This was a prompt I had filled for broadwaylover17 on Tumblr. She had requested a Victorian Sherlolly, maybe something that could appear in the Sherlock Special. While I can't begin to imagine what lovely bits of Sherlolly they will offer us in that episode, I just went with the Victorian theme and came up with this one shot. Enjoy! ;)
Sherlock stepped outside his flat, adjusting his hat and smiling. "Lovely day in London, is it not, Watson?"
"Why exactly? Because of the triple suicide discovered last night?"
Sherlock looked indignant. "Perhaps I was about to say it was because the sun is shining."
Watson frowned at him and the detective chuckled.
"Too early for jokes? Yes, you're quite right, of course it's the triple suicide...let's get a carriage to Bart's hospital."
As the two men rode along, John remarked, "What are the chances that three men who are completely unconnected and know nothing of each other would all be found having hanged themselves last night?"
"Incredibly small chances, which is why Inspector Lestrade sent for me, obviously," Sherlock answered casually as he tugged his leather gloves on. "I intend to find proof that these were indeed not suicides, but murders."
John smiled, shaking his head. "So of course the sun is shining today," he muttered to himself.
Lestrade was waiting for them right outside the door to the morgue in the basement of Bart's hospital.
"Morning, gentlemen. This didn't make sense to any of us, so I had to send for you. I'll bring you in and you can have a look at the bodies."
"Good, let's get to work," Sherlock said eagerly.
Lestrade put a hand on his arm before Sherlock could walk through the doors. "Oh, and I should also mention that there's a new specialist working in the morgue."
Sherlock brushed him off. "Yes, fine, I'm sure I'll see them inside. Let's get on with it."
"Well yes, but I feel I should mention that-"
Sherlock didn't give Lestrade time to finish, and simply opened the door and walked in with John following him.
"That she's a woman," Lestrade said to himself, having nobody listening to him anymore. He sighed and followed the men in.
Sherlock walked into the morgue and saw the three bodies already laid out on tables and covered with a white cloth. He strolled over, discarding his hat and setting it on a nearby table. Sherlock pulled the sheet down to the first man's chest, seeing the obvious rope marks around his neck. He did the same with the other two and walked around the tables, looking at all of them.
"What should we-" John began.
"Shh!" Sherlock hushed him and continued observing, deep in thought.
His eyes narrowed suddenly, and he leaned down closer to one of the bodies. He did the same with the other, and then the other. After a moment, he straightened up again and smiled at Lestrade and John.
"Well, it is certainly a good thing you sent for me, Inspector. It is highly unlikely many others would have been able to so easily tell you that these men died from-"
The sound of the soft, feminine voice made Sherlock whirl around. He frowned in confusion at the small woman who approached them.
"Sorry, Inspector, I had stepped out for just a bit," she said to him with a smile. Then she directed her words to Sherlock and John. "Hello, I am Miss Molly Hooper. Oh! Forgive me, I mean Dr. Hooper. I suppose I'm still getting used to it myself!" she laughed a little.
Sherlock raised an eyebrow as he looked her over. Her small frame was housed in the heather grey and black pin striped dress and simple white hospital apron. Some shorter waves of her shining amber hair fell across her brow and she reached up to brush the locks aside as she looked up at him. She pressed her little lips together as she watched him look her over.
"You are the specialist?" Sherlock questioned.
"Yes, that's right. I can only assume you are Mr. Sherlock Holmes. It's a pleasure to meet you." She smiled again and extended her hand.
Sherlock looked at it almost suspiciously, but he finally took her small hand in his and shook it slowly. As he did, Lestrade began speaking behind him.
"Dr. Hooper was just hired at the urging of Dr. Stamford. He doesn't take many female students, but he felt strongly about her talent. Since her graduation he was eventually able to convince the hospital to take her on. She has extensive knowledge and skill in the area of pathology. She will be an asset to the hospital...and Scotland Yard as well." Lestrade smiled at Molly.
"Rather impressive," John commented quite honestly.
Sherlock let her hand go and said in an almost superior tone, "Hmm, a female doctor...fascinating."
Molly' previously sweet expression hardened a little. She stood up as tall as possible and looked Sherlock dead in the eye. "You object to working with a female doctor, Mr. Holmes?"
Her intense brown eyed stare was met by his blue green one. "On the contrary, Dr. Hooper, the only people I object to working with, male or female, are those who are incompetent. I'm sure you can imagine, the number of individuals who fall into that category are staggering indeed. As long as you are not one of them, I cannot envision a problem between us...professionally speaking."
Molly gave a little nod and a tight smile. "Good...shall we proceed then?"
She walked closer to where Lestrade stood and continued. "I was going to send for you soon. I realized they'd been poisoned with cyanide almost the moment they were brought in. It is an unmistakable odor of-"
"Bitter almonds," Sherlock finished her sentence quickly.
"Yes," she agreed looking at him again. "Though, not everyone can detect it."
Sherlock nodded slowly as his eyes traveled over her again. "No...most cannot."
At this point, John turned slowly to look Lestrade with raised his brows and wide eyes. The Inspector had to control his amused smile.
Sherlock looked down at the bodies again and asked, "Now, did you look at their hands and find any-"
"There was no trace of fibers from the rope used," Molly answered, knowing exactly where his train of thought was headed.
Sherlock's eyes widened in amazement at her words as she turned to get something from a box on the table. She produced a section of rope.
"This is some of the rope used." She handed the piece to Sherlock. "It is made of very course and rough fibers. Naturally, if these men had tied it themselves, there would be bits on their hands. There could even be fibers embedded in the skin. Even if one wished to hang one's self, the natural instinct kicks in as the moment of death is approaching. They would have had their fingers at the rope, pulling aggressively, no doubt."
Sherlock was still feeling the rope in his fingers and watching this surprisingly mesmerizing woman when she seemed to recall something else, and spoke again.
"Oh! And one more thing of note; it is quite clear that these men were all hanged from the same rope. Well, not the same piece shared between the three of them." Molly snickered for a moment at her own wording, laughing at the idea of the three men together on one rope. She looked around at the three men who stared back at her and cleared her throat. "Sorry, um...anyway, what I mean is that it was clearly the same rope that was cut up, and a section used for each of them. So, between that and the clear presence of cyanide, I would feel very sure of the fact that this is a triple homicide."
Sherlock's expression of wonder remained plastered to his face as he watched and listened to her.
"Holmes?" John prompted.
Sherlock blinked a few times and finally turned his head to look at John. "Yes, sorry, what?"
"Did you hear the doctor? She said triple homicide."
Sherlock swallowed hard and cleared his throat. "Yes, I uh, yes I know...triple homicide."
He looked back at Molly. "Perhaps I could keep this rope? I would like to examine it more closely, see if I can connect it to a certain manufacturer or business in the area. And I also need to determine what these three men had in common, other than their obvious murders. There has to be a large connection."
"Please, be my guest," she said with a bright smile. "This is where my expertise ends, naturally. I may know what to do with a dead body, but I cannot imagine chasing any live ones around London! Rather a good thing they have a detective to take the reins outside the hospital walls."
The corner of Sherlock's lips twitched up just a bit. "A good thing indeed."
He took a few steps over closer to her and extended his hand again. "Thank you for your assistance, Dr. Hooper. And, of course, we will be seeing each other again very soon. Good day to you." He gave her another small smile and quickly swept out of the room, grabbing his hat on the way.
Molly looked at Lestrade with a small frown. "See him again soon? Is he coming back?"
Lestrade chuckled a little. "I think you should expect to see Mr. Holmes terribly frequently, Dr. Hooper. My apologies, I meant to warn you ahead of time...no doubt he will soon drive you mad!" The Inspector tipped his hat to her and exited the room with John.
Molly smiled after they'd gone. "Yes, I think I might be going mad already," she whispered to herself.
Sherlock climbed into a carriage with the two men, and soon after it began moving, he said, "Dr. Molly Hooper...she needs to remain in her employment at Bart's."
Lestrade shrugged in confusion. "Well I would venture to say she will. I see no reason she would be let go."
"Yes, but it needs to be ensured," Sherlock said firmly as he looked out the carriage window. "I will speak to my brother and make sure there is never a reason for her employment to be terminated. It is imperative that she stay exactly where she is."
John smiled at Lestrade then said to Sherlock, "and why, may I ask, is that?"
"Because," Sherlock said, turning to face them with a smile.
"I now refuse to work with anyone else."
I do take prompts sometimes, so feel free to let me know if there's anything you'd like to have me attempt. Thanks for reading! :)