After the new episode, I think it was obvious to all that there is quite a bit more behind Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson's relationship than we previously thought. This is me exploring that relationship, because I really really wanted to. I do fully intend to write probably one, maybe two more chapters to this story, so stay tuned if you enjoy this first one! Thank you all!
John's fist closed around the wadded rag in his hand, squeezing the excess water and blood from it and into the bowl. He dabbed the warm cloth on Sherlock's forehead, gently wiping blood away from Sherlock's eye and brow, where a fairly extensive cut marred the normally white skin.
"How ever did you survive without me before?" John asked, shaking his head as he rinsed out the rag again.
"I'm not incompetent you know John, I don't need other people to take care of me."
John snorted, grabbing Sherlock's head with his free hand when he jerked it away. "Yes you do. So who was it? Or were you just very lucky?"
Sherlock smiled wryly to himself, but kept quiet. His mind as ever though, was alert and exploring the memories that John's comment had conjured…
Five years earlier.
"-on. Son? Are you all right?"
Sherlock's head was pounding, and his vision swam sickeningly.
Information: Head pounding, dizzy vision, sick feeling in stomach, pain in ribs, inhale difficult.
Conclusion, concussion, three cracked ribs on left side. Multiple cases of bruising. I'm fine.
"Fne- I'm fine.." Sherlock slurred out, impatiently waving away the woman who was bent over him in concern. She was an elderly woman, dressed neatly and conservatively, her kind eyes peering down at him with a worry that annoyed him. Couldn't she see there were bigger things going on than this? He still hadn't told the police about the killer. A buzz vibrated through his ribs and he sucked in a breath as the cellphone's text message alert aggravated the fresh fractures in his ribcage. Fumbling for his phone and trying to sit up at the same time, Sherlock barely realized the woman was talking to him again until she had nearly finished.
"-an ambulance should be on its way."
Sherlock's head snapped up at the woman's comment from where he was now leaning against the alley wall. The action sent a sickening wave of pain and nausea through him and he didn't have time to protest her decision to send him to a hospital before he got sick all over the pavement. The woman, instead of backing away, was at his side and now kneeling next to him; not an easy position in a woman of her age with an obviously deteriorating hip Sherlock noted, but she was there anyway. Smoothing back his hair and rubbing his back. Sherlock wanted to shake her off, but her ministrations reminded him of his mother and the comfort he used to accept from her. He was too sick to bother anyhow.
Fumbling for his phone again, Sherlock managed to squint at the headache intensifying screen and read the text he'd received.
Killer apprehended, thanks for nothing. Freak.
Sherlock leaned back against the wall again, painting for breath and snapping the phone shut in frustration. He should have noticed the patterns, should have known that man was behind him. All Sherlock wanted to do was lay there in pain and humiliation by himself, and this blasted good Samaritan wouldn't let him.
"Son, are you feeling any better? Would you like some water?" The woman asked him gently, her hand still on his shoulder.
"No, I don't need anything I'm fine. Get off of me!" Sherlock said, his irritation bleeding into his words as freely as the cut in his scalp. The woman backed away slightly, but didn't leave. Sherlock braced himself, trying to get up unsuccessfully. If she wasn't going to leave, then he'd have to. He made it half way to his feet before feeling too sick to continue and he was forced to freeze half standing against the wall, the woman hovering around him, not touching him but obviously wanting to help.
"They should be here any second, please, don't try to get up. You'll injure yourself worse." She pleaded with him.
Sherlock turned his head and glared at her until the pain in his head forced him to shut his eyes. Moving one more time, Sherlock involuntarily inhaled sharply in reaction to the ache in his skull, and was rewarded with a burning, shooting pain in his side as his broken ribs ground together. Crippled by the pain and the concussion, Sherlock's body took the initiative and shut him down, causing him to collapse in the alley right as the ambulance arrived.
When Sherlock next woke up coherently he was not where his logical mind had expected him to be. Instead of scrubbed walls and starched sheets, Sherlock found himself tucked into a very comfortable, very large bed, his chest tight with bandages and his headache a dull buzz behind what he assumed were lots and lots of painkillers. The light in the room was thankfully dim, and it smelled faintly of roses.
"There you are darling." A kind voice came filtering through the air. Sherlock's sharp mind struggled to focus on the voice through the drugs. He decided that he did NOT like the drugs that did this to his brain. They weren't conducive to thinking at all. A hand slipped behind Sherlock's head and a glass was held to his lips. At first he fought the attention, but he was thirsty and so allowed himself to drink the offered sustenance.
"I know you were probably expecting to be at the hospital, but they said there was nothing more they could do for you and your brother seemed busy when he showed up, so I promised him I would take care of you."
Sherlock closed his eyes again, blinking slowly as his vision cleared and he was finally able to see his caretaker clearly. He wanted to tell the woman that all he needed to do was get back to his flat, but he suddenly felt very tired and all he could manage was a nod to show her that he understood.
"Good dear. Now, my name is Mrs. Hudson. Your brother and the doctors told me your name is Sherlock. Just rest your head Sherlock, and try not to move onto your left side. I'll be waking you up every two hours until we're sure your concussion is taken care of, other than that I'll let you be. I've got a glass of water here by the bed if you need it, and if you need more medicine or tea or anything of the sort just ring this bell I have nearby and I'll come running. My husband is out and I'm not busy, so don't worry about bothering me. If you need anything all you have to do is just call." Not letting Sherlock respond, Mrs. Hudson stood, patting Sherlock's chest gently and setting the water on the nightstand. Sherlock feel asleep again before she even left the room.
The next time Sherlock woke up on his own, he was much more clear headed, and the pain medications had worn off. Sherlock pushed himself into a sitting position, his eyes roaming the room at lightning speeds, taking in every detail about Mrs. Hudson and her life from his surroundings.
Middleclass, married for 20, no, 30 years. Unhappy for the last five. Husband away most of the time. Mrs. Hudson raised four children, has grandchildren but doesn't get to see them much. She still has a mothering instinct. I've activated it.
Sherlock looked up at a sound to the sight of Mrs. Hudson approaching with a tray of tea and toast.
"Good, you're awake!" She exclaimed. "It's been ages since I last let you fall asleep. We were past the danger period with your concussion; you've been sleeping for twelve hours!" She exclaimed, setting the tray down and sitting on the edge of the bed, putting her hand on Sherlock's forehead. Sherlock flinched away from her touch, his face twisting in disgust. He was fine, couldn't she see that! And how could he have let himself sleep for so long?
"Yes, thank you for your hospitality." He said brusquely. He was going to have words with Mycroft later. "I've imposed on you for far too long; it's time I'm going. My head feels much better." He said, moving to get up. Mrs. Hudson put a firm hand on his shoulder and forced him to sit back again.
"Oh no, you are not leaving my house until you've had something to eat. Your head may be doing better, and thank the Lord for that, but if you faint of hunger then you'll re-crack your ribs. Just lay back and have some tea at least."
"I'm not hungry." Sherlock replied curtly.
"Well, then this will just sit there until you are, and you're not leaving until that food is gone. And not down the toilet either."
Four kids and grandchildren. I'm going to kill Mycroft.
Sherlock set his jaw momentarily, before accepting the tea and submitting himself to Mrs. Hudson's efforts. The one thing he didn't allow her to see however, was that he was still in a lot of pain. He refused to have his brain muddled in that drug induced fog again. A different kind of drugs could be used later.
"Yes. Of course." He said, sipping on the tea and forcing out a smile. "Thank you."
As quickly as he could, Sherlock finished the meal. The entire time Mrs. Hudson didn't bother him once, but he could feel eyes watching him. Not in an unfriendly way, but definitely in a motherly way.
FOUR kids Mycroft. I'm Twenty Eight, I don't need a mum anymore.
Once done with his food and tea, Mrs. Hudson returned with a fresh glass of water and some more painkillers, which Sherlock discreetly slipped into his jacket pocket as he got dressed. It hadn't escaped his notice that he was in a pair of men's pajamas, not his, but fit him perfectly, and that he hadn't gotten himself into them. He couldn't help but feel violated that he didn't know who exactly had maneuvered him into the sleeping clothes. It wasn't a case of modesty, it was a case of the fact that Sherlock hated being fussed over in the first place. And being changed while unconscious was the lowest of the low in his opinion. Into pajamas his brother so obviously bought him no less. He deftly buttoned his own shirt and slipped his suit jacket over that to ban the thoughts.
Leaving the room in search of his coat, Sherlock was greeted by Mrs. Hudson, who was holding his coat and scarf out to him.
"I rinsed your scarf and washed it for you, it was full of blood. I almost had to throw it out. There didn't seem to be much on your coat though." She said.
"Yes, thank you very much Mrs. Hudson." Sherlock said, giving her a polite smile as he put on his coat and scarf. "So sorry to impose, your hospitality has been most- unexpected." Sherlock's long fingers wrapped around Mrs. Hudson's, and she smiled back, unsure of what to make of this strange youth.
"Yes, well, take care of yourself Sherlock. It's little wonder you broke those ribs, sticking out as they are. I'm sorry I couldn't do more."
So she's the one who dressed me. Stupid. Obvious.
"I'll be fine. Thank you." Sherlock said, giving her hand a final squeeze and leaving out the front door and back into the streets of London.
In a city like that, not even Sherlock Holmes could have predicted that Mrs. Hudson and he would meet again.