Sherlock’s seen her hurt before, of course he has. But he’s never quite been faced with the very real possibility that she could actually really die, as much as he is right now.
He sees Molly’s crumbled form as soon as he enters the warehouse, and everything else fades into the background. She’s lying in a steadily growing pool of red, the pretty emerald green dress she wears, stained beyond recognition.
Sherlock’s legs feel numb as he run towards her and his heart beating faster than ever. He’s prepared himself for so many outcomes in his life, he’s thought through so many different scenarios, but he’s never been able to contemplate the idea of Molly’s death. It’s so incongruous with everything that she is. Light and happy, warm, kind and beautiful, the thought of her vitality being extinguished is unbearable.
He drops to his knees beside Molly not caring that her blood is staining his trousers and Belstaff. Sherlock’s fingers fumble clumsily, shakily to find her pulse point, slipping against the blood that’s coating her pale skin. He doesn’t even realize that he’s been holding his breath until he feels the weak throb beneath his fingers. Unsteady and slow, her heart’s still beating. The wave of relief that rushes through him is dizzying.
Sherlock gathers her into his arms, Molly’s hair brushing his chin. There are still enemies to be taken down, but he doesn’t care in that moment. The only thing that matters is Molly; the soft breaths that tickle his neck, letting him know that she’s still alive, the warmth of her pliant body in his arms, the comforting scent of her shampoo.
The gentle motion of Sherlock’s walking wakes her up and he looks down at her pale face to find her eyes fluttering open, confusion and pain filling her pretty brown eyes.
Molly’s hand scrabbles to find purchase on his Belstaff, gripping him in as tight as she can manage, as though trying to anchor herself to something, to him. He gives her the most reassuring smile he can muster. He’s not sure he manages.
“You’re fine.” Sherlock murmurs, telling himself just as much as he is her.
Molly squeezes her eyes closed and a couple of stray tears slip down her cheeks. Sherlock holds her just a little tighter, dropping his lips to her hair, before he can think through what he’s doing.
“You’re gonna be okay.”
Sherlock whispers the words against her hair, pressing a second lingering kiss to the crown of her head.
“Just hold on, alright? Just stay with me darling, and you’ll be fine.”
Molly mumbles something incomprehensible, and burrows her face into his Belstaff. Sherlock’s chest lurches, at the simple act of her seeking warmth and comfort from him, at the idea that if he doesn’t get her help soon, she might not be okay. She has to be okay. There’s no other option. There’s no other outcome of this night that makes any worldly sense.
She has to be okay.
Molly’s stabilized a lot quicker than his heart will be. Even when she’s wide awake and chatting, a little loopy from the painkillers, his chest still feels like a million rubber bands are wrapped around it. Sherlock doesn’t think he’s going to forget this night for a very long time, if ever.
She came so close.
He realizes his eyes have been fixed on her chest, remembering in vivid detail, the rivulets of blood that had dripped over his hands as he carried Molly to safety. Sherlock forces his eyes to meet hers, her pupils dilated and glassy from the painkillers.
“Did you call me darling?”
She sounds surprised and amused, and so Molly that it’s the most reassuring thing she could’ve ever said to him in that moment.
“Uh…oh…sorry.” Sherlock mumbles, his forehead creasing as he remembers the word slipping out against her hair.
Molly snorts, her nose scrunching up cutely as she laughs. Sherlock’s chest lurches for a whole new set of reasons.
“What’s so funny?” Sherlock asks, unable to stop the corner of his mouth lifting in response to her mirth.
“You whispering pet names,” she giggles and shakes her head amused.
He cracks a proper smile because Molly’s alive, she’s talking and laughing and happy.