Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to BBC's Sherlock or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes or anything like that.
The blackouts had started nearly two months ago. Molly hadn't really been worried at first because it seemed like she was only missing a few seconds every couple days. She would be in the morgue one minute, and then the next thing she knew she was up in the cafeteria holding a cup of coffee.
She figured it was nothing to worry about; she was tired and hadn't been sleeping well so perhaps she had simply gone on autopilot. She had done it once or twice before, and she knew plenty of other people who did that sort of thing when they were tired, so it was easy to brush off.
The next time was not so easy to forget though. Molly had been in her kitchen making dinner for herself, another lonely night planed, and then she came back to her senses in her living room. Interestingly enough she had managed to turn off the stove and apparently eat, but she couldn't remember any of it.
By the end of the first month Molly had three more episodes, each more disorienting than the last. The incident that made up Molly's mind for her about talking to a doctor however was when she had been preparing to go to sleep and then recognized what was going on nearly fifteen minutes later to find her hair curled and make-up done all over again.
Molly went into Bart's before her shift the next morning and set up a time to see a general doctor. After that appointment she was given the names of two more doctors, a neurologist and a psychologist.
Not really willing to accept that she needed psychiatric help just yet, Molly scheduled with the neurologist first. She knew there was really nothing wrong with seeing a counselor, but she still hoped for a physical diagnosis instead.
In the end all three doctors agreed there was nothing wrong with her really. The only theory they could offer was the she must be too stressed and need more sleep, and Molly had to agree with them.
She never got enough sleep and her stress levels seemed to be off the charts. Sherlock was being the biggest jerk on the planet, and while he was usually that way, he had been more so in the last few weeks. To top that Molly's mother was pestering her about the fact that Molly was approaching thirty-six and didn't even have a steady boyfriend. Toby was acting up for no apparent reason but to add to her stress, just last night he had torn a hole in one of her sofa pillows.
Molly was running pretty low on sleep as well. Every night it was a different story but there was almost always a good reason for it. Three days ago the young bachelor in the flat above her threw a rather loud party and two days before that the elderly couple in the flat next to her got in a row that was loud enough to draw out the neighbors three doors on the other side of her.
Molly's first attempt to fix her sleeping problem was a bubble bath with an entertaining book and then a sleeping pill before going to bed. And that night started her sleepwalking. She woke up on her kitchen floor of all places with no idea of how she had gotten there. She tried several other things over the next month with similar outcomes but the most recent event just topped the list of crazy.
When Molly was finally aware of the world around her she was standing in the middle of a strange road. She was barefoot and in her pajamas, as she quickly assessed the situation and rushed to the pavement she found herself thankful that she woke up when she did.
Looking around she couldn't figure out where she was at except that she was at some sort of park. As she walked along the pavement through she saw a few landmarks she recognized. Memorial Gates was the first big recognizable monument and as she squinted down the street she could see Wellington Arch lit up with its bronze angel of peace, Green Park then. How had she managed to get this far from her flat?
It was a cold night, accented for Molly but her lack of proper clothing. As she wrapped her arms around herself she was surprised to feel a very solid, rectangular object stuck in her bra. Surprised, Molly pulled out her mobile phone from the front of her shirt.
She sent a silent prayer of thanks to whoever must be watching over her tonight and scrolled through her contacts. It really didn't talk her long to start muttering curses under her breath however.
Everyone she knew would be well asleep by now and she did not want to wake anyone unless it was absolutely necessary. Then she came across on entry that made her heart and mind stop. Sherlock Holmes.
She couldn't . . . could she? It was past midnight according to her phone, not proper, but she was lucky to even have her phone with her, and there was no way she would have money for a cab home.
At the risk of sounding like an American movie from decades ago, Sherlock Holmes was her only hope. But he wasn't likely to be awake was he? John complained that Sherlock almost never slept, but certainly that was an exaggeration wasn't it?
Sighing, Molly figured that she really had no other choice and pressed the mutton to dial Sherlock's number. She almost chickened out and stopped the call, wishing that she had John's number instead. John would be extremely understanding. Sherlock on the other hand, Molly wasn't so sure about.
"Molly?" Sherlock answered on the third ring.
"Um. . . S-sorry to bother you Sherlock." Not only was her voice weak, but she was shivering in the cold. "I am in some trouble and I didn't know who else to call."
Sherlock's voice was authoritative, but not sharp as he cut her off. "Facts Molly, just give me the facts."
Nodding Molly took a deep breath and then realized that Sherlock couldn't see her. "Yes, alright. I am at the North West corner of Green Park, and I have no idea how I got here." That was all the information he needed right?
"Interesting, I will come and collect you and then we really must talk about this." With that Sherlock disconnected the call.
Molly simply stood on the pavement blinking and marveled at how easy it had been to get Sherlock to come out in the middle of the night to save her. She still hated to have to ask him, she was worried about how he would react to saving "mousey Molly."
It took Sherlock about ten minutes to arrive, but Molly was really just grateful to get into the warm cab. The temperature felt like it had dropped at least five degrees since she had called him and her bare feet were numb.
"We will go to Baker Street so we can talk." Sherlock said as straightforward as could be. This surprised Molly, but she couldn't argue with him because she suddenly found herself unable to keep her eyes open.
Sherlock was not entirely surprised by Molly practically passing out in the backseat of the cab and he didn't mind it because it would provide him time to think without her chattering away. What had caused Molly to be stranded so far from her flat in the middle of the night?
He looked over at her. Molly's hair was loose around her shoulders tonight, it looked nice. She shivered a little in her half asleep state and Sherlock remembered just how cold it was outside. So, in an attempt to make her more comfortable he, quite awkwardly, pulled her towards him and wrapped his arms around her.
When they arrived at Baker Street Sherlock paid the cabbie and helped Molly up the stairs. She didn't really wake up the entire time and when Sherlock had her sit on the sofa so that he could make them some tea, she almost immediately fell over and truly fell asleep.
For just a moment Sherlock considered waking Molly; poking her if needs be, but decided that would fall under the category of "not good." So instead Sherlock decided he would need to be patient, though that was not his best quality. His only other option was to find a spare blanket and cover Molly ten retreat to his room for a couple of hours, so that is what he did.
Molly woke up only once the sun had begun to stream through the large windows of 221 B. For a long while she was thoroughly confused. Had she walked her way into a stranger's flat? That was a thought that set Molly panicking, until Sherlock walked out of the kitchen with a mug full of coffee.
He didn't say anything, only set the coffee on the low table as he moved on to his chair and sat down. This allowed Molly the time to remember and think over what had happened last night.
"I am so sorry Sherlock." Molly finally said breaking the silence as she sat up and pulled the mug to her lips for a sip.
"Do you work today?" Sherlock asked, directly to the point as usual. The way he saw it business might as well come first.
Molly had to think about her answer for a minute and stalled by taking in another sip of coffee. "No, not today." She answered after she had managed to clear some of the fog from her mind; it had been so long since she had been able to sleep for even three consecutive hours.
"Good. Now tell me how you got yourself stranded at Green Park at nearly one in the morning." Sherlock cut.
Molly self-consciously pulled the blanket closer around her. Sherlock must have noticed she was cold last night and laid the blanket over her. That thought caused a small smile to grace her lips before she responded. "I must have just started wandering. Thank you for your help Sherlock."
Sherlock watched as Molly stood after her dismissal of him, confused. "Molly?"
"Sherlock." Molly was currently busying herself by rooting around the couch to try and find her mobile phone which she seemed to have suddenly misplaced.
"Are you going to tell me what is going on? I know you have not been sleeping well, and I know about the doctors' appointments. Besides the obvious lack of sleep you show no physical signs of illness." Sherlock rattled the information off like Molly might a grocery list.
"Where is John?" She didn't want to talk to Sherlock about this. She had just been lost last night and now she wanted her phone.
"Why are you trying to avoid the subject?" his voice was hard, almost accusing now.
"Sherlock," Molly sighed and sat on the couch, giving up on finding her mobile for the moment, "I'm glad you helped me last night, but I really should go."
"I don't see how. You don't have any money on you for a cab or the tube." Sherlock was as observant as always. Instead of bothering to reply Molly went back to rummaging through the couch.
"Well you ought to finish the coffee at least and your mobile is on the coffee table. I'm surprised you forgot that you set it there." Sherlock was as much as a public school brat as usual of course.
Molly complied with the suggestion to finish her coffee, grudgingly, but Sherlock did have a point. However she could be as stubborn as she liked so she sipped at the drink without saying a word.
It didn't take more than a minute and a half for Sherlock to become bored of the game though, and he sighed deeply. "You might as well tell me what I want to know Molly."
"I don't see how it is any of your business. I'm grateful for you helping me, truly and I'll do the best I can to repay you for it." Molly promised. Why was Sherlock pushing this?
"Repay me now, tell me what caused you to. . . Oh!" Sherlock seemed to suddenly understand something. "When did you start sleepwalking?"
"Can you loan me the money for a cab?" This was still not something Molly wanted to discuss with the great Sherlock Holmes.
"Not until you explain Molly, and didn't bother asking after John, he left for work over an hour ago." Sherlock's response was firm and pushed Molly to ask the question that was foremost in her mind.
"Why do you care Sherlock?" Her voice came out stronger and harsher than she had meant, but she didn't try to step down from the position her tone had put her in.
For just a moment Sherlock's blue eyes burned like copper chloride that had been set on fire. The intensity of the gaze almost shrunk Molly where she was sitting, but almost as soon as the expression appeared on his face it was gone.
"It would be unfortunate if you were hurt because you were sleepwalking." Sherlock replied quietly.
"Why? Because I am the only pathologist that will work with you anymore?" Molly almost snorted at the idea. It was true, but no matter how much she fancied Sherlock Holmes she doubted he really cared that she would be physically sound. Apart from being able to help him in the morgue she doubted he even remembered she was alive.
"Yes I suppose that is a large portion of it." Sherlock said. "However, I believe that it is something more to the idea that I would be upset if you were hurt."
Molly just stared at him. Had Sherlock just said that he cared about her? No, that wasn't it, it couldn't be. Molly had accepted long ago that she was nothing more than an assistant to him, no matter how she felt about him.
"It's been about two months, and it didn't start with sleepwalking." Molly resigned herself to answering. "I simply started losing a couple seconds of memory here and there, and then it got worse. I saw a general practitioner who referred me in turn to both a neurologist and a psychologist. No one could say that there was anything wrong with me so I was instead given sleeping pills. That, mixed with the stress that they believe is causing the blackouts, is the cause of the sleepwalking."
Sherlock sat through Molly's explanation listening carefully, but didn't hesitate to reply when she was done talking. "Why didn't you tell me sooner Molly?" His voice was soft.
"I didn't think you needed, or even wanted, to know." Molly explained. "I don't really matter anyway." The last part had been added as an afterthought and while Molly had meant it, she certainly hadn't been expecting Sherlock's response.
"You are wrong of course." He still had that undeniably arrogant air about him, but Molly also saw something that was . . . gentle. "You matter to me. I cannot explain why, or in what standing, but you do matter to me."
Molly was surprised by Sherlock's confession and tried to cover her pause by practically turning her mug upside down to finish the last dregs of the coffee in it. Then she took a shuttering breath and let it out with her reply. "I am terrified. I never know if I am going to find myself in the middle of the road like last night or if I am going to . . . if I might not wake up at all."
This started Molly crying though and Sherlock was unsure what to do. Clients had broken down and sobbed in this very room before, but Sherlock had hardly cared about them. Molly crying though, made him break character to a point and he moved over to sit next to her on the couch and set his hand on hers after relieving her of the coffee mug.
Then he sat there, still as stone as Molly cried for nearly thirty minutes. After she had cried herself dry Sherlock helped her to a cab and paid the cabbie well. He hardly said a work but Molly understood what he couldn't bring himself to say. He would always be there for her.