Hey guys! I am so grateful to everyone who has read this story and favorited, followed, or reviewed it. It really makes me happy to know that people enjoy something I wrote. I actually wrote this years ago and someone recently favorited it, which prompted me to re-read it and add some tweaks and more content to the story. I hope you guys enjoy the new additions!
"Sherlock?" Joan prodded the man lying slumped at the kitchen table, seemingly fast asleep. He mumbled in response, before lifting his head to glance at his companion. "I believe I'm sick again, Watson." He sighed as best he could with a blocked nose, as if the idea of having a cold was too mundane to contemplate.
"I can get you some of that Chinese herbal tea I gave you last time?" Joan offered, giving her best doctor smile. The detective nodded eagerly, hoping that by the time the tea began working its 'magic', he would be able to consult the NYPD on a new case.
Smirking, Joan shook her head as if she could almost track his exact thoughts "You're not getting that tea if you're just going to be running around the streets to get sick all over again."
Sherlock attempted a meek glare "Watson, you and I both know that I would rather get sick all over again than suffer through boredom." The detective's lips curled around the word with distaste.
Joan folded her arms stubbornly "Fine, but I'm pretty sure Captain Gregson won't want you consulting when you could be infecting his whole team."
Knowing that Gregson disliked it when Sherlock consulted sick, he reluctantly accepted defeat and resigned himself to a day in his bed - the location being insisted upon by Watson. Sherlock knew that Joan was just using her natural instincts as a doctor to keep him healthy, but he didn't enjoy being confined to the apartment when there were other things he could be doing. He decided a bit of teasing might be fitting amusement for himself while she was being stern and doctorly with him.
"So, Doctor Watson, will you be taking me to bed?" Sherlock raised his eyebrows suggestively, in time to see Watson's eyes widen in surprise and a gentle flush of red to colour her cheeks.
"I could poison your tea, you know." She replied stiffly.
Sherlock just grinned "Oh don't worry Watson, I was just teasing. Nice to know that I can get a satisfactory response from you, though."
Watson glared at him "I'll be back in an hour with that tea. So go to bed."
"Oh, don't take too long Watson, I'd hate for your efforts to be wasted on my sudden death from boredom!" He shouted behind her.
While Watson was gone, Sherlock had time to think. Too much time in fact. Usually, he loved to allow his thoughts to wander, but today they lingered far too long on Watson's reaction to his innuendo. While he was thinking all of this over, he knew Joan would be annoyed if he got into bed fully clothed, so he changed into his pyjamas and got comfortable in bed while he waited.
He thought his suggestive comment would just get him a glare and perhaps a reluctant smile out of his companion. He had never seen Watson blush at anything before, even when he pried about her past lovers. Sherlock Holmes was not usually surprised - which was the reason he provided for himself as he begun to linger on the subject before he heard the front door downstairs being shut.
Watson nudged his door open with her foot and brought in a tray of tea. He smiled gratefully and took the tray. Watson turned to leave and before he could stop himself "Watson, would you uhm, stay with me for a while?"
Unsuccessfully hiding her surprise, Watson agreed and then insisted on asking him mundane medical questions to make sure he was okay. Sherlock grinned as an idea suddenly flashed in his mind. He could explain Watson's entire reaction from earlier if he could just check her pulse. How he was going to do that without raising Joan's suspicion he had no idea. He used the time to carefully study her features: her face was back to its natural hue, her eyes bright and alert – no doubt looking for any sign that he was more sick than he was letting on – and her hair lay casually against her shoulders, shining in the afternoon sun that was filtering in through the bedroom window.
Sherlock knew that Joan Watson was attractive. He assessed that about everyone he met – attractiveness was a powerful tool in social situations, and often allowed the criminals he pursued to be given more grace than someone who did not meet the standards of societal beauty. Joan had a pleasingly symmetrical face, strong cheekbones, healthy and thick hair, and a slim, striking figure. She was beautiful. Sherlock suddenly wondered if he found her beautiful and attempted to stifle the thought by taking a sip of scalding tea. He hissed, fanning his mouth in irritation.
"Sherlock, are you okay?" Joan asked, concern furrowing her eyebrows.
Sherlock nodded, his tongue stinging. Joan motioned for him to bring his face closer to hers and he wondered if she was planning to kiss him. A tingle shot through his stomach at the thought – something he believed people had told him was called 'butterflies' – he hadn't understood the term before, but the name made sense. It did feel like Rhopalocera were flitting about in his abdomen, making him feel slightly tingly and uncomfortable. Joan gently prodded his jaw with her finger, and he realised she was nudging him to open his mouth to examine his scalded tongue. Oh. He ignored the slight pang of disappointment and opened his mouth. She peered in, holding her phone's flashlight up so she could see more clearly.
"It looks alright, but be careful with your next sip, okay?" Sherlock nodded.
Sherlock was not the only one who had been running through that moment in the kitchen though. Through her entire tea errand, Watson had been wondering what the hell had just happened. First of all, Sherlock had made a sexual suggestion. He had never done that before, not even when they had first met in an attempt to scare her off. It wasn't the blush that had bothered her - not all that much anyway. It was that she had felt her pulse increase slightly at the thought.
She had never really considered her relationship with Sherlock to be anything other than friendship. At first, he really just had been someone she needed to be a 'companion' to - even though he had vehemently rejected the idea – and now they were friends. Best friends, in fact. She smiled to herself, wondering what her past self would think of her befriending such a strange, fascinating man. So much of her life had changed over the years and she thought she would always long for how it was, but now it barely ever crossed her mind. She wondered if Sherlock ever had thoughts like that, or if he just enjoyed her presence in his life and thought no more about it. Sherlock could be like that sometimes – completely skip over or accept something that others would fixate on, while his brilliant mind ran through so many other things that needed to be solved, categorized, understood.
Sherlock noticed Joan's smile and analysed her face, trying to distract himself from the butterflies and his slight disappointment at the not-kiss. What was she thinking about? Usually, he could almost read people's thoughts by their facial expressions and body language, but Joan had a way of shuttering her face, so that he could only glean the most basic emotions and thoughts from it.
"Something bothering you, Watson?" Sherlock enquired innocently, although he could guess what she was thinking about. Before she could answer, he thrust his cup at her, now drained of tea. When Watson reached for the cup, Sherlock took her pulse.
His amused grin faded when Watson leaned into and whispered "Funny, your pulse is elevated. Something bothering you, Sherlock?"