Title: Gently Tinged with Red
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Rating: PG-13
Not my characters! I make no money!

Author Notes: Sick Days Official on Tumblr is having a week-long party and I decided to join in.
Prompt: Gently Tinged with Red. Ah yes, winter. The time of red noses, ears, and cheeks. But could it be due to something other than the bitter cold? Suggestions: a bad cold, the flu, exertion, frostnip warming back up, abrasions, embarrassment.


Gently Tinged with Red


“What are we doing here?” Sherlock asked, puffing warm air into his cupped hands and shifting his weight from one foot to the other.


Greg chuckled lightly. “Because Scotland Yard can’t just arrest someone because the great Sherlock Holmes says he’s guilty. We need proof O’Henry’s still alive and faked his own death.”


Sherlock shoved his hands into his pockets and pressed his arms to his sides. “Yes, I understand that much. I mean, what are John and I doing here? It’s freezing out. We could be home where it’s warm.”


Greg looked flustered, annoyed. Even John’s pat on the arm didn’t break that. John attempted an answer that would satisfy or at least calm them both. “Because this is our case.”


Sherlock made a sort of impatient “Harumph” sound and lowered his head so most of his chin was buried in his scarf.


John couldn’t blame him, really. It was bitingly cold out tonight. The three of them were crammed between the wall of an alley and a red telephone box of all things. It hid them pretty well from sight while still allowing them to keep a blurry watch on the flat across the street where Sherlock was positive the murderer was hiding out. So, to Sherlock, everything was done and solved. Time to move on to the next case. But Lestrade hadn’t seen the man, let alone made an arrest. And John was rather curious about how this all was going to play out. Thus, they found themselves on a stakeout on one of the coldest nights of the year yet.


They were packed together tightly, partly to stay hidden and partly to stay warm, but it wasn’t helping all that much. John felt cold everywhere despite having thermals and his new hat on. He could feel Sherlock shivering. He could feel Greg shivering. And he was sure they could feel him doing the same.


He had half a mind to go ‘round the corner for some hot drinks, but leaving the consulting detective and the actual detective alone together would surely end badly. And the murder was likely to walk right past them without either man noticing during the fallout. So John resigned himself to freezing feet and hands while he tried to keep the peace and the case together.


“How about we give it another fifteen minutes?” Sherlock suggested.


“We’re staying until we see him,” John countered.


And Sherlock made that impatient sound again, only sounding even more exasperated this time. “Fine. But if we stay here much longer, we’re going to catch cold.”


This, at least, was something John knew about. Sherlock might be a genius, but apparently the good doctor could still teach him a thing or two. “Contrary to popular belief you can’t catch a cold simply from being out in cold weather. It’s virus. You have to spend time in close quarters with someone who’s ill in order to catch it.”


Sherlock looked at him as though he were the stupidest man on the planet. “Yes… I… know…” he said, slowly, as though speaking to a three-year-old. “How do you call yourself a doctor and not notice Lestrade’s ill?”


John turned to look at the detective at once. Sure, the man’s nose and cheeks were awfully red, but it was freezing out. That was to be expected, wasn’t it? “Greg?” John asked, though it was hardly a question and Sherlock sighed impatiently again.


Greg didn’t answer, but he did clear his throat, and that sounded wet and scratchy. So John pulled off a leather glove lined with fleece and placed the back of his hand to Greg’s forehead. He felt Greg’s flushed cheeks as well. Then it was John’s turn to sigh, though in sympathy. “Oh Greg… you should have said.”


He shook his head. “Just a little cold. I overdid on the meds before coming out. Thought I’d be fine. Hell, I thought we’d be done by now. You know how Sherlock is with his hunches.”


“Not hunches! Observations! Deductions!”


“Complaints!” Greg shot back with a laugh and an observation of his own. But then he shivered terribly and rubbed his nose with two knuckles. “Guess if you already know I’m ill, there’s no use continuing to try to hide it. Christ, I’ve had to sneeze since half past.”


Now that it had been pointed out to him, John did remember Greg doing a lot of rubbing at his nose tonight. And sniffling, though they’d all three been sniffling a fair bit due to the temperatures. He knew he wasn’t as observant as Sherlock, but how had he not picked up on this? He was around patients every day.


His breath catching, Greg buried his nose in the crook of his arm. “H’nngg… HehhGEHSHhhhhh! H’GIHSchhhh! Oh… excuse me.” He sniffed and rubbed some more at his nose, first with his sleeve and then the back of his hand, wincing a little as he touched his raw, sore nose.


“Right then,” John said, taking one look at their sorry party and making an executive decision. “I’m going over to that all-night chemist down the road. Can I trust you two to behave while I’m gone?”


“No,” Sherlock answered.


Well, at least he was honest. “Sherlock…”


But Sherlock was pulling his hand out his pocket and pointing across the street. “There’s O’Henry.”


As Greg pulled out his weapon and leapt to action, Sherlock and John followed behind at a safe distance. “Now can we go home?” Sherlock whispered to John. He rubbed at his neck, above his scarf. “I think I feel a cold coming on already.”


John patted his back. “Just a few minutes more.”









12: Gently Tinged with Red
Ah yes, winter. The time of red noses, ears, and cheeks. But could it be due to something other than the bitter cold? Suggestions: a bad cold, the flu, exertion, frostnip warming back up, abrasions, embarrassment.