Disclaimer: I do not own Southland…
The sun was just coming up in Los Angeles as Ben Sherman trudged wearily through his front door, the first year detective had been up all night on a stake out and with the cold he had been battling for the past few days all he wanted was sleep.
He kicked off his shoes, slung his suit jacket over the chair and slowly made his way down the hallway towards the bedroom. He bent over double as a nasty round of coughing overtook him, he made a detour into the bathroom where he spit the phlegm into the toilet and splashed some water onto his face.
He stared into the mirror in front of him. "Looking real good, Sherman." He croaked out as he stared at the pale image of himself. He dried his face with the towel and then threw it on the counter top before heading towards the door and into the bedroom.
He stripped off his shirt and his pants and looked sadly at the empty bed before him, suddenly remembering that John's shift wouldn't be over for another two hours. He sighed, placed his cell phone on the night stand and climbed into bed, pulling the blanket up to his head.
He was asleep within seconds.
John Cooper unlocked the front door to his house and walked inside, immediately kicking off his shoes and heading toward the kitchen for a drink. He grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and walked down the hallway towards the bedroom he shared with Ben. He pushed open the doorway and smiled when he saw the lump of blankets and a shaggy blonde head of hair sticking out of the top.
He cringed as he listened to the dry, hacking cough coming from the younger man. He took a seat on his side of the bed, put his bottle of water on the night stand and leaned closer to Ben. He ran a hand through the blonde's hair causing him to groan and roll over on to his back.
Ben's face appeared out from under the comforter, a smile lighting up his tired face as he caught sight of John. "You're home."
John winced at the gravely sound to his partner's voice. "You sound terrible, Ben." He laid a hand on top of Ben's forehead and shook his head. "You're burning up."
"Have you taken anything?" John asked as he scooted back towards the edge of the bed, but was stopped by Ben's strong grip on his arm.
The older man sighed. "I'll be right back." Seeing the uncharacteristic vulnerability in the younger man's eyes he tried to reassure him. "I just want to get you some pain reliever."
"Ok." Ben let go of his arm and watched as John walked into the master bath and came back with several pills in his hand.
John handed Ben his bottle of water and then the pills as he scooted himself back onto the bed and next to the sick man.
Ben placed the bottle of water on the night stand and then rolled over onto his side. "Cold." He grumbled as he pulled the comforter back up around his shoulders.
The older man rolled his eyes as he struggled to get under the covers with Ben, "That's what you get for sitting out in the car all night when you're sick." He wrapped an arm around the blonde and pulled him close, smiling when he heard a contented sigh.
"It's my job." Ben whispered.
"And it's my job to take care of you." John whispered into Ben's ear. He pulled his partner of the last six years a little closer when he felt him shiver.
Ben reached up and placed his hand over John's, "Because you like me?" He asked, what little was left of his voice cutting out at the end.
John smiled "Maybe a little." He kissed the back of Ben's head and snuggled in closer to the warm body in front of him. "Get some rest, Ben."