Vow you guys, wasn't expecting such a positive response!
Due to popular demand, here is the second part to this story. I'm sorry if this story wont be very long; writing it was indeed a spur of the moment idea :P There will probably only be one more chapter after this :)
Anywho, I'll let you crack on reading!
Molly didn't wake up for a while.
Instead, she remained trapped in a dream of her past, reliving events both good and bad. Right now she drifted through the mist of her father's funeral, watching herself as if on the outside looking in. Ten year old Molly was silent beside her mother, dressed in a black dress that fell just below her tight coated knees, her light brown hair pulled up in a bun and accompanied by a black rose. She didn't cry; she was too busy staring at her mother, who was freely crying as she watched the coffin being lowered into the ground. Molly felt like she should have said something to her mother, but nothing seemed right. Instead, once the coffin was in the ground, she took her mother's red rose along with her own and threw them in with her father, fighting back the tears that threatened to break her. In that moment, she knew she was going to be alone for a long time—her mother was beyond saving now.
Present Molly watched as her childhood self walked away and towards her, looking sadder than she had ever felt in her life. That was the day that Molly not only grew up but also lost what it meant to laugh; from that day on she would never go out with friends, she and her mother would distance themselves beyond contact, and Molly would form better relationships with the dead rather than the living. She saw all too clear in the eyes of her ten year old self, brown irises that didn't sparkle the way they should have. That was the day that Molly died and was born as someone else.
The moment her own ghost passed right through her, Molly's dream shifted to a much later date. She watched herself, seven years younger, examining a body in the morgue under the watchful eye of her mentor. This was a new mentor and a particularly favourite one of Molly's; she never began small talk with her. At that time, Molly was terrible in social situations. Having lacked that development throughout her childhood and even into her teens, she found that she couldn't look anyone in the eye, never mind speak to them in a meaningful conversation. So this mentor, Samantha Hayward, was one of Molly's better ones. She only watched her and commented whenever she did something right or wrong, and she was kind enough about it. That was just fine with Molly.
On this particular day, after searching and declaring the cause of death on the body of a forty six year old male, Molly was readying herself for a lunch break when the doors burst open. Present Molly smirked, knowing what was to come, when past Molly looked utterly horrified. Samantha squealed in protest when a man waltzed in, hands stuffed in a medium length black coat with a turned up collar, dark jeans and shoes, and a grin that made old Molly's skin crawl.
"Good afternoon," the man beamed, spinning as he took in his surroundings. "I've been told to come here to have a look at a body? Just came in this morning?"
"Sir, you shouldn't be in here!" Samantha yelled, pointing headedly to the door. The Molly from the past began to chew her nails and make her way to the door, not wanting any part in this confrontation. However, the man launched himself to said door and pressed his palm against it, preventing her from opening it. Molly flushed, backing away and looking to Samantha for help. The older woman was also red in the face, positively fuming, pushing her glasses up her nose as if it would make a difference.
"I demand that you leave, sir." she snapped viciously. The man only laughed.
"You're boring, no use to me. Find a man called Lestrade, he's a detective and the one who gave me authorization." He then swung open the door and made a bowing motion, indicating the direction in which Samantha was to take through the door. "Laters!"
Livid, Samantha stormed towards the door, calling Molly after her. Molly made way to follow, but the man blocked her exit with his arm once Samantha was out in the hall.
"Not you." he told her lowly. Just as Samantha began to loudly protest, the man grinned and said "It was a pleasure meeting you, bye, bye!" and swung the door shut.
Molly stood, trembling, as the man turned to face her. At first she hardly recognised him. His eyes were bright, full of life, nothing like the eyes she had seen before. His hair was cut, though it stull curled around his ears, yet the dark strands were perfected coils on his head. His face was fuller, his cheekbones sharper, and he even smelled fresh like mint. Shrugging out of his coat, he waltz around the room and tossed it to one side before adjusting his jacket over his white shirt. Finally, he glimpsed his reflection in the reflection of the window in the door and ruffled his hair, the mop on his head bouncing and becoming all the more wild.
"Let's get started, shall we?" he exclaimed, striding over to Molly with the happiest of grins.
"You… You're the man I met six months ago… here in the hospital!" Molly said, stunned by her own willingness to speak.
"Sherlock Holmes," he told her, holding out his hand. Seconds passed, a quizzical look on his face, because Molly took his hand in hers and shook it. "Lestrade told me that handshaking is polite; I get the impression it's not your favourite way of greeting."
On cue, her palm began to sweat, and Molly pulled her hand free to whip it clean on her thigh. Sherlock watched her curiously, head cocked, his eyes raking her up and down more than once.
"M-Molly Hoop-per." Molly stuttered. Sherlock didn't even blink; he grinned and clapped his hands.
"Excellent. Now, where's this body?"
Yet again Molly hesitated, looking towards the door and wondering if she could still escape. Sherlock noticed and his expression hardened, his tone turning series. "Single child, difficulty communicating, you possibly suffered the loss of a parent as a child while the other was never there for you. You take comfort in working with the dead, hence why you work here as a pathologist; the dead don't speak, which works perfectly for you. You're a cat person, and at the moment you have two cats. You lack confidence in your appearance; very little jewellery, hair in a simple ponytail, no makeup and plain clothes—you don't want people to notice you."
Molly's mouth fell open. "How did you—?
Sherlock waved her off with a smile. "Bottom line is that you are my ideal kind of company; I hate people, too. In fact, I hate talking to people. So, how about we get down to business, no small talk?"
Molly didn't need any more motivation and reeled out the body Sherlock was speaking of.
Present Molly grinned at her own ghost, praising her for making the best decision she had ever made. Also, now that she thought about it, she came to a realisation; Sherlock had noticed her the way she had noticed him. He had seen Molly for who she really was and claimed her as his own to work with, branding her as one of his favoured helpers. He saw her because they were one of the same; afraid of society and the judgement that came with it, but lonely all the same.
She felt herself pulling back from the scene as her past burred together, and Molly was suddenly floating into a dark pit to which was feared she would drown. Crashing into black water, she struggled to keep her head above the surface, and the calm that she had been feeling was now replaced by that of panic. Thrashing wildly, something grabbed her ankle and pulled her forcefully down. Her lungs filled, but not with water. No, ink. Black, thick, poisonous ink, trickling down her throat and into her lungs, filling her, choking her, killing her. She felt it in her blood, in her veins, in her brain, and she couldn't even work up a scream.
"Ding dong bell, ding dong bell, Pussy's in the well," sang a childlike voice, a voice that made Molly want to scream in terror. "Who put her in? Little Johnny Flynn, Who pulled her out, Nobody would ever do that!" Molly felt herself sinking further, the ink exploding behind her eyes with a vicious pain. She opened her mouth to cry out and choked, all the while the singing continued. "Drowning was the pussycat, Who ne'er did any harm, But killed all the mice in the Farmer's barn!"
Suddenly, the ink cleared to water and washed out all of the ink inside her. She floated, dreamy, floating between the good and bad. For a moment she kept her eyes closed, but something brushed her face, gentle through the coldness of the water. She opened her eyes; and howled in terror.
Moriarty floated in front of her, grinning, his face twisted with madness and fondness all at the same time. She tried to thrash away from him but he grabbed her wrist, his grip firm and painful. Suddenly, through the water, he began to speak. "Can't stay here…" he said, his voice not his own, but someone else's. He sounded far, far away. "She can't stay here… danger… get her somewhere safe…"
And then Molly was rising through the water, Moriarty's hold on her vanishing. She crashed above the surface and gasped, the water clearing from her wide eyes and revealing a new clarity in her vision. A voice called to her, murmuring in her ear yet sounding light-years away. She closed her eyes again and reached for that voice, feeling herself rising, getting stronger, breathing and living, and finally she heard the beeping a of a monitor recording the beating of her heart.
When she opened her eyes, she was lying in a bed. Her vision was blurry, lights fuzzy above her and hurting her eyes. Blinking, she felt something uncomfortable in her nose and instinctively reached to detach it, only for a hand reaching out and stopping her from her left. She gasped, momentarily afraid, but John Watson's voice quickly fought off the panic that bubbled in her chest.
"Welcome back to the living, Molly." said the doctor, and Molly began to cry.
Mycroft Holmes was an intimidating man. Molly didn't know whether she liked him or not. Dressed strictly in a suit and an umbrella held over his lap, he gazed at Molly from the seat beside her bed with a look all too similar to Sherlock's. She hated the way he leered at her, clearly judging her, the opposite to the way Sherlock looked at her. She could tell he was marking her as plain and unimportant, that he thought she was a waste of his time, and she couldn't help but glare ferociously at him while he went about natural deduction.
"I'm afraid, Miss Hooper, that you won't be able to stay here." he said after about five minutes of silent staring, unfazed by how her angry stare pierced him. Not ten minutes after waking up Mycroft had shooed John out, slamming the door shut in his wake before ambushing Molly's very delicate state. He asked nothing about her wellbeing, or told her how long she'd been unconscious for, or even if she wanted anything to drink. She decided that, though she'd only just met him, that he was far worse than Sherlock ever had been in terms of human communication.
"Not your favourite idea, though?" she countered. Her voice was rough with exhaustion and the pain creeping back into her system due to the dose of morphine being lowered.
"My brother and John Watson have made their opinions clear, and even the doctor's wife is at my throat. I don't really have a choice." Mycroft rolled his eyes to the ceiling, clearly unimpressed, and it only angered Molly more.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"I have a proposition to make. I suggest you move away, move to the countryside and out of danger. Sherlock and his friends are incredibly fond of you, and you did save Sherlock's life three years ago, so I suppose you are worthy of protecting. I will provide you with money to live on, a place to go, I can even find you a job—"
"I said no." The heart monitor began to beep faster and louder as Molly's anger rose, causing Mycroft to raise a delicate brow in question.
"I would have thought that this was an ideal offer for you; you were shot in your own home, if you recall."
"Of course I bloody recall." Molly seethed. Painfully, she pushed herself up so that her back rested against the pillows, and she almost cried out with the pain that shot through her body like a bolt of lightning, shocking her right down to her toes. She bit back the tears and glowered at the older Holmes brother beside her bed. "I also recall that I shot that bastard down. I recall fighting in my own home, protecting the life I've built here, and I swear to God you will never send me running, Mycroft Holmes, not you, not the Government, not even your brother."
To her astonishment, a look of respect and understanding crossed Mycroft's expression, and he expressed the slightest of smiles. "Very well, I will have to discuss what to do with you instead, then. I suspect that for the time being you will want to speak to some friendly faces."
The moment he stood and left the private room she was kept in, Molly's heart slowed again and she sank into the pillows. Sweat formed on her brow, her wound shooting bullets of pain throughout her body, pulsing as if the blood ached to leak through the stitches. Closing her eyes, she listened to the closing of her door, and counted to three. There was muttering outside, the raising of a voice or two, and then the door swung back open to reveal John storming in, Sherlock not far behind.
"Molly, you need to lie down!" John scolded, and Molly smiled.
"It doesn't hurt too much." she told him, but then quickly turned serious. Sherlock was now in the doorway, looking mutely angry as he stared down at his feet, but John was too busy helping her to lie back down and readjust her pillows to seem angry. With a shaky breath, tears brimming in her eyes, she locked her eyes onto Sherlock's. "Don't send me away." she croaked quietly. "Please, don't send me away. I can't live on my own, not again."
"Who said anything about sending you away?" John inquired, frowning at her.
"Mycroft." Sherlock answered before Molly could. "Very inconsiderate of him, and I apologize on his behalf for that." Walking fully into the room, he came to stand on the other side of the bed, opposite his best friend. "Molly Hooper, you're not going anywhere if I have anything to say about it."
She sighed with relief, and suddenly John was handing her a cup of water that she'd missed seeing him carry in. Helping her drink, John tipped the water down Molly's throat and she relished in its coolness, refreshing her parched mouth and cooling the fiery pain throughout her body. Sighing gratefully she thanked the doctor, who smiled and then dismissed himself from the room in order to call in with his wife.
"But," Sherlock said as the door slipped closed, "you won't be able to stay in this hospital. Too obvious. They suggested putting an officer outside your door but—"
"Moriarty would never let an officer get in his way." Molly finished for him tiredly.
"Yes." Sherlock nodded, and he finally took a seat in the second chair by Molly's bed. For a while he was quiet, deep in thought, and all Molly could do was watch him helplessly, seeing that sadness in his eyes and still not being able to offer some kind of comfort. Finally, he murmured, "You died three times."
"You died three times. First when we found you, then in the ambulance, and then in surgery." He looked up at her, and tears pricked his eyes. The sight of it broke her heart. "And it's because of me. It's because of me that your heart stopped beating, because of me that you've been unconscious for two days, because of me that you are a number one target in all of this mess."
"I chose to." she whispered. "I chose to help you, and nothing will ever make me regret making that decision.
"Forgive me," Sherlock croaked. "Forgive me for not being there when you needed me."
"There's nothing to forgive, Sherlock." Molly whispered. "I didn't call you. I didn't do anything. It wasn't your fight."
"Of course it was my fight!"
"No," she shook her head, "it wasn't. He sent Tom to my home, spoke to me through the phone, and had Tom shoot me. It wasn't your fight at all; I waited for it to happen, and I took control."
Sherlock gave a breathy chuckle, lowering his head into his hands. He was shaking slightly, the stress in his shoulders adamant, and the loathing towards Moriarty in that moment overwhelmed her to the point that she wanted to scream. He was doing this to him. Moriarty was making Sherlock suffer through the people Sherlock loved, and it was the worst of punishments to put anyone through. Sherlock was breaking, just like she had broken so many times before meeting him.
"Is he dead?" Molly asked quietly.
"Tom." The name tasted like acid on her tongue and made her shudder. Sherlock's head snapped up and suddenly he grinned maliciously, his eyes sparkling with pride and satisfaction, but the anger was also there. She certainly didn't miss the shudder that ran through him like an electric shock.
"Yes, he is." He reached for her hand and squeezed. "Good shot."
"Not bad for someone who was dying at the time." she said, smiling, which quickly vanished from her mouth. "I knew it would be him. He had always seemed so perfect, and he popped up out of nowhere. I should have known sooner what he really was."
"He's not worth pondering about; he had us all fooled. I'm just proud of you for figuring out the truth in time for what had to be done. Had you not known, you probably wouldn't be here now." Not seeming to think about it, he leaned over her and pressed his cool lips to her forehead. "I'll be back. I came as soon as I heard you were awake, but I need to get back to Baker Street."
"Go," she urged softly. "I'm hardly going anywhere."
She watched as Sherlock rose to his feet and slowly left the room, shutting the door behind him. Shortly afterwards, John came back in with a nurse, explaining that her morphine dosage would be notched up again, and that she was going to have some anaesthetic in order to help her sleep better. She couldn't have protested even if she wanted to; the pain was becoming too great, and frankly, she was exhausted.
"Don't leave." she whispered as she felt the anaesthetic rush though her veins, numbing her throughout her body and darkening her world as her eyes drooped heavily closed. John hushed her and took her hand in his, squeezing comfortingly.
"Of course not." he promised her, and then the lights went out.
At first, she wanted to scream.
The next time she came to, she thought someone was attacking her. A hand was over her mouth, gloved and smelling of leather, and she felt another hand over her body, detaching the wires embedded inside her, disconnecting the morphine lead, the heart monitor and whatever else was attached to her. The monitor didn't have time to flat-line before it was turned off entirely, knocking her world into a deafening silence. The blankets were ripped away from her, but she couldn't even shiver. The anaesthetic was still thick in her system and she couldn't focus on what was actually happening, let alone think about the logical ways in which she should be responding.
"Time to go." A low voice whispered in her ear, and suddenly the fear partially disappeared. An arm slipped behind her shoulders and under her knees, and suddenly she was lifted from the bed. Pain shot through her body yet it wasn't as severe as before, and she distantly hoped that the morphine had another few hours left before it drained out of her.
Feeling heavy and not entirely secure in her own body, Molly's head fell heavily against her carrier's chest, her eyes falling closed and a small moan of pain escaped her lips. Like in her dreams, she felt as if she were floating on the black face of a poisoned sea, agony and death just a mere pull below the surface. She looked down, not seeing a floor but a reflection, a memory like before.
This time, though, she was looking down on something that had happened very, very recently; Tom lunging for her over the sofa, yanking a gun from his waistband. Past Molly yelled out when he grabbed her elbow and twisted, only for her to ram her free elbow into his face. He topped, falling into the TV and breaking it in the process. Tom launched himself at her again, knocking aside one coffee table while Molly attacked another, yanking free one of its legs. She swung, catching Tom in the head and accidentally making him fire the gun. The bullet missed her she ran for the kitchen door, Tom rushing her. Past Molly ploughed her shoulder into him and slammed him into the wall, ultimately staining the wallpaper with his blood. Proceeding into the kitchen, Past Molly grabbed hold of anything she could see, throwing them at the man she had once believed she'd loved. Tom dodged them all and dropped, aiming the gun just as Past Molly reached into the draw of knives.
Tom had pulled the trigger in that moment, and Past Molly had dropped, yelling out a strangled cry. Tom, panting, dropped the gun and stumbled from the room, shaking and clearly in pain. Past molly, hands streaked in her own blood, her vision impaired with white agony, reached desperately for the gun, aimed shakily, and fired.
Molly would hear that gunshot for the rest of her life.
She felt something wet drip on her face, and Molly's eyes opened to the night sky. Rain fell down on her in a rich cascade, washing away the bloodshed and pain, freeing her of a heavy burden. The person carrying her was panting, sounding stressed what sounded like a car screeched nearby. Then they looked down, and Molly found herself gazing into Sherlock's eyes, tired and afraid, desperate to accomplish what he had set out to do.
"Is she alright?" someone called—but who? Molly searched for a name to match the voice, and quickly realised it was Mary's.
"Your house. Now."
"Sherlock, she needs to stay in hospital—!"
"John has things ready for her, just get us there."
"Mary, please! Leaving her in there will only bring her closer to her funeral!"
Finally, the rain stopped, and Molly was out of consciousness once more, dreaming of black waters stained with blood, accompanied by the sound of a gunshot.
Thank you for reading! Drop your reviews :D