***Notes*** So here is the sequel. If you haven't read Gone Shopping, I think this will still make sense. BUT you should really go read it! Cause I think it is a pretty fun story. Going back to both POV's in each chapter. Hope you enjoy!
My mind is painfully slow. All attempts to think are met with resistance. I try to push through but everything pushes back and nothing stays in focus. I can't recall where I am but I think I am lying down. I think to open my eyes but find they won't obey me. I feel frustration and panic. I try but can't reach consciousness. I hear a faint voice speaking. I listen, straining to make out the words. They sound sensible and soothing. I focus on the voice and suddenly the words are clear.
"You need to relax. You are coming out of the anesthesia. Just be patient." as I hear the soft lilt in her voice I suddenly see her standing in front of me. Her hair is in a simple ponytail and her white lab coat seems to shine. She looks at me seriously and says it again "You need to relax." and, like magic, I feel my body relaxing. "What happened? I ask her.
"You were shot. You are in hospital. Now sleep."
Before I drop back into oblivion. I whisper her name.
I feel numb. Perhaps the last 24 hours have left my emotions cringing in some corner. I don't blame them for hiding. Hiding seems like a very logical choice at the moment. But I am already outside the hospital and hiding is out of the question. With a deep breath I step through the automatic doors and make my way to Sherlock's room. As I walk I think of the last time I saw the consulting detective. It was only yesterday afternoon but it seems much longer.
The emotionally charged conversation had started with him asking me, in a very Sherlock way, to be his girlfriend. It was sweet and romantic. And our kissing left me in little doubt that Sherlock was, surprisingly, attracted to me. I was incandescently happy for all of thirty seconds.
Then he let it slip that he already had a girlfriend and all I felt was betrayal and anger. His claim that she wasn't a real girlfriend but rather a security weakness he had been cultivating left me unmoved. He then explained his plan to propose and break-up with her. His calm sent chills down my spine. Could he really be so heartless? I felt sick at the thought that our relationship could be similarly manufactured and similarly tossed aside.
We fought. Fighting with Sherlock was a loud and messy affair. Despite my pain and anger I stood my ground. He gave a very good performance as the jilted lover but I couldn't quite believe it. In the end I asked him to leave. I reinstated his banishment from my life; I didn't want to be manipulated anymore. His look of anger and pain almost made me change my mind, almost.
Now his parting words are burned into my mind: "Thank you for confirming that love is nothing more than weakness and human error." Those might have been the last words I ever heard him speak.
I am worried for Sherlock, but I am also still very angry with him. Despite my anger I couldn't refuse to come. John called this morning, sounding exhausted.
"Molly can you come down to the Royal London Hospital?"
"Uh. John. I don't know if Sherlock has told you but we aren't working together anymore." I replied hesitantly.
"What?" I could hear his shock but he recovered quickly. "No. Listen. It's not for a case. Sherlock was shot last night. It was…it was bad. Will you come?"
A million questions formed in my mind but I pushed them aside.
"Yes, of course. I will be there in an hour." I replied.
It is strange being in a hospital that isn't St. Bart's. Many of the sounds and smells are familiar but everything else is different. There is a feeling of almost belonging that only reinforces the fact that I am a stranger here. It all just adds to my increasing sense of emotional disorientation. I approach the nurses station.
"Hi. I am here to see Sherlock Holmes." I say. The nurse looks up from her computer
"The doctors are in with him now. You can see him once they are finished."
"Thanks." I say and turn to the small waiting area. My stomach drops when I recognize Janine sitting in one of the chairs. She has a bandage on the back of her head and looks like she slept in her clothes. She eyes me curiously as I cross the small empty space.
"So you here to see Sherl too?" she asks with the slightest challenge in her voice.
"Uh..Sherl? You mean Sherlock?" I ask confusedly.
"Yeah. Sherlock Holmes. My tall, sexy, boyfriend, well maybe fiancé. I don't quite remember what happened." she says with a laugh and a motion to her head. I decide to ignore her ridiculous pet name and her reference to their relationship.
"That looks like it hurts." I say with all the sympathy I can muster.
"It does. Got knocked in the head. They kept me overnight for observation." she replies but says nothing else. Just looks at me. The silence is bordering on awkward when she speaks.
"Don't I know you from somewhere?"
"Um. Yes. I was at John and Mary's wedding."
"Oh yeah, with the meat dagger guy." She says with a smile, all hostility melting away.
Just then a passing nurse stops and turns to me.
"Dr. Hooper?" I look up and recognize Garrett. Who worked at St. Barts until six months ago.
"Garrett. How ya been?" I ask glad to avoid a conversation about Tom.
We discuss Garrett's new job and our mutual acquaintances. I am grateful he doesn't notice my missing ring. Eventually he leaves with a smile and a wave.
"You're Dr. Hooper?" Janine asks as soon as Garrett turns away. "The one keeping Sherl out all hours with work and lab results." Sherlock hasn't been in the lab for the last month but I feel it would be a mistake to correct Janine. So I just nod my head.
"I have gotten quite cross with him because of you. Just last Friday we were supposed to go to a jazz club, you know how Sherl loves jazz, and he had to cancel because of your lab results." I struggle to hide my confusion. I didn't meet with Sherlock last Friday and I know that Sherlock hates jazz.
"Uh…" I begin but she cuts me off.
"Oh its' okay. He made it up to me with tickets to Les Miserables. The man certainly knows how to grovel." she smiles and I smile back. But I am smiling because I know how much Sherlock hates musical theatre. I wonder if he bought the tickets knowing he would never be attending?
"That's the thing about men like Sherlock. You can't let them ever get too comfortable, they get comfortable, and then they get bored. My motto is to catch the man, keep him guessing, and then decide if you like him enough to keep him." she winks at me and I can't help the little giggle that escapes. Janine is clearly a woman who can take care of herself. Despite myself I think I like her. She has an easy, sexy, confidence and the ability to put you at ease. Qualities I am always wishing I had. I silently hope that Sherlock won't break her heart.
"So are you keeping Sherlock?" I ask.
"Ah. I might do. I might do." she smiles mischievously but then turns serious. "He is a very sweet man, a fantastic listener, very attentive and all that. Plus we like a lot of the same things." Sherlock definitely put in a lot of effort "cultivating" Janine. I can't help but wonder how much of it was work and how much of it he actually enjoyed.
"He is a bit…different, but he is a pretty great boyfriend. It's just…well." she looks around conspiratorially and leans closer. "He is a bloody awful kisser." she whispers.
I raise my eyebrows in surprise because my experience kissing Sherlock was exactly the opposite. I would classify him as a fantastic kisser.
"No." I say. Janine nods.
"Oh yes. It's like he read a book on how to kiss and just follows it; follows it to the letter." she laments. I wrinkle my nose.
"That sounds awful." I reply.
"I know! I can't even imagine how the sex will be!" she says with a grin. I stop myself from asking the burning question that has popped into my head. But Janine guesses my thoughts
"There just hasn't been a right time. What with his cases and all. Well I don't need to be telling you how busy he's been!" I nod but my brain is spinning. Maybe Sherlock wasn't quite as despicable as I thought. Using fake cases and lab results to get out of taking the fake relationship too far seemed almost noble. Next to me Janine sighs.
"He bought me a ring. We've been dating for a month! The daft man. I like him well enough but I think he might be more attached than I am. Ya know?" Feeling a bit like a bobble head I nod once again.
"Relationships where one is more keen than the other never turn out well…." I don't hear anything else because behind her shoulder I see John and Mary walking towards us. When they notice me and Janine sitting there they stop and hold a brief conference. They both look agitated but seem to come to a quick agreement. I refocus on Janine.
"I will probably wait to talk to him till he is out of hospital. Let him down easy." she is saying. I interrupt.
"Oh here comes John and Mary." I stand up and so does Janine.
"How is he?" Janine speaks first.
"He is doing just fine. Everything is fine." John replies then turns to me. "Molly. Will you come with me?" I bend down to collect my bag
"Molly!? You're Molly?" Janine asks in disbelief.
"Yes. Dr. Molly Hooper." I reply.
"But…you..." She looks at John and Mary and doesn't finish her thought. Mary speaks up.
"Janine. Why don't we go get a coffee?" she says gently. Janine only nods, a curious expression on her face, and allows herself to be led away.
"Poor woman." John mutters from beside me.
"She has no idea that Sherlock was only dating her to get into the office." I say. John looks a little taken aback.
"How do you? Nevermind. Doesn't matter." he shakes his head "She doesn't know. She was knocked out when we got there. Then Sherlock got shot and all hell broke loose. I think she just assumed that Sherlock was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"Someone's got to tell her." I say.
"Yeah. That's what Mary is doing right now." he replies. I sigh in sympathy for Mary.
John blows out a puff of air and rubs his face.
"So are you ready to see him?" he asks.
"Yes. But I don't think he'll want to see me." I reply nervously. John looks surprised.
"Well he's been saying your name. Come on." he tilts his head and starts walking. Leaving me no choice but to follow him.
There you go! Hope you enjoyed it! I am doing my own thing with Janine so let me know what you think. Oh and as for the sex thing. It isn't entirely clear but from their hospital scene I think it is implied that they didn't. Be back soon!