Chapter 2

Day -10

It took Sherlock two long days to get over his cold, but John's symptoms lingered. It didn't seem to matter how many pills or how strong the dosage, none of the medications he tried seemed to make a dent in his sickness. So, he did what he always did when he felt poorly – tried to ignore it until it went away, and made sure to wear a nice, warm jumper beneath his hospital coat.

Big. Mistake.

Day -9

Sherlock finished his latest case, a small but nonetheless stimulating one, and performed his customary 'flatmate check' glance to discern if John was following him out of Scotland Yard. He wasn't; in fact, the doctor was no where in his scope of vision. That was quite odd, considering John rarely let the detective our of his sight when there were people around that Sherlock might insult.

"I think he's in the loo, Sherlock," Lestrade sighed, shuffling the papers on his desk from one side to the other.

Humming in lieu of answering, Sherlock slipped out of the Inspector's office and down the corridor to the public lavatories. Shoving open the door of the men's room, he found John just turning off the faucet of the sink. The doctor glanced over at him tiredly, and Sherlock frowned as his eyes scanned the man before him.

Pale skin, sweating at the temples and hairline, slight flush to cheeks – possible fever. Slight favoring of the right leg suggests emotional discomfort. Tremor in left hand suggests exhaustion.

"You," Sherlock pointed an accusing finger at his friend, "are ill."

John rolled his eyes so hard his head lolled to one side, "Brilliant deduction, that. It's just," the doctor immediately stopped speaking and began to cough. No, not cough, hack, loudly and wetly. Once he was able to finally catch his breath, the doctor rocked his head on his neck and Sherlock could hear the crack of his bones. "It's just a chest cold, Sherlock. I'll be fine in a few days."

"We both got the same inoculation, you should be over it by now," the detective frowned.

Shaking his head dismissively, John ventured, "Let's not forget the fact that, due to my profession, I am regularly exposed to sick people, unlike a certain," the doctor paused to cough painfully again, then continued, "anti-social consulting detective, who shall remain nameless."

Sherlock sniffed disdainfully, "See if I ever express concern for your health again."

"Now you're just being ridiculous." John began to cough again and grimaced. "Go on outside and use your magical taxi summoning powers. I'll meet you there."

With a shrug of indifference, Sherlock made his way back out into the hallway and prowled his way to the main lobby of the Yard. Lestrade waved at him through the office window, but Sherlock did not deem any sort of acknowledgment necessary. It wasn't until he was outside, standing with the door of the cab open, that he realized John was no where in sight. Grumbling his exasperation, he returned to the building and stopped stone dead in the middle of the hall at the scene in front of Lestrade's office.

Laying on the floor, with Donovan standing over him shouting into a radio handset, was a pale, unconscious Dr John Watson. Lestrade was struggling to pull John's jacket and shirt open, and shouting for someone, anyone, to run down and snag one of the portable oxygen tanks from the Hazmat response team downstairs. Sergeant Donovan shrieked for an ambulance as John began to twitch in a seizure.

It took him three long strides and a four-foot skid on his knees to reach the Inspector's side and gently help to roll John onto his side. The convulsions did not last very long, perhaps a minute, but it seemed interminable to Sherlock. Immediately after the seizure, John began to cough wetly again, and from this close the detective could actually hear the doctor's lungs rattling.

A paramedic pushed him roughly aside, and her partner did the same to Lestrade. The Inspector wrapped a hand around his elbow as John went into another seizure, and it was a measure of Sherlock's discomfort that he did not pull away from the grip. With the swift efficiency born of training and repetition, the paramedics waited for the doctor to stop shaking before bundling him onto a stretcher and out of the building to their waiting ambulance.

"Come on, Sherlock," the Inspector said quietly, "we'll follow them in a police car."

Instead of answering, Sherlock nodded nervously and pulled his phone out of his pocket. As he followed Lestrade out of the building, he texted the one number he both despised and needed desperately: My – St Barts. Now. - SH

Day -8

Mycroft Holmes was a powerful man. He could face down dictators at breakfast, tyrants over tea, and often have a drink with a war criminal just after dinner. He could make someone disappear with a text message, or start a war with a phone call. Mycroft Holmes is not the sort of man to back down.

Unless, of course, he is faced with an extremely belligerent, and very drunk, Harriet Watson. Mycroft was going to have to revise his opinion of Dr John H Watson once again, considering the fact that the man had managed to grow to adulthood without being murdered in his sleep by his sister. Judging by the shiner that now adorned Sherlock's right eye, John must have been made of iron, rather than blood and bone, to survive a childhood in the Watson household.

Taking hold of his brother's arm, Mycroft steered them into the ICU waiting room, which was as far away from Harry's viciously spewed insults as Sherlock was willing to get. The younger Holmes immediately began pacing along the floor. Mycroft sighed in annoyance before walking over to the nurse's station to request an ice pack for his sibling's eye.

"I don't need your coddling, Mycroft," Sherlock hissed, pressing the cold pack against his occular orbit.

"If I recall correctly, which you know I do, you were the one that contacted me."

"Yes, and if I recall correctly, you are the British Government, and yet you still can't get John a private room or force Ms Watson to allow me access to his records or let me take a sample of fluids from him in order to figure out what has him so very ill!" Sherlock's voice rose with every word until the whole room was staring at him in shock and the Supervising Nurse was reaching for the phone, presumably to summon security.

"Sherlock," Mycroft tugged his errant sibling to a quiet corner of the room and shoved him into a seat. "There are some procedures even I cannot interrupt. If you will, for once, take my advice? Go. Home."

"Mycroft," Sherlock's angry retort was immediately cut off by the swipe of his brother's hand through the air.

"Go back to Baker Street, brother dear, and use those powers of deduction you are so fond of touting for all the world to see. Apply them to your friend's condition. Re-trace your steps." Mycroft gave the detective's shoulder a shake. "Find point zero for John's infection, that's your only way to help John now."

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