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Title: Humanitas
Writer: petitecuriosity
Alternate links: Here on AO3
Status of work: Complete
Characters and/or pairings: Molly Hooper; Molly Hooper and Sherlock Holmes Friendship
Rating: PG-13 (Just to be safe)
Warnings, kinks & contents: Bullying, death (insect and minor character), not beta-ed, not brit-picked, spiders.
Length: ~1600 Words
Author's note: First time writing Sherlock fic, new to Sherlock fandom.

Summary: A Molly Hooper character study. A theory on why she admires Sherlock.

As a child, Molly had a difficult time making friends. While the other girls on the playground would screech in fear at the sight of a spider, Molly would gently take the eight-legged creatures into her hands and speak to them. She tried to explain to the girls that it was only the poisonous spiders that could harm you, but they merely sneered, taunted, and ran away. While their words hurt, Molly was never cruel in return. She learned to enjoy the quiet at the edge of the grass under the shady oak tree. The peace of companions who did nothing but provide her with company brought her joy each day. She would tell the spiders not to pay any mind to what the girls said, because she knew that they were special and lovely.

One day, a spider whom she called Samuel sat perched on her knee. She had just told him a joke, lost in a fit of giggles, and unaware of the group of three girls approaching her.

"You only talk to spiders? What a freak!" one of the girls chided.

"You're just like them. Creepy and gross!" another girl told her.

Molly's gaze dropped to her knee as she cradled the spider against her. "Please, just go away," she whispered.

"You're not supposed to hug those things. You're supposed to kill them," the third girl cried. Before Molly could get away, the girl knocked the spider from Molly's knee with a stick, beating the spider mercilessly into the ground. The other girls squealed in glee before all three of them ran away.

Tears stung at Molly's eyes as she gazed down at the crushed creature, his legs bent and mangled. She curled up on her side and lay down next to Samuel, telling him that she still loved him, and that everything was going to be okay.

It was late in the afternoon when Molly finally sat up. She dug a shallow hole in the ground, the dirt gathering beneath her fingernails. She wrapped the spider in a leaf, tucking him into the earth, covering him with the soil. She plucked a dandelion and lay it across the small pile.

"Goodnight, Samuel," she whispered.


As a teenager, Molly had a difficult time fitting in. While her classmates went to sports events and parties, Molly preferred to sit in her father's study and read or do her homework. She had developed an interest in medicine, especially anatomy. She enjoyed nightly chats with her father, a physician, about what she'd been learning in school. The structure of the human form, many intricate parts working harmoniously together, intrigued her. For her sixteen birthday, Molly's father bought her a copy of "Gray's Anatomy", and she treasured the copy dearly. The book quickly grew well-worn, pages doggy-eared and bookmarked. She took it with her to school each day, studying, learning, reveling. It made sitting alone at lunchtime a little easier.

One day, while engrossed in a particularly interesting chapter, Molly was oblivious to the group of classmates that had gathered around her.

"Ewww. You like to look at people's insides? That's gross!" one of the boys grimaced.

"Freak!" one of the girls shrieked.

One of the boys yanked the book away from Molly, tossing it over her head to another boy.

"Please give that back," Molly said, her cheeks burning as she tried to get her book back.

The group ran off, howling as they dropped the book out of the second story window of the cafeteria. Molly ran as fast as she could, only to see her beloved book sitting on top of a trash truck. She felt tears well up in her eyes as it drove away.

Molly collapsed into sobs that night when she returned home, crying into her father's shirt, apologizing profusely. He brushed the hair from her forehead and told her that everything would be alright. That she was intelligent and lovely, and that she'd find her place in the world one day, he was sure of it.

A week later, Molly's father fell ill. Even with tubes in his nose and arms, he tried to smile and joke, make things light for the sake of Molly and her mother. Sometimes, Molly would peek into his room when he was alone, before bringing in a tray of food or a cold compress. It was only while he was alone that he would allow his smile to fade, to let the tears fall, and to bury his sobs into a pillow so that no one would hear him.

When things took a turn for the worst, when Molly's father was barely coherent and speaking, her mother stopped coming to visit her father. She claimed that there was no point, that he couldn't recognize them anyway, that it was pointless. Molly continued going to see him every day. She would bring in articles from medical journals and read to him, tell him about what she was doing in school, and that she still loved him, still thought he was amazing, and that she always would.

He died in his sleep one night, the mortician not coming until morning. Molly sat at his bedside, her hand clasping his. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she told him just how much she was going to miss him, but that he would no longer be in pain, and that she was glad for that. She stayed with him the entire night, not wanting him to be alone on his last night on Earth.

"Goodnight, Dad," she whispered.

A few years later, Molly decided that she wanted to become a pathologist.

"You keep a pet tarantula?" the lithe, dark-haired man had asked as he peered down into the spider's cage.

Molly blinked in surprise. She had only left the lab for a few moments and couldn't fathom how this gentleman had gotten in.

"Uh...Uhm," she stammered, clutching the file she held tightly. "Yes. His name is Samuel. And...you are?" she asked.

"I've got a skull to keep me company. Human conversation is often quite useless. Nice to have a companion who doesn't talk back, isn't it?" he replied with a smile, turning to face her.

Molly's cheeks turned a light shade of pink. "I work in a mortuary. All of my co-workers are dead so I don't have to talk to them at all." She laughed nervously before feeling a wave of cold realization wash over her. "Oh...I-I don't mean that it's good that they're dead, I just--"

The man looked at her quizically. "No need to state the obvious. I deduced the fact that you're a pathologist based on your labcoat and the fact that you smell of embalming fluid."

Molly, subtly, subconciously tried to sniff herself.

"And your name is Molly Hooper, is that correct?" the man inquired, tilting his head to the side.

"Yes...how did you...?

"Name tag. Pretty handy things aren't they? The name's Sherlock Holmes. Consulting detective," he said, extending a hand. "I'm sure Dectective Inspector Lestrade informed you of my arrival?"

Molly swallowed thickly and merely nodded, feeling a warmth spread through her chest as she shook Sherlock's hand. "It's...nice to meet you," she said shyly.

Sherlock merely nodded in reply as he dropped her hand. "I'm assuming you can lead me to the mortuary?" he asked.

"Oh uhm...yes. Yes, right this way," Molly told him, leading him back through the double doors.

"It's actually a rather good thing for you that people die, isn't it?" Sherlock asked, his hands clasped behind his back as they entered the mortuary.

"I--What? I don't--"

"If it weren't for that, you'd be out of a job now wouldn't you?" Sherlock replied with a smile.

Molly felt herself smile a little as well, as she watched Sherlock explore the mortuary.


Sherlock Holmes is a man that is machine-like, but still a man. His mind works at speeds that most could barely fathom. Facts, figures, numbers; calculating, analyzing, bringing each clue together into a coherent whole. Every deduction leaves Molly breathlessly impressed. His mind is always focused, always on a case, a puzzle. He always notices everything. Everything. He isn't shy to point it out either. He has no care for normality or social niceties.

Sometimes, this comforts Molly.

Sherlock will waltz into Saint Bart's and not care that she works with the dead, or that she keeps a copy of "Gray's Anatomy" close by while she works. He in fact will point it out, note what page she's on, and what parts she particularly likes. She enjoys his attention, takes comfort in his orientation to detail. He makes her feel like less of a freak.

Sometimes though, foregoing politeness has its downside.

Sometimes, the things that Sherlock says to her are outright insensitive. Sometimes Molly feels like Sherlock uses her for his own gain. While Molly is occassionally hurt by Sherlock's words, she doesn't think he truly does mean her any harm, not really. She knows what cruelty is like. And Sherlock isn't cruel. Sometimes selfish, sometimes single-minded, but never, outright, cruel.

It isn't just this duality of brilliance and uncouthness that she notices. She also sees his childlike enthusiasm and fascination with cases, finding him to be a kindred spirit, even though she never tells him aloud. They are both intrigued by things others would deem dark or scary. She also knows how he hurts. Being called "freak" no matter how brilliant or accomplished you are, still hurts. And Molly knows that despite the robotic exterior Sherlock portrays, there is a human being that lies beneath. He is more than his brilliance. He is more than his cutting remarks. There is a soul that dwells within him, one that burns with curiosity and a passion for knowledge. He reminds Molly a bit of her father.

When Sherlock asks Molly for her help, she doesn't hesitate to oblige.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2013 12:22 pm (UTC)
You make me want to watch Sherlock again. I remember being acutely uncomfortable with most of the Molly/Sherlock scenes but you do a good job of explaining her side of it here. Nice bit of background on her and I think you have Sherlock's voice down well. Congrats on your first Sherlock fic :)

Aug. 11th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
Do watch it again! :) If you'd like that is.

I'm glad that Molly seemed as though she explained well and that Sherlock sounded alright.

And thanks. :)
Aug. 11th, 2013 02:35 pm (UTC)
What a lovely piece of writing! Good start for writing for Sherlock fandom. I was teary-eyed when I read about Molly's pet and father. Sherlock's remarks are very in character.
Aug. 11th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) I'm glad things seemed in-character.
Aug. 11th, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
I've been rewatching the second series because of you. Your enthusiasm is clearly contagious ;).

Poor Molly. I see far too much of myself in her...
Aug. 11th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
EEEEEEEE!!! You are rewatching!!! ;) (There is a chat-type thing on Tumblr for rewatching that I have found. There is a schedule for the rewatching, if you are interested.)

And I see too much of Molly in myself as well.
Aug. 12th, 2013 09:03 am (UTC)
And you know know what? I see too much Molly in myself too.
Aug. 12th, 2013 09:14 am (UTC)
I think that might be because Molly is the Sherlock fandom.
Aug. 12th, 2013 09:31 am (UTC)
Oh, yes! I wonder how does the actress feel about Benedict?... It would have been hard not to fall for him!
Aug. 12th, 2013 09:35 am (UTC)
Well, in interviews, she seems rather charmed/enamoured by him, but I think she very well may be joking. (I believe there were at least one or two interviews where she went on and on about wanting to run her fingers through his hair.) She could very well be joking...but, she says it so deadpan that I'm not entirely sure lol.
Aug. 12th, 2013 09:47 am (UTC)
I remember this words about the hair! She is very nice & charming person.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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