John pressed the warm compress gently against the shallow cut, letting the fresh blood soak in and away from Sherlock's pale skin. The detective was hunched over his own knees, lower lip held between his teeth as he tried not to flinch away from the doctor's touch. The water matted down the topmost feathers, turning the deep blue a dark, iridescent black which sent shivers along the wing from the cool air.
"You knew there was a storm coming." John sighed as he wrung out the washcloth and re-wet it, pressing it back against the cut. "You could have waited until it passed." He dabbed a bit of hydrogen peroxide into the cut and let it fizz.
Sherlock grunted softly, fingers clenched into a fist. "And miss the opportunity to catch Burke? Not likely. I'll gladly disregard minor danger when it comes to the work." He turned back to inspect John's work. "You know that."
John bit his tongue and reached for a bandage, trying to figure out how to apply it. The field of orni-anthro medic
John cringed as yet another book went flying across the room and smacked into the wall near the heavy metal door, bouncing dully off the pale hospital wallpaper to join the pile of its fallen comrades, pages crumpled and abused. Sherlock grunted softly, and John wasn't sure if it was from the painful exertion put into the task, or from the accompanying boredom. With a despondent sigh, the invalid reached for the stack of books on the end table beside him and snatched up the next one, delving into it with the deepest of frowns.
"You know, the library probably won't keep lending you books if you keep sending them back in such poor condition."
Sherlock pointedly ignored him. Too much of even the best company could be grating on the nerves, and Sherlock had been stuck in this cursed hospital bed for three days and nine hours too long. He knew himself well enough to keep his mouth shut, lest he wound John with the mental products of his frustration.
John sighed and let his head hang for a b
The boys shuffled in from the taxi, their newly-tanned skin a stark contrast to the bleak, grey sky outside. Sherlock immediately dropped their luggage once he was across the threshold, and tromped up the stairs. John followed with a weary sigh and sank onto the couch to decompress from their long, exhausting trip to India. It had been a curious case, involving a live snake as a murder weapon. It had somehow been trained to attack a victim on command, its venom potent enough to leave them dead within seconds. The most terrifying part had been realizing that the murderous reptile had been hidden in the ceiling of the crime scene the whole time, having wound its way up the exposed pipes of the primitive plumbing system. It was only thanks to John's quick draw that the snake retreated into a crack in the wall, leaving behind a smoking hole in the floorboards and a near-rattled Sherlock whose veins were thankfully untainted.
Now that the mystery was solved and the Ind