Sherlock couldn’t move his body but his
mind was becoming more aware by the moment.
He started to adjust his concentration on what was happening around
him. He may have been denied his other senses
but it took him no time to assess that he was in the hospital. He could hear voices, one of which was
familiar to him.
Molly was his emergency contact. He had almost forgotten since it was buried back somewhere in his mind. He hadn’t needed an emergency contact since usually his visits to the hospital were not as dire as his current state. He had her put on his form a couple years ago before he had met John because he did not want Mycroft to have any power over him while he was in mortal peril. Molly on the other hand was someone he trusted implicitly.
“We highly recommend leaving him in a medically induced coma for the moment Ms. Hooper.”
“It’s Dr. Hooper. I work at this hospital for crying out loud. I understand the benefits of allowing his body to remain in comatose state perhaps better than you do. The git will probably want to be in bed as soon as he’s awake but I was put on as his emergency contact because I would carry out the patient’s wishes, which I happen to know a lot better than you do!”
‘That’s my girl,’ thought Sherlock.
“Excuse me Dr. Hooper. What department do you work in?”
“I am a pathologist,” Molly narrowed her eyes at the blond doctor who had been assigned Sherlock’s case.
The doctor before her wasn’t old but he wasn’t fresh out of uni either. He reminded her of Gilderoy Lockhart in both manners and looks and she was really wishing magic was real so that she could be rid of the insufferable man who insisted on talking down to her.
The man before her raised his sculpted eyebrows, “Oh, so a morgue goblin who doesn’t actually work with living patients.”
Molly rolled her eyes, “Look I am not saying wake him up right this moment but I am saying it is highly probable for that to be decision I make based upon what he would want. Now run along I have some thinking to do before they admit his best friend in.”
Molly stared daggers into the man who huffed and puffed his way out of the hospital room before turning to Sherlock. Upon reaching Sherlock’s bedside she pulled one of his hands into hers. Sherlock may not have been able to move but he could still feel, and Molly had always spoken with her hands even when she was unaware of it.
Sherlock had spent the past week observing the too young patient. She preferred the solitary confines of her room but the staff required her to spend time in the common room. Sherlock found this to be a pointless exercise because they could not get her talk but if they hadn’t he wouldn’t have the opportunity to be able to figure her out. She always had a book in her hand; currently she was reading Gray’s Anatomy, which was a change from her usual fairy tales. When she had first started reading it Sherlock was surprised and even pleased until he realized the only reason she was reading it in the first place was probably because of the lack of books in the hospital. When he came upon this realization he was disappointed that it was just a fluke that she would be reading anything interesting and perhaps be someone who he could have a decent conversation with for the next twenty-two days, which was if he could get her to talk.
Just like the first day Sherlock had spoken to her, she continually moved her fingers. It seemed she was unconscious of her motions. It didn’t take long for Sherlock to figure out that the girl was not randomly moving her fingers about. She kept her movements small but she was clearly making signs at times and at other times it looked as if she were playing an imaginary piano all the while never stopping her continuous reading.
Unlike the girl Sherlock had an unlimited access to books through Mycroft. Mycroft was so relieved that Sherlock had made a request for books that he willingly provided them to keep Sherlock entertained while in rehab in hopes that it meant his cooperation. Sherlock’s first request had been a book on sign language. The first book he had received was about the British Sign Language system and it didn’t match up with what the signs he was seeing. The girl made one-handed signs that he was thinking were letters but the British alphabet used two hands when making letters. He then requested a book on American Sign Language and his ever-punctual brother delivered the book the very next day. He had discovered through his continued observations and his study that she continually signed what he believed was her name and she indeed was using the American Sign Language Alphabet.
She had avoided making eye-contact with Sherlock since the day he had talked with her, but never made to move if he happened to sit at her table which he had chosen to do that day. Currently an insufferable staff member was trying once again to cajole her into talking.
“Come on, love. You say no to all the names so you must know what your name is. Don’t you want to tell us?” The woman working with her looked tired. She had been trying to get the girl to talk for nearly a month and wanted nothing more to get the child moved to another department or hospital.
“Molly.” Sherlock answered the question.
“The girl’s name is Molly.”
“And you know this how? By the shoelaces she’s wearing?” The woman glared at Sherlock.
The office staff was of course aware of Sherlock’s uncanny powers of observation and they were even more aware of his attitude, which didn’t earn him any fans. It didn’t matter to Sherlock how the staff viewed him. He just wanted to solve the mystery before him and to do that he wanted the girl, now Molly in his mind, to talk or at the very least acknowledge him. The girl was currently looking at him with her head cocked and eyes slightly squinted as if she were trying to figure him out. It wasn’t a conversation but it was a start.
“Well, that would be a little ridiculous since she is wearing slippers and not shoes would it not?” Sherlock answered with one eyebrow cocked as if to point out how stupid of a statement that was. “If you don’t believe me you could always ask her.”
The woman turned her attention back to the girl, “Is your name Molly?”
The brown-eyed girl stared into the eyes of the young man across from her before slowly nodding.
The nurse gave a sigh of relief followed by a smile. “Good. Very good. I’ll let you get back to your book for the moment.” To Sherlock she added, “Looks like you can be helpful once in awhile after all. It wasn’t that hard was it?”
Molly was gripping Sherlock’s hand tightly. He could feel her anguish through the contact and even though he could not see her he could deduce from the pressure on his hand that she would not be smiling.
“I want you to know it is against my better judgment to wake you up. That being said, however, I have no idea what you have gotten yourself into and you may be in more danger asleep than awake. I wish I could extract a promise from you to take care of yourself while you heal but we both know that would never happen.”
While she was speaking her grip had loosened but now he could feel it shake as it held his. He felt trapped and wanted to run away the best he could do was to slip into the actual sleep that both his body and mind craved.
The sound of the door opening caused Molly to suddenly drop Sherlock’s hand unceremoniously back on to the bed. John entered the room with the frantic energyof someone who was worried they were about to lose someone they loved. His eyes widened a little when he saw Molly.
“What are you doing here Molly?” John saw Molly flinch at his tone, “Sorry that was a bit rude I’m just surprised to see you here is all.”
Molly gave a smile small, “Sherlock made me his emergency contact a couple of years before he met you. He probably just never got around to changing it, probably not on his high list of priorities.”
John read the hidden meaning in her words that she thought Sherlock would prefer John as the executor of his health decisions. “It’s not that I thought I would be, honestly, I just thought it would be Mycroft.”
Molly cocked an eyebrow and smiled wider than she had all day, “You really think Sherlock would have allowed for that?”
John chuckled and was grateful for the chance to relieve some of the stress from the day, “I guess not. So are you going to have them wake him up?”
“That’s what he would have wanted, unless you think there is a good reason not to?”
“Except for the reason that we will have to hear the man child whine about being bored I think it may be best to wake him up. We don’t know if someone is going to come after him and finish the job.”
Molly wrinkled her nose, she didn’t relish talking to the pompous bully of a doctor again but needs must. She pushed the button to call the doctor back in. John watched Molly as they waited. He had seen sides of her today he had never before seen let alone imagined that they had even existed in the first place. He watched her cross her arms and uncross her arms again in the span of a few seconds. She also shifted the weight of her feet but finally settled with her left foot back and right foot slightly forward. She crossed her arms once again and started drumming her fingers on her upper arms before John cleared his throat to speak.
“You know, now that he’s made it this far he will make it the rest of the way.” John sought to reassure the jittery woman beside him.
“Huh?” Molly snapped out of her own thoughts, “Oh I know.”
“Well it’s just that you seemed tense so I thought I should reassure you. You’re fidgeting an awful lot.”
Molly dropped her arms and shoved her hands into the pockets of her lab coat. “Oh right, thanks, of course.” Molly let John assume her inability to stay still was due to concern for Sherlock but the truth was she was petrified of being alone with John. She had kept secrets from him before and was once more in the position of holding a major secret. It was eating her from inside but knew there was no reason to divulge her information, after all Mary was a changed person.
John could feel the tension but didn’t realize he was the cause of it. So he decided to try and relieve it through small talk. “Were you here when they called?”
“You haven’t been home since this morning?” John asked incredulously.
“Well it’s not like I could sleep tonight knowing that the two of you were on a case. I mean the bloody idiot was using again for the case so I figured it wasn’t the safest of cases, but for him to be in the hospital like this…” Her sentence died off.
“You knew we were out tonight?”
“He asked to use my engagement ring.”
“And you let him? Even after this morning? And you knew what he was going to use it for?” John spat out.
“I understood the gist of it.”
“Sherlock was right you apparently aren’t as sweet as everyone thinks you are.” John regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth. “Molly, I’m so—“
“No. I probably deserved that. I don’t even want to know the context he said that in.”
“You did not deserve that. Not from me and certainly not from him.”
“Don’t I though?” For the first time since the conversation started Molly turned to look John in the eyes.
John and Molly had never spoken about her part in helping Sherlock and her subsequent secret keeping that had followed. He was just now realizing that even though he and Molly were not the closest of friends that perhaps they should have talked about the situation. No wonder Molly was nervous. It was because she was alone with him. Sherlock was right, again, he saw but didn’t observe. He was just thinking of what to say when the doctor came in.
“Well have you decided to trust my wise council and let him remain asleep for the moment,” the doctor said with a sneer.
John was the first to speak. “You must be new at Bart’s I haven’t seen you before.”
“I am. My name is Dr. Alexander James. Do you frequent this hospital to know the staff so well?”
“Frequent? We both work here! This is Dr. Molly Hooper and she is one of the most respected pathologists I know.”
“Exactly. Pathologists aren’t real doctors mate. Not for living people. They work on dead people because they can’t hack it as a real doctor.”
John gritted his teeth and counted to ten. It would do no good to hit the ignorant man in front of him. John’s voice was low as he gave instructions to the doctor. “You are going start the process of getting Sherlock out of his coma as the instructions of his legal emergency contact dictates then you are going to resign from this case. And if you are wise you will put in for a transfer, mate.”
“I would do what he says. He’s an army doctor after all. You know how hotheaded they can be with stereotypes and all,” piped in Molly.
The doctor started the process while muttering under his breath and then leaving.
“I’m glad you were here John.”
“Sorry you had to even put up with that bully.” Molly shrugged and John continued to speak, “I guess all we do now is wait.”
After a moment of awkward silence Molly decided to speak. “So what was the case anyway?”
“Do you know of Charles Augustus Magnussen?” John asked.
Molly paled a bit before asking, “The newspaper mogul?”
“Yeah, some client asked Sherlock to retrieve some information from him.”
Molly’s eyes widened with the information she was receiving. “Did Sherlock say who the client was?”
“A Lady Smallwood I believe he said.”
Molly relaxed a bit upon hearing the client’s name but her hands started clenching in her pockets. If Sherlock was working a case that involved Magnussen he was not quite safe yet and the decision to allow him to wake up was indeed the correct one. That man was a monster, and a smart one too. What was Sherlock after that he would need to get close to that awful cretin?
Neither of Sherlock’s friends wanted to leave so when he finally did wake they were both there to greet him. When he saw John he spoke one word, “Mary,” but could not communicate much more than that.
John laughed in relief and confusion to hear the detective speak his own wife’s name. Molly quietly excused herself and made her way back to the morgue. Her mind reeled with possibilities of what Sherlock could have meant. She hoped her hypothesis was wrong. Otherwise she had miscalculated about Mary Watson changing and she may have allowed someone dangerous near Sherlock again. She planned on talking to Sherlock as soon as possible. For the moment he was safe in the hospital but she debated about making a deal with the devil thinking that asking Mycroft to protect his brother may not be a bad idea. For now she would have to keep an eye on him herself and wait until she had her fears confirmed, or hopefully dismissed.