This continues where Going to Hospital left off. However it can be read alone. All you need to know is there is a semi-established Sherlolly relationship. As always thanks for reading!
Three weeks ago Molly Hooper and Sherlock Holmes spent the majority of an afternoon together in a hospital room. That afternoon resulted in a revelation for both the kind hearted pathologist and the guarded detective. That same day John and Mary Watson had very different revelations about each other. All these revelations were life changing but the whys and hows of those changes will take a bit of explanation.
In the three weeks after his revelation Sherlock spent the majority of his time in hospital. Despite being a genius Sherlock didn't understand that when a doctor told him to stay in bed it wasn't a suggestion. Of course he had very good reasons for leaving the hospital but that didn't make it any less of a bad idea. Sherlock's recovery had been very slow and very torturous for both the detective and the hospital staff.
Whenever Molly made her way to his room she was cheerfully greeted and she noticed the relieved looks of the nurses. Her friend Grant informed her that Sherlock was always easier to deal with after her visits. This information was tucked away in the corner of Molly's heart that was reserved for Sherlock. Truthfully the corner was taking up more and more space these days; which probably explains why her heart felt on the verge of bursting.
Molly's visits varied in length. When Sherlock already had a visitor she found herself filling the role of friendly pathologist. Sherlock never said it out loud but Molly sensed that he was uncomfortable revealing the change in their relationship to their small circle of friends. Mrs. Hudson or Greg always welcomed her and they would have a lively conversation. Occasionally a member of the Holmes family would be in the room. Minnie and Teddy Holmes never revealed that they knew Molly and Sherlock never introduced them. Rather when Molly arrived, he would give his parents a narrow look and they would graciously and quickly exit the room. The one time Mycroft was there Sherlock pretended Molly was delivering lab results for a case. Molly didn't correct him.
More often Molly found John Watson sitting with his friend. Intellectually she knew that Sherlock was the one who had taken a bullet to the gut but John always looked like he was the one in need of medical attention. Molly never stayed long when John was there. If she saw him through the window she wouldn't even go in. Instead she would try to wave at Sherlock before turning and leaving the hospital. She wanted to give the doctor his space and time with his best friend.
Molly's favorite visits occurred when Sherlock was all alone. On those visits Sherlock would greet her with a smile. Molly would approach his bed and lean down to kiss him. They would sit and talk for as long as they could; indulging in holding hands or casual touches like brushing hair from each others face. At these times Molly felt valued and loved. These were her favorite visits.
They were also Sherlock's favorite visits. The injured detective's feelings for Molly were growing daily. She always came with something to keep his brain active. She knew how boring the hospital must be and unlike John she didn't chide him for getting frustrated. Instead she brought him interesting lab results, autopsy reports, or cases. If he didn't feel like talking or was engrossed in his mind palace Molly didn't demand attention. She seemed content to just sit and be with him. She was equally happy to discuss John or Mary and Sherlock's plans to trap Magnusson. Everything she did seemed attuned to his wants and needs. Well almost everything. Sherlock wasn't sure why but Molly wanted their relationship to be a secret.
Sherlock had been enduring a lecture from Mrs. Hudson when Molly arrived. Sherlock had expected Molly to kiss him, sit by him, grab his hand or any of the other things she normally did. He was rather looking forward to the incredulous expression on Mrs. Hudson's face when she realized that Molly was now much more than his pathologist. But Molly never approached his bed. Instead she talked with Mrs. Hudson and barely glanced at Sherlock for the first 10 minutes. Sherlock observed Molly and noted how nervous she appeared. He might have asked about her behavior once they were alone but when Mrs Hudson left she pressed Molly to eat lunch with her. They left together and Sherlock had only his deductions. He came to the conclusion that Molly didn't want to share the existence of their new relationship.
He didn't understand why she felt this way; after all he was very keen that everyone know. Normally Sherlock would have done just what he wanted, however he was trying to respect Molly's feelings. He made sure to always treat her as his pathologist around their friends and acquaintances. It was difficult and confusing but Sherlock was willing to pretend around others if it made Molly more comfortable. Of course it didn't make Molly more comfortable but Sherlock Holmes was not yet a master at understanding human nature.
"Grant told me they are releasing you this week." Molly remarked at the end of one of their rare afternoons alone.
"Yes. They think I am ready and since John is at the flat they believe I will be well taken care of." Sherlock responded. Molly felt a twitch of jealousy at his remark. She wanted to be the one to take care of Sherlock. But since their relationship was a secret she knew it was out of the question. Although Sherlock was, at that very moment, trying to figure out a way to ask her that very question. He too would much rather have Molly helping him.
"That's good. John needs to stay busy right now." She reasoned before asking; "So you won't be taking cases for awhile?"
Sherlock was eager to take cases but knew that he wasn't yet up to his full strength. "Maybe a few but nothing higher than a seven. I won't need to leave the flat to solve those."
"Oh." a look of disappointment crossed her face "so…uh…you won't be coming to St. Barts for awhile?" Molly tried to sound nonchalant but the answer to this question was very important. Ever since Grant had mentioned Sherlock's impending release she had wondered how often she would see him. Since everyone still thought of her has his pathologist she couldn't imagine how they would see each other outside of the hospital.
"Not for cases. But I might be persuaded to do a few experiments." he grinned, remembering that their last experiment at St. Bart's had involved lots of kissing. Conveniently he forgot the fight that immediately followed the kissing. Molly didn't understand his reference but took comfort from his smile.
"I didn't think about experiments." Molly said, her anxiety easing with the knowledge that Sherlock would create reasons to see her.
When Sherlock finally returned to 221B Baker Street Molly didn't go and visit him. Instead she sent him a few texts and patiently waited for him to come to St. Barts for an experiment. At the same time Sherlock was hourly expecting Molly to knock on his door. He saw no reason why she couldn't come and visit. After all Lestrade and Anderson had both dropped by, clearly such visits were appropriate for friends.
Sherlock assumed that Molly was working extra shifts at Bart's to make up for all the time she had spent in his hospital room. Then he discovered that she had lunch with Mrs. Hudson. The next day Lestrade complained about her being absent and unavailable for a case. Sherlock concluded that Molly was choosing to spend her time away from him. Although he didn't admit it (not even to himself) this thought scared him. It scared him because he wanted to spend lots of time with Molly and it seemed she didn't feel the same. Such unbalanced affection had always ended in heartache for Sherlock Holmes.
When Sherlock didn't show up at St. Bart's Molly tried to reason that he was still recovering and that a trip to the lab would be too hard. But she still missed him and wished every day that there was no secrecy. Having to hide their relationship made Molly feel like it wasn't a real relationship. She began to wonder how deeply Sherlock cared for her. She worried that once he could immerse himself in cases he would forget all about her.
In this way a stalemate developed. Four days passed and while both were eager to see the other, neither wanted to be the one to ask. Molly didn't want to intrude. Sherlock didn't want to force her to spend time with him. They both grew frustrated. This frustration might have built, eventually destroying the new relationship before it ever really started, if not for the help of Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade.
So they are off to a rocky start but the course of true love and all that!
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