My first Sherlock fic. Very slight Johnlock. Hope it's alright.
Lay Me Down
It's 3:42 am and John isn't exactly sure why he's awake. He's sitting up in bed and squinting against the light that has suddenly illuminated the hallway and his bedroom, streaming in through the crack in the door and casting a yellowish glow over him. He grumbles under his breath and throws back the blankets, swaying on tired unsteady feet as he stands and goes to investigate.
He can tell Sherlock has gotten into something, only because it's the dead of night and he knows Sherlock is the only one who actually doesn't mind. Of course that would insinuate he was actually aware of the time which john was quite skeptical about.
Padding down the hallway he can see the light that comes from the bathroom and his brow furrows when he sees the door wide open and the sudden sound of retching has him peering around the doorway to see Sherlock hunched over the toilet, his body heaving as he grips the edges to keep himself upright. From where he's standing John can see the sweat that clings to Sherlock's pale skin and soaks his hair.
"Sherlock?" He calls out the name warily, because he's unsure if Sherlock can even hear him over his own coughing and gagging but after a few seconds the dark-haired man manages to turn his head and John can see how absolutely pale his face is before he slumps back against the bathtub and lets his head fall back against the cool tile, an obvious relief to the raging fever he's sure to have.
John purses his lips and enters the bathroom, kneeling down beside Sherlock and pressing the back of his hand to his friend's forehead, ignoring his protests. He finds the skin hot and slick with sweat. Just as he suspected.
"'M fine John." Sherlock manages to mumble the words but he doesn't fool John because as long as he's lived with Sherlock he's never seen him sick and the very thought manages to make his chest feel tight and his breathing quicken the slightest bit.
He brushes the curls that are damp with sweat out of Sherlock's face before his hand retracts quickly and he shakes his head because the feelings that are rushing through him aren't something he should be thinking and Sherlock needs his full attention right now.
"Sherlock you don't look fine. In fact you look far from it. Why didn't you tell me you weren't feeling well?" Sherlock smirks and his head lulls to the side so he's looking at John. Amused, pained and typical Sherlock he thinks.
"And what good would it have done?" Sherlock questions, wincing slightly and curling his arm around his stomach as a moan passes his lips. John can tell it's going to happen before it actually does and he helps Sherlock sit up and situate himself over the toilet before he becomes sick again.
"Are you done?" John asks and when Sherlock nods his head John wraps his arms around his friend and helps him stand. Sherlock sways and grips John's shirt tightly, squeezing his eyes shut and pressing the palm of his other hand to his eyes. John bites his lip and holds him up.
"Dizzy?" He asks, knowing what Sherlock is probably feeling right now and wishing he could do something. Sherlock groans and blinks a few times before he locks eyes with John.
"It's alright. It's passed. Can we go sit down?" The question takes John by surprise, mostly because it's Sherlock asking and his voice is small and shaky and it doesn't sound like the man he finds himself in constant argument with. Unable to speak john nods and leads Sherlock to the living room.
"Lie down alright? I'm going to get you a cold cloth." He makes sure Sherlock is comfortable, striping him of his sweat soaked shirt and feeling the heat that radiates off of him. The electricity that shoots through his fingers when he brushes Sherlock's skin doesn't go unnoticed by either one and John makes a hasty retreat to the kitchen before one of them is able to say anything.
John finds a rag and wets it with cold water, wringing it over the sink before he stops and grips the edge, mentally telling himself that he needed to push his feelings aside because come on, this was Sherlock and even if there was a possibility that he could ever feel the same there's no way he would make it known to anyone and that fact cuts John deeper than he expects. For some reason John can't find a reason to blame him either.
As he finishes chastising himself he takes the cloth to Sherlock, placing it on his forehead and watching as he visibly relaxes and closes his eyes.
"Better?" John asks, flicking his eyes across the room.
"Yes... Thank you." At the words John tries not to look surprised because it's not an everyday occurrence for Sherlock to show his gratitude and John chalks it up to the fever making him a tad bit delirious before sitting down in his chair and watching Sherlock fidget with the blanket that he had previously covered him with.
After a few minutes of silence John hears Sherlock shuffle and can see him raise his head, as if he's checking to make sure he hasn't left.
"I'm right here, Sherlock." He says and Sherlock sighs loudly before John hears him settle again.
"What's the matter?" He asks and when Sherlock doesn't answer him he heaves himself out of his seat and walks up to the couch, watching Sherlock who has his eyes wide open watching John with an expression John hasn't seen yet.
The longer he stands the longer John realizes he's absolutely exhausted but the nagging voice in the back of his mind is telling him not to leave Sherlock alone so he grunts slightly and motions for Sherlock to move.
"Come on, move over will ya?" Sherlock is surprisingly obedient and he presses himself against the back of the couch, allowing John to occupy the space next to him.
"What's the matter with your bed?" Sherlock asks, surprising John when he rests his forehead against his shoulder and breathes deeply. John shrugs slightly, feeling the weight of Sherlock's head on him and cranes his neck to look at him.
"Didn't want to leave you alone," he says and hears Sherlock make some sort of noise acknowledging what he had just said.
"Can I ask you something?" John isn't sure what he's doing but he knows he needs to do it because the feeling in his stomach is driving him crazy and the fact that Sherlock is touching him in a way as intimate as he his sends chills down his spine. He feels Sherlock nod against his shoulder and blows out a puff of air.
"What are we doing Sherlock?" When the question leaves his lips he wonders if it's a mistake and as Sherlock raises his head and fixes him with a look asking him just how stupid he actually is he immediately regrets it. He quickly corrects himself, feeling a wave of heat wash over him as he remembers who he's talking to.
"What I mean is... You and I.. We're John and Sherlock. We're like a package deal, attached at the hip and constantly together." One corner of Sherlock's lips tip up in a smile as John draws in a shaky breath,
"And right now I'm really starting to wonder how much longer I can keep this up while still pretending I don't care." At this the smile falls and Sherlock sits up a bit, an arm still wrapped protectively around his stomach and John realizes he's almost completely forgotten the reason they were even having this conversation.
"Are you going to be sick?" he asks. Sherlock shakes his head and waves a dismissive hand, too focused on the question he's been handed and the fact that he isn't sure what his answer is.
"Do you care?" he asks suddenly, and John looks at him as though Sherlock had just struck him.
"Of course I care," he sputters, "if I didn't care I wouldn't still be here." He looks down at his hands in his lap and feels Sherlock press himself a little closer.
"I know you do, I just wanted to hear it. Now just go to sleep. We have time to talk later." John sighs and looks at the man who's slowly falling asleep beside him and he smiles because although things may not be perfect they were definitely headed in the right direction and as long as he hangs on there's a strong possibility that one day things will fall into place.
All he has to do is wait.