Author's Notes: Just a short. Barely 400 words and written in maybe fifteen minutes. Still, I think this is a new personal favorite.
"I'm not going to apologize," Sherlock says in a level voice that reveals nothing.
Three years and these are the first words said between them. John is actually grateful that he is still in shock or else those words might very well send him over the edge.
It is a close thing.
John is still weak from having fainted. And his mind is reeling. He is confused and hurt but he is also so ridiculously overjoyed that his hands are trembling. Or maybe that's the anger, or is it the odd, uncertain anxiety that this is not real? John's not really sure about much of anything at the moment, let alone capable of parsing through his own emotions.
But Sherlock is still speaking. Of course he is, John thinks uncharitably. This is Sherlock, who either speaks too much or not nearly enough and can never, ever find a happy medium.
John has missed him terribly.
pointless," Sherlock is saying, "I cannot very well apologize for something I do not regret."
Sherlock, John thinks, is belabouring the point for some reason. He's repeating himself. Sherlock hates repeating himself.
"Alright," John says, finally finding his voice. "Welcome back."
Sherlock freezes in mid-gesture and blinks. "Really, John? Is that... it, then? This simply?"
And John laughs. He sounds vaguely unhinged. "Oh God, no. I'm going to scream obscenities at you in a few minutes. Probably going to punch you." John cocks his head giving Sherlock a very pointed look. "And at some point I'm going to want an explanation."
Sherlock looks uncomfortable. "I can't apologize John. Under the circumstances... I would do it again. In a heartbeat. I'm not sorry."
John nods. "That's okay. I don't forgive you."
Sherlock looks at him for a very long moment. Observing, John notes. Deducing.
Sherlock gives him a hesitant half-smile. Even after three years and the giant chasm that is Sherlock's suicide they understand each other perfectly. John replies to Sherlock's smile with a slight grin.
And then he decks him.
He's not going to apologize for it any more than Sherlock is going to apologize for faking his own death. He's probably not even going to forgive Sherlock for the hell that was the last three years.
But even now with the anger catching up and becoming overwhelming John knows that he's going to accept Sherlock back into his life.
After all, he's finally gotten his miracle.