I knocked on the door and looked into the room. I had in my hand a bouquet of peonies. “Hey, Sherlock.” I greeted, looking at the man in the hospital bed.
“Constable!” Sherlock greeted, beaming upon seeing me. “I’m glad to see you’re doing better.”
I smiled. “I should be saying that to you, but to be honest, you look terrible.” I teased.
Sherlock laughed, the IV showing itself off on the back of his hand as he pushed away the tray of hospital food before him. “I haven’t been eating much. The food isn’t exactly edible.” He responded, wrinkling his nose at the tray. “I like the Jell-o though.”
I smiled. “I’ll talk to the doctor about maybe bringing you something from the outside world. So think about what you want.” I told him, helping him move the tray. “I brought you these. Thought they’d add a splash of color.”
“Peonies. They mean healing, you know.” Sherlock responded as I set the vase on the table by his window.
“That’s why I chose them.” I informed, grinning. “But, bringing you flowers isn’t the only reason for my visit.”
“Oh? Another case so soon, Constable?” Sherlock asked.
I shook my head, walking over next to him. “I think we’ve been through enough where you can just call me Sarah. Besides, immortality potion or not, you’re older than me. May as well have the mutual respect of calling me by my first name.”
“Very well, Sarah.” He said trying out the name. “What is the reason for your visit if not for a case?”
I put my hands in my pockets. “I have some people who want to meet you. I just need your ok to let them in.”
Sherlock’s brow furrowed. “What kind of people? How many?”
I gave him a reassuring smile, sitting on the side of his bed. “Just two. They’re close to me and want to say something to you.”
Sherlock looked me up and down, as if deducing me. “Alright. You can bring them in.”
I stood up and went to the door. “He said you could come in.” I announced, letting my mom and brother into the room. “Sherlock, allow me to introduce my mother Linda, and my not-so-little little brother Daniel.” I said putting my hands on their shoulders.
My mom approached him. There was a look in her eye as she walked up to him. It was a look I wasn’t familiar with and I hadn’t really seen, and got a little concerned when she turned back and looked at me before looking back at him. “My daughter has told me all about you, Mr. Holmes. Even that Moriarty, battle of wits, immortal story.” My mom stated.
Sherlock looked at me, almost surprised. “I can’t keep secrets from my mom.” I admitted. “I figure if this is going to be an issue, then it’s best if they know so they can prepare.”
My brother put a hand on my head. “Because she’s smart like that.” he said approaching the bed. “She also told us about what happened at that hospital and at the church.”
Sherlock looked at my brother. “She is very intelligent. She has great potential as a detective.” He remarked, smiling proudly. “A fine replacement.”
“Regardless.” My mother cut-off. “You protected her, and looked after her. And I want to thank you for protecting my daughter.”
“It can’t be easy looking after someone who has no sense of self-preservation.” My brother said, slinging his arm around my neck and pulling me to him.
“I have a sense of self-preservation! It just gets over-ridden by protective instincts.” I excuse looking at Sherlock. “Just like someone else I know.”
“You protected my sister from this Copycat killer. And helped her save Jane.” My brother reminded.
“That makes you family to us. She trusts you, and you have proven to us that we can too.” My mother said with a smile. “And Lord knows she needs to be shown a positive male influence.”
“What about Daniel?” I asked hearing her say that.
“Daniel doesn’t count. One: he’s your brother and grew up alone in a house with four women, and two: he’s younger than you.” Her mother brushed off.
I rolled my eyes as Sherlock held his side as he laughed and sat up. “Thank you, Mrs. Sprague. You have raised your daughter well. What’s the modern saying? She doesn’t take no shit from nobody?”
I grinned. “Jane showed you Wilfred Warfstache, didn’t she?” I asked.
“The funny biracial man with the pink mustache and odd speech pattern, who has an excellent speaking voice and plays games for a living?” Sherlock asked.
I just nodded.
“Yes she did. She also told me to look up something call Five Nights at Freddy’s.” he informed.
I sighed and rubbed my eyes. “I’ll show it to you when you get out of the hospital. What did New Bedlam have to say about all this?”
Sherlock shrugged. “I don’t know yet. I’ve been too drugged up for them to attempt to tell me anything. Apparently when you get stabbed viciously in the side with a large dagger by a man in a mask, they give you a substantial amount of morphine to keep the pain at bay.”
I chuckled at that. “Well, if they permit me back in after last time, I can promise I will visit you. I’ll even bring you food from the outside world to enjoy.”
The door opened and a staff member came in, I instantly recognized him as one of the doctors from New Bedlam, particularly the one I drugged to get Sherlock out. “Not planning another escape are you?” He asked upon seeing me.
“Nonsense, Doctor! My protégé knows when to let her mentor rest! This is merely a pleasure visit.” Sherlock defended, grabbing the flowers I brought him. “See? She brought flowers and everything.”
“We’ll wait outside. I’m sure this is a more private conversation.” My mom said getting behind my brother and pushing him towards the door.
“I’ll be right behind you.” I call as the doctor stepped in front of me.
“Actually, I would like to talk to you for a moment, if I could.” He requested in a professional, formal tone.
I waved my family ahead and looked at the doctor. “Yes?”
“Constable, I have heard from many people about what happened, and I wanted to let you know of my relief that you and Mr. Bell are ok.” He responded gently. “But there is the issue of the fact that you did try to break him out of a mental institution.”
I nodded, biting my lip in anticipation. “Well I succeeded, but yes, I have been expecting this talk.”
The doctor nodded. He wore blue scrubs, like the last time I saw him, and had nearly shaven blond hair and glasses. He had a strong jaw that etched out his face well, and to be honest, wasn’t that bad looking. “In light of recent events, New Bedlam has permitted you to keep your access to the facility. We do not in any way condone your actions, but it has been a blessing in disguise if you will.”
I raised an eyebrow. Not expecting that reaction. I was expecting a polite but firm request to stay away. You know the kind that you know are actually commands and a threat to call someone if you show up again? “This is unexpected. May I ask how?” I asked.
He pushed up his glasses. “I can’t go deep into details, but I will say it has forced us to do some reevaluation of Mr. Bell. It is clear that he is no danger to others or himself. Except perhaps when a beautiful young woman is in danger.” He mentioned with a chuckle, glancing at Arthur.
“It’s called Chivalry. I recommend you look it up and follow a few of those rules yourself, Doctor.” Sherlock declared. “All the ladies love it.”
The doctor cracked a smile and looked back at me. I shrugged in response. “He’s not wrong.”
“But you are a special case if I’m not mistaken.” The doctor responded.
I put my hands on my hips. “I’m still a woman. And let me tell you, manners and respect are very sexy. It’s the little things that we remember.” I responded coyly.
“Like an optimal place to stick a syringe?” The doctor mentioned.
I sighed. I knew that was coming. Frankly I’m surprised he remembered that was me. I wasn’t exactly subtle, but I was kind of hoping the drugs maybe messed with his memory a little bit. “Sorry about that. Desperate times.” I tried to excuse.
The doctor waved off my comment. “Understood, but you do owe me one now.”
“Now doctor, she just mentioned she was desperate, are you really going to make her pay up a supposed debt for that?” Sherlock mentioned, reminding us he was there.
“I’m not going to be filing a law suit or anything if that’s what you’re worried about, Mr. Bell.” The doctor assured. “A cup of coffee and a pleasant conversation would be payback enough.”
My eyebrows raised as I looked at Sherlock for help. “I was just an excuse to get the Constable here, wasn’t I?” Sherlock accused. “And in front of a patient? How unprofessional!”
I held up my hand. “Down boy, I’m a big girl. If I can go toe to toe with a serial killer, a date request is nothing.” Despite the confidence in those words as they left my mouth, my head was screaming. A date?! No one really asked me on a date! Two boyfriends I had started out as friends before we went to that level and so there was no asking out, more just asking for a relationship. Other than that I have only been asked out once when I worked as a cashier at a freaking Dollar Tree.
The doctor looked back at me, hands in the pockets of his scrubs. “So?”
My mind was racing. I was wondering what his thought process was, as I was still recovering from a traumatic situation. Granted he likely doesn’t know a lot of the details, but you’d think getting tased in front of a mental hospital would give a few clues. Then of course there was Alfie. I was still getting over him. While we never acted on or admitted anything, there was, at least I felt, chemistry between us. I had felt something for him. And finding out it was all a lie….well, let’s just say it’s another scar I can add to my collection.
As crazy as it was though, he was pretty cute, and maybe going out with him might actually settle some things. Call it rebound or whatever, but it might work in my favor. He just said coffee and conversation, and if I’m paying I don’t have to worry about him trying to guilt trip me into anything about that, and if he pulls the needle in the ass card to try and guilt trip me, I can just end the date right there. I suppose it wouldn’t be a bad idea.
“Constable?” Sherlock asked, making look over.
“I suppose a cup of coffee couldn’t hurt. It might help take my mind off recent events.” I agreed.
The doctor grinned and handed me a piece of paper. “Here’s my number. Give me a call.” He said before walking out of the room.
There was a brief moment of silence before Sherlock spoke up. “He didn’t even try to hide it. He was only here for you.” He grumbled.
I looked at him and shrugged. “At least I can still come see you.” I reasoned.
Sherlock nodded. “Very true, but I do have a request.” He informed, sitting up a bit more, wincing as it lightly pressed on his wound. “Will you walk me through your thought process as to why you accepted? I’m curious, I was not expecting you to say yes.”
I came over and helped him get comfortable before sitting on the bed next to him. “You’re acting like you’re my dad.” I said gently.
Sherlock held his wound as he looked down at me. “At this point, I may as well be. But surely you have standards, why say yes to a man who came to a patient just to ask you out in front of said patient?”
I shrugged. “I have some feelings that are kind of tangled up right now. I figured maybe a date with a cute doctor, however….blatant he may be, may be what I need to sort some things out.” I answered calmly.
Sherlock’s gaze turned into the stare of deduction. He was reading me carefully, as if I were the clue that would make or break the case. “My dear, I am aware of the whole ‘rebound’ coping mechanism. Frankly, I do believe there are better ways to do it than wasting your time with him.”
Blunt. So terribly blunt. But honest at its core. I swear this man could read me better than some of the people I’m closest with. I have a hard mind to understand, so the fact that this man could translate it in the couple weeks I’ve known him, compared to the people that needed years to do so? I had to admit, I was impressed, and a little flattered. Someone who could read me, and understand my thoughts at least somewhat clearly. I hadn’t had that really before. It was refreshing.
“I am more than aware that this is rebound for me.” I responded. “But how did you guess?”
Sherlock smiled. “The times you talked about Alfie with me, you had a fondness in your voice. Your cheeks would flush ever so slightly, and you seemed to brighten. It was not hard to deduce there was at least attraction to him.” He reasoned, giving his evidence straight forward.
I felt my face get hot. Shit, I really had been gone for Alfie. “I guess it’s a good thing his true colors were revealed then, before I got into anything.”
Sherlock put his hand over mine. “The heart is not easily controlled, my dear.” He said giving my hand a comforting pat. “The brain, however, is once you know how. Now tell me what you were thinking accepting a coffee date?”
I laughed. He really did sound like he was my dad. Kind of wish he was, my dad’s a bit of an asshole, and not in the likeable way. “I told you, rebound. I gotta sort some things out with this whole, my partner was the Copycat nonsense. You already deduced I had a thing for him, can’t you accept that I’m trying to figure out if I will bite me in the ass later and emotionally scar me?”
Sherlock pat my hand again. “It has already scarred you, my dear. He was someone you considered a friend, and he was supposed to help mentor you through your journey into the realm of crime solving and justice. It was a task he failed at and it nearly cost you dearly. All you can do now is wait to see just how deep the scars run.” He really wasn’t beating around the bush, was he? I’d love to see what this guy can do in the modern age, because this is some heavy shit. Patting my hand again, he leaned back against the pillows. “But, no matter how deep they are, and how you choose to deal with them, you know you can come to me, for any kind of advice.” He seemed to perk up. “I do miss Watson, terribly, but I believe he had a good long life with Mary. I could do with another friend; one perhaps in the present rather than the past.”
I grinned as I pulled the blankets up to cover him a bit more. “Fair warning, I have some crazy friends, and you’ll get dragged into the craziness too. I mean late night talks, heated debates about fictional characters, scolding each other for our horrible taste in men….” I paused. “Oddly enough that last one ended up translating to the real world. Don’t tell Angelique. I’ll never hear the end of it otherwise.”
Sherlock laughed. “Yes, you have found a Watson of your own it seems.” He responded, tugging the blankets up to his level of comfort. “Thank you for your visit, Sarah. But I ask if we may do this another time. The medication is starting to kick in again and it’s making me rather sleepy.”
I stood. “Of course. Rest up, old man. Maybe I’ll have another case by the time you get out of the hospital.”
Sherlock smiled. “Crime never rests, my dear. Once I have my strength back, perhaps I can help you in your next big endeavor.”
I nodded and turned off the light in the room to help him rest easier. “See you soon, Sherlock.” I said closing the door to the room, rejoining my mother and brother.
Indeed I would be seeing much more of Sherlock. I would uncover secrets long buried or forgotten, and solve cases that would make me a household name and mark me down in history. Not quite the way I expected, but life never goes as planned. My adventures with Sherlock Holmes are proof of that.