TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR THIS CHAPTER: kidnapping, slight psychological torture. Rating is still set at T.
She's standing in a room, warm and cozy and bright with sunlight.
The room itself is immaculate. All the furniture, all the decor – arranged perfectly, artistically. The windows are elegant and wide, letting in the glorious daylight, and she's struck momentarily by the sharp contrast of this place to her own flat, where the small, poorly-designed windows let in only the noise of traffic from the high street and the constant sound of English rain.
She feels... strange. Different. Something is different here.
She strides across the room and spots a photograph on the table, a photograph of a smiling little boy with dark curls and eyes that look oh-so-familiar. She feels like she should know him, like she does know him, but she can't put a name to a face. A heavy feeling starts to settle in her stomach, a feeling of unease, but before she can figure it out, a pair of arms wrap around her from behind, holding her tight.
"Good morning," rumbles a deep voice into the skin between her neck and shoulder, and she instantly recognizes the voice of Sherlock Holmes.
She turns to him and smiles, ignoring the strangeness for a brief moment. " 'Morning," she replies softly, and starts to ask him what's wrong here, where are they, and why does this all feel so alien, so strange?
She doesn't get a chance though, because he's pressing his lips to hers, hard and fast, and on instinct she starts to kiss him back, though the pleasure of their embrace is tempered by the growing feeling of dread in her body, spreading out from her core out to her limbs.
He breaks the kiss to press his lips against her neck, and she gasps with delight, despite herself. "Sher-Sherlock, there's something wrong here, something's not right..."
"What's not right?" he asks in return, but his voice sounds different, changed somehow, and when she pulls his chin back up towards her she can't help but scream, because it's not Sherlock anymore, it's Jim, it's Moriarty, and she can't get away from him, his arms locked around her body, his face grinning into hers, his eyes gleaming maliciously as he -
And that's when she wakes up.
Her throat feels raw, like she's been screaming (maybe in her sleep?), and there's pain coursing throughout her body, from the top of her skull all the way down into her toes. She brings her arm up and touches the side of her right temple, feeling flakes of dried blood being rubbed off by the touch of her fingers. She winces as she tries to straighten her left leg, and suddenly it's all coming back to her now, the meeting on Brompton Road, when she'd turned and seen Moriarty in front of her, grinning that maniacal grin, laughing at her shock and at her fear. He'd stepped closer to her then, and pressed something onto her lips, and before she knew it she was falling, falling away, away into the blackness and the terror beyond.
She pushes herself up gingerly and takes stock of her surroundings. Her eyes adjust to the dim light, and her heart thumps nervously in her chest as her eyes dart around the room, unable to concentrate on one thing. Breathe, she tells herself, and she tries again, starting first with the room itself. Dim, small – the far wall is perhaps only ten feet away from her. Other than the cot she is currently occupying, there is only a worn chair in the corner opposite from the door. The door itself is sturdy, she knows; she can tell that from just a quick glance from her vantage point. She recognizes a cell when she sees one. (Not to mention, she'd definitely noticed the camera in the far right corner when she'd first sat upright).
She pulls herself all the way upright and swings her legs over the edge of the cot, letting her legs hang but not making any move to stand. "He-hello?" she calls out tentatively, wondering if there was someone out there watching her. She stares at the camera, but it does not move.
A crackling sound suddenly fills the air, and an intercom system comes to life, her blood chilling at the sound of his voice in the air. "Molly!" he exclaims, and she swears she can feel his smile in the air. "Just a moment, love, I'll be right down!" The system switches off as quickly as it had come on, and the air around her goes quiet again.
She forgets to breathe for a moment, and when she finally remembers the need for air as her body screams out for oxygen, she gasps and clutches at her chest, feeling panicked and scared. Keep calm, Molly, she tells herself sternly, although this part of her brain doesn't quite sound like her. It sounds more masculine, more... certain somehow. Do not let him see your panic, do not let him see your fear, says the voice in her head, and she realizes with a start that the voice is Sherlock's, reverberating through her head. Of course the inner manifestation of her analytical and confident self is narrated by Sherlock Holmes. She grins to herself madly at that thought, but then quickly returns to her face to a neutral expression when she hears a key start to turn in the door.
She hopes that he can't hear her heartbeat, thumping a hard rhythm throughout her entire body.
The lock clicks open, the door swinging in towards her, and she watches with barely managed panic as a monster walks through.
He is dressed in a sharp black suit, nicely pressed and complemented by a thin blood red tie (how fitting, she remarks to herself, but then the Sherlock-voice in her head tells her to keep calm). His hair, still as black as it was that day she met him in the hospital, is cut short and neat, and his face is still as clean-shaven as ever. He could easily pass for any of the young professional men she sees daily on the Tube, all dressed the same, streaming in from the ends of the lines into the heart of London itself. He enters the room and stands about five feet from her, his hands placed casually into his pockets, his shoulders slightly hunched, as if to convey an air of casualness between them.
He stares at her for a long moment and she fights hard not to squirm under his gaze. "Molly, Molly," he starts softly, his eyes still locked on her. "How long has it been?"
She doesn't answer, too afraid that her voice will break and show her weakness, and he simply smiles at her, his eyes dark.
"Nearly four years, isn't it? I'm so sorry about that date we had lined up at the pub; something came up at work and things got a little... explosive," he finishes, winking at her. She digs her fingers into the side of her thigh, trying her best not to shudder.
"Anyway," he continues, gesturing dismissively with a wave of his hand, "I do feel terrible about leaving you hanging, Molly; I was so enjoying getting to know you better. I really did think that we had something, you know. The way it felt when I kissed you," he purred, closing his eyes as if in blissful memory, and she does shudder this time, though thankfully he can't see her with his eyelids shut. "Ah, Molly, you were so eager, so hungry for affection, it was a wonderful experience, really gratifying to me on a personal level. A real confidence booster, you know?"
Her skin crawls as the memory of his hands on her waist, his mouth on hers comes back to her, unbidden and unwanted. She fights to forget how it felt when he kissed her, and tears threaten at the edges of her eyes as she berates herself for ever being drawn in by him, by this scum of humanity, this demon of a creature.
His eyes snap open suddenly, and despite herself, she gasps. "But you didn't wait for me, did you Molly? No, no you gave up on me, you gave up on us," he stresses, moving from foot to foot now, swaying in the center of the room.
"There was never any us," she squeaks out despite herself, her voice much shakier and much less confident than she'd hoped it would be.
He raises an eyebrow at her. "No? What about all those entries you put on your blog, Molly? Dear diary," he starts, his voice high-pitched and sickly sweet, "today Jim asked me out for another date. I think he really likes me! We are going to lovely restaurant on Friday, I think I'll go and get a new dress for the occasion and –"
"Stop!" she cries out despite herself, and immediately claps her hands over her mouth, horrified and angry with herself for having given in to his cruel taunts.
His eyes gleam at her, full of sadistic pleasure at her discomfort. "Did you buy a new dress for Sherlock, Molly?" he asks her, his voice quiet, deadly quiet.
Her heart skips two beats. "I – I don't know what you're talking about," she whispers, frightened now.
He claps his hands together in horrifyingly enthusiastic glee. "Molly, Molly, Molly... Oh, you are so modest now, so private. But don't worry, Molly my love, I'll keep this little secret between us," he tells her, his voice low, as if they were two best friends conspiring together. "I won't tell anyone about you and the world's only 'consulting detective'," he finishes, bringing his finger up to the edge of his lips, as if sealing a secret between them.
Molly feels sick. "Sher-Shelock's dead," she tries weakly, but she knows better.
He throws his head back and lets out a bark of a laugh, his body shaking with his mirth. He laughs like this for several minutes, doubled over with his exertions, and when he looks back up at Molly she can see tears leaking down the sides of his cheeks, overcome with his own amusement.
"Nice try, Molly," he tells her, as he wipes the tear away from his cheeks. "I must commend you for your valiant effort, but really," he says, shaking his head, "did you really think you could fool me?"
She doesn't say anything, doesn't move.
Then he's in front of her, his hands clamped onto either side of her face, holding her still. "DID YOU?" he exclaims, staring into her eyes, his gaze like looking into the eyes of a berserker, his fury and rage seething from every pore of his body. Her fear is paralyzing, all consuming, and the Sherlock-voice in the back of her mind is deafened by the panic coursing through her, freezing her to the spot.
And then suddenly, without warning, his hands drop away and he steps back, eerily calm again. His hands smooth down the edges of his suit, and Molly is gasping for air, her eyes clenched shut as she tries to find some sort of calmness within herself again.
"How did you do it?" she hears him ask, and she opens her eyes once more. He's studying the fingernails on his left hand, not even looking at her.
"Do what?" she mumbles, making herself look at him.
He looks up at her and grins. "Get that silly little detective to fall in love with you, of course!" he exclaims, all smiles again. "I really thought he might love that scruffy sidekick of his, what with the way he came to his defense, but... bravo, Molly, bravo," he finishes, slowly clapping his hands together.
Molly crinkles her brow, tries to look confused (though she is, really; Sherlock doesn't love her, couldn't love her... or does he?). "Sherlock barely knows I exist," she says softly, and it's true, really. "He only sees me when he needs something, otherwise I'm just – furniture, to him. Like a desk."
Moriarty guffaws at this. "Ha! Like a desk. I like that, Molly, I like that comparison. Too bad we both know it's not true. Well, not true now, at least. Maybe before, before he jumped off that roof, when you would scurry to get him his coffee and scurry back, always waiting – hoping – praying – that he would notice you this time, that maybe that extra bit of perfume or that new haircut would get him to look at you in that way. But he never did, did he?"
"No," she whispers, shaking her head.
"No," he mocks her, copying her motion. "But then that changed, didn't it?" he continues, his tone mirthful. "It changed when you hid him in your flat, and the sparks flew and oh it was just perfect, a perfect little romance wasn't it, a story for the ages. I can see the bestsellers now: 'Homely Pathologist Woos Impossible Man of Her Dreams'."
Molly will not cry. She refuses to. She will not let him see her cry.
He moves closer to her now, his hands placed on either side of her knees, too close but not yet touching. Her skin crawls with his proximity to her, and she swallows down the bile that rises in her throat.
"How did it feel, Molly, when he kissed you?" he whispers into her ear, and she shivers as his breath tickles her earlobe. "How did it feel when he put his hands on you, when his fingers touched your skin, caressing you, rubbing you... how did it feel when he pressed himself against you, breathing hard and fast, wanting you like the way you wanted him."
Molly squeezes her eyes shut, her hands clutching at the sides of her face. "Please..." she begs him, not caring if that's what he wants, not caring is she is giving in. She only knows that she wants him to stop, to shut his mouth, to cease tormenting her like this.
She can feel him grinning at the side of her ear, silently triumphant.
"Well then," he says abruptly, pulling away and stepping over the door. "You must be tired from your trip here," he continues, gesturing to her current state. "Why don't you catch a little bit of sleep, Molly, and I'll be back in a little bit to check up on you," he tells her, winking.
"Ta-ta for now!" he exclaims with a flourish, disappearing out through the door. Molly stays frozen on her cot, caught somewhere between shock and horror and abject fear, trying to control the shaking that rocks her body, feeling desperately afraid and overwhelmingly alone.