Day 3

Title: Day 3
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Rating: G
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Sherlock doesn’t listen to John’s advice. But it’s all right; he doesn’t catch colds.
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2013 project for myownprivatesfc

Sherlock walked calmly and steadily out of the loch. His whole body shook with shivers as John ran to him, shouting his name.

“No need to yell. I’m right here.” Water poured off Sherlock in streams. He held up the canister. “With a sample of the bottom. We need to get this to my microscope—”

“We need to get you warm! Sherlock, you’re freezing!”

Sherlock narrowed his eyes. “Not freezing. If I were freezing, I wouldn’t be able to move, and I clearly can.” He flexed his hand, staring at its movement.

John pulled off his coat and threw it over Sherlock’s shoulders. “You’re wet and shivering and going to catch cold if—”

“You’re a doctor.”

John pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. “Yes, but if you think I’m going to take care of you after you so stupidly put yourself at risk—”

“You won’t have to.” Sherlock continued to walk toward the car, dripping with every squishy, soggy step. “I can’t catch cold just by getting wet. You’re a doctor. You should know that. Now… back to the inn at once, John.” He sighed and muttered to himself, “I really should have just brought the microscope along in the car.”


“Sherlock, come to bed.” John tied the tie of his bathrobe that had loosened during the trip down the stairs from the bedroom to the sitting room. “You’re exhausted.”

“I’m not. My eyes are burning, yes, but that’s nothing a few eye drops can’t fix. Fetch them for me, would you?”

Arms crossed over his chest. “I will not.”

Sherlock didn’t even look interested in the answer. He was too busy pouring over the dead man’s journals. The CEO had kept three different journals every month for the past eighteen years of his life. And within one of them there might be a clue to why he had been killed. So far, the only thing Sherlock had found was a headache.

“Come to bed,” John tried again. “You’re working yourself to exhaustion. You’re going to get sick.”

“I can’t get sick just from being a little sleepy. But I can solve a case. Now, if you’ll excuse me…” He picked up a new journal and began flipping through it.


“Here,” John took a small tissue pack from his pocket, extracted one, and fluttered it in Sherlock’s direction.

Sherlock looked at it, perplexed. His hands were wrist-deep in mud, searching for the key he had deduced must be there. “What’s this for?”

“Your nose. It’s running.”

“Is it? How nice.”

“Sherlock, it’s cold out here. You’ll catch your death.”


John rolled his eyes. “At least wipe your nose.”

“A bit busy right now, John.”

Resignedly, John leaned around Sherlock and ran the tissue under his nose for him. “I’m not doing that again. And I don’t want you sniffling annoyingly. If your nose keeps running, I want you to wipe it yourself.”

Sherlock pulled a small safety deposit box key from the mud. “Success!”

He turned and headed away, leaving John squatting in the mud with the tissue pack still in his hand.


One of the nice things about working with the police was that they always had disposable gloves at the ready. John pulled on one and was about to offer the other to Sherlock, when he realized the world’s greatest and only consulting detective was no longer beside him. He cringed, watching Sherlock shake hands with the victim. Poor guy—to have a head cold was bad enough, but to be burgled on top of that was just miserable. Luckily, no one had been hurt. And while a simple burglary was usually not worthy of Sherlock Holmes’ attention, this time was a bit different. This time, the thief had somehow stolen the entire house, right down to the very foundation. The police were baffled. And, frankly, so was John. But, at the moment, he was less concerned with the case and more with his friend’s health.

Really, Sherlock was a grown adult and should have known better. But he was standing so close to the man while asking him questions. And once, when the victim sneezed, Sherlock’s whole hand and wrist were caught up in it. Sherlock hadn’t even flinched, probably hadn’t even noticed. And by the time John located a small bottle of hand sanitizer he carried in his coat pocket, it was too late. Sherlock was rubbing at his eye and bending over something on the ground to inspect it closely. Sherlock poked at it with a finger, then licked the tip of his finger to taste whatever it was. “Inspector?” he called out, wanting to share the brilliant find. John just cringed. He had a feeling Sherlock was about to catch a thief and a cold all in one.


The sound of Sherlock’s coughing, as it traveled through the halls of 221B Baker Street put an already irritated Dr. John Watson further on edge. The cough sounded strained and strange. Poor Sherlock. He’d lost his voice that morning from so much coughing; he couldn’t speak, only whisper. John didn’t feel it was fair yelling to a man who couldn’t yell back. So John got up and followed the sound of coughing, making a quick detour to the bathroom. It was time for another dose of Paracetamol.

He found Sherlock in the study, sitting up on the couch. Or, rather, hunched over with a hanky clutched in one hand. He didn’t even look up when John entered the room or when John settled down on the couch beside him. “Hey.” John rubbed circles over his back. “Sit up. You’ll be able to breathe better.”

“M’fine!” Sherlock squeaked, straightening up at once, trying to look dignified. “Is there another case?” His voice was high-pitched and deep at the same time, broken and painful to listen to.

“No, Sherlock. No more cases until you’re better. No more pushing yourself. No more taking stupid risks and compromising your health. Do you see where it got you?”

Sherlock narrowed his eyes at John. He shook his head instead of speaking.

And instead of replying, John held out a paper cup of water, then the pills he’d been cupping in his palm. “Doctor’s orders. They won’t help your sniffles, but they’ll help with the headache and that sore throat I know you’re fighting.” Sherlock had worn his scarf all day. And, frankly, a blue scarf and green and white striped pajamas wasn’t a bad look for him. Sherlock stared at the pills for some time before downing them. He choked on the water and winced as he swallowed. John patted his back, as if that would help his scratchy throat. “Can I get you anything else for your cold, Sherlock?”

Sherlock stared at John a moment before whispering, “I don’t get colds.”

“You… wait… pardon?”

He repeated himself. “I don’t… get… c-colds-huhCHISHHHHHH!” The sneeze was so strong he nearly jumped in place from the force of it.

“Nor, apparently, do you use handkerchiefs when you should.” John guided Sherlock’s hand to his nose until the latter touched the hanky clutched in the former. He drew the line at moving Sherlock’s hand about to wipe his nose for him, but Sherlock got the idea and did so himself. “Whether or not you got them before, you definitely have one now. And I can’t say I’m surprised.”

Sherlock just blinked at him, no comprehension in his expression.

“That guy whose house burned down? Nursing a bad cold. How did you not notice? You notice everything, the most insignificant details of—“

“I make it a point to only notice things that are of significance. The state of his health did not quality as suh… such… huh—” John tapped his hand, reminding Sherlock about the hanky. But Sherlock, pushing back against the couch cushions with every involuntary gasp, interpreted the touch differently. He dropped the handkerchief and took John’s hand in his, squeezing. John pursed his lips, rolled his eyes just a little, but he squeezed back reassuringly. “Huhh-Shehkkkllll!” Sherlock pitched forward, and John was the one to reach forward and push him back again.

“Easy there. It’s just a sneeze or two. And, well, a bad head cold. But nothing the great Sherlock Holmes can’t handle.”

“But—“ He broke off, having forgotten to whisper and the word coming out as an embarrassing squeak.

“Which one of us is the doctor again? Oh, right: me.” He rubbed Sherlock’s back again. Sherlock tipped his head downward, angling for one of John’s kisses. “That can wait until you’re feeling better,” John said. “I don’t fancy catching your cold.” John wasn’t as oblivious as Sherlock, when it came to these things.

Sherlock closed his eyes and whispered, “Actually, in laboratory studies, only one out of thirteen people caught a cold from kissing someone who was sick.”

John found that a bit difficult to believe, but he held Sherlock close, arm wrapped warmly around him, hand still in hand. “Is that so?”

Nodding, “Yes. Hahhh… hahh-ah-huh-HUFSchihhhhhh!” The sneeze was astoundingly wet. And John dropped the man’s hand to take the hanky off Sherlock’s lap, holding it to the man’s face as he wound up for yet another. “hh… huh… hhh-hh-HUHHKITCHffffff!” John lowered the hanky, saw immediately that Sherlock’s nose needed more help, and retracted his statement from last week as he quickly wiped it for him. As John searched his pockets for the small bottle of hand sanitizer he usually carried, Sherlock laid his head on John’s shoulder, nuzzling into the warmth of John’s neck. “It is sniff! It is so.” John gave up the hunt and tilted his head against Sherlock’s, the soft black fluff of hair brushing his cheek. John smiled, more contented than he’d been in ages. “Far more people caught colds after just cuddling or sleeping beside someone with a cold.”

John tensed up at once, shocked. But Sherlock coughed hoarsely, shaking against him and sniffling. And John found himself rubbing Sherlock’s arm and kissing the top of his head.

“Most colds incubate for forty-eight hours. By the time you start getting sick, I’ll feel better.”

John smiled, thinking about Sherlock replaying the favor and taking care of him. Sherlock being so perceptive and knowing exactly when John as about to sneeze, so he’d have a tissue out of the box and waiting for him. Sherlock brewing tea before John even realized he wanted any. Sherlock knowing precisely, down to the second, when John should take the next dose of medicine. Sherlock tucking John into bed and sitting guard, watching over him while John got some rest.

“So I’ll be able to return to work while you’re sick in bed.”

John repressed a chuckle. He rubbed the back of Sherlock’s head. “Right, Sherlock.”

“I’m always right. Heh-hehCHIHH!

John smiled to himself.