Lestrade notices the blood leaking through the back of Watson's jacket moments after he's sent his men down into the sewers to secure Blackwood's machine, but he hasn't time to do anything about it before Clarke shouts "Look, sir! Up there on the new bridge!" and the sight of Blackwood hanging high above the river drives the thought out of his head. It isn't until Holmes has staggered out of the door at the base of the stairs for the bridge that he remembers, and that's only because Watson's knees go out from under him and Holmes isn't in much better case – the two of them hanging on to consciousness determinedly. He puts them in a cab and tells the driver to take them to the nearest hospital, but he isn't surprised when he hears the order countermanded in Holmes's most imperious tones. He doesn't mind. They'll do as well at Baker Street, and it isn't as if Watson hasn't had plenty of practice in patching them up.
Watson spends the cab ride trying to get a good look at the cut on Holmes's arm. As this involves persuading him to unbind the scarf, take off his coat, and then pull off his shirt he doesn't succeed, because Holmes is still trembling with the strain of the fight on the bridge, and he'd far rather babble out his deductions than listen to anything Watson has to say. It's all very clever, Watson has to admit, but he can't focus on any of it now. Blackwood was a fraud, that's the important part. And the Adler woman was working for someone called Moriarty. And Holmes has got a second swordcane for him, very like the first, and wasn't it odd that Blackwood had commissioned it, perhaps intending to frame Watson for some misdeed... The cab pulls up at Baker Street then, and Mrs. Hudson has to pay the fare, because Holmes hasn't got a farthing and all of Watson's money is still locked upstairs in Holmes's drawer.
Mrs. Hudson steers them up to their rooms together, watching to make sure they can manage their way before she goes to fetch hot water. She doesn't know whether to celebrate their return or berate them for dripping blood on her stair carpet, and settles for a bit of both, but she's glad enough when Miss Morstan chooses that moment to call, clutching a newssheet so fresh from the press that the ink is leaking onto her gloves. "Lord Blackwood's dead," it announces, but the details are very thin.
Between them, the two women are able to clear a space on the settee for Holmes and persuade Watson to sit in the armchair they've pulled up alongside. Gladstone is busy snuffling at each of them in turn, the very image of canine concern. Holmes is still explaining things, and Watson has gone very pale, but he's still trying to get Holmes to take off his shirt. It isn't until Mary slips the jacket off of Watson that Holmes sees the blood on it and loses track of what he's been saying. "You're bleeding," he tells the doctor indignantly.
"So are you," growls Watson. "Now. Take. Off. Your. Shirt."
"In front of Nanny?" Holmes protests.
"Nanny's seen worse," Mrs. Hudson points out. "And if you don't take it off yourself, we'll just wait until you faint and pull it off you then."
Holmes casts an uncertain eye at Mary, but she folds her arms and gives him her best "I am the governess" stare until a corner of his mouth quirks up and he turns his gaze to Watson. "I will if you will," he offers.
It would be funny, if only the removal of their shirts didn't reveal the array of bruises which they've both acquired. While Mary applies the carbolic, Mrs. Hudson goes down to the kitchen to start some broth. She's back with sandwiches and small beer by the time that Watson has bound Holmes's arm and Holmes has helped Mary get fresh bandages on his shoulder. The food revives the two men a little – enough that they insist that they can deal with the injuries they've acquired below the beltline without assistance – but Mary waits outside with Gladstone anyway until she hears John's sleepy summons.
Holmes is asleep, covered with an afghan, his face slack as she has never seen it before. John is nearly asleep himself, but he's wrapped Holmes's ratty dressing gown around himself and he's managed to get upright. He lets her escort him to the bedroom which has been his. It's barren now, without his books and things in it, but the bed is still there, and she tucks him in, giving him a chaste kiss only moments before he is snoring.
Gladstone has followed her, but now that he's seen Watson is sleeping he wants to go back to Holmes. She lets the short, round dog lead her back to the sitting room, and is treated to the sight of the great detective already on his feet and hunting along the mantelpiece for a book. It's a mercy that he's thought to wrap the afghan around himself, she thinks, for he colors up like a schoolboy when he realizes she is standing in the doorway.
"Thank you for pretending to sleep so that John would rest," she says, and is bestowed a small nod of the head and a smile that is very different from the smile he gave her at the Cafe Royale.
"Thank you for seeing that he needs his rest," Sherlock Holmes answers. He's swaying, just a bit, and clutching his book with whiteknuckled hands.
"He does, and so do you." It isn't hard to get him to back away until his knees are at the settee – all she has to do is walk forward. "I'll just stay and keep Gladstone company while you read, shall I?"
He won't acknowledge defeat, nor does she expect him to, but he does lie down again, and opens the book, only casting her a few glances over the top of the pages. Within a few moments his eyes have closed. Within half an hour, she is able to retrieve the book from his limp grasp and tuck the afghan higher. She's suspicious enough to stay a while longer, but he's truly asleep this time.
Mrs. Hudson greets her as she comes out onto the landing at last. "I generally need a nice cup of tea about now," the landlady says.
Mary listens for a moment to the snores coming from the rooms on either side, joined now by the asthmatic rendition belonging to Gladstone. "Tea would be lovely," she says, and goes on down the stairs.