A/N: So, very, very new to the Sherlock fandom and very obsessed now. I'm just adding another variation of a theme on the Sherlolly possibilities of a post-Reichenbach story inspired by the song "In The Next Room" by Neon Trees. Not too focused on the how of the fall, more of the aftermath, so forgive me for the glossed over details. Hope you enjoy :)
In The Next Room
The problem with faking ones own elaborate death was the insufferable need to lie around and wait for things to happen. The grandiosity of the plan had been truly risky and the potential for things to go horribly wrong was high. He had not predicted Moriarty's gruesome end. The fact that he had managed to land fairly unscathed in the rubbish truck was mostly dumb luck, although the act had been planned quite carefully. At least, he was reasonably certain he was unscathed. A slight adjustment of his prone position on the metal slab did warrant a bit of a grimace at the soreness settling into his muscles. It had not been a short fall, after all, and he had yet to be inspected by anyone, whisked straight away as he was by his hired entourage of "medical staff" to the morgue of St. Barts.
Another moment that had almost gone drastically wrong – they were supposed to keep John away from his body. He could only hope that in the mayhem John had not felt a strong pulse, or any pulse at all, in the few seconds he managed to reach him.
He let out an exasperated sign against the white sheet covering his face, thinking Molly was taking far too long to come rescue him from his current state. They had agreed some time would need to pass before she was summoned to autopsy. It wouldn't look right if he was simply pronounced dead without an attempt at life saving procedures.
As if on cue, he heard the morgue door whoosh open and the sound of her sensible heels clipped across the floor.
"Any more time, Molly Hooper, and you would truly have had to stuff me into one of your crypts with cause of death filled in as 'BOREDOM.'"
The heels stopped short next to his gurney. A moment passed before the sheet was ripped unceremoniously from his body and crumpled off the far end of the gurney.
"Sherlock, honestly," Molly chided him in as angry a manner as she could muster. "You are extraordinarily lucky to be alive, that we got away with this at all! And all you can do is resort to being a nasty git."
"Yes, well, a five story fall can do that to a fellow," he grumbled as he pushed himself up to a sitting position, letting his legs dangle over the edge of the metal. Molly took one look at the dried blood coating the majority of his face and clothes and turned to busy herself with soaking towels in the sink to remedy the mess. Even if it wasn't his, it was still a disturbing sight to behold. Sherlock took the opportunity to begin removing his ruined jacket and shirt.
"You are damn lucky, you know that, don't you Sherlock?" Molly rambled as she drenched another towel, too unnerved by the day's events to bother watching her language as she usually did. "And we're not even done yet. Forging your emergency records and the autopsy report alone have sent me running for a refill on anxiety medication-"
Sherlock furrowed his brow.
"You take anxiety medication?" he asked, somewhat surprised.
"Of course I do…"
Her voice trailed off as she turned in time to see Sherlock sliding his shirt off his toned shoulders. Well then…
Despite his general inability to read social situations, it took very little effort for Sherlock to interpret the look on the pathologist's face. Dilated pupils, flushed cheeks, lips parted in surprise. Or anticipation, he mused. He couldn't stop the smirk from reaching his lips.
"See something you like, Molly?" his rich baritone filled the silence.
Molly forced herself back into motion, desperately embarrassed at the fluttering of her heart. She practically tripped over herself setting the prepped towels on the gurney next to Sherlock, his eyes locked onto her every movement. For Heaven's sake, Molly, he's just faked his own bloody death. You had to restrain his best friend at the door and send him home in hysterics not twenty minutes ago. This is not the time, really, really not the time…
"What are you going to do now?" she changed the topic as she handed him a towel to clean off and went about taking care of the bits he couldn't reach.
"Convince Mycroft to let you have the body."
Molly's brow scrunched, unable to follow.
"Sorry, the body?" she hesitated. "Your body?... I figured we had that bit all worked out already."
"Not my body," Sherlock droned. "Moriarty's. Mycroft's henchmen are sure to have scooped it up by now."
He looked up when he realized Molly had not responded and took note of the way she was wringing the bloodied towel in her hands, her mouth set in a tense line. Anxiety indeed. He wondered how he had not noticed before.
More of a statement than a question.
"Molly, it makes no sense for you to be sad about the situation. You found out what he was a long while ago. You admitted yourself he was of no interest to you."
"What makes you think I'm sad," she flashed her doe brown eyes at his ice blue ones. "Maybe I think he got what he deserved. Having one's emotions toyed with and being used can tend to leave a sour feeling. Maybe I'm glad it ended this way."
Sherlock's gaze bore into her, analyzing as he always did. He saw the way her jaw was set, her lips were still and unwavering. Her eyes were firm, but there was a glint to them, a shimmer that gave her away.
"No, you're not," he told her matter of fact. "Maybe you were wounded, but it was still a life and one which was intricately tied to your own, however briefly. You, Molly Hooper, would never be glad to see someone die."
Her frown increased, mostly in an effort to hold back the tears that were now threatening to make an appearance. She felt officially overwhelmed by all that had happened in just a few short hours. She dropped her eyes from his and lifted her hand to continue to dab at the blood dried at the nape of his neck. To her relief, he remained silent and moved on to inspecting the bruises forming along the right side of his torso and arm, blossoming evidence of his daring stunt.
"He shot himself," he offered after several minutes quiet. He felt her hands still momentarily.
"I'm glad it wasn't you," came the whispered reply.
The corner of his mouth turned up in a wry smirk. All that had happened and she was simply glad he wasn't a murderer today.
They were fairly quiet as Molly inspected his injuries, determining that none of them needed any more than a cold compress and a bandage or two. She reminded him almost absent-mindedly of how lucky he was several times until he finally sighed and reminded her that repetition was tedious. Soon enough, he was patched and into the clothes Molly had agreed to bring him, his own bound in a rubbish bag to be cleaned and stowed by her at a convenient time. She stood before him with hands clasped in front of her, an intent look on her face as she watched him adjust his collar.
"You want me to autopsy him, don't you?" she asked, though she was certain of the answer.
"It would be the most convenient situation, yes," he replied. "Though it may not be the most pleasant scenario for you."
"Not as unpleasant as telling John that you're…"
"Dead," he filled in the word for her, buttoning the cuffs of his shirt. "You might as well get used to saying it, the only person you won't have to pretend for is Mycroft."
Molly stared at him. She shouldn't be bewildered by his behavior after all this time. She really should know that his best intention was never to spare feelings or be sympathetic, yet it never ceased to surprise her.
"Do you even care at all?" she demanded, her face scrunching up in disbelief. "He's going to be heartbroken. Mrs. Hudson, John – they'll have to plan your funeral and grieve and cry over you. And I'll have to go along with it all, knowing full well that you're fine and enjoying afternoon tea. Do I… do they matter at all to you?"
Sherlock took his time with the last cuff, making deliberate movements of perfection.
"Of course they matter," he replied, his voice low and even. "They matter a great deal. It's precisely because they matter that all of this is necessary. And you, Molly," he looked up at her and held her eyes, approaching her slowly, "You are the person who is going to hold it all together. Because Moriarty saw the others, but he didn't see you – the invisible girl. When in fact, you are quite palpable. And intrinsic to the success of all I have planned."
Molly swallowed hard.
"What exactly do you have planned?" she queried, embarrassed by the small squeak in her voice. Sherlock broke her gaze and looked beyond her.
"At the moment, a visit to my darling big brother," he said, giving a tight smile. Molly nodded her understanding.
"I should go to Baker Street, then," she offered. She looked up at him. "You should wear a hat or something, to go out. You stand out too much. I mean, rather, your appearance is, umm… you attract attention."
For the first time, the corner of Sherlock's mouth piqued in genuine amusement and interest. Molly found herself fighting back a smile.
"Oh shut up," she muttered, forcing her resolve for the act she was about to perform at 221B. No time to act like a mushy schoolgirl. She turned on her heel and marched firmly away from Sherlock. "And don't bother following just to satiate your curiosity about them, it would be too risky," she called over her shoulder.
"I wasn't - "
"Yes, you were," she cut him off as she swung the door shut.