Making Sense of It All, a sherlock fanfic

By Mikarin Aoi

Summary: During a lockdown to contain the spread of a deadly virus, Sherlock finds Molly in his arms as they both try to make sense of it all. What does this pandemic hold for the future of Sherlock and Molly?

Warning: Rated for Mature content Genre: Drama/Angst Pairing: Sherlock/Molly

Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock or its characters. And like every honest fanfic writer out there, I don't get any profits out of any of my fanfics.

Author's Note: I noticed that I'm not the only writer who thought of a story as we deal with this current pandemic. Well, this is what came to my mind. Thank you to NoobScribe24 who beta'd this for me.

FAIR WARNING! If you've read my stories before, you'll notice I love writing sad/dark/depressing stories. This is not any different. I am also working on other Sherlolly fanfics (this isn't the 1st Sherlolly fanfic idea that I've had and have worked on, but the first one to get posted, seemingly.)

~Aoi.

~Chapter One~

April 8, 2020

As soon as she entered her flat, Dr. Molly Hooper slumped against her door, her bag falling with a light thud beside her. Toby, her cat, curiously inched towards her bag before he greeted his owner by pushing himself against her legs then trailing off back to his own business.

With her head leaned back against the door and her eyes shut, Molly tried so hard not to let herself go. Alas, after being strong for twelve hours straight at such a dangerous place where her life was at risk, she couldn't hold it back. A desperate sob escaped her lips and her tears followed suit.

The sight simply broke Sherlock as he stood in her kitchen. How many times has he seen her this way these past few weeks? Noticing how Molly's body slowly slid down towards the ground, Sherlock set his coffee cup on the counter and quickly made his way to her, catching her with his hands clutching onto her upper arms, his chest the destination of her hands, while the side of Molly's head fell against the base of his neck.

In his embrace, there she stayed, her hands clutching so tightly onto the sleeves of his shirt down his arms, her forehead against his chest as she sobbed until it left her dry. This was the routine that met them every time Molly got back home. Never in their lives did they think they would be thrust into a situation like this, where both of them were clinging onto each other, trying to make sense of it all.

"Why? Why? Why?!" Molly's voice would crack from her repeated cries, the desperate helplessness in her voice sending such an ache in Sherlock that it almost pained him.

As usual, he didn't know what to say, how to answer, and so, with all the strength that he had, he pulled Molly even closer to him, wrapping his arms around her, wanting to keep her safe from the very pain she was feeling, hoping he'll be able to take some of it away.

With Molly done with her shower, she found herself settled on her bed, staring blankly at the white ceiling above her. She could hear the shower running, knowing full well that Sherlock was now cleansing himself after he had contact with her. This was their routine.

As soon as she'd arrive at her flat, she'd take off her shoes, coat, gloves, then sanitize her bag, the door handle, and her hands before she'd enter. The first night she did that, she found Sherlock sitting on her sofa, waiting for her. That was the night of the 23rd of March - the day when the Prime Minister announced the lockdown.

~o~

"What are you doing here, Sherlock?"

"I heard you were asked to be part of Bart's ICU Team. I heard they needed more staff."

"You heard right," Molly answered curtly, not really in the mood for talking as she was exhausted from her first day at the ICU. It came as a shock to her that she, a pathologist, was asked to be part of the ICU Team, but she understood that in these circumstances, they needed all medical professionals that they could get. She wasn't the only doctor whose specialty was different from the internists, intensivists, and ICU doctors in the ICU unit.

"Why are you here?" she went back to the point of their conversation.

"We're in lockdown. I figured you wouldn't have enough time with food and other things around your flat, thus I'm willing to stay here and help out. I had Mycroft deliver some goods here already."

Molly blinked at the simple explanation Sherlock provided. She couldn't really come back at him with anything, so she simply nodded.

They fell into a comfortable routine with each other, just like the times Sherlock was hiding out in her flat during his faux death. This time, however, he did let Molly have her own bed as he took her spare bedroom. There were times that he would cook, times that she would cook, but they made sure to always eat together.

After all that was said and done after that horrific phone call and the events of that disastrous day, Sherlock appreciated and respected Molly even more and they became the closest of friends and even the best of godparents to Rosie. Thus, it was easy to be cooped up with Sherlock, as Molly had already spent multiple occasions with him that stopped her heart from beating so fast every time, like it did before.

When her hours started to get longer in hospital, however, tension started to rise. Sherlock was worried all day, unable to keep still while Molly was at work, and when she'd come home, he'd notice some part of her was lost. Almost like every time she'd come home, a part of her was moving not just away from herself, but also away from him. He couldn't describe it, but it was plain disconcerting and it felt terrifying. What made him even more worried was that her smile seemed to fade bit by bit, day by day. He felt lost, not knowing how to recapture her smile.

The first time things became bleak was when he was in the kitchen, waiting for her to get home, and very silently, she came in, and as she stood in the middle of her sitting room, staring blankly at nothing in front of her, Sherlock unsurely made his way towards her, just in time to catch her as her knees buckled under her.

"Don't, Sherlock – don't, please, I'm fine," Molly protested, trying to get away from Sherlock. "I need to shower first, please, I don't want to give you anything I might've picked up at Bart's."

Despite her struggle and her protest, Sherlock knew something happened and that it bothered Molly. It wasn't much to stop her struggling as he had the strength to keep her still in his arms. Eventually, she gave up her futile attempt to be free.

"Whatever you get in there, let me get it, too. I'll be fighting this alongside you."

And it was only then and there, with those words coming from his lips as she was engulfed in his embrace, that Molly shed the tears she's been holding back for days.

~o~

A knock on her open bedroom door pulled Molly out of her reverie. Already clad in his pyjamas and his blue robe, Sherlock entered her bedroom and waited for Molly to sit up on her bed before he placed the tray of food in front of her. He walked over to the other side of the bed and took his place beside her.

"I know you may not feel like eating, just like the past nights, but you need your strength."

Molly knew that Sherlock was right, especially if she wanted to keep up with the harsh demands in the ICU with every patient that she was tending to. With a hard swallow, Molly tried not to think of the situation at Bart's and instead focused on the food. Though the soup and roast meat was impeccable and so delicious not to waste, Molly couldn't finish her serving as she had a difficult time keeping it down.

As she thanked Sherlock for the meal, she offered to take care of the dishes but Sherlock insisted. "Would you like a cuppa before bed?"

With a weak smile, Molly answered, "That'd be lovely, thank you."

Noticing that it's been quite a while that Sherlock has been gone; Molly got up from her bed and walked out to her kitchen where Sherlock was, seemingly staring at nothing. As Molly drew close, she noted that the water was already done boiling. "Sherlock?" she called out to him tentatively.

Lost in his own thoughts, Sherlock wondered how was she was still able to give him those smiles despite everything that she's been seeing every day. He's been constantly watching the news, so he knew what it was like inside the ICU. She had such remarkable strength. Such beautiful strength.

"Sherlock?" He heard her small voice trying to catch his attention, though still gentle enough to seemingly not surprise him.

He turned around to face her. "Molly. Sorry, I'll be right with you with your tea."

"Let me help," Molly offered, giving him another of her smiles that still didn't shine as bright. When would he see that smile again - the one that used to brighten his days?

As they enjoyed their night time tea together, Molly asked about the book that Sherlock was currently reading. He had gone through almost all of Molly's books with the endless amount of time he had on his hands. After all, being bored was Sherlock's ultimate nemesis. It sometimes worried Molly that Sherlock wouldn't find interesting things to do and might wind up shooting a bullet in her wall like he did at Baker Street..

Sometimes, she'd talk about her experience in hospital for the day, but tonight, she couldn't. Sherlock noted losing a part of her again. He hated that it was happening right before his very eyes and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

It was always such a struggle for Molly to fall asleep. She was restless. And despite her exhaustion from work, she sometimes couldn't bring herself to sleep. It was infuriating. Most nights, she'd stare at her ceiling with just the moonlight shining into her room past her balcony door until finally she'd drift off to sleep.

In the spare bedroom, Sherlock was once again lost in his thoughts. Never in his life had he felt so worried about one person. And she was just a few feet away from where he lay. He wondered if she had finally fallen asleep as he was fully aware that she started having trouble sleeping since her shifts in hospital started to get longer and it started draining her. Not just physically.

He remembered a time when he first started noticing that her hours in hospital were lengthening.

~o~

He was having his usual coffee as he waited for her to get home. When she walked through the door, it was apparent that she had spent more time at the lab rather than in ICU. She didn't seem as… broken. Something within Sherlock sparked a genuine fire that urged him to keep her safe, and so he let her know just exactly how he felt.

"Molly, they can't possibly have you keep working on dead bodies, the pathogen, and testing people then also keep you close to patients," Sherlock ranted as he paced back and forth in front of the sofa where Molly was seated. "You're being put at risk even more."

With a sigh, Molly stated the one truth they both couldn't deny. "I'm a medical professional, Sherlock. I took an oath." She was wonderfully stubborn, and that tenacity of hers was part of her strength.

"Is your oath really worth risking your life over?" he asked, almost angrily.

Molly stood up and stopped Sherlock in his tracks with her hands against his chest. As she looked up and noted the worry in his eyes, her mood softened as she calmly told him, "Stop worrying yourself, Sherlock."

"I love what I do," Molly uttered with total certainty. "I love being part of the NHS, and doing my part to stop this virus by either being in the lab learning more about the pathogen or by being with patients is not just my responsibility, but also what I want to be doing."

"Promise me you'll stay safe," was all Sherlock could say as he looked down at the sincerity in those brown eyes and covered her hands with his.

With a smile, Molly nodded and stated, "Always."

~o~

Noting how the clock in his room struck midnight, Sherlock made his way to Molly's bedroom. Her door was kept open, and he knew this was for her, as she felt more comfortable with open spaces rather than closed and confined spaces - which she already found herself in for most of her days when she was inside the ICU Unit.

Leaning against the doorframe, Sherlock noted that Molly was tossing and turning, almost wildly thrashing before she sat up, gasping for air as she screamed out the word no, like a loved one losing someone to death. Molly's hands flew up to her mouth, and it dawned on Sherlock that she might vomit, so he helped her out of bed and led her to the bathroom.

As he kept her hair pulled back while she painfully retched, Sherlock kept his other hand on her back, providing comfort as he stroked her back. Knowing that she'd want to shower, he slowly turned around and waited by the door while Molly undressed and stepped into the shower. It didn't take long before Molly broke down.

Her wails of desperation, her deluge of tears knocked her down and as she found herself in the corner of her shower, her head in her hands with her knees close to her chest, Sherlock felt utterly frozen as he didn't know how to shake this feeling of not being able to help her.

"I'm sorry, I can't, I can't," Molly was crying over and over, and as she screamed out in plain frustration, Sherlock jumped into the shower, turned off the water and carefully wrapped Molly in a towel then carried her in his arms back to her bed. There, he made sure to dry her hair with another towel and then laid out another pair of her pyjamas beside her.

He could tell how Molly was beating herself up with the way her hands were so tightly closed around her knees, almost leaving a mark with the redness around it. Wanting to stop her from the pain she was causing to herself, he knelt in front of her and laid his hands over hers. Slowly, as her hands loosened, he took them in his and looked up at the face of the pathologist.

With her head down, her wet hair down her sides, obstructing her face, her tears still running, Sherlock's uneasy feeling in his stomach felt like a punch. How would he ever heal this broken woman?

"Molly, you need to get into your clothes. You'll catch cold."

All she could do was nod, knowing full well Sherlock was right, but all she did was fall onto her side, until her tears ran dry. Clutching onto the top of her towel close to her chest, Sherlock knew that her heart was aching. How many times has he seen her break in just the past two weeks? What power did he even have to help her? Where would he even begin?

"Molly, please… You'll get sick if you stay like this," Sherlock pleaded, removing the strands of hair that fell to cover Molly's face.

"I can't do it, I can't…" Molly's weak voice once again apologized over and over again.

Knowing Sherlock would have a hard time helping Molly into the pyjama that he chose which came in a top and pyjama bottom, Sherlock instead opted for a nightdress he knew she had several pieces of, which he could easily put on her over her head. Going into her wardrobe and fishing it out, he helped Molly sit up.

Once the nightdress was down to her waist, he helped her stand up so he could remove the towel from the lower part of her body. Weak, Molly rested her body against Sherlock's, and with a low murmur from all her exhaustion, he heard her say, "Stay."

Carrying her once more, he gently laid her down on her side of the bed then pulled the blanket over her and after he turned out the lights, he walked over to the other side and laid beside her. As soon as she felt him, she inched closer and it was almost instantaneous that Sherlock took her in his embrace. This was where she felt safe. This is how she fell asleep.

~o~

A/N: End of Chapter One. What does this pandemic hold for the future of Sherlock and Molly?

I hope you guys liked it. I haven't posted in a long time, and it has been a while since I wrote, though there were times I was working on my other Sherlolly fanfic. We'll see when I'll finally be able to update that one and post it as well.

Please let me know your thoughts on this first chapter. And on a final note, during this pandemic, please do stay safe.

~Aoi.