Chapter 1 Late Night Visitors
Most nights for Molly Hooper ended like this, late, and followed by an early morning. Today was somewhat busy, but at least she had company, John and Sherlock popped in wanting to know if she found anything other than what Sherlock had already deduced.
Molly confirmed his findings, and the two men went up to the lab to run some minute sample, probably a spec of dust or pollen. Molly smiled; Sherlock was a genius, and Doctor Watson was no slouch either. It never took them long to crack a case like this.
She hadn't seen DI Lestrade today, he must have had a late night as well. Not that he came in often, but with this serial killer he'd made it a point to be here when Sherlock and John were, just to stay up to speed. He was such a thorough man; it was no wonder why he was a Detective Inspector.
That very snooty dark haired Sergeant and of course Anderson the stuck up forensics officer had been in mostly to nag and double check her findings and tripled check Sherlock's. This is why she didn't feel to bad about how quickly Sherlock chased them out, of course some of the deductions he made concerning the two officers made her blush. It was nice to have Doctor Watson there for crowd control, she was never to good at defusing situations. Despite such incidents, she genuinely liked to be in the company of John and Sherlock it made the lab feel warmer.
As crushes go, she finally grew out of hers, something about unobtainable men, should say a lot about her. After helping Sherlock fake his suicide, Molly's affection for Sherlock had changed into more of a very good friendship nothing close to how he and John were of course, not that those two were a couple oh no.
Thinking of unobtainable men always made her think of the silver haired DI he was always nice to chat with, even if he did most of the chatting and she stumbled over words nervously.
He looked a little scruffy lately, this particular case was wearing on the Yard she could tell by the amount of traffic and STAT orders placed on results. Hopefully they would find a match for the young women she just filed away into the cooler.
Molly had thought of becoming a doctor, but found she lacked the people skills, so here she was in the morgue. The dead weren't looking for release from their pain, they didn't plead and beg her to make it better, to bring back a loved one who expired. No, the bodies who came in were mysteries, they had lives and stories to tell etched all over their skin, in their blood, every callous, or childhood scar and not to mention the interesting tattoo's that some people had in the most awkward of places.
Working with the dead was easier, although identifying bodies wasn't pleasant, when the loved ones came in, but anymore they took photographs and the DI on the case would present them to the family, and of course DNA never lied. DI Lestrade had called Sherlock in on this one she could guess why, each body was scrubbed clean, and the fingerprints burned off. Sherlock discovered each of the women had either dark brown hair naturally or in the last three victims someone took the time to dye the hair of his victim. Even their eye color had been altered.
Molly found contacts, on two of the victims. Who would want brown eyes, she had brown eyes it was so plain, clearly it was a serial killer four bodies in one month, he was busy. Sherlock found the case interesting; serial killers always were to him.
These were the thoughts occupying her mind, as she gathered her keys she'd almost forgot to remove her lab coat. Someone had sent her flowers, and after the string of phone calls from a blocked number it didn't set well with her. She thought of mentioning it to Sherlock and John but they were so busy. And it was probably someone she'd given the wrong idea to. Except their had been those rather unsettling letters. She had changed her number so the phone calls finally stopped. So all was right in the world, like her mum always said 'don't make a fuss'. It would be terribly embarrassing if it was just a childish joke, no need to involve her friends. Anyway she hadn't received a phone call or any mysterious little gifts in a week, so perhaps whomever got the hint.
That's when she realized it, the eerie feeling, the one that tells you, you aren't alone, the hair on her neck went prickly. She turned around expecting someone to be standing directly behind her, but there was nothing, just the clean stainless steel table. She frowned, it was getting late, and she obviously had been watching too may scary movies.
Suddenly a gloved hand clamped over her mouth and nose, instinctively she froze.
"Ssssh, it's alright. I wont hurt you, calm down now love." The voice was next to her ear, too close, she could smell the mint in his gum, her heart beating in her chest threatened to explode, she moved against the tight grip around her waist. Her mind flipped through the self-defense class she took back in Uni, at her fathers urging.
She went lax, as if in a faint and the stranger loosened his hold just as you would expect. Molly took the opportunity to bring her now unrestrained elbow back hard into an unsuspecting stomach. It hurt more than she'd anticipated, but the hands let her go completely. She sprang forward, the morgue wasn't a wide area but this man had a hand to his stomach.
"Now you shouldn't have done that love." He grunted.
She made a break for the door, he was standing between her and the exit not wasting time on dialogue she just knew she should get out and now. The hall was empty, and she had left her mobile in her jacket everything was back in the lab. She sprang for the exit, maybe if she pulled the fire alarm.
"Sherlock, it is rather late, or maybe early. I doubt Molly is even at the lab." the Doctor was unable to hold back a yawn." And even if she is, what makes you think we are going to be allowed access-"
"John, the equipment there is much more efficient than what I have at home. It wont take too long, I know we cant lift a fingerprint form the contact Lestrade had Anderson look, their was nothing, but if we can narrow down the brand."
"Sherlock there has to be about a million places that -"
"Yes John, but the gum."
"Yes several wrappers found at every drop site. It's a nicotine gum, if we could match these two things to the same store maybe we can get an idea of where the killer is living."
"Assuming that he's not ordering them online."
"Yes, well this one is good but not that good, we can match the hair dye and like I said find the store that sells all three." John shrugged, it sounded slim but Sherlock had cracked a case on less. "Besides John he wouldn't take the chance to order on line he'd have to have it delivered and he would like to keep a low profile as long as possible. Post offices would have cameras so, I've deduced, he's bought them with cash all in the same place. Within walking distance from his home. A home that had a basement and no neighbors or very old ones to not hear the victims screams. So we find the the store, we can narrow down the house."
"Brilliant!" John rubbed the sleep from his eyes. "How do you know if Molly is still here?"
"It's alright. I have a key." Sherlock grinned.
"I'm not going to even ask how you obtained it."
They started through one of the corridors when both men heard a scream, it was cut off almost immediately but it was distinctively female and coming from the morgue. John reached behind him to pull his browning from his waistband, Sherlock already pushing through the doors.
Both men caught the flicker of movement in the dim corridor; someone was holding a very frightened woman in a white lab coat, not just anyone woman but Molly Hooper. And she was putting up a hell of a fight for some one so small, a hand was over her mouth the sound of Sherlock pushing through the door, caught Molly's attacker by surprise he moved to the fire exit.
Molly tried to buy more time, to put up a better fight, slow the stranger in his movements. Learning from countless case files, that once she was removed from the building her chances at living decrease by over half. Her eyes widened hearing the heavy door at the end of the corridor burst open, oh thank goodness someone was coming. She needed air, the big meaty hands covered her mouth and nose, the lack of air made her panic more. It was no use her attacker pulled open the fire exit door, the stairwell would be empty.
She could hear Sherlock and John shouting before her attacker pulled her into the stair well, she wasn't exactly a burden, the man lifted her easily and she tried to swing her legs, connecting with her attacker's shins, she managed to trip him up. Both tumbled down the stairs, a sharp pain registered in her chest and the wind was knocked from her, her mind was very aware of the parts of her coming into contact with the very hard surface of the stairs, and since when did they become so sharp?
But sounds of gunshots echoed louder snapping her focus from the possible damage in another direction. She found it interesting that the sounds were so much louder, first running feet clapping against the cement stairs. The yelling, oh someone was calling her name and she tried to blink away the fuzzy vision. How funny the pain was gone and the lights were dimming, everything had a liquid softness to it like an unfocused lens of a camera.