A/N: I'm still supposed to be packing up my shiz and moving it to my new place. And yet, I find myself addicted to Sherlolly-writing. This is my first multichapter Sherlock. It's exciting and terrifying. I hope you like it. Let me know what you think!
The first time she sees him, they are in a lab. It's a school thing. Gifted kids from the not so great schools get the opportunity to go and use the equipment and the posher schools. She's basically a charity case. And my God how she wishes he would rattle her money tin.
"All rather exciting this, isn't it?"
Molly looks to her left, to see a round little boy, who barely looks fifteen. His cheeks are rosy, and with one podgy index finger he pushes his spectacles up his nose and blinks heavily.
"Yeah..." Molly says vaguely, her gaze falling back onto the older boy on the other side of the classroom. "Really exciting."
"You'll be joining our upper sixth class today. They're preparing for their A levels." The teacher, Mr Fitzwilliam, who is wearing a three piece suit that probably costs more than Molly's entire school, uses a tone which one would usually reserve for talking to small children. "Some of you might be lucky enough to sit these exams in three years' time, I'm told you've all shown yourselves to be rather bright sparks!"
The boy rolls his eyes, and even at a distance, Molly can see what a shining shade of crystal blue they are. She exhales slowly, and every cell in her body wants him to turn his head, just a few degrees, and lay eyes on her.
Mr Fitzwilliam is still talking, except now he is also scribbling on the board with chalk. The sixth formers all lean forward, scrawling notes intensely. All except for one.
She wonders what his smile is like.
"So then, if you're all ready to get started, we'll pair you off with our group, and you can work together. I expect you've never had equipment quite as advanced as this, but don't worry, I'm sure my class will be ever so helpful." Mr Fitzwilliam says the last three words pointedly, as though detention awaits if they're anything but the most helpful people on the planet. He looks to his clipboard, his eyes scanning down some sort of list, before he looks up at his class.
The boy turns his head at last, and Molly gets to see his face in full. His cheekbones are razor sharp, his face rather haughty, and he has a coldness to him that Molly can't help but find appealing. It's like he's made of ice, and quite frankly, Molly would let him sink her ship any day of the week.
Molly's teeth plunge into her lower lip. His voice is so deep, so mature. It's like he's some sort of Shakespearean actor, and Molly would quite happily listen to him all day long. She'd certainly let him get his tongue around her soliloquy.
"Where is your tie?"
It's only now that Molly notices the boy's open shirt collar. She can see the hollow of his neck, a small bare triangle of chest, and the edge of a collarbone. She swallows.
"The dog ate it."
"You do not have a dog."
"Oh," the boy, Holmes, says, an expression of mild surprise resting on his angular features. "Well it must have been the cat then."
A couple of the boys start to snigger. Mr Fitzwilliam opens his mouth, closes it, takes a steadying breath, and finally says, index finger raised, "Now look here, Holmes..."
"When were you planning on telling Miss Asanda that you're not actually going to leave your wife for her?" Holmes asks. The room falls deathly quiet, and Mr Fitzwilliam goes pale.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he says in a quiet voice, suddenly becoming very interested in his list. Holmes' tie remains unworn, and Molly can see it sticking out of the pocket of his blazer.
"Now then, let's see, let's see..." Mr Fitzwilliam has developed a rather croaky throat, and he's blinking rapidly, trying to focus on the list on his clipboard. "Roach?"
The round boy who had spoken to Molly raises his hand. "Yes sir?"
"You'll be working with Michael today, on the bench at the end there. Wave to him Michael."
A tall boy with an arched nose raises a hand lazily, and Roach hurries off to join him.
If there is a god, and Molly is willing to bet her entire Take That discography that there isn't, but if by some miracle there is, she would be very very very fucking grateful if she were -
"Hooper? Molly. Molly?"
Molly raises her hand, her lips pressed together nervously.
"Molly, you poor thing, our only lady here today and you're working with Holmes."
Molly vows to go to church every Sunday, religiously, even. She apologises to the most wondrous, most merciful, most absolutely bastarding brilliant God in the universe, and all the while has to refrain from jumping up and down and punching the air with joy. She approaches the bench where Holmes sits, and finally, he glances over. It lasts all but half a second, and then he looks away again. Bored.
Molly isn't phased. He probably assumes she's some stupid schoolgirl. She is a stupid schoolgirl really, but she hides it better than most. That's why she's here. That, and she knows a thing or two about science.
While the rest of groups are arranged, Molly quietly pulls out the stool next to Holmes and sits down, placing her bag under the desk. She is suddenly very conscious of how tight her tie feels around her neck, and how warm she feels with her blazer on. She slips it off, and hangs it on the back of the stool, careful not to stare at Holmes too much in the process. She's very aware of how close she is to him - she can smell him. The boy doesn't look like he's ever sprouted so much as a bit of bum fluff on his chin, and yet, he is wearing aftershave. Expensive aftershave. And not only that, but he has been careful in his application of it. Unlike the boys Molly knows, he hasn't chucked it all over himself, to mask the smell of B.O., he has applied it after a shower, and used it sparingly.
Molly's concentration is broken when a board is dumped onto her desk by Mr Fitzwilliam. Shortly after, a dead toad is slapped onto it.
"If you're going to faint would you be so kind as to do it outside. I really cannot abide hysterical teenage girls."
Molly's stomach drops. Of course. He's a wanker. She should have seen that one coming. Her jaw juts out stubbornly, and she snatches the dissection kit from Holmes' hands, pulls on a pair of rubber gloves, and picks up the scalpel.
"Oh we have a show off..." Holmes says lightly. "Then by all means, be my guest. Take the lead."
Molly doesn't wait a moment longer. She slides the shiny blade vertically along the abdomen of the toad, and pulls the skin apart to get a better view. Holmes is silent, and Molly proceeds to remove every single organ from the toad, all of them in perfect condition. On the other benches she can see chunks of liver and fragments of lung, but if she wanted, Molly could put everything back in the right place, stitch the toad up, and no one would ever have known he'd been emptied.
Molly pulls her gloves off and sets them on the bench. She turns to Holmes, and is surprised to find he is watching her. She'd have expected him to have grown bored by now, but he actually holds eye contact with her.
"Holmes, could you at least have let Miss Hooper have a turn for ten seconds?" Mr Fitzwilliam is standing in front of the bench, a resigned look on his face. "I know you like to have things a certain way, but this is a learning process. You get this every day, let her make the most of her opportunity."
"She did it."
"Miss Hooper, carried out the dissection single handedly. I didn't get a look in."
"This was all you?" Mr Fitzwilliam asks, his eyebrows shooting halfway up his forehead in surprise.
"Yes sir," Molly answers, dragging her eyes away from Holmes' perfect little patch of chest.
"It's a very advanced standard," he says, adjusting his glasses and leaning forward to peer at her handiwork. "Very advanced indeed. Have you done many dissections at school?"
"One, perhaps two. But never on a whole creature. Individual organs, hearts, livers, maybe eyes." Holmes is speaking quickly, and Molly's mouth is half open, her answer halted in her throat. "No, Miss Hooper has read many a book on anatomy. On autopsies in particular. She wants to be a pathologist when she leaves school, and, from what I've seen in the last ten minutes, there is no reason why she won't be."
Molly blinks. "I didn't tell you any of that."
"Holmes likes to think himself above the rest of us. He calls it deduction. I call it autism." Mr Fitzwilliam strides off to another bench, leaving Molly open mouthed. She turns back to Holmes, who has his hand outstretched.
She takes his hand and shakes it. "Molly Hooper," she says quietly. "How did you...?"
"It wasn't difficult," Sherlock says, and before she knows it, he's jabbering away, speaking so rapidly that her brain can barely keep up. He points out the Patricia Cornwell novel, the corner of which is peeping out of the opening of her satchel. An NHS careers leaflet is plucked from her pocket, and the circles drawn around the key subjects required for pathology are gestured at lazily before it is cast back at her. The knife, she learns, is far sharper than those she would find in a normal school, and yet she applied just the right amount of pressure - a knowledge she won't have gained from experience, but from knowing the theory of the process inside out.
When he finishes, Molly's hormones are raging, coursing through her like fire. She wants to slam him against the wall and get to know those full lips intimately, wants him to grip her tightly, so tightly it hurts. She wants to taste him, wants to see those cold eyes glaze over with desire, wants it to be like the movies, where the lights are dim and everything is perfect. She's sure though, if it came to it, she could deal with the harsh fluorescent strip lighting of the lab.
"My card," Sherlock says.
Molly takes the small business card balanced between his index and middle fingers, and inspects it.
"Sherlock Holmes...consulting detective...What, so you're like...a private detective?"
"In a manner of speaking."
Molly frowns. Normally, boys grow out of this sort of thing by the age of seven. And here Sherlock is at seventeen, still playing pretend.
"Get many cases?" Molly asks, humouring him.
"Mrs Fitzwilliam was my latest. She's already got an offer for the house. He doesn't know it yet though..."
Molly turns to look at Mr Fitzwilliam, who is wandering between the benches. He looks up, and notices both Sherlock and Molly watching him, and immediately looks away. His hand moves to his shirt collar, and his index finger tugs at it, trying to loosen it.
"Guilty as sin..." Sherlock murmurs.
Molly turns back to him. After all, he holds far more aesthetic appeal than Mr Fitzwilliam.
"You're amazing," she breathes.
Sherlock's lips twitch into a smirk.
"Keep that card safe, Molly. This will not be the last time we work together."
Molly's heart skips in her chest and she grins.
This detective will never need a warrant to search her. That, she is sure of.