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Make a Wish

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"You know, we never did talk about what you were going to get me for my birthday."

They're sitting on Danny's couch, Mindy's feet resting in his lap, watching something with Sandra Bullock in it, the remains of that night's dinner sitting in cardboard takeout containers strewn across the coffee table. Danny looks away from the screen, one hand absent-mindedly running up and down Mindy's pyjama-clad leg. "What are you talking about?" he asks, at a loss for how Sandra Bullock meeting Ryan Reynolds' family could possibly have led Mindy to that train of thought.

"When we had meningitis, don't you remember?" Mindy replies, digging a foot into his ribs as though this will jog his memory. (What it actually does is tickles just slightly, not that he'll ever admit this.) "We talked about getting me a birthday present but you didn't decide on anything."

"Well, what do you want?" Danny asks, shrugging. "You know I'm no good at gifts."

Mindy sits up and glares at him as though he's just offered her a serious affront. "Okay, firstly, that is demonstrably not true, because you absolutely slayed with my Secret Santa gift last Christmas and you know it," she quips, wagging a finger at him. Danny smirks a little at that and she rolls her eyes. "Don't let it get to your head, old man, flukes happen to everyone," she adds, which only makes Danny's smirk a little more smug.

"I absolutely slayed, huh?" he quotes back at her. "How about that?"

Mindy sighs melodramatically. "The things I have to put up with," she says, looking up to the ceiling, gesticulating in a way she doesn't realise she's picked up from Danny. "I hope you're paying attention to this, universe, and that I get reincarnated as an ass model or something."

"Hey, I like your ass just fine," Danny protests mildly.

Mindy brushes this remark off with a wave of her hand and continues counting items off on her fingers. "As I was saying," she says, "secondly, you're not meant to ask me! What fun is that? I might as well go and buy the gift myself!" She falls back into the couch cushions as though this would be the most horrendously trying ordeal of her life.

"Actually, that's a great idea, can I just give you my credit card?" Danny says, grinning cheekily as Mindy starts beating him over the face with a couch cushion. "Ah, okay, stop! Stop! I was kidding! I surrender!"

Mindy glowers at him from beneath the raised cushion, though there's the hint of a smile quirking the corner of her mouth. "You are the actual worst," she informs Danny mock-sternly, "and if you attempt to get me to buy my own birthday presents for myself, I am leaving you and going off to seduce Keira Knightley - and no, you would not be allowed to watch, ya perv," she adds. "Keira and I would be blissfully happy together, and she would never ask me to buy my own gifts. She's a lady, unlike some people I could name."

"You wish I was a lady?" Danny asks, having slightly lost track of the thread of the conversation upon the introduction of the mental image of his girlfriend seducing beautiful Englishwomen.

"Are you even li - you know, whatever, I don't even want to know how you got that out of what I just said," Mindy says, shaking her head to forestall any explanations. "Suffice to say, I'm sending you a copy of my Amazon wishlist for your perusal. Take notes. There will be a test."

"How far away is your birthday, again?" Danny asks.

"Three months, two weeks and four days," Mindy answers promptly. "But you have to be prepared for these things, Danny!" She shifts position so that she's curled up against his chest, and Danny pulls her in closer to him, enjoying the warmth of her body against his. As the movie plays, Mindy reads him an impressive lecture on the virtues of researching the perfect present, punctuating her arguments with pokes in the thigh and spirited gesturing.

Danny just thinks of a little black box hidden at the very bottom of his closet underneath a duffel bag full of gym gear that he knows Mindy will never touch, about reservations at half a dozen of her favourite places, and about the document labelled "Mindy b'day and proposal itinerary" on his laptop, and smiles to himself.

He's pretty sure he's going to absolutely slay again this year.