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It seemed that nowadays most cases were destined to go awry. They still ended as solved as the ones from before, but the hassle had been increasing. This time it ended in a chase through the streets of London, the suspect pushing and shoving to get through and lose his trackers. It was a standard procedure at the end of a rather basic case, one that even Lestrade could’ve solved on his own given enough time, far below Sherlock’s paygrade, but he welcomed the temporary distraction of the chase, relishing the euphoric feeling that flooded his veins as he ran through the night after the culprit.

The person hadn’t been particularly fast, preferring to find shortcuts of one kind or another. It was only a matter of time until Sherlock had the man cornered in a dead end, with his sidekick not far behind.

John had been slowing down as the chase went on, his breathing heavy as he finally caught up with his companion. As much as he enjoyed the thrill and excitement that followed him with every adventure he endured with his friend, he had to admit that his body was starting to disagree with certain aspects, complaining loudly as he got out of bed in the morning after yet another night of near insanity and chases.

Sherlock’s eyes shifted to John for a moment, narrowing slightly as he watched the doctor pant from the run. He had known John was older than he was and that there would be difficulties with this sort of thing as it went on, but that didn’t stop his annoyance with it at the moment.

It wasn’t until he heard something aside from the criminal trying to find a way out that Sherlock realised what sort of a distraction John truly was. He didn’t see the suspect reach into their jacket pocket and pull out a small handgun.

His mind was barely catching up as he heard the shot go off and John yelp behind him. Sherlock had seen so many things happen to his friend, he’d seen him poisoned, drugged, nearly blown up and in extreme emotional distress. He had seen the most unflattering sides of the man that stood before him, the things that John hid from everyone, even Mary, except for himself. But nothing had prepared him for what he heard. He knew this wasn’t the first time for John, but that didn’t ease his nerves.

Instinct and emotion ruled over his head and body, forcing him towards the bloodied heap on the ground that was his John. He checked for a pulse, relief flooding his body as he felt a beat in John’s neck as his veins continued to push blood through its journey. He didn’t notice nor did he care that the suspect had run past them, making a dash for the exit.

Carefully as possible, Sherlock turned John over to inspect his front. He winced at the sight of blood soaking through the side of John’s jumper, a small hole visible in the fabric. Sherlock quickly tugged at the scarf around his neck, pulling it off and balling it up before pressing it to the hole. John’s eyes fluttered slightly when Sherlock touched him, a small frown taking place on his mouth followed by a pained wince and grimace.

“Shh, John. It’s alright, I’ve got you.” Sherlock barely knew where the words came from, but was thankful as well as surprised when they came to him. He was never good at comforting John after any sort of incident, and usually tried to keep his silences as reassuring as possible rather than allowing himself to be made a fool of, but the words seemed natural as if he always knew to say them.

Sherlock waited with John in front of him, pressing the scarf into John’s side and hoping he wasn’t hurting John more than helping him. It only took minutes before a squad car pulled up near the entrance of the alleyway.

A small smile crossed Sherlock’s lips as he heard rushed footsteps coming towards the scene. Help was on the way, and he couldn’t be more grateful for it.

Hours passed and they quickly turned into days, filled only by Sherlock sitting by John’s bed at the hospital, trying to occupy his mind with old cases long since solved. He had spent enough time in John’s position to know that he owed it to the man, who had spent countless hours and days refusing to leave the detective’s side after things take a turn for the worse.

John was thankfully awake during most of the experience, exhausted and worn, but alive and awake. He tried to ease Sherlock’s boredom and insist that he go out and find something to keep himself occupied, that he would be alright on his own. But Sherlock refused, picking up yet another old file from the pile he made Lestrade drop off during his most recent visit to John’s room.

He had made his decision, and that was to keep John safe. He remembered the few times in his life where John refused to talk to him or see him. He couldn’t go back to any routine remotely similar, even for a day. Not with another chance of losing his only friend looming over his head at every waking moment. So he stayed. He even endured John’s dull talk about pop culture, sports and whatever else it was that ran through his considerably smaller mind.

He tried to keep from remembering the details John had given him when explaining that the Kardashians were famous for being famous, but found it increasingly difficult as John spoke. He hated the thought of useless and trivial knowledge taking up precious space in his mind palace, but seemed to mind it far less when John was the informant. He could listen to the man drone on four solid hours on whatever boring topic he had in mind if it meant listening to the voice of his alive and well friend, even if just for a few more seconds.

Finally, after painfully long hours of waiting by John’s side, the two were finally allowed to leave the hospital with strict instructions to take things easy and be careful. The damage wasn’t nearly as bad as that in the veteran's shoulder, but it wasn’t harmless, nor were they entirely out of the woods. It took convincing from both John and Sherlock along with reassurance that John would be taken care of just as well if not better at home.

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A look of relief flashed over John’s face as he and Sherlock crossed the threshold of 221B, he was almost unable to believe that he was finally home after everything that happened. It only lasted for a few minutes as he realised what sort of pain the stairs would cause for his wound. He sighed deeply before starting to climb, far slower than he normally would have.

Sherlock, who was behind the shorter man on the stairs, didn’t give any indication of annoyance at this, which was extraordinary coming from the most impatient man John had ever met. Usually Sherlock would dash past, not caring if he knocked John over or pushed him down the stairs in his hurry to do whatever it was he had in mind for that day.

John was secretly grateful for this small act of kindness and patience as he made his way up the narrow steps, trying to ignore the throbbing in his side.

When he reached the top, he made a b line straight for his arm chair, longing for nothing more than to sink into its soft and familiar fabric and cushioning. It was warm, safe, something he knew would never change, especially after he somehow managed to convince Sherlock to put it back where it belonged after he temporarily moved out. He was glad to still have the flat, everything returned to its proper place and old chaotic order. Even after he left to live with Mary and have a new life outside of his best friend, he was always welcomed back to the place where he belonged. No matter what, he was happy to take it, even if it was in the shadow of his best and near only friend.

Despite the chaotic and the adventurous aspects of his life with Sherlock, John relished the simplicity of it all, taking comfort in the order that quickly took over himself and Sherlock whenever he came back to the man. No matter how long they had been apart, or what obstacles fell into their way, it was always the same. Sherlock gravitating towards theatrics, bringing in loud noises and strange smells, coming up with hundreds of unnecessary experiments out of pure boredom, and shouting at John to wake up after he solved a case past two AM. Not that John minded for the most part. He knew he was the submissive in their relationship, preferring to be swept away by his antics than deal with the consequences of his true boredom, but he wasn’t a doormat, unlike most of Sherlock’s other enablers. He knew where to draw the line and Sherlock respected that.

Tonight, that line was Sherlock’s most recent experiment, which involved a bag of eyeballs and some strange liquid in a jar. Rather than going through the effort of carrying his laptop into the kitchen where he set up shop, Sherlock insisted rushing in and out of the room every three minutes on the dot to record his findings, muttering loudly about how it was only a matter of time.

John endured the insanity for a solid half hour before deciding it was time to tell Sherlock to wrap it up, and demanding some calm peace and quiet for at least two minutes to allow him to read. Sherlock quickly started putting his stuff away, uttering a short apology to John as he went.

This made John look up. Never before has the man actually forgone the fight and do what John says without question, much less apologise for the inconvenience he caused. John raised a questioning eyebrow, trying to catch Sherlock’s gaze with his own. Curiosity rose still further as the detective avoided making eye contact with determination, looking anywhere except at John’s face.

An idea came to mind, an obscure, strange idea that never would’ve occurred to him in any other situation, much less one he’d act upon if it had come up. John decided to test this, see what he could get out of the man.

“Sherlock?” John’s voice was barely above a whisper, and he was tempted to backtrack the moment he started, but thought better of it. Sherlock was always testing and experimenting with him, it was about time that he got a taste of his own medicine.

Sherlock hummed loudly in response, still refusing to look at John.

John took a breath before proceeding, deciding to start small. “Could you please get me a cuppa?”

He thanked whatever deity there is out there that he managed to sound strong with his question, despite the fact that he felt like it would blow up in his face at any moment. Aside from that, he didn’t quite know why he was so nervous. But the feeling grew as Sherlock didn’t answer, hiding in the kitchen away from John’s sight. All that could be heard was slight moving and shuffling. John sighed, certain that Sherlock had just rebuilt the setup for his experiment. Thankfully though, he was being quiet this time. It was the small victories in life that mattered most after all.

John returned to his reading, smiling softly and thankful for the quiet.

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Sherlock shifted around quietly, trying not to disturb John in the other room as he grabbed the kettle and turned the faucet on. He didn’t quite understand why he wanted to make John his tea. John was perfectly capable of getting out of his chair and making it himself. Yes, it would probably hurt a bit, but that didn’t handicap him. Sherlock didn’t even know how John liked his tea.

He had never watched the man prepare some for himself. He only knew that John was the only person aside from himself who put the right amount of milk in his own tea. The thought made him smile slightly as he put the kettle on its heating pad and pressing the button. He thought a bit, scouring through his memories of John in order to try getting this right. His thoughts kept him busy enough to keep him from questioning why he was so determined to please John and ensure that he did this right for him. He didn’t want to think about why pleasing John was suddenly so important, nor what it meant for their relationship dynamic.

He picked the kettle up as it started to steam and whistle and set it down on the counter as he went to search for a cup. John’s favourite was washed and sitting on a rack by the sink, slightly dusty from neglect while Sherlock and John were away. He wiped the dust off with a napkin from the table and poured the water in dropping a small tea bag in with it. Tea bags were cheaper and far less enjoyable in Sherlock’s opinion, but he knew John appreciated the taste and the lack of leaves in the bottom of his cup.

When Sherlock finished, he grabbed a small packet of biscuits and walked carefully into the sitting room, taking things small step by small step so as to not spill John’s tea. John didn’t look up from his book as Sherlock approached, and only did so when the cup and saucer was set on the table beside him. He glanced at the cup before looking up at Sherlock, his surprise obvious and open. Sherlock knew John had most likely expected his request to go ignored by the detective as it has been countless times before.

Sherlock didn’t say a word as he set the packet down next to the cup, eyes not breaking away from John’s.

“Thank you,” John said, his voice barely above a whisper. It sent a shiver down Sherlock’s spine, but he hid it. It would take more than a sudden feeling of accomplishment to make him show something so trivial and unnecessary, especially when he didn’t understand it himself.

After what felt like years, Sherlock broke his eye contact with John, heading back to the kitchen where his experiment lay waiting. Suddenly though, it seemed far less appealing. He would have much-rathered stay in there and watch John, trying to pinpoint what exactly had changed between the two.

As far as Sherlock could tell, nothing had. They were still friends with hardly anyone else that truly mattered in their lives. They lived together at Baker Street once more after John had a rather nasty divorce with his wife, something to do with her shooting her husband’s friend. They still investigated cases together as often as possible, with John’s job at the surgery which he refused to leave. John was still the same average man with a thirst for adventure and adrenaline, waiting for his next fix of violence and excitement. And Sherlock was still his counterpart, the one who brought the danger out of his similar need for a high of some kind. Nothing had changed, and yet somehow everything had changed, all with a few small words that came out of John’s mouth. The first of which he didn’t even think to argue with, and the second felt like instinct, natural.

Suddenly it clicked into place. Guilt. He was feeling guilty. It had been his fault that John was shot, he had been paying attention to John and his sweaty face and laboured breathing rather than the dangerous suspect in front of them. He hadn’t thought of the possibility until now, but as he did it felt more and more likely. It fit without force and explained everything.

Sherlock risked a glance into the sitting room, eyeing the back of John’s head as he sipped his tea and ate a biscuit. He listened closely as he hummed softly in appreciation. Sherlock could picture the pleasantly satisfied smile that had to have been on John’s face at the moment. It was contagious, he knew from that fact that simply imagining it was enough to stick a dopey grin onto his face and send a small flutter through his chest. He felt satisfied by giving John satisfaction. It was a feeling, he thought, that he could get used to.

Perhaps he’d make John another cuppa when that ran out, and perhaps one at breakfast. He pictured seeing that satisfied smile across the breakfast table, one of the first things to grace his morning. He would definitely have to give it a try.

He heard movement and slight groaning from the sitting room along with quiet swearing. It was easy enough for Sherlock to deduce that John was getting up. He walked in, taking John’s empty cup from him and offering a hand to help. John stared at his hand before taking it and using it to help pull himself up. Sherlock couldn’t help the small look of pity that crossed his face as John winced yet again, swearing under his breath.
Sherlock watched John, who was sending small looks towards the doorway as he thanked Sherlock for both the tea and the help. Sherlock had heard it all before so he tuned John’s words out slightly. It was as he pretended to be listening to John’s thanks when he realised that John would have to make his way up the stairs with his injury, it also struck him how much pain John would be in during that journey. So he made an offer, cutting John off.

“John, would you rather sleep down here tonight?” He tried to ignore the shock on John’s face at such an offer. They both knew exactly what Sherlock meant.

“Uh, yeah. That would be alright.” John’s tone was uncertain, obviously so. Sherlock couldn’t ignore it if he tried.

With that in place, he rushed off to his room, pulling what he’d need for the night out of drawers and straightening things up ever so slightly. Nothing John would actually notice without having a good idea about the standard state of Sherlock’s room.

Sherlock passed John as he left, giving him a small nod and smile before walking out of the flat and up the stairs into John’s room. It was a place he actually hadn’t gone all too often. There would be times when his yelling from downstairs wouldn’t wake the doctor up and he would come up to yell in his ear, but those occasions were few and far between. He hadn’t really bothered with coming up without a reason, and when he had a reason he focused less on the decor and more on that.

The room was small and the walls painted a pale colour that could’ve either been grey or some off shade of green. The bed was tiny compared to his own and unmade, clearly, John didn’t have a habit of bringing girlfriends home when Sherlock was away. Everything else in the room was small and was unorganised, although not to the same extent as the main part of the flat downstairs.

Sherlock set his clothes for tomorrow on top of the chest of drawers that sat on one side of the room across from the bed before sitting on it. He could almost imagine being John and coming up here after nearly every rough argument, or spending days curled up under the soft covers when not feeling well.

He took a deep breath in, taking in the scent of the room from this side. It was clean with a small hint of dust that could easily be wafting up from downstairs through the open door. He could also smell something a little stronger and different, something he didn’t quite catch when he first walked in. Breathing deeply and trying to place where he smelled it before, he leaned back enjoying the duvet that covered John’s bed. The smell got overwhelming and he realised what it was and where he had recognised it from. It was a smell that was distinctly John. It reminded him exactly where he was, and he couldn’t help but smile. Perhaps the arrangement wasn’t so bad.

Sherlock didn’t get up to turn off the light as he quickly drifted off to sleep.

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John couldn’t sleep. His pain meds had worn off long ago, and the softness that was Sherlock’s bed was foreign and unfamiliar against his back. Sighing heavily, he gave up on the prospect of sleep and slowly sat up, pushing the covers off of him. They were just as soft as everything else in Sherlock’s bed, fluffy and new feeling. They were also incredibly warm, which didn’t quite go well for John who had a hard time staying cool while in bed.

Taking the pain as silently as possible, he stood up and looked around the dark room. He was mostly familiar with it through his many times of entering to check on his friend after long cases with little sleep. He knew enough to know that things had been tidied, shoved into drawers and under shelves. His flatmate wasn’t exactly messy, but could never seem to focus in an ordered and neat space. His room was a perfect example of this, with clothes flowing over the sides of the hamper and papers scattered over every surface with zero rhyme or reason. It was so… Sherlock. From the warmth of the blankets to the mess scattered throughout the room to the thick layer of dust that covered most of the shelves and stands.

He examined the space, knowing that he’d never have such a chance again. He was never allowed in Sherlock’s room without permission unless it was a drugs bust. His flatmate had warned him to stay out of there several times. When John did go in, he never paid attention to the smaller details. The way that things were aligned in a perfect Sherlockish manner, the curtains which were drawn to meet perfectly in the centre of the window, the way that the closet door was left open purposefully and the shirts hanging up were in order of darkest to lightest. It was all so new to him, yet familiar.

Deciding to take his opportunity, John stood up ignoring the sharp stabbing pain in his side. The first place he went was the chest of drawers, skipping the drawer with Sherlock’s sock index which sat at the top, and going a few down. He never really took the time to see what was in the drawers towards the bottom, and his curiosity was really gnawing at him, demanding he find what he could.

He looked through everything he could get his hands on, taking on cation with the drawers after finding one filled with nothing but live insects. He didn’t linger long after that. Aside from the insects and occasional experiment, John didn’t find anything remotely interesting or new in his search.

After a small pause and realisation that he probably knew his friend better than he thought he did, he flopped down onto the bed, wincing in pain but also welcoming the stifling warmth that was Sherlock’s sheets. He breathed in deeply, taking in the scent and the feeling, imagining Sherlock in his same position after a rather long day or case, thoughts finally calm and curiosity satisfyingly quenched, even if it was only temporary. He felt relaxed, at the thought, before allowing himself to sink further into the bed.

He supposed being in there wasn’t so bad, especially since there seemed to be nothing hiding in the room. He could definitely stand to get used to the softness of everything that surrounded him, everything that was so strangely Sherlock. He enjoyed it and wasn’t too fond of the fact that this would only happen once.

Sherlock was able to be nice when he wanted to be, but often times the nice thing to do either didn’t occur to him or was pointless and dull. He was never one to worry immensely about the emotions of another human being. But he was being incredibly nice tonight, to a point of it being alien to John, although, he supposed there were bound to be days where things were different, something he had never experienced before.

His thoughts continued to be centred around the detective and his peculiar behaviour as he felt his eyes growing heavy and the pain in his side slowly melt away. A smile was still glued to his face as he drifted away from reality and directly into dreamland, still with Sherlock by his side.

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John’s eyes fluttered open slowly, not registering the blurry face that stared at him from above but shivering at the sensation of cold fingers on the side of his face. He blinked for a few moments, not entirely willing to accept the fact that he was indeed awake and even more unwilling to face the day ahead. He felt exhausted from both his late night and his recent injury which hadn’t exactly allowed him to sleep steadily.

Ignoring Sherlock’s insistence that it was time to get up for the day, John squinted his eyes shut, trying desperately to remember the dream he was having when he was awakened. It had been nice, he was with Sherlock and they were talking about… something. John tried to remember more but gave up when Sherlock started shaking him.

“I know you’re awake, John. I saw you open your eyes.” Sherlock’s voice was far too loud for such an early morning, which was completely unnecessary and cruel in John’s opinion.

He opened one eye, giving Sherlock a lazy wink as he tried to gather his thoughts while displaying his displeasure. The look was enough to quiet Sherlock, which had it been later in the day John might have questioned. Finally deciding to give in to the man’s request, John sat up, yawning and stretching as best as he could while not agitating his wound too badly.

When he finally opened his eyes entirely and looked up at Sherlock, he looked slightly uncertain of himself, like a child who wasn’t sure if they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar or not. John tried sending him a reassuring smile, but Sherlock only returned it half-heartedly before sweeping out of the room, leaving John alone with his thoughts.

John stretched again, rubbing his eyes and trying to get his mind functioning properly again. He had never been much of a morning person, preferring to sleep in at every chance he got. He glanced at the clock on Sherlock’s bedside cabinet and swore internally, realising that it was well past noon. He had been asleep for around ten hours or so, which was definitely a change to his usual. In fact, Sherlock had never actually let him sleep past ten no matter his condition, so the turn of events was rather out of the ordinary.

John braced himself before standing up, holding in his gasp of pain as his side flared up with an intense and sharp discomfort, screeching at him for the change in position. He was thankful when Sherlock appeared seemingly out of nowhere, a glass of water in one hand and a few of John’s prescribed pain tablets in the other. He took them gratefully, dry swallowing the medicine before taking a small sip from the glass.

He looked up at Sherlock, uncertain of the cause of this sudden change in his attitude. Sherlock didn’t seem interested in staying any longer than he had to, quickly turning to leave once John caught his eye. John figured it was about time that Sherlock’s strange and inconsistent moods caused him to finally be nice for once rather than the usual cold and distant.

John took a swift look around the room, examining it in the daylight rather than the yellow glow of the lamplight that he usually got. Everything seemed so much paler and far more surreal than it had the night before, still strange to him but comforting and familiar at the same time. It seemed less necessary and welcoming during the day, like now that John had finished his job in there it was screaming for him to leave and not return. John didn’t need to be told twice by the room, leaving the room as swiftly as he dared.

When he walked into the sitting room, two things greeted him. The first being Sherlock stood by the window, ear to his phone ordering what sounded like Chinese for lunch, and a hot cup of tea sitting on the table next to his chair. It looked untouched and unharmed, in other words, innocent. He decided to take a risk after sitting down by taking a small sip. It was perfect, just as it was the night before which surprised him. He had been expecting the bitter almond taste of cyanide to be hiding under the milk, but there was nothing but tea. The thought of being suspicious of Sherlock’s behaviour crossed his mind, but he dismissed it quickly. Despite obvious incidents that the two would rather forget, Sherlock hadn’t pulled nearly as many tricks or experiments on his flatmate usually turned guinea pig as he once did, in fact, he had started toning down a lot of his shenanigans down since his divorce with Mary. Perhaps it was the genius’ way of trying to tell him that he did indeed care.

John watched Sherlock silently as he hung up the phone and started looking out the window, appearing to be deep in thought. It wouldn’t surprise John if he was planning yet another fake demise. John hoped that wasn’t the case, he didn’t think he could stand to lose his friend again, especially after being such a strong staple in his connection to reality. John’s life couldn’t truly exist without the man.

“I took the liberty of ordering for you. I know ordering lunch or dinner is more your area, but I figured I’d do it while you got ready.” Sherlock was quiet, still looking out the window. The odd behaviour made John question once again what had happened and why Sherlock was acting so strangely. It was harder to ignore the thought in his mind this time, the doctor side of him refusing to risk it in case something rather serious was going on with the detective.

“Thanks. For the tea as well.” John fought against matching Sherlock’s near whisper in an attempt to switch things to a far more normal setting for the pair.

Sherlock turned and gave him a quick smile with a small hint of mischief, one that would’ve usually made John’s spine crawl and instantly make him question what sort of drug was about to be forced into his system, but for once he wasn’t actually concerned about it. He felt comfortable and calm, along with willing to put his trust in his companion.

Aside from a few easily explained changes, everything was just as it always has been and always should be. And for that, John was content.

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Sherlock was a genius, known for always being able to figure out even the most difficult problems with only a glance and a few minutes, but this was far out of his area. Guilt was the best explanation he had, but it started to feel a bit tight for the problem, unable to explain everything he needed it to. He didn’t know why he felt the need to go so much further out of his way to make John happy, his smile wasn’t worth some of the things he knew he was willing to do for it. Never had he felt so driven to receive something so small, minuscule even, in return for doing something he usually wouldn’t. Something trivial.

All he could understand and work out was that doing stuff for John gave him a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of completion. He had only gotten a small taste of it but he was hooked. He craved it, willing to do whatever it took to get that smile and thanks.

When the bell rang, John shifted to get up out of his chair. Sherlock quickly waved him down and left. He might not understand what was going on, but he was going to take advantage of it.

John was staring at him when he returned with a bag of their Chinese takeout, a look of solid disbelief making itself clear on his features. Sherlock knew he didn’t have an explanation for what was happening either, but it was obvious that he wasn’t about to say anything on it. John wasn’t one to want to spoil something he’s worked so hard to achieve, and getting Sherlock to help him out, even in small ways, was always at the top of the ever-growing list. Sherlock would be rich if he had a pound per attempt John made to turn him into a more respectful and caring person.

Sherlock decided not to show his acknowledgement of John’s confusion, instead grabbing the empty teacup from John’s table and bringing it into the kitchen to be refilled.

He closed his eyes as he turned the kettle on, relishing in the calming feeling that seemed to take over him at the entirely unprompted actions. He’d never admit it, but he was truly starting to enjoy doing stuff for John, and he couldn’t wait to be given another task, no matter how trivial. He would even be willing to mop the floor if it would please John.

He returned quickly with a new cup of steaming tea, placing it gently on the table along with John’s container of food before sitting in his own chair. He didn’t really feel hungry, not an ounce, but John had always insisted that he eat more.

He took a small bite of his food, not really caring for the flavours and spice that danced across his tongue. He never really had. Food had always been much more of a necessity for him rather than anything to be enjoyed. John was the one who appreciated flavours and taste. He was the one who had favourite foods along with least favourites. Aside from Sherlock’s sweet tooth, all he really had were least favourites, things he would refuse to eat under any circumstance. He never enjoyed food and only ate to make John feel slightly more effective at times.

Sherlock watched as John ate with gusto, clearly enjoying every bite he took. There were hundreds of things Sherlock knew he’d never say, the first that came to mind at that moment was his appreciation of John, with his small moans and hums of enjoyment as he tucked in, enjoying his food more than anyone ever had the right to. He would never admit how often he actually watched the smaller man during meal times, observing him and taking even the smallest details into account. It was a guilty pleasure.

The minutes passed in comfortable silence, only disrupted by the quiet sounds of John’s eating and drinking. Sherlock gave up on his meal after barely making a dent, knowing John wouldn’t be too happy with his little progress but feeling more on the full side than anything else. Sherlock never was one to eat when not hungry, not even John’s happiness could change that. Most likely.

When John finished, he looked back at Sherlock, a small satiated smile, which warmed Sherlock to the bone. He watched as John relaxed in his chair, eyes closed and still smiling. Sherlock knew this must’ve been the most relaxing day John has had since moving back to Baker Street, a day of peace, quiet and care. The knowledge of being the one to cause this in John was more than enough to give him the satisfying feeling he had craved. He had completed the mission he set out to and made John feel nice for it.

Slowly, Sherlock stood to take John’s empty cup and refill it, grabbing the empty container as he went. A smile spread across Sherlock’s face. This was definitely a thing he could grow used to. John deserved to be taken care of, at least for the next few days.

Chapter Text

Days passed with Sherlock jumping at every opportunity to do something for his friend. Whether it was grabbing John a beer, making a new cup of tea, or receiving the take out they were now ordering twice daily. What had originally started as Sherlock doing a few things for the other man had become him doing as much as possible. He never argued about what he was told to do and oftentimes completed a task without John even needing to ask. Sherlock no longer insisted on John being up by noon, allowing him to sleep as late as he wished and still greeting him every day with a warm cup of tea and ordering them lunch.

They had also broken their usual monotony by testing out several new takeout places with varying level of success, some places were better than others. One new pizzeria down the street hadn’t been much of a success in Sherlock’s opinion, he thought that everything was far greasier than it had the right to be as well as being plainly intolerable, but John seemed to enjoy his own pizza and suggested they try ordering from there again. Sherlock’s mind changed rather quickly, as he happily ordered from there the next day.

Sherlock wasn’t stupid though. Far from it. He knew the likely effects of all this eating out and what it would do to a man like John who wasn’t exactly athletic beforehand. But Sherlock found himself uncaring of this little fact. John seemed to be enjoying himself, so he took his lead and followed, enjoying his little bubble of happiness and pride for as long as he could.

He refused cases, only taking quick and easy ones that could be solved from the flat. He wasn’t willing to leave John alone for more than twenty minutes at a time, wanting to be at his side whenever the chance arose. Sherlock did look forward to the day John was allowed back into the field, braced and ready for the binge of extraordinary cases that would no doubt await them the moment this little break was over, but that could wait.

John’s order kept him from climbing the walls and craving nicotine. All he desired these days was the attention he would be getting from John, which came more frequently. Rather than letting Sherlock do as he pleased, John started making suggestions, telling Sherlock what he would want for lunch the next day or exactly what kind of beer he felt like having that evening. Sherlock no longer had to wait and do what he thought John wanted, as John was far more open with it.

By the end of the first week of this treatment, Sherlock was expected to do what John asked him to without question or argument. If Sherlock was told to go to the shop to get the milk, he did, and if he was asked to order dinner early because John was feeling particularly hungry, he didn’t hesitate.

Sherlock noticed rather quickly that John was already putting on weight, that his appetite had been starting to increase. He noticed but never said a word. He would just order John’s meals to be slightly bigger, add a couple more biscuits to accompany his tea, occasionally pop down to Mrs Hudson’s flat downstairs and return with something small and sweet for John when he finished his dinner. Sherlock knew John wasn’t nearly as aware of the small changes that were occurring as he was. They were all slight, unnoticeable for most others, least of all John, who spent most of his day lounging in his chair reading or eating whatever it was that Sherlock brought him.

By the end of the second week, Sherlock found that he couldn’t help but observe John’s stomach as he ate. The way it would be rounded slightly by the end. Sherlock noticed John always sank back into his chair by the time he finished, a hand on his stomach and a smile on his face. Perhaps he didn’t notice the slightly larger portions, Sherlock deduced, but noticed or not, John was definitely enjoying it. Sherlock was being asked to get John small snacks in between meals, and not once did he hesitate.

Sherlock didn’t know when the experiment began, all he knew was that it had. At some point during the new shift in his relationship with John, he had started keeping track, counting each calorie that found its way into John’s mouth, timing every second John spent sat in his chair, taking mental notes of every time John told him to fetch another snack or order dinner despite having a rather large lunch only a couple of hours prior. Sherlock noted each ounce John gained, measured the changes in how John’s body wore his jumpers and guessed what his weight would be by the end of the week. He was never far off.

It wasn’t until the end of the third week after John got home from the hospital that Sherlock noticed him getting out of his chair without a wince, how his movements were no longer dictated by pain. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that John must have been feeling better. With John no longer out of commission, it meant they could return to their usual lives, to solving the cases that had kept them alive for so long.

Sherlock phoned Lestrade that night, willing to take on whatever case seemed worthy of his attention. The thrill of getting out was enough to make him forget the duties he had set for himself in terms of John. For once since getting home, John could wait. They had a case to solve, one that required their attention right away. Sherlock was quick to put on his coat and scarf before dashing out of the flat, expecting John to be right behind him.

He didn’t notice the lack of the shorter man until his cab was halfway to the Yard.

Chapter Text

John watched in confusion as Sherlock ran out of the apartment, the hem of his coat fluttering after him like wings. He had almost forgotten that Sherlock wasn’t usually around the flat as often as he had been over the last few weeks and had grown accustomed to the detective always being there, bringing him tea and ordering dinner. It had started to become a habit to ask the detective to do things for him rather than doing it himself.

He stared at the doorway for a solid minute, still trying to figure out what would’ve caused his friend to dash out without a word to him. If they had a dire case he wouldn’t hesitate to tell John, even insisting that he was well enough to get back to the chase. Sherlock had made it rather clear through their time together that despite the front he put on for most people, he hated being alone and craved John’s company more than anyone else’s. It confused John more as he thought about it. Sherlock hardly ever left him at home, always insisting that he needed his blogger by his side.

John sat in silence, half expecting the detective to return with news or groceries, and half expecting the night to pass wasted without his friend. It was impossible to pinpoint John’s sudden dependency on the other man, he didn’t know when he had grown used to having Sherlock at his beck and call and he especially didn’t know why the thought of losing that brought a sour taste to his tongue, unsettling the depths of his stomach.

Finally, after what felt like hours although it was probably just a few minutes, his phone buzzed and a message popped up on the screen. It was Sherlock.

‘John there was a case that needed my attention. I will be back later this evening with dinner. SH’

John sighed. He didn’t actually think Sherlock would have left him behind. It was one thing to be left at a crime scene while the detective was deep in thought, but it felt completely different when he was being left alone at the flat with no warning. John wished he at least had the location of this important case so he could at least join his friend if he wanted to.

With another sigh, John settled back in his chair. The brief concern he felt for his flatmate and the status of their relationship had been more tiring than it usually was. The blonde man supposed that maybe the lack of cases and interesting surroundings had dulled his abilities to deal with the antics of his friend.

It would, he assured himself, return to normal soon enough. He just needed a few days out in the heart of London once more, and perhaps some dinner first. He was hungry. John decided to text Sherlock back, requesting the pizzeria he had grown to like over the last couple of weeks. He didn’t doubt that Sherlock would return with it, he had been good with taking requests and taking care of John over the last few weeks.

John smiled, and the thought of how well Sherlock had taken care of him over the last few weeks was the last to grace his conscious as he drifted off into a peaceful sleep.