We're Getting Old
John woke up as Sherlock’s arm curled around his chest, pulling him in close. He turned his head and found himself staring right into Sherlock’s amazing blue eyes, and he smiled. Stretching, he turned his head again to look at the time. 8:48, the clock read. There was no worry, he had time to spend lazily cuddling with Sherlock. Their spotted, wrinkly hands intertwined under the covers. With the other hand, John’s fingers passed through Sherlock’s mop of greying locks, and he planted a soft kiss on his partner’ cheek. They both smiled, wrinkles getting even more prominent, and went for a hug.
‘Ooh, my arms. They’re so stiff!” Sherlock commented. John chuckled at the thought of his detective getting old and creaky. They kissed, and decided that they should get out of bed.
They both sat up, Sherlock slipping his feet into his bunny slippers and John picking up his cane. When he held it, he thought of the first time he had met Sherlock, when he had the psychosomatic limp. He hobbled over to his dresser with a nostalgic smile on his face. He used to be able to chase taxis across London, but now he could hardly walk. Two hangers emptied in the dresser as John took out a satin blue dressing gown for Sherlock and a thick wool jumper for himself.
John made toast with jam for breakfast while Sherlock went out to tend to the garden. He never saw himself as gardener, but when he moved out of 221B Baker St. to the cozy yellow Sussex home with John, he became quite fascinated. He planted many different types of flowers, because he loved the bees when they came in the summer. Sometimes, in the summertime, he would sit in the garden for hours, just watching the bees drift lazily along from flower to flower. The friendly bees had not been out for a while, since it had started to get cold. Snowflakes fell from the grey sky above, chilling the air with their descent. Sherlock dug the snow away from his flowerbeds and hurried back inside.
Together, the aging couple sat down and ate their toast, their old pug Hamish joining them halfway through. The only sound that was made was the crunching of the bread in their mouths and the sniffing of a dog wanting food, but the silence was not uncomfortable. They maintained eye contact and as they looked into each other’s eyes, their minds wandered back into the past. All the cases they solved together, all of the moments they shared. The smallest things were the best, like the time when Sherlock had tried to make coffee to apologize, or the time when John had forced Sherlock into one of his jumpers. Things were great now, too. Everything was sweet and sappy. Sherlock had gotten much kinder with age, John found.
After breakfast, Sherlock and John had decided that today would be the day for Christmas Shopping. They drove to the mall in their crappy little Volkswagen beetle, and went separate ways. John knew exactly what he was going to get Sherlock. He was going to buy him a fancy new fountain pen and a set of fancy stationary, preferably with a little bee motif. Not the kind of bee stationary for kids, but one with a black realistic bee on the top center of the envelope. He knew Sherlock would enjoy that. The only thing John wasn’t certain of was where he could get it. After about 15 minutes of casually walking around, he stumbled across a stationary shop. Perfect! It took him just 5 minutes of searching until he found exactly what he needed. He bought it and began walking back to the place where they were going to meet.
Sherlock, on the other hand, had been thinking about John’s Christmas present for months, yet he couldn’t come up with the perfect gift. He had thought about a giant teddy bear, some cigars, a new sweater, or socks, but none of them seemed right. What would John want? He had no idea. So he kept walking, slowly peeking in each and every shop window to see if there was something John would have liked. So far nothing, and it was almost time for them to meet back at the fountain. Panicking, he ran into the nearest shop and decided that he would get him something from there.
He had, of course, stumbled into a bakery. Everywhere he looked were croissants, danishes, strudels, cakes, pies, éclairs, and breads of all sorts. He saw all variants of toppings to put on your bread, or to accompany a pastry. The smell was delicious, and Sherlock’s mouth watered at the scent of freshly baked dough. He was pretty sure he could find something nice in here for John, his husband really appreciated breakfast and all things involving baking. A fresh loaf of bread for Christmas morning, an elaborate mélange of pastries, and some great jams and butters to go alongside. He carefully chose some of his favorites, along with ones he knew John loved, and then picked out John’s favorite brand of Jam. It may be expensive, but John was worth the money.
They were both walking back to the fountain in the middle of the mall, their agreed upon meeting spot, when Sherlock saw the cutest Christmas jumpers. He rushed into the store, knowing that John loved knit pullovers more than anything. He bought one and looked at it, thinking about how warm and comfortable it looked. He then decided to get himself one as well, so they could wear matching sweaters on Christmas. They were red, with white reindeer and flowers knitted into the pattern, and they hung just the way John loved. From experience, Sherlock knew that he liked jumpers like that as well.
John was proud of his purchase, and when he met Sherlock at the fountain, he was beaming from ear to ear.
“I missed you Sherly. How was your shopping? Get me anything good?” John asked with a wrinkly grin.
“Oh John. The shopping was great, I’m rather excited about what I got for you!”
They intertwined their wrinkly fingers and walked towards the exit, silly smiles plastered on their faces, and full shopping bags in their free hands.
It was Christmas morning, and the child in John had made him wake up early. Even though he was going on 72, Christmas made him feel giddy like nothing else. Except, obviously, for Sherlock. The former consulting detective was asleep on his side, his peaceful face turned towards John. He looked so much younger when he slept, the wrinkles that stress had brought on faded just a little bit, blending into the pallor of his face. His breathing was deep and calming, making John decide to stay in bed for just a few minutes longer. His finger traced the sharp line of Sherlock’s exposed cheekbone, and moving slowly to his shaggy, grey hair. At this motion, Sherlock half-awoke, just enough to grab John around the middle, pull him back into bed, and give him an Eskimo kiss. He settled back into sleep with John’s face pressed up against his own.
A couple minutes later, John became too restless to put up with being help down. He slipped out of Sherlock’s grip and went out to get breakfast ready. When he got to the kitchen, however, there was already a massive platter of breads, cheeses, pastries and jams laid out beautifully on the dining table. Some light Christmas music was playing in the background, loud enough to set the mood but not so loud as to disturb the peacefulness of the scene. Sherlock walked in a few moments later wrapped in a fluffy bathrobe and bunny slippers.
“Merry Christmas, John.” He whispered softly, hugging John from behind.
John turned his head to plant a kiss on the ridge of Sherlock’s cheekbone.
“I love you, Sherlock Holmes” he whispered into the cavern under the cheekbone ridge.
They ate together, with their pug Hamish sitting on the spare chair in a doggy Christmas sweater. Sometime during the meal, John had produced some fake antlers on a headband and put them on Sherlock’s head. They were both silently wishing for breakfast to be over so they could move to the presents. When they were both full to the brim, they shuffled over to their shared recliner by the Christmas tree. Sherlock masterfully lit the fireplace, and soon they were toasty warm, cuddled up closer than would usually be comfortable. There were mugs of hot cocoa on the coffee table with marshmallows bobbing to the steady heartbeat that Christmas always seems to have.
They soon got around to opening their presents, and Sherlock was delighted with the bee stationary. He put it neatly on his desk, which he only did with very important or sensitive documents, making John feel all happy about his purchase. Sherlock went to go get the sweaters, and When John opened the package, his face was pure joy. He took off the old crappy Christmas sweater he had on, and cheerfully put on his new one. When he saw that there was another matching one, he looked up mischievously at Sherlock, and threw the second one over his head.
“Now we’re matching! These jumpers are beautiful, Sherlock. Where did you find them?” John enthusiastically queried.
“Honestly, I cannot recall.” Sherlock replied, drawing an amazed gasp out of John.
“I swear, that must have been the first time in forever that you have said that you cannot remember!”
“Well John, you should know. We’re getting old.”