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This is post-Reichenbach. Molly has helped Sherlock 'die' and is the only one who knows he's actually alive. Irene Adler pays Molly Hooper a visit at St. Bart's morgue. The Woman knows Molly better than Molly herself, esp. when it comes to loving Sherlock. (Yes, I know those two never actually met during "ASiB", but I think those two would have something in common.)

"You still love him. I don't care how much you deny it."

Molly Hooper jumped at the voice, loud in the utter stillness of the morgue. Her eyes snapped up towards its source. Molly stared at the woman in the doorway. Stared some more. Blinked. No, the apparition was still there, and it was smirking at her.

Molly had never met her in the flesh. Living flesh, anyway. She remembered that horrible Christmas night: Sherlock's face as he identified the body, turned and walked away. His brother never apologized for his behavior. Molly didn't mind; she understood.

She wondered how Sherlock managed to identify the corpse without being able to identify the face. At this terrible moment, as Molly stared at the woman in the doorway, she understood that too.

"What are you doing here? You're supposed to be dead! You hurt him, you know, when he came in here and--" she squeaked. She meant it to sound angry, indignant, but it came out far too high, and it made her sound like a mouse.

"It was necessary, Doctor Hooper. He needed to believe I was dead. It was for his protection. I think you know what I mean."

Molly flinched at the words, true as they were. Unfortunately, she understood this particular line of reasoning, especially now. "But why are you here?"

The Woman (Molly capitalized the title in her head) merely chuckled, low and deep. "I envy you, Doctor Hooper."

"Why?"

"Just because." The Woman inclined her head, as if studying Molly's features. "Plain, unremarkable, but very important. You protect him, hide him in plain sight. And you do it so effortlessly. Just because."

Molly struggled to hold onto her anger, but it ran away like flowing water. The Woman sympathized with her. The Woman understood.

Wait...did The Woman just say she envied Molly?

"Take care of him, Molly. That's all I ask." The Woman's smile held a touch of sadness. Then she turned and melted back into the dark shadows.

"Wait--where are you going?" Molly rushed out into the hall, but The Woman was already gone.

"You still love him. I don't care how much you deny it."

Molly hadn't confirmed that assumption, but she hadn't denied it, either. But it was true.

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trekwriter151

May 2012

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