Hello! Attempting a new fandom, am likely to fail abysmally especially considering Sherlock isn't exactly the easiest character to write, which is why this whole fic is going to be Molly-centric! Also i have quite a bit of this planned out, but coming up to the silly season i probably won't be updating regularly (when do i ever?) so just a heads up about that one. Also I have no idea how long or short this will be. Its really just going to be a collection of oneshots really.
Enjoy! And please review - they always make my day :)
Disclaimer - I don't own Sherlock (which makes me sad because if I did I would probably have Benedict Cumberbatch on speed dial. sigh)
She was working a night shift when she got the call.
Its Greg, though he doesn't sound anywhere near as cheerful as he usually does when he calls her. His voice is somber and low, and Molly suddenly fears that a family member has died (then she remembers she doesn't have any family except old Aunt Doris who should really have been dead about a thousand years ago, but continues to frighten Death itself away from her and will probably still be living when there are nothing but invertebrates and mosquitos left on the planet, so Molly supposes she really shouldn't worry too much). He speaks slowly, as if he is waiting for her to combust or breakdown at any moment.
There had been some week-late New Years celebrations in her street.
Bulk amounts of illegal fireworks had been involved.
Bulk amounts of illegal fireworks being operated by inebriated amateurs.
Her apartment building is still standing. Kind of.
It's officially been labeled 'unstable' and they are not letting anyone in.
She can't go home.
Molly wishes she had worn something slightly more attractive than her very large flamingo-embroided knitted jumper and baggy work pants. Instead of voicing her thoughts, only one word comes out of her mouth – "Toby?"
There's a hesitation on the other end.
"No, Toby – Toby is my cat," she's sure he told him that on one of their 'non-dates' last year (though she's quick to forget them, it was just plain old awkward), "Is he alright?"
"You have a cat?"
Does no one ever listen to her?
"Um…I don't think you do anymore."
Lestrade goes on to explain that they didn't find any cat when they were evacuating her building and that there was a lot of noise, so he's probably shot through. Sorry.
Abandoned by the only living thing she's had for companionship in the past three years. She would have been devastated had it not been so expected – Toby was always a restless soul. He lived for the fast life, a life full of adventure and excitement. The most excitement he got from living with Molly was that one time she accidentally bought dog food instead of cat food and had to assemble something for his dinner because the shops were closed by the time she realised. My, my that was a crazy evening.
Dear lord she led a sad life.
Greg asks her if she's got anyone she can stay with while she's homeless.
(Dear Lord she's homeless. Without Toby. She wants to cry).
She lies and tells him she's got a friend she can stay with, thanks him for the call, and tells him she has to get back to work. He bids her good night (its actually morning but she doesn't bother correcting him) and hangs up.
Molly doesn't cry. She doesn't. She just gets a sudden allergic reaction to her mascara and hyperventilates at the same time. Her legs also suffer momentary paralysis. So even though it looks like she's sobbing hysterically on the floor of the morgue she's not.
(If she didn't cry after finding out her not-really-but-kinda-was-boyfriend was actually a psychotic super-criminal who was only interested in her so he could get closer to the man she'd been not-so-secretly pining over for the past few years just so he could destroy him, than she was not going to cry over this)
After a solid ten minute allergic-reaction-momentary-paralysis-hyperventilating-non-crying-fit on the floor, she decides she feels better, everything is going to be ok, and picks herself up off the ground. She goes to the sink and splashes some water on her face, shakes off any sorrow, and continues with the reports she had been writing before she got Lestrade's phone call.
At precisely seven minutes past six in the AM, Sherlock Holmes bursts into the morgue in the same spectacular fashion he always does with his overcoat billowing behind him (Molly doesn't swoon or squeak – snaps for Molly). John follows in a much less energetic manner, yawning as he pushes through the morgue doors wearing one of his rather adorable knitted jumpers. Sherlock doesn't bother with a greeting (when does he ever) and instead asks (demands) to see a body that should have come in some time in the last eight hours; Jane Doe that's died of a suspected "drug overdose" (the way he says it makes it clear that he knows it isn't the cause of death). Molly retrieves it without any kind of fuss, let's him peruse at will and goes back to her reports. He's muttering to himself but she doesn't listen; her thoughts are too wrapped up in Toby and her apartment and how the hell she is going to afford a hotel in the middle of London while she looks for a new place. She idly wonders whether 'sporadic, drunk fireworks accident' is covered by her insurance.
John comes to stand beside her, drawing her out of her inner monologue.
"You alright Molly?" he asks softly, genuinely concerned. It's almost enough to cause another flare up of her mascara allergy. She smiles and manages to stop her eyes weeping through pure strength of will (she's learnt a thing or two from Old Aunt Doris).
"Oh yeah, just, you know," she shrugs and smiles as convincingly as she can, "Got a call telling me my apartment building's been damaged. I can't go home."
"Oh Molly," John looks like he wants to comfort her but doesn't really know how – should he put his hand on her shoulder? Should he pat her back? He isn't sure. In the end he just makes odd hand movements before asking, "Do you have somewhere to stay in the mean time?"
Molly smiles and lies again, "Yeah, I've got a friend I can stay with."
"No you don't," Sherlock interrupts without lifting his gaze from the body he's examining. The bluntness of his tone wounds her a little, and it apparently pisses John off.
"Sherlock," he warns quietly.
"She doesn't - her closest friends aren't based in London, and any other friends based here wouldn't have room to spare," he says again, examining Ms. Doe's fingernails carefully, "She's lying to avoid any further questions. The cat's gone too."
Weeping was imminent.
No. She would not cry in front of Sherlock Holmes. She won't.
She may abruptly lock herself in a closet and wail, but she will not cry in front of Sherlock.
(There is something in her that thinks its sweet how much Sherlock knows about her life. Then she remembers he's Sherlock and he classes cigarette ash as more interesting than her so she dismisses the thought and tells the tingling in her stomach to cease)
John looks to her for confirmation. She shrugs again and knows she looks guilty.
"I'll just stay at a hotel."
John isn't satisfied with her response, "For how long? I mean how long until you can go back to your apartment?"
"Two months, maybe three," Sherlock interrupts, now examining the woman's ears, "At this time of year, I'd suspect three is more likely. Especially given the extent of the damage."
"You've seen the damage?" Molly asks, somewhat hopeful, also a little apprehensive – she doesn't really want to know how bad it is, because if she doesn't know she can always tell herself its just minor. But considering she's pretty much imagining the leaning tower of Piza at the moment, maybe a little information would be handy.
"You knew?!" John sounds incredulous, "And you still came here at 6am to bother Molly?"
"I did not come here to bother Molly," Sherlock sounds equal parts bored and indignant. Its incredible how he manages to do that, "I came here to work on a case. The state of her residence is of no relevance to my actions."
Molly tries her damnedest to think of all the reasons she is important and relevant if for no other reason then to stop herself from crying.
The best reason she comes up with for being important is because without her Toby would not be fed and he would die.
Then she remembers Toby has run away to lead a more adventurous life with someone else.
Yep, she's probably going to cry.
John seems to pick up on this and decides it is appropriate to rub her shoulder soothingly. Its kind of nice, but mostly she just wants to be invisible and go to sleep in the corner for however many months it takes for them to fix her apartment building (if that's even possible).
"Oh Molly," his voice is laced with pity and it sickens her a bit, "It'll be ok."
She really does not see how that is possible right now.
John's hand on her back stills and his eyes light up as he is struck with an apparently brilliant idea.
"Mrs. Hudson!" he exclaims happily. Molly looks up at him with a raised eyebrow – she has no idea what he's on about. John's face practically breaks in two his smile is so big.
"Mrs. Hudson, our landlady," he explains happily, "She's got another flat – 221C – can't get anyone to rent it. A bit water damaged, and it is in a basement, but it's nice enough for a temporary arrangement. Rent'll be affordable – much cheaper than a hotel that's for sure. Besides, Mrs. Hudson will look after you – she makes the best biscuits in all of England!"
Well, that sounds all right she supposes.
"And Sherlock and I will be just upstairs so you won't be lonely!"
She would be living just one staircase away from Sherlock Holmes?! Molly doesn't think her damaged psyche (let alone her seriously neglected libido) could handle that. He's been friendlier since Reichenbach (you know, as friendly as Sherlock is capable of being), but living so close to each other? She feels like that would be crossing some weird kind of line that no one has ever explicitly acknowledged, but they all know its there. No, it's probably not a very good idea…
…But Baker Street is close-ish to St Barts (its an easy trip using public transport), and having the world's only consulting detective living upstairs surely means that she wouldn't be at risk of break-ins. And she does love biscuits.
Molly looks over at Sherlock who has momentarily abandoned his investigation of Ms. Jane Doe. Instead he's fake-texting to disguise the fact he's listening to their conversation.
"Are you sure neither of you would mind?" she asks John, knowing Sherlock can hear, "I wouldn't want to be a nuisance."
"You wouldn't be a nuisance!" John exclaims a little too enthusiastically – he's clearly only speaking for himself, "It'll be nice to have someone so close to chat to on slow days! Just as long as you don't mind midnight violin performances. And the occasional gunshot."
Sherlock scoffs in the background – apparently neither activity registers as bothersome behavior in Sherlock's mind.
"Well, it would be convenient not to have to find a hotel," she says cautiously, trying not the get her hopes up in case Sherlock snaps and forbids her from residing so close to him (which is a silly thought to have, seeing as he kind of owes her for the whole 'risking her career by faking his death' thing, but she still worries).
"And if I lived that close it would save us all an extra trip to drop off or collect any body parts you needed," she reasoned, noting how Sherlock freezes briefly before typing furiously on his phone, "You'd get them a lot faster and I wouldn't have to keep them at my place…"
"Precisely!" Sherlock tucks his phone into his jacket pocket and gives her that smile that means he's happy for himself but pretending to be polite, "Much better for you to be close by. 221C is a tad shabby – was technically a crime scene once – but I'm sure Mrs. Hudson would love the company. You should probably pick out a bed on your way home from work though – she hasn't any furniture in there. I'm sure you can use the bathroom and kitchen facilities at her place for the time being. Yes, that will work nicely. Also, if you could bring a Caucasian male's right foot round on your way to 221C it would be much appreciated. Should be home by 2, just leave it in the fridge."
Sherlock turns to look at John and smiles again, "Come John! The case awaits!"
"Bu…" Molly is thoroughly confused, John is too. She finally manages to find her voice to protest, "Shouldn't I at least contact Mrs. Hudson first? Discuss rent, see the apartment?"
"It's all sorted," Sherlock taps his pocket where he's just placed his phone. Apparently that lightening fast text message was to Mrs. Hudson, "She should get it in about an hour. By the time your shift's finished she should have things set up. Remember: right foot, Caucasian male. Come on John, time is of the essence!"
Sherlock's right. At the end of her shift she makes her way to Baker Street (forking out money for a cab because she's exhausted and had a pretty shite kind of a day and deserves to not have to deal with public transport and commuters) to find Mrs. Hudson sweeping the front steps. As Molly steps out and introduces herself the older woman's face lights up.
"Oh yes, the pathologist! Sherlock mentioned you needed a room," she says as she beckons Molly inside, "Heard you got evicted suddenly…"
Although it isn't phrased as a question Molly knows that it is – Mrs. Hudson wants to make sure she won't be welcoming a raving lunatic into her building. Being an associate of Sherlock's probably doesn't help her reputation all that much. Molly smiles and follows Mrs. Hudson down the hall, trying to disguise the fact that the box she's carrying hides a human foot.
"Yeah, my building its, um," she struggles for words. Not unusual, "A bit unstable. Some fireworks got a little out of hand."
"Oh on the West side?" Mrs. Hudson stops leading her down the hall and looks at Molly sympathetically, "Yes, saw that on the news. Dreadful accident. And rather silly too. Young men these days…"
She shakes her head and continues down another set of stairs (it really is in a basement) and stops to open what Molly assumes is to be her front door.
It's not much. In fact it's a little bit horrid. But it's a room with a roof and Mrs. Hudson is quite lovely and has volunteered the use of her kitchen and bathroom whenever Molly pleases until the plumbing gets fixed. And honestly, Molly is so exhausted that she'd probably settle for a backpacker's right now. She thanks Mrs. Hudson for her hospitality, kindly accepts the apartment (room? Living space?), and politely requests the use of a couch to nap on until she finds the time to buy herself a bed later this afternoon.
And that was how Molly Hooper came to live at 221C Baker Street.
Ta da! Hope it wasn't too terrible or boring. Also the whole 'Robinhoodery' thing will come into it eventually, but not for a while. Until next time!