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It's Just a Cough

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The coffeemaker was working slowly again.

The pace of it was maddening.




John grumbled something under his breath and gave the side of the offending machine a decided thump.

"Shut up!" Sherlock leaned further into his cocoon of sheets and duvet, nestled on his chair out in the living room.

John sent him a dirty look, but declined him a scathing retort.

Too early in the morning for that.

The consulting detective’s eyes were closed by the time John finally stepped out into the living room with his cup of coffee and settled into his chair across from him with a tired groan.

“Oh, now you can sleep…” John muttered as he took a sip. “But not at 4 in the morning, when people are supposed to be asleep… Couldn’t possibly have at least waited until the sun came up to start playing your bloody violin, could you?”

“I didn’t feel like lying in bed.” Sherlock didn’t open his eyes as he spoke, and leaned his head back against the mass of duvet.


Sherlock huffed and finally lifted his head to look over at John’s laptop, which was sitting haphazardly on a stack of books on the desk. “Hear anything back from that… Lucy… person? About the possible poisoning case?”

“Louise. I don’t know, I’ll check in a bit, when I’ve finished my coffee.”

“Why not both? You can multitask reasonably well. I’ve seen you do it.” Sherlock frowned.

John just cast him a steady look, and took another deliberate sip of his coffee. “Mhm.”

The duvet hit the floor with a soft thump as Sherlock kicked it off of himself in frustration, and John ignored the exaggeratedly loud sigh as he picked up the morning paper and flipped it open.  

“I want to know what she said.”

“I know.” He didn’t look up from the paper. “Did you know it’s supposed to rain today?” A tiny smirk tugged at the corner of John’s lips as another growl of annoyance came from the detective.


“Are you threatening me or trying to get me interested?”

“Both, if you take much longer…”

“Give me five minutes, and I’ll check it. Okay?”

Sherlock rolled his eyes and heaved himself up from his chair. “At this rate I might as well just do it myself…”

“Hang on—” John lowered the paper quickly, his eyes darting toward the laptop. “That’s my—”

“I know it’s your laptop. And this is your payback.” He flipped it open and quickly typed in the password, earning an annoyed look from John.

“I just changed that password, how the hell do you—”

“Cup of tea, since you’re not busy checking this email?”

John let out a heavy breath. “We have just been talking about poisoning. I’d be careful with the attitude.”

“Milk, two sugars…” Sherlock mumbled distractedly, his eyes locked on the screen.

“One cyanide capsule, or two?”

“Hm… I’ll take it…”

“What?” John shot him a look.

“Oh—” Sherlock glanced up. “This case, I mean. Hold the tea, we’re going to Norwich.”