Still working on "In The Next Room," but I had this rolling around in my head and had to get it out. Enjoy!

"Serial killer, John!" Sherlock cheered as he burst through the double doors of the pathology lab. "Isn't it brilliant!"

"Brilliant," John echoed. "Brilliant that four young women are dead, yes, that's exactly what I'd call it."

"Haven't had one of these for ages," Sherlock pointedly ignored the wet blanket being dragged after him, settling at his microscope. "And one with a precise preference, too, that's exceedingly delightful. Similar looks, all drugged with benzodiazepines, and disposed of at pitifully chosen hiding places. Only pattern so far, but give me one hour and no doubt that will cease to be true."

"Sherlock, the bodies were clean," John pointed out. "They literally found nothing but the drug from the autopsies."

"That was the others," Sherlock said, beginning to prep the petri dishes he would be needing, already plotting his line of attack for the tests he would run. "They weren't Molly Hooper. She has the latest body."

John pulled his lips into a thin line of concentration, his brow furrowing. Not much had been revealed to him as to the details of Sherlock's faked suicide when it came to the pathologist. All he knew was that gone were the days of a stuttering, blushing Molly and a manipulative Sherlock. Suddenly, they were equals. He was, of course, as much of an arrogant dick as he was to John or Lestrade, but that was the point, really. She'd been upgraded and John was desperate to know why.

Sherlock finally noticed his silence.

"What?" he demanded.

"You trust her an awful lot."

"Oh for – John, get your head out of your sentimental ass and pay attention to the case."

Their summons into the morgue only served to prove Sherlock's point. Molly almost excitedly directed them to the body, confusing them both by flipping off the lights before hurrying back to their side. She reached for a lamp clipped to the edge of the autopsy table and flicked it on. Black light flooded the body.

"Here, on her hand," she said as she lifted the woman's right wrist. Sherlock and John leaned in. "It's a stamp."

"A stamp?" John queried.

"They use them at nightclubs, lets the bartenders know you've been carded," she explained as she replaced the woman's hand. "Or let's you jump the queue if you pop out for a smoke or something."

"Question is, which club is it from?" John posited. "And did the others go too?"

"Dunno," she shrugged. "I don't frequent those places."

Sherlock hummed his disagreement, his eyebrows rising briefly in doubt. She shot him a look.

"What?" she asked defiantly.

"Nothing," he brushed her off. John watched the exchange with interest and when Sherlock caught his look, the detective narrowed his eyes and became preoccupied with the body. He leaned over the table and took a solid inventory of every detail. Suddenly, his nose wrinkled and he paused. He leaned closer and took a good whiff.

"You noticed it too?" Molly asked, her fingers entwining as she watched him.


"Noticed what?" John asked, looking between the two of them.

"How long has she been dead?" Sherlock inquired as he straightened up and looked at Molly.

"Eight to ten hours."

"Sorry, noticed what?" John tried again.

"Short enough time for it to linger…" Sherlock furrowed his brow. He clasped his hands firmly behind his back as he announced, "I need their clothes."

"All of them?" Molly verified.

"All." Sherlock gave her a perfunctory smile before turning on his heel and striding out of the room.

Molly gave John a 'what can you do?' look and shrugged, grabbing her clipboard before heading in the opposite direction, leaving John perplexed. He looked in the direction Sherlock had gone, then back to the body, leaning over slightly and trying fruitlessly to assess what it was the man had smelled.

Two hours later, Sherlock was inverting and mixing what seemed to John like the hundredth test tube. He'd said nothing directly for over an hour, simply muttering every once in a while or holding out a hand and expecting the doctor to magically know what it was he was supposed to hand over. Lots of specimen dishes were involved and a good deal of scraping bits of who knew what from the victims' clothing, most of which consisted of party dresses, black leggings, and slinky tops. Sherlock dutifully sniffed each article of clothing, causing John to wince in discomfort. Something weird about smelling clothes of the murdered. Molly popped in and out with the various articles of clothing wrapped in evidence bags, glancing over Sherlock's shoulder from time to time to look at his test results. She also informed them that a second look at the other autopsy reports revealed the same faded blacklight stamp.

Finally, Sherlock's phone chirped with a text. John waited only a moment before realizing the detective would not be answering it himself. With a heavy sigh, he grabbed the phone off the counter and read the text.

"From Lestrade," he informed Sherlock. "They found out which club uses that particular stamp."

No answer.

"So… we go to the club, yes? Try to, you know, root out the bad guy?"

"Naturally," Sherlock finally spoke. John nodded, squaring his shoulders.

"S'pose a change of clothes is in order, then," he said, looking down at his beige knit jumper.

"Nothing you own would be a drastic enough change to be helpful, I need a more conducive outfit for the setting for undercover work if we're to lure our killer," Sherlock explained. He looked up in time to see John's scandalized face. He scrunched his face in annoyance. "Oh for God's sake, John, not you! You're not the type at all!"

"Then who - "

They turned simultaneously as the door to the lab door whooshed open, Molly entering with her back to them to keep the door open, her hands stacked with the autopsy reports from the other victims for Sherlock to look over. She stopped short when she turned and saw both men staring at her.

"Ah! Molly. Thank you for those," Sherlock said cheerily as he gave her a smile.

"What do you want?" she asked with dread.

"Can't I just - "

"No. What do you want?"

Molly ducked into her flat, dropping her bag in the small entry and leaving the door open for Sherlock and John to follow. Sherlock had been in her flat briefly while he geared up for the huge task of taking down Moriarty's network after The Jump. It had been awkward and angsty and he had been distracted beyond belief, so much so that she may as well not have been there at all at times. Still, the gratefulness he had shown had been obvious, for Sherlock standards.

She hovered in the doorway to her room, indicating the couch on the opposite wall of her living room.

"Sit yourself down," she told them, hesitating once more before leaving them alone. She glanced at Sherlock. "Oh, and, please don't rearrange my DVDs again."

"They make no sense the way they are," he muttered, ignoring the pleading look she gave him as well as the one of curiosity John had.

"It's my system, Sherlock," she said firmly as she disappeared into the bedroom and shut the door.

Why had she been so blessed with features similar to those of the women murdered over the last two weeks? She honestly had no idea what made her so malleable to his requests these days. She'd long ago resigned her hopes of having him notice her as anything more than a pathetically enamored woman. The trade off was, surprisingly, a bit of respect from him. She knew she was probably one of only a few people in the world to ever look at him and see beyond what he displayed to the rest of those around him and ever since then he had treated her as something more. That was most likely why she was currently looking for the most alluring outfit in her wardrobe – he trusted her as part of his team.

There wasn't much looking involved when it came to picking an outfit. There were realistically only two options and one of them should have been burned in her fireplace the second after she ripped it off on Christmas Eve. It would not do to walk out in that dress. She sighed as she realized that only left one option.

It was one of those outfits one buys with the thought that someday, perhaps, one would be invited to a place where a bit of sex was called for in attire. And, as always happens with those purchases, the occasion never rose. Until now.

Molly set to work changing her appearance from frumpy pathologist to nightclub knockout. Despite her usual appearance, she really did know how to work a makeover. It was simply a lack of opportunity that set her back most of the time. This was as good a time as any to pull out all the stops.

Sherlock paced in the living room, hands restless behind his back. He glanced at the clock again. Based on the pattern of the first three murders, they had a small window of opportunity to show up at the club their killer used to choose his victims, get him to reveal himself, and call in Lestrade once they were successful. If only his bait would hurry up…

"What is taking so long?" he demanded. John looked up from the yoga magazine he had been reading on the couch.

"She's a woman, Sherlock," he explained simply. "They take a long time when it comes to things like this."

"Why? It's a bit of makeup, an outfit and shoes, not the bloody coronation," he huffed in frustration. John cleared his throat and returned his attention to the magazine.

"Seen you take a fair bit of time in the morning yourself," he retorted.

Sherlock leveled a glare at him and opened his mouth to respond when the opening of Molly's bedroom door stopped him.

"Jesus," John exclaimed, magazine rapidly forgotten.

If Sherlock had recovered his ability to talk more quickly, he was fairly certain his own assessment would have been quite similar. As it was, all he could do was stare at Molly Hooper standing like a fish out of water, body hugged by an impossibly tight dress. Teal mini skirt with slanting lines of fabric, black sleeveless top with a deep v-neck. Black stiletto heels. Smoky eye makeup and rose lips. Hair swept away from her face in a slight tease. She gave him a nervous smile.

"Will this do?" she asked innocently.

Sherlock cleared his throat, pulling himself back into control.

"Yes," he said simply. He then turned and marched toward the door. "We're losing time."

John had the presence of mind to help Molly with her peacoat, waiting for her as she locked her door before joining Sherlock in waiting for a taxi.

The look they received from the bouncer was somewhat less than strange, though Sherlock couldn't be bothered to care. Seeing as they were with Molly, they were let in without comment and a hand stamp each. Once inside, she leaned into him and he could smell the heady aroma of her perfume – magnolia and sandalwood.

"What do I do?" she asked, attempting to be discrete despite the roar of the music and people.

"Go to the bar," he instructed her. "Appear alone and vulnerable. He wants someone without strings."

He and John watched as she made her way over to the long and crowded bar, ordering a drink that Sherlock could tell was only a soda tonic, and perching herself attractively on the barstool to observe the crowd. John nudged his side and indicated two barstools that had opened up at the corner, far enough from Molly that they could observe discretely. John had insisted on stopping at 221B for a change of clothes and between his grey t-shirt and jeans and Sherlock finding the room too hot for his coat and scarf, leaving him in a dark blue button down, they almost blended in.

"What's your choice, mate?" the bartender asked John.

"Whiskey sour," he said. The bartender nodded.

"And your friend?"

They were met with silence from Sherlock. His mind was elsewhere. John gave the man an apologetic smile.

"Nothing, thanks."

Sherlock strained to keep an eye on Molly while simultaneously watching for signs that the killer could be honing in on another victim. The flashing lights from the dance floor, the shifting throngs of people at the bar, and the smoke from cigarettes all made for less than ideal visuals. After a few minutes, the crowd managed to part near her seat. It took him a moment to absorb the sight of a tall, blonde man with a sanguine complexion in his early thirties leaning into her side, a hand stretched behind her possessively to rest on the bar. She toyed with the straw in her drink, smiling coyly as he whispered something in her ear.

Disturbingly, Sherlock felt heat rise in his chest as he watched the man place a hand atop Molly's knee. His eyes locked onto her, not willing for anything to let her out of his sight.

After a minute or so, the man asked her something and she nodded, placing the drink on the bar and following Ruddy Cheeks out onto the dance floor.

It was primal. That was Sherlock's only explanation for the feeling the enveloped him as he watched Molly move lithely, rhythmically to the base heavy music resounding in the room, her hips swaying hypnotically to the beat. He could admit that even he was subject to basal instincts from time to time. Simply biology.

What was less easy to explain away was the strong itching he had to walk over and start a row with Ruddy Cheeks without bothering to wait to see if he was their suspect. The way he was touching her hips was reason enough, apparently.

He felt his mouth go somewhat dry as he watched Molly's hand trail up Ruddy Cheek's chest, dipping her fingers into his shirt pocket and extracting a packet of cigarettes. She flipped the top open, tipped it just enough, and let her teeth grip the loosed white stick, pulling it slowly from the packet. His lips involuntarily parted as her eyes darted in his direction, her own drawn back in a neat smirk as old Red lit her up. Her eyes stayed locked on his as she took a long drag on the cigarette, replacing the packet in the shirt pocket.

He swallowed hard, trying to trick his brain into ignorance as to the tightening sensation he felt low in his belly.

A quick glance at John revealed the other man wrapped up in as much fascination with the pathologist. Any signs worthy of notice on Sherlock's part had gone unseen.

As the current song merged with a new beat, Molly leaned in and said something to her dance partner, his hand dipping too far back on her hips for Sherlock's liking. The couple left the dance floor and wandered back to the bar, Ruddy grabbing the bartender's attention to order them a set of drinks. They chatted for a few minutes, the man sipping eagerly at his drink and Molly swirling the straw in hers. He pointed at something in the far side of the room and she turned to follow his hand, the top of her dress sliding just enough to allow a glimpse of cleavage.


John's voice interrupted his train of thought. Completely derailed, actually. He hummed his acknowledgement of John's speaking.

"Sherlock, he just slipped something into her drink," John continued, worry in voice. "D'you think that might be a good sign he's our man?"

"Of course it's him," Sherlock said passively. "Knew it the moment I saw him."

"The moment… how - "

"His cigarettes," Sherlock explained. He rolled his eyes at the quizzical look from John. How did anyone function with this level of observation, really? "For God's sake, John, the ash. The ash I found and tested on the other women match the brand of cigarettes in his pocket. If you paid any attention to my blog instead of mocking it, you'd have realized that."

"Not too sure about that," John murmured as he followed his friend towards Molly.

Their suspect was none too happy at being interrupted, ready to start the row Sherlock had been keening for not long ago. Fortunately, Lestrade and his backup were on their way in, alerted by Sherlock much earlier by text. He made sure they took Molly's drink in as evidence, clearly impressed that she had taken the initiative to garner that detail.

After the excitement of the arrest had cleared on the street, John managed to hail them a taxi. Sherlock opened the door for his friend, watching him slide in and then shutting it on him.

"Sherlock, what the hell?" John asked, annoyed.

"Going to make sure Molly gets home all right," he told him, tapping the top of the car twice. "Drive on!"

"We could manage to do that with one taxi!" John hollered hotly as the taxi drove away, throwing his hands up in exasperation.

Sherlock turned back to Molly to see her standing with a look of stunned silence on her face. He smiled innocently at her, raising his hand to get them another car.

The ride to her flat was quiet, with Molly looking distractedly out the window and trying to ignore the looks, the damn skin piercing looks, he was throwing her every few minutes.

He paid for the taxi and they walked wordlessly up to her second floor flat. She struggled with the zipper to her clutch purse, not used to the silly item. When she finally did manage to get it open, she nearly dropped her keys in her haste to retrieve them. He watched Molly fumble with her keys, his closeness clearly causing her some discomfort. She closed her eyes and let out a small huff, feeling his presence and his eyes on her about as subtly as a finger in the eye. Knowing her efforts to get the door open would just continue to cause embarrassment if he stayed where he was, she turned to confront him. The familiar, thoughtful crease was on display above his nose, his eyes astonishingly blue in the dim lighting of the hall and focused with laser precision on her.

"Thank you for accompanying me home," she said quietly. She indicated over her shoulder. "I'm here now… so, yes, thank you. Um… un-unless there was something else - "

"You knew," he stated, chin tilting down ever so slightly.

"What?" she asked, her nose wrinkling, perplexed.

"The cigarettes," he said as he inspected her face for signs of a tell. "You knew the moment you saw them. You practically beamed the information via marquee lights across the room."

"I think I was a little more subtle than that," she defended herself.

"To anyone else, yes." He studied her, stepping just a hair closer and forcing her gaze to tip up even more to meet his eyes. "I didn't know you smoked."

"It's been a long time," she admitted.

"And did you… enjoy it?"

"Did you?"

Once in a blue moon, Molly Hooper said the right thing at the right moment. His reaction was small, almost lost – a quick quirk of the corner of his mouth and a sharp flare in the dark centers of his eyes. She forced her breathing to remain controlled as his hand drifted up, his thumb taking an exploratory graze against her lower lip. Her eyelids fluttered shut momentarily at the touch. Any efforts to control her breath flew the coop the moment she saw him lower his head, his mouth covering hers as he tilted her chin towards him with his fingers. He tasted like coffee. Smelled like spicy aftershave and herbal shampoo. And, dammit all, his lips were addictively soft.

Her head dipped forward automatically when he pulled his mouth back from hers, too stunned to be embarrassed by the small whimper of disappointment. He kept his fingers firmly along her jaw as he inspected her. She wondered briefly what he saw when he looked at her like that, wondered what secrets she could possibly have left to give up to him.

"Interesting," he murmured lowly before slipping his hand back into her hair and pulling her to him again.

He was more insistent this time, his lips demanding more from her and she was more than willing to oblige. Her heart pounded in her chest and when her hands skirted up the front of his chest, balling the edges of his coat in her fists, she could feel that his was practically matching her beat for beat. The hand that had wound its way around her back gripped tightly when she let out a small moan as his tongue teased along her lower lip, seeking permission.

Permission granted.

Long minutes later, he pulled away from her again, breathing heavily as he rested his forehead against hers. She couldn't seem to tear her eyes away from his lips, full from their activity.

"Did you get your fix?" she rasped, finding herself fairly breathless.

"If this was about a fix," he replied deeply, precisely, "I would have left already."

To emphasize his point, he walked her back into the solid wood of her door, dipping down for another taste of her mouth. She simultaneously shivered and flushed when she felt his hips press firmly against her, his frame of mind painfully obvious through the thin fabric of his trousers and her barely-there dress. Her own blood was causing heat to accumulate between her legs, stoking a fire that had long been ignored in her life. She pushed back into him, her arms sliding beneath his coat and gripping at the back of his shirt at the cusp of his trousers.

Perhaps sensing the change in her body chemistry, Sherlock dropped his hand away from her hair and dragged his palm across her hip, down the back of her thigh, coaxing her leg up against his thigh.

She squeaked against his lips as she felt his fingers snake under the hem of her skirt on the underside of her thigh, headed towards a destination she desperately wanted him to reach. Just not…

"Sherlock," she hissed. "We are in the bloody hallway."

"Then unlock your door, Molly," he nearly growled against her mouth.

She'd never opened her door so quickly in her life, barely having the time to shut and lock it before his lips were on hers again, his hands shoving impatiently at her coat until she shrugged out of it and let it drop to the floor. She returned the favor as she guided him backwards toward her bedroom, watching appreciatively as he very nearly ripped the scarf away from his neck.

Her room was small and in just a few steps she had him backed into the bed, forcing him to sit, her already short skirt hiked a bit higher as she lifted one knee and then the other onto the bed, effectively straddling him in one swift move. His large hands gripped her hips, his own thrusting reflexively towards her as she settled heavily against him.

She watched his eyes darken with desire as she methodically undid each button on his too-tight shirt, pushing it happily away, finally able to run her hands across the skin and muscles she had been dreaming about for far too long. Dipping her head forward, she kissed his collarbone, his shoulders, his neck, feeling his breath hitch at each new touch. While she explored, she felt his hand slide up her back, reaching for the zipper on her dress and tugging it down.

She stood up when he went to slide the straps down her shoulders, saving him the trouble by shimmying out of the ridiculous piece of fabric, leaving her in a black thong and heels. For a moment, she thought he was going to lose his nerve, he went so still. After a few moments he reached out to her, pulling her back to the bed and guiding her onto the mattress, kicking his shoes and socks off before leveling his body over hers. She gasped as his mouth lowered to her breast, shooting pleasure down her belly in the same direction his hand was heading. He seemed a bit timid, perhaps not overly experienced in this area, but her whimpers of pleasure did well to guide his fingers, setting her nerves on fire until she was grasping at the sheets and utterly undone by his attentions, gasping his name reverently.

When she had come down from her high, she realized there was a very important article of clothing remaining on the consulting detective. He watched her intently as she reached down and undid his belt, button, and zipper, experimentally pushing the whole lot of his clothes until his hands joined her to help dispose of them.

She tried not to stare. She really did. But several years of fantasies can take their toll and she was damn curious.

Not disappointed and not intimidated. A very good combination.

His eyes fluttered shut and he curved into her as she slid a hand around him, wanting to lavish him with the same attention he had given her. The grip of his hands on her biceps pulsed with her own movement and he groaned his approval for what she was doing. His head lolled onto her shoulder as his hips jerked towards her roughly.

"Christ, Molly, pl-please… I, I need…"

He stuttered breathlessly and Molly couldn't hold back the self-satisfied smile at his loss of eloquence. He caught her look and somehow managed to roll his eyes.

"This is not the time to point out the irony of the situation," he groaned.

"I said nothing," she smiled. She ran her hand along him gently, enjoying the look of bliss that slipped over his face. "Tell me. Tell me what you need."

"I – I need you," he gasped, eyes sliding shut and hands grasping at her hips. "I need you, Molly."

Her hands shook slightly as she reached into her bedside drawer, tearing open the foil package and carefully sliding the condom over him. He locked his eyes on hers as he gently nudged her knees apart, settling between her thighs.

Molly hitched her legs around the back of his thighs, urging him forward, her head tilting back with the arch of her back as he slid into her, filling her delightfully well. She felt his head drop to her sternum, his lips lightly touching the skin below her clavicle, breath hot against her. For a few moments, they stayed like that, adjusting to the sensations of being joined. Before long, she felt his hips begin to rock against her, driving her mad with pleasure with his steady pace. Typically Sherlock. Measured perfectionist in every aspect of his life, lovemaking included.

In what felt like minutes and hours at the same time, she was writhing into his body, clinging desperately to his back as she felt the first wave of pleasure rock her body. His mouth captured her cries, hips beginning to lose control as her climax sent him over the edge.

His grip on her was nearly suffocating, but she would spend the rest of her life in his constrictor grasp if it meant she could always hear the way he groaned her name over and over, caressing every bit of her neck and shoulders that he could reach with his mouth.

When breathing became somewhat effortless again, Molly felt him begin to lift away from her. For whatever reason, she gripped his back, keeping him in place.

"I'm crushing you, Molly," he reasoned.

"I don't care," she replied, tucking her face into the crook of his neck and placing a kiss along his pulse point.

To her relief, Sherlock relaxed against her once more and traced his fingers along her body, from her ribs to the curve of her backside. Far too soon for her liking, she resigned herself to the necessity of his moving away from her. He carefully slid away from her body, excusing himself to the bathroom for a few moments. In his absence, Molly pulled the sheets over herself against the sudden chill, letting her mind absorb what had just happened. She'd just shagged Sherlock Holmes. And it was… really, really good.

"I've never seen you smile like that before."

She looked over to see him standing in the doorway to the bathroom and, although she logically had no reason to now, she found herself blushing at the sight of him.

"There's a very simple way to see it more often," she smiled as she turned onto her side, propping herself on an elbow as he slid back into bed. He curled into her, pulling her leg over his thigh and toying with the back of her knee.

"Logistically speaking, then, it would stand to reason that next weekend we visit a more… tasteful establishment before returning to your flat," he said. "No reason the whole evening can't be pleasant next time around."

"Sherlock Holmes, did you just ask me on a date?" she grinned, unable to avoid ribbing him at least a little. He gave her a sour look.

"I despise that word – date," he complained, giving her thigh a squeeze for emphasis. She let out a light laugh.

"Call it what you will," she said, "you're taking me somewhere fancy to make up for that piss-hole of a club."

"Mmm," he replied noncommittally, leaning in to brush her lips with his. "Next time, Molly, make the dress purple."

"Only if you wear the purple shirt to match."