Disclaimer- I'm sure Mycroft is reading this, but he knows I make no money, so therefore it's all irrelevant.
When it Rains it Pours
John, putting it lightly, felt horrible. He knew he'd been stretching himself thin lately, following Sherlock through the streets of London in January without a proper coat- He'd been meaning to buy a new one. - Pulling double time at the clinic due to a massive influx of the flu mongers- and most of the patients having proper coats, propriety be damned if they still became sick.- John felt he could sleep a week if he could sleep a day.
John Watson however, was a military man and had been through worse, far worse and he'd be damned if he complained now. A mild fever was nothing new for him, 36.2 to be exact; temperature rises as exhaustion sets in after all. Nothing a good night of REM cycles couldn't cure. His war wounds where bothering him a little, but that was to be expected with the cold rain one day and sloshes of wet snow the next. He wished his personal barometers would tell him something he didn't already know: It was bloody cold!
As he left the clinic with nothing but the hopes of some warm tea, a hot fire, crap telly, and –hopefully- a case-free flat mate would be awaiting him when he returned. He hailed a cab and headed to his haven, his home.
Upon entering his flat, none of the things he'd been dreaming for where awaiting him. Said flat mate couldn't be bothered to start a bloody fire, had used the last of the tea while he was out –Really, Sherlock can make his own tea, something John wished he'd practice more often- the television was missing –Dull- and the great, all knowing consulting detective was currently experimenting on hell knew what for the case John thought, was finished yesterday. Goodbye God Hypnos, hello Goddess Caffeine.
"We need salt, tea and milk."
"And hello to you to," John said while taking off his coat and dropping his cell and wallet on the sideboard.
"We need salt, tea and milk," Sherlock said again not even looking up from his microscope.
"I heard the first time, why couldn't you have texted while I was still out?" John said in exasperation, heading for the kitchen looking for anything at all that wasn't a bio hazard and coming across, coffee, coffee, coffee, sweet splendid coffee. Oh, someone was watching out for him. Just enough for a quick cup, to hell if it was instant!
"Busy. Need salt now though."
"Need it for this experiment, time is of the essence. A man's alibi depends on it."
"Low sodium diet. Do pay attention John."
"When you're done with excuses you can come back and do whatever it is you do, drink your cup of that abominable tar and in the meantime I'll be saving a man life!"
"Fine, FINE! But there better be a cuppa waiting for me along with a fire in the fireplace when I return, or the skull gets it!" John shouted in frustration, causing a small smile to ghost over Sherlock's face as John grabbed his coat and stomped out of the door like a petulant child.
John Watson was not cranky. Now, a grown man does not get cranky when he's tired and sick and cold and in pain… okay, maybe he was a bit cranky, but he had a right damnit all. Going to the Tesco wouldn't have bothered him so much if he'd just had his bloody coffee. To top off his lovely adventure, as soon as he stepped of the mart the January rain came back with vengeance.
This unknown man's life had better be worth it was all he had to say on the matter!
As soon as his thoughts turned to the unknown man that Sherlock was trying to save/prove he was right about, another unidentified man along with a couple others ran up and rushed the good doctor. John barely had time to react before he was pulled into a darkened alleyway and pummeled, all for some measly groceries, and his wallet. Good luck on getting any money off of that card was the last vague thought he had before a solid blow to the head sent him into sweet unconsciousness.
When John finally came around to the land of the living, his first and only discernable thought was Oww… Not quite the bone gripping Ow of being shot in the shoulder and then having a stretcher fall on his leg, but not so light of an Ow that one says when stubbing their toe on the kitchen table while stumbling in the morning looking for tea. This was a happy- or unhappy- middle ground.
As soon as he could throw more than two words together and was able to focus his energies, John tried sitting up to take stock of himself. When he put weight on his left arm sharp pain shot straight to his spine. "Bit not good then." he mumbled while fighting the pain enough to crawl to the nearest alley wall to prop himself against.
"Right then, let's take stock." Talking to himself, made him feel a bit better, so he continued on. If someone walked by they would have thought him slightly mad, but then if someone walked by, they would also come across a badly beaten man in need of some medical attention. And really, who'd walk by in an alley at night anyways? Grabbing his left arm carefully he cradled it close to his body. "Well that's defiantly dislocated. Head throbbing, hard to focus- minor concussion at least." Here he felt fluid buildup in his mouth and spit out the acid taste of blood. "Spitting up blood, most likely from biting my tongue in the scuffle, internal bleeding possible but unlikely. Multiple minor cuts and bruises unimportant, the loss of feeling in my extremities, worrisome. Breathing slightly difficult, cold defiantly worse, even if not sick beforehand, will most assuredly be now. Pneumonia is likely to set in if not treated soon." Here he stopped, realizing he sounded just like Sherlock deducing a mundane case, and laughed. "Bugger is rubbing off on me… alright one step at a time. Let's work on standing first."
Standing while using the wall as support wasn't too bad, unaided was another story. His head swam and his legs buckled, but he kept his footing. One foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be… Oh sod off! Now I'm singing in my head, really not good. By following the verse he managed weakly to make his way from the alley to a more populated space of London. A few people walked by assuming him a drunkard making his way home. After a half block of walking, he really had no idea where he was or if he was even going in the right direction for Baker Street. The rain which had soaked him prior to the attack had stopped, but left him freezing in his wet clothes and cold air.
He was fumbling in a haze just going where his feet led him when he felt someone grab him. He automatically cringed and went on the defense again till a voice that dispersed some of the fog in his head made him smile despite the circumstances.
Sherlock, the daft loon, was standing right in front of him. He felt a cold hand touch his face and he winced when it lightly brushed the large knot that had formed while he was knocked out.
"Come on John, let's get you out of the cold. You've been gone far too long. "
John sighed in relief and took his first solid look at his friend. He saw the worry behind Sherlock's clear blue eyes and wanted nothing more than to reassure him he'd be fine, nothing was a miss; but fate it seemed wasn't quite done with John and he proceeded to collapse in his friends' arms, unconscious once more.
When our good doctor awoke again it was to the sound of… quiet yelling- loud, not by virtue of volume but intensity. A strong smell of antiseptic told him where he was. Hospital. Damn it. He groggily opened his eyes. God he was still tired. Unconsciousness was not the same thing as sleep, and he'd tell Morpheus a thing or two if he ever met that devil of a god.
Looking around, he saw Sherlock pacing the room by the door. Private room, that's odd. He'd only been mugged. Most local hospitals would throw him in recovery with a couple other patients, have him shake it off by the next day and send him home.
"…You have control of all the surveillance units in London and you didn't happen to think watching John get assaulted was worth calling me over? He'd been missing for four hours! He could have died!"
A pause. At least John knew how long he'd been out-the first time anyways.- Harder hit in the head than he thought.
"Oh, you didn't see it occur? Level three security my foot! You might have pulled strings to get us in here, but you're also paying for the visit and whatever other medicinal needs that might arise. Goodnight, Mycroft."
Sherlock took a glance at John and saw him awake and watching the exchange. Stopping mid stride he change direction and practically flew to John's bedside.
"Are you alright? Are you still in pain? Do you want me call a nurse? What the devil happened? You've been out of it for twelve hour did you know? Do you need anything?" Sherlock shot one question after another not even pausing for air. As soon as he did however, John forestalled more questions by taking the reins of the conversation.
"To answer: yes, no- pain medicine in the IV I'm sure, got robbed, no but now I do, and water, yes please. Now my question, when can I get the hell out of here? I hate being in hospital if I'm on the receiving end of pokes and prods."
As Sherlock fetched the requested drink, he chuckled softly and, handing John the cup, sat in the chair by the bed.
"You should know the drill. You are a doctor after all. Now that you're awake, they'll run tests, you'll get cranky, they keep you overnight for observation, you'll go home, forced bed rest, you'll get cranky again, probably a week you'll be out of commission and then we go right back to our merry ways."
"Well that sums it up nicely," John said, finishing off the water during Sherlock's monologue and handing the cup back to Sherlock for more.
"Really John, never thought a group of thugs would be the ones to take you down. Pathetic."
John was slightly hurt by the statement. He knew living in a big city he should always be on guard, but it was just the Tesco, and well... Yeah he was rather pathetic, thinking back. Looking away from his friend, he went to lay back down and turned hide his face because he was sure the shame was written all over it. He should have seen them coming, should have put up more of a fight. Cripple indeed.
"Don't be so pedantic, John. I wasn't saying you where pathetic. They are, to rob a man for some measly groceries and his wallet? They obviously were targeting you due to the exhaustion that clearly showed on your face. It was vile."
John turned back to Sherlock, who looked uncomfortable sitting in the chair, fidgeting and staring intently at the floor.
" I was…." The tall man tried admitting. Slowly looking up at the 'not that short- thank you very much' man lying in the hospital bed, there eye met and they both understood without having to say anything.
'I was worried about you John, don't scare me like that again.'
'Thank you for finding me, good to know you care.'
John coughed feeling the phlegm rise into his throat for the first time. This was going to be fun he could tell. At least his head wasn't hurting right now. He'd feel it later once the drugs left his system, he was sure.
"Yes, please do keep those disgusting germs to yourself through the duration of your upper respiratory infection," Sherlock said with a gleam in his eye.
"Well, you can hide at Mrs. Hudson for the length, I'm sure she wouldn't mind," John said, knowing full well their landlady would in fact mind. A lot.
"Oh, no, John I fully intend to play nurse. Least I can do, though you didn't actually bring back the salt. You where accosted while doing a service for me. So now I suppose I can do a service for you."
John groaned at the imagery of Sherlock in a nurse outfit filling him to the brim with soups and teas and meds, with no doubt Mrs. Hudson joining in. But secretly he didn't mind and felt a rush of warmth knowing Sherlock would never make an offer like this to just anyone.
"Physician heal thyself comes to mind right now. So did you end up catching the real criminal then?"
Sherlock gave John a shark like grin. "Oh yes it's been dealt with. You'd be amazed what one can do with the spleen of a pig, messier, but just as effective."
John stared at Sherlock in open wonder till he couldn't' take it anymore and laughed, his flatmate joining soon after.
He feel better knowing someone was watching out for him though, maybe not any god, but a sociopath at least. But hey, at least he'd get his fill of tea, crap telly, a warm fire and a case-free roommate. So things weren't all that bad.
Wow, talk about procrastinating on this! I wrote this as a birthday present for myself, and that was… Ohh over a month ago? Yeah, took me that long to get off my lazy bum to edit it after the amazing beta work Elecktrum did for me. Anyways, it's my first attempt at dabbling in the world of Sherlock, hope it wasn't too disappointing. If you have the time, (or feel like it) review and I'd love to know what you thought!
Ohh yeah the prompt was stolen from 'Watson's Woes' on LJ. Amazing stuff there!