Musicalluna betaed and approved. I've realized my small (i.e. GINORMOUS) kink for touching-fic. I'm slightly (obsessively) in love with John and Sherlock needing physical contact with one another. Also, I do not own Sherlock.
John Watson could feel his pulse race as he wonders how, how he had ended up like this. The cement is cold and damp, of course, because isn't that just how this kind of thing always works? One never passes out into a pile of feathers or, more realistically, onto a sofa or a bed. Even a carpeted room would have been nicer, but John just isn't that lucky.
He can feel the fever raging through him. Yes, raging, because it was high and he was cold, yet steam was rising off him (though that was probably his breath from the cold air, but he imagined it could be steam because God, it felt like his head was in a boiling pot of water). Hot, yet freezing. Sweating, yet shivering.
John knew he had been coming down with something. With all this running around London searching for and catching criminals, who had the time to stop and nurse a cold? A cold, that's all he believed it to be. The last time John had a fever-well, he couldn't remember the last time he had a fever. Eight years old? Ten? It seems so long ago now.
Blurry eyed, he tries to sit but oh, no, that's not even an option right now. There is so much commotion going on around him but all John can think of is how much his body hurts and how he really should have seen this coming. He's a bloody doctor, for Christ's sake, you think he would be able to take better care of himself.
He wonders how long it's been since he went down. It feels like he's been lying there for ten minutes, but something tells him it's only been a few seconds because suddenly he hears Lestrade's shout of, "John? John's down, call an ambulance! John? Were you hit?" His voice is loud and damn, does it hurt as it rattles through his brain. Fingers begin prying open his jacket looking for a wound and John would really like to swat at them. No, he's not hit anywhere, he's just damn sick.
No longer paying attention, however, to the wandering hands searching his body because Lestrade was just flung sideways, replaced by Sherlock who is suddenly so close that John can hardly stand it. Though the heat from his breath feels nice since John is pretty sure he's lying in puddle of half-frozen rain water. Or it's just the goddamned fever.
"John?" Sherlock whispers and John doesn't miss the tremor in his voice. He puts his hand on John's forehead, long, slender fingers cool and really quite inviting right now. John leans into the touch and Sherlock puts another on his cheek.
"There's no blood. He's burning," Sherlock says aloud. He wraps one arm around John's shoulders and uses his free hand to move John's head to his lap. "Lestrade, an ambulance."
Hell, he's not going to the hospital. He wants to sleep in his own damn bed. "Home," John mumbles, shuddering against the rough fabric of Sherlock's coat.
"You're on fire, John," Sherlock protests, pulling him closer.
"Home," John insists, louder, more forceful. He manages to open his eyes a little wider and they share a silent moment before Sherlock nods.
Things were sort of...strange, for a while. Hot, then cold, then hot, then cold. It was a neverending cycle that John had been expecting since he is a doctor, after all. Then of course there was the nausea, and the vomiting, and the headaches. The headaches seemed to be the most painful, moaning and groaning and clutching his head, almost pulling out his hair as he does so.
It all bled together, that awful weekend after they caught their serial killer. John would have much rather preferred going out and celebrating another job well done. Sherlock was always so high after solving a case, and it was infectious.
Infectious. Infection. He's battling one right now and it felt like torture.
Such soothing words, so close, so safe.
So John slept.
Finally, finally John wakes up and everything isn't a mashed up swirl of pain and discomfort. Finally his head doesn't pound, his stomach doesn't churn, but his face still feels somewhat hot. He opens his eyes and there, mere centimeters from his own is Sherlock's face on his pillow. He's staring at John, their foreheads nearly touching, as they lie facing each other on the bed.
John would have been startled if it had been any other man, but he's oddly comforted.
"Morning," Sherlock says, throat sounding a little scratchy. His knees are curled up, one foot draped over John's legs and his arm is intertwined with one of John's. It doesn't feel awkward.
"There something you need, Sherlock?" John asks, slightly amused, keeping Sherlock's gaze with his own.
Sherlock breathes deep and lets it out slowly. "Just you," he says simply, curling his fingers into the sleeve of John's shirt.
"Yes, well," John starts, smiling, "it was just a fever. I'll be all right."
Sherlock nods, eyes still staring intensely. "Yes."
John shifts, makes to get up, but Sherlock pulls him down, holds him tighter.
"Sherlock, I need to get up," John says through a laugh, a little perplexed.
"The sniper shot him, in the head," Sherlock tells him. "The killer dropped his gun, and seconds later Lestrade is yelling that you had fallen."
Ah, John thinks. "I apologize, I think the illness just the best of me, there."
Another deep breath in and Sherlock says, "It was an...unfortunate feeling."
John breaks out into a wide grin. "You were worried."
Sherlock lets out a huff. "Concerned," he says pathetically.
John chuckles. "All right, concerned. I'll be all right, Sherlock. I am a doctor, I would know."
"Obviously not a very good one," Sherlock teases, finally allowing himself a smile. His gaze flickers down to John's chest and he moves his hand to sit right above John's stomach. "Mrs. Hudson's been fussing with things around the flat all weekend, it's really been quite annoying."
John lowers his eyes, observing Sherlock's hand as it rises and falls in sync with his own breathing. It's lulling him back to sleep. "I'm sure she was just making sure you were okay."
"I suppose," Sherlock mutters, his eyes soft and curious. He moves his head closer until his forehead touches John's.
"And are you?" John asks, weary again. "Are you all right, then?" The tiredness has returned, his eyes opening and closing slowly. Maybe he should just stay in bed a little longer.
Sherlock, still watching John's chest rise and fall, nods. "As long as I can feel you breathe. Now sleep, John."
Content in his bed, with Sherlock's warm hand pressed against him, John sleeps.