Hey y'all! This idea came to me a few days ago when binge watching a youtube series about female killers (The youtube channel is literally "Female Killers" if you wanna check it out). The case is actually a combination of two of the videos and the names of the actual women I don't remember at all. This is set a year after the season 6 finale so they're back in New York once more as Doherty has been teasing since the finale. One more thing that is also based on real life is the Massachusetts gas explosions which actually happened in Boston last month.

Anyways I missed writing my babies and had to get back to them at least once before exam season hits me like a truck. So enjoy this little oneshot!

Ringing in Joan's ears pierces the darkness forcing her back into consciousness. Her vision is foggy as she opens her eyes to a distorted world. Fire dances up wallpaper and curtains spreading ash and smoke in its wake. She blinks once, twice trying to get her mind to connect previous events to how she got here.

She and Marcus split from Sherlock to investigate a suspect in the killing of a local millionaire. They were looking into the mistress but the sister said she wasn't home. The girl allowed them entry anyways before dismissing herself. She heard Marcus shout and then nothing. Her eyes widen with realization.

It was a trap. There was a bomb in the back room and it'd gone off before she could get out. She tries to sit up but a piece of a support beam weighs heavily across her stomach. Pain blossoms in her ribs as she tries to free herself knocking the breath out of her. She leans her head back trying to find anything in her reach that could help.

"Joan!" The shout of her name just barely cuts through the crackling of the fire around her. Marcus made it out. That's good.

"In here!" She shouts back much to her body's protest. The door crashes in as Marcus appears. His eyes widen as he finds her stuck.

"Shit." He mutters, moving quickly to lift and throw the beam off of her. "It's okay. I got you." She takes in his form noting that he had a few scratches but looked relatively unharmed. He must've gotten out the back door before the explosion went off. "Paramedics are on their way." He lifts her without hesitation carrying her out of the building.

Her head feels heavy again as they step out into the cloudy daylight. Her entire chest burns with the exertion of simply breathing and she wants nothing more than to sleep.

"Hey." Marcus calls to her shaking her gently as he sets her on the damp grass. "No sleeping, they're almost here."

"Sherlock," She coughs aggravating her ribs once again.

"I called the captain they're meeting us at the hospital." He looks up as sirens draw closer, waving on the paramedics as they pile out of the ambulance.

Vaguely she feels herself being lifted onto a gurney with Marcus in toe. One of the men secure an oxygen mask on her face and that's the last thing she remembers before everything fades away once again.

The next time she wakes is to Sherlock's voice and bouncing legs next to her hospital bed. She feels the weight of his hand holding hers. She squeezes his hand lightly pulling his mind from whatever depths it'd plunged into while she was away.

"Joan," Just her name steals her breath away again. She can count the number of instances he'd called her Joan on one hand. Whenever he did she knew he was more serious than ever before. "You're awake."

"Can't keep me down for long." She jokes lightly but it doesn't break the tension in the air.

"I'll call for the nurse." He moves to stand but she doesn't let his hand go. He looks back at her, his face displaying every emotion at once. So few times is Sherlock so open with her. It takes her back a year ago when he tried to say goodbye and leave for London without her. "Watson…"

"I'm okay." She whispers.

"You encountered a bomb."

"So did Marcus."

"Marcus wasn't trapped. You were." His voice is so soft she can barely make out the words. There's so much held in his tone that's unspoken. She partially wonders if he'll ever say what he means aloud. Against every instinct in her body wanting to keep him here, with her, she lets him go. His eyes shine with relief that she understood and he leaves her alone once more.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Growing accustomed to sedentary life is easier said than done for Joan. In the explosion she'd fractured two ribs again as well as a nasty sprain on her ankle. Between the captain, Bell, and Sherlock they were all making sure she was adhering to her doctor's orders. Admittedly she pushed the boundaries occasionally but most of the time it was to see how much she could get away with before the others intervened. Though such a method put her in the place of a half an hour long lecture from Sherlock for simply carrying a box of case files to the evidence room.

Moments like this she especially loathed as one of the recommendations was less outings with the police. She was to remain off her feet as much as possible for proper healing leaving her studying cold case files while Sherlock and Marcus investigate their latest case. Clyde keeps her company in her terrarium that Sherlock kindly set up within her reach. He munches quietly on his lunch while she studies mindlessly.

"Watson!" Sherlock announces himself as he steps in from the crisp November afternoon. "I bring sustenance."

"In here." She calls. He marches in the room placing the bag on the coffee table before peering over her shoulder at her work.

"You'll be happy to hear that the Dane sisters have been apprehended as of this morning. It is unlikely that either of them will escape a life sentence." The Dane sisters, as they discovered, were the millionaire's mistress and her older sisters. They'd conspired together to murder the millionaire as the mistress discovered she was the main benefactor in her lover's will. His marriage was a bitter one with no children to part his money to. The bomb was set to rid of evidence, carefully disguised as liking to the series of gas explosions that wracked Massachusetts homes earlier this year. Though between her and Sherlock it wasn't difficult to unearth enough evidence for conviction.

"Good." She makes her move to stand frowning slightly when Sherlock rushes to her side to support her. She knows he means well but there are just moments where it is a little overwhelming. "At least we have some good news today."

Sherlock just purses his lips in a tight smile and nods. He bounces on his toes a few times eyes fixing on every part of the room except her. She raises an eyebrow waiting for him to explain the odd behavior. Finally his eyes land on her and as if someone pressed pause, he stills. "I have a confession."

"Okay?" Amusement pierces her tone as she studies his features. He's a bundle of nervous energy and it's a state she hasn't seen him in in a far too long time.

"A year ago, when Michael attacked you… Had Hannah not have beaten me to it, quite literally might I add. I would have killed Michael Rowan."

"Don't say that to anyone else they just let us start working with the NYPD again a month ago." She teases but she stops her laugh when she sees how deadly serious he is. Against every instinct that screams in her head she grabs his hand squeezing it lightly. "Hey, I'm okay."

He nods, eyes glued to their hands. When she tries to pull away she finds that he holds her in place, squeezing her hand in return before letting it go. "Yes but you almost weren't. It's becoming an occurrence that is far too often for my liking."

"We're going to have those days Sherlock. Cases will go wrong sometimes. I seem to remember two months ago you got locked in the back of a suspect's trunk and got taken to the other side of New York."

"Yes, I know." He sighs frustratedly. "I just need to get something off my chest. Something that should one of us die tomorrow I know I said my piece."

"Sherlock?"

"Joan," Her name once again holds the strength to knock the air from her lungs. The amount of emotion he can pack into one syllable is remarkable. "The truth is, I've never loved anyone as I have you." He steps closer to her, still minding her space but just enough to make it intimate. A space between them that hasn't been crossed outside of undercover cases. "It's true I loved Moriarty. I once said that everyone else pales in comparison to her. It seems I made the same fatal mistake as she. I underestimated you."

Her fingers reach to him but she stops herself, knowing better than not to interrupt. She doesn't want to break the fragile glass holding this moment together.

"What I had with her though… Is so different. With Moriarty it was as if I was addicted to her. To her touch, to how she made me feel. It was a rush of adrenaline I could never mimic. Not even with heroin. You, however, sustain. You keep me alive Watson. You are like water in a desert. I never knew I was thirsting until I met you. Until I almost lost you, I took that for granted. No more."

His confession hangs in the air on a thin thread. One wrong move would send everything crashing and he could retreat. His eyes no longer meet hers, rather he stares down at the space in between them so focused on the swirls in the wood. She can practically see the shame washing over him.

She takes the step forwards putting herself in his view. Her fingers reach for his cheek pulling his eyes up to hers. She searches them for any chance that this may be some sort of trick of any kind. An experiment that he may be using to test her. Truth and vulnerability shine in the blue depths. Her thumb caresses the thin layer of stubble growing in again. The lack of heels draws her attention to the height difference. His hands hover before landing on her waist, fingers spreading across the fabric of her cardigan. She can practically see him logging every detail into his mind.

In the end it's her that crosses the final line as she leans up brushing her lips against his. His eyes never close still taking in every detail. She grows a little bolder as she feels his grip on her tighten so she presses a little bit firmer gauging his response. Finally tension seeps out of his body and he sinks into her. Her heart thrums so loudly in her ears she wonders momentarily if he can hear it too.

Her breath catches as his hands begin to explore as well. One ventures up her spine settling between her shoulder blades to pull her closer, the other buries in her blonde locks taking in how it feels between his fingers. Her own hands find new places as well, one gripping the front of his shirt and the other the back of his neck, her nails scratching the base of his hairline.

In the heat of the moment she forgets her injuries. She gains more confidence, but as she pushes against him her ribs cry out in protest pulling a whimper from his lips. He immediately pulls away eyes assessing once again. "I'm sorry." He mutters the apology along with the phrases 'foolish' and 'I forgot' dispersed between his quiet words.

"I'm okay." She whispers pressing a faint kiss to the corner of her lips.

"Right." He leans his forehead against hers, lips stretching into a genuine smile. His eyes sparkle with something she's never seen before. It sends her heart thumping all over again. They remain like that for a few minutes. They simply linger in each other's embrace seeking comforts they weren't allowed just minutes before. She feels his heart pounding against her fingertips just as quick as hers. His nose bumps against hers as if he's tempted to delve in once again, yet he resists the pull. "Let's eat before the food gets cold, shall we?"

"I'm starved." She smiles back giddy with promises anew. "What'd you get?"

"Thai. I know it's your favorite."