I really feel like Sherlock is at his most human when he's worried about John. This was written to explore that, and also because I kind of like writing Lestrade watching John and Sherlock be adorable. Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the nurse. :)
The first thing Lestrade notices when he enters John's hospital room is Sherlock Holmes, perching like a vulture over his flatmate. The lanky detective is wrapped into the plastic chair, feet on the edge, elbows on bony knees, hands under chin, staring at John.
"Are you ready to talk to me now?" Lestrade asks, concern in his voice rather than annoyance.
Sherlock doesn't look up.
"Sherlock, I really can't keep waiting around. I do have to file a report-"
"He has three broken fingers. One fractured wrist: right side, so he'll still be able to eat. Lacerations about the chest and abdomen. No internal bleeding, but several broken ribs. The gang obviously wanted to immobilise him. Several head wounds."
Sherlock subsides back into silence.
"Bloody hell." Lestrade breathes, dragging a hand down his face. "Will he be alright?"
Sherlock's eyes flit up to Lestrade's. "Of course he will." The tone doesn't invoke an order, it's a heartfelt belief. John promised he wouldn't leave Sherlock, so nothing will ever make him go.
"Right." Lestrade shifts awkwardly. "I really do need that-"
"Talk to someone else. Talk to Mycroft. I don't care. Leave me be, Lestrade." Sherlock has gone back to staring at John. Deciding it's not worth his time to argue, Lestrade nods and leaves the room.
He hasn't done the report, hasn't had his coffee, and hasn't gotten to clean up when he stops by John's room again. Sherlock has moved to stand by John's headboard, glaring at the nurse trying to take John's vitals.
"I just need to check his-"
"He's fine. Bug off." Sherlock spits out through clenched teeth.
"Sir, even if you are indeed family, I can still throw you out for obstructing our attempts to help the patient."
"John will be fine. He has to be fine. I've been checking him."
"Forgive me, sir, but we will tell you when he's better."
Sherlock makes a dramatic sighing noise and comes around to the side of John's bed, acting as if he's about to sit on it.
"That's not allowed, sir."
"You are not allowed to sit on the patient's bed."
"It's the rule."
"Why's it the rule?"
"Because diseases may be passed back and forth."
"You're the one who just ran your divorced-with-three-kids-and-a-cat-living-with-you r-aunt fingers over him."
The nurse stiffens.
"Excuse me, Scotland Yard. Can I have a minute, please?" Lestrade breaks in before anything else can be said. The nurse excuses herself, glaring at Sherlock. Sherlock sits down on the bed, staring at John as though he can will him to wake up.
"You really shouldn't do that, you know." Lestrade says.
"He's used to it; he doesn't mind."
"I'm not talking about the staring, I'm talking about alienating anyone who might have been able to help you."
"She was taking too long with him."
"Yeah, whatever. How's he doing?"
"I'm watching him, he's fine." Blue-grey-green eyes come up to half glare, half plead with Lestrade.
As Lestrade leaves he sees Sherlock carefully taking John's hand in his own, cataloging information.
When Lestrade enters again, Sherlock is still sitting on John's bed (the nurse is nowhere to be found) stroking his flatmate's temple with curious, reverent fingers.
"They said he's getting better?" Lestrade asks, attempting to bring Sherlock out and verify the information he had heard.
"Is he worse?"
"He's better. But they're idiots."
Lestrade sighs. "Right."
Sherlock's fingers tenderly skirt around the bandages on John's head.
"Listen, Sherlock," Lestrade paces a bit, then sits down in the chair Sherlock has vacated. Sherlock glares at him until Lestrade pushes the chair back from the side of the bed, giving John his space. "They don't really know how much damage was done. About his head, I mean. I just think you should know that. Blows to the head are nasty things and you should be prepared-"
"John is fine and he will be fine and just as he always has been." Sherlock looks up long enough to glare at Lestrade, then resumes his almost loving perusal of John's face.
Lestrade rubs at his face. "Sherlock..."
Sherlock looks up, looking about 14 years old. "He'll wake up, and he'll grouch at me, but he'll be fine. I'll take him home, have Angelo deliver something. We'll watch that rubbish TV show he likes, then he'll go to bed."
Lestrade is silent for a moment. "Sherlock, you should go home. I'll stay with him."
Sherlock lowers his head, his hands tangling themselves in his dark mop of curls. "I can't think, not without him in the bedroom above me. I can't hear him, so I can't think." He looks up, confused and lost and tired.
Lestrade nods. "Want a coffee?"
Sherlock shakes his head.
"Is there anything I can get you? It's almost morning; I could get some decent food..."
Sherlock doesn't bother to answer, opting for exploring the cut on John's cheek with careful, tentative strokes.
"I'll be back in an hour." Lestrade murmurs and leaves.
A nurse (not the annoyed one, a young, rather nondescript, overly patient young man) is taking off the bandages on John's head when Lestrade comes in again. Sherlock glares and mutters and makes himself a nuisance.
"Don't do that." the detective snaps.
"Sorry." the nurse answers complacently.
Lestrade does a double take. Sherlock seems slightly more satisfied with this nurse.
When the wrappings are off, the nurse turns to get some new ones.
"Oh, sorry. I.. forgot to.. yeah. I'll be right back. Sorry." he awkwardly bobs over to the door, nearly wringing his hands.
Sherlock moves closer to John's bed, his eyes scanning the bruising on John's head.
"It's bad." he whispers, though Lestrade can't tell if the detective is speaking to himself or not. He grunts noncommittally. Sherlock's eyes dart up for a second before flitting back to John. "Did you find them?"
"Nearly. We're getting close."
"Find them." The cold steel in Sherlock's voice is deadly.
The nurse comes back in.
"Sorry, sorry. Um..." he waits a respectful distance as Sherlock's fingers trace the bruising on John's forehead. The detective retreats to the head of the bed, his eyes following every movement of the nurse.
"Has he woken up yet?" the nurse asks with a sympathetic face. Lestrade expects Sherlock to bite his head off for being presumptuous, but the detective shakes his head.
"I wouldn't worry too much, mate. He seems to be doing well."
Lestrade stares in surprise at this nurse who is able to call Sherlock Holmes "mate" and live to tell the story.
Sherlock is scrutinising the nurse. He nods, then asks, "Shouldn't you be helping him, Nurse Williams?"
"How? Oh... name-tag..." Nurse Williams trails off, then seems to remember what he came for. "Can I...?" he questions timidly. Sherlock gives his consent.
When John is properly fixed up, nurse Williams bounces awkwardly by the door. "I'll check in.. later..."
Sherlock looks up. "Thank you." he says. Lestrade stares.
Sherlock sits back down on the bed, his hand finding John's uninjured one and gently lacing their fingers together. The detective leans closer to his flatmate, oblivious of Lestrade's presence and seems to be whispering something in his ear. Lestrade goes to find coffee.
It is nearly 15:00 when Lestrade can find time to visit the hospital again. As he enters the room, he senses something is different and leans against the door, watching silently. Sherlock looks half dead with exhaustion, leaning over John and whispering something.
Then John's hand moves.
Sherlock freezes, staring at John's hand with the intensity of a laser ray. John's hand moves slowly outward.
"Sherl...?" John whispers, somewhere between a moan and a whimper.
"I'm here, John. I'm here." Sherlock eagerly tells him, his fingers wrapping around John's. "Just wake up. Please wake up."
John's eyes flutter, and Sherlock holds his breath. "John?"
John's eyes open and he smiles groggily. "What'er you doing here?" he slurs.
"Watching over you." Sherlock returns, a small smile on his lips.
John shifts uncomfortably on the hospital bed. "Bloody hospital beds."
"I'll take you home."
John and Sherlock smile because they both know it will be quite awhile before John will be released. Both men realise that they are still holding hands and both men don't care.
"How are you?" Sherlock asks tentatively, his eyes dropping for a moment before coming back up to study John's face.
"Pretty well drugged. Can't feel a bloody thing."
Sherlock grins lopsidedly, looking 15 years younger. "Do you... have brain trauma?" he asks timidly.
John looks confused for a moment, then smiles back. "My brain's fine, Sherl. I'm fine."
Sherlock gives a relieved chuckle and realises his thumb has been stroking the back of John's hand. He pulls away. John rubs at his eyes with his now free good hand, glancing down at the other hand when he finishes.
"Bastards." he grimaces teasingly. Then he seems to realise something. "Have you been sitting there this whole time?"
Sherlock looks away. John lets out his breath. "Sherl..." John brings his hand up to scrub it through Sherlock's disheveled curls, and Sherlock nestles his head against John's hip, letting his flatmate stroke his hair.
"It was horrible. Tedious. Boring." Sherlock shifts so that he can look up at John while keeping his head resting on his flat mate's hip. "Don't do it again."
"I'd rather not, you know. I didn't run after the bastards and ask for this." John jokes gently.
Sherlock nuzzles his face further into the sheets. He mutters something that sounds suspiciously like, "missed you". John's face breaks into a massive grin, even though his eyes are closing. He strokes Sherlock's hair in a familiar manner, as if he always does this. Lestrade feels as though he's intruding, but then John glances over and gives him a sleepy grin.
"'Lo, Lestrade." he slurs, his voice getting thicker.
"Glad to see you awake, John."
Sherlock grunts his agreement, and John smiles again.
"I'm getting sleepy, Sherl. You be good, y'hear?"
Sherlock looks mutinous (or as mutinous as you can look when your head is in your flat mate's lap and they are stroking your hair and you look like a cat as you lean into every movement) for a moment, but then nods grudgingly. John glances at Lestrade in an apologetic way, but his eyes keep closing.
"I'll be here when you wake up." Sherlock promises.
"Thanks, Sherl..." and John drops off. Sherlock removes his flat mate's hand from his hair and looks at it curiously for a moment. After a second of hesitation, Sherlock brings it to his lips and presses them to it. Lestrade quietly slips away.