(I remember that! Good times :D thank you for the prompt – I hope you like this one too!!)
If it had been up to John, his birthday would have consisted of a night down the pub with a few mates, probably hit on a few women, fail miserably, then go back home to Baker Street to find Sherlock asleep or Mrs Hudson holding a small cake.
But no, Mycroft had thrown him a grand party, complete with waitors and a huge feast in the centre of Holmes mansion. John, Lestrade, Molly, Mrs Hudson and Sherlock had been made to dress up in their finest outfits and join Mycroft for a night of what he called “celebration”. It was torture.
After far too many cocktails and well-wishers, John sauntered onto the balcony of the second living room. Why they needed two living rooms (not to mention a spare) was quite beyond John’s comprehension. He was glad of it tonight though, as he breathed in the cool air and sipped his fifth drink.
“Mind if I join you?” Sherlock’s low purr of a voice made John turn round and nod. The taller man stepped to his side, pulling out a cigarette. He lit it, glancing sideways at John. “Aren’t you going to reprimand me for my bad habits?”
John sighed. “I’m too pissed off to care.”
“Mm? And why is the birthday boy, quote, ‘pissed off’?” Sherlock’s eyes twinkled.
John shook his head with a grin. “You know why. Mycroft.”
“Ah. Well, if it’s any consolation, he’s been stuck talking to the Duchess of Budapest for over ten minutes now.” Sherlock grinned. “She has ten cats, three dogs and a guinea pig – and loves to talk.”
John laughed. “That does make me feel a bit better, thanks.”
They watched the unfortunate Mycroft talk to the woman in a fur coat for a bit longer, then turned back to the Holmes mansion gardens, Sherlock dragging on his cigarette, John sipping his drink and not caring about the smoke for once.
“Oh, John, I got you something.” Sherlock stubbed out his finished cigarette onto the balcony wall and fished around in his pocket, pulling out a small box.
“You’re not going to propose to me, are you?” John joked.
Sherlock grinned. “Not yet.”
There was an awkward silence, in which John’s mind melted and Sherlock wished he could fall into a hole in the ground. He coughed and pushed the box towards John.
“It was a joke.” he smiled softly.
“I know.” John nodded. He opened the box – and instantly pushed it back. “No, nope, sorry, nope.”
“What? It’s just a watch!”
“A very expensive, very real diamonds watch.” John frowned at Sherlock. “You saw me looking at it in the paper the other day.”
“It’s the newest model.”
“Yes, it is. Happy birthday.”
“I can’t accept it. Sorry, Sherlock, but… I can’t.”
John couldn’t place what emotion crossed Sherlock’s face in that moment. It seemed to fluctuate between disappointed and angry, sad and annoyed. It settled on a bland, almost scary look. Sherlock nodded.
“Alright.” he started to walk away.
Sherlock half-turned back to John, staring pointedly at the watch. John sighed and took it from him, slipping it onto his tanned wrist.
“There. Happy?” John smiled.
Sherlock smiled back. “Very. Happy birthday, John.”
“Thank you. Oh, and Sherlock?” he grinned. “Get me a ring next time – I’ll have to accept it then.”