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On the First Day of Christmas

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“Happy Christmas,” John said, handing Sherlock a small, brightly-wrapped gift. “Sorry it's not a freshly-murdered corpse. I'm on a budget.”

Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Honestly, you make me sound like a necrophiliac. It's not corpses I love, it's mysteries.”

I know, John thought.

Sherlock tossed the package casually in his hand; his eyes widened when it jingled.

“My mum loves shaking presents,” John explained. “So I got the habit of putting a bell in packages. Covers most tell-tale sounds.”

Sherlock blinked, and seemed to resist an urge to shake the package again.

“Also, that isn't necessarily the original box in which the item was purchased, and I may or may not have had it wrapped at a different shop, if you were planning on comparing papers available around London.”

Sherlock squinted at the festive wrap as if that were a new and intriguing thought.

“Finally, I wouldn't suggest X-raying it at Bart's. You never know what could happen . . .”

Sherlock was now staring at the innocent-looking gift with laser intensity.

“Anyway, put it on the mantel for now,” John finished. “Still twelve days till Christmas.”

Sherlock made a small, frustrated whining sound in the back of his throat.

And so, John thought, smiling innocently on the outside, the fun begins.