in front of her, clearly irritated.

“What do you want them for?”

He sighs, a deep sigh of frustration. “I really don’t see how it’s any of your business, but I need the foot to do some tests on the effects of different acids on the sole. And the slices of liver are to prove to Lestrade he’s once again decided to ignore all the evidence that’s right there in front of his eyes and come to the wrong conclusion. Now will you get them for me?" He actually gnashes his teeth as he spits out the last sentence.

Lestrade again. Who IS that? Some avenging avatar he keeps in store to pop out and slash out at her the moment she doesn’t comply with his wishes?

She feels a shiver of abhorrence running down her spine as she contemplates the mess he is going make of the foot he requested. And she's a pathologist.

She decides to take a stand. “I really can’t do that,” she tells him in the firmest tones she can muster. “All the bodies and body parts we keep here are for teaching and scientific purposes. I can’t just give them away to anybody that happens to walk in here and express an interest in them. You'll have to fill out a requisition form and have it reviewed by the ethics committee if it's not for pre-approved research.”

She starts to turn her back on him, strangely satisfied that she’s given him something to chew on when he unexpectedly lays his hand on her arm. His touch burns through the fabric of her blouse. She glances over her shoulder, up into his eyes that are ablaze with fury.

“Stop that,” he growls, “Doctor Mortimer always handed me whatever I requested.”

She can't quite believe he expects her to accept that without any sort of proof. She is not going to believe the distinguished Doctor F.T. Mortimer MD just handed out donors' body-parts to this madman who has decided to crash the facilities at Bart’s whenever it damn well pleases him.

Suddenly his grip on her arm loosens, the controlled tension easing into a caress, trailing the shape of her upper arm. The fury in his eyes softens into a warm glow and his lips turn up in a smile that matches the warmth. He really has the most amazingly white teeth. Or are they shining more brightly because of the deep purple tone of the shirt he’s wearing?

“I’m so sorry,” he purrs, his dark voice dripping with honey, “I have this habit of letting myself get carried away whenever I want something.” He pauses, taking time to let his gaze travel her face and her body. “I wonder, Doctor Hooper, did anybody tell you yet the colour of your blouse sets off the golden sparkle in your eyes? It’s really quite becoming.”

Ten minutes later he walks out, shopping bag bulging with his order – a couple of eyeballs thrown in extra, with compliments of the house – swinging daintily at his side.

***

They’re on the floor, kneeling on the coat he’s fanned out there. He’s on his knees, resting on his heels, his legs spread out enough to make the muscles of his thighs all taut. She’s on her knees likewise, straddling his lap, enjoying his cock with her back arched against the planes of his chest. The long tapering fingers of his right hand rub her clit, his left hand on her hip to guide her into the rhythm of the dance they’re enacting. He’s moaning with each of his thrusts into her and she moans in return every time she plunges her descent over his astonishing length. It’s all gentle and slow. She thought the last time was the best thing that could ever happen to her, but it appears that was just the getting-to-know-each-other sex. Now, this... This-

***

She tries to stifle her cries with the pillow and hopes that this time she succeeds.

***

It turns out Lestrade isn’t an avatar from hell but a DI at New Scotland Yard and a thoroughly decent man. His first name is Greg, short for Gregory. Of course Sherlock Holmes has never taken the trouble to descend from his Olympian heights to find out that simple fact about a man he works with almost every day.

He takes care of the introductions, “Lestrade this is Doctor Hooper. She’s new here. Doctor Hooper, this is Lestrade,” and then descends upon her work space to create an awful mess with her pipettes and all kinds of liquids and some powder he retrieves from the pocket of his coat.

Lestrade looks a bit lost so she proposes they go and have a coffee in the canteen. He accepts with a grateful look on his face.

“So,” he says, as he approaches the table she’s managed to find them. He carefully guides the tray onto the table top. On the tray are two plastic beakers, sloshed with the sorry excuse they dare to sell off as coffee at Bart’s, and two blueberry muffins in sealed plastic. She knows from experience they’re horribly spongy and she shouldn’t have one anyway as she’s already one and a half pounds overweight. It always settles on her hips, never on her chest where she could actually use it.

“So, you met Sherlock, then? You look remarkably composed for someone who just started to enjoy his attentions.”

She splutters on her coffee, almost spitting it in his face. The stuff drips down her chin and onto the collar of her dress. Which is dry clean only. Another great piece of advice from Cora. Christ! She only met the man five minutes ago and she’s already showing him what a bumbling idiot she is. But how does he know? Is it because he is a DI, he can just look straight through her?

He gets up to fetch some paper napkins from the counter and holds them out to her.

“God, sorry,” he says, “I didn't know you'd have quite that reaction. I should have known better. He’s really the most incredible twat, isn’t he? I was just admiring the way you handle him.”

She’s prepared for it now. She looks up from the frantic dabbing that’s only spreading the stain wider, down onto the front of her clothes. Lestrade gazes back at her, a quiet, honest, open gaze. He didn’t mean anything, it was just his manner of expressing himself. She isn’t a suspect.

“I just wanted to say,” he tells her, “whenever he turns nasty, just tell him to shut up and leave.”

“Thanks,” she says. “I don’t know whether he'd actually listen to me though.”

He grabs her hand and gives it a quick squeeze. “I’m a desperate man,” he confesses. “That self-satisfied git up there is a genius. With all the budget cuts it's a miracle if we have the resources to do even half of what they expect us to do. But he solves every murder case I invite him into in no time, for free. So I need him. But you don’t need him. He needs your facilities. I saw the way he treated you just now. For him, that was almost polite. I’ve seen worse. But any time you think he’s gone too far you just give me a call.” He hands her his card.

The conversation seems to have given her more questions than answers but already Lestrade is rising to leave.

“Very nice to meet you, Molly. I should go and check whether he’s come up with the solution yet. And then it’s back to the paperwork. You should see my in-tray.”

She looks after him. She really doesn’t want to go back up and see whether HE is still there.

It's very tempting to just take the rest of the day off.

***

It's not long before Molly proposes they drop the formalities and consort on a first-name basis from now on. Seeing as he’s in her lab at least three times a week. It's taken her days to gather the courage and now she's finally suggested it she can barely believe she actually managed to get the words out. It had seemed like such a good idea before. Now she only hopes he doesn't see through it as a pathetic excuse just to shape her mouth around the beloved syllables of his name every time she addresses him.

Through her mumbled proposal his eyebrows rise higher and higher, a look of astonishment growing on his face. It's almost as though she’s actually suggested they have a go at it on the workbench.

“All right,” he says at last, “if that’s what you want, Molly.”

He manages to lay every disdainful look he’s ever thrown her way into the sound of her name. She realizes she’s just made a grave mistake.

If ever he needed an excuse to treat her worse than his doormat, she has just handed it to him. On a silver plate.

It was that purple shirt again, the one he wears with the two top buttons open to reveal just a hint of collarbone. It sets off the long, graceful line of his neck rising out of it. If he hadn’t worn that shirt she would have reconsidered before opening her mouth.

She wants to burn the thing.

***

She acquires a cat. The really nice neighbours in the flat above her have just had a litter. She thinks it’s a good idea to have someone to come home to, even if it’s only a kitten.

It’s cute, a stripy grey with green eyes, and when she picks it up he starts mewing with a small, helpless squeak. He’s cute, and fluffy and adorable. She contemplates naming him Sherlock. It would free her of the cushion through the sessions she engages in almost every other night now. She could just pretend she had been calling her cat whenever Mrs. Laurie started throwing her knowing looks again. But though she adores HIM, adores every fiber of his body and the clothes he wears, she can’t say he’s cute. And he's definitely not fluffy. Not even his hair. HIS hair is silky.

So she settles on Toby. She doesn’t know anyone by the name of Toby.

That’s better.

***

Half a year later it turns out she might as well have named the beast Sherlock for all the joy his company is giving her. He just wants her to do two things: feed him and clean his litter box. She should send him away. But she’s living proof she isn’t very good at that, isn’t she?

***

The day Sherlock wheedles her into allowing him to thrash Mr. Garrick's corpse turns out to be the same day he manages to abuse her both in front of Mike and a complete stranger.

“Okay,” she manages and then hurries out of her lab. She’s furious with him, totally angry. She considers striding back in again to scream at him to get out, get away, out of her lab, out of her life, go lodge himself into the mind of other women, other men, she doesn’t care, but just leave her the hell alone.

Of course she doesn’t do that. She hears the three of them talking inside. Well, he’s doing most of the talking, rattling away at that break-neck speed of his and she wishes he would break his neck. She’d like to do it herself if she could, place her hands over that long, white, really lovely, lovely neck that rises … No, she’s not going to do that, damn it. She’s at work.

The door is pulled open and his body is whirled half out of it, coat a swirl around it. He leans back into the lab for a parting shot, letting the door fall shut behind him as he dashes off, twirling past her, a happy grin on his face. He doesn’t even acknowledge her presence, as if he hasn’t even seen her.

She's just so... furious.

With herself, most of all.

***

She only knows really nice men, doesn’t she? Mr. Garrick was a really nice man. Mike Stamford is a really nice man. Greg Lestrade is a really nice man. And so, it turns out, is Doctor John Watson. Or rather John, he has insisted she addresses him with his first name. Which is John, just John.

He’s the complete stranger from that day Sherlock had been so very eager to humiliate her. It appears that while she was acquiring herself a cat, he was acquiring himself a flatmate, and Doctor John Watson – John, just John – has drawn the lottery ticket she would desperately have vied for if she’d known it was on offer.

He doesn’t exactly radiate happiness though. Exasperation would be a more proper term for it. Well, it’s his choice to share a flat with Sherlock. If he doesn’t like it she’s willing to trade with him any time he likes. He can have Toby and a perfectly nice two-bedroom flat with a balcony and she’ll take the apparent horrors of Baker Street. She'd put up with almost anything in return for a shot at the ultimate horror of a yummy flatmate.

They share many a laugh over the stories he tells her; all the atrocities Sherlock gets up to in their flat. He’s actually quite good to have around. With Sherlock there she’s not fit for work anyway (she’s working overtime almost every evening now to make up for the lost hours) so she might as well amuse herself.

And Sherlock is certainly not going to provide the entertainment.

In daytime, that is.

***

That tiny mole on the right side of his throat is like the cherry on top of the cake. She loves dragging her tongue over it.

***

She just wants to forget the whole horrid Jim episode and its aftermath, okay?

***

One day he shows up in her lab clad in another incredibly tight charcoal grey suit. It’s cut out of a summer coolwool to ensure maximum exposure of his assets. Underneath he’s wearing an incredibly tight black-on-black shirt.

That is the day she has to resort to getting herself off in the store cupboard.

He dawdles in her lab, twisting and turning and shifting on his chair, bending to retrieve supplies from the lowest shelves of the lowest cupboards. It shows off his ass, his thighs, the bulge at the front of his trousers. Yes, she notices the bulge, she can’t help it. The trousers are cut so impossibly tight she doesn’t understand how he can even move in them.

The jacket and the shirt shift relentlessly over his form, highlighting his shoulder blades, the planes of his chest and his abdomen. The black of the shirt contrasts sharply with the translucent white of his nape as he bends over the microscope, adding the illusion of an even deeper glow to the glossy shine of the curls.

His neck rises from his shirt, white like porcelain, the top two buttons undone as if to purposefully distract her with the view of the dimple between his collarbones. The incandescent white and strong black set the pink rose of his mouth aglow, sensual lips gently parted almost as if in invitation. She feels the need throbbing inside her just at the sight of him. If she starts the film now it will take her only five minutes to reach what she knows will be such a satisfying height. He bends again. Is he doing it on purpose?

A few weeks ago she could have slunk off to the toilets to have a go at herself. Unfortunately the general management have decided the nice, old, single toilets should be replaced by cubicles and they’ve just been installed on her floor. She’s NOT going to get off in a cubicle. There are still boundaries she hasn’t crossed; that she doesn’t want to cross.

A few months ago she could have fled into the broom cupboard along the corridor. But that is kept locked since a recent spate of thefts and she doesn’t have access to the keys.

That leaves only the cupboard in her lab. Except, that opens straight into the room. She can hardly walk into it saying: “In case you were wondering, I’m just off for a little masturbatory session with you as the main feature. I’ll be back in five minutes.”

Or maybe she could, given as he isn’t paying her any attention anyway. He just keeps on staring into the bloody microscope, heaving a sigh of prodigious irritation every now and then.

Well, they certainly see eye to eye on that one.

Eventually he jumps off the chair, sending it crashing to the floor as he storms out, a look of massive frustration etched into his features.

Thank god!

She yanks open the door to the store cupboard and falls inside, making sure to close the door behind her. It’s stocked full with chemical bottles and paper towels and latex gloves, the combination giving off a nasty smell, even though they're still sealed from the factory. She opens the buttons of her trousers, pulls the zip and edges her hand into her underpants.

They’re soaking wet. It’s just ten strokes with her fingers and then she’s coming, stifling her cries with the fist of her other hand in her mouth, throwing herself against the shelves hard enough to send a box of petri dishes crashing down in the process.

She pants, slithering down the wall until her backside finds the floor.

He’s just helped her scale new heights.

It takes her five minutes to regain her breath. Longer than she needed to reach her climax.

He’s amazing.

She clambers up off the floor. She steps out of her trousers and takes off her panties, cleaning herself a bit with the small part of them that isn’t wet before she throws them in the bin and pulls on her trousers again. She’ll just have to make do for the rest of the day. She adjusts her hair a bit and opens the door, out into her lab.

Only to find Sherlock sitting on the chair behind the microscope again, looking up at her with a wondering look on his face. “Everything all right Molly,” he asks.

She wishes the ground would open beneath her.

***

A few days later she’s standing out in the corridor with Laura, the obstetrician who reigns over the maternity department. Together they stare through the glass panel in the door at Sherlock and John, the two men discussing something that’s displayed on a slide on the worktop, heads close together.

“He really is amazing, isn’t he,” Laura says thoughtfully.

Molly gives a non-committal hum, indicating neither compliance nor denial.

“It must be such a torture to have him waltzing into your lab almost every day.”

She just continues the humming.

“Knowing he’s gay.”

Molly stops the humming. “What do you mean … gay,” she stammers. "Who’s gay?”

Laura turns to look at her. “What do you mean, who? Him! The stunner. Who do you think it’s all on display for? Not for us, that's for sure. We may just ogle the goodies a bit, as long as we manage to keep our hands to ourselves. No, it’s all spread out there for the flatmate. Lucky Doctor Watson.”

Sherlock bends to pick up something from the floor. “Great view,” Laura comments.

Molly stands aghast. She can’t utter a word. Sherlock's gay? She remembers how he had seen trough Jim’s fabrications in half a minute, and he had been so disdainful about it. But then he was disdainful about everyone and everything, wasn't he? What was that expression again? It takes one to know one? Oh god, he probably is gay. Gay and hating it. Like she hates the thought. Apparently there can be a lot of self-hate among gays. She read that somewhere.

Right at that moment Sherlock seeks out John’s face and a smile lights up his features. A blinding-bright smile, drawing his lips apart, adding a sparkle to the slate grey of his eyes and painting a faint coral pink luster over his cheekbones. If he would ever bestow such a smile upon her she would surely die of happiness on the spot.
He grabs John’s upper arm to draw him in closer and then – she actually wants to die.

Please God, I don’t believe in you, but please strike me down? Give me a heart attack? Do anything to make me stop having to witness this. Because he's kissing John. Not just a peck on the cheek. Oh no, from what she can see it’s a thorough going-over, one hand at the edge of John’s jaw, the other in the small of John’s back. John has put his hands on Sherlock’s shoulders and he’s standing on tiptoe to receive the attentions she craves. The cycle of her humiliation is complete.

Then Sherlock draws back and his lips are all aglow with the exercise. Just as she’s always imagined they would be. He dives onto John again and it’s more mashing and grabbing and the next time he breaks free of John’s face he genuinely looks debauched; as debauched as she’s only ever visualized him during her wildest sessions with her right hand. She stares in horror. Next to her Laura lets out a long slow whistle. “God, what a show...,” she says.

Molly's heart sinks. He’s let go of John and started talking with obvious excitement, gesturing wildly at whatever it is on the worktop.

“That’s all folks,” Laura mutters happily beside her. She turns with a grin. “See, told you so? What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall of that flat."

Laura's beeper chooses that moment to start buzzing and she sighs as she checks it. "They're playing my song again. Emergency C-sec on the way, I'd better get back upstairs." She glances once more through the glass, her expression wistful. "Damn, why do I never get scenery like that in my office? It's all prolapses and episiotomies where I am." She shakes her head and strides off.

Molly just wants to die.

***

Okay, so he is gay. Whatever small hope still lingered at the back of her mind has been thoroughly crushed. Forever. On the other hand, he may have broken her heart but she’s not going to sit and sulk over it. Doctor John Watson may fuck him heartily both day and night for all she cares. He’s not the only man in the world, there’s more fish in the sea.

She subscribes to an internet dating site.

And she walks straight out of her lab every time Sherlock walks into it.

***

The man the dating site pairs her up with is nice. No, she’s got to be honest. Before she knew Sherlock Bloody Holmes existed she would have considered him at the top of her range. He’s got good open features, very blue eyes with thick lashes, a ready smile and nice teeth.

The receding hair on each side of his head indicates he will be bald in five years time.

But he knows how to wear a suit. Very important that.

She simply mustn’t compare them, that’s not too difficult, is it?

They have dinner in a very good restaurant and she thoroughly enjoys the food and the wine and the brandy that comes with the coffee. He’s told her all about his work (something in finance,) and maybe he could throw a look over the pension plan one day?

She has told him all about hers, except for the part that to her is the most important, of course. He didn't draw back in revulsion when she told him she works with dead bodies. That’s a good sign, isn’t it?

When they have dessert his hand creeps slowly over the table towards hers and she lets him take it. He threads his fingers with hers and they aren’t exactly long and tapering, they're a bit thick really, but you can’t expect everything, can you?

During coffee he whispers to her that he thinks she’s a very beguiling woman, and that surely is a wonderful thing to hear, isn’t it?

Outside the restaurant he kisses her and, after having enjoyed the kisses of the most wonderful lover to have ever walked this earth, she mustn’t set her expectations too high, must she?

So she agrees to him walking her home and it’s quite romantic to walk the busy streets of London with her head resting against a man’s shoulder, ducking into alleys to enjoy another kiss. She should enjoy them.

By the time they're standing at her front door she’s already decided she’s going to invite him in, just to have it over with. He asks her whether she’s sure, she doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to, he’d very much like to have another lovely evening out with her and he doesn’t want to spoil his chances. That just goes to show he’s really nice, doesn't it?

She assures him she really, really wants to. In they go.

She locks the beast from hell into the spare bedroom. Just in case. She’s a smart girl, isn’t she?

He stands hovering in her hall uncertainly and she urges him to take off his coat and then she tugs at his tie, drawing him into the bedroom. She’s a naughty girl, just this once.

She'd put clean sheets on the bed before leaving, put a few condoms on the night stand. She’s all prepared for the battle. General Molly Hooper.

Yet more kissing, stroking, sighing. It’s fine, it’s good, it’s actually quite good. Of course the quality of his fondling and handling doesn’t even come close to what Sherlock has been giving her but after having received the attentions of the most wonderful lover to have ever walked this earth she must make some allowances, mustn’t she?

He divests her of her blouse, her bra, and he really seems quite pleased with what he finds there. That’s pleasing, isn’t it?

She undoes the tie, starts unbuttoning his shirt, her fingers touching hairs. Oh no, she quickly yanks the rest of the buttons out of their holes. She’s got to make sure. He laughs down at her. “Hey Miss Impatient.” She hitches the shirt open.

Her eyes want to squeeze shut at the sight. She should have known the moment she noticed that receding hairline. He’s hairy, from the top of his chest down his abdomen. He’s covered with a pelt. It’s the most un-erotic thing she's ever seen.

Only by keeping her eyes tight shut, mentally going over the most inspiring sessions with Sherlock and rigorously ignoring the feel of scratchy, tightly-curled, disgustingly itchy chest hair against her breasts does she make it through to the end somehow. And then she just wants him to throw the condom into the bin, collect his clothes and leave; go away so she will never have to set eyes on him again.

He draws back to touch her face.

“Who’s Sherlock?”

Molly opens her eyes to find him looking at her. It’s obvious the whole experience has been a disappointment for him. But he isn’t angry with her, she can see in his eyes, in the very blue eyes with the thick lashes, that he’s sorry for the way it has worked out. That he genuinely liked her.

She hates herself in that moment. Hates the person she has become. A sick mind lusting after a mirage.

She closes her eyes again. “I’m sorry,” she says in a choking voice, “I’m so very, very sorry. We shouldn’t have done this. It’s all my fault, you’re really very nice, but …” She loses track of what she’s saying, she doesn’t know what she wants to say. She feels the tears start to roll down her face. She wants to tell him everything, explain it all. Instead she ends with: “Please go, would you? Please, please go …”

She drags herself out of the bed, pulls on her bathrobe and walks out the room without looking back at him. She locks herself into the kitchen and stands there crying and hugging herself until she hears him leave. Back in the bedroom she draws the sheets from the bed, throwing them straight into the bin with the condom and the bathrobe and all the clothes she wore this evening. Then she hauls the hoover out of its cupboard and starts hoovering the hall, and the bedroom, the mattress, everywhere he could have left one of his hairs, tears still streaming down her face all the while. She’s filled with a mixture of disgust at his hairs and disgust at her own behaviour. Totally unworthy of her, totally offensive to the very nice bloke who she’s just affronted in the most hurtful way imaginable. She keeps on pulling the hoover over the carpet. It’s the most thorough job she’s made of it since she moved in a year ago and it’s half past two in the morning but she doesn’t care, she must get rid of the hairs.

Oh god. She sinks down on the cleaned mattress. What a mess she’s made of her life. What a mess she’s let Sherlock make of her life. No, this is ridiculous. She can’t put the blame on him. What has he ever done to her? Except for being his arrogant, annoying self? He has walked into her lab countless times and demanded she hands him body parts, chemical equipment, a place behind her microscope and access to her database. But he hasn’t asked her to turn herself into a lunatic that throws away her chances with a nice man on the first date because she would prefer having Sherlock in her bed. She’s done it all herself. All by herself.

Now she will have to live with it.

Somehow.

***

Molly is thirty-three years old. She graduated at the top of her class and, through hard work, quickly landed herself with a highly prestigious job in one of the best hospitals in the country. Compared to some of her colleagues she is still impossibly young. It’s a promising start to a glowing career.

And she’s terribly in love with Sherlock Holmes. She’s head over heels, madly, deeply, truly, wholly infatuated with a self-centred git who doesn’t give a shit about her. And who’s GAY to boot. Who’s apparently head over heels for one Doctor John Watson.

She’s going to be a spinster for the rest of her life.

***

The day arrives he walks into her lab and tells her he needs her help. Oh, if only he had asked her half a year ago. She would have been so happy then. Well of course she’s going to help him, she’s going to do everything he’ll ever ask her to. The situation he finds himself in, the plan he’s concocted, it all sounds too mad to be true. But he’s Sherlock Holmes and he thrives on danger so she guesses it’s all right. It just sounds terrible to her. Especially for John. She can’t believe he wants to do that to the man he proclaims to love. But hey, she’s not the genius around here, is she? So she’ll comply with whatever he wants her to do.

***

Which is why she now finds herself sitting on her sofa, telling herself she really should go and get dressed. She has to spend the evening with the Holmes brothers, the pair of them pretending to be grateful to her for the assistance she’s given. She fully understands it’s all aimed at keeping her away from John.

She stands up and walks to the bedroom. She decides on the dark blue hipsters and the skirt that sets off her legs.

***

She’s preparing herself for another night with the most wonderful lover to have ever walked this earth.