Sherlock stared into the fireplace, watching the flames lick the walls that enclosed it. Or at least, that's what it looked like he was doing. John was never too sure what was going on in Sherlock's brain when he drifted off as he did. He was sure there would be ridiculous thought-processes. Maps and webs tangling together, one's he was laying out straight and connecting appropriately. John couldn't even imagine containing the kind of knowledge Sherlock must have had, let alone trying to use it to piece things together. He wasn't daft himself, but Sherlock's brain seemed filled with… who knew, honestly. Perhaps Mycroft, John mused, but even that may be stretching it thin.
When Sherlock became entranced (or so John called it), he often went about with everyday things. The shopping, for example, was primarily done in the midst of one of Sherlock's thinks. Or he'd go out and socialize for a little while, meet up with a pretty girl and have a few drinks. Or Mrs. Hudson and himself would play cards. Honestly, anything could go on while Sherlock was in thought. He'd usually snap to quite suddenly, hours later usually, with a random word or phrase or thought. It was then that John would set down whatever he was doing.
John was reading that time. He was heavily engrossed in his book, nose practically touching the page, when Sherlock came to. Only, he didn't come to.
John jumped in his seat. Sherlock stared around the room, bewildered. He looked at John, sniffling. He sniffled again, eyebrows still knitted in what seemed to be disbelief. John watched as his face began to scrunch again, and another sneeze tore itself from him. John jumped once again—he couldn't help himself. He knew his jaw was probably hanging but he couldn't quite help himself. He'd never heard Sherlock sneeze, nor had he heard him sniffle. "Sherlock." he said finally. "You're getting sick."
"I am not, John. Don't be ridiculous." he said, voice slightly muffled. He sniffled again, and John couldn't help the small smile on his lips. "Sherlock, you're nose is stuffed."
"It's not stuffed. I've just sneezed, I need to blow out whatever caused it."
"It's stuffed. Sherlock, I'm a doctor, remember?"
"Well, Doctor I'm not sick. I don't get sick." Sherlock said with a huff. He stood then, holding the back of his hand to his nose. John watched him as he stalked into the kitchen, sniffing still. He followed him, almost incredulous, and watched as Sherlock grabbed hold of a napkin and attempted to clear his nose. John smirked as he went through three napkins, and still failed to inhale deeply. "John, stop smirking." Sherlock demanded.
"But you can't even see me."
Sherlock turned his head, peering over his shoulder at John. "I don't need to." he said.
John rolled his eyes, coming up beside Sherlock, whose nose has become pink from the harsh napkins. "Sherlock, just admit your sick. You've caught a cold. There's nothing to be ashamed of." he said. Sherlock shook his head, rubbing his nose once again before finally sighing. He leaned against the counter and looked up at the ceiling. "John I can't be sick."
"You are sick. And lucky for you, I'm a kind and gentle doctor who is free of charge to my flatmates."
"There's no cure for the common cold." Sherlock muttered.
"No, you're right. There isn't. But you know what helps?" John replied.
"Nothing." Sherlock retorted shortly.
"Bed rest. Which the doctor is now ordering you on. Come on." John said simply. He grabbed Sherlock by the wrists and pulled him from the counter. Sherlock, surprisingly, gave little resistance as John pushed him toward his room. He sat on his bed, rubbing his forehead with closed eyes. "John." he said.
"I think I'm sick."
John rolled his eyes. "Astute observation, Sherlock. Now get comfortable, lay down, rest. I'm going to pop down to the shop and pick up some medication." he said, heading for the door. "Wait John. No. I'm not sick. I've changed my mind." Sherlock called.
"It doesn't work like that Sherlock. Now—pyjamas, bed rest, little thinking. Doctor's orders!" John yelled as he tramped down the stairs.
Sherlock was a miserable sick person.
John realized this all too soon.
"John. John!" Sherlock called feebly. John rolled his eyes, shaking his head as he made the hundredth trip down the hall to Sherlock's room. "Yes Sherlock?" he asked, peeking his head around the corner. Sherlock was sprawled out on top of the blankets, legs exposed up to the knees (from too much shifting, John was sure) and dressing gown tangled around him. "John. I need a case." Sherlock grumbled. His throat was still obviously sore. His nose was still obviously stuffed. He was pink in the face with fever. John rolled his eyes. "You need to sleep more."
"I can't John. I literally can't. I'm going out of my mind." Sherlock cried. He grabbed one of his pillows and shoved it over his face, hoarsely yelling into it before flinging it off the bed. "Literally."
"If you slept more, you wouldn't be concerned with your mental health." John replied, arms crossed over his chest.
"It's not that SIMPLE John!" Sherlock shouted. He sprung upright on the bed, hair mad and eyes wild. "I can't just turn it off! You know this! I know this! We know this! I'm going to self-destruct at any moment!" He said, flinging himself backward onto the bed. John rolled his eyes, exhaling. "Sherlock, honestly. You're acting—"
"Like a child, right. You've said that. You must, then, understand than I couldn't care any less of your opinion on my behavior at this moment than if you were… if you were…"
"If I were what?"
"If you were me."
"That's it. I'm locking you in here. You aren't allowed out until you've slept for at least four hours." John said, throwing his hands up in mock-defeat. Sherlock sprung up from the bed, quicker than John had seen him move in days, and pointed accusingly at him. "You aren't sick." he said suddenly.
John glanced quickly around the room. "Me? No. No, you're right. I'm not sick." he said finally.
"How are you not sick? You come in here, with all the germs and bacteria floating around, a least fifty times a day to come check up on me. For the past three days. How is it then, that after all that airbourne contract, you've failed to contact the virus?" Sherlock spoke quickly, his eyes squinted. He sniffled in the silence, and John couldn't help but giggle.
"I… I have no idea Sherlock. Maybe my immune system is healthier than yours. I do sleep and eat regularly after all."
"Irrelevant. There has to be something."
"Maybe it was just targeting you. Sworn enemy to ailments from all around the globe." John said with a smirk. Sherlock scowled at him, and John shook his head. "Look, perhaps it just hasn't caught up with me yet. Maybe I haven't gotten quite close enough yet. Either way, lets both thank our lucky stars. Get back to bed Sherlock. Sleep."
He turned on his heel and grabbed hold of the doorknob, making to pull the door shut. But Sherlock, ever quick on his feet, smashed himself against the door, causing John to be flung backward. "No. No, John. I understand now. You've made me see." Sherlock said, a manic grin spreading on his face.
"Sherlock, what are you on abo—"
"You haven't come into contact with it. Not properly. You keep skirting on the outside, hovering at the door, coming just as close as the bedside table." Sherlock's head tipped forward, his eyes peering from beneath his brow. "Even now, you're trying to make a quick escape from the room."
"Sherlock, I don't like when you look at me that way." John said, attempting to slide his way away from Sherlock.
"Why should I be the only sick one in the house?"
"Why shouldn't you be?"
"I don't intend to suffer alone John."
"Sherlock, what are you doing."
John was pinned to the wall. Sherlock had managed to pin him there—both of his long arms were on either side of John's head. He slid them down, taking the one step he needed to come face-to-face (or, as much as the height difference could allow) with John.
John's heart was racing. Sherlock wasn't supposed to be that close—not because he was sick. No, John couldn't give a toss about something stupid like sickness. The problem was that he had already been confused about his feelings for Sherlock. Originally, he thought they were platonic enough. He admired him, he found him a bit of a prat, but he was charming in a way not many people could be. How did those thoughts, those feelings mold into the confused adoration he'd sunk himself into? He wasn't sure. But he knew he'd had dreams about Sherlock being that close to him, had woken up sweating and bothered because of those dreams, had uncomfortable work days because of them.
He gulped quietly, trying to be the stronger man, keeping his eyes locked on Sherlock's. He knitted his eyebrows, unsure of Sherlock's next move. It was always hard to tell, and he knew that Sherlock was bound to do anything given the right circumstance.
"I'm not going to be sick alone." Sherlock murmured.
"What are you—"
John didn't get to finish his reply. Quite suddenly, Sherlock had planted his lips on John's. John wished he could help himself, for just that one moment. Wished that he could push Sherlock away, wipe his mouth, curse at him, something. But John had been secretly pining for such a moment. He'd wondered what Sherlock's had felt like, pondered what he tasted like. Perhaps it wasn't the best timing but under the circumstances, John wasn't being too picky.
Sherlock's tongue nudged its way between John's slowly parting lips. They kissed slow, soft, delicate. John glued his hands to the wall behind him, uncertain of where they were supposed to go or what they were supposed to do. He allowed Sherlock to lead them wherever it was he was taking them.
Then Sherlock pulled away. He stood upright and sniffled, smirking. With not a single other word, he turned back into his room and flopped into bed, covering himself with both the sheets and the comforter.
"Have you boys taken your medicine yet?" Mrs. Hudson asked, setting the tray of tea on the side table. Sherlock scowled, and John shook his head. "Well, I did. But Sherlock is…"
"I'm not taking that vile concoction again." Sherlock interrupted.
"You have to, Sherlock. Or else you'll be stuck in this flat, sniffling and making everyone else sick and not getting anymore cases." John said, grabbing another tissue from the box. He blew his nose, trumpeting loudly, making a face upon pulling the tissue away. Mrs. Hudson shook her head, pouring tea for the both of them and setting it beside each man. "Ta, Mrs. Hudson." John said with a half-hearted smile.
"Yes." Sherlock included, sipping his tea quietly.
John scowled at Sherlock, who rolled his eyes. "Thank you Mrs. Hudson." he muttered into his teacup.
"You two just hurry up and feel better." she said sweetly, leaving back down the stairs once again.
"Take your medicine Sherlock." John said, pointing to the bottle beside him.
"You first." Sherlock retorted.
"I already have."
"No you haven't. You've been sitting in this room all morning, and so have I. We both know you just lied to poor, sweet little Mrs. Hudson." Sherlock said with a smirk.
"I wouldn't have to take anything if someone hadn't insisted that I be sick too."
"I just wanted to come out of my room John. It's not easy being cooped up in there, day in and day out. Besides, you can't tell me you didn't enjoy it catching it." Sherlock mused, smirking into his tea once again. John stared, wide eyed. He didn't have a retaliation for that. So instead, he simply shook his head. He grabbed up the bottle of medicine and poured himself the two tablespoons, as prescribed on the bottle. "Cheers." he said, holding up the little cup. Then, with a swift gulp, he downed the medication and started on pouring one for Sherlock.