It wasn't supposed to be an exciting night out. They were only supposed to be going for dinner.
John should have suspected it was something more, since it wasn't any of their usual places. In fact, it was in a rather unsavoury neighbourhood.
Sherlock always had an ulterior motive. (More like eight really.)
Because shortly after they arrived, an unsavoury man entered the even more unsavoury restaurant and began arguing with the man who seemed to be in charge. In some foreign language John couldn't recognize.
Sherlock seemed to understand it though, because as soon as the two men reached an agreement, or at least seemed to, and the unsavoury man who'd arrived, left, Sherlock leapt out of his seat and followed him.
"Sherlock!" John hissed, still gripping a menu.
With a sigh, he dropped the menu and dashed out the door in search of Sherlock. He caught a glimpse of the man in question just as Sherlock ran down the street after him, in full pursuit. God knows why Sherlock was chasing him, but there had to be some reason. Some inevitably screwed up reason, sure, but that was still a reason.
And if he's not guilty, why is he running?
He took off after them, really not looking forward to some merry chase, only ending when the man was captured, either by being landed on, or something equally fun, or when one of them was hit by a car.
Of course, Sherlock managed to cut his hand on a fence, attempting to leap over it like some superhero in a cape, instead just being weighed down by his coat. The coat was similar to a cape, except having the unfortunate feature of being stupidly heavy when wet, which happened to be the case. (It was also raining. John was having a great night.)
He'd slipped down, hissing under his breath as John caught up.
"Which way did he go?" he asked breathlessly.
Sherlock shook his head. "Doesn't matter. Let's just go home."
John frowned. It was like Sherlock to simply give up, but the weather was crap, and he certainly wasn't going to argue.
They took a cab back to Baker Street. Sherlock was quiet on the ride, and wouldn't let John near his hand, hiding it inside his coat instead.
His wet coat that was flung off as soon as they entered the flat.
"Is your hand okay?" John asked.
Sherlock waved him off with the other. "It's fine."
John frowned. He was pretty sure it wasn't, but he wasn't Sherlock's mother, and considering he couldn't see much, if any, blood on Sherlock's sleeve, he wasn't too concerned.
Sherlock collapsed on the couch shortly after. It was most likely the usual post-case collapse, but John wanted to make sure.
And to check on that hand.
Thankfully, it wasn't buried underneath Sherlock like it was some of the time he slept. John carefully peeled his fingers away from his palm to examine the wound. It wasn't too deep, and likely hadn't caused any real damage. Still, he'd rather be safe than sorry.
"You probably shouldn't be doing that," Sherlock said, deathly quiet.
John's head snapped up.
"I didn't think you were awake," he stammered.
"I wasn't," Sherlock replied, retracting his hand.
John looked down. "Sorry. But you really should let me finish examining that."
"No," Sherlock snapped, tucking his bleeding hand behind his back. "Not without gloves."
"Sherlock!" John protested. "I don't care! Come on, I'm almost done."
"No," Sherlock said, and that was final.
John saw the determination in his eyes, and knew that fighting Sherlock further would be useless.
He stepped back.
"Alright. I'll get the first aid kits. It has gloves. Stay there," he warned.
Sherlock rolled his eyes at John. Where else would he go?
John brought the first aid kit back with him and snapped on a pair of gloves.
He held his gloved hands out, waiting for Sherlock to reveal the injury.
He reluctantly complied.
"I have taken care of you before Sherlock. All those times you refused to believe something may be broken, all those bruises I had to poke and prod at before you admitted they might hurt just a little. This is nothing new."
"It's not safe," Sherlock muttered, barely loud enough for John to hear.
John looked up with concern. "Of course it is."
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "It's not safe for you," he emphasized. "You know by now that I have little regard for my own health."
John frowned. "You don't need stitches, but I'll stick some butterflies on it."
Sherlock only rolled his eyes.
John ignored him and carefully applied the strips to Sherlock's hand. Afterwards, he covered his hand with gauze for good measure.
Only then did he strip his gloves off.
"I am a doctor you know," he said without looking at Sherlock, instead choosing to focus on the contents of the first aid kit. "If there's anything that you want to tell me..."
Sherlock sighed. "John, you're so incredibly transparent. If you want to know something, just ask."
John straightened up and turned to look at him. "I know that you were a drug user, so if you have hepatitis or something, okay, I can deal with that. It really doesn't matter-"
"No," Sherlock interrupted.
John nodded. "Okay. But like I said before, it's fine-"
"Not hepatitis," he said more softly.
"But?..." John prompted.
Sherlock seemed to be considering something for a moment before speaking. "I am HIV positive."
"Positive?" John breathed.
"Yes, absolutely," Sherlock smirked.
John shot him a dirty look.
Sherlock continued, attempting to smooth over his terrible attempt at humour. "I'm in the clinical latency phase," he said calmly, like he was talking about doing the shopping (ha) or something equally mundane. "Have been for a while now. I'm doing fine."
He kept going, pretending that John wasn't glaring daggers at him.
"But, I'd rather not infect you," he smirked. "So gloves from now on when dealing with open wounds. Or the possibility of blood."
John frowned, but nodded. "Any reason you hadn't told me before?"
Sherlock snorted. "Why would I? You nag me enough as it is about sleeping and eating, and I can only imagine it's going to get worse now."
John shrugged. Yeah, probably. "Who knows?"
Sherlock pulled his cuff back down and buttoned it up. "You, Mycroft, Lestrade... my doctor."
John raised his eyebrows. "Lestrade knows? But not Mrs Hudson?"
Sherlock shrugged. "Mrs Hudson would only worry. And Lestrade found out in... a rather unfortunate way." He grimaced.
John frowned. "That's something we can talk about later. What about your CD4 counts?"
"I get tested every three months. They've been relatively stable. I was last at 423. And with the drugs, my viral load is almost non-existent. It's fine John," he repeated.
"Drugs?" John whispered.
Sherlock sighed exasperatedly. "Yes John, the antiretroviral drugs I'm taking." He smirked. "Did you think I was talking about drugs of the illegal sort? Alas, no."
"Fine," John repeated.
"Have I broken you?" Sherlock asked, but he did so with a fond smile on his face.
John sat down in his armchair. "No, it's just a lot to process. I mean, you never told me. It's a bit of a shock honestly."
"Tends to be," Sherlock muttered.
John had no response to that.
"Were you ever going to tell me?" he asked, looking Sherlock in the eye.
"Yes," he admitted. "But I hadn't figured out how yet. It never seemed like it would be the right time. Besides," he continued. "There was a very good chance I would have been shot by some criminal sooner, and then this whole problem would have been out of the way."
John looked up, not sure how to respond to that.
Sherlock smirked at him.
"Yeah," John agreed. "There could have been that." He slouched in the chair and laughed hoarsely.
"I think we'd best go to bed," Sherlock decided.
"That is the most sensible thing I've ever heard from you." John stared at him. "Are you feeling alright?"
"Oh piss off," Sherlock growled, prompting John to fall into a fit of giggles.
"You're obviously overtired," he declared before stalking off to bed, leaving John to his own devices.