Dutch stepped into her room and fell onto her bed. She was sweaty as fuck - they’d had a long and hot day - but she was just too bloody tired to shower right now. Their warrant was a very difficult level four; the bastard dug himself a hidey-hole in the Badlands, but since he was a drunk idiot the hidey-hole had collapsed. Dutch and Johnny had to dig him out to at least get proof of death. Of course the bastard had survived and the first thing he did when she and Johnny got him out was puke all over Johnny (and yeah, she did almost die laughing, but then the ride back to Lucy got almost unbearable). Still, they’d got their joy and Pree had promised them free drinks (extra free? Maybe they’d get the good stuff, although Dutch doubted it) so in the end it was worth it. But yeah, she’s bone-tired, and if it wasn’t for the free booze she might have called it a night.
There was a knock on the door. Dutch groaned, tried to get up, realised that she really didn’t want to, and so lay back down again.
“Five more minutes!” she called.
“It’s an emergency!” Johnny answered through the door. How the bloody fuck could there be an emergency? Lucy wasn’t bloody likely to get attacked in the Old Town docks.
“Fine!” she growled, and sat up. The doors slid open and Johnny stepped through - freshly showered and not really looking like there’s an emergency. He was holding something behind his back and he did look nervous. Maybe he broke something?
“There better be a bloody fire,” she said.
Johnny smiled. “Well, I suppose there will be.”
“Johnny, what the fuck is that’s supposed to mean? I’m too bloody tired and I don’t have the fucking ener- what the fuck is that?”
What Johnny had behind his back turned out to be a small, light teak box. Suddenly she was cold and it felt like something was squeezing her lungs and -
“It’s a present, but Dutch are you ok? You look a bit pale.”
“Where did you get it,” she asked, her voice monotone. She was in panic mode, already thinking of where to run. Should she leave the J?
“I- I bought it. It’s a birthday present. Dutch, please tell me what’s wrong.”
She blinked. “It’s not my birthday,” she stated matter of factly.
“Well, no, but I didn’t necessarily mean it like your birth-birthday, we met one year ago.” Had there already been a year?”
“Isn’t this more of an anniversary, then?”
“Well I mean… yeah, I suppose.”
He handed her the box and she took it, staring at it in disbelief. She opened it. Inside was a watch. An old school, Earth-style analog watch. It was dented but still gleaming silvery, and the hands ticked on steadily. She’d gotten boxes like these on her birthday before; tests, missions. It felt so bloody strange getting one that, seemingly, didn’t hold any caveats.
“I didn’t get you anything,” she murmured softly.
“You don’t have to, it’s cool. Uh, the watch, it was my granddads. He gave it to me when he died. It’s been in my family for generations and when I got it, it didn’t really work, but I fixed it, which was bloody hard because there aren’t exactly any manuals and-”
“Johnny!” Dutch interrupted. “You’re rambling.”
Johnny rubbed his neck sheepishly. “Yeah, well, I’m nervous. You don’t look very happy.”
“I am, it’s just… I’ve never gotten anything like this before.” Except from her husband, gifts to woo her; expensive, extravagant - never like this. Never something so useless as an analog watch, and never something so personal.
“Do you like it?”
Dutch looked up at him. They both pretended that her eyes weren’t wet. “I love it,” she said. Her voice sounded like she had oatmeal in her throat.
Johnny clapped his hands, visibly relieved. “Ok, then, awesome,” he said, his voice full of happiness, “then we can move on to the next cake - I mean stage, which is cake.”
“Oh wow, you really do spoil me,” Dutch said, standing up.
“Well, you know me, I like to treat my ladies well.” Dutch swatted his arm. They walked out of her room. “You know, if you would just trust me with your birthday we could celebrate it on the right day next time.”
Dutch thought of her previous birthdays. “I’ll tell you, but I’d rather celebrate it today.”
Johnny nodded. “Sure.”
“Also, we need to hurry up with that cake because Pree promised us free booze.”
“We already get free booze,” Johnny said, his voice questioning.
“Yeah, but I think he might mean to give us the good stuff.”
“Well, then we really need to hurry up.”