I might end up writing a Molly oneshot with these snippets, but I also might not. Regardless, enjoy these! (The second one is a 221b.)
Dead bodies have their own language, and they talk to her quietly. She considers herself a reader of their silent last secrets, someone who can help souls rest easier. To her, there’s nothing black about death. Violent deaths are red, or the purples and pea soup greens of half-faded bruises; natural deaths are pale, peaceful yellows and whites. Death is the inevitable rainbow of human experience, not bleak and dark. Molly thinks it’s sad that most people can’t see that.
Molly cries. She’s cried quite a bit since what happened, not because she’s sad—she is a little sad, although she feels she has no right to be—but because of the stress. Her superiors don’t know what to do with her, the woman who worked so closely with Sherlock Holmes. She doesn’t think they’ll let her go, but they’re angry and she worries. She loves her job. And on top of all of that, she has The Secret she can’t possibly tell another living soul. She can only cry it out on the roughest of evenings and whisper it to her corpses during the day.
“You know, he’s not really dead,” she tells them. “He’s off in Russia,” or, “I think he might be in India, but I’m not sure,” or, “The last time he called me from Times Square. Can you believe that? Times Square!”
They can only talk back in their limited death-language, though. Corpses are no good at empathy. She has to smile and flutter and compose a response herself. “I’ve always wanted to go to Times Square,” she’ll say, a little more softly. “I’ve never been.”
She worries her lower lip and wonders if she’s going crazy, but talking to dead people is safer than anything else. Her bodies, unlike other people, unlike her, can’t blab.
“Which one’s your favorite?” Violet asks, peering over his shoulder at the book open on his lap.
“Mmm… not sure.” Tate flips through a couple of pages idly, as if undecided what to show her first. He definitely knows the book well—Violet saw that he’d checked it out previously (seventeen years ago). “There’s this one vulture that can fly high enough to get sucked into jet engines. Pretty insane. Like forty thousand feet.”
“Wow.” Violet squeezes her eyes shut, glad that he can’t see her face right now. They’re hot with tears she doesn’t dare cry. “Do you want to fly that high?” she asks, but gently, running the pad of her thumb over his knuckles. Maybe she could gently nudge him towards the afterlife. Would that make him happy?
“Seems like you’d really be away from everything that high up. But… lonely, too.” He squeezes her hand. “So maybe not that high. Let me think… based on how they look, probably the quetzal bird? Anything with super long tails.”
“What, like peacocks?”
“Peacocks can’t really fly. Here, look—” He turns to a picture of a bright green bird. Long tail, just like he said, short beak, red breast. Like blood. Or a heart.
Violet smiles despite herself. “Oh my god. It looks like you.”
Tate grins, too. Violet can hear it in his voice. “What, does it?”
“Yeah, the hair—feathery things, on the top. It’s like your hair.”
He manages to laugh at that. That must be what love does, huh? Makes you laugh even when things are really fucked up and stupid. “Okay, maybe a little.”
I have no idea what you wanted out of this, anon, but okay… there’s a bonus Melody in here, hope you don’t mind!
“So you have to see what my mum packed in my lunch.”
Amy and Mels are thirteen, and they had been gossiping, as girls do, but stopped—it’s hard to gossip when Rory’s sitting across from them. Not because he’s not one of the girls (he sort of is), but because he doesn’t seem to find it very much fun.
“No, seriously, you have to see this.” He holds up a plastic—thing. Something. “It’s like a fork and… a spoon.”
Mels rolls her eyes. “It’s a spork, Rory.”
“Spork, that is genius,” Rory says. “Amy, don’t you think that’s genius?”
For some reason, even at this age, Amy always has a smile for him. “It’s just a utensil,” she says. Mels kicks her foot under the table. She giggles.
Man, I definitely read this prompt as “flat tire” so I wrote about a flat tire instead. Sorry! (That’s okay, this way’s sexier.)
“It isn’t going to change itself.”
Six words, and Sebastian Michaelis is out on the side of the road, trying to remove this goddamned flat tire. His boss is leaning against the hood of the car, watching. Of course, Vincent won’t lift a finger to help. Like father, like son.
Sebastian inspects the tire with his finger, looking for the source of the leak, and finds a small cut clean through the rubber. Deliberate. Must have been recent, or they would have noticed before they drove out to the middle of nowhere. He glances up and notices Vincent watching him, smiling smugly, taking in Sebastian’s messy hair, his rolled-up sleeves, his unbuttoned vest.
Ah, so this was either all a test or a ploy to get Sebastian hot and bothered, so to speak. Well then. Like father, like son, indeed.
Modern!verse, as usual.
When Alois—Jim, then—is seven, and Luca is seven-minus-two, their parents take them to the National Zoo to see animals outside of picture books. Alois likes prairie dogs, and he and Luca giggle at their tiny heads and round, tubby bodies. They stare the longest, though, at the alligators, swimming around in their pool with their large thrashing tails and sharp teeth. My, what big teeth you have…
“Are you scared?” Alois asks Luca, who’s holding his hand. “I would be.”
Luca grins up at him brightly. Alois never forgets it. “Nope. When you’re here, nothing can get me.”
(Because no one was going to request this from me.)
Shot clean through the forehead. .22 caliber bullet. Blood splatters map out a narrative on the floor: how the victim (Caucasian, aged 37-39) reacted before he died, the distance from which the murderer had fired the gun. Sherlock Holmes doesn’t need those details: he lived it. This man had been holding a knife to his throat, and now he is dead.
He turns away from the corpse and towards the woman beside him, gun already replaced in the holster at her hip. “Good shot.”
“No need to thank me, sweetie,” says River Song, winking. “Not with a face like yours.”
Sherlock Holmes has never dealt well with “feelings.” What an imprecise word for a chemical reaction “feeling” is, and Sherlock’s problem is precisely that lack of precision. The margin of error is too great; emotion is subjective, and therefore it is impossible to quantify how much of something (love) he feels for someone (John Watson) and how his feelings compare to those of his competitors (More than Sarah, less than ______? Less than no one, surely. No, no, no, stop, this isn’t Mad Libs, Sherlock.)
Similarly, he can’t gather his feelings in a test tube and observe them until they make sense. He can’t collect the amount of love he feels between 7:13 am and 7:15 am (John pads down the stairs in his robe, yawns, squints. Hair mussed, beginning to gray in places, exact percentage to follow. Bags under his eyes, too stark: nightmares disturbing his sleep cycle, but he stays in his bed after he awakens to avoid disturbing Sherlock with his footsteps. Too considerate, John. A mumbled good morning, then steady footsteps as he heads outside to collect the morning paper. No trace of the old limp today.) and suspend it over a Bunsen burner until it turns a light purple and begins to smoke. There are no experiments here: feelings simply are.
What a nuisance.