"John!" exclaimed Sherlock from the doorway.
John would have felt some satisfaction at managing to surprise his flatmate--if he'd had the energy. As it was, he merely looked up from where he was huddled in misery on the worn sofa watching daytime television and said, "Hallo."
"You look like death."
"Thanks for that." John sniffed, sneezed, blew his nose into a fresh tissue, and hunted about for the remote to mute the telly.
"You're far too ill to be up and about."
"I'd hardly call the sitting room 'up and about'." His search in the folds of his woolly blanket failed to unearth what he sought. He turned his half-hearted attention to the couch cushions.
"The doctor said you should rest."
"I am a doctor and I am resting. Besides, I was beginning to feel like Oscar Wilde on his deathbed. The wallpaper was killing me. Did you bring me what I asked for?"
"I did." Sherlock set the plastic bottle of chilled orange juice, a smaller bottle of cough syrup, and box of cold medicine on the coffee table with an air of satisfaction.
John glanced up from his fruitless hunt and eyed the items. "A glass would help." Beneath his exhaustion and lethargy, he was thrilled. For catching a serial killer, there was no one he'd trust more than Sherlock Holmes. For a quick run to the store for juice and drugs, he was less confident of his friend's abilities. He never would have asked Sherlock to run such a quotidian errand were there another viable option, but Mrs. Hudson wasn't around and John was too sick to manage going himself.
Sherlock pursed his lips but made no rejoinder. He disappeared into the kitchen and returned with a glass, which he went so far as to pour juice into. He offered it to John with a smug and challenging look.
John gave an appreciative if distracted "thanks" as he took it. He downed half of it and two cold tablets in two gulps.
Sherlock sat on the other end of the little sofa and stared at the figures on the telly. A man was shopping. Another man and a woman were secretly watching the fellow shopping and saying disparaging things about him. Sherlock was, as yet, unclear as to why. "What horror show are you watching and why are there Americans in it?"
"'What'--" John's answer was interrupted by a coughing fit. He caught his breath, sipped some more juice, and tried again. "'What Not to Wear'."
"And the Americans?"
"I think they're doing a BBC/TLC cross-over marathon or something. The Brits are in New York and the Americans are in London. It's been going on for over an hour now. It's appalling. They just threw out every last jumper this bloke had. Even this lovely blue fair isle one," John added in a pained tone that had nothing to do with his sore throat.
"Why what?" John sneezed again. Blew his nose again. Went back to hunting for the remote.
"Why are you watching it if it's so appalling?"
"I can't find the bloody remote and I can't be bothered to get up." Another coughing fit hit and by the time he'd recovered enough to breathe, his eyes were watering, his nose was running, and Sherlock was standing, holding out the box of tissues. John took one and blew his nose once again. Silence filled the flat. "Thanks. Again." Then his brain caught up. "The telly's off."
"You turned it off for me."
"Did you find the remote?"
John sniffed and managed a weak smile. "Thanks."
"Go back to bed."
John nodded wearily. He rose laboriously to his feet, woolly blanket wrapped around shoulders already swathed in his oldest woolly jumper that was layered over his t-shirt and fell past the hips of his plaid flannel pyjama bottoms that reached to his slippered feet. He hesitated at the door to his room and half turned back. "Juice--"
"I'll bring it to you," Sherlock assured him and guided him gently back towards his room with a hand on his shoulder.
John only nodded again and shuffled off.
Sherlock watched him go, then turned to look at the dark, silent television, and then back at the sofa. There was the remote, half hidden under it. It must have fallen and gotten kicked there in John's search. Sherlock picked it up and tucked it into the inside pocket of his overcoat before removing the coat and tossing it with wilful disorder into his own bedroom. Even taking John's diminished mental state into consideration, that solution was too simple. So he unplugged the telly, leaving the plug-end hidden behind the furniture. With a bit of studied sincerity, he was certain he could convince John the show had been an unpleasant dream and that the telly was on the fritz. He couldn't have anything putting it into John's mind that his jumpers were rubbish. They were horrible, of course, but they were John's, and for that alone Sherlock was fond of them.
He gave a single nod of satisfaction, topped up the glass of orange juice, and took it to his ailing friend.