holmesticemods: (Default)
[personal profile] holmesticemods posting in [community profile] holmestice
Title: A Long Game
Recipient: [personal profile] starfishstar
Author: [personal profile] alafaye
Verse: BBC
Characters/Pairings: Molly/Anthea, Lestrade/Mycroft
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Summary: When Mycroft makes plans to get Lestrade into his bed, Anthea makes plans of her own.
Word Count: 1925
A/N: Thanks to my beta,[personal profile] sanguinity. And to my recipient, [personal profile] starfishstar, I know this wasn't any of the prompts you gave, but I do hope you enjoy it!


Molly looked up when she heard the knock. DI Chambers smiled and DI Lestrade waved. She finished writing up an interesting note on her clipboard -- there had been an old scar on the outside, just above the lung; her internal examination showed it was from a punctured lung; it would be useful in identifying the body -- and put the clipboard down.

"I'm just about done," she told them.

Chambers nodded. "Good, good. Anything we should know?"

She took a deep breath, but before she could start, someone banged down the hallway, at the service entrance to the hospital. All three of them moved toward the observation window, curious. Chambers swore and Lestrade winced.

"I want to see the body," a tall man shouted. He had the look of the junkies Molly had seen come through near weekly last month when a batch of bad cocaine had swept through the East End. "Body, now!"

Chambers met the man out in the hallway, before he could enter the room. "And I told you to piss off."

Molly looked at Lestrade. "Someone we know?"

Lestrade see-sawed his hand. "Not as such. He barged onto the crime scene, claiming he knew what happened. We asked him if he had seen it and he said he hadn't, but he still claimed to know what happened."

A knock on the door made them both jump. Yet another man was standing there. He was the opposite to the other, slightly chubby and well dressed. He almost looked like someone Molly had seen on the telly, something about the government, but she couldn't be sure. This man nodded curtly at Molly and turned a piercing look at Lestrade. "Would you please join us, Detective?"

Molly looked at Lestrade and he raised his eyebrows. He left to join the argument in the hallway and she winced. A woman glided into the room to stand next to Molly. She was holding a phone. "Hello."

Molly smiled, but it was weak. This was turning into one of the oddest nights of her career. And that included not just last month's bad drug deaths, but also her turn in the infectious disease ward. "Busy night it seems."

The woman raised a cool eyebrow. "For you maybe."

Molly blinked. "I'm sorry?"

The woman pursed her lips and opened her phone as it pinged. "This is an average night for us, I'm afraid."

Molly looked out of the observation window where there was some heated discussion going on. She wasn't sure she'd want to part of anything that meant this was an average night. This is why she chose bodies; they were quiet. "I'm sorry."

The woman looked up, mid-type. "Sorry?"

Molly shrugged. "That it's an average night for you. I can't imagine it's easy if you usually have nights like this."

The woman smiled, just a little. "Thank you." She finished what she had been doing. "I'm Anthea. I'm expect we'll be seeing each other again."

Molly frowned. "Again?"

Anthea hummed.

~~~

Lestrade stormed into the room. "Molly! I hear we have a body that was dropped off on our doorstep."

Molly nodded. "Male, about sixty five years of age. Heavy smoker and drinker. I noticed a bump on his head, but nothing that I would think is suspicious, especially if he had been drinking. I hadn't checked his stomach just yet so I can't tell you if he was drunk when he was attacked."

"And he was attacked?" Lestrade asked, opening his notebook.

Molly nodded. "Yes. He was stabbed in the shoulder and then again in the neck."

Lestrade tapped his pen against his paper. "And he was just dropped off at the door?"

Molly nodded. "Yes. Very unusual. I'm sure I'll be getting an earful about moving him, but I got the all clear from up above."

Lestrade froze. "Up above?"

"Yes," she answered. "I phoned in to the police as soon as I realized and a few minutes later I got a call that I was okay to move him."

Lestrade muttered under his breath. Molly waited, curious. A knock on the door startled her, but she noticed that it hadn't startled Lestrade. Sherlock's brother stood in the doorway, Anthea ever present at his shoulder. Molly looked at the body. Oh, dear.

"Lestrade, a word?" Mycroft asked.

Lestrade closed his notebook. Molly bit her lip as the men went into the hallway. Anthea smiled at Molly. "Evening."

Molly sighed. "I'm going to have close up the body for transport, aren't I?"

"No, we trust you," Anthea replied. "Finish up your autopsy and we'll be along to pick it up."

Molly blushed. She couldn't help it. It had been a year since Sherlock had pulled her and Lestrade into his orbit and things had only gotten stranger. But one thing Molly knew for sure was that Mycroft was involved in something very high up and hidden in the government. That she was being trusted with the autopsy of a body that was likely to be important to the nation's government... Well, it was humbling.

"I'm not going to find anything suspicious that could make my career, but which I'll have to hide, will I?" she asked.

Anthea sighed. "I wish I could say for certain no, but one never knows."

Molly wrinkled her nose. The discussion in the hallway suddenly spiked in volume, at least on Lestrade's end, and Molly and Anthea edged to the door. They peeked out, curious. Lestrade had managed to press Mycroft back against the wall.

Anthea hummed. Molly looked at her. "What?"

"Just..." She smiled. "My boss was right."

Molly frowned.

~~~

Molly had never done fieldwork. Never. She stayed in the morgue and processed bodies after they were removed from a crime scene. It made her a bit queasy to think about it, to be honest, which made no sense. She could easily perform an autopsy without blinking an eye and she hadn't been sick over it since her school days. But thinking about seeing a fresh body at a murder scene? No, she much preferred to be in the morgue.

But here she was, being whisked away to somewhere north. She'd had to sign the NDA that Anthea had given her before leaving the morgue and London altogether.

"Are you sure that there is no one else who can do this?" Molly asked quietly, seated next to Anthea in the roomy town car.

Anthea didn't stop writing something on her phone. (There were days when Molly was curious about what exactly Anthea was doing all the time, but she suspected finding out would not only involve another NDA, but that the answer would go right over her head.) "Unfortunately, Sherlock has already gotten involved."

Molly winced and sat back. There were few people she knew who could and would work with Sherlock and of that number, even fewer whom he was willing to work with. "Still. I don't do field work. I'm not..."

"You'll do fine," Anthea assured her.

Molly blushed. Okay. She looked out the window as the car slowed down. The road was blocked off and two MPs were standing on guard. Molly took a deep breath. She startled at the hand on hers. Anthea winked. "You can do this."

Molly licked her lips. The MPs confirmed their paperwork and the car started forward. They went only a little further before stopping. A crime scene had been taped off and Lestrade and Mycroft were both standing nearby. To anyone else, they would look like they were discussing the scene, but Molly had seen them together often enough to know they weren't. In fact, they looked like they were just catching up, the way friends did.

"I can't believe they're finally getting along," Molly remarked.

Anthea smirked. "Oh, I think it's a bit more than that."

Molly looked again. "What do you mean?"

Anthea raised an eyebrow. "Do I really need to spell it out?"

"You mean...?" Molly let out a breath. "That's..."

Anthea stopped in the act of opening the car door. "It's not a problem, is it?"

Molly shook her head. "No! Ah, no. I just didn't think either of them..."

"We are none of us stereotypes," Anthea pointed out, her focus for once completely on Molly.

It was...a bit uncomfortable, but also good. It had been a long time since Molly had had a woman's full attention, and never like this. There was something in Anthea's body language; something... Well, Molly wouldn't say it was seductively interested, but it could have been. Molly bit her lip. "No, that's not what I meant. They've spent the last few years just arguing or discussing Sherlock."

Anthea slowly smiled. "Over time, one's feelings can develop even hidden in the most normal of conversations."

Molly blushed.

~~~

Lestrade tried to get a closer look at the wound without coming into contact with the body -- covered in an acid that had eaten through the clothes -- but had to give that up when it was clear that he couldn't find a way. He looked at Molly. "What should I know?"

Molly bit her lip. "There's not much to go on. This fluid is an acid, but it only seems to be eating at the fabric. Her face was destroyed before the acid came into contact. The breakdown pattern is different. This wasn't a sexual crime; I already checked. There are not further wounds on her body that I could easily determine, but I will be checking her stomach; it could be that whatever was used on her face ended up in her stomach as well."

Lestrade sighed and scratched his chin. "She doesn't work in the building we found her in, but it is a chemical factory."

"Consistent with the liquids," Molly remarked. He hummed.

A knock on the door had them both turning. Molly smiled. Anthea winked over Mycroft's shoulder.

Lestrade groaned. "One of yours?"

Mycroft shook his head. "No. I happened to be in the hospital on another issue. When Anthea informed me you were here, I came to visit."

Lestrade blushed. Molly shared a smile with Anthea over it. Mycroft cleared his throat. "I actually wondered if... Ah, girls, if you wouldn't mind?"

Molly shared a look with Anthea who was in agreement to give Lestrade and Mycroft privacy. After all, she and Anthea were both involved now and wanted to know that everything was going to turn out fine. Happily, Molly followed Anthea out of the room.

Peeking in through the window, Molly grinned when she caught sight of a very light kiss.

"Excellent," Anthea muttered. "This was a very long chase, but I'm glad it's worked out for all. Well, almost."

Molly turned away from the window. "Almost?"

Anthea slowly smiled. "Quite. Mycroft has become quite busy as I'm sure you've figured out. I unfortunately accompany him to most places now in case something happens. Would you accompany me to the restaurant on the night they agree on?"

Molly bit her lip. "So you're not alone?"

"As my date, actually."

"I think I'd like that, yes."

"Wonderful."

Molly took a deep breath and marveled that she and Lestrade had both managed to be snagged by long plots. From the look of things, though, both plots were going to be well worth the effort. Molly at least knew she'd show her appreciation. As often as Anthea wanted her to.

Anthea leaned in. "My name is Charlotte. I wanted you to know that so you know what name you'll be screaming later."

Molly squeaked.

Date: 2017-06-13 10:41 pm (UTC)
trobadora: (Sherlock - on to you)
From: [personal profile] trobadora
Oh, this is fabulous! I adore Anthea.

Date: 2017-07-01 05:56 pm (UTC)
alafaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alafaye
Thank you!

Date: 2017-06-14 12:37 am (UTC)
gardnerhill: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gardnerhill
Hoh hoh HOH. Mollthea totally works!

Date: 2017-07-01 05:56 pm (UTC)
alafaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alafaye
*grins*

Date: 2017-06-14 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] marta_bee
That last line - so cheeky! Really enjoyed seeing these two couples getting under each other's skin a bit.

Date: 2017-07-01 05:56 pm (UTC)
alafaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alafaye
Thank you :)

Date: 2017-06-14 04:28 pm (UTC)
starfishstar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starfishstar
Oh! Oh, this is adorable! And what are you talking about, this is *so* many things I asked for! (Mycroft/Lestrade, Lestrade-centric, Molly-centric, Anthea-centric, features women of the show being awesome... And did you know what a weakness I have for Anthea?)

As I read I jotted down lots of little moments I particularly enjoyed (the better to be able to comment about them in detail!) but looking back over my notes I see nearly all of them consist of...Anthea.

Anthea being coolly unflappable. Anthea being all mysterious! Anthea giving Molly just the degree of encouragement she needed, with that little wink and a "You can do this." Anthea picking up on the flirtation between Greg and Mycroft before anyone else, and nudging Molly into noticing it too.

Each character was introduced into the story in such an excellently characteristic way, too. (Mycroft: vaguely familiar as a public figure and "something about the government"; Anthea: glides into the room, holds phone, says a no-nonsense "Hello.") I appreciated the structure, where Molly and Anthea were watching Greg and Mycroft's interest in each other unfold over the course of many seemingly matter-of-fact interactions...and were also finding the same thing happening to them. "Over time, one's feelings can develop even hidden in the most normal of conversations" indeed.

I totally ship Molly/Anthea now! They make a lovely pairing and are such a good balance to each other, Anthea's strength of purpose paired with Molly's initial timidity but incredibly good heart and deep empathy.

Thank you for such a sweet and delightful story!

Date: 2017-07-01 05:57 pm (UTC)
alafaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alafaye
Oh, good. I'm so glad I found things you liked and made a story that you enjoyed.

You're welcome, dear.

Date: 2017-06-15 06:44 am (UTC)
pipmer1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pipmer1
This was great! I like how it starts out with Sherlock crashing into the scene, but described in such a way that his name is never mentioned and yet we know it's him. And then the little glimpses we get of Anthea and Molly, and how we're meant to fill in the blanks on the development of their relationship. And the same with Mycroft and Lestrade. Just lovely.

Date: 2017-07-01 05:57 pm (UTC)
alafaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alafaye
Thank you :)

Date: 2017-06-15 01:47 pm (UTC)
scfrankles: knight on horseback with lance lowered (Default)
From: [personal profile] scfrankles
I do love that ending, with Anthea reading Molly's mind ^___^ A lovely and amusing note to finish on.

Date: 2017-07-01 05:57 pm (UTC)
alafaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alafaye
Thank you :)

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