Sherlock emerged from his mind palace at the sound of John coming up the stairs. He knew John liked to be greeted when he came home from... where ever he was. If he was a better boyfriend, he would have known where John had been.
Still, it was a little late to worry about that, but he sat up straighter in his chair and waited for John to enter the living room.
When he did, it was with a large package in his arms.
“What's that?” Sherlock asked, unable to hide his intrigue.
“It's Valentines day,” John stated.
“It's the fourteenth of February,” Sherlock replied.
“Same thing.” John smiled. “I brought you something.”
Sherlock eyed the package in John's hand. “What is it?”
John snorted. “A surprise, obviously. Open it up and see.”
Sherlock examined the package John placed in his hands. It was a large box, probably a tote bin going by the contours of the package. It was wrapped in red tissue paper.
He shook it, and a cascade went raining down inside.
John winced. “Perhaps don't shake it, just... open it.”
Sherlock nodded, tearing at one corner of the tissue. He didn't particularly enjoy the tearing sound, but wasn't feeling patient enough to remove the tape piece by piece. And knowing how John wrapped, it would take ages.
He hesitated. “I didn't get you anything,” he admitted.
John wrapped his arms around Sherlock tightly from behind. “I'm sure you'll think of something.”
Sherlock sighed happily in his embrace. “I am very inventive,” he conceded.
He could feel John smile.
He discarded the tissue to see the bin underneath. It was indeed a tote, blue lid with a handle, flips to keep the lid on tightly.
Even the sound of the flips was rewarding. He wondered if John did that on purpose.
He undid them and did them back up a couple of times, likely grinning madly, before removing the lid entirely.
It was a treasure trove. He didn't know what to look at first.
So he went for the top thing.
“Playdough!” he squeaked. “John I bloody love you.”
John smiled. “I know. It's mutual, you clot. Now keep going; don't get distracted by the shiny things, you'll have loads of time to play with them later.”
Sherlock's hands itched to squeeze the playdough, but John was right, so he continued on.
Next he unearthed a bag of rice and beans.
“Dinner?” he asked skeptically.
John snorted. “Nope. They're to put in the bin when it's empty. I know you like the sort of... well, the feel of things running through your fingers, and I read online that rice is really good for that, and it keep forever, but then I thought you'd get bored of just one texture, so I got some beans too.”
He blushed. “Is it stupid?”
“No, it's brilliant,” Sherlock assured him.
John only blushed harder as Sherlock moved on to the next item.
Next he pulled out an assortment of plastic bones and wood models.
“To bury and... excavate,” John explained. “Same with those,” he added as Sherlock pulled out a bag of chocolate gold coins. “If you can manage to not eat them right away.”
“No promises,” Sherlock muttered.
“I think the next thing will help,” John added.
Next was at least a dozen of the small boxes of Smarties.
“I got the little boxes so you can sort and count the colours. I know you love doing that.”
“You have no idea how hard it is to find the multicoloured ones this time of year. All the stores seem to just have... bloody pink and red ones.”
Sherlock scoffed at that, and John smiled. “Horrific, I know.”
The last thing was possibly Sherlock's favourite. A strip of the ultra-soft fabric that Sherlock had coveted when they were at a craft store (for a case of course) earlier that month. He held it up to his face, running it along his lips, and smiled.
“I could kiss you for this. But I'm busy.”
John smiled fondly. “Maybe later.”
And indeed, after Sherlock grew tired of his box, he thanked John with a kiss.
(They both thought they got the best present.)