Molly dabbed at the cuts on my face and hands. For someone used to working with the dead, she was quite adept at dealing with the living. She was gentle, apologising softly when the antiseptic made me flinch. Contrary to popular opinion I am not a machine and I am capable of feeling pain, especially when I’m in a state of decreased adrenaline.
“I can’t believe it worked” she whispered as she applied a butterfly suture to a particularly deep gash on the outside of my left hand.
“I didn’t doubt it,” I said. Then, remembering to be kind, I turned to her. “I didn’t doubt you.” She blushed and studied the equipment in her hands.
“I don’t think anything needs stitches, but I would like to get you an antibiotic. Do you want anything for pain as well?”
“No thank you, Molly. I can’t afford to have my senses dulled.”
She frowned, worried. “Just for a night or two, while you’re here. You did have a serious accident, after all.”
“I said no.”
She backed up a few steps and looked at the floor, the wall, the doorway – everything but me. “Just thought I’d offer,” she mumbled and disappeared, presumably in search of the antibiotics. I exhaled and wished for a moment that I could have a painkiller. Some form of opiate to silence the muscles in my back and shoulders. I raised my arms carefully, holding an imaginary violin. Mimed a few measures of Bach’s Violin Partita number three in E Major. The suture on my left hand stretched and threatened to pop off.
Molly returned with a small bottle and a mug of water. I accepted both, shook out a pill and swallowed it. “I trust you didn’t slip me a painkiller instead of an antibiotic.” I made an attempt at teasing, and hoped she took it as such.
“I think you of all people would know if I tried something like that.” She smiled and seemed more at ease. Perhaps the adrenaline was wearing off for her, as well. “I still can’t believe it worked.”
“You’ve said that.”
“Sorry.” Again she dropped her gaze. So submissive, Molly. No wonder Moriarty had used her.
Think, Sherlock. What are you supposed to say in a situation like this? “Again, I trusted you with this for a reason. I didn’t doubt your skills.”
“There’s an unused room down the hall. It’s... overflow, I guess, for when the main morgue gets backed up. Anyhow, it’s always locked and there’s only three of us with a key so you should be safe there until you’re ready to leave.”
“Thank you. Molly. Honestly, I couldn’t have done this without you.” And Mycroft, I thought. I’d already sent him a text saying that the first stage was complete and I was safe. Sometime during the night he’d see that I was taken out of the city – the country – and that I’d have what I would need to proceed to stage two of the plan.