Shout-outs: nrynmrth, Guest, Frachesa Salazar, Julie and peor14

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Rated: T

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I've been with you enough to know just why I need you, baby I'm right beside you. All I need is a little more you.

Home [hohm]: noun, a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household. 2. the place in which one's domestic affections are centered, an institution for the homeless, sick, etc.: 4. the dwelling place or retreat of an animal. 5. the place or region where something is native or most common. 6. any place of residence or refuge:.7.a person's native place or own country.

"So, where were you?" Sherlock asked, it had been over a week and the doctors had finally cleared him to go home. "Why did you pretend you had been murdered? Don't you know what it did to me!?"

"I know," Joan said quietly as she busied herself making him more comfortable. It had been over a week but the doctors had finally cleared Sherlock to go home to the Brownstone.

"You are not cruel-hearted, Joan. So, I know that this wasn't some epic prank you played on me to see how far over the edge I would fall."

"No, it wasn't," Joan answered.

"Where did you go?" Sherlock pressed. "They said you were dead, I saw pictures of the crime scene. There was so much blood. . . and you were gone. They looked forever, they never found you. There were no answers. . . . just a cold case."

"I faked my own death. They were all in on it, Captain Gregson and Marcus. Kitty. . ."

Sherlock smiled wryly. "The last time a woman in my life faked her own death, she turned out to be a mastermind serial killer."

Joan smiled in return. "I am not a master mind serial killer. I just. . . I got into a bit of trouble and I didn't want to bring you down with me."

"Wh-what kind of trouble did you get into?"

Joan fidgeted with his blankets. "Your father. I got involved with your father and it was bigger than I could have ever imagined. It got so big. It almost killed me for real. I decided I would beat them to the punch."

"Father never said. . ." Sherlock trailed off because his father would have had no qualms killing Joan, in taking away something or somebody he had loved. He'd done it before, there was nothing stopping him from doing it again. "My father wasn't the one who tried to kill you?"

"I didn't know," Joan answered, shaking her head. "That's why I faked my death and disappeared. I went to London and hid out with Kitty while Gregson and Marcus tried to find out who wanted me dead."

"Why did you come back?" Sherlock asked.

"Marcus called Kitty. He told her you weren't doing too well. That you were taking my death really hard. He didn't know if it was drugs or something else. I had to come back because if you had relapsed again then it would be my entire fault and I couldn't have. . ."

Sherlock shook his head and grabbed her hands. "No! Don't blame yourself for a second. It would have been my if I had relapsed. It was my fault. I let your absence from my life dictate my actions. I lost control, I should have been stronger and I wasn't when it counted the most."

"But it wasn't drugs," Joan answered. "You were strong when it came to that. Right?"

"You have no idea how much I wanted to do drugs again," Sherlock said, interlacing their fingers because he was still holding her hand.

"It was a step in the right direction," Joan told him, bringing his hand to her mouth and kissing it. "But you still didn't take good care of yourself like you should have and that needs to be taken into consideration."

"I missed you," Sherlock whispered, reaching out to touch her face with his free hand.

Joan closed her eyes. "If we're being honest, I missed you too."

"Every second of every day. . ." Sherlock moved his fingers from her cheek to her lips, like he was memorizing her for a rainy day. "I was lost without my Boswell. My God, Joan, you're face is like coming home."

Joan offered him a watery smile. "I was pretty lost without you too."

"You did not self-destruct though."

"I had faith I was coming home. . . to you," Joan answered.

"Did your parents know about your plans?"

Joan looked guilty. "I couldn't put my mother through that."

"Well, she played her part brilliantly. She was very convincing as the grieving mother. I didn't notice any flaws in her performance. But maybe that was because I was too strung out on my own grief to notice it was all a charade."

"Your game was slipping," Joan teased.

"I've told you, I'm better with you Joan. When will you believe me?" Sherlock replied.

"Sherlock, I noticed Fiona didn't come by the hospital the whole we were there. Did something happen with you two?"

"We broke up. Or better yet, she ended things with me. It was a while after we thought you had been murdered. She stayed with me longer than I expected but after a while, she couldn't reach me anymore. It was only right to allow her to cut ties with me. She deserved better."

"I'm sorry Sherlock. I didn't consider that would happen when I disappeared—"

"My dear, do not blame yourself. It was only a matter of time before the two of us would have crashed and burned. If it hadn't been your death, it would have probably been my work. Or my inability to communicate when she's entirely more open than I am. You are not at fault."

"Well, maybe now that I'm back you two can work something out. I know you guys really liked each other."

"I really don't think we'll get back together. You see, it wasn't just your death that drove us apart. In the end, Fiona was convinced my grief over your supposed untimely demise was because I am in love with you."

"Am?"

"Was," Sherlock corrected himself. "It is utterly ridiculous. Not that the idea of anyone being in love with you is ridiculous. But the idea of you and me being anything more than what we are is. . ."

"Totally ridiculous," Joan finished for him with a hint of a smirk. "I know."

"I do—" Sherlock paused. "I know I haven't said it aloud, not in so many words. But I do love you. That is a great compliment to you because I have only loved two other women in my life. My mother and Irene. Well, I suppose I sort of had familial feelings for Kitty in the end. But. . . well, I am not making any sense. Am I?"

"No," Joan answered. "But that's okay. I think I should tell you that I love you too, Sherlock."

"Good. Now that we've got that out of the way—"

"Love isn't something to get out of the way!" Joan interjected.

"Now that we've said I love you to each other, do you care to explain why Kitty and Marcus are still in touch after all this time? I mean, does that make any sense to you?"

Joan laughed. "They like each other. They're friends. It doesn't have to make any sense."

"Yes, but she's kind of on the run and Marcus Bell is a by the book cop," Sherlock reminded her.

"You might be rubbing off on him just a little bit," Joan answered, brushing his hair away from his eyes. "I think it's time to get a haircut, Sherlock. This hobo look doesn't do anything for you."

"You're changing the subject," Sherlock grumbled.

"Yes I am. Kitty and Marcus are two adults. I don't think either of them will do anything stupid," Joan assured them. "Well, maybe they will. . . but we'll just have to trust them. Marcus will respect Kitty and. . . I don't even know why we're still having this conversation. It isn't any of our business!"

"Fine!" Sherlock said. "We won't talk about it anymore! Are you going to stay with me tonight?"

Joan smiled and crawled into bed beside him. "I'm not going anywhere Sherlock. You don't have to worry anymore."

The End

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Author's Note:

But not really! I have a one-shot planned that ties into this series. Thank you for coming on this ride with me, I found out on Friday night that Joan is not the Blind Item on Tvline but I still feel like something like this could happen, we'll find out in a little over a month. I'm sure whatever happens, the feels will be insane.

And I'll probably write another half-dozen fan fictions.

Please tell me what you thought, for old time's sake! I'll be back soon!

Until Next Time!

Lots of love,

Holly, 4/11/2016