Rocky Road

Chapter 5

Molly was at Greg's bedside nearly everyday. She hated the times she had to work. His periods of wakefulness were becoming longer but because of all the pain medication he was given he still wasn't really lucid most of the time.
There were short periods were his eyes fixed on her or other people and she could see him calming down a little bit but most of the time what she could see in his eyes was panic and confusion.
And all she could do during that times was wiping away the tears that were falling while holding Greg's hands and telling him stuff that might hopefully calm him down.
John had told her that this is quite normal with patients in the ICU due to the sedatives and pain medication given. Still, it hurt her every time but she needed to be strong for Greg. Especially after his reaction when his sons came to visit.
They were only 17 and 14 and had understandably been crying throughout the whole visit. His ex wife was with them so Molly stepped back to let them have their time with Greg.

Greg woke up to voices talking to him. He opened his eyes and saw two boys standing beside his bed. James and Oliver, his sons.
The happiness that flooded through him turned quickly into worry. Why were they crying? What had happened? He wanted to talk to them, tell them that everything is OK and that he'll take care of whatever or whoever had make them cry. But he couldn't.
Something inside his throat made it impossible for him to talk. He remembered waking up before to that horrible feeling and decided that he needed to get that thing out. But before his hand could reach the tube they were caught mid air by Oliver, Greg's eldest son.
“Dad, don't. Please” Greg could hear him say. “You need that, remember? wouldn't be breathing without it” Oliver said, now choking on tears.
Slowly Greg began to panic. Why shouldn't he be able to breath without that thing inside his throat? What had been done to him?
Moriarty! Moriarty was back, he remembered seeing his face on the Telly. He wanted to get out of here, get him and his sons to safety.
He struggled to get up not realizing that all what his body was capable of at the moment was a weak try to get his hands out of his son's grip. Why was his own son holding him captive?Greg turned his head, seeing his younger boy, James, crying even harder while being hold by a strange women.
Who was that women, why was she holding his son? Did she made them cry? Is she the reason why his son keeps pinning his arms down? Nothing made sense in Lestrade's mind.

Even though she stopped loving this man, Jane still cared for him. She had always feared this call during their marriage. She knew that Greg's work can be dangerous and there had been a few trips to the A&E to pick him up during their marriage but she never thought that she would see him critically injured. Seeing him in such a state, eyes wide of panic after she had tried to calm him down, was hard for Jane. She couldn't imagine how hard it must be for James and Oliver at the moment.
She didn't know what to do, should she continue to speak to Greg, hoping that he will recognize her at one point or should she better leave?
She knew that she had hurt him with her cheating but did that justify his behaviour?

The woman who was sitting at Greg's side when they had arrived and had introduced herself as Molly laid a hand on her shoulder and gently pulled her back.
“It's OK. That's the drugs, that make him react like this. It's nothing personal, he reacted like this to the nurses and other people as well” Molly said to Jane.
“I called the nurse, she'll give him something that'll calm him down"
A few minutes later a nurse arrived and gave Lestrade a sedative which made him fall asleep soon after.

During the next week Lestrade became more and more lucid and aware of his surroundings but it was still far from being fully aware.
He had been moved from the general ward to a private room and the breathing tube in his throat had been exchanged to an Tracheotomy where they had made an incision in Greg's throat to insert the tube. His breathing had improved but he still needed triggered ventilation.

Like every day Molly came over after work. She walked towards his bed. Greg was awake, his eyes scanning the room. He looked agitated and confused. Molly took his hand and stroke it gently. “Hey Greg. Nice to see you awake again. Those eyes are far too pretty to be closed.” Greg moved his head slightly and the corner of his mouth twitched. “Was that a smile?” But his eyes were closed again. Molly reached in her handbag and pulled out a book. “I've brought a new book. I hope you like it. It's a tiny bit romantic but I really want to read it so you have to go through it, I'm afraid. Let me know when you don't like it. “

Molly had read the first two chapters to Greg when she noticed him moving. She looked up and saw Greg looking at her. For the first time his eyes seemed completely clear. His right hand moved slightly reaching for Molly. She put the book down and leaned forward, putting his hand between hers and rubbed it with her thumb. “Hey,” she whispered.

Greg moved his mouth as if he was about to say something. “Don't try to talk. There is a tube down your throat.” Greg's eyes widened. “No, it's fine, Greg. Don't panic. It's there to help you.” She watched him calming down as she soothingly rubbed his arm. “I'll get you something to write, Ok?” He nodded slightly.

A couple of minutes later she returned with a notepad and a biro. She placed it next to Greg's hip and put the pen in his hand.
“Hey,” he scribbled. “Thx 4 bein here. Helped.” He looked up at her and his lips formed a small smile.
“You're welcome,” Molly said, patting his arm. “A lot of other people visited you. John was here, your parents, your children. And a lot of other people are waiting desperately for your doctors to clear you for more visitors.”
Greg closed his eyes for a moment then scribbled: “Kids Ok?”
“Yes, they are fine. I think they'll be back in a week or so.”
“U ok? look tired.” He looked at her concerned.
Molly felt tears rising up. This man was unbelievably selfless. Here he was lying in front of her in a hospital bed, seriously injured and coherent for the longest time in days and the first things he cared about was if his kids and she were Ok. She smiled through the rising tears. “I'm fine. Don't you worry about me. Just concentrate on getting better, Ok?”
He gave her a long look then nodded slowly. He turned his head away from her and for a while he seemed completely withdrawn into himself. Molly already thought that he was sleeping again when Greg wrote: “legs?” He looked up at Molly, fear in his eyes.
“Do you remember what happened?”
Greg shook his head. Molly shifted uncomfortably on her chair and cleared her throat. “You've been shot. You're doctor will go through your injuries with you.”
She flinched when she saw Greg shaking his head vehemently. “now.” The pen fell out of his hand and he fumbled to get hold of it again. “Cant feel them. Why?” Tears were now forming in his eyes. “Whats wrong?” he scribbled. “Tell me, plz.”
She looked at him. “Greg, it's better when your doctor goes through your injuries with you, believe me.” She noticed that he was getting irritated. “Now,” he mouthed. A single tear fell down Greg's right cheek. “I'll get your doctor. He'll talk to you about it.” Molly was about to get up when Greg grabbed her hand, trying to stop her from leaving. He slightly raised his head and when he noticed that he didn't had the strength to hold her he let it fall back on the pillow again. He looked up frustrated and then suddenly reached for the breathing tube. Molly quickly leaned over and grabbed his hands.
“Don't do that, Greg. You'll hurt yourself.” She shook her head when Greg rolled his eyes.
His arms relaxed in her grip. Molly didn't know what to do. She knew that it would really be the best if a professional would talk Greg through his spine injury but on the other hand she could understand that he was frightened and wanted to know what was going on. Molly saw a nurse walking over to them and signalled her that everything was fine.
She took a deep breath. “One bullet hit your spine. That's why you can't feel your legs at the moment.”
His chin began to shake and he started chewing on his lower lip.
“ I know this is a shock but the doctors say there is a good chance that it's not permanent.” She carefully touched his shoulder. “Listen, it's nothing to worry about, Ok? You'll be fine.

Greg squeezed his eyes shut and turned his head away from Molly. The tears were now streaming freely over his face.
“I saw your scans. They are looking really promising.”
Greg opened his eyes but still had his head turned away from her, his chin still shaking.
“Do you want to be left alone for a bit?”
He gave a slight nod.
“Right, I'll just let the nurses know that you are awake, Ok?”
He nodded again.

Normally he was very happy when he awoke and Molly was at his site but there had been one moment where all the embarrassment of his current situation had hit him. And it had hit him hard.

He had just couldn't come to terms with the fact that he was paralysed and was quite certain that it will be permanent, no matter what the doctors and Molly said to him.
Right now he was given a sponge bath and the nurse had rolled him onto his side to clean his private parts.
This was painful even with the amount of painkillers he was given and even though he knew that it was a daily job for the nurse Lestrade was embarrassed every time.

But what made it even worse this time was that while he was lying on his side, displaying his full glory with catheter and everything, Molly suddenly appeared in the door frame. She looked a quite embarrassed as well and quickly turned around and left to give Greg the privacy he needed during that procedure.

Greg just wanted to die out of embarrassment. He didn't want Molly to see him in a state like that. He didn't want her to see him at all so helpless, not able to do anything on his own. She shouldn't waste her time with him, an old man who's useless below the bellybutton. So when she returned after the nurse had finished he just closed his eyes and hoped that sleep would claim him.
He felt Molly reaching for his hand but he moved it away.
“Greg, “ Molly said in a hurt tone, “what's wrong?”
Slowly Greg turned his head and gestured to the pen and the notepad Molly had brought to help him communicate.
She lay the notepad beside his hip and handed him the pen.
“Why are you here?” he wrote with a shaky hand.Greg could see tears forming in Molly's eyes. He didn't wanted to hurt her. “Sorry” he scribbled quickly.
Molly forced a smile and leaned forward. “I am here because I like you. I care for you and I want the thing between us to work out. Remember when you asked me out? Since then all I could think about is being with you. Waking up next to you and spend the rest of my life with you”
“Why?” Molly sucked in a deep breath “Why? Because you are the best and finest man I've ever had the pleasure to meet. I can still kick my ass for not noticing it earlier. You are a bloody good looking guy with a great persona and I can't wait to see that lovely smile of yours returning”
Lestrade shook his head. No he wasn't the Detective Inspector Molly had agreed to go out with any more. Not the man who asked Molly out for a date. Who had planned so much to do and see with her.
Now he was an invalid, a fucking cripple who wasn't able to do anything on his own. Not even bloody breathing.
He felt hot tears streaming down his face and wrote “No, am not what I used to be. Cripple. Worthless. Find someone better” gesturing with his left hand up and down his battered body and useless legs.
“No Greg, that's not true” Molly said. “First of all the doctors said that it is highly likely that you regain full feeling on both of your legs, you just have to be patient. It'll come, trust me, you are one of the most stubborn persons I've ever met. If you want to walk you will walk. In a couple of month you will be up and running like nothing had happened”
A few days ago the doctor had told Molly that Lestrade had shown reactions to the sensory tests to his legs. They were pretty weak but gave reason to hope
“And secondly even if not there would still be no other man I would want more than you. You are no less man to me, Greg, no matter what. You've got to get that into that thick skull of yours.” Molly bend over and wiped away the tears on Greg's face.

For a few Minutes all there was in the room was silence only broken by the whooshing sound of the ventilator and the occasional beeping of a machine. Then a slight smile broke out on Lestrade's face. “Molly really does love me” Greg thought and he could feel the fear and bad mood slowly fade away.
He picked up the pen again “ Still owe you a proper date then” Greg wrote, smiling more brightly now.
Molly kissed his forehead “ Yes you do” she said, “yes you do”.
“You've gotta wait a bit though” Greg wrote down, now spotting this boyish smile of his that Molly loved so much. “Don't think they let me share whatever they are giving me trough this fucker” he gestured toward the tube that had been inserted into the side of his belly.
“Not sure I'd even want anything from that, Greg. It's all yours” Molly said laughing.
“OK, but as soon as I'm out of this bed I'll take you somewhere to eat, even if it's only the bloody cafeteria. Deal?”
“Deal!” Molly answered, carefully shaking the hand Greg held out.
“Good” Greg scribbled. Suddenly he felt very tired. It took a huge amount to pick up the pen again and very shakily he wrote “Sorry for before. Tired, gotta sleep. Please stay. Need you.”
“Don't be sorry,” Molly said running soothing fingers through his hair, “everything is fine. When ever you feel down just talk to me. I'll be there for you”
Lestrade nodded and closed his eyes. A few moments later he was fast asleep, knowing that whatever might come he would have Molly at his side.

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