Rated M for sex (bow chica wow wow), graphic description of drug use and who knows what else as the plot develops.
Disclaimer: Oh how I wish I owned BBC’s Sherlock – the games we could play – but I don’t, sigh.
Author note: continued from Ch1. Molly is in the lab analyzing mysterious samples sent to her, but she is thinking (in italics) about an incident after the Fall when Sherlock is staying with her. The next few chapters will continue to be a flashback so they will also be in italics. I hope this doesn’t bother anyone too much, and rest assured we will be back to a normal font very soon.
Molly and Sherlock stared at each other; the silence hung heavy between them. Sherlock took in her expression and the way she had scrambled away from him, pressing herself against the wall, his shrewd blue eyes missing nothing. He ducked his head, focusing on the syringe instead of her, features strained. His shoulders curled inward slightly, as if trying to make himself smaller in that already small space, and his once pristine clothes hung limp against a painfully thin frame.
Freed from the tense eye contact, Molly was able to think again and took in the scene: on the floor next to him was a blackened and bent spoon from her kitchen, a cigarette lighter, a glass of water and a dark brown bottle, probably rubbing alcohol by the smell. He had used a hanky as a tourniquet, and it was looped tight around his bicep, veins blue and straining. There were at least 10 injection sites on his forearm, each one a faint bruise against the pale skin, though none appeared to be infected. Clearly he put the rubbing alcohol to good use.
The syringe pierced his vein; she could see a drop of blood blooming in the milky fluid. His thumb was on the plunger, about to depress it and shoot the concoction into his bloodstream. He must have just started pulling back the plunger to test for a vein when she knocked.
While she had heard the rumours about his drug use she assumed it was in his past, remote and even mysterious. She had seen the aftermath of addiction in her morgue, but this was the first time she’d witnessed it’s ugliness in action. Molly thought she’d be repulsed by the sight of someone injecting drugs. Sorry for them, but still repulsed. But seeing this monument of a man reduced to such frailty, all she could feel was a deep sadness and fear. Sadness at this waste of a life. Fear that she would not be able to stop him and bring him back.
She may be small and quiet, but she was no coward. She clutched that fear to her, and used it to unfreeze her limbs and move her forward. Kneeling beside him, she moved carefully so as not to startle him, and tried to capture his eyes with her own.
“Sherlock?” a steadiness in her voice that she did not feel.
He turned away from her slightly, careful not to jostle the needle, never taking his eyes off the syringe and tried unsuccessfully to hide his arm from her view. He had deep grooves between his eyes, and a fierce look of…concentration? No… She’d seen the look of concentration on his face before, but never accompanied by beads of sweat, twitching facial muscles, and a clenched and grinding jaw. This was terror.
It’s not until she gently placed a hand over his clenched fist, barely touching him, but letting him feel her warmth, that he raised his head to look at her. He was crazed and struggling with some spectre she couldn’t see.
“Sherlock… “ she began.
“What do …”
“I’m nobody, Molly,” he cut her off again, voice even lower than usual, breath hitching as he said her name.
“You’re…you’re Sherlock Holmes,” she just placed her other hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently.
“No. He’s gone. They all believe he’s a fraud,” he swallowed hard. “I let them believe I am a fraud. I had to,” his gaze breaking away form hers and rolling around the room.
“I have nothing now,” his chest heaving, “The work — my work — is gone. Every thing that I thought I was is gone.”
Molly couldn’t think of what to say that would bring him back to himself. Her heart was breaking for him. Instead of replying, Molly took a wad of tissue, soaked it in alcohol, and placed it over the puncture point. The cool cotton brought his attention back to her. She breathed slowly and deeply, looking calmly into his eyes, willing him to anchor his erratic breath to hers.
Minutes passed, feeling like hours, and his breathing slowly evened out. When each exhale and inhale was perfectly in sync with hers, Molly placed her free hand on the barrel of the needle, her ring finger resting lightly on his thumb that still hovered over the plunger.
“You are still Sherlock Holmes, he hasn’t gone anywhere,” she looked back up at him and waited, raising both brows in a silent question. After a heart beat he gave her an infinitesimal nod and released the syringe.
She gently drew the needle out, pressing the tissue to his arm, removing the tourniquet and folding his forearm up to help stop any bleeding. Then she turned and reached for the black balloon, traces of white powder on its neck, but his hand gripped hers so tightly she could feel her bones grind together. Her heart beat faster, and she was sure he could see the fear in her eyes as she met his.
“I can’t solve crimes anymore. What’s left of Moriarty’s network have scurried away into some sewer. Even my Homeless Network can’t find a trace of them,” his eyes were boring into hers, willing her to understand. “Mycroft says he has no information, none that he’s sharing with me anyway. Nothing. There’s nothing left. Nothing.” He threw her hand away from him now, wrapping his arms around his waist, trying to hold himself together.
“Couldn’t even save myself, could I?” he laughed bitterly. “Useless, I’m useless!”
Molly hesitated only a moment before she snatched up the balloon and quickly flushed the remaining powder down the toilet, rinsing the balloon in alcohol for good measure. When she turned back to Sherlock he was leaning towards the trash bin she had tossed the balloon into, eyes hard and fixated, but his arms were still wrapped tightly around his torso, holding himself back.
“When I’m working, I don’t need the drugs I’m… I’m safe,” he nodded fervently, still staring at the trash bin. “If I have a case my mind is occupied and it isn’t eating me alive from the inside, thinking thinking thinking, making me insane,” words coming out in a rush now.
“But I can’t work, I can’t do anything. And John, and Mrs. Hudson, and Lestrade, they all think I’m a fake. That I’m dead. I’m not a consulting detective any more. I’m a fraud. A dead fraud. A nobody.”
While the man raved, Molly had been hurriedly removing all traces of the drugs, and potential triggers for Sherlock, from her bathroom. She gave up trying to straighten the spoon and simply tossed it in the trash along with the rest of it, before she turned her attention back to the manic detective. He was staring at her now, eyes wide with the whites showing all around.
“You still believe in me, Molly. You don’t think I’m a fraud,” he gripped her wrist tightly.
“I know you’re not a fraud, Sherlock. I’ve seen first hand what you can do,” he nodded, earnest and waiting for her to continue. Desperate and not knowing what to say next, she tried to lighten the mood.
“After all, I thought only the scale knew when I gained 2 and a half pounds,” Molly tried to laugh at her pathetic joke but it sounded all wrong, echoing against the white tiles.
Sherlock’s face fell.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry Sherlock! I’m just trying to you know…”
Damn it, Molly! She dropped her gaze, furious with herself for saying such a stupid thing to this fragile man. Seconds passed as she waited for his reaction, not sure if he would lash out at her or leave her flat, seeking out another powder filled balloon.
A few moments later he reached his free hand out to her and hooked a finger under her chin, urging her to meet his eyes. They were surprisingly tender for a man who had been so keyed up a moment ago. “No matter what I do or say,” he said brows low over his eyes, as he tried to puzzle her out. “You still help me. You help me no matter what.”
“Is that why you came back here? To my flat?” she whispered, “You’ve been shooting up for at least a week by the look of your arm, but you only came back now.”
He nodded, and he looked so raw that her heart broke for him. The Fall may not have taken his life, but it was taking his mind. The mind that was his livelihood, his armour, everything he thought he was. And he was losing it.
“I’ll always be here for you, Sherlock. No matter what,” and still lost in the blue green sea of his eyes she acted on pure instinct and drew him to her, wrapping an arm around him, and using the other hand to guide his head onto her shoulder. “You’re not alone.”
He was silent and stiff in her arms and as the seconds passed she feared that she had gone to far. When she began to pull away, he let out what could only be described as a small whimper. His hands quickly stole around her and pulled her into his lap, arms tight around her middle. It was her turn to stiffen but as he burrowed his head into the hollow of her neck she automatically ran her fingers through the curls, relaxing into the embrace. She blew softly on the back of his neck, still slick with the sweat.
Sherlock trembled occasionally but made no sound, so she just held him tighter and murmured nonsense into his ear, hoping her tone was soothing. Gradually his tremors faded, and the tension in his shoulders eased. His breathing became deep and regular, the gentle puffs tickling her under her ear as he loosened his grip on her waist though he still kept his arms around her.
They stayed curled together on the bathroom floor for sometime. Molly’s legs were starting to cramp and she was cold but she didn’t move, not wanting to break the moment of welcomed peace. She continued to hold him, now and then rubbing his back in small soft circles. It wasn’t until she began to shiver that he finally raised his head, though he didn’t look at her.
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me, Molly.”
“It’s alright. We all need a hug now and then,” she smiled at him, trying to make light of the unusual closeness.
“No, not for this,” he tightened his grip around her slightly, indicating the embrace. “I mean for the drugs. I’m sorry I brought them into your home, and…” he trailed off, and she could see him clench his lips together.
She had known that this might happen, of course. Mycroft Holmes, who regularly checked in on his brother, warned her of his ‘danger nights’ and even gave her a list of his favourite places to hide his stash.
Oh God, Mycroft Holmes!
He had given her explicit instructions to watch Sherlock closely for signs of renewed drug use. She wouldn’t want to fail either of the Homes brothers but Mycroft in particular made her uneasy. Would he add her to Britain’s suspected terrorist list as punishment for failing to keep his brother safe?
No use in worrying about that now, she decided. Time to deal with what lay in front of them. He came to her for help and, like always, she would give it to him.
She began to pull away and after a moment’s hesitation he loosened his hold, allowing her enough room for her to see his face. She noticed that he kept a firm hold of her waist, thumb on her lower rib. She reached for his bruised arm, lightly running her fingers over the injection sites.
“I’m glad you kept the wounds clean,” he nodded and she continued, “I’ll take a vial of blood before I go to work tonight for analysis. See what you’ve been on and make sure you haven’t contracted anything. I’ll also need a urine sample, if you can manage it. You look pretty dehydrated. No, Sherlock, it’s not negotiable,” and she held up her hand as he opened his mouth, eyes looking like he was about to argue with her. “You may have thought you were being careful, but you were not in a state of mind to know for sure. Then I’ll take the rest of the evening and the week off. You’ll be deep into detox by then,” and then she had waited, resolute as she met his eyes. He nodded once and released her.
As he made a move to shift her off his lap, she stopped him cold by laying a gentle hand to his cheek. “You can’t do this again. I don’t just mean bringing drugs into my flat. You can’t do this to yourself anymore. I can’t…I just….” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before looking at him again, “ I won’t watch you destroy yourself, Sherlock. Too many people depend on you.”
When he didn’t respond, his gaze fixed firmly on the floor, she rose and fished around in the drawer for a small glass jar that had once held face cream. She left it near the toilet, and told him to take a shower before going to the hall closet where she kept her medical kit.
He bathed quickly and walked into her room with a towel wrapped around on his lean hips. She had laid out clean pyjamas on the bed, and turned her back, readying her supplies while he changed. Wordlessly she handed him a glass of water and paracetamol tablets, and watched him swallow both.
When she had finished extracting a vial of blood, she pointed to the bed. He looked exhausted, though with-drawl was starting to toy with the nerves in his hands. He obediently curled up on the mattress and she pulled the covers up to his chin.
“I’ll be back soon.”
She saw him nod, and then he burrowed further under her quilt.
She didn’t have much time to get to Bart’s and back. She wanted to be with him when the worst of the symptoms hit. Though if he decided he wanted to shoot more poison into his arm, it wasn’t as though she had the strength or the skill to stop him. She could call his brother, but quickly dismissed the thought as collected the urine sample he left in the bathroom and headed to the hospital.