Disclaimer: My least favorite part of writing fanfiction, but necessary all the same. I do no own BBC Sherlock or Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I did however come up with this idea for the story on my own based on how I think and feel.
Molly always found solace when coming into the lab, everything was easy and straightforward. People were the difficult things to deal with, the ones with the emotion. The case load for today was simple, only one little old lady brought in, natural causes thank goodness. Molly wheeled her out of the cooler and placed her on a slab and prepared the body for autopsy careful not to bump into anything that might hit one of her bruises. She was glad though that today the autopsy was not her job. She would assist when the other doctor came in, but today she didn't have to make the cuts.
Molly set about working on the paperwork as she waited for her colleague to come in. There was always endless paperwork in this job, but she doesn't mind at all. Paper is emotionless too, just like the metal instruments and the cold bodies she works with. Peoples' emotions are the problem, maybe Sherlock had a point. She inhales sharply as her arm bumps against the filing cabinet hitting the sore spots from this morning. Yes, Sherlock has a point.
"Oh speak of the devil." She muttered as Sherlock came bursting through the doors to the lab, causing her to jump slightly, he chattered away about whatever case he was working on with John who followed him closely. Molly smiled a little as she watched; she wished she had a friend like that, someone who would be loyal enough to put up with her absurdities, maybe someone who would listen to her.
She helped Sherlock as best she could with whatever he was asking for; it was all kind of a blur as she focused more on making sure all of her bruises were covered. She pulled at her coat every once in a while, but still sure that Sherlock didn't notice.
While Sherlock didn't notice, though John did. John saw how Molly jumped when Sherlock made his usual loud entrance into the room, and how she tugged at her sleeves as if she was trying to hide something.
It didn't take long for Molly to get Sherlock set up and he went upstairs to the computer lab. John lingered behind knowing that Sherlock could be occupied for a while and he could tell Molly needed . . . something.
"Molly, are you alright?" John asked quietly, hoping that he wouldn't startle Molly by talking to her somewhat abruptly.
She was startled, but told herself not to jump at the sound of John's voice, but she did feel her shoulders tense, she relaxed quickly though as she turned to John with her best fake smile. "Of course I'm alright. Why wouldn't I be?" She asked.
He walked across the room to the swivel chair Molly was sitting on slowly, careful not to make any more noise than necessary. He had seen the look in her eyes before in some of the men out in the field. The men who hadn't been able to cope with the violence they saw on the battle field, those who were the strongest physically, but whose mental capacity simply did not match. He had even seen the look in himself once, until he had managed with the help of others to talk himself back to reality.
"Molly, I can tell you are not alright. Do you want to talk about it?" John asked. He was now standing close enough to Molly that she was fidgeting with her lab coat.
"John, go help Sherlock. I'm fine, really." She responded with a light smile wondering if maybe all she would have to do is say it enough and John would believe her.
"Sherlock doesn't need my help for this one. I can sit here all day if I have to." John pulled a chair up to the desk Molly was working at. "If you don't want to talk about it then let's talk about something else. What sort of paper work are you working on?"
Molly focused on her paperwork, not looking up from her desk as she heard the chair scrape across the floor. She was careful not to move other than to write a few things down on the papers in front of her and note the time. The other doctor would be coming in at any moment now and she wasn't going to discuss this with John.
"I'm making sure everything is in order for the autopsy. If the other doctor doesn't come in soon it looks like I will be performing it alone." Molly did respond to his last question. She didn't mind having someone to talk to.
If there was one thing John had learned from his psychiatrist it was that patience is key. "Well I'll keep you company then." He picked up one of the medical texts, thumbing through it.
"You – you'll need to stay quiet, I record my findings while I work." Molly stammered before double checking to make sure that all of the equipment was in place. Her newest fly on the wall just grunted noncommittally and continued looking at the text book. Molly sighed; this was going to be a long three hours.
When Molly was done she called the doctor who was supposed to be in to find out that he had suddenly gotten sick and had been unable to call in. It wasn't a huge inconvenience, and she hoped he would get better soon. She stretched out her aching muscles as she noticed that John was still sitting in the corner looking through the same medical book.
"Are you enjoying that then?" She asked with a small smile on her face.
"Not really, but it was something to do. Anything interesting?" John asked setting the book aside and standing to stretch himself.
Molly just shook her head. "Why are you still here John?"
"I want to talk to someone other than Mr. Grumpy-pants-Sherlock." John answered with a sarcastic smile that she mirrored in her own way.
"Is he still here at the hospital?" She nervously tugged at her sleeves again wincing a little when she hit one of her bruises.
"Nah, he left about an hour ago, said something about brick dust. He doesn't need me anyway, nothing dangerous. Want to go get some coffee?"
Molly shook her head. "I need to work on the rest of the paperwork."
"Do you feel like talking to me yet?" John's voice was so soft, so caring that Molly wanted to break down and cry right there.
She bit back the tears and shook her head. "John, please don't press the matter. I don't want Sherlock to find out."
"He doesn't have to know. I won't tell him if you don't want. If he hasn't noticed so far he might not for a while."
Molly just watched John for a minute. Then she made the one decision that made her feel more vulnerable than she ever had and took off her lab coat. She watched John carefully as she exposed the bruises along her arms. The only reason she had chosen not to wear a long sleeved shirt today was that no one was around when she got in or left so no one would see her change out of her coat, into her lab jacket, and back again.
John remained quiet as Molly took off her jacket. He could easily see the bruises on her arms, even from half way across the room. He also knew that she would be watching him for any reaction so he kept his face as composed as possible, but as he saw the distinct finger marks on her upper arms he let out a hiss of breath, no one should cause those sorts of marks on anyone.
"It didn't start like this, no, let me talk." Molly said in a quiet voice, cutting off John when he moved to talk. She didn't talk again until he had nodded and relaxed in his chair. "When I first met him he was sweet and kind. He took me out on a few dates, but then as things got serious stuff changed. He would say he didn't like me hanging out with friends, so I stopped that. This time he got suspicious of me spending so much time at the morgue, especially with Sherlock around so often." As she spoke Molly went back to her desk, near John, pulling her chair around so she was sitting in front of him. "You can look if you want." She offered John her arms.
He looked her arms over quietly. "You need to break up with him Molly." He whispered to her looking up into her eyes from his position slightly bent over her arms.
"No, he always apologizes and he says he loves me. I can't leave him." Molly said with a firm shake of her head.
John's grasped tightened on Molly's wrists, but as soon as he noticed he let her go hoping that he hadn't frightened her. "Molly, you can't do this anymore, this will get worse, and you can't go back to him. I will be there for you every step of the way, but you have to be done with him. Today."
Molly started crying as she met John's gaze and slowly nodded taking courage from her friend. "Alright, how are we going to keep this from Sherlock?" She asked. If Sherlock found out he would just have one more thing to make fun of her about.
"If you really wanted to keep it from me, you should have broken up with him sooner Molly," Sherlock's voice startled Molly, but the look in his eyes kept her calm, "You can stay at our flat for a little while, we can protect you until everything blows over."
Even though she knew how uncomfortable it made Sherlock for her to cry she could not hold back the tears as John carefully drew her in for a hug.