I received a prompt from Anagogia who, to cut a long and fantastic prompt short, wanted a super sick Sherlock. So this is my first instalment, there isn't too much angst in this chapter but there will be a lot more to come, and probably relatively soon too. It took me a good three attempts before I was happy enough to post this so I hope you all enjoy it. I apologise if my updates are not regular, unfortunately university does have to take precedence over fanfiction as much as I would like it not to. Please let me know what you think through a review. They really do encourage me.
Disclaimer: surprisingly I don't actually own Sherlock, that privilege sadly falls to the BBC and other people who are much better at writing than me.
Chapter 1- I'm fine
The dark and thunderous skies rolled ominously overhead, intimidating and threatening. The wind and the rain drove almost everyone off the street, either into passing taxis or nearby shops, nobody wanted to be out in weather such as this. John had the TV turned up louder than usual so he could hear it over the rain as it pounded relentlessly against the glass. The rain drops shot powerfully into the window leaving large wet splodges in their wake which soon began to pour down the glass like a raging torrent.
John sat with the fire blazing, watching the harsh British weather more than he was the TV. In 221B he was safe and dry and he was reassured by the fact that he did not have to leave the flat that evening, there was no reason for him to venture into the treacherous weather. There wasn't even a risk of him getting dragged out either by a certain consulting detective; he was out doing… something. John didn't know what, there was probably a case on and John simply hadn't arrived back to the flat in time for Sherlock to drag him out, not that he was complaining. The doctor felt a twinge of worry as he thought of his friend being outside; hopefully he'd got the common sense to seek some sort of shelter. At this thought John shook his head; Sherlock was a grown man and perfectly capable of looking after himself. At any rate, if it was a case he was on that hadn't allowed him to wait for John, Lestrade was probably there, he'd make sure the idiot didn't do anything truly stupid and fool-hardy.
For the next few days it didn't seem to stop raining, usually it was just drizzling but the occasional downpour would hit the streets of London chasing everyone inside. John managed to just escape such a downpour, exiting the taxi and dashing to the door of 221b just as it started. Even in the few seconds he had been out in it his hair was soaked and the water was rolling off his jacket. Unlike Sherlock he did not have the desire to get soaked to the skin, how his friend had managed to stay out in weather like that for several hours was beyond him. Even if it had been an interesting case as he had claimed when he entered the flat looking more like a drowned rat than an actual human being, surely there was only so many deductions to be made off a dead body once all the evidence had been washed away, a process that would not have taken that long.
Now that he thought about it John realised that he had not actually seen or heard from his flatmate in a couple of days. This wasn't particularly unusual in itself, his friend was prone to his bouts of silence especially after a case, but John had the nagging sensation that he should check on the man. Wearily he trudged up the stairs, stripping his jacket of as he went and brushing some of the excess water off it. Out of habit he went and put the kettle on before tentatively knocking at the detective's door. "Sherlock, are you alive?" he asked jokily but when he received a groan in reply he grew slightly more concerned. "Sherlock!" he said a little louder this time. "Are you alright mate?"
"Hmm? Yeah, fine," came the reply which sounded more than a little raspy. John wasn't buying it, he was a doctor after all, and not the idiot Sherlock claimed he was.
"I'm coming in," he announced as he opened the door, deciding it wasn't worth waiting for permission since he would not get it.
The room was dim, the only light was that which managed to find its way in through the small window and even that was mostly blocked by the curtain. Sherlock was lying in bed, his sheets a mess, twisted around him as if he had been fidgeting a lot. He lay on his back, typing away vigorously on his phone. He turned his head towards John, still typing faster than the doctor ever would have been able to even if he was looking whilst he was doing it, and stared at him questioningly. The doctor stared back at him, trying to determine if he was paler than usual or if it was just his imagination. He then remembered how weak Sherlock's voice had been so perhaps he was sick. But Sherlock didn't get sick, well of course he got sick, everyone gets sick at some point. But Sherlock and 'ill' just seemed wrong; the two things were incompatible with each other. "I'm going to switch the light on," John stated with hardly any warning.
The sudden light obviously startled the younger man; the phone broke free of his grasp and fell, straight onto his face. Sherlock let out a cry of both pain and surprise whilst John snorted in amusement; it was strange but slightly pleasing to see the normally perfectly composed man make a fool of himself. In response to his friend's laughter Sherlock fixed him with a glare, it didn't scare John (not anymore anyway) but he did calm himself down. He knew that look meant that if he carried on Sherlock would get upset, or his version of upset, which meant he'd be even more angry and demanding than usual.
"Are you alright?" John asked, once again being concerned for his friend.
"Yes, perfectly fine," he replied irritably just before he supressed a cough causing his body to convulse violently.
This time it was John's turn to fix Sherlock with a glare. "You shouldn't lie to me about your health Sherlock, it's not good. But having a cold serves you right; you shouldn't have stayed out in that rainstorm for so long."
"Case," was Sherlock's reply, he obviously thought that the discussion was not worthy of his attention.
"Your health is more important that a damn case you know." At this the Consulting Detective waved his hand in a dismissive fashion but John knew him well enough to know that it really meant he disagreed with him. "Dammit Sherlock, your health matters you know. When was the last time you ate or drank anything anyway?" As a way of reply a thin hand let go of the phone and gestured down towards a half empty glass of water sitting next to the bed.
John frowned for what felt the hundredth time in a matter of minutes. Was that really all Sherlock had consumed in the past two days? "Sherlock, you need to drink and eat," he said sounding more weary than frustrated. "Do you know what? I'm going to get you a glass of juice which you will drink and a cup of tea. Then you will eat whatever I put in front of you. This is non-debatable." And with that John stalked angrily out of the room slamming the door behind him.
The door slammed shut causing Sherlock to wince as pain shot through his head. He closed his eyes to protect them from the bright light, something he had been longing to do ever since John had switched the light on. It was far too bright and it hurt his eyes. Even his phone was on the dimmest setting because the normal screen sent tendrils of pain shooting through his eyes and into his brain. Cracking his eyelids open slightly he stumbled over to his light switch and his room was cast back into glorious darkness and the pain lessened slightly. Slowly he shuffled back across to his bed and literally fell onto it, curling up in the sheets, trying to stave off some of the pain he was feeling.
Lying there in the darkness Sherlock began to drift off, his bed was warm and soft and the darkness was oddly soothing. It seemed to sooth his racing mind, slowing it down, and reducing the throbbing in his head to a dull ache. He sighed contentedly, shuffling down further into the covers. Unfortunately John did not leave him in peace for long; suddenly he barged in allowing light to burst into the room and Sherlock's headache came back with a vengeance as he was startled from his relaxed state. "Right," John started loudly in his no nonsense tone of voice. "Drink this," he ordered, standing in front of where Sherlock lay, holding a glass of orange juice towards him.
"Go, away," Sherlock mumbled angrily, wishing John would leave, he felt awful and he certainly did not need his friend to see it.
"No, just drink this and I'll leave." The detective weighed up his options before pulling himself up into a sitting position, schooling his expression into one of cold indifference as opposed to the grimace which he had been wearing. Knowing John as he did he was sure the man was lying but his brain was slow and he couldn't think of a quicker way to make him leave.
As soon as the cool liquid touched his lips he realised how thirsty he had been and he downed it causing John to frown at him. "You should have drunk that more slowly, you could make yourself sick," the doctor scolded. The younger man shrugged, eyeing the slices of toast in John's hand warily. As weird as it sounded the orange juice had left him feeling full and bloated, he wasn't sure he'd be able to have the toast too. He didn't really want it but he knew there was going to be a debate on the matter. Sherlock shifted in the bed, he most certainly did not like the way John was looking at him, he couldn't place the look but it did make him slightly uncomfortable to be under its scrutiny.
"You can go now John," Sherlock said, hoping desperately he would take the not –so-subtle hint. Unsurprisingly he did not.
"Not until you eat the toast," he ordered, placing the toast down on the chest of drawers next to his bed.
"No, I'm thinking," Sherlock lied irritably. Truth was he felt slightly nauseous and not in the least bit hungry but he didn't think John would take it as a valid excuse.
The detective looked up and met his friend's eyes, there was that look again. It looked like pity. John pitied him, this made his blood boil in rage. Without knowing what was going on within the genius' head John reached forward and pressed the back of his hand to Sherlock's forehead and the man jumped away from the touch and sprang out of bed. He grew impossibly whiter and John was sure he was going to collapse.
"I'm going for a shower," he proclaimed and hurried as fast as he could to the bathroom, cup of tea in hand.
"Sherlock!" John shouted in confusion and concern. All he got in reply was the slam of a door.
Fifteen minutes later John heard the water in the shower come to a stuttering stop and he pulled himself up out of his armchair to switch on the kettle. He needed to talk to Sherlock and if the man had a mug of tea in his hands he would not be able to run away. As it happened there was no point in even trying. Sherlock emerged a few minutes later, damp curls clinging to the sides of his face and his jacket donned. "Where are you going Sherlock?" the doctor asked carefully, trying to surreptitiously give his friend a once over. The man looked no better than he had before, still pale skinned and exhausted looking, with what looked like a bruise coming up where he had dropped the phone on his face. The only way to truly describe how he was looking was 'like utter crap'. "I made tea," he commented hopefully, Sherlock really should not leave the flat.
"Out," he rasped. "Lestrade," he added before clearing his throat.
"You shouldn't be going out."
"I didn't ask you." The harshness of the comment was somewhat lost by his weak voice.
Turning around he headed down the stairs, leaving John behind staring in concern and frustration for a few moments before he quickly threw the tea down the sink. He grabbed his coat on the way down and was thankful he still had his shoes on because Sherlock was already clambering into a cab. But damn it he was not being left behind, not when his friend was so obviously unwell.
As he clambered into the back of the cab Sherlock glared at him. "I'm sorry Sherlock," John said, not really sure what he was apologising for, all he knew was he had freaked Sherlock out or angered him or something. You could never be totally sure with Sherlock. The detective nodded at him and turned his attention to the window, the atmosphere in the back of the cab was still tense but John felt he had been forgiven. It was usual for Sherlock to ignore someone, it was not usual for him to glare at someone for more than a second unless that person happened to be Anderson or Donovan.
When they arrived at the crime scene Sherlock practically leapt out of the cab and stalked off to find Lestrade or the body, whichever he stumbled upon first, and left John to pay. He slowed his pace as a wave of dizziness cam over him, perhaps it was the flu he had, he'd fallen in the shower. Luckily he'd managed to catch himself to make it into a controlled fall so the good doctor hadn't heard but still, that was very unlike him. But John couldn't know, it would pass soon anyway. He didn't want that look of pity or whatever it was again.
Whilst deep in thought he walked straight into Lestrade who jumped around in surprise. "Damn Sherlock, you nearly gave me a heart attack." Sherlock shot him a strange look.
"That is highly improbable," he stated causing the DI to chuckle briefly before he looked at the younger man more closely.
"Are you alright Sherlock? If you need to go back to the flat that's fine, I can send you the case file once we are done here."
"Oh, don't you start," he commented angrily, forcing himself not to break into a coughing fit. "I'm fine. I've gotten enough of this from John."
"What's that?" John asked as he walked into the room.
"Doesn't matter, where are we?" Sherlock asked, feeling himself swaying and desperately hoping neither of the men in the room did not notice. Thankfully they did not.
"Just in the living room," Lestrade replied, gesturing to a room to their right. He was about to lead Sherlock in when John grabbed his arm to stop him.
"I'll be through soon Sherlock; I just need to talk to Greg for a minute." The detective shrugged his shoulders and walked in, obviously John wanted to talk about his health but he couldn't care less. Now he had something to focus on he was sure he would feel a lot better.
When Sherlock disappeared into the room Lestrade turned to John with his brow furrowed in concern. "Everything alright?" he asked, leaning with his back against the wall and his arms folded.
"Um, I don't know. Sherlock's sick, I'm guessing you noticed that."
"Yeah, he's not as good at hiding it as he thinks he is." John chuckled.
"No, that is true. It was during that case a few days ago, he stayed out in the rain."
"Damn, he didn't did he?" Lestrade asked with his eyes wide. "I lost him when we were out but I thought he had at least an ounce of common sense. Sorry John, I should have kept a closer eye on him."
"No, it's the idiot's own fault. I was just wondering if you noticed anything at all whilst you were on the case, before the rain started. Did you notice anything odd? I want to know if it is just a cold or something I need to be keeping an eye on, not that it'll be an easy job mind, not with him trying to throw me off the trail all the way."
"Well," Lestrade screwed his eyebrows together in concentration as he thought back to the case. "He seemed a bit, I don't know, shaky… No, that's not the right word, he just didn't seem quite right. He couldn't run as fast as usual and he seemed a bit more tired. I just presumed you and he had been working on something and he hadn't eaten for a while, nothing out of the ordinary there."
"No, I suppose not."
"John, don't worry. He doesn't get sick; I've never see him sick before today. Going through withdrawal yes, but not certifiably sick. Man's got a good strong immune system going for him. He'll be over this in a couple of days."
"Everyone gets sick Greg." As if to reinforce his point there was a sudden bang from the other room, the two men looked at each other and rushed in.
Sherlock closed the door behind him, glad to see Lestrade had the common sense to remove Donovan and Anderson from the vicinity before his arrival. The room was empty apart from him and the corpse. It felt weird that John wasn't at his side but he shrugged the feeling off, not wanting to dwell on it at all.
Woman, mid-thirties, two children, happily married, recently lost her job at a fast food chain. Who would want to murder a happily married woman, a mother, who used to work in a fast food place? And why this house? She had no lover so that wasn't it, it just didn't make sense. Perhaps this would be a much more interesting case than he had originally thought. He pulled himself up to his full height to look at the room as a whole when his legs suddenly gave out from under him. There was nothing for him to grab onto so he fell with a bang. What the hell was wrong with him? Quickly he pulled himself into a crouching position to make it look like he was examining the body. The position made his knees throb from where he had landed on them but he kept his face blank as the door was thrown open. "Are you alright?" Lestrade proclaimed as he strode over to the younger man who seemed fascinated with the woman's hands, looking under her rings and examining her fingernails.
"Yes, fine, why?" he demanded, not once taking his eyes from the dead woman in case he gave any unintentional indicator of how much pain he was in.
"Because we heard a loud bang. It sounded like you fell," John said, trying to get a proper look at his friend.
"Well I did not," Sherlock stated, rising up again, albeit more slowly than usual so he didn't succumb to something as inane as dizziness. "I'll take the case Lestrade, nothing about it seems to make sense. It is most intriguing."