Author's Note: Sherlock has discovered the unexpected joy of giving gifts and Dr. John Watson, flatmate and colleague, if the focus of all his attention. Fluffy, fun and guaranteed to make you smile. First in an ongoing series. First three parts are already written with more to come. Can be read as gen or pre-slash, though an eventual sequel will be definitely slash. Remember that reviews are love, and I hope you enjoy!
Making a Life
The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention. – Richard Moss
Chapter 1: The Belated Birthday Present
John reached for his jacket as he passed the hall tree, but the thin old Blue Harbour wasn't there. In its place was hanging a stranger's heavy wool peacoat. Mrs. Hudson must have a visitor, and a well off one at that. Sighing in exasperation, John looked back up the stairs toward their flat. Sherlock was already out on the pavement and hailing a cab, but there was no way that John was heading into the rainy April chill without any coat at all. "Sherlock, wait a tic!" he called through the open front door before turning and dashing up the stairs, taking two treads at a go. He scanned the sitting room, but there was no sign of the jacket. It must have gotten up to his bedroom somehow. He missed his shooting jacket which, if relatively thin, had still been remarkably warm. After three years in Afghanistan, coming home to one of the coldest English winters on record had been unbelievably hard, and splurging on the shooting jacket had been a necessity. The Blue Harbour wasn't nearly as warm, but thanks to being abducted by a madman and redressed in the latest in explosive fashions, it was all John had left.
He darted up the last flight of stairs, but a rapid search of his room still revealed no sign of the jacket. "Bollocks," he grumbled, grabbing a second jumper and heading back to the sitting room. He'd have scurry, he thought, or his flatmate, never the most patient person to begin with, would leave without him. He was surprised, therefore, to find Sherlock standing in the centre of the sitting room, the stranger's coat dangling from one long-fingered hand.
John frowned, disgusted. "I don't see how they could possibly have mistaken my anorak for their coat, but… Sherlock, whose coat is that?"
Sherlock, raising one stately brow, said, "It's yours."
"No, that isn't my coat," John said, looking askance at the admittedly gorgeous peacoat. The wool looked amazingly warm, and he shivered, the second jumper still clutched in his hands. "Someone must have left it here. Does it have any identification or – "
"You're being particularly slow today, John." Sherlock complained, already sounding bored with the entire discussion as well as impatient. "This is your coat."
"I'm telling you it isn't my…" John trailed off as a suspicion sprang fully grown into his mind. "Where's my anorak?" he demanded, brow furrowing.
His flatmate smiled, his grey eyes dancing in a way that was usually reserved for criminal encounters. "I burned it."
"You what?" he said, not quite able to believe the evidence of his ears.
"I burned it. I assure you, the world will not feel its loss," he replied smugly.
"Sherlock, that was my only coat!"
"Not anymore. I think you'll find this one far superior," he said, holding out the peacoat. "Here."
Stepping forward slowly, John tentatively took the new coat from Sherlock's hands. It was even heavier than it had looked hanging on the hall tree. The wool – Melton wool, he'd swear – was incredibly soft, and the entire coat had the kind of detailing and sheen that just screamed expensive.
"Sherlock, did you buy this for me?"
"No," he quipped. "I stole it."
"Sherlock," John growled warningly, too cold and too frustrated to put up with any of the genius' nonsense.
"Of course I bought it. Don't be more of an idiot than you can help."
John examined the coat minutely, searching, among other things for a maker's tag, but he couldn't find one. "Sherlock, I appreciate the thought – not you burning my other jacket – but I do appreciate the thought."
"Excellent." Sherlock bounced slightly in place, clearly pleased with himself.
"But I can't accept this," John insisted, holding the coat back out. "You have to return it."
The world's only consulting detective sniffed disdainfully. "I will not."
"I can't, and I wouldn't if I could."
"Of course you can!"
"No, I can't. It's bespoke."
"It's… what? You had a coat specially made for – but you don't even have my meas – of course you have my measurements," John corrected himself, slapping a hand to his forehead in frustration.
"It's Nutters of Savile Row," his flatmate added helpfully, making John's breathe freeze in his lungs as the price of the garment ratcheted up exponentially in his head.
"You're the nutter!" John gasped. "Sherlock, you can't do things like this. I can't accept it. It's too much. It's ridiculously too much."
Sherlock shrugged. "Think of it as a birthday present if it makes you feel better."
"You missed my birthday. It was in March. And this is far too expensive for a birthday present," John argued, trying to keep his temper. Sherlock was trying to be nice, as if that alone wasn't enough to completely addle his wits. "Even if we were… it's just too much."
Again, Sherlock shrugged. "Then think of it as a birthday present for the next ten years. You know I'll probably never get you another one even if I do remember your birthday in future, so this can be in the nature of an advance. Besides, your jacket was ruined by Moriarty, so it's only right that I should replace it." Turning smartly on his heel, Sherlock galloped out of the flat and back down the steps. John could already hear him yelling, "Taxi!" before he'd even hit pavement.
With a guilty sigh, John dropped the second jumper and shrugged into the coat, reveling in the warm bulk as it settled around him like a hug. "Thank you," he whispered, though Sherlock was no longer there to hear it. He didn't even want to think about how many cases the consulting detective must have worked in secret to pay for the extravagance. "Wait for me," he called, hurrying after his friend.