Disclaimer: All original characters and such belong to the BBC.
Summary: Sherlock's wrist hurts and Molly wants to help.
Chronology: Sometime pre-Reichenbach
Rating: K for fluff
Author's Note: A oneshot piece I wrote for Whump Night.
"Bad case then?"
Sherlock Holmes looked up in irritation to find Molly Hooper standing on the other side of the table in front of him, the usual awkward-nervous grin on her face and her hands clasped in front of her, twitching every so often.
"I beg your pardon?" he asked, doing his best to damp down the extreme irritation he felt at the interruption of his work though he felt a scowl etching slowly across his feature.
"I…Oh. Ah, never mind." Molly bit her lip, seeming embarrassed and apologetic and she started to turn away.
"Molly, if you are going to interrupt me, at least let it be for something more than idle chatter."
She turned back. "Oh, no. I uh…It's just…Well, your wrist," she finished lamely, holding up her own arm as an example.
He stared. "What?"
"Well, it's just you've been shaking your arm all night and you had trouble putting those slides together and you just keep frowning but it's more of a pain thing and not a frustration thing. I mean, I haven't seen you do anything terribly strenuous so you must have been playing your violin all day and you only do that when a case is really giving you trouble and for your wrist to be sore you must have been playing it even more than usual and I…I can stop now." She looked flustered and couldn't make eye contact with the detective but also couldn't seem to move away.
Sherlock frowned, this time thoughtfully. "A…solid deduction, Miss Hooper. Yes. It is extremely inconvenient. Now, if you don't mind," he said, this time less unkindly. "Idle chatter won't increase progress."
Molly nodded and ducked her head and turned her back, and Sherlock gratefully returned to his research, though he had to admit he was a bit pleased to see that Molly had begun to apply his methods, even in just the very simple way she had.
Sherlock almost jumped, and he looked back up to see Molly standing back in front of him, eyes wide and hands hanging awkwardly by her sides.
The avalanche of a sentence still hung clumped around his head. "What?" he asked, confused and irritated once more.
"Your wrist. I can fix it." The words still came out in a rush, but Molly was clearly making an effort to make herself understood. She practically radiated enthusiasm.
Sherlock merely looked at her for several moments before saying, "It's nothing."
And then Molly Hooper did something very un-Molly-Hooper-like. She came around the edge of the table and took his hand in hers without asking. The suddenness of the gesture caught him off guard and he found that he couldn't say anything or pull his arm away. As much as he hated to admit it and tried to ignore it, his wrist had been throbbing annoyingly all day and nothing he'd done (not that he had actually done much) had done anything to change that. So he watched passively as Molly pulled a stool close to sit in front of him and took his hand between her own.
She didn't look at him as she turned his arm over and placed her thumbs on his inner wrist, moving them slowly one at a time up to the crook of his elbow and back down again. She repeated the gesture several times before she switched to moving them simultaneously and in circular motions in the same back and forth pattern. Then she switched to using all the fingers of one hand to move horizontally across his arm and he lost track of what she was doing. At first the muscles had tensed painfully at her touch and he had briefly considered snatching his arm back, but then the sensation had turned into a dull ache that ebbed away by degrees. The throb and stab were replaced by the almost pleasant soreness that one gained from exercising or chasing criminals across rooftops. Molly's small fingers were gentle and knowledgeable and they seemed to find all the trouble spots on instinct, as well as spots he had no idea had anything to do with the problem.
He only realized his eyes had been drifting shut when she stopped.
Sherlock looked up to meet Molly's gaze. He flexed his wrist experimentally, and was startled to realize that the pain was almost completely gone. There was only a shadow of an injury, nothing more than he might have gotten temporarily from lifting a heavy box. Still in disbelief, he massaged the spot with his other hand. "I…yes. Yes, that's…much better." He looked back up at the ponytailed woman still perched on the stool in front of him. "How did you…?"
The unexpected praise from the detective had caused the return of her usual awkward fluster and she stumbled to get down and put the stool back in its original spot. She straightened her lab coat for no reason, looking everywhere but at Sherlock. "Oh, ah, well my…roommate. In university. Martha. Everyone was always after her to help them recover from typing all day, so she sort of…recruited me to help."
Sherlock continued to experimentally flex his wrist. He was impressed but didn't know how to tell her so without seeming insincere. "I…thank you Molly."
"I, oh." She stared. "You…you're welcome." She smiled nervously. "I should…probably go clock out. Night." She scampered from the room, looking back a half dozen times.
Sherlock smiled despite himself and picked up another slide, relishing in the ease of movement and realizing that he may have underestimated his sometime assistant.