A/N: You're supposed to be writing, you say, but what is this a one-shot in honour of Potix? Why, you ask? Well, I've decided that since I've got so many lovely reviewers, that in honour of you sitting down writing the lovely reviews; every time I hit a number like example 100, or 150 – the 100th reviewer or 150th can prompt me to make a one-shot of their own choosing (I'll give word if you're not aware of it). Potix my lucky 200th gave me a one word prompt "perfume". Onwards!
His mother had a drop of lavender in her perfume that wafted around her constantly, precisely put on her pulse, which when they were what he believed happy surrounded his father, until he finally smelled something unfamiliar. This made him finally spot the details that he'd ignored by sheer want.
There were many scents and smells in life, he was aware that his sense of smell was more heightened than others, but that was because he could separate them from each other, break them down to the original source – flowers, ground, blood, tears and obscure spices.
John was cheap aftershave and a store-bought deodorant for one pound. Otherwise he often smelled of ordinary soap and some herbal essence shampoo a past girlfriend had neglected in their bathroom.
Mrs Hudson was an old bottle of Chanel number five, a remnant from her late husband, which she stored in the fridge for it to be kept in tact, and that he occasionally refilled because he knew she wouldn't buy a new one - sentiment on her part. Besides the dreadful lemon-scented softener she used on everything, including the Mr Clean products that she liked to utilize occasionally, even in his flat.
Lestrade would occasionally smell of cigarettes, when personal life or work became too much of a strain, which was quite often, when he thought of it – though Lestrade tried to hide it underneath his personal products, albeit poorly.
His brother Mycroft had over-priced aftershave and cologne, that matched his well cut suits, and place in the government. Though the stench of brandy would occasionally hang about him.
Then there were other ordinary people, stupid ones who'd over-use any scent, causing him to flinch if forced into the tube, or in crowds where all manner of fragrances would blend into a dreadful concoction.
Molly Hooper however wore a sweetened flowery scented perfume, mingled with vanilla soap, and a tint of death. Unsurprising considering her occupation, not the easiest scent to rub off exactly. Throughout the years he could note what room she occupied, by a slight sniff into the air in the hallways of Bart's.
Her signature scent always hung around, cheery and bright contrasting the dark alluring scent of the deceased Irene Adler.
It wasn't all too surprising when Molly's recognisable odour swiftly reverted; to something much more intoxicating that he was caught off guard. He couldn't decipher it, she still had her soap, and death clung around her, but whatever perfume she was wearing was not obviously childish in its conception. It was fruitful, fresh, almost tangible in the air, but did not cling. Every exit she took, she carried it away with her, making him wonder why she'd changed from her regular scent.
She of all people shouldn't have enticing scents, that spread itself upon him, wafting its way through him, causing him to want to halt her in her work to –
"Is there something wrong?" she asked looking at him, while she was finishing off her paperwork, hiding them away in binders.
He narrowed his eyes immediately, trying to distract her from his sudden rise in colour shifting slightly in the stool, which he occupied by the microscope, "No," he replied tersely, hoping her enquiries would end there.
"Oh – ok," she said with a smile, though her brows her furrowed. Her hands were wrapped around her folders, and he could see that she was trying to understand his supposed odd behaviour.
He wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary, barely shifting from his regular routine, when he took to Bart's during the case-less periods to shift his boredom, but she must have noted his overstaying.
"Sherlock?" she said with her brown eyes still on him, as she bit her lip, and he felt himself taking a deep breath, trying to pretend that he was huffing over her fuzzing over him, "Just wondering…"
There were a million things she could say; she could ask him if he wanted another cup of coffee, since he'd neglected the last one she brought him, or give him some interesting things to view through the microscope, or maybe she'd revisit the idea of asking him out on an actual coffee without reapplying her lipstick.
"-But you seem worried lately, you're not – Jim hasn't returned, or something, has he?" she finished.
Certainly not coffee, then, and he couldn't exactly brush these worries off, as easily, "No, our dear Jim will not resurrect."
He didn't meet her eye at that, and he could sense she noticed that too – for she moved closer, standing right besides him now, almost mimicking his behaviour of closing in on her.
"Ok," she said, but she didn't seem at all to mean it, for her gaze hadn't turned away, and she was certainly not moving towards the door. Instead, she was just closer, her scent overwhelming him in ways previously unknown.
He noted that there was a hint of perspiration on her part, or maybe it was himself. He gave her a brief look with his steely blue gaze, hoping she'd move away at that, but she kept her stance even though.
A scathing comment; about her weight, of her having liaisons with Moriarty would have made her shuffled out quicker than he could say coffee, so he relented to his own empowered curiosity, "Molly – you've changed your perfume. Why have you changed your perfume? The last one was pleasant, this one -," and he made a silly grimace, which made her blink at him.
"I have?" she said her eyelids flickering, as she seemed properly confused.
"Yes," he said feeling the words vibrating in the room.
Her answer was quick though, not insulted and not fearful, even a hint of a smile on her lips, "No, I haven't."
"What is the scent you're wearing now, then?" he said with a raised brow, looking at her fully, taking in how her nails were digging into the folder, as if she was just figuring something out – when it turned ever so bemused again.
"I'm not-," she started, and he found himself mentally sighing when he relayed the rest of her reply, "Wearing any," he said barely audible, hadn't it been for her proximity she wouldn't have noticed it.
He pressed his lips together, his brows knitted, as he took in her face, which looked worried at him.
Molly proceeded to touch his elbow.
She never touched his elbow, or anything – ever. Her hands were small upon his arm, as he suddenly felt bigger than usual – aware of her petite form.
"Are you sure you're okay?" she said not releasing him, just staring at him with a face filled with worry and care. One of the few he knew who could catch up on the small nuances in his face, and she had all reason to be worried, for he was too himself.
He couldn't quite understand it, as he glanced briefly towards where her hands were, which she too noticed - before he returned to her brown eyes.
"Yes," he said with a brief smile, hoping that would convince her, and she released his elbow.
Relief pouring into him, as she started to walk away, except a dreadful ache appeared, as her steps were towards the door, and without thinking, he muttered, "Pheromones."
She wheeled around at the spot, "Sorry?" she said gaping at him slightly.
She of all people knew what pheromones meant, which he knew, and was probably why he said it, "Nothing," he said quickly, giving her another grimace, before rolling his eyes, as if she'd uttered it herself.
"You said pheromones," she said taking a step towards him, clearly not backing down.
"Your perfume," he said.
"But I'm not-,"
"The one nature gave you, Molly," he said taking to clear his throat slightly, avoiding her gaze entirely, and almost half-fidgeting.
This was one of the hapless moments he wished John was there to be the silent third-party, to make Molly disappear, and to make him not act out like he wanted to – where he clearly was heading -,"Oh, right, well – ok," she said with a brief nod and smile, but she wasn't moving.
He had taken to stand now, hoping he'd think more clearly that way, but obviously the day had been too long – her scent still lingered there, with her, "Did you forget to put on your perfume?" he asked, as casually as he could, which sounded more like a demand than anything.
She flinched a bit, taking to biting her lip again, as she slid a strand of loose hair behind her ear, "I just grew tired of it."
"Ah," he said with a quick smile, hand leaning on the counter, as he faced her properly.
"Right," she said with a frown.
"It's a good scent," he said seeing that she coloured.
"Thank – you…Sherlock."
"Don't change it," he bit back, eyes turned downwards again, as his fingers stretched out on the counter.
"I won't – it's as you say my own, like yours, I suppose," she said and she went wide-eyed at that, but she did not hurry to apologise as usual.
"Mine?" he said smirking now, as he raised a brow.
"Yours – is – it's good – err – you know," she said bearing her files as a shield in front of her now.
"Is it?" he said slowly tilting his head to the side amused.
He might change everything if he voiced out what he wanted to, despite the feeble protests his mind tried to enunciate, "How does it make you feel?" he murmured rather slowly.
"What?" she said clearly startled, and he edged even closer to her, towering over her, as he usually did, though never like this.
"Answer the question," he said trying to stay calm, as his pulse quickened – his nerve rising.
"Nice – I suppose – yes, nice."
"Nice?" he repeated, and she seemed to be frowning up at him, but she still held her ground.
"Do you ever wonder how I taste – Molly?" The flush in her cheeks deepened, her knuckles turning white, as her fingers were tightly clinging to the folders. Her pupils visibly dilated, as her mouth was open in shock.
He did not think, which in turn did not make him hesitate, as he pulled her towards him, head bent down, meeting her soft supple lips, that tasted, like she smelled – sweet honey at twilight, her hair tangled in his fingertips, as her hands soon pulled at his dress jacket causing the folders to tumble towards the floor in a heap of paper.
He held the back of her head, pulling her closer to him, as he soon had her back pressed upon the counter, lifting her up on top of it, while his lips stayed on her mouth. Her mouth that yielded to him so easily, the fine flavours of her sinking into him deeper, as he heard her moan deeply against him.
He was standing between her legs that were clutched around his waist with such fervour that made him feel the burn of his own existence melt away easily to the taste of her.
He took a step back, leaving her sitting with her widened eyes and mouth still on top of the counter – he swallowed, taking a deep breath, before licking his lips that still had the sweet essence of her on them, "Rather good, don't you think-," he said hurriedly scrambling for his coat, which he tore on, until he slowly wrapped his scarf around his neck.
He could hear her releasing a breath shakily, and he turned ever so slightly, his eyes sparkling, "I'll see you later, then."
"Later?" she said with a dazed expression.
"Yes – later," he said, escaping the lab, feeling the suppressed tremors in his body come forwards. Yes, definitively later. Her shift wasn't entirely over yet.