John Watson had his own gifts of deduction. Sure, they were a specialized skill, one that proved useful only on the rarest of occasions, but when Sherlock was busy flaunting his ability to know someone's favorite drink based on their tie tack, he could grit his teeth and remember that at the end of the day, he knew something about Sherlock that he hadn't experienced yet, simply by the grace of being a doctor:

Sherlock Holmes was a petulant, whiny invalid.

All through medical school John loved to surprise others by whispering, "That's one that doesn't drink his juices when he's sick," or, "I bet she sneezes once on a tissue and throws it away." His calculations were nearly always correct upon interrogation, though he wondered whether his flabbergasted patients merely agreed with him because they'd never been posed such an eerily precise question before. Nevertheless, his otherworldly prescience about the illness habits of others served to make him a favorite among his peers, and an invaluable resource at Sarah's clinic.

Once again he was proved correct. He could tell as much as soon as he heard the raspy moans emanating from downstairs. Weeks of dashing through wintery London and inhaling the icy wind - not to mention lack of sleep, lack of food, and lack of anything other than tea and nicotine patches – had finally caught up to the detective, and he was lain low with what sounded like a wicked cold. John sighed, then smirked. This was not going to be a pleasant few days.

"Bring be by bee," Sherlock demanded in a watery voice as soon as he heard his flatmate's feet pounding down the stairs. John, once he reached the landing, shook his head at the sight before him: the raven-haired man was wrapped in a shock blanket he pilfered from some crime scene or another, only his head and feet (clad in a pair of John's socks) sticking out from either end. A thermometer hung idly from his mouth and an impressive mound of tissues cluttered the coffee table, riddled with medical journals, case notes, and several empty tea mugs.

"Sorry – say that again?"

"Bring be by bee!" Sherlock growled louder, stifling a sneeze with the hem of his blanket.

"You mean tea? You want tea?"


"Right. Okay. Are you running a fever?"


"Stuffy nose obviously – any aching joints or chills?"

"Bo." The detective huffed and reached for an already-used tissue to blow his nose again.

John just barely restrained a grimace and turned away, padding to the kitchen to put the kettle on. As he readied the tea, he called out, "You have a cold, Sherlock. I'll make you some soup and put on some telly. You're going to sit on that couch and not move an inch, you hear me?"

"But bi dave bork bo do, " Sherlock moaned, weakly throwing a tissue toward the kitchen. It fluttered and landed on the floor beside the couch, which earned it a sharp glare from the man returning to the room.

"I don't care if you have work. You need to rest." He leaned down and jabbed a finger to Sherlock's chest, setting the man coughing; John sprang back with an apologetic look. "Sorry. But I mean it."

"Booooohn …"

"You're not wheedling out of this. I'm going to go start some soup." Hearing the man's phlegmy grumbles, John smiled and returned to the kitchen.

When he returned, Sherlock had sat up and was watching a cooking show, his eyes glazed over and jaw slack. His expression was so spacey and mundane that John could merely stare for a moment, wondering what deity had replaced his flatmate with this complacent and childlike creature sitting before him and blowing its nose. Sherlock slowly swung his head to look at the doctor before returning it to the TV, and John leaned over to press the back of his hand to the man's forehead. Sherlock gave a murmur of dissent and pouted, but didn't move away.

"You're freezing. No wonder you've got the blanket."

"Bee. Di bant by bee."

"I've got it right here, you big baby." He set the steaming mug down before Sherlock, who grabbed it petulantly and glared at him.

"Hey, hey. Don't bite the hand that feeds you."

"Bi didn't."

"You know what I mean. Shove over." John flopped down, going to rest his feet on the table before remembering the jumble of tissues and opting to keep them on the floor. Sherlock didn't seem to notice the toxic mess as he threw his feet onto the table, slurping loudly at his tea and staring at the show.

"Dange be dannel."

"Why? I thought you liked this cooking show. You're always going on about how interesting his extramarital affair with the cameraman is."

"Bon't bike bit."

"Ugh." John reached over and flicked it to Antiques Roadshow. He smiled, scooting the remote out of the reach of a sneering Sherlock. "Nope, you told me to change it, so this is what we're watching."


The timer in the kitchen went off and John stood to retrieve the soup for Sherlock, pouring it into a large mug and padding back into the living room, only to find that his flatmate had slumped onto his side, taking up the entirety of the couch. His thumb was in his mouth and he sucked on it absently as he blankly watched the TV.

The doctor sighed. Not only was Sherlock a petulant invalid, he was a childish one as well.

"Sit up, Sherlock, so I can sit down."


"Stop being such a baby; you have a cold, you're not dying. Sit up."

"Bake de."

"I'm not going to make you sit up, Sherlock, you're a grown man. I have your soup. Sit up so you can drink it."


John rolled his eyes and lifted the man up with a grunt, setting him upright and settling himself down before resting the mug of soup on the table. Sherlock promptly flopped over onto his lap and rested his head in his flatmate's lap before John could even give a yelp of surprise.

"Cuddle be."

"… What? Sherlock, are you serious?"

"Bes. Cuddle be."

He mentally adjusted his diagnosis of Sherlock's invalid behavior. Petulant, childish, and cuddly.

Lifting Sherlock up a second time, he rested the thin man against his chest and wrapped his arms around him, rocking him gently. The detective nuzzled his head into John's shoulder and gave a congested sigh of pleasure; John could practically feel the stress melt off him. He rubbed Sherlock's back and hummed a little, sending soothing vibrations through his sick flatmate's chest. Sherlock mumbled sleepily in reply, prompting John to cuddle him closer.

On the TV, a wizened old man whooped with joy as he found out his old model train was worth a huge sum of money, but the two flatmates were too busy snuggling one another to notice. John stroked Sherlock's hair back and smiled as the man moved his head to look up at him, red eyes, purple bags, crusty nose and all.

"I can prescribe you some antihistamines if you'd like. Might help to clear up your nose a bit faster."

"Bon't beed dem."

"Yeah? Why don't you need antihistamines?"

Sherlock coughed, craned his neck to kiss John, then thought better of it and kissed his flatmate's neck instead.

"Bon't beed bedicine. Bi have you."