Author's notes: Well, I'm no stranger to the world of fan fiction, as you can see in my profile. But this is my first CtM fan fiction and I'm kinda nervous what you all think of it. People on Tumblr told me to continue after they'd read the first part, so here's chapter 1. I have no idea if I'm going to be able to update on a regular basis. But I'll do my best to finish this story somehow. Please keep in mind that English is not my first language and it's not beta'd yet as I'm looking for a beta-reader. Oh, and unfortunately I don't own CtM at all...
She was in enormous pain. Walking took all the strength she had left. Finally the building of Nonnatus House came into her line of vision. She stumbled up the stairs and managed one knock on the door before she sank to the ground and her world went black.
Sister Mary Cynthia and Sister Winifred were about to go to bed, when they heard a knock on the door. Both young sisters halted and waited for another knock to follow the one they thought they heard. When none came, they looked at each other and Sister Winifred decided to open the door. Sister Mary Cynthia had followed closely and when the door opened both women couldn't contain their gasp of horror at the sight that greeted them. It was Sister Winifred who recovered first and sprang into action.
"Sister Mary Cynthia, go call Sister Julienne for help."
Sister Mary Cynthia nodded and walked as quickly as she could - running of course was not acceptable - to get Sister Julienne. One knock on her door was enough and soon both Sisters were on their way down.
Sister Winifred quickly took in the woman's appearance, who was lying unconscious on the stairs that led to Nonnatus House. Her immediate conclusion was that something horrible had happened to the woman. The clothes she was wearing were covered in blood and torn. When Sister Winifred carefully turned her onto her back, she noticed bruises on the woman's neck and face, her right eye was swollen shut and her breathing was labored.
"Oh dear," Sister Julienne said and quickly took charge. "Sister Mary Cynthia, I want you to call doctor Turner and then sergeant Noakes."
Sister Mary Cynthia nodded and hurriedly left to make the calls.
"Help me carry her to the nearest guest chamber, Sister." Sister Julienne said to Sister Winifred. The younger Sister nodded and carefully they carried her to the nearest room and laid the injured woman on the bed. Sister Julienne had a fairly good inkling of what had happened, but to be sure she had to examine her. Even though the woman was unconscious, Sister Julienne respected her virtue, therefor she asked for Sister Winifred to fetch her a bowl of water and a wash cloth. Then, as the door had closed, Sister Julienne carefully removed the woman's clothing. The blood she saw on the woman's thighs confirmed the Sister's suspicion.
A knock on the room's door made her pull up the sheet, so the woman would remain covered. Then she called out an enter. The door opened and inside stepped Sister Winifred with the bowl of water and a wash cloth, together with doctor Turner. Sergeant Noakes stood still in the door opening. One look told him enough and he told the two Sisters and the doctor he would take Sister Mary Cynthia's statement first and theirs later.
"Why don't you go and give your statement as well? Doctor and I will be able to manage." Sister Julienne said.
"Are you sure?" Sister Winifred asked.
The older Sister nodded and told her younger Sister to go, her voice clear. Sister Winifred accepted the dismissal and quietly closed the door as she left. Doctor Turner looked questionably at Sister Julienne.
"Aside form the obvious beating she suffered, I have reason to believe she has been violated. There's blood on her inner thighs and her knickers are gone."
"I see," the doctor replied. "You need to make a statement about that, Sister, although I think sergeant Noakes might have an inkling of that. Let's see if I can do at least something to stop the swelling in the face. And I need to check if she has any other injuries."
It was when doctor Turner had gone home and the woman was made as comfortable as could be, that Sister Julienne made her statement to sergeant Noakes. "So, I take it there's no means of identifying the woman?"
Sister Julienne shook her head. "I'm afraid not, sergeant. Unless my Sisters have found a purse?" and she looked at her Sisters in question. Both shook their head, they hadn't found nor seen any purse at all.
"That's what I was afraid of," the sergeant sighed. "We'll be having a hard time figuring out who contact then, but we'll do our best."
"She must have relatives somewhere whom are concerned of her whereabouts, I'm sure." Sister Julienne replied. "In the meantime doctor Turner told me it was best not to move her around that much, and for now she's best of here I think. Doctor will come and check in tomorrow morning again, to see how she is doing."
"Well, I'd better go and see if we can try and locate her family." Sergeant Noakes stood.
Sister Julienne walked him to the door. "If you need our help, let us know. She was walking around in Poplar, she must live either in this neighborhood or very nearby. I can't imagine her traveling far with the injuries she sustained."
"I'll keep your offer in mind, Sister Julienne. Thanks!"
Patrick Turner had arrived home ten minutes ago, but he couldn't bring himself to step out of his car and enter his home. He couldn't help but see his wife's face on the pillow. The same small figure, the same height, faces alike, around the same age (give or take a year or two). It creeped him out so much that when there was a knock on the window of his car, he startled. Outside he saw his wife standing in nothing than her nightgown. The dressing gown she wore did not much to keep the chill of the night away and she had wrapped her arms around herself to keep warm.
He opened the door of his car, stepped out and pulled his wife to him. Her arms opened and welcomed him in a much needed embrace. "That bad?" She whispered and all he can do was nod his affirmative to her question. Shelagh Turner knew the situation of her husbands newest patient had been a bad one. Knowing her husband as well as she did after only two years of marriage, she knew he would talk to her about it when he was ready for it. "Come, let's get inside." She said. "I'm freezing."
Patrick looked at his wife and noticed the slight tremble she was trying to hide. He took of his coat and wrapped her up in it. It made him remember that time when he'd found her on the road leading from the sanatorium that foggy day. What he couldn't do then, he could do now. He softly pecked her lips, slightly lingering. Then he wrapped his right arm around her shoulders and guided her inside their home, up the stairs to their bedroom. She disgarded her dressing gown and quickly got into bed. When Patrick had changed, he quickly followed her and wrapped her in his arms, needing the assurance she was really there with him. Sleep followed quickly, dreamless, straight till morning.
Sister Monica Joan wandered the hallways of Nonnatus House with a mission. She was looking for something, but couldn't remember where she had left it. Nearing the guest chambers, she knew this was not where she had left whatever she was looking for. She was about to turn around to go to the dining room when she heard a soft whimpering from the first room. When the whimpering got louder, Sister Monica Joan took a look inside and she gasped. "Oh my dear! What kind of awful incident happened to you?" The oldest Sister of Nonnatus House walked to the bed and stroked the woman's face tenderly. The whimpering stopped and silently Sister Monica Joan left the room. She hurried to the dining room, where she knew her other Sisters would be having breakfast. She had forgotten the midwives would be there having breakfast as well, when she stormed in. Everyone stopped what they were doing at that moment and Sister Julienne asked what was wrong.
"What happened to Shelagh?"
"Shelagh's at home with Patrick, Sister Monica Joan." Sister Julienne answered gently.
"No, she's not!" Sister Monica Joan exclaimed. "I saw her lying in the first guest chamber just a moment ago, muttering 'you promised'!"
The midwives looked at each other confused. Sister Evangelina noticed the only people who weren't confused by the out burst were Sister Julienne, Sister Mary Cynthia and Sister Winifred. "Well," she grumbled, "which one of you three is going to explain what's going on?"
"When we went to bed last night, there was a knock on the door." Sister Mary Cynthia started.
"When we opened the door, there was a woman lying on the steps, she was unconscious." Sister Winifred continued.
"We couldn't leave her out there." Sister Mary Cynthia added. "So we called for Sister Julienne."
"Doctor Turner and sergeant Noakes were called. Doctor found it best not to move her anymore, so I found it for the better she stayed here." Sister Julienne explained. "And I think I understand doctor's reaction much better now and why she looked so familiar to me, thanks for helping Sister Monica Joan."
"So, it is Shelagh, then?" Nurse Gilbert asked.
"No, she's not." Sister Julienne replied, "But she does look an awful lot like her."