A/N This isn't my first time writing Irene/Molly, though I admittedly haven't tried it in first person before, so this is all somewhat new. I know that this doesn't fit perfectly into canon, but it did occur to me- Irene said that she "knew what the recordkeeper liked," referring to whomever might keep track of bodies in the morgue. And who would that be? Miss Molly Hooper. I'm sure that the premise is a plot hole in and of itself, but I just thought it was a fun idea c: Also, this was originally supposed to be a full-blown smut scene, but I ended up cutting it off, since I've only ever written three sex scenes (and not a single one contained a female character, so...). I hope it still turned out well, in any case. Please review!
Rated T for sexual themes
Disclaimer I don't own Sherlock or any associated characters, events, etc.
SCARLET & AMBER
I wasn't expecting company that night. I didn't have a boyfriend anymore (Jim had… well, he'd been done with), and there were no platonic friends who had any reason to be visiting me. In fact, I was looking forward to a relatively relaxed evening—tea, dinner on the couch, maybe flip to the newest episode of Glee if I was in the mood. And I was in the mood, as long as it wasn't an emotionally taxing episode. My day had been long and rather exhausting, a blurred mess of hours filled to the brim with corpses. It would be nice to take a break, just for a night, pretend for once that I was a normal single woman whose job didn't concern chopping up dead bodies and avoiding the teary gazes of mourning relatives. And besides, it was Christmas tomorrow, the party at Sherlock's flat. I'd need to be well-rested for that… for seeing him.
These plans, however, were disrupted by a single, sharp knock on my door.
I looked up quickly from the cup of tea that I'd been stirring, a slight frown of confusion creasing my eyebrows. Rather undeniable was the twist in my stomach at the unexpected sound—I'd been jumping at the smallest things ever since he left. It wasn't a conscious thing, but learning that one's boyfriend was a criminal mastermind would do that to a girl. Once my racing heart managed to slow itself adequately, I took a slow breath and squared my shoulders. Be reasonable, Molly. It's probably just the man from the room downstairs. Maybe he wants to borrow the hoover again. Swallowing, I took the few steps towards the door, pulling a wide smile onto my face as I thrust it open.
I didn't expect to see a woman.
And certainly not the woman who stood there, the amazingly elegant, regal woman, in a short-sleeved, tight-fitting cream-colored dress, with her dark hair neatly pinned up and a slow smile teasing at the edges of her expertly made-up lips. Her eyes—pale eyes, I noticed with a jolt, crystal-colored, like a bluer version of Sherlock's—found mine, and her chin dipped down in a slow nod, a gesture intended for her own purposes alone.
"Molly Hooper," she murmured, her voice soft and purring. I blinked in surprise, my hand lingering on the doorknob. I was tempted to slam it in her face, but such a thing would be absurdly rude. There was next to no chance that she was working for Jim, after all. I was just paranoid, stupidly paranoid.
"Yes?" I replied instead, trying to keep my tone calm. "I'm sorry, but it's a bit late for callers—is there any chance that you could drop by tomorrow morning? I was just—"
"I'm afraid that my issues need to be attended to at this moment," she cut in, her voice like a steel blade wrapped in silk. Those ghostly eyes hardened for a second, and a chill slid down my spine. Maybe I'd let my guard down too soon.
"Of course… well… if it's urgent, would you like to come in?" I offered timidly.
"How kind of you to offer," she smirked in response, slipping past me with the grace of a dove. I stiffened, inexplicable gooseflesh rising on my bare arms where she brushed against them. I hesitated in the doorway for a minute, looking back and forth between her receding figure and the hallway outside. Finally, when my stillness had stretched on long enough to be awkward, I forced myself to close the door behind myself and hurry over to where she was gazing idly about the kitchen, arms folded.
"Would you mind… telling me who you are?"
"Irene Adler," she offered with a surprising ease, not meeting my eyes. I didn't recognize the name, but she could still be one of Jim's associates. For all I knew, the 'friends' he'd introduced me to during our brief time together didn't know the real him any better than me.
"Irene… Adler?" I repeated slowly.
"Surprised? I wouldn't expect a girl like you to know about a woman like me."
I couldn't help but bristle a little at the endearment—she didn't seem so much as a year older than me. But I bit back the indignant remarks rising in my mind, instead offering a small shrug. "I… I don't, honestly… would you mind… telling me who you are?"
"You don't know?" she asked, slowly turning her head to hold me in her frosty gaze. "Oh, but then this could be very fun, very fun indeed… if you don't know what to expect…"
"Look, Miss—Miss Adler," I stammered, feeling the beginnings of true anxiety. "I'd greatly appreciate your telling me… exactly what you're doing here… or else, if you could please leave my flat…"
"Irene Adler," she sighed again, turning to face me fully. "Dominatrix. I trust you know the definition of that particular label, Miss Hooper?"
I felt fire starting up in my cheeks, and opened my mouth to respond, but not finding the words with which to do so. I knew perfectly well what a dominatrix was, but not what one might be doing in my home, especially not… this late at night. I suddenly became vividly conscious of just how tight-fitting her garb was, just how slim her limbs and how finely-formed the bones of her face. Right now, the corners of her crimson lips were curling upwards, revealing edges of pearly white teeth that only increased the heat consuming my cheeks.
"Um, I… y-yes, I know what… what a dominatrix is," I finally managed to choke out. "But… that doesn't explain… what you're doing here, exactly, er…"
"So nervous," she cooed, rolling her eyes in an exaggeratedly exasperated gesture. "Molly, dear, I urge that you become as comfortable with me as possible. In fact… that might be rather mandatory, considering what we have ahead of us tonight." She had an alarmingly casual air about her, like a butcher rolling up his sleeves before going in for the cut.
"No," I found myself arguing, shaking my head back and forth quickly. My hair, in a high ponytail as usual, tickled the back of my neck with the hasty gesture. "No, I'm sorry, but I need you to leave now… I don't appreciate strangers in my house… I'll call the police," I added desperately when she only shook her head, a slow, calm motion.
"But I don't mean you any harm," she objected coolly, shifting one scarlet-nailed hand to her smoothly curved hip. "Quite the opposite, in fact. I need your assistance, Miss Molly Hooper, and I'm willing to offer something for it."
"What… what are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about Sherlock Holmes."
The name caused every bit of blood inside my veins to freeze solid. I gaped openly, unable to retain any semblance of calmness. "Sh-Sherlock?" I couldn't possibly imagine what a dominatrix would have to do with Sherlock, of all people. He… wasn't the type. At least, I hadn't thought so. But the thought of not having known that much about him… of such a large detail of his personality escaping me… it was difficult to comprehend, rather alarming.
"Yes. Sherlock," she repeated amiably, turning to stare at her own perfect reflection in the mirror-like silver surface of my refrigerator. She frowned critically, raising a hand and slightly adjusting her already flawless bun of sleek hair. "He and I… well, let's just say that I've made some mistakes with him. He's more… involved with me than either of us ever wanted, I believe, and I need to clear the record."
"…What?" I couldn't quite keep the blank confusion out of my voice.
She was silent for a moment, assessing my tone, then I saw a look of amused realization settle over the reflection of her face. "Oh, Molly, darling. You think that he and I…? No, no, no, unfortunately not. Was that a bit of jealousy I heard in that lovely voice?"
Choosing to ignore her selection of adjective, I simply shrugged, even knowing that she couldn't see me. "I… well… he's… you know."
"Mm, yes, of course. No, nothing like that. He didn't get any of what gives me my name… you, though… you're a different story, Miss Hooper," she half-laughed. "As I said, I'd like to start afresh. But that means that I need to disappear for a while… as I'm sure you know, that's not the easiest thing to do with Sherlock around. Which is where you come in."
"Yes, you silly girl. You're the mortician at St Bart's. A body is going to show up there tomorrow night, Molly, and it's going to look like me. I'm going to be perfectly fine myself, of course, but… I'm sure they're going to want to perform all matter of ridiculous DNA tests, and since that happens to be your job… would it be too much to ask… if you were to put in a little lie, confirm that the corpse you receive is indeed the tragically late Irene Adler?"
"If you mean—if you want me to do something illegal," I stuttered, trying to grasp the confusing layout of the half-explained situation and my hypothetical role in it, "I can't. I'm sorry, but I just… I can't."
"And that's where the convincing comes in," Irene murmured, whisking around once more. Now we were standing about two yards away from each other, both postures unnaturally straight, her eyes gleaming with an eerie sort of anticipation and my throat dry with terror. "I'd offer you money, but… money is boring, isn't it? You aren't used to the type of payment I'm about to offer, Ms. Hooper, but I do believe you'll enjoy it all the more for that reason."
"What… what are you…?"
"Don't be so thick," she breathed, taking a step closer. I mirrored her action, moving backwards. She continued advancing, and I retreating, until I found myself backed up against a wall. My breath was beginning to come extremely fast, lungs pumping in and out as my eyes darted up and down her slender figure. When I stopped moving, so did she, but the distance between us was still smaller than it had been previously. "I'm a dominatrix, as I'm sure we've established," she went on as though nothing had interrupted her words. "I'm good at a number of things, but my real… talent is… inducing pleasure."
"That's not talent." Of course, that would be me—Molly Hooper, ever the feminist, badmouthing casual sex even in times like this. "It's just… looks. Body shape…" My lips slipped over the uncomfortable words, and I felt more self-conscious than I could remember being in my life. "It's nothing to be proud of. Nothing that you have to work at to develop. Nothing to do with… talent."
"You'll be singing a different tune soon enough, darling," Irene shot back, a rougher edge creeping into her voice. I bit back a whimper, gauging my distance from the phone, wondering if I could lunge for it and call the police. The words involved in such a conversation as I'd have with an officer dashed across my mind—There's a woman in my flat and she's threatening to shag me so that I'll comply to helping her fake her death to the man I'm in love with—and I would have laughed if the situation hadn't been the farthest possible thing from humorous.
"I'm sorry," I whispered, "but I'm really not—you're talking to the wrong woman, I'm… I'm not… into that sort of thing… please, just leave me in peace."
"And will you do what I want then?"
I was tempted to lie, but knew that such a decision would be unwise, even pathetic. So I shook my head honestly, unable to look at her any longer. My eyes flickered to the ground instead, the pearly white tile that my cat loved sliding around on so much. Where was Toby now? Hiding, probably. He wasn't fond of house guests, and they were rare enough that he didn't have a problem with disappearing for the few rare hours when a person was spending time here.
"Then I'm afraid I don't have a choice," she declared, not a trace of regret showing in any aspect of her being.
My words were cut off as she swooped in closer, and before I could get out another word or even syllable, she was cupping my face in her pale, long-fingered hands, tilting it sideways and sliding her lips in against mine. It was an amazingly smooth, practiced motion, and not a delayed one—before I could so much as begin to come to terms with the fact that I was being kissed, she had managed to work her tongue in, and I couldn't deny that the sensation was far from unpleasant. I might even have let a tiny whimper slip out of me as my spine rubbed against the hard surface of the wall behind me. Everything about her was cool—her attitude, her breath, her lips, her hands. One of her legs brushed up against mine, and I suddenly realized that I wasn't fighting at all—that I didn't want to fight. Because this wasn't a bad thing. She was offering me this, offering me this happiness for free, and even if it wasn't the relaxation that I had been hoping for tonight, it still couldn't be all too bed. Besides, my mind was muddled by the growing ferocity of her kisses. Irene seemed to be rather impatient, and I couldn't deny that such a thing flattered me. Her leg brushed against mine, knee lifted to tease against my inner thigh, and a tiny gasp was elicited from my parted lips as the action lit a small flare inside of me. My fingers, splayed against the wall behind me, clawed suddenly, and I heard Irene's low chuckle as she moved one hand from my jaw, shifting it to my hip instead and flicking up the thin cotton of my shirt, pressing a nail against the skin below.
"S-stop," I moaned softly, but we both knew that I only wanted her to go on, and she did, easily. Suddenly, in a swift, strong motion, she gripped me by the shoulders and whipped me around. I yelped in surprise for a moment before blinking and finding us in reversed positions, her standing where I had been instants before, and me in her place. Her eyes were wide open, watching me intently. I stared back, myriad chills running down every inch of my skin.
"Do you really want me to stop, now?" she asked in a bare whisper, the words touching my lips as one of her fingers stroked my cheek steadily. "Answer me honestly, Molly darling… do you really not want this?"
I locked gazes with her, both of our chests heaving. The world seemed to be spinning around us, and the thought of the quiet night I'd been planning suddenly seemed remarkably, unimaginably dull. I swallowed heavily once more, guessing that I'd probably regret my actions in the morning, but truly not caring.
"Bedroom's that way," I told her breathlessly, tilting my head towards the hallway leading out of the kitchen.
Grinning fully for the first time, Irene took me by the wrists, and I found myself being led down the hall, which grew progressively darker as we moved farther and farther away from the only light source, back in the room we had abandoned. Disjointed, fragmented thoughts were racing back and forth across my mind, half of them along the lines of what the hell do you think you're doing and the others more like can we possibly go a bit faster, here? Soon enough, though, she was pushing open the door to my room, and then I felt her weight give out before me. Moments later, I was on the bed as well, could feel her still-clothed body underneath me as she took hold of my head and pulled it in for another kiss. I could barely savor her taste, though, before she was rearing up, moving to the top and pinning me down, against the pillows. Black spots swam before my eyes as she attacked me, moving her mouth down to bite at my jaw and neck as her hands slipped under my shirt and gripped my bra strap. I groaned lowly, feeling only her heat above me and the softness of the blankets and pillows below. After multiple minutes of this, she pulled back, and I blinked stars out of my vision, managing to focus on her face hovering in the air above me. Her hair had fallen loose of its former neat state, disorderly strands hanging down, brushing against her chin and cheeks and tickling my forehead.
"Keep going," I begged, alarmed at how weak my voice was, but not particularly caring. I just wanted her again, wanted her kissing me again.
"Slow and steady wins the race," she replied tauntingly, and I keened slightly in protest, shaking my head.
"Don't… don't," I begged, shaking my head back and forth as she began to luxuriously and very slowly unzip the back of her dress. It was a gradual, gradual motion, and every bit of me was flaming, desperate for it to be completed.
"Oh, but I need to… this is such a lovely gown, I wouldn't want it to go to waste." Her sultry whisper permeated the air, adding another whole layer of teasing to it. A heavy breath leaked from my lips, and I couldn't ignore the eager throbbing inside of me as she finally slithered out of her clothes, now wearing only a rather revealing bra, as far as I could see—from the waist down, she was swathed in darkness.
"Please," I gasped.
"Of course, love," she murmured, and fell onto me again, smirking as the lovely torture commenced.
She was gone by the time I woke up the next morning.
I didn't realize it at first. Didn't realize or even remember so much of anything. In fact, my day started in a general sort of haze, the type of awakening when I'd surface slowly, hardly recalling a thing about my identity until my surroundings began to assemble. And when they did come together, those surroundings were unusual enough to provoke a slight stir of panic in my previously calm chest—I was unclothed, in a twisted mess of sheets, with most of the pillows on the ground around me. I forced myself to take a slow, calming breath, reeling, trying to recall what could have possibly caused this.
Then it struck me.
I lay back with a slow moan, lifting a hand and massaging my temples. She was gone now, very much gone… had I really done that, though? Had I really… let her do that to me? And not just let; I had asked her to, begged her to, in the end… just traces of memories of last night's pleasure caused my stomach to turn, and I suddenly found myself wanting that bliss back, instead of this cold, bitter reality of morning, of a messy room and work ahead and—damn, the Christmas party tonight.
Hissing with frustration, I straightened up. I kept my eyes closed, still taking steady breaths, trying to organize my thoughts. My alarm clock had woken me up—in fact, it was still beeping obnoxiously, and I reached over, slamming a hand down to turn it off. I had half a mind to simply sink back into the pillows and slip off to sleep again, but I couldn't do that. Instead, I forced myself to swing my legs out of bed, to stand and stumble into the bathroom.
It was a good idea to shower, a relaxing one, and by the time I stepped out of the steamy jets of water, I felt quite a bit more relaxed. Wrapping a towel around my body, I found myself wondering for the first time just where Irene had gone. Was this what she did—just abandon her… clients after their time was over? I still had my half of the promise to hold up. Did she expect me to honestly do it? Even though it would leave me feeling awfully disloyal, there was nothing to prevent me from letting it go and still denying that the promised-to-arrive corpse belonged to her at all. She wouldn't… punish me, would she?
And if she were to… what sort of thing does she consider punishment, I wonder…?
Giving my head a sharp jerk to dislodge such thoughts, I traipsed into the kitchen, streams of hot water from my dripping hair leaving a trail of light puddles behind me.
The answer was waiting for me on the counter, in the form of a small, scarlet-wrapped package.
I reached out for it without thinking, some useless part of my brain cataloguing the fact that the paper was the exact hue of her lipstick from the previous night. A plain, folded piece of printer paper sat atop it, my name written on it in slim, curved handwriting—Miss Molly Hooper. Hands shaking, I slowly unfolded it, my eyes scanning the words.
Thank you for an immensely enjoyable night. I'd say that I look forward to seeing you again, but I doubt we will be seeing each other again—ever. Your pretty little memory will have to suffice. Of course, I expect that you haven't forgotten the conditions of our arrangement last evening, and that you'll still proclaim me dead when my duplicate body appears at the hospital tonight. And speaking of tonight, I happen to know that you have plans to attend a Christmas party at the flat of Sherlock Holmes. If it wouldn't be too much of a bother, dear, I'd appreciate your dropping off this little package. Just setting it on the mantelpiece will do fine. It's nothing big, merely a little token for the dashing detective to remember me by. I greatly appreciate your help.
I took a slow breath, staring blankly at the paper in my hands, then slowly looking up to the box sitting in front of me. I knew right then and there that I'd never open it. I didn't want to know what was inside, what could possibly be a relic of a memory shared by Sherlock and Irene. Jealousy, as she would have said.
It wasn't jealousy of her, though.
Some part of me, some silly, pathetic, and yet entirely undeniable little part of me, wanted Irene Adler to be mine.
But it was a ridiculous concept, so I didn't let it come to full realization, instead throwing her letter—her last words to me—into the trash bin on my way to the sink, to pour myself a glass of water and take a long, steady drink, erasing last night from my veins.
I'd deliver the parcel just as she'd requested, and then I'd say that her false body matched her DNA records. There was no reason for me to betray her trust.
And after that, I'd be done. Because I was done. Irene Adler had been an experiment, a venture, and even if it had been an amazing one, I was leaving it behind now. Returning to my life as quiet, mousy Molly Hooper.
I was never anything special to Irene. There was no reason that she should have to be special to me.
Still, I can't deny the fact that I never quite forgot her.