I made my way to the back of the building, down through a dark alley lit only by a distant streetlamp. I looked around for Jim before I stopped, leaning against the dark wall carefully. I wrapped my coat tighter against me, the cool wind piercing through to chill the skin underneath.
And then I waited. It wasn't long before a cab pulled through the alley and stopped by me. I was on the opposite side to the driver, but the back window in the cab started rolling down slowly toward me. Was it someone from work? Oh, how would I begin to explain this?
"I'm waiting for someone, I really don't need a cab!" I said lightly, with a light wave on with the hand. I'd hoped the driver could hear me and would drive on, and the person who was in the back- who I was now convinced was definitely someone from work, who would soon find out everything- would be left shaking their head saying, "Nah, couldn't be her."
The window finished rolling down.
"Oh, I think you do-o!" A singsong voice rang out into the silence of the night. It was him.
He looked exactly the same as he had the last time I'd seen him- same high forehead, dark hair and darker eyes with a large grin of slightly crooked, pointed teeth. I'd always thought his teeth were cute.
But now, it was so different. Not just because he was dressed in some expensive suit, or that his jet black hair was slicked back professionally rather then the way it used to messily stick up. No, the atmosphere surrounding him was...different. I was in on the game now, and he'd dropped all pretenses. I could see it now, clearly, how my sweet Jim could really be a killer. There was a new, almost crocodile edge to his grin that sent shivers up my spine.
I stood there, almost in shock. I don't know what I was expecting, honestly- that he wouldn't come, that it would be Lestrade who'd been playing a joke on me. Jim, coming to pick me up, was hard to swallow, hard to accept. I couldn't believe my eyes.
"Are you just going to stand there with a dumb look on your face," he made a face, of surprise, hanging his mouth open wide before closing it in a smirk, "Or are you going to get in?"
And that was the precise moment when I got cold feet.
I considered running, but I didn't favour the outcome if I did. I was terrified of what he could do to me, what he would do to me. But even though I was stone cold, blood pounding in my veins frantically scared, I was being...welcomed, almost. Certainly not thinking straight, feeling like I was trapped in a kalidiscope, I walked toward the car.
He cooed something to me as he opened the door, and I slowly climbed into the cab, shutting the door with a final 'click' behind me. Jim moved over slightly to give me some room, but not nearly as much as I would have been comfortable with. As the cab started back up (I couldn't see the driver, sitting directly behind him) I peeked over at Jim.
Or, more accurately, up. He was looming over me, much too close, so close I could feel his breath on my neck. We watched each other for a while, me peeking up at him, too scared to make a definite move and him looking down at me in what seemed to be a mix of amusement and interest. I could never tell with Jim, though.
After what seemed like an eternity, he leaned back slightly, turning his head with a crack of the neck. I shuddered in the silence of the cab- the air was thich with cigarette smoke and some colonge Jim was wearing- a rich scent. It must have been expensive.
Finally, he spoke, "Molly Molly Molly. There's no need to be so TENSE!" He laughed, putting his hands on my shoulders. I tensed further, to protect my neck. "Shh, shh." He said, and he began to massage my shoulders in little circles. Slowly, I began to relax slightly.
He was rather good at it. And by rather, I mean extremely. After days of night shifts at the lab, it felt so good I couldn't help but smile a little bit.
Be careful. I had to remind myself, Mad bomber.
I shifted away slighly, and he lifted his chin, peering down at me with a perfectly calm expression on his face. It was almost...dead, the way his black eyes were staring into mine, and I couldn't look away. Gone was the smirk and his laughing eyes. Now there was only cold judgement.
"Hmmm." He mused, and a small smile crept up onto his face. Bringing his hands up to his mouth, he grinned, "How's work?"
I blinked. This certainly hadn't been the expected line of questioning. Taking a deep breath, I told myself to stay calm and then answered, "Fine. It's fine."
"And your collegues?" He drawled, lazily leaning agaist the opposite door.
I swallowed and gave a small shrug. "They're okay. Nice, I guess."
"You guess?" His eyes widened slightly, and he made an overexageratted face of skepticism. I sighed.
"Well, you know..." I looked down and squirmed slightly. It was weird talking with him like this. I would have told Jim from IT in an instance, but...
"Go on." It wasn't a question. He leaned forward as I continued.
"Just a bit lonely I guess." I finished. I thought I noticed a small smile before his face changed to sympathy.
"Oh Molly." He said. It was easy to tell he was acting- it was far overdone, far too fake to even be considered real. It was beyond obvious to see the manipulation. Biting my lip, I steeled my gaze in a small act of what I thought was defiance.
He burst out laughing, managing a high pitched, "OH!" I jumped slightly at the outburst, at the deep laughter until he calmed down a moment later.
"You are just so funny." He purred, and I gulped. "But honestly. A girl as interesting as you deserves more than what they give you." There was a dark emphasis on the they, and if they were the enemies. As if he was against them, against them all.
"You." He breathed, moving closer again. "Are not like them, Molly, are you?" His hand was in my hair, his long fingers running through at it. It was that look again, the dead one, with his head slightly tilted as he waited for an answer.
My breath was caught in my throat. The offer was clear to me. And I wanted, so desperately, just to be appreciated in that moment. To no longer be ignored. Here was Jim, or perhaps, Moriarty, telling me I was special. To him, of all people. A criminal mastermind, a genius. I shook my head, only slightly, my lips in a thin line and my eyes very, very wide. I must have looked sickly.
He smiled a little, and this time it was more believably sympathetic. Jim didn't say anything explicit like, "Work for me" or "Come with me". But when he held out his hands, the implication was clear.
And I was already caught.
Jim didn't say much for the rest of the ride. I leaned slightly into him. He was safe, for now anyway, and he'd draped a lazy arm around my shoulder. After a while, the car stopped.
"This is your stop, dear." He told me, flicking his eyes up slowly to my face. Peeling myself away, I opened the door with a click. As I started to get out of the car, I looked back. His crocodile smile was back, toothy and vicious. His eyebrows raised to the top of his forehead as he said, "I'll be in touch ever so soon!"
Getting out of the cab, I realized I was back at my house. And, as the door shut and the car drove away, I was left in the silence of the dimmly lit street to ponder what had just happened.
I felt completely numb as I walked up the steps toward my house, fumbling with my keys as I tried to unlock my door. I never fumbled, not with anything. But I just felt so raw, so exposed and confused. I had no idea what I was doing, or what I had even agreed to. I just knew I felt kind of...good, for the first time in a long while.
A slow smile crept up on my face and I shut my eyes. I didn't know what kind of hurricane I was landing myself into. I didn't know what kind of danger I was putting myself in. I didn't know what risk I was putting myself at. And, horrible to say, at this point I didn't really care. As I got through my door, I span slightly and then steadied myself. Petting Toby happily, I finished up the chores, changed into my nightie and climbed into bed.
I knew he was probably lying. But I slept much better than I had in weeks.
AN: ASFHJKGFGJKJTIUYUI SORRY