At the same time, John had climbed out of the cab and was heading into the building. As he entered, he heard a loud bang; one that sounded very ominous to the former soldier. “Sherlock...” he croaked, fearing the worst. He started to run as fast as he could, hoping it wouldn’t be too late to save the detective. As he entered the pool, he saw Sherlock kneeling on the floor with his back turned. “Sherlock!” he exclaimed.
Sherlock, upon hearing John saying his name, turned to him. John was relieved to see he was unharmed, but he quickly spotted that Sherlock’s hands were covered in blood. “John, Molly’s been shot. She requires urgent attention.” he began, his face unusually white. In his arms was Molly, groaning with pain as she clutched her stomach, a stain of blood on her clothes.
“Oh Christ, Molly...” John whispered as he took off his coat, kneeling down to the pathologist and getting his jumper off to try to stem the bleeding.
“I’m so glad... you both came...” Molly smiled weakly, trying her best to stay awake.
John gave her a comforting smile as he looked towards her. “Save your energy, Molly. Right now, we need to get you to hospital.” he soothed. With his hand pressed down on Molly’s stomach, he started to ring for an ambulance. “We need an ambulance. My friend’s been shot and she needs to get to hospital now!” he began once he’d got through to the emergency services.
Sherlock looked down at Molly. Unaware to her and John, his mind palace was crumbling at the seams. This was a scenario he had never expected; his pathologist, the victim of a gunshot wound. “Molly Hooper, you must not die tonight. I still require you for my cases.” he whispered to her, his voice trembling slightly. He took Molly’s hand and gently squeezed it, desperate for her to focus on something to stay awake.
John looked over to Sherlock and watched as he held Molly’s hand. He’d never seen the detective look so... shaken. If only he was more like this to other people... he thought sadly.
Some minutes later, the doors burst open as paramedics rushed inside to see to Molly. John and Sherlock immediately stepped aside to let them take over. As they tried to save her, Molly reached for Sherlock’s hand. “I knew... you’d come and save me...” she whispered. Sherlock gave her a small smile in response and held her hand.
“We need to give her to the hospital immediately.” a paramedic announced. They carefully laid her onto the stretcher and wheeled her to the ambulance with the two men staying close behind them. As they climbed inside, the paramedic turned to the two. “I’m afraid there’s only enough room in here for one of you to ride in with her. I’m really sorry, but one of you will have to make their own way to the hospital.” she apologised.
John turned to Sherlock. “You go with her, mate. It’ll help Molly knowing you’re by her side, and I’ll need to let Mary and Greg know that she’s in hospital.” he encouraged. Sherlock gave him a silent nod and climbed into the ambulance. As soon as he was inside, the doors were shut and the ambulance raced off to get Molly the medical attention she urgently needed.
Sometime later, Sherlock and John were in St. Bart’s, and were waiting for any news on Molly’s condition. “I missed a detail, John. Molly should not be in that operating theatre right now.” Sherlock sighed, staring at the door to the A & E. He was pacing around the room, his mind palace now in complete disarray.
“Sherlock, they’re doing the best they can for her. It’s not your fault she got hurt. You couldn’t have known Lien was going to try to shoot you when your back was turned.” John replied, trying to reassure his friend. He was sat in a nearby row of seats.
“But I should have, John! Molly’s life is hanging in the balance; I cannot afford to lose someone I trust. If she dies on that operating table, the person at fault will be me for endangering her in the first place.” Sherlock snapped, startling John at his response.
John didn’t know what to say to comfort him, but he knew that this was unlike Sherlock to react this way. Normally, he would be almost like an emotionless robot, not caring if the person lived or died; especially if said person were to cross his path. The only times that it had been somewhat different John could recall, were the incident with Magnussen and when Moriarty had made it look like Sherlock was nothing but a fake.
But, this was Molly... Molly Hooper, the mousy pathologist who had been there for him through thick and thin, had helped him fake his own death in order to begin his personal mission to dismantle Moriarty’s network... and had loved him even when he’d been nothing but cold and heartless towards her. And that made John start to realise something, but he had to be delicate about confirming his suspicions. “Sherlock... Does Molly really mean that much to you?” he asked quietly.
Sherlock looked at him. “What are you implying by that? She is one of the few individuals I trust, including you, John.” he replied.
John rubbed his neck nervously. “Well, what exactly do you feel when you’re thinking about Molly?” he asked.
Sherlock stopped his pacing and sat down next to John. “It is... difficult to explain. But, it is as if my chest is being crushed. My heart feels as if someone has ripped it in half... and my body is shaking all over.” he admitted, looking towards his hands, which were indeed shaking. “She is good at her job, and I am glad she goes out of her way to assist me on cases.” he added. As he spoke, Sherlock noticed that John was looking like the proverbial cat that got the cream as he was now grinning widely. “Does something amuse you?” he asked.
“I may be imagining things, but... I think you’re starting to develop some feelings about our beloved Molly, Sherlock Holmes.” John teased, wanting to see the detective squirm.
Sherlock narrowed his eyes. “Whatever you think I feel, I can assure you that whatever ‘feelings’ you claim that I have for her are nothing but strictly professional. She has made her feelings about me clear on several occasions, but that is part of the weakness-.”
“‘Of sentimentality’, I know, I know. You can’t keep telling yourself that forever, mate. Y’know, you’ll have to discover what the other sex is like eventually.” John chuckled, finishing Sherlock’s sentence.
As he spoke, Mary and Lestrade ran over to them, having finally arrived at the hospital. “We got here as soon as we could! The traffic was a nightmare!” Mary exclaimed, hugging John tightly.
“Have you heard anything yet?” Lestrade asked John, looking visibly concerned.
“No, but I know she’ll be alright. They’re good people.” John sighed.
The door creaked open as one of the surgeons came out of the theatre. He cleared his throat politely, alerting the four to his presence. “Excuse me, are you Dr. Hooper’s friends?” he asked.
“Yes, we are. Is she alright?” John asked, holding Mary’s hand.
“Well, it was touch-and-go for a while, but she’s stable. We got the bullet out. She’ll make a full recovery.” the surgeon replied.
“Oh, thank God...!” Mary sighed with relief.
Lestrade’s radio buzzed and he answered it, smiling when he heard the news from the officer radioing him. “We’ve got Lien. Sally’s going to question her.” he announced.
“Can we see Molly?” Mary asked the surgeon.
“Well, she’s still unconscious, but once she comes to, you can see her.” the surgeon promised and went back inside to clean up from saving Molly’s life.
Once he was gone, Mary saw that Sherlock was acting somewhat frosty towards John and nudged her husband gently. “What’s with Jack Frost over there? Did you two get into an argument or something?” she asked in a hushed voice.
“Well, it was more of a disagreement than an argument. Let’s just say I suggested that Sherlock might have feelings for Molly, and he strongly denied it.” John whispered, grinning.
His wife covered her mouth making a gasping sound. “Now, this I have to see!” she giggled.
Later on, Molly was soon awake, but was feeling groggy from being operated on. She was resting in bed and was adjusting it so she could be more comfortable when John and Mary came to see her. “Oh, didn’t expect to see you here! I figured you’d prefer staying at home with the little one.” she beamed when she saw them.
“We did, but making sure you were alright was on our to-do list. That, and Mary would’ve been too worried about you to stay at home.” John sheepishly replied with a smile.
Mary sat next to her. “How’re you feeling?” she asked comfortingly.
“Well, I feel a bit groggy from being knocked out. And my stomach feels quite sore, but apart from that, I think I’ll live. Spending the night in a hospital bed is not how I figured my evening would go, but, that’s life!” Molly chuckled, laying back.
“Well, you gave us a bit of a scare, Molls. It’s not every day someone we cherish gets shot saving the man she has a huge crush on.” Mary smiled.
Molly blushed and rubbed her arm in embarrassment. “Yeah, but I think he might not be happy that his scarf got blood on it...” she admitted.
“Well, he’ll just have to live with it, won’t he?” John smiled.
Molly chuckled a little and looked to the door. “Is he going to come to visit?” she asked with a hopeful expression.
“He had something to take care of, but I’m sure he’ll come and see you soon.” Mary replied.
“Oh... I see...” Molly sighed, looking crestfallen. She lay down on the bed, resting her head on the pillow and heaved a heavy sigh.
“Hey, cheer up. At least you’re being treated by the people you work with!” John encouraged, trying to make her focus on the positives of her hospital experience.
“Well, that’s true, I guess...” Molly nodded with a small smile.
Mary noticed the time and got up from her seat. “Unfortunately, we’d better get going, as I don’t think Mycroft is lasting long with the baby. I’ll make sure Sherlock remembers to visit you, because if he doesn’t, I’ll drag him down to see you myself!” she promised.
Molly nodded and waved the Watsons off before relaxing back on the bed. She looked up at the ceiling and thought back to Sherlock telling her not to die when he was holding her in his arms. Maybe he really does care about me... she thought. She then sighed as she then remembered who she was thinking about. Who am I kidding? He’ll never feel that way about me anyway...
At the same time, Sherlock was watching his brother speaking to Lien. “You gave us quite the chase, General. But, I’m afraid that this is where our game must end.” Mycroft announced.
“There will be others like me in China. You think you have won this battle, but you are sadly mistaken.” Lien spat. She turned to Sherlock and spoke in Mandarin, her eyes full of venom and hatred.
Mycroft signalled his men to take her away as she was bundled into a car kicking and screaming. “You certainly have a way with women, brother of mine.” he smirked as he watched the car be driven off.
Sherlock scoffed and lit up a cigarette. “The only ‘woman’ in my life is my work. You of all people should know that, Mycroft.” he answered, handing a similar one to his brother as he drew a few puffs from his own.
The older Holmes lit the cigarette. “Yes, as you have claimed before. Yet, I hear that when Dr. Hooper was shot, you reacted out of character while you were waiting for news on her condition.” he replied.
Sherlock paused and looked towards him. “I assume John spoke to you earlier?” he asked.
“Of course he did. We do worry about you, you know.” Mycroft smiled sweetly.
The detective rolled his eyes and tapped his cigarette to get rid of some of the ashes. “Dr. Hooper is a valuable asset to my work. Our relationship is strictly professional. Sentimentality and romance is not something that can be useful for either of us.” he replied coolly.
Mycroft chuckled a bit and then coughed. “This is quite a strong taste. Perhaps low-tar would be best for me.” he mused, looking slightly disgusted.
The detective smirked. “At least you’re admitting you smoke like an amateur.” he answered.
Mycroft turned to walk back to his car, Anthea waiting nearby with phone in hand. “Perhaps you should invest in a goldfish?” he suggested.
Sherlock coughed at Mycroft’s sudden words. “And what is that supposed to mean, Mycroft?” he asked, trying to catch his breath.
“It was only a suggestion. I hear goldfish are quite an ideal pet.” Mycroft answered as he climbed into his car.
“Sir, the Prime Minister is expecting you to update him on the situation with the Black Lotus. Should I make a reminder in your calendar?” Anthea asked, looking up from her phone for a brief moment.
“Very well, I will speak to him when I return to the office.” Mycroft answered, closing the door behind him.
Sherlock watched them go and started to make his way back to Baker Street. As he hailed for a cab, his phone buzzed with a text from Mary;
Molly’s awake, and she’s asking for you. – MW
Need to head to Baker Street. Working on another case, will see her later. – SH
Moments later, Sherlock received another text from Mary, but this time, it seemed like she wasn’t happy with his answer.
Sherlock Holmes, you go see that girl right now! Or so help me I will drag you to St. Bart’s myself! – MW
Will see Molly on way back instead. Is that to your liking? – SH
That’s much better. Have fun! – MW
Sherlock gave the cab driver the address for St. Bart’s and soon made his way to the hospital. As soon as he was making his way to see Molly, he spotted that the nearby gift shop was open.
Molly was reading a book to keep herself busy when the door opened. She looked over and was surprised to see Sherlock entering the room. “Sherlock? Um, what’re you doing here?” she asked.
“Well, Mary persuaded me to visit you as you are now awake; as well as threatening to ‘drag me to St. Bart’s herself’, though that remains to be seen. And I believe that it is customary to see someone when they’re ill.” he replied.
“Oh, well... Thanks for coming, but you didn’t really have to.” Molly smiled shyly, trying to sit up but wincing.
Sherlock noticed she was in some discomfort and came over to her beside. “You should really be resting, Dr. Hooper.” he smirked as he adjusted her pillow to make her more comfortable. He looked down at her and saw a small blush appearing on her face. He then thought back to what his brother had said earlier and smiled to himself. Maybe it is time I invest in a goldfish... he thought.