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Chapter Text

22–23 June 2014 


Sherlock collapses when he tries to stand, legs folding under him like a colt, his unseasonal coat pulling him down with its ridiculous weight, his face gone a colour between white and yellow-grey that I never want to see again.

Thank God the medics are in the room already because I don’t think I can go through that emergency protocol again, just a week after the last time.

The night I found Sherlock bleeding from a bullet in the chest. He’d nearly died under my hands in that office, had died in the operating theatre, had come back God alone knows how.

And now, by sheer force of will he’s wrangled me and Mary to Leinster Gardens for the Great Reveal, only to herd us back to Baker Street for the Great Reconciliation.

Too much going on in my head. I can’t think, I can’t hear over the medics shouting at each other and into their mobiles, I can’t hear Sherlock breathing and Mary’s just standing there staring at him, probably wishing this had happened to him before he’d shown me what she’d done. What she really was. Is.

The medics have him strapped into the stretcher now, he’s unconscious, they seem to have him stable enough to manoeuvre him downstairs into the ambulance where they can “restart his heart,” almost the last words I heard him say before the pain stopped him saying anything at all.

His heart. His heart. How many times?

She seems to think that she shot him for me, for my sake. Sherlock seemed to say that she shot him not-quite-fatally for my sake, to keep him alive so I wouldn’t be suspected of murdering him and Magnussen. The muddle of rationales he was spouting when he collapsed—I have to remember it and pick through it, it was rubbish. For one thing, she didn’t kill Magnussen. For another: even if she knew I was in that office with Sherlock, the police can’t suspect a man of shooting two men when he has no gloves and no gunshot residue on his skin.

No, she shot Sherlock to stop me pursuing her. Why on earth she left Magnussen alive—she said it herself. “People like Magnussen should be killed. That’s why there are people like me.”

The woman I’ve been sleeping with for eighteen months is “people like me.”

I glare at her when I realise she’s put a hand on my arm. I jerk away and tell her I’ll go with Sherlock in the ambulance and she should go home. She has the gall to look stricken, as though I’ve just wounded her feelings, and I feel my gut cramp. I lower my voice.

“You stay away from him. You don’t go near him. You don’t even go near the hospital. I’ll know if you do. Stay well away from both of us. When I’m ready to talk to you I’ll get in touch.”

I don’t even know if I will. All I do know is that I want her out of my sight. And I don’t want her anywhere near him, if he even makes it through this massive relapse.



He’s stable again, deeply sedated.

I don’t know what to do with the madman. He seems to think he’s immortal, that his recklessness will never do him actual harm. Just because he didn’t die last week doesn’t mean he never will, doesn’t mean he won’t collapse once and for all.

The doctors aren’t even sure how his medications will affect him, given he’s been using, given he’s neurodivergent. Trust Sherlock to make it exponentially harder for them to help him—leaving the hospital, staging drama scenes, when he shouldn’t be walking farther than the loo. If that.

I don’t know what to do with the madwoman, either. At Baker Street she was acting, for all she was worth: tears and hesitant touches, gradually starting to second Sherlock’s “surgery” nonsense. What she never looked, was sorry. Not once.

At Leinster Gardens she was riding him, mocking him; at Baker Street she was playing me. No contrition, no apology, no regret. Being near her made me feel cold and sick. I don’t know what to do with this: I’m married to a stranger.

I will never believe it’s because I sensed some dangerous undercurrent there and was drawn to it. God no.

When I think of her I see two images superimposed. The woman I married out of affection and gratitude: I know her, she’s cheerful and confident, she doesn’t have “depths.” She teases me, sometimes needles me, draws blood sometimes, because she’s a little—a very little—jealous of Sherlock. But she grounds me in a steady life and now she’s going to have my baby.

But the other. I’d never seen that one before. The sneering, superior face of the assassin in the narrow hallway. The tight, shrill voice taunting Sherlock. She made him bend down through ten levels of pain that she caused, bend down to pick up the coin she shot, to show that she had him where she wanted him. The two faces are blurred, I can’t make them match up but I can’t make either one go away.

Like Mary and Sherlock. Once he came back, I couldn’t have them both but I couldn’t cut either one loose.

At least for now I don’t have to know what to do with either of them. Sherlock’s in expert hands, between the medical staff and Mycroft’s team of bodyguards, and I can only watch him sleep.

She’s—I don’t know or care where she is, so long as she’s not here. (I don’t know or care who she is, either.) When Mycroft comes in I’ll make him tell me why the fuck he didn’t prevent this, why his precious agents let Sherlock drag himself out of the hospital.

In the meantime, I have to think. I'll have to write down what I remember, and what doesn’t make sense—and I have to work it out.

On my own, because the biggest brain in London and the only one I trust—mostly trust—is going to be out of commission for a very long time.