John has bad days, sometimes. Days where he doesn't want to get out of bed, nevermind leave the bedroom, days where he claims he's got a cold and doesn't feel up to anything despite showing no symptoms of physical illness, days where there's little more he can bring himself to do than lie there and think about whether his life even matters.

Henrik knows this full well, after thirty years of knowing John. He'd spent plenty of time in Boston and in Trinidad trying to get John to let him in. It was only rarely that he'd succeed, but he tried his best, as he was unable to bear seeing John so obviously upset but refusing to admit to it, let alone allow Henrik to comfort him.

Henrik's starting to think today is another one of those days.

Their alarm clock went off half an hour ago. In that half-hour, Henrik has already brushed his teeth and showered and gotten dressed and now he's in the kitchen, about to start making breakfast.

There's still no sign of John getting out of bed.

John had said he just wanted a brief lie-in, and Henrik hadn't thought it to be a big deal. But there's a great difference between spending five or even ten extra minutes in bed and lying there for thirty minutes with seemingly no plan of getting up any time soon, and Henrik is starting to worry.

John's not on shift today – neither of them are – and Henrik wonders whether that has anything to do with it. John's been pushing himself too hard at work quite a bit lately, despite Henrik's attempts to persuade him to slow down, and it's not a new occurrence for John to burn out at the nearest opportunity after forcing himself beyond his limits for too long. (Henrik wonders, sometimes, if John even recognises that he has limits.)

Henrik realises, then, that he ought to actually talk to John about this. Standing here tapping his fingers on the countertop – hold on, when did he start doing that? – may be easier, but it's not going to help John.

He makes his way to the bedroom and walks in quietly. Upon seeing John, laid still on his side as if in slumber, Henrik thinks for a moment that maybe John just fell asleep again. His hopes of a more positive explanation are dashed when he sees that John's eyes are still open, gazing at nothing in particular.

"John?" Henrik says softly. "I'm just about to make breakfast. Do you think you can get up?"

He doesn't get a response, aside from John's eyes refusing to meet his. That's not unusual, on days like these: John is someone who finds silence easier than any admission of supposed 'weakness' – Henrik understands why, finds it hard to tell even John when he's struggling himself, so he doesn't pressure his lover for an answer.

"I'll bring it here, then," he assures John quietly.

John only nods, almost imperceptibly, in reply.

Henrik leaves the room after that, but he keeps his promise, and returns barely ten minutes later with a tray holding a plate and a glass of water carefully balanced in his hands. He places it down on the nightstand for a moment and turns his attention to John. "Can you sit up, my dear?"

John slowly begins to drag himself up, like it takes all the effort in the world.

Henrik leans a pillow against the headboard, so John can be more comfortable than if he had to press his back to the hard wooden bedframe. He grips John's wrists and helps him up. "There you go, John," he whispers softly.

"You don't have to do all of this for me," John makes a weak attempt to protest.

"Don't say that. I want to, John. I want you when you're like this just as much as I want you when you're out there performing groundbreaking medical procedures," Henrik says as he hands John the tray. "If doing this for you is a part of being with you, then I want it. You know that." (Henrik also knows that if he didn't do this, John would quite possibly go at least half the day without eating, but he doesn't mention that part. It would probably only serve to make John feel more like the burden he falsely believes he is.)

John doesn't reply to that, just lifts a slice of toast from the plate. "You know, I thought you'd want to avoid getting crumbs on the—"

"I really don't mind. I can change the sheets later," Henrik assures him. "I'll go and make myself breakfast now, if that's alright."

John nods in understanding. "It's absolutely fine."

When Henrik finishes his own breakfast, he returns to his and John's bedroom and takes a seat on the foot of the bed. "Do you want me to stay with you?" he asks. He knows what a bad state John must be in right now, and he doesn't want him having to face it alone.

John doesn't answer. Henrik decides to take that as John giving him the go-ahead. He lifts a book from the nightstand, one he's been slowly making his way through these last few days, and starts to read from where he left off. He doubts John wants much of a fuss, so he won't make one, despite what all his instincts are telling him to do. He'll just sit with him for now, just be present until John feels better.

"Out loud," John suddenly blurts out after a few moments. "The – the book, I mean. Read it out loud. I want to hear your voice."

Henrik knows by now that that's John-speak for 'I'm hearing things again and I need to block them out, please give me something to focus on', so he follows the request.

Henrik wishes there were something more he could do for John than this, but whatever he can do to help, he'll do it. He'll be here for as long as John needs him to be.