Doctor John Watson was sick. He suspected he had caught something after days spent running around Dartmoor outside the Baskerville military facility. The effects of the drugged fog had passed easily enough, but some sort of bug still lingered in his throat, head, and nose, clogging his sinuses and making his chest feel like an anchor was laid across it. He'd been quietly taking care of himself for the past week, accepting biscuits and goodies from Mrs. Hudson while Sherlock carried on with his cases and hypotheses and his looking at bits of things under the microscope. He often asked John to accompany him to crime scenes, but John had been declining, as he really didn't feel up to the possibility of another night running around the London rooftops. Sherlock usually relented easily enough and left John alone.
John was slowly getting better and sleeping every chance he got, no matter the time of day. He felt like he'd just lay down when he woke up to the sight of a blinding yellow penlight shining directly into his left eye. He squawked and slammed his eyes closed, trying to tug the blanket up over his head. He couldn't move it though, as it was weighed down by something heavy and Sherlock-shaped.
"Interesting…" a deep voice murmured.
"What d'you want, Sherlock!" John croaked, his voice scratchy. "Get off the bed!"
"Despite the frankly alarming amount of pills you've been taking, your pupils dilated the moment the light touched them…" Sherlock got off the bed and wandered the room, looking thoughtful. "I would have conjectured that the drugs would slow the reaction time, but that's clearly not the case…"
"You woke me up to check how fast my eyes would react?" John nearly swore.
Sherlock looked up at him. "You're upset."
"Fine deduction there, detective!" John yelled sarcastically.
Sherlock narrowed his eyes. "John, calm down."
John got out of bed, shoving the sheets aside.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm making tea." John growled. "My throat's acting up again."
"Well, maybe if you didn't shout so much..." Sherlock said.
John sent him a glare and stormed out of the room.
"Wait!" Sherlock sprang after him. "I made you tea—that's why I woke you."
"You made me tea?" John sounded confused.
"Yes." They reached the kitchen and Sherlock proudly picked up the tea kettle.
"Oh." John said, his anger melting away. Sherlock poured a cup of steaming amber liquid and held it out to John with a grin on his face. "Thank you." John took the cup and sipped. "Mm, it's sweet." He licked his lips and sniffed the cup. "What kind of tea is this?"
"It's just what I found in the cabinet." Sherlock said innocently. "Do you not like it?"
"No—I do. Thanks." John wandered into the living room, missing Sherlock's sly smile. He turned on the television, eager to get his mind off his foggy head, congested lungs, and sore throat. He took another deep sip of the tea. It was good—it had a bit of a kick to it that John didn't recognize. His stuffy nose was making things taste funny though and everything tasted a bit off lately. He idly flipped through the channels until Sherlock stuck his head around the edge of the kitchen.
"Are you hungry?" He asked.
John sat there, stupefied for a moment that Sherlock would ask or even care, before he said, "No. Thanks though."
Sherlock's head disappeared. John thought it was strange, but he didn't pay it much mind. Sherlock was just trying to be thoughtful, which John appreciated. He settled on a show and finished the tea, watching the program through to its end. All of a sudden, like a switch being flipped, he felt incredibly ill.
He put the cup down and hugged his churning stomach. He gulped through a throat that now felt like it was on fire. The chair in the kitchen scraped and Sherlock walked into the room.
"Don't feel well." John croaked. He closed his eyes as the room swayed.
"Are you feeling nauseous?" Sherlock asked.
"Dizzy?" He stepped into the room, approaching John cautiously, like he was a wild animal.
"Y-yes, oh…." John moaned, closing his eyes.
"Is your vision changing?"
John's stomach churned again before he snapped his head up, staring at Sherlock with blazing eyes. "What did you do to the tea?" He hissed, his voice accusing. He closed his eyes as the vision of his flatmate swayed and slowly morphed into three Sherlocks. Oh God, three Sherlocks in one room? Now John really thought he was going to be sick.
"It's nothing." The Sherlocks said, thankfully morphing back into one person.
"You did do something to the tea! I thought it tasted funny!"
"John, calm down."
In response, John launched himself at Sherlock, tackling him to the floor.
"John!" Sherlock roared.
"What did you put in the tea?" John yelled. He had Sherlock face-down on the floor in the kitchen, his knee in the taller man's back as he tugged Sherlock's arms behind him.
"Nothing you need to worry about," Sherlock said.
"I feel like I'm about to vomit—I should throw up on you!"
"I was reading a medical journal about the effects of different drugs on lab mice—ow—I wanted to see how they'd react in a human."
"I'm ill, Sherlock!" John growled, yanking on his arms. Sherlock wrenched around and kicked John, toppling him out of place. Sherlock stood and tried to placate a snarling John, now advancing on him slowly and looking a little green around the edges.
"It's fine. The lab mice were ill too when the experiment was performed. Don't worry, the results won't be affected. I had to wait until you were sick to—"
John clapped his hand to his mouth and darted out of the room. Sherlock listened to frantic feet running towards the bathroom before the sounds of violent retching filled the flat.
"Hoo-hoo, Sherlock?" Mrs. Hudson's voice was at the door. She knocked once and pushed it open, wearing a pink frilly apron coated in flour and bearing a wooden mixing spoon. "What's going on? I had just put a cake in the oven when I heard a commotion up here—did one of you fall?"
"No, no, we're—"
John heaved again, so badly that even Sherlock winced.
"Oh heavens—John is worse…" Mrs. Hudson put the spoon on the counter and went towards the bathroom, rubbing her flour-y hands on her apron. "Oh poor dear." She bustled into the room, where John was kneeling on the tile, clutching the toilet. She pressed her hand against his forehead. "You don't feel warm—when did this start? I thought you were on the mend."
"I was." John groaned. "Until Sherlock poisoned me with his bloody tea!"
"You just rest here." She rubbed a soothing hand on his shoulder. "Get it all up and go back to bed." John's response was to heave more of the foul tea into the toilet.
Mrs. Hudson stormed out of the bathroom and paced towards the kitchen. Sherlock was nowhere to be seen. She glanced around and grabbed the wooden spoon she had left beside the sink.
"Sherlock Holmes!" She bellowed. "Get in here this instant!"
A door creaked open down the hall and a sheepish looking Sherlock crept into the kitchen.
"Yes, Mrs. Hudson?" He asked politely.
"Don't you 'yes, Mrs. Hudson' me, young man!" She reached out and grabbed him by the ear.
"Ow!" Sherlock winced and hunched forward as she dragged him into the room. "What are you doing poisoning John's tea?"
"I didn't poison it—"
"He's throwing it all up as we speak!" She yelled. Sherlock had never seen the normally peaceful older woman so irate, well, not since the days when her ex-husband still troubled her.
"Mrs. Hudson, it was just an exp—"
"No! We tolerate your experiments, Sherlock, because we care about you. Body parts in the fridge—bullet holes in the wall, which is still coming out of your rent—that lovely violin at all hours we can all deal with. But this is going too far." She twisted his ear. He yelped and rotated his body to accommodate the weird angle his ear was at, unwittingly aiming his backside closer to her hand. She raised the spoon and smacked it down on his arse.
"Mrs. Hudson!" Sherlock yelled.
She did it again. "You hurt your flatmate, Sherlock Holmes—he's sick. No experimenting on sick people!" She whacked him three more times, satisfied when he yelped at the end.
"I should take you over my knee properly, young man!" She smacked him several more times and Sherlock grit his teeth at the stinging bursts of pain. Despite the pain and humiliation of being bent over in his own kitchen and smacked like a naughty boy, he couldn't help but be somewhat impressed with her. Apparently she wasn't as easily cowed as he had previously thought. In a weird way, he was almost proud of her for taking him in hand like this, but it still bloody well hurt. "You are going to spend the rest of the day making this up to him and making him feel better," she continued, smacking all the while, "do you understand me?"
"Yes!" Sherlock growled desperately. "Yes, Mrs. Hudson—I'll wait on him hand and foot!"
"Good!" She whacked him once more and released his ear. Sherlock stood and backed away from her, one hand cupping his ear and the other rubbing his aching cheeks. She had a hell of an arm!
"Go!" She gestured towards the bathroom with the spoon, pleased when he ran. She heard murmured voices from the bathroom and nodded to herself. She opened the door, content that her message had been well-received, and left her tenants in peace.
That evening, Mrs. Hudson knocked on Sherlock and John's door, bearing a generous chunk of the cake she had baked earlier. She let herself in and smiled at the sight before her. John was in the armchair, his feet up and a large mug of lemon and chamomile tea in his hand. A plate of biscuits was on the table beside him, alongside a box of tissues. Sherlock was in the kitchen and it sounded like he was washing the dishes. She noticed instantly that the flat was much neater and more organized than it had been earlier. She smiled to herself. It looked like her message to Sherlock earlier had had an effect.
"Good evening, Mrs. Hudson." John said, turning around in his chair.
"Hello John, I brought you some of my cake—something sweet to go along with your tea." she held up the cake and went to the kitchen to put it away.
"Thank you!" He called. "It looks fantastic."
"I'll cut you a piece." She glanced up at Sherlock, now wiping his hands on a towel.
"Mrs. Hudson." He said with a nod and a smile.
"Hello, Sherlock. Are you feeling better, John?" She asked, maintaining eye contact with Sherlock.
"Yes, very much." He said. "Sherlock's been quite nice—he even went to the store to buy me biscuits and tissues and proper tea."
"Oh, that's lovely." Mrs. Hudson said. She gave Sherlock a kiss on the cheek and brought John his cake. He took a bite of the moist lemon-flavored cake and nodded.
"Mm, this is delicious."
"Thank you." Mrs. Hudson said. "I'm glad to hear Sherlock is helping you feel better."
The detective came into the room with the kettle, pouring more into John's cup.
"Tea, Mrs. Hudson?" He asked.
"No, no I have to be going. Sherlock, you should make John some soup."
"Soup?" Sherlock said, looking pained. "I don't know how to make soup."
"It's not difficult. I have a good sized pot and a nice wooden spoon you could borrow." She smiled pleasantly at Sherlock.
John glanced at his flatmate, surprised to see his face flush and his throat bob as he gulped.
"I…I suppose I could give soup a go, sure. Can't be too difficult?" He rubbed his ear self-consciously and John frowned.
"Mm, I think that would be a good idea." Mrs. Hudson said.
Sherlock ducked back into the kitchen and Mrs. Hudson rose to leave.
"Goodbye, John. Feel better." She planted a kiss on his head and left the flat, leaving John confused, wondering what had suddenly gotten into Sherlock.