They were older now and their days of chasing criminals were far behind them. Sherlock had retired to a small cottage in the country. When he was able he would do his experiments. When he wasn't he would tend to his beloved bees. He'd also made peace with his brother. Which, given the current situation, was just as well.
Sherlock was away for the week to attend the funeral of their mother. It hadn't been that long since they'd buried their father. John surmised that she missed her husband so much that she'd given up on living. Whatever the reason they were now without their parents. No matter what they had said about them, John knew loosing their mother had hit both Sherlock and Mycroft harder than either of them cared to admit.
On the day that Sherlock was due to return John made sure that everything was ready for him. He'd taken the opportunity to cottage sit for Sherlock. This was no hardship as he loved sitting out in the cottage garden at the back of the house listening to the the buzzing of the bees as he read the medical journals he still consulted. However, this week that garden was full of action and people. John could only hope that he'd got it right and that Sherlock liked it.
John was waiting at the front gate as a black sedan drew up. The chauffeur got and opened the door for Mycroft and shut it behind him. After having got Sherlock's case from the boot he opened Sherlock's door. Sherlock got out and smiled at Mycroft. He looked more tired than John had seen him.
Mycroft embraced Sherlock. "Stay safe little brother."
"You too Mycroft." Sherlock stepped back to stand beside John as they watched Mycroft get in to car and leave.
Picking up Sherlock's suitcase, he walked in to the cottage. "Why don't you come in to the garden? I have something out there for you."
Sherlock smiled at John indulgently. "Of course John."
John stepped back and watched as Sherlock looked around the garden. He gazed around in awe at all the flowers in the borders. It was all different. He stared at the purple flowers of the Acers as they moved gently in the breeze.
"I hope you don't mind Sherlock. I consulted a horticulturist to make sure that everything was okay. You see I've tried to make sure that as many of the plants as possible are good for your bees." Sherlock turned to face John. "I've been thinking about doing this for you for ages but I thought that given what's happened in might cheer you up. If nothing else it should help your bees."
Sherlock turned to his friend. "You did this .... for me?"
"Yes Sherlock. It was worth if for all the friendship you've given me my dearest friend." John said as he walked over to him.
"I like it!" Sherlock watched as the bees began to buzz. "I think they like it too."
"Tea Sherlock?" John said. Sherlock nodded as John went in to the cottage to make it.
The two men drank tea and sat and chatted in to the twilight hours. These were the days that John cherished most of all.