John Watson was not as daft as Sherlock Holmes made him out to be. Yes, he could not deduce every single detail about a person right on the spot. Yes, he could not delete unnecessary items from his mind. And yes, he could not ever be as smart as the consulting detective as far as he was concerned.
But no, John Watson was not daft. It did not take a brilliant man to figure out that Sherlock Holmes' birthday was tomorrow.
The night was as normal as it usually was when the two did not have a case on hand. John sat in his armchair, book in his lap and a hot cuppa tea between his hands. Sherlock was, at the moment, sprawled out on the couch in his usual position – arms bent to fold his hands neatly in front of his face, fingers touching lips. Sherlock's eyes were closed, and if it wasn't for the slow rise and fall of his chest, John would have thought the detective was dead.
The army doctor set his cuppa down on the small table beside him, and then marked where he had been reading. The book hadn't really been keeping his interest – the man across the room had. His eyes trailed habitually to said man.
"Heading off to bed, John?" Sherlock mumbled in his low voice.
In return, Watson turned towards the consulting detective. "Not yet."
"Then what is it?"
"Surely you don't need to ask me. Surely you know."
A small smile touched Sherlock's lips. "Always stating the obvious, aren't you John?"
John made a face and a couple moments of silence passed in between the two men. In a quick motion, Sherlock sat up, eyes snapping open. The action was so quick, in fact, that John gave a startled jump. Their eyes locked.
"Well?" Sherlock said in an urging voice. "Who told you?"
"Pardon?" John asked innocently.
"Come now, John. Now is not the time for questions – I'm the one asking them. Who told you that my birthday is tomorrow?" He sighed with a roll of his gorgeous eyes.
"And you expect me to believe you?"
"Why wouldn't you?"
There was more silence as Sherlock studied John.
"You know," John mumbled, "It's not that hard to deduce when your birthday is-"
"But I've given no hints. None at all. I made sure of it." Sherlock interrupted.
"There were a couple cards in the mail. No return address, but it was in the shape of a card – I assume it was from your family. Most likely your mother. You made sure I haven't been talking to Mycroft the past couple of days, because you know your brother – he would bring it up." He spoke a little more quickly when Sherlock tried to interrupt again. "And then, there's Mrs. Hudson. Yes, she was out grocery shopping yesterday and bought all the ingredients for a cake. Why would she make a cake unless it's for a special event – no other events are in the month of January so," John shrugged. "Your birthday."
Sherlock sat there, eyes locked on John's still. John cleared his throat, glancing away. "So I…yeah. It's not that hard to find out…so…"
"You amaze me sometimes, John."
John blinked, looking at Sherlock in what one would call shock. Heat rushed to his face in pleased embarrassment. What does one say back to that kind of statement? Or was that a compliment? A compliment from Sherlock? Maybe he shouldn't have explained his deductions to Sherlock. Maybe he should have just said Mycroft or Mrs. Hudson told him.
John cleared his throat once more. "C-Cuppa tea?" He stood up quickly, momentarily forgetting a book had been in his lap. It dropped to the floor with a thud.
Sherlock stood up also, stepping up onto the coffee table and over it like it hadn't even been there in first place. He walked over to John in a couple of long strides, gaze never leaving his face. Pausing a foot away, the consulting detective looked slightly flustered all of a sudden. It was quite amusing. His hands clenched and unclenched by his sides, and he bit his bottom lip in deep thought. "John. I don't expect you to give me anything on my birthday. I would actually quite prefer it if you didn't."
"I figured as much." John said quietly, staring up at him.
Sherlock relaxed slightly, giving a nod. John Watson always understood – even if he didn't quite understand fully at that precise moment.
The consulting detective never liked birthday presents. The reoccurring day of birth itself was stressing just enough as it was – he didn't like being the center of attention. He usually tried to go all out to make sure no one actually knew of his birth date. It was troublesome.
Of course, John Watson was different. Of course he was different. But he didn't want to trouble John by having to make him go out and get him a silly gift-
Sherlock's train of thought suddenly halted to a complete stop as he watched John come back from his room (when had he left to even go to his bedroom? Had Sherlock really spaced out that much? How often did he do that?). But the object in John's hands was the thing that currently had him lost for words.
He knew straight away what it was – but he wasn't about to go and tell John that.
John silently held out the object to Sherlock, and the raven-haired man noticed the blush creeping up John's neck, eyes cast downward, lips pursed in the form of a straight line. Sherlock took the object and the soft fabric cascaded over his long fingertips.
"It's…it's not your birthday yet." John said, stuttering in that adorable way of his. His eyes avoided Sherlock's. "So..."
Sherlock stared down at the scarf in his hands. It was a dark blue scarf, almost identical to the one he already owned. The fabric was notably much softer though, and if you were an expert on shades of color – you would notice that this one seemed just a tad bit brighter. No one would really know the difference except the two men.
John watched as a smile spread across Sherlock's face. A genuine smile – not one of those smiles he gave to Molly or some annoying person. A smile that John rarely ever got to see.
"Thank you, John." Sherlock said, their gazes meeting finally. "Thank you."
John became a deeper shade of red. "You're welcome." He mumbled very quietly. The doctor watched as the detective wrapped the scarf around his long neck, still smiling as he did so.
"Happy Birthday, Sherlock."
And with it being two minutes past midnight, the other flat mate leaned forward, and two pairs of lips pressed softly to each other for the first time.
But certainly not the last.
a/n: Since finding out this morning that Sherlock's birthday was tomorrow - a fanfiction idea would not stop screaming at me.
Review! Thanks for reading!