She was surprised it took him that long to figure it out. She expected a genius like him to notice long ago how she forgets to breathe sometimes. He'd never touched her before, but most people expected a morgue employee to be pale and cold. Maybe that's why he overlooked the obvious.
"Recent developments in artificial heart technology have proven it's possible to survive without a pulse, but those instances are still rare and you haven't had surgery anytime in the last five years." Sherlock's voice was infuriatingly calm, but she saw in his eyes the thrill of the hunt, the uncovering of a new mystery worth exploring. He pulled off his black gloves, dropped them in his pocket and curled his fingers around her wrist. He leaned in to speak softly in her ear.
"Which leads to the question: what are you, Molly Hooper?"
They sat on stools in the lab after Mike and his students cleared out. She tried to explain to him about the night when she was twenty, walking home to her dad's house a little drunk, and about the blur of motion that was suddenly a man shoving her against a brick wall. She hesitated, swallowed hard, and pushed forward, explaining about the man gnawing at her neck until she thought she would die. Sherlock listened dispassionately, nodding occasionally while Molly fiddled with the hem of her white coat.
"Well, I'd better be going." He stood, drawing his gloves out and tugging them back on.
"That's it?" Molly's voice came out unnaturally loud.
Sherlock was startled. She relished the look of mild surprise in his gaze.
"What did you expect- for me to start whittling stakes? Last year alone, over nineteen thousand new species were discovered on the planet. Your situation is… interesting. Warrants further study, certainly. I imagine you've done so here, looked for explanations for your elevated metabolism, your pallor, how a body can retain freshness and yet be dead by medical standards. But you aren't dead, Molly. Therefore some redefinition of life must be considered."
"Oh. Um, alright." Molly chewed on her bottom lip, and felt a dawning hope. "You're not going to say anything to anyone? I don't hurt anyone. I chose pathology so I wouldn't be tempted by living blood. Not very often anyway," she said sheepishly. She felt the urge to make a joke about some bodies being only "mostly dead," a la The Princess Bride, but she suspected it would go over the detective's head.
"I deduced as much." Sherlock strode toward the door. "I may have further questions."
"That's fine. Great," she called out cheerfully. The words were barely out of her mouth before the door slammed behind him.
She had expected everything to change dramatically with her Great Revelation, the way it did in the movies or on that TV show with the psychic waitress, but Molly Hooper's life continued on as though nothing had happened. Sherlock showed up periodically, demanded body parts and access to corpses from interesting murders.
He never mentioned her condition, but he watched her in a new way. She had felt stripped to the bone by Sherlock Holmes countless times, but now when he looked, she knew he was actually seeing her. He saw the sharp-eyed hunter in white, not the awkward loner girl disguise she'd worn for so long it had become the truth.
But they didn't talk about it at all during his visits. He did text her late one night, asking about symptoms of exposure to sunlight and UV radiation in particular in her kind. She replied, "Same as normal humans. I do have tapeta lucida in my eyes now which is neat." She peered into the mirror in her loo, turned off the overhead light, and grinned at the eerie eyeshine that reflected back at her.
The eyeshine could be inconvenient when she was out at night but she was never afraid to walk down the street after getting a pint with her coworkers. The comforting poke of her canine teeth against her tongue was a reminder of what she was capable of doing to save herself.
Sherlock was intrigued, she knew, but he was treading lightly, his brusqueness mellowed into almost sullen silence. Molly smiled to herself, feeling beneath the everyday normalcy of their interactions the unspoken shift in everything.
She munched on the crisps while sitting at her desk, plugging away at the backlog of paperwork that needed to be sent out.
Sherlock hovered over a corpse, inspecting the bruising pattern he'd inflicted his riding crop. Without looking up, he spoke.
"Why do you eat?"
Molly shrugged. "I like food. And people think it's weird if we never eat."
"I don't." Sherlock looked up at her and frowned.
"Well you're different. You think weird is normal." A dimple formed deep in her cheek. He looked lovely that day, his curls bouncing on his forehead as he moved around the body.
His head turned back to the corpse. "Normal is dull."
After a month of them quietly dancing around the truth of Molly, he finally came to her and asked the questions she had expected him to ask the first day.
He rushed into the morgue at 2am, his curls wild and sticking up. Molly smiled; he was wearing her favorite shirt of his, a sapphire blue one that was ruthlessly snug. He never buttoned it completely, letting his throat show between the flipped up collars of his long coat.
A stream of questions poured from him.
"What is it like, drinking blood? Does it taste the same as when you were human and would suck a papercut? Have your taste buds been altered? Is there a euphoric effect?" She could see Sherlock's mind racing to gather data. His normally pale cheeks were dotted with spots of color, and his eyes glittered green-blue. "Is blood entirely absorbed by your digestive system or is it only partly broken down and the rest passed through? Has your muscular strength increased at all? If so, does it continue to increase the longer you live? Does not drinking blood cause you to lose-"
Molly pressed her palm across his mouth, and laughed. Her brown eyes glowed with amusement. Sherlock was shocked into silence, his full lips still against her fingers. His eyes narrowed at her and he reached up to automatically remove her hand from his face.
She tightened her strong grip and raised her eyebrows. "If you want to know, you have to let me do it in my way. Okay?"
He covered her hand with his, his large fingers curling around the ones she had pressed over his mouth. He tugged futilely and then nodded with resignation.
She dropped her hand, and Sherlock licked his lips. "Yes, tell me. I couldn't get sufficient information from the hair sample-"
"What hair sample?" Molly's eyes widened. "Where did you get my hair?"
"From the brush in your purse," he said impatiently. "The molecular structure was odd, but it didn't explain anything about metabolism. And it naturally wouldn't explain about taste, et cetera. Do it your way. But I need to know."
She smiled gently. "I understand. I was curious too back when it began. It took so long to figure out what was happening. But Sherlock, if you want to know, I need something in return."
"What?" Understanding lit in his brilliant eyes. "Ah yes. I should have anticipated that. An ideal response to the questions would necessitate a fresh sample of blood." A faint wry grin touched his mouth. "And you have always liked my neck."
If she'd had a full belly of blood in her, she would have blushed.
The morgue was deserted at that time of tight, but Molly was paranoid about housekeeping wandering around Barts. She led him to the walk-in storage closet, hanging her lab coat up neatly on the hook behind the door. She held out her hand for his coat, and he shrugged it off, passing it over. She covered her coat with his, and turned back to him uncertainly.
He unbuttoned his shirt entirely and handed that over to her as well. "Blood is hell to get out." She hung it up with the coats.
She had dreamed about what he looked like under his tailored shirts and jackets, but nothing compared to the reality. He was lean all over, the muscles of his chest and belly firm. Light gingery hair covered his chest, and the cords of his throat were made to be kissed and nibbled.
The hunger rose up in her. It was similar to the simple lust she felt for Sherlock on a regular basis, but now there was a piercing need. She carefully placed her hands over his collarbone and he settled his hands on her hips.
Molly looked up at him, unsure of how to bite someone she knew. It's like being a virgin back at uni again, she thought ruefully.
Sherlock tipped her chin up to him, and brushed his thumb over her lips. The tip of his finger slipped between her lips as she parted them, and he stroked the sharpening canine teeth with the pad of his thumb.
"Fascinating." His thumb rubbed the extending points, pressing harder until he was pricked, drops of blood welling and spilling onto her lips.
"Sherlock," she breathed, yanking his thumb from her mouth and dragging him down to her. She sank her teeth into his throat, breaking through the skin with one precise bite. She felt him flinch, but he didn't struggle or try to pull away.
Molly worked at the flesh between her teeth, sucking and licking. She gulped him, swallowing down the salty, coppery taste of his body and locking one arm around his shoulders to keep him imprisoned against her. The other hand roamed between them, fingers threading through the soft hair on his chest and skimming over his nipples. He was sensitive there, shivering when she dragged her nails over him, and groaning into her hair. Her other hand relinquished the hold on his shoulders and traveled up to slide through his hair. She licked at the marks, her tongue tracing the rough edge of the cut, and kissing around the indents and wounds she left.
Sherlock's arms wrapped tighter around her, his long fingers massaging at her scalp while she drank him in. He was gasping, and she heard a choked moan that sounded like her name. His right hand dropped to cradle her arse, squeezing between his thighs, until his hard cock was pushing into her belly. They moved together, her taking everything she needed from his throat and him holding on, letting her lead.
After an eternity, that was probably more like ten minutes, Molly reluctantly pulled back from Sherlock. She sighed and smiled shyly. She nicked her fingertip on her tooth, and smeared her blood over the wounds on his throat. It wasn't until he was completely healed that Molly could bring herself to look him in the eye.
He was completely undone. His eyes burned an electric shade of blue that she had only seen once before, when he identified the killer of a man while the murderer stood over her husband's body in the morgue. The woman had pulled a taser from her purse and tried to attack Sherlock, but been restrained by him and John at once.
"Are you..alright? I tried not to take too much. Your heartbeat sounds strong, your breathing is normal."
"Yes, you are precise as ever. I'm…fine." He shook his head, and reached up to rub at his neck. "Next time you do that, I'll need to bring a mirror to observe the regeneration effect of your blood."
"Oh that's a good idea. Next time…?"
He ignored her question and grabbed his shirt and coat from the hook. He dressed quickly, turned away but Molly saw him adjust his trousers beneath the enveloping fabric of his overcoat.
"Data, have things to process." He waved his hand, distracted in thought, and walked back into the main room. Molly trailed behind, not sure of the etiquette.
"I'll be in touch when I need more information," Sherlock said briskly without looking at her, and exited the morgue.
"Call me," Molly said faintly, knowing he wouldn't hear her. He hadn't even asked how he tasted. She didn't know if she'd ever be able to explain it, but she would give him whatever answers he asked for.
He texted her a series of questions the next day. She responded promptly. They didn't discuss the way his body responded to her mouth and fingers, and Molly didn't pursue him for a "next time."
She knew he would come to her when he had parsed the sensory information, broken it down into useful molecules, the way her body took apart blood and fueled her. She wanted more, wanted to sink her teeth into his throat again with him settled between her thighs, rocking together until feeding and sex were one, but it had to be his decision. She wouldn't impose the greater risk of infection on anyone, not even someone she wanted so badly it ached.
As it turned out, it took him two days to turn up on the doorstep of her flat. She was about to hop in the shower to get ready for work when the doorbell rang.
Without a word, she pushed the dressing gown from her shoulders and let it pool around her feet.
Take, she pleaded silently with her eyes meeting his. Take what I can give you.
She let go of him long enough to call Barts to tell them she was having a sick day.
He sprawled on his back on her narrow bed, trousers and shirt tossed to the floor as fast as Molly could manage.
When she had dreamed of him making love to her in her flat, she'd pictured a slow seduction, his shrewd eyes inspecting her and deducing her flesh head-to-toe.
Now she shoved him in her hunger, and locked her knees around his hips before leaning in to take his mouth. Their tongues met tentatively at first and then surely, twisting and flicking against one another. Sherlock's hands slid up her torso to cup her breasts, his thumbs teasing her nipples the way she had stroked him. She was hypersensitive since being changed, and nearly fell off his lap when he slithered a hand down between her legs to test her wetness.
She laughed, and he raised one eyebrow.
"It's fine, just be careful." She sat up on him, and covered his hand between her legs with her fingers, guiding him and showing him how to pleasure her. It was a strange and heady experience, Sherlock letting himself be led and instructed. Two long fingers slid inside her while he thumbed her clitoris and she rocked and shook, while he watched curiously.
"Sherlock, I need…" she gasped, and he understood. He worked her harder with his hand and pulled himself up higher to give her better access to his throat. Molly came whimpering, and lashed out for his throat before her sex was done shaking around his fingers.
Sherlock sank back into the mattress, taking her with him. She lapped at the fresh wound in his neck and sighed happily. He stroked her back lazily, though the hardness of his cock was urgent against her core. There was a tense stillness in his body; he was resisting the mellow high that came from being fed on, in order to observe intelligently the process.
Molly lifted her head when she was full, and wiped her lips. "Erm, did you have any questions while the data is fresh?"
Sherlock looked at her with amusement. "Are you done feeding?"
Without replying, he flipped them over so Molly was lying beneath him. She squealed in laughter, but let him manipulate her body. He rolled her over onto her stomach and then tugged her hips up until she was on her hands and knees.
"It's not like drugs." His cool voice was quiet, but his hands roamed between her legs, stroking her overly sensitive clit from behind while he ruminated. "Addiction. Euphoria. I wondered if it was like that. And it is a little, but not. This feels…clear." He smoothed his hands down her back now, tracing the bumps of her spine. "Honest." He bent and kissed the soft skin of her lower back.
Sherlock shifted his knees back and positioned himself, one hand sliding back between her thighs to widen them. "More."
Molly opened for him, lifting her hips and arse, and resting her cheek on her arm.
He rocked into her wetness, his hips slapping against her arse until he fell apart, coming hard with hissed curses and moans on his lips. When he came back to himself, he found he was curled around Molly Hooper, their legs tangled and her lips pressed chastely against his.
"What are you, Molly Hooper?"
"Same as I always was, Sherlock. Yours. And you're mine."
"That's not an answer."
"I know. We'll sort it out."
"Your body is so warm now."
"So is yours."
"Obviously. Can you draw actual heat from someone?"
"Seems like it. You're very warm too."
"No one ever thought so before."
"I always did."