author's notes: I changed this up a bit due to comments that Sherlock was too OOC. Hopefully this fixes the problem! I like this one better anyway. :)
A IS FOR: abandonment
John Watson groaned as he felt the sweat slicked hands of England's first and only consulting detective press against his arm, rocking his limb back and forth with a fervent shake.
"John. Do wake up."
"Sherlock - it's early," John whined as he snatched his pillow from beneath his head, wrapping it around his ears as he turned and quickly planted his face further down into the bevy of sheets draped across his chest. "My train leaves in a few hours," he continued as he flapped his hand in the direction of the corner of the bedroom, motioning to a piled set of luggage that was both neatly stacked and arranged by precise weight and shape.
"And you don't sleep on trains."
"It's not that I don't. It's that I can't," John corrected with a frown as once more he pawed off the oddly wet palm of his persistent flat-mate as Sherlock prodded at his arm once more. "Which is exactly why this sleep right now is so important. So please, Sherlock, take this in the kindest way possible but – piss off. I mean seriously," he grunted with a shout. "You've got that ruddy huge brain up in that head of yours so why don't you damn well use it from time to time?" His voice had grown loud, so loud in fact that he was sure he heard Mrs. Hudson rattling about downstairs as the noise reached her.
There was no reply from the younger man and immediately John felt a nauseating wave of regret. He hadn't meant to be so stern but he was in desperate need of a good night's sleep and Sherlock had known that. In fact he had specifically taken the time at supper to warn him that he was not to be woken – that he had a train ride first thing in the morning – that he didn't sleep on trains – that he had to be well rested because as soon as he arrived in Spain he had to give a presentation a mere hour later. All very important reasons as to why someone would want their rest. Sherlock had even nodded as he'd typed away furiously on his laptop's keyboard, as though he actually understood that what was important to a normal human being might actually be important to John. Just because Sherlock could go days on end without food or sleep didn't mean the good doctor could and it was remarkable how often Sherlock let slip of that fact.
John sighed heavily, propping himself up atop his elbow as he turned towards the bedroom's open door. "I'm sorry," he apologized softly. He could see the detective still standing there. Sherlock's face was as blank and as expressionless as it often was yet John could see his chest moving in the tiniest of sporadic heaving motions."Sherlock, are you – are you crying?" he asked incredulously.
"I don't cry, John," Sherlock sniped impetuously.
"Sherlock I can hear you, you imbecile. Your breathing is shaking like a wet dog."
"I'm not crying, John. Please try to get a hold of yourself."
John sat up, blinking his eyes furiously as he waited for his pupils to become accustomed to the dark. "Right then," he said simply. Reaching towards his side his fingertips fumbled for the switch of his lamp until at last there was light. True to the detective's dismissal, Sherlock's pallid face was dry. "I guess you're not."
Sherlock said nothing, his chest continuing it's jostling movements. It was then that John noticed the unfocused gaze his companion wore. The detective's eyes seemed far vaguer than usual and he was blinking at an alarming rate. His face, though pale, was haunted by a pinkish hue of perspiration and his breathing was becoming far more jagged than John would've liked to hear.
"Sherlock, are you feeling ill?"
Visibly disoriented, Sherlock shut his eyes for a brief moment. "A little," he admitted, though John could tell it was begrudgingly.
"Well you know what they say – sleep is the best medicine," John said, hoping his flat-mate would take the hint though he knew it was most likely to pass by right over his head. Despite being a master of the obvious and all that surrounded him, Sherlock often lacked the ability to grasp the subtlety in any sort of human interaction.
"I'm fairly certain the phrase is laughter, John. Laughter is the best medicine."
"Always need to be right, don't we?" John grinned wryly, shaking his head. "I don't suppose you tried the sleep thing first though did you? I only ask since I know you're not really the laughing type."
"I tried." Sherlock's eyes had forced themselves shut once more, leaving John to wonder if he was feeling genuinely ill or simply seeking further attention. The worst part was that he wouldn't put it past him either. He could be such a bloody child, that Sherlock.
"Funny how I don't believe you." John was sitting up all the way now, swinging his legs out from under the blankets as he reached his hand forward to press gently against the detective's forehead. "You're not warm – though you are sweating like an absurdly fat man."
"A pig," Sherlock corrected.
John glanced up as he removed his palm. "Beg pardon?"
"The phrase is sweating like a pig." Sherlock tutted. "Honestly, John. What's it like up in that unnecessarily empty brain of yours?"
"Sherlock, you are aware that pigs don't sweat – aren't you?" John stared at his flat-mate incredulously. It was the solar system debacle all over again. "I mean, not really anyway. Not like a giant fat man just off the fifth flight of stairs at least. Which, by the way, is exactly what you look like right now. Tell me," he insisted as he stared up at Sherlock with unwavering eyes. "When's the last time you ate?"
"Today," Sherlock sniffed indignantly, staring down at John over the bridge of his nose with a hint of defiance.
"Nice try but I've been with you all day. I haven't seen you eat a bite." John lightly pressed against Sherlock's wrists, feeling for his pulse. "If you couldn't sleep why didn't you just turn on the telly?"
"I did," Sherlock said matter-of-factually. "It bored me."
"Everything bores you, Sherlock. Nothing new there." Satisfied that the detective's vitals were all within normal range he sat back against the bed. "You know your brother's always awake this time of night. Why couldn't you have just called him?"
Sherlock stared at him through his mess of dark curls, his mouth extremely tight and his brow deeply furrowed. John nodded, sighing. "Ah, of course. No point talking to someone who's awake when you could just as easily wake someone else up. Someone who desperately needed their sleep, I might add."
"John," Sherlock interrupted haughtily with a demanding sigh. "I feel ill. Please quit your incessant school girl chattering and do something at once."
"I see," John paused. "And just what would you like me to do about it?"
"Obviously the only solution is that you cancel your trip and stay here with me the next few days instead – you know," Sherlock wagered blandly as he rubbed at his eyes with a stifled yawn, "in case I die. Which I'm sure at the present moment is quite imminent."
"But of course." John did his best to hide his smile. "Obviously," he agreed vigorously, masking his sarcasm only a bit. Tongue dragging against the back of his teeth as he at last broke into a grin he motioned for the detective to join him at the side of the bed. "You do know that I can't skip out on this trip, Sherlock, don't you?" he asked lightly as Sherlock approached the bed. "Are you afraid I won't be coming back or something?" he teased, though grabbing his flat-mate's hand in the process. Sherlock flinched instantly. "Sherlock," John reassured softly. "I am coming back, you know."
Sherlock's expression remained utterly unfazed, his jaw as taut as ever. "I know that," he snapped hastily.
"Then why are you in here right now?"
"I told you. I couldn't sleep."
"Right," John nodded. "And the telly was all rubbish. Yes, I remember."
Sherlock shook his head with yet another tut. "Absolutely dreadful."
John sighed, rubbing at his eyes blearily as he forced himself not check the numbers on the alarm clock nearby. "Sherlock, if you've got nothing more to say would it be all possible for you to let me sleep now? I really can't sleep on trains."
"Yes," Sherlock muttered with a scrunch of the nose. "You mentioned that."
"And yet you're not leaving," John noted with dry frustration as the detective continued to stand idly beside the bed, hands clasped behind his back as he stared straight ahead. "Of course you're not leaving. Why would you - when it's so much ruddy fun to drive me to insanity through lack of sleep? " He groaned as he talked aloud, fully aware that Sherlock was not listening in the slightest. "Sherlock," he sighed at last, moments later. "Do you want to just sleep here tonight?"
Sherlock frowned. "I'm not a child, John."
"You say that and yet you wouldn't well know it the way you're acting," John remarked with a roll of the eyes. Despite the detective's response, he pulled at the blankets atop the bed, making just enough room for the younger man to lie down. "Look, the offer stands if you'd like. See, plenty of room for those ridiculous beanpoles you call legs." He motioned to the now open space beside him. "However," he continued as he turned his back on Sherlock, letting out an enormous yawn. "If you so choose to decline, there's the door." Without bothering to lift his head to look, he simply waved his thumb at the bedroom's entrance before dropping his hand at his side and pressing up against his pillow with a satisfied murmur.
And sure enough, not even a few moments later the warmth of his flat-mate's cheek could be felt against his back, Sherlock's mess of curls brushing against the bare skin of his neck as he heard the detective's breathing at last grow calm. At last, calm. At last, quiet. At last, stillness.
John smiled to himself as he sunk further into the sheets.
At last – sleep.
Thoughts? Reviews? I have A-F picked out but if you have any suggestions for the rest of the alphabet I'd love to hear them! xoxo, why-do-we