Got impatient with the title poll.
Decided to go with a title that has the same initials as the previous story to make it easy.
First off, before we begin (and before I forget)…
Why the nose?
Because Jim told Molly hers was cute on her blog when they first started talking before 'The Great Game' episode.
I should have said that ages ago.
And why June 16? (shoulda done this yesterday…grr…)
Because of John's blog. Google it since I can't post links.
Idk about the weather in London, but they were all wearing heavy coats.
(They shot the episode in the cold early spring though, so that may be why.)
And that's why I killed my whole family with toothpicks.
Just trying to see if anyone pays any attention to these things.
Here, now I'm going to tell you why I'm nervous.
The thing is…
We all know that whenever Series Three finally airs that 'The Mouse and the Spider' is going to be even more un-canon than it already is, as will this impending sequel.
We also all know that the creators like to trick people.
So I'm getting that sinking feeling that either Molly's gonna end up being dark!Molly the whole time just to screw with us and Sherlock 'needed' her to confront her about working for Moriarty…
…or that we're going to learn (by implication, only, of course) how deeply in love Jim and dear Sebastian were and how he wants revenge against Sherlock for the death of his 'good friend'.
Because from a writer's perspective it looks like they're keeping their options open with the Molly character.
And while Moffat and Gatiss maybe besties but the other writers for the show and supplementary online material don't seem to be communicating.
I attribute dialogue inconsistencies ("I ended it") to this rather than to lies told by character—although they were quite convenient to work into my story.
It always bothered me Jim being 'changeable' walking away like that and then coming right back. I know he's supposed to be "insane" but...it didn't really make sense.
That's why I gave him an older brother, also to match with Sherlock and also since Doyle was kind of inconsistent himself sometimes…
(And definitely not to solve the pesky MorMor problem at all.)
My family's alive, of course, by the way. Still reading?
Time to read.
Molly Hooper had never been good with people.
She was shy, awkward and uncomfortable with fellow (living) humans.
She preferred solitude—but only because it was better than the shame and rejection that came with socialization.
It was why she chose to work down in the basement morgue of St. Bartholomew's hospital.
It was cold, dimly-lit and full of the dead.
Just the kind of place normal people would avoid.
Molly was safe there.
Because Molly Hooper had never been good with people.
And people had never been good with Molly Hooper.
Death had surrounded her since childhood.
She was used to it.
It was a natural part of life, she understood (just like everyone understood), but it was also a natural part of life to recoil from it.
Molly'd never seen the point of that.
She knew it would chase her no matter where she ran, find her no matter where she hid.
And that's why she didn't dare become a doctor and risking causing it for others (or being unable to stop it as she always had).
No, instead she cared for the dead.
And she never was hurt that they didn't care back.
After all, she was used to that, too.
What Molly wasn't used to, was life.
Molly as she attempted to stop the blood seeping in tune to the steady and slow beats of the heart, from the back of Jim's skull.
She knew what to do, to stop bleeding (just apply pressure)…she'd just never done it before (on somebody's head, somebody almost dead).
Jim was unconscious and Molly didn't know when—or even if—he'd wake up again.
But at least he was alive, at least he was alive…
And the first thing Jim saw when he awoke was Molly.
It was a kind of poetic (cliché—yet completely appropriate) thing to say that her face in soft-focus and sharp light, looked like an angel floating above him through his struggling to open and dilated eyes.
He didn't say it, though.
He didn't even think it, either, for more than the smallest of seconds and it was but a single string in his tightly knotted, totally tangled mind.
Jim was still more than half asleep when he finally managed to open his eyes, squinting up at the figure (Molly) beside (and above) him.
"I'm alive." He said.
He would have explained (if he were in his 'right mind' (as if he ever had such a thing)) that he knew this because there was no way he'd be in Heaven if he'd died.
And he knew this wasn't Hell (wherever he was—he did not yet know) because Hell would be a lot warmer.
"Yes you are." Molly confirmed.
Jim tried to sit up but found he couldn't move.
This is when he realized that he also couldn't feel anything—physically at least.
There wasn't even a tingling or numbness to his body.
It was if it just wasn't there.
(Maybe he had died, after all. Maybe he was just a ghost…)
"Where am I?" Jim asked.
"The morgue." Molly answered.
But of course, Jim had answered his own question before the words had even formed in Molly's mouth.
He felt the cool metal table beneath him, he recognized that ceiling and the frigid air of the room—as well as the most important piece of 'equipment' in the morgue Molly Hooper.
"But I am alive." Jim smiled—or tried too. He couldn't feel his face and so he didn't know if he had been successful in his attempt at a facial expression.
"Yes you are." Molly repeated.
She smiled down at him—forced and hesitantly—and so Jim guessed he had.
She wasn't happy.
But neither was he.
He was supposed to be dead.
"What happened?" Jim demanded.
He would've shouted if he could.
"Sherlock committed suicide." Molly declared.
"I know that." Jim exclaimed, "Why's everything always got to be about him? I meant what happened to me!"
"You?" Molly snapped, with a false and bitter laugh, "You got what you wanted. Sherlock Holmes is dead—"
"But I'm still alive!" Jim interrupted, "How did that happen? I shot myself—"
"Yes you did." Molly agreed, "…with a lighter."
Jim opened his mouth to speak closed it and then opened it again. His eyes widened.
…or, at least, that's what he assumed must have occurred on his face as he could not actually feel it.
"…what…?" he finally asked.
"You didn't have a real gun." Molly told him, "It was just lighter. It belonged—"
"To the cabbie?" Jim inquired, "I know. I knew all about that little trick old Mr. Hope liked to pull. But do you honestly think I don't know what a real gun looks like? I do. I'm very experienced with guns, Molly—took a course online once—and that gun I had was a real. Got it from my own brother and I even test-fired it to make sure James didn't try any 'funny business' with me."
"He knew you would do that." Molly stated, "And he also knew you weren't going to shoot Sherlock with the gun you asked him for like you told him you would. He knew you were going to try to kill yourself—"
"It was a real gun. I know when I've got the real thing in my hands. There's just a certain feel to it. Now, darling, I know you've probably never held a gun before in your life but—"
"Really, now? And when was that? The detective inspector pull out his and let you hold it?"
Jim stared up at Molly's expressionless face as it started to twist into a genuine and triumphant smile.
"It was this morning." Molly said, "When I switched the real gun with the fake."
"That was a lighter." He dismissed, "I was out for what, four-maybe five hours—"
"Three." Molly corrected, "Almost four. It's been three hours and forty minutes since you 'died'?"
" 'Died'?" Jim repeated, hoping that his eyebrow had risen the way he'd wanted it to.
"I determined Richard Brook's time of death to be exactly twelve this afternoon." Molly informed.
"And how, exactly, did I die from shooting myself with a cigarette lighter?" Jim questioned, "And don't tell me it was lung cancer."
Molly took a breath, brows furrowing as her brain searched for the proper explanation.
"…well…" she began, "Your brother can probably explain this better than I can, you see, it's not my area of science—"
"Just tell me already!" Jim demanded, "Tell me why I'm still alive!"
"Do you remember that…um…chemical mixture you used?" Molly asked, "The spray that knocked out the guard posted inside the Tower of London?"
"…yes…" Jim nodded (or attempted to nod), beginning to put 'two and two together', "It was Sherlock's idea, actually. He once took down a CIA agent like that. It's just his secret recipe. A simple magic potion mixed up from everyday cleaning supplies you can find in your own home…Are you trying to say you poisoned me, Molly?"
"I didn't poison you." Molly replied, "Your brother did. I just switched the guns. And it was all nonlethal, anyway—well obviously it was since you're here and you're fine—"
"I am not 'fine'!" Jim shouted, "I shouldn't be 'fine'! I should be dead! I need to be dead!"
"Jim, don't say that—" Molly tried but was quickly cut-off.
"How could you do this to me, Molly?" Jim roared, "How could you leave me alive with nothing to live for? Sherlock is dead!... I should be dead! We should be dead! Me and Sherlock, Sherlock and I! Dead together! I can't live like this, I just can't!"
Molly gaped at Jim, stepping backwards away from him and his outburst.
He was there on the cold gray table, face contorting in all the motions and emotions that his body couldn't move to demonstrate, a helpless and hopeless child.
His shouts them quieted to sobs.
"I'm nothing without him, nothing…" Jim continued, "I can't live without Sherlock, I can't live without Sherlock Holmes …I'm empty…I'm empty…"
And Molly said nothing—she was unable to speak.
She just stood there, staring in absolute horror at the Jim Moriarty she saw before her.
James had told her to expect anger (which is why he had recommended she use a paralytic on Jim) but not this.
Dramatic as it was, Molly then realized that Jim wasn't pretending.
He was serious.
And he was crying.
Only a very, very little…
…but the tears (and they were tears) were there, glinting like dying stars (super novas) in his already reddened (already deadened) eyes.
"…I—I'm sorry—" Molly heard herself say, the instinctual response to these kind of situations, the habit she had tried so hard to break.
She didn't know whether to go towards him or back further away and so she was frozen in place.
Their eyes met.
Jim and Molly stared at each other for an endless, brief moment and when the tiny tear had fled down from the black hole of Jim's eye, dried up and disappeared, Jim finally spoke.
"…yes…" he sighed, with a smile as he closed his eyes, "I suppose you will be..."
Life in the morgue was what it was (that is to say life in the morgue was the oxymoron that it was).
How else could one feel dead but the absence of all feeling?
Jim had already been…hollow inside and now his 'interior' lack of emotion matched his exterior numb.
His body now matched his mind.
Jim Moriarty was dead.
And he should have been, too.
…Just like Sherlock Holmes…
Jim didn't know how Molly managed to keep everyone away from her workroom, to keep everybody from seeing, from knowing.
(Maybe they did see, but they just didn't observe. Maybe they did know, but they just didn't care.)
His first night in the cold room Molly had been polite enough to tuck all the other, actually dead bodies into their drawers to sleep, leaving Jim on the table.
She'd turned off all the lights and locked the doors.
Jim was meant to think she had gone home for the night but he knew Molly too well to believe that.
The cautious, jumpy (paranoid) girl would be in the next room, curled up against the door to the one he was in, using her labcoat as a blanket as she slept.
In the morning it would be stained and wrinkled.
Now Jim was awake again.
He still couldn't move.
And neither could his new 'friend' on the table next to him that had been wheeled in by Molly a few hours ago while he'd pretended to be asleep.
His new 'friend' wasn't pretending.
Jim couldn't see the man's (the body's) eyes but he was sure that Molly had shut them out of 'respect' (and out of politeness to Jim because if she got a little…unnerved by the open eyes of the dead, even after years of working with corpse, he must too(—not that Jim worked with corpses for years. It was only ever minutes at a time)).
Jim was going to have a little chat with his new 'friend' now, so as to 'unnerve' Molly when she returned.
Jim was supposed to, of course, be playing dead.
When Molly had left him, he'd been playing asleep. She'd believed it.
They weren't yet on 'speaking terms'.
Molly was still 'unnerved' by his words yesterday, unsure of how and what to say to Jim not and Jim just really had nothing to say to Molly at all.
She shouldn't have interfered in his Game with Sherlock.
And that was that.
Once he could move again, oh, she would definitely be 'sorry'.
All the things she'd ever been afraid of him doing to her (and all the things she'd never be brilliant enough to think of) he would do.
And Jim was sure Molly knew this, too.
That was probably why she had stuck a syringe into his neck early that morning when she'd thought he was a sleep.
Just because he couldn't feel it, didn't mean he didn't know exactly what was going on here.
This was all James doing, too.
But Jim didn't have to worry about James anymore.
No doubt Mycroft was already 'taking care' of him soon, as per their agreement…
Sir, Sherlock Holmes jumped off the roof as planned.
That means that -1 just attempted suicide. You know what to do.
By the time Moran had carried the body—unconscious, not dead—of Jim down to the morgue, James and Molly were already there.
She hadn't expected the blood.
Moran, as gently as he could, set the limp Jim down on the empty (recently sterilized as well—Molly must have just cleaned up in preparation) metal table.
Instantly Molly ran towards it, reaching for Jim.
"Don't." Moran warned, although he stood on the other side of the table his words halted her.
"You wouldn't want to get your nice white labcoat dirty." James added, with a short smile that Molly didn't see as she had her back turned to him.
"Is he—"Molly started.
She stared down at Jim.
His eyes were open, but saw nothing. He looked dead. And Molly knew what dead looked like.
"He's alive." Moran stated, lifting Jim's wrist (a faint—but steady—pulse) in demonstration.
"…but the blood…" Molly murmured, she looked up at Moran.
"He must have cracked his skull when he fell." He guessed.
He then walked away from her, Jim and the table, over to where James stood by the door.
Molly's gaze followed him as he went until she was looking at James.
"You told me he wouldn't get hurt." She said, as emotionlessly as possible, trying to match the calmness and coldness of the room—and everyone else in it.
"I told you he wouldn't die." James corrected, with a shrug, "You know that to save someone you sometimes must hurt them."
"Not like this!" Molly countered, she looked back over at Jim quickly then back to James and Moran who looked back at her with blank faces, "He could have permanent damage. He could still…"
"All you asked me to do was help you save his life." James reminded, "I did that."
"But he's—he's bleeding!" Molly cried.
She didn't understand how James had no reaction to this situation. Why would he have even bothered to help her if he didn't care?
"He's alive." James said.
He turned to go, Moran turned to follow him.
"Wait!" Molly called after them and they stopped but didn't turn back around, "You're just going to leave him like that? He's your brother! Don't you care?"
"Not anymore." James replied.
"He's your problem now." Moran added.
And then they were gone.
Molly doubted that she'd ever see either of them again.
She turned away from the now empty doorway, back over to Jim still unconscious on the gray table, staring up at her with a smile on his face.
She closed his eyes.
"I've left the breadcrumbs all over this city…now it's up to you to follow them." Jim had said.
And Mycroft had listened.
Anthea was just reviewing security footage from St. Bartholomew's…
(Sherlock stays over night in a lab. He goes to the roof the next morning. No cameras on the roof. No cameras outside. The dead body of Sherlock Holmes is brought inside on a stretcher by various hospital personnel. Cameras in the morgue disabled on Mycroft's orders.)
…after Sherlock Holmes's 'death', when she saw where this 'trail of breadcrumbs' led.
Quickly, she showed her employer the still on her smartphone.
James Moriarty 'just happened' to be walking through the halls of the hospital the day Sherlock and Jim both 'died'.
There was only momentary flash of surprise in his eyes at the 'coincidence'.
And then, Mycroft laughed.
It was a short laugh, though, disbelieving and all-knowing at the same time as he shook his head at himself and one of the very few times in his life that he'd ever felt stupid.
"Sherlock's still alive, isn't he?" is how Jim finally decided to 'break the ice' with Molly and start talking to her again.
She jumped a little at his words and if he'd asked her why she'd swear it was because hearing his voice after such a long silence had startled her—not his question.
She had been examining the body of some unidentified man who'd been shot dead on the street for no apparent by a sniper.
Jim was still lying (still paralyzed) on her old table, able only to turn his head to look over at her.
Molly looked up at him.
"No." she denied, shaking her head, "He's not. Sherlock is dead."
Her face was deliberately, strugglingly expressionless.
"I don't believe you…" Jim crooned.
"There's no way Sherlock could have survived a fall like that." Molly stated, restarting her work again and preoccupying her gaze with the open corpse below her rather than the live body on the next table, "Nobody could."
"You forget that Sherlock's no 'mere mortal'—"
"Yes, he is—or, was. Just like me. Just like you."
"Then he had help… Just like me."
Molly paused, tool in dead skin, holding her breath but not glancing up at Jim.
"I knew it…I knew it…Sherlock is alive. I can feel it. Maybe my staying alive isn't so bad after all…"
"Sherlock is dead."
"Then why aren't you crying your pretty little eyes out, Molly? Sherlock was your friend, wasn't he? That means something to you even if it doesn't to him. He's gone and you didn't save him. No, you only saved me. You said you wouldn't choose between us, you wouldn't pick a side…So either you changed your mind or Sherlock's still alive."
Molly set down her scalpel and looked up and over towards Jim who'd been watching her work all morning with lazy and intense eyes.
"I tried to help Sherlock. I didn't tell you that before...but you knew. I knew you knew because you always know. But Sherlock didn't want my help. I told you, he figured out what was going on between us. He doesn't—he didn't trust me…and maybe if he had, he'd still be alive."
The purpose on her face (comprised of a furrowed brow and insistent, unblinking stare) was sincere enough to satisfy Jim…for now.
(But what that 'purpose' truly was Jim did not yet know.)
However, it really wasn't Molly's honesty that mattered—it was Sherlock Holmes.
Molly should have realized this.
She should have realized this because she, like Jim, understood that Sherlock and Jim weren't meant to be apart (although they had interpreted this meaning differently (Molly wanting Jim and Sherlock to both be alive—Jim wanting them both dead)).
So if Molly had decided to 'take the initiative' (stick her nose into other people's business) and keep him alive she sure as hell better have kept Sherlock alive, too…that is, if she wanted to keep herself alive.
"You know…" Jim began, his voice falsely casual and full of promise, "I didn't really mean it, what I said before about making you sorry. You know I'd never hurt you. I'd never even dream of it—okay, well, maybe I have 'dreamed' of it, hurting you… Seeing your blood, hearing your screams, smelling your fear…feeling it, tasting it…" (There was an artfully timed pause in which Jim sighed and closed his eyes deliberately, musingly…and Molly kept her breath from catching by swallowing.) "…but I'd never actually do it. Not to you, Molly, never to you…"
He watched Molly's face (her body now as frozen as his was) try not contort as she tried to decipher the reason for his statement.
He was lying, wasn't he?
Of course he was.
He must have been.
But did he think she'd think he was lying?
Did he want her to think he was lying?
Did he want her to think he wanted her to think he was lying?
The multiple possibilities churned round and round through Molly's mind like mice running on exercise wheels.
He loved to watch as she tried to figure him out (not knowing, of course, that he wasn't even able to do that himself).
She always ended up more confused and more afraid than she'd started.
And maybe that was what was fascinating to Jim about Molly Hooper.
It's not that she stayed around (with) him because she was afraid him and she just loved the thrill—No. She stayed around (with) him even though she was afraid of him and didn't even know why.
Jim didn't know why, either.
And every time he'd try to figure it out, he'd end up more confused (and more afraid—no!) than he'd started.
…but then she smirked, too.
It was unnatural and unpracticed on her face. It was unbecoming and unnerving and Jim didn't like it.
"No, you won't." Molly confirmed, "You won't hurt me. You can't hurt me. You can't move."
"You can't trap like this forever." Jim scoffed, "Sooner or later someone'll figure out you've got me doped up down here in the morgue. And depending on who that someone is, we'll both end up either in prison…or dead."
"I know that." Molly conceded, "I'm not stupid. I have a plan."
"A work of pure genius, I'm sure." Jim dismissed, "But do you honestly expect me to just go merrily along with your little 'plan'?"
"…you…you won't have a choice." Molly declared, trying to laugh haughtily but laughing nervously instead.
Jim snickered up to the ceiling for an uncomfortably (for Molly) amount of time before finally stopping to wheeze still amused sighs.
He turned back to face Molly.
She was getting pretty good at showing no emotion (no fear) but Jim was more than pretty good at reading people.
"Kidnapping isn't your thing, love." Jim told Molly, "Stick to dead people. You'll find they're much easier to work with and don't normally cause trouble…Live people, on the other hand, always, always do."
"Not if they can't move." Molly reminded.
And Jim laughed at that, too.
"You'd be surprised…" he mused, "Words can kill a person just as well as any weapon-better even, much cleaner. They're dangerous things, my dear... just ask Sherlock Holmes."
Molly had to agree with this.
It was only a day after Sherlock's 'suicide' but every single media outlet was already defaming the famous consulting detective (—now, the infamous fraud).
And so she said nothing—she was unable to speak.
"Besides," Jim continued upon her silence, "I could cut you open and tear out your insides, just like you're doing to that man there, with just my words. I could hurt you…if I wanted to."
"You already have…" Molly whispered, down at the corpse on the other table.
And Jim should have laughed, should have scoffed and snorted, should have said something.
But he didn't.
Instead he just stared.
Both of them were motionless (him involuntarily—her…well, it was sort of 'involuntary' as well, but for a different, nonphysical reason. The kind of penalization resulting from not knowing where to go or what to do and being so afraid) for a long, silent moment.
Finally, Molly moved to look up at the clock on the wall.
Jim stretched his neck to follow her gaze but didn't have the range of motion to see what she was looking at…
…or did he?
So involved in the conversation, Jim hadn't noticed the tingle starting to make its faint and tentative journey through his paralyzed body.
Now he did.
It was like the tiny crackles of a dead flame, only embers but all too easy to fan back into a roaring flame.
"Time for your medicine." Molly chirped.
Leaving her gloves behind with the corpse and the scalpel, Molly stepped around the second metal table in the room and went over to her favorite patient.
From her labcoat, she pulled out the syringe.
Jim couldn't move as she injected him again (for the third time…or had there been more?) with whatever mystery drug (the same one she'd used on him before at the hotel? no. that one had knocked him out.) she'd 'burrowed' from the hospital.
One day, Jim decided, after he'd built up a tolerance to this 'medicine' he'd snatch the syringe right out of Molly's unsuspecting hands and jam it into her neck (a lot less carefully as she'd done to him).
Then when she was paralyzed he'd store her in the fridges with the rest of the bodies where she'd either freeze or suffocate (or maybe even starve) to death…
Jim could—would do better than that.
He'd paralyze her then put her up on her own table where they'd have so much fun playing 'operation'.
No, no, no…
Jim knew neither of those ideas (or any of the ones not 'good' enough to mention) would work.
The drug didn't just paralyze, it numbed.
And Jim wanted Molly to hurt.
To hurt for saving his life when he'd so wanted to die and finally be at peace…
As Jim felt—or didn't feel—the nothingness retake him again and kill the tingling he realized that next time he killed himself he'd have to kill Molly, too.
Short, I know...
...but so was the first chapter of the old one.
Maybe the next one'll be longer...idk...maybe they'll all be short lol.
I'm warning you all now, though, this story is not a happy one and there is not going to be happy ending.
No one will die, though(-no one that counts, at least).
So is life going to be worth living for the characters, for this story, if it's not exactly happy?
I'm sure the reviews (or lack thereof) will decide that.
And speaking of reviews...