John rolled his eyes and kept typing away at his blog. Sherlock was on the couch being impertinent.
Sherlock had been plagued with a cold since Monday. He'd been practically playing dead ever since. John couldn't tell if he was faking or actually truly miserable.
"What?!" John whipped around in his chair. Sherlock lay pathetically on the couch, a wet rag on his forehead. A half-empty box of Kleenex sat on the coffee table next to an empty coffee mug.
Sherlock picked up the mug and held it out. "More tea?"
John crossed his arms defiantly. "Why should I?"
Sherlock's head lolled to the side as he stared John down. John cocked his head and waited for a response. Sherlock's expression went from "Are you kidding me?" to a pathetic puppy dog face. "Please?" he asked quietly.
John's face softened and he took the mug from Sherlock's shaking hand. Their fingers brushed together, and John almost dropped the mug. "Jesus Christ, Sherlock," he said, putting the mug on the table and taking Sherlock's hand in his. "Your freezing!"
Sherlock closed his eyes and said, "Doesn't feel that way."
John blew on his hands and held Sherlock's hand between them in an attempt to warm them up. He grabbed a blanket from the floor behind him and threw it over Sherlock, tucking him in and fluffing his pillow carefully. He placed his hand behind Sherlock's neck and pushed another pillow under it.
Sherlock grabbed John's hand in his and murmured, "John, there's somethin..." His voice trailed off. "Something I was going to tell you."
John laid Sherlock's head back and brushed his thick, dark, curly hair out of his face. "Sshhh, you need to rest." Sherlock's brow was sweaty, shining in the dim light coming through the window.
Sherlock tried to sit up. "Was important..."
"Sshhh, it can wait."
Sherlock grabbed John by the collar and pulled him closer. "I... I love you..."
John thought he was delirious. "What?!"
"I love you, Jawn..." Sherlock blinked slowly. "I always have, and I always will."
John couldn't stop himself. He pulled Sherlock close and kissed him. It was involuntary, like he'd been wanting to do it all along. And, John supposed, he really had. Sherlock was a better friend than anyone he'd ever met, better than any of the men in his old unit. And, he decided, Sherlock was a better lover than any of the girls he'd ever dated. In fact, Sherlock was right to chase them off. Sherlock was the one John really wanted.
When he pulled away, Sherlock smiled dizzily. "You really shouldntuv done that..."
"And why not?" John said, confused as to Sherlock's motive.
"I've got a cold, you know..."
ONE WEEK LATER
Sherlock, fully recovered from his cold, sat at John's bedside, feeding him spoonfuls of chicken noodle soup. As he dipped the spoon into the bowl for the fifty-seventh time (he'd been counting), John laid a hand on his arm. "Sherlock..."
"Did you make this?"
"Actually, no. Mrs. Hudson did. She's an angel." He fondly stroked John's cheek, which was aflame with fever. "How about that, John? We've moved into a flat upstairs from an angel."
John chuckled. "Yeah, she is, isn't she..." He shifted on the bed, causing the frame to shake. "You know, I'M the doctor, I should be the one..."
"You're the one who's sick. I really don't think you should be the one to treat this." Sherlock rolled his shoulders. "Besides, you already got me over this little virus. Now it's my turn to heal you."
John put his hand over Sherlock's heart. John's touch made Sherlock's heart race. "You already did," John whispered. Sherlock gave him a quizzical look. "You came back."
Sherlock felt a stab of pain at the words, a brief reminder of the fall. The fall the Moriarty had spoken of. The fall that had torn John's heart in two. The one that had destroyed Sherlock. He smiled sadly. "I came back for you."
John closed his eyes. "I'm glad you did."
Sherlock fed him more soup, then put the bowl on the bedside table. John's head slid to the side. His cheek was flush against the white pillowcase. Sherlock kissed John on the cheek tenderly. "Good night, John."
As he stood to leave, John grabbed his wrist. Sherlock stopped, and John mumbled into the pillow, "Don't leave me, Sherlock. Not again."
With a sigh, Sherlock laid down next to John, on top of the blankets. He took John's hand in his and held on tight. "Never again, John. I promise."