Invalided in London
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock.
It was supposed to be a routine visit to St. Bart's. Molly had called (not texted) him and demanded (not asked) that he return to St. Bart's immediately; she found peculiarities in both the postmortem and in the tissue samples she took for the man who was murdered and she needed Sherlock and Lestrade back at Bart's to hear her findings.
Sherlock and John were running to St. Bart's, their feet pounding the pavement. It was freezing out, below zero degrees, and they had been miserably out in the fantastic London weather most of the day. All John wanted to do was return to Baker Street and sip tea in front of the fire instead of running through London wrapped in his favorite jumper and winter coat.
John was so focused on keeping his feet steady and the stitch forming in his side that he didn't notice that he was trailing behind the consulting detective, therefore he didn't even see when Sherlock Holmes slipped on a patch of black ice and crashed to the ground.
It wasn't until the scream-like-groan ripped through the air that John realized Sherlock wasn't in front of him anymore.
Suddenly his short legs were pumping harder as he raced to his friend who was curled up on his side on the pavement. He almost lost his balance as he slid across the ice but managed to stay on his feet. Then he crouched down and put his hand on Sherlock's shoulder. "Sherlock?"
"Hurts. Hurts, hurts, hurts," Sherlock groaned, not able to say anything else. He reached for his right knee and clutched it tightly.
"Do you think you can get up or should we call 999?"
"Can't move," Sherlock gasped, his hand tightening around his leg. All thoughts of the case flew from his mind as he tried to stop himself from throwing up. The sound of car doors slamming made John look up and he was relieved to see Lestrade, Donovan, and Anderson jogging towards him.
"Call 999. He can't get up," John said when they were close enough. Then he returned his attention to Sherlock. "Let me check and see if you're hurt anywhere else. Did you hit your head?"
Molly chewed her lip fretfully and wrung her hands as she sat in the waiting room by herself. She didn't even feel an ounce of remorse for skiving off the remainder of her shift after she heard the maintenance men talking amongst themselves about the Consulting Detective being rushed to the hospital after a fall outside of St. Bart's.
The men were in trouble for not properly salting the steps and sidewalks surround the hospital.
She was nearly sick with worry and guilt, after all, it was her phone call that demanded Sherlock's presence in the morgue. If she would have waited until daylight (which, granted, was several hours away) Sherlock could have avoided the ice and not fallen.
Molly's patience was wearing thin as her second hour of waiting in the waiting room morphed into three and a half hours. She almost went to the nurse's station to ask about Sherlock's condition, but stopped herself from doing so.
Molly Hooper, of all people, knew what it was like to be hassled and harassed for information. She couldn't subject the nurses to it especially since they did not deserve it.
She was startled from her thoughts when she felt a hand on her shoulder. "If I would have known you were out here I would have fetched you sooner. Come on, he's in a right state now, but seeing you will calm him enough." Molly looked up to see John's tired face.
"A right state?"
"He's refusing pain medication. Wintertime is notorious for a lack of criminal activity, and he's afraid of a relapse," John said, leading the way to Sherlock's room. "He's only accepting paracetamol until the surgery."
"Surgery?" Molly squeaked.
"Yeah." John shook his head and ran a hand through his hair. "He has an open fracture of his patella and he tore both his MCL and ACL, all in the right leg. The only reason why they haven't rushed him to surgery yet is because he's out of his mind in pain and we're waiting on Mycroft to sign off on it. He should be here soon."
They continued their walk through the hospital in relative silence until they reached Sherlock's room. John hesitated for a moment and then looked at Molly. "He's in a lot of pain. He's cried a bit, gotten sick, and is embarrassed by his so called "weakness". I've tried to get him out of his Mind Palace as much as possible so he doesn't have some kind of crisis, so if he seems distant to you, try and engage him, alright? I'll be in there for only a moment or two, and then I have to call Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson."
Molly nodded her head.
Molly thought she would be able to handle Sherlock in his current state, but she found herself unable to even breathe when she walked into the room.
Sherlock was lying flat on his back in his bed, hands gripping the railings, ice surround one of his knees. He was humming a low pitch while rhythmically squeezing and relaxing his hands. John immediately trotted to him and put a hand on his bedrail, avoiding touching him.
"Are you sure you don't want anything for the pain?"
With a strained voice, Sherlock croaked, "I'd rather suffer through this temporary pain than suffer through withdrawal."
John glanced back at Molly with an eyebrow. "Maybe you can convince him to take something?" he murmured. Molly slowly closed the distance between herself and Sherlock.
"Just because I'm invalided doesn't mean Mycroft can force me to do something I don't want to do!" Sherlock shouted, sitting up, only to throw himself back into the bed with the force of his pain.
"Hey, hey," Molly said soothingly, saddling up beside John. "No one will make you do anything you don't want to do, promise."
At the sound of her voice, Sherlock's eyes snapped open. For a few seconds he glared at John, as if he were angry that he brought her into the room, and then he closed his eyes again. Molly sighed softly and leaned down, brushing a kiss against his sweaty brow. "Do you want me to leave for now?"
"Please," he said through gritted teeth. "I don't want you to see me like this."
Evidently the pain turned off his filter; under normal circumstances, Sherlock would never admit something like that. Molly nodded her head once, brushed another kiss against his forehead, and then slid out of the room. She was once again chewing her bottom lip, this time over concern for Sherlock. Hopefully someone can talk him into taking a pain killer!
She saw Mycroft Holmes striding down the corridor, his umbrella tucked beneath his arm. He paused beside her and said, "What is my brother's condition?"
"He's in a lot of pain. He asked me to leave for now. And he and John are waiting for you, so…" she trailed off and eyed the direction where she came from. "Go ahead. The sooner you sign the proper paperwork, the sooner he'll get some kind of relief."
It took two days for Sherlock to recover enough from his surgery to allow Molly to visit him. Over the course of the two days, Molly had only been in contact with John, and she was relieved when she finally received a text from Sherlock that said simply, 'Visit after your shift.—SH'
That was enough for Molly.
Arms loaded with Sherlock's violin, sheet music she found by his chair, a plate of his favorites chocolate chip cookies, his laptop, and the second season of Star Trek, Molly made her way down the hall towards Sherlock's room.
She bumped into Mary and John as they stepped out of Sherlock's room. They both looked tired and worried. "What?" Molly asked the second she saw their faces.
Mary and John exchanged glances and then John said, "His doctor just informed him that he has six months up to a year before he gets full function out of his leg. Six to eight weeks before he can even begin physical therapy."
"He didn't even try to argue—he just went into his Mind Palace."
"Is he on pain medicine?"
John shook his head. "He's still adamant about paracetamol." He took a step closer to Molly and lowered his voice. "I'm glad he demanded that, because news like this would definitely cause a relapse."
"He's already bored," Mary added, looking over her shoulder worriedly. "Hopefully you'll be able to cheer him up. You have a knack for that, you know."
At that, Molly's mouth turned up in a small smile. "I do have that ability. Thanks for warning me."
"No problem. Have a good night."
After awkwardly hugging Mary and John, she made her way to Sherlock's room. The door was open a crack, and she pushed on it with her hip. "Can I come in?"
"Always," Sherlock called, his voice hoarse and tired sounding.
Molly bumped the door open the rest of the way and stepped into his room, using her hip to close the door again. She inwardly sighed at seeing Sherlock laid up in the hospital bed. He looked paler than normal, still not recovering his color from when she saw him last. He was in a hospital gown, hooked up to machinery that was monitoring his vitals. There was a thin white sheet pulled halfway up to his chest.
He looked tired.
"I've brought some things. I heard you won't be able to leave the hospital for at least another week."
"Did you also hear I'm staying with Mycroft until I can manage stairs?" he asked, leaning back in his bed.
"He just texted, so I imagine I'm the only one who actually knows." Molly very carefully set down his belongings and moved towards his bed, sitting down on the edge of a still warm seat. She picked up his hand and squeezed it gently. He didn't respond to it, but Molly still held on to it.
They sat in silence for a long time, Sherlock ignoring the nurses when they came into the room and poked and prodded him. Molly politely stepped into the hall when they changed his catheter and asked personal questions. Once she returned to the room, she could Sherlock was in an even more foul mood than before.
She didn't take his hand this time, just sitting beside him in silence.
It didn't take long for Sherlock to lash out from his irritation, pain, and boredom. Molly tried not to take it personally, but she had to step into his bathroom to dab at her eyes when his tirade was over. She took a deep breath and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She knew she couldn't inform him of his wrongdoing now; he was in pain and lashed out for a reason. But she knew if this behavior continued, her psyche wouldn't be able to take it.
After nearly five minutes in his bathroom pulling herself together, Molly turned off the light and stepped back into the room. Her heart broke at the sight of Sherlock, desperate for the need to turn to his side and sulk but unable to do so, instead pulling his sheet up to his chin and frowning at the ceiling.
"I can go," Molly said softly. "Come back maybe in the morning? I'm off tomorrow."
"No!" Sherlock said, whipping his head to the side and nearly turning over in his haste to see Molly clearly. She crossed the room quickly and eased his shoulders back into bed. "I don't like feeling…deep despair over my situation. I feel worse than I did when I jumped off the roof."
Molly kissed his forehead, cradling his cheeks in her hands gently. "I know, Sherlock. I wish I could do something for you." They shared several chaste kisses before Molly pulled away, only to rest her forehead against his. "At least you're not dead or pretending, right?"
"Right. But I have to use crutches and then a bloody cane, quite possibly for the rest of my life."
Molly kissed him again. "Well, if it's any consolation, I find men with canes extremely attractive."
He hissed as she pressed a kiss to his temple. "Does that mean you found John attractive upon meeting him?"
Molly giggled and shook her head. "I should rephrase," she murmured, sitting down in her seat. "I find tall, pale, dark and curly haired men extremely attractive, especially when they are anywhere near a cane." She winked at him, earning a small grin in return. Then she leaned closer to him. "But if you could get John Watson to give up his cane, I think you'll be able to let it go eventually too."
They were quiet again, and Molly felt it was safe to pick up his hand. She ran her thumb over his knuckles a few times, quickly losing herself in her thoughts.
"You think this is your fault," Sherlock said, after a few moments of silence. Molly's eyes snapped to his, and he saw her brow furrow. "You think because you called me and demanded that I return to St. Bart's, you are the reason I fell on the ice."
"You're wrong. I knew the pavement was treacherous, it always is during the winter, and yet I still ran on it. Don't blame yourself for my temporary stupidity," he said decisively, his eyes narrowed at her. Molly sighed and nodded her head. She knew she shouldn't blame herself for his accident, and she was pleased to hear that he didn't blame her either.
"Under normal circumstances, this is when I would initiate a cuddle, but I'm currently invalided. Do you have any suggestions on how we should precede, Molly Hooper?"
With a smile on her face, Molly crawled into bed with Sherlock and wrapped herself around his left side, hyperaware of not injuring his right leg further. She rested her head on his chest and closed her eyes, hoping the little comfort she could offer would be enough for him to fall asleep.
A/N: This was it! After a little over 2.5 months, I finally completed my self imposed Sherlolly 30 Day Challenge. Thank you for reading, commenting, and leaving kudos. I appreciated every piece of input I've received over the passed few months. And sorry I drew this out...I wasn't ready to stop writing, and then the holidays happened and I've been working...
Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you! :)