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Sherlock Fanfic: Thicker Than Water - CaffieneKittySpace
('i' before 'e' if you're looking for me)
Sherlock Fanfic: Thicker Than Water
Title: Thicker Than Water
Fandom: Sherlock (TV)
Rating/Content: PG-13. A missing scene from "The Reichenbach Fall"
Spoilers for 2.03, drawing blood, needle, discussion of death.
Word Count: 1400-ish
Disclaimer: I did not originate and do not own these characters or their world.
Notes: This is one of several short WIPs I have started involving events in 2.03 (and in many cases, meta and speculation masquerading as fanfic) that are grouped under the unbearably pretentious name 'Stratagems and Interstices'. This one is a Stratagem. Whether any of the others ever see daylight remains to be seen. Thanks to mini_wrimo for the excuse to poke this into some kind of shape.

Summary: Molly was helping spill Sherlock's blood. She felt ill.

Thicker Than Water
by Caffienekitty

Molly watched the bag fill up. Not a standard blood collection bag, with the tiny bit of anticoagulant fluid that might stand out in tests (should anyone not cleared for it get their hands on enough spilled blood to run any tests), an empty, sterile, vacuum-sealed collection bag. Red-filled piping trailed down to the bag from Sherlock's arm.

Molly was helping spill Sherlock's blood. She felt ill.

When he'd told her what he'd determined Moriarty's next action would be and how he intended to deal with it, she'd almost slapped him. First for the emotional manipulation, again, then for what he was asking her to do, and then for what he was planning to do to John. She couldn't and wouldn't though; she wasn't the slapping sort, much as the thought was occasionally appealing. She'd also seen Sherlock's face the past few weeks when he wasn't 'on', when John wasn't looking. More than sad. Devastated. This wasn't something he was doing lightly.

Despite her wildest hopes, Molly knew Sherlock had always considered her to be, at best, part of the lab equipment. The part that fetched things. Or at least he used to consider her as that. She'd made him see her properly now, somehow. It was a daunting thing; not to be deduced or assumed, but to be truly seen by Sherlock. But she'd seen him first, in a way - her watching him watching John - so fair was fair.

The collection bag was nearly full now. The secondary viewing room they were in was one which could be locked and blinded without comment, and they'd been there for twenty minutes or more, silently, waiting for Sherlock's blood. Sherlock lay on the mortuary slab as though already dead, hands folded on his flat stomach, IV tubing looped over one thumb to keep it from pulling or stretching. Lines pinched white around his eyes and mouth as he stared at the dimmed fluorescents overhead.

"I-" Molly started, but stopped herself.



Sherlock sighed, not looking at her. "Yes, I know what I'm doing. Yes, I know it's a horrible thing to do to John. Yes, I-"

"It's not that. Well, not just that. It's... Well." If she didn't get this out... "In essence you really are dying, aren't you? None of us will see you again. Nor you us."

Sherlock rolled the blood-filled tubing between his thumb and index finger. "Quite possibly."

Molly twisted the stopcock and pulled the wide-bore needle from the crook of Sherlock's elbow, putting a cotton ball on the small puncture for Sherlock to hold. "And of everyone, no one but me and your brother will ever-"

"It's 'Your brother and me-'"

"Please, Sherlock," Molly snapped, taking up the loops of tubing. "You know what I mean. Of all the people who actually know you, just Mycroft and myself will know that you- that you didn't-"

"Best that way." Sherlock's voice was brusque as he sat up, arm bent to hold the cotton ball in place. "The fewer who know, the fewer who can tell."

"I won't tell a soul."

"I know you won't." He tilted his head and looked at her, properly looked. Molly wondered if it ever got less unnerving. She wished she could ask John. "Your role in this could put you in grave danger, Molly."

"Oh, I don't mind," she said, attempting a breezy laugh, but missing by quite a lot. "I've watched Glee marathons with a murdering psychopath after all. This will be a piece of cake."

Sherlock snatched her wrist in a firm grip as she began to turn away.

"My brother will protect you, as much as he can without drawing suspicion, but should anyone suspect I am alive and that you are complicit in this subterfuge, you're going to be at a terrible risk."

If this gets any more like the fantasies I used to have about him, Molly thought half-dizzily, I'll expect a convenient jacuzzi with rose petals in to turn up at any minute. "It's fine, really. I'm good at keeping secrets. Well, at least I always thought I would be, if anyone ever told me a big one, but now..." She looked down at Sherlock's hand, nearly holding hers but not nearly. Not really.

Sherlock released her wrist.

Molly cleared her throat. "You're sure you, um. Wouldn't you rather Doctor Watson do all this with you? The fake death and all? He'd be much better for it, and he'd-"

"John can't know. If his reaction to what I am about to do is anything other than completely genuine, it will put everything at risk of failure." Sherlock hunched, sitting on the edge of the mortuary slab. "He will be watched, and closely, for any sign that I'm anything other than dead. No contact, not a hint."

"He'll be-"

"He'll be fine, I know."

"No, Sherlock," Molly said, forcing her voice to remain even. No one else would get the chance to say this to him. "No. He won't be fine. Not at all. Neither will Greg, nor a great many other people."

"Molly..." Sherlock's shoulders rounded as he curled further into himself. "Would... would you...."

Seeing Sherlock search for words was more than unnerving. "Would I what?"

"Early on, before John finds his feet, which he will, of course he will, would you... watch over him? Call him? Do-" Sherlock waved a hand in the air, expression a bit lost, "-friend things? Perhaps get Lestrade and John out to a pub or what have you now and then?"

Molly blinked hard. "I- I'll try. I'm not really good at social-"

"Or subject them to your horrid American television addiction if you must. Whatever. Just." Sherlock's voice stopped and he put his steepled fingertips to his lips, elbows on knees, closing his eyes.

Molly stood there a moment, looking at him in the semi-dark. The hall light caught the edge of his cheek, dark lashes fanning above, still as a corpse except for the sitting up and breathing.

"I can't look them in the eye and watch them grieve for you when I know you're alive, Sherlock." Molly said after a time. "I'm not that good a liar."

Sherlock's eyes snapped open to look at her. "You will be. You must be."

The bag of Sherlock's blood was hot in Molly's hands. She took a breath. "I'll keep your secret, but I can't watch them grieve day after day and not say anything, knowing what I know. I'll- I'll just keep away from them. They won't notice me not around. People don't, usually."

She tried a self-effacing grin, but it burned away under Sherlock's intent stare.

"I will watch them," she said. "I'll be there when they need someone, but I don't think I can- I can't-"

"You're stronger than you think, Molly."

"That's not what I..." Molly swallowed, trailing off. That's not the sort of strength I want to have. To be able to lie bare-faced to good friends in order to keep them in pain and grief. I don't want that. But I'll do it, to protect them. And to protect you, you utter bastard.

Sherlock met her eye levelly. "I'm sorry, Molly. And thank you."

Molly sighed. "Don't mention it."

Sherlock glanced at the clock and sat up straight suddenly, purpose flowing into his posture. He tossed away the blood-spotted bit of cotton wool and rolled his deep purple sleeve down over the puncture. "It's time. You need to go, meet with Mycroft's people. With that." He nodded towards the bag of his blood in Molly's hands.

"But where- who do I-?"

"Just put that in your bag and go out the side entrance. My brother's people will find you." Sherlock pulled on his suit jacket. "They'll ensure you're in the right place later on as well. Get some sleep."

Molly gingerly stuffed the pouch of Sherlock's blood into her bag, then gathered her things. It's the last time I'll see him. No one else might ever know he didn't die, or that he might be killed in some anonymous place later where no one at all will know him. Someone has to say-


Sherlock looked over at Molly but his eyes were seeing miles away now, thinking of whatever stage came next in his horrid plan.

"T-take care of yourself? For John?" She swallowed again, tightly. "For all of us?"

"Hm," Sherlock hummed noncommittally, already blockading himself behind walls of calculation and thought.

"Goodbye," said Molly.

Before she could do yet another thing she knew she'd regret, Molly turned and walked out the door of the morgue, leaving Sherlock behind, alone in the darkness.

- - -
(that's all.)

Notes: Part of the meta of this is the assumption Sherlock realised Moriarty was herding him towards suicide when Sherlock stopped talking and left John standing outside Kitty Reilly's place (if not before), and began to plan accordingly.

Tags: , , , , ,
Current Mood: discontent discontent
Current Music: "Breath of Life" ~ Florence and the Machine

10 comments or Leave a comment
shadowturquoise From: shadowturquoise Date: November 6th, 2013 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love the stillness of the piece, and both of them are very in-character.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 7th, 2013 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the lovely comment! It really brightened my morning.
aelfgyfu_mead From: aelfgyfu_mead Date: November 6th, 2013 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor Molly! I think that Sherlock can't really understand what he's asking of her, because he handles emotions so differently.

She is stronger than she knows. Still, it will be a tremendous relief when he returns!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 7th, 2013 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Sherlock has a very different way of relating to the world sometimes and gets too wrapped up in his own puzzles to see how other people are handling things.
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: November 6th, 2013 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is sublime, and devastating.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 7th, 2013 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs* Thank you.
missyvortexdv From: missyvortexdv Date: November 6th, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do like this, a bit of a different take.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 7th, 2013 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't read much 2.03 fic involving Molly but I suspect there's a lot out there, so I'm glad this might have a different perspective.
missyvortexdv From: missyvortexdv Date: November 7th, 2013 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I've read a fair bit of that sort of fic and whilst this isn't massively different I've not seen stuff about blood taking done as part of the plan often, nor her being so bold about how she can't just lie and just tonally this is a different too.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 8th, 2013 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Hunh. Cool. :-)
10 comments or Leave a comment