Richard got sent home a week and a half after he woke up. He'd been very cooperative through physical therapy, and he seemed to have his motor skills just fine. It was a miracle at all that he wasn't just a brain dead lump. That was why Sebastian had little hope for Jim coming back to them. Richard was just… very different from Jim. To be fair, Richard wasn't so different that he wasn't like Jim. He was very like Jim, he just thought a little different and considered life a little different.
The most obvious difference was that Richard was very affectionate. He hugged and kissed Molly all the time, no matter who was in the room. It had gotten Molly in trouble already, since it was rather frowned upon for doctors to be in love with their patients. Richard had just helpfully pointed out to the staff that Molly was one of the only people who visited him at all, and that she wasn't treating him. She never visited when she was on work hours.
Sebastian had caught Richard talking with one of the nurses later. The sniper had left only for a minute to get coffee and when he came back the nurse was a giggling fluttery mess. Seb could never get out of James what happened with the nurse, but Molly stopped getting harassed by the other staff over Richard's affections.
It wasn't just Molly who Richard was affectionate with. While Richard hadn't kissed him again, the man would often place his hand of Sebastian's knee or shoulder. These touches always made Sebastian uncomfortable. Jim had owned his life, but he'd never been so obvious about his possession. Jim had been the man with all the toys, but Richard was the man with all the toys who showed them off to make others jealous.
Sebastian still came every day, spending all of the visiting hours next to Richard, who would either be completely silent (just like Jim lost in thought) or chatter away endlessly (just like Jim when he was bored). Sebastian would listen as best he could, but often time Richard became far too theoretical for Sebastian to follow. He could follow the math talk to a certain extent, but when Richard started talking about Russian literature in Russian (something Jim would never do) Sebastian could hardly keep up.
Richard seemed to have some odd memories of Jim's. Sebastian had come back from one of his frequent coffee breaks (things he took more and more as Richard got more and more hands on) to find Richard drumming his fingers on the bed railing. "Bistra, bistra," Richard said, mimicking Sebastian's tone and voice fairly perfectly. It made Sebastian blush. Even Richard couldn't help from teasing Seb for his impatience.
Other odd memories surfaced in Richard. After three days before Richard was released from the hospital, Sebastian walked in on Richard with a couple of copies of The Sun in his hands. They were all the issues that detailed the 'crime of the century trial', the 'tell all of Richard Brooke' and 'the fall of the false detective'. Sebastian was considering how to figure out which nurse had brought everything and how to kill her for doing so when Richard pinned him down with a stare. He had the paper from the day after Sherlock Holmes' death in his hands.
"He's still alive you know," Richard said.
"What?" Sebastian asked. He walked in and started to try to clean up the bed.
"Sherlock Holmes, he's still alive," Richard said.
"Can't be," Sebastian said. "I watched him jump myself. He's dead."
"You think he won't be smart enough to know what Jim wanted?" Richard asked with a snort. Sebastian's stomach clenched. He hated it when Richard insulted Jim. "I survived, didn't I?"
"It's only a miracle," Sebastian said.
"You think Jim wouldn't plan for every eventuality?" Richard asked, smirking. Sebastian felt his stomach clench again. The idea that Jim had planned to shoot himself was a very uncomfortable one. It was easier to accept that Jim Moriarty had put a bullet in his brain on a whim… although Sebastian had wondered why Jim had even had one of his guns at all, especially with blanks loaded into it.
"That still doesn't mean that Holmes is alive."
"Of course he is," Richard said. "It's no fun to end the fight before the third seventh inning stretch," Richard pointed out, folding up the news papers and beginning to set them neatly aside. "I like the Richard Brooke persona that the Kitty bitch wrote about. You've been keeping her away, right?"
Sebastian jerked back a bit. It wasn't that he was trying to keep Kitty out because of… well, what Jim did to himself. He was sure that Richard could hold his own very well against her. He kept Kitty away because of Molly. "I don't think it's a good idea to bring her in."
"What do you know?"
"Ms. Hooper always thought that she was just one in a string," Seb said.
"So what? I know that," Richard said with a shrug.
"You… Jim was living with Kitty Riley for a while," Sebastian said, gritting his teeth a bit. It's not that Molly knew, but Sebastian didn't want her to know.
"Oh," Richard said, his eyes getting a bit wide. He went mute for a little while. "Yes, well then, you should set up a meeting between me and Ms. Riley for when I get out of the hospital," he said.
"Sure? Yes, I told you, no fun if you end the game before the seventh ending stretch," Richard said before lying back against the pillows.
Three days later Richard was released from the hospital. Molly and Sebastian took him back to the flat Sebastian had picked out. It was more unassuming than the huge and obvious place they'd stayed in before the trial. It fit better to Richard Brooke's price range, anyway.
"Welcome home," Molly said, smiling warmly. Richard had held onto her hand since they'd gotten out of the hospital. He was always much nicer in front of Molly than he was with Sebastian. Sebastian was starting to wonder if Molly didn't prefer Richard to Jim. Just the idea pissed him off. If Richard could give Molly everything she wanted, then why would she need Sebastian? Besides that, Jim hadn't even been gone for more than a few weeks. Was she already past him?
"Thank you, my dear," Richard said, tugging Molly close and kissing her cheek. "You'll be staying in my room tonight."
"Are you sure you won't get uncomfortable?" Molly asked. Richard already knew about their sleeping arrangement.
"Can't know till we try, can we?" Richard asked, chuckling when Molly blushed and smiled. "So, you were going to make fish?" He remembered Molly's fish fairly well.
"Oh, yes," Molly said, heading off to the kitchen.
"Have you made the appointment?" Richard asked.
"She'll be here in two days," Sebastian said quietly so Molly wouldn't hear.
"Good, I have a few things I need to take care of."
"I'll make sure Ms. Hooper is away then," Sebastian said. There was no reason for Molly to see what would happen.
"No, make sure that she shows up," Richard said and walked off to claim his room.
Sebastian grit his teeth and seethed for a moment. He felt like Richard led him around on a leash. He could deal with that. He'd sworn to stand by Jim Moriarty no matter what. Richard wasn't so different. Yet he couldn't stand the idea of Richard hurting Molly. He would need to decide if he should listen to Richard, or if he should try and keep Molly away from the flat that day. He was sure he could make an emergency so Molly would have to stay at work late. The question would be if Richard would be able to tell what he'd done.