John stirred into consciousness, his head a right mess of drugs, sleep and pain. His hand felt like it was chained beside him where he couldn't move it, enveloped as it was in some kind of warm thing. Where am I? What happened? He thought to himself, cringing at the sight of tubes and machines that lined his bedside. As his vision cleared, he deduced that he was at a private room in St. Barts, and that the heavy warmth on his hand was caused by none other than his flatmate, Sherlock Holmes. The detective was clinging onto his hand like a leech, as if he was almost afraid to be wrenched away at any moment.
Said man was currently sleeping, head lolled at one side, mussed curls looking like they hadn't been combed for a while. Sherlock had huge bags under his eyes, and his face was taut and skinny. Obviously, he hadn't eaten, choosing to go on his rather alarming hunger strikes.
Did he do all that for me? John thought, a little touched by the man's worry and mad that Sherlock deliberately didn't eat because he was in the hospital. Wincing lightly at the pain, he detached his hand from his friend's death grip and reached out to stroke the man's hair, liking the softness of those curls. At this movement, Sherlock stirred into consciousness and darted a shocked yet sleepy look at John.
"You- You're awake."
"Apparently some deity took pity on me – or you, depending on who looks worse – and decided to wake me up."
Sherlock hesitated. "John. I'm sorry. It's my fault you're here. I'm so sorry."
"I'm going to go down to Tesco's and get us some fucking milk."
The door slammed behind John as he stalked out of 221B, furious when he found out Sherlock had used the already existing box in an experiment to see how long it would curdle. All he wanted was one goddamn cup of tea, and he couldn't have it because his flatmate decided to conduct his experiment that centered on milk.
This was exactly five hours ago, and Sherlock shot glances at the street every few minutes, expecting John to turn up by now. His phone hadn't rung even once, which made him guilty for driving John insane with his experiments. It wasn't his fault, really, that John's day had gone from bad to worse in just a matter of seconds as soon as he stepped into the flat. Well maybe he should have cleaned the kitchen and swept the broken glass into the garbage, but that wasn't the point.
John, don't forget the jam. –SH sent
I ordered Chinese. –SH sent
If you don't answer, I'm eating your meatballs. –SH sent
John, I blew up the flat. –SH sent
I'm worried. Answer me as soon as you get this. –SH cancelled
Another hour passed, and Sherlock sat on the couch, his legs pulled flush against his chest as he tapped his fingers against the table anxiously. John was supposed to arrive five hours and thirty minutes ago. Four hours if he got into a debacle with the automated cashier again. He glanced at his phone every few seconds, waiting for a text from John. When it gave a soft 'ping!', he all but lunged for it, sighing in relief as he saw John's name on the screen. However, what it contained sent a tremor of fear along his spine.
Come and play. Lauriston Gardens. –JM
"Sherlock, stop. Don't blame yourself for something you didn't do. Moriarty would still have got me, one way or another."
He sighed, clenching his fingers around the sheet. "If I hadn't used the milk, you would never have went to Tesco's. Lestrade and I were too late. I shouldn't have punched Anderson so we could have arrived earlier."
John took Sherlock's hand and held it, squeezing lightly. "Stop it right now, or I swear to God I'll take away your skull as soon as I get released from this hospital. Wait. Did I hear that correctly? You punched Anderson? Good one!"
Sherlock had the decency to blush, feeling ashamed. "I'm sorry. I thought I had lost you. I thought- I thought there was no chance of ever having you back."
"Oh, you'll always have me. I have no plans of moving from this bed until you join me and get proper sleep, Sherlock Holmes."
He gave John a reproachful look, aware that their hands were still linked together. "I'm perfectly fine. There's no need to mollycoddle me from your sickbed."
"How long was I out?" John asked, ignoring Sherlock's jibe.
"Come here, then. You need to sleep, and this bed's big enough for two, not to mention it's fucking cold in here. And Jesus, Sherlock. When was the last time you slept in a bed?"
The response sounded suspiciously like 'three weeks ago' and John tugged at his hand, moving a little bit to the side to accommodate the lanky man. Their arrangement involved a lot of shifting (Sherlock) and cursing (John), but in the end, they managed to find the right position, tucked in together like a puzzle.
"You're too thin." John said, rubbing a hand over Sherlock's ribs, and feeling the man's bones stick out.
"I was worried."
"He's got John, Lestrade!" Sherlock yelled as soon as he arrived in Scotland Yard, his face ashen and pallid. Donovan was right behind him, scowling.
He threw the phone on the DI's table. "Moriarty!"
Anderson strolled into the room, raising a brow at the flustered detective. "What have we got here, now? Psychopath lost his toy?"
A beautiful punch landed square on the man's jaw, and Donovan rushed to him as he fell. All eyes were on Sherlock now, as he towered above the Forensics man. "You should really stop interfering in businesses that don't concern you, Anderson."
"Alright, let's go!" Lestrade pushed back his chair and grabbed Sherlock by his coat, hauling him out of the building as he barked orders to his team to follow them in squad cars. "Get the building surrounded. Sherlock and I are going in. Have some people back us up."
They sped to Lauriston Gardens, and Sherlock grimaced at the irony of the situation. John had shot a cabbie for him just a night after they met, and now he was the one going to John's rescue. He was worried that the doctor might have been forced to wear a bomb again, but that wasn't what greeted them when they found him inside the library, cuffed to the generator and stripped to his pants. His chest bore marks of torture, and he had multiple injuries.
A scuffle broke out as soon as they entered the room, though only Moriarty and his gunman, Moran, was present. They both held up a good fight, taking down most of the team and kicking Lestrade to the side. Sherlock himself had rushed to John at the very first opportunity, picking the lock of the cuffs and holding the man against him. Unfortunately, the doctor chose that very moment to lost unconsciousness, the hand that was lifting up to stroke Sherlock's cheek dropping to the ground.
John lifted Sherlock's head, his thumb and forefinger firmly on the detective's chin and brought their faces closer, noting the way Sherlock's eyes widened as he realized what they were about to do. Then he saw nothing more as he closed his lips over the thin, soft pair of his partner's, kissing him slowly and gently. What he wasn't expecting was for Sherlock to reciprocate, moving his lips and flicking his tongue out to taste him. He opened his mouth eagerly, tasting the lingering taste of coffee, and feeling the wet slide of their tongues together. Their kiss was long and sweet, a mere connection of two souls finally coming together.
"I love you." Sherlock breathed as they separated for air, his fingers clutching John's dressing gown, holding on for dear life.
He leaned in and brushed another kiss to Sherlock's lips, and another, and another and many more that it soon became impossible to count. "I love you too."
"Please be here when I wake up."
"I will. Now go to sleep. God knows you need it more than I do."
John carded his fingers through Sherlock's hair, and the other man snuggled into him, an arm thrown around his waist. They stayed silent for a minute or so before the rising and falling of John's chest lulled Sherlock to sleep, confident that they would still be together when he woke up.