Title: Molly Hooper: The Aftermath
Fandom: BBC's Sherlock
Ship: Molly Hooper, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Word Count: 2071
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: They are not mine.
A/N: I'm sure to be Moff-ed or Gatiss-ed, but this is what I want to happen to Molly. Alludes to entries on Molly's blog. A very big Thank You to fringedweller for the beta!

Summary: Molly Hooper is trying her best to cope.

Currently, there are four things that Molly Hooper knows to be true.

One. She is 31, which means she is actually in her thirties.
Two. She has a doctorate in forensic pathology.
Three. She has an unrequited, crippling crush on Sherlock Holmes.
Four. The last man she dated turned out to be a psychopathic criminal mastermind.

There isn't much she can do about number one and she truly enjoys and takes pride in number two. Three is, by this point, out of her hands and as for four...


Her hands hang by her side as she watches the forensics team turn her flat inside out. The fact that she knows these people and keeps receiving sympathetic looks as they open every single one of her books and turn her cushions over and dust every surface really only serves to make her feel worse.

Her cat, Toby, is cowering under her bed and Molly can't really blame him.

They take her laptop to go over the messages 'Jim' left on her blog.

DI Lestrade is kind and quiet. Concerned, even. Donovan is not. She is her usual callous, derisive self, her lip curling in a way that says Molly brought this on herself and isn't it just bloody typical? Freaks attract their own after all.

Molly is okay with this.

She welcomes the derision. She deserves the derision.

The kindness makes her sick to her stomach.

After they finally leave and she was told (ordered) to take at least three days leave and schedule an appointment with the resident psychologist, she tries to coax Toby out from under her bed. He just hunkers down and stares his wide eyes at her.

Molly lies down on her side on the throw rug next to her bed and curls herself up.

"I don't know why I'm even bothering," she says to her cat. "You liked him, too. You, you let him pet you."

Then she starts to cry.

Toby eventually comes out just as her tears turn into sniffles and butts his head under her chin. She falls asleep like that, curled up next to her bed, with her cat in her arms.

The next week is difficult to say the least. She almost has a panic attack on the Tube when her playlist launches into Defying Gravity as done by Kurt and Rachel during the diva-off on Glee. She rips the earbuds from her ears and stuffs them into her bag, her fingers getting tangled in the wires. She closes her eyes and just breathes in the stale air and lets the vibrations of the Circle Line bring her into the present.

She really thought she'd deleted all of those songs from her music library.

Her morgue is quiet and she really thinks that maybe she can get back into routine of autopsies and lab work.

Short answer? She can't. Her stomach won't stop turning and her hands shake. People are either too nice or too dismissive.

Molly asks for a transfer. A transfer out of St. Bartholomew's to, oh god, anywhere. She's refused. Her superiors say they're understaffed as it is, budget cuts you know, and she really is one of the best. Just give it some time.

So, back to the autopsy bay she goes.

Needless to say, she's surprised when John Watson turns up and takes her out for coffee. Although, she probably shouldn't have been. He's as he usually is, kind and intelligent and very calming. They talk about Sarah and general stuff. Molly and Sarah sort of bonded that night when they couldn't find their 'friends' and Molly appreciates Sarah's practicality and good humour.

They're sipping their coffees (her - a latte with an extra shot of expresso, him - an americano, no milk, no sugar) and John asks after her, is she okay? Can he do anything for her? Please, please don't blame yourself. Promise me that you won't blame yourself for any of this? It was beyond everyone's, including Sherlock's, imagination. So, don't blame yourself? Can she do that for him?

She says of course she can, she's in therapy and it will all be okay. Just taking it one day at a time, and so on and so forth.

He kisses her cheek and they make plans to catch up later and that Sarah will give her a ring later on.

Molly goes back to the hospital and manages to make it to the toilet before throwing up her latte.

Weeks pass. Things settle down. She's still shaky and keeps looking over her shoulder, despite the reassurances that he wasn't actually interested in her, so there's no reason for him to come after her.

Molly is not reassured.

She's in the middle of trying to figure out why a man in his thirties simply dropped dead on Oxford Street (Her personal theory? Just being on a high street on a Saturday afternoon, it always makes her break into hives) when Sherlock strides in.

"I need to know the reflexivity of the tendons located in the left hand of a female in her late forties at least forty-eight hours after death, do you have anything suitable?"

He is exactly like she saw him last. Tall and austere with eyes sharper than any eyes have the right to be. The sight of him makes Molly sag in relief and tense in anticipation, which, she knows, means her face flushes, her mouth purses and her spine goes all crooked.

"Ah, um," she says. "I've got an unidentified woman in her early fifties that was brought in thirty-six hours ago after an overdose. Would that work?"

"Yes, perfect," he says consulting his notebook. "Fetch her for me would you?"

Molly stares at him and then pointedly at the body on the table in front of her with a fresh Y-incision. Sherlock lets out an exasperated breath.

"She's in fifteen," Molly says jerking her head in the direction of the drawers. She turns her head back to her body and forces her hands to steady. Sounds of a drawer being opened and gloves being snapped on fill her ears. The zipper on the bag is pulled back and then silence.

"Ha! More flexible than you would think," Sherlock mutters. "I don't suppose you've got a male, late forties?"

"This one is late thirties," she says indicating the body on her table.

"Oh, well, can't have everything," he says. He leaves the drawer open and Molly clenches her teeth.

She's pressing her fingers on the aorta when he sidles up next to her, his gloved fingers picking up the man's hand and bending the fingers.

"Hmmm, interesting. Once again, more flexible than you would think," he says. She feels his gaze glance over her. "You know, I think you've lost some weight. What, sev-"

"Eight point six pounds since you last saw me, yes. Thank you," Molly says.

"I see. You're not still writhing about in self-recrimination like John said you were, are you?"

Molly gives him a horrified look. "John said I was 'writhing'?"

"Well, he didn't use that exact word, but the picture was clear," he says looking bored. "Look, he wanted someone pliable with low self-esteem and a lack of awareness. Someone he could use without regard. Coupled with the fact that I often use your services meant that you were ideal for manipulation."

"Right. Of course I was," she says turning back to the heart in her hands. "It couldn't possibly have been anything else."

"Of course not," he says. "What else could it have been?"

Molly feels the familiar churn of her stomach and does her best to ignore the nausea.

"Do you have a female in her twenties?"

"No," she says shortly. "I don't think so."

"Do you think you could check?"

"When I'm done here."

She feels him nod and walk away, back over to the woman he'd already pulled out. Molly goes back to her examination.

"You know, your hair looks-"

"Oh, god, don't. Just, don't," she says pulling her hands out of the man's chest and resting them on the table, her head bowed down. She takes a breath and straightens her spine. "Did it ever occur to you that I would assist you if you simply told me what you wanted? You don't have to flatter me or, or, or flirt with me to get information. Especially since you don't actually mean it. If I'm going to be used, I'd rather it be because of my profession, because I am a potential asset and not because you think I'm some silly girl. Because that it's somehow easier and less hassle than you taking the time to just explain yourself. I know that I'm not, but you could at least try treating me like an equal."

She takes a breath that's more sob than anything else. "Don't, don't be like him. Please."

It's absolutely silent in the morgue and her plea seems to echo in the room. Molly chances a look over her shoulder.

He's standing still, the dead woman's hand hangs stiffly from his grip on her wrist. His eyes are narrowed and utterly focused on the flexing of her fingers as he moves one and then the other. She doubts he heard a thing she said.

Molly shakes her head and turns back to the body in front of her. "I shouldn't be more than another quarter of an hour. I'll check the log then. Female, in her twenties, did you say?"

He clears his throat. "Yes. Early twenties. Thank you. Do you know why I come in here?"

"Because the other coroners lock their doors whenever you walk past and Dr. Saunders once threatened you with a scalpel?" she says, her hands once again tracing the outline of the heart.

"All valid reasons, but no. You wrote an article comparing the rigidity of bodies found in urban versus those in rural regions," he says. "It was concise and straightforward. However, you are quite right, you are not my equal, but that doesn't mean I don't like your work."

She stilled her hands. "Are you just saying that?"

"Molly, do I ever say anything superfluous? Truly superfluous?" he asked.

"Well, it often depends on how badly you need something," she says.

She hears the sound of the bag being zipped up and the tray sliding back into the drawer, followed by the clank of the door.

"All I care about is the work," he says from directly behind her.

Molly looks over her shoulder and meets his eyes. "What makes you think I don't?"

Sherlock studies her for a moment and then nods. He turns on his heel and says over his shoulder, "I'll be in the lab. Let me know if you have a female, mid-twenties."

The door swings closed behind him. Molly turns once again to her cadaver feeling sort of lost and somewhat irritated.

"Oh, by the way," his voice startles her and she whirls around completely, her dirty gloves clenched into fists. Sherlock's head is poked around the side of the door. "You really should eat something and regain that weight. It simply won't do for you to be ill as I truly cannot abide Saunders. If I have to dodge that scalpel of his due to you not eating properly, heads will roll."

Then he's gone once again, the door swinging silently in his wake.

That evening, Molly buys a new laptop and starts a new blog. This one is simple, black text on white pages. Her hands hover over the keyboard and then she starts to write up her thoughts on the practice of virtual autopsies.

The next day she discovers that her blog has ten messages, including one from JWatson wanting to discuss one of her thoughts in more detail.

There are four things that Molly Hooper knows to be true.

One. She is 31, which means she is actually in her thirties.
Two. She has a doctorate in forensic pathology.
Three. She has an unrequited, crippling crush on Sherlock Holmes.
Four. The last man she dated turned out to be a psychopathic criminal mastermind.

She still can't do much about number one. Number two still fills her with pride. She's coping with number four. And number three...

Well, she's still working on that one.