retirementlock sunday

john takes a part time position at a clinic in sussex for the first few years of sherlock’s retirement he only works a few hours each week and his schedule is set and soon his coworkers notice that every wednesday at noon someone comes into john’s office and gives him a sandwich and a kiss and heads out and when they ask who it is john shrugs and says “just my husband” and smiles at the dumb stickynote on his brown paper (and puts it in his drawer along with all the others)

think about sussex for a moment. think about john in a lawn chair leaning back with his eyes closed, enjoying the cool breeze. think about sherlock tending to the humming bees nearby, commenting on the generous honey production this season and how he’ll be trying to get a few new tastes before the farmer’s market starts up again. think about sherlock plopping down next to john when he’s done and how seamlessly he takes john’s hand and starts complaining about how sore his knees are, and john says he knows, love, and the nickname still makes sherlock’s cheeks burst with pink, and john smiles at the sight and although it hurts his back, he leans over and kisses sherlock’s cheek anyway

when sherlock first notices john moving things around the cottage he shrugs it off as spring cleaning but it goes on for about a week and he can’t figure out why so he spends one afternoon pondering all the possibilities and when john comes home he barges out to the cab to give him his deductions but he doesn’t even get to say a word because john opens the door and an irish setter pup comes barreling out barking and tripping over its own feet and it runs to sherlock and jumps up and is a wriggling ball of excitement and sherlock just stares in shock because puppyproofing the cottage wasn’t even a possibility in his mind and john smiles and scoops the pup up and hands him to sherlock and tells him happy birthday and even after twenty five years john still surprises him

sherlock and john sell honey at the local farmer’s market in summer and become known for it. john dozes off as sherlock rants to a customer about the bee species he thinks create the best honey. he handles the transactions and sherlock provides information, leant back in his sunhat, watching john. sometimes the two of them bicker about the jar arrangement on the table (and almost always snicker when sherlock deduces passersby). two tired grumpy happy old men who make the best honey in the south downs (◡‿◡✿)

when sherlock starts to really go grey john can tell it bothers him even if he just huffs and dismisses john pointing out his pepper hair and later that night when john sees sherlock frowning at his reflection john comes up from behind and runs his fingers through his hair and kisses his neck and calls him dashing and anytime it happens from then on out that’s what john does (and john knows sometimes sherlock does it on purpose just to goad him into affection but he doesn’t mind giving it at all especially if it makes sherlock smile)

john can see when sherlock’s hands hurt him from pulling trays out of the beehive so he’ll sit him down in the shade and give him a sandwich and massage his joints and listen to him talk about the colony and sometimes john can’t help it he just smiles and says he loves him out of the blue and it always makes sherlock smile and he curls a finger on john’s cheek and john kisses his hands and sherlock finds they don’t hurt so much anymore

john doing home improvement projects on his and sherlock’s sussex cottage and sherlock watching him tear down old curtains bare-armed and toned and john sees sherlock watching and asks if he could give a hand and sherlock just grins and thinks his almost 60-something year old partner is as gorgeous as he was at 37 and how right he looks there surrounded by floating dust in seaside sunLIGHT

when sherlock decides it’s time to retire he spends a while thinking of how he’s going to ask john to join him but when he tells him his plans he doesn’t even get a chance to formally ask because john’s already asking where they’ll be retiring to and what they’ll be doing and sherlock asks if john really wants to join him and john takes his hand and reminds him that they’re been together for twenty someodd years and asks if that’s really even a question anymore and sherlock smiles a bit and says he thinks sussex is nice this time of year

during a particularly harsh winter sherlock loses quite a few bees to nosema and john can tell he’s frustrated and is taking the losses personally so one day he buys his own beekeeper equipment and heads out to help sherlock ventilate the hive and sherlock is shocked to see him because john does not like bees but john mentions all the things he’s done for sherlock in the past and says that bees can’t be as bad as murderers and when they get inside and strip out of their uniforms sherlock suddenly hugs him from behind and puts his head on john’s shoulder and john just smiles and leans back and says a tiny “you’re welcome” and holds sherlock’s semi-arthritic hands in his own

twenty-five years later, when john is 62 and sherlock is 59 and they’ve been together for twenty years, they lie in their sussex bed and listen to the bees murmur over the ocean’s roar; and john reads a book, his face fitted with increasingly permanent readers; and sherlock writes notes for his casebook, his hands increasingly wrinkled and shaky; and he pauses and looks at the way the lamplight hits john, how it makes his grey hair almost look blond again, and it takes a few moments for john to notice that sherlock is staring and he says, “can i help you?” with a small smile; and all sherlock replies with is, “stay”; and even after twenty-five years together sherlock still thinks he’ll leave or still can’t believe he’s stayed or both; and it’s all john needs to hear to dogtag his book and turn off the lamp and hunker down in the bed to hold sherlock and kiss his peppered hair and tell him, “there’s nowhere else for me”; and their hands entwine and their days are numbered but for that moment it’s all good enough

when trying to win john’s favour about the bees sherlock sherlock promises that this time he won’t make john do anything he doesnt want to (because he knows how john feels about it but bless him he’s said yes anyways) but later he finds john reading up about the basics of beekeeping and about different flowers to produce the best honey and he even catches john ordering two suits and it’s hardly romantic but sherlock swears he loves john even more than he did before

the only real change sherlock and john make to their cottage is the bathtub - they install a larger one (with jets !! john is so excited about the jets !!) and when they use it the first time they relax and enjoy the massage and the new leg room but end up on one side of the tub pressed together anyway because they miss being squished right together until their pruning toes wriggle and brush under the water, sherlock kissing john’s neck and john sinking back against him, cosy and warm, and sure they were only a foot or two away from one another but they’re older and sore and being held by your retired detective of a husband does more to help that than any fancy tub can