It was late evening, something about half past eight when Sherlock Holmes ran down the stairs while buttoning his tight white shirt. He felt full of life, finally something fun to do! He was so happy he almost didn't mind wearing the skinny jeans - well, which didn't mean that he did not complain about it - John has put all Sherlock's black trousers in the laundry...
" Come, John! Lestrade called, there's a new case! Murder in the elevator!" His voice was beaming with delight and excitement, whole his body radiated with energy.
In any other day, John would just smile at seeing his flatmate who has always been considered as a Sociopath grinning like a child.
But today he didn't share his joy, he sat in his armchair, his back hunched, turned on the detective. He was sunk in the comfortable chair, but he felt everything but comfort.
" I'm not coming today, Sherlock... Go by yourself..." He said, sounding exhausted and bit out of breath.
Sherlock thought he must have misheard. He blinked in confusion and his brows knitted together. Did John decline to go to the crime scene? Like the Army Doctor John Watson? It was his hobby too, wasn't it? Well, maybe not as big as Sherlock's, but...
That was weird. Maybe he had a date? Only that thought filled him with anger towards the lucky woman, the hairs on his arms stood on end.
He admitted he was jealous, he was well aware of that fact. But his anger was also caused by the nasty behaviour of John's girlfriends. They let him down only because of Sherlock being his friend because they thought that there was something between the two...
Sherlock would be lying if he said that he didn't want to be something more than John's friend, but he had no right to push John into something he didn't want to.
But his girlfriends' behaviour was drawing him mad.
" What?! Why you're not going? Do you have a date again? Do you remember the last one, don't you? I think you should take a break from that, slow down a bit..." Sherlock said in his 'know-it-all' voice which always drew John insane.
John turned around in the armchair to shot his friend with a death glare. " Are you trying to tell me that I'm too old for that? Unlovable?!" He snarled.
" No..." Sherlock blinked, realising how his previous words must have sounded like.
'Of course not, you're just too nice and sexy for them... They don't deserve you...'
The doctor folded his muscular arms on his chest. " Because it sounds like that! And since you're so interested, I'm not feeling well today..." He snapped.
So not the date then - the detective almost sighed in relief. But what was wrong with his friend? " You must be just a bit tired... I'll buy you some coffee, okay?" He suggested, hoping John will join him.
He needed his blogger, he'd be lost without him. Somehow, he managed to get a bit addicted to his flatmate, the thought of going to the crime scene made him feel insecure. He didn't like that, he was Sherlock Holmes, emotion-free man, the High Functioning Sociopath...
But his wish wasn't heard... " I'm not going anywhere, Sherlock!" John raised his voice again, filled with an impatience. Sherlock knew this tone, it was almost a last stage, only one left and John will explode. He was well aware that John was a hot-head, it was quite easy to wind him up. And Sherlock became a master in that, especially with his experiments. But on the defence of his, he did not make it on purpose...
" Come on! That's 7.5 at least!"
He expected John to fight with him about the importance of cases, but nothing came. Well, something did, but it was far from a reply. He let out something like a groan and jumped out of the armchair so fast you would see him blur. He pressed his hands to his mouth and rushed to the bathroom.
" John?" He ran after him to find his friend heading towards the toilet and collapsing on the cold tiles.
The skin under John's squared chin wobbled as his throat tried to get rid of the sour unpleasant taste which reminded him of meals he had eaten today. His hands, glued on his lips, prevented him from making the mess in the on the floor.
He leaned on both sides of the toilet seat and gripped the plastic so firmly his knuckles turned white. He curled over the bowl, his body trembled as he began emptying his stomach.
Sherlock just stood there for a while, staring at his flatmate, who was fighting with his strained stomach. What was wrong with him? Was it flu? The viral infection?
He frowned, frustrated. He hated the not-knowing what to do.
He made a few steps closer, successfully ignoring the nasty smell of vomit.
" John, are you okay?" He asked, his voice suddenly unsure, he had no experience with that.
He almost lost the contact with people after the uni, except the Christmases and birthdays with his family and dead corpses during crime-solving (not that there would be some room to speak with them...). He didn't meet a sick person for a long time.
Sure, he used to be ill when he was a child, but it was quite long ago. And furthermore, he wasn't sure if the methods which his mum used would be fitting on John...
John's body twisted in the effort, hot tears flowed down his round cheeks. " How does it seem?!" He snapped in a hoarse voice. It was a miracle he managed to say it between gags which shook his short frame.
" So... Not an exhaustion then..." The detective commented, oblivious the fact he just stated the obvious, the thing he hated so much on the ordinary people.
" Good deduction..."
Sherlock bent next to him and pressed his fingertips together under his prominent chin, connecting both brain hemispheres helped him to think. It could be just something John has eaten, he wondered.
" You must have eaten something bad... Maybe if you didn't overeat so much, you wouldn't be sick..." It has just slipped through his mouth before he was able to stop himself.
John raised his head from the toilet. " Sherlock, eating three to five meals a day isn't overeating, I'm not the one with an eating disorder..." He snapped venomously.
" I don't have an eating disorder, eating is boring..." The detective immediately defended himself. He felt no desire in eating, the digestion slowed him down.
" Everything is boring according to you..." The ex-soldier grumbled and bowed his head down in another fit of retching.
Sherlock realised that what he just said was a bit not good, as John used to tell him. Fortunately, John was a very tolerable man, he got used to Sherlock's bitter comments and learned to not take them personally.
" Sorry... What did you eat, John?" He asked, wondering what could disagree with John's stomach.
The doctor paused in thought as he tried to remember what he consumed today. " I don't know... Bread with ham, I think..."
Sherlock's brows furrowed, there was nothing wrong with the ham, he himself had a few slices, he would recognise if the meat smelled spoiled.
" That's strange... It shouldn't cause you any harm... Did you have something to drink?" Maybe he drank something which didn't get well with the dinner... Or lunch...
" Yeah - milk..." John replied, unaware of what surprise was waiting for him.
But Sherlock pale face told him it won't be a nice one.
" Milk... Please tell me that you didn't drink the milk from the fridge!" The detective blurted out with a horrified face. He was hoping that John didn't drink from THAT carton of THAT milk...
John's stomach has calmed down for a while, but the sting of nervousness sat on his guts. " Where else do you think I would get it from?" He muttered in the toilet bowl, calming himself with an explanation that he was only overreacting, Sherlock would not do this to him...
" Oh no..." Okay, maybe he would...
John raised his head to face his friend and shot him with a dead gaze as his concerns got confirmed. " Sherlock?" John asked in the dangerous voice, which sent chills down detective's spine.
Sherlock shifted his weight to his right foot nervously and tried to escape the horrible daggers which glared out of John's usually calm ocean-blue eyes. If the look could kill, he would be lying there in the puddle of blood, torn to the small pieces...
" I did an experiment on that milk and I forgot to tell you..." He said, his voice remained calm as ever, but inside he was cursing himself with names he almost didn't know he knew...
John's face reddened which looked quite terrifying on his pale skin and his nostrils flared in anger.
" You've got to be kidding me! Are you trying to tell me that I have drunk a glass of milk mixed up with some bloody bodily fluids?!" He boomed, immediately feeling sick again.
" Actually it was a -"
" Shut up - I don't want to know... I really don't want to fucking know what you gave in it!" John yelled and then his stomach turned once more.
While the soldier fought with his own body again, Sherlock stood there like a pillar, unsure of what to say or do to help his flatmate.
He felt so guilty, but at least it wasn't anything life-threatening, it just made John really really nauseous. 'Well, just...' he thought sarcastically.
He hated himself for that stupid mistake, he should have thrown it away as soon as he finished it. But put it in the fridge so he could take it to the lab the next day.
He never thought that this could happen...
His thoughts were interrupted by John's hoarse yet angry voice. " Go!"
Sherlock flinched, frightened as he got awakened from his Mind Palace. " Where?"
" To the crime scene... Just leave me alone!" The doctor ordered, desperately wanted to be alone. He hated when Sherlock gazed at him as if he was some kind of exhibit.
" John, I -" The detective didn't know what to say, he wanted to help...
" GO AWAY!"
Sherlock turned on his heel and did as John said.
About the half an hour later the detective stumbled into the 221B flat on the Baker Street loaded down with two full plastic bags and headed to the kitchen to put them on the counter top.
He never does the shopping, it has always been John who went to the shop to buy something to eat. It was the only option - if it had depended on the detective, they would die from the starvation...
But today it was different. Important. Right. It mattered... Sure, maybe it was caused by the guilt he felt for leaving the experiment do such harm to his best and only friend, but there was something else...
He knew that he would care for his John even if it wasn't his fault, he wouldn't let him suffer alone. He was sure John would do the same, after all, he was a doctor. But something was telling him that John's intention wasn't only applying his medical skills, he would do it because, somehow, he cared back about the ridiculous man.
Sherlock took off his favourite Belstaff coat and hanged it over the backrest of the kitchen chair. He cocked his ear to hear some noise out of the bathroom, but there no sound came... He wasn't sure if it was a good sign or the bad one.
The crime-solving consultant turned towards the unit, took out the two-litre bottle of the Coca Cola and the empty glass from the cupboard and filled it with the sparkling drink.
Watching the black pop sparkle in the glass made him remember his childhood.
His and Mycroft's mummy used to buy them a coke when they were ill, the soda helped with digestive problems and calmed down their little tummies. He smiled at the memory of laying in the bed with Mycroft, both of them tucked under the duvets, sweating under them, with thermometers in their mouths. They were really close with his big brother until he went to the boarding school...
The stream of his memories got cut by the hushed groan which belonged to his best friend, echoing from the bathroom to the living room and kitchen. Sherlock decided to leave the glass of black pop on the table, he'll give it to John later.
With worries in his face about what he might see, he stormed into the bathroom.
The doctor was sitting on his heels, head bowed down, his breath fast and wheezing. His head was spinning, it made him feel dizzy again. His tanned skin seemed to be almost greenish at the moment, the little streams of sweat flowed down his forehead and neck.
In short, he looked absolutely miserable.
" John?" Sherlock said softly, yet concerned. He put the drink on the tiles and bent beside the poor man on the floor.
John moaned and curled over his belly. He clutched his tortured stomach in agony. His already fair face paled even more as he raised on his knees again and leaned over the toilet.
Nothing was coming out of him now, but his throat and stomach continued to abuse him as it thought there was still something to get rid of. He just remained in that position, just in case...
The detective opened the cupboard with stored toilet paper, tubes of toothpaste and wet wipes.
He took one pack and pulled out the nicely refreshing tissue.
Then he pressed it against John's warm worn out forehead and swiped the sweat with the wet napkin to make him feel better. John's breath hitched with pleasure and he let out a little sigh of relief. He felt like shit, he kept sweating like a pig and his throat was sore from the rest of gastric juice. He inhaled deeply through his nose and let his breath out of his mouth.
The familiar smell of the expensive shampoo, tea and smoke felt soothing and comforting and John's heart swelled with a strange feeling he could not identify. Knowing that he wasn't alone in this, even though he yelled on his friend to go away gave him such courage as if he could do anything, with Sherlock by his side.
The wipe slid his tear-stained cheek down to his chin and neck and John shivered a bit, the goosebumps began to spread on doctor's skin.
"You're back early..." He panted when he realised that there's nothing left to throw up, sat down next to the toilet and leaned his head on the cold wall of the bathroom. He let out a sigh when the cool wall tiles chilled his back covered in unpleasant, sticky sweat.
The doctor closed his bloodshot eyes, reddened from tears of sickness.
He felt exhausted as if he got knocked down by the train, his stomach hurt and his body became dehydrated as he lost a lot of fluids from his body because of vomiting and sweating.
" Yeah... I was just at groceries..." Sherlock said in the tone as if this situation was happening every day and there was nothing strange with that...
John opened his tired eyes to look at his flatmate with a surprised face.
The detective rolled his eyes in his usual expression. " What? I'm not completely incapable, John. I know how to shop..."
" Sorry if I doubted you... Because you shop every day..." John said in his characteristic sarcastic tone.
Sherlock's narrow shoulders shrugged. " It's boring. I don't shop until it's an absolute necessity..."
They just sat there, beside each other, absolutely unaware of the time passing by them...
John's breath calmed down a bit, but the pain remained.
After some other several minutes Sherlock rose up from the ground and also helped his friend on his feet. " Well... I'll leave you there so you can take a shower if you want..."
" Ta..." John mumbled and a sign of smile appeared on his lips.
John came out of the bathroom, his blonde hair wet from the cold shower. He wore his sleeping shorts and a white t-shirt, which Sherlock prepared for him.
He looked still unnaturally pale and exhausted. There were dark bags under his eyes and in the right one the small blood vessel has broken by the effort of the throwing up.
" How are you feeling?" John's head rose up as he registered the deep baritone coming out of Sherlock's room.
John leaned over the doorframe and looked at his friend who sat on his big bed. " It's better, thanks..." He said and then a small yawn escaped his mouth.
Suddenly Sherlock's face turned unsure, and it seemed that he was fighting with himself. " Come here ... You can sleep in my bedroom tonight if you want... The... There's a bathroom if you'd need to... you know..." He pointed tentatively towards the door to the bathroom right next to his bedroom. His eyes lowered and avoided contact with John for a while.
John's lips curled in the smile, Sherlock didn't stop surprise him today. He was acting like a completely different person, he was kind, generous. Maybe he was trying to decrease his guilt... " Sherlock, you don't have to worry about me. I don't want to steal your room from you, you need to rest too..."
The detective shook his head in a way that did not allow any excuses. " I'll sleep on the couch, I don't mind. Furthermore, I probably won't sleep at all, because I have some work to do..." He shrugged his shoulders as he got up from his bed.
Then he remembered the glass resting on the bed table, took it in his fingers and reached out his arm towards his friend.
" Oh... Yes... Here, drink this... It's just a coke if you were worried... It could calm your stomach a bit..."
" Thanks, Sherlock... That's... nice of you...", John said, little dumbfounded. He couldn't recognise his best friend, the cold High Functioning Sociopath... What happened to him?
He gripped the drink his flatmate was handing him and hesitantly sat down on Sherlock's big bed.
He sipped a bit of the dark soda and took a glance around himself, examining his friend's room. He had never been there, never even seen it. Otherwise, he was well aware that Sherlock has been in HIS room multiple times and he acted there as if it belonged him.
The dark green walls provided a nice, comfortable atmosphere in there, the light made you relax and calm to sleep well.
Right above the double bed was hanged a big Periodic Table of Elements. John couldn't help but rolled his eyes, but soon he understood it wasn't a good idea... His head began to spin again and he took a big gulp of the drink again.
" Just drink it slowly, bubbles could irritate your digestion again if you'll drink it down..." Sherlock advised him, he really cared. " Just lay down and... and rest. You'll feel better then, maybe..." He told him and John had to wonder how was it possible to hate him and love him at the same time...
" Well, I'll be in the living room if you need me..." The tall man said and headed to the door.
John moaned slightly when he moved from his secure position, curled into a tight ball. " Stay... Please..." He muttered and stretched his arm to grab Sherlock's long pale fingers. Their skins met and it felt like an electric current has passed through them.
Sherlock froze in the middle of the step and breath hitched in his throat. John wanted him to stay with him? After what he had done? I didn't make sense, why would he want that? It was his fault John felt so miserable right now...
" Do you mean it?" Sherlock asked, his voice sounded young and uncertain, the nervousness changed his baritone from the 'I'm the best know-it-all' tone to the 'I'm not sure if I'm welcomed'...
The ex-soldier shrugged his shoulders. " Sure... But if you have some work, I don't want to bother you..." His words fade away slightly.
" I think it can wait... If that's what you want... "
John rolled his eyes, wondering how come this perfect man could be so brilliant and so dumb at the same time.
" Lay down..." He ordered in a commanding manner.
Sherlock sneered, but deep inside his heart was overflowing with joy. " As you say, Captain Watson..." He said as he laid down on his side beside his flatmate. He frowned when he spotted that John was curled in himself again, his face crumpled in unpleasantness. The raven-haired man simply couldn't stand the look in his face.
" I want to try something... May I?" Sherlock asked, fighting with himself.
John nodded but his head remained buried in between his knees. " Yeah, go on..." He replied, his voice vigilant.
" Turn on your back..."
The doctor looked up at his friend with a strange face, unknowing what to think. What was Sherlock about to do? Slowly he uncurled from the safe ball and rolled on his back just like the detective told him to.
Sherlock straightened his arm and hesitated for a few seconds. His hand trembled a little bit, but he flexed his muscle and firmed up his pale long limb. His hand approached John's torso and gently laid across the white t-shirt covering his stomach.
John took a breath in surprise which stuck in his throat. He really didn't expect this, that Sherlock Holmes was able to do such a thing like rubbing someone's stomach. The detective's palm cooled his hot skin, even though the fabric.
He should be disgusted, he wasn't gay, he has always been telling everyone... But he wasn't... He didn't feel repulsion or disgust towards the hand on his belly nor the man himself. It felt so weird yet so right as if John's middle was made for Sherlock's big hand to put on... The touch was comforting and it sent butterflies underneath his skin.
The ex-soldier was well aware that his abdomen wasn't as firm and fit as it used to be during the military career. He knew that belly got a bit soft, but he didn't care too much. It happens when you're not using your muscles the way you did and John wasn't fat, no one would say that, just a bit chubby, cuddly.
Sherlock's fingertips kept sliding all across his stomach, and when he was sure that John doesn't mind, his palm slipped under the white top.
His lips twisted in a smile when he heard John's erratic breath when he brushed his soft midsection.
As he continued caress John, he noticed that his tanned skin was tightened and his belly felt bit bloated, it had to be from that stupid experiment. The wave of self-anger swelled inside him again.
" I'm sorry, John... That milk wasn't put-up on you, I swear... Trust me that I did not arrange it..." Sherlock blurted suddenly, unable to hold back his guilt.
The doctor smiled and his face seemed five years younger. " I know you didn't... Just think before you do such a crap..." He said and closed his eyes in pleasure as Sherlock continued to massage his abused tum.
Sherlock began to add more pressure, not much but enough to decrease the bloating.
" Don't you mind?" Sherlock whispered, pointing towards his hand on John's warm body. John didn't seem to mind very much, but the small soldier never stopped surprising him.
John let out a small giggle which made Sherlock's hand jump on his stomach. " Strange as it seems, no, I don't... Actually, I find it really nice."
" I'm not a doctor... So I'm improvising. I hope my childhood methods are inevitable..."
" I think you're doing well..." The doctor praised him.
Sherlock smiled at his companion. Finally, the tight bump on John's stomach began to subside and his skin grew soft.
They just laid there, the tall detective kept rubbing the soldier's stomach until it was in its normal state. When he glided his fingers cross John's torso now, the skin was becoming pliable under his touch. Sherlock didn't mind, vica versa in fact. The small pudge on doctor's middle felt strangely comforting and warming.
" How are you feeling?"
" Much better, thank you..." John mumbled sleepily, his eyelids were heavier each second, but he did his best to keep them open.
" You can sleep, John... I won't go anywhere..." Sherlock whispered in his deep honey baritone right into John's shell-shaped ear. He couldn't help himself but feeling the heat radiating from John's body was so tempting... Unable to stop himself he pressed a little kiss oh John's temple.
John's corners of his lips lifted in a small smile when he felt Sherlock's gentle mouth on his face. " Did you just - "
" I guess so... But what would you say if we'll have this conversation in the morning? When you'll recover?" Sherlock suggested, he needed to prepare for that talk about them two.
" 'kay... We will talk tomorrow..." The doctor breathed and finally closed his tired oceanic eyes. Then he remembered something. " Oh, one more thing... You're forbidden to approach the kitchen less than ten steps..."
He grinned as he could properly imagine Sherlock's sour expression and then he fell asleep with the detective by his side.