A/N: A short and random little piece, basically pointless H/C.
Asexual!Sherlock/Straight!John (platonic romance)
All You Can Do is Enough
After ten hours in the custody of his kidnapper, now deceased, Sherlock was finally rescued by the Yard. John stood eagerly in the crowd of police and their cars, waiting for Sherlock to emerge, and when he did, John immediately noticed something was wrong. The way Sherlock moved toward Lestrade's outstretched hand spoke of physical trauma: stiff gait, shuffling his feet in very small steps, possible limping, arms held close to his body, eyes to the ground. Lestrade ushered him through toward the waiting ambulance, and John quickly met them, the two men guiding Sherlock to sit. Sherlock didn't say a word, didn't protest, even when John asked him if he was all right.
Lestrade left them to resume charge of dealing with the crime scene, and John sat next to Sherlock, asking him what happened. Sherlock sat woodenly, orange blanket draped over his shoulders, and he didn't look at John or answer right away. John asked a second time, more and more anxious by the moment.
"Did they hurt you? Beat you?"
Sherlock gave a slight nod. John couldn't tell if he was in traumatic shock or if he was in too much pain to speak or move much.
"We're getting you to hospital, to have you looked at," John said. Sherlock closed his eyes wearily and opened them again.
"John, please. Take me home."
"Sherlock, I have no idea what condition you're in, you're obviously hurt, you're going to the bloody A&E."
"Nothing's broken," said Sherlock. "I'm sure of it. I'm tired and sore and I want to go home."
John was unaccustomed to hearing his partner sound so quiet, subdued, exhausted. He didn't have the heart to argue.
"All right," he said. "I'll check you myself. But if I find anything that needs immediate attention, we're going to A&E."
He helps Sherlock get on his feet, and Sherlock thanks him.
John helps him up the stairs to their flat once they get to Baker Street, arm in arm and hand in hand. Sherlock moves so slowly, like an old man, it frightens John because it's so unlike him. He can feel Sherlock leaning on him as they go up each step, face tight with discomfort. John takes him straight to the sofa, helps him gingerly out of his blazer, noting the way Sherlock fails to hide a wince. He lowers him down to lie on the sofa and hurries into the kitchen to put on the tea kettle. He comes back with a glass of water and some pain medication and helps Sherlock take it.
"What hurts?" he says.
"Everything," says Sherlock. He lies there unmoving with his eyes closed and he's pale, his breathing slow and shallow. John sets the water glass on the coffee table and kneels down next to the sofa.
"Let's have a look at you," he says, as he begins to unbutton Sherlock's pale blue shirt. He peels it open, revealing smooth white chest covered in large pink-purple bruises. "Jesus."
"My back's no better," says Sherlock, eyes still shut.
"You're sure nothing's broken?"
Sherlock nods. But John lays his hands on him anyway, careful to press his fingertips in on unbruised areas. Sherlock still hisses a bit, as John checks his collar bones, ribs on both sides, his belly. It doesn't feel as if there's any major damage... John would have greater peace of mind if they took x-rays and an ultrasound just to make sure, but Sherlock looks absolutely incapable of moving from the sofa.
The kettle starts to whine and John goes to answer it, leaving Sherlock with his shirt unbuttoned. He comes back with a mug of tea, sets it on the table to cool, and returns to the kitchen to stick a couple compresses into the microwave. He wraps them in clean hand towels and brings them into the sitting room, where Sherlock hasn't moved and the tea steams. He kneels back down next to the sofa, moves Sherlock's shirt further open and places one of the hot compresses on his chest. Sherlock lets out a breathy exhale at the heat, and John watches his face.
"Can you get up a bit so I can slip one under your back?"
Sherlock begins to move and John helps him with one hand on his shoulder.
"Middle," says Sherlock, so John slides the second compress against the middle of Sherlock's back and eases him back down. Sherlock holds the first compress to his chest and keeps his eyes closed, breathing a little stronger now.
"Do you think you can sit up to drink some of this tea?" John says, watching him.
"Give me a few minutes," Sherlock says, murmuring.
John sits on the coffee table with his hands between his knees and waits, watching his partner. After a while, he reaches out and takes Sherlock's hand in both of his, rubbing at it and kissing the knuckles.
"I'm so glad you're safe," he says, choking up a little.
"I'm sorry I scared you," says Sherlock softly.
This makes John's eyes sting. He helps Sherlock up into enough of a sitting position, hands him the mug of tea, and presses the compress to Sherlock's left set of ribs as Sherlock drinks the tea with both hands on the mug. John has his other hand cupped over Sherlock's shoulder, kneading into the muscles there with his fingers. Sherlock drinks slowly but finishes. John takes the empty mug and returns it to the table.
"John. Would you-"
John knows exactly what he wants without him having to finish the question. He moves onto the sofa carefully, retrieving the compress from under Sherlock's back and dropping it on the floor as Sherlock gingerly turns himself onto his side, facing inward. John carefully stretches out beside him, curling his body protectively around Sherlock's. Sherlock moves the other compress, no longer hot but warm, down to his belly, and John's hand holds it there over Sherlock's, fingers between fingers. John slides his other arm under Sherlock, nudging him a little to position himself in such a way that he won't further cramp his shoulder muscles, and rests his face in the space along the curve of Sherlock's neck and the back of his other shoulder. He feels the warmth of Sherlock's body against his from head to toe and smells his familiar scent and feels them breathing together in the same rhythm. He doesn't say a word, just offers a silent thank you to whatever higher power brought Sherlock back to him.
They fall asleep there, never once moving in the night.