A/N – Wrote this doped up on cold meds. That might come across. Sorry.
Mrs. Hudson wraps her arms around me and squeezes tighter than is comfortable. My sharp intake of breath is lost on her, but Sherlock manages to disentangle her from me. She just saw me last evening when she stopped by the hospital, this seems a little extreme.
"I'm so glad you are back home with us." She exclaims, clapping her hands together in front of her face. There are actually tears brimming in her eyes. I grab her upper arm and place a kiss on her cheek.
"Not nearly as glad as I am to be here."
Her smile grows before she starts bustling around. "I've made dinner for you boys, it's in the oven. I'll bring it up in an hour when it's done. Is there anything else you are going to need?"
"Mrs. Hudson," Sherlock speaks. "We'll see you in an hour with dinner. I'm going to get John upstairs now. Thank you." He places a kiss on her cheek and puts his hand on the small on my back, encouraging me to move. I head up the stairs and into the building.
I eye the insides stairs ominously and take a minute to look around the hall. It looks exactly the same as when I left. It smells the same, with the slight hint of laundry that comes when washing is being done. It feels so good to be here, I very well could never have stepped into this room again.
"Do you need me to go up and get your cane?" Sherlock asks, closer behind me than I realized.
"No." I don't want to have to use that cane, ever. "I think I can make it fine, just going to take it slow."
His hand is on my back again, this time between my shoulders to stabilize. He's going to stay behind me.
I put a hand on either bannister and begin the slow climb. The first half is rather easy, but I'm exhausted as I reach the top and my ribs are aching.
Sherlock is a steady weight behind me as I move towards the living room. I hear him drop the overnight bag, watching me intently as I collapse onto the couch.
"You should go to bed." He states. "You need more rest."
I nod, "In a minute." I smile up at him. He nods and settles next to me on the couch. I reach a hand out and interlock our fingers.
I look around the flat. It's so good to be here, but also feels weird. It's like coming home after a long trip and realizing that your home continued to exist while you were away. It feels like home, but different. I feel vaguely out of place.
It's clean, very clean. Probably the cleanest it's been since we've lived here. I know that Sherlock initially cleaned it as part of my anniversary surprise. I also know, mostly from Mrs. Hudson, that Sherlock has had the flat cleaned weekly. He discovered that since I had my spleen removed I will be more susceptible to infection; he's trying to avoid that. I know that his overprotectiveness will fade as life gets back to normal, but I intend to enjoy the cleanliness until then.
"It's good to be home." I say squeezing his fingers. "So good to be home."
He smiles at me and nods, understanding. It's probably very good to have me home too. Sherlock hasn't spent much time here either. He only slept here one night and that was by accident. He fell asleep after taking a shower. He'd been horrified at himself when he managed to storm into the hospital room at 4am, and then felt guilty about waking me up.
He hadn't believed me that it was perfectly fine for him to sleep at home. I hadn't pushed him on it. I should feel guilty, but I liked having him with me. I liked waking up and having him there. I am really looking forward to waking up with him in our bed.
I bring his hand up to my lips and kiss his knuckles. "Thank you," I say.
"For what?" He looks at me as if I've said something ridiculous.
I smile at him. "For taking care of me, it had to be boring."
She shakes his head emphatically, squeezing my fingers. "There are many reasons I never want to go through an experience like this again, thousands probably, but boredom wasn't one of them."
I open my mouth to apologize, but he cuts me off. "You would not accept an apology from Elizabeth Hamilton, because the actions had nothing to do with her. She is not accountable for her husband's behavior. You certainly aren't accountable. You are a victim, just like she was. You have nothing to apologize for, especially to me."
I nod and keep my apology to myself. I still feel bad though, I know it wasn't easy for him.
"Mrs. Hudson's going to be up here in 45 minutes. Will you lie down with me until she gets here? I can't tell you how much I want to climb into bed with you."
He smiles at that, one of his seductive ones. The pangs of arousal are growing stronger and stronger every day. It's more of an enjoyable surprise to me, my body still so far from being able to handle sex. It feels good. I know it is much harder for Sherlock, still perfectly healthy and perfectly capable. He hasn't complained though, even when he realized it will probably be a couple more months before we can. I wonder if we'll be able to hold out that long. We aren't particularly good at resisting each other.
"That is a brilliant idea Dr. Watson. I'm glad that your brain seems to be in proper working order." He stands and bends over to help me do the same. I manage most of it myself, but it's nice to have the additional support.
He takes my hand and leads me towards the downstairs bedroom, it is generally the spare bedroom, but the prospect of another set of stairs is daunting. Leave it to Sherlock to have thought of this already. As we enter the room, I notice that some of my clothes are hanging in the closet. I'd imagine that the dresser is also full of clothes that are temporarily relocated.
God I love this man.
He quickly throws the covers back and directs me to sit on the side of the bed. He kneels in front of me and gently pulls my shoes off.
"Do you want pyjamas?" He asks, resting a hand on either of my knees.
"No, I'm fine." I wore sweats home; they are perfectly comfortable to sleep in.
"Ok," he says and stands, kicking his own shoes off as he walks around the bed. I lie back gently and settle into the mattress. I close my eyes, savoring the moment as Sherlock climbs into bed next to me. It isn't our bed, but it's close enough. It is in our home and Sherlock is in it.
He rolls onto his side and moves close to me, gently draping an arm across my abdomen. The incision for the intestinal surgery has healed nicely, and doesn't hurt unless there is a lot of pressure. His arm, carefully, placed doesn't even cause a twinge.
He places his head on my pillow and kisses just above my ear.
"I love you John." He says quietly. "I am so glad that you are home."
"Me, too." I say tilting my head to the side until it's resting against his forehead.
I take as deep of a breath as I can without pain and hold it. I can smell Sherlock and it smells like home, wonderful, glorious, beautiful home. I came so close to never experiencing any of it again.
The peace won't last. I don't want it to, but I can enjoy it. I close my eyes and will be asleep in seconds. Life doesn't get better than this.