Sherlock - Dangerous Mould and Shot in the Dark Trilogy

Chapter 59

Molly was absorbed in the paperwork. In fact, she had had a hard time concentrating on anything during the past couple of days, mulling over Sherlock's revelation about his fate. Only the fate of the body she was working on managed to distract her from unwillingly picturing a young Sherlock being tortured. It was a fourteen-year-old girl who had died of an overdose in a nightclub toilet. She had apparently fiddled admittance with a forged ID card, which made it difficult for the police to identify her. Molly had been on duty when a couple entered the morgue to verify the death of their daughter. Wealth was radiating from the two, dressed in expensive and elegant clothes, the mother decorated with too much jewellery. Molly's first thought at the sight of them had been bitter. Those were the type of parents who spent more time on accumulating money than on taking care of their children. However, when Molly pulled back the sheet to expose the face of the pale girl, who looked so young with the exaggerated make-up removed, the mother had made a sound that had torn apart her heart - and that's what it had been: the cry of a mother whose heart had been broken.

Molly could usually cope with the reactions of the people coming to the morgue to identify someone. Many of them were in shock and their breakdowns came later when their minds processed the fact that a relative or friend would never come back. What she would never be able to cope with was when she had to deal with children who were supposed to have their lives ahead of them, and their parents. Their reactions were different: volcanic eruptions of distress, grief and often also of the many feelings that had been hidden for who knew how long. Apparently the death of a child lay your heart bare.

The psychologists had taken care of the couple, but the echo of their agony was still reverberating in the morgue and in Molly's mind and heart. She had to get rid of the paperwork of the case for her own peace. That was why she had temporarily expelled the thought of Sherlock from her mind.

She jumped and nearly fell off her swivel chair, giving it a push to turn round when all of a sudden a dark baritone filled the room.

"Have you thought about it?"

Sherlock was standing in front of her - heaven knew how long he had been standing behind her before she had turned, watching her typing on the computer. He was pale and weary-looking, the dark shadows under his eyes telling of sleepless nights. She looked him straight in the eyes that were lacking their lively sparkle, which gave Molly a pang of sympathy.

"I didn't have to," she replied quietly and got a simple nod as a response.

"You look terrible, Sherlock," Molly burst out and instantly condemned herself for being so blunt, biting her lower lip nervously. She knew that the Consulting Detective hated such comments. "Sorry," she murmured.

"I needed to escape. 221B occasionally tends to become too small for John and Mrs Hudson drowning themselves in the dullness of crap-telly, and me," the tall man spat contemptuously and Molly sensed that apparently he had been annoyed and maybe they had been fighting.

As far as she could judge, Sherlock wasn't at all in a condition to run around London or even to stand there in the morgue, so she offered him her chair, afraid of having to lift him from the floor in the next couple of minutes because he had dropped unconscious from the exertion. Of course he refused to sit down, but the pathologist literally pushed him down, meeting little resistance. She felt a little uncomfortable laying her hands on his shoulders, but she preferred this brief intimacy to having him down on the floor. She scolded herself for being so ridiculous as she had taken care of him when he had been in the coma, which had included a much greater deal of intimacy than making him sit down. And still, she felt insecure, her heart beating in her throat. Whether it was from the shock of his sudden appearance in the morgue or simply from his appearance, she couldn't tell.

"Coffee?" Molly asked, trying to bide some time to regain her equilibrium. Plus, having a mug to cling to would prevent her from wringing her fingers nervously as was a bad habit of hers that made it too easy for people to guess her inner state.

Sherlock, however, ignored her offer, scrutinizing the laptop that was sitting on the table, the open documents telling of the cruel stroke of fate, which wouldn't touch Sherlock at all if he knew about it. Death was just the end of life to him, no reason to grieve - although she had seen traces of it when he had identified this particular woman that she still felt envious about.

"I need to get the information Mycroft has about the woman," he uttered almost to himself, and Molly wasn't sure if he was still aware of her presence. She herself had to recollect which woman he was talking about since she had just thought about someone Sherlock most likely had already banned from his mind - or had he?

"What's your scheme? Do you want to break into his office?" the pathologist wanted to know. She was convinced that he had already worked out a plan.

Sherlock turned the chair around, looking up to her with a frown that transformed into a superficial smile that promised nothing good. "No, Molly, my brother's office is like a vault. Any attempt to trespass would leave you with a treason sentence - even me. No," he repeated, and Molly's hair in the small of her neck stood on end. "I'm going to break into his mind - and you will unlock the doors."

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