John buying little sugar skulls for Sherlock’s tea.
They were kind of a morbid buy, John thought even as he clicked the button to order them online. He’d never seen sugar skulls in stores—plain little skulls made of pressed white sugar, not the decorative Mexican sort—and he had to admit they were kind of cute. In a morbid way, which was par for course in his life nowadays.
Sherlock would get a kick out of them, at any rate. John didn’t take sugar in his coffee or his tea, but Sherlock did. Their cases were a little slower in the last few weeks, and Sherlock was becoming steadily stroppier and distressed. A little present couldn’t hurt.
The package arrived two weeks later, after John had completely forgotten about his silly impulse buy. Sherlock was out running mysterious errands when Mrs. Hudson brought the mail up to the flat, so he was gone when John unwrapped the box.
He felt a little silly as he arranged the box on the counter next to the kettle. Really, they were nothing more than expensive sugar cubes. He couldn’t even guarantee Sherlock would care one way or another about the damn things; he might even scoff at John for having spent ten dollars on having special sugar cubes shipped to the flat.
Too late now. John settled into his chair to watch some telly and wait.
Sherlock came home that evening, satisfied and with his shirt stained with a substance John dared not ask about. While Sherlock ducked into the shower (as John would not give any kisses until Sherlock was clean), John set the kettle to boil and prepared two mugs for tea.
Sherlock finished his shower just as the kettle finished boiling. Without a word, he went into the kitchen and sidled up behind John, resting his chin on John’s shoulder in the needy way that meant he wanted attention.
"I want a case," he muttered.
"I can’t get you one, Sherlock. Not without murdering someone." John smiled as he poured boiling water over the teabags.
"Nonsense. Your murders would be boring. An idiot could solve them." Sherlock sighed and pressed his face into the side of John’s neck, softening the barb. Then he paused. "John?"
"What are these?" He didn’t wait for an answer, letting go of John to reach for the box of sugar skulls on the counter. He picked up the box and seemed to scrutinize the contents.
"Figure that’s a bit obvious. Got a label and everything." John mixed a little bit of milk into one mug. "Thought you might like them."
Sherlock stared at the box a moment later, then scoffed. “Ridiculous,” he said.
John bristled and frowned down at the mugs. A few seconds later, Sherlock’s pale hand dragged the milky tea across the counter, and Sherlock delicately dropped in two sugar skulls. John looked up, and Sherlock smiled at him over the rim of the cup as he took a sip.
John sighed in exasperated fondness and got a sweet, tea-flavored kiss in apology.
One of the sugar skulls made its way to the living room mantel, resting against Billy the Actual Skull. John didn’t put it there. Sherlock didn’t acknowledge that it was there.